Week 2 of 52 – No such thing as a Free Lunch!
Anybody active on social media will have seen the advertisements for the free online website builders such as Wix, Webs and Weebly. At first glance, their offerings actually seem quite reasonable. Most offer plenty of space for a business site along with seemingly easy to use interfaces at no cost at all to the user. Surely it’s a great way to get online quickly?
If we take a closer examination of these sites, their setup reveals a different story.
“Hold on, Hold on…” you must be saying, “Aren’t you a web designer?”
Yes, but if you read on, I have some very valid points that may keep you away from using these sites as an option for your business.
“There is no such thing as a free lunch!”
That is definitely the case here. All the free options from these online website builders require that your site gets “branded” somewhere with their logo, not just your own. Some sites are slightly less conspicuous than others but nevertheless, it does look a little un-professional to have someone else’s logo adorning your business site. To remove the logo in most cases, you must join a paid version of the site.
The Optional Extras all add up
Items that are not included in the free setup will also add to the cost of the website for the business owner (special features, plug-ins, extra space, extra bandwidth, etc). Even the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your site will generally need to be paid for and without this important factor taking care of; no-one might find your business online in the first place.
The original free option suddenly does seem so free after all.
Ownership of the Site
You must also be aware that the site is retained on their servers, not yours – so regardless of how much sweat, tears and effort you put into the site, they retain control. If you decide to move away from the service provider, you most probably will not be able to take your site with you and that means you will have to start from scratch. In addition, if you have registered your domain name with them and it isn’t a .com.au – you will have an absolute nightmare trying to regain control of that domain.
Stand out from the crowd
All the bells and whistles in the world (if you pay for them) still don’t make up for the fact that, whatever you produce will not be unique just to your business. Online website builders rely heavily on the use of design templates. So even if they offer one hundred different designs, chances are that the most attractive and useful to you will also be very popular with other users.
Your business is unique, regardless of what field you are operating in. Therefore, your site needs to be unique and personally tailored to your business. It needs to cater for every aspect of your online presence. You “might” be able to customize these online templates to suit – but then another question arises – do you, as the business owner, actually have the time to devote learning the ropes and creating the site that your business needs?
Save the headache – use a real Website Designer
And this is the #1 reason why businesses are still choosing to use a professional website designer to create their online presence. It is our job to make you look good on the internet, cater for all aspects of your business online and provide a professional service that ensures that the journey online is as stress-free as possible.
Depending on your requirements, a free website may just be what you need however if you need flexibility, originality, a site that caters specifically for your website and you don’t have the time to worry about your online presence, let us take care of it for you. That’s what we do!
Additional Note: It has been reported recently that the use of online website builders for some businesses has resulted in the spamming of their clients! This could be a PR disaster in the making – the client could receive the spam from you and then you may cop the wrap for it! Beware!