The Fallacy of Stock Websites
Maybe you’ve seen those mysterious commercials for Squarespace, featuring Jeff Daniels and John Malkovich, promising sleek websites at a low cost. In an increasingly web-focused world, it’s an alluring pitch. Who doesn’t want to skip all the hard work and have a website up in minutes?
If services like Squarespace and Wix sound too good to be true, that’s because they kind of are. Sure, you can build a functioning basic website with them, but they’ll hardly ever stack up to a website built to spec around your business. Here’s why:
Lack of Customization
One-size-fits-all websites don’t actually fit all users.The biggest drawbacks of using a templated website through Squarespace or Wix has more to do with what they don’t do. Sites builders like these will get your site online with the basics – a minimalist home page, ability to add pages, and basic ecommerce store functions – but they cap out pretty quickly.
For some businesses, this may sound find on the onset. Maybe all you want right now is a static page with an about section, some details on your services, and your phone number. This type of thinking may seem practical in the moment, but it actually can be detrimental later down the road. As your business continues to grow, you need a website that can grow with it.
Web design and development are rapidly moving industries – you don’t want to get left behind with an outdated website that you can’t build upon. A custom built website can be designed to scale with you. That means you won’t have to start from scratch when the next big trends in the industry come through or when you’re expanding what services you need to be done online.
Another Face in the Crowd
What makes these “ready to go out out of the box” websites so easy to use is the fact that they’re templatized. They give you a few different options to choose from in terms of look and aesthetic, then let you change the colors, text, and images from there. The user functionality makes it easy to use but, again, there’s an issue. If every other user is using the same tools and options as you are with their website, it’s inevitable that your website will end up looking similar to someone else’s. So much for individuality.
When you’re trying to establish a solid brand identity, using a website builder like these can be detrimental to your mission. Your website should look like it’s branded for you, not for Squarespace. It’s like buying a suit. You could try and just take something off the rack and deal with whatever awkward lengths in the arms and legs it may have, or you could get a suit custom tailored for you. The latter will look and feel better. It’s the same thing for your website. Do you want your site to look like everyone else’s? Or would you rather have a site that reflects exactly who you are, right down to the page margins?
Cheap – But It’ll Cost You
Then there’s the biggest hurdle: cost. Monthly and annual plans that are only in the double digits are hard to turn down. It’s gotten cheaper and cheaper to make a website. But like with most things, you’ll get what you pay for. Investing all the time in trying to make a templated website work aesthetically and functionally to your liking will cause more harm than good to your business. You’ll find yourself increasingly frustrated by the limitations.
A Band-Aid Solution
When it comes down to it, these “too good to be true” websites-in-a-box models aren’t sustainable. At best, they’re a temporary Band-Aid solution that serve as a placeholder until a business is ready to invest in their website. Don’t throw your money away into a temporary site that you’ll need to overhaul or rebuild later on.
N2Q can build you a custom website that won’t break your budget. Curious? Learn more about our web design services. If you feel like you’re ready to make the leap to a customized website that will get your business noticed, give us a call today.