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With more and more consumers turning to computers and search engines to find products and services, most companies have seen the need for websites. However, not all businesses want to spend the money to pay individuals or Internet companies to create and build their sites. Fortunately, there are other options for the budget-challenged company or individual in need of Internet exposure. The demand for websites has led to the rise of companies providing software and direction for individuals and companies to build their own sites. One of these companies is Microsoft and the software is WIX...
Some companies expect to remain small while others are working to grow. These expanding businesses need access to stellar website design, reliable hosting and skilled web designers when the time comes to grow. From budget web design to a full-fledged customized site, customers get it all at Web Hosting Hub. Their web hosting has a reliable reputation with accessible and understanding customer service available whenever you need it.
It can be be intimidating and confusing for the average person to design his or her own ecommerce store. When designing a store that thousands of your customers will see, it's important for the website builder storefront to be as clean, neat, and professional looking as possible, no matter what product you are planning to sell.
Before knowing what the best website builder is, one should learn the importance of a website. A website is a marketplace in the online world where products and services can be displayed and where business owners and marketers can communicate with their potential and existing clients. A website should be easy to navigate; professional looking yet not boring to the eyes, should have elements compatible with the different browsers that clients use, informative, and reliable in providing a secure transaction. In case it makes use of mailing lists, it should not be a venue for sending spam mails, which clients hate most.
Back in the days when noisy modems connect the world, the Internet is a haven for text editors and WYSIWIG applications which help teach you how to create a free website. These simple sites store information, which show how useful the Internet has become. It has become an information superhighway and serves as the main repository for all there is in the world. Self-expression and business production is limitless. Now, more than ever, creating excellent websites is very much possible. This is due to with speed and wealth of resources previously undreamed of. You can ensure you’re always up to date and you won’t get left behind. A website is more than just your face to the world. It is the hub for your connectivity; a beacon for opportunities.
If you are hoping to build a website where you can express yourself freely, then you may want to start by checking out free site builders over the Internet. Like your own room, your blog or personal site can be your happy place online. This can be your safe place on the Internet, where you can convey your thoughts and show your personality. This can be an exhilarating experience. Establishing your online site can be tough at first, but it can be really exciting. You’ll have the opportunity to customize your page would look like and list down your concepts, ideas and purpose. You’ll get to imagine your target market. This is quite overwhelming and frustrating, especially when you can’t coordinate your thoughts well. You’ll end up throwing everything out and start from scratch.
No business is possible without a web presence today. As Bill Gates once said if your business is not on the internet, it might as well not exist. That’s why business people don’t even question the necessity for a website, they are just looking for ways to get it. Some businesses are based on internet presence, online shops for example. There are ones not really “connected”, but they still require a page on the web. It should be obvious that the approach for each of them should be different. It’s likely that a large online store would put a high budget on it and pay the most of attention for developing. Perhaps they’d like to have their system for being unique or to stand out against the competition with some special features or hire a highly professional team to do it for them. It makes no sense to put such diligence into a site if your business in not that much reliant on it. You might as well get a page for free. For such purposes builders are already ready. They don’t require special training to use and truly allow to create the website for free. Interesting what actually these builders are , what you can make with them and what they offer for customers. Let’s find out!
Before making a decision about making a website, it’s important to figure out which path are you taking: make everything yourself or hire a team of web developers.
Let’s evaluate these options.
People who decide to make a site on their own, usually look for these main categories:
Business card site
The kind of builder you choose depends on the resource type you need. Every builder is oftentimes designed for specific one.
The Business card is basically what you think of it, a page or two with some information you would put on an advertising booklet. Your contacts and list of services you provide also go there. Such page can also have some news and offers publishing.
Before thinking what kind of builder you are looking for, it’s recommended to write all the texts to be published there. If you find out there are little to no texts, but many news and posts, especially of they are short, it makes a whole lot of sense to go with a social network groups and blog features. You will find your following way better there and for many uses it’s free.
If you need not only to tell people who you are, but also constantly update them on what’s happening and share info, offers, research results, analytics, advices, you might need a blog.
Requirements for those websites are quite different. For a business card you might update the website once a year, but for blog you will do it every day or even multiple times a day. If you don’t find a builder, who will allow you to update the blog without the help of a professional website maker, you will better again use a social network and their website tools.
