In the modern world for messaging internet consumers are using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. However, to make your Internet presence or the presence of your organization significant and visible on the network it is not enough. Therefore, for this, you need a well-created website that will help highlight its presence and attract the interest of visitors. In contrast to the usual page in social networks, the user can independently change the design and select content for the site. This raises the trust of visitors to your business, company, or personal brand. On Facebook, the design of all pages looks identical, while on your platform you can implement a brand image, sell various products, and integrate third-party websites.
With the advent of many constructors, creating a professional design-oriented website is easier than ever. Thanks to such services, now everyone can create their own website on the Internet and all that is needed is just a little understanding of how the program works and the idea of what you want to create. Spending a minimum of time, you can create a good blog, website or online shop without special efforts and special knowledge where you can post any information, offer any services or sell various goods. The most frequently used site creators, such as Wix and Weebly, are constantly updated. And their competitors, such as Strikingly, Simvoly and uKit, do not stop surprising with useful updates.
Need your own website
First, it is reasonable to figure out why people in the world of social networking dominance still need their own platform. In fact, no one wants to run their business on Facebook, so creating your personal virtual platform makes sense. Moreover, the creation of a website opens up many opportunities for its owner. In addition to a large selection of design options, the owner has full control over all the services and products offered there.
In addition, the presence of a separate portal makes the business more trustworthy and authoritative than the usual presence of a business on one of the social networks. This is a kind of business card for your company.
Previously, creating your own portal required a large number of different skills, such as knowledge of HTML, FTP, servers, web-hosting services, and site registrar. However, now, in an era of simple site builders all options that are included in the constructors of this kind, allow you to create convenient for mobile devices, well thought out site without any special knowledges. These services can also help bring business to profitability with the help of online stores, links to purchases and other earning options.
Huge corporations spend unrealistic amounts of money to create websites for their business, but for small companies such high costs are not required. Therefore, it may take about 10 dollars a month (or a little more if the site will sell products) and only a few hours a day in order to maintain an interesting site for visitors.
With the help of modern services for portal creation, everything can be done independently by using drag and drop interfaces. Site builders even give the opportunity to include various elements, such as photo galleries, media players, social networking buttons, blogs. In addition, some of them allow you to close access to viewing with the password and allow site visitors to join as site members. (check Table).
Free Site Builders
Some constructors offered here are free. However, if you select such services, the site will be with branding from the provider, which will make the portal less attractive to buyers and experienced users. Free programs differ significantly in bandwidth and memory size, so you should carefully read the information about the free program to find out all its features. Wix, Weebly and WordPress.com are the most efficient free builders, as they offer the most number of functions. The choice of a reliable and multifunctional site designer is very important, since its future popularity in the network depends on the presence of all necessary functions in it. Therefore, you should understand for what purpose you need a site and how much you are willing to invest in its creation and promotion, after that you can choose which builder is better to use free or paid one.
Register Your Domain
Before you create your website on the Internet you need to get it’s address. Most of site builders presented here will help register a unique domain and give a web address by using a provider domain, for instance yourname.sitebuilder.com. Some include their own domain name in their plans, which require annual payment. Such services make it possible to use a domain that was purchased from a third-party registrar, for example pairNIC, but the creator of the site will have to pay for this.
Website Design Options
All web services presented here will offer to start by choosing templates for your portal. Designers Squarespace, Gator, Duda and Wix are the best in terms of templates, as they use those that will reformat the website for viewing on mobile devices automatically. They also offer themed templates that are appropriate for the purpose of your website, for example, to hold concerts for the musician, promote bakery sales or inform wedding guests.
After choosing a template for your portal, you have to make it by yourself. Most of website constructors allow you to customize fonts, page layouts and color schemes, as well as add new ones. An effective constructor should suggest sub-templates for the most commonly used page types: About, Products, Contacts, Galleries, Blog, FAQ, and so on.
Obviously, the site owner will want to add certain content to the pages. This can be done by adding photos, text areas, buttons and other widgets. Website creators such as Duda and Wix provide a large selection of third-party widgets for chat, forms, reservations and social networks.
