Why You Shouldn’t Use Online Website Builders
We’ve all seen the glossy tv commercials, social media ads and ads in the local press, “Build your own stunning website in just a few minutes!”.
Online website builders such as Wix, 1and1 and GoDaddy all offer “do it yourself” websites at a very cheap price. These website builder tools are making a fortune off business owners who don’t know the difference between one of these pages and a real website with semantic markup and search engine optimised code.
The problem is that creating a good website is more than just throwing a few elements on a page, slapping your phone number on it, and letting it go.
To make a really good website, you need to create an experience for the user. A website should be built with the user in mind to create a perfect user flow and smooth UX (user experience). This requires good website structure and the latest SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques as well as a professional design.
So, here’s some reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Online Website Builders…
1. They’re Bad For Search Engine Rankings
One of the worst things about using an online website builder is that the builder spits out a jumble of code that is not structured well. It doesn’t contain the necessary elements to help websites rank in Google.
SEO Stands for search engine optimisation and its the methodology of making your website show up higher in Google and other search engine rankings. There are many elements to SEO but one of the most important parts is on-page SEO. This is the code and structure of the site which have a large impact on the SEO-friendliness of the website.
When creating your site with website builders you do not have control of the code… just the design. You can’t use structured data to increase your local SEO or even add content.
Growing your online presence is a huge part of getting more online visitors and customers. These website builders don’t allow you to create new content so you will rarely rank in Google or other search engines.
2. They’re Only One Page Websites
Most website builders only offer a single page to be created, which is bad news for SEO and terrible for creating an online presence. Websites should be mulitple pages and constantly growing in pages. That is the only way to keep Google bots coming back and keeping your website relevant and current.
It should not be possible to showcase your business in just one page. No one wants to scroll down an extremely long page that goes on and on. Websites should be sectioned off into different content pages, categories and levels to explain the business, who are you, what you do, where you are located and how to contact you.
3. Poor Website Structure
The other issue with only having a 1 page website is that you do not have a structure which is essential for SEO. When a website is organised properly and according to a site hierarchy, you make search engines happy and they are going to rank that website higher.
A URL strucure should be organised to match the hierarchy, for example:
As you can see, the structure matches the hierarchy of each level with good keywords that explain the page and the content. When you create a website with an online builder, you not going to get a good hierarchy, structure or URL…
4. They’re Not ‘Stunning’
Many website builder companies like to claim that you can create a ‘stunning website‘ with their software. The problem is that ‘stunning’ has a context.
If the last time your website was redesigned was 10 years ago, then a 1 page website may seem stunning to you. But technology is growing very fast and the web design market has grown with it.
Stunning websites these days are much more than just a single page that a accountant, doctor or mechanic has thrown together in just 30 minutes. When we build websites we create a unique experience for the user that engages them and builds trust. A stunning website is a website that brings in traffic and converts that traffic in to paying customers and most website builder websites don’t do that.
5. They Devalue Your Business and Brand
Let’s do some maths…
A top online website builder currently has over 90 million users. On their website, they mention that they have about 500 templates to choose from. If we do some simple sums… 90,000,000 users / 500 templates = 180,000. That means that you are probably using the same template as 180,000 other people!
This really diminishes your brand in so many ways. Not only do 180,000 other peoples website look like yours, customers know you are using a cheap website builder to create a website and brand.
6. They’re Not CMS Based
CMS systems are a powerful tool to help manage websites and their content. Content management systems facilitate writing, editing, organising and publishing content online.
You can have full control over files, design, documents and how you display your content.
When you use a website builder you are creating static HTML web pages that are no match for content management systems.
7. Slow Loading Speeds
Having a slow website is bad for visitors, sales and even search engine rankings. Google knows everything about your website including how long it takes to load it. If it takes a long time to load, you will get dropped in the search engines and probably by your visitors as well.
With online website builders, your website is on a server with a ton of other websites. This creates less resources and slower loading speeds which is bad for everyone.
Websites should be hosted on a fast server that don’t have a large amount of other websites hosted on it.
Having a large advertisement to create your own site for free is not something you want to display on your own website.
Not only does it devalue your brand but it takes away from the user experience of a website. It instantly tells me that this website owner doesn’t care enough to invest in a real website.
9. You Don’t Own The Website
You not able to transfer a site created with a website builder to another hosting company. Which also means that you don’t even own the website. If you wanted to move it, you couldn’t… which means the company you built it with, owns it.
10. Your Stuck With It!
Migration is not possible when you use an online website builder. That means that if you wanted to move your website somewhere else, you wouldn’t be able to.
Having your website run on a CMS system allows you to migrate from host to host easily without website interruption.
In conclusion, its a very bad idea to create your business website using a cheap website builder. Many customers shy away from businesses that use these type of services to create their website.
Instead, enlist the help of a professional website design company that can create a responsive website for an affordable price.