Website builders are everywhere and it’s easy to see why.
The ability to provide individuals with little to no technical skill the opportunity to design a website is an appealing offer, especially when you’re just starting out and you don’t have the budget to splash out on a fancy website.
However, there’s a huge downfall when using these WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builders.
They will not offer any SEO advantage.
And SEO is perhaps among the most important things to consider when building your website.
So, what are WYSIWYG website builders?
You’ve probably seen versions of these on every other YouTube advertisement, always encouraging you to build your own website. Because it’s easy… right?
And it is a lot easier than learning everything you need to know to create a fully-functioning and stylish website, as well as, in some cases, providing a cheaper service.
Despite this, anyone who is seeking to develop a long-term business online should seriously consider alternative options.
Why you shouldn’t consider a website builder
There are a number of reasons that a website builder would be bad for your business when considering their impact on SEO.
Performance and page speed
Your website’s performance is critical when considering how search engines rank your site. Not only this, but page speed can also affect SEO indirectly by providing a better user experience.
This means that users will stay on your site longer and your bounce rate will likely be lower. All of this contributes to improving your SEO.
Website builders can significantly impact the speed of your site because the focus lies in how the page looks from the front end, rather than how it performs through the HTML. This can result in a poorly optimised website with long loading times.
When a designer is creating code for your site, they can tailor the code to your business while also ensuring that the page runs at its best. When a website builder designs your site, the code may become bloated due to the many systems in place allowing the user to “drag and drop” the elements they want in their site.
No access to your code
It is especially important when building your site to have access to your code.
Valid HTML is a particularly important part of website design and helps search engines understanding your website better. The site’s HTML sends signals to search engines and if your HTML isn’t performing correctly, then those search engines can run into problems when searching for relevant content within your site.
So, if there are any errors, then you’re going to want to fix them.
And there lies the problem when using a website builder. You have no access to the HTML to amend any errors that crop up – and this won’t be good for your SEO.
On any site, whether you’re only just developing it or you’re simply going through day-to-day maintenance, there will be times when you’ll want to perform tasks that improve your onsite SEO and many of these will require direct access to the HTML.
So, if you’re using a website builder, you won’t be able to make these necessary changes that may help improve your SEO ranking. This can not only be incredibly frustrating, but it can also have an all-round negative affect on your business.
Not mobile friendly
These days, having a mobile-friendly website is one of the most important considerations when designing your site.
In fact, companies with websites specifically optimised for mobile have reported increased sales after its implementation .
Now, website builders do offer some mobile compatibility, but never to the same degree that an expert website designer can. And ensuring a good design on the web and on mobile can often be more of a chore on these sites than helpful.
A large portion of search engine traffic comes from mobile users, so it’s becoming increasingly important to consider the user experience while on mobile. If it’s neglected, it could have adverse results for your SEO.
When should you consider a website designer?
If you’re a business that intends on long-term development and you’re looking to grow through the SEO rankings, then you may want to consider a website designer or website design company to tailor your website towards your business.
This will give you a number of advantages, both SEO-driven and beyond. The expertise you’ll receive from a professional website designer will mitigate many of the problems you’ll receive from online WYSIWYG website builders.
Another benefit is the personal element you’ll receive from an individual – you can tell them exactly what you need and they can meet these requests.
That said, online website builders aren’t all bad. If you’re only testing the waters with a new business and don’t have the money to invest right now, then they can offer cheaper alternatives (but remember to shop around your local website developers first – you might be surprised what they can offer).
Or, if you’re simply looking to host a portfolio or personal blog and you’re not worried about the SEO implications, then they may very well be the best solution for you.
But, always consider your options!
There’s nothing worse – for your business and your own motivation – than noticing a year down the line that your company isn’t quite ranking the way it should online.
Whether you’re looking to develop a new site or your old website needs a bit of a face-lift, KMK Web Design may have the solution you’re looking for.
My name is Kris Kalbfleisch, owner of KMK Web Design. I am a devoted husband, father and passionate web designer. My industry credentials include a Computer Engineering Diploma along with an Advanced Web Design Certification.