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Why DIY website builders fail

You get what you pay for. Why you should avoid DIY website builders.

Graeme Tidd
Graeme Tidd
2 min read
Why DIY website builders fail

Most people do not want to spend any money. Period.

When it comes to a project or business venture, this is not a good start. The adage you get what you pay for rings true, very loudly – quickly.

Free or low-cost DIY website builders glisten like a comforting seam of gold in a black void of confusion.

The problem with DIY website builders

  • You need an eye for design to create something that looks good (the likelihood is that your website will not look like the demo website out of the box)
  • You need an understanding of UX (user experience) to create an effective website
  • Many builders promote ‘no code required’ as a good thing, but this is incredibly limiting
  • Minimal scope for expansion
  • You are reliant on the survival of the company if they host your website
  • The homepage can be a honeypot, with style and structure beyond the homepage often falling down
  • Industry-leading plugins that address aspects of functionality such as SEO (search engine optimisation) are often not available
  • Usually very fiddly at the backend and therefore confusing for clients

I’ll be blunt: if you are serious about your website, don’t use a DIY website builder.

If you lack design skills, the probability is that your efforts to create a website will result in disappointment, based on one of two likely realities:

Your website looks terrible, and you know it (the best outcome)

Nobody wants to engage with a website that looks bad. And if it looks terrible, the UX is probably going to be wrong, too. Failure ensues.

If you decide to recruit a website designer's services at the point of realisation, you will spend the money you should have paid from the outset. On the plus side, you will have a greater appreciation of the website design process.

Your website looks terrible, and you don’t know it (oh dear)

Unfortunately for eyeballs around the world, this is all too true across the board.

Too many people design websites that they think look good; they create for themselves, not their intended audience, seeking validation from their mother, best friend and cat. This, of course, is usually a completely pointless task – infected with either bias or irrelevance (to the intended audience).

Thankfully, bad websites eventually gather digital dust because they reach a point when it even pains Google to look at them.

Do not overlook nor underestimate the benefits of consultancy

A good website designer will really get under the skin of what you are trying to achieve and offer valuable suggestions and solutions to actual and potential challenges. They will manage your expectations. This added value is highly valuable and often overlooked by somebody seeking to build a website themselves.

Graeme Tidd

I use Ghost to set up powerful and beautiful, blog-focused websites that are easy to use, both for you and your readers. For people who are serious about building an audience.