Starting your business means you need to acquire multi-tasking skills. Suddenly you have to become an expert in everything.
One major thing you have to do is to learn about building websites as this is going to be your online business card. So you start looking for information on this topic in Google and you encounter many interesting articles about professional website builders. You have never heard about them before. They seem to be the perfect solution for you!
But… are you sure? Remember that the easiest and cheapest solutions are not always the best (and many times they are not really the cheapest in the end). Let’s take a closer look at popular website builders (we are sure you know their commercials by heart) and compare them to hiring a professional web developer to create your page.
Creating a website with a website builder
Website builder is basically a tool that allows you to create a website without manual code editing. It means you don’t have to know any programming language in order to build a nice-looking website. Sounds tempting, right?
Even if you are a layman, thanks to the intuitive drag-and-drop editor you are able to create a professional site with a beautiful layout. You will also have an opportunity to make your website mobile-friendly and integrate it with your social media accounts and e-commerce tools. The most popular website builders are Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly.
Who should choose this option? If you are new to business and you have just started your company it would be quite reasonable to build your website using a website builder. Why?
– Cost-effective – it costs much less money than building a professional website with a freelancer or a software house in the beginning. You just need to pay for a subscription plan (there are a few options). It’s usually very affordable.
– Easy to use – building a website with such a tool is very intuitive. You will have a big choice of beautiful website templates and you can easily personalize every element you want.
– Tech support – with some options you will have access to very helpful technical support. They will advise you when you encounter unexpected obstacles.
– Time – if your website must be ready “for tomorrow”, a website builder is the best choice. You will be able to create your webpage very quickly. Working with a web developer would take you much more time.
– Poor SEO – when using web builders you’re not able to optimize your website for search engines. The vast majority of these companies doesn’t have SEO tools or if they do these are not good enough. As you can’t edit the code, usually you are not able to add important SEO tags, as for example heading tags and alt tags. This will lead you to lose your potential leads because they will not be able to find you easily in Google Search
– Slow loading time – as you don’t have much impact on code, you will not be able to optimize your website if it’s slow. No one likes waiting forever for page content.
– Usually you can’t export your site to other platforms. You will not be able to transfer your website because it is hosted on your website builder server. If you put a lot of time and work into developing your web page and you then change your business idea (maybe you want to expand your website with a web developer), you will need to stick to this platform or you will lose everything. It means you will have to recreate your website from scratch.
– You are not the owner of the website. The owner is Wix, Weebly or any other company you created the website on. Your website will not work outside the company’s website building software. You even don’t own your website code
– Not custom designed – your website will not stand out from the crowd as it will have a rather standard layout, like the other websites made on these platforms. You will not be able to add many personalized features. After some time, there’s a possibility you will start to suffer from the lack of customization.
– Advertisements – if you choose a free version of the website builder very often you need to agree to display annoying commercials.
If you want to earn money and develop your business seriously, we advise you to invest money in working with a web developer.
Building a website with a website developer
As a general rule, if you hire a web developer, you can expect that your website will be built in a very professional way. Especially if the scope of your project is big. A website developer will spend a lot of time on understanding your ideas and will then work to create a website that will help you achieve your business goals. This will help you get better conversions on your website.
However, the process doesn’t always work like this. This rule doesn’t apply to everyone. If you hire a very cheap developer, you can be disappointed.
Let’s assume that you are considering creating a website with a web builder because it’s cheaper. But, suddenly, you get a really good offer from a random developer. You get excited about that because you heard that building a website with a programmer is better. Be careful!
By deciding to work with an inexperienced developer, you will only lose your money and time. There’s very little possibility he will deliver the outcomes you want. If you have a very small budget, it’s better to use a website builder.
However, let’s go through the pros and cons of working with a good website developer.
– Professional and unique design – your website will be perfectly tailored to your needs. It can have all kinds of features you may want. What’s more you won’t have to worry that your website is the same as your competitors.
– Optimized for conversion – a professional developer will create your website in the right way to pull in your potential leads. Most of the templates on website builders are generic – it means they will not help you sell more.
– Good SEO – contrary to web builders that have minimal SEO tools, a website developer will help you get a good rank in Google search. He will optimize all the necessary functionalities for your success (sitemap creation, meta description optimization, submission to the major search engines etc.).
– You are the owner of your website – since you need to buy a domain and hosting, your website belongs to you. You are independent. If you decide to change the server provider, you will take your website with you. When using a website builder you can’t migrate your page to different platforms. If you decide to do this, you are forced to start everything from scratch.
– Better page speed – in web builders you don’t have much impact on your website speed. With a web developer you can improve this very markedly. Remember that the speed of your website is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to how high you rank in Google Search.
– Professional support – Can you define a DNS? An SSL certificate? Is all that technical jargon overwhelming for you? No worries. A web developer will help you with all that incomprehensible stuff and you will be able to focus on what’s most important to you – your business.
– Costs – it’s the biggest drawback of this choice and it could be a barrier for all small businesses.
– Time – the process of working with a good developer and creating a plan with them takes time. If a software house is very professional, there’s a big possibility they will be busy and you will need to wait for them. Your website won’t be ready for a while
After creating a website with a web developer, you will be able to add content or change some basic functionalities by yourself. However, when any serious technical issues arise, you can always contact your developer and he should help you solve problems.
Who’s a winner?
There is no winner. Everything depends on your budget, the scope of your project and the stage of your business development. Consider all the pros and cons of both solutions and choose what is best for you.
Do you want to create a website with a web designer?