Is there really a difference?
With the emergence of WordPress and website builders, the necessity of hiring developers to create websites that look modern and respectable has diminished. Although many large companies are still hiring people to create websites for them, most smaller businesses, freelancers, and firms are opting to go it alone. But what are the tradeoffs of creating a website using builder software versus through the services of a developer? And what about WordPress versus website builders? Let’s jump in.
WordPress vs. Website Builders
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the internet. When it first emerged over ten years ago, it was a simple blogging platform. Nowadays it is used to build and maintain all kinds of complex websites, including online stores, portfolios, and many more. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it doesn’t require users to know how to code. Web sites are intuitively and easily built using a catalog of different plugins and themes. But the CMS platform can be complex and even overwhelming.
The initial setup required to install WordPress on your domain takes some technical know-how. Additionally, knowing which features to add and how to choose a theme isn’t always so apparent to a first-time website builder, and if you have problems, answers might be difficult to find if you cannot specify what your problem using technical jargon. Changing themes is also an intricate process if a new theme is not compatible with your former layout. It is for this reason that many choose to opt for a website builder.
Website builders give users the freedom of building a website to their specifications using simple platforms like Wix’s What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) drag-and-drop editor. Tools like these allow users to choose themes and customize them by selecting various add-ons and features from a menu and placing them directly on their site. The format is so simple and intuitive that a website basically builds itself.
All elements of a website builder are contained within a single environment. There is no need for outsourcing to different websites to find new features to add. Additionally, most website builders have a dedicated staff waiting to serve you by answering questions and guiding you through the creation process. It is literally fool proof by design. But to acheive this simplicity, website builders don’t allow for as much creative freedom and flexibility as WordPress. Additionally, they are more expensive in comparison.
Website Builders vs. Hiring a Developer
Speaking of flexibility, a developer can build you anything that you want, exactly how you want it. Having a programmer create a website for you will always yield the exact results you are looking for. Even if you lack an idea of how a website should look and function, a good developer will work with you to help you understand what you can and cannot do. With someone building a site for you, the limits of its function are only those in your mind. This comes at a cost, however.
Creating a website from scratch can start in the thousands of dollars. Additionally, not all developers are created equal. Some are more talented than others and often if someone seems too cheap to be true, they probably are. It takes time and consideration to understand how a web designer can meet your needs and the process can be long and daunting. You should also consider if your website is original enough to require someone to build it from the ground up.
Finally, you must consider the fact that a website is a living thing. There is always a need to make changes, edits, and additions. If you rely on a web developer, you may end up paying them every time you desire to do something on your website. There is a certain value to getting familiar with an internet platform.
Making Your Choice
Having broken down the pros and cons of all platforms, which should you choose? The answer is up to you. In my professional opinion, website designers and developers will cost initially, but your brand will experience exponential growth compared to website builders. Developers will be able to build in your SEO on the backend and ensure your site remains updated and fresh.