If you’re running a business, having a free website is never free. Sure, you could get a techie friend to help you out or create yourself using a website builder such as Shopify or Wix. Still, the opportunity cost of a free website is often much higher than the cost of having it done professionally by professionals like us. Here’s why.
Digital Presence is Credibility
I met this brilliant lady who was trying to start her new coaching business in Vancouver. She told me that she had everything figured out except her website. Like many new entrepreneurs, she tried to save money. So she asked a friend to build her a free website as part of his university project. Five months later, she still had nothing. At this point, she could try to advertise her business offline, but the problem is…
48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business – IronPaper
This means half of the people won’t find her business credible because she didn’t have a working website. Just think how many potential customers she would have had if she could launch her business five months earlier?
Problems with Free Website Builders
You’ve probably seen commercials featuring celebrities saying lines such as “I’ve just created my own amazing website using Wix, let me show you how…” It seems promising, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what one of our clients thought before building their site with Wix. Since our client had no expertise in web design, they ended up having issues with the layout, mobile compatibility, and search engine optimization.
Nearly 8 in 10 of consumers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device. – Adobe via IronPaper
With that stat in mind, our client was probably turning away 80% of their leads. After fighting with it for so long, they finally came to us to have their site done properly. We also had another retail company reached out to us after struggling with their Shopify site. Let me be clear; I’m not bashing these website builders. I’m saying that site builders are like paintbrushes; knowing how to use one doesn’t make a person Picasso.
You Are a Business Owner
You are a business owner, not a web designer. Your priority is to run your business, create demands and fulfill them. The time you spend wrestling with your website is time you could spend on making sales, managing your staff, developing new products, planning for the future, and so on. Your time is money, so what would you rather spend it on?
Quality Does Not Come Free
Even if you had a free website built, chances are, its quality wouldn’t be comparable to one professionally designed. They might not be responsive, meaning that the website does not scale responsively to different screen sizes. It also likely wouldn’t be optimized for search engines unless you are know-how. Let’s say your friend agreed to build you a site for free. Do you think he or she is going to spend 80+ hours on it for nothing? You would owe your friend a big favour, which will eventually cost you in some way.
Web Design is a Profession
The businesses mentioned above probably lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue due to having their sites done for free. Creating a quality website costs money, but it will bring a financial return when done properly. Therefore, if you’re looking to get a site built, please have it done professionally. We offer web design services out of Regina and Kelowna, so why not get a quote from us? You can check out some of the work we’ve done in our portfolio.
Website & UX Stats
For more interesting statistics on website design and UX, check out this infographic by UK Web Host Review. I personally was a bit skeptical of one of the stats – “It takes just 0.05 seconds to form a design opinion.” However, after some research, I found that it was based on a study published in the Behaviour & Information Technology Journal by researchers of Carleton University. It just shows how important it is to have your business website professionally designed.