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Website builders is a perfect alternative for those who don’t want to splurge on hiring a specialist, which is rather expensive now.
It’s a great opportunity not only to save some money, but also to create your own website in a fast and simple way. Drag and drop tools, provided by the majority of platforms now, make the process of website creating much easier. You are a designer of your own website. The power to choose templates, edit them, add different sections and boxes is in your hands. Moreover, modern intuitive website builders allow to tweak the smallest aspects of the website, including font, color, shades and location of every single detail of the website.
Beginners might face the problem of choosing the right website builder since all of them are different and offer unique features and functions.
Among the diversity of modern platforms, we distinguished top 10 best website builders currently existed on the market. We rated them according to our preferences, first being the best one, based on our own experience.
But before moving to the list, read this…
Website builders vs. professional web developer?
Starting price on services for the development of websites fluctuates around $2000. Furthermore, it’s not over yet. You will also need a designer or webmaster to constantly update you site and make adjustments (in other words – incur additional expenses).
On the other hand, website builders allow you to set up your website, manage it easily without any assistance, make changes according to your taste and all these just for a few dollars per month.
It goes without saying, that you can modify you website, download media files, create your own designs and much more in just a few minutes (without turning to the support center). Talking of support services, professional representatives will connect you in a few minutes, sometimes even seconds, and supply all the necessary advices. Leading platforms take care of their reputation and closely monitor performance quality of their workers.
Website builders suit well for:
Developing businesses and individuals with modest budgets widely use website building tools on the initial stages of their evolving. Among them are:
- small retailers
- small and medium-sized businesses owners
- music bands
- photo- and videographers
- beauty salons
- and many more
Top 10 Website Builders in 2019
We judge website builders only by our own experience and recommend the best, the easiest and the most affordable ones.
1. Wix.com – simple and straightforward website builder
Cons of Wix
- For setting up an email account you’ll spend $6 per month (with the help of Google G Suite)
- 24/7 support via phone, but no chat or messages
PROS of Wix
- Earned great popularity on the market, well-developed and is servicing around 100 million users across the world. Overwhelming majority of websites are powered by Wix. That’s why it’s first on our list.
- Favorable terms for establishing eCommerce shops. Wix offers special plan for $20 per month and the whole set of functions, including booking, shopping cart, event registration and so on.
- Awe-inspiring collection of templates, one of the greatest among other platforms. It comprises over 500 examples designed by experts with fine taste. You’ll certainly be satisfied.
- You can customize your website to a maximum extend. Drag and drop features allow to do that quickly and easy, so even beginners in this sphere can handle it.
- No matter in which industry you work, with Wix it is possible to create any type of website you might only wish. For restaurant websites it offers online reservation or even online ordering. For eCommerce website there are such perks as multiple payment methods, free uploading of images, videos, music, setting up events and sending invitations for them.
- Support system operates pretty good. You won’t have to wait hours on end to receive an answer to your question.
- Wix provides steadily high uptime of 99.98% (tested personally by us) and a substantial speed at approximately 581ms.
- Long-term loyal customers might benefit from various discounts. By prepaying for the annual plan, you are able to get free domain as a bonus, spending $132 for all together. The longer term you prepay the bigger discount you get. By our calculations, you can save nearly $216 in two or three years.
- In addition, you can add social network accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Intuitive abilities of Wix pick up color palette for the template you’ve chosen according to your logo.
- Templatecurrents look perfect both on large-scale screen and on mobile devices. Your designs are automatically transformed into smaller-sized scopes.
Do we recommend Wix? Surely.
Affordable pricing and easy tools are appealing to more and more people. Both those willing to simply start a personal blog and leading restaurateurs, photographers, artists or musicians, planning to develop big business will succeed with Wix. It is a secure and fast way to set up any type of website, from a blog to an advanced eCommerce store.
You can easily tweak your website according to your wishes by using various templates, adding different sections, new pages and apps.
Wix gives an opportunity of free trial version so that you check everything in practice and make a final decision.
2. SiteBuilder – cheap, but multifunctional website builder
Cons of SiteBuilder
- Additional expenses on emails in an amount of $6 per month (it’s a common phenomenon among website builders to get extra costs for emails)
- To renew your plan, be ready to pay twice as much as an initial price ($3.84 per month goes into $7.68 per month)
Pros of SiteBuilder
- Limitless plans. So that you are not restricted at the volume of available storage or bandwidth.
