Build it yourself websites or simple website builders (SWBs) are all the rage these days. These sites offer an affordable option to create a website you can call your own. What a lot of potential website builders don’t realize, though, is if you want your site to succeed, the cost often exceeds the lowest price point.
You Get What You Pay For
Three of the top four simple website builders - Squarespace, Wix, and GoDaddy - host over 3 million websites on the Internet. With prices for these three platforms starting at $12, $11, and $5.99 respectively, it’s easy to see why a lot of users choose to go with them.
It's important to know that these prices are for very basic, entry-level packages. As with most things, these low-level packages contain the bare minimum needed to create a website. Most include a free domain for one year, but after that year you will have to pay for it.
Depending on your website’s name that domain can range from $1 to $100. A few of the packages will have limited bandwidth, causing your website speed to be slowed after a certain point.
Most importantly, none of these basic simple website builder packages include SEO.
SEO is Important
SEO (search engine optimization) is key to ensuring your website gets visibility and ranks high on search engines, hence the name. In order to fully utilize SEO, you will need to do a lot of research on your own (and keep up with the constant changes), or hire an expert.
The initial cost for hiring an expert may seem daunting, but an expert is just that: an expert. Experts keep up with SEO practices, trends, changes, and have already spent the time to master SEO and utilize it to its fullest. Hiring an SEO expert allows for your time and effort to be focused on other aspects of the website, such as hosting.
Hosting is a tricky situation. There are two types of hosting: web hosting and domain hosting. Web hosting is where your site, its build, images, and text, reside. Domain hosting is simply where your domain is hosted. The benefit of both web and domain hosting with an SWB is that everything is in one location.
On the other side, when hosting with a company dedicated to hosting only, you will see an increase in storage, bandwidth, and security, all for the same cost, if not lower.
Another thing to consider when using an SWB is the design itself. Unless you are already a web designer or really into it, chances are your website may not be everything you dreamed it would be, since you may be limited to using templates.
Hiring a web designer may be a smart idea, but there will be a cost. A web designer will take your idea and make it a reality. He or she is familiar with what works, what doesn’t, and how to go about implementing your ideas into your website. If you can afford a good web designer, it is highly recommended to do so, your customers will thank you.
Overall, using a simple website builder may seem like a great idea due to ease of use and cost. Over time, however, it can end up costing you more than you bargained for, especially when you decide you want to upgrade your plan, change your website, or move it to a different host.
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