You have 2 options for getting a website online. The first option is to build your website on a free hosting service such as Google pages or WordPress dot com. This may be a good solution if you don’t have any money, don’t care about branding your business or are worried the free service will disappear. A much better solution is to purchase your own hosting account.
Top 7 advantages of having your own web hosting account
1. Host your own domain name
A free hosting service means your domain name must include the company’s name. For example if you build your website at WordPress dot com your web address will look something like: redshoes.wordpress dot com. This makes difficult for your visitors to remember or spell the domain name. The advantage of having your own web hosting account is that you can register a real domain name and host it on a server.
2. Control over your own website
A web hosting account allows flexibility over your website files. You can install scripts, forums, software, etc to enhance your website. Your hosting package usually includes site statistics which enable you to monitor how many visitors your site receives, where they’re coming from and what keywords people are using to find your site.
3. Create your own e-mail accounts
If you’re going to do business online you need a professional e-mail address that includes your domain name (e.g.info at yourdomainname dot com). If you use Gmail or Hotmail for doing business your customers may not think you are serious or professional. Your hosting plan allows you to create e-mail accounts that include your domain name.
If you have built your website on a free hosting service it will be difficult to brand your domain name. For example if the company discontinues its free service you’ll lose your domain name and all your website content. It will be gone forever unless you regularly saved a backup copy. Many site owners have kicked themselves for allowing this to happen and lost all the content they created.
5. Establish a professional online business
A free hosted solution gives the appearance you’re not a professional business person. This may affect the quality and quantity of relationships that you wish to build online. The professional website address hosted on your own account will attract similar business people in your niche.
6. Search engine optimization
Having your hosting account allows you to create web pages that are search engine friendly. This means you can create your own title, description and keyword meta-tags, heading tags, optimize image descriptions and name your own files. If your free hosted website service disappears you’ll lose all your search engine rankings and traffic you have gained while the site has been active. A website with your own domain name hosted on your own web hosting account will remain in the search engines forever as long as you continue to pay the yearly costs.
7. Design flexibility
Hosting your own website allows you to manipulate the HTML of your web pages so you can create any design you wish. A free hosted solution generally provides templates that don’t allow much design flexibility.
After reading about the disadvantages of free web hosting and the 7 advantages of having your own web hosting account it makes better sense to go with the latter.