Even before you got started on your website, it’s likely you heard about website builders.
Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are very common. Some of these services advertise so much that business owners get a postcard in the mail soon after they register their domain or put up their first “work in progress” page. But are they really right for business website design?
Let’s take a closer look at what these platforms promise and what they actually deliver.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Wix
Of the three, Wix is the one you are more likely to have heard about.
Wix is a website builder with an old-fashioned “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) interface. Back in the 1990s, this type of editor was used to build some of the earliest personal home pages. Of course, we’ve progressed a long way since that era of flashing .gif files and websites with frames.
But has Wix? Not really.
The main selling point of Wix is that almost anyone can use it. Unfortunately, that simplicity is a double-edged sword. Wix conceals a lot of the opportunities for customization you should expect from your website experience. That includes settings you need to improve your website’s search visibility.
When you pick Wix, you are limited to the types of pages and content blocks available in the editor. Wix is easy to use, but it is very difficult to get a website to rank in search. If you are running an e-commerce website, you may also need additional software and plug-ins to make Wix work for you.
For example, you can only sell services through the Wix booking app.
One of the biggest advantages of Wix is its free trial. You can get started right away and have access to a wide variety of features, including some sleek pre-defined templates. Still, you won’t really have enough time to learn the capabilities of the system before you move to a regular paid account.
Wix has some sleek preset designs that will give your website a pleasing look. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen one Wix website, you’ve seen them all. To really provide memorable customer experiences, you’ll need to do some serious brand development. Otherwise, your website can get overlooked.
All in all, Wix is probably the easiest website builder out there.
What if you’re looking for something a little bit more sophisticated?
Let’s see how Squarespace stacks up in comparison.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Squarespace
The basic idea of Squarespace is similar to Wix: it’s a website builder. Ideally, you’re able to put together your own website in a matter of hours and start presenting your brand to the world. In practice, it turns out to be a little bit more complicated than that.
When you dive into Squarespace, you’ll realize it’s not as easy to use as Wix. It can be a bear to figure out some of its basic features, and it’s not quite as versatile. It also lacks support for live chat – one of the best ways to keep visitors engaged with your website, especially if you are doing e-commerce.
Squarespace’s biggest advantage over Wix is the unlimited bandwidth. With Wix, you might find your website offline (or incurring extra charges) after serving anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 visitors. This is not the case with Squarespace, which sets no bandwidth or storage limits.
The lack of storage limit also means you can serve resource-intensive content like videos more easily.
But remember that these “unlimited” plans always come with a catch or two.
Say your website goes viral and you experience an unusual spike in demand. Your website builder may or may not be able to keep up with that. If your website goes down, you might get a free month of service – but will that really make up for your lost business opportunities?
Squarespace has been sharpening its advertising and marketing game over recent years. You’ll often find it mentioned in sponsored spots on YouTube. Gamers, speed-runners, vtubers, and comedians seem to love it. The thing is, they’re not actually using it. The bulk of their content is hosted on YouTube.
You should always take a close look at the pros and cons of Squarespace or any other platform before you use it for your business. Anything you choose should have a solid history with companies like yours.
Although there are certain businesses using Squarespace, we can’t say it’s the best out there.
The Biggest Problems with Wix and Squarespace No One Will Tell You About
Wix and Squarespace both work for personal home pages and websites. No doubt about it.
But when it comes to businesses, there are a few big problems you simply can’t ignore.
These three are the most significant for companies in Central Florida and beyond:
1. They Both Assume You Will Do All the Work
At heart, both Wix and Squarespace are “do it yourself” tools. They’re best for hobbyists.
Since each website builder has its own features, layout, and quirks, you will spend a long time learning how to use them before you can put together the website you really want. This is fine if your main goal is to have fun. For enterprises, however, it leads to mistakes that are not easily undone.
Because both are designed to look simple and user-friendly, some small businesses are lulled into the belief “anyone can do it.” This leads to serious miscalculations about how to make your website a real success. Getting an intern or a family friend to make your website can lead to disaster!
Website builders don’t really create a situation where you can make a terrific business website with no previous knowledge or experience. Instead, they abstract away the features and functionality that could make your new website stand out from the crowd. In the end, that’s not really doing you any favors.
2. You Are Limited by Their Technology and Vision
If you have a vision for your website, you’d better hope your website builder shares it.
As you can see by the comparison above, website builders may or may not give you access to some very basic features. For instance, what’s the reason behind not having live chat support? In today’s climate, there is none. And the more you think outside the box, the more you’ll run into these issues.
If your website needs anything unusual, you’ll have to pay much more or do without.
This leads to another problem … one that they don’t want you to think about until it’s too late.
What happens if you outgrow your website builder and want to move on? While there may be some way to migrate your website to independent hosting, they don’t usually make the process easy. Even if you follow all the steps to a T, you can still find yourself losing search engine visibility as a result.
3. They Can Easily Lead to Very “Samey” Websites
Everyone has seen a basic Wix or Squarespace website.
To make a lasting impression, you need a truly customized website that reflects your unique brand and value. The most common Wix and Squarespace templates are used by millions of websites. Most are subtle variations on the same basic themes – in other words, good luck telling them apart.
