Guide to Website Builders [2018]

Compare the Best Website Builders Software

website builder

website builder

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is an online/ offline HTML editor software application that lets the user create a website without any knowledge of the underlying markup and scripting languages. Most website builders use easy to use Point and Click or drag and drop technology similar to basic word processing programs similar to microsoft word.

Most website builders offer a collection of website templates, pre-built web pages that can be modified by the user. Some will offer additional features like shopping carts or surveys.

Web site builders can be divided into online and off-line Web site builders. With an off-line application, users will edit the site on their local computer and then publish it to a Web server provided by hosting providers. With online applications users edit their site using only a Web browser.

Most web site builders are proprietary tools provided by web hosting companies which cater to people who wish to build their own websites without learning the technical aspects of web page production. Most offer free trial periods. Some allow the user to see the source code, that is, the HTML behind the page he is building. Many do not, meaning that only certain designated areas on the page can be modified. Usually, these areas are: headers, text and some graphic elements.

Website building software has been around for more than a decade, helping people build their website easily in just a few steps with little to no prior coding knowledge. However, each of these platforms has a different set of features and performance in terms of user interface, metrics, and overall use which may change over the years.


The Advantages of Using Website Builders to Create Your Website

Website builders are Easy, Fast and Affordable
Website builders are a marvellous way to create a website for a small business or individual. Long gone are the days when only design pros could create a website. Now everybody, who knows how to use a computer and the Internet can make a breath-taking website. 

Not too long ago, a business or individual that wanted to develop a website typically sought out a digital marketing company or website designer guru and paid a hefty sum for website development and hosting. This normally wasn’t a big deal for large companies and corporations with a large marketing budget, but smaller businesses and those wanting to create a personal website weren’t always able to afford the large price tag that came with a brand new, customized website.

However, as online marketing and website design became ever more prevalent over the last decade, prices for such services dropped so that those particular types of businesses could remain competitive. This helped level the playing field for many businesses that could now afford a beautiful and functional site, enabling them to better compete with larger competitors.

Advantages of WebSite Builders

  • WYSIWYG – (what you see is what you get) editing, little or no html or css knowledge required
  • Put together a website in very short amount of time
  • Easily add flash, counters, forms, buttons, menus etc with drag and drop features
  • One button click publishing
  • Variety of predesigned layouts built right into most
  • Online site builder just requires an internet connection, no download or program to install.
  • Allows you to just add content to premade sites
  • Some allow editing in other programs later, example; original site built in sitebuilder but modified and customized at a later date in frontpage or dreamweaver
  • Basic builder built into the cpanel of some web hosts

Disadvantages of Website Builders

  • Some website builder has limited editing areas.
  • Advance customization may require some coding.

The Rising Popularity of Website Builders

In more recent years there has been a steady increase in companies offering businesses and individuals the use of website templates—creative, functional website designs that could be used to create a website simply by inserting your own content and images. Templates are usually inexpensive, and may include coding that delivers important features and functions found on regularly developed websites.

Taking the idea of the template one step further and introducing even more functionality and creative development at a low price, are website builders. These advanced online website building tools make it easy for anyone to create a unique, user-friendly and functional website within mere moments, at a very low cost. Website builders are embraced and utilized by everyone from individuals looking to create a personal website to small businesses and major corporations who want increased flexibility and control over their website content.


Major Advantages of Website Builder Software

Today’s website builders come with all the bells and whistles you might want, and websites are typically constructed via an easy to learn user interface and tools once a template design has been chosen. Many templates and website builders offered by hosting companies or web design companies are free to use, though you may pay a small fee for hosting and domain names. Additional services can also be purchased to further enhance your website, such as search engine optimization, site submission, and WordPress integration, among others.


You only pay for what you need

Website builders offer those looking to create a website exactly what they want, letting them customize and choose the specific level of service they need or desire. This means extremely reduced costs compared to what it used to cost to design and build a website.


The code is written for you

You don’t really need to know anything about HTML code in order to create your website using a web builder. The application does the work for you, and creating your website can be as simple as selecting images, buttons, and other objects from a menu, and inserting your own text into boxes placed wherever you like.

A good website builder will also create sitemaps for you, which is useful for getting major search engines to find your website, as well as enable other useful HTML code functions, such as Google Ads, buttons for sharing content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and more.


Beautiful, Professional Designs

Many templates have been professionally designed for website builders by graphic designers and website designers, providing you with a multitude of attractive website templates to choose from. You can easily choose the template that best suits your needs and company branding, and then further customize it by changing colours, images, fonts and more to truly make it your own and reflect your personal branding.


Easy to use Drag and Drop Interface

Most website builders utilize the drag and drop method of building your website, meaning you drag text boxes, images and other content around the page until it’s exactly where you like. Templates usually have many objects already in place, saving you additional time in deciding where to put text or graphics. This method of website building writes the code for you behind the scenes and enables you to create a website very quickly. You can have a simple website up in a day or even a few hours if that’s what you want.


Support Staff

Even though you are building the website yourself, many website builders offered by various companies provide you with the option to get help via their support staff. This is especially useful if you’d like to create a more advanced website or have questions that you cannot find answers to in any of the instructions or help documents.

