In today’s digital economy, every business needs an online presence to thrive. This includes businesses that don’t have an e-commerce model. Having an online presence allows you to market your brand and your products directly to consumers. To develop a website, you can either use a website building service or hire a professional agency to code one. This article will introduce website builders as a concept, and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.
What is a website builder?
It is an online service that provides a platform you can use to develop a website from scratch. They are developed for individuals who need websites but lack the technical expertise to code.
They provide a platform where most of the technical stuff has already been done for you. Through a point-and-click system, you use the mouse to select and place visual and navigational elements on your website. With advanced and intuitive website building platforms, you don’t have many limitations regarding the design elements and features you can add to your site.
Now that we know about website building services, what are their pros and cons – especially in relation to the other option: hiring a professional agency?
Pros: The advantages of using website building platforms
It is the cheaper option
Hiring a pro agency to code your website can be a costly affair, even when you are working with a flexible budget. Website building platforms, on the other hand, are quite affordably priced. Most even offer free packages for simple websites – which work just fine for smaller businesses and personal blogs.
The premium plans offer a lot in terms of functionality and features. Often matching, sometimes surpassing, the quality levels that would be delivered by a professionally coded website. All for a low monthly fee or a competitive one-time payment.
They are easy to use
Website building services are specifically made for users who have no prior coding experience. The layout and functions are very intuitively designed. If you have basic computer proficiency, you can make a website.
Most website building platforms will include a video tutorial on the features they offer to create a softer learning curve. The templates and other visual elements make it perfect for use by people without any design background.
They offer many features
In terms of functionality, most website building platforms can match the features that a coding agency would offer. This includes e-commerce support with tools for customer management, inventory management, customer service, delivery and supplier management.
Other features include social media integration, sign up forms, video embedding and much more. The simple-to-use interface provides impressively powerful tools and functions.
They give you full creative control
Nobody understands your business better than you. Entrepreneurs spend all their time understanding the markets they operate in, the customers they target, and how to position their brand and products in these markets. If the main purpose of your website is to promote your brand and its products, then you are best placed to communicate this vision.
Website creators give you full creative control over the design process. You get to customize your online presence as per your business’s values and the uniqueness of your target market. This level of understanding can’t be matched by web development professionals.
They provide in-built analytics
Website building platforms understand that as a business owner, you are interested in how your web content performs. Especially when it comes to attracting and retaining web traffic. Luckily, most website building platforms come with analytic tools – at least on their paid plans.
Tools such as Google Analytics will provide a comprehensive picture of how visitors experience your website. You can use these statistics to fine-tune your content, design and messaging. SEO tools that optimize your page for search engines are also usually included on most website building platforms.
They provide an expanded capacity for customization
In the past, before website building services became the advanced platforms they now are, they were limited in terms of customizations. Unfortunately, most people still believe that a builder will only offer a handful of options.
This is not the case, you are spoilt for choice when choosing a website template. In most cases, you will have thousands of design elements to choose from. You can even port designs from outside the platform, or customize your own.
The capacity for customization is limitless, and you can have a completely unique website design when you use a website building platform.
Cons: Disadvantages of website building services
When you use a website building service, your website’s availability and performance are fully dependent on the platform you choose. Of course, if you use a reputable website building service, like this one, it is not an issue. With the wrong service, your security can be compromised, and their server performance will affect your website’s availability and loading times.
Lack of design and marketing experience
Website development professionals have industry knowledge on the design and marketing elements that work. Most entrepreneurs without a marketing background lack this knowledge. If you don’t read up on marketing tips, your design might not perform well.
The final word
Ultimately, the benefits offered by website building platforms outweigh the cons. Especially for smaller enterprises that might not have the budget to hire outside professional help. When you choose the right platform and read up on marketing tips, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go it alone when it comes to website development.