What do free websites cost?

Free websites aren't free. Now this sounds like an anachronism but let us show you why free websites cost a lot, and usually cost more than a professionally produced website.
Scanning through the terms and conditions of, a popular free website service, we noticed that although the initial site is free, there are steep follow-on costs. To add to this, there are costs that seem fair but actually degrade your brand and that you have no control over. Let's look at some of these.

What does SEO cost?

We do search engine optimisation (SEO). In a slightly different tack from most SEO companies, we bake the tools into our websites then show you how to create good, solid content then let the system's magic do its thing. This doesn't cost any extra. However, should you wish we can write really effective content for you.

META tags and SEO

It's easy to despair about some of the dodgy practices (or sheer ignorance) on the part of web developers today, but the reliance on META tags (or metatags) to do search engine optimisation borders on negligence. Don't get me wrong, you can put metatags, specifically META-description and META-keywords tags, on your site but they're of no value whatsoever.

Fleecing the Flu

The past few weeks have concentrated minds around the world as companies have looked closely at their disaster recovery policies and plans and found that most are woefully slack. Swine Flu (or Influenza A/H1N1) has become the first pandemic of the 21st century. Not much worse than the common cold and certainly not as deadly as bog-standard seasonal flu (for the moment), the escalating news stories and attendant tension, forced many firms to add pandemic to the list of possible disaster scenarios along with airplanes landing on facilities, dirty bombs and terrorist attack panics.


Apparently the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) caught a virus! According to The Register, it seems hackers uploaded malware infected files onto the podcast section of the CDC website. The site was taken down and, presumably, cleaned and inoculated before it was opened up again. And they say Americans don't get irony; well perhaps not on purpose...

Normal Service Resumed

Some have commented that we haven't been eating our own dogfood by keeping *our* site updated often. We've been quite busy in a bit of an upgrade and migration project moving from one system to another. We thought it would be simple, and on paper it is, but the best laid plans and all that.... We made a decision to stop development on our own content management system over a year ago and moved almost everything over to Civicspace version 2 (0.8.2). Civicspace, for those who don't know, is a version of Drupal, a bewilderingly amazingly complex and capable content management system.

Why update my website often?

Image of a team preparing content to upload to a website.

Many is the website that was coded and uploaded, saying exactly what the owner wanted to say....and hasn't been touched since. It's nothing more than a brochure for the person or organisation and if their message changes then they will change their website.

We believe this is a fatal mistake in website management. There are two reasons for this:

Commendable customer service

I got a bounced e-mail notice from a good friend who had tried to alert me to something on one of our sites (and not that our access control was out of control!). The e-mail he sent to us had bounced and he was worried something was up. I sent a couple of test e-mails which worked fine and let him know that everything seemed to be in order and to just re-send.