Are free sites, really free?

So you are in the market for a new website. You begin doing your research. However, you don’t have to do much research to find out that websites can cost thousands from your local website design company. You are determined that there is a more affordable option. You are watching your favorite TV show then, WHAM! There’s the option you was looking for … they are giving away FREE websites! Wow, cool! Why pay thousands for a website when I can get one for FREE. What’s the catch?

Great question! So what costs are we missing here?

1. Cost of un-professional design. 
Ever heard the expression, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest”? Do you want your website to look professional or look like a 5th grade art project? Think about the customers you want to attract. Think about how your competitor’s websites look. If you do not have a creative edge, designer education and professional layout tools, your website will scream “cheap” and “unprofessional” and your potential leads are sure to jump off your site and on to your competitors.

2. Cost of on-site optimization. 
Unless you are a professional search engine optimization specialist, you will be missing all the onsite optimization that can be placed internally in the website. This is REQUIRED to get your website listed on Google. If it’s not done when the website is created, you will need to pay for this to be completed, costing thousands of dollars anyway.

3. Cost of poor customer service. 
According to online reviews and ratings, Weebly and Wix scored “Terrible” and “Disappointing” overall customer service ratings. In fact, Weebly’s NEGATIVE customer support feedback was a shocking 90%. So not only you are expected to create your own website using their technology, they are not there to support it.

4. Cost of your time.
Would you rather set aside a marketing budget to get your online marketing professionally done .. or would you rather spend the next few months struggling to learn a new constantly changing profession on a computer with an internet technology with no help, then come to find out that your new website that you created only works partially and can’t be found on search engines anywhere. Very frustrating!

5. What they don’t tell you, costs you.
If you ever want to do anything cool or upgraded for your website – you’ve got to pay. Also, most of the time your website will have an Advertisement for FREE WEBSITES in the footer area… that just makes your whole company look cheap. Furthermore … You’ll pay for more pages, bells and whistles.

6. You don’t own the site.
You really won’t own the site, you are renting it. You won’t have full control and worse yet, if you ever leave their services – you lose everything!

7. Spamming you … and your customers.
Some of these sites also SPAM your customers. So let’s say they come to you to buy one of your products. Well, for the next few days or weeks all of the ads on any other website they visit will present your competitors to them… This is spamming your customers. You can lose revenue very quickly.


Take our advice, we see this all the time. We are the ones that fix these issues for our new clients. They don’t really mean free. It’s COSTLY and TIME CONSUMING, so they can make money off of you and your customers. Don’t let it happen to you.


Customer Service Scoreboard, (

Webtegrity, (

So you put in, “Website Design Minneapolis MN” in Google … now what?

So now you are staring at a list of top website designers in Minneapolis, MN – now what? Here are our top 5 things to do:

  1. Check their portfolio.
    The worst feeling is paying a ton of money for something that looks like crap. Make sure that your new potential website company has what it takes to make you look better than your leading competitor’s websites.
  2. Research the owner. 
    It pays to do a little research on who you’ll be working with. Try to meet with the owner of the company, but maybe do a little research first. Facebook and LinkedIn are great resources!
  3. Check ratings.
    A good web designer knows that keeping their reputation up with the public is important. Check out Google, Facebook and Yelp ratings to see what clients have to say.
  4. Meet with them.
    Make sure to have a face to face meeting with who you will be working with. It’s important to have good synergy when working on any extended project. Make it enjoyable for you.
  5. Make sure they’re local.
    When it comes to large projects, a local company can make a world of difference. It’s important that the person that you are working with is local, but also their entire team. Make sure that phone calls can and will be made during your business hours, not at completely the opposite time around the world. Not to mention, it may be important to you to support your local community.

Building a website requires teamwork with both parties, and should be a continued relationship as the website expands with the business. Make sure the relationship can be long lasting and mutually beneficial.