Best Website Design Software: Free And Paid Web Design Tools

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Paul Mahony

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2019 November 28th

best-website-design-software

Building a website for your business or brand doesn't have to be hard work. By choosing the right website builder software - developing your website can feel more like fun than a chore.

But with hundreds of website builders, content management systems, and design software, how do you know which is the right one for you?

Well, while you've been busy setting up your business, we've been busy analyzing dozens of tools to find the best to build your website.

Here are our top 6 best website design software options:

1. Wix

User-friendly website builder software

best website design software wix

If coding for you is not just a challenge, but a challenge you don't wish to conquer, Wix is the best website design software for you. Using Wix, you'll be able to build a website fast and easy. Even if you're a complete web development beginner.

Thanks to the friendly user interface, designing your own site is as easy as making a PowerPoint presentation or setting a new desktop wallpaper.

And there's something even better about Wix.

You can build your website for free. That comes with a number of limitations like Wix ads and no custom domain, but you get the point. You can use your free website for practice, fun, or anything that does not need that professional touch.

But if you are building a portfolio, business website, or even eCommerce site, Wix has more than enough options. Premium plans' pricing starts at $13/month and can go as high as $49/month for the most advanced eCommerce-designed plan. There's also an Enterprise solution for $500/month.

wix pricing

As you can see, Wix is not the cheapest option. But it's our #1-rated website builder software for a reason.

Wix is well worth of that name thanks to supreme ease of use and beautiful website templates. When we've covered all of the beautiful Wix website examples, we were very impressed with what we've discovered. And realizing that they may have only taken minutes to complete is even more amazing.

Wix Website Examples Tea Story

There are hundreds of great Wix templates to choose from. You'll be able to add video backgrounds or even use such advanced features like parallax scrolling.

And they're all nicely separated into categories, so you can choose the one that fits your business just right.

But what if I told you...

Wix is also great for coding.

Let's assume website templates do not excite you. Maybe you have clients who prefer to use a Wix platform. Or maybe you want to use this website builder to make custom pages, powerful databases, user input forms, or even create new applications.

Wix has developed an advanced code editor - Corvid by Wix. With the addition of the tool, blank templates were also added. Though you can also use Corvid on any of the templates.

On the editor, you can add your own code to your website, and using Corvid, you can actually do application development, straight in your Wix website. This way, you get full control of how your Wix website works.

Corvid by Wix features

So yes - while Wix is first and foremost a very simple website builder, it has some interesting features, too. It's a dark horse, but we keep our fingers crossed. Corvid by Wix could yet still surprise us.

PROS

  • Free website plan available
  • Exceptionally intuitive
  • Added functionality with Corvid by Wix

CONS

  • Lacks affordable plans

2. Weebly

Best web design tool for online stores

Weebly homepage

If you are planning to launch an online store and coding is not your strong side, Weebly is a good solution. Offering one of the best drag-and-drop editors in the industry, Weebly also adapts eCommerce functionality to its websites.

With Weebly, you'll be able to easily configure everything for an eCommerce store: add shipping and payment methods, track your inventory, and edit products. But strong eCommerce tools is only an addition to the easy to use website builder software.

You can build your website by adding images, text, slideshows, icons, buttons, galleries and more. All of which is done by dragging and dropping the elements you wish to add.

In addition to this, there are a number of stand out features to ensure that your website catches the eye of its visitor. Adding video backgrounds or animation are ways of doing this, and both of which add a great dynamic to your website.

weebly builder interface

However, there's no point in having an attractive website if you have no one to view it, right?

Well, fortunately, Weebly has you covered - with a range of SEO tools and the option to add meta tags, your website has more potential to be seen in search engines. 

And there's one more good thing about Weebly.

You can use it for free and it is one of the most affordable solutions when you consider its functionality.  The cheapest premium Weebly plan starts at $5/month. But if you want the full eCommerce functionality and all of the premium features, the most expensive plan will cost $38/month.

Weebly pricing - premium plans

With all of the plans that Weebly offers, you'll be able to use all of the beautiful templates. There's a selection of over 60 responsive templates, 15 of which are designed specifically for online stores.

PROS

  • Free website plan available
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editor
  • eCommerce features integration

CONS

  • Platform lacks flexibility

3. SITE123

Easy to use website builder with no coding knowledge required

SITE123 HomePage

SITE123 offers a free website builder with over a hundred of free templates that you can customize later on. It's a beginner-friendly website builder that requires no coding knowledge and can be used to create responsive websites.

This website builder provides a broad gallery of free-to-use professional images. SITE123 doesn't work as a usual drag and drop site builder, it lets you customize your template's content blocks.

You can also play around with fonts, background images, footers, headers, as well as choose if a website is going to be one-pager or will have multiple pages.

SITE123 - App Market

SITE123 also has an app market and offers some additional plugins that can be used to improve your website's user experience. Moreover, SITE123 offers free hosting which includes CDN (Content Delivery Network). That helps your website to stay up and load faster since CDN uses data centers all around the world.

It's a great choice for people that want their website building to be hassle-free. Moreover, provided designs are responsive so your website will look top-notch on the phone's or tablet's screen as well.

However, as nice as everything sounds, there are some technical limitations with a free plan. You can't use a custom domain, your resources for hosting are limited and customization can have some shortcomings as well. So let's take a look at SITE123 plans.

SITE123 Pricing

Upgrading to premium plans broaden your possibilities for editing templates and hosting. The cheapest plan called "Basic" costs $4.68/mo and offers a free domain for 1 year, 10GB storage, 5GB Bandwidth, removes SITE123 ads from your website and gives you a free SSL certificate.

