Should You Use a Website Builder or Web Content Management System?

In the world of website creation, a starting line may seem hard to find. Platforms such as HubSpot, WordPress and Sitefinity are helpful web content management software services. Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace provide users templates and allow them to customize sites to their wishes. If you’re looking to bring your business or blog to the world wide web but aren’t sure where to begin, read on. These five differences between web content management systems and website builders should help narrow your sea of options.

Project Size

Website builders are for not cut out for large-scale projects. Tools such as Wix are better suited for small businesses or personal portfolio sites.

Web content management systems can handle a larger amount of traffic, as well as content. For example, Drupal powers the University of Minnesota’s site. It’s able to split the website up into content sections that field navigation from more than 70,000 students, plus faculty and family.

Ease of Edit

Many users like website builders for their drag-and-drop functionalities. If an administrator dislikes where a photo, title or text paragraph is situated on a page, they change it with the click of a mouse.

In order to customize every aspect of a site within a WCM tool, administrators might have to use code. When platforms are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), only those who understand HTML will be able to customize the site outside of those parameters.

Development Knowledge

Website builders are very clearly for those who lack web development knowledge. The software sets users up with templates for website navigation and organization. There are templates for many types of websites, such as those for hair salons, tattoo parlors or boutiques. The idea is that the administrator starts with a strong foundation and is able to follow basic instructions to make the space their own.

Web content management systems also have themes, but they give users the freedom to input their own code to further customize. The more you know about development, the more your site can fit your exact ideas.

Desired Capabilities

Website builders often offer site hosting within your account, meaning you don’t have to utilize outside hosting services.

Web content management systems might require clients to utilize an outside hosting source. Many also offer plugins for a variety of services. For example, WordPress users can integrate their site with an e-commerce platform to turn it into an online store.


Website builders have fairly cheap subscription rates that still might come with a good amount of features. A free plan could also be suitable to your needs, but might not allow as much customization. This software also eliminates the need to hire any coding professionals, saving the user money on that avenue.

Web content management systems are a little pricier, depending on subscription, because they can offer more depth. An IT team might be necessary for a larger project. If a big organization’s website goes down, they will want on-site personnel to take care of the issue promptly. This cost should be considered.

While both services have their pros and cons, the defining factor is personal need. Companies and individuals should analyze their goals to help determine the best conclusion. Reviews on G2 Crowd for both categories can give potential users insight as to how people are making these tools work for them.

You can learn more about specific products or read verified reviews from real users at G2 Crowd’s Website Builder and Web Content Management category pages.