Free Website Development AKA Free Website Builders

Should you use Free Website Development, also known as Free Website Builder, after taking a web development tutorial or should you consider getting a professional website for your business?

Website Design

Should you use Free Website Development, also known as Free Website Builder, after taking some web development tutorial, or should you consider getting a professional website for your business? I’m sure there are pros for free web development software use, but I strongly recommend hiring a professional web development company!

Sad facts are that even now, mid-2016, about 50% of small businesses don’t have a website and that over 50% existing sites are heavily outdated. By outdated I mean websites are not responsive (can’t be properly watched on mobile devices) and they lack some of the most common features.

Professional website development vs. Free Website Development

I am a great supporter of using free options online, like Mailchimp, various form builders, advertisement options, cloud storage, etc. But I couldn’t disagree more with using free hosting, website builders, or even worse free non-premium domain names, for business websites.

Before you start thinking that I’m writing this just because I’m a website developer myself, please take a broader picture in consideration. Unless you are very techy and/or have vast experience in building websites, building a business website with free website builders can easily backfire and chase potential clients away!

Why should you hire a web developer?

Today, when a potential client visits a small business website, they have much higher standards, and they will decide in a second if a business looks legitimate or not. Customers expect functionality and speed as well so they can find the info they need in seconds.

Best examples are 24/7 emergency service websites (like locksmiths, plumbers, etc.) where there is no clickable phone link! Imagine someone who is locked out of his house at 2 am and ends up on locksmith website where he has to write down or memorize phone number to make the call! Often he cannot even copy paste since the phone number is part of a nice (or not so nice) logo image! That is a good example of a bad locksmith web design and I can bet they’ll find another locksmith!

The second thing is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I’m not a big supporter of expensive SEO for small business websites, but it is something that shouldn’t be neglected. Most small biz owners have little or no knowledge about it (and why should they?), so they’ll either pay insane amounts of money for SEO that will never pay off or skip it entirely. Both are very wrong in my opinion.

The third thing is website content. Often sites are overloaded with content and can chase away potential clients since they can’t find what they are looking for. To be clear, I’m mainly talking about small service businesses that in 99% offer similar or same services. Chances that people will read the content are pretty slim – they know what is in the offer (like lockout service for a locksmith), they just want to know the phone number, price, etc. Please notice that this shouldn’t be confused with benefits of having a blog on your business website.

Today, just building a website is not enough. Clients expect speed, functionality, and decent design. Responsivity is a must since over 50% of searches come from mobile devices.

Having an outdated, slow, non-responsive website that is below some usual standards can even hurt. Let’s say you see great reviews for some business on Yelp or Google and decide to visit their website. After you land on their front page, you see an ugly, outdated website that took 20 seconds to load. Will you decide for that business or you’ll check around some more?

Average cost of a website

Top web development companies may ask thousands for their services or few hundred on the monthly basis.  I’m not saying that they are not doing good work, but you need to decide what kind of business website you need! How many months, or years, it will take to see ROI if you buy that website? What do your clients expect to see when they land your website?

Another option is to get a nice looking WordPress site in the price range of $400 to $800 (one-time investment) that is easy enough to update. Besides a WordPress website you’ll need to invest in decent hosting, which you can find, with a premium domain name, for as low as $25 to $50 per year. Be sure to check our Hosting24 offer for affordable hosting with free domain name. Is it a good idea to lose your time and nerves on building a website that will most likely lack a lot of things if you can get quality, responsive business website, with hosting and domain name for $500 or less?

If you are a small business owner and you decide to build a website yourself, though I suggest that you contact us first! Perhaps you will find this article on Forbes website informative!

We’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment or contact us!

 

Posted in Web Design.