When a business is getting started, things happen quickly. Pick a name, register with the state, get business cards, look for a domain name, set up social media accounts, get a website up and running (maybe all in that order, maybe not!) Either way, there’s lots to do and every new business owner is eager to get it all done right away.
In the initial rush to get up and running, your website can end up as an afterthought. With the emergence of platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, many business owners jump on there, throw something together, and within an hour, they have a website. While that is certainly convenient and cost-effective to start out, there comes a time when a startup website starts to look like just that, and could possibly sell your business short for a multitude of reasons.
- “My website doesn’t look nice/professional” – Try though they might, most small business owners are not web designers. While one might put together a website that flows nicely and is easy for users to find what they need, in most cases, a cheap website looks bad – and cheap.
- “My website doesn’t do what I need it to” – Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and other free platforms offer basic functionality – edit photos and content, have a contact form that emails you when someone fills it out, but anything more robust? Not so much.
- “My website is outdated” – Sometimes, when you “set it and forget it” with your website, it goes out of date because no one does content updates. Design and customization of templates is also a limiting factor, which can make a site look out of date before it has even been launched.
- “Why can’t anyone find my website?” – Many DIY platforms do not allow for much optimization on the back end, the things like titles, descriptions, and structured markup/snippets. While we know that content is king, we also know that there are a lot of factors that go into the ranking of a website on Google, and those factors will come up short when using a free platform.
The bottom line? Spend a little more now or cost yourself a lot later – poor SEO, slow loading times, limited functionality and bad aesthetics can and will cost you customers. The poor SEO alone is enough to do that, but when combined with these other factors? Sorry to say, you’re in big trouble – these things make your site “sticky” and without them, people will move on quickly.
Not to mention, a lot of these “free” platforms are not actually free. They’ll make you purchase your domain and usually pay for hosting, and if you want more advanced features, you’ll have a monthly fee to pay. Finally, once you’ve done all of that, they’ve got their hooks in you – they own your site and do not make it easy to export anything you have on the site to another platform. On the one hand, this is understandable, as they want to keep you as a customer, but on the other, it does not make them easy to work with, and that’s just bad form.
Professional developers use platforms like WordPress, which make it easy to perform content updates without needing to know any coding skills. You can choose your host and make sure you get the best environment for speed and reliability, and when a firm like Robintek builds your website for you, you get their technical expertise and eye for design, but more importantly, the support when you need it.