You’ll thank us for these 5 reasons not to use free website builder programs.
If you’re thinking of using free website builder programs to build your next site, you might want to think again. Research by Adobe has found that people are far more likely to pay attention to content on a beautifully designed website. And if your photos load slowly or the layout is unattractive, 38% of people will click away and move on to something else straight away. Below, we consider some of the key features of a great website, and compare free website builder programs to custom built sites.
Usability of your website
As we touched on above, design and usability are key to engaging people with your content, keeping them on your site, and ultimately converting them to paying customers. Mobile devises now count for 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, and smartphone internet consumption is up by 78%, it’s vital your website is fully mobile responsive. Whilst some free website builder programs work on a mobile, they may not be fully responsive, meaning you’re losing out on valuable views. What’s more, self-built websites can have slow loading speeds, making people even more likely to click away. Tests have shown that few of the themes available on free website builder programmes load fast enough when put through the Google Page Speed Tester. If you go with a good developer, they’ll make sure your site is fully optimised and running at peak speeds to keep your visitors visiting.
Tailor made support and updates
Aside from the issues around usability of websites built with free website builder programmes, you won’t receive the expert advice and support you would from using a professional developer to design and build your site for you. Do you know what happens if something goes wrong and your site crashes? Working with an agency who host your website will ensure you get everything back up and running quickly. With free website builder programmes, you can’t guarantee you’ll get the site fixed quickly, which is vital when you’re building your business.
Your website appearing in Google searches
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to getting your website top of Google searches. And when it’s at the top, you’re far more likely to get those all-important visits from potential new clients. But SEO isn’t simply a case of using the right keywords (although this is important). Your site needs to be indexed on Google and optimised for SEO, something a developer will ensure is the case from day one. If you go down the DIY web design route, you could spend hours building your shiny new site, only to find no-one can actually see it.
Web security is paramount, but with free website builder programs you can’t always guarantee where your data, and that of your customers, is going. A free website is much more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and malware, and if your site does go down it may not be adequately backed up. Are you willing to take the risk?
We come back to the design of your website time and again, because this is what we do best. Free websites have limited design options, so at best you’ll end up with a cookie-cutter design which won’t make you stand out from the crowd. At worst you’ll end up with an old-fashioned or unprofessional looking site, which doesn’t reflect the true nature of your business and all the hard work you’ve put into it.
If you’re just starting out in business, or trying to cut costs, free website builder programs can seem like an attractive proposition. But if you end up with an unresponsive site which hasn’t been designed to reflect the true quality of your brand, you could actually end up turning your clients off and doing your business no favours. We understand finding the right web designer for you can be tricky our helpful post 34 easy questions you need to ask when hiring a web designer, will allow you to easily choose the right designer for your business.
We’ve done the research so you don’t have to:
- 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus – comScore
- Too Slow Across the Board: A Review of Eight Website Builders’ Page Speeds – websitetooltester.com
- 36 Reasons Why Having a “Free Website” is a Bad Idea – wpbeginner