Gone are the days where you had to learn complex programming languages to build a website.
Now, you’ll find that there are countless options to get online.
For one, you can work with a web designer. Most businesses either commission a freelancer or hire from an agency.
And then there are website builders – drag-and-drop platforms that let you design and publish websites without writing a single line of code.
Both are effective means of getting a website. But as an independent consultant or business, you’ll need to factor in budget or design requirements before getting started.
We’ll help you narrow down on a decision by weighing the pros and cons of working with website builders and web designers.
Website Builder vs. Web Designer: What’s the Difference?
Web designers are responsible for the aesthetics – and functionalities – of a site. This includes the website’s theme, pages, navigation, and responsiveness. Web designers are almost like Web Developers, but they have a sharper eye on UX (User Experience).
With a reputable web designer, you can almost be sure to see your dream website come to life. They go beyond preset themes – making sure you get a custom website that meets your business needs.
Website builders are tools where users select templates to create a website. You can design and publish a site without needing to know coding languages like CSS, HTML, or design tools like Photoshop.
Website builders have drag-and-drop functions – where you literally drag and drop sections or buttons to create functional sites in minutes.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Web Designer
Pro: Expect professional designs
Web designers take the time to understand your business. They analyse your target audience, unique selling point(s), and what YOU want to achieve with your site.
Designers translate all these to a website that’s unique and professional. So, if you’re a business or individual with advanced website needs, then a web designer is an ideal choice.
|The biggest pet peeve when working with designers? Scope creep!
Read more about scope creep and how to prevent it here.
Con: Your website won’t be ready right away
Like the world-famous Mona Lisa painting, a great design takes time.
From researching, drafting, and testing — designers set a timeline of 3-6 weeks before delivering the final product. There’s also a delay before getting started. So, if you’ve set your sight to working with a web designer, better book early!
Pro: Greater flexibility
Bigger businesses need more quality design, SEO features, and more requirements.
This is where web designers get a leg up over website builders.
Hiring a designer allows you to suggest and add elements that aren’t offered by website builders. For one, you get a custom site instead of a generic template. And if you’re looking to add personalised photos, you can ask a designer to create unique images for you.
Con: It can get expensive
Web designers typically cost more than website builders. After all, you’re commissioning a third-party to create your site.
We emphasized the word can, because not all web design services are expensive. You can hire from freelance websites like Upwork and hire web designers that charge half of what an agency would.
Pro: When you work with a freelancer or startup, you’re supporting a dream!
You’ll find that affordable web design services are freelancers, startups, and local companies. These are people who’ve invested time and money to pursue their passion. And there’s nothing more fulfilling than helping them realise their goals.
Plus, startups put their heart into everything they do since they’re trying to build their reputation. So, you can expect quality work and ongoing support for your website.
Con: But, beware. You could get scammed
Reputable web designers can make your vision a reality. But you’ll find that no two designers offer the same amount of expertise.
Make sure you do your research before entrusting your website to an agency or freelancer. Ask for website samples and research for any customer reviews. Remember that expensive won’t always translate to impressive.
Pro: You get ongoing support
It’s no fun when a website goes down or when you encounter a function that you’re unfamiliar with. Fortunately, most web designers (or agencies) offer ongoing support – allowing you to easily send an inquiry.
Working with a designer? Make sure you have a creative brief ready.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Website Builder
Pro: It’s best for beginners
Website builders were made with beginners in mind. It’s simple, easy-to-use, and let you save your work before publishing.
A website builder’s drag and drop function allows you to easily format and add content at little to no cost. All you need to do is choose a template, paste content, decide on the overall style, and you’re ready to go. There’s also no limit as to how many times you edit your website.
Con: Your website can end up looking like a generic template
Despite being user-friendly, you’ll find that most website builder templates appear static. That isn’t to say they aren’t visually appealing. But website builders don’t have the professional layouts that most bigger businesses require.
A good workaround is to customise a template from scratch. This means starting with a blank template – or having a designer do it for you at a low cost.
Pro: You can Start Free and Move Up!
Most website builders offer affordable packages starting from free plans to premiums. Free plans include basic features like free hosting, access to a website builder’s features, and a custom subdomain.
And when you’re ready to invest, you can move up to a premium plan of your choice. It’s a great option for smaller businesses or agencies. You also get bundled features such as a personalised domain, SSL certificate, and more.
Pro: Easily open and run an online store
Want to open your online store? You can get it at an affordable cost with a website builder.
Most website builders offer their ecommerce functions as a separate feature. But it’s still loads cheaper than commissioning a web designer to create a store for you. All you need is to create product pages, upload pictures, and input a description. You can also choose
Con: You don’t own your website design
Website builders, like Sitebeat, Wix, and Weebly are all separate platforms. Switching to another provider means you must rebuild your website from scratch.
Pro: Get ongoing support
Yes, there are website builders that offer ongoing support, depending on the plan you sign up for. You can even get it in your local language.
So, what’s it going to be?
Remember, no two scenarios are alike. Your decision depends on your time, budget, and business size.
If you’re an independent business, startup, or small business – then a website builder is an affordable option for getting online. It’s ease of use also means you get your website up and running in minutes.
On the other hand, businesses with bigger budgets can always work with web designers.
Carefully weigh in the pros and cons listed above – and decide what’s best for your business in the long run. Best of luck!
Not sure on where to start? We can help.
Visit Sitebeat today.