To Free or Not to Free: Who Should You Trust to Build your Website?

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By Dorothy Thompson
Digital Analyst

With more than 80% of consumers now beginning their buying process with a search on the internet, your website is often the first and most important touchpoint in the customer experience.  

Thanks to continued advances in technology, consumer expectations are at an all-time high.

Bottom line: not having a great website is no longer an option. 

In many cases how you promote or sell your business on your website is just as important to your success as providing quality products and services and delivering top-notch customer service.

Choosing the right platform

Whether you’re a business owner on the path to creating your first website or an established brand looking for a fresh redesign of your existing site, there are several factors to consider when making a great website.

The first decision you will need to make on this journey is how you will build your website.

Assuming you are not already familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, there are two major options to consider:

  • Use a free website builder.
  • Hire a professional.

The first option means using a platform like Wix, Weebly, Shopify or Squarespace to create your own website, whereas the second option means you’ll be working with someone who will help you find the right platform for creating a website designed to meet your business needs.

Which option is right for you?

At Archetype SC, we know that when it comes to web design, one size does not fit all. We strongly believe that for most businesses, investing in a custom-designed website is the way to go. We understand the value of building and maintaining a brand that represents your business and creating a unique website that reflects your brand while meeting your business goals is our top priority.

Building your own website for free may be tempting, but unless you have a clear vision of how to market your business — not to mention a flair for design, quality writing, and visual communication — you’ll likely end up spending a lot of time and effort to end up with something that’s not quite what you wanted it to be.

In many cases, you’ll find that the so-called “free” options could even end up costing you more in the end.

Hiring a professional can better serve your business needs and ensure that your website can do everything you want it to do. Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, finding a way to invest in a website will be worth your time and money if done properly.

The limitations of free website builders

In recent years, free website builders have become very popular among small businesses, providing a cheap and easy way to get your website off the ground and running quickly.

Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, to name a few, offer a drag and drop interface for building your website with no coding.

That sounds pretty great, right?

Here’s the catch: you get what you pay for. With free website builders also come limitations.

Time Investment

When you are using a free website builder, what you’re really trading for the upfront cost is your own time.

Even with a “drag and drop” editor, building your own website can easily take more than 50 hours. In addition to the time spent creating your site layout, there are also other tasks to consider such as copywriting, photography, search engine optimization, and more.

All this time that you spend learning how to write, design, and build your website, is time that you could spend selling your business, creating new products, or doing more of the things you actually got into business to do.

Limited functionality

Depending on your business needs, you might also find that the free option does not offer the functionality that your website needs.

Though these services have come a long way in terms of eCommerce and other functionality, you may find that in order to do what you want with your website, you need to buy add-ons or upgrade to a premium version.

Hidden Costs

What you thought was going to be a free website has turned into monthly or annual fees… then there are the you might not have considered: the cost of a custom domain name, hosting, SSL certificate, eCommerce features, backups, plugins, and customization options continue adding to the bill.

After encountering all of these fees and sacrificing your own time to build the website, something might still be missing. Your brand.

Templated Design

If you are a new business owner, you know the importance of building a memorable brand that represents your business. As a direct reflection of your brand, your website should do just that.

Using a free website builder allows you to choose from ready-made templates, guaranteeing one thing: your website will look just like everyone else’s.

The benefits of hiring a professional

Hiring a professional to build your website provides many perks, but the most valuable thing is that you will receive is a unique design that fits your business and brand. 

our website should tell a story of who you are as a business. The designers at Archetype SC are dedicated to creating a site that meets the goals of your business while keeping your brand at the forefront.

The Whole Package

When you hire a professional agency to design and build your website, you will get more than just a website. You will receive support about your business as a whole. You will get advice about advertising, securing investors, social media presence, e-mail marketing, cybersecurity, and more.

Custom Branding and Design

Hiring a professional to build your website gives you an opportunity to expand and improve upon your existing brand.

Experts will offer advice to help you create a brand that reflects your business. Building your brand will help to establish a reputation in your industry, encourage customer engagement, and build trust with your customers.

Make Search Work For You

Your business can’t survive if people can’t find you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very important step in the web design process. When done correctly, SEO will help your target audience find your business, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately drive conversions.

Using key techniques and strategies like content development, keyword optimization, user experience improvements, and a mobile-first design, our experts will optimize your site to increase organic traffic.

The Features You Need

A professionally designed and developed website will include powerful features that your business needs, and nothing that it doesn’t. Extra features that you aren’t using will only slow your website down.

Page load is one of the most important aspects of a successful website. loads quickly and works correctly.

Maintenance and Scalability

Making sure that your website functions properly doesn’t stop when the site goes live. 

As your business grows, your website will grow with it and you may find that the features of your website need to be expanded to meet the everchanging needs of your customers. A professionally built website will allow for future customizations and growth.


Our relationship doesn’t end after your site is up and running. You will receive continuous reporting and analytics about how your users are interacting with the site and advice on how you can continuously improve the experience.



Begin building your future today!

Ready to take the next step in your digital transformation? Archetype SC's digital experience team is ready to help with custom applications, integrations, and websites that will improve your customer experience and help you grow your business.

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