Should I Use Website Builder Software?
Nothing causes me more virtual anguish or breaks my digital heart into more pieces than the question about whether it is acceptable to use website builder software. Hopefully, you're well past the point at which you would even consider developing a website with this approach, but you'd be surprised at just how many aren't.
The answer is no - you should not, under any circumstances, ever use website builder software (at least if you're really, truly serious abuot Web success). An explanation is in order and of course, you're about to get one.
Using an online site builder, which are typically offered by Web hosting providers, are definitely appealing - even I see that. They offer templates that are "somewhat" attractive, are easy to use (some even offer step-by-step guides) and there's no "complex" sounding additional software like "FTP." Plus, they're usually free (bundled with the cost of your Web hosting most often).
The problems with website builder software solutions are many, however.
Let's start with what's likely most important to those asking this question anyway - control. Online site builders only give you the sense of control; creating a website (at least one that you'll be really proud of and one that actually has the potential to drive traffic) takes a lot of work and the more control you have the better off your website will be.
Online site builders provide the illusion of control - the result of those attractive templates and step-by-step guides. The problem is that most of the available solutions don't care much for important aspects of Web design such as usability or search engine friendliness. When you see that the length of a user's visit is exceedingly short, you'll wonder what the cause is and ultimately determine that design has a lot to do with it - but since you're using an online editor, there's not really that much you can do.