10 Things DIY Website Builders Get Wrong

So, you own your own business and funds are tight. Navigating through those initial development stages is hard for even the most successful moguls. As a result, you’re lacing up your bootstraps, tightening your belt, and doing all the other clichés that imply you’re wearing many hats in order to save money on overhead costs.

In fact, you’re going so far with DIY efforts that you’re strongly considering building your own website. At first glance, it makes sense. Platforms like WiX, GoDaddy, and Squarespace are as cheap as your budget is limited. Some of them even offer free websites.

What if we told you that these DIY website-building platforms – while seemingly cost-efficient – will hurt your overall profits big time in the long run? Because in today’s climate, websites are more crucial to businesses than brick-and-mortar locations. So, why undercut something so integral to your company’s future?

Need proof that a DIY website-builder is the wrong choice for your business? Read on for 10 things these platforms get completely wrong.

1.   They Lock You in Template Prison

The first thing you do when building a website on a platform like WiX is choosing a template.

From there, you get into the nitty-gritty. That means doing the requisite research, writing the product pages, sourcing the images, taking the videos, and probably adding a blog.

While the process is essentially plug-and-play, you still must put some blood, sweat, and tears into building your website over the 12-24 hours it takes to complete. Then, you decide to ask your brutally honest pal (let’s call him Steve) for some feedback.

Sadly, Steve is not enthralled with what you’ve shown him. And most of his issues derive from the shoddiness of your template.

So, you wipe your tears and figure to yourself, “I just need to change the template, and all will be well.”

You’re wrong. If you want to change the templated design of your website, you’ve got to start from scratch.

All that hard work was for nothing.

2.   The “Professional” Designers Embody the Spirit of Amateur Hour

Here’s the quandary with these DIY-builders: it’s SUPER easy to build the barest bones website imaginable. It would be totally amazing if the year was 1995 and a telephone call would disrupt your internet connection.

The reality is that it’s 2019 and people can spot paint-by-the-numbers, generic designs like its second nature.

Unfortunately, if you do want anything resembling customization or nuance to your design, you’ll be stuck dealing with (in the case of WiX) professional help for a fee.

Oops. We forgot to put the scare quotes around professional. Here’s a list of WiX’s slapdash designers.

If you’ve clicked through, you’ve seen a page that looks like it was designed by a very ambitious 5-year-old. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the world’s leading DIY website-builder.

3.   Google is A Lot Like the Mafia

We’ve all seen Goodfellas and The Sopranos. If you don’t comply with Jimmy Conway or Tony Soprano, you’ll suddenly disappear.

Google is very much the same. If you don’t do things to appease their algorithms, your website may as well not exist. There’s a reason that Jimmy Wales, who founded Wikipedia, has been quoted as saying, “if it isn’t Google, it doesn’t exist.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp that not turning up on Google is bad for your business. They literally own about 75% of the search market.

But DIY-Website builders refuse to comply with Google’s needs.

For instance, GoDaddy blocks Google from indexing anything on its platform other than text. We’re pretty sure that even your Grandma knows that Google needs a title, alternate info, and description in order to index pictures and link people to your website.

But platforms like GoDaddy don’t care. You aren’t so much on the web as you are on their proprietary domain.

4.   The Easy Way Leads to Hard Times

Is getting a superhero bod easy?

Is earning your PhD easy?

Is running your own business easy?

The answer to all those questions is a resounding “no.”

Then, why would it be easy to build a website that generates leads and conversions?

Surely, if building a profitable website was a breeze, we’d all be millionaires. Setting up Google Analytics tools, image sizes, content structure, headers, CTAs, and a wealth of other complex facets are – in fact – excruciatingly tough. But those are the elements required to build a valuable website.

In a world where eCommerce gurus spend the entirety of their lives learning how to make websites that produce results, how could an easily built website possibly compete?

By using a DIY website builder, and taking the ‘easy’ option, you’ll be stuck with a digitized paperweight instead of a website.

5.   Their SEO Is as Valuable as a Kick in the Pants

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of any website. But WiX (and other builders) are to SEO what gluten-free bread is to a grilled cheese sandwich.

