Website builder or CMS – which is better to choose for creating a website in 2022

Website Builder is a boxed tool for creating web pages and managing their content. Website development software installed on optimally configured hosting.

Such services work according to the SaaS model, that is, the service provider provides the client with access to use, but does not give the opportunity to dispose of the product, modify it. All constructors work on a subscription model, that is, renting a service for a selected period.

CMS (content management system) is a program for developing websites, which must be installed on a local server or hosting to start using. It allows you to collect, store and process data, edit content and page design, connect various modules, and so on.

As a rule, such systems contain a basic set of functions out of the box, which are expanded by installing templates and plugins. By the way, many hostings support automatic installation of popular CMS, which somewhat simplifies the task for beginners.

The main difference between the two types of site builders is that site builders do not need to be installed on hosting and configured. The user receives a ready-to-use tool with all the necessary modules, templates and other body kit. All of this works seamlessly as a single, seamless system. Short registration – and the designer is ready to go. This is the main convenience. Get everything you need right away.

But CMS can be installed on any hosting, get full access to the engine files, modify at your discretion by adding scripts, plugins and other types of extensions, optimizing the code and all that. Complete freedom of action, but only experienced webmasters can implement it. Transferring websites to CMS from one hosting to another is a relatively simple task. The site on the constructor is very difficult to transfer to your hosting.

Another point: when installing plugins or templates in CMS versions that are not supported by the current version of the engine, there is a chance to break the site. Therefore, backup copies play an important role for sites on CMS – you never know. Designers do not have such problems – everything is always compatible there, updates are centralized, so it is unrealistic to spoil something even if desired.

General characteristics of designers and CMS

Among CMS and designers there are more or less universal and narrow-profile systems. For example, Magento, Opencart, InSales, Shopify are only for creating stores. In both camps, you can find a platform suitable for creating a site of any type and volume.

Constructors are a great choice for beginners. Especially those that work on visual editors. They are well suited for building business card sites, landing pages, small shops, and sometimes blogs. A good choice for creating the first site. Examples of quality systems in this category are uKit, Wix, Tilda.

Any website builder has a library of free and usually responsive templates sorted by theme and site type. Also, a set of some integrations of external online services is always supported to expand the basic functionality.

For example, Jivo, amoCRM, SendPulse, MailChimp, synchronization with social networks, video hosting, cloud services, statistics collectors from search engines, and so on. There are also opportunities for SEO optimization everywhere. Some engines offer unique, convenient tools that can significantly simplify the task of site promotion for beginners.

In general, the essence of the constructors is this: choosing a service designed to create business cards, landing pages or stores, you can be sure that you will be able to launch a supported type of site. In the control panel you will find everything you need for this, you don’t have to look for anything and finish it.

For CMS, the situation is slightly different. Most of them, even narrow ones, will require additional extensions to be installed to get the missing features. On the same WordPress, you can create a good blog with a minimum number of plugins, but they will still be required.

In general, choosing a set of reliable plugins for a specific task is one of the key skills when working with a CMS. The same goes for templates. We do not recommend downloading them from free “left” sites – usually there is a lot of garbage in the code and other people’s links. Buy or download from official sources or trusted sites. And keep an eye on the compatibility of engine versions, templates and plugins.

Constructor Benefits Advantages of CMS
  • Easy to learn for beginners;
  • Huge range of services;
  • All the necessary functions are gathered together, there is no need to look for templates and extensions;
  • You can easily do without programming knowledge;
  • High speed of website development;
  • Serious competition, which is associated with the rapid pace of development of services;
  • Regular updates of popular platforms;
  • A variety of tariffs, it is easy to choose the appropriate set of features;
  • Moderate cost of sites;
  • Availability of technical support services and knowledge bases.
  • A wide range of quality platforms;
  • Ample opportunities for the formation of the structure and design of sites;
  • Popular systems have a huge number of plugins and templates for any task;
  • Content is stored separately from other site files in the database;
  • It is possible to choose a fast hosting, and even with optimization for a specific CMS and its automated installation;
  • Flexible configuration of access rights for people serving the site;
  • Wide opportunities for SEO-optimization of sites;
  • Powerful potential for site scaling;
  • Full access to the site code;
Disadvantages of constructors Disadvantages of CMS
  • The created site is almost impossible to transfer without loss to another hosting;
  • Restrictions when it is necessary to scale sites – the necessary functions may not be provided by the chosen platform and it will not be possible to implement them;
  • Sites created within the framework of one constructor often turn out to be similar to each other;
  • Free tariffs are not suitable for normal operation, they are only suitable for testing services.
  • The relative difficulty of mastering for beginners, which goes off scale for some engines;
  • The high cost of creating sites in some systems;
  • If you don’t find the required plugin in the selected system, you will have to order its development from a specialist;
  • Popular CMS are regularly stormed by cybercriminals looking for security holes;
  • Without knowledge of at least HTML / CSS, difficulties will arise in the process of work;
  • Many systems create a solid load on the server, so cheap hosting is indispensable;
  • Free CMS technical support, in principle, is absent.

