Are free websites any good?

studioWe all love getting free stuff. Getting something for nothing will always have its attractions - but do you really get something for nothing? Take free websites for instance - it's possible to use free website building services to make your business website - but, as they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch. So what's the long-term cost to your business?

Free website limitations

1. You can get a web address but -
Rather than getting the exact address you want, you may instead have to accept a subdomain, for example mybusiness.freewebsitebuilder.com rather than just mybusiness.com. This may also affect how you rank in search engine search results.

2. You can get free software to create some kinds of design but -
Although it can be quicker to create a website this way, it's because the designs are simpler, less customisable and less extensible.

3. Content is important for engaging your users, and as you develop you will want to update and create new content but -
Free websites can restrict the amount of content such as photos and videos that you can upload.

4. Support is all important -
You don't want to have issues that can only be solved by having to pay a large premium each time they occur.

5. You may have to put up with advertising on your site that you can't control.

Why have a Paid website – take control and make money

A paid website with your unique domain enables you have better on-line credibility and differentiates you from your competition.

Paid websites are modestly priced and give businesses full control. There are a vast number of design possibilities tailored to fit your business perfectly - you will have the freedom to design and customise to your heart’s content and you can decide how much data storage you need.

Rather than have advertising placed on your site, you can place adverts for your own clients and generate an extra income stream.

Finally, a friendly web design company will always have your best interests at heart and will work with you as you expand your horizons to find the best options tailored to your business.

Local SEO - should you get backlinks from low authority websites?

attract more users

Yes! and here's why...

From Google's Penguin search algorithm update in 2014, it used to be thought that getting backlinks from low authority sites, ie sites that don't have a lot of users or impact, was a no-no, as they would make your site sink in the Google search engine results.
However, here's a tip - even if the site is low authority, because it's highly relevant to your local area then you should go ahead and get a link.

(Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The final reason to keep your website content up to date

attract more users

It will help to keep users coming back:

Suppose you walk down your local hight streeet and notice that a shop there never changes its front window - the products are always the same - what do you feel? You may not bother looking in again, since you know it's going to be the same.
It's the same with your website - you need to tell potential clients about the latest news, products and offers to get their interest and show that something is hapenning!

(Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Another two reasons to keep your website content up to date

updating your website

1. It shows that you are organised:

As a small business, you have hundreds of things to do and often compromises have to be made – and updating your website doesn’t seem to be a big priority. But by doing so you show potential customers that you’re on the ball and on top of things.

2. It shows you know what you’re talking about:

Communicating with your customers is important - sharing new ideas, understanding the issues, explaining the solutions; communicating well will give you a good head start.

(Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Two and a half reasons to keep your website components and content up to date

updating your website

1. Security:

The large hack in October 2015 on Talk-Talk’s website is a reminder that it’s important to be vigilant about security on your website. In that artcile the Institute of Directors (IoD) said attacks on British businesses "happen constantly". This is true - every hour there are attempts to get into a website’s server and infiltrate its website files, so it should be a matter of priority to check that your content management system (CMS) is up-to-date and all the plugins, modules and components are the most recent versions also. If you’re not sure about how to do this contact your web developer, and they should do it for a reasonable cost.

2. Attracting your clients:

Keeping your content updated creates a good impression – when people who are new to the site see up-to-date information, they will get a better impression than if you’re months out of date. If a business site updated its News page a year ago, would you really want to do business with them?

2.5

As well as looking on the ball for your clients, Search engines also will look favourably on websites that generate new and useful content.

(Image courtesy of Nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)