As a local web designer and online marketing expert, I’m seeing a disturbing trend in the website design space that should concern both web professionals and business owners alike… why the heck are many local businesses partnering with inferior DIY website builders like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace or any “digital agency” offering “FREE” or “cheap” websites?!
This is like expecting excellent & affordable results from a car washer to work on your car engine… they simply don’t know what they are doing.
It’s obviously more than fine to pay Telstra or TPG to be your IP (internet provider), and NetRegistry or Digital Pacific to be your web hosting service & domain registrar, but don’t use their website design/web building/CMS services because they are inferior! I wouldn’t have a platform for my rant if they offered outstanding web coded websites that rank well in search engines and convert browsers into buyers… BUT THEY DON’T!
True, there are just as many inferior web “professionals” too, but you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find a website design and online marketing company that can deliver not just a stunning website for an affordable price, but also a comprehensive marketing strategy that delivers REAL results and REAL return on investment. A great web designer (like the team at WestVic Web) will have a variety of solutions to meet your requirements and budget that can cost considerably less than your monthly fees your “cheap” website builder can offer, and will produce a far better product. As mentioned, a web designer/developer with some savvy business sense can also advise and provide suggestions that will improve your website functionality and prominence in Google’s search engine results page.
Thinking of utilising a “FREE” or “CHEAP” Website Builder? Think again!
- Likely to Cost More Overtime: The monthly fees are often higher for these “cheap” or “FREE” (inferior) websites.
- Hard To End the Relationship: Once you figure out that you are spending too much money on an inferior website you usually can’t take/transfer your website to a self hosted web hosting plan = you’re stuck with starting over, spending more money and wasting time establishing your online presence again. In fact, with most “cheap” website builders, you never actually own your website. If you want to change providers, too bad. You must start from scratch.
- Not SEO Friendly: The way the website will be coded is not SEO friendly. Furthermore, usually the “FREE” plans have you as a subdomain under their companies domain which also will surely stunt your online business growth/SEO.
- Most Don´t Offer Mobile or Tablet Versions: If they do the code is likely horrific & are likely on separate domains. Having separate domains is not necessarly bad if that’s the best option, but not ideal. Don’t believe me? Well listen to Google. Hint: Responsive website is their recommendation.
- Limited Design and Feature Options: Less options compared to hiring a professional web developer. Need a shopping cart or specific website functionality? Don’t hold your breath, or expect to pay through the nose.
- Limited Design Customisation: The one thing I like about some of these companies is that they make editing a website easy, and some also have nice looking templates-although they aren’t always coded correctly. Nevertheless, a nice template doesn’t mean you will always like it, or be happy with the little customisations you are allowed to do. In fact, many website builder templates look like they were created with Microsoft Word!
- Customer Service: One-on-one, personal customer service is not available when compared to hiring a local web designer.
Even if you’re providing a basic service, or are a mum and dad shop, its even more important that you think outside the box and make your website stand out from the crowd. After all, your “FREE” or “cheap” website may be the first and last impression you make with your customer. Over 50% of small businesses fail within 5 years. These businesses fail for all different reasons, but if your website does not meet your end goals, convert sales, you can be sure, yours will fail just as quickly.
Professional design is not art but a real process. A series of questions need to be asked, goals need to be established, and the design needs to meet these goals, be intutive, and have a great user experience.
If you or someone you know is thinking of using Wix, tell them “NO.”