When considering a service, the issue of cost is always at the forefront. When it comes to building a website, some may wonder if it’s even worth it to consider paid website builders when there are so many out there offering free services. There’s no right or wrong answer, but before you decide whether to go the paid or free route, consider the differences. This is especially important if you plan to use your website for business purposes.
One of the most noticeable distinctions between paid and free website builders is the presence of (or lack thereof) advertisements. In order to stay in business, free website builders often sell massive amounts of advertising space. Those advertisements often appear on websites hosted on the site builder’s platform.
Before you choose to employ the services of a free website builder, ensure there will be no advertisements hosted on your actual website. These advertisements can be unsightly and take away from the professionalism of your site. Paid website builders should never host advertisements on your web page.
Support and Customer Service
A benefit of using a paid website builder is the access to customer and technical support. Quite simply, if you are using a free service, you can likely expect to receive zero technical support and no access to customer service beyond a “FAQ” link. Lack of technical support could pose potential problems in the long run if your website is used for business. If for any reason the site builder is down or something isn’t working properly on your website, you run the risk of losing potential business. Sometimes, using a free service just isn’t worth the risk.
If you are merely building a basic, no-frills website, a free builder may be the way to go. If you are in need of integrated features such as merchant services, social networking or royalty-free images, it will be extremely difficult to find a free website builder offering any of those features.
Paid services often run specials where you can use their website builder free for a set amount of time (usually 30 days or so). After the free trial period is up, you must pay to continue using the service. If you plan to take advantage of a free trial, make sure it’s a company you like and whose pricing structure fits your needs. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you’ve built a nice website with some visitors and you have to take it down because your trial period expired.
Choosing a free or paid website builder ultimately comes down to how far you want to develop your website. There will always be new website builders on the scene, but their longevity is sometimes questionable. If you are utilizing a website builder for business purposes, it is worth it to spend a bit more in order to ensure quality and technical support. A website is a virtual property, but it’s still an investment. The more you invest into your website, the better outcome you can expect, and the more you increase its value.