Website Builders

  1. Wix Rating: 4.7

    4.7out of 5

    Wix is used by over 100 million people across 190 different countries. It’s an affordable, easy and hassle-free way of creating your own website in a matter of minutes.
  2. Weebly Rating: 4.1

    4.1out of 5

    Weebly eCommerce is a solid choice for building a functional online store - its reasonable prices and good range of features means you get amazing value for your money with its ecommerce plans.
  3. Big Cartel Rating: 2.9

    2.9out of 5

    Big Cartel is an ecommerce builder that lets you make an online store for free. Big Cartel is perfect for small businesses who are just starting out rather than looking for growth.
  4. Volusion Rating: 3.9

    3.9out of 5

    Volusion is one of the oldest ecommerce website builders around. Created in 1999, it lets you pay the bills, without the creative frills. What do we mean by this? Well, in summary, it has some great selling tools, but tricky design features.
  5. Squarespace Rating: 4.2

    4.2out of 5

    Squarespace ecommerce prides itself on design. Its stunning templates are easy to edit and really help your products jump off the page. Not content with just being a pretty face, though, it also has great features and a strong inventory system. Squarespace may not be the most scalable platform, but it is perfect for creatives.

Observing 10 builders of websites: pluses, minuses, cost

There are good site builders and there are bad site builders. In this brief description of research we have done, we’ve collected some cutting-edge tools like uKit and Squarespace, as well as frankly outdated solutions like Hibu, Zoho, and Homestead, which you really advised avoiding not to make your site a terrible waste bin.

 

Some modern website builders to consider + several outdated tools

  1. ukit.com builder

  2. Wix builder

  3. Weebly builder

  4. Shopify builder

  5. Squarespace builder

  6. Adobe spark builder

  7. Sitelio builder

  8. Hibu builder

  9. Zoho builder

  10. Homestead builder

 

Description of a website builder uKit

This is a top-notch choice if you’re seeking for an option of a site builder, which can cover any your need in making a simple website. It’s light in pricing, powerful in a set of tools it offers, available in the entire world, offers the adjustment of pages by getting into their code, as well as essential needs such as HTTPS and SSL for no cost. If you are a photographer – you can find its galleries astounding, on the same high level as Squarespace, which is known for its visual excellence. If you are an owner of a company and want to launch a portal speaking about you, history, mission, employees, areas of work and products – you can find dozens of applicable templates. If you’re searching a blog or e-store – uKit has power in these as well. In a rate of money/quality, it gives out the best result on the market. 

 

Advantages of this one of the top website builders:

  1. Very cheap yet powerful.

  2. Offers great discounts for longer-than-a-month subscription plans.

  3. From the beginning, offers its customers free options of HTTPS, SSL, editing of HTML and CSS, backup and restore at any time, great help without artificial hindrances, unlimited storage, and bandwidth, as well as the good speed of pages load, mobile adaptability, a free domain, and premium templates… Other site builders tend to take money for the named, plucking a buck from your pockets for essentials, which here in uKit come as granted.

 

Disadvantages of one of the best website builders:

  1. If you’re looking powerful web store and mega powerful blog – you can opt for another site builder.

 

The pricing model of this best website builder:

For 4 dollars a month, get a powerful site without branding and with a free domain. For $8, broaden it with more premium themes. For 9.60 a month, get the basic e-store and develop the store to the max for 12 bucks a month. Paying for 3, 6, 12, and 24 month in a go, you’ll get -5%, -10%, -20%, and -30% discounts.

 

Description of an interactive website builder Wix

If you’re getting to explore the possibilities of the website building process, you may start with Wix. And – if you’re not overwhelmed by the number of its adjustments, tools, features, and especially themes to choose – you can feel what it’s like to make a website. It is powerful. Maybe too powerful for regular users.  

