13th Mar 2017

When I Can Get A Website For Free, Why Should I Pay For My Online Presence?

For many the thought of getting a website for free online can be tempting, with so many options out there for getting online for free, free website builders can seem like a win win, especially for those with a smaller budget or those looking to get more involved in the designing process. While free websites can be great for some, for online businesses, a website builder isn’t necessarily the best option, in fact when it comes to running your business online, paying a little extra can often have much better results. 

It makes sense that many choose their website based on price, with many often going for the cheapest option available in order to save their budget. While this isn’t always going to end badly, it can result in many ending up with a poorly optimised website which is lacking the appropriate features and leading to their website appearing invisible online. 

What Do We Mean By Free Website Builder? 

There are a number of companies out there offering free website building services, letting you sign up and create your own site without paying a penny. Letting you build it to your own design, write your own text, create your own links and ultimately giving you the freedom to build what appears to be the perfect website for your business for no cost at all.  

However once you sign up to these free website builders, you often soon realise the reality and the limitations that are in place with these services. With issues regarding SEO and having to pay additional costs in order to add new pages, these services can often work out more expensive than first believed. 

If you’re considering developing your website on a free platform then maybe it’s time to reconsider, here’s a run down of why paying for your website is often a better and more cost effective idea.  

Doesn’t Always Look Professional

Having a web address that looks professional does actually matter, meaning that a domain along the lines of “mybusiness.freesite.com” doesn’t look professional and can have an impact on how people view your website and your business overall. If you’re looking to be taken seriously online, then you need a proper domain name, something that can be costly when you look to purchase one through your ‘free website provider.’ Instead you should look to buy your own and implement it on your own site.  

Hidden Costs 

Like any business offering a service, most free website providers are looking to make money, after all they still need to make a profit. By charging for additional services like images, email accounts, extra pages and a personalised domain name, it’s not uncommon for free website builders to charge an outrageously high price in order to make some money from their otherwise “free” services. These hidden costs aren’t often advertised when you first sign up, so it’s a good to keep an eye out for extra fees.  

SEO Limitations 

Free website builders can typically be difficult to get ranked in search engine results pages and while many do offer the chance to enable SEO within their interface, the process of SEO is much more complicated than that and involves more than a free website builder can offer. Without well crafted, unique content it can be hard to get found within Google search results, leaving your business trailing behind those with better developed and more personalised websites. 

Limited Design Options 

It takes time, effort and skill to become an experienced web designer and to understand what exactly it is that makes a website look great. From understanding mobile compatibility, usability, navigation, load speeds and times, as well as user experience, there’s a number of important elements that need to be included and understood to create an effective website. These free website builders often don’t include these elements and can leave your business with a website that isn’t fully optimised in order to create the best user or customer experience.  

You Never Really Own Your Content 

Using a free website service also has it’s downsides when it comes to the ownership of your content, with the website builder often having the real ownership of what you thought was yours. While you can add plenty of exciting and great content to your website, it’s never really yours and could even be used elsewhere by these providers. Always check the small print, making sure that once your content is uploaded you’re clear on whether or not you’ve given up the ownership rights to your content. 

What Does My Business Really Need? 

When it comes to your website it can be easy to get attached to things that don’t matter, from unnecessary design elements, to including a certain colour, when in reality you should be forgetting these details, focussing instead on the bigger factors, such as why your visitors aren’t clicking your links or buying your products. 

In order to generate success from your website you need to include these 3 important factors:  

  • Search Engine Rankings 
  • Tracking Tools
  • An Optimised Experience 

If your free site doesn’t take these three elements into account then it might be a good idea to start thinking about speaking to someone who can develop a site which works well for your business.



Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 13th March, 2017
Categories: Web Design

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