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12 months $0.99/month then $9.99/month2
12 months $9.99/month then $19.99/month3
12 months $19.99/month then $29.99/month
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What are the limitations of free website builders?
Free website builders and hosting
Free website builders let you create a simple, attractive website easily without prior experience. But do they always offer hosting? The answer, unfortunately, is no: In most cases, free providers don't offer hosting as part of their basic package. Web hosting requires expensive hardware, which means it's often not financially viable to carry out yourself. To have hosting included as part of your free website builder package will come at an cost. The other option is to source an external web hosting provider independently.
Some free website builders do in fact offer website hosting as part of their free package. But this normally means that other features are limited. The free basic package may come with hosting, but doesn't offer a custom domain name, SEO tools, additional users, or an e-commerce function. Other free website builders that offer hosting may place other restrictions, like removing the sign-up function for site visitors, stopping offline page maintenance, not offering SSL security, or blocking certain payment functions, like PayPal or credit cards.
Lastly, some free website builders that offer hosting run ads on your site. This is their way of funding their company to be able to offer you a free website builder – and you'll typically see no commission for these ads, regardless of how well your website performs.
Free website builder templates
Templates are a great way to give your website consistency and style. If you're a beginner with no prior experience in programming or web design, templates are crucial to making sure your site is attractive and has a clear layout.
If you find one that suits your needs perfectly, then it makes sense to use it. But unfortunately, they don't offer a great degree of flexibility, and they won't be exclusive to your site. So if you have an exact idea in mind but lack the programming and web design skills to make it a reality, or if you just want a nice, smart design that is unique to your brand, then a free website builder template probably isn't the answer.
Free website builders with e-mail functions
When setting up your company website, you might want to have your own, domain-specific e-mail address incorporated into it. For example, if you were to acquire the domain name 'bestcars.com', then it can add an extra level of professionalism to have e-mails for all your employees and customer services using this domain name (for instance: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), rather than using a centralized e-mail address domain. Unfortunately, free website builders don't offer this e-mail address feature free of charge.
In fact, many free website builders don't offer an integrated e-mail service as part of their basic package, meaning that you'll need to either use plugins to integrate an e-mail function yourself, or run your e-mail service externally from a separate place entirely.
Technical limitations to free website builders
What do I need to consider?
• Is it possible to create in HTML5?
• Can I customize my HTML doc with CSS?
• Can I embed videos?
• Can I optimize my site for mobile devices?
• Is it possible to use PHP?
• Can I easily connect to a database?
Is it possible to create in HTML5?
HTML5 is the latest version of the classic text language format used for content presentation on the web. If you want your website to stand out, it's important to make sure your free website builder of choice offers HTML5. Some don't.
Can I customize my HTML doc with CSS?
CSS is a language that takes care of the style in your HTML text document. It describes how HTML elements are displayed, with regards to color,size, font, and more. Customizing using CSS is how you can make your website look individual.
Can I embed videos?
Multimedia features like videos are crucial for retaining customers and offering site visitors added value. Some free website builders don't let you embed videos unless you pay for a premium package.
Can I optimize my site for mobile devices?
Mobile optimization is an increasingly important factor in customer retention, because mobile browsing on smartphones and tablets is growing. This then affects the Google SERP (search engine results page) rankings: Sites that are not optimized for mobile devices are punished with lower rankings. Most free website builders only offer mobile optimization for premium customers.
Is it possible to use PHP?
PHP is usually embedded into HTML code or combined with pre-existing templates or frameworks. It adds further flexibility to your code and allows you to personalize content. Some free website builders don't offer PHP editing free of charge.
Can I easily connect to a database?
Free website builders often feature their own database for you to use, but this is normally restricted to only a small amount of data storage. To extend your storage options, you'll need to either connect to an external database or pay for an upgrade.