Should You Use a Website Builder?
When you’re building your very first website you’re going to have a lot of options to choose from. Choosing the right one for your needs can be a little daunting. You have DIY website builders, CMS platforms like WordPress, and even the option to hire a designer to build your site for you.
In recent years we’ve seen an explosion of new website builders come on the market. These builders are great ways to build out your very first website. But, they’re not perfect for every style of website.
Below we take a deep look at the question: are website builders actually worth it?
By the end of this post, we hope you’ll be able to make the decision of whether or not to move forward with a website builder.
First, What Are Website Builders?
Website builders are tools that enable you to quickly build a beautiful website without any previous coding knowledge. They usually exist as entirely separate platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, or as add-ons for certain hosting packages. They’re mostly used to build out smaller websites, as opposed to large-scale content websites.
These online website builders typically allow you to choose a template and drag and drop different elements until you’re satisfied with the design. Some are equipped with built-in hosting, while others you have to pay for hosting separately.
Advantages of Using a Website Builder
Using a website builder can be quite useful for a certain kind of website owner. If you want to create a simple and functional website in the least amount of time possible, then they’re worth testing out.
Below we take a look at some of the biggest reasons people decide to use website builders when creating their first website.
1. Zero Tech Skills Required for a Beautiful Site
Website builders are designed for those who have little to no tech skills. Since website builders mostly use drag and drop technology you can visually arrange your website until you have something you like.
You can do things like upload images, change the text and font, alter the color scheme, and much more with the simple click of a button.
The templates are also designed by professionals so you’re virtually guaranteed to end up with a professional looking site.
2. It’s a Fast and Efficient Way to Get Your Site Online
If you have limited time, then a website builder is definitely the way to go. Website builders are designed to make the building process as fast and efficient as possible.
You begin the process with a set of pre-designed templates and themes, ready to go tools and add-ons, and sometimes they’re even equipped with pre-populated content. So, all you have to do is input your own content and images and press publish.
3. You Can Start With a Very Small Budget
Overall, website builders are an incredibly cheap way to build out your website. Instead of having to buy a separate theme and potentially hire a web designer to build out your website, you can do it all yourself for a low monthly fee.
Even with the higher paid plans offered by some website builders, they still end up cheaper when compared to hiring outside help. Plus, a lot of website builders (like HostGator’s) are bundled with hosting, domain names, and website technical support.
Disadvantages of Using a Website Builder
With all the benefits above, website builders still aren’t perfect for every kind of website. They’re great if you’re looking to get a simple and functional website online as quick as possible, but there are also some limitations, which we’ll get into below.
1. It Can Be Difficult to Scale
With website builders, you’re often limited by how large you can scale your site. If you’re trying to build out a massive content site, you’re going to run into some restrictions with a builder.
It is possible to build out sites that have hundreds of pages, but you’re going to be working against the platform, instead of having a tool that supports you.
If your goal is to build out a massive content website, then you’re much better off using a CMS like WordPress.
2. You Don’t Have Complete Control Over Your Site
With many website builders, you don’t technically own your website. Instead of buying a virtual property it’s more like renting a space on the web. If you want to migrate your site it’s usually possible, but it will be quite difficult to modify your site without your previous builder.
There’s also the chance that your site can be taken down because you don’t comply with their terms of service. Since you generally don’t have your own separate hosting account, the future of your site is out of your control.
3. Overall Functionality Can Be Limited
With site builders, you are limited to what you can do with your website. If you want something simple, then they work perfectly. But if you want to build out custom features and have complete control over the future of your site, then you’re going to come up against the restrictions of the platform.
If you want to build out a feature heavy site, you’ll have to come up with a workaround, or work without the feature entirely.
Is a Website Builder Right for You?
It’s easy to see why website builders are such a common choice nowadays, especially for beginners who want a website online as fast as possible. However, they’re not the best fit for users trying to grow out a large scale website.
If you’re unsure take one for a spin and see if it has the necessary features, but keep in mind it might not be the best choice over the long-term.
With HostGator, our basic Website Builder is included with all web hosting plans. Start exploring how to design your site, and if you decide you want more features, you can easily transition to WordPress!