- 22nd March 2017
- Posted by: Kristopher Cook
- Category: Small Business
Okay so before we start, I know what you’re thinking – ‘Website Developers are out to make money from something that I could do for myself’. Besides there’re many ads on social media saying that you could do it on your own.
But can you?
I mean, yes, of course you can, but should you?
Confused? Let me explain…
I’ve met many small business owners who have built their own websites and they’re all unhappy on some level.
Is it worth the hassle?
5 Disadvantages of a Free Website Builder?
1) Difficult Tools / Editing
Not only are website builders confusing, and at times difficult to use, they also have a steep learning curve. If you have little to no experience designing websites then don’t expect to learn an entire craft in a couple of hours. Sorry, but it ain’t happening.
2) Technical Issues
Have you tried calling the customer service lines of website builders? I have!
I called on behalf of a client; the amount of options you have to go through to get to the correct department is insane. After all this waiting I sent an email with a link to their online Q&A’s – which I had already checked beforehand. They sent me around and around in circles.
I guess I’m not getting my answer then?
Or how about those support services where you do get through to a human being but they don’t speak good English? It tests both your time and patience.
When you click on a businesses website and see ‘created by free website builder’ are you going to trust the credibility of the website? It’s natural to assume that if a company believes in its products then it should invest in them, right?
So scrimping on a new website, designed by professionals, that offers great usability to its customers is a big no-no.
A website is often the first interaction a potential customer has with your product. If it is cheap, hard to navigate, cumbersome then guess what…? They will think the same about your products.
4) No Personalised Domain Name
When you publish your website you get to choose a domain name.
The only catch…
This falls under a sub-domain of the main provider. i.e if you chose ‘ChesterHairdresser.com’ you will get ‘FreeWebsite.ChesterHairdresser.com’.
You can see how unprofessional that looks when giving out business cards and brochures.
Another catch to free website builders is that you do not own your website! So unless you want to start all over again somewhere else you are stuck, and they know it.
Increased prices in years to come, additional add-ons are now available only to premium members. You’re going to have to pay or suffer the consequences of slow speeds and clunky interaction.
On the other side, a website that is independent in its hosting, is not tied to any long contracts and is free to migrate if cheaper options become available.
5) Low Visitor Rates
Your new website is up and running, after months of figuring out how to do what, and you notice that no one is visiting it. Why?
The main component of any website is coding. Within a free website builder the coding used is all ‘stock code’. This means, in short, you have the same code as everybody else who owns a free website.
To then get this to rank within Google can take the better part of a year and that’s with constant attention to the SEO. I’m guessing this is something else that you will now have to learn?
A custom built website will include a lot of these solutions as standard because hey, it’s coded for your business and your business alone.
ConclusionThe main takeaway - you get what you pay for Click To Tweet
If a website, that makes you money, is free then expect to pay for it further down the road.
I have heard several stories of clients being ‘stung’ with unsuspecting fees in order to get their website to fully operate as they need.
Again this could be in the form of; website hosting, domain names, bandwidth (the amount of visitors that can view your site per month) or even to remove banner ads. When you add these fees up they are often inline with the going website development rates.
Have you been hit with additional charges for a website that you thought was ‘free’? Leave your thoughts below to help others decide which option is best for them.