What Is A Website Builder? How Do They Work?

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Did you know you can create a website without having any coding experience by using a website builder? A website builder is a convenient solution for small business owners, freelancers, and anyone else that wants a quick website without investing too much money or time.

In this article, you will learn what website builders are in this post including the features to look for, whether they are right for you, and more.

What is a Website Builder?

The commonly accepted definition for a website builder is: “Website builders are automation tools that enable you to develop a website without the use of manual code editing.”

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In short, a website builder is a tool or program that helps to create a website. These online programs or offline software typically feature a drag-and-drop interface that helps you easily build a stylish website. Some even allow for customizing elements on a pre-chosen layout.

Different website builders allow for different levels of personalization. You may be able to choose from up to hundreds of layouts on certain website builders.

Types of Website Builders

Website builders come in two primary types – offline and online. These are discussed in detail below:

Offline Website Builders

Offline website builders are available as software programs that need to be downloaded and installed on a computer. When you start building the website, your files will get saved on the computer. Once you are done creating the site, you need to upload the files to a web host.

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The software runs on your computer which allows you to work on the website even when you are offline. Moreover, you will eventually need to upload the files to a web host. With that said, some amount of technical experience or skills are required. You also need to buy a web hosting account as well in this option.

DreamWeaver is a popular example of an offline website builder.

Online Website Builders

These are web-based site creators that run on the provider’s hosting services. You don’t need to download or install any software on your computer, unlike offline website builders. All you need to create a website is an internet connection and a web browser. You have the flexibility of working on your website on any device, from anywhere.

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Another major benefit of online website builders is that web hosting services are included. You don’t need to set up a web host separately or purchase something. Most online website builders are designed to help people create websites without any coding experience.

Wix and Weebly are easy-to-use and streamlined online website builders but some hosting providers like Godaddy and Hostgator offer their own proprietary website builders.

How Do Website Builders Work?

Website builders are designed for converting drag-and-drop commands into code. They can either be connected to your hosting provider or hosted by the company. A selection of templates or themes are offered by most website builders.

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These are as per the needs of different websites. For instance, an eCommerce store requires a very different template compared to a photography portfolio.

You can customize different features once you select a template. This includes the layout, typeface, and size of the images and text. You may be able to embed videos and add contact forms as well.

This is how a website builder works:
  • You pick a template from the website builder’s library that best fits your needs
  • Edit the built-in elements in the template using only clicks from your mouse. Add your own content, such as videos, images, text, and social buttons for personalizing the site.
  • You are done. Now, all you need to do is publish. Your website is live in 3 quick steps.

Why Do You Need an Online Website Builder?

Website builders may be the easiest way to create a website if you don’t have any experience coding. The other option is to build the website on your own. Pertaining to this, this would require knowledge of coding or knowledge of using CMS systems like WordPress.

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Depending on your experience, you may need to hire a professional. While there are benefits to hiring a professional (customizations and complete control over the website), they are generally an expensive option.

You may come across several templates on a website builder that are exactly what you need. With so many available options, you would be spoilt for choice.

Website builders, such as WIX and Weebly offer an incredible site-building experience. You can create and make your website go live in a matter of minutes.

Pros and Cons of Website Builders

Website builders are an excellent platform for entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to establish an online presence simply and quickly. Furthermore, creating a website using a website builder is not without its pros and cons.

Advantages of Using a Good Website Builder

You Don’t Need Advanced Technical Skills or Coding Experience

Not everyone is a computer whiz. And this is okay. You shouldn’t need a degree to get your site up and running. Website builders can take care of that for you.

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You can build a great site with images, text, videos, and amazing layouts by choosing the right website builder. You don’t need to know a single line of coding.

Low Maintenance Website

Think of the sites made by website creators as easy-going roommates. They don’t need constant or tricky upkeep. You don’t have to stress about the site because of their simple setup. Your site will still require fresh content regularly to keep up with SEO demands. However, it will be easy to update the content.

Get Set Up in a Snap

There are probably a million to-dos on your list as a small business owner. You can save precious hours by making use of a website builder for your new website.

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You will be able to create a unique site from a collection of eye-catching and pre-formatted layouts outfitted with the brand’s images, content, and videos.

