You’ve probably seen the ads out there that extol the virtues of a well known “Free” website builder and how “Easy” it is to make a website. You may have asked yourself (or your customers may have asked) “Why pay for a website when I can get one for free?”

Well, we’re here to answer that burning question by looking at three key factors for your website: Design, Conversions & Goals, and finally Functionality & Scalability and how that affects your business.


This one seems pretty straightforward but great websites start with great designs. For us, this process starts with an extensive discovery that helps our design team understand your business’ offerings and goals. From there, we work to establish a design language for your site that matches with your needs and that speaks to your target audience.

This is the key difference between a “Free” website and one from GMD. We take the time to learn about your business and tailor a design to match who you are and what you need to say. With a “Free” site you are simply choosing from an existing template and then using your own best judgment to decide on the placement of Calls to Action, Unique Selling Propositions, Conversion points etc. This is where our design expertise shines. Our designers have years of experience and hundreds of projects under their belts that allow them to quickly and clearly understand and present the information on your site so that it best suits your clients’ needs.

Conversion & Goal Optimization

Using our design expertise we are able to design a website that uses industry standard practices, proven methods and ingenuity to ensure your goals are met. With a “Free” template you might have a decent head start on a good design however that design might have been created for a different industry with different conversion goals and metrics in mind, or for a different customer base altogether. With a GMD site on the other hand, we can work with you to find the right balance between your vision and a design that elevates your site to a new level as a potential conversion machine.

Additionally, if you are on our monthly hosting and maintenance program we are here every month to help you keep your site up to date with new content you provide us. This new content helps to keep your customers engaged and the search engine algorithms happy. Finally, while free site can get you listed on search engines, a tailored approach to your website will get higher conversions, higher engagement and higher search rankings than an average “Free” website.

Functionality & Scalability

Free websites can get you up and running really quickly if you need something simple. Once you are up and running, however, they often lack in terms of advanced functionality. Sure, you can change the colours and you can add a contact form, but when it comes to customizing features you will soon find out that you can’t do even basic things like connecting a form to Mailchimp lists or adding custom animations. This can lead to frustrations and may prevent your website from scaling with your business or your customers needs.

This lack of functionality leads to our final issue with free website builders: scalability. You will notice that when you look at most “Free” website builders the wording on the sign up button reads something like “Start for Free” that’s because while you can build a site for free, adding additional functionality such as SEO tools, booking integrations or e-commerce will all cost extra. Not to mention that you will also pay a monthly hosting fee for that “Free” site with all the usual add-ons that a-la-carte hosting providers try and up sell to you, e.g., nightly backups, web application firewalls and increased bandwidth (all of which are included with your GMD Hosting & Maintenance). All of a sudden we’re looking at a situation where you might need to pony up for a bunch of additional services which take the price of your “Free” website into the hundreds of dollars per month. Alternatively, you might need to move your site to a different service such as Shopify or WordPress that offers all of the functionality you need. This can be a painful decision for a business to make as this often means abandoning much of the time and energy that was spent tweaking that “Free” template so that it looks just right.


In conclusion, while a “Free” website might get you online quickly we believe that its not quite as “Easy” as those commercials would have you believe. By choosing “Free” you are choosing to do all of the heavy lifting and decision making yourself. By choosing GMD you are choosing to tap into the knowledge base and expertise that has been developed on our team. This way you can focus on running your business while we build you a beautiful new website.