We all know starting a new business can be an expensive venture so when the opportunity to get a free website is made available to you it’s a no brainer isn’t it?
Well not quite and here are a few reasons why we think you should think twice before presuming free is actually good value.
Your Company Image
Whether you are a new company or one that is established over the course of many years, the image your business portrays is huge.
The reason for this is if you take the free plan on these software packages you have to use their branding across the site and even worse, in your domain name.
This means your website would be yourbusinessname.wordpress.com or yourbusinessname.wix.com plus the popups offering your visitors the ability to build a free website.
You can purchase professional plans on these platforms but this means its no longer a free website.
Letting Someone Build Their Portfolio
I see this quite often on social media where people who are just starting to build their own web design business offer to build other businesses a website for free.
This is normally quite popular because other startup entrepreneurs see an opportunity to get a website for free whilst helping out boost the portfolio of a new business, its a win-win right?
Well not exactly because whilst someone might be prepared to build a website for free as they try and become established they aren’t going to supply a free domain name and free hosting and if they do they aren’t going to stay in business for long.
What about free hosting? This service is rubbish as the speeds and uptime you get on these servers mean your visitors will have left your website long before it actually loads up. It is vital you pay for good hosting.
I would always suggest any new Webdesign business to charge a nominal fee, even if it’s just to cover the costs of the domain name and hosting, which is charged on a yearly basis.
Would you let a builder build you an extension for your property to help boost his/her portfolio and expect him to supply the building materials?
During the course of having a website, you will, without doubt, want to make changes to it, either promoting a new offer or adding a new service.
If someone has built the website for you for free and maybe even purchased the domain name and server space for you, then chances are they are not going to also offer free support.
If the website goes down, which it will on free hosting, a lot, it’s highly unlikely you will get support on how to fix it.
As a designer for over 20 years, I’m always going to advise anyone to pay a web designer to build a website.
You then have a peace of mind that a professional has built the website for you, probably purchase the domain name and hosting for you and offer support for either an agreed fee or as part of your initial purchase cost.
Remember the saying ‘the only free cheese is in a mousetrap’.