What is a website builder?
A website builder is just what it sounds like, an auto-create program that generates or builds your entire website infrastructure almost instantaneously. But the main key feature is that you don’t have to know programming or at least don’t have to be a savvy programmer to use this tool.
A good website builder’s main function is to have a user-friendly content management system or CMS. This provides a smoother process and swifter progress in building your website. Besides a page creator feature, CMS comes with an editor function that updates and modifies your pages instantly. And in some cases, CMS allows you change the order display, font type, page title description, etc. Some CMS also provide a file manager, where you can edit, delete, and upload files such as image and document files.
There are both online and desktop application versions of web builder, but I would personally suggest using an online website builder just because it would probably cost you less than buying a software program. Plus, it’s more accessible in case you are mobile and would like to access your web project anywhere you are as long as, of course, you have access to the internet website tool.
How much does it cost?
Cost is another reason why I suggest using an online website builder than a desktop version. Online applications tend to be very cheap if not free. It is also a better conducive environment for this type of application. However, cost difference varies and is relative. For example, a desktop website builder software may cost from $50 to $350, depending on the quality and amount of widgets and functionalities the product offers, but you only have to pay once (with exemption of server and database hosting fees if offered). Some of the online counter part on the other hand, may require a nominal monthly ($5 average) or yearly ($50 average) fees, and some are free. Some even require a one time set up fee plus a subscription fee for hosting your site including bandwidth and storage charges. The free apps, however, may come with irremovable ads in a form of image banners or text links but some offers for the ad to be removed if you agree to pay extra fee (no such thing as free lunch). Like I’ve mentioned before, most of these online web builder and management programs come with hosting features included in the subscription fee. It just makes sense for their business model.
So, which one would be the cheaper choice? I would say that the online version would be the most cost-effective choice. The fact that you don’t have to pay for the application is a big saving. And if you do pay for a monthly or yearly service fee (a lot of them only require you to subscribe to their newsletter), you can always unsubscribe if you choose to end the service.
Advantages of using a cheap website builder
The bottom line is that you benefit from these website builders from the price alone. Having your own website built by consulting a web production company or even a freelance web developer will be 10 times the eventual cost if not more than using a cheap website builder. The production cost from a traditional web production is tough to estimate because of undetected or unexpected turns during the production. That alone can drag the process and will cost you additional labor cost as a result. In addition, if the custom website does not come with content management system (CMS), a feature that is standard on all website builders, the maintenance would cost you even more than the website down the road. It is advantageous to have a custom built website only if the quality of the design and functionalities meet your demands to the par. If you’re looking for a simple upstart website for your business, and do not want to invest a huge portion of your business capital, cheap website builders online would make a whole lot of sense.