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So you want to start a blog? Or maybe you want to create a website for your small business. Either way, you’ve heard mention of website builders and now it’s time for you to find out what they are — because if it works well, this could be the tool that will help take your site to the next level.
So what are website builders?
What is a website builder? At its most basic, it’s a way to design and create your own website without the need for any knowledge of HTML or other coding languages. Instead, you simply choose what you want your site to do and how it should look. You can usually start by choosing from a selection of templates that include different styles, layouts and colors.
What are the benefits of website builders? They’re typically inexpensive, especially when you compare what’s available in the free plan. And best of all, they’re easy to use – even if you’ve never created a website before you’ll be able to build your site within minutes! But make no mistake — it doesn’t mean these tools skimp on features. You often get what other more expensive site building platforms offer but at a fraction of the price — for example unlimited bandwidth, an online store plus customer support.
Who are website builders aimed at? Generally speaking, website builders are aimed at beginners who are interested in setting up their first site or blog. Some web hosts also give access to website builders as part of their package and this is a good choice if you are not very technical.
Are website builders free? There are some free website builders out there, but most provide limited features for free — usually what you need to get started. But once you start growing your site, so do the costs associated with it, especially if you are using high-quality images or multiple pages with lots of text.
The benefits of website builders You can build an entire website within minutes! Don’t have much in the way of design skills? No problem, because websites built with website building software look just fine – most users will have difficulty telling which ones were made with the tool and which one was designed by a professional web developer.
##Here are the top website builders currently out. If you need an easy to use website builder, this is where you should start your search.
Wix is by far the most popular website builder on our list. When people think of drag and drop website builders they think of Wix. It may not be the best website creation tool out there but it certainly has made a name for itself in the industry.
When it comes to ease of use, Wix will make anyone’s head turn upside down with its fantastic drag-and-drop interface. There are lots of templates available with thousands to choose from. The downside about their templates is that they can get boring after using them for too long; however, I guess one benefit would be that if everyone decides to start with Wix then all websites will begin to look the same.
Wix allows their users to create mobile responsive websites with any template that they choose, which is great for anyone who is trying to reach a wider audience of mobile device users. Some basic features are available for free with your website builder subscription although most things have an additional cost attached. For example, you can unlock more pages or upgrade your storage space but these features will cost you extra money per month depending on what plan you want to subscribe too.
Pros: Lots of templates – so many choices! Mobile Responsive Cons: Overpriced Plans Pricing starts at $4.50/month billed monthly Super cheap plans are only available if paid yearly You MUST pay extra for live chat support
Jimdo is another website builder that has made its way into the top 5. I’m not sure about you but when I first heard of Jimdo it immediately reminded me of the word chameleon because of their logo (for those who don’t know what a chameleon is, it’s a lizard). And if we take away the color green and add some pink then all of a sudden we get…jimdo!
Okay, so Jimdo isn’t exactly like a chameleon and instead acts more like an orange…but it does still make for quite an interesting name to say out loud. Again with Jimdo you can create stunning responsive websites in just mere minutes by choosing from one of their many templates. They also offer their users over 1,000 stock images to choose from (these things all come at a price though).
Like Wix, Jimdo has plenty of free features and if you want some more advanced options like an online store, eCommerce tools or even your own domain name then you will need to pay extra money per month. But this isn’t anything new; it’s just the same as any other website builder out there and something that we will need to accept.
Pros: Many templates Mobile Responsive Free Templates Cons: No live chat support Pricing starts at $2/month billed monthly The cheapest plan is $19.90/year but can be paid monthly instead The company claims that they do not use tracking software and do not store any personal information
3) 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite
You don’t really see much variety when it comes to website builders. Nearly all of them require you to sign up for a subscription and then they want your bank details, payment card or even your credit card number before allowing you access? But what about those who do not like such luxuries? Well, for those people we have an alternative website builder called 1&1 Ionos MyWebsite.
Although this is technically not a drag-and-drop website builder (you will need some coding knowledge), the set-up process is incredibly easy. This platform has been designed specifically with beginners in mind and as such there’s no messy code to worry about; instead, everything is done for you. All you need to do is choose your pre-made website template and then 1&1 will handle the rest.
There are no limitations with what you can do here because it’s not a drag-and-drop website builder (although some features are locked behind a paywall). You can edit or change any HTML code if you want or even upload images that have been saved on your hard drive. The only downside here would be the lack of live chat support so if anything goes wrong during the process then you’ll need to phone up their customer service/tech team instead.
Pros: Easy set-up Does not require payment details Pricing starts at $0.99/month billed monthly (for the Basic plan) Free trial available Cons: No live chat support Hosting is split into two different sections (website and webmail)
I know what you’re thinking…GoDaddy? This is a website builder, right?
Well yes it is, but we do not recommend using GoDaddy as your website builder (only their hosting). The reason why we recommend against using GoDaddy is because they offer what we like to call a “catch-all” service. This means that you’re signing up for much more than just a website builder and as such the price will be higher than usual. Please read our article on how to find cheap web hosting if GoDaddy’s prices are too high for you.
Don’t get me wrong, GoDaddy is a decent website builder with plenty of templates to choose from but the price that they charge makes it difficult for us to recommend them. The main reason why we don’t like their service has nothing do with their website templates or features…it’s the price. Rather than just being a website builder, you’re actually signing up for multiple things at once and as such the costs will be higher.
Pros: Many templates Mobile Responsive Website builder Cons: Expensive (you’re signing up for more than just a website builder) Pricing starts at $4.99/month billed monthly The cheapest plan is $7.99/month billed monthly The company claims that they do not use tracking software and do not store any personal information
Once you have your website you may find yourself struggling with content. If so, you need to check out IDPLR, these guys offer a vast collection of free content that can be used on your site. It is well worth the small investment considering the cost of having custom content created for you.
...has worked in the web design and development world with major platforms since 1999 and the good old days of MS Frontpage and static HTML. For more than two decades, he has been addressing the web building and content management needs of leading online businesses and companies with a focus on providing the right tool for the right client. In his spare time, he enjoys random adventures with his kiddo and making people smile.