The hidden costs of making things easy

Anyone can build their own website now "for free". Tools have been developed to make the process of building and editing websites easier than ever. However if you look at the hidden and long term costs it can be significantly higher for websites that appear to be cheaper. Not just because of ongoing costs, some building methods can produce websites that perform worse than others. Poor performing websites cost more to advertise, can't rank high on search or Google maps, have lower conversion rates, security flaws and more. Here's 9 website building methods to avoid when building websites for business.

Spooky website building shortcuts to avoid

Website builders

Website builders like Wix and Squarespace have limited SEO potential and longer loading times. That's why they advertise creating personal websites rather than for business.

Wordpress Themes

Wordpress themes have a lot of extra un-necessary code and serve content from external SQL databases which slows page load times. Many themes have html code conflicts too which can't be removed.

J-Query

Using JQuery for functional elements like sliders is like carrying around 20 loaves of bread just to make one sandwich. It's really not efficient.

No Qualifications

Some unqualified 'website designers' just buy a Wordpress theme like Divi to build you a generic website in a few minutes and charge between $200-$2000.

Typeform

There's many external tools like form builders or booking forms that you can embed in your website or link to. These tools can be expencive as well as hinder website performance.

Bootstrap

Using tools like Bootstrap makes development so easy but destroys website performance. Still useful for large MVP web apps, really bad for business websites and final products.

Wordpress plugins

Every plugin you add to yor website makes it load slower and adds another way to hack your website. Often you won't know if it's hacked and it can completely destroy your search rankings.

Outsourcing work

You can outsource website development to india for really cheap but it's hardly worth the extra hassle. They almost always use tools like bootstrap or wordpress.

Ecommerce platforms

E-commerce based website builders like Shopify have un-necessary costs, they take a percentage of sales, charge higher ongoing fees and perform just as poorly as any free option like WooCommerce.


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Learn to tell the difference between good and bad websites

It's actually really difficult to tell if a website is good quality without sing development tools to test them. Especially while browsing on desktop. Websites can load pretty fast on wifi (even on mobile) but could still be performing poorly in search or social marketing. One quick thing you can do is run a quick test in Google speed insights, a slightly more technical test using Google Lighthouse, or follow a quick tutorial on testing with Chrome Dev Tools. It could save you a lot of strife in the long run.

Why are fast websites important for business?

Your website has to compete for website traffic. Since search engines and advertising platforms want to deliver the best possible experience for users; it makes sense to display faster websites. So if your website is optimised well it's going to cost less to get more traffic. Basically if your website is fast you could end up paying much less than your competition for the same ads. Getting that top spot on Google search or Maps in your area could make all the difference. If you're testing a new business idea website performance could make the difference between success or failure.

Not all websites are built equal

You might even end up paying a reputable company the same amount for a website. Just because the price is high doesn't mean the end product is going to be quality. Some of the better known agencies are stuck using old tech - but damn are they good at selling things.


Taking development shortcuts has hidden disadvantages, as well as a few obvious ones too:

Why is mobile performance important?

Since more internet users are searching and browsing internet on mobile devices, search engines and social media platforms need to make sure the experience is seamless. That means not only looking greeat on moble but also loading super fast.

So what platforms or methods are safe to use for business?

1. Custom built websites - Static html websites without a CMS, plugins, bootstrap or poor coding practices. It's up to your developer to deliver on these promises or not.

2. Google AMP - AMP pages must meet a strict list of requirements. So you know your website code is always going to be clean. The technical advantage of AMP over regular static sites is that you can add functionality like pricing calculators without hindering performance.

While there's a few options out there for larger web apps it's better to stick with the above options for business websites. Unless you want a $10,000+ website that loads slower anyway. So when you ask for a business website quote pay attention to the the following details:

Avoid: Bootstrap, jQuery, Wordpress, Joomla, online website builders, shopify, Conetent Management Systems.

Safe: custom built HTML5 or template based HTML5 websites - so long as they have limited JS. PHP & Python for event handlers like message forms. Google AMP framework.


Don't take shortcuts

Website performance is integral for ranking up in google which can have a massive impact on your business. Skip the stage most business owners take of buying a cheap cookie cutter website. Stand out with a custom coded website using the newest web standards to get your website performing well on search engines. Get a high converting website one built just for you.

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