I had an interesting conversation while having my haircut the other day. Sure my hairdresser had a mask on but we could still converse. She asked me why people were not seeing her new website. So in exchange for lunch, we sat down and had a look. The first thing I noticed was that she had used an online website builder. Well on questioning she had paid someone for web design and they used an online website builder. I will not mention the name but it was either W????? or SQ????????. So that was the reason no one was seeing it. These website builders have some serious challenges. And they may end up not only costing you money to build and have hosted, but lost business may add up to even more. Most operate on a monthly fee and if you stop paying the fee you lose the site and the content. So let’s look at the main challenges that are presented by these sites.
While you can do some basic SEO (search engine optimization) with these sites, they do not have the same powerful tools as more platforms like WordPress. You won’t be able to rank as highly on web search engines like Google and Bing, which can harm your business. Most SEO providers will not touch these sites as we can not do much with them. Most marketing agencies prefer to work with websites that use an open platform like WordPress since there is much more room to build a professional, SEO-optimized, extensible, and scalable website. If you use a website builder you may find it harder to partner with a reputable marketing agency.
They say a good place to bury a body is on page 3 of Google, after all, no one looks there
Easy to Design!
These site builders claim they it easy to design websites like brochures and they’re right. What you see isn’t what Google sees. Although Google does take user experience into account it’s mostly around content and mobile-friendliness and things like that. One of the most basic elements Google cares about is how your page titles are structured and what they tell about the page, yet for my hairdresser and others who have used these websites, there is no attention paid to Google Analytics or other reporting that is vital to having your web site visible. Besides which they just don’t have the time or the skills to make this work.
Great Web Design is more than making it Look Good
You’re Locked Into The Platform
One of the biggest reasons to avoid these platforms is that you are LOCKED into using them and the ongoing monthly costs that you have no control over. It’s impossible to migrate a website from one of these platforms to another, or to a more open platform like WordPress. Your only way out is to completely redo your website in a more open platform.
A good web design should give you freedom
Let’s Look at Costs
With the free plans, you have their branding on your site, and the little icon shown in the browser bar will be their logo. You also can’t add in Google Analytics tracking until you get onto a premium plan. Depending on who you use prices vary a rough guide in US Dollars is. Premium plans start at around $8 or so per month so it’s not expensive by any means, and they go up to $40 per month.
The largest cost of using these website builders for many people is a hidden one. It’s the cost of websites built by users who may not know what makes a website really work, therefore it doesn’t get found, or it doesn’t function well. That lack of functionality is probably costing you business. Take my hairdresser for example she was telling me that on her old nonmobile friendly site she was getting around 5 to 8 bookings from new people every 2 weeks. Now if an average spend for her was $65 then that was a minimum of $15600 dollars of NEW business she was losing a year. How much does your average new customer spend with you!
So what should you do?
I am not saying do not use one of these. For many startups, this may be your only option. Remember your website is an engine that will drive your business. However think about the long-term costs of lost customers, stress, and knowing you could do it better. We have come up with several options for our customers that may mean you can have a new custom-built, transferable, and SEO tools to make it right for as little as $98 a month. That is not every month but just for 12 months.
Just get in touch for a no-obligation chat. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org