EVERY business can benefit from a well-designed and developed website. In the modern era, a website is often the first digital impression potential customers have on a business. Some users will even determine if the business is a good fit for their investment even before they (1) reach out or (2) visit in store.
Some businesses hire professional teams to develop a website, but the invention of website builders like Wix and Squarespace are enticing to businesses because of the ease of use and price point. For a seemingly low price you can quickly drag and drop page headings, pictures and text into your website. It’s a quicker build to get online. However, are website builders really as good as they seem? At what cost does this ease of use come with? In this post, we compare website builders against custom websites so you can make an educated decision for your next website build.
ARGUMENT FOR WEBSITE BUILDERS
Website Builders Create Websites Quickly
The biggest advantage website builders have over hiring a development team is the amount of time it takes from conception to the final product. With templates and custom design features, website builders allow businesses to quickly get a site live. However, in the long run, it may be more beneficial for your business to hire a professional design and development team.
Website Builders Can be Easy to Use
For many, the drag and drop system of website builders is accessible and easy. There is no need to understand website development and the complicated coding that comes with it. Nevertheless, there are more to websites than the design and the message you convey. For a team that has a higher level of digital expertise, it’s more efficient and effective to create a website in which the user experience leads to conversions. For example, your business may create a stunning website with superb content, but if you do not know the intricacies of SEO, your business’s website may be useless for most users.
ARGUMENT FOR CUSTOM WEBSITES
Website Builders Are Not as Customizable as You Think Despite what website builders may claim in their commercials, the templates are only customizable to a certain point. Businesses are constrained to certain restrictions that will handcuff the website in the long run. To produce a site that works properly and designed with your branding and the user in mind, you will most likely need a custom site.
Website Builders Are Sneakily Expensive
At first glance, the upfront cost of a custom website may seem to far exceed the costs of creating one on Wix or Squarespace. Yet, over time, the subscription monthly fee will surpass the cost of a custom website. There is also a more important (and hidden) cost of website builders that are not included in the subscription fee: lost conversions. Website builders typically struggle with high ranking SEO, so your business’s website may not be found by your target audience. Let’s say your website is found. If it frustrates the user, glitches and doesn’t perform the way the user expects, you run the risk of losing their conversion.
Website Builders Require You to Pay for Ads
For most companies, one of the biggest deal breakers for website builders are ads. Wix, Squarespace and others require users to run ads on their site unless they pay for the top tier subscription. This can look amateurish to someone is looking to invest money into your business. In this era, consumers can visually see how a business invests in its website – and they may reward those that do over those that aren’t as professional.
Wix and Squarespace Templates Are Not Unique
Various templates for Wix and Squarespace are beautiful, but they are in no way unique. When it comes to templates, though, some of them can be awful, even through WordPress. If you want your site to stand out amongst your competition, website builders are not the answer. A business can benefit from a custom site as it can be one of their main differentiators.
However, sometimes templates are necessary because of tight budgets. We typically don’t recommend templates because the site is guaranteed to have little to no customization. However, if your business is looking for a new website and has a limited budget, BigWheel can help you find the right template and build it out for you.
Website Builders Can be SLOW
Website builders are notoriously slow because of the shared hosting environments utilized. Your account is sharing bandwidth with other accounts, which results in slower load times especially if your particular website has large images or many pages. Slow websites do not rank well in search engines because users will not engage with a slow site.
Custom Websites Can be Done in Phases
One of the biggest challenges businesses have with hiring a team to do a custom website is that it can take a long time to develop. However, if a business needs a website quickly, it can be phased out. For example, the home page and a few subpages can be built and launched first. Once that is done, deeper levels can be added onto the site.
If you are looking to create a new website or update your existing site, let’s chat and brainstorm together!