Have you received a phone call from someone offering to make you a website, promising it will rank in the number one position at Google for $500 or less? If so, I hope you knew better and didn’t hire them.
Advertisements by companies claiming to make websites are everywhere, from Facebook to signs on front yard lawns. You’ll come across people offering to make websites for $5 an hour and web-based software applications that essentially build a site for you. In my twenty years of building websites, I have never seen a successful website made that way.
In fact, it’s rare to find a web designer who has studied user centered design. It’s very easy to make a website from WordPress and believe it came with everything needed out of the box. This isn’t true.
You can’t automate user behavior. Google penalizes website that try to cheat search engines. The increase in mobile phone usage caused a race to redesign existing websites.
Sooner or later website owners are frustrated because their site is not performing for their customers or in search engines. They don’t understand why. If you choose a free website with cheap hosting, please understand these companies prey on inexperienced people who don’t know what they need and why they need it.
All of my clients ask me to pull their website off of these free and low cost services after they realize they have no control over the appearance, management, indexing, or marketing of their website. Even worse is when they learn I provide hosting at $36 annually with a professional hosting company.
Free and Cheap Solutions Limit Your Creativity and Control
Free website hosting and design services provide a limited set of page templates already coded, designed and ready to go. The templates have limited customization, including the choices of fonts, colors and layout. Many are not optimized for organic search engine optimization or are severely limited in scope. Not having the ability to perform your own SEO means you are unable to compete in search engines for your targeted keywords. Services are free because they expect you to purchase upgrades and additional services.
Cheap website designs are not created by user experience design professionals skilled in human factors, persuasive design, conversions design, accessibility standards and mobile design. Did you know that all web pages should pass specific code standards and be compliant for usability and accessibility? Do you intend on targeting countries outside your country and if so, do you have target market data for those areas? Are you aware that the department store, Target, was sued because special needs people could not use it?
Web design and search engine marketing scams prey on people who don’t know what it means to own a website. They are certainly not going to admit that when you ask for something you want for your website, they don’t know how to do it (but they will go out to forums and ask somebody to tell them how to do it. I run a forums. I know what they do.) A professional designer can provide you with a properly built website. Part of what you are paying for is their expertise and consistent research into what it takes to build successful websites.
Before you hire, do your homework.