When you are just starting out with a business, you might be tempted to do things cheaply (or free). There are ways you can do this right and avoid problems, but this solution will be something you plan on outgrowing. You can definitely run a business for a while using only free services, but you will have an easier time later if you start out right.
1. Don’t spare money on the domain name.
You will want to own your domain name as soon you can. If you registered for a business license, you will want to have your domain name. Regular price for a domain name is about $10 a year. Do not go cheap on this, just buy it.
2. Be Weary of Free Templates
Free templates are most certainly out there but you will have to do your homework to make sure that they are safe and free of malware. I highly recommend that businesses use WordPress because of its friendliness to small businesses , but most free WordPress templates are to be avoided because they are full of malware and backlink programs. If you choose to use free WordPress themes, then you will need to use malware checkers and decoder, as well as prepare to spend a lot of time chucking the themes that fail the tests. The only place that has free templates free of malware is WordPress.com, which is hosted by Automattic.
3. Free Hosting Has Limitations
I have previously posted reasons to avoid free hosting, but if you do end up choosing free hosting, there is WordPress.com, which is Automattic’s hosted version of WordPress. To those new to WordPress, the hosted version of WordPress is different than the downloadable version of WordPress (aka WordPress.org). Here are the pros and cons of WordPress.com:
|Basic site is free and easy to create||There will be advertising displayed on your site unless you pay $30 yearly fee.|
All the updates and upgrades of software are automatically done for you. Your site will always be running the latest and most secure version of WordPress.
|Themes are limited|
|Automatic backups||No plugins allowed|
|Robust server farm||You cannot change CSS and site fonts (unless you pay $30 per year Custom Design upgrade)|
|You may not run your own advertisements (e.g. Google ads, affiliates)|
|No more than 3GB of storage is allowed. You will need to pay more for additional space.|
If your business does not have issues with the limitations of WordPress.com, then buying your domain and pointing it to a free WordPress.com website is a good choice to start with. This setup would allow you to grow your business without having to worry about your website very much compared to the other options out there. Since WordPress allows you to export content easily, when you outgrow WordPress.com and are ready to go to your own hosting, it would be easy to do so.