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Are free website builds on Facebook a scam?

Posted on 1 February 2022

If you’re part of local groups you may have seen a script just like this one:

“Would anyone be interested in a free build and design of a professional website? We are looking to increase our portfolio within this area so you will only be required to cover your own domain and hosting. Private message me for more details and examples of our work.”

Some rep on Facebook

Building websites properly like we do at Plexaweb takes skill, time and enthusiasm for helping businesses perform on the internet. For our most basic websites we charge £300. How can it be a company can be building websites for free? The truth is they can’t.

These reps will likely be on some sort of commission or hourly rate. Handed a script to share to local groups. From here on you message them and ask for the hosting price.

Of course… it’s in there contract they can’t hand over hosting prices (as we found out). Why? Because the prices are variable. The hosting isn’t just hosting. It’s paying for the website + hosting + more over a given time period.

If these companies are aiming to get the work paid for in 12 months (for example) then we can expect to pay for 5 websites over the course of 5 years on top of hosting. Suddenly your free website is not looking like such a good deal.

Alternative solutions

Some would say that it’s a scam. Some would say it’s just marketed in a way to convert more customers. Either way we believe it’s wrong. It’s not saving people money, it takes real opportunities away from people looking to get into web design who genuinely want to build free sites to build their portfolio. Fortunately there are alternatives to getting hurt by paying for your website over and over again…

  • Pay for a website in one go and pay for the hosting each month/year
  • Pay for a website on a monthly plan over a given contract and then pay your hosting each month/year

Of course if you’d rather have your website built for free (or NOT)

If you still think that getting your business online for free but paying over-inflated hosting is a good idea then that option is there. It’s definitely worth getting prices and working out the costs over 2, 3, 4 or even 5 years to work out the true value of these “FREE” website design services that appear to have come about on Facebook.

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