Want a Free Website?
Great, there are lots of free website builders, even ones sponsored by states. Almost all of them promise free building and that they will help you “get seen” by the search engines.
Pretty much any time you search for anything website-related, you’re going to come across offers for complete solutions to get your website online and hosted for free. We’re all human, and free is better right, you’ll naturally be interested. Why part with your hard-earned money right?
If you’re wondering whether this is a viable option, or not, I’ll help you out right now. It’s actually simple. Unless all you need is the a one page announcement that you actually have a business, and you don’t really need to run and update your website on a a regular basis (you don’t have many pages or information and you aren’t worried about having your own domain), everything free is an option for you.
If you want options, features and a domain name, free is out of the question. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a great site, but you’ll need some outside professional help.
Once you start asking questions about “doing things” with your site or “generating business”, then free goes out the window.
Problems with Free Website Builders
Nothing is ever free
Nobody is just going to give you space on their server and let you do whatever you want without some sort of compensation. If you’re not paying to have you website online, they’re probably going to advertise their own ads on your website and keep the revenue, or you’re barely going to be able to do anything. Free sites are also loss leaders, where now they have your information and can sell (scare you into) additional services to add to make you “more visible”.
Search Engines won’t Love your Website
Now, sure it is possible to have a free sub-domain get ranked on search engines, like Google. However, it’s not as likely as it would be if you have domain. Websites show up in search engine rankings (meaning they show up first when users search for a specific term) based on how much that particular search engine thinks you are an “authority” on whatever topic that’s being searched. Do you look like much of an authority if you can’t even buy your own website?
You’ll have very Limited Functionality
If your site is hosted on a free web server, you really won’t be able to do much more than add content or images. Space is limited as is any ability to do anything cool, like put up videos, or topical content like sales. (They will however, be happy to add these options at “additional costs”.
Investing in your own company is just a Better Option
We’re not saying the free option is completely bad. If your website is for a one time event or you just want a blog and don’t care about looking professional or making money – get one. Don’t spend the money. Lots of people do that and get exactly what they want out of it. However, if you’re a business a person trying to make any sort of money online – you should consider how you want to look to others. We have all done it, looked for something online and gone to “that site”… where you would not even consider doing business and giving them your money based only on their site.
Start the Website Building Process With A Plan
Talk with someone who specializes in building websites about what you want to accomplish. People like us, with years of experience and hundreds of sites under our belts. Once you have your goals for a site defined, you can figure out how to make it happen. You will likely want to start smaller and then build on as your online business grows. This way you won’t outgrow your site quickly and won’t have to spend money you don’t need to yet.
Most website agencies would rather have a long-term customer than sell a big, one-time sale for a huge site you will only use 20% of for the next year.