What is the difference between a CMS and a website builder

You have decided to build a website for your own business or hobby. Unless you are confident with coding skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript…), there are two easier possibilities for beginners or semi-skilled users:

  • choosing a Website Builder like Wix or SiteBuilder
  • choosing a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress or Joomla

The very first difference between these two tools is the complexity: CMS require and offer a more composite management than website builders which are basically ready-to-use. In details, these are the main distinctive features of these platforms:

A CMS is the right choice if you want flexibility and advanced functionality. It will provide a large offer of plugins to customize your website according to any specific need, from a simple blog to an online store. But be careful if you are not enough proficient in content manamgement: you will have less customer support (you would need to look for users’ community chats) while dealing with a high module fragmentation. Furthermore, you will have to manually download, install and setup every single component of your perfect working machine.

A Website Builder is the option if you want to create a website easily and you do not want to get lost in too many technical details. It will offer a huge amount of predesigned templates (also called schemes) according to the business you have, while supporting your creative process with a strong and efficient team. You won’t need to download extra plugins and the interface will be elementary. On the other side, do not expect high flexibility or detailed customization.

In conclusion, imagine that you want to hang a nice picture on a wall. Depending on the time, the skills and the final effect, you will realize that

A CMS is like composing your own puzzle and enjoying his complexity.

A Website builder is like completing a coloring book and enjoying his simplicity.

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