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Creating a personal or business website may seem to be something complicated, especially in the eyes of those who have no experience with computers, but we assure you, this is not the case and you will soon understand why.
There are currently free website creation services that allow us to build a website for free, in a short time and with a few clicks, all through guided steps that ensure that anyone, even without having the specific technical knowledge, can create a site Web from scratch. What we have to do is choose only among the many opportunities. In this article, we are going to speak about 10 top website builders of today.
We start with number one of the top-rated modern website builders.
uKit – one of the best site builders on the market, it allows you to produce excellent websites that can be compared with professional ones.
Ukit is a relatively young site builder created by developers from Russia in 2015. Using the tools of this platform you can create a site-business card, landing or even a small online store.
There is a trial period of 14 days so you can try all the tools and decide if they are suitable for you. uKit has good functional and lots of tools for promotion and SEO: Meta Tag Editor, Built-in Statistics and Google Analytics. Templates are modern, adaptive and can be changed at any time. If free templates are not what you need you can get the premium rate for a very affordable price.
You can easily create a website based on the available in social network content and customize the site according to your needs
The platform is constantly updated, new features appear, and errors are fixed.
You can set a corporate mailbox based on Mail.ru.
What is more important uKit offers both manual and automatic back up to keep your site up.
Unfortunately, there is no free version on the site, but you can try the 14-day test period. Templates available for the free plan are few and they are similar to each other. To make a unique resource, you will need premium plans or pay a maximum rate and edit the code yourself. Users complain about mistakes and bugs.
- Minimal – $3.5-5 / mo
- Basic – $7-10/mo
- eCommerce – $8.4-12 / mo
- Pro – $10.5-15/mo*
*uKit offers plans for one month, 3 months, 6 months, year, 2 years. The longer is the subscription plan the less you pay.
The Wix site builder is a project that was launched in Israel in 2006 and now has 11 offices in 6 countries around the world. Wix platform has millions of users around the world. Using Wix you can create both online stores, and business cards.
Using pre-made templates and a handy site builder, you can create your site and start filling it up right away. The platform uses an HTML5 markup that will provide cross-platform support for various devices. You can easily to create a site for your business. An additional package of paid services will help to expand its capabilities. The paid tariff allows you to transfer the site to your hosting. Sites created on Wix are well indexed by search engines. It is possible to create your template and many other features.
Sometimes it's difficult to customize the site. The huge amount of small features is confusing. If you choose a design and start working on it, it will not be possible to change it in the future. Some users complain about the slow download speed. It takes too long to get the answer from technical support.
Weebly is a platform that allows you to create a website with a few clicks only. The website building service was launched in 2007 in the USA. It is a convenient and simple tool for creating a website portfolio or an online shop.
Weebly website builder offers a great number of quality layouts that look attractive and up-to-date. You can preview any template before selecting it. If you have already selected one and in some time changed your mind – no worries Weebly allows switching to another template at any moment you want. You get access to the whole screen
Images, carefully selected fonts, nice colors are the key features of templates kindly offered by the Weebly team to their creative customers. It’s easy to edit them in the visual editor if you need an individual design. What’s more important – Weebly offers good online store functionality with tools to export and import goods and advanced settings. Built-in promotion tools and statistics on automatic mailing results help to track and promote your business.
The full online store functionality is available for the Business plan only, so if you want to get more you will have to pay more. For Connect and Pro plan Weebly charges a commission of 3% from each transaction. SEO tools are quite limited. No integration with social networks.
- Free plan – $0
- Connect – $5-$7 / mo
- Pro – $12-$18 / mo
- Business – $25-$35/ mo
- Business Plus – $38-$46/ mo
Shopify is a well-known e-commerce brand with headquarters is located in Canada. The site builder was launched in 2004 and now more than 200,000 clients use their platform. Even a very beginner can easily create a store and start to sell with Shopify.
Except for the beautiful templates and wide design customization opportunities, Shopify supports augmented reality, which will impress and attract customers to your store. You can work with Google Pay and sales through social networks for your online store and Shopify POS to sell offline. Shopify allows adding unlimited products for all plans. Powerful analytical and marketing tools, discount codes and gift certificates to motivate your visitors and expand your business.
Among the disadvantages of Shopify, the main is the commission when making sales. For non-English speaking countries, one more can be mentioned: phone support is in English only.
- Basic Shopify – $29 / mo
- Shopify – $79 / mo
- Advanced Shopify – $299 / mo.
Google Sites is a service launched by Google that offers site creating and hosting. The service is a part of Google Apps and is intended to replace the outdated Google Page Creator service. Google recommends the Google Sites service to create educational institutions or other team sites that require collective editing of information.
