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Free lunches, free web stuff and other mythological creatures

Everyone loves free stuff, mostly everyone.  Whether it is Readers Digest Lottery Company offering me what they can not and have no intention of delivering, or my long-lost Nigerian relative, informing me of my wealthy ancestor’s passing, I just don’t get that excited about free stuff.*

Freehosts (I think it was called, I’ll call it that) was a thing back in the day, based somewhere in USA, then there was Weebly and now there is Wix – there are probably millions of half-finished websites made of those. Because if it is free, there’s no need to finish it, it’s disposable because no money was spent on it.  However the internet lasts forever, unless you signed up with Freehosts, so the half-finished business site you saved money on by getting a free one, but then abandoned, is still floating out there giving you that certain look.

One of my very early clients did not want to pay for hosting, but he did pay a small amount of money to have a site on Freehosts not show advertising, and he flew to Christchurch to work with me on his site.  We spent so much time which he paid me for, then he went back to his town after we had completed his brand-spanking new website, it looked pretty professional, this was in the year 2000 when only a few small businesses even had websites.  It did quite well for his business for a few months, then one day he rang to say it wasn’t there.  I went online to look, and it really wasn’t.  The whole site was down.  There was no contact details or phone number, but we managed to track a phone number via the domain name WhoIs, but when we called it was disconnected.  He still got billed $4.95 a month for a little while for being ad-free, which technically he was since he did not have any ads, mainly because he didn’t even have a website.  But that wasn’t the worst part, the worst part is that we had spent so much time crafting the html and making this amazing work of art – hours, no, days of precious time – and there was nothing to show for it.  No backup we could restore, nothing.  And no one to even ring and complain to.

Since then I have become very suspicious of free things offered via long distance.  So it’s weird that I am now offering freebies.  Why am I?

  1. Because New Zealand is one of the easiest countries in the world to start a business.  You don’t have to do this to start a business, but you can register a limited liability company online for only $160.  Amazing.  So we are a country full of entrepreneurs. A logical thing to do once you have your idea and decided to be in business is to reach your market with a website.  But many people don’t have the budget so they go for these free ones based in god knows where.  I have no idea if they have support desks.  Freehosts had no one to call for anything.  I presume most of these half-finished websites are still floating around cyberspace because the new businesses making them struck a problem while building their site and didn’t know what to do so they abandoned the project.  Or couldn’t go in and update it.  Or don’t know how to delete it.
  2. Mobile responsive.  I hate being on my phone and trying to read the web sometimes.  It’s just too tricky.  It is not that hard to do, but for some reason, so many free website providers’  sites are not mobile responsive.  All of my websites are mobile responsive.  Your customers can read them on any device, some people only have mobile phones.
  3. This is what I do.  I used to work in a community cottage teaching locals how to create websites and promote them globally.  I enjoy this.  Like it or not, it is a global economy, but the Internet is the great equaliser.  If you have an idea, give it a try.  I will make a finished website for you and provide hosting – and the first 6 months hosting is now free (for a limited time).  And I will help you chose the perfect domain name for your site – we can brainstorm options, check availability and register it for you instantly.
  4. Because I can.
  5. What will it cost you for your first 6 months of hosting free?  How about a free lunch? (Kidding).

So who are the mythical creatures?  Ancestors from Nigeria.  I have had my DNA done and I’m sad to say that I’m as plain as bread.  I should be so lucky to have as exotic an ancestor.

*Unless I genuinely win it from a competition I actually entered, which seems to be something I sometimes get good at.

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