- Hundreds of pre-made breathtaking themes will meet even the pickiest tastes. Don’t get lost among them, because there are more than 1,200 variants offered for free.
- It’s easy to create your own fully operational eCommerce store and modify it with specially designed themes, which you can additionally customize (change colors, location of sections, etc.). Everything is possible with just a few taps and clicks on your computer, tablet or even phone.
- For the first years of using SiteBuilder you are given a free domain name. Moreover, during that period of time the platform excludes all the adds from your websites no matter which plan you choose.
- It shows excellent results in uptime and speed monitoring. They don’t fall below 99.99% and 462ms respectively.
- Their live chat support works on the highest level. You can get a reply in a few minutes. What’s more, it’s not bound to numerous endless docs with detailed instructions which are absolutely pointless in most cases. Their experts have close personal approach, helping to solve your problem fast, individually and easily.
- As most website builders on the list, SiteBuilder offers discounts for 12- and 24-month plans owners. If you are so, in addition to a free domain name for a year, you’ll get many other benefits and can save quit a substantial sum of money. For two years, for example, you’ll pay no more than $143.76. Keep in mind that renewal prices are twice higher than introductory ones and long-term plans is a good alternative to economize.
- All the themes perfectly suit to mobile version of your website. Don’t worry about how you website will look at a smartphone, because SiteBuilder will do everything itself.
Recommended? Of course.
Drag and drop tools make the process of themes customizing easy as pie.
What stands it apart is their reasonable pricing. eCommerce plan will cost you less than in other website builders on the list. Moreover, they are constantly developing and come up with new promotions. Don’t forget about a free domain name for the whole year.
Summing up affordable prices, simplicity in use, impeccable uptime, flawless support system, huge variety of themes, not to mention different kinds of discounts, it’s highly recommendable platform, suitable for beginners as well.
3. Site123 – for small websites with big ambitions
Cons of Site123
- Unlike other website builders offer, you can’t pay for the email accounts separately. They are available only together with the plan. So, if you need an email profile, be ready to buy advanced user plan.
- Support system sometimes doesn’t work properly. Instead of professional individual approach, you might receive an automatic answer with a link to a doc with general advices. They were asked some standard questions, like how many users they current have and the reply was faded. Seems that they have to enhance the support department.
Pros of Site123
- Before buying a plan, you might test a trial version to get your own experience. Despite being very restricted, it allows you to understand how the platform is actually working.
- Starting price for eCommerse websites is $22.80. Here you’ll find a long list of possible questions and detailed instructions which substantially facilitate the process of setting up a website.
- By our suppositions, their theme library includes more than 250 templates, as usual, easily tweaked by dragging and dropping
- As far as uptime is concerned, Site123 does not concede SiteBuilder with difference only in 0.01%.
- Prices meet the level of a given website builder. Since it’s mainly for small simple websites, pricing is not very high. For $129 per year you’ll get a free domain name as well.
- Your customers who prefer browsing the Internet via smartphone, will be happy to enjoy the same template, quality of images, colors, fonts and other design features as on your Pc version of the website.
Recommended? It depends.
Generally, it’s a perfect solution for comparatively not very big websites. Uptime and speed are satisfactory, enough themes to choose from, but support service and editing functions trail behind and need to be improved.
It doesn’t exclude the opportunity to create large-scale websites with Site123, but you have to pay more over the year of usage.
4. Jimdo – limited in templates, developed intuitively
Cons of Jimdo
- Lacks large selection of themes. Ends with only 16 of them
- Support quality depends on the plan you use. Customers with minimum plan could wait for their answer at least 2 days. Quit a problem in case of urgency.
- Their uptime fails to be the best with 49 disruptions over the period of 6 months. Speed is 917ms that doesn’t seem too good.
Pros of Jimdo
- Prices are truly low. You may start with $9 per month, consequently $108 per first year and enjoy free domain name.
- You won’t spend much time for website creation. We’ve made our website operate in recording 20 minutes.
- Email accounts cost $1 per month, which is rather cheap in comparison to other website builders.
- After your costless domain name is over, you can easily renew it for $20n per year. eCommerce plans are also quite appealing, only for $19 per month.
