The popularity of website builders is getting bigger. Nowadays we see more and more ads everywhere saying that you don’t need to hire web development company and professional website designers to build a beautiful webpage. But are those promises reliable? Can you trust them with your business?
People all over the world call them «DIY websites». You do them yourself. But like any other DIY project, if you’re extraordinary talented at what you’re doing, the result might be great, but if you’re not, please, don’t even bother trying to sell it to me – I won’t buy it. The thing is that you are not born with the knowledge of how to design a website. It takes months of learning how to use website design software, years of working on building real web dev projects, ages of practicing… A website designer is a professional, who knows all the specifics of their job. Space, colors, pictures, navigation – all of it matters.
We can all set apart aesthetically pleasing and poorly designed websites. But the truth is that things like navigation and overall usability are usually even more important. It’s a top priority for users to find what they need on your website as fast as possible. The webpage you design in a site builder might look cool thanks to already designed elements, but the key part of success is how you use them and where you place them. If you are new to a website development and don’t know all the specifics, the result might be terrifying. And the last thing you want is to hurt your business with that.
Let’s look back at the websites that were built in the mid-90s: stiff layout, loads of text, gif-animations and shining headlines. All the things that we won’t be able to see on any modern website. Trends change, as so as web development technologies. And there will always be website designers to create the newest trends. Machines are great at substituting humans at tedious work. But not at the creative one. Robots do not design clothes – people do. The same goes for the website development.
The problem with templates is that you can’t fully customize them. Website builders might not have elements that you need. And because it’s a working system, you can’t change it. The other thing is that your website just wouldn’t look unique, it would not be able to represent your very own brand. More likely it would scream: «Hey, we are not different from any other business, we are the same». If you want your business to stand out, website builders might not be a solution for you.
Site builders might make the final picture look good, but when it comes to code, the problem starts. The code itself gets messy and often doesn’t match the W3C standards. And if there is any problem with that you wouldn’t be able to rich out for your web developer to fix it. Website builders sure offer customer support, but can you rely on that? The support team deals with thousand of users every day; they simply won’t have time to pay enough attention to your problem. If you decide to transfer your website to another domain, you will end up dealing with lots of complications and then rebuild everything from scratch. Another problem with the messy code is that it can slow down the processing time and make your users wait. But your website should give your clients a comforting feeling that they are in the right place. If it doesn’t work properly, your customers will simply lose trust for you and find another place to spend their money.
Even though it seems like a web development company will charge you more than any site builder; it only feels that way before you look closer. While you just pay to your business for the final product, you keep paying the monthly subscription fee to a site builder. And it adds up, so when you calculate the amount you paid for a subscription in a year or two, you might end up overpaying for an average-looking website. Site builders sure offer some free plans, but they only give you limited access to elements and have restrictions about some pages you can create. Another thing is that most of the times they will show their ads on your website, and not everyone would like that.
Another problem that not a lot of people are talking about is the ownership of your website. With the site builder, the web page you just made is technically not yours. The website builder company owns all the content on it. All those things are written in the Terms and Conditions page that nobody actually reads before starting. If you stop paying your subscription fee at some point, you lose your website completely, even the domain name. It will never happen with the web development company though. If you paid for your website, then it’s completely yours.
If you want your business to work, your website should work as well. SEO is not just any abbreviation. Having great search engine optimization will increase the number of clients you get from places like Google. Being amount first companies on the first page of the search engine is extremely important for business in order to compete with other businesses. The problem with site builders is that your website might end up lacking SEO. If you want to have a website just for yourself, then sure. But if you want it to bring you new customers, you might need to consider hiring professionals who will optimize your website for you.
The opinions on this topic vary widely. Some people think that with the era of site builders and templates, the majority of professional web designers will have to pack their stuff and find another job for themselves. Others argue this point saying that a new tool in web development would not be able to substitute anyone, it might only slightly change work routine. So what’s your take on this topic? Share your opinion in the comment section down here.