Building a free website with the provided templates and features offered by many sites is relatively easy to do, though time consuming. People selling crafts or baked goods out of their home will probably be okay with something made on Website Builder or any of its competitors, but a serious company that wants to make serious money needs to be taken seriously.
Here are 6 common temptations and reasons not to go the cheap route when deciding how to develop your website.
1) It’s Free– At this stage in life, you’ve probably learned that nothing is free, even if it costs no money. As stated above, free website building software can be fine for small time operations or people just playing around and experimenting with ideas. The problem comes when you don’t want to be a small fish. Websites built for free often look like they were built for free, and if your potential clients see you won’t invest money into your website development, they most likely won’t invest their money in your services/products.
2) My Daughter/Son/Friend Took Web Design Classes, They Can Do It– Hiring a friend or family member for any project can be dicey, but web development is filled with opportunities to ruin relationships if you hire from the pool of people close to you. Partly because web design is so nuanced and open to interpretation, it’s dangerous to hire someone whose feelings could potentially be hurt if their design is not what you’re looking for. Furthermore, if you choose a friend/family member and you’re not totally satisfied, odds are you’ll be more likely to settle for a sub-par website to avoid hurting their feelings.
3) I Only Need a Website For People to Find Me– Just because you have your company’s name followed by a “.com” doesn’t mean people will be able to find your website while searching online. The content and word usage used throughout every website plays a big role in all major search engines’ algorithms. A professional web development team will know what content to include to provide the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order for your website to stand at the top of search results.
4) Technology/Trends Change– So you went the cheap route and built a free site; now you’re done, right? Not quite. Technology and trends are always changing/advancing, and your website is no exception. For the technical aspect you’ll have to regularly check your site and make sure everything is properly working; that nobody has hacked into it and left bugs or spyware that you could potentially be liable for. For the aesthetics side, you’ll have to do the work to keep the site looking fresh and relevant. Nobody is going to buy products from a site that looks like it was built in 2010.
5) I Don’t Want to Pay Someone to Make Timely/Seasonal Changes– You might be tempted for the free website because you don’t want to pay a web developer to change your site to advertise the sale you’re having this week, just to have to pay again to change it back when the sale is over. This issue won’t happen if you hire a proper web development team. Once the website is designed, a professional firm will provide you with the information and passwords to login and guide you through any textual changes you wish to make. This way you can be in control of updating all your companies information.
6) My Website Isn’t Important, It Just Needs My Address and Phone Number– It’s hard to believe, but there are still many entrepreneurs who believe interested clients/customers would only be accessing their website to find contact information or store hours. Sure, that might be the case for existing customers, but what about those who haven’t heard of you? Your website is often the first impression someone will have of your services/products. In order to grow your customer base, you need to leave a positive, memorable impression on those seeking what you’re offering. Unfortunately for many, free website design and generic templates won’t accomplish this goal.