At first glance, it may well seem that there’s absolutely no need to ever upgrade from the free plan offered by most leading website builders. Since they offer few restrictions and enough tools and gadgets to get a good looking website up and running in under an hour, you’d be forgiven for believing that your free website builder is the bargain of the century.
In some cases, you may even be right. Indeed, depending on your the reason for starting your site in the first place, you may not actually need any of the things we’re about to discuss.
Though it may seem very generous of your site building platform to give you free access, let’s not forget that the company behind it didn’t go into business out of some dedication to altruism. Rather, they set up shop to make money, and if they’re not doing that by signing you up to a premium package, well, they’ll just have to find some other way, won’t they?
To that end, even the best website builders around place their own advertising on free websites, often with little regard as to what else might be on there. This means that you could have a nice, big Wix advertisement covering up a vital Call to Action button, or a Weebly logo distracting from the rest of your content.
There’s other drawbacks too of course. Imagine investing all that time, effort and money in attracting visitors to your site, only for them to take interest in the website builder’s ad, click it, and ultimately leave. If they’re really swept up in finding out how they can build their own site, they may forget about yours altogether, and probably never come back.
When you upgrade to a premium website builder, all of the advertising and branding is removed, meaning this is no longer an issue.
A quick question for you: Which of these sounds better, looks better, and is easier to remember?
Even if you know absolutely nothing about the web and the way it works, we’re willing to bet that at least 99% of you picked A. Whilst it’s good news that you recognise the need to have your own .com or other top-level domain name, the bad news is that these are only available by splashing out some money on a premium plan.
Have more freedom to grow
If you’re only just starting out, you may well be more than satisfied with room for just a few pages, a couple of images, and even bandwidth to serve up your site quickly to a moderately low number of visitors. As things start to take off though, you’re naturally going to want to expand, to add new stuff to your site and serve it to more and more visitors. That’s when paying for a premium website builder can really come in handy, as they typically provide you with more storage room and website bandwidth to grow your site.
Add extra functionality
Most good site builders tend not to restrict their basic service even to free users, providing you with plenty of tools to layout your pages, add content and even include certain levels of functionality. Beyond that, you’ll often need to invest in one of their paid-for packages to include things like eCommerce, hd video and forums.