- Feb 20, 2018
- by Brad Litwin
These days, you don’t need to hire a developer to create your website. There are plenty of tools, such as website builders, that enable people with little experience to build amazing sites. The only question is: When is it appropriate to use these tools instead of hiring a professional to do the work for you?
Website builders are very powerful these days, but that doesn’t mean they are without limitations. On the other hand, hiring a professional can be more expensive, but can often deliver better-quality results.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what website builders are, and discuss their pros and cons. Then we’ll do the same for professional developers, and help you choose between the two options. Let’s get to it!
What Website Builders Are (And When You Should Use One)
A website builder is a tool that enables you to create webpages without any coding knowledge. In most cases, they provide you with pre-built modules for specific features, and enable you to place those modules wherever you want. If you’re a WordPress user, you may have heard of tools like Elementor or Beaver Builder, which belong to a platform-specific type of website builders called page builders.
No matter what platform your site runs on, using these kinds of tools can make your life easier. For example:
- Website builders simplify the design process. You can build simple websites even if you have no coding experience.
- They pack a wide array of pre-built modules. The more modules at your disposal, the more functionality you can add to your website.
- You get access to pre-built layouts. Most site builders include ready-to-go layouts for the most common types of pages, in order to kick start your designs.
- They’re easy to use. In most cases, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of how to use a site builder. They are built with beginners in mind.
Of course, there are downsides to using website builders. For example, you’re mostly limited to the features they include out of the box. If the tool you’re using doesn’t enable you to add specific functionality that you need to your website, you’ll need to figure out how to do it on your own.
With all this in mind, you can see that website builders are perfect if you’re looking to put together a simple site. Most of them can handle everything from contact forms to subscriptions lists, and even help you sell products online. If you have a small budget and little website development experience, this type of tool can help you create a robust website that you can maintain on your own.
If you do decide to go this route, Microweber is one of the easiest website builders to get started with. Plus, it offers a free version so you can play around with its features. There are also plenty of other options to choose from. On the other hand, if you decide to go the self-hosted route you can find many excellent site builders for WordPress and similar platforms.
When to Hire a Professional Developer to Create Your Website
Sometimes, website builders don’t offer what you need to create the site you want. That leaves you with one option if you don’t know how to create a site yourself – hiring someone else to do it for you. Hiring a professional web developer isn’t cheap, but it’s an option with plenty of upsides. For example:
- It saves you time. Even with a website builder, it takes time to get things done. With a developer, you’ll be free to pursue other tasks while they do the heavy lifting.
- There are plenty of talented hires online. If you don’t know someone in real life who can do the work, you can always look online for a talented professional.
- They can customize the website to your specifications. Unlike website builders, you can ask developers to implement just about any functionality you want.
Aside from budgeting considerations, the biggest problem with hiring a developer is that it can take time to find the right one. It can also be hard to judge talent if you don’t have any web development experience. Plus, you’ll still need to approve plans and changes before the developer can begin their work. It takes a lot less time than doing the work yourself, but it’s still an investment.
However, if you have the budget but not the time for building a website, looking online for a professional developer is often the best way to proceed. We’ve had good experiences using PeoplePerHour for work of all kinds, and Codeable.io for WordPress-specific talent. There are plenty other platforms too, so you can shop around until you find exactly the right person for the job.
How to Choose Between Using a Website Builder and Hiring a Professional Developer
Ultimately, which route you want to take is your choice. However, we want to help you make the best decision for your site. With that in mind, let’s cover some of the situations in which you should consider using each method:
- Website builders. This type of tool is perfect for websites that don’t need a lot of complex functionality. These include portfolios, simple blogs, landing pages, and even small business sites – a solid website builder can make short work of them. Site builders are also ideal if you’re a DIY person looking to save money, but you have no development experience.
- Professional developers. Depending on who you’re hiring, rates for professional web developers often start at over $30 per hour. This cost can be prohibitive, unless you have a decent budget and expect to monetize your website. Hiring a professional is a smart idea for complex business sites, online shops, and websites that require specific features and functionality.
Overall, we recommend that you check out any website builders you’re interested in and take a look at what features they offer. If they don’t match the functionality you want for your site, and you have room in your budget, you’ll probably want to go with a professional developer instead.
When it comes to creating a website, no single approach is right for everyone. Your choice will ultimately depend on your needs. Fortunately, even someone with little to no experience can create a fantastic website, as long as they’re willing to put in the effort (or pay someone else to do it).
To recap, here are the two most common approaches to creating a website:
- Use a website builder: These tools are easy to use and budget-friendly, which makes them ideal for small sites that don’t need advanced features.
- Hire a professional developer: This option is more expensive. However, if you find the right person for the job, you’ll often get better and more targeted results.
Image credit: Pixabay.