What Is a Website Builder?
Planning a startup but don’t have enough programming background to create a website? This isn’t a problem if you use a website builder. Today, due to a great variety of available website creators you can choose the most appropriate service to launch your own website. The advantage of using a ready-to-use software is that you can get the full functionality of advanced web sites, including web design templates, add-ons and plugins, without hiring developers, and at a reasonable price.
How to Choose the Best Free Website Builder for a Small Business
First, decide why you need the site. Websites can sell, inform, collect data.
If they are for selling, then a web store is a perfect solution – the most part of website builders have a dedicated subscription plan for e-commerce, offering a store with hundreds of pages, options of discounts, payment options, carts & picking cart abandonment, verification of purchase and tracking its delivery, and many other useful things.
Informative websites can be blogs, news websites, personal or business cards and containing wide information about your merchandise or enterprise.
Data-collection sites are usually one-page sites like landing pages that gather information about your visitors (to turn them into leads, prospects, or clients) in exchange for something trifling like a try-and-buy piece of your product, a book, an educational film, or subscription to the newsfeed.
Depending on which one you choose you must select a specific type of website builder that allows you in creating your website. Here on “what is the best website builder for a small business” I have chosen 8 for you, to visit these websites just click on it’s image.
Is one of the best ones on the market and can be compared to Wix. It offers hundreds of templates designs, has easy integration with Amo CRM, SSL security adjustable just in a few clicks, a number of domains to choose from, interface easy to navigate with a wizard at the beginning helping you out with basic set up, a possibility to export blogs and pictures from social networks, and adaptive designs.
- It is possible to do SEO and technically optimized sites with ease, of many directions, using a modern tool
- Low prices with high discounts if paid for long terms allow you saving up to 30% of the monthly price.
- You can’t create a web store with thousands of pages. Optimal is about 1-2 hundred ones but sure – if you have enough time and persistence, you can.
- The same as in every site builder, here you can only create static pages (that are fully predetermined prior to been shown to a user), not dynamic.
- Not good for blogging, only limiting blogs’ content to text, videos, and pictures.
Wix today is one of the most popular site builders surpassing almost every other with over 110 million sites globally constructed using Wix (this amount is surpassed by WordPress). It has a free trial, starts from only 3 dollars a month, and has an overwhelming number of options to customize your website. It is great for any kind of a small business, hotels, cafes, travelers, photographers, graphical editors, and other people of creative professions. I can easily say it is suitable for hundreds of industries.
- It is so powerful that it has nearly everything a regular person might want from website makers for creating a website.
- A lot of features of help will not leave you abandoned alone.
- Great value for money.
- Once you launch your site online, you cannot change the selected template anymore.
- A number of apps and widgets it allows are scarce and you may opt for scaling up your site using 3rd party ones.
- If you have a slow PC/laptop and slow Internet, don’t count on productive work with Wix as it literally overwhelms with the bulkiness of its weight.
- You won’t have a possibility to turn off commercial banners on the pages of your site if you will not buy the subscription
- You don’t have a lot of freedom in personalizing your pages as the positioning of elements on pages is rigidly limited to end positions.
You can download Elementor from the official WordPress plugin repository or from its official website. I recommend to install it from inside the WordPress site, as it’s certainly more convenient. To do that, just click on “Plugins” —> “Add New” and then write “Elementor” in the Search box. After this, you should be able to see the plugin in the first positions of the list press “Install Now” then “Activate”.
Free plan available
elementor Pro – $49
- Drag & Drop Page Builder
- The Free version contains a fair amount of widgets (+30)
- If you get the Pro version you will have an insane amount of extra features (+300 templates, +50 advanced widgets, Popup & Form builder…)
- No HTML, CSS, or PHP skills needed.
- Real-time preview (no guesses as to how the front end will look like).
- Ability to design pages differently for different devices (desktops, mobile etc).
- The ability to undo and/or roll back to previous versions when editing.
- The Free version is not enough if you want to build an advanced website (e.g. Forms, Popups)
- For the Pro version, the price is a bit steep if you want to have > 3 sites ($199/year)
- The visual builder obviously doesn’t offer the same flexibility as if you were directly coding.
- The plugin sometimes (rarely) fail to load or apply some styles correctly.
