web design coding

Website Design Builders – and Why To Avoid Using Them

Over the last 15 years we’ve seen website design progress leaps and bounds. In the early ’90s, websites were often built by programmers, graphic designers and were often coded in .ASP and basic HTML. As time progressed, and technological developments changed, we saw PHP, Javascript and CSS change way websites were fundamentally built. Content management systems started being built and it wasn’t long before WordPress, Joomla and other third party CMS’s starting popping up all over the place. Content management systems use PHP and MySQL technology, often running on Apache and Linux servers. The progressive swap-over from using Windows IIS servers to Linux Apache servers, due to being free and more reliable, made all the difference. We’ve seen WYSIWYG ( what you see is what you get) editors change the way the web developed too, and Adobe Dreamweaver, Kompozer and other versions have allowed people without prior knowledge of html, to design websites by a drag-and-drop method.

WYSIWYG editors got bad press, because of the superfluous coding which resulted after drag and drop website building. Either way, this didn’t hugely effect your website ranking; Google back in those days just didn’t make a big deal about it.

Unfortunately in the last few years, we’ve seen website building packages, provided by hosting companies, pop-up with ridiculous monthly fees, some as expensive as £70 a month. Totally absurd – just so you can edit your own website which will barely rank on Google. You develop your website using the GUI (graphics user interface) server-side and the website is compressed using flash technology, with no FTP access and no way of exporting your site to a cheaper hosting option.

55173-1-1-mywebsite-boxI’m going to give one example, that being 1 & 1. Their site builder is atrocious, difficult to use, monetising at roughly  £70 a month just to use the damned thing, and poor performing at best. Sometimes these sites are hosted in different countries making it almost impossible to rank locally for geographical keywords (Google knows relevant local keywords are the targets, and different countries aren’t very relevant to your position geographically).

Ultimately, just avoid these options. There are different versions, for example WiX website builder, Zenfolio (photography templates and website builder) and many more, all equally worthless in the fact that they seldom ever rank for anything, ever. And are difficult to SEO because the technology is sometimes flash-based (a big no-no), compressed and hosted with terrible IP addresses etc etc. The list goes on.

muse_cc_splashYou can use something like Adobe Muse CC – good piece of kit. Originally designed to take Adobe Dreamweaver’s place, and allows the designer to concentrate on the aesthetics without knowledge of a single piece of code. Great idea, with terrible consequences if you aren’t careful. Using the Pingdom Website Speed Test, you can pretty much determine the speed of a site.
The first example is a site built by Adobe Muse CC. The second below it – is this site 212.113.132.191.

speed on website
Adobe Muse built Website. This actually crashed the Pingdom test, but the screen grab before it did, shows a huge 6.7 Megabyte of page size, and a long load time of 6 seconds. This site would be a nightmare on a tablet or a mobile phone, regardless of responsive capability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

luke-sutton-website-design-speed
My site. Much faster, just 36 server requests, insanely small at just 394 Kilobytes, and a load time of 0.7 seconds. This is WordPress used correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save money, get your website built properly and avoid the so-called cheaper options, which later charge £60+ a month for website builder charges and hosting.