Person frustrated with a WordPress website

Why you should avoid free website builders

During the course of my keyword research for blog topics, I’ve come across an interesting set of searches. Frequently I’ve seen searches that are looking for “free website builders”.

And that’s a bit concerning.

I understand why people are looking for something for free. We all love that four letter word. And it is something that I’ve done in the past.

But it’s definitely not a great plan. The websites they create aren’t great, and the truth is that they aren’t exactly free too.

So if you’re serious about creating a website — be it a portfolio website, an online store or something else — you should avoid these free website builders.

You get what you paid for with free website builders

This saying is true in a lot of things, and especially on the web. If you pay good money for something, you’re going to get a really good product at the end — whether it’s a new website, a plugin or some other piece of software. Or at least you should.

But if you pay nothing for a service, you shouldn’t expect to get the world. Instead, you’re going to get limited features. You’re going to get boxed in on what you can do, and your creativity will be cut well short.

That’s no good if you’re trying to create a serious website. Getting boxed in by limitations stymies what you can do. You probably won’t have much, if any, control over your URL. You’re at the mercy of the company (i.e. if they go under say goodbye to your website). And don’t even think about trying to create an online store for free.

I know paying for things can be hard, especially if things are a bit rough for you and your business. But if you are really serious about this website, you need to avoid free website builders.

Nothing is truly free

Also, nothing is really truly free. This goes for just about everything, especially on the web.

All of those social media websites you’ve signed up for free on? Guess what, you are the product. Whether it’s running ads in your face all day, or, more deviously, selling your data and habits to a third-party bidder, they are trying to make money off of you.

(Side note, this is a great tangential discussion about web ethics I would like to get into one day. But for now I highly recommend a LinkedIn Learning course on this topic by Morten Rand-Hendrickson.)

And the same can be said for free website builders. There’s a good chance that you’re going to get random ads placed on your website because that company has to make money in some way. And if it’s really shady, it might be tracking your visitors and doing things with that data.

Just because something says it’s free doesn’t always mean that it is.

Your growth is limited with free website builders

And because of that, your growth with your website is limited.

You’re probably going to be limited to a specific amount of pages, and oh look, you’ve already hit that limit and still need to add more pages. That’s a pretty big bummer.

Plus, you most likely won’t be able to have a blog. And if the free website builder has that option, it’s probably not free, which ruins everything. And that, in turn, hurts your ability to maximize the site’s search engine optimization, which hinders your business and goals.

Also, it probably goes without saying that you won’t really be able to have an online store section with a free website builder either, which can really put a damper on things.

And after all, isn’t the point of having a website to grow your business and be successful? So why would you sign up for something that’s only going to limit what you can do and not allow your imagination and creativity to run wild?

Let’s Build You a Website for a Lower Cost

Websites are expensive. It’s one of the reasons why there are so many searches for “free website builders”. But I can help you out. Together, we can create a great looking website for half the cost and in half the time of a custom website design. And you can get a great digital foundation to grow on. Let’s get your business online today!

Let’s Get You a Low-Cost Website

Your website is an investment

Finally, as I’ve talked about before, your website is an investment. It’s an investment into your business the same way you might invest in a car or your home or your store front. If you’re going to be successful, you need to pay something.

That means it’s absolutely worth paying at least some amount of money to have a professional-looking website. You don’t have to pay a ton of money for a website. You have a lot of options.

While I’m not a big fan of them, Wix and Squarespace are steps up from free website builders and can get you going for not too high a price. Plus Shopify is a good starting point if you’re wanting to sell products online.

And if you want more control over your website while not paying a fortune, you can also get a nice web host and an open source content management system with extensions and themes to help you create a nice website. There’s a really good chance you can do that for $1,000 or less.

And finally there’s the tried and true custom website, but that will cost a lot of money.

But this website is an investment in your business. If you’re going to be successful, you’re going to need to pay something. So avoid those free website builders and build a real website.

Keep Learning with the Small Business Websites Newsletter

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to websites. How do you build a website that’s going to help your business grow? How do you manage a website to help your business grow? What’s the latest website news that you should know about? What are some websites you can look to for inspiration?

The Small Business Websites Newsletter helps you answer each of these questions. The biweekly newsletter will take a deep dive into some website-related topic, like SEO, WordPress, how to plan a website and more, to help you learn more about websites. I’ll also include some website news that you should know about as well as add inspiration I’ve found that might help you. And you’ll even get discounts for various products I offer. And all of this is for free.

So if you want to be better at building or managing your small business website (or any website for that matter), then you’ll want to sign up today!

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