When starting your own online store site, blog, or whatever, you may be tempted to go with sites that offer free Web pages. Don’t. Public domains offer free Web sites, but they are also very limited, and in many cases, uncertain. Here are the top 10 problems with free public domains:
Hackers Hackers often plague publicly available sites like Yahoo, which offer free Web sites and e-mail accounts. By purchasing your own domain site (such as through Godaddy.com) and professional e-mail, you limit your exposure to mainstream hackers.
Professionalism Any business whose Internet and e-mail address ends in yahoo.com, gmail.com, or the like, cannot be taken seriously. If you can’t invest in your own business by buying a domain name and e-mail account, then why should your customers?
Storage space Despite Hotmail recently increasing its storage space capacity, a business receiving multiple daily e-mails and files will exhaust even the most generously provided online space. The same holds true for free Web site providers, which typically limit how many pages or files can be created.
Dependability Yahoo, Hotmail, and other such free sites are often down for repairs or other issues. Having no access to either your Web site or e-mail can cost you money in terms of lost sales and clients.
Profitability Having your own ISP will ensure that you can install Paypal or other payment devices on your Web page. Many free ISP companies will not allow you to use your Web site for commercial purposes, thus limiting its profitability.
Custom design Many ISP companies have preset Web page layouts or limited hyperlink capability. Many do not allow custom Web design or excessive html programming. As your business grows and requires more options, you will find yourself constrained.
Features Today’s businesses often use blogs or instant messengers in order to communicate with their customers. Free and public ISP companies may not allow such features to be placed on your domain page.
Longevity If an ISP company is not profitable, it may shut down, taking your domain with it. Owing and paying for your own ISP protects you from such a catastrophe.
Advertising Free ISP companies support themselves via online advertising. This means that your business’s domain page will probably be littered with ads for weight loss products, get-rich-quick schemes, and so on. Such ads may end up driving your customers away.
Spam If you or your employees send out e-mails from a public or free ISP, you will eventually start getting Spam. Most ISP companies also track where you and your employees go while Web surfing, leading to inappropriate incoming e-mails and pop-up ads.