Another kind of site to build with a website builder is a landing page. This kind of website is not to be updated and is only created for a couple of months to help you sell a lot of your products. It is usually designed to collect your customer’s contacts or forward them to your shop with a big “buy” button. Requirements for landing pages include being flashy and attractive, usable on all devices and very straightforward for people to do the one action advertised.
When talking about kind of website builders there are ones specific for each kind, there are ones for blogs, landing pages and business cards.
Usually the best website builders for making one on your own end up providing those three, for anything more complex: it’s usually way better to hire a team. Separate stand the kind of internet presence like marketplace, or storefront. Such features are represented in social networks and aggregators where you put your items for sell, sometimes it makes sense to stick to a bigger platform like amazon, ebay etc. But we are talking about your very own web presence and as a rule of thumb more complex platform like a market or e-shop require some work of specialist. More complex sites to be make by a professional include:
Blog with the extended features
A specialized web service
This requires engaging specialists and they would solve your issue in two main ways:
Creating a special system just for you
Using existing technologies to build a solution
The former is also a kind of builder workflow, but more complex and flexible. It still has to be chosen for your specific task.
Such constructors are divided into free onces and paid. They both allow you to create a corporate resource, shop, even a platform for communication. There is a conventional division between a blog oriented and for e-commerce.
Having a link on the web means to share with people and have your info on that page and having your own website is slightly different things. You can create your own page in a social network, add your card in an online catalogue, add information about your items to an aggregator, here you can even have your own page on wikipedia! But could also be owning your actual site and there are signs that you do own it. Those signs are:
Your own custom domain name
A website host to run it with a freedom to move elsewhere.
You can control your domain name and your hosting.
You can legally own content published on your resource
Such autonomous control over your own content as opposed to using other people’s online platforms have some advantages:
You can install analytics tools to track people visiting your pages.
Customize your pages without changing domain
Find better options for hosting, scale your resource with CDNs and IaaS solutions.
Usually when you pick a builder to use you are advertised to be able to create a full website without any additional skills. There is usually a big start button somewhere. Then there are steps with instructions where you fill in all the required fields and characteristics for your website. You really only need to answer questions such as what is your company name, what is your slogan and logo, the type of activity you do and some basic texts for the pages. Pick a template, add features to add. That’s why it’s recommended to prepare everything you need to tell about your company, logo and such, even before you start looking for a website builder or a team.
Every developer of a builder tries to make those fields for information in the most intuitive way. It still ends up the process of filling in the info and selecting from existing options they provide. To sum up, there are following main features they provide:
Fill in the data using forms and fields
Change the positioning and size of blocks of information on a page
Customizing the appearance of texts and content
They do their best to make these things as easy as possible. They often even advertise those feature for free. The free ones often still end up selling you a “feature” to use your own domain or you would have to your theirs; sometimes hosting is paid too; and when both previous feature are free or cheap, they will just show ads on your website. So let’s assume there is no truly free way to make your own website.
It’s important to understand that no matter how flexible the tool for changing colors, shapes and moving blocks around, without the designer experience you will have to try a lot of times to get to something likable, you might not even get the desired effect. You will be shifting elements around, trying all the features and you might even like the process. There is one nuance in that all: giving wide options to change the design they create an illusion that it’s possible to create your own design and it will be really good. A person might have unlimited options: change colors, size and positioning of the blocks. This might become quite an exciting process. But there is one con: you never know what comes out in the end. For making the result really decent you need experience most owners don’t have because of the absence of special training. From business point of view it’s more effective not to have features for creating design, but to have options to choose from already created by professional designers. That’s why when selecting a system for creating a website you have to make a choice on who develops the design: a professional or you. If you, the best website builder is one with many templates, if a designer, there should be options to create your own. Those features are designed for professional website makers and are practically worthless for people with no prior experience. Considering the presence o templates creating your design requires the first selecting of the template and then fill in the fields.
From the described above you can come to conclusion you can make a website, but should hire a developer for a more complex system. But let’s figure out what are the cases for finding a professional right away vs when it’s always a better solution to do it yourself. Answering this question you should always remember that finding a professional website creator means spending money. So this decision should first be commercially viable.
You can handle developing a website if you can answer ”yes” for the most question below:
You are doing business on your own for a long time without a website and it’s successful
You are capable of writing all the texts about your business and services
You don’t need a website where you have to update information frequently
You need a website for a short time
If you answered no to at least two questions, better find a professional. If yes, your next algorithm follow below:
Find a list of companies offering site builders (we’ll provide one later in this article).
