How Free is a Free Website? Is it a Good Place to Start?

How Free is a Free Website?

Free websites are ridiculously tempting for the small business owner, just because they’re free. The problem is that just because of their structure — to make it super easy to use — you forego or have to lose search engine optimization (SEO). Obviously, that’s a MAJOR factor in today’s digital world. You need to be found by searchers who are looking for what you have to offer.

If your website is hindering that, then what good is it?

A Free Website is Free to a Point

Another factor with the free websites is as soon as you want to customize it and add features, you are either limited or it will start to cost money. Some have enticing offers with features that are “free for 1 year”. Which is fine except when that 1-year anniversary comes around, your monthly cost will go up. That’s where they get you. If you want a custom domain name, like “mycompany.com” instead of, for instance, “mycompany.wordpress.com” you need to pay anywhere from $10-$20/m. If you want plugins that add functionality, it’s more. For instance on Wix, if you want the SEO “boost”, it’s free for the first year, then you have to upgrade to the next level or pay an additional monthly fee.

You’ll Outgrow Your Free Website Fast

website functionality
Does your website do what you need it to do?

Again, the free website is good if you’re just starting out and don’t have a budget. However, keep in mind that you’re going to outgrow this site in 6 months to a year. Then, you’ll have to go through the process of migrating it to a WordPress website, which is 100% customizable, more cost effective, and easy to optimize for SEO. Furthermore, it can easily grow with your company.

Moving a site isn’t as easy as you think…

For example, if you’re on WordPress.com‘s free site, it’s fairly easy to migrate it to a Hosted WordPress website — if it’s not too big. I made the mistake of waiting 2 years to migrate a personal project’s site and I lost images and a year later, I’m still cleaning it up! However, if you’re on any other platform — Wix, GoDaddy, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. — you have to copy and paste your text, and re-upload your graphics and re-embed any videos.

For that matter, just start on WordPress! I can help you!

Recently, I helped a client get off of GoDaddy. Her website was rather complicated. She had events — classes — that she was selling bookings for and Godaddy just didn’t work for her. She was also trying to sell on-demand classes and she had to do a huge amount of work that we were able to automate using WordPress and WooCommerce. Check out the finished website here. (Note the On-Demand Classes are still under contruction.)

Here is another WordPress Website that I updated from a 7-year-old WordPress site. They had absolutely NO SEO!

Related Content…

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