Best School Websites: Website Builder vs Personal Platform
Originally published at Website Builder vs Personal Platform
Making a decision to teach online, many education providers get disappointed because of the expensive prices for a good e-learning platform. This is a real problem in the e-learning market as the majority of users cannot afford thousands of dollars for a platform, especially if they are just starting the path.
The Importance of Relying on the Best School Websites
However, there is a great number of people who trust other online course platforms or site services to organize their teaching process. For instance, the world-famous platform — Udemy, is the home of thousands (probably, even millions) of online courses and course creators. But how effective it is to offer your knowledge on a platform where there are many competitors of the industry. They may offer different prices or different quality.
In such a platform, having the competitors’ services displayed next to yours, you may miss your opportunity to gain learners․ So, this is challenging and full of risks. Here, you are more likely to focus on developing your own platform in order to avoid unnecessary concerns and stand out in the pool of competitors. The best school websites will help you start an online school and achieve your goals.
Why to Choose a Website Builder over a Personal Educational Platform?
Whether you represent a school or other institution, you are a private tutor or an online fitness trainer, as an education provider, you need a well-designed website to reach students, their parents, and other prospects. There are various website builders schools and individual specialists rely on. Now let’s dive into the scope and identify why you should also get started with an educational website builder.
Reason #1 Cheaper Prices
Probably the most common concern of the education providers (who want to shift into the online world) is related to the high price of professional e-learning website development. Having analyzed the market, we came to the point that teachers and trainers who want to work online and share their knowledge material anytime anywhere, have a risk related to the budget. Even the beginners in the industry are not ready to invest thousands of dollars on a website that may or may not be effective in their online school.
Website builders are a good solution in such cases. Teachers get an opportunity to make use of all the e-Learning tools and features with a monthly fee. Usually, a few subscription plans are offered and they may choose the one that covers the required features. Even if it turns out that there are not enough learners, you may cancel the subscription at any time.
Reason #2 Free Trial
Even the cheaper price is not the best feature of website builders. Not only it is possible to subscribe and create a website for monthly fees, but you may also start a free trial and make use of the personal website absolutely for free.
Some website builders ask to provide details and attach a bank card at first although it does not charge money during the free trial. Other platforms charge a symbolic amount (for instance, $5) for the free trial. However, there are some exceptions (such as Uteach) that even do not require any payment detail for the free trial. You must attach a bank card only when you upgrade the trial and subscribe to any plan.
In case you are interested, check out the pricing plans at Uteach, including the offered e-learning tools and features.
Reason #3 No Kind of Tech Knowledge Required
With the help of the right online tools, you get an opportunity to quickly create a professional website with minimal (and even no) tech knowledge or coding experience. However, there are several website builders to choose from. This makes the selection process overwhelming if you’re unsure what to look for.
Take into consideration the platforms that do not require coding knowledge and tech skills. There are a lot of e-learning website builders that have a well-designed dashboard. Here you may create the website, add pages, elements, build a menu, and many more activities that would require technical knowledge if you choose to have a personal platform. Then you would have to work with a programmer or a team of them.
With a good e-learning website builder, you may create course pages and publish your engaging pieces of training videos, create Live lessons, organize webinars, even create tests and quizzes, and offer online certificates (that may be printed).
Reason #4 Continual Updates and New Features
If you rely on a personal e-learning platform, you have to work with a web development company that is focused on custom software development. In this case, you should keep in touch with them and share all your preferences, required features, and so on. If you have such requirements, you have to pay for any added feature. This is an extra price added to what you have already paid.
However, if you subscribe to a plan on a good website builder, from time to time you get access to new updates that offer new features. These updates are implemented based on continual research and analysis of the market. Being specialized in e-learning solutions, website building teams continually research the market and find all the problems, requirements, and preferences among education providers.
Usually, there are special analytical specialists who are in contact with the active and potential users, create surveys, offer questionnaires, publish testing tools, and conduct similar activities to identify new ways to make the platform better for the education providers and their students. Accordingly, they develop features that meet these needs and provide a better experience for the users. The availability of these features may differ, depending on the subscription plans. However, good platforms update and improve the service for every user, regardless of the pricing plan they are subscribed to.
