Become a website designer using no-code website buildersJuly 5th, 2022
Open season is over. There is no need to chase down website developers anymore in 2022. With website builders, even non-techies have the opportunity to assemble a website smoothly without the tiniest knowledge of the code. Sounds tempting? How to tell if this opportunity is right for you? Could you even build a business out of it?
You are here because you want to be on Google online. Or maybe help others go online so their customers, readers, or fans can find them on Google and other places.
Or, you are here because you want to create a website to promote yourself or your business. Or maybe even someone else’s business?
Generally speaking, the final desirable outcome is to generate sales and revenue – via a website.
But you also heard such a website should be developed by a geeky IT guy. And such a guy should look like Skipper from Sex and the city or Maurice Moss from IT Crowd.
Well, wrong. Let us remind you these shows are 20 years old. Time has changed.
A website creator. Source: HBO
Nowadays, even a non-technical mortal, who doesn’t speak any computer language, can create a website. During one evening. How, you might ask?
With a no-code website builder.
Creating a website is still a complex process that requires an eye for design and a feel for user experience. Maybe it is your superpower or your Achilles’ heel. Either way, it’s a perfect starting point on your no-code website creator journey.
Because no-code website builders make it super-easy for you. You don’t need to ruminate on each design or technical detail. It’s all already figured out. Instead, you can concentrate on the more important things.
You can become a website designer within one evening. Unless you are a stalwart opponent of this idea.
And we will walk you through it.
Buy a domain as a first thing
Reading this article also means you already have an idea in your head. Even if it is a foggy idea, do not underestimate it. Give it a try. Name it. Claim an online space for it.
Do not hesitate anymore and buy a relevant domain name. Right now. We mean it.
Register your domain immediately, so you can ensure no one will claim your idea as theirs. On the importance of registering a domain name, we wrote here.
We’re sure you now understand how important this simple and cheap action is for your future. Assuming your domain is safely registered, let’s continue.
But wait. We keep mentioning no-code website builders all the time. What is that, precisely?
A no-code website builder: an absolutely necessary definition*
No-code website builder is a tool that allows users with no technical skills to build a website by providing a simple drag&drop system. This system allows you effortlessly move content blocks – texts, images, videos, etc. around the canvas.
The canvas can be completely blank, pre-designed, or might have a grid set up. Most commonly there is a complete template with pre-chosen fonts and colors. So you only need to add your content. And there you have a complete website.
Therefore, a drag and drop website builder can be used by anyone without prior website creation knowledge. Once published, you can make changes at any time without waiting for a developer.
Before, this technology was known as WYSIWYG, an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. Meaning – what you see in the website editor is what the website will look like when live.
Just to be clear on this matter:
With a website builder, it’s not possible to create a hypercomplex website like Amazon, eBay, or Instagram. You would actually need to employ a whole team of professionals for that. And be prepared to become a billionaire.
If you google for a website builder, type in website builder for small business.
Moreover, a website builder proves that while having a personal portfolio, company website, or online shop you can keep your kidney.
A kidney payment method.
How are your website creating skills?
Make your life easier by honestly choosing one of these answers.
No coding ability, no time: I have no website developing skills, and I have no intention to change that.
Also, I am full of legitimate excuses. (For instance: I am a busy person, absolutely non-technical person, and have no time, no will to even try creating a website on my own). Therefore, I will happily pay somebody to help me out.
Thank you for your frankness! You don’t need to know how to design a website from scratch. In this case, you better hire a website developer or an agency. And later on, another person or a whole team would take care of your website.
Unless there is this addition:
However, I want to take care of the website later on. So the maintenance of the website has to be so easy that even I can do it.
We assure you that’s more than doable.
Skip to the part of the article titled How to find and hire a no-code website developer. So you can edit your website after publishing it.
A decent website designer will show you how the content management system works when they submit the website to you.
I have no skills, but I’m a curious, open-minded person who loves learning and experimenting.
That is an awe-inspiring attitude. And not only for your personal development but also for your website development. We salute you 🤩 You are just the right user of website builders.
Try various website builders to see which ones you would prefer to work with.
See the guide on how to choose website development tools here.
I am an addict and a heavy user of website builders. I love creating websites and helping out others. Also, I am considering starting my own website-building business. However, I don’t know how to code.
Perfect! No knowledge of code is absolutely not a problem. You can still become a professional website designer nonetheless.
There are plenty of online website builders to help you out. So you are not required to write a single line of code.
Check the guide on how to choose your preferred one. Also, see our guides on building your own portfolio, generating traffic, SEO, etc.
