The Pitfalls of Relying on Website Builders for Professional Businesses
Did you know that a whopping third of all websites worldwide are built using website builders?
Sure, they offer a quick fix, but at what cost?
Your online presence is your business’s virtual front door. The place potential clients and customers enter and get a first impression that can make or break a brand’s reputation. Website builders, offer a tempting shortcut, promising a seemingly hassle-free way to get your website up and running. While these platforms offer a quick fix, they often come at the expense of customisation, scalability, and even sustainability.
So, let’s explore why, for forward-thinking businesses with their eyes on the horizon, website builders might not be the wisest investment.
Maximise Your Website’s Results
Simply having a website isn’t enough to guarantee success.
To truly thrive in the online world, you need a comprehensive marketing strategy that goes beyond your website’s virtual walls. A strategy that drives traffic to your site, captures the visitors while they’re there and then nurtures them along their buyer’s journey towards making their final purchase with your business.
Our free 24 page guide ‘Going Beyond Your Website: Driving Traffic & Increasing Conversions’ is here to help you do just that.
Download it for free today to discover proven strategies to increase your website traffic and convert more of the people who visit it.
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Got the guide?
Great, let’s get back to talking about website builder pitfalls.
Limited Customisation Options
Let’s get straight to the point. Website builders, with their user-friendly drag-and-drop features, can sometimes feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They’re designed to be approachable and user-friendly, but they often come with a trade-off – generic templates.
According to a revealing survey by Clutch, a whopping 85% of people believe that a website’s design significantly influences their purchasing decisions. Plus, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, users form a judgment about a website’s trustworthiness in a mere 50 milliseconds. That’s faster than a blink of an eye!
This underscores the critical importance of a website that authentically represents your unique brand, products, and services. Unfortunately, most website builders may struggle to provide the level of personalisation needed to truly set you apart.
Lack of Scalability
Alright, let’s talk growth. As your business spreads its wings, so do its needs.
Website builders, while handy for a quick start, can hit a roadblock when it comes to expansion.
A study by TechCrunch found that businesses using website builders can often face limitations in adding required features and functionalities. This can be a major roadblock when your business starts to grow and you need a website that can keep up with the pace.
Moreover, handling increased traffic and transactions can be a tricky feat for some website builders. Imagine your website slowing down or even crashing during a critical moment because it doesn’t have the hosting support it needs. It’s a scenario none of us want to face.
This means that investing in a solution that grows with you is a strategic move for any business that doesn’t want to stay still.
Sustainability: A Green Perspective
Let’s talk about sustainability – a topic very close to our hearts.
No matter what your business offers, it’s essential to consider the ecological footprint of your digital presence.
Website builders often rely on data centres that are run on dirty energy with high energy consumption, contributing to carbon emissions.
In contrast, sustainable web design practices and the option to choose a green hosting provider can make a significant difference to your website’s carbon impact. By investing in a green-hosted, custom-built, low-carbon website, you’re not only reducing your environmental impact but also aligning your brand with eco-conscious values.
Now, let’s talk about the digital high ground: search engine rankings.
Search Engine Optimisation, aka SEO, is the lifeblood of online visibility, and it’s no secret that businesses are constantly jockeying for prime positions on search engine results pages.
Here’s the catch: website builders can sometimes leave you a step behind.
Studies have shown that certain website builders might not offer the robust SEO capabilities needed to climb those search result rankings. According to a survey by Moz, custom-built websites tend to outperform their builder-based counterparts in search engine rankings.
So, if you’re aiming to dominate the digital space, it might be worth considering a solution that gives you that extra edge.
Ownership and Control
This is something every business owner holds dear: ownership and control.
When you choose a website builder, you’re essentially entrusting your online presence to a third-party platform. While this can be convenient initially, it comes with its own set of considerations.
Consider this: a study by WebsiteSetup found that businesses using website builders might face challenges if they decide to switch platforms later on. For example, your website code is locked to a website builder, which means that transferring it and all its data can be a complex and often problematic process. Plus, there’s the potential issue of restrictions on customisations, leaving you with less control over your own online domain.
We often speak to website owners who chose a website builder option as they felt they were more in control of their site, only to find that the opposite was true.
If ownership and control are important to you then website builders are 100% the wrong choice. It is 100% possible to have a site built on a CMS platform such as WordPress where you have full control and ability to edit, change and add to your site.
Branding and Professionalism
Picture this: you’re strolling through a local market, passing various stalls. One looks like a modern and exciting company with a unique and inviting stall layout and point of sale materials, while the others resemble nondescript pop-up shops. The same principle applies to your online presence. Your website is your virtual storefront, it should reflect the professionalism and character of your brand and stand out from the crowd.
As we covered in the ‘Limited Customisation Options’ section, users form an opinion about a website’s credibility within milliseconds of landing on it. This underscores the importance of a cohesive, unique, and professionally designed site to your business success online.
Unfortunately, website builders may limit your ability to create a truly distinctive and branded experience. Investing in a custom-built website ensures that your online presence stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the big players in your industry.
Safeguarding your business’s online presence is vital. Website builders, while convenient, may sometimes fall short in this department. Their generic nature can make them a target for cyber threats.
According to a report by Sucuri, websites built on popular website builders can be more susceptible to certain types of attacks. A custom-built website, on the other hand, allows for tailored security measures to be implemented, providing a strong line of defence against potential threats.
Long-Term Cost Considerations
Time to get real about the numbers. While website builders often come with an appealing low or even no initial cost, it’s crucial to look beyond the surface. Additional expenses can quickly stack up in the form of premium plugins, themes, and customisations. Over time, these costs can far outweigh the benefits of the initial savings.
In contrast, a custom-built website might entail a higher upfront investment, but it can often prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. With greater flexibility and scalability, you have the freedom to adapt and grow without incurring significant additional expenses.
Customer Experience and User Interface
The heart and soul of your online presence is user experience. While website builders are known for their user-friendly interfaces, there’s a crucial distinction to consider – personalisation.
Your website isn’t just a digital brochure; it’s an interactive space where visitors engage with your brand.
Think about it this way: a study by Smashing Magazine found that personalised user experiences can lead to a 20% increase in conversions. Website builders, though intuitive, can fall short in providing the level of tailor-made interactivity that truly captivates your audience.
With a custom-built website, you have the freedom to create a bespoke user journey. From unique design elements to interactive features, every touchpoint is crafted to resonate with your specific audience. This level of customisation can leave a lasting impression, elevating the overall user experience and fostering deeper connections with your visitors.
Futureproofing Your Online Presence
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, having a website that can adapt and evolve with the times is crucial. Website builders, while convenient, may not always offer the flexibility needed to keep up with emerging trends and technologies.
A study by Statista revealed that mobile devices accounted for over half of global website traffic. This underscores the importance of having a website that’s not only mobile-friendly but also capable of integrating cutting-edge technologies. Investing in a custom-built website ensures that you’re equipped to embrace the future, rather than playing catch-up or worse, being left behind in the dust.
To Sum it All Up
In the grand scheme of things, your website is more than just a digital storefront; it’s an extension of your brand, your values, and your vision. While website builders offer a quick fix, they might not be the smartest choice for businesses with long-term aspirations. The limitations in customisation, scalability, and sustainability can hinder your growth potential and cause unnecessary stress.
Opting for a custom-built website provides the freedom to create a unique online presence that stands the test of time. With full control over design, functionality, and user experience, you’re ready for success in the fast-moving, ever-changing digital landscape.
Written by Lee Skellett
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