Pros and Cons of website builders
As a full-stack developer, I generally avoid using website builders. That said, there are definitely some situations where a website builder is the way to go.
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a website or piece of software that creates a website for you. They are generally focused on ease of use instead of customizability, but there are some that try to offer both.
Some popular website builders include Wordpress and Squarespace.
Pros & Cons:
I'm probably somewhat biased against website builders because I'm a PHP/HTML/JS/CSS web developer. That said, here are the pros and cons, in my opinion:
Pro: easily create and edit your website
You don't have to worry about coding, and if you're trying to build your website yourself and have little experience with development, this is definitely a big plus.
Con: lack of control
Since website builders are trying to meet everyone's needs, and want to be easy and simple to use, there's a lot you can't do with your average website builder. If you're looking for a unique or customizable website, a website builder is probably not the way to go.
Pro: Less initial issues
When you create your website on a site builder, you probably won't have as many bugs/issues to work out when your site first goes live. Since lots of people use the same website builders, they've worked out most of the issues.
Con: bigger security target
Though having lots of users using the site builder has its pros, it also has a few downsides. One of the main issues with this, besides many of the websites looking similar, is that sites created using it are a bigger target for hackers. Instead of just targeting an individual site, the hackers can find and exploit a vulnerability in the site builder and attack millions of websites at the same time.
Pro: easy to find add-ons
When you have lots of people using the same site builder, there are generally lots of people creating and updating add-ons for the site builder.
Con: lots of unnecessary features
While having a lot of features is definitely a plus, it also comes with some downsides. Just because you're not using a feature doesn't mean it doesn't have to load. Often site builders load many features that you're not using, and that can greatly slow down your site as well as creating more security vulnerabilities.
What to take away
If you're a small business just trying to create a landing page for your customers, a website builder might be the way to go. However, if you're worried about security vulnerabilities, site speed, or customization, you might want to consider getting a custom website.
If you have any questions or would like more information on custom websites, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.