Having a website developed for your establishment can be a costly affair, but cheaper options are available. Just always remember, you get what you pay for! This is especially true when it comes to a website. There are quite a few “free” website services out there like Wix and Weebly, but unfortunately they also come with many drawbacks and the all important question, are they really “free”?

Here are the most important reasons why we think DIY sites should be avoided at all costs:

1. Firstly, free is never really free! Any package upgrade or cool add on comes with a pricetag. Often quite a large one.

2. Your website will most likely have an advertisement for Free websites in the footer. This just makes your whole company seem cheap. Definitely not the image any establishment would like to portray.

3. Once you discontinue the use of their services – you lose everything. If you at some point decide that you are no longer interested in using their services, they retain the domain and content. So basically they then own your copy, images and design.

4. You will pay for additional pages. This is standard practice when developing a web site, but there’s no reason why you should pay for extra pages when you’re developing them and adding the content yourself. You’re paying them while you’re doing all the work.

5. Some sites also spam your potential guests. Once someone has visited your website, every other site they now visit after that will present your competition to them. Revenue can be lost very quickly in this case.

6. Your domain does not belong to you. These sites offer to register a domain for you for free, but this domain does not belong to you and in most cases contains their business name. I.e. www.wix.hotelname.com Free advertising for them and a very unprofessional image for you.

7. Very bad for search engine optimization. Some of the “free” tools included limit the ability to increase traffic using SEO which is HIGHLY important. Without a site designed with good SEO in mind you might as well not have one.

We always recommend that you rather have something created especially for your establishment on a reputable platform like WordPress. It is safest to approach a professional digital marketing agency like Tourism Markeiting SA who wil have your pocket in mind and the best interest of your company at heart.