Which is better: Open Source CMS vs Drag and Drop Builder

article header for article about which platform is better an open source CMS or a drag and drop builder

If you’re looking to develop a website, deciding on how that website will be built is one of the most important choices you will make in your website development process.

So, what should you be using an open-source CMS or a drag and drop builder?

Well, each website creation tool has its pros and cons, and there isn’t a one size fits all approach. It’s all down to what you are looking for what you are looking to get out of your website and how you will use it to your advantage.

In this article, we will cover the differences between both website creation tools and discuss which tool works best in certain situations depending on a business’s website goals and needs.

What is an Open-Source CMS?

An open-source content management system (CMS) gives you control over virtually every aspect of your website. Although in order to create websites and fully utilise this software, it requires good technical skills and knowledge of code.

It’s a much more flexible website creation tool compared to drop and drop builders, as the use of code allows almost unlimited functionality and has the potential to create some amazing and elaborate bespoke websites.

Open-source CMSs like WordPress and Drupal are often used when businesses are looking to develop a completely unique website experience for their audience, creating websites with functions like member access areas, forums, tools and software, and more.

opne source cms website builder on a computer screen

What is a Drag and Drop Builder?

Drag and drop builders are a little more straightforward compared to a CMS, in fact, it pretty much does what it says on the tin. This alternative does exactly as it suggests, you simply drag whatever feature you want on your website and drop it straight onto the page.

Drag and drop builders like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace all offer a variety of pre-made templates, layouts and built-in features that make it easy to create a website with little coding knowledge and experience. It’s a no-fuss way of creating a website, all you need are some good design skills and a basic understanding of the builder, then you can be on your way to creating some great simple and manageable websites.

drag and drop website builder

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Open Source CMS?

One of the biggest advantages of an open-source CMS is the freedom that it gives web developers to create almost any kind of website filled with all the features it requires.

Using a CMS allows you to freely customise every part of your website to create exactly the design you have in mind. You aren’t very limited in terms of your layout and style, as the use of code allows you to create more extravagant designs without being held back by only being able to use the features a drag and drop website builder offers to develop your look.

An open-source CMS is great if you are looking to have more control of the design and features of your website, as it really does give you almost unlimited capabilities.

Although the downside of an open-source CMS comes with the knowledge of HTML and CSS that is required to use this type of website creation tool.

It can be very complicated for beginners to simply start developing a website from scratch using an open-source CMS, and you’ll likely have to find someone with the coding knowledge and expertise to build the website for you.

This is where the high costs can start to come in.

If you want to hire someone to create a website for you using an open-source CMS, you're not just paying for their time to build the website, you're also paying for their expertise, and sites that require a lot of coding knowledge to build can become very costly.

If you are willing to pay out what is required to get someone to build a website using an open-source CMS for you, making any further changes after its creation is also going to come at a cost as well.

If you do not have the knowledge to use parts of the tool yourself, then every time you require a website change, you’ll be going back to the website builder each time to get it done for you.

You can sometimes start to feel trapped with this website developer as anytime you want to change something, you have to rely on them, with not many other options for making the changes yourself if you don’t understand how.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Drag and Drop Builder?

The advantage of using a drag and drop website builder is its built-in features and tools that allow you to simply create a clean and easy to use website design.

Drag and drop website builders are much more user friendly and simpler to use, and for this reason, paying someone to build you a website using this software tends to cost much less than a web developer using an open-source CMS.

It’s definitely the cheaper option if you are looking for someone to create your website for you, and there is less reliance on going back to your website developer every time you need to make a change.

Website maintenance using a drag and drop website builder is far more accessible, it’s much easier to make your own changes like adding new images and changing any text even with just little website development knowledge. This means you don’t feel trapped with the same expensive developer charging you each time you require a small change.

However, one of the main drawbacks of drag and drop builders is that you can sometimes be limited in your customisation ability. If you are looking for more complex features on your website, a drag and drop website builder may not have the capabilities to provide that.

Drag and drop builders are meant for creating simple, clean, and hassle-free websites. So if you are looking for something with a few more intricate features, then drag and drop builders might not be able to give you that.

Choosing The Right Website Creation Tool for Your Business

Identifying the right website creation tool to use is really down to what kind of business you are and what type of website you would like.

For businesses looking for a website with lots of complex features and a completely bespoke design, an open-source CMS would likely be the best go-to. For example, companies like graphic design firms, branding firms and some website development companies would likely opt for using an open-source CMS as it gives them the ability to create a more complex website experience to showcase their design ability and give an immediate impression of what their brand is about.

But if you’re a business looking for something a little more subtle where you can display all your important company information with a basic and straightforward design, then a drag and drop website builder is probably best. Many small businesses will use drag and drop builders as they can be cheaper and can provide you with everything needed to develop a simple website.

website being created

Inspired Digital

If you are interested in creating a website for your business and think using a drag and drop website builder will work best for you, then Inspired Digital can help.

To learn more about our website development service, and to view our packages, visit our website development service page to find out more.

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