You know better. Don’t use website builders like Elementor.
I don’t know about you, but the main reason I have this website is very simple. It is to find customers. More precisely, to be found by customers.
Back in the day, I naively assumed customers would type my URL and find me. But customers don’t know I even exist, let alone know my URL. So how else would they find me?
A better assumption I have now is, customers will type “website design” and my website will show up. Well Google says, “Keep on dreaming” 😜
If you agree with me, with that better answer, we can proceed to the next issue. I assumed that I will show up on search engine result pages (aka SERP). But on the internet, to show up when people want you, is the hardest thing ever. To be honest, it is even very hard in real life.
Trust is import for computers just as it is for people
Why? Because there are trillions of websites. And most of them have been around for much longer years than my website. So, Google knows & trusts them better than my site. Simple as that. The work of search engines revolves around trust, and I am not trusted by them yet. It will take time and solid skills, just like human relationships, to build this trust.
Sadly though, that is not the only reason. There are way more complicated reasons that my website won’t appear for keywords like “website design” on the front page of Google. And I won’t get into those now. Btw, this is what we call SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
But what if I told you, of all the complicated reasons there is one crucial factor, which if you get right, you could build solid trust with Google. Consequently, increase your chance of appearing in SERPs.
One simple word. PERFORMANCE.
Yes, there is one strong factor you can leverage starting the day of your website launch. PERFORMANCE. By performance, I mean the speed of your website and webpages. I other words, the time it takes to load and render your content. Google experts and a number of SEO experts themselves preach website performance over and over again. It is for a good reason too. If you get performance right, it will highly improve your chance of appearing on SERPS. Most importantly it will improve your website’s usability.
Why Website Builders? 😒
So, my question is WHY DO YOU USE WEBSITE BUILDERS ON YOUR WEBSITE? Of course, I am assuming that you are a technical person. I get it, page builders might be okay for non-technical people (who don’t care about SEO). They give you a professional-looking website without any coding. What I struggle to comprehend is why SEO experts, designers and developers use them. Who in my opinion know better.
Yes, website builders like Elementor are a bad choice if you know how to code, and have resources. By resources, I meant time and budget.
Website Builders Give You Bad Start
You are probably thinking, there is speed optimization for a website builder, blah blah. Yes, I know. There is optimization to make a normal website fast. But what do you do with a bloated website that has no hope? Nothing. You just started in the worst way possible. Believe me, I have tried.
Most of the sites built with Elementor have more than 40 server requests. That for me is just insane. And for what? For a slider that you find everywhere on the internet? That is the worst starting position for the tough race of SEO.
On top of all this, when customers hire a blogger for their website, the default editor is gone. I know, some of these tools might let you activate it back. However, when you activate it and work with the WordPress editor, the fancy design is gone. Now, you have to choose between your fancy design & the simplicity of WordPress.
If you make it this far, you are probably asking who I am to talk? Yes, you are right, my website doesn’t rank well for “website design” yet. But it ranks very well for long-tail keywords like “Website design in Addis Ababa”, “website design in Ethiopia” and a bunch of other keywords that I target.
I used a simple theme I built myself using plain HTML, CSS, and JS to build this website. It doesn’t use any CSS or JS framework. Not even Bootstrap and JQuery. In return, I get a simple professional looking site that is FAST. Previously, I had a website built with bootstrap, this change has improved my SEO tremendously. As you can see my website doesn’t have that much content and backlinks. Hence, all the SEO advantage I have over my competitors is simple down to PERFORMANCE.
To sum up, my point, if you are a technical person with a sane mind, please build using a simple tool. WordPress is one of them. Especially, if the customer is paying you a good compensation for your effort. Please feel for your customers and refrain from using website builders. They might not know better, but you do. And if you know better, you should do better.