Starting Your Internet Business – Free vs Paid Services

July 3rd, 2009

Starting Your Internet Business – Free vs Paid Services

Is it possible to start an Internet business using free services only?

When you are just starting your Internet business and you have no experience, you want to keep your expenses down. This gives you an opportunity to explore the business without spending much money. For that reason alone, it is a very good idea. Let’s face it, some people are not equipped to operate a website. As in any business, some people are better at it than others. So, if you can try out an Internet business for free, you should probably do so.

Almost everything you need for your Internet business can be obtained for free. Do you need a free payment processor for your website? PayPal, along with a number of other companies, can handle that quite nicely. How about a free autoresponder? A search will provide many alternatives for you. What about traffic, is it available for free? It sure is, writing articles, visiting forums, placing free classified ads, and posting to your blog are all free methods to generate traffic. By doing a search, you can find many more ways to get free traffic, but you’ve probably got to put some effort into it, and it won’t happen quickly. But, it is free.

The final item that is required to operate an Internet business is a website. Are there any websites that are available for free? You bet! Doing a search for free websites will bring up hundreds of possibilities.

And that brings us to the point of this article. Is there any advantage of using a paid webhost versus a free one? That depends on the type of website you need. If you are just using your website as a photo gallery so Aunt Mary can view a few pictures of the new baby, you’re probably fine with the free version. However, if you have a commercial website and you are trying to make money, paid webhosting is something you will want to explore as soon as you can afford it.

In addition to the fact that free websites load more slowly, free sites contain ads that are embedded on your site by the host. You make no money from these ads, the company hosting your site profits from these. Sometimes they can be very distracting to your visitors, especially if they use numerous pop-up ads.

Another big disadvantage to using free websites is the limited amount of bandwidth allowed. Each time a visitor comes to your site and downloads something; they are using some of your bandwidth. Free websites provide you with a very limited amount of bandwidth each month. If you have used your monthly allowance of bandwidth, visitors to your site will see a message that says, ‘Website Closed – Exceeds allocated Bandwidth’. This is not acceptable if you have a commercial website. If you see this happening to your website, you need to investigate paid webhosting. Most paid hosting solutions will allow you to have many times the bandwidth available versus your free website. And the cost is quite reasonable, you can have your website hosted for as little as five to ten dollars per month.

As you can see, it is possible to start an Internet business with little or no money. However, if you are operating a commercial site in order to make money, you should switch over to paid services as soon as your budget permits. In almost every case, the paid service is far superior to the free alternative.

By Jo Mark
Published: 11/6/2007

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