Brandesigns Web Solutions

Buyer Beware

Caveat emptor; Latin for “Let the Buyer Beware”

While pursuing licensing as a real estate agent and broker, this was a term that was required to know in contract law controlling the sale of real property. I believe this philosophy is equally applicable to the advertising in mainstream media by mega companies offering “Free Websites” to individuals and businesses.

With so many companies offering these “Free Websites” it made me wonder if the profession as a web designer is dead. My take is, “No, it isn’t.” Universal solutions are dead. Cookie Cutter themes and quick skinning are dead. As a web developer I realize that custom solutions have to be better and smarter. We need to develop websites that have personality, good story-telling and character to help our clients stand out from the crowd. Passion is also important. Spending my free time studying and reading up on the latest trends in web design allows me to hone in on my craft and ensure a creative labor of love.

When assisting new business start-ups, I realize they have to carefully allocate their investment capital. It can be very attractive to save money by reducing the amount of money spent on a new website. Often, the goal is to create something quick and simple to have a presence on the World Wide Web. This type of thinking is perfectly understandable – but can be very costly.

In our 20 years of web development experience we realize that a professionally built, mobile friendly website that is SEO optimized has a far better chance of succeeding. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I think you are better off with NO web presence at all than to have a low-cost, “free-website” solution.

Here’s why:

4 Reasons Your Business Should Avoid the Free Websites

  1. If you follow the political debates, you hear many promises of “Free” things. Free healthcare, free education, etc. We all really know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The companies advertising these “free websites” are FOR PROFIT companies. Therefore, be cautious and thorough when considering the offerings. Once you get signed up for a low-cost or “free-website” the hidden costs begin. From overpriced hosting and domain name registrations, to huge costs for small changes to the websites themselves. Did you know that the cost of so-called “free-websites” can end up being comparable (or more!) than the cost of a professional website over time?

  2. Even if you find an actual “Free Website” without the hidden fees, the set-up screams “amateur” to your customers – and worse to Search Engines, which are the major source of traffic to your website. If your website can’t be found, then what’s the point? And when it does get found, if it makes your growing company look like some one-person operation based in someone’s basement, then that is worse than not having a website at all. At least with no website, potential clients can imagine you’re professional and trustworthy!

  3. Some of these “free-websites” place advertising on your website, whether you like it or not. That’s one of the ways they make their money.

  4. With a professionally designed and built website, you own your online presence. With most of these “Free Websites” you are effectively leasing the right to use them. When you quit paying them – the website disappears. Your domain name, your design, your content, your time and even your search engine results can disappear with the flick of a switch.

Carefully consider what your website needs are. If you have a growing business and are in it for the long run, we suggest you invest in a professionally designed website that can expand as your business grows. Brandesigns has the experience and knowledge to help businesses create a professional online presence.

If you are interested in creating a new website or updating your current website to today’s standards – allowing your site to be viewable on devices from mobile to desktop - contact Brandesigns for a customized proposal. You will always receive personal and professional service when working with us!