Manual Coding vs. Visual Website Builder: Which option to choose?

Building a website is a highly crucial step for the upscaling of every business. A great website is something that can make or break the visitor impression. The style and theme of the website help create a brand image in the minds of the customers. A great website is something all businesses need to ensure a healthy growth rate. But the question that bothers most of the business owners is what to choose – Manual coding or Visual website builder?

Both of the options mentioned above have their own merits and demerits. You need to choose one based on the needs and requirements of your business. Choosing to hand-code your website gives you the freedom to build everything from scratch and design it exactly the way you want. Using a website builder to create a website limits the options. You have to satisfy yourself with what the visual builder has to offer. But this does not necessarily imply that manual coding is better than a website builder. Again, which one is better depends on the requirements of the business. Using a visual website builder might save you time and effort. But seeing your website hosted on a different platform, the clients might not take you seriously. So the factors governing the answer to this tricky question are many.

Here, we will present some enlightening facts and help you reduce the perplexity about the choice you can make. Join us for the next few minutes to gain an enhanced clarity.

Visual website builder:

Visual website coders provide quite a few advantages that manual coding does not. Let us have a look at the pros of using the visual website builders:

Pros:

  1. Already designed templates

When you use website builders, you have with you a set of existing templates. You can choose one template from the available options and customize it according to your needs. While manual coding, you need to code everything from scratch. So using existing templates offers the freedom to edit the already designed templates without worrying about coding every small thing.

  1. Drag and drop Interface

The drag and drop interface stands as one of the most loved features of visual website builders. The visuals can be simply dragged and dropped into the user interface. Without having to code even a single word, you can simply drag and drop the features and be good to go.

  1. Time and cost-efficient

It goes without saying that website builders save you both time and costs. Manual coding is a long and tiring process that requires time and money. But if you are short of both, website builders have something in your favor. Website builders do not ask you for a ton of money, and the designing can be completed quickly because of the convenient features.

  1. Easy to customize and use

The popular website builders have been designed to be easy to use and handle. Website builders come with easy to use interface that allows easy customization of the preexisting templates. You do not need any prior technical knowledge of website designing while using these automated tools.

If you have even a little knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can customize the templates even more. But that does not mean that customization options for non-coders are any lesser. Various styles and designs can be customized without having to code even a single word. Thus people with non-development backgrounds usually prefer to use website builders for small purposes.

The site layout is very user-friendly when it gets hosted on one of these platforms. There are very minute chances of committing a big error.

 Cons:

Having browsed through some of the plus points of visual website builders, let us now look at the cons to understand their usability better. Below are enlisted a few major disadvantages of using website builders:

  1. Lack of control over where the site is hosted:

When a website is built on a particular site builder, all the site pages are hosted on that site builder. It is not possible to easily transfer your site to some other hosting platform. You might argue that one can change to a different hosting platform whenever one wishes. But unfortunately, this is only a half-truth.

Although you can transfer to a different hosting platform, you need to give up on your previously designed website. Choosing a new website builder means to develop the site all over again. If your site once had a particular theme, you might not be able to retain the same when you make a transition to another website builder.

  1. Less freedom to iterate:

No matter how many theme options a website builder offers, they can never be enough. Coding everything from scratch gives you enormous freedom to mold the website according to your needs. Moreover, you sometimes need to modify the code to make more customizations, but it can be difficult to do so because understanding the third-party code is difficult.

  1. Your site seems irrelevant to clients:

The sites hosted on website builders usually fail to appeal to the clients. Most clients’ impression goes down the moment they see that your website is getting hosted on some other platform.  The clients might not take a business seriously that cannot afford a custom-made website. And even if the client decides to work with you anyway, your overall experience with the client may not end up being very pleasing.  The client may expect too much work for too little money, which at last might frustrate both of you. Hence, website builders might not be the best choice for business websites.