Such builders as Strikingly, Squarespace, uKit and Virb can organize pages with their placement of objects where the site doesn’t become bright, which can be an advantage if the design is not so important to you. While the builders Wix and Gator offer more opportunities in this regard.
Starting with Wix ADI design artificial intelligence, some constructors are equipped with a tool that allows you to make accounts in various social networks and enter other business and personal information. Simvoly and Jimdo are equipped with similar ones, though not so promising tools. Wix’s ADI made a great impression by introducing us the result of the test, using the information and images that it extracted from its LinkedIn account.
Mobile Website Design
Any progressive builder should be able to create sites designed for work on mobile devices, and all those mentioned here can fix this task quite well. For example, Weebly and Squarespace use adaptive approaches to design intended for creating a mobile site from what was created for viewing on the Internet. A popular web design strategy is adaptive design, which some of the site builders use. It will help reformat everything on a web page to fit different screens. However, from the point of view of optimization of search engine, search engines make the site look like, as it should be on the screens of mobile devices. In Google, as in Bing, there are pages where you can enter a URL to check how correctly the site is displayed on a mobile phone.
Weeby, Simvoly and uKit do not provide control over viewing only on mobile devices. While Wix and Gator, provide an opportunity to preview the site from a mobile device and allow you to customize it exclusively for viewing on mobile devices. For example, a site owner may want mobile users to see a welcome screen, or an element that does not work well on small screens was not reflected.
Galleries and photos
We have to admit that the most favorite activity on the Internet is of viewing various photos. Constructors presented here offer display of photos and galleries. Some of them, Squarespace, Gator and Wix, also offer a lot of photos for their users, allow you to correct images using editing tools such as brightness, cropping, and in some cases filters like on Instagram. Builders such as Simvoly, Gator and uKit do not have photo editing functions, except of changing positioning and size.
Photo gallery options also differ greatly. Weebly offers a large selection of styles for online galleries, while GoDaddy and Duda have more limited possibilities.
Making money from your own site
If you are going to make money selling online, you need to use a special service to create an online store which is called Shopify (£ 19.99 at Shopify), but most likely not everyone will be ready for this step. Most of the designers presented here offer the function of selling products from their site using PayPal, but some of them do not offer this in free versions.
In addition, some builders have more advanced features that make it possible to process payments using credit cards, add checkout pages and your own cart. Even more powerful builders offer email marketing, product promotion, delivery tools and inventory. Some offer the possibility to sell digital downloads, while others do not provide this opportunity. Only a few of these developers help advertise on their portal, however there are also those that allow the insertion of custom HTML code. You can find a large number of reliable site builders on the Internet, but choosing the one that will help making good money is not too easy. So be highly attentive before making you choice!
Social network and site statistics
All site constructors presented here can place the Like buttons on pages of Twitter and Facebook, and some of them even make it possible to display channels from social networks. Some also allow you to create a Facebook page by linking it to portal updates and design. Many builders offer some SEO tools, but often this is just a form in which meta tags are introduced. It is also very important to submit and periodically check your site in the search engines if you want Internet users to regularly visit it.
Most of the constructors that presented here can give you information about the traffic of your site, although the number of functions in them is significantly different, but this usually depends on the level of the premium account. Weebly allows you to display page views and the number of special visitors every day, as well as search queries that are used to go to the site, the most visited pages and referring sites. While in uKit and Wix, you need to make your own Google Analytics account, but this also requires a paid account. In addition, they have nothing to do with the built-in portal statistics. Another disadvantage of these services is that the user can only see traffic from the previous day and earlier; but can not see traffic up to a minute or even an hour.
WordPress is a fairly popular name when it comes to websites creating. However, you should know that WordPress.com is not exactly what most Internet users say when they mention WordPress. For most Internet users who understand this issue, this is a free open source portal that can be found on WordPress.org. By visiting this platform you can find a good website hosting. WordPress.org is a really popular option for building websites, so the most of these platforms offer WordPress hosting plans. This service, on the other hand, is a system that hosts and deploys this software for users, so you don’t need to search for hosting services from other sources.
