Each year we conduct Website Builder Reviews from the previous years to find the best website builder or the best business website builder that can easily create a nice, functional website quickly. View an At-a-Glance Comparison Chart for each right here!
These website builders require no software download and can easily be used online through your browser. When we do a Website Builder Review, we are also looking for the easiest to use Ecommerce Software Solution integrated with the website builder.
Especially if you don’t have any practical experience in the main four pillars that such work is usually standing on:
With online site builders, the four mentioned above almost entirely fade away, as they give you fantastic opportunity to build your own website in meager hours, easily upload it to the Internet, and make changes to it when needed using the same builder’s options.
One of the most sizzling hot features that are loved by users of online site builders is that those builders are inexpensive and have free trials for a certain time or free at all (with some advertising banners shown in this case). But how to choose the right one for you or at least to narrow down the circle of good options from dozens of applicable site builders? That’s what we’ll try to cover as full as possible in our article.
An online or offline tool that allows building a website is called a website builder. Builders may largely vary depending on what builders offer and how they work. For instance:
technical background, skills of Photoshop or other visual builder’s use, and knowing a little or nothing about other technical aspects such as hosting, images compression, SEO optimization, ranking in search engines or business catalogs, and so on. The most part of such builders are not only DIY based on some existing templates but also have powerful embedded visual ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ (WYSIWYG) builder with a possibility to drag and drop items from a large set of variable tools, gadgets, and widgets, directly into pages. As a rule, a user starts with selecting an area of activity for which the website is destined and choosing a template, customizing everything to own needs. And here is where different site builders stipulate differing limitations in possible creativity, ability, and depth of customization. Some of them ever offer a possibility to change the HTML code manually for advanced users, adding own widgets, and fine-tune parts of pages. However, in no website builder, a user receives 100% freedom of actions as it could be with manual (and expensive) coding by programmers and web designers.
Price. It’s the most essential parameter of the popularity of such building tools. Well-crafted websites designed from scratch by experienced dedicated people would cost ya several thousand dollars (at least). While site builders allow you to build, set up, and host your website (even a pretty functional and technically optimal) for a couple of dozen bucks a month.
When you open any good and popular website developer, you immediately see a website’s wizard tool that will help you with initial actions. Then goes a number of templates. Altogether, only these two steps already cut off around 80% of the work that would have otherwise needed to be done if you opted for work with a web developer person. Doing the finalization steps after in an online tool, in a matter of hours or – the longest – days, you will receive your website that will be no worse than 90% of the websites around us.
That would not be the same as in the case with a professional web developer and programmer.
First of all, some complicated websites require days or weeks to fully figure out and approve their functionality. Then it is needed to draw up the design for them, then code, test, redo (if needed), and launch. The entire procedure would take up to several weeks or even months, including lags for necessary agreements between developers and the owner. If you will also consider such things as a need to negotiate and conclude a contract, make prepayments, and do other bureaucratic actions tied to it, you might think that having a business with a site-developing company is an overwhelmingly tiresome activity. However, in every case, you will largely benefit from such cooperation, receiving:
a unique website with largely customized implementation according to the specificity of your business and vision
including all widgets, statistics, and customary administration tool that you need
lower-cost hosting (maybe several dollars per year or free for a certain time – depending on what your people developers offer you)
discounts for future developments, and other ‘treats’.
In a few words: if you need a unique high-end website that will distinguish you from the rest of the Internet and you’re ready to invest around months of your life and at least several thousand dollars at the start – your choice is professional web developers (people). If you don’t have any budget at all and would like to start your online presence swiftly, in hours or days – your choice is an online web developer (tool) for which you can pay annually, for the hosting and an opportunity to make easy changes according to your wishes and demands.
All these people are united by three main tasks they want to solve using a site builder:
Basically, such a tool is for everyone who realizes that no online presence means much fewer clients.
For small business: easiest website builder app.site123.com offers a wide range of possibilities for small and medium businesses (but not for big ones). Also, we recommend you trying duda.co.
Blogging: app.site123.com is also the best in this industry, while one.com is the worst, as it does not have a built-in blog option at all.
Photographers. One.com shall be your choice based on an excellent number of responsive designs, performance, nice hosting space, and available monthly prices.
For e-commerce: don’t consider Yahoo.com, as it does not have the e-commerce option at all. Instead, choose one.com and – if your web-store won’t be larger than 200 pages – app.site123.com.
