WEBSITE BUILDER REVIEWS

Have you ever thought, "I would like to Make my Own Website" ?

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.

 

Building own website is a challenge, especially if you don’t have any practical experience in the main four pillars that such work is usually standing on:

  • coding

  • working in Photoshop or another image editor for pros

  • hosting

  • SEO optimization (if there is a need to drive it to top positions).

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.

5 good-to-know options of best website builders

Below, we place to your attention 5 top website builders that will help you get started with building your website.

  1. app.site123.com

  2. duda.co

  3. homestead.com

  4. one.com

  5. Yahoo.com

And below is a short review for each:

 

app.site123.com

General overview:

This is one of the very easy-to-use site builders with powerful and seamless processes of choosing templates, editing them, attaching apps and features to the pages. It is a perfect tool for blogging, business, and other e-commerce, and building a personal website too. However, if you need a big and sophisticated website, you should keep looking for another site builder, as site123 isn’t designed to make it possible to easily build huge ones. Like almost every other online web tool for those purposes, it cannot allow you make pages that will be generated automatically (like in web stores that give you automatically made pages of merchandise that you search based on parameters). So, if you don’t have any technical and Photoshop background, this tool is a wonderful solution to start your page within hours of time.

 

Pricing policy:

The free plan offers you 500 Mb storage and 1 Gb bandwidth. As you get it right, placing on your website 1 or 2 videos will immediately exhaust your disk storage space. Also, the free plan goes with commercial banners in many places of the page and you can’t get rid of them, not shifting to a paid subscription. The latter has 4 options (Basic, Advanced, Professional, Gold) that start from $6.45 a month to $28.80 a month – depending on the type and a number of months you buy in a go.

 

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  1. Great support service that is available in live chat as well

  2. All its templates are mobile-friendly (which also go well for tablets)

  3. Many apps in its simple-to-use app market

Cons:

  1. You can’t change the website’s template once it goes live

  2. If you’re looking for all possible flexibility and building freedom – you should probably go elsewhere

  3. Not all features it has are smooth and have real quality to add value to the finished website.

 

duda.co

General overview:

This builder has a very easy and neat interface that leaves the most of the page to the visual picture of the website you’re building, letting you choose one of three astounding options of making a website:

  • build a responsive design suitable for any type of device

  • make it mobile-only

  • customize an already existing website using Duda’s capabilities.

It has social integration as well as Google maps, PayPal, and YouTube. Like almost every other site builder, it has lots of templates in a hefty number of areas you are allowed to choose from.

 

Pricing policy:

It has only three options of pricing for private and business users:

  • a free one that will eventually push you to buy one of two other options

  • Business+ starts from $7.20 a month (paid for a year) or $9.99 and higher paid on a monthly basis

  • Business + E-commerce is suitable for ones who are interested in building a powerful and big online store with all features available.

And one more plan for resellers: $249/year will open access to high-power high-end tools, functional phone and live chat support, and many duda special discounts.

 

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  1. A builder that is easy to use

  2. Standard features like ones possessed by any other good site builder: an ample choice of remarkable templates, SEO tips and analysis, visitors analytics, marketing, widgets, and customization

  3. Integration possibilities.

Cons:

  1. Only has a phone call and live chat support for retailers. Others get offline support.

 

homestead.com

General overview:

The biggest discrepancy between this website and other site builders is that most of its site building features only unearth when you install the site building software on your PC or laptop. The web version is too light to be considered a powerful tool compared to its competitors. Also, one can’t use the installed offline version not being connected to the Internet when working in it. The positive outcome of such solution is that it uses the computing powers of PC and does not load the bandwidth too much, which makes it possible to use on weaker PCs much better than other online tools. But the disadvantage of such approach is that not everyone wants or can install some software to their PCs (some of them may be closed for installing due to corporate policy while we guess that some share of office workers might use their work-based PCs to draw their own website before launching their business and quitting a company to make a new start).

 

Pricing policy:

It is one of the most expensive and limited site builders. Beginning with $7.99 a month in ‘Starter’ option, you get almost nothing – only 25 Mb of online storage space (that will probably end on the website of 2-3 pages even without videos) and 5 pages in a website in total. Very disappointing example. The following plan is called ‘Business’ and embraces 5 Gb storage space, 3 websites with 100 pages in total and 5 email accounts. It’ll cost ya $22.99 a month. And the third one costs $62.99 a month and does not imply any limitations. It’s 3-7 times more expensive compared to premium plans of the biggest part of other interactive site builders.

 

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  1. A big number of templates and features available to embed into pages.

Cons:

  1. Very high pricing.

  2. Complicated builder with 2 out of 5 stars in the ease of use, a need to install on a computer to receive full functionality.

