After your business has been conceived, you have put together your business plan and establish your marketing budget. You suddenly realise there isn't a sufficient budget for a professional web design company to get your online presence developed the way you dreamt it should be. You quickly search the internet and stumble across the vast array of free and premium website builders out there.
You will stumble across sites like Wix, Squarespace, 1&1 and GoDaddy. All of these companies offer a free or premium service for start-up businesses. They offer the ability to build a website without the need to have any coding knowledge or very little design knowledge to get a basic website up and running.
So, you’re now thinking "Of course you are going to bang on about the cons of these services, you're a web design company!". Well, yes the truth is you are right. We want start-ups and businesses with a small marketing budget to understand the perils of using a DIY website building service.
The idea of a 'drag & drop' website builder is that you will have the ability to add all of the different elements that you would typically find on a website. The navigation, image sliders, contact forms to name just a few. You simply drop in the elements in the order you would like them to appear. You can choose the background colour, font style, font colour and update the content as many times as you desire without the need for a web development company to update it for you or build you a website with a built-in content management system.
The clear advantage of using a system like this is that you get a very low-cost website and an online presence for your new business. This can be ideal if your a local plumber, decorator or electrician. A simple, one-page website with all your services clearly laid out and a functioning contact form.
If you have a business with several different services to it, a business that requires a complex website then the 'drag & drop' website builder option can cause issues. Some of the disadvantages of using a service like this usually are:
You may find yourself spending hours scratching your head why you have a massive horizontal scroll bar on a mobile device or can't figure out why the font style has all of a sudden changed. You may find yourself emailing web designers asking for a bit of advice here and there. In the end, is it worth your time trying to get something looking not quite as good as you first imagined it?
Let's take Squarespace for example. You have made a decent looking website on one of the better website building services out there. Your online store is starting to get noticed and you feel that your current payment solutions are costing you too much, they are taking too much of your earnings. Squarespace only offers one payment solution, that is Stripe. You are stuck with that for as long as you have your website with Squarespace. The other issue is that if you wish to hire a web design company like us then it's going to be incredibly difficult to migrate all of your data from Squarespace to us. Just imagine all that time and effort you spent building your online store, after all, they don't want to lose a valued customer, they rely on a residual income from people just like you.
You may be a master carpenter producing exquisite furniture and decide to build a website yourself thinking it's going to save you heaps of cash you can spend elsewhere on promoting your services. You then start getting some traffic to your site and see that your visitors are clicking away not long after they first logged onto your site. It could be your a brilliant carpenter but horrendous with designing a website. Your images may be of a poor quality uploaded into a bodged gallery. Your beautiful products now look terrible online!
With a lot of website builders, search engine optimisation is not something you can ever get full control of. This is because of the automated way the system works. You may also struggle to implement services such as Google Analytics. This is one of the reasons why a lot of business owners don't make it a habit to use these ' drag & drop' website building services. Their solution, they opt for a professional website builder or web design company to drive their online presence in the right direction. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business grow where a budget website builder cannot.
Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist