computing in office

Choosing Between Professional Website Builders and Hand Coding

Marketing your business requires a lot of work, especially the work done on building your website as it gradually becomes your online business card. There are two “mainstream” approaches to building a website page, they are: using a professional website builder and hand-coding the website from scratch. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of both approaches and analyze how to choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Building Websites with Professional Website Builders

People know the name of businesses such as Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, and GoDaddy from their commercials and ads plugged into YouTube videos and social media websites. The drag-and-drop block editors that these businesses have made available, provide a user-friendly way of creating a website that doesn’t require the user to have decent HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills. Other well-known website builders such as Tilda and Weebly also provide a similar user experience to make beautiful websites. Obviously, this becomes trendy so quickly as there are plenty of advantages of using these website builders. Here are some major advantages to consider when choosing a website builder to create a website.

1. Cost Saving

Most of the website builders offer a free trial or even a free option to build the first site. They also offer several plan options to choose from in case users need more features that extend past one site. Compared with working with a web developer, it costs a lot less to use a website builder.

2. Easy to Use

Professional website builders provide a variety of predefined templates and themes to choose from. And their drag-and-drop functionality allows users to edit the web page to the desired look without knowing HTML and CSS. 

3. Ready-to-go

When creating websites with these builder systems, users don’t have to worry about hosting, source code management, and website maintenance. The professional website builder will do them all. Particularly, this will be a huge benefit when it comes to a time-consuming project. If the website needs to be published the very next day, using a website builder can make it real in a few hours. 

There are also some disadvantages to consider.

1. The Website Builder is the Owner of the Sites

The website builder owns the sites created, not the user. Because of this, it is hard to transfer the website to another platform.

2. May not be Unique

Since the website is built on top of some predefined themes or templates, it may look similar to competitors. 

Hand Coding from Scratch

It’s the traditional and classic approach to building a website. As everyone expected, working with a web development company can have the website built in a very professional way. The developing team will help each business go through the steps of business analysis, gathering requirements, design of UI and architecture, code implementation, and professional support and maintenance. Thus, each client gets a unique solution based on the specified requirements. This can help clients to more profitable if their business scope is large. Here are some advantages of working with developers and coding from scratch.

1. Targeted on Unique Goals

The professional development team will focus on working towards client requirements, and focus on the business goal which the client is trying to achieve.

2. 100% Own the Website

Since the website is hand-coded with the purchased host and domain, your business owns the entire website. Going forward, if the business decides to transfer from one platform to another, it’s easy to take all of the source code to the new platform.

3. Best SEO Practices

Some of the best SEO practices can be done while coding the websites, such as optimizing the HTML tags and managing meta titles and meta descriptions. And an experienced web developer is familiar with how to apply these practices in order to improve the SEO. 

Working with developers also has its cons, so here are some aspects to be considered. 

1. Not Always Time Efficient

Certainly, working with a development team extends the communication path. Sometimes, this will trigger communication delays and misunderstandings. In addition, if the development team comes from a popular agency, they can have multiple projects going on at the same time and the client will have to wait.

2. Result in Larger Cost and Uncontrolled Budget

The cost is a big thing to consider. It always costs much more to hire developers than simply using a website builder.  What’s more, as the client requirements keep coming and piling up, the billing amount also keeps climbing up, unless it is under a fixed amount contract. And this is a very common scenario when working on a website project for a large business, then the budget becomes uncontrollable.

In conclusion, for some startups, small businesses, and some non-profit organizations, using a website builder seems to be a reasonable choice. And for larger businesses, or organizations with a larger scope, working with developers would be a good idea because they can better address the business goals.

Besides helping our enterprise clients with DataStax and Sitecore projects we also provide companies with project planning workshops and Virtual CIOs.

We build and manage business platforms. Is your project going south? Did your vendor screw up again (that never happens)? Let’s talk for 15 minutes.

Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash