Beware of the “canned” website!

It's the business owner's dream: a cheap, pre-made website that can be put up overnight and managed through an online interface.  Sounds too good to be true, right?  That's because it is...

Many of these "create your own" websites (which will remain nameless) allow you to create a website based on templates and then host it at the company's hosting center.  The hosting account is a little spendy (anything over $5 a month, to me, is too much for basic hosting) and you usually have to sign a contract for an extended period of time.

When it comes time to move your site or to customize it, you often come to find out that you have no access to your actual files at all!  You have to go through THEIR online service, through THEIR website editor and you're locked into THEIR web hosting account.  Some of these companies even purchase your web address (domain name) under THEIR name so that you can't take it with you when you cancel your account!

Take my advice, based on loads of past experience: it's far easier in the long run to hire a freelance web designer and have them create a custom site than to go with one of the pre-made ones.

AG

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