You used to need technical skills if you wanted to build your own website. You used to have to know HTML, PHP or other complicated sounding programming concepts. If you didn’t possess those skills, you would have to hire a developer to help you. Those developers did not come cheap.
Not anymore. Now, building your website is as simple as drag and drop. There are companies around that will offer you a total website package, including a domain name of your choice, reliable hosting service and an interface that allows you to build your site quickly. Let’s find out more.
Benefits of a Website Builder
There are so many benefits to using an instant website builder. The most obvious benefit is that it’s quick and easy. You don’t need any technical skills to make a perfectly usable website. All you need to do is plan how you want your site to look, write some text, source some images, and upload it all to the website builder. You could have your website ready to go in less than an hour.
What’s more, all the other things you need to consider when you set up a website, such as a domain name and hosting, are all taken care of. Your site will be automatically updated when new fixes are released, boosting reliability and security. Depending on what package you go with, you can purchase an SSL certificate, an email address and much more.
Most website builders offer some degree of customization for your website, so your site doesn’t have to look the same as everyone else’s. Your site should also be mobile optimized. Most website builders offer phone support, and customer reviews are easy to come by on the web. Finally, compared to the price of hiring a developer, using a website builder is much cheaper.
If you just need a site quickly and it doesn’t have to be too elaborate or fancy, for your personal blog or small business, a website builder could be a great choice.
Downsides of a Website Builder
On the other hand, if you want your site to perform any functions over and above just sitting there, such as e-commerce or data collection, using a website builder may not be for you. If you don’t want your site to be generic looking, if you want it to really stand out, you may be better off hiring a developer.
Often, the domain names that are available through website builders aren’t easy to use. Finally, while the entry-level options are cheaper, adding extra features can push up the price.
Here are four website builders you can try.
1 – Wix
Wix is one of the most popular website builders on the planet, with over 110 million users building websites on their platform. With Wix, you can choose from over 500 templates for your site, add blogs, galleries and even e-commerce facilities. The website builder itself is famously easy to use. You can choose your own domain name, across 33 different TLDs. You can also transfer your existing domain to Wix, if you want to build your site on a domain you already own.
Wix’s website building and hosting prices range from $5 per month for the basic package to the top of the range VIP offering at $25 per month. The VIP option offers ad vouchers and email campaigns as part of the package.
2 – Squarespace
Squarespace is popular with people who want to build very visual sites, such as photographers and videographers. If the ability to display images is a deal breaker for you, Squarespace is a great option.
With Squarespace, you can choose from more than 40 stunning templates, all with customizable features. You can choose your own domain name or transfer your existing domain over. There are also e-commerce options, handy if you’re looking to sell your art online.
Hosting prices range from $12 per month to $40 per month for the advanced e-commerce option.
3 – Weebly
Weebly is the website builder that’s all about ease of use. With more than 80 templates that you can drag and drop your features on, you can get your site up and running in no time at all. Weebly claims to be the only website builder that offers the option to edit your site on mobile devices, through their iOS and Android apps.
Weebly also offers powerful e-commerce options, including inventory management, email marketing and abandoned cart notifications.
Weebly’s cheapest hosting option is free, although you do not get many features at this price point, plus it will display Weebly ads on your site. Their top package, the Performance plan, is priced at $38 per month.
4 – Sitebuilder
Sitebuilder offers you everything you need to get online with your site straight away. You can choose your own domain name, even on the premium .com TLD. You can choose from hundreds of templates that you can customize. You can also incorporate analytics and e-commerce facilities into your site. Email comes as an optional extra. Sitebuilder offers phone support for all users.
Hosting prices with Sitebuilder are currently discounted for the first year. The most popular Pro package is presently priced at $3.84 per month. The top package is aimed at e-commerce users and is priced at $9.22 per month.
Instant website builders are great for what they are: a quick and easy way to get online. If you want to build a site without the hassle of hiring developers, sorting hosting and remembering to update your site, there are great options out there for you. Check customer reviews, shop around and find the website builder that is right for you.