Starting up a new business or venture is hard enough let alone looking after the business' digital presence. As such many entrepreneurs opt for cost-cutting, reducing the cost of their online presence as much as possible by opting in for a more hands-on approach. But what we found with many startups who tend to follow this route is that they end up paying more for what they aimed to achieve, which is saving money.
Building your website is the fastest and most effective way to show your clients what you offer as well as providing them with the peace of mind that you exist. However, what we found is that startups with minimal funding tend to lean towards self-serve web builders such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. It seems like a pretty good deal as they sell you on the easy interface for dragging and dropping your content where you want it to go. It appears cheap too, with low monthly fees. What they're not telling you is that there are problems with this approach.
Over the years we've helped quite a few businesses move their websites off of these platforms. The simple reason was their experience wasn't very good and they ended up with a bad website. The underlying cost of running the website is also much higher than having a self-hosted website. This would include requiring a separate email hosting as well as a higher website hosting fee. Once a website is built, there tends to be minimal maintenance required, with this in mind, hosting a basic website on Wix, Weebly or Squarespace would effectively cost more than 3x the amount. Over 12 months these figures add up, and they add up fast.
Here are the top 5 reasons you shouldn't use Wix, Weebly or Squarespace to build your website:
Web Design - It takes years to become a good web designer. How are you going to know how to design your web pages without any experience? These platforms tell you that you don't need this skill. It's a lie. Many web designers are experienced in both design and conversions, knowing what works best to get your customers to make that initial contact.
When designing your site there are also other factors in play such as speed optimisation and SEO. Without keeping these in mind when designing your website you've effectively created work to be fixed up. This is both damaging to your brand as well as your SEO.
Poor SEO - This is the Biggest Problem we've found with using these platforms to build a website yourself. Wix, Weebly or Squarespace are not search engine friendly, they will not optimise your site speed or provide you with the coding required for Google search optimisation. From a technical perspective, there are a lot of problems with the way the website works, these include page URLs, using flash, image resizing and many other things make it extremely difficult to optimize a website built this way.
A website that is built on a self-hosted platform can easily be changed with an array of options, with Wix, Weebly or Squarespace you're simply restricted to what's given. From payment providers for your e-commerce site to simply requesting for AfterPay and ZipPay integration, you're limited to what is given.
Restrictive - Don't like the system and want to move? Basically, once the site is built you can't move it very easily to your own hosting account. You'll need to completely rebuild the website elsewhere if you want to move it. This is costing you both time and money.
WordPress - WordPress is free and developed by a huge community of designers and developers. We all have access to a system built and maintained by thousands with millions of users. At present, there is no website content management system which can compete with WordPress as it is continually developed and expanded on. Every available plugin is managed by a different entity who specialises in their respected field, ensuring that your site functionality and SEO is kept to date and optimal for third-parties such as Google, Bing and Zander.
Community - Ever try getting support from one of these companies? Good Luck. In the world of WordPress, there is a huge community of designers, developers, SEO and internet marketers that are experts and freely share their knowledge. Which also brings to the point, when a new implementation is required on your website, any professional Wordpress developer is capable of providing you with the work you require, you're not restricted to who you work with.
Here's the secret that these companies don't want you to know. You can do the same thing with WordPress using a managed network with various themes. You're also given the tool to freely drag and drop your content if required using tools such as Elementor or Visual Composer Premium.
It may seem like an unnecessary cost to pay a web designer for something that you should be able to do yourself. This is the biggest myth of all. If you get a toothache do you fix your tooth yourself? No, you find a dentist.
If you run a business you understand the need for spending money on advertising and other marketing efforts. Yet I see many business owners trying to cut costs by going with a cheap website and end up shooting themselves in the foot. When you consider that you can get a pretty nice website that is optimized for search engines and built for internet marketing for just between $10 to $100 per month averaged out over a few years, why bother with a site that doesn't work?
So what if you can't afford $500+ for a nice website? this is the only case where it might be a good idea to start with a website builder but plan to have the website designed by a professional in the future. If you already have a decent website, you may just need some help making it more effective with some basic tweaks.
Rubix Studios provides digital solutions for our partner agencies and clients. We’ve got you covered for web design, SEO, local online presence and optimization, digital marketing, digital sales, and digital advertising. Whether you’re interested in a silent partnership or a referral program, web design only or more; contact us today to get started!
Friday, February 21, 2020