Site Builder or Stand Alone Web template

Web Development

By Erich - June 23, 2016
There are a few options to consider if you are planning to build a website: choosing a host company, mobile and desktop website compliance, and what type of editing program to use. Because you will be investing much of your time, you'll want to be informed so you can make the right choice up front.

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Site Builder or Web Templates

Choosing either a site builder or a self contained web template.

Consideration
Site Builder
Web Template
What is it?
A proprietary on-line program that allows you to choose a design and enter your information through a web browser. Details
A stand alone downloaded website that is edited on your computer hard drive. Details
Mobile compliance
Most builders are mobile friendly and pass the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
If you select either a responsive or full site template that includes a mobile version your site will be mobile compliant.
SEO
Allows for search engine optimization, but in-depth SEO may be limited.
Allows for full freedom of search engine optimization.
Ease of use
Less code to deal with. You'll still need to learn the interface.

Advantage: You can change to a totally new design easily.
Includes instructions and any wysiwyg software can be used. Global style files allow for site wide changes.

Advantage: You can use the same editing program with any host company.
The inner workings
You'll need to learn the builder program.
You will need to learn some css and html code. FTP is used for uploading.
Setup time
In reality setup time is not a factor. You'll need to plan and write copy for your site, learn the system, and enter your info, links, images and seo though the builder interface.
Will involve some extra learning. If you plan to setup a number of websites this route may be faster.
Future considerations
System updates your code keeping pace with web standards. If you change hosting companies you will need to re-do your site.
You can switch hosts at any time. Updating to new code may require using a new template and re-doing your website.
Visitor experience
Custom tweaks and adding dynamic 3rd party elements is limited.
You can add any applications and change the design however you want.
Images
Stock photos are included from a small library. May be extra fees for other images. You may need to purchase photos specifically for your business.
Stock photos and free swapping with other templates included. You may need to purchase photos specifically for your business.
Often overlooked
New websites start small and usually expand. You may not be able to configure the site exactly how you want.


Advantage: Builders error check and test your webpages automatically.
Easier to work with on large sites. Pages must be error checked and tested.

Advantage: Easier to review your files and website structure.
Best choice when...
You want all aspects of your site in one system and want it to update automatically with new code.

Best For: Small websites with few updates.
You want total creative freedom, need a more professional site, don't mind learning, need total control over design and SEO.

Best For: Larger websites with a lot of content, regular updates and good search engine ranking.
Support
Support is usually "staffed out". Most help will be links to videos.
You deal directly with the programmers who build our templates for all questions. Searchable support center.
Backups
Your site is backed up in their proprietary system. Stand alone websites are backed up on your hard drive and can be copied to a thumb drive.
Limitations
Limited as to what you can add or change in the design.
Allows for total creative freedom.
Goals
Best for a more simple or showcase style site.
Allows you to better target desktop and mobile separately. Better to generate leads and new clients.
Choices
Do some searches and read some reviews. You'll need to start over if you decide to change companies at a later date.
Just use our templates because they're the best anyway.
Price
Free accounts include ads, basic accounts have few bells and whistles. Business plans are about $25.00 per month or $288.00 per year.
Price from $20.00 to $150.00. Works out to $12.50 per month if you choose the top design we offer (second year will be $0). No need for a site builder program. About the same price.
Priorities
How important is my website? With anything in life easier is not always better. Learning a proprietary builder program may be a waste of time since it does not delve into the deeper aspects of website development.
Is it worth my time to learn some HTML, CSS, SEO? Stand alone web templates will help you learn exactly how a website works.
Our clever analogy
It's like buying a car and having all repairs done by the car sales service department. Not necessarily a bad thing, and is a good choice for many people.
It's like building your own racecar. You'll want to win every race so a little extra work is going to help get you there.
Conclusion
What to choose depends on your website goals and what type of computer user you are.

Automatic code updates.

Less likely that errors will get through.

Can change to other designs more easily.

Limiting in design and SEO.

If you don't need to attend to every detail in the design, do not want to learn html, or do not plan a lot of SEO, then this is a good choice.
You will need to learn some aspects of the html code to update your site.

Total creative freedom.

Easier to view the site plan.

Allows in-depth SEO.

More learning involved.

If you want to have good search engine rankings, do not mind learning new things, and need total control, then this is the best choice.
Our Sites
Responsive for Mobile
Responsive For Mobile
Full Site with Mobile
Mobile Sub-Sites
Consideration
Site Builder
Web Template