We have all seen the commercials before… “Build your own stunning websites quick and easy!” Sites such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace offer D.I.Y websites for cheap. For small business owners this can seem like a great alternative to hiring an agency to build their site. These tools make an absolute killing off taking advantage of the fact that a majority of business owners do not know the difference between one of these sites, and a real website with semantic markup and search engine optimization (SEO).
The problem here lies in the fact that a true website requires much more than just slapping together some elements, putting some content, and adding your business’ phone number and then letting it go.
Great websites create memorable experiences for the users that visit them. First and foremost, a website should be built with the user in ming to great a perfect flow and smooth user experience. These things require someone who knows how to implement a good site structure and the latest in SEO techniques as well as crafting an eye-catching and professional design.
If I still haven’t convinced you that using a site builder is not the best idea, here are some other reasons:
Limited Customization Options
The vast majority of D.I.Y website tools user a standardized set of template themes. While these themes can work great for something along the lines of a personal blog, they prove to be ineffective for use in a business platform. Your website should be as unique as your business is. Even with potentially hundreds of templates to choose from, you also have thousands of users pooling from the same database. This is not optimal for standing out in a crowd.
Aside from an aesthetic stand-point, these themes also make is difficult, or sometimes impossible, for you to add the custom functionality you need to make your site work the way you want it to. These features can include: Contact database, Document Center, Intranet, and so on. If you want your website to be capable of performing tasks that will simplify your life, a site builder cant always offer you that.
Most, but not all, D.I.Y site builders place strict limits on the amount of pages that are located within your site. This can be a problem when you consider the fact that good website and SEO practices state that you should have pages for every section, practice, procedure, service, etc. of your business. This limitation can make it difficult to pull in your intended audience and clearly describe the ways in which you can best service your clients.
Implemented with Flash
In the case of many site builders, their sites are created primarily with Flash. This can put a huge damper on the search-ability of your site with Google. It is not an engine friendly way to build your site.
In most cases D.I.Y sites tend to lack the same level of polish as a site that was professionally design and built. This professionalism will usually instill confidence in your sites users and lend a sense of credibility to your business. Nearly half of all site users have indicated that sites with an amateur feel to them severely impact the users ability to trust the website, 94% of those users have also sited that they wouldn’t use the site or associated company as a result.
There is no replacement for a site and branding that was created by professionals that dedicate years to this craft.
One of the most common complaints we hear from clients that come to us from a site builder is that they struggled to receive the support they needed when something went wrong on their site, or when they struggled to figure out how to implement a new feature/page.
What are your plans in case something stops working on your site? Do you have the skills and knowledge to fix it before it starts impacting your customers or business? It is very common for elements of a site to stop working the way you need it to. Having a dedicated support team is a very important necessity if you want your online prescience to be up to par.
Search Engine Optimization
D.I.Y site builders make the process of creating a site simple. Simple is not always better. Site builders hide away the code that goes into the site to make the design simple, but this process really confused Google’s search bots. Google is a big fan of seeing well-coded and clearly structured sites. This is how Google makes sense of the information on your site. Your D.I.Y site could end up being the best looking site on the internet, but if the coding behind it is flawed, then it may as well not exist in Google’s eyes.
When you sign up with a site builder you are forced to use their servers to host your site. They offer a free version of their tools, but their name will appear in your sites domain Ex: mysite.sitebuilder.com. If you want your domain to be all your own, you will need to pay a fee. Regardless of which way you pick, you will be locked into a system that you have no control over. If you are unhappy with their service, you are stuck with them or will need to start over somewhere else.
When Lee Media Group completes a site for a client we hand it over to them and every element from the coding to the images belongs to that business. This not only gives the client the flexibility they need to manage the site in the future, but allows them to have total control of every single aspect on their site.
If you are interested in converting your pre-existing D.I.Y site to WordPress, call Lee Media Group today at (316) 239-6466 or send us an email.