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Sometimes there’s so much to pay for in a business when starting out that you might feel somethings aren’t worth paying for.
One of the things that normally get canceled out — especially for businesses that can run offline– is a good website. A lot of businesses opt to go for a cheap website or just a free one instead to cut costs.
Yes, there so many companies offering free websites and hosting services even in Kenya that small businesses can take advantage of but I greatly discourage this.
If you or your friend is thinking about getting a free website, then stop now.
Here’s why businesses should soldier on and get their own website:
1.They can lock down your data
Many users who start with a free website and then want to move to a paid service, find it impossible to move their website data.
You have been selling shoes or offering catering services in Roysambu through your free website and you grow to a point where you now need a better website then boom, you suddenly realize you can’t move the data with you. Most of these service providers do not offer any tools to easily migrate your site.
2. Hidden charges for free website
Are free websites really free? Free things, as we normally joke around here in Kenya, always turn out pricey. It’s also true with these websites.
Like any other business, these free website companies need to make money too. So they hide their costs and bait you with the word “free”.
3. Unprofessional web address
You are trying to build a company called Safi Maji in Syokimau that will be delivering clean water. But instead of having a domain that goes like www.safimaji.co.ke, free websites giving you something like this: safimaji.Freewebsitesinkenya.com.
It’s annoying and a little bit embarrassing too.
And when you ask for a custom domain, they charge you just as much as constructing your own website.
4. Low credibility among your users
As mentioned above, free can turn out expensive. When your site is hosted on a free service, your users will feel less inclined to trust it.
If users are not comfortable sharing their information, then it will kill the whole purpose of you creating a website.
5. Limited services
A free website will lock you out from almost every crucial service because they want you to pay for it.
For example, it’s very hard to run advertisements or make money on a free website. Getting stats is also a problem. You might not be able to create a contact form. You get limited file upload. Your bandwidth is also limited. You can’t get a custom domain name. We can go on and on.
6. Poor performance
Finally, free websites have one major problem which is their performance is bad. They are slow, therefore give a very bad User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The offer of a free website can be tempting. However, if you actually want to bring traffic to your site and grow it into a digital brand, signing up for one of these services is starting on a bad note.
Starting a business is not easy and things might be tight but going for a free website should be the last thing on your mind.
Let it be a temporary solution as you don’t want to put off starting your business because you lack funds for a website or for any other reason for that matter. But always keep working towards getting one.