Site Builders Or A Web Developer
When you are starting a business, you might ask yourself this question: do you use site builders, or hire a web developer? The quick answer is, it depends. Now, that's probably a very frustrating answer, but let's take a look at why this is the case!
Case for site builders
There are many different site builder services available, like Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. We won't go into the details of what each of these services offer, but here are some reasons for why you might consider using a site builder.
No technical knowledge required
Without a doubt, one of the biggest reasons for using a site builder is that you don't have to know how to code to make a website. Some offer a drag-and-drop content management system, while others offer a template. Some services like Shopify focus solely on a E-commerce platform, allowing you to set up an online store in a matter of minutes. As an added bonus, these services may also offer domain name purchasing, as well as a hosting plan.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing a site builder is the initial cost. Most services offer subscription based payments, which are generally more affordable than hiring a developer to build your website (in the beginning, at least). For example, Shopify's subscription plan starts from $29 USD per month, and their advanced tier costs $299 USD per month. If your business is just starting out, site builders may be a good option, as you don't have to pay off a lump sum of money upfront to get your website off the ground.
Case for hiring a developer
While site builder services sound pretty enticing, there are many reasons why you might want to hire a web developer instead.
If you perceive your business to grow significantly over time, then you might want to think about hiring a web developer to build your website to begin with. Your website may be simple to at first, but as your business grows, you might need a complex feature that your site builder doesn't offer.
Many site builders offer template websites, which again, are great at the beginning of your business. As you become more established, however, you might find that having a custom design for your website might be a better fit for your business presence, especially if you want to stand out.
With the exception of a site builder service like WebFlow,
your site template may not be using best practices like semantic markups, affecting the accessibility of your website. As stated in our past blog post
, an inaccessible website will have negative impact on your SEO, and give a difficult time to your audience using a screen-reader to view your website.
In general, we believe that a website created by a professional developer will yield better results for you. In most cases, if you have a problem with your website, you can call up your developer and they would probably be able to fix things for you. If you're with a site builder, however, you might have to go through various processes before you actually get to speak with someone who can help you. A website built by a developer is likely more extensible as well (assuming it was built by a good developer!). You might need a custom feature in the future, but the functionality may not be available on your site builder service. With that said, as a young company, you may choose to prioritize your wealth in other places. Hiring a developer can be expensive. In many cases too, a template website may suffice. Not all companies need a unique web presence. You might have a reliable local clientele, and not need a custom made website.
When you are deciding between site builders and web developers, it truly helps to think about your goals. If you definitely know that you just need a simple landing page, or a simple online store, site builders may suffice. For anything complex, hiring a web developer would probably be a better fit for you. In either case, make sure to research the reputation of your service - always try to hire a web developer you can trust.