You have come to terms with the fact that your latest project, service, or business needs a new website. Pumped up and eager to get started, you have visions of people using your website and all the success it will bring. Then you realize you have no clue how much you should spend on getting your site developed.
Site builder platforms like Wix, Squarepace, and Weebly look great at first glance. The pricing seems reasonable, the showcase of designs look extraordinary, and you figure this will be a perfect fit for your new website.
Now, I am not here to bash, but I am here to let you know that these services are not all that they are cracked out to be (in my opinion, of course). I do not want to say they are a trend or fad. However, I can say with certainty that after being in the web design and development business for well over a decade, we get contacted to come to the rescue to rebuild websites away from these platforms more often than not.
Here is why:
Price and Time Traps
Believe it or not, it still takes work to make these websites look fantastic, and you better be ready to put the time in to learn the ropes or shell out some additional cash to make this happen.
The After Effect
You make it past the design phase, and your new website is active. Did you do it right? Are their SEO tools enough to make your website stand out from the crowd? The process was easy. Do you feel like it should be this easy to have a killer site that outshines your competitors?
Limitations and Growth
So you are ok with all of the above, all systems are a “go” and you are happy with your new website and how it performs. You have decided that you want to add new features or advanced functionality to your website, you might even be thinking about contracting out to have someone else handle the maintenance to your site.
Usually, this is where we step in; websites built on these “do it yourself” builder platforms are confined to their web hosting and confined to the pre-defined functionality within their site builder software.
What is the best way to create a custom website?
In most situations, the result of the site builder saga (after 3 or 4 months) entails a rebuild of the website on a self-hosting / stand-alone or custom platform to achieve the freedom one would typically want with any website.
My advice, skip the site builders, properly establish a budget, and engage in a proper site discovery process with a developer/designer who you can consult to achieve your vision from the start.
So, what do you think?
What are your thoughts about site builders vs. custom web design and development?