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Is It Worth It To Code A Website?

HomeTechnologyIs It Worth It To Code A Website?

For those looking to build their own website, there are always two routes to follow. You can either use a website builder or hand-code your website. Building sites through templates is mostly enough for many, changing details here and there. For others, however, hand-coding a website is their pride and accomplishment.

Whether you pick one or the other, the question stands: is it worth it to code a website? The answer is yes and no, depending on your needs. Here’s why:

Hand-Coding Vs. Site Builders: The Eternal Debate

A web developer’s dream is to get clients who appreciate development requirements. If you are a web developer, you are likely fluent in CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python coding, and of course, HTML. Web developers need hand coding experience to succeed.

It is more common than you think to give up on hand-coding and switch to an automated CMS like WordPress instead. Hand coding is the way for websites that don’t frequently change. Developers who know what they’re doing will find it faster and more straightforward than WordPress. You can have your template ready in two days, even if you use a bootstrap framework.

Despite this, many clients are looking for maximum returns on their investments, so sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Both the client and web developer are exhausted when fixing a job poorly done by an amateur.

Using WordPress or similar website builders makes more sense if your client often updates information such as blog posts, dates, product entries, and more. Those who don’t have much tech skills will appreciate the ease of use of a CMS. In addition to being expensive, it is time-consuming to hire a remote developer for irregular edits.

Pros of Hand-Coded Websites

Although hand-coding takes time and effort, the benefits of doing so cannot be ignored. Templates save you a lot of time and effort, but they are not as reliable as they appear.

Faster Loading Times 

Sites that offer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) options add complexity to your design. Almost every site builder template contains hundreds of URL instructions in its source code. Extra lines will be added for the mandatory advertisement if it’s a free site.

Having so many URLs indicates that the website is heavily dependent on external components. Your site is, therefore, at greater risk of technical failure. If you want to avoid worrying about dependency issues, you should keep things as local as possible.

Web developers know their code down to the last line and how to use all the appropriate tags. They know how to optimize files, images, and CSS to use less data, resulting in better load times.  Faster loading speeds lead to higher conversion rates, leading to an increase in sales. Also, search engines like Google rank faster websites over slower ones. 

SEO-Friendly 

Hand coding is SEO-friendly because it doesn’t change often. There is no risk of using code that is not SEO-friendly, like plugins, for example. You can ensure that every page has the appropriate meta tags and keywords.

In other words, hand-coded websites have proper HTML structure with no pointless codes, so they rank higher than other websites because search engines can find them much easier. 

Maximum Control Over Your Website 

When there is a hand-coded website, the web developer can modify the site as needed. The hand-coded website can display any theme, functionality, or feature the web developer needs. Many site builders now offer ways to migrate data, but this is generally a big endeavor. 

There is no simple way to move them out since the source code for your page is translated into metadata. If you decide to change hosting platforms, you will need to recompile the pages and any functionality they contain.

Pros of Site Builders

Some site builders can create beautiful designs and templates, which is why many web developers use site builders instead of hand-coding. A custom site builder can tailor a site to any taste. 

Easy to Use  

Site builders are user-friendly, and they offer drag-and-drop features so that even non-tech savvy people can create a beautiful website. Some of the newer drag-and-drop site builders are intuitive enough so that users can edit their own sites. 

Faster Development  

Using a site builder like WordPress is much faster than hand-coding, especially when unfamiliar with coding. It is faster because you don’t need to learn how to use a new tool. Most site builders have drag and drop features to design your website easily. 

The website builder saves developers from solving all the issues with hand-coding, such as 404 errors and website errors.

Easy Updates  

Site builders are easy to set up. The learning curve is not too steep, especially if you already know how to use a CMS. Updating the site is also easy, essential if your client wants frequent updates. WordPress offers one-click updates, so you can update your site any time you want. 

Extra Added Features

Site builders are multi-purpose. Some site builders, like WordPress, offer plugins to add different features. SEO tools, contact forms, directories, and e-commerce tools are among the most popular plugins. Site builders offer additional features that will take time for you to code by hand, including add-ons for SEO, security, and advertising.

Low-Cost

Web developers can build websites for significantly less than hand-coding, and they can deliver results a lot faster. However, templates are not free. You will have to buy a premium template or theme if you want to create a website that looks professional. Premium templates are more expensive (usually $50-100) than free templates, but you don’t have to hire a developer. 

Final Thoughts

Every web developer has their own preference. There is no right or wrong way to build websites. If a hand-coded website is your preference, then do it. However, keep in mind that a site builder is a way to go for a website built quickly.

The benefits of hand-coding websites include faster load times, SEO, and complete control over your website. However, these benefits don’t outweigh the benefits of using site builders. 

Site builders are user-friendly, easy to set up and offer additional features that hand-coding can’t provide. This is why many web developers prefer using site builders instead of hand-coding.

At the end of the day, it’s best to find a system that fits you the most. Consider the benefits for either and take advantage of the process that offers the best return on investment for you.

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pearls of wisdom
Chatty Garrate
Chatty Garrate
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That's why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.

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