As a small business owner, it can be tempting to save yourself time and money by building your own website. There are many tools out there that promise an easy-to-use DIY website building interface, and to a beginner they can seem like a great idea. However, using a site builder like Wix or Weebly can hurt you in the long run.
Here are a few reasons to treat an experienced website design company rather than trying to do it yourself:
- SEO Value: DIY site building software usually generate a large volume of messy, unnecessary, and unstructured code. The website design techniques that most website builders utilize not only are bad form but they can damage your SEO rankings. Good search engine optimization is about more than keywords. In fact about 40% of the ranking factors that determine your search rankings are determined from the actual onsite html code. A successful site should be built with well-structured code that is designed to not only provide users with a good experience but also to boost search rank.
- Page Depth: Many free site builders allow you to only create a single page. The best sites for SEO are deep, with multiple pages that can be ranked and indexed. Volume of content is also a search ranking factor and a single page website lacks the necessary depth to give search engines what they want.
- Originality: A free site like Wix.com offers roughly 500 templates that can be customized. This means that your site will look similar to those used by millions of other people. The finished product won't stand out from the crowd and may look cheap or generic. A website design made specifically for your business will be more professional and draw better attention. Almost 50% of people surveyed determine a businesses credibility by looking at the website. Credibility is a major reason why someone will decide to call you or your competitor.
- Mobile Optimization: Modern web design must be created with mobile users in mind. More than half of the people browsing the internet do so from phones and other mobile devices. Many website builders aren't mobile optimized or if they say that they are then the user experience is poor. Designs that are not responsive and built for the mobile experience will be frustrating for these users to navigate and may turn visitors away before a good impression can be made.
- Page Load Speed: Due to the volume of unnecessary code and utilizing older design techniques most website builders load dramatically slower than custom built sites. My average site loads in about 2 seconds. I have tested a wide variety of different sites built with website builders and I haven't found one that loaded in under 3 seconds in fact the average is about 7-8 seconds. This slow page load not only causes a bad user experience but it also lowers your search engine optimization because Google rewards fast loading websites. .
- Ownership: When you use a site-building program to create your site, the end result will be saved to the platform's servers. You will not be able to easily migrate the site to a new location if you want to change servers, and you are at the mercy of the platform if it decides to implement changes or shut down overnight. Owning your own site and managing it through a content management system (CMS) gives you more freedom and flexibility.
Creating a site for your business can be a daunting challenge, but it's well worth the time and effort. Skip the DIY approach and set aside the money to work with an experienced designer who understands modern principles of web design and SEO. The investment will payoff with the future growth of your business.