Not a fan of long posts? Here’s a tl;dr.
Every website builder platform is CMS but not every CMS option is a website builder. Basically, some platforms give you the option to build a full website and manage it without coding. While Content Management Systems lets you edit a coded website as dynamic content. CMS systems like WordPress have higher customisation options and are open-source. The website builders reduce the customisation options and are usually paid on subscription bases. As long as you pay, your website is live.
Because website builders provide fewer customisation options and access to their platform code. It’s less likely that you will break anything. Also, their support is more hands-on as you pay them a subscription to use. The website builder platforms are overall better looked after on regular basis. CMS support comes mainly from your developer. So quality there depends on your developer. Management and development depend a lot on your developer too.
- Choose a website builder if you’re doing all your website yourself
- Choose CMS if you’re looking a developer to do it
Depending on what you will be using your website for, you may opt for a website builder with a CMS option. This reduces the number of options you have but could be a good option for someone who does not have any prior experience developing websites and does not feel confident in their abilities.
Some popular website builders include Wix, Square Space, BigCommerce and Shopify. I have worked on all of these platforms, and each has its benefits and downfalls. These are great if you’re going for a DIY option. As these sites limit your access to customisable elements and they maintain updates that are harder to break the site with. Also, a lot of them have decent support to help you out.
One of my clients K9 Active has been running a successful online store on BigCommerce for years.
So, you have now decided on your website design, how you would like it to be developed, and what CMS platform you want to use. If you have decided to go with CMS you need to figure out where your website will be hosted. There’s another whole can of worms. But don’t worry, I got you. Here’s my quick guide on hosting options to give you an idea of where to go next! Hosting essentials and price comparison.