One of our potential clients who wanted a basic website and e-shop decided to use a 'free' website. They had to set it up themselves and have the providers logo, adverts showing on their site. They added a few items to their e-shop and then discovered the free version only permitted a total of 5 items. They upgraded to cover their e-shop needs: Cost £13.49 a month to get rid of the adverts and have unlimited pages, but they needed more than 5 items in their e-shop, on further checking they found it would cost £28.49 a month to have more than 5 products! 12 x £28.49 = £341.88 - So much for a 'free website'!
Please do check your needs against the limitations and where the break points are between the 'free' website offer and when it swaps to monthly costs. Remember also that monthly plans are continuous, multiply your monthly charges x 12 x 5 for your cost over 5 years (The average time before considering a website update/re-vamp). Using the above example = £1709.40
Our standard small business solution at £180.00 + 5 years hosting (5x£60) = £480.00 that's almost 72% (£1,229.00) less than the 'FREE' website! - Our standard solution included 20 e-shop products, event calendar, contact form, download area, movies, gallery, email addresses and blog. With us you also get a personal service.
'Free Sites' are ok if you can, are able, to put the work in. We get lots of enquiries from people who sign up to free! packages asking how to do this/that - we don't provide support in this direction.
Don't get caught by the money traps: Ask questions, look at what is included and more importantly the cost of what is not. We are clear with our costs and options. Do they also cover: Albums, Calendar, Blog, Contact form, feedback form, E-shop, Movie Listing, Downloads area, Staff Team Listing, Possibility to add any customised forms, multiple pages/records, CSV downloads, Group management system, Email notifications when forms are submitted etc. (we do). How many items can you have in their e-shop, do they allow free links to your package from your own URL (i.e. when not choosing the free sub-domain), are there monthly costs, what does it really cost over 2/3/5 years? Where/What is the break point between monthly cost and the 'free' package'?
If you have a business, also think about how your image is conveyed to your potential customers when it is clear you use a free site by provider adverts/names showing on your website! It's a bit like using your free Hotmail, etc. email address for a business.
Project-Edge.com / Ron Williams 2019