9 Reasons You May Want To Reconsider A Free Website
I received an email offer the other day from one of our competitors offering a FREE DENTAL WEBSITE. I wondered how can they possibly do that when we spend so much making sure we provide the best websites possible? I also wondered what are they not doing that people should be aware of? I thought it would be a good idea to look at why a free dental website is a really bad idea.
- Free is never really free.
In this world, nothing is truly free. These free website companies offer a (very limited) free version of their full services in the hope you’ll upgrade to their premium service in the future. You may only get 50 MB of storage and a tiny amount of bandwidth. No FTP access, and no way to transfer your content to another provider. They likely own your content as well.
- Slow Website.
A free website is typically hosted on a server with hundreds of other websites so you share the resources with their traffic. That means if their sites are busy your site will be painfully slow. This is critical in your ranking with Google as page load speed is a factor when ranking your site.
- Spammers are on the same server.
Spammers tend to set up websites on free services and then send out thousands of spam emails from those websites. Guess what? If their IP address gets blocked for spamming, so do you!
- Not search engine friendly.
It takes a lot of work to ensure your website is set up exactly how search engines would like. A free website is unlikely to have the time invested to make sure this is the case.
- Susceptible to hacking.
Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit on websites. The easy targets are websites that have outdated software. Free sites are not likely updated as often as necessary to avoid this. In addition, your site can be infected by another site on the server that is even more outdated that yours is. Without someone to ensure every site on the server is up to date you are vulnerable.
- Limited changes.
We understand that your business changes. You add new equipment and services on a regular basis. You may also have staff changes that you need to make on your website. All these things might be difficult to get changed in a timely manner on a free website.
- Not mobile-friendly or AMP compliant.
This can be a huge issue. With a high percentage of website visitors using mobile devices and Google now doing mobile-only indexing, if your site isn’t VERY mobile friendly then you are going to lose out big time in the search wars. Not to mention the frustration when your prospective patients visit your site on their phones.
- Limited functionality.
Website functionality is a big part of the changes we see clients asking for on a regular basis. Whether it is adding a Chat feature, call tracking, a quick popup to tell patients something urgent or something we don’t even know about yet, these features are not possible on many website platforms or may cost a premium to have them implemented on your site.
- Constant monitoring and maintenance (this might be the most important reason).
Many people think you can just build a website and you are done. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A great website can only be kept that way with constant monitoring and maintenance. Monitoring of the technical parts of the website, the SEO, the load speed, broken links, or any other changes that might affect the performance of the site. Just like you shouldn’t ignore maintenance on your vehicle, your website needs attention too!
If you have questions about your website or would like a complimentary website audit please visit our website or give us a call 403-879-1696.
Trent Wehrhahn is the founder and President of Dental Growth Strategies. With his years of multinational sales and marketing experience with dental offices, he has focused his strengths on marketing solutions for local dental offices just like yours.
At DGS we help you assess where you are at and implement a custom marketing plan that gets results.