Website developer vs Website builder

Website developer vs Website builder

We face a number of options, when choosing to design a website. Should we simply hire a website designer/developer and let him/her take care of all the work? Or should we build a website ourselves using a website builder?

If you’re having trouble choosing between hiring a website designer/developer and designing your own website, this article should assist you in solving this dilemma, but firstly, let’s cover the basics.

What is a website developer and website builder?

Definition:

A website developer is a catch all term for designers, programmers, marketing and search engine experts, etc. — all the roles that go into creating a web site.  Usually a person or company calling themselves a web developer will offer most or all of these things, at least they should be able to create your site and get it up and working for you.

A website builder is simply a piece of software that is responsible for programming the functionality of a website. This may sound technical but there is no need for you to worry as a lot of this programming is completed behind the scenes and is not visible to you, the user. In fact, many website builders today require users to have no technical web development (programming) knowledge and are more like drag and drop editors, although for advanced users, there are sometimes options to add to or amend the website coding that is generated by these website builders.

Should I try to build a website myself or hire someone?

You can probably do it yourself with an easy web site builder… but it really depends on a number of things:

  • how professional does it need to be,
  • do you have custom needs,
  • what is your turnaround time,
  • what can you afford
  • and your what is willingness to update and manage your site after the initial site is up.

If you are good with standard office software like Excel, PowerPoint and MS Word, and you are comfortable doing things like adding images, or table, colors, borders, etc. to your documents, you will probably figure out how to use Wix, Weebly or Squarespace quickly. All these sites provide fairly extensive help and tutorials sections.

A website builder will buy you 90% of the customization at 10% of the cost.If you need to get to 100% customization because you want to build something unconventional, then you’ll absolutely need a website designer.

Here are the pros and cons of website builders:

The Pros:

  • A large range of builders
  • Using images in lieu of coding
  • User preview
  • Including several applications on your website
  • Online support system
  • You can do it yourself
  • Cost and time efficient for very low budgets

The Cons:

  • Coding limitations
  • Likely to cost more overtime
  • Content quantity restrictions
  • Lack of collaboration between hosts and builders
  • Other sites look the same
  • Hard to end the relationship
  • People can tell when it’s free
  • It might not mesh perfectly
  • May not be user friendly
  • Not always designed to work with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Most don´t offer mobile or tablet versions
  • Customer Service

Here are the pros and cons of a website developer:

The Pros:

  • More Personable and specific to your company and business
  • Unique, different from your competition
  • You don’t have to worry about it
  • Accurately reflects your brand

The Cons:

  • It can get expensive
  • Changes may take time

Conclusion

In summary, the availability of website builders and the features contained within them are increasing all the time, but we will always have to recommend that you use a website developer for your project.  It is very difficult to design professional quality, unique websites that stand out from the crowd on a website builder platform. The lack of flexibility and difficulty to include the advanced functionality that you may desire will only be achieved by using a website developer.

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