Choosing a Website Builder
The proliferation of do-it-yourself (DIY) web builders has made it much less difficult and expensive for individuals to launch their own websites. Above, you’ll find a list we compiled of DIY website builders, with descriptions of the various features they offer.
Before settling on a website builder, it’s important to define your site’s purpose and the features you’ll need. Here’s a rundown of some of the more important considerations to keep in mind as you shop around for a website builder to help you create the site that’s right for your needs, whether they’re personal or professional.
Consider the Software Features
There are many excellent website builders out there, and selecting the right one for you will be a matter of prioritising the features that are most important to you. Wix and Squarespace, for instance, are great platforms for those who prioritise ease of use. Wix and Web.com both have great tools for editing and adding stock photos. Both Squarespace and Shopify provide state-of-the-art shopping cart functionality.
iPage and FatCow are two good options if all you need is a reliable hosting platform that is compatible with WordPress or another content management system.
A Great Website Deserves a Great Template
The structure of your website relies heavily on the template you choose. It includes everything from the menus to the colours to the background to the way the photos and text are positioned. An excellent website builder will provide you with hundreds of templates to pick from, but it’s also important that these templates are of high quality. When compared to some of their rivals, Wix and Network Solutions offer fewer free templates, but their templates are among the most attractive available. If you’re looking for high-quality website templates, Squarespace is yet another excellent option.
To Pay or Not to Pay?
Which platform, free ones like WordPress or paid ones like Squarespace, should you use? That is a question of scale and the amount of autonomy you desire for your website.
Although free website builders are great for those on a tighter budget, they typically don’t allow you to link your own domain. You must also maintain the company’s advertisements on every page.
There is a cost associated with using a paid builder, but the extra space, speed, and features are well worth it. Your own domain will allow you to avoid intrusive advertising.
When trying to decide between a free and a paid website builder, here are some additional things to think about.
The Brand is Important, Too
We understand that reliability is crucial when deciding on a web host. Some of the website creation tools featured and compared on this page have been around for over two decades, making them among the most reliable and trustworthy options for your next project. All three of these domain registrars have been around for some time: Register.com in 1994, Web.com in 1995, and GoDaddy in 1997. As a company, Network Solutions has been around since 1979.
Numerous awards have been bestowed upon these businesses as well. BigCommerce, for instance, has won two Stevies in the category of “Best Overall Business.” In addition to being named one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies for two years running, GoDaddy has also won three Stevie Awards for their sales and customer service.
Professional recognition is another important factor in determining a product’s worth. Take Squarespace as an example; they’ve won a tonne of Webbys in categories as varied as Best Practices, Web Services, and Features & Design.
Looking for Design Services?
There are many beautiful templates available with these website builders, but sometimes you need something more unique. Wix, Web.com, and Network Solutions are your best bets if you want a professional website designed on your behalf. These sites provide affordable DIFM (Do It for Me) website creation options. Once your site is up and running, you can keep it updated with their user-friendly CMS.
BigCommerce is another great choice if you want to sell things from your website. Someone from BigCommerce will put you in touch with one of their trusted design partners. The best part is that you can pick and choose from hundreds of partners, each with their own rates and portfolios, to find the one that best suits your needs.
Don’t Forget About Google
You need a site that is optimised for search engines if you want potential visitors, readers, customers, or groupies to be able to find you. When discussing how a website can rank highly in search engines, SEO (which stands for “search engine optimization”) is the term used to describe all of the methods and best practises that can be employed.
In order to find an SEO-friendly website builder, you should look for functions like:
- Ability to modify HTML elements like title, meta description, and alt text for images.
- HTML and XML sitemap generation automation.
- Search engine friendly uniform resource locators (good:
- mysite.com/latest-news; bad: mysite.com/349596).
- Instruments for measuring and converting keyword density.
Both Wix and Web.com are great options for creating an SEO-friendly website. Both have the aforementioned benefits, but Web.com has the added bonus of having SEO experts on staff to handle the optimization of your website (additional rates apply).
And Then There Are the Hosting and Domain Bundles
Hosting is akin to owning a piece of land. In this case, however, you aren’t paying for five acres and a duplex; rather, you’re purchasing a few gigabytes of storage and enough bandwidth to keep your website operational. Many of the website builders on this page also provide hosting for your domain, and others do so for a fee. When you sign up for a year with Squarespace, you get a free domain, making it one of the few hosting providers that does so.
