Every so often I see Wix or Weebly offering to give businesses a free website on their platforms. For many small businesses, I get it. Funds are tight and you want a professional website that represents your company well. The intentions are good, but the results you need and want will probably be negative.
Like any free service, it really isn’t free to get a website. Companies like Wix and Weebly need to make money just like any other company and they do that by offering free websites that have advertisements on your website or premium services that you can pay for that include enhancements or exclude the ads.
The real question isn’t how are they making their money if they are giving it away. The right question is how much is it really costing you?
What is the Real Price You Pay for a Free Website?
You don’t know what you don’t know… Here are a few examples of what the real cost is of a free website:
- How much are you or your team worth per hour and how long would it take you to learn how to make the internet work for you? A businesses time is one of their most precious assets and spending it on learning how to use a free technology that is highly limited will cost you more than it would to do it right.
- You lose out on being able to control your content. While the content may belong to you, if you don’t have it backed up on a separate document you risk losing it if you unintentionally violate the terms of service and your free website is pulled. You are merely renting space online and risking your web presence.
- Your prospects and clients will know that you are cheap. That’s different than being frugal or being cost aware. However, image is everything! Your prospect will know it’s a company that is offering a website for free because their name and link is at the bottom of your website. This knowledge may inspire your prospects to look elsewhere if they think you cannot afford a website as an investment in your own business. In their minds, how long will you be in business?
- You lose out on the expertise of a web design and development professional who has invested years in learning, experimenting, and gaining the expertise to set you apart on the Internet. Professionals spend research time on websites like the W3c, Mashable, TechCrunch, or Search Engine Land, just among a few; and that’s not including the time they spend networking and learning alongside other web design and web development professionals.
- Professionals know how to help position you for success because they know the psychology of colors and the latest technologies to employ that help you to meet your goals and objectives.
- Web professionals know how to create functional websites and are on top of the newest capabilities to help you connect more meaningfully with your prospects and clients.
- You probably don’t know how to build a website that appeals to your website visitors. Just because it looks nice does not mean it will help you build trust or allow your website visitors to feel like they know you, or even like what they see.
Do you want to discover:
- What makes you different or special?
- Who is your real target audience?
- What is your objective and what do you want to achieve? (ie online sales, drive calls, people visit the store, etc)
A free service, or even a web designer, cannot help you discover your message and the truth is that there is no such thing as free! You are paying in some manner. It’s best to determine what your real cost is and if you can really afford a free website? Free may give a rented website, but it won’t give you one that you have real control over.
Free won’t give you access to professionals who can make a difference for your business.
And a free website won’t make a positive contribution to many your businesses bottom line. Instead it will cost you more money as you spend hours trying to learn a complex new skill instead of focusing on what you are good at and developing your skills as a business owner.
Discover how to find your voice on the Begin Here page.