Reasons to not use Wix or Squarespace for your website
IY website building platforms have taken over the internet. I mean, how many podcasts can Squarespace actually sponsor? Is nobody going to put a cap on that? The idea of saving on some of your marketing budget by designing your own website is definitely enticing to a lot of business owners. And, with platforms like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace, it would seem like the barrier to entry of building your own website has been truly broken. While this is true, website building platforms do make it easy to make your own website that won't look too terrible, if you’re a business owner, going down the route of DIY websites might not be the greatest idea.
We here at PNW are the first people ever to use the phrase, “You get what you pay for”. Here are a few reason why saving some money by using a website builder might come back to bite you in the ass, especially if you’re a business owner.
You’ll water down your brand
Wix currently touts that they have 110 million users on their platform. That’s a whole lotta users. Wix also states that they have about 500 templates that you can choose from. That means, for every template you could possibly choose from on the platform, 220,000 other people are also using that same template. That's just math right there. And by using the transitive property (ayy, math.) that means if you're using a website builder, even after adding in your own content your website is still going to look very similar to hundreds of thousands of other websites. If you're trying to differentiate your brand from your competition, this is not a good look.
Squarespace likes to call their templates “stunning”, but are they? Without the ability to add custom animations or CSS, what you really get is a static website that can showcase photos well. Not really stunning in our book, but decent.
So while yes, your site will not look bad, it is going to look very cookie cutter. Flat, nothing custom, no animations. Nothing that’s going to showcase the things that make you and your business unique. Any money and effort you’ve put into your branding is going to be weighed down by a website that tries to constrain every user into the same handful of templates.
You don’t own your website
You’ve put all this time and effort into building your new site, bought your domain through your platform, and you’re up and running. Great. Now, after reading our salacious blog post, you’ve realized maybe this wasn’t the best move after all. So now what?
Normally, when you want to transfer your site to a new platform or hosting service, you simply export your files and you’re on your way. Not with website builders. Your site technically belongs to them, so if you cancel, your site is gone. You’ll be able to transfer out your domain, but it can be a lengthy process. As a business owner, not being in full control of your company’s website is a little spooky.
What’s the real cost?
While you may think you’re saving money by building your own site, are you? The monthly cost to host your business website on Squarespace is $46 a month. Add in the cost to purchase a template and domain, and you’re looking at about $600 for a website for a year. Now what happens when something breaks on the site and you don’t know how to fix it? You’ll probably end up hiring a freelancer to make changes for you, which adds up.
Another phrase we invented is “Time is money” (we should really copyright these 100% original ideas). All the time that you are spending building and trying to fix your website is time not being spent running your business.
Your website is your store front and your digital resume of sorts. You don’t want to cut corners at the place where your clients interact with you most. We would encourage you to do your brand justice and invest in a badass website that showcases what you have to offer in a unique light. That’s how you attract your ideal customer.
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