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6 reasons to avoid DIY website builders for business

Published on February 6, 2017 Words by Tom Gooden

As a business owner, you’ve more than likely put a lot of thought into your website. From how it looks, to what it’s going to say. At some point in your thoughts, you’re going to ask yourself an important question — “Where do I start?”. Well, we’re here to shed some light on why you might want to avoid DIY website builders for your business.

You may have seen some of the fancy commercials for DIY (Do-It-Yourself) website builders like Squarespace and Wix. Showcasing how “easy” and “affordable” it is to get your “professional” website up and running. But is it really easy? Are they really affordable… or professional? Let’s make one thing clear right away — you’re not wrong to look into these possible solutions. Why wouldn’t you at least consider something that looks so… simple?

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6 reasons why your business should avoid DIY website builders

One of the most appealing factors to take into consideration when it comes to DIY website builders is the cost. There are a variety of plans ranging from $0/mo. to $100+/mo. That can look pretty attractive when you’re getting a quote from a professional company for thousands of dollars. The problem is that the urge that you have to save some money now will cost you even more in the long run. The “low” prices that these DIY vendors offer are often very cryptic. They do a good job of telling you what you’re getting, but a very poor job telling you what you’re not.

1.) Time consuming

Wasn’t one of the points of using a DIY website builder to save time? They are supposed to be easy to use, right?

Not that easy.

Think about it. It takes a team of professionals a good amount of time to build you a solid website for your business. Unless you don’t care about how your website looks (which is hard to believe if you’re reading this), it’s going to take some serious time to get everything the way you want it.

Today, it is estimated that there are over a billion websites are on the internet. Of which, about 74% were created by designers and developers, and 3% were created by DIY’s (Do-It-Yourselfers).

Of the DIY’s (Do-It-Yourselfers) that embark on building a site, 98% of them fail in publishing one at all.

The website they planned never even happens. I don’t know about you, but those numbers depress us. Often small business owners start this process only to realize how much work it is, even with a “simple” website builder. These companies can even charge you for “professional help” on how to use their product. Yes, they charge you for help with something that is supposed to be easy.

You should be spending your time doing what you do best. Consider reaching out to a professional website design company.

2.) It is not your website

“What?!”

Michigan Website Design DIY Image

 

Yes, you read that right. Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, etc… whatever you create (and pay for) is not yours. This is probably one of the scariest points we will make in this article.

These sites, even though advertised as easy to use, can actually be quite complicated and time-consuming (we touch more on that below). So all the hard work you put into setting it up could be for nothing. You cannot ever take your site with you if you decide to leave. It is not possible. Essentially, you’re paying for this product over and over and when you stop, it’s gone. That is a bad investment.

Don’t take our word for it…

Check out this interesting information from Squarespace’s Terms of Service:

  • They can terminate their agreement with you (and your website) any time they want.
  • There is no guarantee that your website will be up and running or that the emails sent from your website will work.
  • If they wish, they can change anything, at any time.

In fairness to Squarespace, the other companies in the space have very similar terms. But it doesn’t change the fact that what you’ve built does not belong to you or your business. This reason alone should be grounds to talk to a professional about your business website. In most cases, a professional website design company utilizes popular tools like WordPress. WordPress can be set up almost anywhere. This gives you the freedom of choice without the risk of losing your important information.

3.) Not search friendly

A website is much more than a pretty design. While Squarespace and Wix can try to woo you with attractive templates, the foundation of your website needs to be laid in a search-friendly manner.

What does this mean?

First, let’s understand the importance of Google for your business.

  • 93% of online experiences being with a search engine.
  • Google owns about 70% of the search engine market share.
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of the search results.
  • Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites. Beating social media by more than 300%.

It goes without saying that if you can’t be found, then you won’t be noticed. Search engines are changing their algorithms all the time to better deliver what people are searching for. Some practices that used to be good, no longer are. You can even be penalized by using some methods that were once considered standard. By the time these DIY website services make a change, it could already be too late.

In 2015 it was noticed that Wix websites were dropping from Google’s search results. Eventually, the issue was resolved. But not showing up on Google, even for a short time could have a serious negative impact on your business.

Weebly even still offers a spot to input meta keywords. Not only does this have no impact on your website’s ranking, but it actually can show your competition the keyword strategy you’re using to rank!

Your website needs to be structured in a way that promotes search engine visibility and encourages higher ranking. From titles, descriptions, to headers and content. There is no expert to tell you the manner in which your website should be laid out using these services.

4.) Poor performance

User experience (UX) is important when it comes to your website. A slow or underperforming website creates a poor and frustrating user experience. This can lead to potential customers or clients leaving your website and ending up on your competitor’s. Google can also track this user experience, seeing visitors leave and punishing your rankings.

There are many reasons why these DIY websites don’t perform at the level a website should. Things from render-blocking javascript to poor hosting environments. When you purchase or subscribe to one of the DIY plans, your website is hosted on their web servers. Normally that wouldn’t be too bad because they do actually have powerful servers.

The problem is…

That you are thrown onto one of these servers along with hundreds of other accounts. It’s like taking a walk through the city on a beautiful sunny day. But you quickly realize that it’s opening day, the streets are packed, you can’t get anywhere, and some big sweaty guy without his shirt on bumps into you. When you’re on a shared server hosting environment load spikes can occur due to multiple users sharing the same physical hardware and resources. Without forking over the cash for a server upgrade, your website will not be able to handle high traffic volume.

When considering a company for any web server, it’s important to understand that your website is more for the visitor than it is for you. Creating poor user experience will only harm your business.

5.) Templates: A Unique Design — Just like everyone else’s

We all judge books by their covers. It actually can take users less than half a second to form an opinion on your brand. A lot of these companies portray how “unique” you can be, but provide you with templates that all end up sort of blending together.

One of the most important things you can do…

is showing your potential customers or clients why you’re different than everyone else. Every business is different, even in the same industry. It’s important to convey that difference in your branding. When a client reaches out to a professional company and says that they want a website for their business to convey a particular action and be tailored towards a certain audience, they’ll know exactly how to do that. You cannot get this out of templates because they are designed to be easy to use to as broad of an audience as possible.

6.) Support and Troubleshooting

Would you believe me if I told you that Squarespace, the biggest in their industry, doesn’t even have a support number you can call? Well, believe it. And it gets worse. Some title examples of the colorful reviews are “It’s Actually Painful“, “Worst customer service ever“, “Weebly shut down my website with no warning“, and “NIGHTMARE“.

What’s really troubling…

Developers probably can’t save you. These page builders are not made to be cracked open and analyzed. If you have a technical issue, most developers or companies won’t bother with one of these websites. That means you and your business are at the mercy of these DIY website builder (sometimes phone-less) support systems.

If you need help, it’s important that you get it. Understanding your support channels and their limits with these companies can make or break the future of your business.

Conclusion: They’re just not good for business

At the end of the day, you’re able to make your own decision on what you feel is best for your business. It’s wrong to say that you cannot be successful with one of these services. But due to some of the unavoidable issues that can occur, our recommendation is to avoid DIY website builders for business.

You get what you pay for.

If you’re serious about growing your business, targeting new customers, and staying competitive, then it’s highly suggested you reach out to a professional website design company that can help you, allowing you to have real control over your online presence.


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