- If you are interested in the data about your customers, mainly age, country, etc, you might receive statistics with all the information given. You don’t have to waste your personal time on that. Jimbo will do everything for you.
Low prices, free domain name for a year, fast and simple managing make it look really attractive.
Cheap emails, limitless eCommerce plan add to the whole positive picture.
But you can’t be sure in its efficient performance. Unstable uptime obviously pulls it down. In addition, you are framed in 16 themes and don’t have much power to edit your website.
As you can judge, Site123 is more preferable for one-page websites.
5. Squarespace – focused on design and photos
Cons of Squarespace
- Expensive prices. Personal plan will cost you $12 per month and business one – $18 per month. That’s on the condition you pay annually. If it’s already too much for you, don’t look at the end online store cost, which constitutes $40 per month.
- Extra expenses include also email accounts for $5 per month.
- Support servicing is definitely awful. It’s a real quest to start a live chat. Before that you’ll get dozens of articles which in most cases will turn to be pointless. You’ll go through filling up numerous sections concerning your issue and only after that their expert will connect you. It might take you 20 minutes to make all the procedures and in the end most probably you’ll receive another link to an article.
Pros of Squarespace
- Not very low costs are justified by high-standard functions. Squarespace is particularly nice pick for photo- and videographers, as well as wedding planners, interior designers and other industries with great need for qualitative images.
- Squarespace is known for its well-designed modern templates. They look sophisticated, not being afraid to say perfect.
- Great customizing opportunities will make your website unique and exclusive. The software almost feel want you wish and help to imply it in reality.
- Don’t skimp to pay for Squarespace since they offer storage and bandwidth with no restrictions.
- It possesses one of the highest speeds offered by website builders mentioned here – on average 326ms. Their uptime is decent, too – 99.98%
Recommended? Yes and no in the same time.
Think well before wasting extra dollars on Squarespace. Define what type of website you’d like to set up. It’s worth spent money if it’s something connected with photos or any media files in general.
In other cases, you are able to get the same features for lower prices with the help of other platforms.
6. GoDaddy – not flawless, but apposite website builder
Cons of GoDaddy Website Builder
- There are some problematic aspects with emails. They are operated by Microsoft Office, contrary to other website builders which use Google for that purposes. Moreover, each email account costs $9.99 per month.
- Don’t expect to receive support if you are not their customer. The first thing their expert will ask you to do is to enter your support PIN. It ultimately means that you have to possess an account. So, if you are willing simply to get more details about their plans or software – it’s hardly possible. Another pity fact is that we had to wait near 35 minutes for the reply. It’s still calling a live chat!
- After a free period of domain name, renewal costs $17.99 per month.
Pros of GoDaddy Website Builder
- GoDaddy makes it easier to choose your template. All the themes are divided into catagories according to the website you’d like to set up (restaurant, music band, photographer, etc.)
- GoDaddy loses out to Wix in intuition, but still offers drag and drop interface for quick editing of your website.
- If you are a coach, private tutor, wedding organizer or anybody who has a full diary and extremely busy schedule for the day, you might save your time and add scheduling feature to your website so that your clients easily situate themselves into your timetable.
- Another advantageous opportunity from GoDaddy is absolutely free month trial. It’s not often that you meet the same perk among other website builders. You are able to test it chapter and verse before finally deciding to buy any of their plans.
- It shows surprisingly flawless uptime, which doesn’t fall below 99.99%, being disrupted only once for 2 minutes.
- It has to be mentioned that GoDaddy costs a little more than other options on the list. For the annual plan you’ll pay $143.86 and $14.60 for domain name with taxes included.
Without any doubts, it’s quite decent website builder, but taking into account its cost, features and possibilities, we advise to opt for any other website builders listed above (mainly Wix or SiteBuilder).
We also can’t disregard its poorly working support service which made us wait more than half an hour in live chat.
7. WordPress – Bloggers’ favorite.
Cons of WordPress.com
- From the first glance might seem rather complicated for beginners or unexperienced users since it requires some prior knowledge and skills in that sphere.
- Prices for domain name are not very affordable – $22 per month. It’s included for free in some of their plan, but only in more expensive ones.
- One more attempt to attract people to more expensive plans is many restrictions in cheaper ones. The latest don’t provide all the templates available and disable you to add PayPal as a payment method.
- Some of their more than 200 themes can’t be modified by dragging and dropping.
