Every business needs a website, whether it is a large corporation or a freelancer who wants to promote services online. However, building a feature-rich website can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000. Professional design agencies attract a whole team to work on your project and guarantee awesome results. But sometimes, such investments are just beyond your budget. What to do?
There is another way to build a presence online at a low price or even for free – website builders. In this post, we are going to have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this method. Also, you will learn if using a website builder is right for you in your particular case.
What is a Website Builder?
The need to easily create websites and landing pages for businesses that cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars caused the emergence of online website builders. With their help, one can, without any knowledge of coding or design, build a website from drag-and-drop blocks in a visual editor.
Usually, these apps run in the browser and require registration. Also, if you want your website to have a unique domain and not just a set of random numbers, you will have to pay for a subscription. Domain and hosting are not free. However, sometimes you might get them as a gift for your subscription or host your website for free on the company’s servers.
Some website builders are completely free, but in exchange, you have to grant them permission to show their own ads on your page.
The functionality of such websites will never be as high as when you develop a website from scratch. However, sometimes you do not need a wide range of possibilities. You can customize the ready blocks and use extensions in order to have a working website quickly.
Should You Use a Website Builder?
To use or not to use a website builder is the question that every small business owner has to answer. Why only “small business”?
- The difference between a custom web design and a website builder design is obvious. Even if you pay for a subscription and have a unique domain, such a website works as a portfolio or landing page. You can even use SEO to bring new visitors to the website and integrate contact forms to communicate with potential customers. However, if a large corporation decided to save up money this way, it would look ridiculous in comparison to the competitors.
- Another thing that prohibits large corporations from working with off-the-shelf web solutions is serious limitations in the number of web pages and traffic. If you are receiving many leads, you will have to pay more to the hosting organization. Depending on the conditions of your subscription, at some moment the situation might reach the point when it is actually cheaper to develop your own website with a professional web design agency. Click here for some of the best in the industry.
- Branding is important for large companies. A website is an important part of your corporate identity. Anyway, a website builder will never allow you the same level of customization as a solution that you develop from scratch. You will have to follow standard practices in everything – from layouts to fonts.
All in all, website builders definitely have some benefits:
- They allow building a website fast. You can use them to test your idea in the early stages or create a landing for your new product, especially if the offer is limited. For example, it is a common practice to use web applications to build webpages for concerts, conferences, and events. Afterward, nobody needs these websites anymore, so it makes no sense to invest a lot of money into them.
- Website builders are easy to use. Anyone can create a website using them, from a grandma who wants to sell her home-made jam to a small marketing agency. You don’t need to be a qualified designer or know how to code.
- They are much cheaper than developing a website from scratch. The monthly subscription starts from $10-15 per month. This approach allows you to understand whether you even need a website, get your first clients, and grow an online presence.
However, the obvious disadvantages should keep medium and large businesses from overusing this option.
Website builders are a convenient and cheap way to make websites. However, the websites that you make this way are far from being perfect. In the majority of situations, you shouldn’t allow your desire to save up money to guide you and address professional web design agencies.