November 15th, 2017

Disadvantages of Using Site Builders

GothEagle: When it comes to choosing a website solution for your business, making a decision can be a little stressful. Should I choose a Wordpress Theme, a cut-and-paste template, hire a freelance, use a site builder?" It's always a good idea to take some time to decide on the best possible solution before you make your final decision. However, by just using the simple process of elimination, you can eliminate the site builder!

Avoid cheap hosting plans..

In our fast-paced world, some business owners scoff at the idea of actually doing a little research, and instead, they go right into committing themselves to what they think is the cheapest and easiest way to promote their business. A site builder is sometimes the option they choose, and as a result, they wind up with a cheap looking website stored in a poor hosting environment. Let's consider the disadvantages of using site builders.

Proprietary environment with limited flexibility..

Giving up flexibility is not something you should be willing to do. For example, if you're looking for a unique layout that will satisfy a specific need, you might find a site builder environment too restrictive when it comes to satisfying your imaginative requirements. Site builders live in proprietary environments which, in the end, will produce a website with a universal look and feel, and more often than not, one in which will obviously look like a site builder at first glance. The main reason is that their developer tools are actually generating tools, requiring nothing more than copy/paste actions, or drag n' drop actions, only allowing you minor adjustments over asthetics and dimensional aspects of your site. No matter how good you get at using the site builder software itself, there will never be a way to get full control of the coding environment, making it difficult to achieve a website with a pixel-perfect layout.

A GothEagle developer will work with the fine details of your web site. He will help you one-on-one in real time with the marketing, writing, brainstorming and SEO of your website. All of your Disadvantages of Using Site Builders questions are answered by someone who is actually listening to you and responding to your desires and requests.

Heavy Coding

In order for an online service to get all the functional aspects of their site builder to work, they must over-code each and every template in order to enable you to take advantage of everything they offer, from mulitiple language transcriptions to hit counters. Though you may never use these available features, the code that enables them must still be carried through the download process, as well as page-to-page navigation. These blocks of code are numerous and junked-up, and they take up much more bandwith than what would normally be needed to run an otherwise 'streamlined' website. They commonly offer a list of non-optimizable 'plug-ins' and 'widgets' that get stuffed into your code, sucking up bandwith and increasing the time it takes to download into a user's Browser.

What does it mean to be search engine friendly?

There are some good points to make about site builders. They are a good solution for someone who doesn't really care too much about a high quality website and just wants to get online fast. The fact that business owners do it themselves is enough to creat a sense of accomplishment. The fact is however, that the large majority of 'DYI' designers don't even realize the basic aspects of optimization. They are clueless about how to create a successful website, and haven't kept up with changes in marketing strategies and SEO algorithms.

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Aside from regular text, search engines read mainly code such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. So it's important to include only the necessary code that it takes to get the job done. Junk code and deprecated code should be left out, but unfortunately, it's used many times for functionality that you'll never use such as widgets, plug-ins, inline code and others. Most web-building services that are online today (many are not well-known) add a great deal of this code, (some call it 'junk' or 'spaghetti' code) and ignore important html tags that are used for search engine optimization.

Another particular disadvantage of using site builders involves the inability to streamline or minimize your scripts. Some have solved that problem by allowing you to override the core CSS file with your own style rules, but a site builder can be more stubborn at times by not allowing editing or updating of the core module at all. A website that is search engine friendly will exhibit the following:

The phrase known as 'elegant code' refers to code scripts that are always clean and simple, making it easier to read with less redundancy. Reading and maintaining them are also easier to understand when a project requires a team of code writers to work together.

Deprecated Code

Another issue that site builders fail to handle is avoiding deprecated code. Viewing the source code often reveals code that is no longer supported by W3C in the body and meta tags. In their attempt to compensate, they commonly use Transitional Doctypes, making it easier for them to validate with fewer errors, but still managing to registering them along with possible warnings. Cross-browser compatibility is also no guarantee because deprecated code cannot render out uniformally across different Browser types.

Typical taglines with empty promises..

Online site building companies pump themselves up by emphasizing the speed at which you can get online with a brand new website. Taglines such as "No Programming Needed", "Get Online In 20 Minutes", "24 Hour Support" and "Increase Your Business Sales by 20%!" are all advertising gimmicks used by these companies.

Weak customer service..

You may have experienced in your lifetime a situation where you needed to talk to a real person over the phone and got frustrated because you could not get through. When it comes to disadvantages of using a site builder, the lack of customer support could very easily be ranked at the top of the list. Online companies promote their automated services, mainly because they don't have to do anything other than regularly updating their technology. The service is mostly automated, which means they are providing you their services without supplying you advice from a qualified designer or support technician. Some are completely automated, and without any physical effort, offering no live customer service at all. Many times if there is an issue that you cannot solve, you must submit a virtual written request, or ticket, that is responded to by an automated email. Some services offer Chat, but it still limits your abilty to express the problem you have, basically leaving you on your own to figure out the problem yourself.

You will never actually own a site builder website..

Because you are required to build the site using their tools, you never actually own the site. Your site builder is sealed inside of a proprietary environment, and as long as the provider is in business, you'll have little to worry about. However, if the provider goes away, guess what happens to your site builder?.. It goes away too!

No copy of the site files including html, php, jpg's and all other files that go into making the site builder will be provided to you. The user agreements do not guarantee you reimbursment of any loss, attacks, deletion or misplacement of your web files. Any recourse you have to resolve the matter is left up to you by stating your complaints on blogs, forums and the BBB.

Large Websites

If you want a large website, such as an ecommerce website, site builders might be a good choice. If you are maintaining a large inventory, a larger hosting package will allow you to do just about anything as far as updating and changing your product inventory on a regular basis. Also, if your website should need advanced functionality that enables financial transactions, site builders will include everything you need for supplying your customers an invoice and their choice of merchant companies in which to pay.

Added Expenses

Anytime you purchase a hosting package, whether it's an ftp account or site builder, there are likely hidden fees attached. Because some design aspects are built-in as proprietary tools and add-on features, the integral nature of proprietary environments give their sales team the leverage they need to upsell you features that you would not normally need anyway. If they try to up-sell you an upgrade, addons, back-up software, calandar,. etc,. you may in fact soon realize that you need extra features anyway. And if you discover a particular 'widget' that offers you a unique benefit, then a site builder may be more advantageous to you than an open-source system. Just be mindful to read the terms and conditions all the way through before signing up and paying for a hosting plan.

Migrating hosted files..

There are often times when business owners simply get tired of their site builder account, and thus migrate over to a different type of account. At this point, hiring a web designer to help them becomes a must, since they will need help to either migrate the files or start the design process over again and build from scratch. Since most hosting companies offer various hosting solutions, site builder owners usually choose a regular (ftp) cPanel account, and one that is usually comparable in price anyway.

Do it right the first time!

It's important that your designer and host provider are well managed from a business point of view. That's why it's generally better to go with an established and knowledgeable website designer who is skilled in all aspects of the Web. The advantages of a complete custom website will far out-weight the services offered by automated online services. GothEagle guarantees a quality website at a very affordable price. Call today,. GothEagle will meet your deadline and satisfy all your requirements.


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