Well let’s say you choose to go with a Free Web builder template system like say…Wix, or Weebly, doesnt really matter. They all have the same premise of allowing you to build a website, on their system, using their tools and applications. You can change whatever color you want to, or re size an image here or there, however…
YOU DON’T OWN THE WEBSITE!
That’s right, you don’t own anything except what you came in with, that would be your verbiage content, images, and whatever idea of a grand website you planned to create.
As long as you’re paying monthly to these builder sites, they’ll agree to keep your website online. Miss a payment, and its lights out, literally, as you’re breaching their agreement.
It’s almost like a marriage pre-nuptial, and in some cases, if you don’t keep backups of your content, it will all go away with the site once its closed.
THERE’S THAT CONSTANT “REMINDER” THAT YOU DON’T OWN THE WEBSITE!
Somewhere, on your fresh, new, template of a website, there is that nice little (or big) reminder that your site was “Created with”, or “Powered by” Wix or Weebly, stamped in some of the most obnoxious places. And in some cases, you have intrusive ads that you probably didn’t care for plastered in the worst places for Your* Website. And before you reply with “So what? I didn’t have to PAY anything for it!” I will respond with “Your BRAND is paying dearly for it!”
YOUR BRAND LOSES ITS CREDIBILITY!
It may sound dramatic to some, but its true. Think about this: Your “FREE, I didn’t pay a DIME” website HAS the potential of being seen by millions of people. But here’s where the rub comes in. Your Domain Name, (or should I say Wix or Weebly’s domain name) under the “Free” plan, your (their) domain name would show as: buildername.com/yourbrandhere OR youbrandhere/freebuildersitename.com. There’s no way around that, and in order for people to see your (their) site, you have to post it as such.
To a lot of potential customers for your brand, that screams that YOU don’t value your business enough to invest in a more personalized website for YOUR brand! I’ve seen some ridiculously long builder domain names for some brands. Imagine putting that kind of domain on a business card, much less having to type that into your browser..(BTW, how’s that “FREE” site sound now?)..Speaking of web browsers..
GOOD LUCK GETTING RANKED IN GOOGLE!
The hashtag “#” is good for many things (Twitter, funny quotes by Tamar Braxton, etc) but for a website listing its absolute blasphemy!
For those that have been living under a rock, Google which is THE #1 search engine in the world, absolutely INGORES any domain or sub-directory (ie. Your Home page and all sub-pages) that has the hashtag in its address. And most of the builder sites are STILL using them, so care to guess what happens to YOUR (their) site in the when it comes to being found online?
That’s right, your site is lost, or buried deep within the back pages of google ranks, and good luck being found! Unless all of your potential clients type your EXACT domain name (remember: freebuildersitename.com/yourbrandhere) they will probably give up looking for your business rather quickly.
ABOUT YOUR BRAND….
You’ve spent a lot of time building your brand, whether its related to art or business. The fact is you want people, and most importantly potential customers to know how great your talent or business is. So why handicap your brand with a design that was not created for YOUR brand?
Again you might say, “Its “FREE”, and they have plenty of templates to use!” that holds true BUT:
Do YOU personally have the TIME and SKILL SET for creating great design for your website?
ARE you comfortable with someone mentioning that they saw someone elses’ site look VERY similar to yours?
ARE you OK with the limitations that “FREE” builder sites have?
If you ARE ok with this then please, stop reading, I have wasted enough of your time. Enjoy your(their) FREE site!
For those that believe there there HAS to be another option, Consider hiring a Professional Designer like Reed Design Group.
A professional designer will take the time to LISTEN to your needs regarding how you want YOUR website vision to look. They will go the extra mile to make sure that you’re COMPLETELY satisfied with the site look before it goes live.
Also above all else, when the site is completed and hosting is in place..YOU OWN YOUR OWN SITE! No more worries of having the buildername in front of YOUR Brand!
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK…
A lot of entrepreneurs come under the assumption that hiring a professional designer can be expensive, but if you are truly ready to be considered a professional in your field, you have to have the look of a professional on and offline.
Believe it or not, a lot of designers are very affordable and are WILLING to work within your budget to ensure that you have the best look for your business.
I have personally made arrangements to keep some clients from breaking their bank and still have a GREAT looking website, whether its by extending the development/launch dates or payment terms. All you have to do is Ask!
I really hope that this sheds light on SOME of the pitfalls of having a “FREE” website, as I can go on all day about it…but I digress.
Reed Design Group