A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Website Builders

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Website Builders
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  1. Free: 10

    Connect Domain: 8

    Combo: 10

    Unlimited: 9

    VIP: 12

    Shopify is the best ecommerce platform on the market today. It’s designed to help people build their own, scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features, and tons of apps.
  2. Free: 7

    Connect Domain: 9

    Combo: 6

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    GoDaddy is a beginner-friendly website builder that uses Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to make creating your website easier and faster than ever before.
  3. Free: 10

    Connect Domain: 7

    Combo: 10

    Unlimited: 9

    VIP: 25

    Creating a website should be easy and fun — this is our philosophy here at uKit. Let your imagination run wild or use predefined options.
  4. Free: 7

    Connect Domain: 6

    Combo: 9

    Unlimited: 8

    VIP: 16.99

    With VEVS you get a fancy, full-fledged website fitted with all e-commerce functionalities essential for your specific business niche. You can take orders, manage bookings, automate appointments, process online payments without being an IT expert.
  5. Free: 10

    Connect Domain: 8

    Combo: 10

    Unlimited: 9

    VIP: 15

    Wix’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create a professional website – without having to know a line of code!

 

Every business, big or small that wants to reach its full potential needs to have an excellent site. It is a requirement that you cannot forego in this age since it gives you access to customers and vice versa. Unlike years back, when you had to invest a lot of money and hours to get a professional developer, these days you have the option of website builder software.

Why Do You Need a Site?

The number of people browsing the web for information or in search of service providers is on the rise. This has made the internet one of the easiest ways to exploit sales funnel and every single business should consider using it.

A site will create brand awareness, help you launch new products and most importantly give you a customized way to interact with potential clients or even receive their orders. Using builders to create a site is the first step to establishing an online presence and tapping into this ever-growing traffic. With the right builder, you can set up a complete sales funnel and start making more money for your business without even expanding your sales team.

What is a Website Builder?

A builder is an online-based platform that gives you the assets and tools you need to set up and launch a site with little effort. They are straightforward solutions designed to give beginners a platform to build a site without forcing them to take design lessons or hire a professional developer.

Choosing a good site builder is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the site that you want precisely how you want it while still enjoying excellent tech support. You can get a builder subscription plan with one of the many providers, but since they are a lot, it can get hectic to navigate.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about website builders so you can get the best one.

Top Website Builder Reviews

Website builders are to new business owners what cake and pancake mixes are too home bakeries. With a few simple steps, you can end up with a perfect site without spending extra money.

And with bootstrapping being the most common financial set-up for new businesses, website builders are the magical bullet needed for complete online domination. Given that social media platforms are self-explanatory.

Even so, not all builders are perfect for every set-up. A real estate business needs a listings site builder template, while a health shop needs an e-commerce site builder template. Keep reading to figure out the best website builders in 2019 for each business type.

Wix

Wix is a user-friendly site programming software and cloud-based website creator that allows people to build sites using HTML5. Business owners can now create sites simply by dragging and dropping objects and text fields in this builder hence eliminating the need to hire a site developer to handle the job.

The builder also enables users to make their site mobile-friendly for maximum accessibility.

Pros:

    •    The website builder has thousands of templates that are free unless you decide to opt for professional builder features such as an appointment form, eCommerce page, or a listings page.

    •    The simple website builder is also extremely easy to use, and your site comes with free SSL certificates ensuring you of its security.

Cons:

    •    You have to pay for a domain, and Wix reserves the right to advertise on your site once it is up and running.

    •    Transferring the site from the builder will give you a relatively hard time as you should choose to switch domain providers.

Pricing:

Free hosting is only available if you are willing to host your site as a Wix subdomain. For a basic site, hosting starts at $17 per month while a starter eCommerce domain hosting starts at $23 per month. For priority support, you will have to fork out $39 per month. The more features your site has the pricier the builder gets.

Weebly

Weebly is an eCommerce centric website builder. The platform targets online shopping businesses. The quick website builder enables users to integrate Google AdSense. It also has blog webpage themes and regular site templates.

Additionally, users can track site traffic using an inbuilt Google analytics feature, among other supported plugins.

