DIY Website Builders: Are they Really Worth it?

With practically every major web host offering a DIY website builder, it’s hard as a business owner not to at least consider building your own website. After all, these tools are designed to make building a website “easy.” Simply choose a template, drag and drop a few elements in place, and you’re good to go, right? Wrong.

While it may be tempting to forego hiring a professional web designer and spend an evening or two using one of these tools to build a website, they really aren’t worth it in the long run. Sure, it’s easy enough to create a basic website using a DIY website builder, but if you want to remain competitive, there’s no substitute for a professionally designed, custom website. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major shortcomings of DIY website builders.

DIY Website Builders Make It Harder to Make a Good First Impression

Your website is your modern-day business card. Everything from the layout to the color scheme, font, and content used says something about the professionalism of your business. Would you design your own business card? Probably not.

How confident are you that you’ll be able to list every element your site needs? That you’ll be able to create and maintain a consistent and functional format across all pages and channels you use? How well do you know both front and back-end Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Are you confident your new website will work well on mobile? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before considering a DIY website builder for your business website.  

In addition to being limited by the site builder’s limitations, using a DIY website builder limits you to your own knowledge of industry standards, coding, and SEO, among others. While DIY site builders may help you build something that technically works, there’s a huge difference between a purely functional website and one that makes a good first impression.

DIY Website Builders Lack Back-end Functionality

Back-end functionality affects everything from mobile responsiveness to SEO. It’s essentially what makes or breaks your website’s user experience.

DIY website builders may help you build a site that looks good, but that’s more or less where it ends. Even though more and more site builders are expanding their back-end customization options for more advanced users, the vast majority still lack the back-end customization capabilities of a professionally developed website.

At best, this may mean you’re restricted to using pre-built functions and features. At worst, your website’s overall functionality may be severely impacted. Search engines like Google rely as much on your site’s back-end code as your front-end. Disorganized or overcomplicated back-end code is a major turn-off for search engines, and they’ll likely give more importance to competitors who chose to have their sites professionally designed.

Mobile Responsiveness is More Important Than You Think

People nowadays spend more time browsing the web on mobile devices than they do on desktop computers. As much as they promise high-quality, mobile-ready designs, websites built using DIY website builders tend to look better on desktop than they do on mobile. What’s more, you might need to build and tweak your mobile website separately when using certain website builders, increasing your chances of messing something up.

In other words, unless you spend ages playing around with your site’s design, a site built using a DIY website builder is likely only going to be optimized for one platform. This means you stand to lose potentially half of your potential customers. In terms of time spent, even if you do manage to finally create a mobile site having the same quality as your desktop site, it’ll probably work out cheaper and less frustrating to hire a professional web designer by the time you’re done.

Sub-Par SEO

Sure, many DIY website builders advertise “built-in” SEO functionality. And while it is possible to rank a website built using a DIY builder, it will never rank as well as one built by a professional web designer. Part of the reason behind this is the disorganized or overcomplicated back-end code mentioned earlier. After all, search engines love well-coded and properly structured websites since it makes their job of crawling your site easier.

You could spend days, weeks, even months crafting the perfect-looking, mobile responsive website using a DIY site builder, but you may as well have put your efforts into something more productive if search engines can’t make proper sense of it.

Save Yourself the Trouble

While you may think building your website yourself will save you money, it probably won’t. Ultimately, the main disadvantage of using a DIY website builder is that you’ll lose out on potential business to competitors who treated their website as an investment rather than a weekend project.

Web design is simply one of those things where you’re better off calling in the professionals and putting your time and energy into what you do best. If you’re in the Calgary area and want to learn more about our web design services, get in touch with us for a quote on any of our services.