No, a website builder is not a PERSON who builds websites, although that would seem to be correct.
Website builders are online software platforms designed to make the process of building a website easy for beginners. In the past, you would have needed expensive software and knowledge of HTML code to build a website. Now, thanks to website builders, you can use a graphical drag-n-drop interface to create your site (see the animation below). It’s as easy as using a word processor like Microsoft Word.
If you’re asking this question, you’re in the right place and it’s my goal to help you find the best option to build your website whether it’s using a website builder or not.
You probably are investigating using a website builder so you can build your site yourself and keep the cost low. Website builders are supposed to be cheap and easy to use so you have the right idea. Unfortunately, they are not all as user-friendly as they claim to be.
I’ve reviewed many of the most popular website builders and probably will continue to review them since there are new ones popping up all the time. Before writing a review, I use the website builder myself and provide a video walk through of my experience. So all my reviews are in-depth and from personal experience.
Since every website is different, a website builder that is perfect for someone else may not be the right fit for you. After browsing the website builder resources below, feel free to contact me to ask my opinion on what website builder is the best fit for your site. I’d be happy to help you out.
Quick Summary: Out of all the website builders I’ve reviewed so far, Wix is my favorite. It offers the best design flexibility and hundreds of high-quality design templates to choose from so your site will look awesome. Because it is so flexible, it may not be as quick to build a website with it compared to Weebly and Yola but it is still is super intuitive and easy to use. I recommend it for anyone, but it is especially great for people who want to customize their website design. Wix has more functionality in its drag-and-drop widgets than any other website builder I’ve seen You can see them all in my video review. It also boasts an App Market with apps built by third party publishers that allow you to expand the functionality of your site.
Read Full Wix Review Go To Wix.com
Quick Summary: WebsiteBuilder.com might just be my favorite website builder. It’s simple enough for a beginner to pick up and use, but it also has a lot of cool advances features that make it even more powerful for people with a little bit of web design experience. The designs are impressive and modern and the ability to customize sections insures that your site will be totally unique to you, and not look like a template. In many ways, WebsiteBuilder.com takes some of the best features of Wix and Weebly, combines them into one, and takes them even further.
Read Full WebsiteBuilder.com Review Go To WebsiteBuilder.com
Quick Summary: Weebly is a website builder that everyone can use thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Weebly offers a lot with a free account but the value offered for the low prices on upgraded accounts is well worth the price. Besides the user-friendly website builder application, Weebly’s claim to fame is it’s attractive website design themes that allow you make your site look like an expensive custom website with a click of the mouse.
Read Full Weebly Review Go To Weebly.com
Quick Summary: You can tell Squarespace is awesome just from looking at Squarespace.com. It’s one of the slickest sales pages online. It appeals to their target customers who are usually more design-orientated. Anyone can use Squarespace but it’s designed for people who are looking for a certain cutting-edge look. Their design themes are more advanced and modern visually than what you’ll find from other website builders which is why I like it. The website builder takes a couple hours to learn and I experienced a few bugs with it which is why it only gets 4 stars. But most people will have little trouble figuring it out and it’s flexible focus on clean design will allow beginners to make beautiful websites that will impress.
Read Full Squarespace Review Go To Squarespace.com
1. Ease of Use – Fun or Frustrating
The main reason to use a website builder is to reduce the cost by creating your website yourself. If the website builder software is difficult to use, the whole process crumbles. Ease of use has to be the most important feature you’re looking for in a website builder.
I like to measure website builders on a spectrum of fun to frustrating. I simply use each website builder and decide if I’m having fun using it or constantly frustrated. With some website builders, there is a period of frustration before you get to the actual fun of creating your site. The best website builders minimize the learning curve and are so intuitive that almost anyone can pick them up and start having fun creating a website right out of the box. When testing out a new website builder, stop after one hour and ask yourself, “Am I having fun or am I frustrated?” If you’re frustrated after an hour of using the website builder, it’s probably not the best option for you.
2. Quality of Design Themes
The website builder application itself is the most important factor but the quality of the design themes are crucial too. A website builder can be easy to use but if the design themes are low quality, the overall look of your website will suffer regardless of how easy it is to build the site.
Everyone places a different weight on the importance of graphic design and design preferences vary. Look for website builders with design themes that you like but also look for sites that appeal to the masses. It’s more important what your visitors think than what you think. If you’re unsure which website builder offers the most appealing designs and the most appropriate templates for your site, read website builder reviews online or poll friends to ask what they think about the designs.
Many website builders allow you to switch between designs but you don’t want to have to switch website builders because of poor designs. Choose a company with quality designs from the start.
3. Price and Features
We’ve established that people choose website builders because of the low cost. Rather than paying $1,500+ for a simple website, you can use a website builder to create your own for free and just pay $10-20/month to keep it active. Since you’re probably on a tight budget, finding the website builder with a low price and all the features you need is the holy grail. You don’t want to skimp to save $1/month and settle for a lower quality website, but you also don’t want to pay $79/month for a website builder that isn’t as good as a $10/month option. From my experience, you should be able to find a website builder to build a simple informational website for under $20/month with no problem.
Different features will be critical for different website owners. Some people may need tools for easy video or audio elements and some may need social network integration. Make sure to check the website builder you plan to use for the features that are crucial for your site. A clumsy or missing feature could mean hours of extra time creating your site or leaving important content off your site altogether.
Top Website Builder Review Sites
I do many reviews on website builders and you can see them below or on the website builder section of my blog, but there are also some other great sites dedicated to doing reviews of website builders. I point these out because there are also some lower quality sites out there that will simply promote the website builders that pay them the highest commission for recommendations. If you’re looking for a second opinion before moving forward with a website builder, check out some of the reputable sites below:
- WebsiteBuilderExpert.com – Jeremy and Connie created this site because they went through the experience of trying to find a website builder suitable for their own website. Their reviews are honest and based on their own working experience. Check out their story and read their review on the website builders you’re considering.
- SiteBuilderReport.com – This site provides reviews on a lot of website builders with video reviews, a simple ranking system, and a nice clean design on their site. You can get a quick look at how the different website builders rank from just glancing at the home page.
- WebsiteToolTester.com – Based in Germany and available in different languages, this site has a whole team of people working on putting out reviews so they better be exceptional – and they are. Like SiteBuilderReport.com, they offer an extensive list of many website builders as a comparison chart so you can quickly see how the different website builders rank.
The website builder review sites above are some of the best places on the web to get website builder reviews. If they say one website builder is the best, you can trust that it is good, but it still may not be the best website builder for YOU. Every website builder is unique and you have different needs than other people reading this. Many factors combined determine which website builder is the best fit for you. If you’re not sure which it is, I’d be happy to spend a few minutes on a phone or email conversation with you. Contact me or comment below and I’d be happy to listen to your exact needs and make a recommendation. If you think this page would be useful to your friends and contacts, you can use the buttons below to share it.