If you have been using WordPress for some time now, it can be alluring to go for the freely available templates and customize it to your requirement.
Well, you might also want to think why other successful businesses have been investing a lot of money into designing an entirely new website for themselves.
Opting for a free website for your brand, business or company isn’t the best way to go about things. In fact, it is one of the first things you should be avoiding!
The reasons are pretty straightforward.
Here are 20 free website disadvantages:
1. Unprofessional and irrelevant design
This aspect tops the chart of free website disadvantages. When you are opting for a free website, you will have to compromise on the layout. You might not get the design to meet your navigation needs precisely. Also, someone who is looking for a relevant information (be it an article, product or anything else) will prefer an intuitive interface – not something that free websites come with.
2. Slow to load
The best thing about free websites is mostly the color, the graphics, and the embedded animation. Well, inexperienced clients will always feel that they are getting a lot for free, but it will become a limitation for the business. Free websites with a lot of graphic elements are slow to load and will cost your traffic.
3. Security vulnerabilities
When you have not written the code yourself or had it written by someone you trust, there could always be security vulnerabilities and scripting flaws. In most case, these come into light when you are already using the free website for some time.
4. Hidden codes
Apart from scripting mistakes, free sites are most likely to integrate deliberately hidden codes that will cost your business in several ways. You will never know when your data is leaked, or your financial details were stolen.
5. Lacking tech and customer support
Being free, these websites will not accompany a tech or a client support. In case a problem arises, you never know what could be the core reason.
6. Compatibility issues
Most free themes will cause compatibility problems with plugins and other extensions that you need as the business grows. Free themes are rarely updated and can even create a website to break apart.
7. Lack SEO elements
While you are hoping your site reach out to the maxim audience, a free theme will require proper H1 tags, Meta descriptions, will be slow loading and aren’t quite optimized for responsiveness.
8. Faulty re-canonical links
Faulty re-canonical links can become an expensive mistake, and these are quite familiar with freely available website themes. In fact, yoast.com faced this issue early on after which they decided to switch to a fresh design.
9. Inefficient web address
Free sites will always attract particular credit to the designer and the URL reads something like “examplebusiness.freewebsite.com’! This is completely unprofessional when you are representing an independent brand.
10. Possibility of data lockdown
With free websites, there is always the possibility that the original designers lock down the data. In case you want to move to a new website design, there would be no option to transfer the data you have collected over the period.
11. Irrelevant advertisements
In other cases, free sites are also likely to showcase ads that are completely unrelated to your brand/business. If you think it’s a compromise, you will need to make, think again.
12. 404 Not Found
There are a lot of free website disadvantages but this one is one of the worst. The original developers always have the option of shutting down your website. You will never want this to happen.
13. Your information gets vulnerable
When you put in business specific information into a free site dashboard, there is plenty chance that they get exposed to the original developers. They can even choose to use this information again you or sell it to your competitor.
14. Zero site building tools
Opposed to a real web hosting, free themes offer limited tools to users and not being able to upgrade your design will make your website look even more unprofessional.
15. Malware distribution
There have been several instances where malware has been reported to be distributed through free websites. While visitors come looking for some kind of necessary information related to your brand, their system is greeted by malware and hidden scripts.
16. Your website can become a link farm
You will never want to host a platform for illegal products, fake drugs or gambling advertisements.
17. Low storage space
Free website hosting companies will be hosting thousands of different websites, and this automatically limits the amount of disk storage available at your end.
18. Limited bandwidth
Bandwidth costs money and free websites offer a very limited amount of it. If your business is growing and you will need to integrate more product pages, it would be trouble with free websites.
19. Limited choice of design
A website is supposed to be the face of your business. You will never want to have it developed by something who knows nothing about your brand.
20. Free is not always free
Finally, a free website is not always free. In most cases, they come as a trial version and after a period you will need to pay to continue using them. You won’t have a choice at this point in time!
‘FREE’ might seem to be alluring proposition but the costs hidden underneath are too high to bear for any promising business. It’s always better to invest in a designer and get what you want. You need to be fully aware of these free website disadvantages.
Please comment about your experiences with free website disadvantages.