There are many options to create a website in the modern day. A business can choose from everything from a website builder to full custom design and development. Some options are cheaper than others, but more often than not, the final product reflects the medium used to create it.
Services like Wix and Squarespace market themselves as a cheap solution for a do-it-yourselfer to create a serviceable web presence. These tools make their money by offering a drag-and-drop method to create single page websites. However, these builders either lack, or block, the use of major elements that are present in custom built websites.
The drag-and-drop tools used by website builder services do allow for a sort of ease in the layout of a website. However, to create a design that is organized and has any kind of flair to it comes with a very time-consuming process. The tools involved in laying out the design alone can be complex, forcing many websites built with these services to be lacking in basic design elements and cause a lack of alignment.
Custom design allows for more freedom in the creation and layout of your website. Professionally designed websites come with the ability and experience of the individual creating it. Meaning that the tools used by the professional are understood and easily applied to create a clean and stunning layout with all the personal flair that you need to stand out.
Lack of SEO
Pages created by a do-it-yourself builder lack one of the most important tools for an effective web presence, Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a marketing process centered on growing organic visibility in search results. It is a complex mixture of technical and creative savy to improve rankings, search engine awareness of a website, and overall drive traffic to a website.
The content on website builders are buried under a large amount of bloated code. One of the drawbacks to this code is that outward-facing content is harder to detect for search engines. In addition, there is no access to the metadata of your website. This unseen data, housed in the back end of the website, is one of the most valuable assets in building an authoritative web presence. The inability to manage that data is arguably the most important oversight in using a website builder.
Custom design and development is created with SEO in mind from the first step. From optimized code that is tailored for visibility, to content management systems (CMS), custom websites are heads and shoulders above do-it-yourself pages. Developers for custom websites are aware of the trends in SEO, and the rules that get a website noticed.
The CMS that is generally attached to a custom built website allows for ease of access to the meta elements of the website. This allows for control of data that can aid in greater visibility when used correctly. The management of elements like page descriptors, authorship, keywords, and the separation of content can all add to the likelihood of a website being indexed higher with a search engine.
Do-it-yourself builders create websites that are only one page. While they do a decent job of trying to create links to navigate around the individual sections of the page, it is obvious that it is only one page. This can cause a sort of confusion to users when visiting the page if it is not meticulously created to convey the intended message.
This also leads to the issue with SEO. In custom design and development, SEO involves the use of individual pages to add to its relevance in searches. By holding all the information for a website in one page, the information contained in it can easily get lost in the indexing by search engines. This is one of the major reasons the do-it-yourself builder websites are at a major disadvantage in the ability to rank and be visible on search engines.
Do-it-yourself builders use many tools and plugins to create individual elements to be used in the page. The overuse of plugins, of various types, and other unnecessary elements inserted to a page require more data and outside requests to be needed for a page to load. The additional coding, data, and requests required to run these elements makes a website load slower, and affect the overall performance of the page after loading.
On the other hand, custom design and development is aided by the knowledge of a professional. The professional will know how to optimize elements and require only the minimal amount of data required to load a website. This allows for faster load times, more control over the elements of the website, limits outside requests to load a page, and contributes to an overall better user experience.
Mobile devices have quickly become responsible for a large amount of access to the internet. The specific hardware and applications used to access the internet make for a much different experience than traditional desktop access. As such, websites need to be created with mobile access as a priority concern.
Do-it yourself builders do not create responsive pages. These pages are created with only desktop access in mind, potentially neglecting a large share of users. If content is not optimized for viewing on a smaller platform, or its elements are inaccessible, users will be quickly drawn away from a website.
Good custom design and development is done with a mobile-friendly approach from the beginning. Responsive design is necessary to complement the layout, content, and other elements of a website. The scalability of the design and the content held on a website or individual page from desktop to mobile are necessary to create the conversions that drive business.
Do-it-yourself builders generally do not offer helpful support to its clients. This puts their clients at a distinct disadvantage. Want to change something on your website that requires a complex process? Better figure it out! Break an element on your page and now it doesn’t respond or even appear? Figure it out yourself! These builders do not offer substantive help when these issues arise.
Custom design and development generally offers a service to manage and maintain your website to keep these issues from arising. These services can cover everything from fixing broken elements to design changes. Many custom builds also come with a built-in CMS to make the management of outward facing content to be done in a more optimized and straightforward manner. This still allows you to have control over what information you put out, with the peace of mind in knowing that any potential issues can easily be addressed and fixed properly.
Lack of Data
Do-it-yourself builders do not give you data on your website’s traffic. This data is paramount to being able to change your content and tailor it to the audience you want to make an impact with. You cannot track any new campaigns you may run, or even know if you are making any impressions. Custom design and development revolves around these numbers after a website is launched. The ability to accurately track these numbers allows you to make better decisions in growing your web presence.
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