Website builders: Pros and Cons
There are many different ways to create a website. You could hand-code it from scratch (or have someone else do it), use a website editor like Dreamweaver, or go for an open-source content management system (CMS).
Or you could use a website builder. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “A website builder? Isn’t that like a construction kit or a Lego set?” Believe it or not, many small to medium-sized businesses are using these systems to create their professional websites quickly and easily. Of course, not many people like to admit it, so these systems remain a well-kept secret.
Here are some of the pros and cons of website builders to help you decide for yourself.
Advantages to the building-block method
Easy to use: No programming skills required.
One-stop shop: Everything is included – your hosting, the software for your website, blog or online store, and all your maintenance.
Low cost: Website builders rarely cost more than what you’d pay for a hosting package with a similarly-sized web space. And they’re often free.
Anyone can use them: Creating a website is almost as easy as setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
Feature-rich: A good provider will develop their website builder on an ongoing basis (much like our test recommendations).
Security updates: Your provider will install security updates too, avoiding the serious issues that have arisen in this area in the past with open-source CMS (especially with WordPress and its free templates). Now don’t get me wrong: WordPress is great and even the website you are on right now runs on it. It offers fantastic features but it is really complicated compared to a website builder. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for smaller websites. More details.
Spikes in traffic will not cause downtime: If you host your website yourself, be aware that a significant increase in traffic could cause your website to crash (e.g. if a popular website links to your site). That’s not the case if you rely on one of our recommended website builders — tools like Weebly, Jimdo or Squarespace can easily handle large amounts of traffic as their hosting infrastructure balances increased server loads.
Drag and drop integration: Widgets, Google AdSense, Paypal, forms, etc. – you’ll find there’s very little that you can’t add.
Support: Technical support is offered via email, live chat or forums, depending on the provider.