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Are Visual Builders Worth The Hassle?

5/5 (2)

Working on your website is like being a foreman on a construction site. Of course, if you are a Richie Rich, it’s not a problem for you to pay a big amount of money and get a website not only without touching the code but moving your finger at all. Sounds easy-peasy, right?

But I like to think of our readers as the enthusiasts who love digging into the web-design technologies or getting dirty with the code themselves.  And, oh man, I respect that so much!


How I came up with an idea for this article

In one of my recent posts about 2017 web-design trends, I stated that modern website builders no longer suck and, yes, I think so. After finishing that article, one interesting question appeared in my mind: ‘Is it possible for website builders to erase the bounds between coders and designers forever? And how soon can it happen?’.

So to write this article I had to review a pretty significant amount of website builders and I’ve been nearly slammed by a number of options they offer to the customers: from monthly plans to additional payments for e-mail accounts. There are so many things they want you to pay for; it makes me feel dizzy.

First of all, I should admit that two years ago or so I was not taking visual website builders serious. Every time someone told me a story how he built his website using some builder, I looked like this:

Okay, I was wrong. Time goes by, and nowadays such builders host thousands of website and, I’ve got to say, very good looking ones.

They offer plenty of themes and functionalities to their customers along with the simplicity and drag & drop building process. Just imagine how hard you have to learn the code and the web design's ins and outs to be able to make a website from scratch. That’s huge amount of time comparing with just signing up one of such services! And here they are, whispering to you:

Oh man, you could just put this image block here and it’s done, why does it take you so long? You don’t have to read a 500-page book to build websites. Join the Dark Side, we have drag & drop and codeless development!

Don’t rush to join them, let’s check the facts first and see if their sweet words are well-grounded.


Reasons to use website builders

First of all, I offer you to take a look at the list of main reasons why someone will choose a builder for his/her website development:

  • Low budget

While some of the freelancers ask from $1000 to $5000 and higher, visual builder will cost less and will give you an opportunity to implement all your cool creative ideas yourself. It will not only help you to save a lot of money but also let you feel much more involved in your project. Only you will by the master of your website now, and it’s up to you to decide where should this banner go and where should this call-to-action window pop-up.

visual-2

Yeah, I know. All you are thinking about right now is ‘I can save lots of money on this projects, that’s soo good!’. And I’m with you on this one. The Visual Builder is a perfect fit for a company or person with a low development budget.

  • You do not make plans on bringing unusual functionalities

Just to make it clear: you are all very special, and your projects are unbelievably unique! But still, if you just need a conventional website for your cafeteria, some visit card for your small business, portfolio or a brochure for the rock event - builders will come handy. They will provide you with all the usual functionalities: galleries, restaurant menu templates, testimonials widgets, carousels,  etc.visual-3

All the builders are web alternatives of the Lego. You can switch the elements however you want and get a unique and unusual design combinations.

  • Strong desire to build your very own website

I know that feeling when you want to do something on your own, but you do not have enough knowledge to succeed. If it sounds familiar to you, website builder is your guy… and your best teammate in this cruel web development journey you are about to take. I know plenty of small business owners who prefer to work on their official website on their own. That’s just because they like to build everything on their own and they know that nobody will design their web page better, those freelancers just simply do not have that vision they have about their own business.

And folks, I like that attitude, and I truly respect these people, because sometimes you have to do things on your own just to prove yourself you have enough strength to.

 


Why website builders are not for everyone

So these are the main reasons to use a builder nowadays. On the other hand, we have an old-fashioned setup - ‘WordPress + Kick Ass Theme.' Personally, I am still the fan of this approach, and I am the one among many. Why? This is very simple: we need that customization freedom that WP (or any other CMS) gives us. Cause after all visual builders limit your creativity with a degree of option and providing your website with some unique features becomes impossible.

Let’s say you are a web-developer with a few years of experience, and you designed more than 100 website themes for sale or your needs, whatever. Just imagine how would you feel without the actual possibility to write clean code and control each and every pixel of your theme. This will look like offering a professional artist to make collages instead of drawing something from scratch.  Not cool, right? Exactly.

So let’s admit that as of now, website builder is not a perfect fit for the experienced web-developers. They just know for sure that he can design a better-looking website with all the knowledge he has. When they look at the builders and their users, they see the kids playing on the playground.


What we can offer for those who struggle

As you all know, TemplateMonster has our very own website builder, and we are very proud of our product. Moto team is constantly working on making your website building experience better, so while talking about website builders I just cannot forget to mention our beloved MotoCMS.

While selling our themes, we noticed that our clients are interested in a possibility to buy our template with a builder included inside, so they could just create their websites by dropping the needed widgets on the screen, adding the backgrounds and text blocks.

As of today, we consider MotoCMS as a top contender among the available builders. With each new iteration of our product, we bring lots of exciting features to our customers and keep them happy in our MotoCMS Family.

Considering all the thoughts above, I decided to dive deeper and make some calculations. I mean, come one, I need to know what is the most beneficial way to start your website. No marketing bullshit, just strictly real-life numbers, you have my word!