Pros of WordPress.com
- It’s the most commonly used and popular platform as more than 50% of websites across the world are powered by WordPress.
- Creating your own eCommerce store is unbelievable easy with WordPress. Unlike the majority of other builders, it doesn’t demand extra payment for adding online shop to your website. Try it for free with WooCommerce.
- It takes less than three minutes to connect their support representative in chat. Worth mentioning, the rep acted highly professionally and what’s important – without sending any endless articles. Unfortunately, this function is open only for plan users.
- You can create your hosting account through WordPress and pay to them directly. Personal plan usually costs $60 per year. We tried to sign up our Personal plan and total sum turned to be $48 per year, consequently $4 per month.
- Excellent uptime and speed numbers speak for themselves, being 99.99% and 300ms respectively. Ease to see their efficient performance and high standards.
For more experienced users.
WordPress is like a next level after typical website builders. Being skilled in creating websites, user want more control and freedom in managing them.
For beginners or people not willing to bother with all the tricky moments, it’s advisable to choose another, more simple website builder.
8. Weebly – not for serious purposes.
Cons of Weebly
- Not very generous choice of templates. You’ll have to pick up something out of 60 themes, some of which are not upgraded.
- For each email you’ll pay $5.
- Cheaper plans are not very profitable, so they made them limited, making you switch to the more advanced ones.
- It demonstrates 99.97% uptime over the last six months. Might be a rather good result, but not comparing to other website builders with 99.99% and even recording 100%.
Pros of Weebly
- Weebly enables us to get through a trial version to explore the platform before subscribing for a plan.
- They have on offer hundreds of modern themes, which can be easily edited while you move a mouse or tap the screen.
- What really should be highlighted is their intuition. It allows you to customize your website in a few minutes.
- Weebly doesn’t put limits on bandwidth and storage.
- Support representative reacts very quickly and gives exhaustive answers to all your questions. In fact, you don’t even have to wait much.
We can’t say that it’s completely bad. You may test free trial period and figured out what you like and what no.
For us, editing feature leave much to be desired.
Weebly also trails behind because of high eCommerce plan costs and doubtful efficiency of its performance. There are better possible variants to substitute it.
9. Webs – unreliable uptime and speed.
Cons of Webs
- As in most cases, you need to pay for extra email accounts. It’s a common phenomenon.
- Webs’ themes fail to keep the pace of time. They are not very modern and it’s a little difficult to change something in them or add media files.
- We are not surprised that cheap plans are restricted. It forces you to get more expensive ones. There’s a little difference between $5.99 and $20.99 per month on the condition if paid annually.
- They provide discounts only for the first year of usage. Then the price renews at $60 higher than the initial one. It’s strongly encouraged to buy 2- or 3-year term at once. It’ll certainly save you money in the future.
- The lower is website builder on the list, the worse characteristics it possesses. Uptime showed over six months is 99.83%. In other words, our website was down for the whole day.
Pros of Webs
- More than 55 million websites are hosted by Webs.
- Wide range of templates – over 400 units. You’ll definitely find yours.
- It’ll take you a few minutes to begin a live chat with support department rep. Can’t fault their work.
They have to improve their templates, speed and uptime before demanding such high prices. Otherwise, make it cheaper, in accordance to the quality they provide.
10. Web – listing some troubles with eCommerce stores.
Web.com is often noticed on the Internet. So, we’ve made a conclusion that it must provide good service and promotions. Frankly speaking, we didn’t subscribe to any plan and pay for it.
- To start off with, the procedure of signing up their plans is pretty strange and troubled. What stroke us most is the only possible way to sever contract with them. In 2019 you still have to phone them in case of such an important issue. Weird, right?
- In the description of the plan you won’t find any information of what is included in it. Everything is incredibly unclear.
- They have a big choice of themes, but all of them are old-fashioned and outdated. It you want to set up a likeable alluring website, don’t even start observing Web.
- You won’t be able to make your website unique, too. For Web there is a long way to drag and drop interface yet. As you understand, without it, all you can do is to change colour, font and images. But still, it might be enough for some individuals, we just state the facts.