  3. Does not allow you a full-fledged SEO and freedom in designs as other online builders of websites do.

 

one.com

General overview:

It gives its users excellent SEO friendliness to the newly built websites, 4/5 stars for ease of use, and a good number of designs. It does not give you a free trial as many other site builders do but it has 15-days money back guarantee. Usability in making mobile and tablet-friendly versions of websites doesn’t seem to work as smoothly as one would expect. There are cases when saving site into a mobile version caused displacement of some elements and so there is a need to correct the positioning manually.

 

Pricing policy:

You pay only $2.45 as a ‘Starter’ but you’re limited to 5 pages for that only. ‘Premium’ starts with $7.44 a month and gives 200 pages as max with a website backup feature. ‘Webshop’ is the only option that provides a possibility to build an e-commerce website with $12.45 a month. All prices are submitted when are paid for 1 year as the minimum.

It also has a setup fee and offers nice discounts for the first years of use, not giving it to you during the second and further years.

 

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  1. The not too great price compared to other available online options of website builders and you don’t have a free plan.

  2. Good-looking responsive designs.

Cons:

  1. No blog. If you want a blog website alone – then you should search elsewhere. If you want a blog inside the built website – the hosting of it must be elsewhere, leaving integration difficulties on you.

  2. Live chat is present but they can’t boast with fullness and complete usefulness of their replies.

 

Yahoo.com

General overview:

Based on the estimation of general ease of use, design, features, pricing, and technical support, we can assign the normalized score as 7/10. The tool is available for the public for almost 20 years now, evolving and changing along with the changing Internet. It is now a powerful tool for small businesses and renowned brands. It does not require any technical knowledge at all and is simple to use for newbies but not as powerful as top site builders of the market like uKit or Wix. Unlike them, though, it is not stuffed with an abundance of interface options and tools, which make it efficient and heavy to use, offering enough versatility and flexibility at the same time. It has many interesting designs to select from, a built-in app gallery, a wide selection of web domains for a reasonable price, reliable web hosting, and a rich blogging platform.

 

Pricing policy:

Its three plans have easy-to-calculate prices (5-7-10 dollars per month, paid for a year). Even the cheapest option provides you a lot of what other website builders only give you with extra-costly ‘super-duper all-including tariff’ plans like 3 GB disk storage (great for many pictures and videos), 150+ templates of websites, help in various channels working round-the-clock, SSL, SEO, and 30-days money back guarantee. The maximum plan includes a free domain out of Yahoosites.com web, 10 GB storage, 5 E-boxes, and multiple e-mail aliases.

 

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  1. Has every usable option to build a good website that the market’s leaders also propose. That includes many usable and customizable templates, SSL, tools, and widgets for pages, statistics, easy yet powerful WYSIWYG builder, blogging platform and customer support.

  2. A nice span of time for money back guarantee.

  3. Really affordable prices and ample opportunities within each subscription package.

Cons:

  1. There is no e-commerce engine, which does not allow you to build and run your web store – this is the biggest drawback

  2. Live chat, callback, and a number of other really useful business widgets are absent in the selection of opportunities, which can’t enrich your pages with such highly useful functionality

  3. You must have some tech background to deal with a slightly confusing dashboard.

 

General description of what is a website maker

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:

  1. A need to install. Some website builders don’t allow online-only work. But there are not too many of such and the predominant number of them work online.

  2. How many things those tools allow doing in differing versions of their subscription plans. Here such website builders largely vary in what is allowed. As a rule, free versions are ‘cut-down’ from the beginning, allowing doing a little number of pages and having a shrunken disk space to store website’s content (however, there are exclusions from this rule). Others give you almost everything for free, limiting you in time of usage of a free version. As a rule, e-commerce options (where one can build own web store) come with a separate subscription plan and are almost always most expensive amongst all.

  3. Technical and visual implementation. Most of such website builders are elaborated in the first place to help people with little or no 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.

 

Comparing making a website in best website builder with hiring a web developer

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.

 

Who uses online website makers?

  • Small business entrepreneurs

  • free-profession and creative-profession people like musicians, painters, photographers, wedding planners, and others. It does not imply that they can’t also be businessmen and have own agency. Quite the opposite – many websites owners are agencies and have dedicated pages for employees of an agency (including freelance employees)

  • beginning and professional writers – in addition to pages of their books on Amazon

  • everyone else who needs to have an online presence or an opportunity to express oneself online in a way differing from social networks.

All these people are united by three main tasks they want to solve using a site builder:

  1. Build a website with little or no budget and host it for little money knowing that it will be stably available to the online audience.

  2. Make it fast without the need to explain their vision to anyone, adjusting it to what they have in a head.

  3. Having no technical background required to build and manage the site, be able to do that and never employ anyone to run the site (make changes, write blog articles and news, and so on).

Basically, such a tool is for everyone who realizes that no online presence means much fewer clients.

