As I spent more time and effort into building websites, one of the things that struck me is that what if my website accidentally gets deleted, if a particular website builder decides to stop providing services. Website builders, afterall, are businesses and closing down does take place.
Because of this, I started looking into backup features of website builder software. What I discovered is that with a lot of these hosted builders such as Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, etc, they don’t really give you a very solid backup plan.
I would assume that since the websites are “hosted” with them, they should have their own backup copies for emergency issues. But what if I want to move website builders?
One of the things that is a drawback is that with these builders, you can’t really switch between them. For example, if I want to move my Wix website to Weebly, it’s not easy, or possible at all. Having websites built on a different platform, with different mechanics and technology results in incompatible codes. For example, if I built a slideshow with Wix, that slideshow may not be compatible with Weebly, and so that doesn’t work.
Another example, imagine moving a Squarespace website into Webs. Pretty tough if you asked me as Squarespace’s templates are responsive and so much more good looking. The difference in technology and tools just won’t adapt to each other.
In any case, after a bit of digging, here’s what I found out:
- Wix – no backup or export function
- Weebly – you can backup / export your website, but some tools may not work outside of Weebly and you can only import it into a separate host (and not a WYSIWYG builder)
- Squarespace – you can export your blog and pages into WordPress (so only a partial export)
- Jimdo – no backup or export function
- Webs - no backup or export function
- Shopify - no backup or export function
It’s a bit disappointing, but I suppose that is the trade-off of using drag and drop builders.
If I was to build a successful business out of creating websites for other people (hopefully my clients!), I need to seriously think about these issues as I’m sure they may ask me about it.
One option, although not being my most favorable option, is to use WordPress. WordPress is an open source builder, so I doubt they will shut down their business. Plus, I did some research and learned that I can move my WordPress websites around to different hosts and there is a service called VaultPress which will keep my websites backed up at all times. I wrote more about comparing WYSIWYG builders vs WordPress here.
Just something I’ve been thinking about as I do more research and learning how to build up my website business.