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. It is tuned to make any website with even the most intricate adjustment (within the limits of every template, though)

  2. It withdraws bandwidth limitations in the higher plans.

  3. Free extra money to advertise your website on Google and related. 

  4. No commission for taking money in an e-store (unlike Shopify).

  5. Hundreds of templates.

 

Disadvantages of this website maker:

  1. The number of menu options and adjustability freedom may be overwhelming for users-beginners. 

  2. It’s not the best for e-commerce and blog.

  3. It does require users to be equipped with a powerful PC and Internet connection to work smoothly. 

  4. It limits the storage space in every single subscription plan.

  5. It does not remove Wix branded banners in two initial plans.

 

The pricing model of Wix, one of the website makers:

Three plans for business online: from 17 Euros to 35 Euros. Four plans for personal and business: from 4.50 Euros to €24.50 a month – each giving 3 or 4 options more than the previous. 

 

Description of a website builder Weebly

This is a nice choice for small and medium businesses, as its primary goal is to rely on sales, not breathing exuberant power into any other type of website.

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. Great for an online business to start online trading fast and for not big money.

  2. Stylish and powerful templates, which are easy to adjust to your needs.

  3. SEO guides will allow you to boost your site in the Google search results organically and fast.

 

Disadvantages of this website creator:

  1. Drag-and-drop could have been improved. 

  2. You can’t back up and then – to restore, as backup is simply absent as an option.

 

The pricing model of this website creation tool:

It has pricing planning, which overlaps on one another: e-commerce subscriptions overlap with regular websites. If to consider purely those, which aren’t giving an e-store, these are two: ‘Free’ for no money and ‘Connect’ for €5 a month. These, unfortunately, do not remove Weebly’s branding. The online store starts with €5 a month, continues through €10 a month, and ends with €30 a month. The optimal solution is the middle version (if you don’t think that managing an abandoned cart is a crucial thing for you). 

 

Description of a website builder Shopify

It is currently the most powerful solution for e-commerce specifically, which stands out of the crowd thanks to covering anything clients may need in this industry. 

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. It is extremely tuned at sales, abandoning every other type of website.

  2. Offers 14 days of trial, unearthing all its power during this term, lightly convincing you to opt for it.

  3. It does not limit you annually in sales (as some other e-commerce-tuned site builders do).

  4. It is used to power up around 1 million web stores all over the globe.

 

Disadvantages of this site builder:

  1. The priciest option on the market. 

  2. It will charge you commission fee rated from 2.4% to almost 5% depending on a number of factors.

 

The pricing model of this website builder software:

The builder used to have a ‘Light’ model for 9 bucks a month, now it’s not present. But it wasn't powerful anyway. Now Shopify site builder offers you three choices: $29 a month starts a web store (where managing an abandoned cart is a basic thing – that’s the advantage over other site builders with similar functionality). $79 a month improve it to gift cards, professional reports, and smaller Shopify payment rates. Further expanding to its costliest plan equal to $299 a month will let you savor 3rd-party calculated shipping rates, even smaller fees, and better Shopify shipping.

 

Description of a website builder Squarespace

If you are heavily leveraging on beautiful pages and the beauty of every single pixel on your website, then using Squarespace builder is the right solution. Sleeky and neat, its designs are ready to conquer any heart of millennial or a person who wants to see pulchritude when browsing the Internet. 

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. Cool design, very flexible and great-looking builder.

  2. Some celebrities use this tool to run their entrepreneurial businesses.

  3. Over 100 great and diverse templates at your service.

  4. A popular tool for blogging websites.

  5. Advantageous support service and comprehensible FAQs.

  6. There are mobile apps of the builder to control your website on the go – actually, there are four of them.

 

Disadvantages of this simple website builder:

  1. The interface of the builder will take time to master it, as it differs from standard drag-and-drop options.

  2. One level of navigation under the main page.

  3. SEO in this builder is not the best.

  4. Pages speed are low, actually – one of the low-runners of the market. 

 

The pricing model of this website builders company:

Get a mobile-friendly site with no limitations in storage or bandwidth with SSL and a free customizable domain for 12 bucks a month in this builder. Upgrade it to a nice starter option of e-store for $18 a month. Improve the store with two further plans: for $26 and $40.

The named prices of a builder consider the annual discount. If paid month-to-month, they are 16, 26, 30, and 46 dollars respectfully.

 

Description of a website builder Adobe Spark

This is a dedicated tool builder for photographers, web designers, specialists in Photoshop, and other picture-proficient dudes. So if you are of their cohort – consider this site builder. It is even more like a tool to work with media, not make websites. 

