Website Builders for the Not So Tech Savvy Entrepreneur
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a program, platform, or tool that helps to create a website. Is it that simple? Yes, it is. A common feature on website builders is the drag-and-drop functionality. It gives you control over the customization of elements on a page with layouts picked from several templates.
Types of Website Builders
Offline Website Builders
These website builders come in the form of downloadable software programs that you install on your computer. You do not need an internet connection to build the website, but you will need a web host.
Online Website Builders
With online website builders, you don’t need to download and install any software program on your computer. All you need is an internet connection and a browser.
Below is a list of the best website builders to choose from based on how easy they are to use, their features, how flexible they are design-wise, value for money, and the forms of support they offer.
In terms of size, Weebly is one of the front-runners. It has an estimated fifty million websites that were built on the platform. It is very user-friendly and easy to use, making it very common with beginners. There is also the opportunity to add some coding, meaning someone with programming knowledge can work wonders with it.
Weebly’s pricing system is also simple. There is one free plan and three paid plans. With the free plan, there’s no proper domain name, at least from the second year onward. The domain name is free in the first year, but you’ll have to pay $19.95 annually subsequently. There’s also a Weebly ad in this plan.
The paid plans are Personal ($6), Professional ($12) and Performance ($26)
The Personal plan also has the Weebly ad, but you can connect your site with a domain name. The Professional and Performance plans are both ad-free. They also have additional audio and video features, and phone support, but the latter has more e-commerce features. One major drawback has to deal with the fact that it is not suitable for international websites, and it is not so flexible design-wise.
Wix is probably the most prominent website builder right now. With over 160 million websites hosted on the platform, it is extremely easy to use. It has hundreds of templates to choose from, which is why a wide variety of individuals uses it.
It is also extremely flexible. Unlike many other builders, there is no limit to the extent to which you can move elements around. There are also other added features like the ability to animate elements, Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, which is particularly useful with portfolio sites, and its automatic site backup feature. You never know when your website is going to crash so this is definitely a must have.
Wix’s free plan can be used for as long as you want, but there are Wix ads, and you won’t be able to get your own domain name. The ad-free paid plans are Combo ($13), Unlimited ($17), Pro ($22), and VIP ($39). Combo is suitable for smaller websites. Unlimited is ideal if you want more space - up to 10GB. Pro and VIP are for far more advanced websites, especially online stores that get a lot of traffic or visitors.
One major disadvantage of Wix, aside from its high prices, is that it is less responsive than other website builders. It is not really slow, but in terms of speed, there is certainly room for improvement.
This drag-and-drop website builder is ideal for professional websites. In terms of quality designs and features, Squarespace is high up in the ranks. Many would even say it is the best website builder. The implication of this is that it is, unsurprisingly, used majorly by individuals that love designing like artists and photographers.
Over two million people pay for Squarespace after its free period elapses. Its free period lasts for 14 days, after which you will need to subscribe to its paid plans. There are four plans starting at $12: Personal, Business, E-commerce Basic, and E-commerce Advanced. If you need e-commerce functions, you will have to subscribe to the E-Commerce Basic or E-Commerce Advanced plans. A significant disadvantage of Squarespace is the lack of an app-store, meaning you have to rely on in-built features.
Compared to other website builders, Strikingly is relatively recent, only debuting in 2012. Strikingly is ideal for creating single-page websites, meaning it is, particularly, suitable small businesses. You can showcase all your information on a single lovely-looking page.
Strikingly is also very user-friendly, and its drag-and-drop software means you don’t need coding skills to operate it. Its support system is also among the best among website builders.
It has four plans. The entry plan is free, but it contains ads and is only limited to one page. If you need ad-free websites with more than one page, you will have to subscribe to either of the Limited ($8), Pro ($16), or VIP ($49) plan. And even then, you cannot have more than twenty individual pages. This makes it unsuitable for SEO-focused websites.
The primary goal of Duda is to ‘make web design painless.’ It tries to achieve this with its designs, which are straightforward and creative. Currently, close to 500,000 websites use Duda. Anyone can use Duda, but it is ideal for web designers that need to create several sites quickly. Duda is one of the simplest website builders today.
One main con is Duda’s plans are quite costly, and there’s also no free plan. While it excels in design features, its other features, including SEO features, are quite limited. There is also no total creative freedom on Duda.
Duda has three price plans: Basic ($14), Team ($22), and Agency ($74). The team plan comes with a 14-day free trial. The Agency plan can accommodate up to ten members, the Team plan – four, while the Basic plan – only one member.
Basic plan is ideal for personal and simple websites, Team plan is more sophisticated and suitable for freelancers, and the Advanced plan is perfect for large scale websites.
Jimdo is arguably among the best website builders in terms of ease of use. The editor is designed in such a way that beginners can edit within short periods and also do it quite effortlessly.
