To build or not to build

​A brief insight into why you shouldn’t use website builders

1. Tech (Freepik)
The rise of “ease-of-access” website builders has convinced many that web development is easy, but they come with more drawbacks than many people know. (Photo: Freepik)
Whether you love them, hate them, or have only heard their name in passing in an advertisement on social media, website builders have entrenched themselves in the world of web development.اضافة اعلان

This rise in “ease-of-access” builders has caused many people who aren’t versed in the technical aspect of web development to believe the profession is one that is “simple”. Some even believe that website builders can achieve — or surpass — the work delivered by professional developers.

This article will go over the top reasons why website builders are, in fact, vaporware and shouldn’t be considered by anyone unless they’re genuinely starting out a business out of their garage. 

To keep things brief: If you are in any way serious about your online presence and seek to build a reputable brand and website for your business, we recommend that you pursue a basic website that you develop in-house. It will be significantly cheaper for you in the long run than relying on a website builder.

However if you are starting out by drop-shipping products, builders may be the way to go.

Design is everything

An original website design goes a long way in building a brand, whether you’re an experienced web developer or not. Apple’s minimalism and Balenciaga’s bombastic website design are both examples of a unified look and feel that they carry through on all of their communication platforms. Your website must do the same.

While a professional web developer can mold your website into any shape or form, most website builders come with severe limitations as to what can and cannot be done with its content. Most website builders try their best to convince you to go for their “themes” — prebuilt websites that users plug their content into in “segments”.

Even if these builders offer hundreds of different themes, it means that there will be possibly thousands of websites that look identical to yours, which will dilute the originality and uniqueness of your brand.

Google hates you

For the uninitiated, Google ranks websites according to dozens of factors related to your website, especially what it calls “components”. Through the use of crawlers, Google evaluates the content of your website and labels it accordingly in order to match users with your website when necessary.

Websites require search-engine optimization, or SEO, in order to ensure that these crawlers can understand, and therefore rank, websites higher and closer to the end-user when users search for key terms. In other words, websites live and die by SEO in terms of organic growth and reach.

It is there that builders tend to fail. As a layman you have no control over the code as it happens behind the scenes, and as a result you have limited options to increase your website’s SEO. While Wix and Shopify have tools that assist you with some very rudimentary SEO best practices, these tools are generally considered to be relatively weak. Furthermore, websites developed through builders often load significantly slower than those developed in-house; something that both Google and your users absolutely despise.

Your website isn’t for everyone to enjoy

Almost all web builders are poorly optimized for responsive design, which is the ability of your website to automatically adjust itself to the size of users’ screen, be it an ultrawide 43-inch monitor or an iPhone 6’s miniature screen.

This is especially relevant when it comes to ecommerce platforms, where users should be exposed to calls to action and product listings form the moment they land on the page. However, with a lack of proper responsive design, there’s a good chance your products will be out of place or missing altogether. The likelihood of this increases with a higher number of products.

Limited functionality

While e-commerce platforms such as Shopfiy have gone to great lengths in order to develop a robust platform to attract as many would-be entrepreneurs as possible, the opportunities for the integration of various apps, payment methods, and other non-native applications is severely limited.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of the integrations found on the websites are often automatically updated and may not take into consideration the effect that will have on other modules embedded in the site. In other words, one module on your website updating could cause another module to break, potentially crashing your website altogether.

This problem can be compounded further when less tech-savvy users have no idea this is happening and are left unable to identify which module is causing the problem.

Custom-built websites don’t always have this problem, as in-house web developers can update their modules in a test environment. This ensures that errors are caught well before they become a significant problem.


Unless you are just starting out with e-commerce, or are looking to establish a blog within 24 hours, we highly recommend you don’t go with generic website builders, especially those that offer prebuilt templates.

There are many more technical reasons we haven’t touched on in this article, but the fact that your website is very likely going to be buried in the Google search results should give you pause. Even if your website is discovered, it will look unprofessional.

That doesn’t mean you should stay away from the cheap thrill: there are countless of freelancers that use WordPress for their web development needs; a middle ground between ground-up web development and website builders.

WordPress offers more utility and a bigger payoff than traditional builders, but is significantly more technical. It won’t break the bank, either, as many developers are willing to take on a WordPress website for as little as JD1,000; completely customized and built from the ground up, and catering to your brand identity and customer journey.

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