It’s quote common for small business owners to build their own website in order to save a buck. The in-your-face advertising by DIY website builders is in full force.

But not so fast.

If you are looking for a personal blog where you can post about your vacation in the mountains last week you can probably get away with one of these DIY builders. But if you’re growing a business and looking to generate leads, sales, and ultimately make money you may want to think twice before signing on.

Here are some things to consider before trying one of these proprietary DIY website builders.

1. You’re Stuck

When you create a website on any of the proprietary web platforms (Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy Website Builder, 1&1 Website Builder, etc.) your site is stuck on their software. With an open source content management system you’re able to go anywhere. You have the freedom to move about.

Rented Ground

When you use one of these DIY website builder services you’re literally renting your own website. You don’t own it. You’re at the mercy of someone else, with no recourse.

If they go out of business, or sell out to another company, or simply don’t like you or the industry you work in, you stand the chance of losing everything. Everything. With a full web hosting setup, if the hosting company you’re with breaks bad you’re not dead in the water. You’re never locked in. You’re free to move.

Held Hostage

If you become unhappy with the quality of your cell phone service, you have the freedom to switch carriers. And you can even take your number with you.

When you host with one of these proprietary platforms you have no freedom. No freedom to move. When you grow unhappy with customer support or the load time of your site, you’re stuck with what you got. What motivation does a company have to treat you right, and keep you happy, when they know you can’t leave. You can’t switch to one of their competitors unless you’re willing to leave your website behind.

When you outgrow their platform (You do plan on growing your business right?) and you need more power or more features than they offer, you’re out of luck.

So you have to either deal with what you’ve got, or start over from scratch.

Do it right. Don’t do it twice.

Freedom to Move About

With traditional web hosting, you buy server space from a hosting company. You then have the option of using whatever open-source content management system you want, or going with a static file (HTML/CSS) website.

If at any point you become dissatisfied with your site load speed, customer support, increasing prices, or anything else you simply don’t agree with, you have the ability to pack up and take all your stuff with you. There’s no need to start over.

All it takes is a simple migration from one host to another and you can pick up exactly where you left off.

2. Speed and Optimization

A fast website will increase your visitors’ engagement and help with search engine optimization. A slow site, on the other hand, leads to lost customers and a poor user experience.

With all of the platforms we’ve been discussing you’re ability to optimize your site is limited. You simply don’t have access to certain files and settings. Being forced to share a server with thousands of other websites also means you won’t be performing at the top of your class.

Every Second Counts

The time it takes a webpage to load is directly related to how successful the website is. Kissmetrics reports a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Just ONE second!

We analyzed the winners of the 2017 Wix Stunning Award. These 3 sites were voted the best of the best out of more than 100,000 Wix website submissions. Even the best of the best performed less than stellar.

The three sites we looked at had an average load time of 5.9 seconds, with an average of 126 requests! With both of these metrics, less is better.

As a reference point, the Web Regenesis website loads in about 1.5 seconds with just 27 requests.

3. Cookie Cutter Websites

When Ford invented the mass-produced automobile in 1908, you could get the Model T in any color you wanted, as long as it was black. With the mass-produced, cookie cutter templates offered by DIY website companies, you can create a unique website, that looks just like everyone else’s.

Set Yourself Apart

When it comes to winning over clients and customers it’s important you stand out and set yourself apart. Your website must convince your visitors to choose you over your competitors. A poorly designed website is more damaging than no website at all.

Ensure your website is giving your visitors and prospects the impression you want them to have. If you think a professional website is expensive, you should see how much a poorly designed one will cost you.

BONUS: Lack of Experience

Many folks just like yourself often wonder if they can just build their own website. You absolutely can, but should you? With almost 100% certainty, it’s going to be unprofitable to take the time away from running your business to learn how to build a high converting website.

How Much is Your Time Worth?

There’s nothing wrong with building your own website if you’re going to put in the time and dedication it takes to do it right.

Building a profitable website is more than just throwing text and images onto a screen and expecting it to reel in the dough. Consider whether the significant amount of time it would take to learn about proper design elements, as well as user experience and usability could be better spent focusing your clients and customers. Learning to design and develop a successful website takes many, many hours. What’s your time worth?

And here are just a few of the technical things to consider:

  • Ensuring images are optimized and alt tags are completed
  • Completing meta descriptions for every page and post
  • Utilizing proper on-page content hierarchy
  • Setting up proper internal and external linking
  • Correctly setting up Google My Business
  • Setting up Search Console and submitting sitemaps
  • Setting up analytics tracking and understanding reports

There are many more things to consider and setup properly, but a full discussion could take up a separate an entire post.

Think About It This Way

There’s a pretty good chance your clients or customers could learn how to do whatever it is they’re paying you for. Plumbing? Lawn maintenance? Accounting? Yes, even legal work. If your clients wanted to learn how to do it, they could. But, and it’s a big but, it’s probably not the best use of their time and energy. You do it better. You do it faster. They have other priorities that demand their time and attention. You can learn to design and build a successful website. But should you?

Shortcuts Are Expensive

Your website is the face of your business, visible anywhere in the world, and it’s a direct reflection of the quality of work you provide. Your trustworthiness, credibility, and professionalism are on the line.

An amateur website will cost far more in losses than a professional one will in investment.

If you’re serious about your business contact us NOW to see how we can help you take it to the next level. But don’t delay. We’d hate for you to miss out on this opportunity. We only have the capacity to work with a certain number of clients, and once it’s filled it’s filled.