With today’s technology, anyone can build and run their website. If you know where to look for the tools, resources, and services, you can build a fully functional and professional-looking site within a few hours. However, this process can be made a lot easier and faster with
Here is a breakdown of all the pros and cons of website builders and why they may or may not be the solution for you:
#1. Very Easy to Use
Using website builders have many advantages on the surface. However, use and understand. As briefly mentioned above, the building process in most website builders usually involves three fundamental steps. You only need to register for a domain, pick a theme that you think suits your needs, and then start building the content of your website.
You cannot make website creation any simpler and faster than that. The good news is that much website builders already offer a ton of great-looking themes, so it should be easy to develop a site that you’ll be proud to have. These themes are also optimised for specific purposes such as blogging, a business website, or an online portfolio. Lastly, website builders also have a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to customise the basics of your site’s layout.
Most website builders bundle together everything you need to build and run a site in a single package. This includes hosting, domain registration, security, and premade website resources. For users, this means they only have to pay for a single service every month.
In comparison, a website built with a Content Management System (CMS) has more fees to worry about. Hosting, domain registration, CMS installation; every process costs money. There are also additional investments required such as security plugins, premium themes, opt-in form builders, landing page builders, and on-page optimisation. You may also need to pay a professional web developer to customise your site’s code to match adequately your needs, which leads to the next point.
#3. 100% Do-It-Yourself
Website builders simplify the entire creation process, which can be easily be done by yourself. There is no need for a designer or programmer who can help you develop your site and ensure everything is working as intended (they already are). You are completely in charge of your ideas and your design choices; as far as site creation is concerned. This is perfect for entrepreneurs, professionals, and other individuals who are looking to have a simple website.
#1. Lack of Customisation and Compatibility
The biggest strength of website builders may also lead to its greatest weakness. By choosing a theme, you are also tying much of your design freedom and will have limited options for customization. There is simply a lack of platforms in the website builder market that offer robust design capabilities to compete with other methods of site creation. If there are any, they are mostly limited to editing the code to make minor changes to the template — unless you want to botch up the entire site.
However, if you are using a full-fledged CMS such as WordPress, you will have access to a vast library of plugins that can customise how your site looks and works. In WordPress, there is a plugin for everything, including opt-in forms, custom menus, contact forms, image sliders, job boards, and everything else that can customise your site’s design.
There are also plugins that can help improve your site’s security,
While plugins can do everything for you, you do not have to rely on them exclusively. With the flexibility of Content Management Systems, you can customise every little detail of your site down to each code. This includes scrollbars, paragraph spacing, buttons, and so on.
Finally, it is worth noting that the templates available from website builders do not fit all businesses. Most themes are best suited for portfolios, blogs, and other websites under photography, beauty, travel, and music. If you are a lawyer, dentist, consultant, or in need of an interactive site, a website builder simply isn’t flexible and powerful enough.
#2. You are Not in Full Control
A site made with a site builder is not really under your complete control. Remember that when building a site with a CMS, you own and run everything. This includes your content, the design, and other site elements. Additionally, your site’s existence is dependent on many moving parts that you can manage, improve, or replace. You can switch your hosting provider, obtain a new theme, migrate to a new CMS, and everything else in between.
Keep in mind that using a CMS means you also have unparalleled access to your databases by accessing your web host’s control panel. This is where you can use plenty of features such as mail accounts, FTP, additional domains, and other advanced tools. Whereas with a website builder, you are merely taking part in “digital sharecropping“. This means your site is entirely dependent on the site builder. Without it, your site would not exist.
When it comes to the long-term, a CMS can give you an evolving website that adapts to your timely needs. For example, if you want to transform your blog into an online store, you can only install the additional prerequisites such as a shopping cart plugin and some landing pages. You can also perform ongoing optimisations using other analytics tools to increase the traffic to your site and explore more options for monetization.
The question still stands – do you need a website builder? The answer depends on what you want to achieve. If you simply need a good-looking site to call your own, then you can settle for a website builder that offers the more economical and easier option. But if you see your site as a long-term investment, then you should opt for something more capable such as a CMS, which will enable you to reap the full benefits (commercial, industrial, and professional) of building a website.
Images: ” Website builder concept with person holding a smartphone /Shutterstock.com“
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