“The Best Things in Life Are Free” Sure. If we’re talking about hugs, a baby’s first smile, or even an adorable kitten – some *free* things are great….
Working with a client this week who wanted to use a free web hosting service, I noticed my cynical side searching to find the “catch” behind this too-good-to-be-true offer. Sadly, my instincts were right. Like Mom always said, if it seems too good to be true… it probably is. So here’s the deal – every free host my client found did have a “catch” to ensure they were required to upgrade the account to a paid account. In the end, they get you!
The cup is half full though! Better to know this upfront rather than later. Here’s some risks that may have occurred had they decided to use the free host:
- Customer Service – are you a customer if the service is free? It’s more like a favour, really. Why should they jump to help you when you’re not paying for the service?
- C R A S H – even paid servers experience the dreaded “down time” periods which leave visitors wondering if you’re out of business. What if the server crashes, or is down for a few hours, taking your site down with it. There’s nothing free about lost business due to unreliable service.
- Email – if your site is down – you’re also not getting email from your site. If you’ve set-up email on your domain (i.e. email@example.com), your email service is also down when the site is down. Just think about it – no site – no email. How long will it take you to notice you’ve been cut off when nobody can even email you?
In summary, FREE means you’re not a priority customer, on their best server, and they’re not required to be responsive to you. In fact, it’s almost as if you owe them.
Not much is free. In fact, this effort was a time vampire.