Everyone hears about these services that allow you to build your own web site. The problem is that most people do not understand all the implications of doing so. In this article we will explain the things that you need to be aware of when working with these services that prey on people who do not have the expertise to know better. We will review Wix services in particular in this article, however this also applies to other site builder services that allow you to build your site yourself as well.
Wix and many other companies that have site builders cause more damage than good to business owners for many of reasons. The main thing they try to portray is that creating a website and competing with the billions of other businesses on the Internet is easy as drag and drop your site together and away you go all the way to the bank. Unfortunately it is definitely not that easy, but they will prey on you by making you think it is that easy. In real world terms, putting up a website is like putting an 8×11 sheet of paper on the back wall of a building in-between the wall and the dumpster in an industrial zoned area using white crayon on a white piece of paper. This is reality. There are as of now about 14 Trillion web pages on the Internet. How do you think you can stand out within those while using a free website company. Don’t let that scare you away, just be smart about it. If there are so many web pages on the Internet, you really do need experts like us on your side working for your business to ensure that your website is as visible as it can be.
Here are some of the reasons why you should not use Wix, or any other company who has a free (or close to free) site builder:
Many site builders, especially Wix, templates are usually created with Flash. No matter what they say, Flash is not search engine friendly. Google recommends against it.
Google’s Webmaster Tools cannot verify your ownership of the site. These tools provided directly by the search engines allows you to optimize your site and get the most out of it, not to mention to see critical information pertaining to your site. What a shame.
Site traffic and analytics are skewed in their favor because of the old scripts they use and modify to make the shareholders and businesses like yourself happier. The reality is if you do not have accurate data, then you cannot optimize, nor can you get accurate numbers for your books. How many people could run a business when their numbers are always wrong.
Wix gives you just one page (Flash makes it look like you have many pages, but in reality, you don’t. Simply an illusion that search engines see right through), this reduces the amount of content Google or other search engines can crawl. This means you can only optimize your site for only a few keywords and that is it.
With one page, you cannot create articles targeting different keywords to target every occurrence your customers would be searching for. This is like having a business card with only a single letter on the entire thing. Pretty much useless.
Wix does not allow you to use your own domain name unless you pay for it, and then it does not really matter because there are so many other giveaways that you are using their services, lowering the trust of extremely important potential customers. They give you for free the address like this: wix.com/username How professional would it look if someone who works for Microsoft gave you a card that had a web address like that? Do you want you business cards to say something like that? Wix can hide that for you for a price of course, but the simple fact is that search engines and everyone else knows what servers you are using and they will rate your site accordingly. How much emphasis do you think Google will put on a business that has their website on a free service like Wix?
Without having your own domain name, the search engines simply cannot use the most important keyword (your domain name). Leaving you extremely hard to find on the Internet, even when the user types in your exact company name.
Wix has a few hundred templates, Godaddy has fewer. When Wix says they have 50 million users and Godaddy a huge number as well. With that many users, how unique do you think your business will look. How can your business be remembered when it looks exactly like so many others. Not to mention the fact that the content in the template is pre-made and will be also left on the site by so many others as well, and with the search engines penalizing you for duplicate content, how do you think your site will fair.
First impressions. “I’m just starting my business, I can always upgrade, I can use Wix for now.” Everyone knows the saying: “First impressions are everything?” do not underestimate your potential clients, they are not as mindless as you might think, especially the newer generation. There are so many tell tell signs that you are using a free website builder. Fly by night shady businesses always use free website builders. Would you yourself trust giving your hard earned money to a company that you know uses a free website builder? Imagine if Home Depot did, do you think they would have grown and been trusted as they are now?
Do you love boasting about the free website builder you used? “THIS SITE WAS CREATED WITH WIX.COM CREATE YOUR OWN FOR FREE!” banner at the bottom of your site is not going to sit well with your potential customers when they have to decide how trustworthy, professional and credible you are all the while using a free site builder. Do you really want to advertise that you are using a free service like WIX to run your business? How many clients would trust giving their money?
They are not mobile friendly at all. Their servers are slow, and their Flash based sites are extremely heavy on graphics, using up much of the users limited data plan for each of your pages they visit. How long do you wait for a website to come up on your phone, especially when there are other sites to go to get the same thing that are much faster to respond?
Their support is provided by a pool of people that don’t even work in the same country as them. They outsource the support and the answer you will get 90% of the time is that they will send it to their next level technical support, which you will never be able to get them on the phone, nor even get their phone number. Most of the time they will charge you a fee for the support they are providing. Would you pay your utility company or cable service just to ask a question?
Lack of skills and capability is what they specialize in. The support Wix gives you is purely simple. You cannot ftp into the site builder and customize any of their code. If you need customization done, you have 0 options, because they will not change it for you and break it for their 40 million other customers. Even if you hire an expert like us, we will have to move you from their service simply because they do not want anyone accessing the code on their service in fear that you might remove their ads. Basically you can never grow and you must fall into the cookie cutter system they have for you, meaning you cannot advance above your competitors with innovation and creativity simply because you are being held hostage to their will. Almost like cattle.
No such thing as a free lunch. Nothing’s ever really free. You will end up paying in many ways and some of them are not monetarily impactful at the beginning, but definitely will be 10 times the normal cost when you need to grow because you will have to undo the damage they have done to your reputation and search engine optimization.
Wix does not care about you, but we absolutely do, very much so. We care about your business and its success. That is our job, and when you succeed, we succeed. Wix, Register.com, 1&1, GoDaddy and others will continue to find people who don’t know better, and the worst part about it is that they simply don’t care and are simply trying to make their shareholders happy.
I am mentioning Flash again because most people do not realize how important it is that you avoid it. iOS and iPad cannot even see Flash at all, all they will see when looking at a Flash widget, Flash menu, Flash splash screen, Flash video player, or any of the thousands of Flash objects and widgets they provide all they will see is a blank spot where the Flash object should be. When such a huge percentage of the world are mobile these days, the last thing you want to do is ensure that most of your potential clients cannot use, or even view your website properly. How can you sell something with broken objects and materials.
They will not tell you when you are doing something wrong that will hurt your search engine optimization, nor will they tell you that you are doing something that is out of date, or even foolish. Their focus on your checkbook, not you. Having someone like us working for you will ensure that you are not left on the way side while they laugh and collect money from you.
If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.