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Zyro encyclopedia

Learn about online business

Zyro Glossary Website builder

Website builder

What is a website builder?

There’s not much mystery to what a website builder is. As the name suggests, website builders are tools that allow you to build a website quickly and easily without technical skills or knowledge. 

They are typically template-based, drag-and-drop platforms that let you design your website, populate it with text and images, and add all the functionality you need without having to write any code. 

Online site builders were originally created to make web design accessible to all. In theory, instead of spending money on web developers or learning to code, small business owners and other folks in need of websites are able to build their own site at a much lower cost. 

Most website builders will bundle together your website with web hosting services, technical support, and online marketing tools so that you can create your new website and find an audience all in one place. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about the different kinds of website builders out there, find out how website builders work, and how to identify a good one. You’ll also get to see whether using website builders is the right choice for your needs and get introduced to one of the best website builders on the market. 

Why use a website builder?

Let’s say you’re a small business owner, a craftsperson who wants to sell their goods online, or simply someone who needs to increase their public profile online. The fact is, you’ll need a website. 

Now, you could to a web developer to help build out your online presence, or you could try coding your own website with the help of online guides. However, these are costly and time-consuming options for creating a custom website. 

A much simpler, easier to use, and more affordable option is to simply use a website builder. With website templates and a more user-friendly interface, these tools can turn you into your own web designer, regardless of your skills or experience building websites. 

Online and offline website builder: what is the difference? 

There are two main ways to categorize website builders: online website builders and offline website builders. 

An online website builder is an online tool you access through your internet browser, like Chrome or Internet Explorer. It allows you to work on your website from any computer, anywhere you have an internet connection. In most cases, web hosting is included in your website builder package, and all files are stored on the platform’s servers. 

An offline website builder differs in that you download the tool to a specific computer and work on the website locally. Files are stored on your computer, and nothing goes on the internet until you choose to upload your website. 

Offline website builders have the advantage of allowing you to edit your website without an internet connection, however, you usually have to purchase web hosting for your website separately. Offline website builders also often require a higher level of expertise. 

While offline builders have advantages if you want to work on your site locally or have special technical requirements, we highly recommend online website builders if you are new to building websites and lack technical knowledge. 

How does a website builder work? 

So what’s the process of making a website with a website builder like? Below you can find the steps that you’d need to take on most website builders to design and publish your website. 

  1. Choose your template. Find a design template that is close to the kind of website you’re hoping to build. Even if it’s not perfect, you can customize it later. 
  2. Design your home page. This is the most important page on your website. Make sure it gives new visitors the best impression of your site. 
  3. Add more pages and sections. Create all the extra pages that you need. It sometimes helps to sketch out a plan of your web pages on paper. 
  4. Add images, text and videos. Drag and drop any media you want into your pages and write your content. 
  5. Add eCommerce functionality (if you need it). If you want to sell online, you need to add an online store. Some templates come with this functionality included. 
  6. Connect marketing integrations. Whether you plan to have extensive SEO, to create ad campaigns, or send marketing emails, make sure your website is set up for marketing. 
  7. Choose a domain name. Find the right domain name to go on the left side of your URL. It should speak to the focus of your brand. 
  8. Publish your website. Once you’re happy with the site you’ve built, click “Publish” on your online website builder to take it live. 

What makes a good website builder? 

If you decide to use an online website builder, you need to know what you’re looking for when choosing one. Below you’ll find a list of all the website builder features you need to consider before you sign up for a builder. 

  • Functionality. What features do you need on your website? Choose a website builder with the right tools and add-ons to ensure you can build your website how you want. 
  • Ease of use. The whole point of builders is to make creating your website easy. Check out user reviews to find out whether other people found a builder easy and straightforward or too complicated. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Being findable on search engines is the best way to get new traffic. Make sure your builder optimizes your website and gives you access to Google Analytics. 
  • Support. When you run into difficulty, you need to know that your builder will offer you the support you need. Look for 24/7 professional support where available. 
  • Mobile responsiveness. A growing percentage of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so it’s important that your chosen builder creates websites ready for mobile. 
  • Cost. While cost shouldn’t be your first concern (you shouldn’t just use a cheap builder), there’s no point paying more than you need for the same functionality. 

