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November 2, 2023
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 min read

Why you should not build a custom website

Building a custom website may seem like a good idea if you're technically inclined, but it's an easy trap to fall into.

Why you should not build a custom website

You are reading this thanks to WebFlow, however things were not always like this at Flowlie. We decided to migrate from a custom website to WebFlow for a myriad of reasons. In this article we will explain why we did it and why you should too.

When starting a startup or any sort of online business one of the first things you will want to do is to make a website so that your customers can buy your product or service. If you or one of your team members is technologically inclined then a first instinct might be to load up a web development tutorial and follow the instructions on how to build a website using react or some other web technology. This is a trap that is very easy for people to fall into, as going down this rabbit hole will mean that everything about your website will be custom built. 

Having a custom built website sounds like a great idea, however, by doing this you are adding a lot of technical debt and friction. The main reason for this is that whenever someone from the non technical team wants to make an update to the front end then the updates have to go through the tech team, meaning the tech team is spending time on the front end website rather than to continue to build the product thus slowing the entire company down. At the same time, some small changes that you could add on to your website could potentially block or be blocked by other changes being tested out in the development environment before they are sent to the production environment thus slowing everything down once again.

Perhaps you have an unlimited budget and time and you do not worry about the product development being slowed down by having a custom built website. You might still have a problem in your hands. If you chose to build your website with a technology like React, one of the most popular web frameworks, you have the added problem of React’s lack of out the box support for SEO due to React not having Server Side Rendering. This means that your website will not be able to reach as many users through organic web searches and as such you are limiting your ability to drive top of funnel traffic.

With all of these considerations in mind the alternative is to build your core web app with the web development stack of your choice, but to build your landing page, promotional pieces, and SEO content with tools such as WebFlow, Framer, WordPress, or SquareSpace. The main appeal of these tools is that they are no-code, allowing non-technical members to update content as well as leverage existing templates to quickly build a modern landing page. Thus saving you countless hours in development and design so that you can focus on what truly matters.

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