There are probably 1 million and one of a reason why your brand is ready to get on the web, none of which need to be listed here because the next step is choosing among all your options available. If you had to choose between a free customizable website, a temporary solution that fits your budget but will need to be redeveloped down the road, and custom web design... what would you choose?
This has to be said, because custom web design offers more value in measurable results. This strategy focuses around your brand, and puts the pieces of a website together with full flexibility. This is the only way to have a website that is personalized to fit every important element of your brand... the only website that will be as unique as you are.
Let's be honest. Small businesses have a smaller budget. (While we're being honest, this catch 22 is a cycle that keeps small businesses small.) If you simply can't afford a beautifully designed custom website, then your next best option would be more cost effective.
However, free customizable websites can be a trap. You should never ever publish a website with shared advertising or branding. If you don't have your own domain, you won't be able to build trust with your core audience. Ever.
So a free customizable website should never be completely free... rather it should be affordable to your budget. After paying for the domain registration and hosting services, you can use a free customizable website platform and templates (premium templates are strongly recommended) that can easily be personalized.
With the ability to add your own logo and colors, a free customizable website might be a great solution for now. The key word is "for now". As your business grows, you will still want to redevelop with a custom web design built around your brand.
In the meantime, the second best solution is to work within the limitations and capabilities to personalize a free customizable website. This, naturally, is better than no website at all but it eliminates the credibility concerns that come with a third party registered domain address or branded advertising in your header and footer.
If you need to give off the impression that your business is complete and reliable, know the difference between a free customizable website, custom web design, and an affordable but temporary solution. When all is said and done, you will get exactly what you pay.