What’s the Real Cost of a “Free” Website for Your Business?

What’s the Real Cost of a “Free” Website for Your Business?

Today, it’s easier than ever to stake out your business’s own presence on the internet. Email accounts are free. Social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram are free. With several hosting providers out there, you can even build your very own website yourself – for free!

And having any sort of website out there with your name on it is better than having no website at all, right?

Sort of. It’s true that having a website is a must for any business, no matter if that business employs thousands or a couple or is just you. Your customers – and potential customers – are savvy and cautious, and want to know as much as they can about any business before parting with their hard-earned dollars, whether on a product or service just for lunch or for a lifetime.

And that means your customers are quick to recognize a plain website built in a day from a free template. There are a lot more internet users than there are templates, and templates get stale, fast. The providers of these free websites tend to promise much more in customization options than they actually deliver. It’s impossible to achieve a look and feel that is truly personalized to your business – unless you pay to unlock more features, then spend your valuable time to learn how to use them. We know this firsthand!

So your business needs a site that didn’t come off an assembly line: one that is identifiable and memorable and all your own brand. But there’s a lot more (or maybe we should say less) to a free website than its aesthetics.

Free websites have to share their host’s server space. They can be slow to load and might not support the amount of web traffic you’re hoping to attract. No one at the host company is dedicated to keeping your site running smoothly behind the scenes, ensuring downtime is at a minimum, or monitoring its security for trouble such as malware or link farming. Customers hate waiting and running in to unavailable or sketchy sites, and search engines know this. It actually factors in to how highly – or lowly – your website ranks with them.

Then, when something does go wrong with a free host, no one is there waiting to give you technical support. Getting help is usually an additional fee.

Let’s say you’re ready to pick up and move your website from a free service to a paid, better host. In most instances, the tools to do so don’t exist – or you’ll find it simply isn’t worth your frustration, and you’ll have to either pay them for the migration or simply start again. (We know this firsthand too.) When you don’t own your hosting space, you have little or no control over the content and files you’ve created, and it could all be lost without explanation.

Plus, moving your site can affect the established search traffic you’ve worked to build, forcing you into the long climb back up the natural search engine rankings.

Building a professional-looking, helpful, safe, mobile-friendly and search-ready website isn’t quick or easy, but it’s a necessity in today’s digitally-driven marketplace. And that’s where we come in.

Do you need a website?

If you have one, is it the absolute best representation of your business that it can be?

Is it attracting the type and number of customers you need – and who need you?

Contact us for a free consultation

We’re also offering free (seriously free) website design and setup with our monthly marketing plans – no extra fees for it. Schedule a consultation with us, and let’s start on a digital marketing plan made to connect with the local or national customers you’re looking for.