As you can see, both classes of systems are good in their own way, but not perfect. Both camps have both excellent and mediocre engines. You need to choose based on the task before you and the level of the current skill.

In general, creating your first simple site is more profitable and easier in the constructor. If you’re looking to develop your developer skills, then you can start with a relatively easy-to-understand CMS like WordPress or Joomla. This class of systems, in general, surpasses constructors in terms of capabilities, but it is also much more difficult to master it.

In general, both designers and CMS allow you to create a large number of types of sites: blogs, business cards, portfolios, news portals, forums, landing pages, shops. Specialization and a set of features depend on a single engine.

There is a suitable option for almost any task. To create huge sites like hypermarkets, you should choose a specialized CMS; designers are suitable for small and medium-sized ones.

General principles of working with CMS and website builders

Let’s briefly describe how to work with both types of platforms. See how CMS differ from website builders in the table.

Website builder CMS
  1. Service selection and registration.
  2. Selecting the type of site, template and entering primary data (name, subdomain, etc.).
  3. Changing the template for your task: the set and number of pages, their internal structure, design settings (backgrounds, fonts, colors, etc.).
  4. Filling the site with unique content – articles, descriptions, videos, files, tables, images and other things.
  5. Choice and payment of the tariff.
  6. Domain connection.
  7. Adding the necessary modules and integrations (CRM, social networks, statistics collection, online consultant, payment services, etc.).
  8. SEO settings for all pages, blog posts and images.
  9. Site publishing.
  1. Engine choice.
  2. Choosing a hosting, registering in it and paying for a suitable tariff.
  3. Buying a domain.
  4. Installing the engine, creating a database for the site;
  5. Template selection.
  6. Formation of the page structure using built-in tools or a visual editor plugin, if the platform has one.
  7. Site design customization.
  8. Selection, installation and configuration of the necessary modules and plugins.
  9. Setting up the SEO component of the site.
  10. Project publication.

The main difficulty when working with a CMS is to master the logic of the admin panel of the selected system, learn how to select and work with important plugins, as well as eliminate the sores of a particular engine that most people have. Your own, individual. For example, WordPress needs to improve security and optimize hosting settings, page load speeds, and plugins to combat duplicate pages.

But, having mastered any universal CMS sufficiently, you will be able to create diverse sites for yourself and customers. A good source of income. In principle, you should choose this class of systems only if you do not plan to limit yourself to the development of one site.

Constructors, on average, are simpler and more convenient. With them, you are almost guaranteed to achieve results by choosing the right engine for your task. They are good for beginners.

The inconvenience is that a number of systems have limited capabilities for scaling sites. Rush to redo and expand something, and then it turns out that the necessary functionality is missing and there is nowhere to get it. There are powerful systems, but they are not much inferior in complexity to the average CMS.

The cost of creating a website on the constructor and on the CMS

The cost of using both types of systems varies depending on the specific one. On average, the cost of tariffs for designers is in the range from 3 to 12 dollars per month. Typically, such services have 2-4 tariffs to choose from, which provide a different set of resources and capabilities.

It is possible to choose a service package that is better suited to the task without overpaying for extra features. As a rule, store and landing engines are more expensive than those designed for creating business cards and blogs. The templates are always included, so you don’t have to buy them, although some engines offer paid premium designs ranging from $10 to $300.

Every website needs a domain. Sometimes it is given when paying for the designer or hosting tariff. The purchase price depends on the selected zone. For example, the popular “.com” will cost around $12-15/year depending on registrar rates.

CMS are paid and free. The cost of the first is very different. Starting from $100 and exceeding $1000 – depending on what you are going to buy. The same WordPress is free. The minimum cost of the site on it includes the price of hosting and domain.

Hosters also have tariffs with different conditions, but, on average, you can focus on $3-5/month. You can also spend money on a template (about $30-100) and paid versions of plugins, which have a huge range in prices – from a couple of dollars to several hundred.

In general, the cost of creating a site in a good constructor and on a free CMS is approximately equal, excluding paid extensions, services, templates, and other things. Nevertheless, the potential for growth in the cost of the site is higher for CMS.

We warn you against trying to create a completely free site. This does not work. Slow hosting, the inability to connect your own domain, limited opportunities, service advertising – a lot of restrictions in various combinations will not allow you to work normally. Don’t waste your time on such nonsense.

Article Conclusions

Both constructors and CMS are attractive site builder classes in many respects. Both there and there are enough high-quality, interesting engines. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages described above. We recommend starting with the constructor on the visual editor – register, look around, get an idea about the process of creating a site. CMS is convenient to test on free hosting or local server.

When choosing a platform, make sure that its capabilities match the task ahead of you. This is the key point. Hosting should also be chosen carefully. Read and see reviews, ratings. There is no need to master many engines, even if you want to become a developer. Choose 1-2 systems that can solve most problems, and work with them, honing your skills.

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