How Does A Website Builder Compare to Our Custom Web Design?

We have occasionally been asked, by potential clients interested in creating, redesigning, or fixing a website, whether there is any advantage to our website design and marketing services compared to using a DIY "Website Builder" platform (such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify or BigCommerce).

We think this is a valid question!
It's certainly true that these "DIY" platforms have gotten better over the years - and clearly a good number of people find them to be perfectly adequate solutions for getting their content, products, or messages onto the web. And given the low initial cost of these platforms compared to a professionally designed website, they can be especially attractive to new companies, small businesses, and others with tight budgets.
However ...
There are many significant differences between a custom website built and hosted by a specialist company like Vologon Productions, and a website built and hosted on a platform like Wix! The benefits of professional Web work and the limitations of DIY website platforms aren't all obvious at first glance, though, so we thought it would be a good idea to provide a detailed comparison.
 

Website Builder (such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify or BigCommerce)

Vologon Productions Design & Hosting

Analogy

Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc… are like renting an apartment. You own all of the furniture and can decorate as you like (within the limits of what is allowed by the landlord). The structure, utilities, and grounds are maintained for you, and you pay for everything in a fixed monthly rent.

However, you have to abide by all of the rules in your lease. You are limited by their structure and the rent is more expensive than what it would cost to live in your own place. If you ever want to move for any reason, you cannot take your apartment with you.

Vologon Productions is like contracting a house to be built on your own land. You can build any kind of house you want and do whatever you like with it. The contractor will work with you to ensure you are happy with the finished project, and that it is well-built. If you want to improve or add to the house you can do it yourself or have the contractor come back and do it for you.

The contractor also sets up and manages the electricity, water, other utilities and grounds for you at a much lower rate than you would pay as a renter. And perhaps most importantly, the contractor doesn't own your house - YOU do - and if you want to move, you can take the house with you at any time.

Flexibility

Website Builders are not open source, meaning you cannot freely modify the platform or tools. Only their own in-house developers can create tools and adjust the platform.

You still have really good creative control over the design of your website (more below), and you won’t have to worry about any tools not functioning, or your website breaking.

All of the tools provided to you by the Website Builder are closely monitored and tested within its own operating environment. This means that you won’t have to worry about any technical aspects of your website as this is all taken care of by the developer.

However, this also means that if you want to insert non-website builder widgets, or modify the functionality of one beyond the way it works "out of the box", it won’t be easy (or even possible in most cases). Most Website Builder platforms do have an App Market where you can find extra tools that have been configured specifically to work with your Website Builder site.

If any issues arise, the platform operator has a dedicated, 24/7 support team to fix them for you (more details below).
We build our designs on top of proven open source platforms like WordPress and Joomla, so you can pretty much modify your website however you want to as you have full access to the codes.

WordPress and Joomla are extremely popular website platforms; they allow content and some aspects of design to be managed by non-technical users, each has an extensive developer community offering thousands of plugins (most free), so almost any tool or function can be added to your website if needed.

When Vologon Productions builds your website, we take care of everything and deliver a finished site - we can even manage it for you - but we also give you "the keys" (an administrator login and full control of your hosting environment, e-mail, databases, etc.) and you will always have access and control over all aspects of your website.

Ease of Use

Wix is a popular platform, and offers a relatively simple Web-based interface for users to create and modify web pages.

If you are not a technical person or can't afford the time to learn a comprehensive CMS and a bit of code, but still want to make your own website rather than pay for a professional design, then Wix can be a good choice for you to build your website.

Wix provides a help center fully of user guides (text & video formats). This makes it pretty easy for you to find out more about how to use various tools. The limited number of tools/widgets, and the fact that they are meant to be used by non-technical users, allow you to experiment freely (within the limitations of what each tool provides) without worrying about accidentally causing errors, security issues, or other problems.
Learning how to create a comprehensive website proficiently is more involved than using a "DIY" Website Builder, but it is not necessarily more difficult to manage an independent website once it is built.

A professionally designed website can conform very closely to your needs and design ideals, and a quality hosting environment lets your website grow as large and as quickly as you want it to.

If you want to be hands-on with your website, Vologon will help train you to manage it yourself. And if you have more important things to worry about, we can provide affordable website management, network and security solutions, and class-leading on-call tech support services that have powered hundreds of businesses successfully for almost two decades.

Hosting

A website builder service will usually provide enough hosting resources to support the website you build there. Most of these resources are dynamically allocated and transparent to the customer, but lack specific performance guarantees.

Wix offers one e-mail address and uses your Gmail account for delivery. Gmail is a great service, but Google scans and retains the contents of your e-mail, and any free e-mail provider is not generally recommended as a secure communications channel, business or otherwise.

Wix does not provide unlimited bandwidth or unlimited storage for your site files.
All websites hosted by Vologon Productions are maintained on our own physical hardware (servers). Unlike most of our competitors, we do not resell space on third-party servers and networks. That's why none of our servers are "oversold" (a common practice in affordable hosting, but one that can lead to problems when too many websites end up fighting over the resources of the one server they all share) - in fact quite the opposite by current standards!

We provide a complete array of hosting resources and tools to every account, including comprehensive business-class e-mail, lightning-fast SSD databases, CalDAV and WebDAV support, effective spam controls, full website logging and statistics, complete DNS and domain management access, and much more - with a user-friendly Web interface that gives you as much control as you want. It's YOUR website, after all!

