A website is an essential element for all companies that want to gain new customers and communicate with them on the internet. The online business card performs the same functions as the traditional one – it is a carrier of basic information about the company’s activity and contains contact details. The advantage of a company website, however, is the possibility of a broader presentation of services – a detailed presentation of your offer and examples of implementation, and building your image as an expert in a given field. The presence on the Internet also allows you to attract customers in a more dynamic way – through profiles in social media and with the help of seo, also in search engines.
Creating a website can, however, be a heavy burden on the budget of young companies. The basic cost of the site consists primarily of the price of the domain and hosting as well as the work of the graphic designer and developer. Another cost is the time that you need to spend to find the right technologies and even prepare content, graphics and photos. The choice of solutions that do not require the involvement of external specialists is associated with the need to increase the time required to prepare the site. However, website creators have limitations that can prevent them from gaining customers effectively. Let’s take a closer look at popular solutions and consider when building a page with the help of a creator will pay off, and when we should, however, choose other solutions.
Website Builder – what is it and how does it work?
Website creators are a kind of computer program that allows you to create a website without knowledge of HTML and CSS, not to mention other languages. Creating a page from scratch, we choose the background color and add further details by selecting a specific element from the available collection. The graphic design we created and the background content added in it are rewritten into the language understood by web browsers. Boom – the website is ready.
The main principle of website creators has not changed substantially since the appearance of the first program of this type. Modern versions, however, have much greater capabilities and faithfully stick to the principles of creating pages and Google guidelines. Modern solutions allow in some cases to run seo processes and effective positioning of websites created with the help of one of the currently popular creators – Wix, Squarespace or wordpress Elementor.
Website creators from 10 or more years ago offered very limited customization options, and no one thought about adaptation to mobile devices or positioning.
Website creators – where did their popularity come from?
Website creators allow you to quickly create a functional website. Depending on the advancement of the creator, they allow you to modify ready templates, add colors, icons, and format text. Thanks to these solutions, creating a website does not always have to be associated with high costs. Most creators provide some functionality for free or in the form of a subscription – and the price of such is much lower than the fees associated with the work of a graphic designer and programmer.
An additional advantage of creators is their friendliness to non-technical users. Services like WIX present the functionality of their program in an accessible way and help you build your dream website step by step. The tutorial and the ability to prepare the site according to your own vision (limited only to the choice provided by the platform) allow you to start the promotion even on a very limited budget and … do not require the involvement of developers.
The number of platform users that have enabled the creation of their own website in recent years has begun to grow – in proportion to marketing efforts undertaken, among others by Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, which sponsors a whole range of Youtubers. Wix deserves special attention here – the advertisements of the website could be seen during the last few Super Bowl games, and they took part in, among others Karlie Kloss, Jason Statham and Gal Gadot.
Pros and cons of website builders
It can not be hidden that the independent creation of websites is quite popular. Is it, however, a universal solution? Let’s look at the pros and cons of such programs:
– costs, a definite plus of creators is the ability to build a site after the so-called “Costs”, which I mentioned earlier. Part of the functionality is available for free, some for a fee or as part of a subscription, which can be terminated at any time or with a monthly notice period;
– intuitive navigation, adapted to the skills of non-coding people – pagebuilders do not require their users to know about coding pages, language skills and rules for creating websites. Website creation is done by means of graphical navigation – drag & drop or selection of subsequent options from the drop-down list of available elements;
– security – one of the biggest problems associated with having a website is to provide yourself and your guests with an adequate level of protection for their data. When using the creator, the responsibility for the tightness of the solutions used remains with the creator of the service;
– time – if you believe the ads, taking a page will take about the same as a break from work. In fact, choosing the right options and template and making the final decision about the appearance will take a few hours. Still, it’s a lot less than creating a page from scratch;
– all-in-one – modern creators are solutions that allow you to create a page from scratch and in one place. This includes not only the site design itself, but also domain and hosting issues;
– help – the platform user (depending on the subscription paid) can benefit from extensive support – guides, tutorials and consultants. Thanks to this, building your own website becomes quite a pleasant experience.
– lack of full freedom in creating the page – the number of templates and solutions to use the site – depending on the plan – is limited. Additional restrictions are also technical issues of the platform. Moving subsequent elements can be partially blocked, and adjusting their size very time-consuming;
– slow, heavy site – if in recent years page builders have made a great step towards optimization for speed, some of the solutions still leave much to be desired. Another problem is the limited or complete inability to modify the page code. This creates unnecessary lines of code, e.g. by creating unneeded nests and enlarging the DOM, which Google Page Speed Insights points out as one of the reasons why websites slow down. Too many unnecessary elements that could be described in a more optimal way are the risk of more rejections for mobile device users with a worse internet connection;
– Restrictions resulting from the plan or application – e.g. the ability to create up to 10 subpages, the ability to use only a few additional applications, restrictions on adding links on the site, etc.
– Lack of possibility to fully optimize the page – the lack of access to the code prevents full optimization under search engine guidelines, and thus – restrictions related to ranking, among others on Google. More about positioning on creators in a moment.
There are more pros than cons? However, this is not a confirmation of the universality of the solution which is page builders. It all boils down to the purpose for which we create a given website and what we want to include thanks to it.
Positioning and website creators – a bumpy relationship
Website positioning created on Wix or Squarespace platforms is one of the most controversial topics in the SEO world. Most specialists still remember the times when the creator in principle prevented any optimization of the website. The problem was, among others, the inability to set a unique <title> for the subpage, creating friendly addresses, or even adding the Google Search Console code to the <head> section. Modern platforms are more seo friendly, but they still do not enjoy much sympathy among positioners. Why?
