Not all that long ago, using a website builder to design your website had a similar stigma attached to it as trying to run your car off of reused cooking oil. It could be smelled out from a mile away and the performance often left much to be desired.
Recently things have taken a change for the better though and there are many capable choices for website builders out there if you are looking towards the do it yourself path. Today we will be exploring a list of misconceptions surrounding website builders as well as a couple of their downsides which are actually true.
1. A site created with a website builder is destined to be cheap and ugly, both in look and feel.
False – Now of course, any website builder will take a fair amount of work to make your website look nice and if you only put in minimal effort your website will come out lackluster. The fact remains though that modern website builders are now quite advanced.
If you spend time playing around with all the different menus and settings within your website builder of choice, you will find that you can build a site that is just as full-featured as most other sites out there on the internet.
2. A professional website needs professionals working on it in order for it to be successful
True – Even if you have a knack for design the site still needs to be filled with well-written, interesting content in order to be successful. Without stellar content, in Google’s eyes, your visually impressive website is nothing more than a lump of coal wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow on top.
Hire specialists to help you! Depending on what you are good at you can either outsource the content creation or graphic design – or both. Check sites like Elance, Odesk or even Fiverr for qualified freelancers.
3. A site built with a website builder will never rank well in Google.
False – While any site that uses shady SEO (search engine optimization) practices or produces poor content will be ill-received in the eyes of the almighty Google, the program that was used to build it doesn’t have any bearing on your search engine rankings as long as you can edit the SEO-relevant parts of your website. Our reviews will give you details for each provider.
4. Your website will crash easily once traffic starts rolling in.
False – Hosted website builders can usually take large amounts of traffic due to the infrastructure the site building companies provide. Compared to systems like WordPress.org you can run a website that attracts a large number of visitors much more cost-effectively with the likes of Jimdo and Weebly.
5. No successful websites have ever been created using a site builder.
False – Sure, a good percentage of people are using these tools to build a personal site. However, several lucrative online businesses and websites have been created using website builders.
Shopify is a great example of an all-in-one e-commerce building tool that large-scale businesses use to set up their online stores. Jimdo and Wix are also great website builders that help business owners get their feet wet in the online world.
6. You won’t be able to customize your site once it has been built.
False – You have every right to continue changing and customizing your website. Your freedom for structural changes is slightly more restricted than if you were coding the website from scratch, but at the advantage of you not having to learn how to write or read code.
7. Moving away from a website builder can be quite a headache.
True – Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed in this department recently. If you have built your site using a specific website builder, in most cases you will more or less be locked in. If you move to another CMS or site builder then you will need to start designing your website from scratch all over again.
This might not be such a bad thing if you are already planning a full re-design, but it can be very time-intensive. Squarespace is one site builder that boasts the freedom of allowing you to move around. But even if you are using one of the larger content management systems: moving an entire, established website is never a walk in the park.
8. In order to build an impressive website, you need to learn how to code first.
False – In fact, learning how to code at this point is a pretty poor investment of your time unless you plan on doing it for a living. With all the choices of website builders, plugins, wizards and online guides, you won’t run into many situations that require coding knowledge while building a site.
If you do need a bit of code handled for you, rather than risk screwing up your whole site by playing around with settings that are literally in a language that is foreign to you (coding language), get someone else to do it. Coding experts can be found on sites like oDesk and eLance for just a few dollars per hour.
Should I use a website builder for my next (or first) website?
There really is no one answer that will apply to everyone although it should be fairly easy to figure out on your own. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I have more of – money or time?
- Do I enjoy tinkering around and building things or does that kind of work drive me up the wall?
If you have a lot (or a little) of time on your hands and are on a budget, you should definitely give a website builder a shot. You will save a good deal of money and be much closer to the developmental process of your website. If money is not so much of an issue or you are very pressed for time, then you may want to let someone else take over the website creation, whether using a site builder or otherwise.
If you have ever been interested in creating your own website in the past, there has never been a better time to give a website builder a try.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment!