Technology

No Need for Code: The Advantages of Using Website Builders

Uday Tank | 15 June 2022 | 2 years ago

“Writing the first 90 percent of a computer program takes 90 percent of the time. The remaining ten percent also takes 90 percent of the time and the final touches also take 90 percent of the time.” – N.J. Rubenking

For those who remember the early days of eCommerce, the quest for a functional website was frustrating and expensive. Any out-of-the-box solutions were cost-prohibitive for most small business owners. Building from scratch was reserved for professional coders whose rates were equally out of reach.

Jump several decades ahead to 21st century eCommerce, and things have changed quite a bit. Options for online selling platforms are more numerous and far less expensive. Building and maintaining your own website is also more accessible, and you don’t need to know code.

Options range from outsourced custom websites to open source website platforms to website builders that allow anyone to create a fully-functional DIY online store.

What is a Website Builder?

Website builders are platforms that allow almost anyone to quickly put up a website that looks professional and functions well.

These platforms include drag-and-drop features, eCommerce website templates, and portfolio themes that produce professional-looking results with little cost in terms of time or money.

On the surface, all web builders may seem the same. But, there are several pros and cons that could determine whether an open-source website builder or a website builder without coding is the right solution for your requirements and business goals.

Web Builders vs Open Source: What’s the Difference?

One of the main differences is cost. Some web builders require only a monthly fee for hosting and site monitoring, others are completely free. Furthermore, these platforms provide all of the components needed to build your site, including templates, stock images, and features like shopping carts and point of sale (POS).

However, there are limits on the functionality and appearance of your site, and you don’t actually own it. You’re only renting the platform. The domain name, HTML editors, and other important aspects of the web builder belong to the provider. Customization, features, and scalability are also limited.

Security can be an issue, especially if you’re using a free or low-cost platform. After all, they have to make money somehow. That ultimate price might be your data and that of your customers or banner ads promoting their platform rather than yours. Unless you bump up to a premium package, site monitoring and the security of HTTPS may not be available.

There are also limits on the size of your site, storage, and access. Site resources are often shared with other sites, and issues like downtime are out of your hands.

Open-source websites have similar features to website building platforms, but most do require a sufficient amount of coding knowledge in order for users to know how to go about designing them. That being said, if you do have prior knowledge of code, you can customize the code on your website more freely in order to meet the needs of your business. It’s more of a strain, but you can create a site that’s 100% in your control.

Security has also become an issue with open-source websites. Many of the plugins and themes you use to create your design and back-end functionality are created by third-party developers. They may or may not offer support, updates, and security patches, and hackers are usually already aware of their vulnerabilities.

Which Builder is Best for Your Brand of Ecommerce

As part of your tech stack, your website should integrate seamlessly into all other components of your digital ecosystem. Not all website builders integrate with outside, third-party apps that you need to run your business.

That’s just one consideration when it comes to choosing your eCommerce platform. Here are several others.

1. What is Your Business Model?

The purpose of your website goes a long way toward deciding which platform to choose. Simple websites that require only a few pages and limited functionality will work quite well with a site builder. But, businesses that expect growth, need more storage and functionality, and tighter security would do better with an open-source, self-hosted platform.

2. What is Your Time and Comfort Level?

Web builders can be up and running in a matter of hours due to their all-inclusive nature and shallow learning curve. Since most of the housekeeping, such as system updates and maintenance, is done in-house, that’s one less thing you have to worry about.

But, if you have the time to update and maintain your website, you need more control over features, layout, and performance, and you’re happy to learn a little about basic coding and design principles, you could opt for an open-source platform.

These sites are also perfectly suitable for more advanced webmasters, and platforms like WordPress and Squarespace are used by major brands.

3. What’s Your Growth Potential?

Is your company in an emerging industry with a lot of growth potential? Your anticipated growth should be a major consideration when choosing a platform. The last thing you want is to run out of resources or crash due to a seasonal surge or exponential growth following a new product release or marketing campaign.

4. What’s Your Budget?

Small businesses, blogs, and startups may not have the budget to pay for domain registration, hosting, and other expenses associated with open-source web builders. It could stretch an already strained budget if you also need to hire a designer and site administrator.

Web builders that are all-inclusive may be a cost-effective option as long as you don’t need to scale or a lot of storage and extras. However, the price you pay if you need to migrate or scale later may not be worth the savings now.

Final Thoughts

Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or an eCommerce company, your business website is how you grow your online presence and your audience. Unless you have very specific functionality requirements – or plenty of time and tolerance for frustration – no-code website builders offer a fast, functional solution.

Before you decide on a platform, evaluate your needs and follow our guidelines to determine the solution that’s right for your business.

Topic

Technology

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