So much on the Internet is free: videos, party invitations, calendars, spreadsheets, photo storage, anti-virus software… the list goes on. It may seem foolish to pay for something online when so much is free, including web site development. However, when it comes to building a web site, you get what you pay for.
A free hosting site may work for a person just starting out with a small business, but there are major disadvantages. When you choose a free site (such as Wix, Weebly, Moonfruit or Yola), you end up with limited storage, minimal creative choices and a lack of support.
One major con to launching your site through a free host is you will probably outgrow it quickly. As your business grows, you may want to add more images or increase the amount of pages on your web site. Free sites usually provide 1500MB to 10GB of memory, which is not much to work with. Web site development agencies generally offer more flexible options to fit your needs.
When you hire a web site design company, such as OSO Web Studio, you hire creative professionals who take your company goals, needs and style into account to create a unique site solely for you. When you use a free site, you choose from the same group of template designs as everyone else online. The result will be a redundant layout that will look like hundreds of other sites.
Just like the design, free site users choose from prewritten text unless they write the copy themselves. Alternatively when you go with a design company, the content is written exclusively for the client by professional writers.
Unfortunately, most free sites won’t allow you to choose your own domain name. They keep you tied to their subdomain, so your web address ends up looking like www.freewebhost.com/yourbusssinessname. As the domain name implies, the site is never truly yours. If you decide you want change servers later on, you will probably have to leave your website behind. Those built on the free hosting site Wix, for example, use a specialized system that is impossible to completely transfer to another host. You would have to recreate the entire site.
While other free websites, such as Weebly, might be more transferable, features such as blogs or event calendars won’t move over. You’ll also lose some visitors since most free sites won’t redirect to a new one. Paid hosting services, however, generally offer upgrading packages and can move your entire site to another host if necessary.
If you set up your web site with a free online service, you’re on your own. You may be able to call a customer support number, but you’ll probably have to navigate through a multi-user, web-based customer support platform first where you get a “support ticket.” That’s after you’ve been asked to visit pages of tutorials and frequently asked questions.
If you’re serious about your business, hiring a professional web design company is worth the money. An agency provides creative ideas and solutions, and if you have concerns or want to update your site, you have a live person available.
Search engine optimization is complicated, and although there are SEO packages available online, wouldn’t you rather leave something as important as this to an expert? Web site developing agencies, such as OSO Web Studio, set up sites to be optimized for search engines and then keep up with the continuous changes of search engine criteria from engines, such as Google, which make it difficult to stay high in rankings all the time. See Search Engine Optimization to improve Fairfield Business and 15 SEO tips for your WordPress Website.
If you have a free website, how professional does it make you look? How quickly will you outgrow it? Choosing an agency will enable you to expand your business through a more professional web site with strategic SEO. It costs you nothing to get a quote.
If you live in the Fairfield County and Greater New York area, come meet us in person. We can help you professionally market your business.
Optimum Systems Online
36 Mill Plain Rd, Suite 302, Danbury, CT
Phone: (203) 942-2883