Paid vs Free Website Builders: What is the Difference?
More and more people are realising that they can save a hefty chunk of cash by creating their own website instead of employing an expensive external web design company to do the job. The easiest way to do this is to use one of the many great website builder software suites that are out there. If you do go down the self-build route, the first choice that you will have to make is whether to use one of the free web builder offerings that are out there, or to make the step up to a paid solution. Let's have a look at the differences between the two.
First Things First: Free Is Great
If you could turn back the clock fifteen years, nobody would have believed what unbelievably powerful (and easy-to-use) web creation software would be available to use for free. What would have taken thousands of pounds of investment back then, can now be easily achieved by using free of charge solutions. So, make no mistake, you won't be selling yourself short by choosing to stay with the free software that's out there. From beautiful designs and blogging features right through to search engine optimization and e-commerce features, the chances are that the free software has got it covered.
So Why Would I Pay?
That's a great question. In fact, if your business is in its early stages of development, or you are operating on a small scale with few ambitions of growth, there's a good chance that you don't need anything more than a free solution. However, there are undoubtedly huge benefits to moving to a paid solution, so let's take a look at a few of them.
Greater Storage and Bandwidth Allowances
Many web builder software packages offer combined solutions which allow your website to be hosted on the software company's servers. If your website generates a lot of traffic, there's no doubt that sooner or later you will need to look at a paid solution. There's nothing worse than loading a website, only to be greeted with a 'Bandwidth Exceeded' error message. It reflects very poorly on the business, and that potential customer is likely to go to a competitor's website to buy the product or service he is looking for. Also, as your website grows in terms of size, the increased storage allowance become a must.
A condition of using free software is often that the software company is allowed to include its own advertisement offerings on your site. Let's face it, we've all visited a site that is festooned with random advertisements, and felt that it looked a bit cheap and downmarket. Upgrade to a paid solution to avoid your customers thinking that about your site.
Add Features and Functionality
Finally, in spite of the great functionality of the free options that we have discussed, the companies obviously hold back some great features in an effort to entice their users into upgrading to a paid solution. For example, you'll often need to pay for a premium offering in order to have a shopping cart available on your site. If you're serious about running an online store, a shopping cart is absolutely crucial, so you'll probably need to consider going to a paid solution.