Are Low Cost or Free Websites Worth the Price?
Are free websites worth the price may sound like a stupid question but keep in mind the old adage that you get what you pay for! Let me clarify that I am talking about business websites, not blogs or simple fun sites that are not trying to market a product or service.
What Will Low Cost or Free Websites Do For Your Business?
The question you need to address is exactly will this free website be doing for your business? With the vast amount of research and buying done on the web today a website has become the major marketing aspect of many businesses. Ask yourself when was the last time you checked the yellow pages or the phone book for a service or product. Almost everyone today is either on a computer or smartphone doing shopping and buying. If your website is going to be your number one marketing tool then you want it to be the very best it can be and that doesn’t happen with free websites!
Why Do Good Websites Cost So Much?
Building a good quality website that will rank high on search engines, engage readers and make the purchase process simple takes time and in many cases a lot of money. Once your website is up and running it takes a skilled SEO professional to analyze the site as well as the competition to determine the best tactics to employ to make the site successful. This also requires constant monitoring and adjustments to the site to reach and maintain a high search engine ranking. Many of the ads I have seen on television that offer free websites say things like “We will build you a quality site and get you submitted to the major search engines”. To begin with, in order to build you a quality site they really need to understand your business, your people, who your target market is and your overall goals and objectives for the site. This means spending time with you gathering information, interviewing personnel and doing the market research on your business field. It also means finding out who your competition is and what they are doing on the web, good and bad. It also includes developing a quality backlink profile and checking and correcting all your online listings. All of this takes a lot of time and a reputable website company intends to charge for the time. A free website will probably entail trying to do all of this over the phone which simply will not work. Finally a good website will require ongoing SEO to ensure that it moves up and holds a favorable spot in search engine rankings to attract visitors. This also is costly if done properly and will be addressed next..
What Do You Get After the Website is Launched?
Once again I see ads that tell you that once your site is up they will maintain for a low monthly fee. Again, you get what you pay for and during my over ten years working in SEO I routinely spent 6 to 8 hours per client each month on maintaining their site. So let’s look at what you really get. To begin with you usually end up with a site that they own, using their url. The major problem with this is when you decide to move your site to another host and find that this is either impossible or very difficult. Since your site will be a subdomain of their url it will take much longer to be found by search engines and will only help in improving their overall ranking if it is successful. Lastly you will find that you are limited in using their set templates many times thereby not allowing you full capability to change the site to what you may want. You will also not be getting a dedicated SEO specialist to oversee your site.
Why Should You Pay for a Quality Website?
As I mentioned earlier, for business today, your website can and probably will be your number one marketing tool. I cannot stress enough that if it is that important you should spend the money to get a quality site that will be properly maintained. A pretty website that is found on page 12 of search engines will be doing you no good regardless of whether it is free or not. Spend the money to have a site developed that will accurately reflect your business and attract customers because at the end of the day that is what it is all about!
Harold Compton spent over ten years working in the SEO field as well as doing web design. Although he is now in the real estate investment business he still has an interest and follows the SEO field.