You’ve seen the sexy commercials, you’ve seen the ads on your Facebook feed, you’ve heard the spots on your streaming service, and you’ve finally been conditioned to try to build your own website online. Don’t do it! At least not until you’ve read the following.
Drag and drop website platforms such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace claim to be an online service that allows you to create “stunning” websites using and easy-to-use interface. This sounds really good at first until you realize its limitations.
Note: Before I go any further, these online site builders may be the only option you have if you are a small start-up and have NO money to invest in a professionally designed site. It might be exactly what you need if you’re not planning on having much growth over the next several years. On the other hand if you are in a small established business up to a large corporation, steer clear, and here’s why.
- No Custom Development: If you need any custom development at the time of the site build-out or anytime in the future, it’s impossible to code that functionality into the these platforms. Special apps, database features, custom animations…forget it. There are apps available from these sites, but expect to pay for each and every one of them.
- You Might Look Exactly Like Your Competitor: You ever show up at a party and you’re wearing the same outfit as someone else? Welcome to the drag and drop website world. Themes look great at first, but you always run the chance of looking exactly the same as your neighbor. This is terrible for your brand and will end up affecting your brand equity in the long run.
- You Don’t “Own” Your Site: These services are based on a proprietary platform. Translation: your site doesn’t belong to you. You do own your content, but if you want to pack up and move somewhere else you are out of luck. It’s their software that runs your site and you can’t have it.
- You Can’t Host Your Site: Bottom line, you are at the mercy of their server management of your site records. You may want to use an app or email management system that requires specific records for your site and this is very cumbersome to deal with on these drag and drop platforms.
- Costs: The first time you check out the cost of these sites you might be really excited. Don’t be fooled. There are also the costs of add-on apps that you really aren’t’ aware of until you start building your site and realize, “hey I need something that does this or that.” There are also the costs of losing business due to non-targeted content, lacking SEO and improper planning and branding that only professionals can bring to the table. Not to mention the costs of lost time.
A good website starts with a concept and that is what makes a website stand out, be remembered and be effective. Great photography, compelling writing, unique design, SEO planning, and an engaging interactive layout will set you apart from your competition and get you found. If you can afford it and you probably can, hire professional marketers and designers (like us) to do the work. Your bottom line will thank you.