It has never been easier to build your own business website. Various companies now offer an easy route in, for anyone looking to get their feet on the first rung of the ladder and build an online presence for their business.
However, as Jonathan Guy of Aqueous Digital explains, while these quick solutions might offer much in the way of convenience, they have several major drawbacks for long-term business planning and objectives.
“You can see the attraction of a drag-and-drop website building solution, especially when it seems to compete so effectively on price. But there may be hidden barriers to further development that can have serious implications further down the line.”
Buy or Lease?
“When it comes to your car, it should be pretty clear to you the difference between buying a vehicle and leasing it. Both can have their advantages and drawbacks, depending on the nature of your business. What matters is that you’re clear up front which option you’re taking.”
The issue with some websites is that if you use a provider who supplies your hosting, along with the template for your site, then, in effect, you are renting online space, without owning any of it.
“That attractive package, involving everything neatly packed together for you, might be less attractive when you find that everything on it belongs not to you but to the provider”
This might not matter if you have a very simple site, and you plan to keep it that way. In business, though, the likelihood is that you will want your website to evolve, whether to attract more customers, meet rising demand or reflect changes in your offering.
“It could come as a shock to find that you own none of it, that the copyright for the site and its entire contents, whatever you’ve built on it, belongs to your provider and you cannot easily move it to a new site with another host.”
Other Website Issues
For websites looking to maximise their visibility, it is vital that they have the right kind of technical search engine optimisation (SEO) as a form of fine-tuning.
“Template-based hosted websites tend to restrict what you can do to refine their coding, just as you cannot switch the host or server. The quality of server can vary hugely, which impacts on your website’s performance and how visitors experience it.”
Similarly, these sites may be limited as to how scalable they are.
“If the only option they offer is to simply add pages, then they aren’t going to offer much flexibility in how you add and enhance content.”
Similarly, while there may be a reasonable amount of leeway in adding or refreshing content, the actual design of the site can be restrictive, because it is template-based.
Is a Quick Fix Website the Right Business Choice?
What this comes back to is what your website is for, and how it can best serve your business and its objectives.
“Going down the quick-fix route for website building may seem attractive, but in most forms of business, the quick-fix will only get you so far”
“Ultimately, your website should be a serious business investment,” Jonathan concludes. “This means considering how it will serve your future strategic needs, not just your immediate requirements.”