We ask the experts: What should agencies look for when choosing a website builder?

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When it comes to picking the best website builder for your agency, there are plenty of options to choose from. But with each offering something a little different in terms of tools, features, and price, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. 

Arguably, when compared to your average website builder user, there is more at stake for agencies selecting a new web building tool. Rolling out a new website builder is no small task. It takes time to train your team, develop new processes, and a financial investment in the tool itself.

Luckily, we know a few experts in the agency website builder space. So, we asked them for their insight on what agencies should look for when picking a website builder...

Once you know what to look for, check out our list of the best website builders for agencies to find your perfect match. 

1. Duda

Itai Sadan, CEO and Co-Founder of Duda
Itai Sadan

Itai Sadan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Duda, a professional website builder for agencies and SaaS platforms. Under Itai's leadership, Duda rapidly expanded with an emphasis on empowering web professionals with cutting-edge tools to help them create beautiful, conversion-driving websites at scale. Duda hosts more than 1 million active websites built by over 20,000 customers globally. 

Choosing a website builder for a single website is one thing, but when you're an agency building and maintaining multiple sites, it's a whole different ball game. Your priority is to find a website builder that helps you maximize your efficiency so you can grow and scale your business, while delivering high quality results for your clients.

Your website builder must be your agency’s business partner, empowering you not only to build client websites, but also to use your resources in the most efficient way possible.

Here are my top 4 considerations for agencies looking for the right website builder to meet their unique needs:

1. Choose the right platform for your team’s and your clients’ skill sets

Start by evaluating your agency’s technical capabilities. If you have a tech-savvy team, you might opt for a very powerful tool with a lot of flexibility. These platforms typically require advanced technical understanding of CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages to bring your client’s vision for their website to life.

On the other end of the spectrum, agencies with limited technical expertise might benefit from a tool that is simpler and easier to use. The main drawback here is that the simpler the platform, the more constrained your team will be in terms of design flexibility. To choose the appropriate website builder, you’ll need to find the right balance.

If you’re giving clients direct access to update the site themselves, the platform also needs to be easy for them to manage, so your team isn’t tied up handling support questions. And you need to be able to precisely control client access and permissions, so clients can make only the types of changes that you want them to be able to make on their sites.

2. Consider ongoing maintenance requirements

When you're dealing with clients, your job doesn't stop at building their website. To scale your web building operations effectively, you’ll also need to consider the level of maintenance needed to keep your client sites up and running smoothly.

For example, web platforms that use open source plugins are often more vulnerable to security breaches, and they require regular maintenance and plugin updates to keep them secure and functional. On the other hand, closed-source platforms are maintained as a unified system where all components work harmoniously together, meaning there is a very low risk of conflicting plugins or outdated elements. These platforms often have low or no maintenance requirements, allowing your agency to reallocate that time to take on more clients, build more websites, and focus on the activities that generate more revenue.

An advantage of open source web builders is that they will have a lot more available plugins, and the website will be more portable between hosting companies. However, you can expect your developers to spend a lot more time maintaining sites post-launch to prevent incompatibilities that can impact site stability and security.

3. Look for efficiency and automation capabilities

As an agency, the ability to efficiently manage multiple projects is crucial. Your website builder must be your agency’s business partner, empowering you not only to build client websites, but also to use your resources in the most efficient way possible. Look for a website builder that offers advanced automations that can streamline your workflows.

For example, some website builders offer the ability to populate or update web pages from information in a connected database or provide API access, making it possible to instantly create or update hundreds or even thousands of pages with the click of a button.

4. Stay ahead in the tech game

The digital world is changing fast. To be seen as a trusted partner and industry leader to your clients, you’ll need a website builder that is also on the leading edge of technology and can help you keep pace with the rate of change.

For example, many website builders now offer AI tools that let you generate content and SEO metadata page by page, which can be a big time saver if you’re building one website at a time. If you’re building many websites for many different clients, however, an AI tool that allows you to generate SEO metadata for all of a site's pages at once is going to multiply those time savings even more.

