Just click a few buttons and publish a website. Sounds promising, right? However, there are many things those "create you own website in a few minutes" ads aren't telling you.
Most of these services are inexpensive and allow you to get a website up and running in no time. It's true. However, the capabilities of these sites are very limiting. Typically you can choose some design elements, but that doesn't mean it will match up very well with your unique brand identity. While you can get content published, there is no guarantee that the webpage has optimal elements for search engine optimization or is cross-browser compatible. It could be incredibly frustrating to get elements of the page to align the way you want them to. The content areas might also not easily accommodate special information types that you may require. In some cases, you may not even be able to add analytics code, which is a must if you want to track information about visitors. Don't forget, support for a lot of these problems at such a price tag is bound to be limited.
The most frustrating component of this kind of web publishing advertising is the impression that once up and running, your website will be found on search engines. Getting listed in the first few entries of a search result is very difficult. The broader the search term, the less likely a newcomer has to be listed near the top. Search engines value continually updated content, proper semantic markup, links to and from your site and the list goes on. In short, search engines value participation and have many ways of measuring it. Just existing means next to nothing. Existing on a platform that limits participation and expression is truly dire.
We understand that many people struggle with budgeting and the thought of publishing a website for very little and in just a few minutes is very appealing. If your goal is to simply have a website with an address you can point people to, than something like this may be a viable option. Just remember, the companies offering these products have to justify the time spent on these products. After all, they are out to make a profit just as all businesses are. So what does a very cheap price tag say to you about the time and effort spent on these products?