Remember that you will have to spend some money and you are primarily saving you the work you can do on your own.
Write all the text beforehand in a separate file.
Prepare images of your logo or hire a designer for this.
Start building a website using a builder tool from selecting a template completely satisfies you. If you don’t find a good template, better try another builder.
After selecting the template, start filling in your texts, don’t try changing the template as it was likely developed by a professional and designed to look good in the default layout.
If you have at least 3 ”no” answers it worth looking for a professional or a team to build you're a website. It makes sense to follow this algorithm:
Describe to a specialist what you need the website for
Give them all the texts you have written, you still need them.
Give them all the graphical elements like logo and pictures if you have any.
Ask to create and offer with the price for you and suggest them to pick website builder software by themselves.
That’s it, but we’ll have some additional notes.
If you don’t have a skill in writing attractive texts, this task could be delegated to professionals too. In this case specialists will be offering you options, you agree on one and will have to pay them for their work.
This approach will help you save both money and time. Statistics show many business owners are trying to do it on their own, spend a lot of time and only after that they decide to turn to professionals. Don’t make the same mistakes.
If you decided to make a website on your own it makes sense in many cases. And if before it was not acceptable because it would require the knowledge of web dev tools and languages, now you can make a lot of things with some intuitive to use online tools. Dragging items around until the layout is close to what you need and filling in texts so the page represents your cause.
Besides the ease of use there is another important benefit: it’s usually dirt cheap compared to paying an actual living person for their hard work hours. You could spend hundreds of dollars for custom designed, but still pretty simple page be or pay same price for a choice from 200+ templates and a yearly hosting, domain, and online support.
Among non-professionals in site creating who have successfully created their websites, most prominent are:
Owners of a local business
Most experts who look into the question of building the website with a team or using a builder come to a conclusion, the main advantage of builders is way lower budget requirements for those who want a website looking as professional or even better than a custom made solution.
Because the goal of a builder is making good looking pages fast and easy, you are looking for some pre-made templates so there is no need to worry about all the graphics design specifics. One of the most painful part of which is making the website work with all the screen sizes and device specifics. Another important feature is the ease of the editor. It’s easy to break a good template by over customizing it. More simple editor will have you covered while allowing to have some variety in options.
Every builder is trying to attract customer with some nice features for certain audience. It’s always good to have a selection of stock images for your website included with the plan. Some editors will have easier way to embed videos, polls, galleries, some might have whole collections of community made plugins.
In various ratings among most popular you can always find these builders:
Those are all more or less paid, usually good for certain things depending on your goal
If you want to make a good looking modern website and you need a business card, kind of page and possibly a blog without the need to learn multiple builders, it makes sense to check out wix.com. Across all the ratings it’s the most popular platform to build a website. You can make a blog, business card, landing page, eShop. So pretty much go with it if you need some of those.
Not only it’s the most popular option worldwide, but it is also pretty well established with tons of templates, very flexible editor and really stable servers infrastructure. This means you can buy and customize a website with a quick website builder and expect to be reliably available online. Additional nice feature is eCommerce functionality so your customers can even buy and book for events online.
Unique pros of wix:
having over 500 template it allows you to pick one even before registration. There is a mobile version activated with just one button press and is edited separate from desktop one.
It allows you to use your own fonts
Wix website can have your own custom html code in it.
There are some cons to mention though:
The cheapest plans are very limited in features.
One of the paid plans still has wix ads and you can’t remove them without upgrading.
You need paid plan to have custom domain and email.
For times when you need a landing page, or promo page, check out ConstantContact.com.
A pretty cool feature they have is automatic import of your branding from social networks like a facebook page. Killer offer - is that you can start selling stuff on your website without paying anything. That’s right, their free plan offers eCommerce and free domain for a year. This makes it an excellent choice for people who do their business on facebook, but need to have a landing page occasionally to sell items or promote an event.
Here are some reasons to use it for this purpose:
There is a mailing service
Very advanced built-in analytics module
Nice reports on conversion in real time
Using all the features could cost some money
Even though there is mailing and tooling, design part is limited
If you need a website of any kind with good looking modern design, one of the top modern website builders for you would be Weebly.