2. Wix

headshot of Gali Erez
Gali Erez

Gali Erez is the Head of Wix Studio at Wix. With a rich 9-year journey at Wix, Gali has consistently led UX and Product teams across diverse Wix services, including Wix ADI, Wix’s first AI website builder.

In 2022, she ascended to the role of GM/Head of the Wix Studio Company, showcasing her strategic leadership. Before Wix, Gali worked at Warner Bros., investigating future trends for media consumption, and also worked on complex infrastructure apps for investment banks like Goldman Sachs, as well as ad-tech online platforms. Her unique fusion of creative vision and technological insight positions her as a driving force in shaping user-centric experiences that seamlessly integrate innovation with a human touch.

There’s a formula for finding the perfect match when it comes to selecting a website builder. The key is finding the right combination of a platform that enables you to match the needs of clients (even if the client is yourself) that gives the creative freedom and ability to handle what’s requested and brings visions to life all while enjoying the platform and finding passion when building sites. 

The incorporation of cutting-edge AI technology has become a must-have.

From the capabilities standpoint, when agencies, designers, and developers embark on selecting a website builder, a comprehensive evaluation of key features is essential to meet the diverse and advanced requirements of website creation.

The incorporation of cutting-edge AI technology has become a must-have. The chosen platform should offer advanced functionalities such as automated content creation and personalized user experiences, contributing to the creation of innovative and dynamic websites. Scalability is also a critical consideration, as agencies often juggle projects of varying sizes concurrently, ranging from small business websites to expansive enterprise solutions. Prioritizing cutting-edge design and scalable development capabilities is crucial, encompassing features like responsive design options, animations, and robust support for custom code integrations.

Collaboration within agency settings is paramount, making it imperative to choose a website builder that enables teams, designers, developers, and marketers to work concurrently and also allows stakeholders to provide feedback, approve designs or, offer suggestions effortlessly. The inclusion of robust project management tools is vital for tracking timelines, milestones, and tasks, ensuring the efficient management of intricate web design projects from initiation to completion.

Prioritizing a website builder that champions customization and flexibility empowers agencies to transcend conventional boundaries, fostering a creative environment where each project can be uniquely tailored to the client's vision. This not only enhances client satisfaction but may also position agencies as versatile and adaptive partners in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. The ability to implement unique and innovative designs distinguishes agencies in a competitive landscape, and a flexible website builder can facilitate the realization of these creative visions. 

Customization and flexibility empower agencies to go beyond template-driven approaches, enabling them to craft bespoke websites that resonate with the unique identity and objectives of each client. The flexibility to integrate custom code further enhances the platform's adaptability, allowing agencies to implement specialized functionalities and features that align with their clients' distinct needs.

To wrap up, finding a platform with the right technological capabilities to deliver on expectations and visions cannot be overlooked but the right platform will also drive innovation and spark passion. 

3. TechRadar Pro

Owain Williams
Owain Williams

Previously working as a freelance content writer and editor, Owain has been writing about website builders, marketing, and a range of other business topics since 2017.

During this time he has worked with industry leaders, spoken at several events, and been published on top media sites including MarketingProfs, Website Builder Expert, Digital Doughnut, and NealSchaffer.com. Owain has gained hands-on experience with many leading website builders. This includes building his own ecommerce store on Shopify, creating several websites on WIX, and working with clients to grow their WordPress and Squarespace sites. 

Agencies looking to use a website builder will need to consider several factors when deciding which is best for them. This is a slightly more complex decision to make compared to the average website builder user whose primary concerns tend to be affordability and ease of use - although these do play a factor for agencies aswell.

Below I have outlined the 4 key areas agencies should consider when choosing a website builder. 

...agencies need to consider the needs of multiple current and potential future customers.

Advanced capabilities

When picking a website builder, agencies need to consider the advanced capabilities that each option offers. Unlike a typical website builder user, who can base their choice on exactly what they need, agencies need to consider the needs of multiple current and potential future customers.