All of your hosting accounts include:
Unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Storage, Unlimited E-mail Accounts and Unlimited E-mail Storage.

And unlike many other web hosting companies that cost a similar amount, Vologon's "Unlimited" does not come with hidden limits on memory, CPU, inodes, transfer counts, etc. No strings attached!

Backups, Security & Maintenance

DIY Website Builder platforms manage all aspects of hosting for you including the security of their tools (and your site) and backing up their clients' data. The details of these operations are not provided. Since you cannot move a site away from their platform, you cannot download a backup of your site (although tools may be provided based on the platform).

The ability to manage non-website aspects of hosting (domain e-mail accounts, databases, shared calendars and other data, application hosting) is extremely limited, so you will either have to do without, or pay for additional services on your domain from a conventional hosting provider.
Your website is hosted in our Data Center which is located inside of Double Header Peak in Conifer, Colorado, USA!

Security is extremely important for your data, so our Data Center takes multiple precautions to not allow any unauthorized access. For an example, there are three (3) security gates as well as electrified fencing before you even reach the actual Data Center, combined with video surveillance to monitor all servers and access points.

We maintain a high level of security for your website, files, databases and emails as well by using several top industry solutions for hardware and software. We maintain daily security updates and scans as well as daily site software updates. We also perform nightly backups of all of your data and store those backups in the cloud as well as mirroring your data onto multiple redundant servers to make sure that you data is never lost, and downtime is kept to an absolute minimum across all our servers.

Marketing & SEO Features

Wix offers basic instructions about improving your site's search visibility: use relevant page titles and website content, add your site to directories, link to it from social media accounts etc. Wix also has a "SEO Wizard" app to point you in the right direction, and there are related tools in their App Market.
We cover the on-site SEO bases on every website we build, whether or not we provide it with marketing services. You can have advanced SEO functions and tracking built right into your site to help you manage your own search marketing. And of course Vologon offers a variety of full-service marketing options available to help with your link building, site testing, ad campaigns, custom graphics & printing and more.

User Support

Headquartered in Tel Aviv in an up-and-coming area near the beach called Tel Aviv Port.

Wix provides a Knowledge base (which they reference to when you contact them) for you to find the answer to your questions. They also provide an 800 number for you to talk to a live person if you pay for their Premium Plan. Email support is also provided for your use.

Chat is not supported by Wix at this time.

As always with any company, we recommend that you read reviews before ordering services.

CLICK HERE TO READ REVIEWS (from a third party review site)
Vologon Productions is Headquartered in Conifer, Colorado, USA!

We provide multiple avenues for contact when you need help or just have a question. Whether it is through one of our many support phone numbers (local and 800), email, online ticket system or using our chat system. We are always happy to help you.

All of your support calls, emails, chat's and support tickets are handled in the USA.

We also provide a Knowledge if you prefer to search for the answers to your questions yourself.

What are the Pricing & Ongoing Financial Commitments?

To compare apples to apples here, Wix offers a plan for $360 a year which is their top tier plan that is as close to Vologon Productions hosting as Wix can get.

The plan includes the drag & drop website building interface for "you to build your own website" and about 500 templates for you to choose from, hosting services, and a support team.

If you sign up for an annual plan, they give you a free domain for the first year.

Wix does offer more features, but of course the price goes up form there.
Vologon's hosting plan is $150 a year which includes the cost of your domain name (if we manage it).

The cost of the Website depends on what all you are wanting your website to do. We take care of all of the design and coding work so that you do not have to worry about anything. If there is something you would like your website to do, all you have to do is ask.

Payment can be broken down to however you would like. So if you would like to pay on your website over the next year, it can be broken down into monthly payments. Or (if you would like), the website can be paid off in two lump sums.

Do I own my website?

Yes and No.

Yes: You own your website as long as you stay with Wix.

Quote from Wix: "Wix does not claim any intellectual property rights over the User Submissions. However, under the Wix.com Terms of Use, you grant Wix worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such User Submissions."

You are able to do whatever you want on your website (as long as you do not violate any terms or conditions) and you continue to pay your monthly fee for as long as you want the website.

No: If you truly owned your website, you would be able to do what ever you want to with it and if you decided you wanted to take your website somewhere else you would be able to do that (see next question).
Yes!

You own all rights to your website, databases, files and emails that are hosted on Vologon Productions server.

If you decide you want to do something to your website, then it is yours to do with as you please.

We do not claim any ownership of your website, database, files or emails that are stored on our server.

What if I want to move my Website and Services to another host?

Quoted directly from Wix:

"Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix's servers, and cannot be transferred elsewhere.

Specifically, it is not possible to export or embed files, pages or sites, created using the Wix Editor or ADI, to another external destination or host.

It is also not possible to embed your Wix site onto an external site.

When you embed a site into an external location, Wix is no longer in control of the way that your site appears or functions, and therefore, cannot provide support. In addition, Google Analytics and search engine crawlers are not able to work properly with an embedded site."
You can do that!

You own your website and all files and databases attached to it.

We will happily provide you with a copy of all of your website files.

If you would like, we will even work with your new host to make sure that all of your website, databases and files are transferred successfully to your new host.

We will even work with you and your host to make sure that your domain name is transferred correctly and that the DNS is pointing properly.

We can even help transfer your email to your new hosting provider.
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