Free Web Hosts Are Bad for Your Website




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Generally, we have two kinds of web hosting services; paid and free.

In this article, I'll explain why choosing free web hosting is a bad idea for your website.

Just to clarify, I'm referring to and talking about the traditional shared or similar web hosts in this article, unlike the Jamstack or modern cloud-based solutions and hosts (Netlify, Vercel, or Cloudflare Pages, for instance).

Let's get started.

Free Web Hosts Are Bad for Your Website

Major Reasons Why Free Web Hosting Services Are Bad for Your Website

There is a universal saying that nothing is free.

It's true, especially when you choose free web hosting over premium web hosting services.

If you just finished working on your first website, you'd want to upload it online to share it with everyone.

That's where web hosting services come in. They allow you to upload your site on their platform to serve it to everyone on the internet.

Many free web hosts offer free web hosting without proper maintenance, support, tools, and much more.

Reason 1 - Free Web Hosting Providers Are Mostly Slow

More often than not, free hosting services are really slow.

When visitors try to visit your site, they'll often have to wait a couple seconds, if not minutes, for your site to finally load for them.

Sometimes, the performance is so slow that even you cannot access your website's dashboard, assuming you're running a CMS like WordPress.

As obvious as it is, this has several negative impacts on your site, especially regarding SEO rankings.

Google favors fast websites by ranking them in the top SERPs.

In fact, having a quick-loading website is one of the important parts of the Core Web Vitals.

This also means that free hosting services cannot handle a large amount of traffic coming to your site.

If the free hosting provider takes a performance hit, your website will not be able to keep up, and as a result, it will go offline or down.

Reason 2 - Free Site Hosting Companies Often Put Ads on Your Website

Have you ever wondered why free hosting companies can offer you that "free" option in the first place?

Running online services and infrastructures requires many physical resources, and someone has to pay for them.

You might not know this before, but these companies often put advertisements on your website to generate revenue to pay for such resources.

These ads might be anywhere on your site, such as header banners, sidebar ads, footer banners, etc.

These advertisements greatly slow your site as they load many third-party resources (JavaScript code, CSS styles, etc.) in the background.

Sometimes, these ads also visibly block parts of your site, such as text or images, which can be really bad in terms of user experience (UX).

Reason 3 - Free Website Hosting Companies Offer Limited Resources

This might be obvious, but when you go after free hosting options, you're opting to use limited resources for your site.

Some of the important resources include the following:

  • Number of CPUs
  • RAM allocation
  • Hard disk capacity (files storage)
  • Bandwidth
  • Website uptime
  • Website logs (error, analytics, etc.)
  • Database operations (CRUD operations, etc.)
  • Supported file types
  • File size and other upload limitations
  • Load balancers
  • And many more

You need a premium hosting provider that respects and provides you with all of these basic and more resources to ensure an optimal experience for your site visitors and users.

Reason 4 - Free Web Hosting Companies Are Insecure and Risky

Generally, free hosting providers don't offer the proper firewalls and security tools needed to protect a site.

For instance, SQL injections, Cross Site Scripting (XSS), DDoS attacks, and other security threats are common in the digital world of websites.

If your free website hosting service doesn't offer protections and security measures against such security issues, you're putting your website at 100% risk.

And if you're on a free WordPress hosting platform, then you're at a greater risk as WordPress utilizes PHP and MySQL for almost everything on your website.

Put simply, free web hosting options don't offer safe and secure hosting.

Reason 5 - Free Hosting Services Are Unreliable

When using a free website hosting provider, you're uploading your website to a platform that has no guarantee of safekeeping your website at all.

Free website services cannot be trusted that they'll stay online forever. They can decide to shut down their services or stop offering the free plan anytime without prior notice.

And if they decide to remove your site from their platform, then there's nothing you can do.

Reason 6 - Free Hosting Plans Put Your Site on Shared Hosting

This is related to reason 1 above.

Shared hosting means that your site lives and is kept with other users on the same physical server.

As you might imagine, this puts your website at high risk.

For a starter, your website shares the same IP address with other users/websites.

If the IP address of your host or site gets blacklisted by some online authorities, such as Google, your website might not even get indexed by search engines.

Furthermore, it only takes one user to engage in malpractice like email spamming and such to get the entire shared hosting blacklisted and even blocked in some countries.

Reason 7 - Free Services Don't Give Good Site Management Tools

Many free hosting companies use outdated tools and technologies. As such, they don't give their users good site management tools and other resources.

For instance, traditional web hosts often don't provide website backup options.

If your site gets bugged or hacked, you won't be able to restore your site from the hosting platform.

Reason 8 - Using a Free Web Hosting Means Advertising Their Services

Free web hosts typically give you a subdomain for your website. This has several disadvantages. I'll explain two drawbacks below.

First, using a free web host's subdomain means you're indirectly advertising them with their root domain address attached to your site's URL address.

Second, search engines like Google and Bing recognize the subdomain as part of the TLD, not as a separate domain.


Now you know why free web hosts are bad for your website.

These were some important reasons why choosing a web hosting company that offers free services isn't good for your site in the long run. But, of course, there are many more reasons apart from these.

In short, free hosting is not the best choice. The service is free, but the end result isn't worth it.

You're better off paying for hosting rather than managing your website on such hosts with major issues.

I'd advise choosing paid web hosting such as Namecheap or Cloudways if you prefer self-managed cloud hosting.

These are some of the reputable web hosting companies that offer almost everything you'd ever need for your web hosting.

Free Web Hosting FAQs

Why Free Web Hosting Is Bad?

Free web hosting is bad for several reasons, such as outdated software and tools, no proper technical support, no website backups, frequent site downtimes, slow website speeds, etc.

Free web hosting services limit you to a tech stack like PHP and MySQL only without offering other choices.

Modern technologies and languages such as MEAN and MERN stack are on the rise, and these traditional free web hosts cut corners by not offering you those modern options.

In short, free website hosting is a bad idea. This is because there are so many problems with free hosting solutions.

Does Free Hosting Affect SEO?

Yes, free hosting affects SEO a lot. In short, it could be destructive for your site's SEO if you use free hosting.

For instance, free domain names are not provided by such companies. Instead, they give you a free subdomain.

This subdomain provided by the hosting isn't recognized as good in the eyes of Google Search and will often result in your site not appearing in the SERPs.

Furthermore, these free hosting services may provide free web hosting on one of their blacklisted IP addresses, which might be blocked by Google and several countries or regions.

Simply put, websites with free hosting are always at a great risk regarding SEO.

Are Free Hosting Sites Safe?

Generally, no, free hosting sites are NOT safe.

When you go after free hosting and domain, you're signing up for a web host that is unreliable for the long term.

Free web hosts also have no guarantee to keep your site up if something goes wrong on their ends, such as the lack of resources or server instabilities.

For example, if there is a huge load on their servers, the web host provider takes down your website to prevent the impact.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources you should read if you need to understand some of the above concepts.


    Danial Zahid's headshot.

    About Danial Zahid

    I'm a self-taught web developer passionate about everything related to websites and web development. Over the past years, I've explored and worked with different web technologies and tools, notably WordPress, Eleventy, npm, and Gulp.js, to name a few.

    In addition, I've created and currently maintain several open-source projects, including web apps, widgets, websites, and more.

    When I'm not writing content for W3Things or doing web development work, I enjoy my free time by playing games or listening to podcasts.

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