Welcome to the ultimate guide in the wilderness of website builders! To start off, let’s settle on some basic (yet staggering) facts about the website building space:
- There are approximately 1.5 million websites created every day (approximately 2200 every minute)
- 55% of small businesses do not have a website (yet!)
- The number of new websites created daily has been increased more than two-fold since 2012
With this in mind, let’s look at what research teach us about the impact websites have on businesses in general:
As you can see, first impressions matter a lot, and you only have one shot to make a good one! So, what does it take to make your website stand out from the crowd? When going online, one needs to nail usability that fully represents the story behind a company or individual’s brand or personality. The benefits are obvious! Owning a website leads to lots of promotional and informational advantages, building an image and most importantly, sell!
When it comes to building a website, there are three main options available: DIY (Do It Yourself) website builders, open source CMS (Content Management System), and “Call-The-Web-Guy” a.k.a web development agencies. Since agencies are usually too expensive for most small and medium businesses, we will focus on the remaining two alternatives.
DIY website builders: Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace
Let’s kick off with the most simplified, non-technical way to build websites – the closed source DIY website builders. In this category, the most well-known platforms are Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, but there are many others. These platforms are easy to use for people with no web design or development skills. Just a couple of hours and you are ready to launch a website that looks professional!
The way to get started is to choose a theme and the features you wish, add content, press publish and off you go! Ease of use coupled with massive advertising budgets has made DIY website builders grow fast, with tons of new web pages created every day. Nevertheless, the retention rate of customers has been a challenge, with churn rates of up to 60%! You can get a deeper and more technical insight into the problematic churn rates in our previous post on The Problem with Website Builders.
Pros and Cons with DIY Website Builders
One thing these DIY website builders have in common is the drag and drop feature for easy content creation and presentation. Yes, it sounds fancy but it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, as issues can pop up on the line too.
With DIY website builders, you can face some difficulty in switching design themes. Once you select a design, you can’t change templates without starting completely from scratch. Another disadvantage is the limited number of functionality options compared for example to open source alternatives, see further down. Finally, with closed source website builders, new features are presented at a slower rate than their open source CMS counterparts. The best example of this is how most DIY website builders only allow for international and widely-known payment options, not local ones.
However, the dreadful problem with DIY website builders is the fact that it is closed source. This means that you can’t access your own work – your website’s source code and database. So, if you would like to add some extra custom functionality to your website, you won’t be able to. Since no coding is allowed, developers can’t build on top of your work when using a website builder. As tech fanatics, we think that’s depressing. Luckily, open source CMS is coming to the rescue!
Open Source CMS: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal
Now let’s move on to open source CMS options. The main idea behind this is that you get all the design and feature options you also find with website builders. However, in this case, the source code and database stays open for you to customize. In human language, you are free to onboard developers to change anything according to your requirements.
The most popular CMS is WordPress, a leading player in website creation worldwide. As stated in Why WordPress is so popular, 27% of all websites in 2016 were running on WordPress. Insane! Also, there are many other open source-CMS widely adopted such as Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Prestashop and more.
Pros and Cons of Open Source CMS
In open source, there are tons of themes, plugins, and modules available for free. Since it’s open source, you can always improve these to fit your personal preference. Well-known and respected organizations like TED, TechCrunch, Spotify, and CNN have chosen WordPress to set up their websites. So the question remains: why is open source so popular?
Well, first of all, it is totally free. Second, customization possibilities are endless; there are currently more than 4,000 design templates and 48,000 plugins available on WordPress.org! And guess what, more are being added every day. Compare that to the number of options in DIY website builders above and you’ll quickly see how superior the open source community is! Does it look complicated? Worry no more! There are loads of tutorials and articles available on the Internet, which makes using these open source CMSs easier.
Nobody is perfect, so there are some cons here as well. Open source CMS are more time-consuming with a steeper learning curve and requires more technical skills than DIY closed source website builders. Because of the open source approach, you take on security risks installing plugins mindlessly if the author of the plugin is insecure. Think about it: if the code is open for you to see, it might be possible for hackers to imitate and break in.
Wiredelta® in the sweet spot
To sum it all up, we have combined all the major pros and cons of website builders and open source CMS.
ALTERNATIVES FOR WEBSITE CREATION
|CLOSED SOURCE WEBSITE BUILDERS||OPEN SOURCE CMS||THE FUTURE|
|WIX, WEEBLY, SQUARESPACE, ETC.||WORDPRESS, JOOMLA, DRUPAL, ETC.||WIREDELTA|
Well, none that we know of, but if there’s anything, you can surely let us know.
In Wiredelta, we are all about open source. Looking at the table above, we think the challenge with building websites can be boiled down to a technical challenge. At Wiredelta, we are working relentlessly to bridge that gap for good by combining AI and open source software, making open source platforms like WordPress as easy to setup and use as DIY website builders! We are aiming to achieve that with the help of our AI assistant and easy setup process. With the AI assistant, we can’t wait to bring all advantages of DIY website builders and open source CMS, together!
Choosing the right option when setting up a website depends on the level of control you want to have, costs you are ready to pay and your creative requirements. DIY website building platforms are perfect if you want your website ready to launch as fast as possible. Find out what other users say about their own experience with WIX by clicking here. If you need something tailor-made and special, invest your time and money in open source CMS alternatives. the best idea, though is to test both options, and see which one works best for you.
However, don’t forget that there is a solution for those with a nonconformist point of view towards mainstream platforms, and with the lack of time and motivation to study open source – Wiredelta. The platform is to be published soon. So sign up and get a glimpse at what the future has in store for you!