While browsing the Web recently, I saw an online advertisement that read “Build a Business Website in under 5 minutes.” Let this serve as a warning:
If you run a business and you want to set up a small business web site, beware of free web hosts. While the host that ran the headline above wasn’t promoting free hosting, it was promoting easy access. It’s almost as bad.
For one thing, these kind of websites often use templates. While templates in and of themselves aren’t bad, a lot of free templates, or the templates offered at many hosting companies, are frame-based templates. Here’s a clue to the unititiated: Search engines don’t read frames. That’s why you want to stay away from them.
You’re better off hiring a web designer to create a template for you, or just build you a web site from scratch. It’s more expensive and not nearly as easy, but you stand a much better cance of being successful online. But you have to be careful with designers, too. Be sure you let them know that you don’t want a web site designed with frames. Most designers can and will design to your specifications if you are up front about what you want. That’s where you have to educate yourself before you make the move online.
Another thing about web designers: Not all of them know anything about search engine optimization. If you just want someone to create a web site for you, fine, just use any old designer you want to. But if you are serious about doing business online, find a designer who knows SEO. Those designers are rare and usually are more expensive, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.