Your website is a big investment in your business. Remember this is probably how most people will find you. Your online presence helps to build credibility and allow potential customers to find the information they require about you easily.
When you first start thinking about getting your business online, it is tempting to consider free websites. It may look straight forward, and you could know others that have done it, but there are several important things to consider before you decide to go it alone.
Once you’ve made the decision that you need to have a website, you will want to get it up and running as soon as possible so you can start reaping the benefits. If you are busy running your business and looking after your customers, do you really have the time to get up to speed on web design and produce a professional website that reflects your values and brand, is easily navigable and stands out from your competitors?
All may not be as it seems
A website may be advertised as free, but its important to look for hidden costs. Make sure what appears to be a free offer is not just for a trial period and you incur costs at a later stage. It makes sense to ensure you know exactly how much you are going to pay for the whole website package before you commit.
Even if the website is free there may be hidden costs for ‘extra’ services you will need further down the line and these can soon build up. Always read the small print and be sure of exactly what you are purchasing for your money, particularly if you are asked for your card details.
Free websites don’t usually provide much support for non-paying users. There may be a community forum where you can ask other users for help, but if your website has gone down and you are losing business you will need someone to turn to. At Breezit we offer continued support with every website we supply and are on hand to ensure that any problems are quickly rectified, and your website is restored as soon as possible.
Another big drawback of free websites is that your site will have a branded domain, such as ‘yoursite.wordpress.com’. Not only does this look unprofessional, but it can also be confusing to your potential customers and does not help you build your own brand. Consider right at the beginning whether you want to have a custom domain – there’s lots more about this here.
It pays to be cautious
Be aware that free website services can include clauses in their Terms and Conditions that allow them to cancel your account and remove your website from the internet. This often happens due to lack of payment or violation of terms. It is also possible that your provider could go out of business in which case your website would be permanently deleted, and you would lose everything you have invested in putting your site together.
In addition, free websites may be less secure as companies do not have the same financial incentive to invest in servers. However, when you choose to buy a website from a reputable provider, they are responsible for keeping the server running effectively and ensuring it is safe from malicious attacks. It is also their responsibility to transfer the content of the server to your website so that it functions effectively, ensuring that your web pages load quickly, and your visitors can move easily around the site. Failure to ensure quick loading speeds can significantly impact of the success of your website in connecting with your customers.
Free websites often don’t provide the same level of access to data that paid ones do. This can lead to a variety of problems, including lack of access to analytics (which can hamper your optimisation and marketing), difficulty in moving your site to another provider, limited ability to take your site down if you no longer want it to be visible to the public and restricted control over your own content.
After carefully considering the above you may decide that you would be better engaging a website professional. At Breezit our skilled, experienced team will create the web presence and appearance that works hard for you. Connecting you to your customers so your business can grow.
At Breezit we are here for you as your business changes and grows and we have a full range of services that you may want to consider in the future here. Our Services.