Hiring a professional website designer is not always within your budget and one of the most attractive aspects of DIY website builders is they are free or come at a low cost. While they are great for startups and home businesses it is very important to understand the limitations of website builders before investing many hours into building your website. Each website builder has different limitations, lets go over some of them:
The majority of websites that have been constructed using a free website builder tend to look like websites that were built in the late 90’s or early 2000s which is not a good thing when it comes to showcasing your business. Most business owners have spent a lot of time to ensure they offer a great product or service and an outdated website isn’t going to do you any justice.
All brands need a logo, some website builders only allow a text title in the header of the website and while this is fine for a personal blog it does not look very professional for a business or brand, if you are worried about the cost there are many websites that offer logo design for as little as $10.
There is a number of website builders that only allow you to use a subdomain such as mastersofdigital.freewebsite.com which does not look professional. For those free website builders who do allow you to register your own domain such as mastersofdigital.com.au they tend to only allow you to purchase a domain through them at a cost that is normally double the standard rate.
You would be lucky to find a website builder who offers you a good email service or maybe you don’t even get one at all! Lets say for example you have www.bobselectrical.com and you would like your email address to be [email protected], with any good hosting provider this is no problem at all but with most free website builders email hosting is not offered, instead you will have to keep that old un professional email of [email protected] or [email protected] – Doesn’t look professional does it? Since the early 2000’s anyone who has a website with a good hosting provider has complete control over all there email accounts, storage limits, sending limits and general settings, with these free website builds you are unfortunately constrained.
DNS Records & Remote Access
What the hell is DNS? Well DNS Records otherwise known as the “Domain Name System” is what allows you to point your domain / website name wherever you want, for example if you run an accounting firm and wish to have remote access to your office PC from home, normally it would be setup using a sub-domain such as remote.myaccoutingfirm.com and then you would redirect the appropriate port to your office. So how do you setup advanced DNS records or a company sub-domain on a website builder? Pretty simple 99% of the time, you can’t.
Advertisements on your site!
Just like that old saying that nothing in life is free! Most of the time a company who offers free websites or a free website builder will put an advertisement on your website, see the one below for a company called New Era Finance.
People are to trust you with there life savings and homes but you set an example by building a free website? This is not a great look for any brand especially when there are many scam websites that are created with these free website builders.
Pages and Storage
Some free website builders such as Yola only allow you to have 3 pages, this is not very useful as most sites require 5-10 pages on average, you might think you only need 3 pages but websites evolve over time and you certainly will add more. As for storage and bandwidth the limitations put in place by these website builders tend to be under the standard allowances of most hosting plans and often at the same cost, Why paid for 2GB of storage when for the same price you could have 20GB?
Websites have evolved in the last few years and there are loads of cool features that can be integrated into just about any site like HD videos and online booking forms, there are a few website builders that offer these but most of those such as Weebly disable those features if you are using a free or basic account. In fact where all the website builders make money is from the paid premium plans and add-ons, what is simple and free on standard websites may come at a higher than average cost with website builders.
One of the most important website design elements is responsive design, and with so many mobile devices being used each day it makes sense to have a responsive website the loads properly on a mobile device. Some website builders do not offer mobile friendly design, Weebly does support mobile design but you have to choose a dedicated mobile design separate to your main layout, its like building two different websites!
Summary of using a Website Builder
There are many cases where a free website builder maybe all you need, but if you are a business or serious about building a professional website for the long term it would probably be smart to consider a professionally built website to take full advantage of what a modern day website is capable of.
Click here to learn more about our website design and development services or feel free to contact us on 0423 807 424.