Beware of free

I tell potential clients of mine all the time that my biggest competitor isn’t another web design company, its “FREE”, as in “get a free website when you sign up for phone service” or “get your free website and start attracting customers today”. But as my mum always used to say – you get what you pay for!

beware of freeFor the second time in a year I’ve found myself explaining the harsh truths to a potential web site customer that their existing web site, ostensibly a “Free” site offered via Intuit is a) anything but free and b) useless from the prospective of being found online.

In both cases they’d been sold on the low initial cost and ease-of-use of Intuit’s (or rather Intuit’s proxy, Homestead’s) site builder software. In both cases they were spending way over the odds on their monthly fees for what they were getting or even needed, approximately $38/month (as opposed to a “standard” hosting fee of around $10/month). In both cases, because they were allowed to completely follow their own path without any concern for site structure or SEO, they were getting zero traffic to their site.

I understand that nobody is holding these folk’s hands to the flame to sign up but quite honestly I feel that these providers are using deceptive practices to gouge small business people who think they are getting a deal and are actually getting hosed.

And I end up feeling like the bad guy, because I hate to see people who really can’t afford it getting ripped off. Plus they have a tendency to shoot the messenger which means that they are now “once bitten, twice shy” about trusting anyone else with their money.

If you have a free website that’s under-performing and you’d like a second opinion please contact me at 973-234-5623.

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Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman /

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