What’s a website builder?

What is a website builder, should you use one and if so, what one should you use?

This article will attempt to answer those questions. While we are biased towards custom WordPress websites, we understand that not everyone can afford to go that route. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a decent website that tells the online world about what you offer.

website builder logos

What are Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and WordPress?

These are online “website builders”. They allow users to build websites using drag and drop functionality. No experience or prior knowledge is required to use most website builders and each company has its own support system and interface for building and managing your website.

The focus of website builders is to get your website up and running quickly.

Pros

  •    Easy to setup and get going
  •    Easy to update and add new content
  •    Inexpensive startup cost

Cons

  •    Limited functionality
  •    Little to no customizations
  •    Not client owned, non-portable

WordPress is a little different, it’s open source software, meaning that no one owns it and it’s supported by a community of developers.

There are two versions of WordPress that you could use: WordPress.com is comparable to Wix, Weebly or SquareSpace in that it’s a completely managed system with limited functionality. WordPress.org is where you can find the latest version of WordPress to download for your own use. Most website hosting companies (see below for more information) offer a one click install of WordPress to get you started.

WordPress.com

  •    Easy to setup and get going
  •    Easy to update and add new content
  •    Inexpensive startup cost
  •    Portable to self-hosted environment
  •    Limited functionality
  •    Little to no customizations

WordPress.org

  •    Easy to setup and get going
  •    Easy to update and add new content
  •    Inexpensive startup cost
  •    Unlimited use of Themes
  •    Unlimited use of Plugins
  •    Require website hosting account setup

If you start with a WordPress.org website you can transfer it later to extend its functionality.

This is the main benefit to choosing to use WordPress.org over other website builders such as Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace. Once you’ve built a website on those platforms it can’t be transferred or copied easily because they own the coding to your website. So you’re stuck there, with the limited functionality they offer.

Website Hosting and Software Management

All of the online website builders that we’ve mentioned include their own hosting and software management – except WordPress.org websites. If you decide to use WordPress.org, you’d begin by signing up for a website hosting package and then use their one-click install of WordPress to get started.

Our suggestion:

  1. Sign up for an account with a website hosting provider. There are several good ones out there such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator or our own website hosting and management service.
  2. Choose and purchase domain name.
  3. Choose and purchase a website hosting plan. You can choose an economical plan to start and upgrade later if you find that you need more resources.
  4. Install WordPress. Most hosting providers offer a one-click install of WordPress.
  5. Choose a Theme. We offer a great Theme and Templates to get you started or choose from the thousands available from within WordPress.
  6. Add your content. We offer online instructions for how to use WordPress, check them out here.

Our website builder is intuitive and easy to use.

We’ll get your website all setup and ready for you to add your content, photos and videos.

Do it yourself website builder