I can appreciate that small businesses and sole traders have a requirement to keep costs low. I also understand that people search around for free website builders online and think they can create their own website for no cost, therefore saving some much needed money in the bank.
You can even find free web hosting online, so you may be thinking why pay a monthly fee to have your site hosted.
Let me try and explain the differences for you, and I’m not trying to sell you my services, just giving some free advice, as reading this will cost you nothing at all, but it may help your business in the long run. Here’s five top reasons not to use a free website builder.
1. Free websites are slow websites. Most of the free options out there put hundreds of sites on the same server, this means slow speeds. If a visitor to your site experiences slowness, it automatically puts people off and thinks your business may also be slow and ineffective.
2. Free web addresses look awful and unprofessional. Saying to a client, my web address is mylittlecompany.freewebsiteonline.com sounds bad and people would struggle to take it seriously, let alone remember the name.
3. Irrelevant advertising on your business site is a real turn off. The companies offering free websites have to make some money, they do that by slapping ads on your site and charging other companies advertising fees. They may even be advertising your competition.
4. Limited bandwith will become an issue if you’re promoting your domain to many people. This means if you get lots of visitors, the free website will be offline as soon as you hit your bandwidth limit. Then you have to pay.
5. Most free websites only offer low disk storage space, so if you want lots of pages and photos you’ll find yourself limited. When you enquire about more disk space, then you’ll be presented with their fees.
These are just five of the most important reasons not to use a free website for your business. There are plenty of other things to consider such as, you won’t get branded email accounts, they probably won’t look good on mobile devices, they may even end up being removed without notice.
I think most importantly, if you value your time, instead of spending hours trying to create something yourself, for free, at least have a conversation with a professional website developer first. By spending some money to get a professional to do it, this frees your time up to concentrate on your core business.
My best tip is to find a website you really like the look of, even if it has nothing to do with the industry your business is in, contact a website designer and ask them if they can replicate something similar. have the conversation, take a look at their portfolio, contact some of their past clients and ask for their opinions.
All of our websites are managed by us. This means you pay a small monthly fee, for that we maintain all of the original pages, pay your domain name fees, maintain security so that you don’t get hacked and respond to you whenever you have a question or need some help. There is no free website that will do all of that for you. Sometimes free is good, but perhaps not when it comes to the online marketing of your business.