The Pitfalls of “Off The Shelf” Websites

22 October, 2015    |    Development    |    Traff1k D1g1tal

Companies have a plethora of solutions to choose from when looking to have a new website developed.  In this article, we look at the positives and negatives of “off the shelf” websites.


Time to Launch

Often instantly - all you need to do is add your content and the website is complete.


Typically very cheap or even free to setup with a low monthly fee.

These two positives sound great, but we always recommend you check the fine print.  



You are simply “buying” a shell.  You still need to add all content, including text and images yourself.

Customised Design

These websites are not customised to your brand and your clients.  Other businesses will have the same website look and feel that you have, giving you a lower chance of conversion.


With an “off the shelf” website, you don’t own the code and IP associated with the website.  If your website provider goes bankrupt, you lose your website.  If you want to take your website to another web development firm, you can’t, as you don’t own it.  This is a high risk solution.

Mobile Compatibility

Typically does not offer mobile compatibility, iPhone & Android (both horizontal & vertical), iPad & Tablet (both horizontal & vertical).  With over half of all Google searches being conducted on a mobile device, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.

Google Friendly

The code behind the scenes is messy and often does not comply with international W3C Standards ( and CSS standards.  This dramatically decreases the amount of business your website generates.

Open Source Content Management Systems

Non-compliant with Google standards and W3C Standards.  This means that your site will not display correctly on all computers, all operating systems and in some cases means it can’t be crawled by Google, resulting in low to nil Search Engine Rankings.


Low to nil support.  Have a problem, good luck with that!

We know that “off the shelf” website packages don’t work; you don’t own them, they won’t rank well in Google, most are not mobile compatible and they are not tailored to your brand or clients for optimal conversion.

So before you make a costly mistake, be sure to get in touch with one of our friendly experts first.