DIY Websites are Bad News

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Business owners might equate a website as yet another business expense, but these days a website is an important investment that, with the right decisions, can help a business grow. Think about it. If you knew you needed a new car, you wouldn’t decide to try to build it yourself to save money. That will only cause more problems down the road, if it even works at all. The same goes for a website. Ultimately, you get back from it what you put into it.

Here are some great reasons why choosing to use a “do it yourself” website builder misses the mark in terms of creating a great website:

  1. Search Engine Un-optimized
    Content is king on ranking websites, and the more keywords you can produce the better. However, most website builders will only allow a single page to tell a story about your company’s products and services. Having just one page limits your ability to convey that message. It also does not allow you to take advantage of original keyword-rich content, such as unique URLs, page titles, headlines, and body copy.

    Additionally, website builder websites are not inherently search engine friendly. Designing with a site builder inserts unnecessary markup that doesn’t translate well with Google. You are also not able to set important data, such as meta and microdata tags, and their lack of multiple pages limits the number of keywords Google can index.

  2. Lack of Originality
    Your website is often the first impression potential clients or customers have of your business. Why would you entrust the one asset unique to your business and your brand to a cookie-cutter look, replicating the same website thousands of other businesses have? What does it say about your business when your website conveys a lack of sophistication and acumen to control its own destiny?

    A site that doesn’t successfully highlight your brand, its services and its products is just another website. Whether it’s written content, original photography, or custom graphics, it’s still up to you to be creative – a website builder isn’t going to generate those assets from scratch. Having a trusted partner in place like Mindspike to write engaging copy, shoot high-definition pictures, or create original graphic design, produces huge value for your website, reflected in higher search engine ranking and a much better user experience.

  3. Lack of Flexibility and Scalability
    Website builders are not designed to allow for customization. The ability to allow your website to grow with your business is often not an option. Do you want to include a form to gather information from your visitors? Would you like to sell products online? You’ll have to find a new solution and start from scratch.

    In addition, many website builders are not designed to go mobile and often still use dying FLASH software, both now large factors in determining page rank with Google. Not only does this leave you at risk for being out of Google’s good graces, but with website usage on mobile devices approaching 66% in some markets, not having a mobile-ready website means frustration and consternation from your visitors.

  4. Paying in Perpetuity
    Although the upfront costs of a website builder can seem attractive to small business owners, once you factor in hosting and maintaining the website forever, the cost quickly escalates. In order to disable advertising on your site or have your domain point to your website, you need to pay hundreds of dollars per year. Furthermore, you won’t be able to take advantage of a fair market rate for ancillary services, such as hosting and domain name registration. Worst yet, if you defer on making those payments, your website completely disappears. We have also seen scenarios in which your domain will actually be associated with the web builder company. That means if you would like to eventually build a new website of your own and moving that domain to your own control will be impossible.
  5. Weak Reporting
    Most website builders rely on older technologies to give their users reports on traffic to their website. Thinking of using Google Analytics? It’s mostly likely not supported, despite being the most important and accurate reporting suite around. Not having this tool is a huge disadvantage in determining how visitors are finding your site and how to make improvements to your site in the future.
  6. Where’s the Love?
    Finally, when it comes to website builders, technical support is limited. Questions are often delegated to a support ticket or a long wait on hold over the phone to speak to an individual overseas. Large companies with faceless names and no point of contacts. The point is, no one is accountable or passionate about your company. Having a vendor like Mindspike in your corner means you have a built-in team watching out for you and your website’s best interest. There’s an incredible incentive for us to always create a successful project for businesses we work with – a lasting business relationship that empowers everyone involved.

If you take away nothing else from this article, the most important thing is to consider quality and value in terms of your website. When it’s all said and done, was it worth the effort? It’s an important question to ask when you consider how valuable your website can be for your business. Working with Mindspike on your company’s website will not only give you the quality you deserve, including an original design, technical expertise, and search engine optimization strategies, it will also give you peace of mind knowing your brand’s image and future are in good hands.

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