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Should You Use a Free Website Builder to Create Your Blog?
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Should You Use a Free Website Builder to Create Your Blog?

If you’re thinking about creating a blog, you might consider using a free website builder to make things easier on yourself. These days, there are dozens of different free website builders to choose from, and most of them are intentionally designed to make website building as easy as possible, even for total laypeople.

But is this the right approach?

Are Free Website Builders Good for Blog Creation

How Free Website Builders Work

According to The Blog Starter, the two things you need to start a blog (or any website, really) are web hosting and software. Free website builders typically include both of these elements, though you can seek different sources if you want.

Different types of free website builders work slightly differently. But most free website builders have much in common. You’ll typically sign up for a free account, you can design your website using any number of different free templates and stock photos with a WYSIWYG editor, you can purchase a domain, you can pay for web hosting, and eventually, you’ll take your site online.

If you try to build and maintain your website entirely for free, you’ll face some extra restrictions and alternative costs. For example, you may not have access to a custom domain and you may be forced to host advertising on behalf of the website builder.

Pros of Free Website Builders

There are many advantages to using a free website builder for your website.

  1. Accessibility. If you rely on a free website builder, you won’t need to build a relationship with an agency, nor will you need to review dozens of different freelancers. Instead, you can simply visit the builder’s website, sign up for an account in minutes, and get started. This is one of the most accessible ways to start a new website.
  2. Inexpensiveness. Building a website from scratch with an agency can cost $20,000 or more. Even if you end up paying for custom photography, dedicated web hosting, security upgrades, and a custom domain, you’ll still end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars instead of tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, you can also build a website entirely for free if you’re willing to put up with a few inconveniences.
  3. Easy use. Some people love free website builders because they’re relatively easy to use. Even if you have no design or web management experience, you can use the tools available in these platforms to design, write, and publish a website entirely from scratch. That doesn’t mean your website is going to look professionally designed, but you’ll be in a much better position than if you tried to simply build a website from scratch on your own.
  4. Ample options. There isn’t only one free website builder on the market. There are many to choose from, and each one comes with its own pros and cons to consider. If one platform doesn’t work for you, simply transition to another.

Cons of Free Website Builders

However, there are also some downsides you’ll need to consider.

  1. Limited flexibility. One of the biggest problems with free website builders is that they lack flexibility. If you have a plan for how to expand the functionality of your website, or if you just want more versatility in what your website can offer, free website builders may not be the way to go. WordPress plugins and extensions can help, but they don’t provide infinite flexibility.
  2. Ads and domain restrictions (potentially). Some website builders subsidize the cost of hosting a website by forcing advertising upon your site. You may also be prevented from using a custom domain. These can weaken the image of your website and make you look unprofessional.
  3. Template designs. Templates make it easy to create a website that looks somewhat professional without spending much time or money. However, since there are probably hundreds or thousands of websites already using these templates, your website could end up looking unoriginal.
  4. Minimal support. What happens if you have a problem with the website? Unless you’re willing to pay extra for support, you might not get access to the people who can help.
  5. Shared hosting (sometimes). By default, most free website builders enroll you in shared hosting, which comes with a litany of disadvantages. Typically, you’ll want to upgrade to dedicated hosting.

So should you be using a free website builder to create your website? In some cases, this is the best and most straightforward way to create a website from scratch. You can save a lot of money and build your website yourself in a matter of hours. But with so many limitations and restrictions, this isn’t the best choice for all individuals or businesses. Make sure you review your options carefully and do your due diligence before making a final decision.

The product recommendations in this article are made solely by the sponsor and are not recommendations made by VentureBeat.