Are you a small business owner? Maybe you are an artist, a writer, or a musician. Whether you are a photographer, wedding planner or home builder; the one thing you know that you are not, is a website builder.
Yet, you are convinced that what you need to take your business efforts to the next level is a website. In addition to that desire, you have a vision of what you want your webpage to look like. The question is, how do you create it?
Why Should You Consider a Website Builder
A professional custom website could easily cost upward of $2,000, and that is for just the basics. And later, if you want to make changes, this will require a freelance designer. For updates to your site you will need to contact a developer. Updates, changes, maintenance; all these things cost additional money.
However, for a small fee, or even for free, you can make use of one of the best website builders discussed here.
In a very short time, you can build a website from zero even if you have no idea of HTML/CSS or any other coding.
Using the best website building software can put everything you want within your reach at a tiny fraction of the cost of using a designer or developer.
Not to mention, you will be able to login yourself and edit text, change the design, add new pages or upload images within seconds. All that without calling for tech support.
Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses starting a website without needing to hire a developer. However, finding the best website builder for your individual business needs is where the challenge lies.
There are a lot of website builders on the market.
How do you know which has the best professional web design software for you?
The Best Website Builder Software Options
There are plenty of software to build websites to choose from, all with different features. The following review will assist you in selecting the best website software for your needs.
It will give attention to the pros and cons of the most popular options. Once you have this information, you can decide which of these choices is the best way for you to build your website.
The first to get our attention is SiteBuilder. It is certainly among the best website design software options. Why do we say this? One reason is that SiteBuilder already has a good reputation — having over 200,000 users.
Further, it exceeds 1,200 template options. They also have an affordable eCommerce solution to build a fully-functioning online store.
Each template is extremely easy to customize. There is a bounteous amount of theme options that can be easily modified by dragging and dropping sections. Just point, click and adjust.
Another reason is that SiteBuilder gives its users a free domain name for the first year, and it does not force any ads on your site with any of its plans. Those are valuable advantages. Especially not having ads that distract and confuse visitors to your site.
Of course, SiteBuilder still has a few issues that are troublesome. Here are some noteworthy ones.
Email costs an extra $5 a month through Google’s GSuite. And the price goes up for an eCommerce plan — which are only available on the most expensive plan.
Another noteworthy limitation with SiteBuilder, is what happens when you have a question and you need an answer now. As in, this instant. Likely, you will want one-on-one help — especially if you can’t find the answers you need from the knowledge base.
SiteBuilder has free 24/7 live chat (plus phone support in the US). But it’s not live chat as some other website builders have.
Rather than an immediate “How can we help you today?” chat bubble, you must fill out a form with your name and email address. Followed with…… waiting. This is an area that for some could be a deal breaker.
SiteBuilder Plans and Pricing
The plans range from about $7.68 a month to $18.45 a month. As with many website builders, the longer you contract for, the less the monthly cost.
Sometimes, SiteBuilder runs special offers like the one in the screenshot above (50% off.)
According to the SiteBuilder live chat representative, each plan offers unlimited storage, but that it wasn’t noted anywhere on their site.
Always a serious contender in the reviews of the best website builders is Wix. Without a doubt it is among the easiest website builders there are.
Whether you are designing a personal website for your own online portfolio, for a wedding or some other special event. Maybe you intend to make a website for a business or an eCommerce site.
In any of these cases, Wix is an uncomplicated and smooth way to build a website.
No coding skills needed.
There is even an option to use Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to create your website. ADI will ask you a few questions to determine the needs of your website and then, in just about ten minutes, it will create a custom website founded on your answers.
If you would like to customize a few options such as colors, font size and even adding animations, you can this too.
Another, strong appeal to Wix is that it is SEO friendly. It wasn’t always, but in recent years it has really upped its game and it has now been updated to be functional and user-friendly.
Wix is now one of the best website builders to help you rank highly on Google. You can individually edit page titles, meta descriptions and alt tags.
There is also a guided tutorial, the Wix SEO Wiz, for beginners. It takes you step-by-step to enhance your online presence by pointing out weak points on your site and suggesting improvements that you can make.
Is Wix.com the best website builder, without any flaws?
No, it does have a few downsides. For example, you can’t switch Wix templates after your website goes live. Make sure you choose the theme well before launching your website.
Also, you may have to spend more money on third-party apps to scale your website.
Lastly, the sheer choice and amount of customizable options can be overwhelming. Sometimes our strengths can be our weakness, and this seems to be the case with this Wix review.
How much do all these great features cost?
Wix pricing begins at $4.50 a month for the basic Connect Domain plan, which lets you store up to 500MB, and gives you 1GB of bandwidth.
And the most expensive premium plan is $35 a month if you choose the Business VIP upgrade that includes 50GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth. They offer 8 tiered paying options.
Wix also has a free plan. However, you can use it with a subdomain which includes ads placed on the site.
