As many new business owners will be more than well aware, the time of setting up a business and establishing a brand can be extremely expensive. Whether the business owner has their own funding or is relying on loans and credit, the prospect of having a vast number of outgoing with little in the way of incomings is not only frustrating; it can be exceptionally worrying.
It’s little wonder then that many business owners make every effort to save costs wherever possible. They can delay the appointment of new staff, work longer hours so as to save man hours, choose more cost effective methods of advertising, design their own website and even opt for a free option.
One only has to do a quick internet search for “free websites” to realise just how many options there are for a free internet presence. However, there is also caution that simply because these options are available doesn’t mean they should be taken. There are a few disadvantages, and in turn a number of reasons why paying for a website is an investment as opposed to simply being another cost to pay.
Although it might appear that any online presence is better than none, it has to be said that it’s better to make no impression rather than a poor impression. Many businesses find that they don’t get a second chance to make a good impression and one of the immediate problems with many of the free websites is that they are not only cheap in terms of cost but they also look cheap.
A business which is aiming to make an impression to their customers of being forward thinking, reliable, honest and trustworthy can’t afford to appear to be cheap to their customers.
One of the reasons that these websites can be offered with no charge is because the size of the web space which is used by them is so small and therefore the sites have very few pages. Although this might seem adequate at the time of launching the site, it could eventually prove problematic as the business in question has little chance to develop the site or add other functions such as ecommerce if these are required.
One of the main considerations for any business launching a website is to find one which has an attractive and promotional name. Many free website designers limit the domain names which their customers can choose from, and there is the potential that the domain which is being offered is either a poor choice for the business or will make them particularly difficult to find from the perspective of any search engines. There is (unfuelled) speculation that some of the free websites are often not even live and therefore offer little or no chance of being found by customers, and as the web page owner has not paid for the site they have little or no comeback.
In conclusion, although cost cutting is important, when it comes to web design the difference between reducing costs and losing quality must be managed.
Sandi Livingstone is a freelance web designer and copywriter.
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