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It?s easy to get swept up in adverts for website builders such as Wix or Squarespace that promise the ability to build your own website in minutes. As a small business owner, you?ve got to watch every penny. So why should you pay a couple of thousand bucks to a web designer when you can do it yourself for a low monthly fee?
But there?s a catch. There is always a catch. The kind of website that you build with Wix or Squarespace is a million miles away from the kind of website a professional web designer will deliver. As one of your business? key pieces of collateral, it is important that your website does more than looking good. Don?t believe us? Here are five ways a Wix or Squarespace website will let your business down.
1. Your website won?t get found
Part of the reason many business owners get a website is to reach a larger customer base. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great way for websites to attract users through search engines like Google. Website builders have notoriously bad SEO, however. Because these builders are drag-and-drop, they spit out a jumble of code that is so poorly structured it is hard for Google to crawl it. If Google struggles to crawl it, you'll rank badly. And there?s nothing you can do to improve it, either. That means that even if you hire an SEO agency, they will have a tough time working their magic on your website if it?s built using Wix.
2. It will look bad on mobile
You look at websites on your smartphone, right? Exactly, and so do millions of other Americans. In fact, more people access Google on their phones than on desktops or laptops. With so many potential customers using the Internet on their smartphone, it?s important that your website looks great on mobile devices. Unfortunately, these website builders primarily care about how your website looks on desktop PCs. There are no guarantees that it will work well or look good on smartphones. A web designer, on the other hand, will usually build up from mobile first to ensure that your site looks great on any device.
3. It will be slow
A fast website is key for great user experience. No one likes using a website that takes ages to load. In fact, most users will leave a website if it takes longer than a few seconds to load. If you want to convert visitors into customers, you need your website to be fast. Unfortunately, the bad code that makes it hard to rank a Squarespace website in Google also means your website will be slow. And just like with SEO, there?s very little you can do to improve it. A professional designer, however, will minimize code and images in order to make your website load as fast as possible. Your customers will thank you for it.
4. It won?t scale with your business
Most web designers will use a Content Management System (CMS) to build your website. This will usually be WordPress. A CMS lets you add new pages to your website and edit the content of your website after you have built it. So when you need to add a new service or write a new article, it?s incredibly easy to do. This isn?t the case with a website builder. Once you?ve built it, there?s very little you can do to change it. You?re stuck with it.
5. You can?t move it
Using a website builder like Squarespace or Wix doesn?t just mean that your website won?t scale, it?s also very difficult to move it if you decide to go in a different direction. Worse still, you don?t actually own the website. Wix or Squarespace owns the website and you must continue to pay them in order to use it. If you want to move away and have a website that you own or control, you?ll have to start from scratch. It?s much easier to hire a professional web designer from the start who can build a great website that is actually yours to own and use as you wish.
See? Using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace isn?t all it is cracked up to be. If you care about your business and want to hire a professional web designer, get started with a free quote from us today. We can build the WordPress website your business deserves.
Searching for the Perfect Home for Your Online Business: Web Hosting
It might seem a bit intimidating when you first start the process of bringing your business online. Your head is spinning from the many options you see online. Where do you start? What is the best home for your business online? You know what you want your customers to see. You understand that it is not prudent to just put your website out there on the Internet by yourself.
Web hosting solves many of the issues that website owners face to get attention and keep their website running 24/7. The web host can provide a home for your business online by giving your website an identity on the Internet and by maintaining the site 24/7. As you are aware there are many web hosts out there for you to choose from according to what you need. When you are first starting out online, the dazzling array of web hosting providers can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are quite a few web hosts that understand how intimidating these choices can be to someone who is starting a website for the first time.
When it all comes down to who you will select to host your website, the main thing to remember is that the web hosting provider is reliable. In other words, reviews of the web hosting provider are positive in three key areas.
Uptime-You need to know if the web host's server has issues with maintaining websites 24/7. The better the score with keeping websites running smoothly, the more business you'll probably receive online.
Ease of upgrades- This includes power upgrades and memory storage options with security features that protect sensitive information.
Ability to create more than one domain name-This means that you can have more than one “home” on the Internet.
The Drivers-Shared, Dedicated, VSP or Cloud web hosting
Now that you determined what you want in your website you next need to determine what type of web host provider you'll utilize for your website. Some of the drivers in this process are how advanced your IT knowledge is and cash flow. Other drivers are:
Shared web host providers are the cheapest in price and usually the easiest to install and update. Bluehost is the most popular shared web host because its powerful platform is easy to install and easy to update. The price is right for individuals or small businesses just starting out.
