You may feel persuaded by all the adds for website builders such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Whey, but these websites will do more harm than good for your business.
WordPress offers high levels of customization and features for your website. When using WordPress, you will have a website built for the needs of your business.
When using a site such as Squarespace, you will have one of a handful of templates that everyone using their website builder must choose from. The ease and limited features of Squarespace might attract small business owners wanting to build their website alone, but this only leads you to having a website that will not add anything to your business. Paying to have a website custom-made for you, understand all the needs of your business, will help in the long run.
In terms of pricing, you might think the $8 and $16 a month Squarespace plans are more affordable than using WordPress in connection with paying for a web hosting provider, but these monthly Squarespace fees do not offer you much in terms of content and freedom. With the $8 plan, you are limited to 20 pages, a blog, two contributors, and you may only sell one product. Even with their $16 plan, you may only sell 20 products, which is not a good start for a small business wanting to get into internet sales.
Another aspect of your website to keep in mind is payment processing. If you use a custom-built website utilizing the many features of WordPress, you can offer payment functionality from various sources. When using a cookie cutter model, payment processing is limited. Squarespace only allows payments through one service.
The cookie cutter website builder Wix does not allow its users to change templates during the editing process. The already limited service pushes these limits even further by not letting users decide they would like to use a different template. If you are not exactly sure a template and theme will work for you, you are not given the chance to try it out. WordPress offers more theme options and does allow users to change their themes.
Wix is built on a Freemium model, which means your initial account is free, but any feature and plan you choose while designing your website adds fees. Wix has 5 plans ranging from $4.50 a month all the way to $24.50 a month. With a differential of this size, Wix gets users in with the lower prices, but keeps features away until they update throughout the series of plans with increasing prices.
When using a cookie cutter site such as Wix and Squarespace that I have discussed, your hosting fees are included, but this is actually a reason why these sites are not as good an option as WordPress, where you pay for a hosting provider. With WordPress, your domain is yours. With one of these website builders, your domain is only a subdomain of the website from which you are hosting. Wix is getting the traffic, while your website is just an afterthought.
When one of these cookie cutter websites says SEO is “taken care of” automatically once you design your site, this is a red flag. These sites do not know your business, they know how to get people to visit their main site, but without building the website with you from the beginning, and watching it grow, the website builders that tell you to not worry about SEO are banking on their visibility as a website builder to be enough.
Having someone help you in your journey to build and develop your website will help you achieve more from your website, than a website builder with limited customization and no interaction with you or your business plan.
Having a website custom-built based on the needs of your business will always be more successful and a better investment in the long run. WordPress is versatile, and allows the customization needed for your website to stand out among the crowd, and WordPress offers the features to make your website functional for every aspect of your growing business. Using a cookie cutter website may seem like a boost at the beginning, but it will soon be lost to the sea of other cookie cutter websites. Many of these website builders do not offer the customization needed to accurately and effectively craft the website you need to support and express your business.