DIY website builders like Wix or Squarespace may seem great because they enable people to build their own websites, and even promote that the service is “free” (caution: nothing is really “free”). But before you try to save a few bucks and build your own site using one of these services, there are a few things you should know.
Let me start with a story. It’s so important to me to help other businesses that I “took one for the team” to prove my theory that Wix sites are bad for your business. We did a test with the Bare Knuckle Digital site (the very one you’re looking at now) and in July of 2015 we only had 14 total visits to the site, and only 9 of those from organic search. After switching back to WordPress, we have had over 800 visits in the last month and over half of those visits are from organic search. I’m willing to share these sensitive numbers with you because it’s so important to see the impact of what a site like Wix will do to your traffic.
Another example I’d like to share is one of Squarespace vs. a non-DIY type site. I optimized websites for two different tattoo shops in Cincinnati. The content and positioning is almost identical. However, the Squarespace site only gets a few hundred visits a month whereas the other site gets over 4000.
I’m not in the business of bashing other companies. Everyone deserves a right to build a company and be successful and I certainly don’t want to put anyone out of business, nor do I think my little blog post is going to even affect Wix. Companies like Wix aren’t all bad. If you can’t afford a professional web designer, and you don’t really care about getting any traffic from search engines, then Wix might be right for you.
Here are some stats you might want to consider if you think search engine traffic isn’t important to the success of your business:
- 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions (Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive Annual Global Study)
- 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (Forrester study 2006)
An example of a Wix site that works (sort of) is my 15 year old son’s site dizzyskateco.com. We purchased the upgraded version, which is about $200 a year, so that he could remove the ads from the free version and add e-commerce to sell his products. My son has a legitimate business, with a registered LLC in the state of Ohio, a business advisor, and a business plan. But he is also responsible for his own decisions within his business, and he decided that $200 a year was better than paying for a website up front. I explained that he wouldn’t get much traffic to his site, and his response was that “no one is going to search for me, they are going to find me on social media.” And he’s right, mostly. But he isn’t selling product on his website. He’s selling it like crazy on social media, so we know there’s a demand. Just think of how his business would improve if he were being found for the multitude of searches that exist in his market. Guess what? He’s considering the investment in a WordPress site now.
If you already have a website, look at your current tracking data (assuming you’ve setup Google Analytics) and note how much traffic you currently get from organic search engines. If you switch to a Wix site, you will lose the majority of that traffic. For some companies, this means hundreds or even thousands of new visitors each month. Can your business sustain itself through a hit like that?
If I haven’t convinced you yet, chances are you’re just hung up on the cost of building a website. Think of it this way – if you save $2000 to $5000 now (what a website might cost you if you hire a kick-ass company like Bare Knuckle Digital), how much revenue are you going to lose by NOT reaching hundreds or thousands of new people every MONTH? You’ll make that money back in a very short time, and be off and running with a profitable business. Think long term, think about the success of your business, and invest in yourself. You deserve it.
Need more? There’s a reason articles like this have been written:
5 Reasons Why You Should Not Use Wix for Your Website
5 Ways Wix Websites Will Nix Your Business
I hope I haven’t just crushed your dreams by telling you that the idea you thought was brilliant is actually not good for your business. You are probably pissed at me. I’m sorry for that. But I’m not gonna leave ya hangin’! There’s a solution. Turn a Wix site into a WordPress site. You can create a layout in Wix, and a good development team who knows WordPress can re-code the site into a WordPress template. That’s how we resurrected our search engine visibility, and proved that it can be done. Check out the Wix and WordPress versions of our site below. We decided to change a few colors when we switched, but overall you can see how similar the sites are.
So the moral of the story is this: don’t sacrifice the success of your business by trying to save a few bucks with a Wix website. If you don’t care about search engine traffic then Wix might be a good fit. But ultimately you’ll pay the price in the long run. And search engine traffic IS important to any business.
If you need a development team who can turn your Wix site into a WordPress site, or just build a great site that’s findable, contact Bare Knuckle Digital. We have budget-friendly pricing for small businesses and we want to see you succeed! Knuckle up and get in touch: 513-444-2159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.