A deal isn’t a deal, if it does not help you. Several years ago, I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio, and someone was asking about buying something at great price, and Dave told them they did not have the money, so they could not afford to buy it. If you cannot afford it, it isn’t a great deal.
Thinking about your company’s website, you might be tempted to look at free options and think they’re the best deal for your company. You’ll just have to spend a few minutes setting up a template and boom; your website is ready to perform well in Google searches and be visually appealing to your audience. At Lemmtec, we’d ask, “Can your business afford a free website?” Here are some tips to help you think through the best plan for your company.
Your Time is Valuable
If you choose a free option, your checking account might not show a transaction, but there will be a cost. You or someone on your team will have to do the necessary research to ensure that you build a quality website that people find and visit. How familiar are you with:
- Website Hosting and Security
- Website Building Platforms
- Website Content & Search Engine Optimization
- Website Design
What is your time worth? If you are billing at $50/hour and set aside 10 hours per week to work on your website project, you cost yourself $500 when you could have been doing revenue earning work.
Your Passion is Powerful
There is a reason you are in the business you are in and not in website design. What is it about your business that drives you? What is it that is life-giving to you and fuels the work you do? When you are taking time away from that to build your own website, you are expending more energy trying to figure out the best way to build your website and not investing time in the art of craft. Chances are that after the first few hours of trying to build your own website, you will lose focus and the project will lose steam quickly.
We actually love building websites. It is life-giving to us to help you. At the end of our day, we love looking over the day and knowing we have better equipped small businesses like yours to accomplish their mission and fuel their passion.
Security is Essential
Every day tens of thousands of websites are hacked. This often happens because updates are not performed properly and consistently on websites. You might think you have time to build a quick website with a template, and then you can just forget about it and go on running your business. Those are the exact types of projects hackers love.
Websites that are not updated allow for security breaches through:
- and other third party integrations.
You cannot just launch a new website and forget about it. Regular security updates are essential to ensuring your website does not end up in the hands of the bad guys. Getting hacked is not just frustrating, but it can hurt your business’s reputation and result in getting blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Security is likely the least thought about aspect of websites by small businesses, until there’s a hack.
Google and Wix offer free website builders that might look pretty and seem easy to use. “It’ll only take 5 minutes,” they say. Any website that you can build in 5 minutes for free, you should not waste 5 minutes building. Free doesn’t mean good and it doesn’t mean good for your business. Content matters and free options deceive you into thinking building your site will not be time-consuming.
Here are some content questions to ask yourself before choosing to build a free website.
- Do I understand my target audience well enough to develop my own content?
- Do I have enough time to write it all?
- Do I know how to name images properly?
- Do I know best practices for image optimization?
- Do I understand security well enough to ensure my content is not hacked?
One more issue to consider with content and a free website builder is that most of these builders will not allow you to easily transfer your project if you outgrow it. You will end up having to rebuild the entire project if you do not choose a scalable option that can meet your future needs. Maybe a landing page is all that you need for right now, but make sure the tools you are using allow for the future.
So ask yourself, is an affordable website better?
To answer that question, let’s review.
- Your time is valuable to you, your business and those you love. If you are building a website, you’re either taking time away from your business or taking time from those you love by doing it “after hours.” It does not have to be that way. There are affordable website options.
- Your passion is worth the effort. Spend your time on what gives you energy and joy. Do not stress over your website and all that you don’t know about what you don’t know right now. There are people who are passionate about ensuring you have a website that accomplishes your goals. Choose a reputable website design company and get back to your passion.
- It’s all for naught, if it’s not secure. Let someone else handle the security updates. Cleaning up a hack is much more costly than utilizing best practices to keep your site as safe as possible.
- Content will make sure your site isn’t just pretty. Working with professionals will make sure helpful content is developed so that your website works for you, while you’re running your business. Good content attracts customers and helps them understand how you can help them.
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