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Cover image for Website Builder vs Web Developer - What should you choose?

Website Builder vs Web Developer - What should you choose?

fmctaggart profile image Fraser McTaggart ・3 min read

Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy Website Builder are all very popular ways to create a website. I can understand why many businesses take this route. These tools allow anyone to create a website and get their business online. Why would people spend hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands to create a website?

There are lots of reasons! I like this analogy:

"Why do people still visit restaurants when they can have a microwavable tv dinner?"

Obviously, I'm slightly biased, however I urge you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

1. Human vs Machine

No DIY website builder is capable of doing market research, competitor analysis and keyword analysis. This is one of the first steps that any web designer / marketer worth their salt will take. You need to find out what works, why it works, and why something different may work. This can be specific for regions and different types of business. Content, layout, page structure, design and tone all need to be decided on with careful consideration. These are things that developers learn over several decades.

2. Leave it to the professionals

Sure, you can watch a youtube video and know how to rip out a bathroom and put a new one in. Does this mean you should? Probably not. There are some skills that you need to hone over many years to perfect. To add to that, websites and web development is changing at such an incredible pace. Look at amazon 10 years ago. The design has changed significantly, and the way it has been designed and deployed was unimaginable 10 years ago. Most business owners don't have the time to invest to learn about all of the things that are important in web development. Even web developers that have been doing it for a long time can fall out of touch if they don't keep themselves invested in learning.
Amazon then and now

3. Customer satisfaction

If you create a website with a website builder, more often than not, you will come back to a web developer further down the line. Just take a look at some of the reviews:

Trustpilot reviews for wix

"DON'T GET SIGNED WITH WIX YOU WILL REGRET"

"Horrible customer service"

"They make it very difficult to cancel your plan, I have been trying to get help for over a month and they did nothing but answering with vague emails."

"I am an idiot for not checking trust pilot. I looked around on google and this seemed to be the best way to set up a site for rookies."

"The online help is narrow and limited and I never seem to be able to get an answer to any problem I have. Performance wise, the Editor has become slow and buggy. I am now exploring a local web design company to transfer my sites away. I have invested around £1k with this lot so far but not any more. Be warned."

4. Extra functionality

Website builders are not yet capable of more in depth development. However this may change in the future!

You can read more articles here:
www.mctweb.co.uk

What do you offer to clients to persuade them away from website builders?

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Discussion

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Why 1 against another? Why not together? There are builders such as webflow that allow you to do almost anything a basic website needs (I have been in this industry long enough to know that 90 percent of websites out there are just basic). You get something beautiful, quick, lowcost, high standard code quality, and you can do it yourself or with the help of designer or developer.

 

So you mean web developers using a site builder? It is debatable that they output a high standard of code. I haven't been in contact with many webflow sites, however wix code output is horrendous.
I think once the standards improve a bit more then I can see them being a good solution for basic sites- however as mentioned I feel that there needs to be a human with experience to get SEO and content to a high standard.

 

Check out webflow :). What I meant by high quality standard is that if the website builder team is competent, they can generate very consistent, well tested code. Of course you may not compare that with the work of an expert, highly skilled developer yet. But the amount of incompetent developers is just so dang high that sometimes it's better to go with consistently-good-result?

I'm not trying to argue against a custom solution in anyway. But not many people/business have the required resources for that. And you cannot ask skilled developers to work for cheap, or can you?

I'm also a big Webflow supporter and user! It allows you to build websites in a relatively short time without compromising on the design quality!