Are Free Websites Worthwhile?

You may have seen ads on TV for a free website and wondered if it would be worth while going that rout.

I wondered about these sites too, so I did some digging and found out what people are saying about them.

 

 

Here are a few of the complaints listed over  at Trust Pilot;

  • Load Times are so slow its untrue
  • The bottom line is this – it’s NO GOOD xxx telling me that ‘sites take longer to load up these days’
  • The scamy part started when I decided not to extend my premium package because I did not want to pay $150. It is too expensive and I thought myself that purchasing domain for $9.90 would work the best for me. Little did I know that once I cancel premium package the price of the domain is going to be $25 instead of $10.

xxx reply in part, was “on any xxx site, a premium plan is needed to connect a xxx site to a domain. Our plans range in price from $49-$194.”

Editor’s note: What this means is if you go for the free site, your name will have /xxxx.com/ attached to it somewhere in the address bar. If you are running a professional business, you want your domain name to stand alone – by itself, like BWSites.net, not BWsites.xxxx.com.

  • Their reps have always been in need of English 101, they do not communicate well with their customers.
  • They are not free. There is actually a steep price to pay to get them to stop pushing adds on you after you’ve spent hours building a website.
  • Don’t waste your time. No RSS feed, no decent support.

And Hostsearch.com has plenty of complaints about free sites as well;

  • Completely deceiving pricing
    I signed up for the $2 a month and started being billed $27 per month!
  • I signed up with xxxx after seeing it (fraudulently) ranked #1 on a review site. I chose the $4. 95 subscription and regretted it after trying to navigate the site.
  • I got the prmotional 2$ per month website building and then they charged me 23$ next month. I said ok I was naive at first place so I just wanna cancel. BUT there is no CANCELLATION option online !
  • Their customer service is awful and they have no idea what they are doing. They keep transferring me from web.com to register.com (sister companies) and no one knows what is going on
  • They overcharged me, never finished my web page, and transferred my domain name into their name! Now they want to sell it back to me for $577!

Here’s Some More Free Website Complaints (In Part) …

  •  It could be the ridicules looking web sites..
  • As for the free domain you do not control it they do..
  • Don’t want you to ask for more edits..
  • Then the bad surprise: they will hold a $15 setup fee if you decide to cancel your account…
  • Long update times…
  • Silly comments on Facebook that don’t even make sense…
  • The first month they charged me over $500 they says its for Facebook and website and mobile web…
  • Lack of being able to contact them on their phone number, which does not work or also not been able to submit a ticket in the query section…
  • All about getting your credit card and moving on to the next sucker. My site has been live but not working which not only cost me thousands, makes me look like an idiot.
  • Support – Horrible.

In Depth Comparison of Wix vs Wordpress

Nothing Is Free!

Not everyone has bad luck with free websites, but here are a few things to consider;

  • All web building systems have a learning curve involved with them.
  • When using any free platform, you will be left to your own devises when navigating the learning curve and when communicating with customer service.
  • All free web building systems have limitations that vary  with each site and each package you select.
  • Free websites offer minimal applications for free and will charge you a la cart for additional services,  costing more in the end than just going with a local hosting company to start with.
  • Most free sites charge extra for email accounts.
  • Often times, the free website host owns your domain name and, if you want it, so you can transfer somewhere else, it will cost you dearly to get the rights to that domain name. ( I know of one case where they want $1,000.00 for it!)
  • With some free website builders, once you choose your theme it’s locked in. It’s impossible to change it (unless you start over).
  • Many free websites are not “responsive”. That is they do not dynamically change based on the device, so iPhones and tablets will not display a mobile friendly website automatically).
  • Many free websites do not use “Javascript” which allows for some cool things that most website builders can’t offer.
  • Most free version websites add obnoxious “promotional ads” that distract visitors from engaging with your content.

See Why I Like Word Press

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And Do You Have The Knowledge Or The Time It Takes To Learn How To;

(Or does your free site accommodate)

  • Pick the right domain name.
  • Point the DNS server to the right place.
  • Set up your email mail boxes.
  • Add alt tags to images.
  • Compress images for faster page loads.
  • Make videos for YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Compress videos for faster page loading.
  • Set up meta data properly to help with online web search results.
  • Do keyword research.
  • Pick the best keywords to help you get noticed in online web searches.
  • Optimize content for best online web search results.
  • How to get back-links to your site.
  • Find tbe best registries to be listed in.
  • Get registered on important registries.
  • Get registered and set up pages on social media sites. (At least 6)
  • Set up a really nice looking functional form tailored to your business.
  • Set up “customer only” sections.
  • Set up “Pop up” or call to action buttons.
  • Set up “Upcoming Events”.
  • Create news-feeds to or from your site.
  • Build an email list
  • Set up auto-responder messages to keep your readers engaged.
  • Set uo Google Analytics.
  • Use CSS to fine tune the look and feel of your website.

Most Business Owners Don’t Have The Time…..

The company I do some sub-contract work for has set up several websites for people who never had the time to finish them.

In my opinion, there’s not much worse than visiting a site that has nothing on it – it gives the sense that the company isn’t very competent.

But, if you still feel like you want to do it on your own, …. two more points…

  1. If you aren’t concerned about your website name being connected with the name of your web host, and know you never will be, then a free site may be OK for you.

    • A free “Blog” over at Blogger.com may suit your needs. (See my other free business blog there.) A blog there can be made to look like a full fledged website. *Except for the domain name.)
    • Another choice would be a site at WordPress.com. The one big upside would be that later, you can easily move your site to WordPress.org  where you have a ton more options. ( See “Why I like WordPress.org)
    • For a nominal fee, I can guide you on either of these platforms and/ or set up a website for you.
  2. If you do want a designated domain name, and want to do your own thing, consider using the web-host I have been using for about 4 years. I have used 4 different hosts, and Site Ground is by far the best all-round and the least expensive.

    • You can get the hosting for only $2.00 / month for up to 3 years and it’s only about $7.00 / month after that.
    • They can use their  drag and drop design platform or install WordPress for more flexibility.
    • 24/7/365 support.
    • Step-by-Step Tutorials for Using Your Account.
    • Anytime Money-Back Guarantee.
    • Email Addresses at Your Domain (yourname@yourbusiness.com)
    • Free ad credits on Google, Bing and Facebook.
    • Free Yellowpages.com Listing
    • Free Toll-Free Phone Number (US Only)
    • And many more benefitssee them all now!*
      * We will receive a small finders fee if you purchase thru the above link…Thanks for understanding..

I Can Save You Time & Money.

Time is money – I can save you time getting up and running and then teach you how to maintain it from there, if you have the time…. Or, of course…. I am available to keep your site tweaked as well.