The online DIY Website Builder – Why it’s a terrible idea
There has been quite a debate in recent months regarding the benefits of building your own website via one of the many DIY builders available online (Web.com, Wix, Weebly). Using a website builder is kind of like renting and personalizing an apartment instead buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. Keep that point in mind, because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control. Here are a few reasons why you may want to reconsider.
You don’t own anything. The website is not transferrable. You can’t simply copy and paste your code somewhere else and move. You also don’t have a choice of hosting companies and you can only have apps and themes that are allowed from Wix. If something happens to the company, you can say goodbye to your website, and any little amount of traffic or content you may have on it! Who wants to worry about getting evicted from their own website host??
Mobility: If you want a responsive design (mobile, desktop, tablet friendly), there is a lot of manual work to be done. Responsive websites are the future because they address the TONS of screen sizes your customers are using to see your product. If they can’t see it, you lose your customer.
Limited functionality: Do-it-yourself website solutions often limit your ability to expand into the future. Your website should have the flexibility to incorporate new social media channels, e-commerce payment methods or major search engine updates that comes along. You simply can’t do that with DIY site builders.
Slowwwwww loading times: My personal favorite. Try this experiment. Find a website that is currently running on a DIY platform,and see how long it takes to come up. Now, imagine you’re on a mobile device with limited service!! This is the number one complaint from current DIY customers. Again, you just lost your audience.
Code bloat: The templates they use are built for the masses, and aren’t tailored to fit anyone in particular. Think of it like this: A builder is trying to build an apartment that can accommodate the needs of a million people. In an effort to please them all, nobody gets a perfect place to live. This all boils down to a lot of unnecessary code that eventually just slows your website to a crawl. Also, the programming structure is not truly SEO friendly. It might look pretty, but it doesn’t follow the newest search engine rules for the big guys like Google and Bing. In other words, nobody is going to find you…
Ads: The “free” service is heavily branded. I think it’s important to remember that nothing in life is free. For all of you that are trying to build a business from the ground up and send a message of professionalism, it doesn’t do you any favors to have a bunch of large banners, text and floating icons all over your website.
Tech and design support: Support is only for the most expensive of packages. If you have questions, good luck on the design side of things… In all but a few cases you most likely will have to pay. What if your bank or insurance provider charged you per phone call? At the end of the day, your only choice may be to use the “Wix – Hire A Pro” service, which is maybe what you should have done to begin with :0)
In the short term, the choice to build your own website might seem to alleviate a lot of headaches and expenses as it becomes a viable choice for those of you who have an eye for design. In the long-term however, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to YOUR goals, experience, and circumstances.
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