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Website Builders 8 vs Custom Websites: Which is better?

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur, a mostly-offline professional or in the middle of a rebrand, your business will eventually reach a point where it needs an online presence to grow. With so much information out there, it can be hard to figure out which route to go: develop a custom website or turn to a website builder. Both options have their time and place, but at Colouring Department we recommend going the custom route whenever possible. To help you make easy, informed decision, here’s all you need to know about custom websites and website builders, and how to know when you should use each.

Website Builders: What is a website builder?

Those who want a DIY option often use website builders. Some of the most popular builders include Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. Website builders are usually HTML-based editors, but some allow you to include custom CSS and JavaScript. They’re typically templated and built step-by-step, so they can be used regardless of your design background or coding knowledge.

When should you use a website builder?

  • You want something unique. Though the templates provided by these builders are easy-to-use, they lead to generic, undistinguished websites.
  • You need advanced features. If your business needs special plugins, like scheduling tools or online shopping features, they are unlikely to be supported by a website builder.
  • You have a limited budget. While many people think website builders are the cheaper option, this isn’t true in the long-term. Most website builders charge a monthly or annual fee, so you end up paying for your website over and over again. A custom design typically costs less in the long-run.
  • You need to get found in search engines. Most website builders are awful at SEO – so if your business success depends at all on your ability to be found online, a custom option is always better.
  • You need to control the responsiveness of your site. Some edits require development capabilities and you may be limited by the generic responsive functions of a website builder. Adjusting to specific devices is often impossible and if your clients are mainly newer mobile phones (like the iPhone 8) you may not be able to tailor the view for them.
  • Marketing automation and system integration. There are plugins available for certain integrations, but you may have specific needs requiring custom code. Optimising your analytics and marketing automation is an ongoing process and often requires regular tweaking that your design/development company can set up for you.

Custom Websites: What is a custom website?

A custom website is a website that has been built for you by a professional, whether an individual or a team. These experienced professionals will be able to turn your vision into reality. Unlike website builders, custom websites allow for more personalisation, helping you and your brand stand out from the crowd. They also tend to be cheaper in the long-term, offering better analytics insights, more customised marketing and a better return on your investment.

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