5 points to stop your business from dropping into the free-website abyss
I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago that really got me thinking about how different products and services that are called the same thing - can be so very different. Take for example, the humble website.
The customer could pay anything from free - to £10,000 and anything in between. So what are the differences?
1) If a website is low-cost or no-cost. Think about why. The old adage of "owt for nowt" - not getting something for nothing. Some of the common caveats are: advertising is added to the site, can only use templates from a restricted range, restricted add-ons, restrictions on pages, low or no support, no human interaction and no sense checking from a known and trusted expert.
2) Editing Access. Most free to create sites, heavily restrict how much you can or cannot eidt or create. Therefor, if you suddenly decide to add a new element to your website - you may find it limiting, stifling your creative flow - so to speak.
3) The design aspect. Many sites are based heavily on Flash. As I am sure that many of you already know, Flash is outlawed on Apple devices - meaning that those elements built in Flash won't show. Because of the one size fits all concept, many sites are not optimised for mobile viewing, which makes the site look like its been thrown together - and that is NOT the impression you want a custoemr to walk away with!
4) You become an "also ran". Yes that's right. Although a free to build website company may boast (hundreds of templates to choose from) you end up looking like your competitor. The whole thing about business is that you should have a unique offering - which if you use this type of website - you won't have.
5) So lets say that your business is thriving and you now want to get serious online. You have been playing with your free site, but realise that it is now limiting your potential. You want to get stuff off the old site. But there is no clear and easy way to do it. You are then faced with a choice of spending a great deal of time (and cash) moving information over - or the other option is to just ditch the whole thing.
The long and short of it is that these websites have their place. They're great for small events, school fetes and kids to mess around on. But are they a serious business tool? Compared to a professionally designed site - no. They are less money, but cost you more in lost opportunity and credibility and not to mention the support aspect.
If you're serious about your business speak to an online marketing company that can help your business achieve great things!