During the Covid Pandemic, brick and mortar businesses have recognised the importance of having a strong online presence and have ramped upselling digitally more than ever. Covid has increased internet usage by 70% in Europe and UK online spend is forecast to increase 29.6% between 2019 and 2024, according to retail analysts at GlobalData. As a result, it is a no brainer to have a strong digital presence and that starts with a good website. But are website builders the best way to go?
There are numerous website builders out there – Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Wordpress and many more. Since they offer templates to edit, they are cheaper and quicker than asking a designer to create custom website. In fact, it’s so easy to set one up now it’s almost a no-brainer for many entrepreneurs.
However, there are some draw backs that I think are worth considering before jumping straight in to one of these web builders. I advocate looking at custom built websites from the beginning. Here are the drawbacks of web builders.
Although there are plenty of templates on these web builders, you can’t customise them very much so a lot of websites in the same niche will look the same. If you want to have an animated loading page or hover interactions to give your website a wow factor, you just can’t do it.
The first website I made was on Wix. I thought ‘Yes! I am so edgy and I look professional,’ but then I started noticing the same template I had absolutely everywhere. It seemed a very popular template and I had actually created something so standard that it looked boring and unimpressive. Even worse, some of my industry competitors had the same template. It was so embarrassing to look like them and made us look on a similar par to customers.
Obviously, you can change colours and images in these web builders like Wix and Squarespace but it’s hard to truly stand out in a sea of other similar looking websites in the same niche. This is why I think it is better to have a custom-built website rather than a DIY version.
With all these web builders, you build the websites on a desktop but the truth is that most people will visit your website on a mobile.
According to Oberlo, At the start of 2015, less than one-third (31.16 percent) of the global web traffic came from mobile devices. Fast forward to less than five years later to the final quarter of the decade and that number has skyrocketed to 52.6 percent, marking a 68.8 percent jump (Statista, 2019).
This number is only increasing.
With 5G technology being rolled out now, quicker internet speeds and connections mean can expect mobile traffic to continue growing. Experts predict mobile data traffic worldwide to increase five-fold by the end of 2024.
Why is this relevant? Because a lot of template web builders look good on desktop but terrible on mobile. On a custom-built website, the user experience can we defined on different screen sizes so that the user experience is good on whatever device.
Template web builders often just have the same text/images/videos shrunk for mobile rather than actually making the user experience any good.
Some web builders use plug ins. These are pieces of software that is installed on your website to increase functionality (Wordpress is the most common web builder that uses plug ins). The problem with plug ins is that they provide a security risk because plug ins can leave your site vulnerable to hacks. According to WPWhite Security, it is estimated that 54% of known WordPress vulnerabilities come from plugins.
Not only this but plug ins don’t always integrate well together so if your site has multiple plug ins, it could mean your site doesn’t work smoothly for the user.
Your website will be leaner, faster and more secure if it is custom built as a result.
Websites that create an experience for the viewer rather than just showing the product meant that the customer is already emotionally engaged before understanding the service or product that you’re offering. This ‘wow’ factor can engage the viewer through movement and animation which template websites just don’t offer. Have a look at this website to see what I mean:
Since there are 200 million active out there, you can really differentiate yourself by providing an incredibly stimulating user experience that mean you can engage people landing on your site in a way they may never have been before.
A website that is clearly custom built will subconsciously tell the viewer that you care about providing a great online experience for them. A high quality website will indicate the quality of your products or services and will emotionally resonate in a way a template website builder simply won’t.
Custom interactions, animations and other little hints that you take attention to detail seriously will communicate to the customer that you are worth knowing about and spending on.
If you’re starting a business that you want to be in for longer than a year, then you will probably have a lot of changes to make to your website over that period. When you grow a business, you will likely add products and services and extra pages which templates that you chose originally may not allow you to do.
This is reason not to use some template website builders in itself but on top of this, it may be hard/impossible to them migrate your site to another hosting service. On Wix’s website, it says ‘Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix's servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere.’
This may be a huge pain in the future and worth avoiding from the get go…
I hope this article helps you make an informed decision when it comes to creating your website in the future!
After reading this, you may be thinking that you are interested in looking at a custom website build. If so, I would recommend getting a designer to build you a website on Webflow. Next blog post, I will explain why..!
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