Don’tprofessional site builder. Yahoo.com website builders company has over 20 years of experience and that’s why you can rely on it (if you can deal with not too many templates and impossibility to build up the e-store).
Mobile site builder. Every site builder is great for that but if you want to build specifically web version of a site, not making one for PCs and laptops, then try duda.co.
The easiest drag and drop: duda.co and one.com are the best from the five builders in this review – their WYSIWYG functionality has been highly estimated by users.
Almost none site builder requires any knowledge to do it, so, yes, almost everyone can use the services of creating websites. If you will want to delve further into customization, you can find that this or that site builder does not allow exiting some specific boundaries. In that case, you will have to address some experienced person – website builder to build a site with a higher degree of customizability according to your needs. It usually takes hours or days to build a site on your own, depending on the complexity you want to achieve and a number of pages with individual design.
However, it is rated that about 40% of all online sites are based on WordPress system – that offers ampler opportunities for site building but it requires coding knowledge (and sometimes, a wide one). So if you will ever want to build something professionally looking on your own but refrain from paying money for its development, you should check the WordPress system after you take web programming lessons.
The most part of a website builders offers you a possibility to host the site with one of the domain names (read below) at your discretion. As a rule, when you are done building a site, you are offered to move it to a hosting, submitting a number of domain names and possible options of naming the site that you have created in a builder, from those that are available (indicating those that are already taken). To gain the possibility to host your site, you have to purchase a subscription. It varies but usually, it’ll take you a dozen or two bucks for a month to make it possible to host your site in some good domain zone and make further adjustments to it, which is especially important if you’re owning a blog or news site.
Mobile version of the site has become #1 since 2018. It means that now, Google won’t google your site in high ranking if it will not have a mobile version, no matter what else you do for SEO promotion of it. Considering that more than 50% of all worldwide users only use a mobile device to browse the Internet (never using any other device for that), the most part of new sites even start their online presence with the mobile version. So, yeah, all website builders today must provide you an opportunity to build a mobile or cross-platform adaptive version. If you happen to meet some online website builder that doesn’t – abandon it immediately as a hot iron from hands and search for a better one.
Almost every visual builder is a drag-and-drop one. It means that you see a page of your future site in one working area of a website builder and you drag-and-drop elements into it from a toolbar of another working area of a website builder. You can add, remove, change, and otherwise alter the dropped items. The same, you can use your mouse and keyboard to move and resize other elements on the page.
The drag-and-drop builders are created to make it possible for people with no technical knowledge start their sites using only the visual builder.
There is a number of domain names exist online. The most popular of them that usually offered for users by builders of websites are:
.com – for any site that is (potentially) making commerce or just a popular general domain that is easily recognized worldwide
.org – most often, commerce is not allowed for sites that are positioned in the ‘.org’ zone and your site may be blocked for that reason. So be sure to place your site in the ‘.org’ domain only if you are some charitable, non-profit, or information organization (you don’t want that headache with site blocking, do you?)
.net – frequently used as an alternative to ‘.com’ sites if the desirable address is already taken
.gov – for governmental institutions, facilities, and bodies only
.edu – for educational institutions only (including commercial and private ones).
there are also top-level domains that distinguish countries: ‘.au’ for Australia, ‘.ca’ is for Canada, ‘.th’ is for Thailand, and so on.
In free subscriptions, builders of websites offer you to initially register some temporary name that is almost always connected to their domain and is a subdomain. But if you want to give solidness to the site afterward, you shall definitely change the name for some own-domain one.
SEO parameters and their filling are good for promotion. This includes textual content (headers and sub-headers on pages), unique meta tags for every page, and unique pictures, too. If you want your site to reach top positions in search, put as many unique items on your site as possible. At least, website builders can help you with unique tags, texts, and pictures.
Usually, you can’t. At least, we don’t know such builders that would allow you to download the entire content of the built site – as otherwise, it would prevent their business. However, there are two ways for more advanced users:
it is possible to download a code of the page and all separate items of it like pictures and tables of styles files (CSS) if you’re advanced enough and know how to download entire sites
and you can find offline themes (templates) that are available for downloading not from online website builders but from dedicated sites with web themes. As a rule, they allow you to download the entire content of a theme that you like, in an archive.
After you do that, change the code manually and play with sizes and positions of literally every element. But you will have to find hosting on your own in that case.