There are many options available to new businesses and consumers seeking to establish a web presence. An attractive option is DIY website builder services. Often, consumers are attracted by low prices of these services and are not informed of the many disadvantages.
To be fair, there is one advantage to using DIY website builder services: start-up costs. Yahoo! SiteBuilder, Homestead, GoDaddy and Yellowbook are a few whom offer this service. You can often get a website off the ground for a very small investment. Anyone can have a website up very quickly and for little cost. Or so it seems…
These options are a good temporary solution but, for businesses who want to establish a brand and a website for a growing business, it is neither ideal nor cost-effective.
While you are paying for a website builder service, you do not own any part of the design itself. In many cases, you do not own the domain. Essentially, you are renting both the website and the design. Updating the website or moving it when you are ready to grow, is an extra obstacle moving forward. Once you stop paying for the service and/or decide you want to move your content, you may lose the design and domain entirely. At this point, you are left with two choices. Stay with your current service or move and start all over again spending more money on a custom design with domain and hosting services.
While templates and DIY website builder services might be a good immediate solution, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages for businesses seeking to establish brand recognition and a strong web presence. Here are some questions to ask when venturing out to find solutions to your web development needs.
Do I own my website?
Domain Ownership – Do you own the domain? You are listed as the registrant contact for your domain.
Design Ownership – Do you own the rights or license to the design? This is known as copyright. You either own the design or own a license and it is hosted on a server of your choosing.
Brand Identity Control – Does your website give you control over your brand identity? Control over the brand identity of your website allows you to track SEO and allows you to syndicate links and images that contain your personal brand within your website.
Content Access – If you wanted access to your hosting directories, could you? You must have access to your content to make design and layout changes. Website builders do not give you directory access. Moreover, the limitations with respect to coding and the ineffectiveness of the overall design add to the lack of appeal of such websites to various search engines.
Do your research and ask questions to make an informed decision on the best options for you and your business. At S2P Studio, we offer free consultations. Don’t wait to schedule one until you think you can afford it! Chances are you already can and don’t even know it. After the meeting, even if you decide against a custom design, you still obtained valuable information to help you in your decision. The other upside is that now you have facilitated a trusted relationship with a web professional.