10 Myths About Using a Free Website Builder Busted
By Pete Griffin
So, you’ve got a great business idea. You know you need a website, but you don’t have a five figure budget to hire a professional web designer and developer to build a custom site.
You might have heard a little about free website builders, and think that might be a good option for you. You might have also heard some negative things about free websites.
For instance, you might think that people look down on using free website builders because ‘free must mean poor quality’ and they build will be deficient in some way. That's just completely not true. Here are 10 free website builder myths you may have heard, and the reasons why they are false.
1. Website builders are difficult to use
Drag and Drop: The three words that mean website building is a snap. This visual interface has evolved so that anyone, no matter what their level of experience, can create a site with the features they need. Web builders such as GoDaddy and Webs are renowned for their ability to be used by anyone, no matter the level of experience they have in web design.
These services are built for those who do not understand the ins and outs of coding, enabling anyone to create a site all their own. How would that be possible if they were difficult to use?
2. Your website will look the same as everyone else’s
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Free website builders offer thousands of different templates to choose from – just look at the huge choice offered by Weebly and Web.com. And when you pick a template, its super easy to change just about everything to make it unique.
You’re actually more likely to have a generic website if you buy a WordPress theme, as customization is a lot trickier on WordPress, and their sties have a habit of all looking a bit similar thanks to the sidebar format and commonly used widgets.
While website builders offer the ability to design a site from a pre-made template, that doesn't make it unique – it makes it attractive. Your own input in the template will be unlike anyone else's, and it will make your site completely your own.
Check out this video, outlining and comparing some of the best website builders!
3. Website builders hurt your SEO ranking
Not true. Website builders such as Wix.com have made understanding SEO very simple. They even have a wizard to help you get to grips with the topic. SEO, or search engine optimization, is heavily based on the content of a site. And thanks to Google being smart, you just need to fill in a few of fields it can read to get your site up the rankings. Items like your title, your page description, H1, H2 and Alt tags, are easy to edit with free website builders.
Google also identifies off site elements that help you with SEO. These include the number of links pointing to your site and the content that is on it. It’s not the platform it was build on that determines your SERP. And remember the phrase Content is King? Well, a key driver to success with Google is regularly updating your content. A blog is great for this, and Wix has an excellent and easy-to-install blog. Try it out.
4. It’s hard to customize a free website
This one may have been true in the past, but is no longer. With the development of HTML5, widgets, applications, and more, website builders provide as many customization options as a site that has been built from the ground up. Not only do they offer as many, but the options provided by a website builder are often more stable than those on a custom site. More often than not, the interface you’ll work with will look familiar to you, with simple color pickers and font selections, you’ll get your site looking just right.
5. Sites built in website builders are unable to handle bandwidth
A website builder has no effect on how the site handles traffic – that lies entirely with the host. Most free website builders provide hosting, but because of their unique set up, those sites can handle traffic better than most privately hosted sites can.
6. Website builders do not produce attractive sites
Professional graphic artists spent hours designing many of the templates available to users on Wix and SquareSpace. The additional customization features allow users to add any graphic or background they want to their site. Website builders do not prevent people from creating attractive sites – they make it easier.
7. People will not take a site built inside a website builder seriously
How will they tell? The people who visit your site aren't likely to be web development experts. Even if they were, website builders allow you to create a beautiful, unique website that stands up to any scrutiny. Websites built in a tool like Moonfruit easily compete with professionally designed sites in aesthetics.
8. Website load times will be too long
Website builders are programs designed for efficiency. They do not suffer from memory leaks or any of the other issues that plague custom-made sites, which means the load times of sites built using these tools will also be fast.
9. You can't use your own domain name
Website builders allow you to link a custom domain to your site. Sometimes this a feature than is unlocked when you upgrade.
10. Website builders take a lot of time to use
Most free website builders pride themselves on their expediency and ease of use. They're designed to be simple. Sure, you can spend a lot of time building a website – that doesn't mean you have to! An elegant site can be put together in less than an hour very easily.
Next time someone tries to discourage you from using a free website builder, keep these myths in mind. Website builders make life easier, not more difficult, and provide complete beginners with the ability to design a free site all their own.
Are you ready to have a go at building a business website? Learn about what features matter!