One of the advantages of having access to the internet is the vast amount of resources available to you. The internet, due to its very nature, is bursting with freebies and inexpensive options. The shining success of Red Hat Linux is a prime example of what the internet can offer – for free!
Most businesses out there come across various ‘free’ options when they are ready to have their own website, from web hosting to designing templates and building ecommerce software. How good are these inexpensive options?
It’s true that the internet can offer freebies of great value. However, experience suggests that these freebies have limited utility only. As in life, there are no free lunches, even on the internet.
Many web hosting companies offer free web space, free domain names and even offer to build a website for free. However, once you take them up on their offer, you might find yourself in the deep end. Making use of a free host for your website is like building your house on the beach. It’s easy and quick, but it might last no longer than the next wave!
Most businesses that offer to build a website for free make money through the backdoor. They offer you an entire package, complete with inexpensive hosting and a number of limited features. Thus far, everything sounds good. After all, you’re just starting out and limited bandwidth along with limited security is not really on your radar right away. But, what happens when your business grows and you want a versatile inventory management system? Or, when you want to accept credit card payments along with payments from leading payment processing companies? Or, you want equal accessibility to the dollar and the Yen or the rupee, for that matter? It is at this time that limited features and limited compatibility begin to bite.
Companies that offer to build a website for free offer cookie cutter designs that look shabby and jaded. These templates are available for unlimited downloads, with the result that your ecommerce website looks like a hundred others. With such a website, your business will never stand out among the others.
However, the biggest disadvantage of using the services of those who offer to build a website or free is the compromise you make in terms of valuable services. Such websites will not be optimized for the search engines. Neither will they offer any assistance in assessing and evaluating the results of any fine tuning that you perform. Ecommerce websites have to continually reinvent themselves to answer the growing needs of their expanding clientele. Only careful monitoring and regular introduction of fresh tools can help you keep up with fresh developments in the field of ecommerce.
Accept a free website only if your website is very small, static and quite extraneous to the running of your business. But, if your website aims to accomplish anything big, then, you need to think twice before accepting freebies. In the end, like we said before, there is no free lunch!