We’ve all heard the commercials from companies like Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace and other cloud based “Website as a Software” companies promising a quick and easy website that you can build yourself utilizing their “easy-to-use” templates. It can even be done for free initially. On the surface this sounds like a great way to go to build your new website. Here are a few things you may not be aware of when working with a “website as a software” provider:
Simple-To-Use Site Builders May Seem Easy On The Surface.
Building your website using a site builder may look easy in the snappy marketing video, but designing a website requires more than creating visually pleasing pages. You need to consider your demographic, usability, search engine friendliness and content. While designing may be a little easier with a site builder, content is one of the most important aspects of your site. You will still need to invest a fair amount of time and energy creating product descriptions, sales pitches, company information and a strong call to action. The site builder will not write it and organize it for you.
Pre-built Templates Look Cool, But Can You Easily Make Changes?
Many of the website as a service companies, like Wix and GoDaddy offer a variety of templates, but be careful which one you choose. One of the drawbacks is that once you have picked a template, you can’t make a switch. With GoDaddy, you lose all of the content you may have plugged into the template. In addition, drag and drop is not that simple. Many people have expressed frustration with SquareSpace’s drag-and-drop feature. They’ve had issues re-arranging content and had to try multiple times to add new blocks.
Low Cost Or Free Usually Means Visible Ads Will Appear On Your Page.
With Wix’s free website builder, advertisements will appear on your website after you publish. Most free and low cost website builders have their own version of advertising credits. Weebly’s free website builder has a very small advertisement in comparison to others, but even so, it doesn’t present the most professional image of your business. Jimdo recently listened to their users complaints and reduced the size of their advertisements, but their small ads still appear in the footer of your page. The only way to avoid this is to upgrade to their annual packages.
Can You Move Your Site To A Different Host? Do You Actually Own Your Site? This is a BIGGIE!!
This is also referred to as “portability”. This is probably one of the biggest downfalls of using a site builder or website as a service company. When you use their services, you don’t own the design and because of that you are locked into their particular web host. The template you used to create your site and the graphics are copyrighted and licensed for use only on their host or platform. Your website is held hostage and the files cannot be transferred to a new host. You should never allow your site to be locked into any web host and be sure you are the true owner of your website’s content, images and design.
Buying Your Site Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive Nor Does It Need To Be A Hassle.
Creating a website that you own doesn’t have to be a long and drawn out process, and with some good design firms, you can even make affordable monthly payments. Many web design companies realize business owners need to manage both their time and their cash flow – as many are business owners themselves. In a nutshell, do a little research and know what you’re getting by understanding the pros and cons of every option.
(content source eCreations 2015)
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If you’re like most business owners today, you have neither the time nor inclination to tackle building and maintaining your new website. You have a business to run, that’s were we come in.
We build great looking, affordable websites for businesses of all sizes. We’re happy to meet face to face with our local customers. We don’t hide behind our computer screens 🙂 We’re a graphics company as well as a web development agency, giving us the flexibility to create custom graphics for your new website and any marketing materials you may need. We can also print your materials for you in as little as one day in some cases, with camera-ready artwork. If you need helping setting up and managing your social media, we can help with that too. We are a full service agency and we look forward to working with you. Call 916-304-2881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org