Are you starting a new business and in need of a website? Well, that’s awesome news! It is so exciting starting a business venture and there is surely a lot to do. From registering a business license and coming up with a business plan to setting up your store and getting equipment, it can become a very overwhelming task. Not to mention, getting a 24/7 online salesperson, also known as your website, up and running. So, considering Wix or Squarespace for getting a website with their low entry cost and fast turn around can be rather enticing. But, before you dive head-first into these options, here are 8 things to keep in mind:
1: Owning Your Own Space
You don’t own your content. Wait, what!? Can you believe that? Well, unfortunately, it’s true. Unlike having a custom website built for you, all of the content you place into Wix or Squarespace stays there. You have no access to the files, the code, text, images, etc as it is exclusive to those builders only. Essentially it comes down to just renting a website space at Wix or Squarespace which puts you in a vulnerable position.
For instance, if they were to change their hosting servers or even shut down, your website and all of the content would be gone leaving you to scramble to get a new website built from scratch. Now, that’s not a situation that anyone wants to be in so it’s always better to have control over your content.
2: No Control Over Hosting
Now, most people don’t really care about this one but it is important to think about it. With these platforms, you have to keep your entire website with them, period. You may be asking yourself, “Does it matter? My site is online so it’s okay.” Well, the reason this is important is that these platforms can get slow and bogged down from the other websites stored on them. So, if website speed and performance are important to you, you can’t pull your website away and store it somewhere else that may be faster and more reliable.
Now the beauty of having a custom WordPress website is you have the freedom to pack up your website and take it to another hosting provider. These are crucial things to think about in this day and age because now, Google is looking at website loading speeds as a big factor in search rankings. So, if your Wix or Squarespace website is slow, it could prevent you from even showing up in Google searches.
3: Expensive Upgrades
Ah yes, we’ve all seen these before such as, “$2.99 Domain” and “Websites for only $14 a month”. Now, I get it, they look enticing and very affordable but that is where these DIY platforms get you. A few of our clients have come to us from having experience with Wix and they have told us how expensive the upgrades are. The price is cheap to get going but as they went through getting a website and needing certain functionality, those upgrades became very, very expensive. Their app marketplace gets you with the “Free Plan” to start but if you want anything but basic, you have to pay.
Now, with a custom website, the initial price to get it built is higher up front but it has everything factored in already. So if you need Google maps, contact forms, restaurant menus, document downloads, online store, really anything you could need is included in the original price. And once the website is built, it’s built, that’s it. The only recurring price is the hosting to keep it online but there are no hidden fees.
4: Limited Add-Ons
The expensive upgrades bring me nicely to my next point and that is limited add-ons. With these DIY website builders, you will need to pay for an add-on to make the site work as you want. An add-on could be anything from a plugin to make an online store or an SEO plugin to help with Google search rankings. Now aside from these plugins getting costly, they are very limited in functionality and how much you can really tailor them to fit your needs.
Whereas with WordPress, you have access to the world’s largest selection of add-ons that can all be customized down to the pixel to fit your exact need for your website. Unlike with Wix or Squarespace, we can easily change any add-on to make it function the way you want so you are not just stuck with whatever those platforms give you “out-of-the-box”.
5: Customization Issues
More often than not with the Wix or Squarespace website templates, they are not very customizable. They are more of what you see is what you get type thing. You may be able to change some colors and text and images sizes but that is about it. Unfortunately, you have no access to any of the files or database structures to truly change that template and take it to the next level to truly make it your own as they are all protected under their hosting provisions.
The great thing about WordPress is that this is not even close to being an issue. We, or any Web Agency, can easily access every core file in WordPress and custom code different styles and layouts to fit your needs. We can make your website exciting to use and one that stands out from the crowd.
6: Designer Nightmare
Wix and Squarespace have a very limited designer and developer network due to the platforms being tailored more towards the DIY arena. So, if you are looking at these platforms or already have one of these websites and need some work done, it could be difficult to find a developer that can help. It just falls back on my previous point of the limited access for customization.
This is where having a custom WordPress website is a better option because the WordPress community is huge! There are a countless number of freelancers and Web Design Agencies like us that are very capable and confident in our knowledge and expertise of WordPress. It is important not to have a website that is going to put you in a limited network that makes it difficult to find qualified help when needed.
7: Terrible SEO
Now, this is a biggie! These DIY websites from Wix and Squarespace or so bad for Google rankings and it is mainly due to the poor hosting as mentioned before. Google is very, very smart and it does know when a website is utilizing bad servers. It also comes down to the lack of optimization tools and just general website best practices when building these websites. There are a ton of things to consider when building a website such as image optimization, best coding practices, focus keyword usage, text density, and so on that many people are unaware of when building a site on these platforms.
8: Moving Means Recreating
What if I told you that you will have to get a brand new site built if you ever wanted to move it from Wix or Squarespace? Well, it’s true. Unfortunately, you can’t take your site anywhere else as it is solely built for their servers. What a bummer! Can you imagine having this massive online store with hundreds of products and now you have to start all over again? What a nightmare!
The beauty of having a WordPress website is that you can easily migrate between hosting servers. There is no recreation necessary. This means everything from your website layout, your products, contacts, text, simply everything we can transfer from one host to another and you don’t lose anything. About the only thing in your Wix or Squarespace website that we can copy over is your Blog posts but a redesign is still required. This goes back to what I mentioned before about not owning your content. Sadly, Wix and Squarespace will make sure everything stays there and leave you to fend for yourself.
So there you have it! My top 8 reasons why you should steer away from Wix and Squarespace. Now, don’t get me wrong, there may be a few times when these platforms would be viable options to get a website online but not for the long haul. I highly recommend investing the time and resources into a custom WordPress website. You will be happier in knowing you have full control over your website and that it will do very well in Google search when your customers are looking for your products or services. Just remember, getting a website is more than “just getting a website”. It is truly an investment into a valuable resource that is going to help scale and grow your business for years to come.