You can get a free website with free hosting, but why not shoot yourself in the face instead? Never has the phrase "you get what you pay for" been more true. If you are even half serious about your business you'll avoid the free stuff like the plague. And it IS a plague, Google hates it, I hate it, and you should too.
And why would anyone risk free hosting when real UK based hosting only costs around £3 a month? Good hosting is the single most important thing your website could ever have, yes, more important than even the design itself! I wrote about why web design is second to hosting back in 2011 but enough complaining.. what exactly is wrong with it??
Free Websites Are Bad Because..
Firstly and most impotantly, a free website WILL damage your credibility. There will be a badge on your website telling everybody your website was created for free and inviting them to create their own free website. That's not really a good message for customers is it.
Secondly, you will never actually own your website, you're just renting it. You can't download the files and take them elsewhere (not that you'd want to - they'd be proprietary and worthless). Since websites became the all-important public face of any business hundreds of years ago, it's an extremely important asset, some would say the most important marketing tool of all, and as time goes by you will want to build on it, so why wouldn't you want to own it?
You'll have trouble optimising your pages for Google. You wont be able to edit the meta tags and make them unique on your different pages.
Naturally you're only given basic features for free. If you want to add any cool stuff you'll either have to start paying for the features you want or live without them.
The website will probably not be responsive, you'll have a limited number of pages, you can't have a custom error page, and if they start charging later it's not likely to be cheap!
Free Hosting is Bad Because..
Blimey, where to start.. It's slow, unreliable, and you'll be limited for space and bandwidth. You might not need much space and bandwidth, but slow and unreliable is going to kill your website.
Google thinks the speed at which your website responds is important. So do your visitors of course, but Google will penalise your position in the search results if you have a slow website, and even more if it's unavailable every now and then. And oops, there's an invoice for exceeding your bandwidth limit.
Free hosting and good Google rankings don't go together. At all.
So, whilst I understand that budgets are tight when launching a new company, free hosting and websites are littered with horrors, and the one thing a new business should invest in is its website, and with entire packages starting at around £245 there's really no excuse. It'll be the best £350 a new business has ever spent!