Free! It’s something everyone wants especially if it relates to something we’d otherwise have to pay for. As a potential website owner, you’ve probably heard about free website builder software or even a free website created just for you. But does free actually mean zero costs incurred in the long run? And, what does a free website say about your online business?
Free website builders aren’t free
At this point, it’s worth noting that free site builder software will help you design a new site without having to pay a fee for the service. However, it always comes at a price. Here’s why.
Most of the free site builder software are often provided by companies that will sell you a product or service in order to gain access to the software. A good example is hosting companies which only provide access to their software to their clients. The hosting plans are usually more expensive compared to competitors without free site builders.
To use some of the free site builders, you will most likely have to agree to specific terms. These might range from linking to the software from your site to having ads from the software vending company on your site. Links aren’t that bad until you think about the ranking benefits you’ll provide the linked to site without them returning the favor. Ads are even worse considering what your site’s visitors might find appealing.
Free website builders are usually limited when it comes to customizing your website. Most are based on generic site templates. To customize your site, you might need to hire a designer or purchase additional plugins. This might end up being more costly than hiring a web designer to build your site from scratch.
If you’re running an online business, one thing that will ensure that it stands out among your competition is its uniqueness. You don’t want a site that looks like every other one out there. If you take a look at free websites, you might notice some similarity in their design and layout. The reason for this is that most free websites are actually based on a single website template. This means that they have the same layout and styling. Unfortunately, today’s savvy internet consumer is also able to notice such similarities. Think of the effect this could have if a potential client lands on your site but leaves simply because they had a bad experience on a site that looked just like yours.
Free websites also come with the disadvantages mentioned with using free website builders. You don’t want an unwanted ad popping up randomly and distracting your site visitors from taking the action you want when they land on your site.
When should you go for free websites?
There are several instances when using a free website or website builder might be good for running an online business. They include the following.
MLM marketers often use free websites provided by the MLM company. Such websites are usually easy to identify based on their choice of colors and layout. This helps to advance the brand of the MLM company as opposed to your individual business venture. But since the MLM marketer is working to increase the offer’s exposure, having a free prebuilt website isn’t such a big deal.
Non professional bloggers can also benefit from free sites and site builder software. Such bloggers only want to push their agenda and don’t have any plan of monetizing their sites. They don’t want to incur the financial investments needed to build a solid blog that can be monetized in the future.
If you intend to run a serious online business, free sites and builders aren’t the best option to take. They might look attractive at first. However, using them in the long term might mean using your online business to promote other businesses which might not even be related to your site. Overall, its usually best to hire a web designer or build your site.