— January 7, 2019
Creating a website from scratch can be intimidating for people who’ve never done it. The fear of tech should not stop you because there are so many tools and how-to tutorials out there on how to build a site.
The first big decision you need to make is what platform to use for your website. Platforms with drag and drop features like SquareSpace, Wix and Weebly can be good for beginners and people who want to put up a simple and clean landing page.
Drag and drop features means that within the platform you can drag widgets and design elements to create your site instead of working with code. The learning curve is lower on these sites, but there are still some disadvantages of going with this approach.
Pros and Cons of Using a Drag and Drop Web Builder
- Easier and cleaner designing. The main pro of working with a drag and drop is that you can design without knowledge in HTML or CSS. There’s no need to code anything because you can go into the platform and place headings, text, photos and email subscription bars. Many of the website builder platforms with drag and drop features also have pre-made templates that already look attractive.
- Speed. The ease of the design means you can get up and running fast.
- Tech support. Sometimes website builders will have customer service that you can contact for help. If tech support is something you need, read through the service features and the agreement to choose the best platform.
- Can’t personalize the site as much. The lack of customization is where you may run into problems with your site with a drag and drop platform. There are limits to what you can and can’t do which can be a pain.
- Looks generic. The lack of personalization can make your site look like many other sites because you’ll be using templates that many other people are using. To combat this, take some time to do what you can to personalize. Play around with fonts, colors, photos and copy to set your site apart from others. You may have to pay a little extra to remove the name and branding of the website builder platform.
- The cost. You pay for the ease of using website builders with drag and drop features. The fee may be monthly compared to, say, a WordPress self-hosted site where the website builder is free and you just pay for web hosting. Comparison shop with multiple website builders to see which one will fit your budget while giving you the most capabilities.
What should you use?
Choosing a website builder has a lot to do with the needs of your site. If you’re looking for a simple website to explain what your business does, a website builder with drag and drop features may be the perfect DIY solution. For more robust websites, a custom website may be necessary.
I use SquareSpace for a professional website that’s mostly centered around my bio. My business blog is on a self-hosted WordPress site which has plugins and other capabilities that are necessary to run a website with more involved needs. I had a designer design the WordPress site, but there are many WordPress templates you can use as a starting point to make a customized site on your own.
Online tutorials can teach you the basics you need to customize a site on almost any platform. Whether you choose to go the drag and drop route or customized route, creating a website is necessary to build your brand and bring awareness to your business online.