Why do you need a website? There are a lot of answers to this question, but when you weed out the obvious, the bottom line is always the same. Small businesses need a website to communicate with shoppers and generate revenue. Here’s a look at how using free website builders can cost you money in the long run.
You May Not Appear on Google Search Results
The fact is simple –
- The scripts of free websites are often too old and code heavy for mobile. Even if they have a template that looks good on a mobile device, Google will not include it in the search results.
- The older scripts never needed to worry about speed. Google wants websites to load fast. If they do not load fast then it doesn’t matter how nice the template looks on your cell phone. If Google won’t include slow websites in the ranking results then your website will not show up.
- You cannot compress your images so they load faster.
- The sites are very limited due to their outdated technology. People want results fast. They don’t want to click through several links before they locate the page they want. A free website may limit your menus.
Server Overload Increases Time Out Issues
Wix.com states that they currently have 35,127,500 sites created with over 280 website templates. That means millions of people are using your website – maybe your competitor. But there is more. That is a lot of websites using the same servers, same internet ports, same terminals. There will be an increase of Time Outs when people are trying to load your website.
Damage Your Business’ Authority
Nothing will damage your company’s reputation and ‘Brand’ like websites with advertisements plastered over the top and in the sidebar. This is even worse when those advertisements are for the competition.
Sometimes those free service providers will redirect every 100th visitor. So people who want your website are redirected to a paid advertiser. Even if they don’t, they might use popups which block your website.
The fact is simple. Nothing is free. The website software may be free to use but the company needs to earn a profit.
Google Webmaster Tools and SiteMaps
There are some important SEO analytic software and SEO tools that you cannot use when you are on a free website builder. Most cannot connect to Google Webmaster Tools. You cannot put a statcounter code in your footer. There is no access to the website’s root so you cannot add a robot.txt file, or sitemaps.
Today’s consumers want something more when they shop online. They want entertainment and perks.
- Special offers
- In-store reward when they present a coupon
- Instructional videos
- Instructional guides
- Run a contest – a little different, but very effective
- Landing pages and marketing tools
- Alternative sections of your site
- Loyal consumer member areas
- Email lists and newsletters
It’s Not Your Website
One of the biggest complaints against free website builders like Wix is that you can’t move your website. You are out of luck if your business grows, or you need features that Wix doesn’t offer. You cannot migrate your website like you could when using WordPress as your website’s platform.
Is It Free if You Lose Sales?
The bottom line is whether your website generates income. The website may only appear to be free. In the long run, a free site may cost more in lost sales than a high end website would have cost.
For more information on how Webmaster For Hire can help you design and develop your company’s website, click here.