13 Jun 2017

Why businesses should avoid cookie-cutter website builders

Potential clients ask us “Why should I pay you to build a website when there are so many free website builders available?” Here’s what we tell them.

1. SEO

One of the biggest benefits a custom website provides is search engine optimization (SEO). Free website builders like Wix, Weebly, IM Creator, etc. give you limited access to back-end components. It’s true that when it comes to SEO content is king, but there are loads of other technical elements that can help increase how easily you’re found on the web.

2. Customization

If you want a specific look and feel or some special functionality (sliding images, interactive elements, etc.), good luck getting that with one of the freebie systems. These website building tools provide customers with basic templates to drop and drag words and images around in.

Sure, there are 1,000 of designs to choose from. Some of these sites even make claims that “no two website are alike,” but that’s a load of bull.

Each person or business will use some of their own images and most of their own words, but the chances of two websites having the same design and colour scheme are pretty good. You just have to hope that your competitor didn’t use the same template.

These cookie-cutter designs are built to provide people with quick, simple websites. There’s no room for customization with a quick and simple method. Your images need to fit into the space provided, your logo can only go in a pre-defined place, the header is a set size, etc. There is no mix and match option.

If you upgrade to a paid version, this unlocks access to more features but it doesn’t give you a designer or a dedicated person to help troubleshoot issues.

3. Expertise

Are the images you want to use the right resolution and size? Do you know where to get royalty-free images from? Has your content been optimized for the web? How much time do you have to build your own website? These are details you don’t need to worry about when you hire professionals to do the work for you.

Despite the promises of speed and ease that these free systems offer, we can guarantee your self-created website won’t be up and running in an hour. Your business website is the online face and personality of your brand; that can’t be built (properly) on your lunch break.

These systems make it so you don’t need any technical skills to create your own website, but you still need to have the know-how to prepare your assets to work with your chosen template.

These website builders may be a good option for parent groups, community associations and other organizations that run entirely off volunteers, but they aren’t ideal for individual businesses.

If you want to define your business and give it a unique online presence, a well thought-out website is going to get you better results than a drop and drag, DIY project ever could.

When it comes to the web and your brand, cookie cutters should be left in the kitchen.

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