Website builders are easy for anyone to use. However, they come with significant design limitations. Generally speaking, they only come with a handful of content display formats, which means that if you want your content to be displayed a certain way that isn’t part of the web builder’s tools, you’re out of luck.
A custom-designed website, on the other hand, allows you to display content in the way that makes the most sense for you, instead of forcing it to conform to a pre-existing template. Custom designs give you a website that perfectly reflects your industry and brand.
One of the nice things about website builder platforms is that website hosting is included in your monthly fee. This can make a lot of sense for business owners who don’t have anyone to manage their hosting.
However, it also leaves you completely at the platform’s mercy and unable to make modifications that can allow your site to run faster. Website builders don’t always focus their efforts into speed performance, so you might be left with an underperforming site.
When you have an experienced web development company like Take the Stairs, you can benefit from thoughtful hosting practices like our use of code minification and a content delivery network (CDN), so that your website is always optimized for speed performance, as page speed is one of the many ranking factors for a website.
If you’re in a competitive industry, complete control of factors that affect your ranking is a must. You need to be able to alter things like your:
- Page titles
- Header distinctions
- Alt tags
- URL slugs
- Meta descriptions
Website builders have significantly improved their ability to add SEO elements, but they still have plenty of room for improvement.
For example, one of our Nashville clients used a website builder platform for their site. We wanted to update our URL slugs to contain the client’s keywords that were different from the title we used for the page. At the time of writing, the provider offered no way to do so. When we called support, we were told it wasn’t an important ranking factor (even though it’s accepted in the industry that optimized slugs can have a positive effect on SEO rankings).
If you want full control over your site’s SEO, make sure you use a more comprehensive CMS such as WordPress or Drupal.
When you use a web builder platform, you’re renting your website rather than buying it outright. If you stop paying your monthly subscription fees, the platform will eventually take down your site and you’ll lose all the content you built.
When you have your website built with a web development agency like Take the Stairs, you own your website files. That means you still have complete access to, and control over your site even if you stop working with us.