Best Website Builders? A Web Developer’s Take
Which Web Builder Should You Choose?
There are so many options out there, and it can get overwhelming which one to choose. It is best to do your research if you plan to build your website yourself. Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Weebly and Elementor are very simplistic website builders who cater to no-code users that want a website quick and fast. They lack customization for web developers, their templates are simple, and the creativity you can get out of them is limited. For web developers, simpler isn’t better. Web developers want more templates, customizations, and more selection. Web developers have the opposite approach to builders.
In my own experience, the best website builders I have come across have been Webflow and Yootheme Pro. Divi is a close third. The reason for this is they cater to web developers. Their drag-and-drop builders are more complex. Most of their templates have a lot of selection and numerous customizations for each builder. Divi has a lot of templates to choose from, although you may have to pay extra for a template not covered in their free section.
What about WordPress?
Before wondering if having a WordPress website is needed or not, you have to assess your competence level with content management systems (CMS). There is a learning curve when learning WordPress or Drupal. But once you have the basics down, you are good to go. WordPress and Drupal are similar; Drupal is an older system than WordPress. Both have their market, but I prefer WordPress. Drupal has slightly more difficult permissions to understand.
Is it important?
In general, a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal will give you a lot of flexibility for several reasons. Both CMS’ are free, which means you can ditch the monthly payments of the others listed above. Plugins are your friend when it comes to CMS. E-commerce solutions, forms, security or anything else you may need on your website will be there on WordPress or Drupal. There are restrictions on the typical builders’ systems. SEO is also more difficult. Yoast can make SEO easy on WordPress with its analysis of your content.
What are the Costs?
This is where it gets tricky. For more simple builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and others, you will be on a monthly plan that ranges from fifteen a month to fifty per month. Those companies cater more to those wanting one site and try to cheap as possible. Still, you end up having to pay for hosting on top. Sometimes your custom domain is included, but not all the time.
Most of the time, the regular user will not use the builder to its full potential. That is where web developers differ. They use their plans to their full capabilities, which ultimately cuts costs. Most advanced builders are on yearly plans. Due to a builder’s monthly fees, getting a website built by developers will almost always save you. It might cost more upfront, but what is gained in the long run is worth it. If I were to recommend a simple builder, I’d probably go for Squarespace, Wix, Duda, or Shopify. No Elementor or GoDaddy, please.