Top 10 Things to Consider Before Using a FREE or DIY Website

Is FREE or DIY the right website solution for business? 

DIY Website solutions are advertised as the answer to a small business owners’ prayers. The compelling argument is they offer a top solution at little to no cost. For small businesses just getting off the ground, or even to the discerning business owner, it’s interesting. But consider the “hidden” costs of these DIY and Free website builder solutions (i.e. Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Web.com). We’ll identify some of the less obvious and very possible, if not likely, realities here so your business can make an informed decision about what to use. 

Businesses have so many challenges and responsibilities, none less than the presentation of a detailed and relevant brand, so consider these questions before going the FREE or DIY route. 

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Using a FREE or DIY Website

    1. What is the cost in terms of effort, time and learning curve with a free solution?
    2. Does its user own anything, including any long term web footprint development with free?
    3. Does the user of this free solution own her content?
    4. Is there any immediate support if something goes wrong with free?
    5. Is anyone accountable to particular business requirements with free?
    6. Is there any search engine optimization with free, genuine tools that work and that advance when necasary?
    7. The web, Google and browsers always evolve… what is a free website solutions incentive to keep up?
    8. Will free website solutions change policies to a users’ detriment?
    9. Does a free provider run its own brand or potentially competitive advertising on the site in order to justify giving something away?
    10. Are all features and applications, plus any flexibility for customization, necessary for the average business available with free?

Can business assets such as a BRAND be trusted to FREE services? If there are genuine business requirements it may not only be useful, but cost-effective to look into website ownership and a genuine vested creative interest in support. And lots not forget the age old reality that marketing agencies exist to offer a breadth of experience in business strategy and promotion. 

Ask us about how WordPress is an advantage and then also about webmaster services for the serious marketer. 

Why A Business Owner Needs Webmaster Service

Business Owners Need Webmaster and Digital Assets Management Service!

Managing the digital assets a business needs in this day and age has become a huge distraction. Keeping track of domains, websites, proper hosting, various Google tools, search & directory listings, social media accounts, security, passwords and various other applications has become a huge headache for the average business owner. And it’s where an accountable responsive webmaster helps!

Business owners should have control over their digital assets, but manage them? Who can back a website or its’ database up? Who will manage updates? What about fundamental basic SEO? Does anyone know how to develop content, the right way? What about SSL certificates!? How do you secure assets in a manageable way? Logo, graphic and image file storage that’s easy to access?! How does one keep track of all the logins? A good webmaster is prepared to help!

The ‘Big Solution Company’ Answer

The ‘big solution companies’ choose to take advantage of the ‘short on time | short on technical knowledge’ business person. They sell confusion and solutions that limit everything, while adding traps and minimizing actual service. A half hour wait on the phone, only to speak to an uninformed person with no vested interest is the low bar they set. Even more insulting is that same person you waited to talk too is really NOT motivated to serve. Rather she is trained to try and sell more tech’!? If you are already with one of them you know the situation. In fact, they bet that moving on is just enough trouble to discourage you doing it.

A serious business person should NEVER tolerate it!

What’s The Answer?

 

Kinetic Knowledge offers webmaster services a business might appreciate: responsive Webmaster and digital asset management support for all of a businesses assets under one roof! We are an experienced firm interested offering a consultative approach to managing digital assets. We also believe a business should both own and control its’ assets! If webmaster support resonates, please do not hesitate to ask us about how it is done! 


Basic Webmaster Services Can Include:

  • WordPress Website Host Management 
  • WordPress Website Updates Management
  • WordPress Backups, Website & Database
  • WordPress Themes Management
  • WordPress Plugins Management
  • Google My Business Tools Basic Setup & Management 
  • Google Traffic Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Basic Security
  • Secure Image, Logo, Graphic, Video Files Storage
  • Passwords Storage
  • Malware Scans
  • Brute Force Blocking
  • Strong Password Enforcement
  • Google ReCaptcha
  • Bad User Lockouts
  • 404 Detection
  • Blacklist Checks
  • Update Alerts
  • File Change Alerts
  • Performance Checks
  • Vested Human Service
  • And more !

And Even More Advanced Support Options Can Include:

  • More Frequent Website Database Backups Options
  • Advanced Security Options
  • Advanced Google My Business Tools Setup Options
  • SSL Certificate Purchase & Installation  
  • SEO Options
  • PPC Options
  • Email Campaign Options 
  • Content Options
  • Search & Directory Listings Option
  • KeyWords Rank Tracking Option
  • Social Media Plan Options
  • Monthly Report Options
  • And more again !

The 4 Areas Of Security You Must Manage!

the 4 areas of security defined

The 4 Areas of Web Security Businesses Must Know

 

Your security is about risk reduction because the risk will never ever be zero. There is no perfect security solution or guarantee because hacks will come up with new methods every day. So, serious people need to get familiar with the 4 areas of security that matter to their web health. 

 

1. Local Computers & Communication

– the biggest area of vulnerability and where most hacks occur

– at minimum use malware scanning software ( i.e. malwarebytes.com )

– be reluctant to click on links or react to anything in email unless you are certain of who it came from

– search random website domains on Google before visiting because Google vets the website pages it indexes for malware- downloading and nefarious activity


2. Website Updates Management

– manage a business website as if it is under attack… because it is! 

– good website software advances and unless someone else owns your website, keep it updated  

– with WordPress there are core updates, theme & application updates that either advance usability or harden code against vulnerability to hack

3. Website Security

– there are good & bad options suited for different users

– firewalls matter and most all free solutions have no firewall

– inconvenient as it may be, you must encrypt login page URLs , usernames and passwords

 

4. Secure Socket Layers ( SSL )WHY DOES GOOGLE WANT US TO USE SSL?

– Google has stated SSL is necessary

– now they make it visible in the browser, you are either an ‘I’ for insecure or a ‘Green Lock’ for secure website

– it protects the exchange of information between browser and website from 3rd party computers or software that might otherwise get in between that connection

– it may seem obvious for e- commerce, but exposure stems from the fact that people also fill out contact forms and owners login to their websites from a browser!


Managing a web presence can be difficult for busy business people so we provide a series of different webmaster & host management options, including advanced website security, to relieve folks of that burden.  Ask us about client friendly webmaster services!

Is It My Website? = Is It My Digital Web Footprint?

Websites and Digital Web Footprint Ownershipwordpress business websites | kinetic knowledge

 

DO I CONTROL MY CURRENT AND FUTURE MARKETING VISIBILITY ONLINE?

 

Your website and its’ accumulated references (inbound links to website page URLs) should never ever be trapped. If you cannot move your website from host to host whenever you decide it’s necessary, do not chose the website solution! This is important because with so many website providers the answer is often “No you cannot take the website off our server”. That’s a big problem when considering what a website’s accumulated ‘Digital Web Footprint’ is worth to a business, including:

  1. What have you been trying to accomplish with a website? = findability and then presentation
  2. What is the long term picture? = greater and greater findability via more and more references
  3. What happens to all my keyword search engine indexing, linked direct to my individual page URLs?
  4. What about bookmarks to my page URLs?
  5. What about back links from other websites to my page URLs?
  6. How about all social shares, likes, pins and Plus 1’s with links to my website pages?
  7. What happens to all the potential resulting traffic, leads and new business? 


If you don’t own anything, it’s gone and you start over. All of the above relates directly to records of your page URLs or ‘permalinks’ out all over the web. All in places where anybody, anywhere, at any time can discover you! And it can translate to sales at any moment! So do you want to keep it, including grow it? 
The question often stems from whether or not a business can take a site it has developed from one host to another. Time, effort and ( past & future ) money is always at stake SO before investing even a moment of time be sure to understand the consequences of not owning it all; be sure to understand the long term value lost and what’s truly at stake when you lose not only a website, but its digital footprint!

WHAT IS AT STAKE WITH YOUR DIGITAL WEB FOOTPRINT?

