Website Builder vs Coding 2024: What is Best?

professional we design team concept

Introduction to our Website Builder vs Coding Guide:

What's the difference between website builders vs coding?

Previously, creating websites was the domain of professional web developers. However, over the years, there have been numerous website builders vs coding professionals popping up online.  As a result, they have made things so much easier for everyone by using a page builder vs coding. Anyone can create a site, from casual hobbyists to entrepreneurs and business leaders. But, even then, many companies still seek out the services of professional website designers. In our two decades of providing online services, we know that some prefer bespoke sites that truly reflect their corporate persona and philosophies.

But what exactly should you go with if you must choose between website builders vs coding?

Today, we’re talking about website builders vs hand coding experts: how these differ and in which ways they are similar, as well as when to use either of these options.

Quick Comparison Table for Website Builder vs Coding

Factor Website Builder Coding
Ease of Use 🥇 Very Easy – Drag & drop interfaces 🥉 Difficult – Requires knowledge of multiple programming languages
Flexibility 🥉 Limited – Depends on the features of the builder 🥇 Very High – Complete control over every aspect
Time to Launch 🥇 Very Quick – Could be hours or days 🥉 Slow – Could be weeks or months
Cost 🥈 Variable – Free to hundreds per year, includes hosting 🥈 Variable – May require software or server costs
Maintenance 🥇 Low – Most aspects handled by the platform 🥉 High – Requires constant upkeep and updates
SEO 🥈 Good – Basic SEO features included 🥇 Excellent – Full control over SEO settings
Learning Curve 🥇 Easy – Little to no learning curve 🥉 Steep – Requires time and effort to learn
Customization 🥉 Limited – Based on the template 🥇 High – Complete control over design and functionality
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The Website Builder vs Web Developer Dilemma: How Do You Know Which One You Need?

Even before you toy with the idea of opting for website builders vs hand coding, you have to know exactly what you want. Specifically, how your site ought to look, what it should be doing for you, and how you want your core audience to see or perceive it.

shot from back of pensive businessman with glasses looking at the screen of a laptop. pensive confused young man thinking of website builders vs coding problem solution stuck with task, working with laptop remotely.
the website builder vs web developer dilemma

Consider the following when you're about to choose between coding vs website builders:

  • If you're an online entrepreneur, do you want your core audience to buy your items or book services directly from you? Then you will need a website with a built-in eCommerce component.
  • Are you writing op-eds or creating audiovisual content for an audience? Then, you will need either a blog or gallery feature with which to display your work. Which would work better – website builder vs web developer?
  • Also, are you planning to gather visitors' information for marketing or research purposes? Well, you need to add forms to record their data. For instance, widgets they can easily access and which can also be easily managed on the backend. Which can do that for you – website builders vs coding?

Admittedly, many ready-to-use website builders like Squarespace already offer these features: some bundled into your subscription for free, while others need to be purchased piecemeal. But one could also make the argument that with website builders vs coding, web design teams also have programmers on the strength who can create custom applications and widgets for you. So which between web developers vs hand coding would better suit you?

But here's the clincher: how unique do you want your site to look and feel? You have to ask because, even if website builders claim that they have templates that can give your site a unique look, you know that there's probably another site out there whose home page will look strikingly similar to yours. Or how important is this really to you?

These are some thoughts you need to sort out when deciding between website builders vs coding.

Three Ways to Create a Website: Website Builders vs Hand Coding

Once you know what you need, you have to ask how you're going to go about site creation. It is good to know at this point that you have three options:

  1. Platform-based: when choosing website builders vs hand coding, platform-based means the former. You use the templates available with your site builder of choice to create your site;
  2. Designer-centric: hire an in-house web designer or outsource the creation of your site to a third-party design team; essentially you are choosing the latter between website builders vs hand coding.
  3. Hybrid: you resolve the dilemma of website builders vs hand coding by using both. You can build your site with a creation platform using a template specifically created for your company by a professional designer.

So, Which One Do You Need – Website Builder vs Web Developer?

Let's ask the important question of whether it's better to go with website builders vs coding.

If you have absolutely no clue as to how to build a website, we recommend that you go with a website builder vs coding through a web developer. Thanks to pre-built templates and drag-and-drop interfaces, it lets users get a site up and running in minutes. Likewise, many of today's builders, specifically Squarespace, already have eCommerce tool suites up and ready for use, allowing users to create online storefronts and manage the retail aspect of their business online.

squarespace website builders vs coding

Squarespace trial comes in 14 days of free testing of the Business Plan. Read through their terms of service page before you commit.

But when is it suitable to choose coding vs website builders?

For established businesses with budgets that are growing or for larger corporate entities that already have a specific target audience or have specific requirements with regard to online interaction, it pays to get the services of a professional web design team. So you should consider coding vs website builders instead. Why?

Getting their services will enable you to do the following when comparing website builder vs web developer:

  • Create a website that reflects the corporate/industrial persona of the company, incorporating its visual brand standards into the aesthetic template;
  • Create information-gathering solutions that will enable you to keep tabs on site visitors or regular customers; and
  • Work with developers to create specific tools for back-end management.

In any case, it also helps to keep in mind how big a reach you want to achieve with your website, as well as the costs involved in its creation and maintenance so as to choose which option – coding vs website builder – works best for you.

Conclusion and Recommendation to Website Builder vs Coding:

So which to choose between website builder, like Squarespace vs web developer?

Common wisdom dictates that between coding vs website builders, first-timers should always seek the services of an expert. But this could prove to be expensive, especially for startups and those with limited means. On the other hand, ready-to-use site builders such Squarespace allow users to dive right in – but, even with an extensive variety of templates to choose from, the overall look and even the functionality of the finished product may not necessarily be exactly what one wants.

Knowing your exact requirements also enables you to know what you will need to work on – whether you should be using website builder vs coding. More importantly, what will create a highly engaging website for you –  web developer vs website builder? Still, you also need to consider logistics that come with it, such as the cost of both design and post-creation management.

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I am thinking of creating an online store; which solution would work best for me - coding vs website builders?

In the case of online startup businesses, we recommend trying out the waters with reliable website builders vs coding. So, go ahead and try website builder vs web developer. Shopify is the gold standard when it comes to creating and managing storefronts, but Squarespace also gives users the ability to throw in a blog as a value-added service, as well as the ability to offer scheduled services to their customers.

Would it be all right to have a designer create a template for me and use it with my building platform?

Yes, and this is actually considered the hybrid option between website builder vs web developer. Have a professional designer create aesthetic templates specific to your business, but ensure that these can be used with your builder.

That's all for now:

If you've read all the way through this website builder vs web developer comparison, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of what is best for you –  website builder vs web designer! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, website builders, and more! Feel free to check them out;

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