Using Website Builder vs. Hiring a Web Designer: Is It Worth the Cost?

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website builder vs. web designer agency

In Malaysia, there are two options for creating a website: using a website builder or hiring a web designer.

A website builder is a tool that enables you to create a website on your own, whereas a web designer is someone you hire to create a website on your behalf. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.   

Continue reading to learn more about the differences between them and which one may be suitable for you.  

What is a Website Builder?

Wix website builder

A website builder is a software platform that enables users to create websites without relying solely on coding. Some website builders allow you to modify or extend your website with code if you are capable of and familiar with using it.

Here is a list of website editors: Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, Shopify, Jimdo, Webflow, Webnode and etc.

A good website builder provides a dashboard-like interface for creating and customising the web pages of your website. The most essential elements of this interface are as follows:

1. Preview panel

This panel displays a live preview of your website, allowing you to observe the effect of your changes and the appearance of your site as you make them.

This panel may or may not have drag-and-drop functionality, allowing you to transfer elements into different positions using the mouse on your PC or finger on your tablet.

2. Style and preferences

The panel should allow you to view and choose from a variety of options that give you different styles and preferences of the webpage you are creating or editing. Here you can change the colours, fonts, and other design elements according to your liking. 

3. Managing the website from back-end

Most website builders allow you to create or delete webpages and blog posts, manage a store, and implement additional features. Moreover, it may also offer account management features. 

What do website designers do, and how does that differ from using a website builder?

website designer website planning and developing

So what are the benefits of hiring a professional web designer? It depends on whom you employ. It is best to find a web designer or design agency that understands your requirements well and is able to execute them. 

In the past, website developers created and edited websites using coding languages. Today, however, you can find developers with limited coding skills who specialise in using specific website platforms.

Website Builder Pros Website Builder Cons Custom Web Design Pros Custom Web Design Cons
Affordable: Low cost to create and launch a website Limited customization: Templates may not adhere to website design fundamentals Unique theme: Customized design based on specific needs and preferences Finding the right one: Time-consuming to research and select a web designer
Easy to use: Designed for non-technical users, allowing for quick website setup Generic appearance: Popular templates can result in unoriginal and generic websites Consistent brand identity: Designers can provide a cohesive brand identity with logo, color scheme, and fonts Expensive: Custom web design can be more costly than other options
Quick turnaround: Websites can be created and launched in a single day Lack of functionality: Limited features and functions compared to custom websites Customized solutions: Designers can provide guidance and customized solutions for website elements Time-intensive: Custom web design process can take several weeks to months
Missed sales opportunities: Templates may not optimize user experience and visitor conversions

Website Builder Pros and Cons

Website builders are web-based applications that enable non-technical users to create websites without extensive design or coding expertise. Users choose from a variety of pre-designed templates and insert their content.  

#Pros of web builder

Price is the primary factor influencing people’s decision to use website builders. You can have a decent-looking website up and operating on the internet for a small fee.

With a web builder, you can register, design, and launch a website in a single day. Because website builders are designed for non-technical users, they are relatively simple to use.

#Cons of web builder

Even if a templated website looks fine, it will not adhere to website design fundamentals, such as UX design and visitor conversions.

This means that the website will not be optimally designed to direct visitors to the desired pages, resulting in missed sales opportunities.

Due to the popularity of website builders, many businesses and individuals use the same templates. This causes the website to appear unoriginal and generic, making it difficult to differentiate your business from the competition.

Even though they are simple to use, it takes time to create a website using a web builder. When considering using a website builder, you should consider the value of your time.

Custom Web Design Pros and Cons

Just like using a website editor to create your website, hiring a web designer or company to do so also comes with its pros and cons. 

Here are some factors to consider if you intend to hire a professional web designer to create a custom theme for your website.

#Pros of custom website design

1. A unique theme

A web designer will collaborate with you to create a custom theme based on your specific needs and preferences. This indicates that the ultimate product will be a theme that is unique to you and your business.

2. Consistent brand identity

A web designer can provide you with all the tools necessary to create a well recognised brand. They can advise you and design for you not only your website, but also your logo, colour scheme, and fonts. 

If you’re unsure of how to design a product page to ensure that your visitors have a positive experience, designers can provide you with guidance and customised solutions.

If you have an idea of how you’d like your homepage to look or function, for instance, they can advise you if it’s feasible and/or recommended for your type of business and website.

#Cons of custom website design

  1. Finding the right one

Finding the right web designer can be difficult. There are many freelance designers and agencies from which to choose, but it takes time to find one with the required skills and expertise. Before choosing the right person to work with, you will need to conduct research, read reviews and testimonials, and hold discussions. 

2. It can be expensive 

Since you wish to have a custom website created from scratch, it is only reasonable that it will be more expensive than other options. You will also need to factor in the expense of having some additional website functions.  

3. It is time-intensive

It can take between 20 days and 1.5 months for a professional to design your website. This makes sense as it is a customised website. Moreover, users will also need to factor in the time taken to revise the website before it can go live. 

Final takeaways 

In Malaysia, the decision between using a website builder or hiring a web designer depends on your requirements and budget. A website builder may be the way to go if you wish to create a simple website quickly and on a limited budget. 

However, if you require a website with more complex, unique features and designs, it is best to employ a professional web designer in Malaysia.

Ultimately, the choice is yours and is determined by your objectives and resources. Remember to conduct an investigation and select the most suitable option.  

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A Good Web Design Plays a Key Role in a Business’s Success Online

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