It’s definitely true that you can launch a website in an afternoon with a website builder. But what you’re actually getting is the same as everything else out there. And that’s no way to foster trust and develop relationships with the customers who will move your business forward.
There’s a comfortable middle ground between getting a “same old, same old” website off the shelf or chiseling raw HTML code into stone tablets to launch your digital brand. You need an option that will give you the flexibility, power, and support to achieve your website goals seamlessly.
At New York Ave, we proudly build with WordPress, one of the most trusted technologies around.
WordPress Is the Superior Choice for Business Websites of All Industries
WordPress is the best answer for building a business website, hands down.
WordPress is a robust solution for website development and blogging that has been maintained by an energetic volunteer community for nearly two decades. Launched in 2003, it has benefited from a steady stream of improvements and upgrades making it the best website publishing platform of all.
Today, more than 455 million websites are happily running on a WordPress back-end.
That amounts to an astonishing 37% of the entire online universe.
In the course of 2021, WordPress has broken some remarkable records:
- More than 60% of the 100 fastest-growing U.S. companies use it
- About 70 million new WordPress posts are written each month
- Over 409 million people view WordPress websites every month
Yes, you have definitely seen a WordPress website. Or two. Or dozens. Or hundreds. But did you know? Odds are you didn’t. WordPress is so customizable that every website developed with it can be made unique. In fact, WordPress stands out in a number of ways nothing else can match.
Allow us to introduce you:
1. WordPress Is More Customizable and Extensible than Any Other Website Platform
Website builders come with a few dozen templates and software extensions and call it good. With WordPress, you have access to hundreds of thousands of optional features and millions of design templates. The vast majority of these are free, and you can get started with them in a few seconds.
How is that possible? The secret is in the community.
For almost 20 years, software experts from around the world have been building feature plug-ins for WordPress. There are plug-ins that will make your website do virtually anything you can imagine. Here are just a few things you can do on WordPress that you’d have to pay top dollar for elsewhere:
- Manage your search engine marketing with powerful SEO options for every website page
- Capture analytics information about every one of your visitors and your digital campaigns
- Connect with your visitors through advanced features like meeting scheduling and forums
- Develop members-only websites and pages for your long-term customers and advocates
- Manage global regulatory compliance for laws like CCPA and GDPR from a single interface
This is really only the beginning. Much more becomes available for WordPress every single week.
WordPress is right for businesses that are evolving – because it, too, is always changing for the better.
2. WordPress Has a Lower Cost of Ownership and Leads to Fewer Vulnerabilities
Good website design comes with the need to manage overhead and risks. WordPress does both.
With WordPress, you may be able to operate an entire business website for as little as a few dollars a month in hosting costs. Most WordPress features are completely free of charge – there are no hefty licensing fees to price in. Many advanced plug-ins are offered as one-time purchases.
If your website isn’t attracting traffic and converting those visitors into customers, it’s pure overhead. With WordPress, you have the time for your website to take root and start doing its magic without having to worry about money constantly flying out the door.
This is a good thing because sound SEO practices usually take about 90 days to start yielding results.
Website security is also important to any business. The fewer vulnerabilities your website has, the easier it is to protect your customers’ sensitive data. Because WordPress is always being worked on all around the world, security issues are quickly identified and resolved. Updates are available on a regular basis.
Plus, there are additional feature plug-ins to make your website safer. If you notice that you’re getting a lot of problem traffic from a certain location, to give one common scenario, you can use a plug-in to block irrelevant visits from that region. This shuts the door to potential attackers and scammers.
Don’t Have Time to Plan, Design, and Maintain Your Own Website? Let Our Team Help You
The basic concept of any website builder is “anyone can do it.”
It requires a deep knowledge of your market, the experience to map out a complete plan, and – yes – the technical skills to realize that plan within your timeframe and budget. When you rely on a website builder for your business website design, you’ll end up missing key parts of the equation.
What’s the best way to get results without doing it all yourself? Call on the experts.
At New York Ave, our Central Florida website design team has helped business owners like you define their brand and create websites that really work. That means going above and beyond by bringing together all of the different elements that make your website a success:
- A good looking, highly branded layout that’s easy to navigate on desktop, laptop, and mobile
- A fast, responsive experience that helps users seamlessly find and use information they need
- The specific features that are just right for the kind of audience you want to attract online
- Security, fraud protection, and other back-end features that defend your customers and brand
Each one of these is indispensable. All of them work together to help determine how successful you are at drawing visitors from search engines and keeping those first-time visitors coming back for more.
Unfortunately, all too many business owners dive head-first into a website builder and don’t see the results they want. Over the course of weeks and months, they wonder why they aren’t getting a steady stream of profitable visitors. Soon, they often decide digital marketing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The right digital marketing plan can be a revenue engine that drives your business.
It all begins with a professional website design from a team that understands your industry and needs.
You might be used to wearing many hats, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel with a website builder, talk to the team at New York Ave. We’ll show you how business website design fits into your overall plan for a flourishing Central Florida enterprise.
No matter where you are now, contact us today to go even further.