Recently I was asked why you shouldn't use Wix, Weebly or Squarespace to build your website. On its face, it seems like a pretty good deal. They sell you on the easy interface for dragging and dropping your content where you want it to go. It's cheap too, with low monthly fees. What they're not telling you is that there are problems with building a website this way.
Over the years we've helped quite a few businesses move their websites off of these platforms through a web design project. The simple reason was their experience wasn't very good and they ended up with a bad website or they lost their web designer and could no longer make edits or fix problems with the site.
Here are the top 5 reasons you shouldn't use Wix, Weebly or Squarespace to build your website:
- Web Design Experience - It takes years to become a good web designer. How are you going to know how to design web pages without any experience? Most small business owners do not understand the principles of design and how to use typography, a branded color palette, HTML and CSS to communicate meaning. This comes down to the ability to combine visual appeal with the content you want to share. Platforms like Wix tell you that you don't need web design skills to create a great website but it's a lie.
- Bad SEO – The absolute BIGGEST PROBLEM we've found with websites built using these platforms is ineffective SEO. This is because these platforms are not search engine friendly. From a technical perspective, there are a lot of problems with the way the websites work: page URLs, using Flash and many other things make it extremely difficult to optimize a website built this way. If your website cannot be properly optimized then your potential customers will never be able to find you. This is because your competitors will show up at the top of search engine results and you’ll be buried on page three.
- You're Stuck – Once you’ve built a website on one of these platforms, you’re stuck. Don't like the system and want to move? Sorry, once the site is built you can't move it very easily to your own hosting account. You'll need to completely rebuild the website elsewhere if you want to move it. It goes without saying that if you end up having to rebuild a website because you want to move it, you are wasting a whole lot of money and might have even saved money in the long-run by investing in a site built by a web designer using open source software.
- WordPress Wins - No website content management system can compete with WordPress, period. Everyone has access to the system that’s built and maintained by thousands and used by millions. That’s why over one third of all websites are built with a WordPress theme. WordPress is free and developed by a huge community of designers and developers – there are about 11,000 WordPress themes and about 55,000 WordPress apps to choose from. A great web designer chooses a theme that is suited to your industry. It is then optimized and customized to match your brand and provide functionality such as scheduling calendars.
- Lack of Community - Ever try getting support from one of these companies? Good Luck. If something isn’t working properly on your site or you want to figure out how to add a feature you’re going to feel alone really quickly. If you build it yourself, you’ll need to learn how to use your website for internet marketing. In the world of WordPress, by comparison, there is a huge community of designers, developers, SEO and internet marketers that are experts and freely share their knowledge.
Here's the secret that these companies don't want you to know: you can do the exact same thing with WordPress using a managed network with various themes. The crux of the issue is that you need a web designer to help you.
It may seem like an unnecessary cost to pay a web designer for something that you should be able to do yourself but this is the biggest myth of all.
If you get a toothache do you fix your tooth yourself? No, you find a dentist because sometimes you need an expert to get the job done right.
If you run a business, you understand the need for spending money on advertising and other marketing efforts. Yet I see many business owners trying to cut costs by going with a cheap website. By making this choice, they end up shooting themselves in the foot. When you consider that you can get a pretty nice website that is optimized for search engines and built for internet marketing for just between $100 to $200 per month averaged out over a few years, why bother with a site that doesn't really work?
What if hiring a web designer is outside my budget?
What if you can't afford $5,000+ upfront for a nice website? This is the only case where it might be a good idea to start with a website builder but plan to have a website designed by a professional in the future.
If you already have a decent website, you may just need a little help making it more effective with some basic tweaks. As long as your website is designed using open source software, any web designer should be able to come in and make the improvements you need to maximize functionality, speed and modern design that fits your brand.
Look for an experienced web designer
Softwired provides digital solutions for our partner agencies and clients. We stay on top of web design trends, changes to Google’s algorithms and consumer behavior so we can help our customers grow their business through the service we provide. We’ve got you covered for:
- Web design,
- Local online presence and optimization,
- Digital marketing and sales, and advertising.
Whether you’re interested in a silent partnership or a referral program, web design only or more; contact us today to get started!