When selecting the best site to build a website with, you need to think about your requirements, skill level, budget, and the amount of time you have to dedicate to the site creation process. Keep the following at the front of your mind during the selection process.
Ease of Use
Some website builders focus on useability, while others come with more advanced design tools but are more complex to familiarize yourself with. If you just want to get a basic site online quickly, you are best off with a beginner-friendly website builder like GoDaddy or Site123. But if you want a little more design flexibility and are willing to put some time into the site creation process, a more powerful option like Wix could be best.
Before you begin your search for a website builder, set your maximum budget. Weigh up the value for money each builder offers, and ensure you select an option that you can afford.
Design & Features
Platforms like Wix and HostGator’s Gator Builder come with excellent design and website building features as well as hundreds of templates. In fact, they are two of the more complex builders on the market, largely because of the power their editors offer. But for many, a simpler builder that offers fewer features will be a better choice.
When you’re creating your first website, the chances are that you will run into some sort of problem. This is where great customer support comes into play. Look for responsive live chat, email, and phone support, along with a decent knowledge base or help center.
Data Ownership & Portability
With many website builders, you won’t actually have any ownership over your site files and other data. Migrating to another platform is sometimes impossible. Keep this in mind if you are likely to want to export your site and/or its data at any point in time.
Free Website Builders: How Do They Work?
Many website builders offer a free forever subscription option that enables you to create a new website without spending a cent. These may appear like great choices at first glance but remember, nothing is ever truly free.
Using a free website builder has several limitations. Usually, you will have a very small amount of storage, a limit on the number of pages you can add to your site, and some restrictions on the design and management tools you can access.
You may also be stuck with a platform-branded subdomain. In the case of Wix, for example, this looks something like “yoursite.wix.com,” which is far from professional. Many website builders will place adverts on your website if you use their free plan, and some will limit the available customer service options.
At the end of the day, free website builders can be useful for testing platforms, creating simple personal websites, or learning how to build a website from scratch. However, we would highly recommend paying a few dollars per month for a premium subscription if you want to build a high-quality business website.
Other Website Builders We Reviewed
BoldGrid is among the best page builder plugins for WordPress.org. It’s not strictly a website builder, but rather enables drag-and-drop editing for WordPress websites.
Bookmark offers beginner-friendly, AI-powered website building solutions. It does a great job of coupling advanced features with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate designer and management interface.
Domain.com is one of the more basic website builders we’ve used, but it comes with a beginner-friendly editor that’s designed to help you get online as fast as possible.
Digital marketing agency Hibu offers a selection of website creation solutions. It’s not a website builder, and it doesn’t allow you to create your own site, but you will benefit from the experience and know-how of Hibu’s developers.
Although it’s better known for its hosting solutions, HostPapa offers a basic website builder designed for beginners who want to create simple sites.
The IM Creator website builder is arguably the best website creator for creatives. It’s absolutely free for students and artists, and it boasts a powerful editor that is admittedly a little confusing to get the hang of.
iPage certainly isn’t the most powerful website generator on the market, but it’s an excellent option for those on a tight budget.
Jimdo is one of the more popular website makers. The Jimdo Dolphin editor is beginner-friendly and powered by AI technology, while the Jimdo Creator offers much more design flexibility and code access.
Register.com offers website building solutions alongside its hosting and domain registration services, but its site creator is very limited and one of the most expensive options we’ve seen.
Shopify is a beginner-friendly website builder that’s designed specifically for online stores. It’s one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, and it’s backed by a suite of online selling and store management tools.
SimpleSite is exactly what its name suggests—a simple and easy website builder, albeit one that lacks the power to create anything more than a very basic website.
SiteBuilder is a competitively priced, beginner-friendly website builder that’s useful for creating basic online stores or websites. It’s one of the simpler options we’ve tested, and it seriously lacks design flexibility.
Site.pro’s drag-and-drop website builder offers decent design flexibility, the ability to add an online store, and the choice of more than 200 templates to get started with.
SiteW boasts great design flexibility and very competitive prices, but its editor is quite confusing to get started with, and its e-commerce tools are effectively useless.
The Website.com website builder is one of the most powerful we’ve used. It boasts a large selection of templates, a very flexible builder, and impressive e-commerce tools.
Weebly is arguably the best website builder for SEO. It’s backed by a selection of professionally designed templates, comes with great e-commerce tools, and features a foolproof editor.
The best website builder for blogging should include a range of blog tools, reporting, and analytics features, and streamlined management tools. Zyro does this well, and it’s a great option for those looking to start a simple blog.
There are dozens of website builders on the market, and finding the right one for your needs can be a little complicated.
Before you go on to select the right builder for your needs, we’d suggest sitting down and identifying your exact requirements, budget, and amount of time available to create a site. Take advantage of free forever plans to test different platforms, and ensure that any option you shortlist has the tools you require.