Website builders make it easy for anyone to design and launch their website within minutes. Many come with dozens or even hundreds of beautiful templates that can make your website stand out.
They may be an easy way to build an online store or a basic website of any kind. But they aren’t suitable for every business. In this article, I will talk about the pros and cons of using a website builder to launch your website.
This is the main selling point of all website builders. They help you build a professional-looking website without any coding or website design skills. All popular website builders such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix offer dozens of beautiful templates to choose from, so even if you know nothing about web design, you will still end up with a beautiful website you can be proud of.
The best part about using a website builder is that you don’t need to hire a web developer to edit your website every time you want to make a change. They offer a simple drag and drop interface to edit the content on your website. You also get a dashboard you can use to manage your website.
Designing, developing, and launching a website can take months. Even if you hire a team of web designers and developers, it will take them at least a couple of weeks before they can produce a fully-functional website. Not to mention it costs a lot of money.
With a website builder, you can launch your website within minutes without touching a single line of code. Just pick a template that suits your brand, edit the contents and the colors, and hit the publish button. That’s all it takes to launch a website using a website builder such as Wix or Webflow.
Most popular website builders offer dozens of templates that aren’t just beautiful, they stand out. These templates are designed by professional web designers who have a lot of experience. If you want your website to stand out but don’t want to waste hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on hiring and working with web designers, then we highly recommend you give website builders a try.
Starting an online store requires a lot of work. It used to be reserved for businesses with a lot of capital. But website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify make it easy for anyone to launch an online store.
Website builders such as Squarespace make it very easy to edit what your product pages look like. You can either make site-wide changes that change how all of your product pages look or you can customize the way your individual product pages look. Doing this without a website builder would require you to either buy 3rd party plugins or hire a web developer.
Website builders used to offer eCommerce as an add-on but today they have made it a part of their core offering. What this means is you can expect almost all the features you would get from a dedicated eCommerce platform such as Magento or BigCommerce but without the expensive price tag.
Many website builders offer built-in payments so you can start taking payments on your website without wasting hours signing up for a payment gateway. Whether you are selling a service or a physical product, you can easily create pages for them and start selling them using a website builder such as Squarespace.
You will also get access to a dashboard to manage your inventory, your invoices, your taxes, and your catalog. Some also offer support for courier services such as FedEx so you can automate the process of selling and shipping your products.
Adding new features to a custom website is always a big pain. You need to hire a developer every time you want to add a new feature. But with a website builder, you can add supported features to your website with just a click for free.
This means, if you decide to add reviews to your online store, you can do it with just a click. Many website builders offer dozens of commonly used/requested features such as Appointment Scheduling, Events Page, Selling Digital Products (eBooks, Courses, etc.), Reviews and Ratings, and many others. You can enable and disable any such feature with just a click.
Building a custom website not only takes a lot of time, but it also costs a lot of money. Get ready to spend thousands of dollars on hiring web designers, developers, and website maintenance fees. And whenever you decide to change something, you will have to hire a freelancer to do it. These bills can quickly stack up even for a small business.
But with a website builder, you only have to pay a small monthly fee. You don’t have to worry about web hosting and the costs that accompany it. You don’t have to worry about getting too much traffic. And you don’t have to pay anyone to make changes to your website. You can change anything you want on your website using a simple drag and drop builder.
If you want to compete for head to head with the biggest players in your industry, website builders may not be the best choice. Although they are great for when your business is just starting out, they aren’t scalable after you reach a certain limit.
If you want to grow your website without worrying about reaching a scalability plateau, we recommend going with a self-hosted eCommerce website or going with an eCommerce platform such as BigCommerce or Shopify that is built for scaling businesses to millions of dollars.
Although most website builders let you customize almost all aspects of your website’s design, you are still limited in terms of how much and what you can customize. If you want a custom layout, you could try to create one from scratch but unless you are good with web design, you won’t have much success.
There are certain things that you just can’t edit or customize when you build your website using a website builder because you don’t have access to the servers or the code that generates your website.
If you want control over every aspect of your website’s design, you will have to self-host your website on a web host such as GoDaddy or Siteground.
Even though website builders come with dozens of features you can add with a click, you are limited to the features that your website builder supports. If your website builder doesn’t support a feature that you want on your website, you are out of luck because there’s no way you can add a custom feature to a website built using a website builder even if you hire a web developer.
And although some website builders offer an API or let you build custom add-ons, you are still limited to the amount of access they give you. If you want to build a custom website with lots of custom features, going with a website builder is generally not a good idea.
If you want to get traffic from Google, you need to optimize your website for search engines. This process is called SEO. Although most website builders claim to be optimized for search engines by default, there’s a limit to how much you can optimize your website if you build it using a website builder.
Some SEO tactics require you to edit the code of your website that most website builders won’t let you touch. Doing this on a WordPress website you host yourself is a breeze but on a website builder, it can be a pain.
Most website builders offer cheap plans and pricing to lure businesses in but there’s a catch. For the cheap price, they put a lot of limits on your website. They limit the number of visitors you can get, the amount of bandwidth you can use, how many files you can upload. Some even go as far as limiting the number of pages you can create.
For most businesses though, these limits don’t matter. But if you are a serious business owner and want to scale your website to thousands of visitors, either host your website on a VPS or go with the business plans on whatever website builder you go with.
Website builders make it easy to build and launch a website but they aren’t the best solution for every business. Even though website builders are limited in what they let you do, you should dismiss them without first trying them.
If you want to launch a blog, website or run a small business, website builders can save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. We highly recommend website builders for small businesses and beginners. You can check out some of the best website builders on the market in our list of the best website builders.
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