It may be tempting – especially for cost-conscious small businesses – to use an online website builder. Many website developer tools allow you to insert words and drag and drop pictures easily. But think of your website as a car. The engine is the backend coding and SEO. While nobody sees this "engine," it’s essential for your website to work and rank well with search engines like Google. If your DIY website fails to rank in searches, you’ll be wasting the money you tried to save.
Let’s look at 10 reasons you should not build your own website.
1. Ineffective SEO
SEO is one of the most important reasons you shouldn’t build your own website. You probably know that SEO means search engine optimization. But do you know how to set it up and ensure your website ranks in search results? SEO is complicated and technical – and it changes constantly!
Here are some specific things you need to know about SEO and DIY websites:
- The major search engines, like Google, don’t crawl DIY sites. They’re too busy ranking optimized pages. The purpose of your website is to attract potential customers. So, why build your own website if you know it won’t show up on the first page of a Google search? A professional web developer has the skills to increase your company’s online visibility.
- Did you know the average visitor will leave your website if it isn’t fully loaded (mobile and desktop) in 3 seconds or less? Search engines will further penalize a slow-loading website because they know your site doesn't provide a good user experience. Website builders, like Wix, may have fancy animated options for designing your website – but these options don’t optimize your image size, and they cause slow page loading.
- Another important factor of SEO is backlinks – also known as inbound links. Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” from other websites. These votes tell search engines that the content is valuable and credible. The more votes you have, the higher your website will rank. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get backlinks when you build your own website.
- Adding alt text (alternative text) to images on your website can improve your SEO ranking – but only if you know how to use them effectively. Also known as “alt tags,” “alt attributes,” or “alt descriptions,” they are used within an HTML code to describe the function and appearance of an image on a page. Even though search engine recognition technology has improved over the years, search crawlers still can’t “see” the images on a website like people can.
- Another reason to use a website development team, like Impact Group Marketing, to build your website is that we offer professionally written content for your website that is optimized for SEO ranking.
2. You Don’t Own It
Another major reason to stay away from free website builders like Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace is because the website is owned by them, not you. You lose ownership of all your content if you choose to leave, and you’ll have to start again at ground zero.
3. Lack of Customer Support
Sometimes you need to talk to a real, live person! Most “free” website builder companies only provide email support. But what happens when you need immediate assistance? If you manage to get someone on the phone using their support systems, it will be an overseas office that cannot provide immediate help.
It can be overwhelming to tackle maintenance and technical problems on your own. And free websites provide minimal, if any, customer support. But when you hire a web developer to build your site, technical support is usually included – so you can talk to a real person who can help you immediately.
4. Not Really “Free”
Most “free” websites aren’t free at all. Companies hook customers by initially offering their service for free. But once your site is up and running, they begin charging you to continue service. Or you’ll need to upgrade your account and need to pay for a new tool, more storage, an app integrator, and on and on. What started as a “free” website ends up costing you more than if you’d hired a professional web designer in the first place.
5. Lack of Customization
DIY web builders and free website templates can’t be customized, and they’re not interactive. Limited templates, tools, fonts, and a lack of custom code produce unoriginal and bland websites. Most people can identify free websites – and it’s usually not a great first impression of your company.
If you want to make a positive impression on potential customers – invest in a quality website. The CEO of Impact Group Marketing, Kevin Crenshaw, explains, “A professional developer can go all the way to the code level to ensure that your website is the best representation of your high-quality brand. When building a free website, you might not have access to all of the features and formatting that make your website look and function the way you want it to.”
6. Not Mobile-Friendly
Now that most people use their phones to browse the web, it’s essential for your website to be mobile-friendly. Most free website builders are not mobile-friendly, so you’re at risk of losing potential customers. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are also demoted in Google search results.
7. Lack of Security
Your website will be on a shared server with hundreds of other sites. A shared server not only makes your website load slowly, but it also leads to security issues. If one of the sites on your server gets hacked, all other sites can also be easily hacked. Security isn’t a top priority for most free website providers.
8. Poor Analytics
It’s crucial to analyze data on your website visitors to grow your business. DIY site builders usually use older scripting technologies that have inaccurate or nonexistent site analytics. Site analytics measure your website’s traffic and performance so you can see how well your site is performing.
Most free website builders are unable to collect this data. And if they can, they certainly won’t analyze the data like a professional website developer will.
9. Unwanted Advertisements
Your “free” website is hosted by a company that is doing so to make money. One way they do this is by placing unwanted advertising banners on your site. You have no control over the ads they run – and you could even end up advertising for your competitors. These ads also make your website (and your business) look unprofessional and cheap. Using a free website could make potential customers wonder why you aren’t willing to invest in your company – and they may even doubt your credibility.
A professional website developer like Impact Group Marketing has a vested interest in the success of your business. When your business grows – we grow! The key to business success is long-term mutually beneficial relationships.
Our digital team has over 20 years of combined experience in website development, mobile application development, custom software development, and social media management, so we are ready to help you with all your online marketing needs. You won’t receive the kind of caring support we provide from a free website builder.
Website development is technical, and it takes time and experience to build one that functions correctly. Instead of spending hours and hours trying to create a high-quality website that positively reflects your business, hire a professional team with the knowledge and experience to do it right the first time. You’ll save time and money, and your website will look and perform better.
Contact us today if you need help boosting your digital presence. Impact Group Marketing offers personalized website development options that will help you reach potential customers and grow your business. Our Director of Digital Marketing, Becky Chumley, explains, “Our developers live and breathe website development and are always working to maximize your website’s impact!”