The hidden costs of FREE web builders

May 09, 2023

As the saying goes “if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is”, and this sentiment couldn’t be truer when it comes to free web builders. The costs of creating and maintaining a website for your business after all add up, and with a promise to reduce these charges to zero, free web builders could save you some serious money… in theory!

In practice, these web builders are far from free. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the hidden costs of free web builders and the other downsides that make going bespoke with your upcoming build a must.

Free templates are extremely limited

Free web builders provide very little scope when truly personalising the design and functionality of your website. With these builders, you have an extremely limited range of templates to choose from, with even those offering restricted functionality.

With this in mind, incorporating additional functions and features that give a custom edge to a website that you initially built for free can be expensive and time consuming.

There are ongoing maintenance fees

Updating your website also comes at a cost with free web builders. Ecommerce businesses in particular can incur major fees on a regular basis if they need to continually add inventory (i.e. products) to their websites.

Hosting issues are often part of the package

A must for any website is a decent domain and hosting service. Without a competent hosting service, your website will be slow (which will negatively affect your reputation and customer satisfaction) and could spend more time down than it does up! Free web builders offer inexpensive domains and hosting, but you certainly get what you pay for.

They can inflate other business costs

It’s not just web maintenance that is made more expensive by free web builders. A free website can be particularly bad for search engine optimisation (SEO), which means your website won’t get seen by the customers who buy your products or enlist your services.

As a result, many businesses with free websites end up spending much (much) more elsewhere, with SEO and digital marketing commanding higher levels of investment due to the shortcomings of their websites.

The blogging and analytics capabilities of a free website will also be lacking, making it difficult for your business to make the impact it desires and deserves on its target audience.