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Currently, we are living in the age of computers. Each and every activity of our lives have somehow become dependent on the internet. When talking about business, the internet provides people with the facility to broaden up their access to customer by web development services to build a brand online. Also, it’s cheaper and quicker than setting up a workplace. Even with people having a physical place to operate their businesses, it allows them to make sure that their word reaches the maximum number of people around the world or their targeted place.
When setting up a website for their new brand, people often tend to choose the cheapest option available, henceforth minimising the investment cost as much as possible. With the web developers charging hundreds of dollars to build a complete professional website, online website building tools come in handy. These tools are website developers with various price packages to gain their services, including the popular free one. They allow you to form your website by using pre-built templates and drag-drop facility for extra controls. Having a website made free of cost for you is probably a really exciting idea for anyone, but all glitters are not gold. Here, we will take a look at the various pros, as well as cons of building a free website with the help of online tools.
Pros of Website Builders Online:
No Professional Web Development Skills Required
Free or not, the most important reason why people choose to make websites by these tools is that building webpages through them does not require any kind of coding or designing knowledge. Instead, they provide you with the facility of choosing the view of your future website from a variety of pre-built themes and templates. Once you have decided how you want your website to look like, they sometimes even allow you to customize some of the major controls and color schemes.
- Minimal Time and Cost of Web Development
The estimated time needed to build a website by a website builder is not measured in days or even hours. A normal-sized website can be constructed within as little as 30 minutes. These tools guide you through a number of stages of the website development process, which is similar to filling in forms. After you have submitted all the basic information, they provide you with a library of attractive templates relevant to your business type. With the drag and drop feature, you can add some additional controls and elements that you want to be available on your webpages. All these facilities can be gained for free, or for some minimal cost.
- Easy Setup of Website
Online website builders provide you with an all-in-one package necessary for a website to operate. In other words, you don’t need to install the third-party services, such as database, in order to complete your website building process as storage space is made available to you as soon as your webpages are developed. These tools also don’t require any other verifications. Once you have finalized your design and content, you can directly publish it online.
Cons of Website Builder Online:
No Unique Domain and Email
Getting a domain of your own always requires money which is not included in your web development package. Thus, when getting the free services of a website builder, you are not provided with your own domain. Instead, your website’s URL also has their name before or after yours. This not only seems unprofessional but is not easily rememberable by the users too. Also, Google finds it difficult to search your website without a personal domain.
Moreover, without your own domain, you are also left to be dependent on other email services like Gmail or Yahoo, etc. In addition to having your emails linked directly to your website, having a personal email address also allows you to advertise your brand name each time you send or receive an email.
Limited Number of Pages
Building your website through a website builder does not let you have the freedom of an unlimited number of pages, which you would otherwise have with a developer-made website. In most cases, you are allowed to build not more than 5 or 6 webpages for free. Wanting to increase the content on your website with more pages requires you to buy a paid plan. Less content results in boredom for the audience, causing your site to have low traffic.
Company Branding and Advertisements
Even though web development via pre built tools online help you build a website for free, in return, they always require you to somehow advertise them through your web pages. Mostly their brandings are to be displayed somewhere on each of the pages, usually in header or footer, or their logo appears instead of your favicon. These distract the users from your website content and no matter what you do, you cannot opt to remove them.
Furthermore, they use your web place to display advertisements from other brands from which they earn.
Using free website builders always means that you are going to have to deal with some limitations. Along with the inadequate number of pages, it also provides you with minimal storage of only a few megabytes. This not only restricts you from adding an acceptable amount of good content but also prevents you from adding high-quality media, like images and videos.
Lack of Customer Support
Another major drawback of accepting the free assistance of a website building tool is that you don’t get the facility of professional support in any manner. Thus, in case you encounter any kind of problem or issue with your website, you are stuck to manage it on your own. The most you can do is to ask other users if they could offer any kind of advice or help.
For your website to be attractive to the targeted audience, it needs to be unique and tailored according to the services you deliver. Unfortunately, this is not possible with a free website builder. They do provide you with numerous templates that are good-looking and have a generic functionality, but other than the design and elements pre-built in them, there is not much that you can add to your website. The most that these tools allow you, is to remove a control, alter its alignment, or change the overall color scheme. For further modifications, they ask you to buy other payment plan options, which are often costly.
Along with restrictions on bringing changes in the design, free website builders also don’t provide other important features needed to run a successful website with a strong, trustworthy community. These include SSL certificate, e-commerce facility, website analytics, plugins, and other appropriate add-ons. You can also not add any extra elements other than the ones provided, such as event calendars, memberships, and survey forms.
Choosing a free website builder also deprives you of the ability to optimize your web content by using Search Engine Optimizing practices and tools. Hence, you are not ranked by the search engines. These builders also fail to build the website using clean and structured code, which results in the inability of the search engine to crawl within the hierarchy of your website.
Slow Website Speed
The speed of one’s website is said to play a very vital role in gaining noticeable traffic for it. The slow speed of a website causes the users to get frustrated and leave it before making any significant interaction. But free websites built with the help of online tools tend to take more loading time as compared to other professionally made websites.
This term is used to describe the process of creating one’s content on someone else’s platform. Major examples are the business accounts made on Facebook or Google, as well as on the free web development spaces. Simply put, they generate profit from your hard work. Also, it is risky as your brand entirely depends upon them. So your online presence gets completely wiped out in case their website is shut down, or if they choose to delete your account for some reason.
Like with every other product, the free price tag comes with a fair share of advantages as well as disadvantages.
For people requiring web development services for reasons such as managing a small business or wanting to share their work, thoughts or hobbies with the world, building a free website is a golden opportunity as it is not wise to invest more money than you are expecting to get back. However, it is important for large scale or professional companies to have a website that has a unique and high-quality design, fast loading speed, proper functionality and is search engine optimized. Henceforth, in such cases, it is extremely important to get your website developed by qualified web developers. Only then you can succeed in attracting your audience, increasing their engagement and therefore, winning more users.