But wait – just in case you wonder. Is it OK to call yourself a web designer if you don’t know how to code?
That’s a resounding Yes. Not-to-code is the answer.
You can assemble simple websites for personal promotion, blogs, business websites, e-commerce, product landing pages, or portfolios with no-code building tools. And the list goes on.
Usually, you won’t advertise yourself as a web application developer when you don’t know how to write code. But you can still promote yourself as a website designer.
No-code website builders are here for creating small or medium-sized websites. There’s no necessity to write a single PHP command for such occasions.
The biggest advantage of using website builders is the speed – you can create a professional website for your clients in no time.
A reminder: for complex online applications or vast online stores that require a huge database, you need to work with a much larger team of human developers.
Therefore, if you know how to work with builders, you can help others expand their businesses. So they can invest their time into their enterprise without losing it with website creation. And that’s how you can build your business as a website designer.
Web designer x web developer
Web developer on the left, web designer on the right
Just to be clear on this matter: there is a difference between a website developer and a website designer.
There are actually several different professions when it comes to website creation. To name a few: Web Designer, Front-End Developer, Front-End Designer, UX/UI Designer, Product Manager, Visual Designer, and Interaction Designer.
Simply put, a web designer is a person who can create aesthetically appealing and user-friendly website presentations. She knows a lot about marketing, UX principles, and design in general. She can help you send your product with the right design choices.
Her outcome is a web design that ought to be transformed into functioning code.
A web developer can turn her prototype into a working website. A developer knows code and all the technical stuff. He can write in languages that are hard to read out loud.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean his product will look polished and be easy to use. That’s why a developer needs a designer.
But not the other way around. These days designers can work on a functioning website on their own right from the beginning – in a website builder.
And that could be you.
How to pick the right website builder
A drag and drop website builder
Finally, we arrived at the fun part. Which website builder is best for your mission?
There are plenty of tools online that promise to help you build a website in no time. Let’s presume you will work with several builders, so you can offer your clients variety.
How are you going to choose them?
The most important factor is to have a clear idea of what the final outcome would be. Not every builder can help you achieve that.
- What kind of website do you need to create – a product landing page, company page, or online store?
- How many subpages or categories there would be?
- Would you need a lot of storage for pictures or PDFs?
Some are dead simple and only allow you to create an uncomplicated but funky website, like mmm.page.
You can also try a micro-blogging social network Tumblr to present clients’ portfolios in a catchy way. Other builders are for bloggers only.
Most builders are complex and require some learning curve. But the outcome can be very professional, for example, with Webflow or WordPress.
But what if you want a functioning website that you or your client can edit on their own? The said website should be a bit more complex than a one-page online CV but less elaborate than eBay or Amazon.
Properly consider these factors when choosing the right builder for specific projects. Don’t come to a harebrained decision. It might cost you arm and leg in the end.
Decide on your budget. Or – ask your clients about theirs before you offer them your proposal. Be on the same page with your client from the very beginning.
Also, be transparent about the pricing.
Chances are they picked your services because they are cheaper than an agency. Usually, the agency comes with a team full of UX/UI designers, back-end developers, front-end developers, and SEO specialists.
One part of the final amount will be for you as the designer. Another will be for covering the premium plan of the chosen builder.
Some builders offer a variety of functions for personal websites for almost nothing. But when it comes to e-commerce, their price goes up astronomically. It is because of a huge amount of external accouterments you would need to purchase extra.
Thoroughly check the premium plans of each builder – what functions do they offer for what price? Invest enough time in this research, so the whole process of this cooperation is hassle-free.
Ease of use
Almost every builder offers a chance to create a website for free. Try as many as you can, so you can compare the intuitiveness of their editors. Most of them work with the drag&drop method, which is non-techies-friendly.
But others may have a steep learning curve. Decide on whether you want to spend that much time watching tutorials. If not, you better work on your website somewhere else.
Are there hosting and domain services included?
Your website must be stored on a server physically. Even though you can’t hold it in your arms, data is stored on a physical object. Usually, the object is located in a computer and the computer is connected to the Internet.
Almost every website builder offers to store your website on their servers. Just check the capacity of the storage within each premium plan.
Usually, the website you create will be available on a free domain provided by the builder, i.e., yourproject.webnode.com.
Once you attach your own domain, this free domain will be overridden.
Check if the builder will manage your domain, let you do it within domain administration, or whether you ought to buy and manage it elsewhere.
Also check, if they provide email services.