Here are just a few things wrong with WiX’s SEO practices:

  • Ignores several common best practices in favor of simple tips for novice website creators
  • E.g. claims you should use the Meta Keywords which has been said to be irrelevant for
  • Encourages keyword use in link anchors without noting that too many keywords will hurt overall SEO
  • Recommends that people trade products in exchange for links – something Google specifically advises against

6.   They Own You

Last we checked you were supposed to own your business.

However, many DIY website-builders take ownership of your website and can change it whenever they please.

This includes your content, images, and logos. You’d think once you’ve stopped paying for your website it would disappear into the ether, but this process could actually lead to future headaches.

7.   They Mays as Well Be Compatible with Immobile Devices

When it comes to being found online, SEO is all-encompassing. There are tons of factors to weigh – one of these being mobile compatibility and responsiveness.  

Google ranks websites on its search engine results pages (SERPS) via crawlers that index content. One thing these crawlers are prioritizing more than anything is the mobile experience. Which makes sense, since 58% of site visits were from mobile devices last year.

DIY websites, as a whole, tend to neglect this very important part of the browsing experience.

8.   They Could Be Mistaken for a Snail

Companies like WiX and Squarespace have servers with tons of users that muddle the works and slow down website performance.

The change in a website’s bounce rate (people leaving your website immediately) jumps to 100% when pages take 4 seconds or more to load.

Guess what else this hurts? Nope, not your pride. It hurts your SEO. Google frowns greatly upon bounce rates.

9.   Your Website Will be A Lifeless Drone

Let’s do the math. There are over 100 million people using WiX with 300 available templates. On average, that’s 333,333 people per template.

It’ll be difficult to establish uniqueness when 333,332 other people are using EXACTLY the same template as you.

Isn’t your business one of a kind? Doesn’t it possess characteristics that make it stand out from the rest of the pack?

If the answer is yes, then it should be reflected on your website. When your business’s website is cookie cutter and bland, customers will forget it quicker than they did 7th-grade math.

10. People Judge Books by Their Cover

We’re going to be blunt. Using a DIY website-builder is going to make your company look bush-league.

What is your target market supposed to think about your brand when they see web design that looks like it was drawn with crayons?

Your website says a lot about your business’s identity. And if you use a DIY-builder, it won’t be saying much.

It’s akin to running a physical store and dressing your salespeople in mustard-stained sweatpants.

Conversely, the sleekest designs, the tightest copy, and the most eye-catching headlines are going to tell potential consumers that your business MEANS business. They’ll see the attention to detail, enjoy their experience, and be far more likely to stay on your website and purchase a product.

Website Building is the One Hat That Won’t Fit a Small Business Owner

Small business owners take pride in wearing a variety of hats.

But DIYing your business’s website is a hat that’s way too big to fit.

Now, we do fully sympathize with companies that are strapped for cash during their infancy, or even if they’ve been around for a while and have fallen on hard times.

Still, save the tightened budgetary measures for frugal office supplies and bringing sack lunches to work. You literally can’t afford to skimp on your website. What you think is economical will turn into stunted growth and development.

You need to invest in the services of expert digital marketers with an aptitude for web design, a thirst for SEO, and a thorough understanding of content marketing.

Whatever you pay now will be returned tenfold in the long run. Because – unlike haphazard DIY websites – digital marketers create websites that convert.

Additional Sources

6 Reasons to Avoid DIY Website Builders. (2017, June 13). From Perihelion Web Design:

https://perihelionwebdesign.com/6-reasons-avoid-diy-website-builders/

Are Wix.com Websites Good or Bad for SEO? (2018, June 18). From SEOblog:

https://www.seoblog.com/2018/06/wix-websites-bad-seo/

10 Reasons You Should Not Build Your Own Website. From A Nerd’s World:

https://anerdsworld.com/10-reasons-you-shouldnt-build-your-own-site/

16 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Website Builders. (2016, October 18). From Medium:

https://medium.com/@tylerhorvath/16-reasons-you-shouldnt-use-website-builders-b3135354ed56

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