What’s Wrong With Free?

Free Website Builders

Everybody likes free. It’s not hard to see why. After all, the thought process is simple: if you’re not paying for something, what do you have to lose? However, "free" tends to have a hidden cost as well. It can cost time, frustration and more.

Free website builders have proliferated over the years: Weebly, Web.com, SquarePants, GoDaddy, and more have all come up, offering users the chance to launch their own website for free.

There are some situations where it might make sense to go with a free website builder. If you don’t care about the quality of the site—if you want to have a website for fun, or as some sort of experiment—a free wesbsite can offer a valuable experience.

However, these sites are not always optimal for your business. They do not offer the professional polish or the necessary features you need.

A Stale Look

Take, for instance, the templates that many of these free website builders offer. They’re stale, cookie-cutter templates with little room for customization. Because so many people like the idea of free, so many people are using these same templates over and over.

Their aesthetic is lacking. These dated templates will not inspire interest in your business.

After all, do you think all businesses should have the same website? Should a bakery have the same website that an e-commerce site does? Are stay-at-home mothers and twenty-year-old bachelors looking for the same things in a website?

Add to the fact that web design trends change all the time. What appealed to people a couple years ago will not necessarily appeal to them today. Some of these free website builders don’t compensate for that.

Professional websites will cost you some money, yes. But they are also likely to help you make money. They allow you to target the appropriate demographic with the site features that your clients and/or customers may be looking for. And they’ll allow you to make the website in a way that allows you to be up-to-date on all the latest trends.

Troubles With SEO

If you are an online business, you want to have good SEO. SEO—which stands for Search Engine Optimization—is what will make your website findable to those who search for it. If people can find you through Google, you’re going to have a much easier time generating website traffic and making sales online.

Herein lies one of the biggest problems with free websites: many of them have SEO problems.

For instance, does your website look good on mobile? It needs to. If your website doesn’t have a responsive design—which is to say, a design that looks good on both desktop and mobile interfaces—Google will try to bury your website.

They’re not being malicious when they do so. People want to be able to view your website on desktop and mobile, so if they have trouble doing so on one of the devices, it is in Google’s best interests to make sure they don’t see your page.

This is just one of many examples of how your website needs to be optimized for the web. We're not even covering the more technical stuff, like the fact that your website needs to be W3C/HTML5 compliant. This sort of optimization you can expect from the professional sites, not the free ones.

The Bottom Line

It’s for these reasons that you’re going to want to use an Open Source CMS like Joomla, as opposed to a free website builder.

Ready to make the switch to a professional content management system? Complete our Website Planning Guide/Client Questionnaire, and we will follow-up with you to schedule your free, half hour consultation with a Joomla consultant.