Why would anyone use website builders to make their websites?
It’s because website builders make web development process easy.
A website builder is a great way to make a beautiful page, even if you have no developmental background. But some of you might be asking:
So, do I really need a website builder?
Well, to answer you simply, there are still a lot of people who may benefit from a simple, no-coding-required page building experience. Plenty of people use website builders to make their pages, such as:
Artists, looking to promote or sell their products
Photo and video professionals, showing off their work
Musicians, posting their songs for the world to see
Writers, sharing the pieces they wrote (although writers often prefer a simple WordPress blog!)
Small businesses, looking for a simple way to get online
Families, wishing to make a diary of their lives
And many, many more…
In short, I found website builders to be a perfect option for people who are less interested in custom software or coding. There are plenty of people who just want a website.
They have their own businesses, things to worry about. An extra issue such as website building can cause so much trouble.
When I was making videos for a living, I didn’t consider spending weeks on a website showing off my art. Why would I bother? I had video stuff to do!
What is the best website builder?
So, after understanding that they are useful and needed, I set myself a mission: Make a list of the best website builders and where to find them!
This is a list of the top website builders out there, and it will help you make beautiful and useful websites for all sorts of occasions!
Wix is one of the most popular website builders in the world. Focusing on superior style and design it proudly boasts hundreds of beautiful templates. Wix quickly gained traction and became perhaps the best website builder for artists and designers, looking to showcase their content on the Internet.
It’s my favorite website builder and it has a sparkling reputation due to incredible ease of use, brilliant templates and a lot of powerful features – which incredibly impressed me as well. Here’s are some of my favorites.
ADI Website builder is an amazing option.
Free version has a lot of advertising
Incredibly quick response times – in hosting, losing only to Hostinger and 1&1.
Expensive – “Connect” plan doesn’t get rid of ads & eCommerce is available only in 2 most expensive ones.
Good uptime (99.9%+)
Beautiful templates are always great – but maybe you’re looking for something a little bit more personal? In addition to hundreds of designer-made templates, Wix also provides ADI – Artificial Design Intelligence. This system gathers the information about you, your business, preferred design schemes and uses it to make a tailored website. It even uses your logo to set a suitable color scheme. Neat!
A Powerful App Store
Wix App Market is easily the best website builder application shop there is. There are hundreds of programs, ready to be downloaded to make your website all the more beautiful, functional and powerful. Search engine optimization, advertisements, charts, mailing forms and so much more is just a couple clicks away.
Web hosting & domain name giant GoDaddy has entered the website builder business with their new creation – GoCentral.
This builder impressed me with its incredible ease-of-use. You can literally create and edit a website with a mobile phone! Also, GoCentral is ready for SEO and email marketing and is capable of giving businesses a great online facelift with no coding knowledge required.
This is where, in my opinion, GoCentral rules. You can create a powerful online shop during your lunch break, on your phone! Any issues? Well, there’s 24/7 support on both phone and live chat. So you’ll have professional assistance as well. What’s not to love?
24/7 phone and chat support is something none of the major competitors can do.
Lack of customization options.
Terrific uptime and response times.
Not many features, domain name not included with any of the purchase.
Very easy to use. Easiest out of the entire competition.
Performance is top
Website builders have often been plagued with a reputation for being very slow for the end user. Not going to lie, I used to think the same as well. With GoCentral, that’s definitely not the issue. With impeccable uptime and response times of just about 300 ms, they’re as good as anyone. I loved it.
Easy to use
I already said that previously, but GoCentral is so easy to use, I may as well repeat that just to reitterate my point. If you wish, all of the edits on your site can be done on a mobile phone! Of course, a phone is never a developer’s #1 choice, but it’s great to have such powerful tools on the go.
To demonstrate, have a look at what I managed to do on my phone. It takes just 3 clicks to add a section to a page. And it takes only choosing the “Themes” option from the bottom of the screen to start editing the website’s looks.
From there, everything is as simple as it can be. A new font, color scheme or theme is just a few seconds away. Click a button, push “Save” and enjoy your new, improved site. It can’t be more simple than that.
GoDaddy brings superior simplicity – on the platforms I didn’t even expect.
Recommended for: Small businesses and entrepreneurs
Overall rating: 7.6
Weebly, I figured, is perhaps the best website builder for small businesses and bloggers. A fair bit less expensive than Wix, Weebly is well suited for text-heavy websites, offering a lot of great templates suited for blogging. Templates are divided into sections for Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event, Blog and Other.
It’s a great website builder for anyone who values function over form.
Weebly got some nice points in my book because it maintained incredible ease of use – without sacrificing site functionality at any point. Here are it’s best features which make this a great builder to use:
Relatively cheap upgrade options
Forced ads on free & “Connect” plans
Inability to attach a domain on free plan
Easy to use, code editor included
Lack of flexibility
Free domain included with all paid plans
As I already said, performance should be a key priority. Weebly seems to have read the memo – their servers speeds are very, very good. Going head-to-head with GoCentral, Weebly is another great option if you’re looking for a fast-loading website. I approve.
