A site builder is essentially a complicated script that lets you develop a website yourself. It gives you a step by step, wizard style interface to make HTML pages that you can use either on your website or otherwise. It lets you choose things like the color, the style, the font – as you go through the process. Once you have done those things, it gives you a finished product. This may be easy to do, and quick – in comparison to hiring a web site developer, but it has a lot of disadvantages. Some of which are;
1. You may not own the intellectual property rights to the code on your own website.
Some web site builder websites, such as Squarespace do not give you the intellectual property rights to the HTML on the site. This means that you do not own the code on your website, ie. Squarespace owns it, and licenses it to you. They provide this expressly on their website in the Terms of Service; which says:
“Subject to the terms of this License, the Company hereby grants you a personal, non-transferable, revocable, non-exclusive, non-sublicensable limited license to (i) download, copy, modify, and display the Template, (ii) create Template Works, and (iii) distribute the object code versions of Template Works to third party Users”
This means, that you pay them money each month for ‘license fees’ – you could end up being booted out of their system for any reason, or you may choose to switch providers and they could sue you for putting up the exact same website, with another provider. They may not do that – but they have the right to it. This is extremely unfair, given the high price you pay for a service such as Squarespace. Some of their plans cost $24 a month. At that price, if you paid for 2 years, you could own the entire code and get a custom made website, by an actual human being. You could own the entire intellectual property rights to your own website, by paying for merely 2 years, probably lesser if you got a better deal from a designer.
2. You don’t want to stick with them for ever, you want to reduce the costs.
If you owned the code and intellectual property to the website, you could host it for just $3.96 a month, on a long term basis. Many reputable web hosting providers, would give you hosting for $3.96 a month. Its much cheaper to have your own custom made website designed and coded by a developer. If you made your website by a developer, you could have it done for $300-$500 and host it for $3.96 a month. If you did a 5 year contract for hosting – you could get it done for about $637 – but if you got a website builder like Squarespace, you could end up spending $1440. That is a whooping saving of $803!
3. Free publicity for the web builder.
Most web builders will create a free back link on your website, this is very helpful for them from a search engine perspective. They get the good side of the deal from both ends. Not only do they charge you a great deal of money, they also place back links on client’s websites. This way they get publicity which in turn, helps them get more customers.
If you spend money building your brand, and do serious link building or search engine optimization for your website, it will end up extremely expensive doing so – if you’re doing it on borrowed land (ie. on someone else’s intellectual property). It is always better to build your internet presence on property you own, not someone else’s.
There are limited advantages of using a website builder, such as cost – if you want a temporary website, such as a website for a conference or an event – a web builder is the way to go. But, you should not use a website builder for a long term website or a business website. Read and do your research before you buy.
At HostingXtreme we undertake web designing services, and also offer web hosting services for all types of websites. We also offer almost all domain names at cheap rates. Drop us a line if you need more information. We offer an unlimited hosting plan for all types of websites.
By Alex H D