and Website Builders
Let's face it, assuming that you'll receive a quality website
for free isn't realistic. Obtaining a website or website
services that will function well and help you grow your business
starts by knowing a bit about website design, hosting and
search engine optimization. Free websites and website builders
that are available to Florida businesses and entrepreneurs
come at a price.. meaning, you are either locked into
hosting or they require upgrades. Once you realize the "free"
version of your web builder isn't working to accomplish your
goals it's too late. We have countless customers who come to us
for affordable website design services after having experienced
the hardships of that lesson. Turns out, what a wiser person
might have once told you (nothing is really "free) is so true.
Let us show you how it relates to free websites and web
Our intent by showing some reviews for some of the most popular
web builders is to compare services, however, comparing free
website builders for small businesses to a custom website design
is like comparing apples to oranges. If you do your research on
"free" websites or website building services, you will find the
many reasons why "free" is never truly "free" and you'll also
see that using these services may not be cost effective or
reliable for the future of your business.
Nice Looking Website Templates.. How Bad Can it Be?
I'll begin with saying that there is truth to the fact that
there are plenty of nice templates offered with free websites or
web builders that seem to be easy to navigate for the user.
But, the truth is, they are highly restrictive and cannot be
customized or optimized properly. Further, if you decide
you need more features, that's where they are no longer free.
Pretty, perhaps, free, not any more. The biggest complaint we
get is that they are locked into hosting or other services and
that it was a waste of time and money, only to have to start
over again when they decide to leave- They don't own their
sites, they cannot take their content or website to another
Website Builder Reviews
I'll post just a few testimonies that I found online regarding
one of the most well known web building services. Do a search on
your own and be mindful of the fact that many of these companies
have guest posters and reviews that are written to market their
own products. Other reviews are posted by those who have just
started their sites who may or may not be using them for
business or revenue making purposes. Here we go....
"Not knowing anything about how to create a website I turned to
(We won't mention the name, but it's a major player in the
hosting industry.) After purchasing their website builder I was
surprised at how un-user friendly it was. Yet the worst part was
discovering how much more money was necessary in order to
utilize the many necessary features that I would need. After
purchasing more and more product add-ons for a website that I
wasn’t even happy with I decided to hire a website designer. I
received a superior website and saved a lot of frustration."
I want to be able to either buy the template or export my design
for a fee. Horrible business model to lock me into your
services... absolutely horrid. And by touting how free it is,
but its not is probably not legal - at the very least its false
advertising. If i design it, i own it, i shouldnt have to pay
for you crappy services to use it. Let me buy my template and
Eileen September 7, 2016 Hey afviolettes I'm afraid that is
not possible at the moment, thank you for your feedback
When i google my website that has a premium package the xxx name
comes up which i do not care for. i designs sites for others
and do not like this at all. although the domain name does no
show the xxx, many folks just google your website and then can
see the ( xxxx company name) connection which is not fair. any
way xxx can stop this.......
There are other factors that you should
consider when choosing a web design solution or service that
claims to be free and each will differ depending on the company.
Here are a few:
You will rarely own your "free" website and will be locked
into a service that you may end up not liking. All that time and
effort and even any ranking you may have produced, will go by
the wayside if you decide to change companies. You pay every
month for the lifetime of the site. Compare this to the cost of
a one time charge for a custom design website, custom c-commerce
site or a WordPress CMS site.
Your site most always will contain advertisements that have
nothing to do with your industry. This can certainly effect your
user experience and may even effect your overall search engine
Most of these free sites offer some very basic SEO options
but nothing close to that what a custom or professional design
or designer can offer. If you research this, you'll find this to
be a fact.
Branding. Branding your business is crucial. It doesn't
matter whether you have a lawn service company or you are a law
firm or other large company. These cookie cutter templates look
the same and you don't have to have a trained eye to see it.
You've worked hard to develop your business and since most
businesses depend on the internet to survive, it's a huge risk
to start out with something that will end up being all wrong.
Hosting. Hosting is usually the main money maker for the
free web builders. They offer a few or maybe even more than a
few templates that you and others get to choose from. But the
main money maker is what these firms make on the hosting. What's
worse is that often times your site will be set up as a
sub-domain under the companies main domain with storage and
bandwidth limitations. This is not conducive to developing a
good ranking on the engines and again you will have to spend
more time or money to get your site ranked.