Another strong candidate in the midst of our best website builders is Squarespace. It shares some of the same great features as the two previously mentioned website builders above.
The Squarespace interface is incredibly user-friendly.
All the designs are responsive. Therefore the design adjusts automatically to ensure that your website looks great on all devices.
To image the images, Squarespace features drag and drop functionality. This option significantly reduces the time you spend uploading and adding images to your website.
Squarespace is a feature-rich platform. It has just about everything you could possibly need from video compatible galleries to a wide range of connected services.
Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform. It offers very user-friendly features and it is perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.
There are several Squarespace website template options, which can be switched later if you chose.
Then, the templates are customizable with pages using a visual editor.
This website builder has just about everything you could possibly need from video compatible galleries to a wide range of connected services.
Even though Squarespace’s templates are easy to edit, you are limited to the options available in the customizer. You are working in a controlled environment, which means your options are limited.
Another challenge is that Squarespace website design offers limited integrations with third-party services which can be a hurdle in growing your business.
Yes, they can be included in the group with the other best eCommerce website builders. However, their eCommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.
Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan option, but if you want to test the water, so to speak, with their web builder before fully buying in, you can.
Squarespace does offer a two-week free trial, (plus a seven-day extension, if you chose) so you can build your website and see if you like it before ever having to pay anything. And during the free trial period, you are not limited in your options.
Squarespace Plans and Pricing
Squarespace website plans start from $12 and $18 per month, if paid annually and their online store plans start from $26 and $40 per month, also if paid annually.
All four plans cost a little more if they are paid month to month. They are not the least expensive option. Nevertheless they all include unlimited bandwidth and storage which makes planning for growth and expansion of your business easy to do.
Weebly is one of the larger website builders with over forty-million users. One outstanding reason why, is that they offer a limited free plan that includes a drag and drop website builder software free download! You can try it out on a small scale before opting to upgrade to a paid plan, if you choose.
Weebly features hundreds of great templates organized by type and a drag and drop options for eCommerce too. Every Weebly review evaluates the intuitive editor positively.
It is very easy to create and customize site options.
Noteworthy, though, is that Weebly is not solely for businesses. If you want to build a portfolio website to promote a hobby or yourself online, Weebly can help you do this smartly and smoothly without paralyzing you with design options.
Also helpful is that the templates are mobile responsive, so your website is accessible on any device, without you doing any extra work.
For some, Weebly is the best website builder, for others, the cost is not worth the features that they can get elsewhere for less.
As for Weebly pricing, it doesn’t cost a penny to build a website using Weebly if you use the free plan option. It lets you create and publish as many sites as you want and provides many of the basic tools you need at no extra cost.
However, the free plan has what some could consider a very prominent and annoying footer ad, as well as a cookie notice that never goes away.
Starting at only $5 per month, a subscription gets you a paid plan where you get access to the full Weebly website building tools and their premium support. The paid premium plans increase in price up to $38 per month, if paid annually up front.
Next in our list is Shopify website builder. It is known as one of the best eCommerce website builders. Several factors have contibuted to so many positive feedbacks from their users.
Their templates can be modified almost completely without any programming knowledge.
It’s possible to change your eCommerce website appearance and add extra-functionality by installing new templates and apps in seconds.
For those individuals who are programmers (or who would like to hire one), they can have complete control over their eCommerce website customization.
Never to be minimized is the value of having capable and knowledgeable official 24-hour support, which Shopify offers.
Shopify is not without its faults, though.
You must create your storefront between the editor and dashboard, meaning you must repeatedly go back-and-forth between the two which isn’t very convenient.
Also, it is the only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments.
Frustrating too, is that the content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme — adding more work when you want an update.
Shopify pricing starts at $9 per month for their Shopify Lite plan and up to $299 per month for the Advanced Shopify plan
The WordPress website builder is also among the top choice for users looking for the best blogging platforms. Over 32% of all websites are powered by WordPress.
While WordPress is smart and easy to use, there is a slight learning curve.
WordPress may be one of the best blogging platforms to make money; but beginners will need to become familiar with WordPress terminology and concepts such as the difference between posts vs pages, categories vs tags, and understanding themes and plugins.
A plus is that the default WordPress content editor is not too difficult to use.
It comes with custom blocks that allow you to add content elements to your pages. Therefore, you can easily build beautiful layouts with media-rich content. WordPress is certainly an option to consider when looking for the best website builder for blogs.
It offers beginners a lot of choices right from the beginning. This might be confusing at first, but it is a lot more flexible in the long run.
WordPress has a free option with 3GB of storage space, a WordPress subdomain and advertising. Paid options start at $5 per month with 6GB storage and goes up to $25 per month with unlimited storage.
Having examined six of the top website builders here, each with its pros and cons, you now have a better understanding of where to start building a website for yourself, or for your business.
Now, you can choose a website builder that works best for your budget and skill level. You can create a professional and custom website using one of these top-rated website builders.