Why I like and hate website builders

So, maybe, before start, I need to say who am I.

My name is Ilya Chirkov. I'm a middle full-stack web-developer. For people who don't know, Fullstack mean that I combine front-end (like the design and creating how web-page looks like) and back-end (it means server side of website and processes which need logic from the website) skills. I'm creating websites for 4 years. Now, I think that I can move to talk about web-builders

So, what web-builders means?

Web-builders is the services, where you can create a website without writing any line of code. I can divide this services into 2 main groups: websites and CMS.

Web builders based on website work like constructors. You open website, create an account, press "create a website" and after that, do whatever you want: create blocks, choose a theme, change text and more. Here some of this web-services:

  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • uCoz
  • Ukit
  • Webly

Another type of web builders is CMS (Content Manage System). This type work like a box. You buy (or download if it's free) core of CMS, install on your hosting, and then follow instructions and as result, get Web builders based on website, but with only one different, that you have your customizable website not on web-services, but on your web server and you can manage it from admin panel. Here some most popular CMS:

  • Wordpress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • 1C-Bitrix
  • ModX

Next, I'll talk about web-services.

And before I start, you need to understand, that all, what I talk about in this post is just my own opinion based on my own experience. I just want to share it with you

Why web-builders are good?

1) Fast creating

You don't need to wait when your website will be ready to go to production. All you need to do is to move already created blocks which you like to the place where they need to be, press 'publish' and voila, your website on the internet. Copy your address and share with friends.

If you ask a developer to create an easy website, it will take from 30 minutes and upper, because each website has different difficulty and uniqueness.

2) Easy support and customization

With website builders, you don't need to text your web-developer to change the text or something small on your website (like colour, image or whole block). You, open editor, make changes and everything ready and take less than 5 minutes. So here, you don't need anyone to make every* change you want.

*I will tell later, why It's not right.

3) No code required

Here everything easy. you don't need to know HTML/CSS/JS or more complex things to create a website.

4) Integration with other services

When you create a website you can easily add different plugins or connection with other services, so you don't need to worry about reading the documentation, thinking about place, where you need to put a needed line of code and other stuff.

Everything looks fine, don't you think? Not so

Why web-builders are bad?

1) Template

In my opinion it's difficult to create really cool and unique website (not for design contest but for real life) which will be adaptive (so it will look like cool on every device) and without mess (by this I mean, that you won't create thousands of blocks just for one simple figure). Templates are good when you don't know what exactly you want, but if you know, it's not so good.

2) Addiction

By creating a website on website builders services you put in yourself a framework from which it is almost impossible to get out. You can't customize little things (for example speed of scrolling background image) and create something, which goes outside website builders rules. You can do only what you can do on this service and nothing more.

3) Adaptive design

I have told about this problem previously, but It's really important. In our reality, a website has to look like good on any device because we have different gadgets with different screen resolution. If I open a website on my phone first time and see, that this website is not adaptive and looks bad on my phone, I close it and owner of this website lose one more potential client.

4) Cost

If you ask a developer to create a website, you pay once for creating it. After that, you just pay for every time, when you need to make a change. But if we talk about services, you need to pay not only for your domain but also monthly for using this services. And sometimes this price is not so low for not so big (and sometimes for one page) websites.

So, what I want to say?

I came to this topic a few days ago, when a customer asked me to move already created website to "wix". I spend 3 days to do it. I can't say, that I spent 3 full days on it. But even this fact, this was really hard for me.

I have created the website from the ground by coding for 1-2 days and I have the only idea of the website. But with this situation, I have full design/template and I just needed to copy it and create by blocks. But it was not so easy, because the ability of customization was not so wide. How result, I did it, but it was a little bit different from the previous version of the website.

I came to conclusion, that the best way to use website builders is to create the website when you only have an idea, not full design.

So, let's summarize. You need to use website builders when:

  1. You don't know how to code (!);
  2. You have only idea of what you want to make;
  3. You want to make a changes by yourself;
  4. You want to fast and easy make easy website;
  5. You don't want to pay someone.

On other situations I will recomend you to make website by coding. It's not so hard and bad. On the internet you can find billions of templates and ideas, which you can buy/download and use.