No, we’re not talking about cars – we’re talking web sites!
There are many companies that offer an array of marketing services to specific markets. For example, companies that provide country clubs and golf courses with everything from marketing plans for increasing membership, to tee markers, to web sites. Often, specialty marketing firms will offer clients a “free” web site.
You’ll soon find out that free doesn’t alays really mean FREE…
In most cases, these companies do not design a custom web site. Instead, a design template may be leveraged, meaning that your site can look very much like scores of other web sites anywhere else in the world. And there’s a good chance that the site will be built using a code-generator as well – which often means less efficient code and code that is inherently less search engine friendly.
But hey – it’s FREE, right?
It looks decent and at least you have a presence on the World Wide Web. But that’s when the monthly fees kick in! What you thought was free turns out to be really be nothing more than just a “lease” – and in the long run can cost you much more than what a custom-built web site would have cost to begin with. In the end, you don’t really own that web site.
Not to mention that your site will not be marketed well to search engines, you might have a more difficult time getting site content updated and worst of all – you don’t really own your web site. Try taking that site to another provider and you’ll find out that leasing a site has cost your business more than you thought – and in the end, after all that, you don’t own your site if you decide to leave that company.
A well-constructed web site from an established web site design and web site development company may be a bigger initial investment, but is actually a bargain when compared to the monthly payments made on a site you will never ever own. Plus, being tied to acompany that doesn’t really provide the best in web site maintenance and support just makes for a more difficult business relationship, greater frustrations and added costs.
Before you buy your web site, ask who owns it – and make sure you have that in writing somewhere. And always rememember to buy web site design, development and web site hosting services from a reutable company with a good long-standing track record.