We’ve seen time and time again, clients who have gone down the page builder route on their own, and at a later stage hired us to overhaul their entire website.
As of recent, self-design website page builders have been on the rise. Companies like Wix and Squarespace have become increasingly popular and will continue to grow in 2021. They offer cheap and easy website design solutions by giving their users the ability to drag and drop elements to create a website without the need for a web designer or developer. Seems simple right? Many of our clients had previously used page builders, but inevitably sought our design services as they find their self-created website is not meeting their intended outcomes. Sure, you can select from existing templates, but the problem is the same as merely installing a WordPress theme – does it achieve your goals through web design?
Website Design Requires Experience and Knowledge
In 2021, it’s likely that everyone’s brother’s friend’s aunty’s nephew can build you a website. They have confidence in the marketing slogan’s of most page builders – “we make website design simple, you can do it too!”. The final design may be aesthetically average, or replicate an existing competitor’s website, without knowing that it has been made with a specific strategy for results that may not align with their own – therefore creating a disservice to their brand and its outcomes through bad design. Promoting key messages, creating good user experience, clear call to actions, or knowledge of the best website practices may be ineffective or entirely disregarded.
Experienced web designers draw from years of expertise to highlight your message and deliver it to your user. They know what works through industry education and involvement in various design projects, and with the right designer you will see a fervent hunger for creative knowledge, allowing them to see how trends have evolved throughout their career. Essentially they become a translator – bringing your organisation’s ethos and vision into a culmination of design that your user can easily understand and take action upon.
Website page builders become an excellent tool for these designers because it streamlines their creative workflow when there is no need for development. However, without development capacity there may still be restrictions in design if there are objectives in the brief that require complex coding knowledge.
Web Development Is An Artform
If your website has complex functions, bypassing a web developer and designer to save on project costs is detrimental. The design process may begin well, but you will soon find yourself stuck if you don’t have basic HTML, CSS or an understanding of relevant resources available. Designers and developers undergo years of education for a reason – it’s hard! A site builder may deliver a website result, however it won’t make up for clean code and other backend tweaks needed for your website to be fully optimised – this benefits your user and user experience, and affect potential search results if you don’t have specialist knowledge. Additionally, if you need functionality outside the scope of what’s offered within your website page builder, you may find yourself at a complete dead-end.
But Isn’t Elementor A Page Builder?
Many of our website projects use the Elementor page builder, as it utilises the WordPress content management system, allowing full access their plugin library. According to W3Techs statistics, WordPress powers 42.1% of all websites monitored by them, giving WordPress a market share of 65.1% in their July 2021 report. Using the Elementor page builder for our clients is cost-saving and can expedite timelines, as there is no need for additional development work – however allows for the potential to scale if more complex functionality is required later down the track.
Our designers are able to deliver peak visual aesthetics in accordance with a digital marketing strategy, and our developers can build in more advanced functionality where required. Most page builders that do not use WordPress as a base can become restrictive for developers, as they aren’t flexible in advanced coding, or coding languages used for best web practice. Bottom line: Elementor gets the best of WordPress goodies and can grow with your business or organisation – it’s all about scalability!
Find What’s Right For You
It’s important to note that site builders are a great tool if they fulfil your website requirements or to establish an initial web presence, as they do not require a web designer or developer. They are a cost-effective tool to get a website live as soon as possible, but keep in mind that it will still take time and plenty of trial and error. Getting your site up by yourself is a great learning experience, and as they say – knowledge is power!
If your aims are beyond a basic web presence however, don’t fall into the trap of self-design. It does invoke a feeling of competency in the field – but owning a sports car does not make the driver a professional track racer. The age-old mantra “do it once, do it right” rings true, as saving project costs with below average or cheap design may backfire, inevitably wasting time and increasing budget spend when you need to find help to get your website redesigned and developed from scratch.
Image Credits: Unsplash