Pros:

    •    Weebly provides free marketing and customer support to all users but within its categories. Phone support and integrated marketing features are available for premium users.

    •    The web builder has an app maker, that can help you interlink the site and the app via a shared database.

Cons:

    •    Website builder reviews claim that you are bound to experience a lot of glitches before you can host your site. That said, the users' inexperience in creating a site can also be the cause of this issue.

    •    You will also need to pay for a domain, and there is a six months locked-in period that may not be ideal for some users.

Pricing:

You can host your Weebly site by purchasing a domain for $19.95. For the different site plans, the cheapest option is $7 per month if you pay on a month to month basis and $5 if you pay for the annual plan. The costliest option is the business plan option that goes for $46 per month or $38 per month for the annual option.

Ukit.Com

Ukit prides itself on being budget-friendly and intuitive in usage. Unlike other site-building platforms, this one has a more refined look even for the most basic site templates. It is easier to confuse sites created on Ukit with professionally designed sites.

It has thousands of site templates for both personal and business sites.

Pros:

    •    Being interactive in nature, the site pretty much creates itself. All you do is select options and you will be good to go.

    •    A number of the features that cost extra on other builders are free on Ukit.com. For example, the push notifications option, icon animations, and image optimization.

Cons:

    •    Ukit does not have a free plan option like other platforms for building websites.

    •    It also does not support large eCommerce stores and business sites, making it a limiting factor when your business expands.

Pricing:

Pricing for the monthly payment option ranges from $5 to $15. Whereas pricing for a 6 months subscription period ranges from $4.5 to $13.33 per month. If you pay for 2 years upfront you get to enjoy discounted price ranging from $3.5 to $10.5 per month.

Shopify

This website maker takes the cake for being one of the top website builders in the market currently; more so when it comes to setting up online shops. It has quickly gained popularity and is highly rated as an online store favorite among Twitter boutique shops a feat that no other online shop creation platform has managed to achieve.

This can be credited to its all-rounded approach to online selling. It functions as a simplified enterprise system with amazing backend features but a fraction of the cost of most enterprise resource programs.

Pros:

    •    Unlike most website creation services, Shopify solely dedicates its services to online shops creation. This means it has mastered the art of online shop setup.

    •    You also stand to experience hassle-free operations after you start selling online as compared to using a website builder that is not focused on online stores integration.

Cons:

    •    Only ten template options are free, and you have to pay for one if you need something different from the free options.

    •    The site builder is also not as easy to use unlike other modern website builders.

    •    Additionally, technical support is favorable for users in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia. The rest of the users have to contend with forum interactions for troubleshooting solutions.

Pricing:

For an online store web builder, the pricing option is fair for the benefits accrued. Basic online stores are assessable for $29 per month whereas larger more complicated online store options can go for as much as $299 per month. And depending on your payment gateway options and POS features.

But considering all your back-office setup needs are included, the benefits supersede the cost. You can run this operation with minimal labor requirements; which becomes pretty cost-effective in the long run.

Squarespace

Squarespace has some of the best-looking design options available in the market right now. They are also famous for having a reliable online shop platform and it is among the best platforms to build a website.

The fact that it is highly customizable makes it super charming to newbies looking to develop their sites. It is also the first website building company to focus on online portfolio creation intently - an important area that was not prioritized by other website makers in the past.

Pros:

    •    It has features that are highly beneficial to users. For example in the case of online store owners. Such as their abandoned cart auto recovery which is important to help close more sales.

    •    The builder also has third-party integration options such as Amazon, Opentable, Mailchimp, Acuity and Chownow. Enabling business users to streamline their marketing campaigns.

Cons:

    •    It is not the easiest website builder in the market. None technical users may face a challenge using it.

    •    You have to commit for an entire year to access cheaper pricing — an inconvenient option for a start-up looking to minimize its operating costs.

Pricing:

Personal sites cost $12 if paid annually and $16 if paid monthly. Basic business options start from $18 if paid annually and $26 if paid on a month to month basis. Online stores options start from $26 if paid annually or $30 if paid monthly. The most expensive option goes for $40 if paid annually or $46 if paid monthly.

