Media, Marketing & Common Sense ONDO MEDIA | Production & Consulting | Columbus, Ohio.

Free websites cost too muchDo free websites really work?

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A mentor of mine use to say all the time “TANSTAFL” which is short for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Lately the website provider WIX has been hitting my local market radio with ads promoting their “Design your own professional website for free”. Now before I go further, let me disclose that a large part of my business is designing websites. That may lead you to think WIX and other free website services are a threat to my business. In fact it’s the opposite. Most clients call me after they start dabbling in WIX and quickly discover three things:

First: Its not free

You have to pay for add ons like your domain etc which adds up quick and there are limited widgets and plugins.

Second:  It’s not mobile friendly.

Most of these sites are flash based which wont work on iPhones & iPads. Plus the site lacks that sexy look that a WordPress, Joomla and other custom coded websites offer.

Third:  No one will find you.

Victims to these free sites find out that they are buried deep in the Google search because WIX is not an SEO friendly platform.


Yet people who like to tinker with their own website still like to use these so called free platforms. I will go back to an illustration I used in my book How to avoid a MEDIA MELTDOWN. I am a graphic designer. When it came time to do my own business cards I did what any cheapskate like me would do, I designed some stellar art and printed them on some do it yourself perforated card stock.  The art looked great but the cards seemed dull.  I decided to have them printed professionally on high gloss card with a die cut that really makes my card stand out. The result is almost every time I give someone my card now they say “Wow that’s a really nice card”. The content is exactly the same as it was on the my card stock, but the difference was having someone print that content who had the pro gear I didn’t have.  You may think using a free website accomplished the same thing, but it doesn’t. Your business will lose because professionals can detect a good site from a bad site. If you find that you like a simple site so that you can keep your fingers in the cookie jar and not hire someone consider this story.  I fancy myself as a car guy. One day I wanted to put brakes on my car myself  when a buddy who worked at a garage said “stick to TV and Film, let me fix the things that stop your car so you don’t get killed”. Point taken. If you find WordPress or other custom site interfaces too complicated, take the hint, you should take control by having someone else work on your site who understands the backend of websites and SEO and you can stay focused on solving your customers problems.

Everyone needs a website. If you want to do it yourself, its your choice but just know that a free website will cost you too much.

John Ondo, Ondo Media, Columbus OhioJohn Ondo is an Emmy Nominated TV Producer, Media Consultant & Author.  His video production company, Ondo Media, creates the finest in video & film productions as well as social media and web strategies. Based in Columbus, Ohio, John Ondo, can be followed on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and our Ondo Media Vimeo site. You can also get his book “How To Avoid A Media Meltdown” at Amazon.Com or at the Ondo Media Bookstore.

John also serves as a board member and supporter of the Central Ohio Chapter of the March of Dimes.




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