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Why your website shouldn’t be free

Frustrated person in front of a website

I routinely have clients come to me who started building their websites and threw in the towel. There are many do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) web builders, and creating your own website can seem like a quick-fix solution to getting your business online. However, a D-I-Y website is rarely your best option.

Your site needs to be visually appealing, well ranked in Google search results, easy to navigate, and ultimately get results. Unfortunately, your attempt to save money may cost you dearly in the long run. Here are reasons why a D-I-Y isn’t worth it if you want to market yourself online.

Free isn’t really free

While almost all website builders have a free option, most people end up wanting features they need to purchase for their website to work as they want it to. The term “free” may refer to a free trial after which you are subject to monthly charges, or it may mean that your site is cluttered with free ads unless you upgrade.  

Just look at this comparison of the FREE version of WordPress.com versus their next level of paid service:

Photo of choices at WordPress.com for service.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

It’s all in that first impression. A website should convey its credibility as a professional business or organization for visitors to see you as trustworthy. Unfortunately, with limited templates, D-I-Y websites often look shoddy, are challenging to navigate, and appear identical to the many other online sites that use the same generic template. Remember, website templates can provide minimal customization and enhancement options, so you won’t be able to stand out from the crowd.

You need a website that will be seen

You may be virtually invisible to customers on the web if your D-I-Y website isn’t optimized for search engines. Unless you have sufficient knowledge of SEO, a website that is built to optimize for search engines may be difficult and time-consuming without professional advice, even if it comes with built-in tools. 

It also helps to know what you are doing when adding your content to any website. A common mistake of any D-I-Y website owner is to upload large photos or video files to their website and create a massive payload for the site visitors. Often, a D-I-Y web designer will forget to check the view on different browsers and screen sizes. A poor user experience can make potential customers leave your website in frustration.

You need help and support, too.

Free DIY websites do not typically offer any genuine assistance. When you run into trouble with your site and need help, you’re left with no choice but to pay, or at the very least spend countless hours reading online FAQs and tutorials. Furthermore, you will not be receiving a personal service. When you call for help, you will typically be put through to a call center, resulting in long waiting times for website changes or fixes. 

Your time is your most valuable commodity  

It can be appealing to see a website that offers to help you get your website up in an hour or less, but what does that really mean? Will your website look great? Will it attract the right clients? Unfortunately, a novice can rarely construct a quality website in hours, days, or weeks.

You need to ask yourself, do you want any website or a professional website? It is much better to spend your energy running your business instead of creating a website that is less than what you hoped for in the end.

Nothing in life is free, you always pay in the end.

Wayne Static

Not everyone is a web designer

It takes experience and technical skills to build a proper website and you can’t be an expert at everything involved. The benefits of hiring a professional for what most consider a crucial marketing tool are clear.

WebCami offers professional website design, expert advice, support, 20 years of experience, and complete control of your website content. In addition, I offer low-cost non-WordPress options and fully custom WordPress websites. Whatever your needs, I’d love to save you time and help you invest in a website that works for you!

Cami MacNamara

Owner/Designer at WebCami Site Design. Providing web design services in Seattle since 2002. Follow me: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
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