Regardless of the sector you operate in, the need for a website has never been greater than now. Some businesses may want to ensure that they have a portal available that allows for mass marketing, whereas others will want to ensure that its customer service is the best it can be.

However, when searching for professional website design it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused by the terminology used. 

For example, it is easy to assume that web builders and web designers are one and the same, but nothing could be further from the truth. 

Knowing the difference between the two allows businesses and professionals to choose a product or service that meets their requirements and ensure that an online presence can be created that will align with the budget of a business. 

What Is the Difference Between a Web Builder and a Web Designer? 

A web builder is often a piece of software or online platform that allows its users to create a professional looking website within minutes. 

Although different platforms will offer different features, they all share one common goal, and that is the effortless creation of a professional website. 

A web designer may work alone or as part of an agency and will work with customers to create a bespoke website from the ground up. 

The question is often asked as to which is better, but the fact of the matter is there are pros and cons associated with each, so it worthwhile to ascertain the goals of the website beforehand. 

Some pros and cons associated with both web builders and web designers are outlined as follows, but there could be others depending on the business and its online goals. 

Using a Web Builder: The Pros 

Although quickly comparing the difference between the two can make the web designer option more appealing, here are some pros associated with a web builder that you may not necessarily see with a web designer, including the following. 

There are Plenty of Options Available 

There was once a time when the availability of drag-and-drop web building software was limited, but nowadays this is not the case. There are several options available to those wanting to build a professional website depending on how much experience you have. 

For example, those who can upload files to a server comfortably may want to use WordPress, as there are thousands of themes available. Those just starting out may want to choose a platform less complicated, such as Squarespace or Wix

Offers Online Opportunities 

The pandemic has meant that people who once worked in one industry have had to make changes to their career. The success of web builders has meant that more people have access to a professional online identity, which can be perfect for those wanting to support their recent career change. 

A Wide Selection of Apps for the Most Part 

Although the apps available will vary among platforms, many web builders offer a choice of apps that can be used to improve your online experience and enhance the website. Some apps include Google Ads and SEO monitoring tools like Unamo.

Many Platforms Easy to Use 

Despite the complicated aspects of some platforms, many web builders will feature a user interface many will get to grips within minutes. Many web builders offer a free trial, so it may be worthwhile experimenting with some platforms before making a long-term commitment

A Website Can Be Created Quickly 

If you are in a hurry to ensure your website is up and running as soon as possible, a web builder can be a viable option. 

Regardless of whether you are aiming for a conventional online platform or an e-commerce store, there are plenty of affordable options that can ensure a business is up and running sooner rather than later. 

A Cost-Effective Way of Getting Online 

Those that do not have the budget available for professional web design will find that using a website builder can be a cost-effective way of getting online, as payments can be made monthly for those with a small budget. 

Web Builders: What Are the Cons?

Although web builders can be an excellent fit for some, there will be others that find using a web builder limiting, leading them to come across the following cons. 

Fewer Search Engine Optimisation Elements 

It is not only the design of the website that is important, but also the optimisation. Some web builders will offer SEO elements as an extra charge, but these will not be as effective as a tailored SEO strategy.  

Updating the Website Can Become Time Consuming 

Although updating a website built with a web build is simple, it can also be time-consuming, especially as the website grows. 

Can Be More Expensive in the Long-Term 

Although using a web builder could be viable in the short-term, it could end up becoming expensive in the long term. 

As the site grows, more work will need to be carried out, especially behind the scenes, and if you are not able to deal with the more complicated aspects, then you could end up paying more than you would have for a web designer. 

Using a Web Designer: What Are the Pros 

When considering the options available to you regarding the creation of a website, hiring a web designer can seem like an expensive endeavour. However, there are several benefits that could mean that employing the services of a web designer yields more value for the business. 

A Web Designer Takes Care of the Search Engine Optimization 

As you find out more about web design, you will find it is not only the website that is important, but also the way it is optimised. For the right people to find your website using Google and other search engines, SEO is a must. 

Bespoke Design That Perfectly Reflects the Brand 

Although using a web builder can achieve some fantastic results, there can be times when the finished result does not fit in with the brand. 

This is where a web designer can beneficial. Although the cost will be more, you will be given a website that reflects the brand perfectly, allowing for effortless marketing across all digital platforms without there being any confusion. 

Using a Web Designer: What Are the Cons 

Despite the benefits of a web designer being in abundance, there are some cons that need to be considered when choosing between a web builder and a web designer. 

A Web Designer is More Expensive Than a Web Builder 

Given more work will be carried out, it should come as no surprise that the cost is more. While understandable, this may mean it is not a viable option for everyone, especially those with a limited budget. 

A Tailored Website Can Take More Time 

Using a web builder allows a website to be published within minutes, whereas those employing the service of a web designer can expect to wait at least 30 days for a website to be created. This is due to the amount of work that needs to be carried out. 

How Much Does Web Builder Software Cost? 

How much web builder software costs depends on you requirements. There are many free platforms that can be used, some of which are detailed below. 

However, as they are free, some users may find that there are limitations regarding the features. As such, those looking for more flexibility when using a web builder can expect to pay between £10 and £25 per month. 

It should be noted the price paid often only includes the software, so web hosting and a domain name will still need to be purchased, although there are some providers that may include this as part of the service. 

How Much Does a Web Designer Cost? 

Determining the cost of a wen designer is more complex, as there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the following. 

  • The size of the website. 
  • The amount of work that needs to be undertaken. 
  • The online goals of the business. 
  • The type of website (e-commerce, blogging, member area etc.) 

If you want to employ the services of a web designer, then it can be worthwhile asking for some quotations from different professionals which will outline the work that will be carried out. 

Although it is tempting to choose the cheapest, you need to ensure that all the work you need carrying out will be included, otherwise you could end up spending more than you need to. 

Web Builder or Web Designer: Which Should You Choose? 

Now you are more aware of the pros and cons associated with web builders and web designers, you can make an informed decision as to what suits you best. 

However, there are still some questions you should ask yourself before committing to one or the other. 

  • What budget do you have available? 
  • What features are you looking for? 
  • How soon do you need the website to be up-and-running? 
  • Will you be relying on search engine results to boost your business? 
  • What type of website do you need? 
  • How experienced are you with SEO?

Small business and individuals with a modest budget often find the lower price of web builders allow them to build an online presence without having to make a huge investment. 

Similarly, those with large enterprises will want to ensure that the website stands strong against its competitors, meaning a web designer could be the more viable option. 

There can be a vast amount of research that needs to be carried out before deciding which avenue is best suited to your business but knowing what to anticipate out for in both instances ensures it is easier to decide. 

Remember, when choosing between a web builder and a web designer, you are not looking for the cheapest price, rather the one that offers the most value for the business and aligns with its online goals. 

By Tom St John