The world of website builders is growing and continually improving. Little wonder that people are finding opportunities for a free website attractive and in the drag & drop world, much easier to consider even for people fearful of technology.

Whilst historically professional web developers have disliked web builders there is no disputing that there is a place for small DIY type website opportunities for small business owners that want something quick and easy (think microwave meal convenience).

Before embarking on your web adventure here are some things to consider and recognise.

It’s easy to get all excited and caught up in the thought of having your very own website up and running and the visions of orders pouring in from your online store while you sip coffee in your pyjamas (because you have left that office job behind) however…

First Things First

What do you need your website to DO?

Knowing exactly what you want and building your site for future planning is very important and for that you need to be in CONTROL of your site. For example, you might own a coffee shop and have a basic website created then later on consider having e-commerce functionality in order to sell your products online to further expand your revenue streams.

In a Nutshell

PROS

  • Easy & Fast
  • Simple drag & drop functionality
  • Selection of modern themes to choose from
  • FREE (basic plans)

CONS

  • Unless you pay your site address has their name in it e.g.: http://yourwebsite.webbuildercompanyname.com/yourwebsite (although some offer a free domain if you lock in a contract period)
  • Lack of total design control and advanced features
  • SEO struggles – Bots crawl around the web and continually ‘index’ websites. For the ease of the drag & drop & editing functionality it comes at a price of bad SEO. These days it’s is essential for any business to search engine friendly as that is what brings people to your website (which is the whole point really isn’t it?).
  • Storage, bandwidth & performance issues are limited and a slow website soon loses its visitors.
  • Once you have chosen your template you are stuck with it, if you want to change the look of your site you have to start from the top. Unlike WordPress where you can change templates and refresh your website easily to stay modern and current. It’s like changing houses for a better view (let’s face it we all get bored of the same old same old, and so do your customers).
  • Often you cannot export your data, making it difficult to leave and take your content with you.
  • Some take a percentage of business sales revenue.
  • Locked in minimum contract periods.
  • Lots of ‘extras’ that all add up in the end.
  • Lack of control of ad placement (part of the deal if you get a free site)
  • Lack of spam moderation on your website.
  • Many templates are still non-mobile friendly and in today’s fast moving world the majority of websites are viewed on mobile devices.

Free website builders are suitable for DIY simple sites but they are not the solution for professional business owners focussed on future-proofing and implementing a long term business strategy.

Professional websites ultimately become your ‘online employee’ selling your product and once your website is live it is something to be proud of, evolve with the growing demands of your company and work hard for you 24 hours a day so your investment is key to your online success.

Want to learn more about what you should consider when launching your business website? Contact us and we’ll reach out to you.

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