There are 3 extra plans called: Advanced, Professional, and Gold. They differ in the resources provided for your website. I would personally recommend using the Basic plan for personal projects only or smaller portfolios.

However, if you're aiming for something bigger like eCommerce or a business website then Professional and Gold plans are a better fit.

PROS

  • Free hosting available
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Responsive templates

CONS

  • Limited resources for a free plan

4. Webflow

Affordable design tool for advanced projects

best website design software webflow

Webflow is a website design tool, content management system, and a hosting provider. All in the same platform.

Offering CSS, HTML, and Javascript all put together in a neat visual interface, this is a tool that combines the power of coding and very simple editing experience.

Using nothing but the provided interface, you'll be able to do many brilliant advanced things. Our favorites have to be the scroll-based and cursor-based interactions - meaning the website will behave differently, depending on the user's actions.

Hundreds of pre-built components, such as tabs, sliders, videos, and much more, make building a website very simple, as you don't need to make everything from scratch, or download separate components from the Internet.

But it's more than a visual composer. If you wish to work with code or pass the website development to someone who does, you'll be happy to hear that everything you do on Webflow can get exported in simple and easy to read HTML/CSS/JS code.

best website design software webflow code

Alternatively, if you're a developer working with a marketing/content team, a convenient and easy to use editor will be provided. So others will be able to make changes to your website, without causing it any damage by accident.

best website design software webflow editor

Overall, this is a great combo option for people who love to design and have an idea on their mind, and the ones who want to code.

The learning curve may be a little too steep, but once you master Webflow - it becomes worth it. And if you wish to host your website on their servers, you can do that as well.

Talking about the Webflow pricing, you can try the account-based plan for free, but it won't include hosting. If you want to build and host a website with Webflow, the pricing starts at $12/month and can go up to $212/month for the most advanced plan.

PROS

  • Beautiful visual interface
  • Interfaces for both website developers and moderators
  • Hosting plans available

CONS

  • Steeper learning curve

5. Adobe Dreamweaver

Advanced website builder software 

Dreamweaver is a code editing application, that supports virtually all kinds of code. HTML? JavaScript? PHP? CSS? Yes to all, and there's also much more. You can also upload Drupal or WordPress templates and edit them there as well.

It's a perfect tool for those who wish to really master coding.

One of our favorite features has definitely been the Live Preview, where you can edit the code and see how it affects your website. If you're willing to build one from scratch - or maybe edit a page on WordPress or Drupal, this is a perfect feature which can help you see the errors and test the features as you type them in.

That's not the only thing you can do in real-time. Dreamweaver is great for building responsive designs, as you can see how the pages change and adapt to various resolutions.

So yeah, all looks fine and beautiful - but as with most things Adobe, things go south when you start to consider pricing. Starting at $20.99 a month, Dreamweaver is easily the most expensive option on this list. But if you take your coding seriously, this is the probably the best website design software to consider.

PROS

  • A very advanced and powerful tool
  • Perfect for coding
  • Live previews help to build efficiently

CONS

  • Very expensive

6. Google Web Designer

Best web design software for creating ads

Primarily, Google Web Designer is meant for creating interactive and responsive ads. And while Google is 1001 trick pony and if you are using lots of Google-made products, why not choose something that fits into the G gang perfectly?

Google Web Designer (GWD) is a perfect tool for marketing that works with Mac, Linux, and Windows. This stand-alone, free software can create interactive HTML5, CSS and JavaScript content for your website's advertising, as we call it - banners.

What's interesting is that Google tries to kill two birds with one stone.

It makes Google Web designer very simple to use for the beginners and giving experienced developers something to play with.

Not very tech-savvy users will be pleased to find the neat and easy-to-use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) user interface, and coding pros will have the ability to switch to the HTML code, which is hand-editable.

Default, pre-programmed GWD components for interactive ads include YouTube, iFrame, maps, image gallery and tap area. And the best part is, that each component automatically gives you the analytics about the interactions.

Google Web Designer review

Ads are based on media rules for style and layout, meaning, that they will be responsive and will fit perfectly on any screen.

Also, GWD web design software gives you control over animation tools and content creation tools. And, a SHOCKER here - it has seamless integration with Google products. Meaning that you can streamline your workflow by sharing, editing and collaborating with your projects via Google Drive.

PROS

  •  Totally free
  •  Switching between code and simple interface
  •  Seamless Google Integrations
  • Metrics are reported automatically

CONS

  •  The tool only for ad building

What Is The Best Website Design Software Option For You?

The best website design software depends entirely on your needs and skills. Whether you wish to build a simple portfolio, eCommerce, or a large enterprise website - there's the right tool for each. You will even find great tools for creating merely banners.

So when choosing the best website builder software, consider our top 6 picks:

  • Wix - the most user-friendly website design solution for all kinds of projects.
  • Weebly - easy-to-use website builder with integrated eCommerce features.
  • SITE123 - beginner-friendly website builder with responsive designs.
  • Webflow - best website design software solution for advanced projects.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver - excellent website builder software for coding pros.
  • Google Web Designer - useful web design software for easy creation of ads and banners.

So there you have it - these are the options that we have. What do you think? Have you used any of them, or maybe there's something else that you'd recommend? For all of that, please leave a note in the comments below.


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Written by Paul Mahony

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.

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Santosh picture
Santosh

2019 October 30th

As much as I love copying and pasting my text into a bunch of content tools, I have to admit I am without a doubt done with the sheer amount... Read more

As much as I love copying and pasting my text into a bunch of content tools, I have to admit I am without a doubt done with the sheer amount of time I lose every day doing this. . Have any developers out there come up with one single app that can handle it all? The only functional option that I’ve found up to this point is something called INK for All It looks pretty convincing, but I don’t want to get my hopes up.