Bigcommerce

Being the biggest SaaS eCommerce platform provider in the website builders market, this developer carved a niche that was previously untapped. However due to financial trouble, the company had to close down before it could fully capitalize on the market’s potential.

This was the only website creator with the complete ability to compete on the same level as the top cloud-based enterprise resource systems.    

Pros:

    •    Easily scalable when your business grows due to its high-performance back-office system.

    •    Optimizes selling across a wide range of social media platforms.

    •    Highly integratable with SEO tools for easier online traffic generation.

    •    Has the highest number of eCommerce features in the market

Cons:

    •    Highly complicated and not cut out for non-technical users

    •    Is not mobile-friendly making it limiting to market share growth

    •    Most expensive options in the market

Pricing:

A basic plan starts at $29.95 per month and the most advanced option goes for $249.95 per month.

Zenfolio

For the first time in years, photographers have finally been prioritized in the site development front. There exist a number of photography templates in the market currently, but none of them focus solely on creating worthy gallery options that photographers can capitalize on to showcase their work.

Zenfolio also multitasks as an online store builder for stock photo selling. It also has an inbuilt photo branding feature that allows photographers to embed their logo in their work instead of doing the double work of editing before uploading photos onto a gallery.

Pros:

    •    Most templates are ready to use with minimal editing requirements to fit most needs

    •    Even amateur photographers with minimal site development technical knowhow can set up a professional-looking site for their business.

    •    Load times are faster compared to other photography website templates.

Cons:

    •    The site is not secure and the content of your account can be plagiarized

    •    Cart integration for online selling is pretty much unusable making it hard to sell your photos.

Pricing:

The company charges a 7% service fee when you sell photos on their site.

The cheapest plan starts at $5 per month, the mid-tier plan goes for $ 20 per month and the most complex plan goes for $30 per month.

Duda

Duda is a media-centric builder that mostly targets media agencies and online publishers. It also doubles as an online client management system. It is a quick website builder that can enable users to be up and running in a very short time.

Pros:

    •    Its free plan is convenient and can be used without the need to upgrade for beginners

    •    It’s is highly compatible with all smartphones

    •    Its web store option is highly functional

Cons:

    •    Does not integrate with other services

    •    Editing the site is extremely difficult

    •    It has a limited selection of features and widgets

Pricing:

Basic plan pricing: - $19.25 (£13.75) for a month to month payments, $14.25 (£10.20) payable annually, or a one-off payment of $299 (£215)

Business pricing: - $29 (£21) for a month to month payments, or equivalent $22.50 (£16) payable annually

Mobile support plan: - $9.99 (£7.15) for a month to month payments, or $7.20 (£5.15) payable annually

Sitebuilder

Sitebuilder is the best website builder for people looking to spend the least amount of money on site setup. The company prides itself for offering free site plans that are comprehensive enough for a professional-looking free site.

They do however have several features that can only be accessed when you pay a subscription fee.

Pros:

    •    Thousands of templates available for free

    •    Pretty self-explanatory site creation steps

Cons:

    •    The best features are only accessible if you pay such as the eCommerce store builder

    •    You cannot download your site in the event you want to transfer to a different domain service provider

Pricing:

Pricing ranges from $8.99 per month for a basic site to $18.45 for an eCommerce site.

Jimdo

Jimdo is a drag and drop builder. There are over 20 million sites created using Jimdo worldwide. The web maker has a comprehensive eCommerce platform that is cheaper than most options with similar features. It is a builder which launch time has the highest speed in the market which is proven to be around three minutes.

Pros:

    •    Artificial Intelligence features enable the user to set up their site without any glitches

Cons:

    •    There are no restoration options if you delete anything by accident. You will need to have extra backup options.

    •    Limited template options

Pricing:

Pricing ranged from $10 to $20 per month.

Each web page builder has pros and cons. It is up to you to weigh the pros that each option offers your new venture and pick the best option. But you will also have to analyze the disadvantages of each website building software’s cons. And decide whether the roadblocks they create are inconsequential to your business.

