Free at first.
Creating a totally free website may sound like a good idea at first, why pay for something when you can do it yourself for free? But this is a very common misconception. Creating a totally free website for your business is not the best idea. When we are talking about free, this means any site created using a platform that provides hosting at no charge such as Wix, Weebly, or the WordPress(.COM) free plan.
Add-ons cost money.
The first caveat is that some of these plans may not actually be free. It could be a trial plan that you only get for a short period of time, or there could be hidden fees for certain features such as videos or e-commerce which can be crucial for your business. These free websites also have poor performance and scalability. They can be slow to load and even slower when you add more content. This will not just be an annoyance but can make you look bad to your customers.
Unprofessional domain name.
Another issue with professionalism will be the domain name. Free website builders use domains that include their name (ex. yourwebsite.weebly.com). This can confuse some people and distract them from your brand. Buying a custom domain name can be a small and effective investment in your brand. The free versions are also very limited in the design. Your website will often look like every other business that uses the same plan.
Security issues are possible from free websites when you signing up for the free plans. They can sell your information which puts you at risk. They also often don’t invest in security for clients on free plans. The offer of a free website sounds like a steal at first. The cost of a self-hosted site (i.e. WordPress.ORG) and paying for hosting is not that much — ranging from about $3 per month to $35 per month — depending on different options and packages. There have been clients I’ve acquired who are paying more with a free site because of added features such as email accounts, online forms, online shop, videos, etc. There’s so many benefits that come with being self-hosted like thousands of free plugins.
The only reason to use a free website is if you are sticking to a very basic site and it’s more of a hobby than a business.
However, if you want your business to grow and to bring traffic to your site, using these services is starting on a bad note. Investing in your website by using a paid plan or hiring a web design agency can help you avoid all of these problems. Ask us how a safe, optimized for getting found, and attractive website can help your business.