Create a website with free software. What, say, 10 years ago was only reserved for a select club of IT-nerds, is now available for anyone. With free website software, anyone can cut and paste their own professional website. So, why pay for it when you can use a free website?
The big advantage
The one big advantage of a free website is: it's FREE. Creating your own free website. That is what many internet service providers offer you nowadays. Creating a website for dummies, of course, sounds fantastic!
The many disadvantages
But? There's only one small snag. You can not compare the service you will receive with a free website and a paid one. No insurmountable problem?
That depends on how important the website is for you:
1. Free website with its own domain name
If you use free website software to make a free website, no own domain name comes with that. Your website will be visible in a URL, such as:
This non-specific and difficult to remember URL decreases your visibility in search engines. It will be difficult to find your website in search engines even if you give your website a specific title. Search engines like Google prefer easy to remind URLs.
So, you have a free website but are not visible on the Internet. There's a big chance that your web visitors drop as they search for you. If you want web visitors, it is wise not to use a free website without an own domain name.
Instead, opt for investing a little to buy your own domain name and link your domain to your free website.
A free website with your own domain name is definitely a better choice. First of all, you increase your chances of visibility in search engines like Google. Your domain name (your website title name) is a specific and easy to remember URL. Second, publishing new content on a regular basis will further increase your visibility.
2. No unique email address
A free website does not include e-mail. So your email and website are not linked. Messages will go to your free Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email address, such as:
Instead of advertising your business, you advertise theirs. The question is whether you want this if you want to be visible on search engines yourself.
Associate your own domain with a specific and unique email address, such as:
- info@ yourwebsitename.co.uk
In this way, you will receive messages directly in your own mailbox. Moreover, you promote your brand every time you send or receive an email.
3. Free web hosting without warranty
A free website does not guarantee reliable web hosting. If you have a hobby blog with few visitors, it's usually not an insurmountable problem.
If you have an online business and depend on the Internet, an offline website - even for minutes - is no option. You need professional and reliable web hosting and a 24/7 Internet connection.
TIP: Active 24 offers you reliable web hosting from just £2.99 per month.
4. Free support is not included
If you experience trouble maintaining your website, it is great to receive help. Unfortunately, free support is often not included with a free website. It is rather the opposite: you pay for support and may often be happy that you are getting any support at all.
A paid website is the best option. For you can contact the customer and technical support department whenever it suits you without unpleasant surprises, and help is guaranteed when you need it the most.
5. Customizing your website is complicated
When starting out, the advantage of a free website can be pretty interesting. Using an intuitive interface with no technical knowledge required is useful.
The problem starts when you gain more web design knowledge and want to update your website. Modifications to existing web templates are not only inconvenient but often very expensive.
Thus ask you before you start with a website what your ultimate goal is. Will, it remain a hobby website or do you want to make it your professional business? If you choose the latter, then a free website with a fixed design template and pre-sets is not the best choice.
Free website or paid website?
We have nothing against creating a free website. It may be a good choice if you use your website as a personal blog. But if you need a professional website for your business, you should take into account a few more things:
- Domain name - if you want your website to be easy to find.
- Email address - if you want to brand your own business instead.
- Reliable web hosting - if you want your website to be available.
- Customer and technical support - if you need help.
- Customization - if you want to increase your website features.
Ask yourself if the benefit of a free website wipes out the disadvantages of the lack of service. Do you want a personal site with a few visitors, or go for a successful website that can grow with you in the future? In the latter case, paying for a website is the best option. The choice is yours!
Questions? Contact our customer service.