You’ve seen plenty of advertisements for some of the most “user-friendly”, beginner website builders online, but are they worth it? Well, many people seem to think so, with the industry now worth over $2.8 billion.
Can they really offer the same kind of value as a professional web designer? Well, it’s complicated. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of using a website builder and find out if it’s right for you.
Pros of Using a Website Builder
Website building platforms market themselves as the greatest thing since sliced bread, claiming to offer the best tools for a low price, or even for free.
There is one obvious benefit of using an online website builder and that they cost less than hiring a professional web designer or web design company, as you aren’t paying for the cost of somebody else’s labor.
The other major benefit is that there are plenty of online resources to help you accomplish what you want to accomplish. Many of the platforms offer plugins to help you with your website’s SEO value, user experience, and more.
Also, they are fairly user-friendly. If you know some basic web design techniques, technical SEO terms, and how to use each of the tools, then these platforms are extremely easy to navigate and use. Okay, those are some great benefits. What are the downsides?
Cons of Using a Website Builder
The truth is that these platforms aren’t always exactly what they are advertised as. First of all, while they are user-friendly, there is definitely a need for understanding basic web design and technical terms.
That’s why there are so many companies offering web design work that use these tools themselves. People go to them because they can’t figure out how to use them or because it’s simply too time-consuming to learn. That brings us to our next point.
Web design, no matter how user-friendly the platform is, takes time. This is especially true for anybody who is not experienced with building a modern website. We’re sorry but if your web design experience is from 2006, it’s no longer relevant.
Building an entire website from scratch is a complicated process that often takes up to 14 weeks to complete, which your company may not be able to afford.
If you have the time to get your website up, then this isn’t a problem. However, new business owners tend to be very busy with other important tasks, so leaving this to the professionals who can get the job done in a hurry is often the way to go.
Truth About The Price
Let’s say right off the bat that some of the advertisements about these platforms are misleading, to say the least. Many of these platforms advertise that they are “free”, but this comes with a major clause.
First of all, the domain isn’t free. You will be able to get a free website if you are willing to accept the platform’s name in your URL, which is not the right look for a business trying to establish its reputation. If you want your own URL with a “.com” or something similar, you will have to pay for that.
Secondly, their business model can’t rely on advertisements alone for DIY website-builders. Because of this, they typically offer a free basic package that really cripples your ability to use the platform to the fullest extent. Often, you will have to buy a business package that could cost between $100 and $400 for your first year, and you will have to renew annually. This may also come with additional monthly subscription charges.
Lastly, let’s talk about the plugins. Most of the plugins that you will need to help with SEO value, UX, page speed optimization, mobile optimization, and more will require you to not only purchase the business package but also to pay for each individual plugin.
The truth is that these platforms aren’t exactly what they are advertised to be. They’re fine for a basic blog that’s meant for a niche group that doesn’t need to bring in new traffic, but for a business looking to bring in new customers, they aren’t ideal.
These platforms cost nearly as much as a web designer to get the maximum benefits, they take a lot of time to build, and they don’t offer the same finished product if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you hire a professional web designer, they will already have the right plugins, subscriptions, and tools necessary to design your website to meet your desired criteria. That eliminates these unnecessary costs, minimizes the time it will take to build your website, and gives you the best possible product.
Build Your Site Today
Now that you know the truth about using an online website builder, you should strongly consider looking to get the best possible website for your business. Remember that your website acts as the center of your entire digital marketing strategy, and having a good one is important for SEO, conversion rate optimization, and your overall ROI. Stay up to date with our latest marketing news and feel free to contact us with any questions!