The 'Cookie Cutter' build your own website dilemma
Posted: Mar 03, 2019
Among the primary reasons behind the high rate of failure among start-ups is cash flow or the lack of capital. Due to this, budget constraints are constantly on the plate in a big way making every single cent count. This drives entrepreneurs to cut corners and more often than not entrepreneurs allocate bigger budgets on less rewarding initiatives and squeeze budgets where it is really needed and among the item that suffers the ‘budget squeeze’ frequently are websites.
To make matters worse, entrepreneurs even register with web builder sites and try to pull off the website issue on their own and create what most professionals call ‘a cookie cutter website. These cookie-cutter websites are usually built using "cheap" cookie-cutter platforms for web development, many are offered as free website builders from hosting companies, and others are offered as a standalone service to simply drag and drop your own website.
The pull factor of the concept that has drawn millions into its trap only seems good on the surface, but in truth, your business based digital reach is rendered almost dead even before it starts breathing.
Websites built on Cookie-Cutter platforms takes away the uniqueness of your website, and to make matters worse whatever product differentiation that you might have to offer is neutralised by these cookie-cutter websites. Among the most important aspect of any business is differentiation and if this factor is not present, it places a value proposition question mark in the minds of the consumer. Using these websites to try and promote your business eliminates the ‘differentiation factor almost entirely rendering your products and services as just another offer that does not have the ‘bite’.
Apart from that the amount of control you will be having over your website will be critically low as all you are paying for is basically the cost of renting pre-set templates and hosting.
Switching costs also increase exponentially when you finally come to the realisation that the website does not really work as well as you thought it would and you decide to migrate to another new platform, you will be pushed all the way back to square one again. To make matters even worse, most people are not aware of the fact that SEO or (Search Engine Optimization), doesn’t really embrace cookie-cutter website’s and potential customers will not be able to locate you as the possibility of you showing up on searches is close to zero. Good SEO basically requires considerable due diligence, back-end coding and a constant eye on Google’s algorithms as well as algorithms of other search engines that are frequently tweaked.
To put things into perspective as simply as possible, these types of websites are not unique, they do not belong to you, flexibility is virtually nil, and most importantly the worst investment an entrepreneur can make. Yes, your website should be a priority among your list of investments as websites are basically ‘first contact’ with customers and if your website is a slapstick 5 minute template site and your competitor has a fully coded and functional website, rest assured, you will be out of the game before you even know it, Cookies anyone?
Roy Ellery is a professional writer and media company director from Melbourne, Australia