Why Your Business Shouldn’t Use a Free Website Builder

There seems to be an ever-increasing trend toward everyone thinking that they are an expert and wanting to build their own website to save a few dollars.  While I do agree that some website designers charge far too much for their services, many times in an effort to cover their high overheard, I don’t believe that most business owners have the time, skill, patience or artistic eye to build a website that will represent their business professionally.

About 10 years ago I bought a cheap, new car that didn’t have a good reputation for their quality.  After only a few years of driving it, the paint started to peel off of the bumper.  I hated the look for the peeling paint, but didn’t have the money to take it to a body shop and have it repaired professionally.  It was going to cost likely $200-$300 to fix and times were tough.

I decided to Google how to fix these blemishes and I found lots of information.  The next step was to visit my local Canadian Tire store and look at the auto body section.  I picked up some supplies and spray paint that matched the paint on my car and went home to give it a try.  It was a nice sunny day, so I just worked in my driveway because I didn’t have a garage to pull the car into.  I figured that it wasn’t very windy outside, so it wouldn’t matter.  After a few hours of spraying and sanding and spraying some more I was done.  Guess what?  It looked TERRIBLE.  I’m not sure if the new paint job or the previous peeling problem was worse.

I was disheartened by my little adventure into the auto body business, but it didn’t end there.  A year or two later I needed to trade that car in for something else.  As they were going over the car, determining the trade-in value, they noted my awful work and said that it would have to be repainted professionally.  They knocked a few hundred dollars off the value to cover the repairs.

The moral of the story…

Don’t pretend you know how to do everything.  If you need to call in a professional, do it!

When it comes to websites, it could be one of your most important assets.  Long before a person calls you to inquire about your services or walks into your retail store, they’re going to visit your website.  If your website is poor quality, it reflects on your business. Don’t just think that “it’s good enough.”  That kind of attitude isn’t helpful, especially in our very web-savvy world.  Customers and prospective customers will judge your company by the quality of the website and if it doesn’t look professional, those customers may never call or visit.

Is it worth losing out on potential customers, just to save a little money?

Free website builders have a number of flaws.

1.  Free website builders usually have about 10 templates that you can use, so chances are good that there are an awful lot of websites out there that look exactly like yours.

2.  With a completely free website builder, you don’t get your own domain name.  Nothing says “cheap” like having to go to a website address that has a URL like  mybusiness.yolasite.com or mybusiness.webs.com.  Every customer that visits is going to know you didn’t invest anything into your website.

3.  Don’t pretend that you can do everything.  I know I can’t!  I can’t fix my car and I won’t even attempt it.  I take it to a local mechanic who charges $80 per hour.  It’s a lot of money, but I know it gets done right.  If you don’t have an eye for details or you aren’t a great website content writer, don’t try to be.  Let someone else do that.

4.  Free website builders have a lot of limitations.  You basically take what they give you.  If you’ve got an idea, a unique way to use your website or whatever, it’s not going to happen using a free website builder.

As an individual that builds websites for very small businesses, I am quite aware that money can be a big problem for most small businesses.  That’s why for my clients, I prefer to be flexible with payment plans and try to give them a good deal, before I recommend going to a free website builder.  I just hate seeing people try to struggle through building their own website when we could just work something out.



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