Should You Use Free Website Solutions?
(this is a 10 part series, be sure to read them all!)
When you first start out as a webmaster, you will have a wide array of choices available to you. You won’t even know what to look for in the beginning. You also won’t know what features should cost or which ones to choose. You will find plenty of free options available. But should you choose them?
There are some decent free choices if that is the route you decide to take. You want to choose the platforms that display the least amount (if any) of advertising on your website. It’s one thing to display a link that shows who developed your website (the company offering the free website). It’s another to have a bunch of banner ads plastered all throughout each of the pages on your site. This will be a huge turnoff to your readers and may slow down your website considerably.
Some solutions, such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com, present minimal advertising. It’s easy to get started. You sign up with your account and then create a name for your blog or website. Bear in mind, the name is shared with you and the free host. In other words, if you choose the name MyWebsite, the full address for Blogger.com will be MyWebsite.BlogSpot.com. BlogSpot is part of the Blogger.com platform. It’s similar to WordPress. Your address there would be MyWebsite.WordPress.com, etc.
Another problem with the free options is that you have little control of the platform. While you can change certain aspects of the look-and-feel or add some functional components, these are limited. Also, the free companies make the rules about what you are allowed to post on those sites. Those rules are subject to change at a moment’s notice. You could have a very popular site, and rule changes can invalidate your site. This hurts much more when that website is making a decent amount of money.
It used to be these websites would give you some search engine boosts. Many people would use these free sites to point links to their main website, i.e., the one that makes them money. It may still give you some of those boosts but overall, this methodology has become less effective since Google changed its algorithm. Some webmasters still use the tactic. They either don’t realize it is no longer AS effective, or they believe that it can’t hurt. While this may be true, the role of a webmaster is to optimize the exposure. A minute spent on a free website is one less that you can spend some other place that may actually mean something.
NOTE: This is a 10 part series, be sure to click the NEXT button to read complete series…