With so many free DIY website building platforms on the market today, it’s pretty tempting to save a bit of money and tackle the task yourself. While it’s not a terrible idea, especially if you’re strapped for cash, there are some things you should keep in mind before committing:
1) “Free” generally only covers basic features. If you want to use a custom domain name instead of a generic yoursite.sitebuildingtool.com, you’ll usually have to pay, often to the tune of $10/mo or more. If you want to add more advanced features, such as email opt-in lists, protected files, and many other features, you’ll often have to pay extra each month to unlock these features. These monthly add-ons can start adding up pretty quickly. If you want to add more advanced things, such as e-commerce, you’ll often wind up paying much more.
2) You’re often stuck with basic layouts that look similar to everyone else using the platform. While you can usually choose from dozens of templates, your site will have the same look and feel as many of the other sites on the platform. You can often tweak color schemes and upload a custom logo, and drag elements around a bit, but that’s generally the extent. If you aren’t proficient with graphic design, you’ll have to rely on graphics provided by the platform and stock photos.
3) Lack of optimization settings. The end goal of building a website is having potential customers and clients view your site and take action. The SEO (search engine optimization) settings provided by the majority of free website builders is often lacking at best, or sometimes practically non-existent. Even if there are some settings you can tweak, do you have the time and patience to figure out optimal settings? Doing optimization wrong can actually hurt your rankings in search engines.
4) Many optimization firms won’t work with your website. If you ever decide you want to grow your online presence through search engine optimization, there’s a chance companies won’t take you on if you’re using a site builder due to the reasons listed above. If that’s the case, you’ll wind up having to pay them to build a more flexible website if you want to move forward. Legit SEO companies know that on-page settings are a huge part of optimization, and if they can’t make the necessary changes it will be an uphill battle the whole way.
5) You don’t actually own your site. Generally, you’re just renting space, and if the company you’re with changes their terms to something you don’t agree upon (or goes out of business), you lose your site and will have to start over from scratch.
If you want to ensure your business has a professional online presence, your best bet is to hire pros. Your time is valuable and building a beautiful, effective website can be time consuming and labor intensive. When you go with experts, you can rest assured knowing that your site will be built and customized to fit your brand. A good web development team will listen to your needs, then run with the ideas. Custom images, mobile-responsive layouts, advanced features (such as e-commerce capabilities, email opt-ins, appointment scheduling, etc.), and more can be discussed and added in with no extra headache or hassle on your end.
At tekRESCUE, we often build websites using the WordPress platform, which is backed by a thriving community dedicated to enhancing security and adding powerful features. What separates us from other web design firms that use WordPress is the fact that we love getting our hands dirty and diving into the code to customize your site to fit your vision. We also take the time to ensure proper on-page optimization so your site is built on a solid foundation.
If you’re looking for a reliable San Marcos and Austin web development company to help build your website, give us a call today at 512–843–2835. We’d love to discuss your needs! Visit our website design page to read more about what we do.