Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get a website quickly and easily with one of the numerous do-it-yourself website builders. They seem irresistible, but I cannot stress this enough: be informed! These online-services promise you a simple, professional website in minutes, but leave you to fend for yourself on the things your website needs just as much.
What you are purchasing (or subscribing to in some cases) is essentially an empty shell, albeit a refined and versatile one, but if you don’t have the skills to produce the meat of the site — engaging graphics, meaningful content, and rock-solid SEO — then you’ll probably get frustrated with how limited your template feels. Here are just a few reasons why you should think twice and weigh your options before using a website builder:
Photoshop Skills Not Included
More and more often, business owners sign up for a website builder template, only to discover they lack the know-how to pull off the branded image they were expecting. My theory is this: when you browse through all the template options, the samples have stunning graphics, beautiful photography, and tasteful color schemes.
In short, they have been designed by a professional web designer who was working very hard to make the templates attractive and marketable. That’s not to say that your site couldn’t look that awesome, but without Photoshop skills and a sense for design, it’s going to be very hard to replicate that effect while making the necessary tweaks for your brand. To be sure, you’ll get what you pay for — but it’s a framework only. You’d be responsible for producing the guts that ultimately make it shine.
Search Engine Optimization Sold Separately
It’s also important to remember that just having a website for your business is no guarantee that anyone will ever find it. Google is a tough critic these days, and if your content or methods of attracting site visitors are considered “black-hat,” your site will eventually be blacklisted.
It’s hugely important to stay ahead of the curve in responding to Google’s newest algorithm, and that comes from dedicated research that you may not have time to keep up with! Most website builders provide the tools to input SEO titles and descriptions, but it won’t help you make the game-time decisions. Again, it’s an empty box: You probably need help filling it.
Inflexibility of the Platforms
Website builders sometimes have recurring “service” or “subscription” fees that you should be aware of. Under these terms, you are paying for a service, and your website exists as part of that service. The cost might seem attractively low, but it means you don’t “own” the site files. You could never export your site and “take it with you.” More often than not, it’s locked with that particular service, and if the company ever goes under, your website is in jeopardy. Purchasing licenses to WordPress themes is a different ballgame, as you usually would own the rights to that particular install, but that still doesn’t solve the aforementioned design and SEO challenges you could be landed with.
Key Web’s Solution
Key Web has developed a customizable framework theme that will deliver a totally custom-branded web presence for your company, paying close attention to what you need the most as a small business owner. By standardizing the bedrock functionalities and essential layout, we are able to invest plenty of time in creating meaningful content, awesome graphics, and killer search engine optimization that will help establish your business on the web without busting your budget.