Website Developers Versus Website Builders: A Brief Comparison

Gone are the days when building a website used to require at least a basic understanding of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and a couple of other programming languages, such as JavaScript and CSS. Modern technology has evolved to such a point that today ordinary people with no IT background can also build and design web pages. It is now easy for an average person to create and launch a complete website, even without the slightest idea of these programming languages.

Does that mean the web developer career has gone obsolete? Well, not really. Website developers still have their place and demand. It’s just that people now have tools available in the market that make the website development process a lot simpler. But before we discuss these tools, let’s recap what exactly website development is.

What is Website Development?

Website development is a career that started in the late 1990s when the Internet was relatively new and emerged as a full-fledged profession in the 21st century. Today, as businesses are getting more conscious about their online presence, website development is gaining more importance than ever.

In the earlier days, a website developer’s job was an all-rounder job that included everything necessary to get a website up and running and then maintain it. Thus, the website developer any company would hire was responsible for most or all of the following tasks.

  • Purchasing and registering a domain
  • Setting up web hosting
  • Creating the website design
  • Preparing a mock version of the site
  • Writing all the code
  • Building a staging website
  • Keying in the web content
  • Launching the website on its assigned domain
  • Editing, revising, and updating
  • Website maintenance

Since website developers were so much in demand, they either worked independently as freelancers or as full-time employees hired by big companies to create websites.

Then we saw a rise in web development companies that offered all the tasks listed above as either separate services or as an overall package deal.

Website Designing Versus Website Development

These days, web development has split into different areas of specialization. This means a website developer is usually not involved in all the areas in the field at the same time. More specifically, website designing and website development have now emerged as separate areas of specialization and have become separate professions. This has been a major shift in the web developer career.

A web designer creates different themes or designs for a website, looking into the specific requirements of the client. In contrast, the website developer then does the coding and programming to build a website on the chosen design. In order to come up with a design that’s appealing enough to the client, a web designer needs to follow certain essential steps for web design success.

This prevailed as the most common way of getting a website built for many years, until website builders started penetrating the market.

What are Website Builders?

A website builder is a tool or a platform that allows you to conveniently build a website for free, without having to code anything manually into it. This means that with the use of a website builder, you can create a website of your own without the need to hire a website developer.

Website builders come with ready-made website templates for you to choose from, which rids you from the need to hire a website designer as well. Typically, a website builder features a drag-and-drop software, whereby you can simply drag the elements that you want to have on a particular web page, and drop them into their exact place. The coding is already taken care of by the software that’s built-in within the website builder, which in turn helps you avoid a website developer altogether. In other words, with the help of these website builders, you can very easily be your own site developer!

So what are we actually talking about here? To explain, let’s look into one such site-building platform known as Strikingly.

What does Strikingly offer?

Strikingly is a feature-rich site builder that enables you to create a complete website in just a few minutes, without having to write a single line of code. In other words, it helps you be your own website developer.

Screenshot of Strikingly landing page

Image taken from Strikingly

It uses a ‘point-and-click’ or ‘drag-and-drop’ feature to build modern-looking and appealing websites. It offers beautiful website templates that are particularly suitable for the following purposes.

  • Creating an online portfolio to present your skill or service
  • Building an official website for your company
  • Developing an e-commerce store to sell products online
  • Having a personal website to write about yourself
  • Designing a blog to write and publish articles online

What’s Strikingly Pricing Structure Like?

Strikingly is an online website builder that enables you to create and launch a full-fledged website in a very simple manner. All you need to do is sign up for your free account, choose your website template, and get started. The free plan allows you to build unlimited free websites with a total bandwidth of 5 GB per month and a total storage space of 500 MB per site. It also offers 24/7 live chat support where you can contact our support team for guidance if you face problems in getting familiar with its tools.

If you need more storage space or extra bandwidth, you’ll need to upgrade to one of Strikingly paid plans. The Pro or VIP plan allows you to do the following:

  • Connect your site to your custom domain
  • Remove Strikingly branding
  • Have multiple pages on your site
  • Customize the checkout page
  • Create mobile action buttons
  • Enable your customers to publish product reviews
  • Offer site membership to site visitors, and more!

These Strikingly paid plans still cost a lot less than paying a full-time website developer.

Screenshot showing Strikingly pricing structure

Image taken from Strikingly

Extra Things You Can Do With Strikingly

When web development becomes so easy, you’ll be left with plenty of time to experiment with more awesome stuff. Strikingly comes with features that allow you to incorporate many modern-day business requirements into your website so that you can become a pro website developer.

  1. Strikingly comes with video website templates, whereby you can use video hosting sites to create a one-stop online portfolio of all your videos. If you are both a Youtuber and a webinar master, for instance, you can embed all your videos into different sections or pages on your website.

Screenshot of a Strikingly user's video template website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

  1. Besides showcasing your products, you can also sell them online by creating an online store and becoming your own e-commerce site developer. This will not only help you to increase your sales but also track your customers’ behavior by constantly keeping an eye on your site’s audience.

Screenshot of Strikingly user's online store

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

  1. If you are a service provider, such as an online tutor, you can use your website as a payment collection platform from your clients. It is good for any website developer to learn what you need to know about online payment systems before instilling them into your site. There are several benefits of setting up a payment system on your website.
  • Your payments will be mobile, which is a benefit for you as well as for your customers. If your clients do not have enough cash on hand to pay for your service, you can offer them to pay on your site through PayPal or a debit/credit card.
  • You will be able to track your payments easily from your site’s dashboard. You will always have access to your site’s analytics as a Strikingly website developer.
  • You will have your clients visit your website from time to time. Every time someone opens your site to make a payment, they will view your website and peek through the content published on your landing page.

Photo of a woman making an online purchase with her credit card

  1. Once you have built a reasonable customer base for your business, you can start sending newsletters with Strikingly. If you are running a blog, for instance, you can send out a newsletter with a collection of your latest blog articles to your subscribers every week.
  2. You can get Google site verification for your Strikingly website. Having a good search engine ranking for your website is crucial for your online presence to have a positive impact on your business. The first step you need to take to enhance your site’s ranking is to get it verified by Google. Once it’s verified, you will have access to Google Analytics as well, in addition to your site’s analytics on your Strikingly dashboard.

Benefits of Using a Website Builder

There are other benefits as well of using a website builder like Strikingly, as compared to hiring a web developer.

  • It saves you from the overwhelm of getting your website designed from scratch.
  • It saves your money that you would otherwise have to pay to a website developer. Many individuals and companies back off from the idea of having their own website when they find out how much a website costs when you get it built by a developer.
  • It makes it easy for you to edit or change anything on your website, anytime you like.
  • It is a lot more resourceful than an individual website developer or a web development company for web maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting, making your overall experience of running a website a lot more convenient.

The more the world gets digitized, the more businesses look for easy-to-use solutions to build and maintain their online presence. If you want to keep up with the competition, you need to be ahead in the technical aspects of your business. Even if you work as a freelancer, you can get ahead of big companies in terms of reaching out to your prospects by using the most efficient and cost-effective means to get your word out there. And we’re sure you’d agree that the most convenient way for you to do that is to create your own website, using a free website builder like Strikingly.