There are a wide range of opinions out there as to how good site builders really are. Some are of the opinion that they are great and that, when properly used, completely mitigate the need for a professional website designer. Some people think they are okay, but if you want something really top of the line, you need to go to a web design professional. Still others think that site builders are not good at all and are only fit for the rank amateur or a person who is unwilling or unable to put any effort into making an interesting site. The truth of the matter is that there are some very good site builders in the market, but the fact remains that a web design professional is the best bet for a truly professional site.
With that being said, site builders have gotten substantially better in the last few years. If you haven’t looked at a site builder in a while, it may be time to revisit that option. It used to be the case that site builders basically only let you pick the background color, your text color and would maybe allow you to choose from some pre-loaded graphics and pictures. Today your options are nearly limitless. With such established names as Adobe and Microsoft getting in on do-it-yourself web pages, other site-builders have had to up the ante in order to remain competitive. These days you can create your own pictures and graphics to include in your website, choose for yourself how it is laid out, the color scheme, and many other personalized options. Indeed, in many cases, a person cannot tell the difference between a professionally designed site and one that was created using the help of a site builder.
The better site builders require that you put a substantial amount of energy into your project to have it fully customized to your liking. Furthermore, some of the better ones, like Adobe, are rather expensive, up to $200 US. However, the end result is a fantastic looking website and the builder guides you through every step of the process. Even still, you may want to consider investing in a book on website design for some ideas and conventions for figuring out what elements to include and where to include them, as well as tips for the color scheme and the overall design of your website.
Of course, you can still use a site builder on the cheap; one even comes free with some blogging sites or when you sign up for website hosting. These site builders won’t have the high level of customization, but you can make a fairly attractive, if cookie-cutter, website using them. Even the low cost site builders typically allow you to include custom pictures and other graphics. These low or no-cost sites are designed for people with little to no experience in website building, and are thus very user-friendly. However, this ease of use usually requires that you sacrifice many options for customization.
For those people who want to give their websites a more professional and polished look, it is probably still best to go with a professional web designer. However, if finances prohibit that, a top-quality site builder may be a good alternative. If you are just looking for some personal web pages, posting family pictures or what-not, then a regular free or low-cost site builder will probably do the trick for you.
Site builders certainly are not what they used to be. They have come a long way since the early days of the Internet, with even low or no-cost site builders being a viable option for many people. Site-builders are a great option if your site or finances don’t warrant a professional.