Digital agencies often turn their noses up at website builders, favoring custom website design and a development process that requires coding. After all, aren’t website builder benefits for do-it-yourself websites where you must sacrifice flexibility in design and functionality in favor of ease of use? Aren’t they for people who don’t know how to code and who need their handheld during the design process? In a lot of cases, yes. In fact, you’ve probably seen ads where website builders use the above points as their main selling features. Their target audience is businesses that don’t know how to code but want to avoid spending money with a digital agency.
This makes website builders competitors to your digital agency, right? Not exactly. If you get the right website builder, you can dramatically speed up the website development process. In fact, you can cut the time it takes to build a website by up to 80 percent. Plus, there are minimal – if any – downsides. In other words, by using a website builder, you can take on more projects without increasing staffing levels. You can also grow your digital agency in other ways, for example, by offering additional services to your clients with the time you save in the website development process.
Website Design and Development Flexibility
The key is getting the right website builder, i.e., either built for digital agencies or one that has features beneficial to digital agencies. If you build websites on the WordPress platform, popular website builder tools include Beaver Builder and Elementor. With these two examples, you retain all the features of the world’s most commonly used CMS but with a website builder’s added functionality.
This enables you to build everything from a simple brochure or content-driven sites to websites with more complex functionality, all in a fraction of the time it would take without the website builder. What about performance? There are minimal trade-offs here, also. For example, with the best website builders, you can still create super-fast websites and websites that can achieve real SEO rankings, even in competitive markets.
How Website Builders Reduce Development Time
So, a website builder will not limit your website design, functionality, or performance capabilities – at least not in a way that will impact the standard of service you deliver to your clients. How can you reduce the time it takes to build a website by 80 percent, though? After all, that’s a big number.
6 Ways Builders Speed Up Website Design
Drag and drop interface
Simplifies the design process
Moves mock-ups closer to the website
Use fewer plugins
Enhances collaborative working
Reduced support requirements
Let’s look at each of these points in more detail.
Website Builder Benefits – Drag and Drop Interface
The drag and drop interfaces of website builders make it possible for people to build websites without any knowledge of HTML or CSS. However, ease of use is only one benefit of a drag and drop interface. The other main benefit is that it will save you time. Using the drag and drop interface of a website builder, you will spend more time designing than coding when working on client projects. Think of it as like taking the idea of boilerplates to a whole new level.
Website Builder Benefits – Simplifies the Design Process
Another important feature of the most powerful website builder tools is that they also simplify the design process. For example, on a WordPress site built using a website builder, it is usually just as easy to edit the theme to edit pages as you make content and design changes in the same interface. You will also benefit from live editing, where you can immediately see the changes you have made. This instantaneous editing functionality substantially speeds up the design iteration process.
In fact, you will even be able to make design changes while in conversation with your customers, something which is rarely possible when the change you have to make is buried somewhere in the code. The best website builders also allow you to create reusable templates, giving you a head start for all new projects.
Moves Mock-Ups Closer to the Website
Many of the most powerful website builders have features that make it quick and easy to create a website’s mock-ups. However, the mock-ups you create in a website builder are not the same as a traditional mock-up. Traditional mock-ups are typically non-interactive visual representations of what the website will look like. With a mock-up created in a website builder, you’ll be able to give your customers something more like a prototype. It won’t have all the features and functionality of a website. However, your customers will be able to interact with their mock-ups, giving them a better understanding of where you are going with the design.
How does this save you time? As your customers will better understand the mock-up stage, you should see fewer design change requests in the latter stages when such changes are more time-consuming to make.
Website Builder Benefits – Use Fewer Plugins
If you are using a website builder to develop a WordPress site, you won’t need as many plugins. With fewer plugins, you will spend less time configuring, resolving conflicts, and dealing with parts of the site breaking whenever an update is released.
Enhances Collaborative Working
Many situations arise in digital agencies where you need to move a website design project from one developer to another. This slows down the process as the new developer must spend time figuring out what the other developer was doing and how they were doing it.
A website builder standardizes your organization’s development process, improves collaborative working, and makes developer changes mid-project practically seamless.
Reduced Support Requirements
You have probably been in many situations where a customer playing around with the backend of their site breaks something you then have to fix. It is a common occurrence with WordPress websites and, depending on how you structure post-launch client support. It can cost you time and money. Most website builders let you lock down elements of a website’s design to prevent the above situation from occurring. This minimizes the time you need to allocate to correct customer mistakes.
Fully Equipping Your Digital Agency
You already use tools to speed up the website development process, from eCommerce platforms to CMS platforms to plugins and more. If you don’t currently use a website builder, it will be beneficial to add to your digital armory. The main reason for doing so is time. By using a website builder, you will do more with less, with no compromise on quality.