If you’ve checked out our list of the best website builders, you may be asking yourself “why use a website builder?”.
When I first started this journey, I had a lot of thoughts running through my head:
- I don’t know how to code
- I probably need to be a developer to create a website
- Where will I find the money for a web developer
Table of Contents
Website Builder Vs Web Developer
If you can afford to hire a professional web developer as I did for my first website, you’ll get a great website. Most likely, your developer will guide you at the beginning, teaching you how to insert content into your website like text and images.
Paying a web developer gets you a service, there’s no doubt about that. But once you’ve handed over your hard-earned cash, what comes next? When I requested some small changes to my first site, I was met with a lack of response. When my developer finally responded, I was charged for additional services that would now take me a matter of minutes to complete.
Hiring a developer is expensive. Not only that, it makes you feel like a hostage to your own website, with a distinct lack of control. Becoming frustrated over this situation, I started researching website builders.
Using a website builder like Wix is so easy, I was genuinely surprised. You can create a website and get it live within a matter of hours using the templates available. Not only that, you’ll have full control of when and how changes are made, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Website Builders Pros and Cons
After my first experience, I was more determined than ever to build a website on my own. There are different types of website builders including CMS platforms like WordPress, WYSIWYG builders, and drag and drop website builders.
Different website builders cater to different requirements. Some like Squarespace are more focused on design, whereas Wix and Weebly are ideal for complete beginners.
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Quick to get a website live
- No coding skills required
- More control over your website changes
- Most have decent SEO features
- Some builders like Shopify offer apps that can get very expensive
- You only have so much control over things like security
- Design customization can be limited
What Kind of Websites Can You Create With a Website Builder?
The beauty of a website builder is that you can create pretty much any type of website. We’ve reviewed some website builders that are perfect for building a church website, and some that are more orientated towards music and portfolios.
When you browse a website builder’s templates, most will allow you to filter by website type or category.
If you use Wix, for example, you can filter by different businesses & services, online stores, etc. The templates you’ll see will be fit for different purposes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a template you love for another type of website.
Wix website builders, you’ll have access to their full editor when you start to build your site. You’ll be able to pull in different elements like image galleries, sliders, pricing tables, and so on.
However, some builder’s templates will contain features that are geared more towards a certain type of website.
Shopify is an eCommerce website builder; you can build online stores that contain different features depending on the theme you choose.
As most of Shopify’s themes require payment, it’s advised to choose a theme fit for the type of website you’re building. This is more common when building an eCommerce store, but can still sometimes be applied to standard websites.
Are Free Website Builders Any Good?
The simple answer here is yes, they are good, but only to start with. A free website builder allows you to explore the features on offer without paying a dime. That’s great, especially when you have to consider the other costs of building a website.
But once you’ve got your website live and you’re ready to start bringing in traffic, a free website builder just isn’t going to cut it.
Take a look at Weebly’s free plan above. You’ll get a free website with 500MB storage, and a domain with Weebly branding.
What that will look like is something like this: mysite.weebly.com
If you want a professional-looking website, Weebly and Wix’s free plans aren’t going to do a good enough job. Even though underneath everything is the same if you use a website builder, potential customers could get put off by the fact a website’s URL has Weebly in it.
Not to mention your website will include Weebly adverts which are equally offputting.
When you upgrade to Weebly’s Pro plan, you can connect your own professional domain name and you’ll be free of Weebly ads.
If you’re serious about building a website then I always recommend upgrading to a paid plan. You’ll get a lot more features, more customization options, and your website will look professional.
Website Builders Are Great For Beginners
In summary, website builders are the perfect solution for individuals or businesses who have little to no coding knowledge.
With a website builder, you won’t have to learn HTML or CSS, and you won’t have to pay for a coding course. They are generally good value for money, and you can get your website, blog, or online store live within a few hours.
If you do have some coding knowledge or you feel you’re more advanced, then I would highly recommend exploring WordPress. WordPress.org is an open-source version of WordPress that’s self-hosted (it means you have to source your own web hosting).