Why Building Your Own Free Website Isn’t a Good Idea
It’s the age of DIY, and you can find YouTube videos for an endless number of things you can do yourself. But just because you can build your own house, does that mean you should? Just because you can replace the engine on your car, does that mean you should? The same principle applies to building your own website…just because you can build it for free, does that mean you should?
One of the questions our team hears often from small business owners is,
“Why do I need you to build my website? Can’t I do this myself for free?”
Becky Chumley, Evolve Impact Group’s Director of Digital Marketing, explains it this way, “The world of technology is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay on top of new design trends and resources that will help you get the most out of your website. Our developers live and breathe website development and are always working to maximize your website’s impact.”
While there are many DIY projects you can accomplish on your own, building a website probably isn’t one of them. Let’s look at 10 important reasons why you should think twice about trying to create a website by yourself:
DIY web builders and free website templates can’t be customized and they’re not interactive. Basic web builders and templates don’t give you the option to add an extra feature or additional content.
If you want to make a positive impression on potential customers, invest in a quality website. The CEO of Evolve Impact Group, Kevin Crenshaw, explains it like this, “A professional developer can go all the way to the code level to ensure that your website is the best representation of your high-quality brand. When building a free website, you might not have access to all of the features and formatting that make your website look and function the way you want it to.”
Search Engine Optimization
You probably understand what SEO means, but do you know how to set it up? There’s a whole science involved when it comes to where your site ranks in the search results. SEO is technical and complicated, and it changes constantly.
Google uses complex algorithms, that require a professional who understands them…one who uses Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics to monitor crawl and bounce rates, broken links, load times, and search traffic.
Free websites show up lower in Google listings because Google doesn’t crawl DIY sites. They’re too busy ranking optimized pages. The purpose of your website is to attract potential customers, but how will they find it if it’s not one of the first results in their search? A professional web developer knows how to increase your company’s online visibility.
It takes time to build a quality website that’s user-friendly. Even if you use a template and drag and drop options, it’s going to take a long time. And building the website is only part of it. What if you need to make changes or add additional pages later?
Maintenance issues and technical problems can be overwhelming and time-consuming when you have to tackle them on your own. Free websites offer very little, if any, customer support. However, when you hire a web developer to build your site, technical support is usually included.
Free DIY websites often have unprofessional domain names. What message are you sending your customers if your website address is “mysmallbusiness.freewebsite.com”?
These websites usually look cheap, are poorly designed, and lack the professionalism of websites created by web developers. Potential customers might assume you’re not willing to invest in your company, and they may even doubt your credibility.
Did you know that over half of all website traffic worldwide is generated through mobile phones? Now that most people use their phones to browse the web, it’s crucial that your website is mobile-friendly. Since most free DIY sites aren’t mobile-friendly, you are at risk of losing many potential customers.
Owned by the Provider, Not You
Companies lure customers by initially offering the service for free. Then, once your site is up and running, they begin charging you an expensive premium to continue service. What started as a “free” website ends up costing you more than if you’d hired a professional web designer in the first place.
If you choose to leave, you lose ownership of all your content. All the time and effort you invested is lost because the website is owned by the provider, not you.
Your site may be removed with no warning by the website hosting company. If this happens, all your content completely disappears.
Free websites are also easier to hack because security isn’t high on the priority list for these providers. With a digital marketing company, though, security is extremely important.
It’s important to gather and analyze data on your visitors in order to grow your website and business. DIY site builders often use older scripting technologies that have nonexistent or inaccurate site analytics. Site analytics measure your website’s traffic and performance so you can see how well your site is meeting your goals.
Most free website builders are not capable of collecting this data. If they can, they certainly won’t analyze the data like a professional website design team will.
Your “free” website is hosted by a company that is doing so to make money. One way they do this is by placing unwanted and ugly advertising banners on your site. You have no control over the ads they run there, and you could even end up advertising for your competitors.
Our digital media team has over 20 years of combined experience in website development, mobile application development, social media management, and custom software development, so we are ready to assist you with all your online marketing needs. We offer the kind of caring support that you will not receive from a free website builder.
There are times in life when it’s best to skip the DIY process and call in a professional. Creating a customized, user-friendly, and optimized website is one of those times! If you need help establishing or improving your digital presence, contact us today. Evolve Impact Group offers personalized website development options that will help you reach potential customers and grow your business.