Do you need a website for your business? Are you thinking of using a website builder (i.e. Wix, GoDaddy Website Builder, Squarespace, etc.)? Do you know the disadvantages and limitations of most website builders?
Website builders can certainly help you build a website relatively affordably, but most still require some additional knowledge to get the website to perform well. Among other items, you will need to understand how monitor size matters, and how the website will look on a mobile phone, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) limitations, etc. Here are a few limitations you should consider before going with a website builder platform.
1. Limited Mobile Experience
Coding is extremely important for mobile viewing for your website. Many web builders have a very limited mobile optimization in their web builder. Why does mobile matter? Mobile viewing of websites has finally surpassed desktop browsing as of a year ago. Over 50% of users view websites on their mobile devices. When you run into an issue with how content or a part of the design looks on mobile devices, the website builder does not let you do any further customization. You are simply limited to their built-in mobile rendering which does not always translate your content and design into an ideal look and feel, potentially causing user experience issues.
2. The Website Doesn't Quite Look “Right”
Most website builders show you a preview of the website before you publish. However, it rarely looks exactly like the preview. As a result, you may spend a significant amount of time creating a website that doesn't actually look high quality like you intended. Naturally, these can be exceptionally frustrating, and you are again limited to what the website builder “allows” you to do.
Website builders often appear easy to use at first which is a big plus. However, when you try to delve into links, customizing pages, and resizing images, they start to become a painstaking process. It can take a while to learn how to change certain sections of the website to avoid upsetting the website builder. This can be extremely time-consuming. Ultimately, you are still at the mercy of what the website builder “will allow” in terms of built-in functionality.
4. Cookie-Cutter Template Selection
A lot of website builders bypass the lack of coding knowledge by only giving customers certain templates to choose from for their site. Thus, you can only put text in this spot and only a picture in that spot, but if you need more space for more content outside of their design framework you are out of luck. It makes it a bit hard for your business to stand out in the crowd.
5. Missing Key Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Elements
Most website builders do NOT truly and fully integrate SEO or lead generation into their process of creating your own website. They often don't tell you to incorporate a call-to-action on your website or create a soft offer for your customers in order to capture email addresses. Your website needs these elements and more to make your website a way to convert leads into actual customers.
There are also a substantial amount of back-end coding elements from an Search Engine Optimization perspective that a website builder can often overlook or not integrate altogether. For instance, last month alone we were performing SEO on two different website builder platforms previously listed (on websites we did not get the opportunity to design). One of the website builders offered LocalBusiness schema, but no other options for microdata. Furthermore, they forgot to include “phone number” as a field in the “auto-generating” schema, one of the most critical elements for associating your business with other listings online. Whereas, the other website builder didn’t even allow website schema to be inserted into their system. This is just one example of how SEO is an afterthought when it comes to website builders.
Yes, we ended up emailing both website builders to inform them of the errors. sure enough, they thanked us and told us we were right. But they didn’t say when they expected to make the fixes/additions to their system.
The list of SEO shortfalls of website builders doesn’t end with that one example either. As such, while you might end up with a remotely similar look of a site you love, what’s the point if you can’t be found on Google?
Should I Use a Website Builder to Build My Website?
A website builder can help you create a website affordably and this can be an OK starting point if you’re on a very strapped budget. However, website builders lack the ability to create a unique website that looks and functions professionally. These websites often lack SEO essentials and make it difficult to turn leads into actual paying customers. You need a website that is easy to find and keeps the audience's attention, and, in short, website builders won't get you there.
What’s the Alternative to Website Builders?
We strongly suggest hiring a firm that specializes in website design and a firm that has SEO experts on staff. Do you need help building your website? We can create a website that gets you to the top of search results and creates the best experience for your customers. Contact us so we can learn more about your website design needs.