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    Hosted CMS or Website Builders – Which is Better to Choose?

    Content management systems and designers are often opposed when it comes to self-development of the site. But they are not opponents, but only tools that are suitable for the implementation of various projects. Sometimes the purpose of CMS and designers intersect, and they become direct competitors. But in most cases, each tool has its own niche in which it most effectively solves the user’s tasks.

     

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Website Builders

    Website builders are the easiest way to create your first website. No special knowledge is required to start, basic computer literacy is enough: office applications, maybe working with graphic editors. Designers differ in functionality – the power and flexibility of some services are close to CMS. But they have one thing in common – the presence of a visual editor, which makes development simple.

     

    Advantages of using Website Builders / Designers:

    • Low threshold for entry, no special skills needed.
    • Professional templates that can be customized in the visual editor with the mouse.
    • Ready-made blocks for creating a site interface.
    • Integration with third-party services through the addition of widgets.
    • Hosting, updates, security – no need to worry about it, only pure creativity.
    • Technical support helps with the solution of any questions on work in the designer.

    You should not choose designers who are poorly adapted to solve your problem, hoping that later it will somehow grow together. Do not grow together. During the tests, immediately see if there are necessary modules, applications, settings, and more. If not, continue to the next option. Find one that out of the box can solve your problem.

     

    Disadvantages of Using Website Builders / Designers: 

    • Customization options are limited. Some services have more, others less, but the boundaries are tight in any case.
    • You can’t move to another hosting if you are no longer satisfied with the work of the designer. We’ll have to create the site again.
    • No full access to source files. For beginner webmasters, this is not critical, but with the development of the project, it can cause a lot of inconveniences.

     

    Advantages and Disadvantages of CMS

    Content Management Systems (CMS) is a popular development tool among beginners and experienced webmasters. They are free and paid. The former is developed by the forces of user communities and require a lot of effort and time to configure for an individual project. The second is delivered in the form of ready-made solutions with different functionality depending on the edition. To fully master CMS, you will need programming skills at least at the level of knowledge of HTML / CSS / JavaScript. This is a necessary minimum that will allow you to customize the appearance of the site.

     

    CMS Advantages:

    • Flexibility and extensibility, which is achieved through the installation of plugins and access to source files.
    • Constant updates that add new features and fix vulnerabilities.
    • Developed user communities creating additional and educational materials.
    • A large number of templates and plugins.
    • The ability to independently develop extensions. 

    Disadvantages of CMS:

    • For normal administration, programming skills are required.
    • Errors in working with source files cause the site to crash.
    • You need to choose the hosting yourself, install updates, take care of the security of the project.

     

     

    Cost Comparision: Websites Builders vs CMS

    Comparing builders and CMS, many emphasize that the former can only be used for money, while the latter is completely free. This is true, but very distorted. Two clarifications need to be made:

    1. The designers have free tariffs, but they are more likely to familiarize themselves with the system. They use a third-level domain, and there is advertising on the sites created. You can remove these shortcomings by switching to a premium tariff. 
    2. Some CMS can indeed be used for free. You don’t have to pay even for templates and plugins. But do not miss other expense items: hosting and domain. Sharing a site, in general, requires money. For free, you can work with it on a local server solely for educational purposes.

     

    Website Designers or Builders

     

    Good hosting and domain cost a little less than the premium tariff of the designer. In the second case, you slightly overpay for usability. In addition, in the case of CMS, you often have to buy paid themes and extensions – free ones are not able to cover all the needs of webmasters.

     

     

    Popular Website Builders / Designers:

    • Wix
    • Duda
    • Weebly
    • Hostgator Website Builder
    • WordPress.com
    • Shopify

     

    Popular CMS

     

     

    What to Choose? 

    Before answering the question of what to choose, you need to decide on the main thing – what do you want to create? You can even sit down and outline the essence of the project: structure, functionality, tasks that it should solve. This will help to understand what tools will be required to implement the plan. And the next step is to choose a development method.

    We need business cards for a specialist or company – CMS is useless, the website builder will do the job perfectly. If you want to launch an online store, there is already a choice, so you need to accurately assess its size: for a small site there are enough designer resources, for a large market – CMS, sometimes even paid. Requires an information portal or a large blog – immediately look towards the CMS.

    The main thing is to approach the choice without prejudice and remember that designers and CMS are just tools. You decide how to apply them. A simple analogy: a fork and a spoon. It is unlikely that you use one thing – the tool is selected depending on what it is more suitable for. Treat designers and CMS with the same sober choice, and you’ll see that they complement each other perfectly in the web development kitchen.

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