There are basically 2 ways of developing a website these days: Using a templated website builder or having a fully hand-coded website. They both have their benefits and drawbacks, but there are few key areas that drive my decision to code all my websites by hand. Let's have a look at at them.
There are quite a few of these around today with some of the most well-known being Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace and Shopify. They're cheap and cheerful and have undoubtedly helped enable regular people to get on the internet without too much technical knowledge. so, what's so bad about them?
Because DIY site builders are based on templates, you'll find yourself very limited to how creative you can be with your site design.
Because they rely on plugins to create the majority of their functionality, prebuilt sites can often run into problems with your site being slow to load up and run the risk of things breaking.
Hackers love websites that are easy to break into, and if you have your website hosted in one single place using the same framework as millions of others the chances of something untoward happening is greatly increased.
Slow Site Speed
Google and other search engines really like your site if it loads up quick. We've all been there with sites that take ages to be fully usable and this is because the whole website lives in one place somewhere in the world. So, if your website is hosted on a server in the US and it has to talk to all the little bits that make up your website, you can see how someone in Leeds would have a worse experience of your site than someone in New York.
The second way is to create everything (well, almost everything) by hand, which is what I do. I use a small, carefully curated technology stack to ensure maximum speed, security, scalability and customisation. It'll take longer and yes, it'll cost more but if you're serious about your business I believe the investment is more than worth it.
Because the website is hand-built you have almost unlimited potential for how your site looks, and you'll never run into the situation where you need to make-do-and-mend with what's available, even if it's not really what you want.
Similar to the last point, website builders are reliant on lots of separate pieces of code to give you all the functionality you want, and the problem with this is the more parts your website is built out of, the more likely you are to run into things going wrong.
Security as Standard
By using a CDN (Content Delivery Network), you make sure you don't have all your eggs in one basket. Imagine there was only one Tesco in the whole of the UK: if someone decided to set fire to it then all of Tesco's stock would be wiped out, but instead they use separate distribution centres (which is basically the same principle as a CDN) to ensure this would never happen.
Fast Load Speed
Following on from that last point about Tesco, if the only one was in London but you lived in Aberdeen it would take forever to get your shopping! Using a CDN is the equivalent of having a local supermarket: the whole experience is a lot quicker as it's available locally, meaning happier customers.
So, if I don’t use Squarespace or something like that, what do I use? Well, if you’re interested, you can find out here: