Is a free website really free?
There are so many places that allow individuals to build websites at low or no cost. The question one must ask is "what does it cost to build a free website"? Even the simplest, easy to use, fully documented website building platform requires the most precious commodity. What is our most precious commodity? The answer is time. If there is any doubt of this, just start a new business. There is never enough time.
It’s easy to understand why a person who is bootstrapping a new business would search the web, looking for services to build a free website. Money is tight, and that means some things have to be put off or postponed.
When you’re building a new website, you get what you pay for. Most of these “free” platforms for website development are built on the likelihood of you using their services and hosting.
There are several ways that free platforms will make money from the individuals or companies creating a free website. A review of the top five free website building platforms revealed a number of ways they are making money for your “free” website. Sometimes you feel like your doing this all alone. They charge for their Web Hosting, which is not a bad deal by itself as long as one is not considering any of the following:
- Website design
- Mobile readiness
- Mobile editor
- Domain ownership
- Transfer of a site
- On-line sales
- Updating a site.
Most of these sites claim to submit your website to the major search engines. While, in reality, the major search engines will find you by themselves, their automated software is constantly searching for new materials to list in their search engines.
At the current time, there’s one search engine that has become the "go to" search engine. Everyone knows it as “Google”! Regardless of what an individual or business does regarding all the free website platforms; ignoring Google’s ability to make or break a website’s visibility by not playing by Google’s rules and standards will leave the website invisible to search engines.
How does one comply with Google’s standards? One must create Google Analytics and webmaster accounts and comply with Google’s well-documented processes. Anyone can learn to be a Google Analytics webmaster.
There are many companies willing to sell you their services, which include training on how to perform these tasks. However, the training from these companies is not free. Google provides training for free. Unless you count the 20 or so hours, it takes to complete each of the courses they provide.
Site backups are required if you unintentionally allow a hacker to use your website for his financial gain and free sites don't necessarily offer protection against hacking. Restoring the site can be done quickly, in one of a number of ways if backups have been made. The most obvious ways are local and web-based site backup services.
The second most precious commodity to a person building a new business is the creation of a themed or branded identity. One must answer this question, "is a free website worth it?".
Contact Imagineering Design for more information on creating and maintaining your brand identity with your website and printed materials.