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Website Builders – Pros and Cons

Many people ask me: “Why do I need to hire a web developer? Can’t I just use one of those website builders like WIX or Squarespace?”

Sure, of course you can. But don’t be fooled by their ads that portray these services as easy as 1-2-3. Just upload some pictures, write some content and POOF! You have a fully-functional professional site. Well, nothing is really that easy.

1. You must already have tech skills.
If you’re born after 1993, you might have a chance. Even with these auto-builders, you still need to know how to resize and optimize images, open and link to your social accounts, write marketing copy, among other things. You need to know the difference between domain registration, hosting, and email accounts. Many times people who are not tech-savvy get caught in the interface, confused with the language and details and give up, frustrated.

2. Will you get personalized support?
Does the mega-company that owns this web builder understand your business? Does it understand your market or your community? The support reps you contact will only know about the site itself and how to solve technical problems. They won’t see your business and brand as a whole. When you work with a web developer like Moss Web Works, we build your website to achieve your overall business goals as they pertain to your customers.

3. You’ll be charged an ongoing fee.
Website builders charge an ongoing fee for hosting your website. This is in addition to your email and/or domain registration. The fee is usually 5-10x more than if you used a hosting service such as GoDaddy.com. Beware of built-in, recurring charges!

4. Limited design options.
When you work with a web developer, we can customize your site to exactly how you want it. You won’t receive a templated design that hundreds of other sites use. We can also design your logo, business cards, and other materials to make sure you have a unified brand, look, and feel. With website builders you have little to no control over the elements on your page, as you are tied to their templating system.

5. WordPress is King
Right now, WordPress hosts a majority of content sites across the internet. It’s open source, meaning many developers have and can create software that “plugs in” to WordPress to give it infinite capabilities. WordPress allows our clients the freedom to update their own content (text and pictures), add pages, and create their own blogs and calendars. The BBC, MTV, Variety, and The New Yorker Magazine websites are all built on WordPress. If you want a hybrid solution and are willing to try your own hand at WordPress, use their website builder at WordPress.com.