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Techspot: Should you use a website builder?

Thought Leader

Techspot: Should you use a website builder?

The past couple of years have seen a boom in the number of website builder websites, which enable you to create a website for your business without having to know anything about coding, programming, or even design. The best known website builders include Wix.com, Moonfruit.com, Weebly.com and Wordpress.com.

These website builders provide a wide range of designs, layout and templates to choose from so you only have to drag and drop the text and pictures that you want to use to where you want them and their programme does the rest. They provide hosting for the finished website and some will optimise your site for internet search engines too. Others include the option of running an online store on your website.

For those not keen on grappling with technology, it can be an appealing option.

Before going down this route however, there are three key things to consider. First, the cost. While most website builders entice you in with the promise of a free website, in reality it is their small business package that you are going to need, which will cost you anything from £10 to month to £21 a month. That might not sound a lot but it means that over four years you could have spent £1000 – money which could have gone a long way to either paying a developer, or for teaching yourself, to build one from scratch. And you will have to keep on paying your monthly fee for as long as you need the website.

Second, you need to think hard about what you are going to use your website for. If it is simply going to act as an information point and will not change much over time then a website builder makes a lot more sense than if you are planning to grow a large online store, especially as some website builder programmes limit the number of products you can sell.

The final consideration is a big one. If one day you decide that you want to move your website to another hosting service then you are unlikely to be able to do so, because most of these sites use their own custom code to display your site. If you want to have complete control over your website, the website builder route is not for you.

Whichever route you decide to take, make sure you have taken the time to research and evaluate your choice carefully. A few hours now may save much agonising later.

Comments
Inventor

Thanks for this article. I decided to go with a website builder since I am just starting out and I don't know how to code. Anyhow, I was still able to build my own website using the hPage.com website builder and I love it so much! So affordable too!