The Difference Between Free and Paid Web Hosting Services

Establishing an online presence is a sure-fire way to scale up your brand’s identity and generate sales in the long run, and the best way to do that is by making a website. If you’re a small business and budget is an issue (as it usually is), web hosting presents a cost-effective option so you can get your website up as soon as possible. There are also free web hosting services available if you’re looking to dip your toes first into the realm of website development before making a full commitment to sign up for anything.

Free web hosting services are like starter kits for websites. They are ideal for beginners and individuals who have little to no web design and development experience. These platforms offer ready-made website templates, so all you need to do is to add your unique content and visuals, make adjustments to the site menu as needed, and you’re good to go.

With this, it gives you the opportunity to develop your website in fast and easy steps. You literally don’t need advanced tech skills or coding for that matter when using free web hosting services. With a good graphics design eye to catch your viewers’ attention and SEO-rich content, you can start your own business website in a matter of minutes.

There is a very low cost of entry into these platforms, so you get to play around with a few design options to familiarize yourself with the complexities of building a website. This will come in handy when you finally move to a paid web hosting accounts. The prospect of creating your site wouldn’t seem so daunting anymore.

Having that said, paid web hosting offers a lot more features that require payment to unlock. A handy and important asset in business websites is data storage. Having enough storage to accumulate the number of pictures you upload and display, plus, allows easy access and use of your website features—thus, creating a favorable user experience.

Important things to consider when choosing a web hosting service

If you’re still torn apart as to what kind of web hosting service to use for your business, here are a few things to consider on how to tell free and paid web hosting services apart:

1. Customization

Strikingly Template

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Free website hosting offers limited customization options because it is meant to perform as an introductory service. Under this service, the web host’s name is included in your site’s domain name. A domain on a free web hosting service would read something like []. It’s not an ideal setup for a professional website, but it will suffice as a starting point.

Many free web hosting platforms also offer limited options in terms of website templates. Some web hosts claim to have thousands of templates in their collection but about 90% of these would be locked and inaccessible to free accounts. Rarely will you find web hosting sites such as Strikingly that will make most of their collection of templates available even for free web hosting accounts.

With a paid website hosting service, you get access to numerous templates and a wider range of customization options. You get a personalized domain name that does not have to include the web host’s name, and you have more freedom to play around with styles and design elements on your site. Want to change to a custom color scheme? Website hosting services allow you to add in your own CSS or HTML code to make your site more unique.

2. Branding

Strikingly Template DMC Web Hosting Service

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With free web hosting, you’re essentially sharing your space with the web host. Expect to see their logo somewhere on your website and, as earlier mentioned, their name will be included on your URL. Communicating a consistent brand and maintaining a unique identity may become a bit challenging.

On the other hand, paid web hosting lets you have your domain all by yourself—no other extensions included or forcefully fixed at the end of your website domain.

A personalized or customized URL gives your brand a stronger ground for awareness and visibility to your potential customers, and that is an advantage when you use paid web hosting.

Above all, a clear and consistent branding reflects the products and services you and your business offer. Likewise, marketing your business in paid web hosting with such ease and clarity, which is a competitive advantage in the e-commerce market.

3. Page limits

Strikingly Template Pupitre

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you thought that with the vastness of space and information offered by the internet that you can make use of that benefit to establish your website on a whim, then you’re wrong. As large as the internet may seem, there are limits on when and how we can use it, and the same can be said in terms of page limits.

Aside from limited customization options, free website hosting may limit the number of pages you can make under one domain. If you’re just starting out, a one-page website may be more than what you will need to get your message out to the world. In fact, many brands have sufficiently survived on a one-page website for a significant period. You just need to be creative in terms of how you craft your content so it’s punchy yet concise.

While on paid web hosting, you can have enough pages on your website to showcase your products, state your company’s goals and visions, as well as everything in between. Though in some cases, having multiple pages in paid web hosting companies can be ideal if you have multiple information for the world to see, other businesses prefer a one-page website since it provides upfront and easy-to-digest information.

Strikingly’s free web hosting platform is great for one-page websites because it comes with apps and extensions that can help you create a fully functional site that is just as good as multi-page websites. A lot of businesses are not bothered by the page limits as much as the shared branding. However, if you’re looking to scale up and you expect to put out a huge volume of content as your company grows, you might want to consider upgrading to a paid web hosting account eventually.

4. Security

Strikingly Template Pause Fracking Web Hosting

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

The internet is filled with people who can be your business’s potential customers, but a portion of that can be hackers. This is why security is almost and always a big deal in web hosting. Since online banking and payment has surged this year, hackers look for websites with security vulnerabilities for their online snatching scheme.

A security breach can cause you a gigantic loss not just on the number and trust of your customrs, but to the brand you laboriously built for years. Once hackers get to your server, expect fraud and money stolen from all registered bank accounts (yours and your customers), as well as social media accounts in the process.

Today, some free web hosting services offer privacy and security to your website, but it’s always best to thoroughly read every webhosting company description to know what you’re getting, and in paid web hosting, to really get what you paid for.

5. Customer Support Options

Strikingly Template We Are Superheroes Webhosting

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Customer support options vary across different web hosting platforms. And you’ll also notice that the differences in support may differ between paid and free accounts within these platforms. Strikingly, for instance, offers 24/7 customer support through chat, even for free account users. With that said, it’s important to set realistic expectations about support options if you’re looking into maintaining a free website hosting account.

To say, customer service is important in website building. Nearly 80% of businesses drop their commitments with web hosting companies due to unprofessional customer support. In the field of e-commerce, you want to give your customers convenience in all terms and in every transaction they make along the way, and web hosting issues won’t help you achieve that.

Though webhosting fails are inevitable and 24/7 customer support is sometimes unachievable, it’s best to look for companies that have reliable customer support. Better stick to web hosting companies that are consistent with their commitments, as well as good webhosting features that would really help your business website bolster ahead in the digital market.

More so, Strikingly has a lot more to offer other than free subscriptions and templates. In fact, Strikingly has excellent customer service and offers 24/7 support via email and chat. With that, you’ll always be one step ahead in the digital market thanks to these reliable features for your and your business website.

Strikingly Template Momentary

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

To sum it up, free website hosting and paid plans serve different purposes. One is not necessarily better than the other, especially if you’re building your website through a reliable web hosting platform. It all depends on your requirements and your purposes for building a website in the first place.

If you own a business, it’s best to invest in a paid web hosting since certain key features can help you navigate and tap into quality features that can amplify your website business’ potential. Reliable web hosting services would give you a much better experience in website building, as well as a better focus on digitalizing your content—enabling room for you to grow and expand your business.

If you’re looking for the best web hosting sites for your website, then Strikingly is the best option for you. Strikingly offers numerous templates for starters like you. Just pick a design and you can edit and publish your website in a matter of minutes—it’s that easy! Best of all, you can head on to Strikingly right now and make a website for free.

If you’re not satisfied by that, Strikingly also offers affordable monthly plans for extra features and perks and it would be surely worthy of an investment for your business to thrive in the digital market.

So head on to Strikingly today and make your own domain name and website for free today.