3 Drawbacks to Using Free Website Design and Hosting
While there are some advantages to using a free service, such as no charge to put up a website and sometimes onsite templates you can adjust to fit your site needs, there are also drawbacks to using such a service. Let’s look at three major disadvantages of free hosting and design so you can make the right decision.
- No Ownership
With free design and hosting, you’ll likely have no ownership over your site. It can be removed at any time by the hosting company, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Free sites come and go, and so will your website if you’re not careful. You might have no control over what happens to your site if the site host was to fold or sell out to another company.
Imagine spending months or years working on your website design and building various web pages as well as a following of targeted visitors, only to have it removed suddenly without warning. For personal sites this might not be a problem; however, with a business site it’s a risk you can’t afford to take.
- Ads Might Overtake Your Site
Most sites that advertise "free web design and hosting" aren’t really for free! They sell advertising, which is placed on all their free sites. This might not be a problem if your site is for personal use only. With a site that’s designed to sell products/services, ads can be a problem.
The ads might be displayed in areas of your site where you don’t want them. They might flash or move so as to distract your visitors. This can hinder sales and cause visitors to think your site is not professional. They also may click on the ad and boom!, their gone.
Some visitors might recognize it as a free website and question your company’s trustworthiness. Advertising may include competitors’ ads or offensive ads that you wouldn’t want displayed on your site. Again, you’ll have no control over these ads and where they might appear!
- Poor Overall Service
When you get something for free, don’t expect much in the way of service. You might find that your site server is down a lot with a free hosting service. This means when visitors try to go to your site, they’ll receive a message stating that the site’s server is down or a similar message.
You also might experience problems with your site’s design, forms, graphics, etc. and get very little help from the host. This is because free services often have thousands of sites hosted under their free services and can’t afford to attend to all of them.
Consider these drawbacks before designing your site and hosting it with a free service. If you own a business, the best way to move forward with a website is to pay for hosting, design and a domain name so you can establish a professional rapport from the start. You can find hosting for as little as $3 to $5 per month in many cases so why not go first class? The lower the monthly fee the less features that are available. Beware of free web design and hosting if you need to build a solid web presence that will last!
Hackers Attack Flash Banner Ads
If you haven't heard the latest here it is, which confirms our belief that all those bells and whistles (music, flash etc.) you want on your site can backfire.
Malicious hackers are using booby-trapped Flash banner ads to hijack clipboards for use in rogue security software attacks.
In the Web attacks, which target Mac, Windows and Linux users running Firefox, IE and Safari, hackers are seizing control of the machine’s clipboard and using a hard-to-delete URL that points to a fake anti-virus program.
According to victims on several Web forums, the attack is coming from Adobe Flash-based advertising on legitimate sites — including Newsweek, Digg and MSNBC.com.
Now, do you really want to jeopardize your credibility, your site, your potential client and present client relationships by hijacking their clipboard and causing potential damage to their PC. At present they are targeting banner ads, but why take a chance!
If you are serious about your profession and have not as yet opted for your own site. Start by filling out this form.
WEB SITE FAUX PAS
Here are a couple of things one must be aware of when designing web sites.
- Load time: Unless the first thing that pops up on the screen engages the viewer you have about three seconds to capture their attention. In the business world people are multi-tasking and don't have the time nor the patience to wait for a page to load. Flash and large graphics slow down the load time.
- Sound: Be aware that your target audience may be in an office enviroment and sound could well be distracting. Sound is also a load hog.
- Gender: Determine your target audience before you decide on colors. Men and women react differently to colors. It's pretty well documented that the more colors and more varied the palette is, the longer it takes for the brain-mind to determine what it's looking at. Dark colors for a male audience light and airy colors for the ladies.
The longer it takes for a visitor to interact positively, the less likely they are to do so. Colors, sounds, animations -- everything plays a role in different measure based on your audience's psychology.
Search Engines, SEO, Web Site Design
What’s in store for natural search in 2011? Among other things, Greenlight is predicting that Google and Bing will offer app search before the year is out, competition between Bing and Google will heat up and duplication filters will get even tougher as the search engines take more drastic measures to limit the amount of resources they spend on less valuable content and maximize the focus on everything else.
Greenlight is a leading independent, award winning search marketing specialist and technology firm, the largest of its kind in Europe and the fastest growing. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, Vodafone UK, New Look, Interflora, Co-operative Financial Services, Nespresso and ghd, Greenlight is a leader in the search marketing space, and is recognized worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future of search. Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector, publishing widely read industry reports, original research, speaking at trade events, and delivering a highly respected search training programme in conjunction with the IDM. Founded in 2001, Greenlight is headquartered in London, with offices in New York.