Why are website builders gaining popularity, and why the hype? Many developers within the industry wonder why this market is on the rise when web design and development is supposed to be such a specialist market.
There are so many ways to build a website.
In fact, the potential methods of launching a site, whether for personal or business purposes, are practically limitless in today’s web space.
But there’s one question that many observers, and even industry-insiders, find themselves asking.
Why are website builders gaining popularity, and why the hype?
Many developers within the industry wonder why this market is on the rise when web design and development is supposed to be such a specialist market.
Let’s explore what’s going on.
Drag-and-drop website builders are cheap and easy.
In fact, they’re often free.
If we look at trends over the last ten years, website builders have actually always had a unique popularity amongst a certain demographic of end-user, offering do-it-yourself solutions in the webdev space for years now.
In recent years, however, there has been a steady incline in their uptake and popularity.
According to Datanyze, the number of websites built using the most popular website builder (you guessed it... Wix) rose from 250,000 in 2015 to nearly a million by 2019.
That’s a growth of over 300% in 4 years.
It’s not only impressive, but outstanding.
And what’s more, this particular trend of growth is shared nearly uniformly by the top three DIY website builders worldwide.
Of course, this revelation is bound to shock any web developer right to the core.
Gone are the days when website builders were frowned upon by small businesses and the general public.
They are now being marketed as new, and sometimes even innovative, technology. Truth is, they’ve been around since the dawn of the dot-com era.
In fact, do-it-yourself website builders are now perceived by many as a viable tool for designing, creating, and publishing a website.
And the craziest bit?
Your website is ready to publish in a matter of hours.
Quite possibly even minutes.
The concept is groundbreaking. Well, not really. It’s old technology. But it’s certainly attractive. There is a very unique appeal to website builders, particularly to a certain demographic.
They are marketed as being able to get a difficult job completed quickly, and with ease.
And in many cases, that’s true.
They do exactly what they say on the tin — give you a website, which you can have up and running in, quite often, under a day.
It’s all based on a fairly easy to use drag-and-drop platform, which allows the site admin (we can’t really call them designers, come on) to quickly drop elements and images into place.
The platforms most often also provide the user with a mobile-friendly design, via a selection of pre-built templates which can be switched or interchanged with the click of a button.
The target market for these do-it-yourself website building tools is generally small local businesses, who don’t appreciate the necessity for an experienced professional fluent in branding and the importance of a competitive online presence.
In many ways, DIY website builders are one contributing culprit of the pollution and disrepute of the web development space, not least because they attempt to sell an unrealistic mindset to small business owners.
DIY website builders sell dreams of fantasy and make-believe to professionals and small business owners.
In a way, it’s quite genius. It’s certainly been successful.
In almost all cases, a do-it-yourself website building tool is simply incapable of creating an integrated website solution that is effective and poised to facilitate growth.
Sure, they provide a means to publish a set of simple pages within a small window of time, but they are in no way able to offer a solution that meets the needs of the vast majority of small businesses.
Because of this, their use is largely ineffective for businesses who are looking to utilize their online presence to reach their full potential for further growth.
It’s likely that websites built in this way won’t add much value for the end consumer or a measurable return for the business itself.
A better choice would be to seek out the expertise of an online branding professional, who has experience in utilizing the web to create growth and increase returns.
There are many options for launching an effective, successful website, but DIY website builders are not one of them.