The best website builder is one that fits your budget and ticks off your objectives for online marketing and discovery. However, investing in a DIY website builder can lead to you making some common website mistakes or giving up altogether. Starting any website design is hard even for professionals who do it daily.
We get it. Wix, GoDaddy and the like sell the benefit of their product as the simplicity of creating your own website without investing more money into someone experienced doing it for you. What they don’t advertise – until you’ve subscribed – is their secondary service of getting a professional to build it for you anyway.
Of course, we’re (a little) biased. We’d prefer you to invest with us. However, we want to be transparent and explain why DIY website builders are a bad idea for ecommerce, or any business in general.
Here are our main reasons for advising against all DIY website builders.
You can’t change a template.
The design of your website is important for many reasons. Every niche is oversaturated online, yet there are only a limited number of templates on each Website Builder. You have seconds to impress your visitor, and if your branding is generic, then it won’t succeed. If you are internet savvy, you get the feeling when you approach a template website design. “Is this business legit?” You’ll ask, before searching the about us page for any sign of life.
You could pick another template… Only, you can’t. Well, not without starting from scratch anyway. All the work that you’ve put into your first creation will be demolished to make way for another. It’s not as simple as tweaking one template to make it look like another. Even the best DIY website builder for small business won’t help you there.
This is the advantage of investing in professional web design. Your website is purpose-built for your brand, and it’s modular so you can take bits out and add bits in without needing to overhaul the design. Not only are you sparing yourself the trauma of designing it, you’ll save on time too because the changes you may request can be interchangeable with the current design of your website. No need for a wrecking ball!
Google will ignore you.
Any website exists to gain traction from “search engine optimization” so it can appear top of a Google search. The best website builder for small businesses will still damage this, because they all limit what information is passed on to Google. Their servers are also laden with users, so there’s a stress on their systems that impacts your user’s experience.
GoDaddy will restrict the information it sends to Google to only your text. Any web designer knows the experience of your website is vital. For example, if your website loads faster than your competitors, then Google will rank you higher. If it can’t find out anything other than your content, it will rank someone else that it trusts more.
Wix has issues with page loading too. It also forces you to use ads, unless you pay them. This damages the user experience especially given you have no control over the ads that will be shown on your site. Also (though this has now changed) Wix did not allow SSL. To you and me, SSL is what makes the padlock next to the URL appear and its what makes your connection to the website secure. You should never give any information to a website that does not have the padlock, or their URL does not start HTTPS.
A professional website designer will likely hold a server that hosts a much smaller number of clients, if they don’t host your website separately. Don’t mistake the value of hosting with the price of hosting. Yes, website builders for small businesses will be cheaper, but the value of what they are offering will be a lot less too.
Your website is not your website.
With a bespoke website, you own the entirety of its design & contents from the moment the project is finished. If you chose to leave Suki Marketing (which nobody would ever think of…) we would assist you to migrate your website to your new hosting. If you use a DIY website builder like Squarespace, Wix or Yell, then your website will vanish the second your payments stop.
You must also operate within their terms. If they make a change, you must accept it or leave. You’re not a major shareholder here. This is like hosting your business on a Facebook page.
It’s also vital you check your terms and conditions. It’s likely they own your content and images. No web designer would claim that. You should always ensure you remain the owner of the information you provide.
You’re not in control of your visitor’s experience.
When someone enters your shop, you have control of what they experience and how they experience it. The colours, sounds and sights all go towards impacting whether they become a customer or not. Imagine someone walking in your shop, and you had another business’ logo upon the back wall.
“Oh yeah, we didn’t want to pay the full rent to remove that.” Having Made by Wix at the bottom of your website will tell your visitor this. It will have the same effect as the adverts you have no control over. Why would you give anyone control of what your brand shows to your customers? You wouldn’t in person. So don’t do it online.
There are a lot of compromises in using a DIY website builder and they often create a number of common website mistakes. These mistakes impact your SEO badly, and this damages your future prospects of ranking in Google searches.
What you may feel you are saving in the beginning, you are risking down the line.
Why should you choose a professional web designer?
There are aspects to web design which are second nature to us, but have a massive impact on your success online. For example:
- Meta. Your DIY website builder will likely limit what you can change, here, but the meta tells Google who you are, who you are looking for and where you need to be found. Your headers, keywords & the way they are laid out are vital. If you don’t fill them in, don’t expect many people to come your way.
- Design. Every website should work in a similar way, but the art is in how you design it to look bespoke. It’s not just the colours, it’s the padding & margins that set text in different shapes and layouts. It’s knowing when to tell your audience what to do, and how to make it stand out so they do it.
You remain in control and own everything. If you don’t like what we are doing, you have the power to move and take everything with you. Your website will be built to be transferred, even if it’s built using a CRM like WordPress.
Finally, we have the experience to know what works. The aim of an online brand is to be attractive, yet reassuring. I need to trust you enough to want to know more about who you are and how you can benefit me. A template is trying to cover hundreds of possible scenarios, whilst a purpose-built design is made for your specific outcomes.
The cheapest option might seem like the best, but underneath, it will be the most damaging.
Chat with us about what your objectives are, and we’ll create an online package that suits your needs.