Are Cheap Websites Any Good?

You’ve probably seen the ads for VistaPrint Websites and 1&1 MyWebsite, or you may have heard of others such as YellSites. These companies offer an easy way to get your business online, with the promise of high quality designs and an all inclusive service.

Aimed at small businesses and those setting up a new business or looking to redesign their old, tired website, this seems like a no brainer. You’re likely to be pulled in by the promise that the service is “quick and easy” with prices starting from less than £10 – seems like a great deal!

Always Search for Reviews

Have you tried searching for reviews of these companies? Perhaps not. Why should you, these are big names, of course you can trust them! If you do search for opinions on these services, at first sight you’ll probably find some great reviews from bloggers.

Underneath these supposedly ‘genuine’ reviews are comments from real people who have experience using the pay-monthly website builders.

Short-Term Success, Long-Term Pain!

While some people report having some amount of short-term success with these websites, in the long-term many people are regretting signing up in the first place, while many others are paying extra for services and features they do not need, want or know about.

Having read the comments on some of these blogs, here are some of the main points being made:

1and1

Big companies offering seemingly small prices.

Out to Con?

I mentioned earlier that people claim to have been conned or ‘set up’ by these big companies. I can understand where the claims are coming from. One of my clients previously used hosting from 1&1 and started receiving emails from 1&1 stating “your site transfer is ready for your approval”. The email goes on to link to a website where a badly designed template has been set up in my clients name, with my clients details, pre-defined content and stock photos.

Unfortunately it seems a lot of people are sucked in by the seemingly amazing list of features, low prices or even claims of free websites. Most people realise months or sometimes weeks later that their website is not bringing in new business, and they’ve come to the conclusion that a website is a complete waste of money.

Websites are extremely effective, when they are designed professionally!

The easy way, but not the most effective.

The easy way, but not the most effective.

Have you ever seen a prominent, successful and well-known business using a free website builder? Successful websites take time, patience and hard work. It most certainly cannot be done with a few clicks!

The other argument is that a professional web designer costs too much money for a small or new business. This is simply bad business sense. It’s a necessary short-term expense which pays off in time. If you value and care about your business, a decent, professional web designer will put the time and effort into working with you and building a bespoke website which will bring you long-term value.

You don’t need to spend a fortune!

Small businesses don’t need to spend thousands on a website designed by a big design agency. There are many professional web designers running small businesses themselves, like us! If you can’t afford a completely bespoke website, we can customise off-the-shelf designs to suit your needs.

Have you used a free or low-cost website builder? Have you experienced long-term success with them? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.


Leave a comment

[…] Free website, anyone? […]

  Posted by Free website, anyone? | Design News on 07/06/2013.

You could not be more right about the 99p website offerings.

I hope more people get to know about the con and your article certainly helps for this…

  Posted by Vince on 20/06/2013.

So many small businesses use these cheap website creators because it just ticks a box for them.

There’s a DIY store local to me who has one of these nasty websites, it’s a great example. A quick search of local DIY shops and they’re nowhere to be seen! These small shops are dying out, but I don’t think the likes of B&Q or Homebase are to blame.

Every business has to invest in itself to get anywhere, offer something your competitors don’t then support this with a bespoke website which can be found and used easily. Many of these small businesses don’t care much for the internet, they don’t understand it or they believe people still trawl through the Yellow Pages.

For me, if you have one of these cheap websites, people will notice, you’re giving off the wrong signals and you’re as good as saying “I don’t care about my business”.

  Posted by Lee on 27/07/2013.