Public Service Announcement – Please Say No to Sitebuilders

Last night I was online looking for the websites of some local restaurants to try and find menus, prices, etc. The usual Thursday evening. There’s a very nice looking and probably fairly upmarket Indian restaurant near me that I was trying to find a website for. It didn’t take long to find the website. But when I got onto the website I was wondering whether I was at the right place.

But the address of the place checked out. My jaw hit the floor in disgust. I wasn’t going to post the website, but I think it’ll help illustrate matters if I do.

This is the culprit

From that website you’d never know that the restaurant is a very plus looking, smart and inviting Indian restaurant. What you will presume is that it’s highly likely to be one of those slightly skeezy and always empty restaurants.

Not only does it look horrendous, but there’s pretty much zero information on it! There’s not even a hint of a menu, there’s one proper image of the food and that lot of completely unnecessary ‘SEO text’ at the top and bottom of the page. (Seriously, who thinks this works anymore!?)

I dug a little further and looked at the source code. That’s where I found something very interesting in the meta tags for content:

BT Customerstreet Sitebuilder 3.6

It was made using a site builder! ARGHH! Ok, I get it. Not everyone’s a web designer. Thank god. Not everyone can put a website together. And yet people still think that a cheap and sometimes free site builder is the best way to go to have their business represented online. Why!?

If you really want a free website, or near as free, and don’t have any experience in the web world go to WordPress.com and get yourself a free site there! No it’s not just blogs. Yes, you can create full websites. For free. Really, I’d say get some help from someone who knows what they’re doing. But if you’re intent on doing it yourself with no experience, go to WordPress.com. Sign up, read up and get some help in their forums if needs be. They’re really friendly people! Mostly.

But don’t, for the love of god, use a site builder. They will never do your business any justice. Or whatever you’re creating a website for.

I’ve just had a horrible thought – what if a so-called ‘web designer’ did design that site and used a site builder?

And no, I haven’t been sponsored by anyone to make this post. I just saw that website and was so shocked I felt the need to share. I love that more people are getting online and creating websites and the web is growing. But I’m not happy that it’s growing with so many half-arsed and ugly websites.

PSA done.