We’ve all seen the commercials. “Build your own stunning website in just a few minutes!” Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly let you build your own cheap website. But is it the right choice for your business?
Millions of people are being targeted by these commercials. They prey on people who don’t know the difference between a site builder and a real website with search engine optimized code that also meets ADA compliance requirements.
Making a good website is more than just dragging a few content blocks onto a page, hitting the publish button, and waiting for customers to find you.
Your website needs to be created for the user experience. Your website needs to be found in a search on Google and Bing. Websites should have a professional unique design, planned site structure with user-friendly navigation, and the latest search engine optimization techniques while meeting ADA compliance requirements.
Check out a few reasons to avoid cheap website builders.
You Do Not Own Your Website
With many website builders, you don’t technically own your website. Instead of buying a virtual property for your online home, your business is renting a place on the web. Your website is borrowed space. When it comes to rented property, you are at the mercy of your landlord.
Your website should be an asset. You should own the web location and the website files.
Poor SEO (if any at all)
What is SEO? Search engine optimization is how you make your website show up higher in search engines like Google and Bing. Your site needs the good code and structure that creates the SEO-friendliness of your website.
The biggest downfall with website builders is the jumble of code on the backend of your website that is not structured well. These site builders do not have the elements needed to help your website rank well in Google.
With online site builders, you can control how your site looks. You just can’t access elements needed to manipulate SEO data and content to rank on Google.
Since these site builders store your website photos on their servers, you do not benefit from image SEO. Even if you optimize your image files names for SEO, they are renamed when you add them using your site builder. That means less image SEO for you.
Without SEO, your Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly website is not working for you.
Devalues Your Business
When a website visitor sees the site credit at the bottom of the page (i.e. Wix, Weebly), they know you are using a cheap builder to create your online brand. Your website could look like thousands of others instead of being unique to your brand.
“48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business.” (Source: IronPaper)
Potential customers want to make sure you are a legitimate business. They might be looking to see if you hired a local company to develop your website.
For many business owners, local relationships matter. If they see you went the cheap route by renting from a non-local site builder, you could lose their trust.
Lack of Tech Support
You created a website with Weebly, Wix or Squarespace. Congratulations: You’re now a Webmaster!
Now it’s your job to keep your website running and up-to-date.
So, what if your website goes offline? What if important site functions stop working? What if you’re not receiving email from your website? Do you have the skills needed to fix these critical errors? Do you have the time? Can you call the website builder company? Are they responsive to the urgency of your situation? How much time does trouble-shooting your website take away from your real job?
There’s a lot that can go wrong. That’s why your business needs to hire a pro. You will gain a dedicated support team that makes sure your website is online and functional.
Slow Website Loading Time
Having a slow website is really bad for visitors. It’s even worse for search engine rankings. Google considers everything about your website before it decides to index your pages. If your website takes a long time to load, Google has lost interest in you (and so did your website visitors).
“40% of people ventured away from a website if it loaded for more than 3 seconds.” (Source: IronPaper)
Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace have hundreds of thousands of websites on their servers. These online builders cripple your site with code bloat which slows your load speed. This reduces critical resources and results in very slow load times for your website. Google does not like that.
The Wix and Weebly Domain Names
With some website builder sites you don’t even get your own domain name. Your business ends up with the following URL format:
These domain names are of no value to your business. You just diminished any value or trust in your brand.
A real domain name allows you to build your own trusted brand and create backlinks (part of SEO).
You Do Not Own Your Website
it is worth repeating – you do not own your website.
And you can’t move your website. Why? Because you don’t own it. The site builder company you chose is your landlord. They own your website.
You do not own your website code and you do not own your content as clearly stated in the Terms of Service you signed.
(Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions before you begin, especially with Squarespace.)
Hire a Professional Web Company
There are times when using a cheap website builder like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace will be satisfactory for your business.
However, savvy people seeking your services might shy away if you are using a cheap site builder instead of a local web company. These types of sites just cheapen your brand.
if your business is serious about your online presence, you need to convert to WordPress and work with a pro.
You will get an affordable responsive website that follows the latest standards for SEO and ADA compliance. Your partnership with a website designer will help you grow your business online with more traffic, leads and potential customers.
And, most importantly, you own your website!