When it comes to starting up a website it can be difficult to know where to begin. You may already have the main idea of your website formed in your mind but are unsure where to begin.
The site you are using now is hosted and supported by Kloudhost. They are a UK based company who offer a fantastic hosting service. Also don't tell anyone but if you use the code TMS at the checkout they will knock 20% off your order! Their starter package (including a domain, hosting and much more) is just £2.99 a month!
With such a vast amount of information available it can feel difficult to find the right domain and hosting options for your website.
There are a number of free website builders available but they often have limitations that you may not be aware of initially. It can be disheartening to create your website and build up your readers or purchasers only to find that you have exceeded your bandwidth limit or your host is suffering from a sluggish server.
Disadvantages of free website hosting:
Lack of unique URL
Your URL will usually be required to have the name of the free host included in it. For example, if you have a free Wordpress account then your URL would end with '.wordpress.com'. The catchy name that you have come up with suddenly looks like every other free URL and you may be deterring readers from taking your website seriously and clicking on your links.
Long URLs are highly unlikely to be remembered and it can be hard to make them stand out against a plethora of similar named URLs.
Some free hosts require you to carry an advertisement on your site. You do not have creative control over these advertisements and using them is usually compulsory.
Depending on the niche of your website you could find that the items being advertised do not tie in at all and it could make it appear as if you are willing to have literally anything posted on your website regardless of the niche that you are working in.
Free website hosting can lead to unreliable statistics on Google Analytics and similar programs. You may find that there is not the wide-reaching amount of information available as you would find with a paid host.
With Google Analytics displaying information on search terms, unique visitors and most importantly how people reach your website you want the information to be as accurate as possible.
Using this information can help you to work out how to advance your website and what areas you should be focusing your time on. Accuracy is very important in helping to shape your website and increase those all important visitor statistics.
Incorrect Domain Authority
Domain Authority is determined by the age, popularity and size of your website. This is a factor that many Public Relations companies take into consideration when deciding to pay you for sponsored posts or send you items to review for your website.
Domain Authority is determined by the root domain so if you have a free hosted website your Domain Authority may be wildly incorrect and most PR companies will be unlikely to work with you.
If you are looking to monetise your blog with paid product reviews, sponsored posts or paid advertisements from specific brands related to your niche then your Domain Authority is going to be quite important.
It can feel daunting to commit to paid website hosting but there is a vast array of reasons to considering doing so.
Advantages of paid website hosting:
Owning your own URL
Your URL is your own for as long as you renew. You can choose to pay one year at a time or purchase a longer amount of time and save money overall. Your URL will never be sold to another person without your consent and you won't have to worry about redirecting people to a new URL if you want to change hosts in the future.
Being able to receive technical support
If you have a problem with your website then you can usually speak to a UK based technical support agent.
Whether you want to change the appearance of your website or learn more about search engine optimisation (SEO) having a real person to talk you through things can be worth its weight in gold!
Having your data backed up
Paid hosts usually update your data at least weekly, if not more often. With data centers storing your website data you can be safe in the knowledge that your website is able to be restored in a matter of minutes should a problem arise.
The ability to customise your website
With free website hosting you can be limited to a very small amount of coding or website themes. This can mean your website is virtually identical to another and as such it will not be memorable to most people.
You can customise your own website fully or even pay someone with coding skills to do it for you. This means that you can give your website its own identity and ensure that it stands out from the crowd.
You own all of your own content
Any of the items that you upload to your website will belong to you, and your own website. The content that you post may not be used by anyone else without your consent.
The ability to monetise your blog
Many people start their own blog with the view to being able to monetise it either right away or in the future.
Earning a passive income is fantastic and if you can write posts on your blog and have them earning money well into the future you are doing well.
You will be able to take advantage of affiliate schemes, banner advertisements or paid opportunities from Public Relations companies without worrying about being in breach of any terms and conditions.
Whether you want to have adverts from Google or individual advertisers you are able to have full control over your website and what way you monetise it.
Being taken seriously
If you own your domain and have customised your website then it is fair to say that your website is likely to look more professional before you even begin posting your content.
With a shorter, snappier URL and a customised theme you can ensure that your website stands out.
If you want readers to take your website seriously then you should be willing to consider investing a few pounds a month in return for a unique URL as well as a reliable web host. If you sign up for hosting for a year or more there are usually considerable savings to be made.