Good day guys,
Yesterday we discussed an important topic (UX Prototyping). Although it was quite educating because it is an important area that most web designers tend to ignore but It was quite technical and got boring, even i can attest to the fact that i felt sleepy while reading the article.
Today we are going to talk about a trending topic in the I.T. world and I promise you wont get bored by it because we are going to give out cakes and drinks at the end of this article….#justkidding but seriously speaking, you wont get bored.
In this age and time, Web builders are basically a magic toolbox for non-web designers. What was once out of people’s reach can now be grasped with just little effort. But there are things that web builders can’t do that web designers can. The question now is, should you hire a web designer to make your website for you or just use a web builder and build it yourself?
You might be wondering what a web builder is, Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without manual code editing (yeah, yeah, i remember i said no too much technical stuff, lets say web builders are tools that help us build websites). A Web designer on the other hand is someone who is both creative and technically inclined, and uses both these attributes to build or redesign websites (I’ve done it again, more technical bullets…my bad, a web designer is a person that builds websites).
For those who do not speak the same language as web designers, web builders are a gift to them. There are lots of free web builders out there with hundreds of templates to start from and everything is very simple, no coding, no FTP handling, no domain name registration and name-servers, and all the other technical stuff that we agreed not to discuss today, remember? Once satisfied, users can simply publish their websites and voila, it’s up and running.
Lets take a look at its features
The web building site’s main attraction is their ability to enable regular users to create websites with just a few mouse clicks. By simply dragging elements to a canvas, users have control over how they want their websites to look like.
Editing a website is easy too. If users want to change fonts, colors, and even images, all they need to do is click and apply the necessary changes. No editing of HTML and CSS files and other technical stuffs. It is easily understood by people of all ages.
Web builder companies understand that many of their users (like you and I) aren’t technical people, so they all have a team of people who are on stand-by just to answer people’s questions and help them with their troubles.
Wow all these features are mouth-watering and so convenient, I don’t know why people still consider web designers… I bet that is what you are thinking, sorry to burst your bubbles, that is not all there is to it. Remember i said it they both have their pro and cons. Now to the big question
While web building sites appear to be all sunshine and rainbows, they can easily lead to a big mess when not enough preparation is made. Problems like transferring websites to a different host, they have limited features, and design redundancy are just some of the common problems that you might experience on the long run. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Take Wix as an example. Since Wix websites are built using their specialized system, hosting the same websites on a different server is close to impossible. It would mean anyone who wants to migrate will have to recreate everything from scratch.
Other web building sites like Weebly allow transfers from their host to another web server. But features like forums and their own blogging and shopping systems won’t be included with the transfer, including everything that is native to their system.
If you hire a web designer who can provide all of the features mentioned above,you will have your own hosting account and won’t have to think about transferring your website from one server to another. And you won’t be limited by the features and flexibility.
Your immediate needs will definitely increase as your business or audience grows. This is the problem with every web building site, they won’t be able to keep up with your needs as your website’s traffic grows. With a great web designer, you can ask for features that are otherwise hard to come by on web building sites. Features like an image slider, a user poll, fancy navigation, a robust image gallery, and other technical things that you might need.
This is the most important part of our discussion today, i know many people like me will skip right to this part because it all burns down to how much it will cost us but that shouldnt be the reason, instead it should be how much we are willing to invest in a business, in our lifedream…
Now straight to business, the average price to use a website building service would cost around $100 (approx ₦20,000) per year for premium services. Domain name and hosting included. Most web builders have monthly subscription plans, which helps you to spread the cost. But on the long run, it might cost you even more.
For instance, If you want additional features which will most likely happen, you can either purchase add-ons from the web builders themselves or via third-party providers, which usually range from $10 to $50 (i.e ₦2,000 to ₦10,000) for each add-ons which is quite on the high side.
Now, suppose you hired a web designer to build your website for $1,000 (i.e ₦200,000). A one-time fee of $1,000 and a monthly hosting fee of $7 or ₦1,400 (for a decent hosting). Initially it will cost you $1,084 (i.e ₦216,800) on your first year, and just $84 (i.e ₦16,800) on the succeeding years. But the steal here is that you can ask for tons of features and things you want to be included on your site.
Another thing that could potentially rack up the cost for web builders is when it’s time to move on to another hosting service. And trust me when I say that if a website becomes half as successful as intended, a transfer will happen 100%. Especially for e-commerce sites. Aside from paying someone to do the transfers,there will still be several issues to address such as replicating the features that were left on the web builder’s system amd updating everything that needs updating because web builders aren’t exactly known for rolling out quick updates among other things.
If your needs are simple, and will most likely be so for years to come, spending a few hours building your own website via a web builder is practical. This is because usually catalog websites don’t need a lot of fancy features. Just a gallery, a place to include text, and other simple stuff. The same is also true for restaurant websites.
But if you need to open an online store, a news website, membership sites, forums, and similar heavy-featured websites, I highly recommend looking for professional services. This way you will save time, money, and energy.
Phew!!! Finally, we made it to the end… lets go get some cake at the mall.
Thanks for reading, I hope i was able to fulfill my promise not to bore you out. Please do not forget to leave comments, suggestions and contributions in the comment box below.