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Will Web Site Builders Make Web Designers Redundant?

written by: Ada Stoy•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/17/2010

There are web designers, who fear that web site builders will drive them out of business. Are those fears groundless?

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    The always changing field of web site design and development is not necessarily changing for better. But if we want to stay on board, we need to adapt. Anyway, nobody in IT expects that technologies stay static for a long time. For web development this is more than true – new technologies and products popup literally every day. Many of these products turn our concepts and beliefs upside down. Website builders are one of the many examples for this.

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    Web Site Builders Can Do a Great Job

    For instance, consider web site builders. Web site builders might not be the personification of perfection but they do work. Web site builders such as Weebly or Webs, allow to Create a Professional Looking Web Site in 24 Hours or Less. Yes, they really do! And what is really surprising is that very often the sites a web site builder produces are much better than what many, who call themselves designers, produce.

    Web site builders usually come with thousands or at least hundreds of ready-made templates. Users just need to add their content and possibly make minor changes to the templates (i.e. colors, etc.) and voila – the site is ready.

    Web site builders don't require great technical skills. Additionally, users are getting more and more technical. Therefore, if they can setup a blog on their own, they could use a website builder, too, right?

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    Are Web Site Builders Competition to Web Designers?

    Since web site builders are so easy to use, this inevitably poses the question how this will impact web designers. Well, maybe for now web designers, especially the talented ones, don't have to worry about their work but it is a safe bet to say that many users will choose to use a web site builder and create the site on their own, instead of hire a designer.

    This might sound like bad news and it is. The ones, who should worry most, are all the mediocre designers, who tend to charge high and deliver sites of questionable quality. Since more and more users will be using web site builders to create their own sites, it can be expected that design work volumes will drop.

    On the other hand, hardly everybody will use a web site builder for every site he or she needs. Additionally, web site builders offer pre-made templates. If such a template needs customization, most likely users will hire a designer to do it. Also, web site builders as a whole might be great but the cases when they make a mess are not an exception.

    Even if the hidden costs are included, web site builders are generally much cheaper than hiring a designer. This also means that design fees might have to drop because when the competition, i.e. the web site builder is so cheap, you need to offer something really special in order to keep your clients at your current prices.

    Web site builders are competition to web designers but there is room for both. Web site builders are great for simple, static sites and in a sense these sites are the low level of the web design food chain. Fortunately, complex sites with sophisticated designs are not an area where website builders can compete with humans and if nothing else, at least this is left to talented designers. If we look at the bright side of life, talented designers might be relieved to get rid of all the boring work of small, simple, and static sites, which is “outsourced" to web site builders.