Inability to fully optimize – Optimization under seo guidelines is content and code activities. While adding content and saturating them with keywords should not be a problem, technical optimization is the way it is. The appearance of the given elements on the page is important for the user, however, wishing to conquer SERPs you should also pay attention to how the site is seen by network robots.
During positioning, it is necessary to change the content, among others titles, descriptions, headers. Creators of the type Wix or Squarespace allow you to add your own elements from this range – all changes are made via the panel. Interestingly, Wix still promotes adding the meta keywords tag and filling it with about 10 keywords, which in the positioning environment is considered unnecessary archaism. The meta keywords tag has no longer fulfilled its original role for years and is de facto redundant on the site.
Adding more advanced elements, e.g. schema tags, goes beyond standard services.
In the case of Squarespace, adding schema tags requires modification of the page’s <head> – pasting the generated code in the right place. Here, basic basic knowledge of html structure will be useful.
In this situation, Elementor seems to be the best solution – it works with popular wordpress plugins intended for SEO, e.g. Yoast SEO. However, there is still the problem of too large DOM – excessive number of nested elements that delay rendering of the page.
Unsatisfactory speed test results – In recent years, Google has significantly increased the focus on adapting websites for mobile devices and for fast rendering also for slower connections. If you look at the results of speed tests of pages made using the selected creator, it is easy to say that speed demons are unfortunately not.
The biggest problems include unused code fragments and too large DOM. These elements can be modified, provided that we have access to the code.
Here you should do justice to the creators indicated above – most of the solutions actually try to keep up with trends and implement on their platforms photo optimization and formats preferred by Google, code minification and prioritizing loading of the most important elements of the page.
The problems we encounter when trying to position websites on Squarespace, Wix or built using Elementor, however, do not completely eliminate the chances of building visibility in Google search engine. There are other factors at stake – first and foremost the purpose of creating the page and the niche that the site is about.
Wix, Squarespace, Elementor … solutions for special tasks
Website creators make it easier to appear in the virtual world, but they do not quite prove themselves as professional websites for larger companies targeting competitive industries. We can talk about increasing the visibility and positioning of pages on Wix, Squarespace or other creators in the case of small, local businesses. The condition here is the use of more extensive subscriptions that allow access to advanced site modification options.
The solutions proposed by popular page builders will work to build a page from an amateur photographer’s portfolio or a page that will contain basic information about a service closely related to the local operation, e.g. a community day-care center for children. Positioning a site built on the Squarespace or Wix creator, whose ambition is to search for keywords like “New York dentist” may not be effective. In this case, making a lighter page – e.g. on WordPress, with the option of connecting an external system for booking visits, will pay off. Full access to the website’s code will facilitate optimization under current Google guidelines, and the possibility of facilitating registration of patients from the website level will significantly improve the calendar of visits.
Finding the perfect solution that will allow you to mark your position in the search engine and compete with larger players requires appropriate research and time expenditure. In this case, saving on technologies and choosing a “cheaper” solution may block the possibility of further development.
You cannot deny the universality of solutions such as page builders, but you can not put an equal sign between them and success in search engines. Seo adaptation promoted by Wix and Squarespace is primarily the ability to preserve the basics of seo activities, i.e. care for content delivery, the ability to set titles and descriptions, and the ability to connect your own domain and codes to GSC. However, positioning activities are much more than that – technical optimization requires changes that are simply not possible with subscriptions to page building platforms.
So who should you recommend such solutions to? First of all, businesses that do not have the ambition to compete in the race for the highest positions in SERPs. The website on the platform is a solution for those who target inbound traffic from social media and based on searches with the brand name or paid advertising. A website based on WIX or Squarespace will be perfect as a portfolio for young photographers, models and companies that base their content on photos and gain most contacts through activities, e.g. on Instagram.
Popular website creators
Wix – allows you to create pages using a graphical creator based on drag & drop activities. We create a page based on templates that we can use to use the editor to suit our needs. The creator allows you to create a page for free, but editing the page is limited, and our site will display ads. The extension of functionality is possible in one of several subscription plans.
Positioning your site on Wix – the creator allows you to add individual titles and descriptions for each page. Extended optimization is available thanks to the Wix SEO Wiz application, which guides you step by step through the basic activities related to online visibility – including adding Google Search Console code.
Squarespace – just like WIX, allows you to build a site based on a template related to the theme of the page. Here, however, we create and modify elements without dragging them on the side. There are 4 subscription plans available, and the larger the amount, the more possibilities of creating a page.
Positioning on Squarespace – all basic optimization elements are available – you can set titles, descriptions, URLs and even redirects. However, users complain that the positioning modification options are scattered across the platform and finding them is not always easy.
Weebly – as in the case of other popular options, also here the site is built using drag & drop. The creator, however, does not allow full freedom in arranging elements – it imposes the size and arrangement of elements, according to the selected template.
Positioning on Weebly – as with other programs, Weebly allows you to enter seo-essentials – titles, descriptions, and even altos. There are also no problems with adding codes necessary to control the page. The program also automatically generates the sitemap.xml file.
Elementor – WordPress plugin allows you to build a page in the drag & drop system, with the help of which you can create the entire layout of the site. Its definite advantage is the multitude of options that allow you to create an unconventional page. The feature-rich free version allows you to create a fully functional website .. The PRO version allows you to better adapt the design to your needs and work with other WP plugins, e.g. WooCommerce, i.e. tools for online stores.
Positioning on Elementor – creating a page with the help of a creator increases its volume. Elementor, however, prides itself on the speed of his solutions. With the help of other wordpress plugins (Yoast SEO, All-in-One SEO) you can perform quite satisfactory optimization.