  1. Website builders are not free:

When we said WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) sites are cost-efficient, we did not mean they were free. There are many restrictions and impositions that website builders might pose on you for using them. For instance, the WYSIWYG site might show its advertisement on your site, and it may stop you from applying particular styles on your websites.

To remove those restrictions, you need to pay for these sites. The amount demanded by them is usually more than what is required for normal hosting.

Manual Coding:

Now since you are well-versed with the pros and cons of visual website builders, let us glance at the advantages of manual coding.

Pros:

  1. No exceeding limit to customization:

As mentioned earlier in the article, working on an empty canvas gives you complete freedom to design every small detail exactly the way you want. Whereas the customization options available on website builders are never enough.

  1. Better code understanding:

One can better understand one’s own code rather than that of some third-party site. When you handwrite the website code, it is much easier to modify the code and hence in the site design. The source code in third-party sites is not easily accessible, and even if it is, making changes in it can be a tiresome task.

  1. Manual coding is original:

Website builders offer a limited number of templates that have so much in common. Some sites might use the same templates, and even if they customize the templates differently, the sites are still going to look somewhat similar. Moreover, most people are way too lazy to customize their sites completely, and they hence end up looking similar to others on the web. And no one would want their site to look identical to someone else’s.

Hand coding the site comes with a huge advantage of having an “original code.”  Your website will be unique to the web and the customers. The more effort you put into your website, the better impression you leave on the clients.

Cons:

Hand coding, aka manual coding, is not free of cons. There are still a few things you will need to cope with when you choose manual coding on WYSIWYG sites. So before making the final decision, take a look at the few cons of hand-coding:

  1. Keeping up with the technological changes:

In the digital world that keeps constantly changing, you need to make sure that your site evolves with the various technological changes. The needs of the companies in the market change and hence shift the technology platforms. In the past few years, these platforms have changed from MapReduce to Storm and Spark. Hand coding your site means to be up to date with such changes.

  1. High costs:

Many businesses usually cannot afford the high costs of manual coding the website. If you cannot code, you need to hire a web development company to do so for you. Since hand-coding a website is far from an easy task, it requires the company to have a decent budget. Despite this, the costs of hand-coding are usually worth it.

Which businesses should go for website builders?

Small businesses that cannot afford to spend a fortune on website development tend to choose website builders over manual coding. Small startups that want to focus more on their business front tend to bend towards WYSIWYG sites. Regardless of various cons, visual website builders still manage to remain efficient on some fronts. Some of the most amazing website builders for small businesses for 2020 are – Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, GoDaddy, WordPress, BigCommerce, and Shopify. Site23 and HostGator are other equally outstanding website builders available on the web.

Which businesses should go for the Manual coding method?

Despite the ease offered by website builders, the need for manual coding for some businesses remains indispensable. If your budget allows, hiring a web development company is the best. The employees of such companies are well-versed with their job profile. Having developed many websites previously, they can provide you with development insights that can benefit your business. Various reputed web and mobile application development companies like M-Connect Solutions offer their clients the best services at the most affordable prices. Therefore, businesses looking forward to scaling up themselves should consider partnering up with companies like M-Connect Solutions.

Code your way!

Having a great looking and efficiently working website is one of the very first steps to ensure a commendable online presence. Whether you choose to use website builders or get your site built by hiring developers or professionals has a lot to do about how your target customers will respond to your site. In many ways, hand-coding your website is better than going for visual website builders. But again, it is the goals you have set for your business that governs the answer to this question.

If you are looking for remarkable website developers, connect with our team at M- Connect Solutions!

We at M-Connect Solutions have more than a decade of experience in providing our clients with the best application and website development services synonymous with excellence. Consult our team and explore the options available for developing a top-class website for your business. Contact us today!

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About Darshit Parmar

Darshit Parmar is expertise with Project Management and SEO Analyst, and shares his 10 years of experience with Ecommerce Business Owners in making their brands and business a place in their own field.

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