Things To Consider When You Use A Free Domain - Risks and Benefits

Published: 1 month ago

When you are building a website, of course, you want to be as cost-effective as possible. However, you may not want to cut too many corners, especially when it comes to the longevity or safety of your content. Choosing a domain name is a huge step in building a successful and professional website.

 As you are building your new site you may ask yourself, "Are our free domains safe?". If you want to know more about free domains,  let's look at the article below. We did some research since this is a very common question. Hopefully, the information below will help you make a decision about whether a free domain is right for you and your business. 

You may want to test out a free domain if this is your first website or blog. While that may work out, you may want to reconsider this when you have a serious business. When you have a serious business  or put any personal information online, you want to feel comfortable that your domain is safe. A free domain may not look professional and can come with some risks that you may not want for your business.

Since your domain is free, you have very little control over it. Information can be used in ways that you may not like, it can be shut down without warning, and you have little choice over who can host your website. That is another issue, because you don't want your professional site with just any random host. 

What Is a Free Domain?

Your website address is your domain. That is the name you will type into the browser to find a website. When you choose a domain, you have different payment options on sites like GoDaddy, WordPress, and others. 

Your domain payment plan may come with hosting options. How much you pay depends on how many services you need for your site. If you are testing things out with a domain that does not charge any money,  you are getting a free domain.

The web has grown exponentially over the last couple of decades. Almost every business has its own website. You also have sole proprietors testing out blogs, and, of course, you have some people who just want a simple webpage to host an announcement or show vacation photos. Be aware that if you feel you only need a free domain, there may be some risk involved. Let’s check those out.

How a Free Domain Can Be Risky

Credibility

Are you worried about professional credibility? Serious businesses do not see this as good practice. A visitor to your site may think it is a spam site and will quickly turn away. If you have legitimate content, or good products to sell, you may lose out with this domain choice. The last thing you want for your budding business is to be associated with spam or malware. Once you are associated with that, potential customers may block you. You may be reported to scam websites. 

Potential To Lose All of Your Work 

While a free domain may save you money in the beginning, it may cost you more money later on. How so? Since you are not paying for the domain, you have no control and it can be shut down at the discretion of the registrar. What's terrible is you may lose all your content.

Content creators put a lot of time and energy into what they do. If a server goes down or a company shuts down, you are screwed. This is why domain and hosting are important.  Can you imagine losing weeks, months, or even years worth of videos, tagged images, or pages and pages of articles that have been SEO optimized?

If the hosting site loses your content when they shut down, they are under no obligation to get your stuff from a server. The best thing you could do is to make sure your content is backed up. Even if your content is backed up, you would still have to repost it all on a new website again.

Hacking

Free domains often get hacked. Unfortunately, security does not come with this free service. If your site has been hacked, your content may be lost forever or somebody can misuse it without your permission.

Hosting

You can't choose your web host when you have a free domain. As such, you will be limited in features or space for your site. Even if you are a good designer, you may have restrictions on the type of template you can use. 

Selling Information

Your personal information such as your payment info may be sold to the highest bidder. You don't own the website, so your information is in their hands.

Ugly Advertisements 

One of the worst things about visiting a free site is the ugly, poorly optimized advertisements that keep popping up. Normally, you will have no control over those advertisements and it can be and it can make for a terrible user experience.

If your site takes forever to load because you have limited space or because it is over flooded with bad advertisements, viewers are likely to click off and not come back. Some advertisements may be outright offensive and have nothing to do with your content. However, users may wrongly associate you and your content with the inappropriate advertisement. That can be damaging to your brand. 

Hidden Expenses

There is a saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. This is true for a free website. As I stated before, if the site goes down you may end up paying a lot of money and time when you have to recover or we recreate your content. In this case, when a free trial ends, you may have higher fees than you expected. If you want to change your website domain in the future, it may cost you more money than you planned for as well.

SEO

If your website has a very weird free domain extension, it may have a problem ranking on Google. Google gives priority to TLDs. While people are attracted to amazing content, they may be trepidatious to click on a weird-looking domain for safety reasons. 

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