There is no denying that website builders such as Wix and Squarespace can produce aesthetically pleasing web designs. Most business owners who use these web building services are not well-versed in effective digital media practices that will produce measurable results. Some folks will go naively into the process, convinced that the content offered by these entities will be sufficient for search engine success. Using these services in good faith, consumers are often left scratching their heads after investing in their online presence and not meeting the reasonably expected results. Finding that additional funds are needed well into the design process is equally frustrating. The finished product might be easy on the eyes, but lacks the level of custom functionality and optimization needed to create purposeful content for online users.
Worse still, several popular website builders tend to be discreet in disclosing that they will forever own the domain, and hence the website, of whoever uses their services. Buyer beware when registering domains through web builders. Check the fine print: if the buyer pays for the site, they should be able to take it with them. Not owning the domain leaves the consumer’s hands tied as they cannot leave the web builder in favor of more capable hands. Therefore, website builders risk negatively impacting consumers web presence, conversion rates, and ultimately their bottom line.
Current trends show that search engines are favoring pages with fast load times. This means websites should avoid unnecessary code, bad hierarchy flow, and poor structure. Often, consumers are not aware that the drag and drop templates used by most website builders tends to generate a lot of extra code. This means slower load times which means lower SEO ratings. In addition, poor structure and choppy flow will often cause search engines to overlook important and useful information. The design and look of a website is important, but lack of implementation of current and best optimization practices means search engines will not find these websites easily which translates into fewer visitors and ultimately: fewer conversions.
Ironically, those hoping to bypass extra expense of using a web professional may end up spending the same amount whether they budget for it or not. Rarely are consumers able to project a realistic total cost and able to get by with only the single up-front cost required by web builders. This is due to the additional costs of functionality. For example, one can create their website with no problem using these services, but often find custom functionality requires paying extra for plugins. When it’s all said and done, a professional web builder could have been used for around the same cost.
It is important to note this discussion is not applicable to all consumers and all website builders. However, anyone considering using one of these services should do extensive research before making a financial commitment. At the end of the day, drag and drop website builders cannot be compared to the unique, functional and content-conscious website a qualified professional can create. Consumers should always be skeptical of anything that seems too good to be true, and research the credibility, client satisfaction, and any unforeseen costs before using a website builder. In today’s market, consumers are not only making a financial investment, but are also investing in the foundation of their business’ online marketing.