When you are ready to build your website, the next step is to choose the website builder you’d like to use. Compare web builders using the criteria discussed above to see which ones offer you the most. Although you may not need everything offered by some website builders at the start, you never know if you might utilize some of the features and functions at a later date when your business grows and your website needs to expand.

Because many website builders are also free to use, you might also consider trying out a couple of the ones that stand out to you the most. Selecting a template and building a few sample pages should give you an idea of how well you can use the interface and if the website builder is ideal for your purposes.

Keep in mind that you will need to purchase a domain name and pay for web hosting. If you can find a company that offers both domain name purchases, website hosting and the use of a website builder, that might be an optimal choice. Many hosting plans also provide you with several options to choose from, further letting you customize the level of service you want, with options for easy expansion later on.

Lastly, remember that social media integration and mobile website design are also important these days, so look for a website builder that also has features and functions for both of those factors.


Choosing a Website Builder

A website builder will give you step by step directions and tutorials to get your own website up and running easily. It is literally a point and clicks solution that allows you to pick and choose and drag and drop features you want. The result is a robust and professional looking website you can use for personal use, for entertainment, or for business.

Website builders come with many choices so all websites that are created with these tools don’t have to look alike. You can also pick and choose features that you want as well as add functionality at a later date if you wish. Below is a list to the Top Website Builder Online.

Here are the 3 Most Popular Online Website Builders in 2018:

No 1: Wix.

wix

wix

Wix has been ranked as one of the top user-friendly website builders for years and it is considered to be the best website builder for all purposes, due to its flexibility and ease of use. The program offers mobile apps, blogging, and a newsletter service as its main features. It also offers an e-shop feature with all the basic metrics of sales and profits generated in the owner’s account.

One can browse through 500+ templates covering a wide range of niches (from freelancers to big companies) which can be later customized to fit the needs or preferences of the website owner. Support is provided in most instances and channels like email, phone, a forum, and a knowledge support database with questions and answers.

On the downside, Wix lacks exporting capabilities and an email service. Some experts also claim that for large professional companies or projects, Wix-developed websites tend to look a bit unprofessional in appearance and lack uniqueness.

Hosting price range: $4.50-24.50

General net rating: 4.8/5 stars

WIX Review

Wix.com


No 2: Weebly

weebly

weebly

Upon first glance, Weebly looks like Wix and it actually has many similar features and responsive drag-and-drop templates just like its competitor with a few small differences in the layout of themes and user-interface. Like most website builders of its kind, Weebly offers personalized website design tools for freelancers and companies, an e-store with all the key metrics integrated (traffic, the popularity of items, sales, inventory control) and a blogging platform. The software also offers an email and a newsletter service and mobile apps.

The quality of templates is actually pretty good for a custom online website builder (a bit better than Wix graphic and layout-wise) and most themes have a fresh, modern touch to them that doesn’t look excessive–unless you want to add extra features and applications.

The main support channels available are a live chat, email, and a community forum service.

On the downside, the platform doesn’t offer any full website restoring capabilities, which means that while it lets you undo some previous changes, it doesn’t save every single website update once you hit the publish button. If you have accidentally or unwisely deleted the previous version of your website, you’ll have to contact the Weebly team and wait until they restore your previous version/s. This is the main “weakness” of the platform.

Pricing range per month: $8-49

Average net score: 4.6/5 stars

Weebly Review

Weebly.com


No 3: Squarespace

squarespace

squarespace

Squarespace is another modern platform for building custom websites that may not be as popular as Wix, but is quickly gaining ground among millennials and modern professionals who are looking to build a modern professional-looking website in a just a few minutes. Squarespace also utilizes the custom template philosophy for initiating the website building process as there are hundreds of customizable templates to choose from. The platform offers a basic website, an online store, an email service, and mobile apps with live chat, community forum, and email support.

Squarespace overall stands out from the other web builder platforms in that it offers polished and professional-looking templates and features, especially for creative niches and professions like artists, photographers, musicians, and chefs.

Among the very few disadvantages of the platform is the fact that e-commerce capabilities have no full features or ease of use and there is no interactive user guide to help guide beginners. Additionally, it has no newsletter creator on its own unless you use a third party application for that.

Αverage pricing: $12-40 (free 14-day trial is also available)

General net score: 4.5/5

Squarespace Review

Squarespace.com


No 4: GoDaddy.

godaddy website builder

godaddy website builder

GoDaddy has achieved the “holy-grail” status as it’s one of the oldest and most popular website hosting and building companies available for nearly two decades. Although not as fresh and polished like its competitors, GoDaddy is still used by millions of people worldwide due to its ease of use and low pricing. The platform supports most website types except e-commerce and offers mobile-optimized websites. It also offers an email service but only if the website owner pays for a premium account. Compared to other website platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, GoDaddy lacks advanced features that could make a website look more professional and functional, even though it is still quite user and social-media friendly.

Pricing range per month: $5.99-14.00

Average net score: 4.0/5 stars.

GoDaddy Website Builder Review

GoDaddy.com