Should I Use A Website Builder? 5 Hidden Costs of Using Wix, Squarespace, Weebly

If you’re a startup or small business, you’ve been told that a low- cost, DIY website is the way to go. But there are “hidden” costs with DIY Website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace that can be detrimental to your business. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common issues with DIY builders so that you can make an informed decision.

What are the benefits of DIY website builders?

Let’s start with a few positive aspects of using a website builder:

benefits of wix
  1. A personal website or a non-business related website can provide a forum for you to be creative and have a presence on the internet.
  2. If you’ve created your first website on a DIY builder, the good news is that you’ve generated business content; that’s a great accomplishment! This content can be easily migrated over to a “real” website framework like WordPress or Drupal. Additionally, you have insights into your customers, which better prepare you for creating your next website with strategy.

If you’re a hobbyist using a website solely for creative expression, or you’re only looking to test a concept, then a DIY website builder makes sense. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table!

Here are the most common issues with using Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and DIY website builders:

problems with website builder graphic

Issue One: The templated website smell.

One of the keys to business success is differentiation. All website builders offer prebuilt, predesigned templates that contain page layouts, color palettes, fonts, icons, and even images. With under 100 templates and millions of users, you can imagine that the templates are often repeated. It’s like buying the car brand that’s popular in your town; it gets you from point A to B, but without any individual style. The issue with driving the same car is the saturation of competition on the web. If your objective is to generate revenue and position your brand as a trusted leader/expert in your industry, then you want to hire a professional web design agency from the start.

Worth noting: The lower-cost DIY packages will have their logo and advertisement appear on all of your website pages. Not only will it drive traffic away from your site, but (aesthetically) it’s just not classy.

Issue Two: The allure of a low-cost website. 

It’s hard to argue with a price point of under $25 a month, especially when starting a small business. Besides yourself, your website should be your most effective sales person! If your website isn’t working for you, even $25 is costly. When designed right, a reasonably priced, professional website will pay for itself in no time! Spend the time and money to strategize a web presence that fits your brand and works for you.

For a no-nonsense estimate on your web design project, fill out our Inquiry Form.

Issue Three: The DIY dilemma.

We receive ongoing inquiries from businesses that are using Shopify or Wix. The common complaint is, “Why aren’t I getting any business?”. It’s simple. The person who created the website doesn’t have a background in online marketing or design. The website may look good on the surface, but visitors are quickly turned off due to a lack of compelling content.

Successful companies understand that one person (no matter how accomplished) can’t be an effective designer, marketer, and business person. This is why advertising agencies, web design agencies, and marketing agencies exist; they employ a breadth of professional staff that have years of experience in both business strategy and promotion.

As a small business owner, your time should be focused on growing your network of customers and partners, managing your staff, and fine-tuning your products and services. It should not be spent figuring out how to design and layout your website or understanding why you’re not getting sales (conversions).

website builder problems with SEO

Issue Four: Search engine optimization – it’s still a thing.

You’ve spent years mastering your craft, and so has your team. But odds are it wasn’t search engine optimization. There are real issues with website builders and how they are optimized for search – even for online marketing pros. Common complaints from professionals about website builders include:
  • Issues with your domain name/URL rather than being a subdomain or sub-URL of the DIY company.
  • Link structures (the way your pages are named, linked and organized) that are not easily read by the search engines.
  • Limited SEO options – your website builder may only offer you a limited set of options within your account to promote your website content.

You can have the most beautifully designed website with great content, and you still hear crickets from your audience. If no one visits your website, the hours spent on design are null.

Issue Five: Ownership.

Websites built on website builders are basically renting space. Sure you have the freedom to add photos, graphics, and text and choose a template to display it all, BUT you don’t own the template or framework that contains your website. If the scenario that your DIY company goes out of business, your website could vanish overnight. If you have a dispute with them they can take it down. If what you want to do violates some policy of theirs, they can suspend your website.

One final note: Check the DIY software usage terms. When you signed up, you may have unwittingly given your permission for them to use and modify your content to promote their business.


 pros and cons of wix weebly squarespace locked down

Issue Six: Customization of features.

If you want a feature or a function that your DIY website doesn’t offer, you probably won’t be able to have it, or will need to settle on an inferior compromise. In order to manage all of their customers, the DIY company has to lock down their feature set so that they can ensure that users won’t break the DIY system. Even though it appears the features they are offering can satisfy any business need, in practice, you may want a specific function that is unavailable.


If you need help transitioning from a Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, or other DIY website to WordPress, feel free to call us at (424) 245-5472 or fill out our Inquiry Form for a quick, free consultation.


Russian translation completed by Edubirdie

Richard Parr
by Richard Parr
Posted: January 7, 2016