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If you’re a small business, you’ve probably seen ads for Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and other DIY site builders. Sounds attractive, huh? You can build a good looking website in less than an hour, for free—what’s not to love?

Nothing, if you just want a free website. Go for it. However, that’s not what most small businesses want. What you really want—and need—is a web presence that attracts more customers, more sales, better brand awareness, and (ultimately) more income. The website is just a tool to hopefully get those things, and this is where Wix, Weebly and the others start to show so serious flaws.

Here are just a few reasons why you’d be better off hiring a local Fort Lauderdale web design company instead of entrusting your company’s future to a free service.

1. A Unique Design – Just Like Everyone Else’s

Websites built with DIY website builders are, by definition, not unique. Yes, each of these providers has a couple of hundred templates, but they also claim millions of users, so you do the math. The finished website may look OK, but it’s certainly not unique. Doesn’t your business deserve its own identity and branding?

2. Limited Optimization

The amount of useful SEO you can do with a free package varies, but it’s never possible to optimize a DIY site as well as a professionally designed website can be optimized. Good SEO and website optimization is essential if you want to be found by Google and other major search engines. Typically, sites from Wix, Weebly, and others do not rank as well as sites produced by professionals.

3. Poor Analytics

When you choose a Fort Lauderdale web design company, you’re buying into a team of experts who will use the latest analytics tools to continually assess your website’s performance. These tools will help us to improve bounce rates, and to spot which areas of the website work best and which need tweaking. We can constantly monitor your traffic, with the end purpose of driving your bottom line.

A free website, on the other hand, often doesn’t give access to even basic traffic statistics until you upgrade, and then the statistics are limited or may be based on outdated algorithms.

4. Advertisements and Clunky URLs

Unless you upgrade to get your own domain name, you’re stuck with a homepage like wix.com/yourcompanyname—it’s just unprofessional. On free plans, DIY builders may also place advertisements across your website, or at the bottom of pages. Again, it just looks as if your business is not a serious player.

5. Ongoing Costs

As I’ve mentioned, the most basic free plans are simply not suitable for a growing business. If you upgrade, it starts to get quite expensive, pretty quickly. You may end up paying $50/month for your “free” website—forever. By contrast, when you choose a Fort Lauderdale web design company, there will be an initial cost to design and develop your website, but you won’t be stuck paying out month after month.

6. Lack of Portability

What happens if your business outgrows Wix, Weebly or the others? What if you need tools and options which aren’t available there? Then you’ll have to start from scratch. With a professionally designed website, however, your site will be fully scalable and you won’t have to start over with a brand new look every time you need to incorporate a new functionality.

7. Lack of Professional Advice

This is perhaps the biggest drawback to Wix and Weebly, and the biggest advantage of using a Fort Lauderdale web design company instead. Although you get basic technical support from the DIY companies, you don’t get professional internet marketing advice. We can help you with branding, your marketing message, conversion points, social media and the rest, rather than just telling you how to move your picture from one page to the next.

Your business is your future –it’s worth more than an hour of your time and a few dollars a month. For a professional website which not only looks good but actually outperforms the competition, all while contributing to your bottom line, choose a professional design company which will grow with you, advise you, and create something which will stand the test of time.

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