In today’s digital age, your online presence is a critical component of your business’s success. A well-designed, functional website is often the first point of contact between your potential customers and your brand. Many businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), rely on WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website editors like the ones found in Square, Weebly, Wix, GoDaddy, Google Sites, etc. to create and maintain their websites. While these editors offer ease of use and convenience, they can inadvertently harm a business’s online reputation. In this article, we’ll explore the hidden dangers of WYSIWYG website editors and how they can negatively impact your online reputation.
The Allure of WYSIWYG Editors
WYSIWYG website editors gained immense popularity due to their user-friendly interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality. They allow users with minimal technical skills to create and update websites without the need for coding or design expertise. This accessibility is undoubtedly a boon for many business owners, enabling them to save time and money by avoiding the cost of professional web developers.
The Hidden Dangers
Cookie-Cutter Designs: WYSIWYG editors often come with templates and themes that promise a quick and easy website setup. The downside is that these templates are generic, resulting in cookie-cutter designs that fail to stand out in a crowded online space. A generic website can leave a negative impression on potential customers who may perceive your business as unoriginal or unprofessional.
Limited Customization: While these editors offer some customization options, they are inherently limited. As your business evolves and you seek to incorporate new features or adapt to changing market trends, you may find yourself constrained by the limitations of your chosen WYSIWYG editor. This can lead to a stagnant online presence that doesn’t reflect your business’s growth and innovation.
SEO Challenges: Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for online visibility. WYSIWYG editors often generate messy, inefficient, or non-SEO-friendly code, making it difficult to rank well on search engines. Poor SEO can result in your website being buried in search results, making it challenging for potential customers to find you online.
Performance Issues: Many WYSIWYG websites suffer from slow load times and poor performance. Slow-loading websites frustrate visitors and can cause them to abandon your site, leading to missed opportunities and a tarnished reputation. Users equate slow websites with unprofessionalism and unreliability.
Lack of Mobile Responsiveness: With an increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, mobile responsiveness is crucial. WYSIWYG editors often struggle to deliver mobile-friendly designs, which can alienate a significant portion of your audience and negatively impact your reputation.
The Way Forward
While WYSIWYG editors have their downsides, they’re not inherently evil. It’s possible to use them effectively while mitigating the risks they pose to your online reputation. Here are some strategies to consider:
Professional Guidance: Consult with a professional web designer like the Digital Magicians at XC Media Design, even if you choose to use a WYSIWYG editor. They can help you customize your website to reflect your brand effectively, ensure SEO best practices, and optimize performance.
Regular Updates: Continuously update and refresh your website to keep it current and in line with your business’s evolution. This might require more frequent adjustments than a typical WYSIWYG user anticipates.
Mobile Optimization: Ensure that your website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile devices to provide a seamless user experience.
Consider Alternatives: If the limitations of your WYSIWYG editor become too constricting, consider transitioning to a more flexible content management system (CMS) and hiring a professional web developer (we’re looking at you) to build a custom website tailored to your business’s specific needs.
While WYSIWYG website editors offer convenience and cost savings, businesses need to be aware of the hidden dangers they can pose to their online reputations. By taking a strategic approach, involving professionals when necessary, and continuously updating and optimizing your site, you can use these editors effectively while safeguarding your online image. Your website is often the first impression you make on potential customers, so it’s essential to ensure that impression is a positive and lasting one.
Let the professionals at XC Media Design take a peak and provide you with a free audit of your website. Click here to Schedule a Creative Building Session with XC Media Design today or give us a ring at 401.315.8338! We look forward to chatting with you!