The main difference in creating sites with Google Sites is the ability to access multiple users at a site. The site owner can invite other users to work together, distribute access rights to materials, use the information on the site from other Google services such as Google Docs, Google Calendar, Picassa, etc.
Google offers free hosting as well
You have limited customization of site design – you can only change colors, sizes, and styles of fonts. There are no tools for blogging and eCommerce.
You can use Google Sites for but to integrate with other Google Apps, you’ll need a G Suite subscription.
- Basic – $6 / mo
- Business – $12 / mo
- Enterprise – $25 / mo
Adobe Muse is something different from everything above mentioned. First of all, it’s an offline website builder. It means that you will need to download and install it on your computer. It’s based on the HTML5 standard. It is a professional tool for creating design templates. It will be a good choice for designers, webmasters, as well as experienced users of Photoshop, Illustrator, and other graphics applications from Adobe. Muse can be used to create single-page sites with a unique design.
Adobe Muse is a good visual editor with a well-organized interface that will look familiar to those who have any experience with Photoshop. You can use advanced features to create the structure of the site, to connect web fonts or add animation to make your site look more professional. Created websites are adoptive and will look good on any screen.
As it was already mentioned – Muse is an offline platform. So you will need to buy an installation file and install it directly on your laptop or PC. To get elementary functions, you may need to connect extra widgets and plug-ins. Muse is good for designing but it can’t boast a wide range of SEO tools. To go live web with your site it's necessary to buy hosting, domain. The biggest disadvantage of offline products is that they are not updating themselves – you need to download and install updates as well. But pay attention 26 of March 26, 2018, Adobe had released the latest and the last update and its technical support will continue until March 26, 2020.
- The Adobe Muse CC Single App – $ 14.99 / mo
- Business Plan – $ 29.99 / mo
- Creative Cloud All Apps – $ 49.99 / mo.
SITE123 is a quick website builder that makes the process of creating and launching a website easy and fast.
The distinguishing feature of Site 123 is a fast registration procedure: just fill in the three fields with full name, e-mail, create a password or if you are registered on Facebook or Google+ click on one of the two Social Networks and register directly.
SITE123 offers a wide selection of hundreds of high-resolution images and icon sets that can be used at any time and without any property attribution. This is a very convenient tool, which also allows you to save time searching for specific images. Sire123 offers 14 days to get your money back if you are not pleased with the Premium plan. If you have any problem with service feel free to contact support team – technical support specialists are knowledgeable and always ready to help.
As it often happens with online website builders – you can't edit or adjust the custom code. Using a free plan you will have quite a visible Site 123 advertisements.
- Free – $0
- Premium – $10.80 / month*
Site123 offers discounts on up-front longer-term plans. The longer the plan, the bigger the discount
SimpleSite is a product of the Danish company. This program is for those who is looking for the easiest way to create a website. Simplicity is the keyword of SimpleSite philosophy. The program is very interactive and easy to use: just select the type of website you want, choose your design and your preferred domain name. The functionality is enough to build a simple websites, blog and online stores for free.
The SimpleSite sites include the E-commerce feature, which allows you to sell products and receive payments online. The program is optimized for mobile devices, both for the creation and for the visualization of the sites. Therefore it is possible to create and visit the site directly on a smartphone or tablet. The program automatically adapts the site layout to each type of device. With SimpleSite you can create a free website with up to 15 pages and 300 images. If more space is desired, the PRO version includes a unique domain name and up to 5 personalized email addresses. For the creation of online stores, the SimpleSite E-Commerce package offers an unlimited number of products, pages, images, and videos.
SimpleSite doesn’t allow making a backup. Many users complain about slow customer support services and outdated templates. You can’t try the functionality of paid plans before purchase to see if you want to keep using this platform.
- Basic – $0
- Pro – $ 15.49 /month billed monthly or $ 11,25 /month billed yearly
- E-commerce – $30.49 /month billed monthly or $ 26,25 /month billed yearly
Webflow defines itself as "Responsive web building tool, CMS and hosting platform". Webflow was launched in 2013: a completely online tool that allows designing responsive web pages in just a few steps. The only skill required: knowing how to use drag & drop. Developing a responsive website has never been easier.
CMS functionalities allow to create collections with personalized information and to assign a specific type of template to each collection. It works with HTML 5 code and CSS3 specifications, all compatible with W3C standards. Once the design is finished, the site can be downloaded in the ZIP to be published on its server or it can be hosted on the web space offered by the Webflow.