You can also look at sites for businesses in your line of operation built using the different site makers and go with the one capable of delivering a site that fits your needs. Ask for recommendations from other small business owners if needed. Do not go for the first option, there could be a simpler website builder for what you have in mind.

Which One is Better, Website Builders or Hiring a Developer?

You may be inclined to get a developer since it seems like a safe option, but it is just an expensive one. Hiring a developer instead of using builders can easily translate to spending thousands of dollars on getting the site itself up and running. However, you may need to still spend more money on updates and fixes, meaning that amount could turn into a colossal one.

If you choose a website builder, you will only need to get a subscription plan that is suitable for you and your business. This will cost up to 98% less than what you would spend on a developer. You will still get an excellent site with support, so you have nothing to worry about. Builders also give you total control and freedom to make any changes in a fraction of the time.

Who Can Benefit the Most from Website Builders?

Anyone who wants control and is on a budget can use a builder. However, it is the best solution for:

    •    Small businesses and firms on a budget.

    •    Freelancers that want a place to showcase their services.

    •    Musicians looking for control concerning their music.

    •    Bloggers.

    •    Artists.

    •    Service providers.

Large businesses that don’t want the trouble of managing a team of developers can also benefit from website builders. Just because it is an affordable option doesn’t mean that it is unreliable.

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Website Builder

There are so many builders that you could choose from but before you go ahead to compare the best you need to know what to look for. The most important thing is to have an idea of what you want your site to do for you. Other considerations to make when choosing a website builder company include:

What Features Do You Need?

A site can be pretty much anything you want it to be so you need to have a list of the features that you want in the website builders. For example, if you are offering services, you could have a blog, an online store, a gallery for past projects, a contact form, a FAQ section, and a payment integration, among others.

Space for Growth

If you chose your builder correctly, then it is only natural that it will grow and you may need to add more features. Therefore, the website builder that you choose should provide that in case you may want to expand in the future. Some of them are quite restrictive, so you need to pay attention before choosing one.

Available Tools for SEO

If you want your business to grow, then you have to put in some efforts to improve your SEO. Many builders offer you devices that allow you to add keywords to track how well your website is doing. You can also use these tools to learn what needs improving so you can become the best at what you do.

Pre-Building Capabilities

This is a must-have feature if you don’t want to do everything yourself since it saves you time. Many builders offer prebuilt pages that make it easier for you to get your site up and running. They allow you to use them as they are or modify them to fit your taste; either way, it makes your work easier.

Tips for Helping You Find the Best Website for You

Other than knowing what you want from the site, there are other features offered by the builder that you should look for, such as:

  • Mobile friendly. Most people access sites using their phones, so the site has to be mobile-friendly. This goes to increasing the number of visits, which may also lead to more sales.
  • Subscription plans. Website builders will always be cheaper than hiring a developer, but you also have options. Ensure that the one you choose has clear policies that you can understand, including extra charges.
  • Connecting domain names. You can choose a new domain name from your builder, but good website builders should also allow you to integrate a domain name bought from another site without issues.
  • Free trial. Some builders may seem to offer everything you need, but you can’t be sure until you test it out yourself. The best way to do this is to use the free trial option, so it needs to be provided.

Website Builder Customer Reviews and Complaints

Jane. A

After a lot of research on website builders, I settled for Weebly for my cat business. It was straightforward to set up, and I loved that there were so many options for different themes. Overall, it has served me well; I only wish they had more apps in the App Center.

Carrie. O

Squarespace has completely transformed photography for me since there are so many options. The interface has to be my favorite aspect. It has allowed me to create a site that I am proud to visit as a user from time to time.

Connerty. M

I built my site on Wix, and it has been a fantastic platform compared to other builders I tried before. I wanted to add some more pages to the site but I experienced some issues, so I am left having to manage what I have. I wish they would improve that.

Bill. Y

I wish I didn’t have to host my site on WordPress; I don’t know why, but it is a lot harder than how I manage my Shopify website. It would be helpful if they would fix that. Guess this isn’t one of the best builders for eCommerce.

What are the Most Suitable Website Builders for Your Industry?

