The Truth About Free (and Cheap) Websites

Hey, look, a free website!

No doubt you’ve heard the ads TV and radio. They promise a free, professional, “fast and easy” website. Companies such as 1-and-1, Intuit, Google, and more.

They sure sound convincing, don’t they? “Fast, free and easy” is awfully tempting. But as with anything that requires our attention and resources, we owe it to ourselves to investigate a bit.

Let’s look at the benefits:

  1. Inexpensive. Low or no cost to set up.
  2. Quick to set up (or so they tell you)
  3. No need to know how to code
  4. You don’t need any special technical knowledge
  5. Choose from pre-made templates, no design skills needed

Well that all sounds great, doesn’t it?

Now let’s take a closer look:

Let’s run through some of the things they don’t tell you in the ads – things they put in teeny tiny fine print.

  1. Free isn’t always free…for long. You will often have a free introductory period, after which you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee.
  2. The basic package includes just a few pages and features. It’s a teaser designed to get you to buy. Often the features advertised such as design templates and SEO aren’t included in the free version. In order to access these features you’ll need a paid subscription.
  3. Few, (if any) options for design and branding – design customizations to make your site match your brand are either not possible or can only be accessed by paying a fee.
  4. You don’t own your site – when you cancel the service or want to change hosting, you lose everything
  5. You usually can’t use your own domain – in most cases you’re required to use a subdomain (like yoursite.company.com). When you can actually use a personalized domain, more often than not the service registers it – and therefore they own it.
  6. Your theme is not unique – lots of other people will be using the same site template that you are. There are 26,756,521 Wix sites out there as of this writing. How many themes do you think they have? From what I can tell there are only a few hundred or so to go around.
  7. Not SEO optimized. Optimization cannot be done by a site builder. It’s just not possible. And in order to get help with optimizing your new site, you need to…you guessed it…pay a premium.
  8. Lack of support options – will you be able to talk to a live person when you need help? Check it out before you sign up.
  9. Limited bandwidth and storage – these sites aren’t meant to accommodate a lot of content or high traffic. If you need more than a very small site, you won’t have enough resources to keep it running.
  10. Often ad-supported – just like many other free software options, ads drive the revenue. Expect to see ads in the back end of the site, and sometimes even on the front end. Not cool if you’re trying to convey a professional look for your business.
  11. No white label option – this means that they place their company name and links on your site – usually somewhere in the footer.
  12. Many site builders use Flash, which is not readable on devices like iPads and iPhones

Sure, a free service (if it truly is free) might be just fine for a hobby blog – and if that’s what your site is, then I would recommend a WordPress.com blog because it truly is free and offers a lot more than any of the “big builder” sites do.

But what if you want a professional site for your business, not just some cheap freebie?

When you know that free just isn’t gonna cut it, but you’d still like to keep costs down, how do you get the best of both worlds? How do you get a solid, inexpensive website, without any knowledge of code, while keeping full control and ownership of your intellectual property?

It’s simple (really!). You learn how to use WordPress, and hire someone to set it up on your terms.

This might sound intimidating but it’s very manageable, even if the very thought of it makes you nervous. WordPress is an extremely user-friendly, open source (free) software solution for creating a website that will grow with your business. It can do just about anything you want it to, and it’s really easy to get started.

But how, you ask?

you enlist the help of someone you trust

Our Fresh Start Package is the perfect way to get a professionally-done website at an affordable price.

If you’re ready to have a website you can be proud of, without spending a lot of money, I invite you to get a Fresh Start.

Ditch the free site builders. Give your business the attention it deserves.

Get your Fresh Start now.

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