Ok that may be a bit exaggerated, there are a couple (literally two) reasons someone may want to use a website builder company like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, but for the vast majority of website owners, you should stay far away from these companies.

They own your website, not you.  If you decide to leave them, you cannot just move your website, exactly as is, somewhere else.  You will be starting over, from scratch.  That’s why they reel you in with great sounding offers, they know you probably won’t leave when you find out you have to start over.

They restrict what you can do with your website, and up-charge you  for everything! Seriously, want to use your own domain? There’s an extra fee for that… Need a store?  There’s an extra fee for that… Want more than 3 products in your store?  There’s an extra fee for that… Don’t like the payment gateway they offer?  Too bad, there’s no way to integrate one they do not offer… Want to integrate email marketing?  There’s an extra fee for that… Want a booking system? If it is even an option, there’s an extra fee for that… Want a custom email account with your domain, good luck most don’t offer that… We could go one for days, but you probably get the point.  They hold all the keys to your castle!

Support, what support… You might think that paying a website builder company means you would get premium support, but no, you are just another number in line.  Much like most customer service centers, when you call the 1-800 number you start with the agents that know nothing and give you canned responses, you have to escalate, usually a few times, to get to a person that can really answer your question.   The forums are even worse!  There are questions that have been waiting MONTHS for a response, NOT what you would expect from a company you are paying a premium to.  The open source nature of WordPress allows companies like Virtual WP Training to offer their own services related to WordPress, we answer our forum questions in 48 hours or less (usually less!)

OK, so we did say there are two reasons you may want to use a website builder company, here they are- (they are dependent on each other)  Reasons 1 & 2: You need a basic website up, fast and cheap and do not care about branding or extending to do anything else it in the future.  Obviously if you are a business that wants to create a presence on the web, that should be a no-go, same goes for anyone needing to manage members, sell products or services or collect information from users.  However, if you are a teacher or my grandma and want a website for sharing pictures or homework, then you might want to use a website builder company (Though we would recommend a Facebook Group instead.)

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