Why templating websites like Squarespace are making us money

Top 4 (by usage),

website builder services

1. Wix

2. Squarespace

3. Weebly

4. Jimdo

Runners up:

1. LightCMS

2. SmugMug

3. Blogger

4. Shopify

5. Sitey

6. Webs

7. DudaOne

8. Sitelio

9. GoDaddy

10. Yola

...and a lot more

1

Wix

  • 73 million users in 190 countries

  • 45,000 daily signups on average

  • 100s of templates

  • 100s apps (Free & Paid)

  • 1,000+ employees

  • £2.55 – £15.56pm

Squarespace

  • 'Millions' of users

  • 503 employees

  • 100s templates

  • ~ £3.50 – £53pm

Weebly

  • 30 million users/sites

  • 100s apps (Free & Paid)

  • £0 – £17pm

Jimdo

  • 15 million users/sites

  • 100s tools/widgets (Free & Paid)

  • 200 employees

  • £0 – £15pm

What's the draw

of a website

builder service?

Cheaper (usually) than web designers


Fast to launch a site


Tons of ready-made templates for multiple

sectors (blogging, photograhy, e-commerce,

events, music, food, portfolio etc)


Minimal learning curve


Good content editing and publishing tools


Easy upgrade plans for more features


Many services have an add-on/extensions

library for even more tools and functionality


Hosting included


How on earth

could these

services be making us any money?!

1. We can use them

Finding a place

Two examples:
 

1. e-commerce

Shopify 'Unlimited' plan = £120pm / £1,440py

 

2. Fast turnaround/lower budgets

Wix 'Unlimited' plan = £14.31pm / £171.72py

 

In both, there is significant opportunity to add markup on-top even for clients whose upper limit budgets are ~£3–10K

2. Where is

the personal relationship?

Relationship

Finding appropriate solutions to a client’s needs comes through investment in people.

 

Website builders don’t work that way. Rarely if ever do you speak to someone in person or over the phone.

 

There will be a large element of compromise.

3. Crafting together

Crafting

A digital presence is often more important than a physical one. Brands are judged by their 
digital presence.

 

The ambitious clients we want to work with require something bespoke, a 'shopfront' unlike anyone else.

 

Boxhead craft all of the above, something a website builder template just can’t do.

4. Support

Support

When something goes wrong—and it will, this is the internet—there’s often no ‘human’ face to contact on website builder services:

 

 

 

Boxhead is different, clients can contact anyone of the team directly by phone, email and Basecamp.

Ticketing + online chat + email  !==  phone call / face-to-face

5. Content Management

CMS

Most Website Builder services are very rigid and uncompromising.
They provide little customisation.
Templates are built in advance of content.

 

Craft and ExpressionEngine however are highly customisable and extensible making no assumptions about how you want to arrange and organise content.

6. SEO

SEO

In most cases without additional expense, a website builder service won't achieve the following:

  • Speed
  • Clean URLs
  • Meta tags (custom titles/descriptions)
  • ‘Mobile Friendliness’

 

Boxhead delivers these as standard for all our sites.

Conclusion

Conclusion

The ambitious clients that we aspire to work with and those with the budgets to match could go and create a very cheap website themselves.

 

With a little guidance and instruction it should be easy to educate a potential client round to using a bespoke solution that meets all their expected outcomes, that meets the usability requirements of users and that ranks well in search engine results.