There are many Content Management Systems (CMS) options available. WordPress is by far the most popular, free (open-source), and the easiest to manage and build with the appropriate setup.
So far sounds pretty good, right? Popular, easy to manage and build up into what you need, add in that you can have a free account with wordpress.com and your costs are looking “slim to none”.
Before jumping in though, make sure you don’t commit the most common WordPress fail… trying to do it all using a free WordPress account and theme.
Let’s take a look at the pitfalls.
Lacking the Bells & Whistles Your competitors Have
In order to have the impact you hope to achieve you’ll need to be able to perform at least as well as your competitors. The goal, of course, will be to stand out from the crowd. ‘Free’ comes with a price. With a free WP theme you will not have many options to customise the look & feel and functionality. You can change colours and images but not much else. You’ll be limited to the functionality available. If you decide that you need more functionality and want to change themes it will lead to a lot of frustration.
You’ll need to configure any new theme specific settings, check that it plays nicely with previous customisations and manually fix any problems. Getting to grips with additional new features also takes time, meanwhile your users will be confused trying to keep up with the changes and will eventually give up.
First Impressions Matter
The old adage applies here;
You get what you pay for.
The last thing you want is for a first time visitor to gaze at your website and be underwhelmed by its unimaginative look and feel. You want to provide the “wow” factor, a well developed site that looks professional, and shows you know what you are doing and are ready for business.
Free WordPress Account & Template breakdown
A free theme looks very basic and doesn’t offer the professional appearance of a more sophisticated theme developed with your audience in mind. There are more drawbacks to be considered:
- A generic web address, i.e. myname.wordpress.com
- Basic layout with little to no branding opportunities.
- Lacking functionality or means to add exactly what you need.
- Lack of Support…
Lack of Support
If you have the time and you feel you can teach yourself what you need to learn little by little, using the free WordPress theme and making your own website might be the best way for you, but just remember it’s not as easy as it seems.
If you have any questions regarding this post or any other topic we may help you with, please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.