It powers about 40 million websites with a number keep growing. It’s good for a low starting price ($0 a month), a free trial possibility, mobile responsiveness, a possibility for advanced users to play with HTML and CSS (which is a wow-factor that isn’t present in the biggest part of all other site builders except WordPress), and ability to attach Google maps, portfolios, and a vast number of other widgets to build up a really cool site.
- You can edit HTML and CSS to fine-tune your page, which gives you much bigger freedom than any other site builder. But even if you are not an advanced user – you can create something fabulous not diving into a single line of code at all.
- Amazingly helpful SEO guides.
- A possibility to download your code (that is a super advantage to be able to change it offline and distribute between other your websites).
- Switch themes of a site even after it goes live, which is impossible in Wix, for instance.
- A slightly complicated visual builder that requires significantly more time to master.
- Limited drag-and-drop, which does not allow using only the mouse to make all customization’s (so you have to delve into code).
- You can’t restore your site to a certain point in time if you mess up with anything you did (there is no backup restoration and if you really need to do it, you have to contact a support team that takes time).
Professional templates of sites will make you look much better compared to any other free site builder. Responsive design, all-day-round working support, and a lot of flexibility were estimated by over 1 million users. 2-weeks trial period will let you appreciate how convenient this is for you. If you’re searching for astounding templates, wonderful customization, and a lot of quality in everything it offers – Squarespace should be your choice. Even Keanu Reeves appreciated the usefulness of Squarespace comparing it to a motorcycle that gives power, freedom, and sophistication. It is one of the most closely standing site builders to the work of a professional human – site builder.
- No need to code in any of a ton of wonderful, professional templates that offer you a mass of customization, giving much bigger freedom than Wix, for instance.
- Large design flexibility.
- A GUI of a site builder takes time to get used to but in the end, the work with it will be rewarding and your site will look as if a professionally created one.
- Quite a significant amount of money is required in its subscription plans compared to most other site builders.
WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org that it has a different user interface, it’s streamlined and much more simplified, in line with what you might expect to find in a website builder.WordPress today powers about a third part of all Internet sites, it has options for beginners in building websites but also it has super-costly professional plans for large sites with automatically generated pages (which can have millions of views a month). A free trial will let you understand if you desire to work with this site builder or not. One of the biggest issues of WordPress is that it often requires knowledge of websites coding in order to use all of its features and opportunities. It’s not the best site for newbies but it offers the best possible flexibility, which is 100% compared to manual coding.
- Unlimited design freedom and anything can be done using WordPress.
- Many specialized site features.
- You may significantly upgrade the site you’ve previously created in some poorly-adaptive template (like in Wix) to bring it up on a professional level.
- It does not offer a support team so if you need anything to troubleshoot, you have to hire someone or deal with it on your own.
- You really need to know how to code or to hire someone to do the most customization and integration job.
- It is not a WYSIWYG editor mostly.
This is a 4-stars (out of 5) website builder that offers you top-notch help, support, and great value for your money. It is focused on users who do not have any technical background but they desire to get online cost-effectively and fast.
- Ideal to create and lead easily customizable and powerful blogs
- Has one of the best pricing policies on the market
- Reformat your template easily and without hassle
- Great support and help knowledge base will let you resolve all your questions fast and fully.
- Allows transferring your domain to theirs to manage all your sites in one platform.
- You can secure the domain name, get back to your reservation, and plug it in when you’re ready to migrate to a paid plan.
- Impossibility to create many-page sites, as it is tuned to create one-page sites.
- Editing is limited so you lose in aesthetics.
- Poor usability of templates.
Site123 is a much newer, beginner’s website. It has an extremely simple and basic interface, with great customer support, an extensive app market and professional mobile compatibility. You can set up an entire website in a few minutes. It’s fast, minimal, and cheap!
- Emails are included in their three more expensive plans.
- The actual editor was extremely easy to use.
- Site designs all look clean and modern.
- Providing live chat and staff are available 24/7.
- Gets more expensive when purchasing higher plans.
- It has extremely limited features.
- You don’t really choose the layout of the page.
- You can’t edit the overall template.
- It’s difficult to really scale up your commerce.
Choosing the right website builder can be time-consuming and overwhelming but I am here to help you out. If you’re still not ready to commit, I suggest you pick a website builder with a free plan or a free trial option that will allow you to test features relatively risk-free.
Do you have a question about my website builder recommendations that aren’t included here? Want to know something more specific or something I didn’t already cover about one of these builders? Leave a comment below “please”.
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