 

What are the things to know how to choose the best website creator?

  1. Define what you are going to do with the result of website creation. Sell? Inform? Collect data of people making them leads of prospects? Just write about how good you are? These all require a different type of pattern of a site to choose from and range from the online store through the landing page and to a portfolio or blogging site. So the first thing to look at is a number of template options and their suitability to your vision. In a case of having no tech skills to develop a site and impossibility to master them fast, you should understand that choosing a template as close to your vision as possible is a thing that economizes your time and efforts to eventually launch the site.

  2. Ease of customization and interface. Every site builder has a number of options to use, add, remove, and customize. Those are texts and pictures, widgets, and social buttons, video, audio, blog, newsfeed, buttons of communication with clients, a must-have pages (like ‘about us’, ‘terms’, and ‘contact data’ required by Google to include a site into search bases), statistics, administration panel to change things, and other elements that will make your site look according to your taste. If you will find them all hard or confusing to master and work with, you should keep searching.

  3. Uptime. It is of high importance – and ideally has to strive to 100%. It means that good uptime (99%-100%) will make anyone online find you and know about you, not seeing a message that ‘the site is currently unavailable.’

  4. Load time and speed. Beginning from the year 2015, this parameter is highly important for SEO promotion. If your site’s pages don’t seem to render and load fully in 2…6 seconds on the screen of a user’s device, they are considered not optimal and will be ranked on lower positions comparing to load-optimal sites (with all other things being equal).

 

Tips to find the best website builder software

  1. Customer service. It’s a nice thing when you have someone to ask about this or that issue.

  2. Price. With the biggest part of website developers taking from 10 to 25 dollars a month for a nice subscription package, you are likely to find the most likable from them for you. Do not count to receive any ‘boost’ from those that offer you subscription below than 5 dollars a month, as it is highly likely that they will limit nearly everything for you: hosting space, bandwidth, download speed and the number of simultaneous connections, the max number of pages & e-mails, and domain names. For instance, an average good option for having an unlimited everything for a web store will cost you about $30-$40 a month.

  3. A possibility to use stock images and integrate with social media, including import-export.

  4. Optimization. A good site must be SEO-optimized and give you a possibility to fill in Meta tags. Also, video and images optimization – if it’s done automatically during the download, then highly likely that your site will have better search positions and won’t devour the traffic of your users.

  5. Statistics. How many people visited you, with which OS, screens, devices, locations, what pages did they stay at the most, and other issues that will help you evolve the site to make it suitable for the needs of your visitors better.

 

The options of a simple website builder for your industry

Below, we put website builder reviews for various industries and client needs:

    • 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.

    • for 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.

    • professional 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.

 

Customers say about web page builders

  1. app.site123.com platform to build a website

Daniel of the UK:

That was my first experience with a site builder. I wanted to start a blog and I found this site amazingly powerful for almost everything that I have been doing. Maybe I just wanted to have more blog templates to choose from but overall, my experience was great. My initial hesitation and even fear of failing to deal with such a tool in an hour or so have turned into exhalation of working with something that powerful.

 

  1. quick website builder duda.co

Julie Amber of San Marino:

Well, I’ve tried a few other site builders before stumbling upon this one. It doesn’t have a free subscription but to date, I knew that in other site builders, a free option doesn’t obligatorily have to mean ‘good’. Who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have chosen duda if not the previous experience.

 

  1. modern website builder homestead.com

Marty McFall of Marysville, CA:

My first (and only) time using website creation services in homestead was a disaster. I was searching for some alternative to heavyweight and awkward Wix until I found homestead.com. Now I know that Wix is a total darling compared to this one: homestead is the most complicated and tricky site builder with a mind-breaking user interface, and there is a need to install it on a PC (and keep the Internet turned on to work with it).

 

  1. website builder one.com

Alexander of Vancouver:

When I looked at the tariff plans of it, I immediately abandoned Starter and Premium – as they didn’t allow me to do a web store. When I figured out how to work with it, it seemed pretty simple to me. During the preview, the site looked exactly as I wanted it for a store: light, fast, and highlighting all product advantages in smooth fonts.

 

  1. web builder Yahoo.com

Agoston Kirshienpank of Hungary:

I've been using Yahoo.com for years. I liked it for a possibility to make almost any site that I needed, even the web store (though it can’t be done here directly as many widgets of e-store are absent like a basket and check-out procedure). However, working a bit with code, I was able to build up a process linking several sites, where the one built in Yahoo was only the beginning of a chain.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I build the first website on my own?

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.

 

  1. Launching a site hosting must be expensive – even with a remarkable website builder. Isn’t it?

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.

 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

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.

 

  1. What are the drag-and-drop builders and how to use them

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.

 

  1. What are available domain names?

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.  

 

  1. SEO

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.

 

  1. Can I download pages created in website builders?

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.

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