A website builder does what it says on the tin. They are bits of software or web pages that allow you to build a website. Usually you have the choice of a few different templates and then you can drag and drop components such as text and images, on to the page to build up the website.

Why use a website builder?

Because of the simple drag and drop nature of the platforms, website builders are great for getting a simple website up and running with no experience of code needed, lowering the barrier to getting online.

The templates available are usually well designed and just require filling out but some allow you to make more changes and customisation from the preset sections, meaning your website can be anything you want it to be.

Website builders such as GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace handle everything for you. That includes the hosting and can also include the domain name as well. Having these included in the price you pay, and having them all setup for you, makes things even easier. You can get a simple website up with just a few clicks.

Why you may not want to use a website builder?

A website builder is great for getting a basic website online but there can be limits. With restrictions on what customisations you can add you may find yourself restricted if your business requires something a little more bespoke for example custom quote calculators or complex options for ecommerce.

Another reason to consider avoiding a website builder is that you may end up stuck with the provider. Many services don't offer an export option if you wish to transfer your site away to a different platform. You may end up having to rebuild the website on your new platform just to move away from the website builder provider.

Using a pre-built template can be great to get online quickly but you may find yourself restricted a bit too much by the options available. The pre-built template may only allow text in a certain section rather than an image, or you may find that all templates look very similar. We have seen one platform offering just 6 templates to choose from for all of their websites!

The final reason to consider is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how important that is to you. To start with, you usually have to pay extra to get your own domain name i.e. example.com instead of example.websitebuilder.com

The second SEO consideration is the quality of the code that is output from the builder. In general, the easier a site is to build with drag and drop, the worse the code is that gets created! Code should be as clean as possible for speed and general efficiency but many pre-built templates have very complex code that can be tricky for search engines to grasp hold of and rank well. The penalties aren't always huge but they can stack up with other factors and end up not ranking very well.


We're not saying that website builders are good or bad. They certainly have their place and we've even recommended some people to use one given their budget and stage of their business but when you want to take your business to the next level, you're most likely looking at something more advanced than a drag and drop system.

When starting out with limited resources, they can do a really good job if used properly and some times you can't tell from looking at the site but as always, you should use the right tool for the job, not just the one you've seen advertised on TV.

Published: 5th Apr 2024

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