Upgrading. Upgrading to a more flexible and user friendly
site is also where they get you. If you look at the plans, many
will offer the free site, then go up a few levels to get the
basics that a custom site would have provided in the first
place. Additionally, you are on a perpetual payment plan for
hosting and for your site that you will never own. You can
obtain the same payment options to obtain a custom site which
allows you to carry your files anywhere, to any hosting company
or web designer. Once your website is paid for, you can expect
to incur the same costs for SEO and marketing or updates if you
choose not to DIY. This is routine. Your SEO costs may even be
more if you continue to try to work with your existing "free"
I give a thumbs up to the fact that some of these companies
make it seem easy for a novice to make basic updates to their
websites, but there is still a learning curve for most people
and with many of these services, there is little help or
support. The fact is, with the right web editor, a custom site
can be edited with a few short lessons. We offer this option to
our clients. You will own your own content and will be free to
take your site with you if you wish to move hosting companies or
developers. Our clients who have switched from these free sites
to a custom site, have had no problem updating their sites and
realized that really nothing replaces a professional designer
when building and maintaining a professional website.
Cost of Using a Professional
Website Developer or Website Designer vs. Using Free or
Professional Web Design
combined with the purchase of a cheap hosting
plan, which you are usually locked into.
to host your website with any hosting company
and take your website files anywhere, anytime.
- May or may not include your own domain name.
Owning your own domain name is crucial on
purchase your domain name, then point it to a
server of your choice. ** Please note: Always
purchase your domain name with your own credit
card. Never allow a hosting company or web
designer do this for you.
- Comes with choice of website templates. Some
builders have a decent variety, others may not.
- Editable templates can be created for your
ease of use and based on your custom design.
This is helpful if you wish to make edits.
- You add your basic information and images to
"place holders" included on the template.
||- Information and images can be placed anywhere
you choose. These can be edited at any time.
|- Ads are often
included on your website that can appear
unprofessional or a nuisance for your users.
||- You control your ads, if you choose to
allow them at all.
- Initially affordable. Long term may be more
costly. Upgrading or having to redesign your
site because you find you are locked in
to a service and you cannot take your site files
- Prices can be higher initially but over time,
can save money, time and produces better revenue
for business through exposure and ranking.
Ask us about a comparable payment plan for our
custom website design.
|- Can be fine for a
very small business site or blog.
If you are serious about your business, don't
let the initial costs sway you. A business site
that cannot rank because of poorly designed
templates or themes, will not generate revenue.
||- Easier to market and to edit and optimize.
Do your research on this. If you cannot get into
your site code to make adjustments, your site is
going to be very difficult to rank. There are
other restrictions that also prevent ranking.
The cost of developing or maintaining a
website often times prevents some small business owners from
hiring a Tampa or Florida website design firm or web
designer. Regardless of the size of your business, cost
is always a factor when choosing web design and
and we understand this completely.
What infuriates us is to see people being taken
advantage of. Those with little or no
real knowledge of web design and marketing really don't
understand the depth of it and best practices set forth
by Google. Understanding what it takes to ensure that a
website is built, maintained and marketed accordingly is
crucial to small business success.
Knowledge is Power, They Count on Your Lack of It.
want to point out that most of us realize that free is
never really free, and affordable solutions
to website design and marketing is what small business
owners truly need. Knowledge is power and most people
don't have an extensive understanding of web design and
SEO. This is what these companies count on. But
what they DO understand is that even the most novice
user can generally navigate around a website and
complete basic tasks such as uploading an image or
dragging and dropping or typing information into a form.
Maybe because it seems "easy" at first clients believe that "free" can
do no harm and are initially amazed at the nice site that can be created
with little effort or knowledge about web design and
SEO--- UNTIL-- their site does not function the way they
want it to or their site cannot be found on the engines.
We believe (and have witnessed) that many of these
companies are simply taking advantage of the lack of
knowledge most people have and use their own deeper
understanding of web design and SEO as a way to entice
clients into a free site --- They can count on the fact
that their up selling efforts actually take no effort,
and their clients get railroaded into a more costly or
premium package when the free one doesn't work or
accommodate their needs. This is particularly
frustrating to us, because we know how much time and
effort people put into their DIY free website, one that
they will never truly own. If they hit rock bottom and
wish to leave, they will have to start from square one.
Time lost, money lost, potential revenue lost.
Florida Website Design & SEO Services -
Custom Built Websites
that YOU OWN