Why You Shouldn’t Use Website Builders
Website builders can seem like a win win situation for your business, a free website hosted and maintained for you, little or no experience needed to set one up and hey presto your business is online. As the old saying goes – if its too good to be true, it probably is! Platforms such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly offer businesses free websites or “improved” websites for a small fee, so why as a small business owner should you not take them up on this offer? Well I hope to address some of the key main reasons why these need to be avoided if you wish to have a successful, prosperous website that showcases your brand and company in the best possible light.
Experience & Knowledge
When you buy a website from a freelance web designer or indeed from a company who do the work for you, you are not buying a “website” per say. When you hire someone to build you a website you are buying many things among them the experience, expertise and knowledge on how to build a responsive, user friendly, attractive and effective website service. Any web designer worth their fee spends hours researching your target market, your competitors and listens to your requirements before formulating a design spec to work to, then use that spec to build a website that is functional, SEO friendly and shows your brand in the best possible light.
It is extremely rare that a website builder will offer you a website that is SEO friendly, and as SEO is vital for getting your website found in the likes of Google and Bing, its needs to be one of the cornerstones of your website. Website builders code is usually structured and templated, meaning its a bundle of this that and the other, and is rarely SEO friendly meaning your site is not likely to rank in Google very high if at all.
Templates & Wow Factor
Websites builders websites are 90% of the time build round templates – meaning your site looks exactly the same as every other website in this field! How are you to stand out from the crowd if you all look the same? They are also not user friendly when it comes to things like responsive design, so can show up strangely on mobiles which increasingly is the more popular browser of choice.
Ads & Ownership
First thing to address is – you don’t own it! You cannot take backups of the designs nor can you move it to a new platform should you wish to. You are also subject to the platforms terms and conditions which include adverts from both their brand and their branded partners – revenues of which stay with the platform in most cases and none of it passed to yourself, these adverts also could inadvertently direct visitors to your competitors!
The lack of synchronization with the likes of Google Analytics and Google Search Console mean you are working in the dark, so much information can be gained from the data these provide and even more if you integrate visitor mapping using tools such as HotJar, you do not get any of these with free website platforms. Leaving future development or figures to see how your website is performing less likely.
There are many many more reasons Evans Creative advise against using free platforms, even paid versions of these platforms to build your business website but the key ones are above, others include the lack of a CMS system, lack of control, site speed and many more! My advise? Hire a experienced web designer and get all the benefits that this brings!