If you use any kind of social media (such as Facebook or Twitter), you’ve probably been bombarded with advertisements for site builders (also known as “what you see is what you get” or WYSIWYG web development). We’re not talking about fancy software applications like DreamWeaver, either – we’re talking about drag-n-drop website building systems.
You might think this is a great idea -
let's face it, these systems are designed to save you time and effort
but the reality is a little different…
You retain control over your website and where it's hosted
Any pages that are built with a site builder stay with that site builder – there is no easy way to transfer them out because the source code of the page is translated into metadata. If you want to change to a different hosting platform, you’ll have to reconstruct the pages from scratch.
Free WYSIWYG websites aren't really free
When you opt for the site builder's free option, you'll find that you're providing them with free advertising (their name will be all over it) and that you may have restrictions over what you can and cannot do on your own site. It’ll cost you extra to get rid of the advertising.
You have access to technical support
One of the biggest problems with site builders is the lack of support they offer. Want to add a new page to your website? If your backend doesn’t offer this ability, good luck getting them to help you out! A hand-coded website comes with ample support, when and where you need it.
Hand-coding is nearly always more efficient
Believe it or not, site builders add complexity to your design – look at the source code and you’ll see weird metadata that contains hundreds of URL instructions. This indicates a heavy dependency on external components, increasing the chances of your site failing on a technical level.
Hand-coding is more secure
Although your own code isn't inherently more secure than a site builder’s (in fact, it could even be worse), keep in mind that site builders use the same code for all their websites – which makes them an attractive target for hackers. There is less appeal in the code for a single site.
Hand-coding is more original
Have you ever noticed that some websites seem to have a lot in common? This is the problem with template-based design, particularly when the person in charge of it is lazy and not making customisations. Hand-coding a custom design will really make you stand out from the crowd.