Over the last couple of months, businesses have had a need to head online if they were not already. From Social Media to e-commerce websites most businesses that have wanted to stay ahead of their competition have looked at how they can diversify and sell their products and services online, whilst maintaining a digital presence in the marketplace.
With this has come an even greater presence of digital marketers and “media experts” selling their wares. We have seen a big increase in adverts in our social media feeds offering growth for your business.
The main ones that have piqued my personal interest are the multitude of offers for a FREE website builds.
Now I have always been told that if it seems too good to be true then it probably is and looking into a number of these so-called initiatives that’s exactly the case.
So, is it free?
It is a simple yes and no answer. Wait what? Well yes, the initial build potentially may well be free, however, what comes next is not.
The add ons
Once the site is built then it’s worth checking as to what you will be paying for the domain name if you don’t already own it as well as what the cost will be for ongoing hosting of the site. Add on to that the monthly maintenance and upgrades that are sometimes needed to ensure that a site runs smoothly and suddenly that free offer is not so free.
Most of these companies will charge substantially a lot more than your local or trusted web designer or developer for these additional services and that is where they make their money. So yes, the site is built for free, but can you continue to run it at the rates that you are being charged. We’ve recently helped a client out of one of these situations and they were being charged 3 times the normal for the hosting as well as 4 times the amount for a monthly maintenance package where so far nothing had been done on the site.
Check the small print
So in conclusion as with any agreement, its always best to check the fine print and see exactly what you are paying for or what the total costs will work out over a 12 month period and then ask yourself is it really free? There is something to be said about “you get what you pay for”. My advice is to talk to your local web designer or developer and see what they can offer. Chances are they know you and your business and will be on hand to offer advice and ongoing support long after you head online and long after the others have forgotten about you.
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