Both Weebly and Web.com provide unlimited bandwidth and storage space with their hosting packages. For any website owner, this is a huge plus. BigCommerce provides the same conveniences, but an expensive enterprise plan may be necessary for stores with thousands of products and customers.
It’s important to distinguish between “unlimited” and “unmetered” bandwidth when comparing hosting plans. A “unlimited” plan is actually quite limited. In other words, the hosting service won’t prevent you from having a lot of visitors, but it may slow your site down once you hit a certain traffic volume.
The Advantages of Using a Website Builder
A professionally designed website can cost anywhere from $1, 000 to $8,000, with the price increasing with each revision you request. The time it takes for your designer to implement your revision requests is also dependent on their availability. There’s always the chance that you’ll be pressured into accepting a website you’re not happy with simply because you think it would be too costly to request a switch.
To create a website with a website builder will cost significantly less. Some of the best website builders out there will provide you with a wide range of customization options and total control over your site. Wix, for instance, allows you to play around with different fonts, colour schemes, slideshows, galleries, and even video backgrounds, in addition to offering more than 500 templates arranged across 70 categories. Wix users have access to more than 300 apps in the lauded Wix App Market, any one of which can be easily embedded into a user’s website.
With a website builder, you can customise every aspect of your site, from the location of the CTA button to the typeface used throughout.
What to Consider When Choosing a Website Builder Platform
Whichever website builder serves your purposes best is the best. Take a moment to reflect on your brand-new website by asking yourself the following:
- How would you describe the nature of this site?
What are the most important qualities in a solution?
- Have you set up an internet shop? Is that the case, how big will it be? A certain number of sales per month may be capped by some website builders’ Ecommerce packages.
- In a nutshell, how would you describe the company’s atmosphere?
Ease of Use
When choosing a website creator, ease of use is crucial. Use the trial versions of the five top website builders we’ve highlighted to get a feel for how easy they are to work with. It will help you determine which one is the most natural for you to operate. Check that the website builders provide you with access to the CSS code as well if you have coding experience.
In the future, I wish you success in expanding your business. In this case, you should consider whether or not you need a website creator that can handle a higher volume of online transactions. Also, is a full site download possible in the event you eventually decide to switch web hosts?
It’s also a good idea to see what sort of templates can be found. Make sure they aren’t just slightly tweaked versions of the same thing before committing to one. If you’re trying to promote your local cafe, you won’t get very far with a builder that has hundreds of blog templates but none for restaurants.
The best website builders will provide you with a variety of optional enhancements that will make the website-building process quicker, simpler, and more effective. Some characteristics to look out for are:
- Constructing with the help of setup wizards.
- Create your own website with a simple drag-and-drop editor.
- Tools for Search Engine Optimization; for instance, modifying meta tags.
- Methods of advertising such as electronic mail advertising.
- Incorporated analytics for learning more about your audience’s age, gender, location, interests, and more.
- Electronic marketplace resources like various methods of accepting payments, stock-tracking apps, product descriptions, and so on.
- Have your existing social media accounts sync with your new site with the click of a button.
- mobile-friendly sites that get the latest changes at the same time as the main site.
- Mobile website editing features that let you keep working on your site even while on the go.
Site Speed and Tech Support
The time it takes for your website to load is also crucial. When your site takes too long to load, you risk losing visitors. If you’re building your own website and ever hit a snag, no matter what time of day or night, having access to round-the-clock technical support is a must. Last but not least, compare prices. While cost shouldn’t be your primary consideration when choosing a website builder, you also don’t want to overpay for a subpar one.
Is a Free Builder Worth It?
A free website builder is a great option if you’re just looking to create a simple site without an e-commerce component. Keep in mind that there is less space, slower load times, and fewer marketing and SEO tools available with the free plans. It’s not likely that a free site builder will meet your needs if you anticipate wanting to sell products online, host large files (such as high-resolution images, videos, etc.), have a large number of pages, or require extensive customer service.
Still, free website builders are great for getting your feet wet and having a ready-made platform to share with contacts and social media followers. And if you decide you want to add more features later, you can often do so with minimal effort and expense. Wix, for instance, lets you scale up at a rate and cost that works for you by providing four premium upgrades with progressively more bandwidth, storage, and access to analytics and marketing tools.