One of the first things I do when starting a new business, or expanding online with an existing business, is a domain name search. If I can find a domain name that pops, is short and can be remembered, my business will start off on the right foot.
The second thing to take care of is a website and with any new business, the lower the start up costs, the better. However, in this post, you’ll learn that cutting corners with your website, in most cases, isn’t going to help you at all. Especially when it comes to free hosting. To attract as much internet traffic as possible, choosing a proper host for your site is at the core of its success.
The Biggest Mistake
In order to cut start up cost, I see websites being hosted on free hosting platforms. While it’s possible to get decent traffic to your website while hosted on a free platform, you’re not going to get as much exposure or have much control over what happens to your site, and I’ll explain further down.
Now, when I speak of “Free Hosting Platforms,” here’s a list of a few:
There are also other sites that have the ability to create blogs within a social network setting, such as:
Unless you have absolutely zero money to start a site properly, avoid setting it up on a free platform. Why?
- On a free platform, you have little control over what happens to your site. If that host decides to close down shop, your site goes with it. If they decide to ban your site for being against their guidelines, you have no say in it. If their server goes down, you just have to wait patiently until they can get it back up.
- You will always be a sub-domain of theirs. For example, if your site name is CreateFinancialWealth, on a wordpress.com site, it would be “createfinancialwealth.wordpress.com.” Some free hosts will allow you to purchase a domain name and point it to your site to solve that problem, but you’re still faced with issue #1, 3 and 4.
- Your limited in your design capabilities. If you decide to do a website overhaul and completely change everything about it, you may be able to change some things, but will be limited in your back end abilities such as FTP access.
- Limited search engine exposure. As a sub-domain, search engines will give more search authority to the primary domain, and not your sub-domain. So the stronger your site grows, the stronger blogger or wordpress.com will grow. With the same amount of effort put towards a self-hosted site, your traffic will always be less on a free platform.
Always go Self-Hosted
The number one blogging/website building software on the web today is WordPress. Now, let me clarify the difference between the WordPress I speak of and WordPress.com. The wordpress software is free. You can go to WordPress.org and download the software at no charge. When I mention a “Self-Hosted” WordPress site, that means you must purchase a hosting plan from the company of your choice and install wordpress on your hosting account. On wordpress.com, you don’t pay for hosting, they do, and have limited your ability to customize and change your site as you see fit. With your own, self-hosted site, you have more functionality on the back end of the wordpress software, you’ll get more exposure from the search engines and you’ll be in control if your site goes down. If the hosting company you choose initially isn’t that great, you can move your site to another host. It’s yours, and not part of some other site.
Many people consider WordPress as a blogging software only….and it is, but it’s also so much more…e-commerce, photography gallery, link directory, article submission site, you name it. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t think of setting up a site without having a blog as part of it. It’s the complete package.
WordPress is easy to use, create content with and even customize. I’ve used other software such as Drupal and Joomla, and they don’t compare to WordPress.
So whether your starting a business, expanding your marketing plan or looking to generate and income online, go with a self-hosted WordPress site. You’ll be glad you did. Leave the free platforms for the personal and family blogs.