Were you on the edge of your seat on 22 January 2020, headphones at the ready, watching the webinar ‘The Future of Building Websites’ by WordPress’ Elementor with Adam Preiser live? Then the answer is: make your own free DIY website with WordPress because you are probably a developer yourself. Have you never heard of Adam Preiser? When you hear Elementor, do you think of Transformers? Then you might be more inclined to have a website made, preferably for as little money as possible. But read along anyway.
Preiser & Elementor
To save you from ignorance, Preiser is a WordPress guru who proved to be above average with the WordPress plug-in Elementor. Meanwhile, the man has become quite a phenomenon in developer land. The layman can be forgiven for quickly forgetting both names, but what is generally interesting is the thread that ran through the webinar: will machines eventually replace humans? Not a question that has been asked with more sense of urgency since the Industrial Revolution. This was also clear from the streaming figures: more than 1000 visitors watched live while Adam Preiser talked about his favourite tool.
Tools the deathblow for developers?
Given that constant evolution is very much a mark of web development and digital marketing, the high streaming figures are not surprising. After all, the challenge for a web developer to remain relevant is louder than a bomb alert in a war zone.
A few years ago, a web builder had to build every web page from scratch, but today you can set up such a page in no time thanks to tools such as Elementor. The key question is therefore: will these tools soon make marketeer, developer or webbuilder redundant? Can everyone create their own website?
Website tool in itself
The answer to that question is simple: yes, anyone can create a free DIY website. Just as anyone – at least in theory – can cook. Those who like it quick and cheap can pop a ready-made meal in the microwave. A few minutes later, a basic need has already been met. Will it taste good? There is a good chance of that. Would you serve it to guests? We hope not. But even if you can effortlessly conjure up a five-course meal, you might not just stand next to the Kobe Desramaults of this world.
Bottom line: a good website needs expertise. The homo scrollus who wants a website as a business card is threatened with extinction. Every entrepreneur today wants the kind of visibility that at least generates leads. No two businesses are the same and therefore no two websites are the same. Every website is a unique communication tool, with a unique purpose and reflecting the individuality of a client. The more complex the need that the website meets, the higher the need for expertise.
Creativity vs. AI: 1-0
Purely technically, building a web page is a piece of cake thanks to tools like Elementor, but make no mistake: it is always people who turn a website into a working tool.
Creativity is key and for the time being AI has to lose to humans. A website only does what it is supposed to do when a copywriter delivers content according to the tone of voice of a client, a designer develops a corporate identity, a web architect streamlines information in an orderly way and marketers take care of conversion.
Each of these experts come with their own set of skills that are irreplaceable and… well… worth their weight in gold. We previously listed a few important points to consider when creating a new website on.
Website free DIY? No thanks.
So to answer the question: is it possible to build a free DIY website yourself with the available tools? Or have one made super cheaply? Yes, it can. Do you want to? Hell no.
Many online providers promise a well-functioning website for next to no money. In reality, you are buying a pig in a poke. We’ll say it straight away, Walter: it’s a load of rubbish. A good (read: profitable) website is like a dish from a Michelin-starred restaurant: it requires preparation, time, creativity, original combinations, adjustment and constant stirring.