Have Website Builders and CMS Platforms Met Their Match?
As a business owner, you know that having a solid online presence is key. Sure, you have a Facebook page and Instagram account, but more importantly, you need a website you can fully own, operate, and trust. It's your star player in the competitive sport of marketing. The big question is, "What's the best, most affordable way to build that website?"
The two most common methods are either a website builder or a content management system, aka CMS. Some people use these terms interchangeably, but they're actually different. We believe in arming yourself with knowledge before deciding on the most important sales tools for your business. So, let's spend a minute getting to know your options before throwing them in the ring and seeing which one comes out on top.
First Up, Website Builders
A website builder is a digital tool that makes it easy to create a website using pre-built components or templates. You may have heard of Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. There's also Webflow, Carrd, and Google Sites, to name a few. Most website builders rely on drag-and-drop functionality to help you pull together a website fairly quickly.
Site builders can be an efficient solution for basic websites. These platforms come with various price tags and levels of customer service. So, based on your needs, your budget, and your appetite for taking on a DIY digital project, a website builder could work just fine.
One of the most significant issues you may run into with a website builder is the lack of flexibility and scalability. Site builders have to plan for the lowest common denominator for page layouts and functionality, which doesn't leave much room to customize. As a result, you may have to compromise.
There's also the issue of tech support. Big platforms bank on volume, so they don't charge much for their services. When you have thousands of customers who aren't paying very much, it translates to poor customer service. It can be frustrating not finding the answers you need for something so important to your business, which is why negative customer reviews tend to be a common theme.
Let's Talk Content Management Systems
In the other corner, we have content management systems. The purpose and strength of a CMS are to help you create, edit, and publish content once your site is live. The most famous in this category is a little company called WordPress. This platform was created for blogs and has grown to offer many other features. Much like a website builder, a CMS can offer themes or templates to help you build a website right out of the gate. Then, you can easily manage your content from there.
A CMS offers more flexibility than a website builder. They typically include a plugin system which enables you to add features and customize your site further. If you're a blogger, a CMS like WordPress is a great option. If you have an e-commerce site, there are more tailored platforms to consider, such as OpenCart, Magento, and Joomla.
The biggest drawback to a CMS is its steep learning curve. Even with a template, you have to learn the full-blown management system and research plugins to ensure your site functions properly. Not many people have the skills or patience needed to pull off a professional-looking site. Because of this, web "development" companies have started popping up offering what they describe as custom websites. They're actually just formatting inexpensive templates they've found on WordPress and overcharging clients to use them. Not cool. Not only that, but WordPress simply isn't the best solution for a growing business. We've dedicated entire podcast episodes and blog posts to this topic to help you learn more and potentially save you a bunch of hard-earned money.
Is There a Third Contender?
At this point, you may be feeling like a simple website builder isn't the answer, and you may have concerns about a large CMS like WordPress. For many small businesses, a custom build isn't financially feasible. So, what now?
Well, there is a third contender, and it's called Modular Orange.
Modular Orange is a triple threat because it's essentially a website builder that's also a CMS, and it can be custom-designed for your business. Oh, and it's super affordable.
Here's How It Works
Modular Orange operates like a website builder in that our team at Matchstick has personally hand-coded a series of modules that make it quick and easy to pull together a site. It's different because we assemble the website for you. You're not on an island trying to figure out the platform. A professional writer and designer consult with you about your business before developing a site that fits your unique needs. Once your site is launched, it becomes a CMS with a learning curve that's essentially flat. We walk you through drag-and-drop features, a free media library, and simple page editors to ensure you hit the ground running.
The Final Matchup
Website builders definitely serve a purpose. Some small businesses, bloggers, and non-profits just need a simple site – and this might be you. Perhaps you need something more robust, and you're willing to dive into the depths of a CMS platform. But if you're a growing business, and you want a digital solution that solves the issues of customization, scalability, ease of use, affordability, and customer service, it's Modular Orange for the win.
Want to see examples of Modular Orange or talk to someone about pricing? Hit us up. We have real humans on the other end of the phone, text, email, or studio door, and we're always willing to help!