Why You Should Avoid Online Website Builders

Online website builders may seem appealing.  They are cheap, are advertised as being easy to use, tell you that you can build a website yoursef in minutes, and require no web knowledge.

However, most businesses looking for a website need a few important things.  You want your website to look good, be found by users and provide the information that they need.  So, you need your website to bring in new business, or entrice existing customers to provide repeat business.

For these reasons, using a cheap online site builder is extrememly bad news for your business.  Whilst they are advedrtised as 'free', you are almost certainly tied into hosting, and they rarely have any capabilites that a professionally built site can offer.

By having free site builders, most hosting companies are simply trying to get your business as a host - that is where their money is.  If you want any standard extras, you will have to pay for them - in a lot of cases its a monthly cost.  Add to this that you won't be able to move your website or content to another host should you want to.

Does it get any worse?  Yes - there is no way for a site builder to properly utilise SEO techniques.  Your website is being built by a robot - that robot can't research keywords, meta tags, image alt tags, etc - and so it can't create your website with search engines in mind.  It won't build your sitemap, or install google analytics - essential tools for your website!  If your website can't be found, then it's worthless - and you are continuing to pay money to have it hosted!

What about the basic add-ons such as facebook like buttons?  In most cases, you can't install third party scripts.

Now onto customisation.  You have a limited set of options - nearly all will allow you to change colours or set a colour scheme, some will allow you to change the layout slightly, and other will aid with a basic logo design.  However, these are pre-built templates - your website will look and feel generic.

If you think you can't afford a professional web designer or developer, you might need to change your mindset.  If your website is intended for your business, the main goals would be to be found on search engines, attract visitors and generate sales.  If you have built your website with an online builder, then you are acheiving nothing.

If your website is found by visitors, its unlinkely that it will be branded for your business, won't have a consistent identity, won't allow users to enagage you with social media, and will have poor interaction with the visitor.  As a business you know that in order to get a return, you must make an investment.  A professionally designed and developed website is the best way for any business - large or small - to invest in itself and to begin your marketing strategy.

There are a range of price options and payment options that you can utilise to have a professional website built.  Overall, the costs can be lower than the price you are paying for your 'free' site!  If your budget is not that high, look for a student or new business looking to build their portfolio - it will be a million times better than using a free website builder template!

It is essential for you to be actively involved with your investment.  If you give your designer the tools they need to build your website, such as a clear vision of brand, sample websites that you like or don't like, examples of galleries that you like, etc, then all of these factors will come together and you will have the website of your dreams!  More importantly, your website will be working for your business and you will see the results.

If you choose a cheap generic site builder, then you will have a cheap generic site that isn’t working for you and your brand. And if you have a site that isn’t working for you, you are wasting your time and money!