Webflow limits the use of its product with external hosting; in fact, it does not prohibit buying hosting from other providers but eliminates the CMS functions that can be managed only on their servers,
Webflow is not really a What You See Is What You Get editor and involves manual editing of the sources, although it is integrated into visual tools.
- Basic Website – $12 - $15 / mo
- CMS Website – $16 - $20 / mo
- Business Website- $36 - $45 / mo
- Standard Ecommerce – $29 - $42 / mo
- Plus Ecommerce – $74/ - $84 / mo
- Advanced E-commerce – $212 / - $235 / mo *
*You pay less choosing a yearly subscription plan
You don't build a site online, but you download a program that allows you to build a site in a very simple way on Pc or Mac and then publish it on any hosting service. The process of creating websites can be done visually by dragging and dropping one or more blocks of content into the work area. It is possible to easily distribute and order each block, so when satisfied, upload the site created on a personal hosting via FTP or Google Drive.
You don't pay any annual fee, you pay when you need any advanced features, for example, to buy more complex templates, to build an e-commerce site. Templates offered for free by default allow you to create websites with unlimited pages. The site remains on your PC so you can move it anywhere anytime. All create with Mobirise sites are responsive, so they will look good on any device: pc, Mac, smartphone, etc.
You need to buy and set up hosting and domain for each site created on Mobirise. Mobirise doesn't offer many customization opportunities so the design of all sites looks similar
The software itself is free but to get any additional functionality for your website you will need to pay.
- Basic functionality – $0
- All-in-One Kit – $2078 is a full price or $149 with a 92% discount
Do you need a website?
Pros and cons of website makers
Now there is an opportunity to make a website fast and easy, avoiding the painful stage of learning the basics of site building. On the Web, you can find a lot of paid and free website builders, offering their services for anyone who wants to become the owner of their web resource. This method has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of website builders
- Simplicity. Any web page builder is created for untrained users, therefore, all of them have an intuitive interface and are very easy to use.
- Save time. Typically, creating a site using website builders does not require a lot of time from the user.
- Low cost. Again, the cost varies depending on the platform, but in general, such a site costs the owner inexpensively, if not free of charge.
Cons of website builders
- Limited functionality. Typically, the user gets a set of standard features (and, more often, the range is not very large). In such a situation it is almost impossible to get a site that will fully (or at least partially) meet the needs of your company.
- Lack of individuality in design. Again, the user usually can select from a limited set of design solutions. Often there is no way to edit the design. Such a site can not apply the corporate identity of the company. Your site will have a lot of other sites on the web that look alike.
The conclusion from the previous: sites created on the website building platforms, can harm the company's image but are not bad for private life. They can be used to create personal pages, resources of any unofficial communities (for example, school clubs), etc. Also, site builders can be useful for freelancers who are not related to the web industry for their portfolio.
Pros and cons of hiring a web developer
Demand creates supply, and now the customer of the site is practically unlimited in choice: many professional web developers offer their services. Compare both options and you can find the best for your project.
Pros of hiring a web developer
High-quality performance. Hire a web developer and he will create for you a high-quality and reliable website that meets the latest requirements and reflects the latest trends in site building. The site will have a convenient structure created taking into account usability requirements.
- Advanced functionality. When hiring a web developer you will be offered a choice of a wide range of options, so you will get a resource that fully meets your needs.
- Design that suits your requirements. Making the site by professionals will allow you to get a site with a high-quality and elegant design with elements of your corporate identity.
- Ease of use. Usually, in professional web studios, sites are created based on a modern CMS, so that the owner even without special training will easily manage the resource.
- The possibility of further progress. The site will be designed to meet the requirements of search engines, which allows you to successfully promote resources.
Cons of hiring a web developer
- The need to pay for the work of professionals. Of course, the work on the creation of sites, performed at a high level, cost money.
- The need to find a good web developer. Sometimes it is not easy to explain to the webmaster, designer or project manager that image of the site that has been formed in your imagination. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding between the web developer and the customer, leading to the effect of deceived expectations. However, if you cooperate with real professionals, they will understand what you need and bring your ideas to life.
Hiring a web developer is an ideal solution for those who plan to develop their business and increase the profits of their company with the help of their web-resource, who need to create a large web resource with advanced functionality.
Is it always a good idea to use a site builder?
The site builder is a good opportunity to create your landing or site-calling card. In some cases, with their help, you can even build a small online store. To create a big online store, with its connected accounting services, sales management, and customer base management, site builders are unlikely to become a solid foundation.
If you are just starting a business and planning to grow in the future – consider that as you grow, you will need to expand your site functionality. Therefore, before choosing a site builder, evaluate all possible risks. If there are no such risks or they are minimal, then the use of such services will be a great solution for you.