Choose Among Many Options

You don’t need to be worried that you will get stuck with a cookie-cutter site that is like every other .com option. Great website builders will help you stand out from the crowd. You can make your site unique and personable with a full library of choices, user-friendly design elements, optimized layouts, and customization options.

No Need for Graphic Designing Skills

You don’t need to possess photoshop skills, understand color theory, or be good with typography to create an aesthetically appealing website.

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The website builder you choose will do all the heavy lifting for you. You will be able to give your site a personal touch with the freedom of customization on a professionally designed template.

Expert tip: Don’t miss out on optimizing your site for search engines by having a look at our guide: A 5 Minute SEO Crash Course: What You Need To Know

Disadvantages of Using a Website Builder

Limits Experienced Developers

While website builders are great tools for the complete novice, their options may be limiting for people that have the technical know-how and want more freedom. You may not be able to outfit your website with the bells and whistles you want.

Building a site from the ground up or hiring a web designer may be what you need if you are looking for something more top-of-the-line.

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Limited Functionality and Pages

You run the risk of restricting your website’s structure by using a budget-friendly web builder. You need to adhere to the rules of the program and may not be able to have as many pages as you want.

There may be a lack of responsiveness capabilities or fewer e-commerce options. You may want to carefully research providers if you have big plans for expansive page structures. This is to ensure that the site matches your long-term goals.

What Should You Look for in a Website Builder?

These are a few features you should look for in a website builder:

Ease of Use

You should choose a website builder that can be easily navigated. It shouldn’t require advanced skills. Look for a user-friendly and simple interface that allows for building the website easily. There shouldn’t be a big learning curve involved.

Weebly-interface

Quick Updates

Content is king! You need a website that can be updated with top-notch content regularly. The content should be shareable to keep a steady stream of incoming traffic. You need to ensure the site builder makes it simple for changing and adding content to your site.

Social Compatibility

Your audience needs more ways than one to connect with your brand. The site builder should allow the display and linking of social media buttons. This can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media account. Make sure the builder you choose can integrate your account seamlessly.

Mobile Compatibility

Mobile compatibility is crucial because of the sheer number of people browsing the web on their mobile phones. This feature is usually integrated automatically by most website builders.

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Customization Options

You need customization options to give your site your brand’s unmistakable flavor. You should have the freedom to add your customization options and personal touches, like color schemes, text styles, and varying fonts.

Third-Party Integrations

The site builder you choose should make it easy for integrating shopping carts, social media feeds, and other third-party applications. Lead capture forms are a commonly used integration that allows potential clients to dump information directly into the preferred data or CRM repository.

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Business Email

The majority of website builders come with the ability to create email addresses with the same domain name as an extension. There may be an additional charge for this feature. You should be sure to choose the best plan as per your needs.

Form Builders

Visitors should have an easy and clear way of connecting and contacting with you. Form builders can be useful for creating forms that allow visitors to submit questions, complaints, and compliments.

Which is Better: Website Builder or Web Designer?

DIY website builders are useful for people who are looking to create a straightforward, functional website in the shortest possible time frame. This is a workable choice for people that want to create and launch small websites in a short time frame. Conversely, web designers might be necessary when you are looking for a more detailed and comprehensive website.

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The website builder option is more affordable and efficient. If you try to work with a low-cost designer within a limited budget, its possible that you will be left unsatisfied with a site that does not meet your end goals. Making use of a DIY website builder is good if all you need is a simple website to park your online brand address.

It can be handy to try out a website builder if you are unsure about the route to take. This will allow you to determine whether the website builder can work for your goals or not. If not, you would not have lost anything and only achieved a better idea of what you want. This can also help you demonstrate to a web designer more clearly.

What’s The Best Website Builder For SEO?

Do you need a specific website builder that helps with SEO goals? Consider the following:

  • WIX: This is an excellent option if you are looking for a quick and easy beginner-level free solution.
  • WordPress: For larger and more professional websites, WordPress is ideal with plugins like Elementor and Divi.
  • Shopify: This is a great all-around solution for e-Commerce websites.

Conclusion

Website builders help make a functional basic website easy for anyone.

With a good website builder, you can have your personal or business website up and running in no time.

For more information about website builders including which one is the best check out our article Best Website Builder in 2022: 7 Data-Driven Reviews.

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Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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