- We were shocked, to say the least of it, with the comments on Web on other blogs, forums and discussions. Read one of them, for example:
“Who knows how to contact Senior Executive? I have huge problems with managing of my website. It’s not working for two weeks. I’ve already received 31 complaints. I have my domain name changed, and I am empty-handed now. All the records disappeared so that I don’t have any proofs of having been their loyal customer since 2001. I am totally despaired. Perhaps, somebody faced the same problem. Then I sincerely beg you for an advice.”
How is it possible at all? Nobody paid attention to such a request for 2 weeks. Looks highly unprofessionally.
- Not enough reasons for giving Web up? Then we’ll explain why we didn’t want to sign up a plan and test it in a full way. Starting price of Web is $22 per month. It’s higher than Wix, Squarespace and SiteBuilder offer. Let’s look at Web at the cold light of day – it’s absolutely pointless to spend this money on such a troubled website builder. We followed this advice and couldn’t push ourselves to shell out on buying a plan.
Are all website builders claimed to be free really meet this statement?
Some website builders attract more users by claiming to be free. Sounds ideally, doesn’t it? But don’t be so naïve.
Even if it’s stated that website builder is free, there are some hidden negative aspects. While testing website builders of that kind, we face the following problems:
Problem 1 – Concerning Domain Name
Imagine the situation when you’ve spent several hours, picking up the right template, editing its every single section to make the website more unique and creative, downloaded all the necessary images and finally, tired, but aflame with impatience to launch you creation push the bottom Publish and…proceed to domain name. Here some problems begin. Free website builders offer you frankly ridiculous domain names, like:
Are you satisfied? Does it look professionally? No.
Is your website still unique? No.
Did you waste your precious time? Yes.
Taking into consideration that you often set up your website for earning money, it’s essentials that your customers trust you. NameOfYourBusiness.free-site.com doesn’t inspires any confidence and credibility.
There are some websites offering free domain names, but, as usual, everything is not as smooth as we would like it to be. They have certain restrictions described below.
Problem 2 – Limited Plans
Everyone likes freebie. Untill you discover what lays behind.
In fact, you’ll have to incur extra expenses for basically any kind of upgrade. For example:
- 20 themes are not enough? Pay for more.
- Would it be great to have an email account called [email protected]? Pay.
- Your website looks dull without search box, media files, contacts, etc? Pay and add that.
- Want to start eCommerce page on your website? Pay.
- Need support service help? Pay.
- Unsatisfied with limited number of images and videos? Pay.
- Want to see statistics? Pay.
We can continue the list endlessly.
You pay for extra services, pay again for new features and then one more time for a domain name. In the end the sum you’ve spent usually exceeds the starting pricing of plans offered by paid website builders. It’s a common trick among everything with the “free” label.
We ourselves went through it.
Initially, we didn’t have the foggiest idea how much it would cost us to write the review. But very soon it turned to be extremely expensive. Still everything written should be confirmed with personal experience.
Problem 3 – Managing Without Control
This last trouble is the biggest one.
After strenuous process of website creation, spending arm and a leg on all the extra opportunities and setting up a domain name you finally enjoy you website and make some money. On that stage you are also not impartial. You add new information to your website, upgrade and modify it in different ways, develop your eCommerce store or download professionally operated video blogs. It seems everything worked out and is going to be even better.
Yes, it was going to be until one day when you try to open your website and suddenly realize that it has disappeared. Really? You’ve put your heart into this website and made not tiny effort to achieve what you had before that day.
Of course, you connect support service and demand explanations, but all you get is:
“We’re very sorry, but your site violated our terms and TOS for free accounts, thus we had to disable it. If you want to get it live, you’ll need to pay for it.”
There have already happened similar situations. It’s not just our invention.
Think twice before instantly choosing free website builders in hope to save money. We recommend opting for website builders costing around $5 – $20 per month. Prices are not the only thing you should pay attention to. Let’s look at shortened advices concerning which website building platform to choose.
In short, which website builder suites me personally?
To sum everything up, website builders is an ideal way out for small and medium businesses aiming to evolve into great corporations, make a fortune and earn credibility and fame. Moreover, your website could be ready in a few days, in contrast to custom sites, which creation takes weeks or even months.
Best variants irrespectively of website purpose? Choose Wix or SiteBuilder without any hesitation. They won’t disappoint you or devastate (which is equally important).
You are a beginner or want to set up an eCommerce store? Wix is your savior.
You work in visual sphere businesses, like photographing, design, art? We bet you’ll get what you want with Site Builder’s breathtaking templates.