February 13th, 2014 by Tommy McConnell

cookiecutterA website builder is a tool that people with little to no programming knowledge can use to build their own website. The plus side is, people can save money they would have spent on a custom website. They just sign up, choose a design, add their content, and boom – they have a website.

This is great for people who don’t have a large budget and don’t want the flexibility of a customized site. That being said, we think it’s a shame to have to be limited when there’s a plethora of ways a website can help you reach more people,  better build your brand, and make more money.

Here, we talk a bit about how website builders are generally not as great as you might think.

Disadvantage #1 – Little flexibility

It kind of stinks to have a website that doesn’t give you the versatility and effectivess that it could. There are so many possibilities to a website that people are missing out on because they are limited to an out-of-the-box website.

It’s great that you can have a website at a minimal cost and all, but you are being held back from strong potential strategies. If you have a complex feature that you want to add to the site, it’s usually either quite difficult to do or impossible. Imagine coming up with an amazing idea that would benefit your customers or make you some extra cash, but you can’t do it due to the restrictions of a website builder. You’d feel like your hands were tied behind your back.

Even if a builder does offer many features, what if you want to tweak it? In our experience, site owners really like the ability to specialize the features on their website in a way that works for them and their business. With builders, it’s very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get deal.

Disadvantage #2 – Cookie cutter designs

This sort of meshes in with the first one. Website builders give you a selection of designs (templates) to choose from. Sometimes they will provide you some ability to change certain elements, like colors and fonts. But, in general, the people who use these templates end up having a website that looks exactly like (or very similar to) someone else’s website.

Differentiating yourself from others by having your own original look and style makes it easier for people to remember you. It shows that you are unique; you have something more to offer. It’s also liberating to know that if you do want to change the structure / layout a bit, you can.

Disadvantage #3 – No access to source code

There are certain things, like search engine optimization and other online marketing strategies, that are only possible if you have access to your website’s code. The website builder might come with an SEO package of some kind, but again, you are probably going to be limited.

If you don’t have a problem with restricted freedom and limited uniqueness, using a website builder may not be a bad choice for you if you are looking to save some money. But if you are a person who thinks big, you will be much happier with a customized website..

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