An adage among tattoo artists states that “a good tattoo isn’t cheap and a cheap tattoo isn’t good.” The same can be said for websites. High quality products don’t usually have 99 cent price tags. And there’s a reason for that. If you’re considering a free website, here’s another adage:“Things that sound too good to be true usually are.”The Risks of “Free” WebsitesPoor Security – Adding security measures increases cost, so to provide a free product, these companies just skimp on the security.Greater likelihood of malware – Free website hosts have a higher instance of malware-infected sites. Probably because of lax security. Or their own nefarious purposes?Limited bandwidth – Free sites typically have bandwidth caps, meaning that your site could easily exceed its bandwidth and experience slow load speeds or even become inaccessible to users. If this occurs too often, search engines may consider your site inactive, seriously harming your rankings. With some hosts, your site won’t come down, but you’ll be charged hefty fees for going over.Ads you don’t want – With a free site, you will likely have advertisements for other companies displaying on YOUR website. It can even be a competitor’s ad!Hidden charges – To make their money back, many “free” hosts limit the backend functions of your site in order to charge you fees once your site is up and running. For example, you may have very limited storage and be charged a fee to increase it. Or you may be charged every time you want to add a new page to your site, etc.Privacy – Free site hosts have been known to sell customer information to advertisers. Get ready for a flood of sales calls!No ownership – Unlike a custom designed site, you can’t just take your site and move it to a new host when you feel like switching. The host owns your site.A template design – For your site’s design, you pick from a limited number of pre-made templates. That means you have little creative control and will share a site look with thousands of other companies.Harming your credibility – Most people have a very negative view of free websites. If you choose this option, you risk giving users the impression that you’re cheap and lax about their security.The Benefits of a Custom-Designed SiteDesigned just for you – By going this route, you’ll have a website specifically designed around your business goals and the needs of your customers. Also, your site will have a one-of-a-kind look and feel based on your unique brand.Designed by experts – The team working on your site will include experts on content strategy, user experience, graphic design and web development.Total ownership – The site will be 100% yours. If you choose to move your site to a different host, you can.Highly editable – A good design firm understands your need to keep your content fresh and up-to-date. They will design your site to be as editable as possible and give you the tools and training to make the updates yourself.Reputable CMS – A good design firm will also build your site in a well-known, highly regarded content management system such as MODX.Custom backend on your CMS – With a custom site, clients typically also get a custom backend on their CMS tool. This means that your content management system has been customized to make updating your site quick and easy and based on your unique needs.Search engine friendly – Unlike free sites, your custom site will be optimized for search and will even allow you to change metadata such as page keywords, descriptions, alt tags and more.Professionalism – Most website users can quickly tell between a custom designed site and a shoehorned template site. Custom sites send a very positive message, demonstrating to your customers that it is important to you to provide them with a useful, beneficial online experience.Not only is your website an important resource for current and prospective customers, it also communicates your brand and serves as your most valuable marketing tool. By going the cheap route with your website, you’re putting your members’ security, the integrity of your brand, and your reputation at risk. Is it worth it? 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Kjoller Jeff has extensive experience in branding, art direction and graphic design, having served employers and clients in a creative capacity for more than twenty-five years. After graduating from the University … Web: www.loudthought.biz Details
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Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York FBI agents recently recovered and returned one of four precious works of art that were stolen from the Oysterponds Historical Society on the North Fork more than 14 years ago, authorities said.An individual who paid several hundred dollars for one of the paintings at an antiques shop shortly after it was stolen in 2001 later checked the FBI’s Stolen Art Database, discovered the work was stolen, and called federal agents, who returned it to the rightful owners on Sept. 29, authorities said.“The FBI told us this past spring they believed the Bark Washington had been located and asked if we wanted it back,” recalled Amy Folk, collections manager for the Orient-based historical society. “Of course we want it back!”The Bark Washington, an 1860 painting by an unknown artist, depicts an entire whale hunting scene, including the whales and other smaller ships, which is unusual given that marine art generally depicts just a single ship.That painting and another, the Jennie French Potter, plus two whale busks were stolen while the historical society’s building was undergoing renovations. They were estimated to be worth $32,000 in 2001, according to FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser. When adjusted for inflation, their value today is $43,000.Langmesser said that she could not disclose the identity of the person who turned in the stolen art. She noted neither the purchaser, nor the since-closed antiques shop in East Marion—not far from the historical society—would be charged with possessing stolen art. The FBI is treating the customer and the shop as “innocent third parties,” she said.“When art theft occurs, it’s common for the thief to sell it right away to someone else who is going to sell it right away, creating distance between the thief and the piece,” said Langmesser, who described the theft as a crime of opportunity.Both the returned painting and the one that has yet to be found are artistically unique and have ties to the community. They were both local ships captained by local families. The Jennie French Potter, a painting of a five-mast schooner by Samual F. Badger, is also unusual because most schooners have three masts.Folk, the curator, hopes that the Jennie French Potter and the whale busks are also found. She described the whale busks as whalebones shaped like “giant tongue depressors with designs or writing on them” that were commonly used in corsets in the 19th century. Unfortunately, locating the stolen busks will be harder because there are no known photographs of them.With no leads or suspects, the case was closed in 2002, Langmesser said. But with the recent discovery of at least one of the stolen paintings, the investigation is now continuing, although the thief has yet to be identified.The FBI asks anyone with information on this case or any other stolen art works to call them 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.The FBI is still looking for the stolen Jennie French Potter.