Lime offers several professional web design packages which are competitively priced. But why should you pay anything when there are so many free website builders available out there?
The answer, in short, is that even a free website costs you.
It may not cost you money, but it will cost you time. It can cost you lost opportunities. It can cost the value of your business image.
Some started out with them, found them too restrictive and so came to Lime to rebuild their sites ‘properly’.
Some have built some basic sites and are proud of their efforts, so have continued to use them.
Effectively most are web hosts who are attempting to ensure their longevity by operating under the guise of free website providers, so people think this is amazing. And indeed for students, hobbyists and others starting off on a shoestring budget, it is free as long as they don’t mind showing the world that it is built for free and/or displaying some ads at their site.
The benefits are that one can achieve a fairly decent result using their system, and while they may end up paying something every month, in the short term they save on paying designer-developers like Lime.
The disadvantages are:
1. However simple their systems, if the person using it is not used to thinking about web design and communication, there is going to be either tell-tale signs of amateur efforts or the person is going to spend a lot of time getting the site to look decent
2. Being simplified systems, there will be restrictions for sure. Restrictions in appearance, restrictions in functionality. If the person is able to get a satisfactory result while working around those restrictions, then well and good. Otherwise, they will give up and look for people like me.
3. Since the site is built on the provider’s server, the person is locked into using them ‘forever’. If prices increase, or some additional functionality is required thereby forcing the person to look elsewhere, then the site shall need to be rebuilt from scratch.
WordPress.com could sound confusing because professionals like Lime use WordPress as well. The difference is that WordPress.COM operates in a similar way to other free service providers where a choice of free templates are provided and people’s websites are stored at wordpress.com. These are again restrictive templates which people have to make do with.
Now there are a lot of other templates available for sale which have all the functionality we need. These templates are built by independent web programmers who sell these templates for under $100. People can buy these templates, pay for any hosting service available out there and build their websites themselves. This is the next step up from the free providers discussed above. And still, people can bypass the need for professionals like Lime.
While the results can be much better than the free sites, the disadvantages are that there are plenty more settings to confuse one, so the need to be experienced in design and having to learn how the developer has built the template increases. Also, there are some potentially unknown traps like how well has the developer built the template, will it and linked plugins be updated regularly as WordPress evolves.
And so that’s why people who have been in business long enough who realise the value of time, AND who value the professional presentation of their business and its brand AND who want things to run efficiently ultimately reject these free/cheap alternatives and come to people like us!