Most builders can be customized to best cater to your needs. However, some of them are better suited for your business compared to others, so you also need to check that. The following are some of the best options for the industry that they serve:

Shopify (Best for Ecommerce)

It is one of the best eCommerce website builders for online stores, so if you are selling products, you should consider it. The builder is a fully hosted platform, so if you are looking for an easy option that requires minimal input, then this works great.

Some of the best features of this builder include Shopify Payments that make it easier to receive payments, but if you would prefer it, you can add third-party options unlike most website builders.

Wix (Best Professional Website Builder)

It is by far, one of the biggest website builders in the world catering to an incredible 110 million users. The builder offers the most freedom, features, and flexibility than any other builder on the market, which is why it is at the top of its game.

With Wix, you not only get an easy to navigate drag and drop interface, but they also have hundreds of excellent templates to use for free. This builder provides its hosting services, and their support system is one of the best.

Square Space (Best for Photographers)

Due to its clean and clear design and excellent aesthetics, this is the best builder to take your photography business to the next level. It has been around since 2003, and it has millions of users; however, it is not the cheapest builder option.

It offers a lot of blogging features that are great for photographers who love blogging but don’t want to add a WordPress site. Their basic plan starts at $12, which is costlier than most, but you get the best builder features and services for your business.

Weebly (Best for Small Businesses)

It is another favorite with more than 40 million users around the world. One of the best features about it is that it is the most natural builder that you could ever use. The process of building your site is so simple that you won’t spend a lot of time doing it.

They put in a lot of thought into every new feature which is aimed at improving your experience on the builder, so it is excellent for small businesses. Their online store is well integrated to make it easy for you to add anything and receive payments securely.

WordPress (Best for Blogging)

It is one of the most prominent website builders in the world catering to at least 34% of all sites, and it is a delight for bloggers. WordPress is very affordable and gives you so many options so you can create a site that will serve your needs best.

This builder offers some of the best features not only for blogging but eCommerce, social network, or community forum. It offers hundreds of excellent themes to choose from and even more plugins. You will have to learn how to manage your site, but on the positive side, it increases your builder options.

1&1 IONOS (Best Mobile Website Builder)

It is an excellent option if you are looking for something different and if you loved the Duda system, then you will love this even more. It is more affordable than Duda and works great for any individual or business, depending on what you need.

It offers so many themes to choose from and free email and domain name if you don’t want to pay for one. One of its best features is that it is excellent for creating a multilingual site that is a feature offered in its business plan. It is incredibly responsive to mobile devices giving a clean and clear interface for your users.

UKit (Best for Businesses)

If you have a business and you need a site for it with the most minimal effort, then this builder is perfect for you. Its operation is so effortless that it won’t take you more than a few minutes to figure it out.

It has an option of hundreds of layouts to choose with different categories, so it is easy to find what you need. The interface makes it easy to customize your site; however; it is best suited for business pages. If you meet that threshold, then the options are endless and for very affordable subscription packages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Website Builders

The following are some common questions that people ask to give more information concerning website builders:

Can I Build a Site as a Beginner?

Yes, it is possible to build your site in a few easy steps. You only need to find the builder that you can understand easily and provides the features that you need.

How Much Will You Spend to Build a Site to Completion?

Depending on the type of site, the subscription plan that you use, and other factors such as hosting, it can cost as little as $100 to as much as $500.

How Do You Choose the Best Domain Name?

The domain name needs to be comfortable and memorable. It should have specific keywords depending on what your site is for and help to define your brand. Avoid numbers, keep it short and straightforward.

Will My Site Get Good Ranking on Google?

How your site is ranked depends on the type of content that you add to it, keywords that you use and any highly rated sites that you link to yours.

Can You Move Your Site from the Builder Host?

Unfortunately, that is not possible. If you want to move your site, then you would need to use a CMS such as WordPress; otherwise, there is a lot that is involved in allowing exporting.

Using a website builder is easy, fast, and convenient for both individuals and businesses. It allows you to learn about managing your site on the job without being too complicated since most of the services are provided. Make sure you try out a builder first before subscribing, and you will have a good idea if it is what you need.