Sep 18, 2017

When should you use a website builder versus having a custom website made

Code

There are more and more website builders out there, like Weebly or Squarespace, that make it tauntingly easy to create a website. How do you know if this is the right approach for you, or if you need something more custom?

If you just need a simple web presence to validate your business, you might check out a website builder. Some events/ businesses really just need to have a web address to validate their existence to clients, but aren't too concerned about generating traffic to the site or updating it regularly. This would be a fantastic use of a web builder. Very affordably, you can have a decent looking site up in no time. 

When you are going to feel the limitations of a content builder is either when it comes to automation, ease of updates, or needing a specific feature.

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Keeping a website updated quickly and easily

A custom site can be engineered to make your life easier when it comes to keeping a site updated and content fresh. Depending on the updates you need to make on a daily basis, a content builder can be a real hinderance to productivity. 

For example, if you are running an event where you need to add sponsor logos to multiple places on the site, if you're using a website builder you have to go page-by-page to add the logos. However with a custom site the backend can be tailored so you just have to add them in one place and the logos populate in all of the designated area. 

Let's say you're a painter and you want to add to your portfolio, but you want the three most recent paintings on your homepage. If you're using a builder you have to manually swap out the images on the homepage every time you add a new painting. Or, with a custom site the site can be architected in a way that when a new painting is added, it automatically updates the three most recent on the homepage. All you have to do it add new work and the site does the rest for you. 

Or, if you're a business who has case studies that relate to specific services. If your website is on a website builder each time you want to add relevant case study to a particular service, you are going to have to manually go in and make that adjustment. With a custom site, it can be as easy as a switch of a button and all of the case studies pertaining to a particular service are automatically added to the relevant pages.

Frustrations

Your Own Technical Limitations/ Time

If you're strapped for time or are not comfortable setting up a website, definitely check out an agency. For many agencies this is what they do day-in and day-out and they are far faster and more efficient. It can be worth the investment to have someone to do it correctly. 

Code

If you want to rank for SEO/ have a PPC campaign directed back to your site.

To make it so almost anyone can set up a website, the outputted code for many builders is super super heavy and hard for search engines to read. They don't output clean HTML and this can have an effect on your SEO rankings. The above image illustrates the code from a weebly site vs. a Craft CMS site.

Since a custom site will be built around your needs, not every potential scenario, the code that is outputted is simple HTML and is much easier for the search engines to scan. 

Conclusion 

Without sounding vague, it really depends on your needs whether you need a custom site or a website builder site. Both have their merits and value, it just depends on which align with your needs.

If you have any questions about our website services, feel free to contact us or request a quote.


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