6 Reasons Why You Should Never Use a Free Website Builder for Your Business WebsiteMost online website building software offers a free option and they’re certainly very tempting! When you’re starting a new business, money is usually tight and you want to pay out as little as possible before you have profits coming in. BUT, when it comes to your website this mindset really is a false economy. Here’s why.
A One Size Template Doesn’t Fit AllDon’t get us wrong, some of the free options are great for getting comfortable with starting your online world. Great layout options and colour schemes can even mean your site will do a good job of reflecting some elements your business.
However, as you grow the chances are you probably won’t be able to fully customise your site to really do your business justice with the free package. Moving things around as your business changes shape can become difficult. E-Commerce may not be an option and this is just for starters.
Worst of all, some templates frankly can be an SEO disaster zone. RealComparisons deliberately do not recommend some options for website builders, because we know that using them would not be doing you any favours online. We especially don’t recommend free options for building a business because one size templates are never flexible enough to adequately reflect business profiles, let alone get you ranking.
The free option is good for for playing around with the software, but if you use it for your business website you’ll have no credibility in your customers eyes. And that’s NOT a good place to start!
- Mark Knowles, RealComparisons.com.
Lack Of Professional SupportAs your business progresses and as your online marketing gets more involved, you will want your website to be able to grow with you. Somewhere along the line, in order for you to keep focussed on your daily business tasks, you are going to need to call a website building professional to ask how to add more capability, or fix a elements of your evolving website, whilst you concentrate on other things.
Let’s be honest. You cannot realistically expect to get technical help without paying for someone’s fees to help you. This has to be paid for.
Whose Brand Is This?There are two really important elements of branding you as a professional company. One is having a customised URL. Free options do not give you this, so for instance you will get http://freewebbuildername.youyouyou.com Not only does it look cheap, it is too long-winded!
The second thing to watch out for is how free options mean you have to put up with adverts being hosted on your site over which you have no control. This is a way for the website builder to earn off your site if you are not paying. You want to sell your own services and products, not someone else’s. This also is even before when you click these ad’s, the visitor is taken away from your site, which is really bad SEO.
SEO For Global Web DominationBrace yourselves for a little tech-speak here. Even if you have no idea what ‘title tags’, fundamental SEO features are, your visibility is based on what are known as ‘title tags’ and ‘meta descriptions’. These are unique titles and descriptions for each page of your site, which include key words. A title tag should reflect what’s on each page and should be supported by relevant content on the page.
If you are glazing over right now, the important thing to know here is that website builders sometimes automate this process for you, but not necessarily, unless you ‘invest’ with an upgraded package to enable editing of this crucial element of SEO .
If your free website builder option does not enable you to change these, your site’s key words are limited and you’re missing opportunities to be found with searches by your audience with multiple words and phrases.
AnalyticsIt isn’t everyone’s favourite thing to learn, but all of the efforts you make and time you spend on sprucing up your website should be reviewed periodically for success rates or it is energy wasted. Google Analytics is one of the most important tools you can have on your website for analysing what visitors are checking out on your website. Even if you rank highly in the search engines, you need to know where your visitors are taking action and where they click away to your competitors. It helps you convert web visitors to buyers.
Without Google Analytics, you won’t have the ability to track the number of visitors, how long they stay on the site, the pages they visit, and many other useful statistics. This is the crucial data you need to understand activity on your website and make improvements.
Paying One Way Or AnotherMany free website builders will allow you to many functions you need for a basic website, but enhancements which give you the flexibility you will inevitably look for if your website is your main centre of online business will be charged for.
Signing up for a free website then can mean that you end up not budgeting properly for your website to do what you need it to. Unplanned expenditure is a potential liability when you need to plan your cash-flow, especially when you are a fairly new business.
If SEO limits mean your customers cannot find you, or you do not have a professional email to message clients, you will not be taken as seriously as your competitors, meaning potential loss of business.
We recommend beginning with the end in mind. Paid website builders will give you more options, which you might not even be able to anticipate as a fast growing business. Of course not all free software is inferior to higher priced products and we will help you make the right decision for your business.
Bear in mind, however that there are times when spending a significant amount of money upfront will be the best investment you can make in getting your products and services in front of your customers. Remember, it doesn’t matter how great you are if nobody knows you exist. One way or another you do pay be that up-front with a subscription option or via loss of customers.
Fortunately, even the paid options with website builders are affordable, which is why RealComparisons are such fans of the companies we review here on our site.
Leave us any questions you might have in our Comments Box, or pop us an email if you need help with any dilemmas you have, so we can provide more information on your problem areas in future and help you, our users, better.
Review by Mark Knowles Last Updated 6th May 2014Check out