Why not a DIY/FREE website?     DIY stands for Do It Yourself
 
Do It Yourself websites
DIY and/or "FREE" websites offer a person/business/service a chance to have an on-line presence.  They are easy to create using page templates like you can use for word processing or presentation software like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.
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Unfortunately a lot of the DIY websites start to look alike.  What you think is a nicely formated template, is one that lots of other people think is a nicely formated template.  Plus, there is information as to the "free'ness" and ownership, that sometimes you receive/understand too late to do anything about.
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First you want to pick a catchy Domain Name.  That's the part that comes before the dot com.  So let's say you want the Domain Name greatest-bussiness-ever.com .   So with the DIY service you request that Domain Name.  With your "FREE" account, they register the Domain Name with all the proper parties.  greatest-bussiness-ever.com IS now an official Domain Name, ready to be used on the Internet and to be associated with a website.   But guess what?  They may own the Domain Name not you.  If it is a Domain Name that contains the name of your business/service, sorry, it may be theirs.
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So now you have a Domain Name.  You then, via their service, create your simple website.  You next have them "publish" your new Domain Name and website to the Internet. 
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Congratulations, you have your Domain Name and your very own website.  Forgot to mention, you may or may not own your website, they may.  They may own the Domain Name and the website.  You might not care, as your website will always be just a few pages without a lot of content or a shopping cart.
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BUT what if you want a lot of content/shopping cart/guest book/videos/images???  Well they don't mention that there is a size limitation of your website for "FREE".  You may add all the content you wish for your website, but there is a now an additional monthly fee to do that.   It may not be a large fee, but your website is not free anymore.  FYI, every website we have built so far, would exceed the "FREE" size limitation.  So when viewing our created sites, keep that in mind.  Their fee for exceeding their size limit isn't much.  Some are only like $10.00 a month for exceeding the limit a little bit,  (but it is not "FREE" anymore)     Larger exceeding sizes, can means paying more than $10.00/month.  Oh, and the extra fee IS billed "upfront" for 12 months and renewed each year "annually" (not month to month).  So If their additional size fee is $14.00, you get a  $168.00 ($14 x 12) charge immediately to your credit card.  This Gates of Oregon website is over most DIY size limitations to qualify for "free".
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Please make sure you REALLY look over the DIY charges/fees.  Many of the "offers" are for a "fee" or decreased cost year one (the first 12 months).  Then in year two (at renewal) the actual costs/fees are billed annually (the second twelve months all at once).  If you cancel/leave during the year, there may or may not be any refund.    There are size limitations as mentioned above.  There are shopping cart charges to consider.  etc etc.  We have those charges too, but we tell you what they are going to be upfront.   We also bill your card month to month so you don't pay for a service a year ahead of time.
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Also with the "FREE" website, they can put their advertising on your website's pages.  If they give you a "FREE" shopping cart, it most likely will contain advertising from them as well.  They have to make money somehow correct?  Some offer upgrades to your website to take their advertising off.  Again, your "FREE" website gets less free?
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If you ever want to move your website and your Domain Name, they will gladly give let you.  But that involves a fee/charge to own your Domain Name and your website to move it.
 
Forgot to mention.  For many of the charges (like Domain Name registration), you may have to pay for two years worth from the beginning. So you pay the teaser low first year fee but then the full fee for year two right up front. Read the fine print,
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Bottom Line
You get what you pay for!
 
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