Free Website or Paid Website

Free Website or Paid Website

After a few discussions with people about free website or paid website over the past few months I decided I would put my own point of view and opinions across so that people reading this can make an informed decision on the option that suits them best.

Lets start with the facts, in the past 12 months I have had two companies approach me for advice. Both with very similar stories to tell involving their issues with their free website experience. All the hype around having your free website with really easy to use website builder. In theory the likes of 1and1 and Moonfruit promote the fact that you can get your free website online in a matter of minutes no matter how inexperienced you are. REALLY? Lets talk about the pitfalls with this

Well ok, lets first break down the issue with a former 1and1 client I have since done work for. So after a year or two of his free website not bringing in any business, he finally reached out to some of his friends and family and asked them what their opinion was of his website. In the words of my client he said his was website was utter c**p and was politely told by his brother to dip into his pocket and pay for a professional web designer. The result is here

Lets be honest, the first time we have ever got our creative heads on and made something from scratch and stood back with pride, we all see something different to the rest of human race, I mean my first ever website when I started out on my own website journey looked amazing… when looking through my own eyes that is, but to the rest of the earths population it must have looked like something an 8 year old had put together.

The thing is, it was in my interests to keep working at it and refining my skills until eventually was able to make a living at it but to those that create their first business website and think thats it, i’ve got myself a website and now business should start to pick up and best of all it was free!

If you are reading this and have found success in gaining work through your free website builder then I hold my hands up and salute you but I would safely bet that you are in the minority.

So moving on, the next thing to consider is that when you decide to upscale and have your own branded web address (rather than for example, you need to make yourself aware of who actually owns that domain name. I have a client who after three years of having a free website with hosting from a large UK based free website company (Not Moonfruit I might add) was told that he now has to pay an annual fee of around £300.

When he queried it and then asked to transfer his domain name to a host provider in order to have a professional website built by my company, he was informed that they would be charging him an admin fee of over £700 plus VAT to transfer the domain. He was left with two choices, either pay it and that would be end to his nightmare or stick to his principles and refuse to pay it and buy himself a new domain name and start from scratch.

The latter seems a fairly simple decision to make right? Wrong! All of his business stationery such as his business cards, letter heads and so on all had his web address and email adresses printed on them. On top of that he had two vans with his web details on too so either option was going to be a costly one.

Finally, and a real important point to think about and understand. Your free website is almost (if not totally impossible) to optimise. What good is having a website if nobody can find it other than putting your business details in to Google or Bing? Surely your website not only needs to be the face of your business online but also a tool to help generate new business.

The two scenarios on this page are real and both could have saved a lot of time and money by seeking professional help in the first place, after all in recent years the price of websites have come down so dramatically that you can almost spend more money on a night out than what you can on a spanky new website. If you are in two minds about “free website or paid website” then get in touch with us today and get a quote on a new professional website design and I guarantee you will be pleasantly suprised.

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