Do website builders revoke your freedom of fully customising your website?
Anyone looking to establish some form of internet presence that represents their organization will inevitably need a website. Getting your message out there these days on social media, like Facebook or Twitter, can only get you so far. Having your very own website gives you complete control over content and design, and also gives credibility to your business or brand.
Creating a website and getting it up and running has never been so easy. What used to be an arduous task of extensive coding, creativity, time, and plenty of effort, has now evolved into platforms that allow users to build their own websites using themes and a drag and drop approach.
While there are a variety of popular web hosting providers to choose from, Website builders, like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and many other platforms have become incredibly popular because you don’t need an expensive web developer or coding knowledge to create a website. So what’s the catch? First let’s take a look at how these website builders work and why they are so useful in today’s tech-centric world.
What is a Website Builder and How Does it Work?
Simply put, a website builder is a program that allows you to create a website without having to do any coding. It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a website built, you had to either learn to code or fork out the money to hire a developer. Today, website builders allow you to create a beautiful, fully functioning website with zero coding experience. Hosting.review has even rated Wix as the number one website builder of 2017.
The majority of website builders use a software to drag and drop design components or elements to create the site. You simply login, choose one of their available themes (some free, some not), and begin customizing your site.
Here is a quick overview of the biggest benefits of using a website builder:
Cheap and Fast — Need a quick web solution? Website builders can save the day for those simply looking to get a site up and running fast. This is great for newbies starting out on their first site or bloggers who want a cheap option. Website builders are much cheaper than hiring a web developer and you can create a website in a matter of minutes.
No Coding or Design Experience — The most obvious benefit, no coding skills required! No need to learn even the most basics of programming, website builders are ideal for people without coding experience. Website builders also come with nice designs to draw in visitors.
Easy to Export — Some (not all) website builders can easily allow you to export your website to another platform. This is essential for when you change domains or business, you don’t need to start again from scratch.
Let’s Talk Freedom to Customize
Just because you can build your very own website in a matter of minutes, does it mean you should? DIY can be great, but sometimes a professional shouldn’t be replaced by a tool.
For web developers and programmers who have the skills to build a website from the ground up, the sky’s the limit. For everyone else, website builders provide a basic tool that you’ll find to be very limited.
One of the most obvious problems about using a website builder is the lack of customization and differentiation. When choosing a theme, there could be thousands of other users using the same template. This cookie-cutter approach to building a website can look unprofessional and be difficult for establishing a unique brand.
The majority of website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace often advertise how customizable they are, but remember you’re essentially trading off control for convenience. Sure, there are some basic customizable features, such as the ability to edit colors, sizes, fonts, and moving this and that here or there, but ultimately, these builders are very limited in what you can do. You ultimately have little to no freedom to customize.
This oversimplification of the development process limits design and customizability and leaves you with easy-to-use features that barely scratch the surface of what you might want your website to do. But this can be a great choice if all you want is to tell the world you exist with a nice-looking website. For businesses who care about growth, however, website builders are never the way to go.