Giving the wrong impression will kill your chance for business success before you even get started on-line. Building a website is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago but there are still certain skills required to build and present something that is functional and professional looking. When it comes to your brand and your professional reputation you should never use a free website or free hosting.
Your website is often the first chance you have to make an impression, and if it looks free or cheap, what will people think about the rest of your operation? If you don’t spend money on you why should they? Although it may seem like a pretty expensive purchase, a professional website is an investment in your business, that will help build your image and customer base.
Potentially the most damaging consequence of using a free web service is the message it sends customers about the faith you have in yourself. By investing in a professional website that accurately reflects your brand image, you are showing customers that you have faith in your business ability. Reputable and successful business’s do not use free websites or hosting. They are serious about their business and will invest money into it. Businesses Invest Money, period.
Although these free services are useful for those looking for a quick page for a one off event, or for a personal blog, they are not meant for the business world.
Instead of building a free website and getting an inferior product, it is better to work closely with a professional that can help you put together a complete plan for building, growing and marketing your website. There are many powerful strategies for connecting with your market, and an expert can help you pick which ones to take advantage of, and then help you implement a winning strategy.
If you are building your site independently with no input from an expert, you are losing out on information and advice that can only be gained through years of experience. A website marketing expert can help you make some of the best decisions that you will ever make.
Here at Winners Web Design, we use the best that technology can offer to build our websites. No instant website builder type of product offered for free could ever compare. The advantage of working with us is that we handle the entire building of your site, and can continue to manage it for you once that process is done, or we can train you to take over.
Other reasons why you should NEVER use a free website for your business.
1. Free websites do not build legitimacy
When shopping for products online, visitors are bombarded with a number of different sellers. What differentiates the website they use from the others is legitimacy. This is especially more so when purchasing online. Consumers are very concerned about the legitimacy of the business they are giving their money to. Using a free web service, with a cookie-cutter templates and ads for other services will drive your customers away to your competitors who have invested in a professional site.
2. Search engines give more credibility to paid domain names. When using a free web service, your domain name will often be something similar to www.freewebservice.yourcompany.com While you may think Google will pick up on this just the same as www.yourcompany.com, it actually treats this as an internal link. This means that Google will treat your business’ page as a page within the free service you are using. So, if your business name includes a product/service you offer, and you want people who search for that product/service to land on your site, this will not happen with a free web service! Once again, your customers will be directed to a business who has their own domain name.
3. Free websites only allow limited space for your web pages
4. Free websites limit certain functionality on your website.
5. You often cannot add additional features (shopping carts, plug-ins, forums, chat rooms, etc.)
6. You don’t own a free website, you’re renting it and therefore there are no guarantees of site availability and longevity.
7. No branded emails addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be available.
8. Poor help and support options.
9. Your site/hosting may not be free forever.