The pros and cons of website builders and when to use them

The pros and cons of website builders

Website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Godaddy and others popular Do it Yourself (DIY) solutions for creating a new website. Using a website builder to build your own website has become a new trend in the recent years, but how effective is it? Lets take a look at the pros and cons of using these builders.
by Vu nguyen
February 21, 2017

With the recent boom in eCommerce and internet coverage, many small businesses and startups are using the online websites as one of their main business channels. However, website design service is costly, and for good reasons (to know more about the cost structure of website design service, check our article on how website design service providers charge for their services).

To help business owners to create a website quickly and cost-effectively, the website builder service was born. Basically, a website builder provides a set of tools for non-tech end-users to quickly create new websites via simple drag-and-drop and intuitive control panels. These website service providers promise end-users website service starting as low as a few dollars per month with the essential features for a website included (or can be purchased as extra plugins)

Why you should consider using website builders?

Website builders give individuals and businesses new-found opportunities to own professional websites. Let's take a look at the benefits they offer:

Low cost websites

With a website builder, you can purchase a pre-coded template and modify the template. Each template can cost anywhere from 50-250 USD. Another option is to build a website from scratch by combining website elements to create a new layout.

For comparison, a good custom design website can cost 3000 - 5000 USD or more.

Quick development and deployment

A normal custom website design and development process can take at least 1 month to 4-5 months. Web builder websites can be done in a few hours or a few days.

Managed hosting service

For many business owners, the tasks involved in maintaining and securing the website can take too much time and effort. In fact, most of the website owners do not have the necessary knowledge to maintain, backup and secure their websites, and usually simply leave the website un-managed. Website builders usually provide their software as a service, they will host, maintain and take care of the code and data for you.

Readily available features

To support the wide majority of websites, most website builders introduce a list of pre-built features that can satistfy most of the common requirements for a website.

Reliable support

Website builder service usually provides 24/7 and quick turn around support service. For businesses without in-house IT support, this type of service support is essential to keep the website up and active.

“ Website builders provide an alternative option for creating your own website quickly. ”

Why you should consider not using website builders?

However, before you start using these tools, there are some major drawbacks with these website builders that you should consider:

Generic branding

Using a website template is one of the easiest ways to tell your potential clients that you are no different from any other business. Anyone could spot these generic websites in a second and it had the effect of cheapening the businesses brand and credibility.

Steep learning curve

If you don't want to use the templates, but want to use the "build" features to create your website from scratch, you will need to prepare yourself with some essential knowledge:
  1. Basic design knowledge (user-experience and user-interface. Do you know how to pick a good font or color pallet for you brand?)
  2. Basic website knowledge (understanding basic website knowledge is essential for building search engine optimized and user friendly websites)
  3. Good command of the builder tools (tons of documents to read through, assuming that they provide good documents)
Keep in mind that, even with good building tools, a website need great images and graphic designs too look good. Do you have these skills?

Limited features

No matter how well planned a website builder tool is, it cannot anticipate all the requirements of every business. In the end you may have to use a plugin that may not fit 100% of your business process, or may not be able to find the necessary plugin at all.

Hidden cost

Many website owners who want to use the website builders later have to hire 3rd party to help them with customization design and plugin (in many cases, it's impossible to develop custom plugin/feature due to the nature of website builders).

There are reasons to use website builders, and there are reasons not to use them. If you need a simple website very soon with the lowest cost, website builder is a good option. It should be noted that you need to analyze your business requirements carefully to pick the right website builder that can serve your purpose.

If you don't want to get your hands dirty and need someone to take you through the whole process, consider our fully managed website solution. Our approach to website design and development allows rooms for changes and improvement even after the site deployment so that you don't have to be right on your first try.

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about the author

Vu Nguyen
Vu Nguyen is an entrepreneur, a developer, and a founder of While his love is in the backend website development work, his experience covers eCommerce (being both a real online store owner and a developer), Search Engine Optimization, UX Design and Content Strategy.

Since 2005, Vu Nguyen has led and directed UX design, full-stack development teams on projects large and small for corporations, start-ups, individuals and more. He was involved in every task of each project, from idea to concept and vision, prototype, detailed design, build and deployment.

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