Why use a Website Builder? Perhaps it’s the “Hostage” factor

Last updated on September 13, 2017

why use cms website buildersI recall when I was reading website builder reviews, I was extremely frustrated with my then website developer.

You see, I’m just the same as a lot of others:

  1. I didn’t know how to program or code;
  2. I thought I needed to be a master programmer to build websites; and
  3. I thought the only choice I had was to hire a seasoned programmer.

Today?  I still don’t know how to code, but I’m building websites after websites.

Here’s My Story

I hired a website programmer to build my first website.  I thought he did a pretty good job, created a fancy design and he was able to help me insert my content into the website and put up pretty pictures.

He was pretty responsive and always provided his “professional” opinion and advice as to how to build an effective and user-friendly website.

That was before I paid him the full amount for his services.

What happened when I paid him the rest of the money?  I was held hostage to his website building expertise, or more truthfully, I was hostage to my own lack of technical knowledge.  

I wanted to edit a couple of simple things, such as change the colour here, add a few more sentences there – something that I thought would take no more than a few minutes to do.

It took him a few days to respond, and when he did respond, he didn’t put through the changes for a few more days, and asked for additional service charges.

No doubt, I think it’s fair to compensate him for his professional services, but overall it was a frustrating experience – not so much as to the compensation charges that he asked for, but rather the turn around time was slower than I had expected.

I can understand that he has fresh projects to work on and if I was him, I would prioritize the way he had as well.

Despite my logical and rational side being able to understand his situation – I was still frustrated as I needed the work done – now!

What did I learn from Building Websites?

After such a disastrous experience, I was determined to learn how to build websites on my own and that led me to discover all sorts of WYSIWYG website builders in the market.  A lot of them such as Weebly, Jimdo or Wix are free, with options to upgrade to their paid platforms.

I worked with a few different website builders as I needed to understand which one best suited my unique website needs.  In my experiences working with these website builders, I could and have built full websites with just their free platform, which is fantastic.

They take care of all the programming and coding behind the scenes, allowing me to add elements or drag-and-drop them around to create the website layout that I desire.

They have built their platforms with people such as myself in mind – clueless when it comes to CSS and HTML.  

Website Builder Review – For You

What I’ve decided to do is create a series of review articles on website builders, to summarize my personal experiences in working with them.

I thought that this might help you in your journey to find the ideal website builder for you, as I wished someone would have done the same for me when I was trying to figure this all out.

The decision between which website builder to choose is a personal one and depends on the nature of your website content and what you intend to display.

In any case, using a WYSIWYG website builder is an excellent way to get a website up and running quickly and economically, and retain full control over its content however you want, whenever you want.

For sure there are some limitations to these website builders as they will not be able to create websites that are custom built, but in my mind, it’s better than being held hostage by some website designers, or in all honesty, my lack of technical knowledge.

Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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4 Responses to Why use a Website Builder? Perhaps it’s the “Hostage” factor

  1. #

    Jeremy, your style of writing is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve been in a similar to your situation and I read your article in a minute as if it was a conversation between us. Thank you.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your compliment, Caroline! And thanks for visiting our website!

      Jeremy

  2. #

    Most people don’t realize that with most free website builders you get with a web hosting package is it’s proprietary and you can not take the site you built with their website builder with you if you want to change web hosts.

    So you are still being held hostage it’s just by the web host now.

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for pointing that out – and you’re right, if one was to build a website using a WYSIWYG website builder, since they providing hosting, there is definitely risk that you can’t take your website away if one decides to leave or choose another host.

      I think some web builders do try to address this issue. For instance, with Weebly, a user can export the entire website and upload it into a host and have it working. Granted, the user will no longer be able to use the drag and drop tools to edit content. Also, Squarespace allows exporting into WordPress, which is very handy for sure.

      But you’re right, most web builders are lacking this option, but not all.

      Thanks for adding to this discussion!

      – Jeremy