Wix, SquareSpace, and GoDaddy have tons of great reviews…
…but are DIY website builders really all they’re cracked up to be?
“You—yes, YOU—can design a website! No coding or web design knowledge required!”
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Yet there is no shortage of DIY website builders on the market, all making that exact claim.
Ever since Wix first started in Israel in 2006, do-it-yourself website builders have grown in popularity. But just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good (look at Kanye West).
Before you take the big leap into creating a website on your own, you should look at these builders through an objective lens. Because while there are many great things about website builders, they are not a replacement for a solid digital marketing agency.
The Benefits of DIY Website Builders
There’s a reason why DIY website builders are the favorite option for so many small business owners.
For starters, they’re very affordable when compared to the cost of a custom-built website.
For example, Wix offers web hosting, an SSL certificate, and 24/7 customer support for around $20 a month. If you have an online store, ecommerce plans start at $27 a month.
Compare this with a custom-designed site, which can run you anywhere from $12,000-30,000, depending on the features you want.
Another benefit is that they can be built very quickly. It’s possible to get a DIY website up and running in a single day, if you don’t need anything too complicated.
If you’re using an experienced digital marketing agency, you will have to work within their schedule. If they’re a very talented agency with a lot of other clients, you may have to wait a few months before it goes live.
While DIY website builders aren’t as user-friendly as paying someone to do it for you, they are a lot easier to use than trying to start from scratch with your own WordPress site. Most offer a wide selection of design templates with a drag and drop editor that makes customization a breeze.
The Drawbacks of DIY Website Builders
As easy and affordable as website builders are, there’s also a reason why digital marketing agencies are still around (and aren’t going anywhere).
While design templates and drag and drop editing make building a website easy, the end result is often very bland.
Plus, most people aren’t spending hours trying to find a unique design template, which means that a lot of Wix websites can end up looking the same. You might find that you are limited in the ways you can customize the existing templates or on the type of features you can add.
Speaking of customization, DIY website builders struggle with creating responsive sites.
A responsive website is one that resizes itself depending on the size of the screen the viewer is using. Because this feature is more user-friendly, it’s also a factor in how Google’s algorithm ranks your site.
So yeah…it’s pretty important.
If you know what you’re doing, you can create a responsive site using a Wix template. But if you knew what you were doing, you wouldn’t need to use Wix.
Another drawback? Building and managing a website yourself takes time. If you’re busy with the day-to-day stuff—managing employees, booking appointments, answering the phones—you probably don’t have the time (or energy) to tackle your SEO issues, too.
Ultimately, the biggest reason why you shouldn’t use a DIY website builder is the same reason you shouldn’t replace your own roof or bake your own wedding cake.
You’re not an expert.
Why Professional Web Design?
That means you get less than a second to make a first impression. Are you that confident in your web design skills?
With a DIY website builder, you’re limited by your own knowledge and expertise. But with a professionally designed website, you don’t even need to have an idea in mind. You’ll still end up with something beautiful, functional, and—most importantly—effective.
And when you’re ready to scale or curious about email marketing, you have an expert to help who’s already familiar with your business.
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Digital Marketing To the Rescue!
Good website design is great, but it isn’t the only thing you should consider when building a website.
Because let’s face it, even the most beautiful, user-friendly website in the world is useless if no one knows about it.
The other half of that equation is having the right suite of marketing tools and expertise at your fingertips so you can attract new customers, analyze which methods worked, and steer your ship more intentionally in the future.
In short, you need SEO.
And lemme tell ya: becoming an expert in SEO takes waaaaaay longer than designing one website!
With a website builder, you’re still on your own when it comes to competitor analysis, keyword research, writing content, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, reputation management, optimizing your Apple Business Connect and Google Business Profile…you get the drift.
Are Professional Web Designers Worth It?
Good question. Let’s start by looking at the alternative.
If you’re not using a professional to manage your digital marketing, your other option is to do it yourself, just like you built your Wix website.
The first obstacle you would come across is not knowing what you’re doing. Digital marketers aren’t squeezing a few minutes of keyword research on their lunch break before going back to their day job. They do this stuff day-in and day-out.
Even if you managed to become an SEO expert overnight, you would still need access to the different tools and software that help them do their job well. Very few of these tools are free and if you want to cover all your bases, you’ll need more than one.
Finally, digital marketing takes time. Time that small business owners rarely have.
The unbiased truth is that DIY websites (whether you’re designing or marketing them) can’t hold a candle to the real thing.
Is Your Website Dressed For Success?
You’re not the first person to be tempted by the low cost and convenience of DIY website builders. But the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.
The low-cost, quick turn-around, and ease of use you get from a site like Wix might sound great at first, but what you’re gaining in convenience, you lose in efficient, effective business growth.
The alternative—a qualified digital marketing company—is a much better bet in terms of both design and search engine optimization.
Here at Clarity, we’re not content with just making sure you have a website. We want to see small businesses thrive!
If you’re looking for a way to break into the digital space and absolutely crush your business goals, we already have something in common! Drop us a line so we can get to know you.