While both options can be highly efficient in web management capabilities, which solution you choose will depend on your goals and what type of website you want. In this article, we'll explain the differences between a CMS and a Website Builder. We will also point out what to consider when building your website or hiring an agency to do the job.
A CMS and a Website Builder are both excellent tools in creating websites. However, differences in how they work are also worth noting when deciding which solution best fits your needs.
What Makes a CMS Different from a Website Builder?
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
CMS is software used to build websites. It's typically installed on a web server and lets you create, store, search, and manage a website's content. With CMS, you have complete control over virtually every element. One of its key benefits is the flexibility to design a fully personalized experience for your visitors without any restrictions. You'll also have control over all the SEO and technical aspects of your website. Because it is open-source, you can make any changes to the code and won't be limited to a specific web hosting provider. If you don't have any technical or development skills, you will need to hire a web developer or web agency. But keep in mind that you will still have complete ownership of your website. Of course, the cost of hiring an agency will undoubtedly affect the price of developing your website, but CMS usage is usually free. There will be fees for web hosting or for other plugins or modules if needed. CMSs are generally suited for websites of all types and sizes. They can accommodate the most complex website to the most simple ones. Popular CMSs include Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.
What is a Website Builder?
A Website Builder makes it easy to create websites on the builder's hosting platforms. Website Builders' greatest strength is their ease of use. Anyone can build a website without having to worry about what goes on behind the scenes. These platforms offer a limited set of design templates to choose from depending on your website needs. Most Website Builders let you customize the template's colours and layout, and some even include tools to build the layout from scratch. Website Builders usually have fewer themes and add-ons to choose from than CMSs, so websites made on the same platform often look similar.
Another essential thing to know about Website Builders is that these solutions are proprietary. It means you will not own your website's code, and changes to the code are very limited or impossible. In addition, moving a website from one Website Builder platform to another is often very difficult or costly. You need to consider these things if you are planning for the long term.
Website Builders are a good solution for smaller and simpler websites with only a few pages of content. They offer different types of add-ons and subscription plans, so make sure you check the options for upgrading your current plan. Prices vary depending on the kind of site desired, the features needed, and the anticipated level of traffic. Some include free plans so you can try out the platform before purchasing it.
Some of the most popular Website Builders are Squarespace, GoDaddy, Wix, Webflow and Weebly.
If you are looking for the best online presence for your business and want to work with a professional web agency to build a website with a custom experience, then the answer is the CMS solution. Your website will evolve as your business grows, and it will have the flexibility to integrate new functionalities. For website owners, having ownership of the website and being in control is crucial, but it might be a more significant investment than what Website Builders are offering. Still, you will be guided by professionals who have experience working with CMS. You won't have the headache of doing it yourself. Working with an agency is beneficial for creating a website with optimal performances in search engines (SEO) and converting your visitors into leads.
Which is the best solution for you, a CMS or a Website Builder, will depend on your goals and expectations.
If you want to create a website by yourself quickly, Website Builders may be the better option, but you will need to invest some time in testing which platform is best for you and learning how it operates. Also, make sure you are aware of all the fees related to adding features and the plans available for you if you want to grow or upscale your website. Like we say all the time, a small presence on the web is undoubtedly better than none at all. It could also be a really interesting option if you are looking to test some ideas or projects before moving to a more prolonged investment. But be aware that these solutions are proprietary, and moving them from one platform to another is often costly, complex, or impossible.
Whichever platform you think is best for you, make sure you understand what each solution offers. If you are looking for a website with a strong content structure or a specific content layout, you might want to consider going to a professional for guidance, but if you are interested in creating a small business website on your own, you can find a great solution among the Website Builders mentioned above. It all depends on your short- and long-term needs. What is a good solution for you might not be for the next business owner.
What works for you might not work for everyone.
Are you looking for a way to get the website you want without the headache of doing it yourself or the frustration of trying to modify a template without help? Learn more about our custom-designed websites with JOOMLA Content Management System (CMS)