This option will work for you if you have a designer who overlooks your corporate style. The choice in premade templates is not that big, but flexibility of them is incredible. Here are some features:
You can use video background on the pages
Easy to add new forms with drag and drop editor
Very convenient modules to add galleries and tables
No way to edit mobile version separate from the desktop one
Cheapest plans are limited in features, it could be pricey depending on your needs
There is a pretty specific option for designers and photographers. If you do earn money on pretty pictures and want to show them off on one of the most professional looking templates, Squarespace might be the best option for you.
They offer over 200 templates with of the prettiest galleries
Very well balanced editor to make the website look custom
No limit on storage - upload all the works!
Really good performance
Price, it’s one of the most expensive options
Support might not be super helpful
In case when you need the simplicity in creation, over 20 amateurs have managed to create their website with Webnode. Guess it’s easy. What’s truly beneficial to all of them is over 200 high quality and free templates.
Unique features of Webnode:
Multilingual - over 20 languages
Mobile version of templates included in free plan
Drag and drop editor
Easiest website builder
Features are not as flexible compared to other builders
Does not support widgets and additional features
A well known domain name provider GoDaddy offers an overwhelming 1500+ template options, and they are are organized well with categories. This makes it one of the best choices to just buy a domain and template to go with it. Boom, you have a website!
Okay editor if you do need to modify those templates
Month free trial
Deceptive pricing, most options give you free or cheap starting price that goes up later on
There are over 15 million websites built on Jimbo. Even though there are only 16 templates available, those are really high quality options with very powerful and intuitive visual editor with drag and drop functionality. You can also load up your own custom templates.
Jimbo’s unique features:
Outstanding SEO properties make the websites rank up in search engines.
You can import items for eCommerce with csv file, that’s really convenient
Paid plans are well priced
EShop features are only available in paid plan
Full control over SEO is only available in the premium plan for business
If you have ended up deciding to make your own online shop with a website builder it’s worth choosing from two of the most powerful systems designated for exactly this purpose: Shopify and BigCommerce.
Shopify positions itself as a tool for online sells from the start. It’s capable of creating a shop of any complexity, Even though it’s paid only and not very cheap, over 200 thouthands business owners have entrusted it worldwide. It’s attractive mainly because of the functional features, suggests 14 days of test period and it’s paid right after that.
Unlimited hosting for any plan
Ability to control online shop with a smartphone
Huge amount of educational materials and video lessons
Good indexation by search engines
They take commission from sells, 0.5%-2% depending on the plan
BigCommerce has one big feature to make it stand out: it is exceptionally good at integrating with other internet shops like facebook, pinterest, amazon, ebay, shopzilla, and others. This integration is available for any plan.
No commission on sells
No limit on file uploads
No limit on items count
Has a big learning curve
Working capital is limited by plan
Plans are annual only
Most often WordPress is mentioned among website builders, but it’s not completely correct. WordPress is an ideal platform to create a blog, it’s not a builder service though, it’s CMS with open source code. For a regular users, developing a resource with WordPress would be a challenging task. It leaves a good option for developers, but not for most people.
WordPress features making it different from website builders:
Even though it seems simple WordPress will not allow you to edit the website without additional skills and knowledge. For example you can’t edit date of previously posted article.
WordPress does not contain as many tips and guides as majority of builders.
Apart from builders WordPress requires installing third party plugins.
WordPress is constantly updated, sometimes causing issues only solvable by a specialist. Your average builder would never need to update anything.
However WordPress has some pros:
Very well indexed
Templates are well accepted for blog users
Susceptible to hacks and spam
Complex to master for an average person
Website builders are used by business owners who don’t want to spend money on website creation and companies who provide website creation services. Both groups voiced their pros and cons.
From registering and creating the website to having it online it could take under an hour, to develop it from scratch could take at least a week. Website builder is the fastest option to get a working resource.
Every person is capable of providing simple instructions: pressing a button, choosing from a list, entering text in a field. There is nothing easier to make your own website than to build it using an online website building service.
Every website builders company puts their efforts into making it the most convenient experience possible and no other way of creating a website is accompanied with such convenience when it comes to the process itself.
Even though builders still cost money, it’s impossible to have a website build cheaper.
Among main disadvantages these were listed the most:
Slower page load times
Requirement for monthly pay. Designed resource is only paid for once.
Weak control over SEO
Poor tech support
Less convenient to update content
After studying many website builders there is only one thing to say firmly: there is no ideal builder, each of them has pros and cons. We hope the information provided will help you choose the option with more awareness.