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. Templates of the builder give you a choice.

  2. It is easy to work in, the builder is intuitive. 

  3. It is highly tuned to create good-looking outcome fast, which would suit varying platforms. As an example – content for social media, with a possibility of smooth text alignment. 

 

Disadvantages of this easiest website builder:

  1. This builder is not for sophisticated sites, it’s just to make a business card type of website. 

  2. Adjustment ability of pics between Apple and Android-operating devices is not 100%.

  3. There is no ‘Undo’ button.

 

The pricing model of this web page builder:

It currently offers only two plans: for no money and for $9.99 a month (or $119.88 a year if you opt for an annual subscription). The paid plan grants you access to Photoshop, Spark, and Lightroom.

 

Description of a website builder Sitelio

Sitelio is one of the poor site builders. But if you really don’t need a sophisticated site and want just to start fast for a low cost – then it might be your choice.

 

Advantages of this platform to build a website:

  1. It does have a free plan (definitely, with limitations). 

  2. Very good site pages load speed – only 2.0 seconds for 1 page on average.

  3. Ease of use is high.

  4. A number of great templates.

 

Disadvantages of website creation services:

  1. Really poor customer help and support.

  2. Does not create powerful or beautiful sites.

  3. Limited bandwidth in 75% of its subscription plans. 

  4. Lack of grips, features, and looks. 

 

The pricing model of this quick website builder:

$4.61 a month for free hosting of a custom domain name, integration with Facebook, web stats and some advertising credits. $5.38 add to the mentioned e-commerce opportunity. $9.23 a month add priority support. 

 

Description of a website builder Hibu

If you want to know from the start, which site builder to avoid saving your time for making more productive things, then it is Hibu. They don’t give you a clue of how much they want for their website building service – and even when you register, you still won’t know it fast. Are they avoiding clients? Looks so. 

 

Website builder reviews of advantages:

  1. They can build you a site on their own, obviously, but you can’t affect the process of building, buying a ‘cat in the bag’.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Huge and unclear pricing, you have to spend around 450 dollars just to get the site done. It’s time to opt for any other site builder right now, really.

  2. You can’t see what’s the pricing for other products on the page.

  3. You can’t influence the site they will do for you.

  4. You don’t even know what features this site will have. Those guys are big jokers. 

 

The pricing model:

No, it’s not said directly anywhere on their site. And no, we weren’t able to find it out fast, even from their support team. What we have had is just a pop-up banner that somehow deceived our AdBlock and shown itself to us, screaming that they are ready to build a website for us for just 99 dollars. Is this a one-time fee or a monthly-based one – they didn’t specify. We were intrigued and dug a bit further to find out that $99 only apply when you buy a tremendous bunch of other Hibu products and pay 99 bucks extra for the site’s development. Normally, this action would otherwise deduct 449 dollars from your pocket. And – you will have to pay at least for 1 month of usage of it (so $99 are not even the price for a year of the run, it’s just to make it!). Okay, so: 99 + around 350 to purchase the other unneeded stuff = 449 bucks. Just to make a site as a black box, of which you will know nothing. Tempting… (we’re kidding, it’s not tempting). 

 

Description of a website builder Zoho

In the 21st century, nearly any company is engaged in making a site builder of theirs. Zoho is a software company (mostly known for its CRM solutions), which has also decided to go with a site builder. Looking at their subscription plans, you get disappointed from the beginning – they limit the maximum file size, which can be downloaded to your site (which no other site builder does if it wants the audience not to turn away from them). Just 200 pictures in a gallery as max? Max number of versioning of pages? A limited number of menus? Are you guys really serious? Is it 1989 or 2019 in da house? That’s not a competitive site builder at all.

 

Advantages:

  1. You can make a site but it will be terrible. So it’s not even an advantage.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. In themes, there is no sort by industry.

  2. Just SEVEN themes (insanely low amount). And you have to create your own to work with – which makes this site builder actually lookalike of MS Word. Though MS Word is more powerful in building websites, duh.

  3. Limitations in storage, bandwidth, pictures in a gallery, versioning of pages, contributors, number of menus, file sizes, forms, and pages – they limit literally everything, not giving anything in exchange.

