The Best Website Builder Is No Website Builder




  • — December 22, 2017

    Nothing breaks my heart quite like hearing the following sentence:

    The Best Website Builder Is No Website Builder

    “Oh, don’t worry — we’re just going to build our own website.”

    Oh the heartache this poor soul is going to endure…

    When it comes time to build your website, the best website builder is NO website builder…

    Instead, you should be using WordPress.

    The Best Website Builder Doesn’t Exist… Because They All Have Problems

    DIY website builders are all the rage these days, and they have a nasty tendency to lead people astray.

    There’s just no such thing as the “best” website builder because, frankly, they all have issues.

    There was that time Wix websites (like, all of them) were dropping out of search results on Google.

    Yikes.

    DIY website builders are all the rage these days, and they have a nasty tendency to lead people astray.

    Squarespace has its own problems — if you buy one of their websites, you’re basically locked into their platform, and migrating means losing any design work you’ve done (or paid to have done).

    But you get to keep your domain name and content, so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice…

    Weebly is basically only good if you want to keep your business as small as possible for forever…

    You get the idea.

    There’s a Reason We Avoid Website Builders and Build All Our Client’s Websites in WordPress

    The reason is, well, the opposite of everything above, basically.

    The Best Website Builder Is No Website Builder

    WordPress websites:

    • Are yours to keep (assuming you have a reputable web design and development company that gave you sole rights to the design, the development work, and the content)
    • Can be modified however you like
    • Aren’t controlled by a single entity (and therefore aren’t going to disappear if the parent company goes out of business)
    • Are easily optimized for SEO
    • Are easy for beginners to manage but powerful enough to be modified or upgraded heavily to do just about anything your business would need

    I could probably make a list 4 or 5 times this size, but this seems like enough to me.

    The main reason we build our client’s websites in WordPress — exclusively — is this:

    Self-Hosted WordPress Websites Are Completely Free From Outside Control (Which, for the Average Client, Is Best) — Website Builders Aren’t

    Just so we’re on the same page, we’re talking about the version of WordPress you host yourself (or with a company like us) — WordPress.com is a completely different beast (it’s similar in many ways to the builders listed above).

    With a self-hosted WordPress website, you have the flexibility to move your site, add to it in any way you want with custom code, and you aren’t tied to a company that keeps your site held hostage.

    Self-hosted WordPress websites are completely free from outside control

    This is important, but a lot of folks don’t understand why it’s so important, especially if they’re not familiar with the world of digital marketing.

    Think of it like this…

    If You Build Your Website With a Website Builder, The Parent Company Can Boss You Around

    One of the biggest problems with not owning the website is being locked into a particular way of doing things.

    For instance, if you get a WordPress.com website (that’s the one we don’t necessarily recommend), you’re:

    • Forced to use their approved analytics solutions
    • Unable to use the plugins or custom code you want to use (limits the functionality you can achieve)
    • Unable to use outside themes (which means making your site look exactly the way you want is difficult)
    • At the complete mercy of their Terms of Service (do something they don’t like, and it’s Bye Bye to your website)

    One of the biggest problems with not owning the website is being locked into a particular way of doing things.

    If you go with one of the other website builders, you’re:

    • Not allowed to install anything they haven’t approved on your site
    • At the mercy of any weird SEO problems that affect their entire platform
    • Stuck with the website itself (migration is usually difficult or impossible, meaning you can keep your text and images, but you lose the code and design of the website itself, and you may even be forced to copy and paste that content page-by-page when you decide to move sites)
    • Forced to have ads on your website or the company name in your domain
    • Restricted on what kind of analytics you can use (if you can use any at all)
    • Possibly forced to use a Flash-based website (a big no-no in modern web design as flash is supported less and less by the big browsers every year)
    • In many cases, heavily restricted on the structure of your website, how your content is displayed, and what files you can have on your website

    Man, that’s a rough list…

    If Your Goal Is Business Growth, a Website Builder Makes No Sense

    Look, here’s the deal, these website builders are hugely successful for a reason:

    The Best Website Builder Is No Website Builder

    It costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time and expertise to build a powerful website that’s going to be able to scale with your business.

    To do it right generally requires a healthy budget — that’s just how these things go.

    If you just want to blog a bit (and never monetize it) or run a small-time business that’s never going to grow, then a website builder is probably fine — go nuts.

    It costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time and expertise to build a powerful website that’s going to be able to scale with your business.

    But, if your goal is business growth (or, if you have already have a large business), you need the ability to scale.

    If you want to sell anything on your website, you need a website that you own, that has no restrictions whatsoever (besides the laws of your country) on what you can and cannot sell.

    If you want to use content marketing as a method of driving traffic to your website, of getting leads, and of making sales, you need a website that’s going to let you structure, rearrange, revise, and update the content however you want.

    If you want to use your website to generate revenue through advertising or affiliate marketing (monetization), you need a website that lets you have 100% control over the ads you can show.

    The Best Website Builder? There’s No Such Thing. Use WordPress Instead

    That being said, you also need a plan for your website.

    I know that probably seems like a “duh” statement, but you’d be amazed at the number of folks who just want to “throw together a website” without actually thinking it through.

    For a website to be successful, it needs a marketing plan behind it.

    And honestly, you probably need a marketing analysis too — you need to look at the competition and what they’re doing, you need to consider your target audience, you need to consider the best way to position the brand, you need to make sure you avoid some major possible pitfalls…

    For a website to be successful, it needs a marketing plan behind it.

    Obviously, this is something we do for our clients, but, if you have the time, energy, and knowledge, you can certainly do it yourself.

    That’s why we wrote this ebook — 8 Steps to Building a High ROI Website.

    Use This Ebook to Plan Your Website in Detail Before You Build It

    The ebook walks you through the process of planning a website that will, you know, actually make you some money.

    (Oh, and it’s also about 20 hours of work, so maybe don’t make plans this weekend…)

    Good luck out there marketer.

    Download Your Free Ebook

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    Author: Adam Fout

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