Website Creator and The Web
Search the word website on the web and you will inevitably get website creator aplenty. “Free Website Builder” or “Build your own stunning website in just a few minutes!”. Other big websites such as Wix and Squarespace offer the DIY option at an attractively good rate and their advertisements look great.
So why not right? Wix says it is easy and fast, FREE – with no coding skills required. Well, that is where the catch is really. Many a Wix website owner realize afterwards that they are stuck with what they’ve got which in the end turns out not to be so great.
The real situation is that the creation of any good website requires a bit more than drag-and-drop pictures, a DIY Logo and telephone number.
Professional, Easy and Free?
In order to compare with your competitors in the same market your website has to rank well in Google search results. An effective website must be easy to navigate – and ultimately meet your business objectives. This SHOULD be to promote your business on the web and gain customers.
The truth is that even though a free or low-cost website creator does generate a valid website as a result, there are a few of the following shortcomings to be aware of.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an important factor which aids websites to rank on search engine pages. Many professional web development agencies construct careful SEO strategies to get their pages at the top of Google’s list. In most cases there is no sign of SEO in these easy takeaway style websites and this means that almost no-one will see your website online among millions.
Slow Website Speed
Unfortunately because these free websites are constructed on a framework within a framework they also tend to be very slow. Unfortunately customers do not linger on websites which perform slowly.
No Analytics or Reports
Instant website providers do not provide analytics or reports so you may track how many visitors clicked on your page. This is an important factor for feedback and continuous improvement of a website and tracking measures for business.
Customers do not like watching advertisements on web pages. It can also distract your readers from what you are trying to say if your page is trying to sell free websites to your customers. Besides, do you really want your website to read “Created for free?”. What will your customers think?
Not an Actual Domain Name
As a professional web design agency, we advise our clients to proceed with caution. The name given to your website by any website creator does not actually constitute a valid domain name. In many cases a subdomain is created which makes it difficult if not impossible to move your website to another service provider.
You Don’t Own the Website
Do not get duped into believing the website is your property. Unfortunately the providers of the free websites with “many beautiful templates to choose from” stores the files, and own the domain names. It is always risky to hand over control of your website to another business.
It is easy to imagine that any website creator thus offer very little in return for such little investments and it is no wonder that support and technical assistance is nonexistent.
Not Mobile Friendly
With the increase in website traffic on mobile devices, a mobile friendly website has become essential. Unfortunately website builders have not caught up with this requirement in the market yet.
It is possible, that even though you add your own images and text, that your website might look similar to another who used exactly the same template to create a similar website. It is possible that the unique identity and the value your business can add gets lost in translation.
The advertisements make the website creator look easy and even fun. It is important to remember however that certain level of technical experience is essential. Consider what a professional web development agency can offer with years of experience in technology, design and SEO.
Because these websites are based on a framework, the customizations on offer remain limited to text and images. Technical customizations are unheard of.
Last and not least, the cost might be free. In some cases the free offer is introductory and dependent on a yearly subscription which comes at a price.
If you take your website as seriously as your business, then you must give yourself the best possible chance of success. A free website made with a program designed to create something easy and quick certainly has its place in business. It is easy to think that we as a web development agency would rather want to create your website as it will mean more business for us.
But in the end, we consider our client’s wellbeing a higher priority. The objective of a website is to be a representation of a business online to draw and retain customers. It is our experience that an automated website creator does not support these objectives completely. We offer more advice on website and design related topics: New Business: 6 Reasons to Have your own Domain Name and why WordPress can be the Best Content Management System for Websites.