Lets talk about the pros and cons to using a CMS website builder like Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix or Shopify. Each one of these website creation tools has great things as well as huge drawbacks to it. By the end of this article you’ll be able to make a better decision on which one if any you should use, depending on your website.
First off we have the easiest one to use, Squarespace. This CMS makes it incredibly easy to drag and drop elements onto your webpage to type into, add pictures, widgets or even drop your own code into. I have used Squarespace for a website of my own, and really liked how quickly you could make a website that could resemble some form of class. Its not easy to have a CMS website builder come out with a website that looks like it wasn’t built with a CMS, and you can definitely tell you made one with Squarespace if you do, but it looks the least like it. Squarespace also comes along with a bunch of app integrations for things like PayPal and a few other programs to make taking payments and customer information really easy. I would give Squarespace a 6 out of 10 in the “how good a website can come out looking” ranking system.
The next runner up would be Wordpress. Now, Wordpress is a HUGE platform that isn’t like the easy do it yourself style CMS builders, and you can in fact make a beautiful website with it. The world of Wordpress goes very deep, and you can create a whole lot with it if your skills are developed enough. One of the best things to do with it, is buy yourself a “theme,” which is pretty much a nearly finished website, and you just add all your information into it. This can save you a ton of time, and make a website end up looking pretty good. The main drawbacks to Wordpress however, is how clunky it will feel as soon as you get the hang of it and the lack of ability to make super fine tunes is you do decide to use a theme. If you want to build an entire site from the ground up without using a theme, its very difficult to make the site come out looking even as good as the other easy DIY CMS sites like SquareSpace. Wordpress would be granted a 7 out of 10 on the “how good a website can come out looking” scale.
All of the other CMS website builders, in my humble opinion, are garbage. Whether it’s Wix, Shopify, Joomla, GoDaddy or any of the others, they’re all terrible and should be avoided. It’s nearly impossible for a everyday internet user to take on their own website project with one of those CMS sites and create a website that people will ever be able to look at and not immediately know its an amature site done DIY by its owner or someone similar. They just simply put are so limited in the things you can do, place objects and generally customize that you cannot make it look different than the other people using it or at all professional. These CMS sites get a 4 out of 10 or lower on the scale
You might have read this far and started to think to yourself, well that only leaves me with the two options of either Squarespace or Wordpress, right? Not entirely. If you DEMAND that you need to do it yourself, then you may be right, unless you take yourself and your business to the next level, and learn some webdev coding skills. With a basic understanding of HTML & CSS, you can make yourself a website that will already be able to do things that the other CMS sites could only dream of. You’re no longer limited by anything but your imagination and skill level when you start writing your website using code, instead of a CMS. Obviously this is going to be much more difficult than the simple drag and drop options from the website builders, and may take a while to understand enough to use, but if you do are instantly on a different level.
Once you start to understand how much more you can accomplish with real website development coding knowledge, you’ll by proxy understand what someone with expert development skills can do. If you get with a website developer that has been in the webdev game for a few years, you can create almost literally anything you can possibly think of, and make it look downright incredible. There are reasons all of the best looking websites, biggest and hippest companies hire a webdev to do their site for them, and it’s because they know with a great looking site, their product or service will look good too. If your website is the only thing a client is going to see about your company, you’ll want to make sure they get the best impression that is possible, and that usually requires going all out on a website. If you have the ability to use a real website developer to do your own website, it instantly will put your website above everyone else that didn’t, and that can be the difference between someone buying your product or not. A real website built this way, is the only way to get your “good looking website” score up to a 10 out of 10, and there’s just no way around that fact!
All in all, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise. An expert should know how to do something better than a novice no matter what field it’s in, so website development is no different. If you have the ability to work with a professional in this space, I would always recommend you do so. This is not to say that if you build it yourself, people won’t like your site and hold off from buying, but it is saying that there’s no way you’ll have better results than if you had used the professional afterall. There are TON of developers out there looking to work with good natured professionals like yourself, that often times don’t require money in the traditional sense that you’re expecting. Some of them will work with you just as a way to become a small part of your company, or for favors, or even a 12 pack of beer! You get the idea I think, so if you know a website developer and are looking to make your mark online for your business or company, give them a call to leverage their skills to start making your dreams come true with them! Life won’t wait so lets get going!