Sustainable platforms rely on their users. For some, not just their paying users either. A question we are asked, on a regular basis, about our Free website package, is: “why do you do it for nothing?“
We are passionate about football. While Nick is an avid football fan, and coach by day, fellow Team Websites co-founder Morgan equally shares his passion for football, and referees at a local Sunday League level. We offer our Free plan to help grassroots clubs access the necessary tools to grow their online presence. You can read more about our mission and ethos by clicking here.
How is it funded?
Our Free plan is currently supported, in part, by revenue generated by advertising, and secondly, partially by our loyal paying clubs as part of the overall service we operate. Adverts on our Free websites – unlike our competitors – do not disrupt the user’s experience while browsing the site; they do not take over your full screen nor do we expect the user to engage with an advert just to minimize it.
Team Websites is run as a self-funded start-up, and instead of devoting our time and budget to setting up marketing campaigns, we reinvest in making improvements to our website platform.
Providing the Free website platform also has its positives. It allows us to test changes and tweaks to our system and templates to a select group of clubs while also doing somewhat of a cross-promotion – displaying a credit in the footer that a Free website is “powered by Team Websites.”
So, what benefits do clubs gain from purchasing a Paid package?
Apart from priority technical support, there are a number of advantages. This includes the registration or transfer of a domain name, which acts as the URL of your club website. Your club will look more professional and authoritative, with the option to add a number of email accounts on your club’s domain – such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Your players, members and fans will also not have to remember a slightly longer URL, with teamwebsites.co.uk preceding it.
Clubs on our Amateur and Legend packages can now enjoy a website free of advertising while our branding is also removed. The club’s webmaster can request for Google Analytics to be set up to track their site’s pages by popularity and report number of hits/unique visitors.
The additional cost of running the Free platform will be minimal following the conclusion of this season (2017-18). Over the next few months we will be making important changes to our website infrastructure – we will be providing a further update on this in due course. It is because of our loyal paying clubs that we are able to subsidise the cost of offering our Free plan that is run primarily for the benefit of grassroots clubs.