Sure, website builders are not meant for full-on coding experience. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun! Weebly’s built-in code editor is perhaps the most exciting feature of this builder that I found. Extra stuff and features can be added with no issues, and what’s best, you can even export the entire website to a different platform.
As far as code editors go, Weebly is leading the business. The extensive tool it provides allows to massively change and adjust any template. Every style is customizable to your liking and global changes can be made to build things to be just the way you want them. If you wish to combine drag-and-drog simplicity with the power of coding, there’s nothing better than Weebly.
No frills and no unnecessary details – if Apple made website builders, they’d probably look very similar to Ucraft. Starting with the page, going all the way to website building experience, everything just feels so clean and simple.
After using Ucraft for a while, I can say that this is the best website builder for people who want superior customer experience. Everything is crisp, simple and intuitive. But it doesn’t mean that I missed any of the key features. uCraft has a lot of brilliant things going on – and they are available for both free and paid clients. Here are some of the things I liked the most.
Support needs to improve
Lots of integrations
Lack of drag & drop freedom
Some basic elements missing
A Logo Builder
Business needs a website, right? It also needs a logo! Ucraft helps sort that issue out by including a beautiful logo creator tool. It didn’t turn an Average Joe like me into a design master, but I thought it still did a solid job creating basic logos from dozens of possible elements.
Do you want to reach people using different languages? uCraft fully supports multilingual websites, allowing you to easily translate all of the content and tailor it to various locales. No need to download plugins, mess with code or attempt to do everything manually.
Everything is as automated as it can be. All you need is to translate the content! Ucraft is an international company and it ❤️ international users.
Squarespace is one of the best-known names in the website building business. I couldn’t tell you how many NFL games have passed with me seeing John Malkovich, Keanu Reeves, or someone else, trying to sell me Squarespace. So naturally, I had to give them a shot. And I have to admit, it was a very interesting ride.
While in terms of customisability and performance, it loses out to the other companies, it has one killer feature many people will absolutely love.
Absolutely wonderful designs.
If you’re the sort of person that values an absolutely gorgeous website but doesn’t really care about full customisation options, then Squarespace is absolutely the builder for you.
Be-a-u-tiful website templates.
Very difficult to justify the high prices.
Live chat service available 16h a day, email service – 24h a day.
Both uptime and response times lack behind the competition.
Very easy to use. Easiest out of the entire competition.
Building and editing interfaces are *exactly* like rocket science.
No free plan.
First things first, I’d like to appear on record once more by saying that Squarespace templates are by far the best-looking ones in the industry. Although completely dominated by the trendy “full image on the screen” design, all of the designs look incredibly pretty.
Support is taken seriously
Often, website builder companies don’t provide the best service. Squarespace does superbly in this aspect. If you’re looking for support, you won’t be disappointed here.
Live chat is available 16 hours a day, and features expert customer service representatives, which know pretty much everything a basic user would ever need. If that’s not enough – there’s email support which works and responds 24/7.
Squarespace is a premium option with premium support – not many can match what it does.
Simply put: A website builder helps you build a website with ease! Usually employing drag-and-drop functions that allow the user complete creative freedom; website builders are to making websites what an automatic car is to a manual one. They will both get you where you want to go, but the automatic one will give you a lot less to do!
Of course, in some cases, you might want a little more freedom. Luckily for you, the best website builders give you just that! Take Wix for example. Sure, you can use it’s Artificial Intelligence software to have a site designed for you, or, you can jump into the editor and make things just how you like them! Not to mention the option to write your own code, if you know how.
Website builders make life easier, as many things are actually pretty hard to make if you’re not a seasoned web developer.
There are serious challenges in making a website
Very often, in our heads, there’s already an idea of what a project should look like. There are many ways to make a website, some people use Photoshop for their design works, some people just write code and go, and some people like myself, draw it on a piece of paper first!
Then, I attempt to recreate that very image. By doing so, I noticed quickly that this is a lot more difficult than it may seem!
For example, you may have a seriously hard time placing an image exactly where you want it to be. Changing the background or making it behave like you want it is also a pain. And a header slider often requires some third party software and a serious amount of coding!
By themselves, these things seemed like nothing. However, they kept adding up and causing me a serious headache!
Website builders, however, usually employ a drag-and-drop interface which makes building a website all the more similar to drawing it on a piece of paper!
Sometimes, site builders even use intuitive artificial intelligence systems which help make some brilliant websites, just by asking you a few questions!
That’s pretty great isn’t it! Of course, I still found even the best website builders to have a shortcoming or two.
Website builders still won’t fully replace a real developer
If builders were completely perfect, who would ever need developers?
In website builders, you can’t add certain files and do with them as you wish. The access to create custom functionalities, or making/adding your own code is incredibly restricted.
Secondly- and I noticed this while testing – there’s still a certain issue of resource limitation. For example, a number of pages you can make with one account, storage you are allowed or bandwidth the website’s users can’t exceed.
Very often, one website builder plan will allow you to make one page each. So if you’re planning to make multiple pages, the costs will likely multiply.