Jimdo has helped in creating over 20 million websites. Its support system is top-notch, and so is its mobile app. If you are looking for an optimal SEO-based website builder, then Jimdo will be perfect for you. In addition to its SEO features, it has a paid ranking coach that can guide you further on SEO.
The free version of Jimdo is ideal for simple projects, but there’s no domain name feature. It is ad-free, but sadly, there’s no online store feature. Jimdo has premium plans for bigger websites.
When it comes to e-commerce, no website builder beats Shopify. It has over 800,000 online stores and over sixty billion worth of sales. It is easy to use with very user-friendly designs. There are about 170 layouts, and there’s also the option to create or buy others if you don’t find one you fancy among the 170.
It also has a great support system and app store. There are three pricing plans. Basic Shopify ($26), Shopify ($71), and Advanced Supply ($266). Unless you use Shopify Payments, you will be charged 2%, 1%, and 0.5% transaction fees on these plans, respectively. Shopify is not necessarily ideal for SEO and multi-language websites.
This website builder is one of the oldest out there, dating as far back as 1979. It is easy to use and offers ample disk space, ranging from 300GB to unlimited. It also provides a free domain name for up to one year.
It has three pricing plans - Essential plan ($3.99), Professional Plan ($18.95), and Premium Plan ($36.95). All plans have customizable themes, easy-to-use editor tools, and the free domain name, but to different degrees.
Its support system is also sound and at no extra cost. That said, you will find better options for the same price.
Site 123 is a website builder that is ideal for people who want to create a website fast without delving into intricacies. Site123 creates a template for you based on some of the questions it asks, like the name as well as the type of website you want to create. And just like that, you have a template with desired features.
It isn’t great for larger and powerful websites, but if what you need is a simple website, and you need it fast, then you will not find a better option than Site123. This makes it particularly useful for blogs, personal websites, and business websites. Its support system is also great. It is decent for SEO, although not optimal.
It has four pricing plans - Basic ($10.80), Advanced ($16.80), Professional ($22.80), Gold ($28.80). All plans offer some level of space and e-commerce features, but to varying levels with respect to their price.
Elementor is a website builder plugin for WordPress. You can create unique pages, unlike WordPress. There is also an entirely separate interface to work on those pages, not on a block editor as with WordPress. It is easy to use and doesn’t require coding skills.
If what you are looking for is SEO friendliness, then you will not be disappointed with Elementor. You have creative freedom, and Elementor is also design-flexible. It has a free plan, but for more features like the theme builder, you need the pro plans. The plans offered are annual, and they are Personal ($49), Plus ($99), and Expert ($199). You can create one site, three sites, and 1000 sites, respectively, with the pro plans.
This website builder is best for designers, artists and photographers, as it helps in creating fully customizable portfolio websites. Its support system is also great. Format is a drag-and-drop website builder and very easy to use. Its themes are simple and give a nice look to the portfolio website.
There is no useless clutter to shift the user’s attention away from the artwork, which further consolidates it as the best portfolio website builder. Format does not have a free plan, but it does have a free trial period. Its paid plan starts at $6, which is quite affordable.
Simvoly is a drag-and-drop website builder that combines websites and funnels, which helps in promoting and selling products. It is easy to use and gives you total creative freedom. There is also a wide variety of customizable layouts. The layouts are divided into online stores, funnels, and websites.
Simvoly also allows for the creation of A/B split testing, which assists you in analyzing traffic, deriving analytics for sales, and monitoring conversion rates. This makes it possible to convert more visitors to customers.
Simvoly has a free trial period, and four paid plans. Personal ($12) comes with 20 pages, five store products, and two admins. Business ($24) allows unlimited pages, 100 products, and five admins. Growth ($59) allows ten website admins; Pro ($149) has all features of aforementioned plans, but they’re unlimited.
GoDaddy has around 19 million customers, and that alone should give you an idea of how vast this company is. One might even say that is sufficient testimony to its legitimacy. It is easy to use, which makes it suitable for beginners. GoDaddy is also very responsive. There is a limitation of 250,000 files, which, to be fair, is more than enough. GoDaddy is ideal for people concerned about storage.
However, it doesn’t offer backups and lacks many advanced features. That’s not good enough when you consider how expensive it is. There are four pricing plans. Economy ($6.99 first term, $8.99 renewal), Deluxe ($9.99 first term, $11.99 renewal, Ultimate ($14.99 first term, $16.99 renewal), Maximum ($22.99 first term, $24.99 renewal).
When it comes to creating blogging websites, it is impossible to overlook WordPress.com. It has all the features that you need to start and run a blog. It is quite distinct from WordPress.org in that it is more of a website builder, and it also has an easier-to-use interface. You don’t need coding skills and it is extremely cheap.
While WordPress.com is easier to use than WordPress.org, it is still lagging in comparison to other top website builders. The templates on WordPress.com are mainly suitable for blogging.
It has a free plan with basic features and 3GB space. Paid plans are Personal ($4), Premium ($8), and Business ($25). You get your domain name in the paid plans, with more advanced features too.
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