Advantages and disadvantages of a website builder

When should you use a website builder and when should you avoid them? Before you sign up for one, make sure you understand all the pros and cons of using a web builder. 

Advantages of website builders

So, what are the perks for choosing a website builder over content management systems (CMS) or coded website options?

No coding or technical skills

We can’t stress enough quite how easy the top-of-the-line website builders are to use. Even if you have zero coding skills or technical knowledge, you will still be able to create a professional website with the help of a site builder. 

We’re not just talking about the builder here. Because many web builders double as a web host and offer tools to market yourself, they take the hard work out of building your web presence. 

Get your website published fast 

If you want or need to get your website up and running quickly, there’s really no better option than an online site builder. Their drag-and-drop functionality is pretty much the fastest way to get content on your site. 

On top of that, the fact that you don’t need to spend time arranging a separate web host, and will get all the technical support you need from the builder, means that there’s a bunch of time-saving involved. 

Low cost option 

It used to be that even relatively simple websites were very expensive. From the extensive coding to the custom design elements, you used to have to fork out tons of money to experts to make your website for you. 

With online builders, the costs are a fraction of other options. We’re not talking about a cheap-looking website, either. You can create a website that looks professional without any professionals involved. 

Low maintenance

Because many website builders come with a hosting plan included, you don’t need to worry too much about the maintenance of your website. 

As new technologies come into use, a web-based builder makes updates your website on its platform. This means your website always stays up to date. 

Looks professional without professionals 

Not all web developers are web designers, and the graphic design element of creating a website can be just as daunting to face as the coding. That’s why choosing a website builder can help make your website look more professional than any other option. 

That’s because website builders design templates that are ready for you to plug your content into. You simply need to choose a template and personalize it as you please. 

Disadvantages of website builders

We’ll be honest with you, there are some drawbacks to relying on site builders to create a website. Let’s take a look at a few of these. 

Limited functionality for experienced users

If you have lots of prior experience creating websites, you may find website builders limit your ability to build the site you dream of. The theme selection process may limit your creativity, and you might find that you can’t add all the features you want. 

If you know what you’re doing in terms of web design, then online website builders probably aren’t for you. 

Similar-looking websites

Because online website builders tend to be template-based, you may find that your site comes out looking relatively similar to others that use the same platform. 

Even if you carry out tons of customization before you hit the publish button, chances are that you won’t have the most unique-looking website in the world. You just can’t get that far away from the template.

Lack of hosting mobility

If you’ve got a custom-made website but are unhappy with your hosting provider, you can usually quite easily move your website to a different host with relatively little difficulty. 

However, if you’re using a website builder with inclusive hosting, you’ll quickly find that it’s much more difficult to switch to a different hosting provider. 

How do I get started with Zyro website builder?

Unsurprisingly, for your money, the best website builder on the market is the Zyro website builder. 

On top of being an easy-to-use online website builder with plenty of templates to choose from, covering all kinds of niches and a host of marketing tools, it comes complete with a suite of AI branding tools that help you find and create a brand identity and find an audience. 

Zyro’s web-based builder is the fastest and easiest way to get a website online. 

Best of all, if you choose an annual subscription for a Zyro plan, you’ll get a free domain along with your website. 

So, what is a website builder?

In short, a website builder is a tool that makes creating a professional website quick and easy. They offer anyone, with any skill level, the opportunity to build a website without the help of developers or designers. 

There are many online website builders on the market, and understanding what to look for when choosing one will help you settle on the tool that’s right for you. 

We highly recommend trying out Zyro website builder for yourself, since it strikes the best balance between ease of use, functionality, and cost.

Written by

Author avatar

Duncan

Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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