Every business needs a website. So it would follow that you should get one however you can, even if you “can’t afford” a professional website -- right?
A whole host of sites now offer the ability to create free sites -- but just because something is free doesn’t mean you should take it. Hotels offer free shampoo -- do you always use it? And when you do, do you feel as good as using the nice shampoo you bought for yourself? Restaurants always give you a free side of coleslaw -- do you actually eat it? Is it the same as getting a side you actually wanted?
"Free" doesn't always equal “great,” and we’re going to explain why you shouldn’t invest any time in your free site.
6 Reasons Why Free Websites Are a Bad Idea
The templates you're using don't reflect your brand. The templates offered on these sites are simple and may look “minimalist” and appealing, but they’re just cookie-cutter designs that everybody else is using. It vaguely reflects your industry because other businesses in your niche have picked from the top three templates and used it for their own site, and now they all look the same. Set yourself and your brand apart with a customized, unique site that uses your colors, fonts, and image perfectly. Why should your business be like everybody else’s?
They're very poorly coded. Badly coded sites make you virtually invisible to Google, as they don’t allow Google to properly index your site by getting the information it needs. Bad coding also slows down your site.
They could have adverse effects on your site. Free websites often end up having poor performance. Many are not indexed by Google, which defeats any SEO efforts you had planned -- if the site even allows significant SEO. Also, the sites often have bad upkeep that leads to malware. These problems will cause you huge issues in the future, and you’ll end up needing a new site anyway. Save yourself the headache and invest in a site with good customer support and hosting.
They often result in slow loading speeds. Slow-loading sites are a huge turn-off for visitors, who will click away from your site if it’s taking more than three seconds to load. If nobody visits your site, then why have one at all? It’s better to invest in a site that will load quickly and easily for your visitors and bring you the business you’re looking for.
You’ll have an embarrassing domain. Free sites come with obvious domains like mybusiness.freewebsite.com, which any modern user can spot a mile away. These don’t look good for your business, and even if you do pay for a domain, it will usually cost you more than you’d pay for a domain normally. To make matters more, you also can’t set up your email with the domain either.
Your business will have low credibility. Many of the issues with free websites can be summed up in this: you’ll lose credibility with your visitors (and even with Google). A website should reflect the best of you and offer your customers information, help, and a way to contact you or even buy. If they don’t even trust you, what good is your website doing for your business?
If you want a proper website that will impress, inform, and entertain your customers, hire professionals who will not only build a great website but also do regular maintenance. Your business will thank you.
S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.