Many times I have had people ask me why I complain about things I get for free. People seem to only place monetary value to items that highlight price reductions (or lack of a price). But when it comes to your business and your time, getting something for free that is bad will give you the same headache and will waste your time whether you paid $1000 or $0. By embracing products such as the Website Builder by www.webstarts.com, you can invest $0 in an amazing product that will help you take your business to the next level, while providing high-end quality. This article will investigate the technology behind free websites in order to help inform consumers and help them make better decisions.
How Can a Website Afford to Give Itself Away?
There are a few ways websites are able to function for free. Some of these methods are acceptable and worth the small sacrifice for the consumer, and other methods are beyond the scope of idiocy. Some websites will plaster their client’s free websites with advertisements. This is how they get paid. Having a website with adverts all over it will not only destroy the website’s design, but nobody will take you, your business, or your hobby seriously. An acceptable trade-off is for the company to put a small single ad banner at the very bottom of the website where it doesn’t interfere with the design or cheapen the look.
Sometimes websites will give themselves away in exchange for personal information and data that reveals your online habits (including what you buy). Have you ever bought a piece of sports memorabilia for your office off a website, and one week later your e-mail gets blasted with adverts about sales on autographed baseballs? Nobody wants to be a guinea pig or be pitched too every day.
The Nuts and Bolts
Technology is key. Having a website that runs off modern software will help it function better in the search engines. It will also help your site load quicker, and won’t disqualify you from using nice features such as photo slide shows or videos. In an article by Small Business Computing the author stressed that there is no need to spend money on having an independent designer build a site for you. He stresses the importance of having the site hosted properly, and using a custom look. Although he recommends using WordPress, the average consumer lacks the skills to learn how to build a website themselves. Using a free website with a good inexpensive upgradable option is the way to go if you are “technically challenged” or if you just don’t have all those hours to invest.
Avoid cookie-cutter templates. Make sure your free website offers professionally designed sites that offer a unique look, and that can be changed out for different looks.
Also, it is vital that your free website has inexpensive (don’t pay more than $20 a month) upgraded websites that offer SEO (search engine optimization). These sites will be indexed to work with Google, Yahoo and Bing beyond the scopes of having a free site (which can still accomplish the same but not at the same scale). So why not just pay for a site now and skip the free one? By using a free website you can test-drive the company and determine if their product and customer service meets your needs. If you like the website, and the technology and features, then you may want to talk to a customer service rep regarding an upgrade. When a company gives you a free website, they are extending their hand in the hopes they will EARN your business, versus them asking for it with nothing to prove.
Surfing the Website Tsunami
There are a lot of free website companies out there that are making waves—some are big, others are small. Surf around and find a good, quality site to ride with for a while, and test it for its strengths and weaknesses.