This is what makes platforms such as Wix (with Wix Studio) and Duda such popular options. These platforms offer agencies a host of advanced options that can help elevate a website beyond what a typical user can achieve on their own - ultimately providing your agency with a competitive edge over businesses taking a DIY approach.

To generate value for customers, you will want to use a website builder that can do more than the average website builder can. This could include allowing you to access and edit website code or offering advanced design tools to help you create more engaging websites.

Advanced capabilities can also help drive great profitability by speeding up processes. For example, the best AI website builder tools can automate repetitive tasks such as content writing, image editing, and the creation of meta titles and descriptions.

Ease of use

Although advanced capabilities are crucial for agencies, they need to balanced with ease of use. After all, it doesn’t matter how advanced a website builder is, if it takes more time and effort to use than coding a website from scratch, it isn’t worth using at all.

Assessing ease of use is a crucial step in deciding whether a website builder is right for your agency. The easier it is to use, the quicker it will be to train your team on and the more of your team will be able to support website projects.

White labeled tools

The benefits of white labeled tools are simple - they allow you to present a fully branded experience for your customers and highlight your professionalism. This shouldn't be overlooked by agencies that want to develop high levels of trust and benefit from ongoing relationships with clients. 

Cost

Cost should play a big role in choosing a website builder for your agency. After all, what you spend on your website builder will either need to be deducted from your profits, or passed onto your client, potentially making you a more expensive and less appealing option. 

Website builder plans aimed at agencies tend to include the full suite of tools offered by that website builder and therefore come with a premium price tag. Although these can be well worth the investment, take time to look at what you are paying for and what value each tool and feature brings to your business.

Also, take a moment to consider ongoing costs. For example, you may need to pay an additional flat fee to host each website you build for your clients.

4. Develomark

headshot of Ruan M. Marinho
Ruan M. Marinho

Ruan is the SEO expert on the team that helps implement search and social strategies into our client campaigns. Ruan also has a passion for teaching others how search marketing works. With a YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers, Ruan certainly has a passion for teaching both his team and others.

Ruan founded Develomark in 2017. He leads the vision for the company in producing the best end result for the client. The vision started after working on his father’s painting business and quickly seeing business results after listing his father’s business in the Google search results. Shortly after, Ruan's father was able to pause the advertising services he was paying for due to explosive results in the search engines. In a world where buyers are actively searching the web for their next business to interact with, Ruan advises his clients how to present themselves best in front of potential buyers.

Creating an effective and visually appealing website is essential for businesses and individuals alike. When choosing a website builder, several key factors should be considered to ensure that the platform meets your specific needs. For agencies like ours, being able to provide services at scale and fostering team collaboration is crucial. Some things we considered when selecting our website editor were:

If you're managing multiple websites, look for a builder that simplifies this process.

White label capabilities

For agencies, a white-label feature is crucial. This allows you to brand the website builder as your own, offering a seamless experience to your clients. This feature not only enhances your brand's professionalism but also ensures consistency in client interactions.

Agency / multi site management

If you're managing multiple websites, look for a builder that simplifies this process. The ideal platform should allow you to oversee hundreds of sites efficiently, with centralized control over updates, design changes, and content management. This feature saves time and reduces the complexity of managing multiple client websites.

Speed and security

In today's digital landscape, website speed and security are non-negotiable. Ensure that the website builder offers robust security features like two-factor authentication, SSL certificates, and secure e-commerce capabilities, including safe payment gateways. These features are vital for protecting sensitive data and providing a safe browsing experience for your users.

Ease of use and management

The builder should offer an intuitive design interface and a user-friendly Content Management System (CMS). This aspect is especially important if you're working with individuals who aren’t extremely tech-savvy. Look for drag-and-drop builders, customizable templates, and easy integration with various media types. This will enable you to create and manage your website with minimal technical expertise.

Team collaboration

Effective collaboration is key in website development. Choose a platform that facilitates team collaboration by allowing you to invite users, assign roles, and manage permissions efficiently. Features for client management, such as client portals and feedback tools, can also streamline the process and improve the client experience.