A website is the beginning and a means for future marketing. While marketing, search engine optimization and social voice require time, effort and money it all works toward building a long term visible brand via its ‘digital web footprint’. What is the technical definition of a ‘digital footprint’ (click here)?

It is a forever growing record of digital interactions recorded via page URLs or permalinks. A cumulative record, for instance, used by search engines to rank a site and its content versus the competition. It’s a page URL that maybe several people have bookmarked (or linked too, shared and/ or liked) possibly to recommend it to others or to save as a reference for when they are ‘ready to buy’. Its a lot of potential new business opportunities … assuming those URL records can stand the test of time.

And for this reason, not owning it can be a big long term mistake.

WHEN IS A WEBSITE AND DIGITAL FOOTPRINT NOT MINE?

You see the ads for curiously cheap or even free websites. Ever wonder how or even why it’s free? Maybe the provider is selling something else so profitable [i.e. shared hosting, registrar SEO or PPC service plans] it makes throwing in a template website worth doing free. It is a classic ‘bait & switch’ for the unsuspecting! Logic serves that virtually no business can afford to offer anything for free!

Maybe free suits an immediate need versus building your own site at a cost. There’s even the free subdomain of WordPress.com [i.e. mystore.wordpress.com] option, where authority gained from digital transactions are passed along to the primary wordpress.com domain… and that’s fair for free. Free or cheap is nice, but not if the marketer wants to both build and protect its’ long term record of digital capital interactions … and that potential that comes with it for future business growth.

FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION

An architect might tell you that the shape or FORM of a building should be based upon its intended FUNCTION or purpose. Let’s parallel a ‘digital footprint’ in a way that defines what a website’s purpose SHOULD be.

The data trail left by interactions in a digital environment or, better yet, the size of a companies’ “online presence” measured by its’ history of interactions is it’s ‘digital footprint’. Inputs to a ‘digital footprint’ may include location, search engine crawls, keyword use and indexing, links, content amount, bookmarks, recommendations, social network activity, direct subscriptions and many more ‘signals’ that lend themselves to visibility (or a website’s function) over time. 

Why does a company build a website in the first place? Hopefully not only to own a Website Digital Footprint Ownership Modern Full Width Responsive Design by Kinetic Knowledgewebsite, but to be ever more visible online; to drive traffic, capture leads and generate business. For perspective, disregard all the signals a marketer’s website can accumulate in it’s ‘footprint’ over time. Rather, look solely at one – the time a business begins hosting its’ website on a particular URL. Time or ‘date stamp’ is a signal and it counts toward a search engine’s definition of authority in a competitive environment. Depending on the level of competition for visibility and traffic, for instance maybe in a less competitive geographic region, ‘date stamp’ for when a business arrived with some content at its’ URL can be enough to outrank the competition. And to outrank is, in theory, to drive traffic and potential new business. But remember, the time record is URL based! Worthless if you don’t own it! 

Most subjects and geographic regions are a great deal more competitive for traffic, but using the one signal demonstrates the larger value proposition and what’s at stake. The big picture is not just that a business should own its’ website, but it should be in control of an entire history of interactions and the means to grow its’ visibility forever and ever! 

WORDPRESS.ORG AND PORTABILITY

Custom WordPress | Website Digital Footprint Ownership | Modern Full Width Responsive Design by Kinetic KnowledgeWordPress.org is open source software available under the ‘General Public License’ or GPL, which *generally* (within GPL scope) gives its’ user the right to do with it what they wish. Open source software might loosely be defined as base software code one can manage, develop, advance and/or launch applications (like themes and plugins) from without having to rewrite that base code. With WordPress.org and a little knowledge or help, a business can change hosts and never concern themselves with whether or not it’s all theirs. What’s more, there is nothing that compares when it comes to support. Whether for people that can pick it up and support generally or virtually any imagine- able application need, already built and ready for plugging in. There’s more support for WordPress than any other solution at any time. Ever. Period.