Let’s face it. The cat is out of the bag. You don’t need a web designer. You can find anything with a quick google search these days… like:
The list goes on, including, how to build a website yourself. There are plenty of website builders out there: Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, just to name a few. And they all have excellent reputations. They advertise themselves as free (or almost free) easy one-click website builds that take no time at all to have a website up and running.
Side Note: Once I was on a plane and shared a row with a sweet Russian woman and her son. Her family owned hotels in Russia and in the United States. We talked about the pros and cons of hotel ownership and I was able to talk to her about web development and some issues they were having with their website. I quickly learned that one of her family friends helped them with their first website and did some things for free and were causing some major errors. And she politely said “Besplatno vy platite dvazhdy.” Which roughly translated to “For free you pay twice.”
Don’t Feel Bad About Website Builders
If you are currently using a website builder, don’t feel bad. Not everyone needs a designer. That isn’t what this post is about. The fact you have a website advertising your business is a great first step in the right direction and we can work with that. Lots of times business owners just starting out are looking to be a shrewd as they can when it comes to their limited funds. Signing on with a “quick and easy” website builder might be just the thing for you at the moment.
As you are getting involved with one of these other guys, here are four things should know.
- It might cost more than you think.
- Not optimized for Search Engines.
- You might outgrow.
- You don’t own the website.
1. It Might Cost More Than You Think
Because each website builder is unique, it’s hard to talk specifically in this broad category. But the free or low-cost upfront system might cost more than you think. For instance, if you go with Shopify, many themes and apps are very expensive and some have a recurring fee to them. For example, if you want to enable subscriptions in Shopify it will cost you an additional $39.99/month. Want to add an exit-intent popup to build an email list? How about another $24/month?
Consider most of the base prices (somewhere between $14 – $299/month) is just the start. What if you need help with something and need a designer or developer? What if something on the website isn’t functioning just right for you? That free website can quickly add up over time. Be aware.
2. Not Optimized For Search Engines
Although there have been many improvements made since Search Engine Journal wrote this article about poor SEO with site builders. There are still many more things that are out of your control. And keep in mind, the cost of using a site builder might not be out of pocket cost – but missed opportunity costs.
Did you know that Search Engines penalize you for non-web optimized images? Do you know how to design your images for pixel-perfect placement, save them for the web, and optimize them? If not – you’ll be penalized and a competitor who has hired a reputable web developer is doing this automatically. (That is just one example of many)
3. You Might Outgrow
Think positive. What if you really start growing? Say in the future you want to integrate Mailchimp to auto-send reminders for people that added products to their cart? Or maybe you would like to collect some specific information in a form and use smart logic to specify specific questions to your guests based on location? How do you do that with a site builder? …I don’t know either. I think you’ve outgrown.
Once you outgrow a site builder, the short of it is: There is no easy migration away! It will cost you many hours of time and money to hire a developer to rebuild and start new.
4. You Don’t Own The Website
This might not be as big of a deal to some. We also sell subscription websites (where we do all the work, not you). And at the end of the day, you don’t “own” the website. However, if it is a big deal. If you want 100% full access to do whatever you want whenever you want; you won’t be able to with a site builder. Whereas, working with a company like Skillful Antics to custom build an Upfront Website – you would have 100% ownership!
It’s True, You Don’t Need A Web Designer
But you might want a web designer. You might want someone to know hows the current marketing trends and able to target specific audiences and design a site that converts. Or you might want someone that is up to date on the always-changing SEO rules that developers a site with search engines in mind to help you better rank. You might want someone to allow you to sit back, run your company, and not have to worry about spending an additional 5 hours a week tweaking content trying to fix an automatic site builder update that broke something else from a random app developer.
If so, why don’t you give us a call? There is no pressure. No hard sell. If anything, as a company helping entrepreneurs succeed, we’re happy to offer some free friendly advice. Go ahead and give it a shot in the chatbox on this page or schedule a time to connect on Zoom or in person!