We’ve 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 worth it?
Millions of people are being targeted by these commercials, people who don’t know the difference between a site builder and a real website (one with search engine optimized code and that meets ADA compliance requirements).
The problem? Developing 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.
Websites need to be created for the user experience and to be found in a search on Google and Bing. A website needs a professional unique design, planned site structure with user-friendly navigation, the latest search engine optimization techniques, all while meeting ADA compliance requirements.
You Do Not Own Your Website
With many website builders, you don’t technically own your website. Instead of buying a virtual property, 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)
The biggest downfall with website builders is the jumble of code on the backend of your website that is not structured well. These builders do not have the elements needed to help your website rank well in Google.
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 code and structure that creates the SEO-friendliness of your website.
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.
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. This reduces critical resources and results in very slow load times for your website.
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 your value and 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’s 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.
(Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions before you begin, especially with Squarespace.)
Hire a Professional Web Company
Sure, 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.
When you hire a professional website designer, you will get an affordable responsive website that follows the latest standards for SEO and ADA compliance. This partnership will help you grow your business online with more traffic, leads and potential customers.
And, most importantly, you own your website!