Nowadays, launching a website is one of the best ways to grow a business. In fact, one survey discovered 91% of customers visited a store because of an online experience. With an attractive, functional website, you’ll be able to reach and convert more customers.
However, building a website is easier said than done. Many business owners simply don’t have the skills required to create their ideal website. Complex programming and confusing software mean your site could end up looking unengaging and unprofessional.
Don’t worry! If you’re looking to launch a new website for your business, you have a couple of options: using an online website builder or hiring a professional web designer. Today, we’ll be taking you through all the online site builder advantages and disadvantages.
WHAT ARE WEBSITE BUILDERS?
Website builders can come in the form of online websites or offline software. Online website builders tend to be cheaper, more accessible, and therefore more popular.
They aim to make it possible for anyone to build a website, regardless of skill or experience. They’re cheap (often free), fast, and easy to use. Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are some of the best website builders available, but there’s a wide range out there to choose from.
WHAT IS A WEBSITE DESIGNER?
Website designers are people who work with businesses and individuals to create their ideal website. Their work is user-focused and requires a lot of creativity to come up with web designs that work well and attract customers.
Many website designers work as freelancers, or for an agency. They work closely with their clients to produce a website tailored to their business, industry, and most importantly – their target audience.
ADVANTAGES OF WEBSITE BUILDERS
Because of their accessibility and affordability, website builders can be very useful for some small businesses. There are multiple benefits that come with using both online and offline website builders, making them a great choice for some businesses.
This is arguably the main advantage of using an online web builder. Many of them have free, or very cheap, plans. Compared to hiring a professional, this is the more affordable option. If you don’t have much cash to spare, a free website builder can provide you with all the basics you need.
EASY TO USE
No design experience? Not great with computers? This isn’t a problem with website builders. Most online web builders are drag-and-drop and require no coding skills. The tools and features are easy to figure out, so anyone can use them.
As the owner of a business – big or small – you likely don’t have a lot of time on your hands. You can’t waste too much time creating a website. And if you use a website builder, you won’t have to. With a website builder, you can launch a fully functional website in just a few hours.
Most website builders offer their users a library of website templates. These are pre-made designs that ensure your website looks good with barely any effort. All you need to do is pick out your favourite, and then customise it to your liking.
DISADVANTAGES OF WEBSITE BUILDERS
Online website builders can be perfect for some small businesses, but there are also many reasons not to use a website builder. If you only need a basic website, a builder tool is fine. However, if you want to stand out and rise above the competition, you’ll need a web designer.
While there’s a lot you can do with a website builder, there’s also a lot you can’t. Your options are limited, and many features you’d like your website to have won’t be possible with a builder. With a web designer, there’s much more freedom to create your dream website.
DISAPPOINTING MOBILE WEBSITES
Many website builders have an outdated approach to mobile websites, which is a huge disadvantage, given that mobile web traffic rose by over 200% from 2013-2019. To successfully grow your business online, you’ll need a functioning mobile website.
LACK OF ORIGINALITY
As you might expect, websites using the same collection of templates tend to look very similar. Using a website building tool makes it difficult for your website to stand out. Your website may not be as memorable as one created by a web designer.
SEO is essential for a high search engine ranking and gaining more traffic. While many website builders have a few built-in SEO tools, working with an expert is the only way to gain the best SEO results.
SLOW LOADING SPEED
Even a 1 second delay in loading time means 7% fewer conversions, and 11% fewer page views. Loading time has a huge impact on your business! And sadly, websites made with building tools tend to have slower loading times compared to those designed by professionals.
POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
While website builders are generally easy to use, implementing some features can get complicated. If you run into a technical obstacle, there’s little help available. Your best bets are online tech forums or contacting the provider themselves. With a web designer, you can receive full support and advice, should you run into a problem.
Most website building tools offer free websites, but with a catch. Free websites often include permanent adverts, ranging from subtle to outright annoying. Trust us, your website is much better off without them.
While free website builders may be tempting, their free services are actually very limited. Most features that make website builders worth using are only accessible through paid subscriptions. You may sign up expecting a free site, but it’s easy to end up shelling out more than you expected to.
ARE WEBSITE BUILDERS WORTH IT?
So, are website builders really worth it? If you only need a static website to provide your audience with basic information, yes. However, any business owners or professionals looking to gain more traffic and increase conversions should consider hiring an expert.
Web designers and developers provide you with the perfect website to suit your requirements. They’re equipped with the skills and knowledge that attract new customers and keep them coming back. If you have a little more room in your budget, they’re the best choice for your business.