If you have the task of building a website for the very first time, picking the best website builder in a sea of options can be absolutely overwhelming. There are the DIY builders, Content Management Systems (CMS for short) such as WordPress, and the old-fashioned way of hirinig someone to build a website for you.
Over the last few years the market has literally been flooded by all sorts of different website builders.
They are great if you want to do the job yourself, however, not each builder will be appropriate to use on all types and styles of websites.
First of all, what are they?
Website builders make it possible to build a website without having any technical background or coding experience. They usually come in the form of a platform, such as WordPress, Weebly or Wix, or they are sometimes part of a hosting package. They are usually good for small websites, such as personal blogs for example, and are not suitable for enterprise-scale company websites.
What website builders do, is lead you through a process where you have to choose a theme and then populate by drag and drop what you would like your website to contain, until you are happy with the end result. Some offer their own hosting, whereas for others you need to choose your hosting provider.
There are two kinds of website builders – online and offline.
Offline Website Builders
The offline type are in the form of software programs that are downloaded and installed on your computer. You build your website, saving all its files on your computer. Only when it is ready, you upload it to a web host.
There is an obvious advantage to such website builders. Since the software you are using runs locally, you don’t need to have internet access before you are done with all the work on the website. Having to upload your website to a web host however requires you to have at lest minimal technical skills. You also need to buy hosting in addition to the website building software.
Online Website Builders
The online type of website builders are web-based and. With them you don’t need to install and run the software on your computer – you just need a web browser and access to the Internet. This allows you to work on your website from just about anywhere. An added benefit is that the builder usually comes with web hosting services, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing it or having to configure it separately. Most of the website builders are created for people without previous development experience.
No Technical Skills for a Successful Site
So what are the advantages of using a website builder? Well, for a small website, such a tool can create magic in virtually no time. What’s more, you don’t need to have any technical skills in order to create a beautiful result.
You can upload your photos or change text color and font in one click. And since the website templates are created by specialists, this means you will also be able to create a profesionally looking site.
The Fastest Route to Getting Online
If you are in a hurry to get you content online, using a website builder is the best option for you.
You can choose from a huge number of templates, themes and tools, and once you do, all that is left is pasting your content and uploading a few images and you are ready to go.
If you’d like some tips on how to choose the best template for your site, check out this article.
You Don’t Need a Ton of Money to do it
In most cases, this is the cheapest way to build your website. You don’t need to buy a theme and hire somebody for the job, you can do it yourself, and it will cost you very little.
Even if you go big with an expensive plan, a builder still ends up cheaper than outside help. Moreover, a lot of builders come with support, domain names and of course, hosting.
A Word on The Cons
Despite all the benefits listed, website builders aren’t right for just any kind of website. They’re awesome if you’re looking for a quick, simple and functional website, but there are limitations, too.
Here are a few.
You Can’t Scale Your Site Indefinitely
Website builders often limit you by how big your site can go. If you’d like to build massive content, you’re up for disappointment.
Even if you successfully add a huge number of pages, you will be moving against the framework at hand, instead of taking advantage of its strong sides.
If you intend to create a huge website, then you’d better go for a CMS, such as WordPress.
You Won’t Be Able To Control Everything
With most builders your website is not really yours to keep. That’s because you are paying to use a framework which is only leased to you. If you decide to switch to another platform, it’s not exactly impossible, but presents a lot of difficulties and you are limited by the tools you can use. If you still believe that a builder is the way to go, check out a list of the best website builders.
Functionality Can Be Restricted
Using a website builder means that your options are as big as the platform. If you need something simple, that’s great and you should look no further. If you plan on introducing a lot of custom stuff, however, the builder framework will be against you, rather than with you. If you are going to need full control of your future site, you will either need to use workarounds, or compromise.