THE TRAP OF ONLINE PIPEWORK

If you don’t need a fully customised / corporate /  website you may use an online attractive site builder by using ready-to-use templates. Of course, these platforms (SaaS) with ever-increasing marketing and advertising provide “simple” turnkey solutions involving several aspects to consider:

  • https://www.wix.com
  • https://www.shopify.com
  • https://www.weebly.com
  • https://www.squarespace.com

These cost-effective solutions belong to a B2B model with free and premium features with minimal effort and human resources on which the customer becomes “trapped”.


THESE BUSINESS MODELS MAY HAVE MANY DISADVANTAGES

  • Your website will belong to a company u barely know the real identity.
  • Your website will be limited the options / functionalities the platform offer.
  • Your are trapped by their themes / template their offer, as for example:
    • No transparency.
    • No direct contact person.
    • Everyone will have the same “clothing”.
    • Prisoner and dependent on one single business model.
    • Spend a lot of time trying to “create” pages with only online guidelines.

For Swiss and EU companies, these solutions are often hosted in the USA or in other Countries with their own legislation and laws, who do not necessarily comply with the GPDR and LPD, but instead use all your data to advertise themselves and profile the products and services you sell.


As stated by an Infomaniak Network SA news published in 2017

  • The problem is that your site will not reflect your style or your brand, but but first and foremost the brand or company hosting your website (especially for SEO). It will be impersonal and not scalable.
  • When you want to optimise the ergonomics of your website or appoint a web designer to develop your site further, for example, you will realise that it is quite simply impossible.
  • You cannot modify or customise the source code!
  • When you create a site with a site builder, you will not be able to choose or change your web hosting service provider so easily.
  • Your site will be hosted on the site builder servers and if this the site builder does not allow you to transfer its templates or your design elsewhere, you will be locked into their hosting service provider.
  • If this provider is unstable, limits your website traffic, does not offer support in your language and will need to go through chatbots and F.A.Q.
  • Migrating a site designed with a site builder is always will involve many adjustments to be made manually (font and back-end + database).
  • Finally, bear in mind that the companies supplying a site builder may get bought out, change their pricing policy, terms of services with no advance notice
  • (…)

WHAT ABOUT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO) FOR YOUR WEBSITE?

Search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms, and although a site’s ranking in the search results depends firstly on its content, organic structure, etc. this can be risky if the content generates revenue and you cannot quickly make changes in this regard.

Search engines will sponsorise above all the company that offer your service (if free or cheap you must accept their own publicity into your webpages like WIX for exemple) and if you perform a search for your company, hidden meta-tags that you cannot be removed and will always increment their online business and not yours!

Just like Booking or TripAdvisor. Your site will not be on the front line, but behind the company that hosts your website or provides you the site builder service and hidden publicity.

There are just as many that do not offer much room for manoeuvring in order to optimise this aspect. For example, a site builder does not necessarily allow you to control the responsive version of your website, file compression, title and description tags for your pages and articles for search engines, etc.


TIME SAVING…

  • The creation of a website is not what takes the most time with online site builders.
  • What takes time is creating the content that you are going to put on your site: text, articles, blog, videos, images, and everything that is going to bring value to the people who will visit your website.
  • A site builder won’t write your content for you, and you’ll also need to spend time understanding how it works and what its limitations are in order to exploit its full potential.
  • And if you use AI for content generation, the quality of the message is not guaranteed and will simply be impersonal, standard language.
  • It’s important to deliver your own personal message to attract the attention of a thoughtful reader.

CONCLUSION

Creating a site with a site builder offers advantages in the short term, but is a bad choice in the long term especially for corporate websites. they allow you to quickly design attractive websites (design above all) without any technical knowledge, but they will not allow you to control your data and multiple important technical aspects in order to properly optimise your website’s search engine optimisation, content and brand.

One of the best alternative to site builders is WordPress which has evolved substantially since 2003, especially for its “Back-Office” CMS functionalities which are elegant, well structured, highly customisable and User-Friendly. It can be used for Blogs, Business Websites, and E-commerce. WP is an Open Software delivered under GPLv2+.

At first glance, site builders  allow you to quickly design attractive websites without any technical knowledge, but they will not allow you to control your data and important technical aspects in order to properly optimise your website (back-end coding included).

if your website is not just a showcase site and is not used for your core business., it is therefore important to prioritise a powerful and scalable solution which will benefit from a hosting which is able to evolve with the growing success of your website and the new technologies.

PM/CTO @DIGITALABS, June 21, 2019