  4. No e-commerce.

  5. Very expensive for no power.

 

The pricing model:

8 Euros a month will make you feel as back in the 1980s. 18 Euros a month will let you feel as incarcerated in a small cell. And 28 Euros a month will let you slightly touch the very bottom of initial capabilities of any modern site builder, which Zoho is not.

 

Description of a website builder Homestead

It is another example of a builder stuck back in time. Homestead is the brightest example of a site builder to avoid: it will limit you all over, draining out your pockets greedily.

 

Advantages:

  1. Over a million free images to use on your website.

  2. Many templates to use (they all look poor, though).

 

Disadvantages:

  1. It is impossible to get a normal website without silly limitations.

  2. It is extremely costly.

  3. Almost every feature you think of must be installed as a paid additional app (which makes your initial set-up as costly as a couple of hundred bucks).

  4. You can’t scale up your business with this site builder.

 

The pricing model:

$7.99 a month will give you a possibility to build a site with limited everything (25 Mb storage, 5 Gb/month bandwidth, 5 pages, 1 site, nothing else more). $22.99 a month is going to loosen those limitations, allowing you to start a web store (for an extra cost added to 22.99). $62.99 is going to make you happier with bigger storage and bandwidth, not limiting a user in the number of possible pages.

It has a 30-day free trial period.

Web builder: defining the notion

20 and even 15 years ago, it was hard to build a website, which would be professional, efficient, good-looking, and for no or little money. You could have one only paying money to a web making studio, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Starting from 2010 and further on, it has become extremely easy to launch an online presence thanks to site builders – dedicated tools online, which allow nearly everyone to create a new good website. If you are a guy who has been visiting Internet before, proficient in working with a PC and has thoughts about how your website has to look – pick some site builder from our list or find yours and to begin to build a site immediately – it is hassle-free, efficient, and fast in 2019.

Start with registering in any – input your data, a category or industry you’re working in, and open the proposed grid of templates.

Selecting the template is a very important step, as this task allows you to:

  • highlight the industry you are working in

  • pick the right template from the number of offered ones in a particular industry, which are already pre-tuned to meet all your needs to the highest extent, relying on the best practices of websites on the Internet running for this particular industry

  • choose the one, which closely looks to what you’re having in your head – to make the work on tuning it to your personal needs as easy as possible.

After you will have selected, personalize the data in this template to suit your needs – and here you go – ready to rock’n’roll online.

 

A person-programmer or a website building tool: comparison

Pros of a human builder:

  1. He or she or they can withdraw limitations on the creation of a type of website that can be made (but you won’t be happy about the price tag).

  2. Your site isn’t limited in capacity of personification, adjustment, integration, and broadening. You can even foresee the future expansion of your business and make a scalable website from the beginning. 

  3. Once you do the site – you just pay for its hosting, not paying a monthly fee for ‘running’ it.

Cons of a human builder:

  1. Pricey. Sometimes, a site builder tool cost 1% or less from the price offered by a human.

  2. Consumes time to make a website. If in a tool, it is possible to create something within hours or days, then with a human participation, it will unlikely take lesser than a couple of weeks (negotiations + agreeing + signing papers + prepayment + preparatory stage + designing + coding + testing + bug fixing + testing #2 + acceptance testing + signing + payment + roll-out: these are typical large-scale steps).

  3. Exhausts your powers. The abovementioned stages take your closest participation. Did you think your efforts wouldn’t be needed? 

Pros of a tool builder:

  1. Fast.

  2. Takes no skills to make a decent website. Most of the modern tools to start a website require literally no knowledge of site building from its users. Why did you think there are so many sites globally?

  3. Not pricey. Avoid sipping two or three coffees in Starbucks a month and invest this money into your website.

Cons of a tool builder:

  1. Most part of site builders heavily relies on the pictures embedded into their interface (especially Squarespace). So bear in mind that when you are going to change those pictures, you will have to put a lot of work to make a picture of a needed size and quality, to position it in the way it would perfectly fit the rest of the content. And it must look perfect for a mobile version of the site, too. In some cases, it is solved by the free-of-charge or paid choice of pictures that this site builder offers but if you won’t find anything good there, you’ll have to do it on your own. Otherwise, a website may completely lose its visual grips.

