It seems like a webmaster’s dream come true. There it is, free WordPress hosting. You see the search result advertising it right when you need it most. Your brand new site needs a place to live, after all. All this time, you thought you had to purchase hosting. However, you see that is not entirely the case here. You click on the link and sign up for your free hosting service.
From here, things usually do not end well. Your site can’t seem to pick up steam. It just kind of stagnates at the bottom. No matter what you do, something is holding your site back. In this case, it is usually that free hosting. Even though it is free, you are still having to pay for it. It is just that you do not have to pay cash.
If you want to learn more about the dangers of free hosting, use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What is Free WordPress Hosting?
A WordPress host is a service that actually puts your website on the internet. They store the site on their servers and supply a connection online so that others can visit it. All they have to do is put in your web address. Typically, there is a monthly fee involved to pay for the service. It costs money to supply the equipment, power, and maintenance for web hosting.
Free hosting is the exact same thing. However, this time, you do not pay any fees to use it. Any host offering their services for free still has operating costs, though. This fact is where we run into a big problem.
Why Would Anyone Host a WordPress Site for Free?
There is always a cost associated with hosting a website. If you are not being charged by your host, then your host is footing the bill. But why would someone host WordPress for free? Where does the money that funds the server maintenance, equipment, power, etc. come from? When we take a closer look at this question, we start seeing frayed edges.
Sometimes, your free hosting comes with a caveat. Your host wants to be able to put ads on your site. Instead of collecting money from you each month, they take up some banner space and sell that to advertisers. They get the money to take care of your hosting this way.
Sometimes, advertising is not enough. To make up the difference, your host might sell your information to third parties. They may sell your identifying information and any contact information you supplied your host. The best case is that they sell your information to marketing firms or marketers working for large companies. Then, you end up with an annoying stream of targeted advertisements based on what they can learn from your data.
The worst case is when this information is used to hack deeper into your internet life. In this scenario, the buyer could try and break into your other accounts using the same account information. This is another reason why it is a good idea to use a different password for every account. Worse, they may try and use whatever information they have to get into your financial data, credit, or even your social security number.
Unfortunately, some free hosting services are more nefarious. Instead of providing any kind of hosting for your website, they just want access to your computer, information, financial data, etc. They may ask you to download a plugin or other software to help manage your hosting. At that point, it is too late. Unfortunately, this can put your users at risk as well. In the cases where the hackers do give you hosting, the reason is to spread their outreach to others who interact with your website.
Getting hit with a hacking attempt like this can be devastating. Often, these succeed because they convince you to personally download their software and approve it. Telling your computer to trust it means giving them access to your personal files. While anti-virus software is constantly updating to be able to handle new hacking techniques, downloading it and approving it yourself often overrides these checks. And even when a scan does find the suspicious software, it is likely that the hackers already have what they were looking for.
Why Do People Use Free Hosting for WordPress?
The primary reason someone uses free WordPress hosting is that it is free. You do not have to give any currency to the hosts. The concept has a lot of appeal. It is one less bill to worry about. We are talking about a scenario where, at the very least, people are already paying yearly for their domain. They might be looking to cut costs wherever they can.
This is a common choice with simple, personal websites and blogs. If someone makes a site as a side project or as a resource for them to ramble off their thoughts, they might not see it as important enough to pay for hosting. If it is fake, they figure that they can just move on. If the performance is terrible, that is okay, because they were not wanting it to gain a following anyway. It is easy to only focus on the direct, monetary cost. However, remember, you always pay in some way.
It is a bad idea to think that the consequences are focused on the website itself. Remember, many times, the goal of hackers or unethical capitalists is your personal information. And even if you feel like you are okay taking that risk, it does not always only affect you. For anyone that does interact with your site, they could be at risk as well. This is especially true if they have any kind of account with your blog or need to give some information before posting comments.
Why Shouldn’t I Use a Free WordPress Web Host?
Let’s revisit the idea of your host putting ads on your site. At first, that seems fair. You exchange real estate on your site for free hosting. However, think about it a little more.
You have no say in what ads go on your site. It is common for visitors to assume you support and endorse anything advertised on your site. Traditionally, you would make the decision on who can put ads on your webpages. Now, you are risking making a statement you never intended to make.
If your host is a hacking front, your fake host might infect you with ransomware. Here, they will lock your computer from you until you pay them. Other times, they may simply install spyware on your system. Eventually, they will have access to all of your financial information and passwords. No matter the avenue they chose, you do not usually come out on top. And of course, your site still does not get hosted.
What if I Pick the Best Free Hosting for WordPress?
This idea simply does not work. Free hosts are not primarily concerned with you or your site. You are not their customer. You are their product. They make accommodations for their advertisers and for the firms collecting data. All they want from you is to have a site and give them personal information. There is no altruistic free hosting option that will host your website out of the goodness of their hearts.
What Should I Use Instead of a Free WordPress Host?
Let me level with you. You need to pay for your web hosting. It is an ongoing service that directly affects your website’s wellbeing. That does not mean that you have to break the bank. Hosting is surprisingly affordable now. However, you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
For your modest monthly fee, you will still want incredible speeds and enough bandwidth to make sure your site starts fast and stays that way. You also need daily backups (just in case). And it helps to have a host that has your back. Make sure your hosting comes with monitoring for WordPress updates, plugin conflicts, and even uptime.
These qualities and more are available through WP Super Host. Our expert team has pulled out all the stops to offer the best hosting possible at competitive prices. When compared to competitors, we simply offer more features without charging a fortune. Be sure to take a moment to browse through our hosting options today and find the one that fits you best.
Free WordPress hosting sounds interesting at first. However, it simply does not measure up. When you do not pay for your hosting, you are not the priority for your host. Your best bet is to pay for your web hosting and go with a reputable host that has everything you need.