The pros and cons of using a free website builder

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There are many website builders to select from when it comes to creating a website for your business. The options that offer free services can capture your attention. Particularly to individuals who aren’t professional web designers, they may appear straightforward and appealing. Free is never actually free, though, as with many other things in life.

The Hidden Costs of Using Free Website Builders

Many website builders offer free plans as a way to acquire new business. It’s a great marketing strategy for them, and it works by driving millions of signups.

However, the problem with most free website builders is that while they are a great starting place, they’re typically inadequate for fully building out a professional website.

In most cases, you’ll sign up, invest a lot of time and effort building your free site, only to find the result to be inadequate. At this point, you will either have to upgrade or switch to a new service and repeat the process all over again.

Limitations of Free Website Builders

Although every website builder may differ, here is an overview of some common limitations that come with free plans:

  1. The limited number of pages: Many free website builders typically limit the number of pages you’re allowed to create. For example, they may allow you to publish up to five pages per website. Most sites will need more pages, and in order to expand your content, you will be required to upgrade to a paid plan.
  2. No domain name: Free plans often do not allow you to use your own URL. They will assign you a free URL to use which consists of your business name plus their own URL. For example, instead of sarahsbakery.com, you’ll be stuck with sarahsbakery.wix.com. All in all, not very professional.
  3. Company branding: Almost always, free builders require their branding to be displayed on your web pages, either in the body of the page or in the header or footer. For example, Wix’s free plans come with branded badges that aim to direct users away from your site to purchase their own builder plan.
  4. Advertisements: This is another big one. Many “free” website builders will require ad placements on your site. This is how they justify the freeness of their offer. You pay nothing, and they get to serve their ads to your people. Some may even go so far as to inject affiliate links onto your page. You may be getting something for free, but it’s taking you down a notch or five in the eyes of your potential clientele.
  5. Limited customization options: Most free website builders come with a set of templates and design elements that you can use to create your website. However, the options are often limited, and you may not be able to fully customize the look and feel of your site to match your brand.
  6. Limited storage and bandwidth: Free website builders usually come with limited storage and bandwidth, which means that you may not be able to upload a lot of images, videos, or other files to your site. This can be a problem if you want to create a multimedia-rich website.
  7. Limited e-commerce features: Many free website builders do not include e-commerce features, such as shopping carts, product pages, and payment gateways. If you want to sell products or services online, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan or use a separate e-commerce platform.
  8. Limited SEO options: Free website builders often don’t come with built-in SEO tools or options, meaning that you’ll have to do your own SEO and optimization if you want your site to rank well in search engines.
  9. Limited customer support: Free website builders may not offer the same level of customer support as paid options. This can be a problem if you run into issues or have questions about how to use the platform.

Overall, free website builders are not appropriate for creating fully functional, professional-looking websites, even though they can be an excellent place to start. It’s worth spending money on a premium website builder or web design service if you want to make a website that looks amazing, is simple to use, and has all the functionality you need to advertise your business.

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