WordPress vs Website Builders
Website builders are on the rise today
There was a time when drag-and-drop page builders were a joke, but that’s not the case anymore. Website builders have not died. Over the past few years they have morphed from clunky page construction kits into feature-rich web services that don’t solely target end users, but also aim at web professionals.
Website builders are on the rise today, there’s no doubt about that. But how do they compare with other established web publishing solutions, like WordPress? I’ve researched and compared all the top website builders, and I’ve distilled the results into this post.
As someone looking to create a website, you are likely to fall into one of these groups:
a non-technical business person who wants an easy and fast way to get his or her business online;
a developer who is comfortable with code, but not design;
a designer who prefers to work as visually as possible.
Have you figured out your group? Great. Now we can pair you up with the perfect website builder.
Wix, Weebly, uKit: Best for the non-technical
Wix, Weebly and uKit are some of the best site builders for the non-technical. Their focus is on providing a simple means to design and publish a beautiful, responsive website within minutes - without having to code. They work as follows: you create an account, choose a template and then customize it directly in your browser, in a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get environment.
Balancing ease of use and functionality is a tough task, so in most cases, the easier the service, the less flexible it is. Though the three site builders offer enough tools to set up a decent website, their feature sets don’t let you fully overhaul the look of your site. This is done to ensure you can’t break the functionality of your site.
Further, because these site builders lock sites within their platforms (you can’t transfer those), they are unsuitable for developers looking to customize a ready template with extended functionality.
However, if you need a simple website for yourself or your small business, uKit, Wix or Weebly will certainly handle it.
WordPress: Best for developers
WordPress is by far the most popular content management system on the web. An enormous community has grown around this free open-source system, resulting in a huge volume of both add-ons and support.
However, despite being the most used CMS, WordPress isn’t the easiest option. The piecemeal nature of WordPress ecosystem makes it ill-suited to the non-technical. With WordPress, you’re expected to tackle a lot of the technical aspects yourself: you’ll need to set up hosting, integrate add-ons, modify your template which is unfortunately rather painful, if you’re not a developer. Newbies and designers will find this workflow hostile.
In other words, WordPress is designed first and foremost for those who know a thing or two about coding. The power of this CMS cannot be understated, but it can be only leveraged by professionals.
Webflow and Webydo: Best for designers
These code-free site builders are technically more-in-depth than Wix and Weebly, but still created with the non-technical user in mind. Both Webflow and Webydo provide full control over every element in a template so that you can build out sites to clients’ exact expectations. They’re best suited for web design agencies and freelance designers.
To wrap it up
Without specifying the user market, comparing different website building solutions is just muddying the waters. Whether you’re a coding champion or a budding novice, there’s indeed a perfect website builder for you.