There are so many options available that you can use to build your website. From using a web developer to using a website builder. I recommend using WordPress because it gives you the best of both worlds.
What is a Website Builder?
Website builders are extremely popular and making it potentially easy for anyone to put together and launch a website quickly. Although even a website builder can create some technology overwhelm.
Here are a couple of examples of a website builder:
- Constant Contact Website Builder
- Gator by HostGator
- Go Daddy Website Builder
- And more continue to come on the market
What are the advantages of using a Website Builder?
- Quick Launch: You can get a website up and running much quicker than using a web designer and web developer.
- Cost: Using a website builder is less expensive than hiring a web designer to design your website and a web developer to program and launch your website.
- No Coding: you do not have to know how to code to launch your website. In most cases, it is dropping and go or change some settings and go.
- Existing theme: all website builders have a numerous number of themes available for you to choose from. You can quickly use and make minor modifications as needed. No need to design from scratch. In addition, the themes are mobile responsive allowing your website to look good regardless if they are viewed on a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Easy to update your website: Each website builder has an online system known as a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to manage, update and modify the content on your website.
The disadvantage of most website builders is:
- Limited Customization: Although there are numerous different themes to select from you are limited to what you can do with the theme. Some website Builders have limited customization options (other than WordPress).
- Limited integration of other applications: Eventually you will want to integrate great business tools such as an email marketing tool or an advanced SEO tool and more. Most of these third-party applications are not able to integrate with website builders (other than WordPress).
- If you decide to change your website provider your website would need to be developed from scratch using a new builder.
What is a Web Developer?
A web developer is a programmer. Let’s say you imagine your website to look a certain way and have a certain layout and functionality. A Web Developer uses programming languages in order to program the website so that is looks and functions the way you want it to.
If you do not have a design in mind typically a web developer would work with a web designer to first design the website and the developer would then code it to meet the design. Web Developers may also be able to design the website themselves eliminating the need for a web designer.
The main programming languages a web developer uses to create a website is HTML and CSS. Every website on the internet including the website built through a website builder listed above uses HTML and CSS.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is used to create the actual content of the page, such as written text. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) is responsible for the design or style of the website including the layout, visual effects and background color.
The HTML and CSS for all websites can be seen on google by going to the website on a google chrome browser on your desktop computer and then right-clicking on your mouse and going to inspect. In the elements tab, you will see the HTML that makes up the website and, on the right, you will see the styles tab which is the CSS code.
Using only HTML and CSS allows you to have a static site which is typically sufficient for most small business. Static means that it only displays information that has been programmed to the site. There is no manipulation happening to the information by the user.
Web Developers can also develop a more sophisticated web site known as web applications such that if you click on something you want something to happen. Example: You want to be able to enter two numbers and have the web application output the answer.
The big disadvantage with a website developed by a web developer is that in most cases if you need to make a change to your website you will need to have the web developer make the change which can be costly.
Why WordPress is the best of both worlds
- Content Management System (CMS): WordPress like a website builder has a CMS which allows you to make any changes and updates to your website. So, you have full control no need for a web developer.
- Themes: WordPress offers lots of themes to choose from and changing themes also known as the appearance of your website is easy. Keep in mind you might need to make adjustments to your content if you switch themes as the layout and appearance will vary.
- Plugins: WordPress offers plugins that you can install and enable on your site. This makes it easy for your website to integrate with 3rd party software providers. Such as Convert Kit (email marketing), Shopify (e-commerce), Yoast SEO (Search Engine Optimization Tool) and much more.
- Custom Code: WordPress allows you to input custom code. Therefore, if you want to design one of your pages on your website a certain way you could have a web developer code it and add it to your site easily. Giving you a custom look.
WordPress not only gives you control it gives you the flexibility to make changes and implement you’re your own style to your website.
My approach is not to only give you the website you want but to teach you along the way. That way you feel comfortable managing your website. However, if you decide that you want ongoing support, no problem that is available as well.