One very common question people ask when building a new website is whether paying for their own website is necessary, or if a free website will work just as well. The answer is simple: If you ever hope to do any online marketing with your site, you need to pay. Here are five important things a free website can cost you.
Free Websites: An Online Marketing Edge?
1. You Lose Important Features
The amount of online marketing you can do on free sites is severely limited. Either you cannot place ads on your site, or the host site places their own ads on your site so they earn money from your site–not you. Your online marketing efforts are also limited in that you cannot have important features like shopping carts, chat rooms or your own site email.
2. You Lose Credibility
If you expect that your online marketing campaign will bring in money, having a website that people can trust is absolutely essential. Yet, building a free site sends the message that your company is new, unprofessional and unreliable–not the message you want to send to potential customers.
3. You Lose Search Engine Rank
One of the over 200 factors Google uses to determine how pages will rank in its search results is whether or not the site is self-hosted. While free sites will show up if searched for specifically, paid sites are significantly more likely to rank well for generic searches.
4. You Won’t Have Support
Any time your site is down, your online marketing suffers and you lose money. With a free site, you have little to no customer support, and you could easily spend hours, days or even weeks trying to get your site running again. Paid sites offer much better support.
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