Is Drag and Drop the Future of Web Development?

Is Drag and Drop the Future of Web Development?

Is Drag and Drop the Future of Web Development?

an image of people dragging and dropping web elements into a laptop to signify drag and drop web development

It is no surprise that in this digital age, most businesses rely on marketing their products and services through the internet. With global internet usage becoming the norm of communication and growing at an expectedly accelerated rate, it acts as the quintessential venue for large enterprises, small businesses and other service providers to expand their horizons by venturing into the virtual space. The most efficacious application of this idea lies in the development of a website for the company to be able to provide its services and advertise their products. That being said, developing an entire website from scratch is easier said than done since it is an incredibly arduous task which requires certain characteristics, optimal coding skills and a substantial amount of time to be able to test and make adjustments to the website.

a picture displaying a web wireframe on a laptop, glasses and a coffee mug on a desk

Fortunately for companies and businesses who do not possess these skills or are unable to invest in a web developer, they have the ease of being able to use drag and drop website builders to be able to accomplish this task in a relatively short span of time compared to manually building a website from the ground up. In this case, there is no need for coding and constructing a website is as simple as dragging and dropping elements on the web page. It allows this through the use of premade templates and customization through the tools available on these website builders. What would normally take a few weeks of arduous work is shortened to a few hours when using these builders which include Squarespace, WordPress and Wix. The accessibility that these builders provide, enable even the most tech illiterate of individuals to be able to build a website for their business. This is one of the main reasons drag and drop website builders are garnering so much attraction and popularity.

a photo of a cursor dragging an image into a website

This begs the question if these drag and drop website builders are the future of website development and will they render the need for web developers, obsolete? The answer is a bit complicated than a mere yes or no. According to a data report shared by Enlyft, over 3 million companies use WordPress and recently Wix and Squarespace are also gaining a lot of popularity due to their streamlined tools and user friendly interface. A large portion of the companies using these website builder services range from restaurants, healthcare and education to nonprofits and retail companies. An important thing to note is that most of the companies using these builders are small in size which means that they have a less number of employees and generate less revenue than the larger companies. This makes perfect sense considering the fact that most of these companies would not be willing to pay $5000 or more for their websites and rather are able to generate a website in a short manner of time, not costing them more than $20 on a monthly basis. This is not to say that these builders eclipse web developers by recreating what they can do in a far shorter period of time when this is far from the case.

a picture showing a web developer coding

Although drag and drop website builders provide unparalleled accessibility, it comes at the cost of flexibility, freedom and specified complexity of their websites. Builders such as Wix and Squarespace are only able to provide templates which have been premade by the builders themselves and they merely allow the customization and freedom of arrangement for those templates. Since companies using these tools do not code and build their websites from scratch, they are not able to achieve the complexity of the design that is provided by a web developer. Hobbyists and small business owners are able to utilize these generic websites to be able to grow their online presence and provide their services within the constraints of these website builders. These websites will not be able to compete in the sales, traffic and functionality that a full-fledged website built by a professional web developer will be able to achieve. There are not many ways in which a website built by drag and drop builders can distinguish itself from others of its kind since there is a limited number of templates one can choose from and customize. Whereas, whatever a company has visualized, no matter how ambitious, can be translated to the format of a website when it is built by a web designer or developer. A serious business would want to look into hiring the right talent for the complex website they have planned whereas a small business looking to expand their growth on the internet using a simple website would suffice using builders such as Wix and Squarespace.

a picture of a picture of a cursor dragging a file across a screen to signify drag and drop web development

So no, drag and drop website builders will not replace the need for web developers and web designers, at least until the next few years. Web development as a profession has existed for a while now and although drag and drop builders are the pioneers of website development accessibility, they are unable to replicate the work of a professional web developer. That being said, as these website builders grow, they will be able to allow for much greater complexity and functionality, one that may eventually rival manual web development.