Free HOA Websites Aren’t Really Free
If you need a website, you’ll find plenty of one-click options out there. Free website builders abound, promising free hosting, templates, free support. So if you’re planning to build an HOA website, these free options may seem very tempting.
But here’s the hard truth: Free HOA websites never truly are free. In fact, going with a free website builder could end up costing you more money and time in the long run than a better paid alternative.
As an HOA administrator or board member, you know that having a website is important. It’s one of the best ways to stay connected with your residents and keep them up to date on what’s happening in the community.
But free website builders often don’t offer the level of service and support—or the versatile, specialized features—that you get when you work with a company that specializes in HOA websites. Here’s why.
Why HOA websites are valuable investments
An HOA website is an important asset for any community. It’s a place where residents can go to find out information about the community, including events, news, and announcements.
It’s also an excellent way for potential new residents to learn more about the neighborhood and help them decide to move in.
An HOA website also can provide a valuable tool for community management. Payment options and online forms make it easy for residents to stay up to date on dues and submit maintenance requests.
In other words, an HOA website is more than just a place to post information. It’s a central hub that can save the community time and money.
The dangers of free HOA websites
Free websites may seem like a good deal at first, but they come with some hidden dangers. Let’s take a look at some of the “promises” of free HOA websites and the realities behind them.
Promise: Free hosting
When you sign up for a free website, you may think that you’re getting free HOA website hosting. However, free websites often limit the amount of storage space and bandwidth you can use. If your website becomes popular and gets a lot of traffic, you could quickly find yourself exceeding those limits and wind up with a bill for hidden fees.
Promise: Free customizable templates
Many free website builders advertise that they offer free templates, but these templates often are generic and not relevant to HOAs. This means that you could end up with a website that doesn’t match the look and feel of your community.
Most free website builders also make it difficult to customize their templates. You could waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to change colors or fonts, only to give up in frustration.
Promise: Free support
When you use a free website builder, you may expect that you’ll be able to get help from their customer support team if you run into any problems. However, free website builders often provide only limited customer support options. If you encounter a problem, you could be left on your own to figure it out.
In contrast, companies that specialize in HOA websites typically offer more comprehensive customer support. You’ll receive access to in-depth learning resources, and if you run into questions, you can get the help you need to answer them quickly.
Promise: Free updates
When you use a free website builder, you may think your website will always stay up to date, but many free website builders don’t offer timely updates. Your website could end up with outdated code or inadequate site security, which can reflect poorly on your HOA.
Mobile-friendly design, security updates, and new features are just a few of the things that can fall by the wayside when you use a free website builder. Don’t risk your HOA’s reputation on a free website builder that doesn’t offer the latest and greatest.
Promise: Plenty of features
Will you have access to all the features you need if you use a free website builder? Maybe not. Free website builders often limit the number of features that you can use. You could end up with a website that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you need—or a bill to add the features you want.
For example, most HOA website users expect features such as online payment options, event calendars, and contact forms, but free website builders typically don’t offer these features. That free website could turn out to be a bare-bones compromise that doesn’t provide the level of service your residents expect.
Invest in quality for long-lasting success
When it comes to something as important as your HOA website, it’s worth investing in quality. Free HOA websites may seem like a good deal at first, but they often don’t offer the level of service, support, or features that you need to be successful.
Look for a company that specializes in HOA websites and has a good reputation in the industry. This will ensure that your website is up to date, easy to use, and provides the features you need.
Best of all, your HOA website will reflect the true professionalism of your community. Make the investment in a quality HOA website builder today. your residents will thank you, and your HOA will reap the benefits for years to come.