A few dollars per month looks pretty attractive when the professionals have quoted you many times that – but is it actually worth it? A lack of control, struggling to stand out in the crowd, underperforming amongst your competitors and disappointing your customers. That’s not what you want! Here’s why you should avoid DIY website builders and get in touch with a professional website developer.
1. Ownership – It’s Probably Not Your Website!
We’re putting this point first because we think it’s of huge importance.
When creating a website using a DIY builder (such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace), the files and code belong to them, not you. Yes, even if you’re paying for it.
Because of this, if you wanted to move your website to another platform, you couldn’t. There is no way to migrate your site onto another platform, because your access to things such as site files, custom style sheets (CSS) and other backend data is so limited. If you outgrow the capabilities of the DIY platform, you’re forced to either stick with it or start from scratch – not ideal.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use online web building tools to help create your website. The key is to stick to open-source content management systems (CMS) – because you own it all. Joomla and WordPress are two great examples of this, and they still have a lot of the same benefits that make DIY builders so appealing.
2.‘Unique Design’ – Just Like Everyone Else’s
It’s hard enough already to stand out as a business in the crowd. So why would you want your website to look the same as your competitors? How is that helping a customer choose you over them? It probably isn’t.
Customisation is key when it comes to capturing your brand and standing out. If you’re not creating the design yourself, customisation is going to be very limited – and this is definitely the case when it comes to ‘free’ DIY web builders. Typically, they offer generic templates with editable fields and that’s about it when it comes to making it your own. The templates aren’t unique to your business, and they definitely aren’t unique.
For the record, we’re absolutely not trying to dismiss template websites! A complete custom build isn’t what’s right for everyone and there’s no harm in utilising some scaffolding. However, some are definitely better than others (as mentioned above) and we wouldn’t recommend you take it on without some professional help from a website designer.
3. Performance – Poor User Experience
User experience is one of the most important things about having a website. If your site is slow, non-functioning and underperforming, you’re creating a poor user experience. The goal is not only to get people to come to your website, but also to have them stay a while. If the site takes too long to load or is difficult to read or navigate, visitors will be leaving as quick as they’re landing. In the world of the internet, we aren’t a patient bunch – so our websites need to be hosted on quality servers with high capabilities.
The issue with these DIY website builders is that they’re crowded. Your site is thrown onto a server with hundreds of other accounts. So even though they might be decent sized servers, if those hundreds of sites are accessed at the same time, speed will be impeded. To put it simply, a DIY website just doesn’t have the same performance capabilities as a professionally built one.
4.Efficiency – It’s Not That Easy!
One of the main selling points for using a DIY website builder is that it’s simple, and therefore quick. But is it really that easy? Sure, if you’re not all that fussed about how your website looks or performs, you can probably throw something together pretty quickly. But if you want a website that’s going to draw in those customers and keep them there, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
In fact, according to Manawire, out of all of the ‘Do-It-Yourselfers’ who embark on building their own site using one of these tools, 98% of them don’t ever get to publishing one. That’s a lot of wasted time! Not to mention, current statistics show that 74% of all of the website out there (over one billion) were built by professionals, and only 3% were created using DIY tools. We think that speaks for itself! As web designers, we’re willing to admit that a good site takes time. But at the end of that time, you’ll have yourself a solid website from every perspective – design, functionality, usability, performance.
5. SEO – Not Google Friendly
DIY web builders make everything so simple. Which seems great, right? Not always. Someone that doesn’t find DIY sites very simple is Google, in fact, they can confuse the hell out of Google.
An effective SEO strategy involves a lot of on-site optimisation, something that can be a problem on these DIY website building platforms. True SEO means making file customisations, modifying settings and making changes to all levels of pages. With limited access to the core files of the site, it can be challenging (or even impossible) to optimize to a proper standard of SEO.
Google makes sense of a website by reading the code and following the structure of the URLs to crawl throughout all of the content. That’s the issue with these drag and drop sites, even if they look great, the coding is usually pretty poor – and that’s what Google cares about. Remember, Google is not a person coming onto your site at face value and admiring the pretty colours. Google is looking at your site from the back end of all of that, making the coding of the website just as important as the visual design.
If things aren’t right from the backend, Google probably won’t be a fan – and that’s going to drag down your SEO performance. After all, if you can’t be found you won’t be noticed.
It’s unfortunate, but the real list is a lot longer than this one. Saving a few dollars on the design and build of your site may seem like a business smart decision initially, but as you can see, that might not be the case. Every business has options to suit their needs, you just need to ask the right people for help – contact the team at Lethal to get started!