It amazes me how many people try to build serious websites with totally free website host providers. Granted, we all love things in life that are marked “free”, but it doesn’t always make sense to go that route if it will cost you more in the long run.
And I’m not just talking in monetary terms. Costs can also come in forms of time and energy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like wasting those two things either.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are occasions where free of charge web sites make sense. Let’s say you just want to practice your HTML skills and don’t plan to show your website to anyone. Or perhaps you are a minor and cannot register a domain name yet. Your only option is to choose a totally free host. Those are two occasions where building a free website definitely makes sense, and of course there are a handful of other scenarios.
What I don’t understand is when people tell me they want to start a business website, but they want to build their site for absolutely free. Wait a sec….starting a business with no start-up costs? Do you know of any successful businesses offline that got started for no cost? Do you think the founding fathers of Burger King and McDonalds went looking for free of charge space to setup their stores?
Of course they didn’t because they wanted people to take them and their business seriously. Even if they had found a cost-free place to setup shop, it would have been evident it was no cost and they would have paid for it in the long run. That payment probably would have come in the form of lack of sales and eventually a shutdown.
Online business is no different than offline in that respect. Sure there are some cost-saving benefits to starting a business online versus offline, but to begin by taking shortcuts will only prove disaster in the end. A website is the foundation of your business, and if your foundation is shaky it will make it very hard for you to prosper.