Why is it hard to find a perfect platform to build a website?
The answer to this question may surprise you. The fact is that for the implementation of almost any web project you can use almost any website builder. For example, you can use Wix and open an online store, content project, blog, portal, web service, business card site. See, you can hardly find a type of resource that cannot be done on Wix.
Choosing a website builder, you will surely come across people who say that Wix is complete nonsense, and your project can only be done well on Shopify. By the way, the names of the platforms in the previous sentence can be arbitrarily changed. So, do not believe such people. In most cases, their commitment to one or another platform is associated only with personal preferences. If some people are accustomed to working with Shopify and know this platform well they may be afraid of other website builders or simply do not want to understand.
Does this mean that you should not listen to anyone, take the first website builder that you see in Google results and make a site on it? The answer is No. It is better to spend an hour or a day or even a week studying information than to lose time and money when trying to transfer your resource to another platform in the future.
These 3 things will help you choose the platform.
3 things to look for when choosing the best website builder
There is a large number of resources for building websites nowadays and thousands of website builder reviews. But what should you pay attention to when choosing the right website builder? What are the most important characteristics?
To get the maximum number of really necessary options and not to regret later, take into account the following factors:
Having purchased a domain once, it will be yours for a lifetime. If you decide to buy a domain name, the address of the site will always be unchanged.
Back up your site
The ability to reserve sites is now offered by many website builders. It is necessary when creating frequently updated Internet sites where data loss is highly undesirable.
The cost of the required options
Almost all site builders combine paid and free services. Check what you can get and how much will it cost for you.
The list of criteria can be endless, but the features mentioned earlier can be considered basic and worth your attention when choosing a platform to create a site.
Select the best website builder software for your industry
From a huge variety of site builders, we described just a few in this article. More and more users are getting interested in creating a website using such a platform. Therefore, their quantity and competition between them are also increasing day by day. Some fall under the pressure of more powerful and better ones, others update and improve functionality. Which site builder is better than others? It depends on your goals:
- Take Wix if you are looking for the best blogging platform
- Adobe Muse will be the best website builder for creating a gallery for photographer or anybody who knows and loves Adobe products including Photoshop
- Wix and Shopify offer tools for e-commerce to create an online store with both physical and digital goods
- Ukit can be called the best professional website builder with wide customization opportunities
- Use Mobirise software to create a mobile adaptive website
- Webflow is a perfect platform if all you want is just drag and drop website builder
The choice is always up to you.
How fast can I build my first website alone using a simple website builder?
It will take you about an hour to create a simple website online. You don’t need to download or install something. During this time, you will have time to register, select and buy a domain name, decide on a template, study the constructor and the available functions. It will take about an hour to fill the site with your information, upload photos, add text, and take your first steps in SEO optimization. Landing and business card site can be created in half an hour if you have a text and photos which you are planning to add on your site.
How important is the mobile device responsiveness of my site?
To begin with, let's look at what responsive web design is. It is a page design that provides a correct and convenient representation of the site for a mobile user. The adaptive web site is automatically adjusted to the size of the browser window. So if you want your visitors to view the site on mobile devices or tablets then consider responsive web design. If you want your site to be displayed correctly on laptops and PC monitors then you don't need a responsive web design of your site.
Are Drag-and-drop editors easy to use?
Almost all modern website builders are equipped with drag-and-drop technology. The basic principle of it is the ability of the user to avoid contact directly with the site code, setting it up and editing it in visual mode. It's simple – you want to change the position of any element on the page, drag it with the mouse and drop to the right place.
How to choose a domain name when working on a web builder?
- You can register a unique domain name
- In addition to uniqueness, it is important to make it memorable. Domain names that are difficult to read and pronounce are not worth registering. The shorter the domain name, the easier it will be to type in a search engine. The better it sounds, the easier it will be to remember it.
- Try to avoid domain names that consist of more than three words. Even three is already a bit too much.
- If you register a domain for the site of your company, then, of course, it must duplicate the name of the company, otherwise, your visitors and customers will be completely confused.
How to optimize and promote my site if website builders company offers no SEO optimization tools?
If you don’t have enough tools for SEO optimization and you are not ready for any additional payment, we would recommend to pay attention to the uniqueness and relevance of the content. As before, it is still the basis for promotion on Google. True, in 2020, due to the competition in the field of e-commerce in the world, the requirements for content quality will grow.
Today, it is not enough to optimize texts for certain keywords. Each article should be unique, readable and at the same time interesting for the visitor of a web resource. Follow the new trends, for example, a new text-writing technique began to gain popularity – LSI-copywriting, which is the next step in development after SEO-copywriting.