AFC Business Services

Why Free Websites Hurt Your Business

First Impresssion

We all know that first impressions are vital in business. We know to shake hands, smile politely and present ourselves with articulation. The same goes for your website – it plays a significant role in supporting your business. Your site is a digital introduction for prospective clients, and should prompt them to look around.   Users often leave landing pages in 10-12 seconds so you need to make a great first impression. 

What makes a free website so appealing?  If you said cost you are correct, after all that’s what makes them most attractive.  It’s the fact that they appear to be free, and that pretty much anyone can build a site. Yes, the website may be free but the hosting is not.  While setting up your hosting could be arranged for as little as a few dollars per month, you can expect to pay at least 10-times this amount through free website builders and often you will have no choice. Also important to know is the entry-level plans are limited and the chances are good that you’ll need to upgrade, particularly for e-commerce. Domain registrations are often offered at top dollar rather than the standard $9.99-$19.99 pricing.

Google Algorithm

After the latest rounds of Google search algorithm updates in August one of the main things that can affect a site in the search results is how unique your site is. Consider how exclusive your site would be if you built it using a DIY website builder. It’s likely that the design and much of the linking structure will be just like hundreds of other sites that were created using it.  If your business is not a niche market then using a free website will not help you stand out in the crowd, you will blend in with all the rest. 

Having a website is great, but it’s only a starting point. You’ll need proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) built into the website to help it rank in search engines. Most DIY website builders use outdated code to create sites. If you want traffic from search engines like Google then you’ll need to have some SEO included in your site.

Professional Designer 

A designer can assemble a made to order website and ensure that it’s mobile responsive. They can also help you identify important online trends, so that you have a website that stands the test of time with a design that belongs to your company. Using free website builders is like renting a property, you can move your things into it but you can’t change its framework or export it to another provider.

A professional web designer will also navigate you through the process of creating a unique and long lasting user experience, while providing advice on why sound effects are a terrible idea, the proper image resolutions, or why SEO is essential to your online reputation and brand marketing efforts.

 We all love to take shortcuts, and we all love a simple solution to a complex problem. Unfortunately, using the solution of DIY websites can cause more issues than it solves. To generate leads and revenue, your business needs a well designed and built website. However tempting it may be to cut corners, investing in a professionally designed website is one thing you need to consider very carefully.

Thanks for reading, until next month! 

Angela 

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