Today it seems easier than ever to build a website with free, ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) web builders. DIY website builders are advertised frequently and can seem pretty enticing — after all, the attraction to anything ‘free’ sometimes is irresistible. And in today’s harsh business environment and economy, many businesses need to save money wherever and whenever possible, right?
While we’ll admit that the DIY website builders are better than they were years ago, for the most part, though, you’ll (still) get what you pay for and when looking at the big picture, using free DIY website builders could actually be detrimental to your business marketing efforts and to your brand.
Now, we’re not saying that all websites made with free DIY software will be horrible looking, limited, and bad for your business, we’re just saying that, unless you have some design sensibility, are able to create and edit photos and other graphics, are able to optimize your content, understand SEO enough to implement an effective SEO strategy, and have the time to put into the project, when it comes to DIY web sites, you’ll probably end up with a website that reflects what you paid for it.
Here are just a few reasons why DIY website builders and free website might be a bad business decision:
- “Cookie cutter” design. Most DIY websites offer pre-made templates and graphics that may offer little to no customization. And, unless you have some graphics experience or even a little design flair, more than likely you’ll end up with a cookie cutter website that looks like a templated website that you simply added your logo to and selected some overall colors to match.
- There are often limitations to what you can do with the design and functionality of a DIY website. DIY website builders incorporate software that is programmed to allow you to build a basic website using browser based html based forms. However, that same software that allows you to create a website without knowing html or coding anything also brings with it strict limitations to what you can do with the website. You’ll often be very limited in what you can do with a free DIY website.
- Most DIY websites are not adequately optimized for SEO and/or SEO services may be offered as an add on (read PAID) service.
- You may not own the website or be able to move the website to another web hosting provider, if needed.
- There are often hidden or add on costs that you will be charged in order to get anything more than a very bare bones website.
- Your time is valuable. As a business owner or manager, your time is limited. While you’re busy getting your business off the ground or running the day to day operations, you may not have the time to put into learning how to use the DIY web software let alone learning enough about web design, graphics, SEO and other effective marketing techniques to make your DIY website look professional and be an effective and successful marketing piece.
Your website is important and should be your greatest marketing piece.
Your company website is often where many new customers will first experience your company and view your products and services and where current customers will turn for information, customer service, and more. The impression that your website offers of your business needs to be at or above the level of service that you offer to your customers and if your website doesn’t exceed you’ll potentially lose customers and could hurt your overall brand.