Perfectly fine for some small businesses that need only one website, but if you want to make separate ones for each of your friends and family members? Not so much.
If you want to do any of those things, you’d be better off looking for the best web hosting and start coding instead, since without a website builder you will have a bit more freedom to make things exactly how you like!
By using hosting, you get to rent out some server space and download any scripts you like. On the other hand, a website builder is a limited piece of software already installed on a server you have no access to.
You just have to accept that even before you start.
It is worth mentioning, that website builders may seem pretty expensive. After all, the most fully-featured plans will cost you around $10 or more per month!
This may seem like a lot. I thought that too when I first started checking them out. However, these plans include server space, domain names, full customer support and all the help you will ever need. These things could cost you more if purchased separately on a web hosting plan.
When you think of it this way, you see that the best website builders still offer really good value!
How did I test these website builders?
In each and every single one of the reviews I made, everything started with a buying . I moved silently (like a ninja) and purchased the website builder accounts without the knowledge of the company. This way, I get a guarantee that no “special treatment” will be applied to me. Companies don’t know I’m a reviewer and they treat me the same way they’d treat you. Same performance, same customer support, same everything.
After I get in, it’s testing time! I try to make my website builder reviews the best they can be. So I look through everything as well as I can – and arrive at a final result which is this list just above.
Of course, right now, you may have one thing on your mind: What exactly are the things I look for in the best website builders?
What are the things a provider must do in order to have a superior product? Here are the 6 main features – virtues, if you will – that make a good website builder.
1. It’s simple or bust
What’s the point of using a website builder if it’s not even simple to use?
In general terms, the best website builder is the one that can be mastered even by people with no previous developmental background. This is why I put myself in the shoes of people looking for a simple solution.
There are plenty of ways website builder companies choose to help the people. Sometimes it’s an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making building a website look like building a Lego tower.
At other times, it’s innovative AI-powered techniques which attempt to build a website for you from just a few key questions! Companies go the extra mile to ensure perfect simplicity: and that’s what I look for.
2. Users will love the beautiful design!
You and your business deserve a beautiful website!
With a great website builder at your disposal, you can easily keep up with the latest design trends. And you don’t even need to be a designer or a developer to make that happen! As a matter of fact, most platforms have dozens or even hundreds of beautiful, professional templates built by brilliant web designers. And I found a lot of those to be absolutely striking!
Tweak the templates to reflect your business and voila – the website is beautiful and ready to go. The design is a significant part of my tests – because it’s important having an attractive website.
I love great templates and ever so often, when testing website builders, there’s something that simply blows me away. And here’s what I try to find.
3. Superior customization allows you to express yourself
Yes, templates are great. But I didn’t forget the fact each user is different and has specific needs!
The best website builder is the one that can help turn the exact vision in your head a reality.
As a matter of fact, I took this part so seriously, a big chunk of the web builder review is dedicated solely to customization. To be more exact – to recreating this very own website on each page builder platform!
It’s a difficult task to do so, but it’s a challenge I love to take up. Not only it’s fun, but it also helps get an answer to an important question: can you use the website builder to make your visions come true? The best ones do just that.
4. Apps are not only for your phone anymore
Applications are everywhere, even in your website builders.
A simple concept – easy to use and automatically updating applications go a long way for improving your pages. User experience, design, sales and many other things can be made better with just a little piece of software.
With some builder’s application stores, it can be as simple as downloading a game to your phone. My reviews have a look into the applications you can get – if there are plenty, I’ll be sure to properly mention that.
5. The best website builders will help you sell online
Online stores are on a meteoric rise.
Every year, more and more people buy various products on the Internet. It’s a worldwide phenomenon which isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Have a look at the worldwide eCommerce sales statistics!
Want to jump on this train but have no experience or time to build from scratch? This is where the best builders come to help! Making building an online store a complete breeze.
In the website builder reviews I do, one of the main missions is finding out whether a specific provider offers its users a capability to use their pages to sell online. If they do, it may be a great place to kickstart a business!
6. Performance is 🔑
Last, but definitely not least, performance is a serious factor for your website. There’s no point in having a brilliant website if it runs like a slouch and crumbles under pressure.
Website builder providers make sure the performance of their servers is lightning-fast. This helps to make your visitors happy and in turn, your business successful. In the performance tests, I use only the best independent third-party services! You can be certain that the response times shown in the reviews will reflect the actual performance.
Try them for yourself!
There are plenty of things to consider when searching for the best website builder – such as price, features, ease of use, support, and much more.
In these reviews, I do my absolute best to cover as much as possible, so you get a full look at what you could expect as a platform user. All things considered though, the most important thing is to try.
Most of the tested website builders allow for free trial periods – or don’t cost much more than a few dollars per month. There is plenty of choices and the perfect option is almost certainly out there somewhere! So I suggest just going out and giving a couple of these platforms a shot. Who knows – maybe you’ll find the one to turn your business into a success story!
If that has already happened for you, let me know below in the comments! I would be happy to read about that. 😄
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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