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Web Dev: Website Builder vs. Custom Web Service

September 19, 2023

by Anna Peck

Senior SEO Specialist at Clutch.co

Are you debating between using a website builder or hiring a custom web developer for your website needs? Both options are viable solutions, but one may be more suitable depending on your specific goals and budget.

If a small business is looking to showcase its services or products, build an online presence, and reach a wider audience, having a website is the right place to start.

A website can be used to provide customer service and establish brand loyalty with existing customers. A well-designed website can also establish credibility with new audiences.

When it comes to creating a website for your business, you have two options: hiring a web developer or using one of the many website builders on the market. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider all your needs before deciding.

Website builders can provide quick and easy results, but custom web developers can create an experience that more closely fits your specific needs.

This article will explore the pros and cons of using a website builder versus hiring a custom web developer to help you decide which is right for your business.

website builder vs custom website


Website Builder

Website Builders

Time for DIY. A website builder makes it easy for anyone to create a new website without needing any coding or technical knowledge.

Website builders can be used for e-commerce stores, blog sites, and more.

Website builders are known for being affordable and user-friendly for beginners. Many popular website builders include pre-designed templates or themes, making the website design and development process easier. Web hosting, domain name registration, and other functionalities are also included.

Best Website Builders

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. Weebly
  4. Shopify
  5. WordPress

Pros of Website Builder

Many pros for using a website builder involve the quickness and ease of use. 

If your business chooses a popular website builder for your company’s website, you’ll see the following: 

  • Easy-to-use features, integrations, and plugins 
  • Cost-effective processes with no development costs 
  • Variety of pre-designed templates 
  • Automated updates and security systems 
  • Full creative ownership 

Cons of Website Builder 

Along with the pros of using a website builder for your company’s professional website, several cons could impact your company’s overall online presence. 

Negatives involved with website builders include: 

  • Lack of scalability 
  • Lack of uniqueness 
  • Limited SEO options 
  • Limited site responsiveness & technical support 
  • Not the best for larger sites 

Custom Web Service 

Custom Websites 

On the other hand, a custom website is built from scratch by a website development company. It generally involves a custom build with unique designs and custom code. 

Custom websites offer flexibility that most website builders typically don’t offer. These websites are great for brand identity and any digital marketing aspects. 

Explore our web development pricing guide to get a grasp on how much it costs to hire a web developer for your project. 

Pros of Custom Websites 

Custom professional websites are more appropriate for well-established organizations with a sizable budget set aside for custom web design and development.  

View the pros of hiring a web development company to build a custom site:  

  • Focus on uniqueness and user experience  
  • More strategic insight into site performance  
  • Limitless site structure  
  • Upfront expectations  
  • Opportunity for digital marketing and social media support  

Cons of Custom Websites  

Hiring a web developer to build a custom site doesn’t work for everyone. Learn some of the cons:  

  • Higher costs  
  • Dependency on others for updates and optimizations  
  • Longer project timelines  
  • Lack of creative ownership over web design  
  • Requires more resources  

Consider All Factors for Web Development  

Clearly, all businesses need an effective, well-designed website to stay ahead of the competition. But should your business hire a web developer for a custom-built website or focus on keeping everything in-house by investing in a website builder that can create a platform with all of your company’s desired functionalities?  

It all comes down to your business needs and goals. Website builders are a great option for creating an online presence quickly and easily. However, they can need more flexibility and customization than a web developer offers. Website builders are ideal for small businesses that need to get online fast and don't have a large budget, while web developers are better for larger businesses with more complex needs.  

Make an informed decision by reviewing all of your company’s options. If you’re working with a limited budget and need a site quickly, a website builder could work, but if you’re running a large business with a lot of inventory and need a website with complex features, a custom website might be necessary.  

Create a budget using our trusted template before hiring a web developer for your new website.

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