4 criteria to assess before using a site builder

1. Your site’s identity and development

By creating your site with a site builder, you will have the feeling that you are saving a lot of time by using ready-to-use templates.

The problem is that your site will not reflect your style or your brand. It will be impersonal and not very scalable.

When you want to optimise the ergonomics of your website or appoint a web designer to develop your site further, for example, you will realise that it is quite simply impossible.

2. Controlling data and dependence on the site builder

When you create a site with a site builder, you will not be able to choose or change your web hosting service provider.

Your site will be hosted on the site builder servers and if this the site builder does not allow you to transfer its templates or your design elsewhere, you will be locked into this hosting service provider. If this provider is unstable, limits your website traffic, or does not offer support in your language, you will therefore be unable to move your site to another hosting service provider.

Migrating a site designed with a site builder is always , because most editors do not allow all the elements (files and databases) in your website to be backed up, which will involve several adjustments to be made manually.

Finally, bear in mind that the companies supplying a site builder may get bought out, change their pricing policy, or simply decide to cut short their business. Since it is impossible to migrate your site elsewhere, you will be unable to keep or develop your website elsewhere afterwards.

3. Search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website

Although some site generators have made enormous progress in order to promote the SEO of their sites, there are just as many that do not offer much room for manoeuvring in order to optimise this aspect. For example, a site builder does not necessarily allow you to control…

  • The structure of links
  • The placement and the structure of menus
  • The mobile version of your site
  • The file compression
  • The title and description tags for your pages and articles for search engines
  • Your website cache
  • Your site’s sitemap files
  • Etc.

Lastly, search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms, and although a site’s ranking in the search results depends firstly on its content, this can be risky if the content generates revenue and you cannot quickly make changes in this regard.

4. Time saving

The creation of a website is not what takes the most time.

What takes time is creating the content that you are going to put on your site: the articles, videos, images, and everything that is going to bring value to the people who will visit your website.

A site builder will not redirect your content for you, and you will also have to invest time in understanding how it works and what its limits are in order to exploit its full potential.

The best alternative to site builders: WordPress

WordPress is the most commonly used tool in the world for designing websites:

  • Over 25% of the web is driven by WordPress
  • You do not need to know how to write in code to design a site with WordPress
  • WordPress is a free project (Open Source) which is constantly evolving
  • By creating a site with WordPress, you are in complete control of your data
  • There are over 50,000 free extensions and 2,500 free themes for WordPress: anything is possible!

Just like a site builder, WordPress therefore enables you to design a website without any technical knowledge, except that your website’s design and functionalities will be scalable and you will control your data!

To find out more about WordPress:

Conclusion: creating a site with a site builder offers advantages in the short term, but is a bad choice in the long term

At first glance, site builders such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are very attractive. Like WordPress, they allow you to quickly design attractive websites without any technical knowledge, but they will not allow you to control your data and certain important technical aspects in order to properly optimise your website’s search engine optimisation. Unlike WordPress, which is an Open Source solution, these solutions will not allow you to easily evolve your website’s design, features, or hosting either.

If your website is a long-term project, it is therefore important to prioritise a powerful and scalable solution which will benefit from a hosting which is able to evolve with the growing success of your website.