So I determined three options to start a website, these are:

  • Working with the cheapest builder available on the web
  • Buying a theme and work with the CMS on your own
  • Starting your project on MotoCMS

Let the competition begin

I have only two simple rules for our participants:

  1. Cheapest hosting available / Cheapest monthly subscription plan
  2. I don’t consider using a free builder’s domain, so in each case, we will pay for the domain in the .com zone. If you think that a free domain like ‘testsitethatididfor5minutes.net’ is okay to use, I have one thing to tell you:

After some work I’ve got the following table with the calculations:

OptionSubscription or Hosting / monthLicense Purchase / TemplateDomain / 1 yearInitial InvestmentAnnual Investment
Cheapest Builder$4,99-1-st year Free$59,88$79,88
WordPress$3,92$60$20$127,0467,04
MotoCMS$2,95$139$20$194.4$55,4

Now hear me out, before making your final decision, because this table should be explained in details.


Building your website on the WordPress

As you can see, building your website on WordPress (or any other CMS) doesn’t look so expensive. That’s because I didn’t mention the fact that you will have to pay some studio or a freelancer for setting everything up for you. So if we are talking about the low-budget decision, this is not your option.  But if you are working on a big and ambitious project, this will be the best choice for you. Unfortunately, website builders are still not ready to give your the needed level of development freedom.

Oh man, Leo, not you again.... I am kind of writing an article here… Okay?

Using the cheapest visual builder available

Moving to website builders category, I’d like to notice that these are sold in two different ways. The cheapest builder I found requires monthly payments for their services. It has more than 1 thousand themes available for the customers and offers a free domain for one year. But then you will have to pay the usual domain price.

Personally, I didn’t like the builder itself because I simply did not find it convenient. And I didn’t find any lessons that could help me out to find all the needed functions around the working area. Plus, they have the same issue as other website builders - only a certain number of templates look decent and eye-catching.

Setting up a one-page website using this cheapest builder will take around 15 minutes or so depending on your ambitions and level of persistence.


Using  MotoCMS from TemplateMonster

MotoCMS should be bought along with a theme you want to use, so you will not have to pay for it on a monthly basis. Once you paid for the license - it’s yours, and your annual investments will only include the hosting and domain expenses. And despite the fact that the amount of the initial investment is slightly larger than the other options require, the annual investment will be much lower and will pay off.

As of now we offer more than 2500+  MotoCMS templates, and each of them can be tried out using the 14 days free trial, so no worries, you will have a chance to test out the templates before buying the one you like.

If you worked with us before, it will not be new to you that all the templates are carefully tailored and aimed to bring an instant success to your website. So they look amazing right out of the box.

All MotoCMS customers can host their website on Bluehost or InMotion hosting with a huge discount; thousands of our clients trust these hosting providers.

Our customer service department is available 24/7 and ready to help you with any issues you may have. These guys will make sure your experience with MotoCMS stays pleasant and cheerful.  With their help or without, it takes around 10 minutes to build a one-page website using our builder.


Check out our MotoCMS bestsellers

Evolution Business Moto CMS 3 Template

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Financial Advisor Responsive Moto CMS 3 Template

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Spectrum Business Moto CMS 3 Template

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What our customers think about our beloved MotoCMS 

 

Defrozo Photographer Portfolio Moto CMS 3 Template #59595

I got Defrozo as my second website. I had some experience with WP, but the only thing I feel about it now is frustration. Can’t say the same about Moto CMS. I hate coding. It’s absolutely not for me. The admin panel is a great system that is easy to use and update. As for the template I like it for rich layouts and really amazing design.

Frank L.

Primary School Responsive Moto CMS 3 Template #56047

The color scheme, layout, and robust tools that come with this Moto CMS Template work perfectly on my server - flawless performance and quick to respond on mobile devices. This is an upgrade for my client so they are very happy with the smooth transitions within the template. Thanks for providing awesome templates, as always.

Keith P.

Singer Responsive Moto CMS 3 Template #55853

My name is Ben Cruiming, marketing manager with Lätzsch Custom Brass. We already use for a long time templates from MOTO CMS for all our artists. This one especially for his fresh white look. Perfect template easy to work with for people with not many technical skills.

Ben C.


Conclusion

I believe it’s time to answer the initial question that I had when I started this article. I don’t think that website builders will erase the boundaries between designers and developers in the nearest future. For me, their benefits are not that obvious, since I'm used to work with WordPress and I like having that freedom to customize my website for my needs feature by feature, widget by widget, pixel by pixel.

But I think that we all learned an important thing today: website builders have their target audience, and it’s pretty big. Our MotoCMS crew is slammed with new orders, and we are happy that you guys enjoy our products so much. So if you want to build a website and you are in a search for the easiest yet good-looking solution - hop in, we are always happy to see our MotoCMS family grow!


So as you can see, we offer our clients both ways of website development: you can either buy a beautiful theme or test out our MotoCMS website builder and go with this option, now it’s you who decides which way you want to go!

3 Responses

  1. hey Alex! you’ve made some great points here (not without Leo’s help, for sure!). Definitely worth reading for users who try to understand whether a builder is a right thing for their particular projects.

    1. Thanks a lot for your feedback, Ann. Glad you liked my article!

  2. Having come from a WordPress site to MotoCMS, I do have to say that the experience has been great so far! Having a builder would be awesome to have! With MotoCMS the possibilities are endless! One day I hope to be able to use plugins such Event Calendar or booking calendar plugin. Having free and/or premium version would be ideal. However, I do understand the security issues when opening up to plugins for users to install. Overall, I’m happy to be using MotoCMS. Great article!

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