December 14, 2007, Newsletter Issue #124: The Hidden Costs of Free eCommerce Web Hosting

Tip of the Week

It sounds like the perfect solution for your ecommerce web hosting problem; use a free host. But free doesn't mean there aren't hidden costs to your ecommerce business.

Most of the free hosting companies place ads or banners on your site without your permission. You don't have control over what type of ads are placed, how often they appear or what is advertised. A code placed on your page looks for repeated words and then brings up ads based on the content of your site. It's possible that you may find your site advertising one of your competitors.

Free sites are not indexed by the search engines in the same way hosted sites are. It's difficult to add meta tags, key words and titles to your web pages for the search engines to spider. If the engines don't know your site is available your potential customers will have a more difficult time finding you. That's lost traffic and lost sales.

Your website represents your company and products. A free web host says you don't care enough about the image your company presents. A website builds trust with potential customers; it's difficult to build trust with your customer when you don't trust your company enough to afford an ecommerce hosting company.

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