Is Using Free Website Builders in 2020 Good or Bad?

Website builders and technology have improved dramatically in the past few years. This is good news, especially if you lack experience, time, or money.

There once was a time, if you needed a website, you needed design and development skills or the budget to hire expensive skilled designers and developers. No longer.

Website building platforms are now very user-friendly. Anyone can build a professional website in a matter of a few hours. Even better, many of the leading website builders allow you to make a website for free.

Recommended Website Builders:

  • Wix
  • Webs
  • Weebly

Reasons to Choose a Free Website Builder:

Build Valuable Web Editing Experience

Free website builders are a great way to put your own skills to the test. Most free site builders allow you to try out the tools to make sure it has all the functionality you may need, without spending a dime.

You are given dozens (if not hundreds) of site templates to choose from. You can easily edit the text and images, rearrange elements via drag and drop editors, and add widgets.

Once the website meets your needs and expectations, it’s easy to upgrade to a paid plan without having to start from scratch.

A Faster Web Presence

Whether you choose to use the website builder for free or purchase a paid plan, website builders make building a beautiful site much less time-consuming than the traditional developer and designer route.

Website builders like the ones listed above offer hundreds of modern templates to get you started, drag-and-drop tools to customize the look, and widgets as well to add any type of functionality you might need.

All the user-friendly tools mean you can build a site in just a few hours instead of waiting weeks, or potentially months for a professional designer to build a website for you.

A Low Budget Website Alternative

If you’re creating a website for a business or product, these website builders give you everything you need to establish an online presence while minimizing upfront costs.

There are a few limitations, but you can get an attractive, functional site online without spending a lot money.

This is a great option whether you’re a student on a budget or you’re an entrepreneur balancing the other costs of starting a new business.

Reasons to Not Choose a Free Website Builder:

A Lack of Website Support

You do not have control of the web hosting on a free website builder. Any service interruptions will be out of your hands and could cause problems for your business or products if clients cannot access the content they are looking for.

Hosting your website on a business class web hosting provider (link to SailFish page) gives you extensive control and customer support for your website.

Website Builder Restrictions

Most free website builders, if not all, have a lot of restrictions compared to building a site from scratch and hosting it on a business class web host.

I’ve noticed through a few different providers that they tend to limit options for these, often critical, website elements…

  • Meta titles and tags
  • Page content
  • File manager
  • Custom template styling
  • FTP or SSH to the server hosting your website
  • Access to various config files

Website Future Proofing

Free website builders can become deprecated when new technologies are created and used on the internet. Most of the lower to mid-range providers can take a while to update to the new tech, which can make you feel like it is not a permanent solution on future proofing your website.

Web hosting providers can update their systems much quicker and provide more complete support to clients than most free website builders out there.

What Do You Get from Free Website Builders?

  • Free Web hosting
  • Free Templates
  • Drag-and-Drop Website Editor

What You Do Not Get from Free Website Builders?

  • eCommerce Capabilities
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Ad-Free Website
  • Free TLD Name

Despite website builder restrictions that are inherent to these platforms, we think free website builders are a good tool for people just starting out.

However, using quality website designers and developers in conjunction with a business class web hosting platform – that may even include a free top-level domain name to be registered with your hosting package – could be an even better fit, for serious people looking to start an online business.

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