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What are the disadvantages of online website builders?

4 min read

The disadvantages of online website builders

Online website builders pride themselves in assisting businesses to create a website with no prior coding knowledge.
They may seem to be the perfect ‘free’ alternative with simplistic drag and drop tools, but there are disadvantages to this seemingly easy method of bolstering your digital presence.

Limited SEO Options

The majority of online website builders do not fully integrate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or lead generation into their platforms.
Any ability to incorporate calls-to-action are overlooked, as well as the option to create soft offers to capture email addresses. These are crucial components when it comes to generating leads, yet are technically challenging factors to implement on an online website builder.
The back-end coding options for SEO virtually cease to exist, whilst any built-in SEO options are limited.

Pricing *spoiler, they’re never entirely free*

Not only do online website builder tools market themselves as easy to use, but they typically tend to market themselves as free.
Whilst it is true that all their plans offer free options, these severely limit your capabilities of designing through their platform. The free plan limits you from anything including the number of pages your website has, through to the multimedia usage including embedded images and videos.
The free plan on each platform commonly features their branding and logo obtrusively sitting somewhere on your website. If you want them removed then you’ll need to upgrade to a payment plan.
Not only does the builder’s plastered branding distract your potential leads and clients, but it can also generate a negative image. Your website acts as a reflection upon you and your service. If you’re going to rush and use a website builder with their logo plastered across it, then how can your client or potential lead expect you to invest the time and effort into them?
The pricing plans offered by these website builders can also lock you into varying contracts of different price brackets, which are not always comprehensive. These can add to your monthly costs as opposed to paying an upfront, one-time cost to have your website crafted professionally.

Uniqueness

Many of the website builders offer pre-built templates from which to work from. The idea behind these platforms of saving time means that many users choose to stick with these templates; simply overlaying their color palette and logo over them.
If you were to pick a similar theme to a competitor using the same website builder, then you face the risk of your website looking remarkably identical and thus losing your uniqueness. It can also come across as lazy and put you at risk of being accused of copying their idea, particularly if potential leads find your competitors before you.
For a website to truly stand out, it needs to be totally custom and built from the ground up; not picked from a digital library

Constrained creativity

Whilst you can spend as much or little time fine-tuning your drag and drop layout, there are certain restrictions when it comes to conveying creativity on your website using these tools.
If you want something to happen on your website, there is typically a way to do it with code. Website builders do not necessarily have the same functions, meaning you could be losing out on having certain aspects from your original proposals which could easily be built-in with coding a website from scratch.
Also, the pre-built nature of these website builders commonly fail to factor in the appearance of your website on mobile platforms. Whilst some of them offer responsive alterations that you can preview, they typically require a lot of user input to correctly display each page how you want. This means that any time spent perfectly aligning your layouts on a desktop, can be lost in having to repeat this for different screen sizes.

What can I do about this?

While online website builders save you time by not having to learn how to code from scratch, there is an even easier, quicker method to building your own, responsive and finely tuned website.
CarbonWeb’s Web Design team allows you to convey your ideas, while we work with you to craft a custom an unparalleled, high-quality website. Unique in its design, your website will be the best reflection of you and instill the trust in your clients to use your business over any competitors.
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