Reason #5 High Security
Security is one of the most essential concerns of online teachers and trainers. They are usually worried about their educational content material (video courses, attached files of different formats, etc.) being lost or deleted because of technical issues or bad security services. This is a common concern as not every website development company gives trust to reliable server systems.
One of the most trustworthy web servers is AWS (Amazon Web Servers). If you know the web development company or the website building team works with this service, then do not worry about security issues.
Web security is important for keeping hackers and cyber thieves away from accessing sensitive information. Without such a proactive security strategy, any form of online business risk the spread and escalation of malware, attacks on web platforms, networks, and other IT infrastructures.
In some perspectives, both website builders and custom software development companies may pr may not work with reliable and secure systems. When choosing a platform for your e-learning business, take into consideration this point. You may also read one of my previous articles related to what to consider when choosing an online platform for teaching.
Reason #6 High Level of Brand Awareness
Many online education providers and trainers (no matter they focus on coaching or mentoring) avoid starting online teaching as they are worried about the lack of learners. Creating a website, we may say, that people start a business. This website domain becomes a brand name. And, in the case this brand is not recognized in the market, people may miss it. Accordingly, business success will take more time or be missed out.
When you rely on custom development, the company you work with provides a website and some do some maintenance. As a result, you are to promote this platform, run advertising campaigns, and so on. Therefore, if you choose a good e-learning website builder, you will get an opportunity to advertise your platform on the authority of the builder it is developed with.
The website building company may share your website created through their builder. They usually use their blog as well as social media channels to introduce their users’ sites and activities to the public. As their followers are people who are interested in e-Learning, you get a better opportunity to become well known and increase your brand awareness in the target market niche.
From time to time, such companies also offer paid advertisements as special offers or additional benefits for their users. This is a good feature of them that brings benefit to the users and helps them reach a wider market, make their services visible, increase the level of awareness, and gain more students.
Besides paid promotions, such companies also run email campaigns. Usually, they have a base of learners or people categorized according to their interests. They will also promote your website and courses among learners who are interested in your industry niche.
Reason #7 Free Hosting
In the case of custom solutions, besides the price of website development, you have to pay an amount of money for the hosting of your platform. On the other hand, website builders take this to their responsibilities. When you create a platform, you write your subdomain and it is created on the basis of the website builder itself (Your platform may be like example.website.com where the example is the subdomain you provide, and the website.com is the domain of the website builder you work with). All the additional fees are on its as well.
The majority of the website builders also provide an opportunity to use a white-label platform. This means that no sign of the builder is seen on the platform. This refers to the domain name as well. You may have it as example.com. But these features are most commonly available not for all the plans. You will have to pay a little more for it.
Of course, there are other free web hosting services as well. But they usually offer a limited space amount to use. A free hosting account does not provide much storage which is especially important for e-learning services as you are going to publish online courses (they require a proper space of storage).
Reason #8 Support and Help
All of us want that the site works properly. However, not everything depends on us. Custom software development companies provide a limited time of support. It may be one month or two (you have to pay to get more). However, we are dealing with technologies and issues that are possible during the user experience. For such cases, you should be ready to immediately solve the problem so that your students do not miss their time or have a bad experience using your website.
Working with a website building company you get advanced support. Such teams are usually there where you need them to share concerns and get solutions as soon as possible. These support teams are available for a live chat, social media channels, emails, and many more means of communication.
To Sum Up
Now when you are already familiar with the differences between working with website builders and custom software development companies, you have all the required knowledge to make the right decision best for your preferences and business needs. Of course, the final choice is yours, but especially for e-learning solutions, website builders are a good choice. By the way, they also offer custom plans, where you may add any custom feature or tool (not included in the subscription plans) with an additional price.
So, today you may start a business easier and cheaper than ever. Building an educational platform becomes much easier with Uteach. Any kind of website platform provides some features that help the owner to somehow promote their business and reach specific goals. On Uteach you get an opportunity to make use of various useful features:
- Design your brand
- Publish online courses
- Conduct live lessons
- Operate a blog
- Create quizzes (tests)
- Give certificate
And all of this is very easy to manage thanks to a mobile-friendly design and navigable dashboard. Start your free trial today and make use of the platform features 35 DAYS FOR FREE. You don’t have to attach a bank card either.