There is also a growing belief that free builders are ideal for personal websites and small businesses. However, by examining known drawbacks of these types of services will expose that this is merely a misconception.
Lack of Credibility
What does a free and barebones website say to your new customers when they arrive? Does it build trust and credibility? What about when they visit your competitor, who is sporting a clean and robust website. Are they coming back to your site?
There are several flags that clue in today's internet-wise visitor that your website isn't of the trusted variety. Non-relevant third party ads, stock clip art, messy domain names, etc.
Lack of Creative Features
Some people believe that if you are merely building a website for the sake of having one, using free website builder services would suffice. What people fail to consider is that having a website that lacks creative features is no better than having no website at all. One of the main reasons people visit websites is because of the inherent features they present.
Take into consideration the rise of popular social networking websites, they allow users to chat, share experiences, upload images, and even do business online, all within the same website. Majority of free builders do not provide the necessary features to incorporate message boards, chat rooms, online gaming, and merchant services among others.
If your intention is to put up a website without these features, then you would be better off having it available only from your computer since not much interest will be generated for your website.
Limited Potentials for Artistry and Design
Although it is true that many free website builder services flaunt their huge collection of images and designs that are supposedly ideal for various types of websites from personal to professional use, they inherent present limited possibilities in terms of artistry and design. The reason is that despite possibly carefully crafted templates; all free websites force subscribers to host numerous ads that can be irritating and at times dangerous.
The advertisements appear on the platform of the website builder as a means of allowing them to stay in business. The reason is that these free website services market tremendous amounts of advertising spaces to various types of businesses. This means that if you are creating a website for kids, there is a possibility that some ads with adult contents can be incorporated.
You can just imagine how these ads can ruin not only the design, but the image of the website as well in terms of professionalism. What is worse is that subscribers have no way of avoiding these ads with free website services.
Design Tools and Support Options
There is no denying that when it comes to the world of the Internet, the more tools and support options available, the better. This is because the more tools provided can translate to greater website power and allows your website to attain distinction from others. For majority of free website builder services, they present only standard tools and support options, which result in limited outputs.
For new designers, these limited tools and support options may seem extreme already; however, there are tons of possibilities that will never be made available to them precisely because the services are provided for free. Designers will never be able to use design functions like broken links, page descriptions, and list of keywords among others.
This essentially translates to limited control over the functionality of the website. Moreover, the URL is normally hard to remember because it is extremely long and with a number of hyphens. Customized email addresses are also not available.
Lack of Website Features
On top of all the other missing features, one of the biggest "lack of features" is on your actual website. You may indeed get a few free tools to add to your website like a calendar or calculator, but the powerful features are just not there. These are the features that make having a website so worthwhile. The type of features that can assist your clients 24/7 andvfeatures that funnel in new customers.
Aside from design and functionality, another important consideration when it comes to website building is hosting. Great quality websites need an equally reliable and fast web hosting service to back it up. Many people do not recognize the fact that efficient bandwidth can cause a lot of money, something that free website services do not invest in.
For majority of free website builder services, the websites are dumped into extremely loaded servers which result in unreliable presence as well as unexpected shutdowns. Essentially, a down website is useless regardless whether it is for personal, professional, or business use. Technical difficulties in terms of reliable servers and hosting services can result in a damaged reputation in the online community.
Not as Advertised
Majority of free website services state that their goal is to remove the potential hassles and time required associated with traditional websites. However, the reality is that some of the free website services are not as easy as drag and drop and can be complicated to a certain extent. For many novice designers, getting the website from the design stage to the online community can be very challenging primarily because of the lack of organization of feature sets.
Moreover, many free website builder services are not really completely free. For most of these website services, only the first 30 days is free and after that a nominal fee will be required from the website owner. If you fail to pay for the monthly fees, the website will be closed down. This is very unfortunate if you have invested time in building the website and have already established regular visitors.
Furthermore, most of the free website services present limited storage space making it difficult to expand the functionalities of the website unless you pay for an upgraded service.
It is extremely important to recognize the fact that you get what you pay for. This means that since you are getting free service, you have no right to demand 100% website presence from the provider. Therefore, the possibility of waking up one day and finding your website inaccessible is not entirely far-fetched. If you are using the free website service for business, the results can be devastating for you.
Another thing that is vital to remember is that free website builder services do not guarantee Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This means that their templates are not SEO friendly, which will possibly result in your website being listed at the very last page of every search. Majority of search engines ignore websites from free services which means that they get very little exposure to the Internet community. In terms of online presence, your website will be very negligible.
All of these reasons defeat the purpose of maintaining an online presence because they will only result in loss of credibility, slower websites, and possibly more headaches in maintenance. If you truly want to have a worthwhile presence on the Internet, then free website builder services are not the best solutions for you.