Coding By Hands vs. Visual Website Builder | Hacker Noon

June 9th 2020

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@ericwinsEric Winstead

A sales Person who games throughout the weekend Because Why Not

It is a web developer’s dream to get clients who understand development requirements. As a web developer you might be fluent in CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and of course, HTML. Hand coding skill is what makes a web developer indispensable.

But there are way too many clients who want maximum results on minimal investment. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. It is exhausting for both, the client and the web developer to fix a job that was botched by an amateur.

The WordPress vs. Hand Coding Tussle

Do you find yourself hand coding and then converting to a WordPress theme? You’re not alone. For websites that don’t transform often, hand coding is the way to go. It is faster and easier than WordPress implementation for developers who know what they are doing. Even if you are using a bootstrap framework for a chosen template, it barely takes two business days.

If your client needs to access and edit the date, media, staff names, and other details frequently, WordPress or similar website builders make more sense. This makes things easier for employees who aren’t very tech savvy. Hiring a dedicated developer for occasional edits at irregular intervals is not only expensive, but also time-consuming.

Advantages and Disadvantages of WYSIWYG

“What You See Is What You Get” sounds convenient, and it is. But only for websites with little to zero scalability for e-commerce success. It is time and cost-efficient. Easy drag and drop features help build your website. Literally anybody can do it. Reputed WYSIWYG platforms are good enough for many websites.

Let’s look into the advantages of Website Builders.

  • Easy-to-use, anybody with very basic knowledge of websites can create one on their own.
  • Easy integration of cloud apps with software that have their own Cloud, like Oracle. WordPress too has collaborated with Google Cloud.
  • Easy to export to other platforms and switch between domains.
  • Cost-effective because you don’t need to invest in a professional web developer.
  • Easily get additional features by installing plugins.

For any independent blogger or small startups, a Website Builder Software will do the trick. So, why don’t everybody go for this easy and cost-effective option? Let’s look into the disadvantages.

  • You will need to pay to get rid of ads on the site. Your WYSIWYG software is free but not really. It is okay if you don’t have to make your website appear professional. But if you want to be taken seriously, hand coding a raw website is better. You can also just pay to remove ads. That is a win-win for any non-commercialized website.
  • Websites developed on builder software are more susceptible to hacks. Some of these software have typical codes available across web builder platforms. Most popular website builder software systems are open source. That makes hacking easy and hacking one makes the other platforms sharing the same code, vulnerable. This is why hackers target websites built on a website builder software way more than unique hand-coded websites.
  • A website built on a site builder is difficult to switch to a different hosting platform. The code is encrypted and stored on the site builder for security reasons. And this metadata cannot be extracted for reuse on other platforms.

These disadvantages are the reasons why web developers prefer hand coding. These are things clients need to understand if they want a secure, scalable, and unique website.

Progress in the Hand Coding Front

Hand coding needs a dedicated website developer. The client has more control over the flexibility and security of a website that was organically coded. But that is not all. Let’s look at all the advantages of hand coding:

  • Responsive design: Hand coding enables responsiveness over different devices.
  • Micro-interaction: Intricate details with tactile design gives a certain richness to your website. Interactive features make the website easier to view.
  • Detailed data visualization: Hand-coded websites give deeper data for analytics.

Other than this, you can enable chatbots to help visitors with common queries. With the help of Natural Language Processing you can teach the AI to accurately understand and answer queries. You can also animate images and videos instead of auto-playing them. This is not possible with website builder software yet.

Developments in the Web Builder Software Front

With the use of Artificial Design Intelligence, a web builder can help you get relevant content too. ADI is for small businesses that cannot afford dedicated web developers yet.

However, hand coding remains the winner because with web builder-based websites there are additional issues like double heading tags, cloaking, bad meta, lack of open graph options.

Verdict

Web developers are indispensable for e-commerce websites and websites that have a future in large-scale operations. Website builder software too is a budding industry because of the increasing number of blog-sites and other personal websites. Web developers have a bright future ahead in terms of developing websites for top-notch clients, as well as developing website builder software with deep learning.

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