Article brought to you by Nilead, a website builder platform with fully managed design and build service.
With the recent boom in eCommerce and internet coverage, many small businesses and startups are using 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)
Website builders give individuals and businesses new-found opportunities to own professional websites. Let's take a look at the benefits they offer:
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.
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.
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.
To support the wide majority of websites, most website builders introduce a list of pre-built features that can satisfy most of the common requirements for a website.
Website builder service usually provides 24/7 and quick turnaround 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. ”
However, before you start using these tools, there are some major drawbacks with these website builders that you should consider:
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 business's brand and credibility.
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:
Basic design knowledge (user experience and user interface. Do you know how to pick a good font or color pallet for your brand?)
Basic website knowledge (understanding basic website knowledge is essential for building search engine optimized and user-friendly websites)
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 needs great images and graphic designs to look good. Do you have these skills?
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.
Many website owners who want to use the website builders later have to hire 3rd party to help them with customization design and plugins (in many cases, it's impossible to develop custom plugins/features 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, a 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 room for changes and improvement even after the site deployment so that you don't have to be right on your first try.
Vu Nguyen is an entrepreneur, developer, and founder of Nilead. He loves backend website development and has experience in eCommerce (owning an online store as well as being a developer), Search Engine Optimization, UX Design, and Content Strategy.
Since 2005, Vu has headed and overseen UX design teams for projects in corporations, start-ups, individuals, etc., regardless of their size. He has been involved in both the creative and technical aspects of each project - from ideation to concept and vision, prototype building to detailed design, and build-up to deployment.