  2. Your creativity will be limited.

  3. You will definitely get some limits depending on a selected site builder and its subscription plan. These may be the prohibition to backup; download contents of your site; get into JS, PHP, HTML, CSS; move some objects too far on pages, add or delete something; have more than some number of pages on the site; host too much space; have too many visitors… This silliness is completely absent in a custom-made website done by a human or a studio.

  4. You can’t build just any type of site. Some are completely out of reach.

 

What are the clients of website builders

Users of site builders are people who can’t or won’t deal with a web making studio for various reasons:

  • money and/or time restrictions

  • incapability to express own thoughts about a website on paper in the form of technical specification, which is a starting point of every design and coding work for a third-party professional

  • absence of clear thoughts inside the head about how a site should look like and what actions must it do (playing around with site builders almost often eliminates this uncertainty so users can freely move further on their own)

  • other reasons.

There is also such a thing s ‘Freemium model’ – the paid users of site builders pay for selves and for those who aren’t paying. We’re telling this because our readers sometimes ask us who pays for free plans and why site builders have them in the first place. The existence of this actually allows attracting new users to the tool. And, as you may have already seen in the entire description above, not every site builder offers free usage. They give a try-and-buy limited term, after expiration of which you have either to pay either to quit using it. Only 25% of Freemium model are paid users, the rest 75% use it for free. So, thus, you can see that nearly 75% of sites on the Internet (or near to it) are not of professional level.

 

Features inherent to a good website builder

  • The number of varying templates. If this or that site builder tells that it has hundreds of templates, this may require a closer look (as it may turn out that 90% of them are just different background pictures on the same-made theme). Usually, Wix boasts with a plethora of templates but a closer look makes you doubt in the relevance of this statement. Nevertheless, the bigger number of them a site builder hosts, the bigger is a chance that you will pick some to your liking and spend lesser time to adjustments.

  • Load times – the lesser time an average page of a website takes to render fully on the monitor of a user device, the better it is for ranking in search engines and for customer satisfaction with your online presence.

  • Help center (FAQ) and support via a number of channels (live chat, e-mail, phone, dedicated online forums) – nobody wants to be left alone with his or her unanswered questions or unsolved issues. So the better support in a site builder is, the faster you achieve the desired result.

  • The convenience of work. You have to feel comfortable using its drag-and-drop or while managing the site’s creation process otherwise if it does not have a drag-and-drop feature.

 

What to look at when choosing a website builder

  1. Uptime – the closer this figure to 100%, the more chances that your website is going to work always, for any country or region and during any time of the day. If you’re building a global business, then it is important to make sure 24/7 work of your website – as when people sleep on one hemisphere, another hemisphere is actively working and visiting the Internet websites. 

  2. Adjustability. Using a mouse and keyboard, it is possible to do many things. But getting into JavaScript, PHP, HTML, or CSS largely improves the degree of adjustment. Always look for a builder supporting changes to the code by hand – this will make it possible to personify and make it unique.

  3. Integrations. Tools, widgets, forms, databases, systems of accounting or client management, apps, add-ons… These collectively known as ‘integration power’ and broaden your site’s possibilities, allowing your business to have a site as an additional channel of sales and getting in touch with your clientele and prospects. 

  4. Technical optimization – load times, code, the weight of pictures and videos you upload (if they will be optimal for various devices and screen sizes, it’ll boost you up in Google search).

  5. SEO. An important factor for organic search engine promotion to make it possible to get into the top of Google. 

  6. Reporting. The more you know about your visitors and their behavior, the more you can experiment with your website to adjust it to the needs of those who visit. 

 

Industries’ best options for such software

Below, we’re considering the website building software best for each industry:

  1. Small business. This is not only those guys who sell things online. Technically, this notion may include people working as self-employed or as owners of a company up to 50-200 people, with some yearly turnover, and specializing in sales and/or services (each country has own definition of this). For these guys, we recommend paying close attention to uKit as an undeniable market leader, which can make any type of website that will include sales, information, connection to your clients, social media, and other essentials. 

