Build your website for free — Why it’s a bad idea for your business

There’s a proverb — “Vinegar that is free, is sweeter than honey”. But is it wise to settle for vinegar when what you really want is honey to go with your toast? Similarly, with a plethora of free tools available to build a website, the temptation to sit before a laptop, determined to build your website for free, may be pretty strong. But will a free website multiply your online business that easily? Also, is building a website really as easy as it sounds — ‘just drag and drop’? This blog will answer all your questions, and will also tell you why designing or building your own website is a bad idea. 

Why you should not design/build your own website

1. It’s more than just drag and drop

How we wish building a website were that easy! It, in fact, is like assembling a 101-piece jigsaw puzzle, of which you need to produce the individual pieces too. Contrary to popular belief, drag and drop is just one small step in the process of building a website, even with a free website building tool. The points given below will help you understand this better.

2. Needs major time investment to learn new skills

A website needs optimized images, keyword-rich content that seamlessly justifies your products/services, SEO optimization, social media integration, and many other components. For each of this, you need to have practical knowledge of photo editing, content writing, SEO techniques, etc. While looking up on the internet may equip you with the basic knowledge, putting it into practice could be a major challenge. Eventually, you may end up with a shoddy website. It’s only with regular practice and continuous polishing of knowledge that your skills improve. Are you willing to invest enough time and effort to become proficient in each of the skills necessary to build a good website?

3. You cannot risk SEO snags

Building a website also entails optimizing it for search engines. For that, you need to understand the meaning as well as the importance of terms such as 301 redirects, backlinks, 404 error, anchor text, etc. As a beginner in website building, you may either inadvertently miss out on one or more of these crucial elements or implement them on your website improperly, thereby hampering the quality of SEO on your website. While free website building tools may provide you with the basic SEO requisites, they won’t help you with the afore-mentioned elements. This could cause unaffordable slip-ups in your website’s SEO.

4. Your website may lack uniqueness

You cannot expect too much when something is offered for free. Same is the case with free website building tools. First of all, they have limited number of templates to choose from. Secondly, even in the available templates, customization is limited; this means, you will have to give up on features you may have otherwise wanted. More importantly, these free tools are not flexible enough to accommodate every feature your business website may need. Eventually, you end up having a website that not only lacks your desired features but also looks and feels like hundreds of other websites. 

5. Understanding online behaviour is crucial to website designing

The psychological effect of colours on the human brain is long known. The lesser known impacts are that of shapes and layouts. Just like the layout and colours of a room are believed to set a mood, the layout of a website and its colours have an effect on its visitor’s subconscious mind; they regulate how a visitor feels and reacts in different sections of the website. That’s why, understanding how different colors, shapes, and layouts affect a user’s online behaviour is crucial to website designing. Where to place important information, how to get a visitor to click on a link or follow a call to action, tracking user eye gaze, etc. are critical for the success of a business website.  

6. Your business’ online reputation may be at stake

Would you assign your 5-year-old son the responsibility of selecting furniture and arranging the same in your new home? He may have an idea of the bare necessities, but don’t you think he is too naive to understand the practicality and aesthetics involved in home decor? Similarly, if you set out to design a website on your own, you may end up with a website that would be as efficient as a house organized by a child. Not only will this affect your business, but your business reputation would be at stake too. Online visitors are going to form a perception about your business based on your website. If they see a shoddy website, they may presume that your products/services are also as substandard.

7. Google may not notice your site

In our recent blog How SEO Works And How To Boost Your Website Ranking, we mentioned how Google believes in including only quality websites in its search engine result pages. To maintain that quality, it does not crawl DIY sites as they are not optimized as per Google standards; instead, it ranks optimized pages. The global search engine giant uses multiple complex algorithms. These algorithms could be too complicated for a layman, but for a professional web developer it’s a regular exercise to use Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics to monitor a website’s performance.

8. Your competitors may have a better website

You can either choose to invest time and efforts to design your website while other aspects of your business take a backseat, or you can invest money on a professional website designer while you concentrate on your business. What if you choose the former while your competitors choose the latter? Well, you may end up with an amateurish website, while your rivals have a polished website. Not only this, while you were busy building your website, your competitors may have invested the same time building their business. At the end of it all, your competitors may have an upper hand over your customers. This certainly is not what you would want, right?

How professional web designers make a difference

Now that you know the challenges of designing your business website yourself, let us discuss why hiring professionals is a wiser thing to do. 

Team work

Developing an efficient website is the coming together of art and technology. For instance, someone who’s good at SEO may not possess the creative streak necessary for design, copywriting, and image/video selection; the vice versa could be equally true. That’s why, usually, more than one professional is involved in the process of website development. All these professionals, equipped with the necessary knowledge, work in tandem with each other to come up with a website that takes care of every essential aspect.

Faster turnaround time

As a novice in website designing, you will inevitably spend a lot of time researching and learning diverse skills that are necessary to come up with a good website. On the other hand, professional website designers already have the requisite knowledge and skills, and hence can directly get to work. In addition to this, since they have their finger on the pulse, they know what changes may be essential in the existing scenario. Thus, armed with the know-how and must-haves, professionals save a lot of time and get your website up and running sooner than you could possibly have. 

Use of professional software and tools

You cannot simply insert any picture or video on your website; you first need to professionally edit and optimize them. For that, you will need software such as Photoshop, CorelDRAW, and Final Cut Pro. In addition to these, you will also need tools for search engine optimization, rank tracking, email marketing, slideshow insertion, etc. More often than not, these software and tools come with a hefty price tag. As someone dabbling in website building, you may not want to spend on such tools. However, for professional website designers, these tools and software are a business investment.

Maintenance 

Website development is not only about designing and building a website, it is also about maintaining it. What if you have to update something on the website? You know how nasty hackers can be; what if there’s a virus attack? What happens when you have dead links? Are you going to focus on your business or keep working on your website? Instead, if you invest in web professionals, all you have to do is inform them of the situation at hand, and they will promptly start working on it. In fact, many professionals run a periodic check on the website to ensure there’s no hiccup anywhere. 

Peace of mind

Investing in a professional web designer not only guarantees better quality of output, it also gives you peace of mind. You don’t have to waste time and effort learning new things or fixing issues. Instead, you can focus on something that is your forte — your business. 

In conclusion, we are not saying that you should never use a free website building tool to design a website by yourself. Use it, by all means, but for something more temporary or informal, like a wedding invite. For something as crucial as your business website, you’d rather not risk your online reputation or sales just in order to save a few bucks. Instead, take your website as an investment that has the potential to give you high returns. 

On that note, if you are looking for professional web designers that amortize the cost of website building without throwing your budget out of whack, contact us. We, at Foundous, believe in working with you as your design partner so that you can focus on your business. We believe design should be uncompromising as it gives the first impression of your business. That’s why, we give your website the ideal look and feel. Most of all, we understand cashflow; accordingly, we have amortized the cost of building your website, over time, with our affordable pricing. Contact us to know how we can help with your business.