There are many individuals and companies promoting the idea of building websites very quickly and easily with little technical knowledge and, even being able to build websites for free. Many are quite simply marketing scams designed to sucker in the inexperienced and then charge them for so-called ‘premium’ features. Others are just dangerous and careless ‘how-to’ YouTube videos or Web pages attempting at getting more subscribers or boosting their search rank as well as getting clicks on affiliate links. We have a lot of experience building websites on the popular open-source CMS (content management system) software as well as building custom CMS solutions. Here is why you should be extremely wary of the false claims mentioned at the outset.
Although it is true you can build a website for free, it is not really free in the long term. Not free from the business perspective. You are paying with your time. By the time you realize that the site is not working, how much time have you spent already? Free websites are not SEO-friendly. Free websites come with 3rd party advertising. Free websites will not allow you to control or own the code. Even if you upgrade a free website to a DIY (do-it-yourself) premium version, you are still stuck with the same company and code that is not SEO-friendly.
What about cheap hosting that comes with easy-to-install CMS software? Today’s Web hosting control panels, such as the popular cPanel platform, come with quickly installable CMS software functions to install popular open-source software such as WordPress and even DIY quick site builders. And while it is true that you can register a domain name, get hosting, and launch a bare WordPress site in minutes, this is a far cry from launching a fully functional, full of SEO’d content, completely secured business-class website. Those two things are worlds apart. And this is what you are not learning from those individuals and/or companies pushing free and quick DIY (Do-It-Yourself) website builders. This is very misleading. Launching a WordPress site in minutes using the click-to-install features of the hosting control panel may save some time, but it is extremely little time compared to an experienced Web developer. An experienced Web developer can manually install WordPress in a few minutes and can do it much much better. That is, she or he can implement some basic security measures that don’t require much time but make the installation far superior to the click-to-install method of the hosting panel. The same is true of any other open-source software.
The issue here is not necessarily with the DIY website builders or the click-to-install functionality of the hosting control panel. The issue is regarding the misleading claims and representations made by the individuals and companies promoting them. The claims that you can build a website in minutes. This is simply not true. Installing a CMS application on a domain name is not building a website. Using a free or ‘next-to-free’ DIY website builders to launch a site in minutes is also not building a website. If you buy into such claims, you will quickly learn that there is much more involved.