Buyer Beware - VistaPrint Website Review
Thinking about a DIY website? Considering building your own site with VistaPrint? Here are a couple of factors and warnings to consider before you try this approach.
Consideration #1 - Cost VistaPrint currently charges $15/month (plus add-on fees and potentially a setup charge). That means you are paying a minimum of $180/year to essentially setup your own website from their pre-built templates. As many monthly billing companies love to do they may just jack your prices up by 1 or 2 dollars every few months.
Consideration #2 - Limited Options Without getting into the weeds about the technical functionality of their websites, know that the functionality of the site is going to be limited. If you decide down the road to add a blog or some special feature to your site it may not be supported since VistaPrint sites are more of a 'business card' site.
Consideration #3 - Vista advertising in your site footer Besides the monthly fee they collect, there are advantages to being at the bottom of every customer's website.
Warning #1 - Website Ownership - You must understand that when you create your own website with these web builders that you do not actually own or even have access to the the actual code. This means if you change your mind and want to take your website somewhere else then you will need to build it from scratch (non-transferable). Most of the time when you hire a local web developer they actually consider you the owner of the code & database so you can have a copy of it in the event they get hit by a bus. You should always check with your web designer if this is indeed the case.
Warning #1 - Domain Ownership - This is perhaps the greatest complaint about VistaPrint websites. When you sign-up and register a web address with VistaPrint it seems they actually maintain ownership of your domain name. If you decide to go elsewhere or upgrade to a custom developed site, you actually have to buy your own domain name from them. I read recently that they charged $10 for this, then a short time later another forum post stated they paid $19, and today I transferred a domain for my customer and they charged $24. This charge is only to release your domain! In the case of any dispute I would really worry about them not wanting to release a very valuable domain with high page rank.
Safe Place to Register your domain
Here is the service I use: Register a domain