Designing a website from scratch is not an easy task. However, if you don’t want to spend years learning to code, you can take a shortcut by using a website builder. The best website builders online today are remarkably easy to use and produce professional results.
Most professional web design agencies and developers are simply out of the budget of individuals and small businesses. Also, hiring a web developer to create your personal site is probably overkill, unless you need some kind of special feature.
But you don’t have to settle for an hideous DIY site anymore if you can’t afford to hire a web designer.
Modern website builders have made it possible for anyone to design an impressive website without the need for coding or design skills.
These services even host your site and many offering tools for e-commerce, marketing and sales, all for a modest monthly fee.
In fact, website builders have become so popular that now there are dozens, if not hundreds, of them to choose from. Choosing the best option for you is not an easy task.
In this article, we are going to compare some of the most popular website builders as well as some emerging services.
We will consider each one in turn-focusing on the main features and offering our opinions-and end with our final recommendations.
Just want to know our conclusion without all the details?
Our experience shows that Wix is clearly the winner when it comes to creating websites for beginners.
While Wix got the best results for beginners, some of the other tools had features to make them more suitable for some users.:
- Best for small businesses on a budget: GoDaddy Website Builder
- Ideal for serious web designers: Webflow
- Ideal for email marketing integration: Constant Contact
- Ideal for agencies: Duda
- Ideal for creating multilingual websites: Guardian
- However, before signing up with a site builder, it’s worth considering WordPress as an alternative.
WordPress differs from the other visual builders in this article because it is a complete content management system that is suitable for both experienced web developers and beginners.
Building a site with WordPress requires a learning curve that is a bit steeper than some of the other builders. However, it cannot be matched in terms of flexibility, design patterns and the fact that it is completely free.
You can do anything you want with a WordPress site without restrictions. And all you have to pay is the cost of your web hosting (which is available for much less than the lowest website builders). For example, Bluehost hosting starts from X per month and you can get it even affordable with our Bluehost coupon.
If you want to learn more about WordPress, read our guides on creating a website and creating a blog.
In terms of simplicity, it’s hard to beat Wix. However, their free plan offers rather stingy 500MB storage and bandwidth (and is marked with Wix ads). If you expect to receive a lot of traffic to your website or if you want a more professional site, you should opt for one of their premium plans.
Drag-and-drop website builder – as intuitive as Lego.
More than 800 professionally designed and easily customizable templates.
Hundreds of fonts, vector shapes and icons available, all of which can be combined to create unique logos.
Dozens of gallery layouts and a giant collection of photos.
It allows you to add video backgrounds to add a touch of life to your website.
Fully responsive templates and designs.
It allows you to add a blog to your website in a few clicks.
Comes with a healthy app marketplace (including Shopify and MailChimp) that can be used to improve your site.
Comes with Wix ADI that designs a custom website for you.
Offers free hosting so you don’t have to worry about the technical details.
The mobile-optimized design allows webmasters to address a growing mobile audience.
There are many customization options available to help you create a truly unique website.
Pre-integrated blog, social buttons and Facebook apps that allow webmasters to spread the word.
An overwhelming amount of customization options may be a little too much for webmasters who are not particularly inclined to website design.
You cannot change the templates after you start creating a site – you need to start a new site if you want to switch to another template.
Anyone can quickly choose Wix and, with a little experimentation, create a presentable website. Their library of templates and design tools is wide enough that an experienced designer can work wonders even within the limits of their free plan, but for anything remotely serious, we recommend upgrading.
When it comes to their editor, the experience couldn’t be simpler-hence the Lego discussion above-and the team behind Wix continues to improve the features.
Who Is This Service For?
Online entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to take care of all aspects of their website would do well with Wix’s wide range of design templates and customization options. The user-friendly interface of the platform allows users to get their site up and running in a few minutes without having to change anything on the front-end or back-end.
Squarespace doesn’t offer as many templates as Wix, but the designs are beautiful and there are plans suitable for personal, business and e-commerce sites.
Squarespace is a great website builder for blogs, portfolio sites, podcasts, and the creative industries. The templates reflect modern web design trends and you can customize everything with a high level of detail.
Simple but powerful building tools based on Squarespace’s block system.
A wide collection of templates built from scratch by a professional design team.
Comprehensive editing tools that allow you to customize most aspects of your website.
Cover pages can easily switch between templates (this feature is also available for their other plans) and include calls to action from the very beginning.
Squarespace’s interface is incredibly user-friendly.
All designs automatically include a mobile experience that makes your site look great on all devices.
The Image Manager has a drag-and-drop feature that significantly reduces the time you spend uploading and adding images to your website.
This feature-rich platform has just about everything you could need, from video-enabled galleries to a wide range of connected services.
Most of the available design templates require high-quality images. If you don’t have them, your site may not be as visually appealing as you hoped.
Advanced e-commerce features such as multi-currency stores and shipping rates are limited.
Although you can use Zapier to integrate with third-party services, there are not many direct integrations compared to other website builders
After working with various tools to create websites, Squarespace was a pleasant surprise. Their templates adhere to modern design considerations, giving websites a professional look similar to custom solutions.
Weebly is one of the most well-known names among website builders, and they offer four different plans for potential customers.
In addition to the free and lowest levels, limited to 500 MB of storage and marked with Weebly ads, Weebly offers two premium plans aimed at professionals and companies. Both plans offer e-commerce features and some additional features.
Weebly offers an intuitive and deceptively powerful website builder with drag-and-drop options as well as more advanced features such as form builders.
An extensive library of themes, ranging from minimalist to bold, with the ability to customize fonts, color schemes, and most other elements.
Weebly offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface with a drag-and-drop generator that is easy to navigate and use.
The ability to create free sites as subdomains under weebly.com makes it a great choice for new webmasters to test the waters.
The platform is optimized for search engines to help your content rank better on search engines.
Weebly offers integrated email marketing services that allow webmasters to connect with their subscribers.
Weebly layouts are clean, simple, and work great on mobile devices.
A limited selection of models with more basic designs than those offered by other services.
Lack of customization options using the visual builder.
Blogging features are limited.
In terms of website editing tools, we were impressed with Weebly. Building a website from scratch is not an easy undertaking and many other services sacrifice the flexibility of their editors in order to maintain visual standards, but Weebly manages to provide a stellar builder with few compromises.