5. WP Engine

headshot of Andrew Jillions
Andrew Jillions

As WP Engine's Director of Technical Solutions, Andrew specializes in enhancing development workflows for businesses and tackling complex problems with technical strategies. A DevOps Engineer by trade, Andrew has vast experience as an agency technologist, spending the majority of his career at agencies prior to his current role.

Andrew lives in New York City where he enjoys going to Yankees games, running, golfing, and trying new restaurants.

Agencies should consider several factors when selecting a website builder as this critical decision significantly impacts long-term success.

Repeatability and scalability

Increasing margins and optimizing billable hours are top priorities for agencies, and it’s difficult to be profitable if you’re reinventing the wheel for every project. 

It’s critical to choose a builder that enables you to implement repeatable development processes and templatize your code. This will not only accelerate your project out of the box, but also save time in later QA stages as you will be testing familiar code. 

Repeatability opens the door for scalability: the time you save in development and QA creates an opportunity to take on more clients or projects without a linear scale of staff. If you’re not interested in taking on more projects, the time you save can be repurposed to give yourself a competitive advantage by focusing on design, integrations, SEO, or technical debt. 

Barrier to entry and cost

Increasing margins and optimizing billable hours are top priorities for agencies, and it’s difficult to be profitable if you’re reinventing the wheel for every project.

It’s also important to consider barrier to entry and ongoing cost of ownership when evaluating a website builder. Open-source options can be advantageous in both of these areas, offering a cost-effective approach with free and premium resources.

This facilitates accessibility for small businesses while providing scalability for growing agencies, empowering them to amplify their online presence without a hefty initial investment. Agencies should consider the cost and availability of the resources needed to maintain the systems they select, and while many developers are well-versed in open-source technologies, experts in closed-source systems can be a scarce commodity and often come at a premium cost.

Interoperability and adaptability

For growing agencies, minimizing technical debt while keeping up with the latest trends is a critical concern. Agencies should seek a flexible, adaptable website builder that integrates seamlessly with various plugins and third-party tools. This ensures that a website remains relevant, efficient, and extensible as technology evolves. A forward-looking web strategy is key to a site’s longevity.

SEO capabilities

Last but not least, the significance of SEO cannot be overstated when choosing a website builder. It’s important to choose a system with robust SEO capabilities and a wide array of optimization tools. This includes features for improving site speed, ensuring mobile responsiveness, and allowing for easy SEO content management and sitemap customization, which are all crucial for enhancing online visibility.

Among the many website builders available, WordPress aligns well with the above criteria. Its comprehensive ecosystem, flexibility, and powerful SEO capabilities have long made it a favorite of agencies and millions of other users around the world. WordPress is also open source, presenting a minimal barrier to entry and scalable costs, making it suitable for a wide range of businesses, including agencies in pursuit of a powerful, adaptable, and cost-efficient website builder.

Picking a website builder for your agency: Summary

Agencies have a lot to think about when picking a website builder. In this guide our experts have outlined some of the most important features, tools, and factors to consider when choosing. Using this advice will allow you to make an informed decision, helping drive a better return on investment.  

We have also put together a list of the best website builders for agencies, making it easy to find the best website builder for you and your agency.  

Owain Williams
B2B Editor, Website Builders

Previously working as a freelance content writer and editor, Owain has been writing about website builders, marketing, and a range of other business topics since 2017. During this time he has worked with industry leaders, spoken at several events, and been published on top media sites including MarketingProfs, Website Builder Expert, Digital Doughnut, and NealSchaffer.com. 


Owain has gained hands-on experience with many leading website builders. This includes building his own ecommerce store on Shopify, creating several websites on WIX, and working with clients to grow their WordPress and Squarespace sites. 


During his career, Owain has gained a breadth of marketing experience across industries ranging from complex engineering and international events to brand design and even brewing. Undertaking a 4 year apprenticeship in business, Owain has achieved a HNC, HND, and BA(Hons) in Business, Management, and Marketing alongside several professional qualifications from institutes including the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM). 


When he isn’t thinking, talking, and writing about website builders, Owain is a keen practitioner and competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, enjoys walking his dog, and spending time with his family.