Website builders are online platforms that make it easy to build your own site. You can choose from industry-specific templates, then add your own text and images to bring your site to life. Website builders like Pedestal include built-in marketing strategies and are exclusively for tradies. Wix offers a simple drag-and-drop design. And WordPress is super powerful but has a steep learning curve.
You’re curious about building your own website but you also want to avoid a flaming dumpster fire of a site that sends leads running for the hills.
And that’s good.
It means you know that tradesperson websites have common goals – attract visitors, generate leads, and create new business.
At Tradie Digital we specialise in creating custom SEO websites, but we’re not going to tell you that you can’t build your own website. That would be a lie (and any web design company who says otherwise only wants your cash).
You 100% can build your own site without knowing a thing about coding, or web development, or design. Using website builders you’ll have a platform that’s easy to use and doesn’t require anything but a computer, working internet, and a spare few hours.
It’s worth pointing out that a DIY website won’t always have the features it needs to rank on Google, or generate leads while you sleep. But if your goal is to create a simple website that puts your brick-and-mortar business online, we’ll teach you how.
In this article we’ll explore 3 unique website builders, weigh up their pros and cons, and leave you with a few tips to get you started if you’re looking to build your own site.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
I want a simple website that’s done over the weekend, what do you recommend?
These ‘drag-and-drop’ website builders focus on simple sites and simple designs. There’s zero experience required and all you’ll need to do is drag and drop your content and images.
Pedestal is our preference (as it’s specifically built for tradespersons and comes pre-optimzed out of the box with your marketing strategy in built). Read more about that here. Each of these website builders also comes with pre-made themes to match hundreds of industries, so you don’t need to spend your nights taking web design courses online. You can literally choose a theme that’s already been customised to suit your trade, and save yourself hours of work.
If you don’t have a website yet you’ll need a domain – this is your website’s URL, for example www.yourwebsite.com.au, and a website host. But making things easy, most website builders have domain plans and built-in hosting options, so you’ll pay one lump sum to build your website as well as choose your URL and get it hosted.
If you’d like to learn more about building your own website. Go to our article “How to build your own website”.
What’s the catch? Are there drawbacks to a simple site?
With a few clicks you can have your site up and running, with a theme that suits your niche, and all the crucial tech features covered in your price.
So, what’s the drawback? Well for one these sites are user-friendly and that makes them very attractive for beginners. That sounds like a positive at first, but what’s easy for you is easy for every other trade from Perth to Sydney.
There’s a chance your drag-and-drop website will look suspiciously like every other tradie in your area. After all, if you’re keen to click a few buttons and get your website live in minutes, don’t you think your competition are keen to do the same?
Secondly, these simple website builders are just that – simple.
They’re not designed to generate leads and boost your conversion rate, they’re designed to go live in a short amount of time and with minimal effort required. This is beneficial if you don’t want to focus on SEO down the track, or you don’t care about your conversion rate. If you just want a simple site to show to word of mouth leads without looking to grow your business, you’re all set.
Keen to learn more about conversion rates? Get the short and simple version written for tradies here
But if you want to be a more efficient tradesman, and start turning more leads into sales, a simple drag-and-drop website can leave you frustratingly short of those goals.
Drag-and-Drop Website – PROS
✔ Simple drag-and-drop design
✔ Easy to make in a few hours
✔ 1000’s of templates to choose from
Drag-and-drop Website – CONS
✘ Free templates can make your site look identical to other tradie websites
✘ Not SEO friendly
✘ Not built for conversions
What if I want a website that generates leads (and I’m thinking about doing SEO down the track)?
As a tradesman you know that the foundation is crucial whether you’re standing up a shed, building a verandah, or starting construction on a new home.
If you’ve got plans of trying SEO down the track, or you want a website that doesn’t just look good but actually attracts customers, we recommend choosing a website builder that’s been created for tradies.
Wix, Weebly and Squarespace can make tradie websites. But they also make websites for jewellers and counsellors and swim instructors and anyone who wants to run a business.
Pedestal is a website builder made exclusively for trade businesses.
Pedestal doesn’t work if you want to sell clothes, shoes, or food. It only works if you’re a service business like a bathroom renovator, landscaper, electrician, concreter, pest control expert, you get the idea.
Unlike Wix, Weebly and Squarespace which are classic ‘all-in-one’ website builders, Pedestal offers specific themes designed by conversion experts. Instead of being able to drag your pictures from corner to corner, Pedestal has a structure that’s been shown to turn traffic into leads, and leads into conversions.
You’ll still have creative control, but all of your choices are designed to boost your conversions and attract quote requests and call-outs around the clock.
In short, the goal of most drag-and-drop websites is to be simple and easy to make.
But the goal of a Pedestal website is to bring in more customers – which is why Pedestal sites generate 26.7% more leads than simple drag-and-drop website builders. And since the Pedestal web building platform is built with marketing goals in mind, it’s easy to run SEO campaigns in the future and get your Pedestal site ranked on Google.
Pedestal Website – PROS
✔ Designed to increase conversions
✔ Built-in marketing to increase leads
✔ SEO friendly
Drag-and-drop Website – CONS
✘ Only for service businesses and tradies
✘ Customisation is limited to increase conversions
✘ Templates are limited to increase lead generation
Everyone keeps telling me to go with WordPress, what’s the big deal?
WordPress is popular, so there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it before.
For a start, WordPress is free, which is appealing to any business owner with their head screwed on.
But ‘free’ comes with a catch…
While website builders include your domain and hosting service as part of the plan you pay for, WordPress does not. So what looks free can actually become expensive as you pay for your domain, your website host, and even certain themes.
There are plenty of free WordPress themes, so you don’t necessarily have to pay, but premium themes tend to cost a premium. And if you want to make changes to an existing theme, you’ll need a little/lot of coding knowledge to make up for the lack of drag-and-drop options.
WordPress websites require a steep learning curve, so if you want to build the site yourself you’ll need more than the couple of hours it takes to create a Pedestal or WIX website. On the flipside, WordPress sites do offer a ton of SEO customisation. So if you plan to manage your own SEO campaign, you’ll get just as many options on a WordPress site as you would with a Pedestal site.
The fact you’ve heard other people recommend WordPress is a sign it’s a well-known website building platform, but if you build a WordPress site it’s worth being aware you’ll need to sink some serious man hours in to get your site optimised and looking the way you want or the easier option (just hire a professional).
WordPress Website – PROS
✔ User friendly
✔ SEO friendly
✔ Tons of customisation options
Drag-and-drop Website – CONS
✘ Customisation and themes can be expensive
✘ Steep learning curve
✘ Time consuming to manage yourself
Answer this ONE question if you can’t decide which website builder to go with..
“What is the goal of your website?”
· If you want to build your own website for credibility (not lead generation) – consider WIX, Weebly or Squarespace · If you want to increase your conversions and generate more leads, and build yor website quickly = Pedestal · If you want to manage your own SEO and learn the technical side of web design and development = WordPress.
In 2021 there are plenty of ways for you to build your own website, and the process can be as simple or as complex as you like. Each of the website builders we’ve covered in this article bring their own pros and cons.
So, if you want to save time then a simple drag-and-drop website would suit your goals. If you want a website that handles your marketing for you then an optimised Pedestal website would suit your goals. And if you want to upskill and learn about web design and development, then a WordPress site would suit your goals.
Once you figure out your priorities, you’ll know which website builder is right for you.