  2. Bloggers shall try Squarespace and uKit as the tools on the list that cope with the task better than others do.

  3. Photographers can use the power of Adobe Spark due to its high performance for pictures.

  4. E-commerce is going to gain the most power with Shopify and Weebly compared to other options.

  5. Professional people-site builders or pros in other areas shall discover the power of uKit and Wix with great adaptability and design depth.

  6. Mobile versions of sites can be made in uKit, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. We recommend avoiding Hibu, Zoho, and Homestead site builders – as they won’t bring you goodness in this issue.

  7. Drag-and-drop has the most power in Wix and uKit site builders.

 

Consumer reviews of website builders

  1. Gavin from Vancouver, Canada, about uKit: An amazing tool for me, as a tech guy. I was savoring each minute and hour of work, seeing as my future site gets muscles from add-ons, tools, plugins, and personal adjustments, which made it livelier and brisker. An educational portal, which is a rough and tough thing to do, was murmuring under its drag-and-drop editor like a kitten. It was completely ready in a week, and I can’t stop enjoying its perfection.

  2. John from Portland, the US, about Weebly: Quite a powerful tool to launch a store. It’s been two months as I made it go live – and sales are already bigger than I had in my old store online. I want to thank its powerful SEO, marvelous goods management system, which eases work due to bulk changes, and I also can’t stop recommending this site builder to all people I work with. 

  3. Damon from Sacramento, the US, about Homestead: That’s so outdated that I was shocked: online store, web listing, and other marketing tools are add-ons (for extra money in addition to paying money to upgrade an account to make it possible to include them), hugely limited in bandwidth, storage, number of pages, and it is so terribly expensive too. When have you stuck, guys? In the ‘dot-com’ boom of the early 2000s?

  4. Santino from Tijuana, Mexico, about Squarespace: Wow, this is a very versatile tool, which does so sleeky and adorable websites, which is like an Apple’s products: you literally want to lick them, as they are so tasty, perfect, and alluring. My blog is shining with bedazzling beauty that I gained from Squarespace for just 2 days of thorough work to receive a piece of web art.

  5. Julio from Hermosillo, Mexico, about Zoho: I couldn’t believe that in our days, so outdated products still exist. It’s like you’re seeing a vintage car on the street but it’s terribly broken and covered with mud. Primitive, outdated. Obviously, it has lost its grips somewhere between the 20th and 21st centuries. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about website builders

Can I build my first website alone using a site builder?

Yes. If you don’t know anything about the technical side of a site builder – this will not be a problem for you, as modern site builders are made not to force users to know anything but how to work with a mouse and type in their personified information in the web pages using the keyboard. However, if you want a largely sophisticated website – be ready to dig into the code (JS, HTML, CSS, or PHP) to make things strong and smooth. Or hire a developer.

 

How much does it cost to launch a website from start to finish in a site builder?

There is a free trial option in almost every site builder on the market. It usually lasts either 14 or 30 days. Also, some site builders offer a free trial. But the more you pay – the fewer restrictions you get. An unpaid version will be so scarce that you won’t be able to do nearly anything. In a nutshell – for the fact of launching, you won’t need to pay. For a more or less powerful outcome – 5…20 dollars a month. For superpower – $30+.

 

Mobile device responsiveness in site builders

This is the first thing you have to be interested in when selecting a site builder. It simply must be. If it’s not – your site won’t be ‘seen’ by major search engines. 

 

Drag-and-drop editors in website builders

Drag-and-drop is a possibility to use your mouse to make the most interaction with the building functionality. The simpler it is the lesser time is needed to obtain the result.

 

Domain names provided by website builders

Domain names in free subscriptions are not good for the memory of people and for SEO needs. If you want to be remembered and found online – always opt for a paid domain name, not branded with the name of a website builder.

 

SEO in website builders

SEO is concluded in fulfilling meta tags, keywords, headings and subheadings, pictures’ alt, making the XML map of the site, hashtags, and geotags. 

 

Types of website builders

They can be:

  • free and paid

  • for beginners and for professionals

  • specialized and not

  • modern and outdated

  • advanced and poor

  • user-friendly and not

  • powerful and so-so.