A majority of website visitors use their smartphones to browse the web. Therefore, the website you create must look good and be fully functional on a small screen.
Be sure the builder offers full responsiveness across all their templates. It should be a standard these days.
Customization & templates
The reason why your website can be done & published within no time is the templates.
Are there only 3 generic pre-designed templates you can choose from? Can you build awareness of the client’s brand, when hundreds of websites look completely the same?
Choose a builder that allows flexibility but keeps you within the best UX and UI practices. Sometimes the blank canvas is not the easiest way to start. Your website might end up completely disparate.
Make use of the templates. Professionals created them – and they knew what they were doing.
Or does your client have a brand manual already? Be sure to check whether there is a possibility to use the client’s brand colors and fonts in the builder if pertinent.
Are you a UI designer who loves absolute freedom and detests templates? Well, give code a chance.
Scalability & navigation
Before starting with the website creation in the editor, think of its information architecture a bit. A.k.a., list all the pages you will create and put them into categories and subcategories.
Then assume whether this is a final number or if it’s going to grow. And by what increment.
Accordingly, check the limitations of the builders: are there any? Can you only make like 30 pages, and that’s it?
What will the navigation menu look like? Is it clear and user-friendly? Does the builder allow sub-level navigation?
So you are building an online store now.
Check what functions are available in the ecommerce website builder itself. What external widgets would you need to buy? What external tools are supported?
Here is the list of essential ecommerce functions to check. For example:
- Is there a limitation on product upload?
- What payment gates are supported?
- SEO settings
- Is there a product search
- What are filtering settings?
- Can you set up categories and sub-categories?
- Is there a possibility to create product variants?
- How is the mobile shopping experience?
- What are the conversion options?
- How are the marketing and promotion options?
- Is establishing a sales channel connection possible?
- What about analytics?
Is there support?
Sometimes, things can go sideways. Or you just could use a bit of help. Some builders are tricky to get used to working with them.
Check if there is someone to help you out from the inside. What channels do they use? Email, phone, or chat? Test them.
Free trial, money-back guarantee, and cancellation policy
This is probably the most boring and important to check at the same time. What more to say? You better check it before jumping into a contract.
How to start your career as a no-code website designer
As we mentioned earlier, first things first: buy a domain and create your own web designer portfolio. This should be the fun part, where you decide on your designer persona and brand.
List your experiences and skills, list the builders you work with, and fill it with your clients’ references and other social proof.
If you absolutely have no websites to showcase, fill it with case studies and redesigns of websites you visit often, but they are unquestionably outdated.
Or offer your services to nonprofits, your kids’ kindergarten, or your neighbor who runs his small company without having a website, in exchange for a referral.
You can also contact the owners of some websites and offer them your services.
Once you have a solid and nice portfolio, invest your time in SEO and start posting your ads, offers, and domain anywhere possible.
Do you ♥ your website builder? Become its affiliate partner
Getting paid directly for your designer skills is only one stream of income. By becoming an affiliate partner of the services you use, you can gain another passive, valuable source of revenue.
Usually, all you need to do is promote the service a little, and in this effort, publish your unique affiliate link – as a banner or simple text link.
This also works when you are not a developer but a blogger writing about website creation.
Every service has its own rules. For example, the Webnode Affiliate program works like this.
How to find & hire a no-code website developer
You know for sure you need help with website creation. But for upkeep you can do it yourself. In that case, it is simple – hire a web designer.
The easiest way is to check online platforms for freelancers – like Fiverr or 99designs. Usually, you will find their portfolios there, alongside references and contact information.
You can either look for them based on the website builder you chose already. Or you can let them advise you.
Some builders have their own websites dedicated to skilled users. These work with their applications and offer their services to new users.
Another old-school way is to simply google them – you may stumble upon their portfolio and contact details. This way, you also have proof that the designer knows his SEO.
As a non-technical mortal, you still have several possibilities on how to be online.
You can either create a website on your own from scratch. Or, if you don’t feel like it, you can ask a web designer to help you out. And then manage the website on your own.
Moreover, you can even build a business out of this. You can definitely become a website designer without knowledge of single code commands. Using a website builder will make your work quick and effortless.
Instead of the code, you would be able to focus on more important elements of the design, which would help your client sell their products and generate revenue more quickly.
Therefore, if you enjoy the design process and thinking and you would love helping small businesses, artists and entrepreneurs grow, a freelance career as a website designer might be right for you. Even if you don’t code.
Do you want to build your own website using a website builder? Try the step-by-step guide.