The downside with shared hosting providers is that you are sharing space with other websites on the same server. There is also not as much security on shared hosting servers as there is on other hosting servers.
The biggest difference between shared web hosting and VPS web hosting is that it's more secure and more private. Each user receives his own slice of CPU time and space which is shared by the same server. This means that each user is responsible for what happens to their memory and has control over the content.
The downside is that it is usually more expensive and time-consuming to install and set up. It also requires some technical knowledge to get the connections up and running to the server.
This type of web hosting is for technical experts who want the responsibilities involved in running and maintaining their own websites. The biggest benefit is that you have control over your server and are in charge of everything that goes on it.
The drawbacks are that whatever goes wrong is your responsibility to fix. This is the reason why it really isn't prudent to put your website out there all by yourself. There is also a higher cost involved with this type of web hosting.
Cloud web hosting has become very popular over the past five years or so. Cloud web hosting is different because there is no set server directing web traffic. Everything is done through a virtual interface which directs traffic and has unlimited memory capabilities. This type of web hosting can be either public or private. Public clouds are virtual clouds that gather public information and direct it instantaneously through the networks. Private clouds are more secure clouds that have gatekeepers for certain information.
The beauty of cloud hosting is that you can be as flexible as you need to be with your data. Most cloud web hosts have a “pay as you use” program set up. The downside with this type of web hosting is the fact that it is still considered very insecure.
Figuring out What You Need for Your Website
An important element to figuring out what you need for your website is determining your platform. The foundation of your home online should be solid enough to withstand frequent use. If you're not sure at this point what you need for a good platform, you might want to consider utilizing a web host provider that offers an “all-in-one” plan like the one offered by iPage. All-in-one plans take the guesswork out of creating the perfect website with the tools you need to ensure your website is running efficiently. When researching this plan you definitely need to consider how you are going to use the website.
The flexibility of clouds is probably the best reason to choose this type of web hosting. The stability of a dedicated web host is why you'd choose this type of web hosting. Beginners are best served with shared or cloud web hosting for their websites.
When it comes to getting a new website, you will no doubt have a specific vision in mind for how you wish to attract your target audience. You?ll also have some idea of the content you want on your site, and how you wish to interact with your visitors.
For the most part, people either design their new websites themselves or they hire a professional to do the work for them. But, what many new site owners often forget about is a consideration for their website hosting requirements.
Any website needs to get hosted on an Internet-connected Web server somewhere so that it can be publicly accessible. Do a quick search online, and you?ll come across thousands of hosting providers. So, finding one isn?t a problem; you just need to pick the right one for your needs! With that in mind, this practical cheat sheet will tell you all you need to know about Web hosting.
Why it matters to choose the right host
Like with most things in life, there are reputable and dependable hosting companies, and there are the scam ones that offer a sub-standard service. As you can appreciate, it?s in your interests to select a good host for your website!
You may not know it, but there are many reasons why it pays to choose a hosting company that offers a superior service:
Fast access speed – search engines like Google will lower your rank (standing) on their indices if your website is slow to connect to;
Help when you need it – if you accidentally break something on your website, a reputable host will assist you by restoring your site data from a previous backup. Many will also diagnose the reason why something isn?t working on your website;
Value for money – you don?t want to pay money for a sub-standard service;
Flexibility – if you need to increase your disk space or bandwidth, or install new software on your site, a good host can easily accommodate those needs for you.
How to choose the right host for your needs
Now you know the importance of selecting a reputable hosting provider, you now need to find one! But, how do you do that? It turns out that searching for a good host is easier than you think.
You just need to ask yourself a few questions to know what type of hosting package you need:
What type of website am I hosting? If you plan to use something like WordPress, you?ll need a host that offers database connectivity;
Where is my target audience? If your site is aimed at a domestic audience, choose a host that is based in the same country as you;
What server facilities do I need? Examples include email mailboxes, FTP access, and provision for CRON jobs;
How much do I want to pay? It?s important to set yourself a budget and find a best-of-class hosting provider for your budget.
Now it?s possible to shortlist a selection of prospective Web hosts for your website. Once you?ve done that, review all feedback for each provider using sites like Reevoo. Afterward, do a Google search for any discount offers for the host you wish to use.
For instance, if you want to select GoDaddy as your future website host, search for GoDaddy promo codes that you can enter online when you order your hosting package.
Last, but not least, you will come across all kinds of terms and acronyms for Web hosting. But, what do they all mean, and are they relevant to you? Here?s a list of the most common ones that you should know:
PHP – scripting language that most hosts offer on their servers. A plethora of online software packages are written in PHP;
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