Any version of WordPress is a blog-focused content management system, it accepts themes and plugins that give it more options, including e-commerce. To provide many options WordPress.com uses plugins such as JetPack. In fact, it is not so easy to use, unlike other systems presented in this review. However, if you need a site transfer or blogging, then all the same you should pay attention to this platform. Moreover, WordPress skills are very useful, as this platform serves about 30% of the Internet.
Going to another site constructor
Most of these builders have their drawbacks. For example, if a user wants to change the web-hosting, he will have difficulties due to the user code that is used to display the site. Only a few of the services described here make it possible to transfer your portal to a new web-hosting service: the most popular option is Weebly, which allows you to download standard portal server folders. Squarespace suggests the ability to migrate, allowing you to display your platform in a standard format. For WordPress.com. the same portability is also suggested.
Support options for creating websites
Support for users of various services is significantly different: somewhere they offer a free registered entry like in WordPress.com providing community support, in Jimdo support is only possible via email, and in Wix they provide a callback option even for free accounts. Many site constructors provide a large knowledge base for online support and a page with frequently asked questions, so it is possible that you will not even need to contact technical support. I purposely check the support of each service for a full review, asking them questions on the least common site creation nuances.
Huge Selection of Various Constructors for Websites!
Everyone knows that while choosing a good site builder you need to be careful and take into account many factors. Moreover, you also have to choose from a variety of suppliers, at least 20 more than are presented in this review. Not a week goes by as we already see a review about a completely new service for creating websites.
The list of such constructors described below will help you decide and choose the most appropriate service. Read the descriptions, and then click on the link to find out more about the most suitable service for you. Be free to write a comment informing about your experience of using the selected site builder or write about one that is not presented here.
Looking for information, tips or possible alternatives for DIY site building? Check out our tutorial How to create a website.
Top Website Builders Presented in This Roundup:
Pros: quite intuitive interface that facilitates the creation of sites. A large number of available gadgets. Free version of the site. Many thematic templates for companies and other purposes.
Excellent tools for building mobile sites. Wide opportunities for online store. Reliable and efficient customer support.
Cons: no built-in statistics. Platforms do not use responsive design in the strict sense.
Bottom line: Wix is one of the easiest and most versatile site builders, and you can also use it for free to create your own website with individual settings.
Pros: simply intuitive interface. The possibility of mobile site creation. There is a free version of the site. Ability to integrate with social networks. Productive site traffic analysis. Effective tools for creating an online store. Moreover, you can sell products online using free accounts.
Cons: There is no third-party widget store and email distribution integration. You can not redirect the site to another web-hosting.
Bottom Line: This designer offers everything you need to quickly create and host a full-featured, mobile e-commerce website.
Pros: well thought out, intuitive interface. Wonderful, modern templates for sites.
Annual plans include an SSL certificate and domain name. Easy store setup with selling digital downloads. Very good portal statistics.
Cons: free plan is missing. There is no email marketing and photo editing. Unable to schedule blog posts. Highly limited app store.
Bottom line: Gator is a fairly new system for creating DIY websites from the well-known manufacturer HostGator. This designer will help achieve what the user needs while creating a good online store.
Pros: clear, user-friendly drag and drop interface. Well customizable, attractive, responsive website templates.
All the functionality of an online store with digital download sales. The control panel has site statistics.
Cons: there are no tools for editing photos. Setting up of mobile sites is not possible. There are no widgets on the marketplace. No integration of delivery services.
Bottom line: Simvoly website builder offers easy-to-use solutions for creating attractive and multi-functional websites with responsive design and good levels of customizability.
Pros: Attractive, responsive design, suitable for mobile screens. Deep sales opportunities, including digital downloads. SSL certificate is free. Good analytics tools and reliable customer support.
Cons: Less simple than competing site designers. Fewer and more restrictive patterns than competitors. There is no free level. There is no third-party trading platform widget. Insufficient configuration for mobile sites.
Bottom line: Squarespace allows you to create an attractive, modern, responsive web portal for desktop and mobile viewing, and also gives you the potential for full-scale commerce.
GoDaddy GoCentral Overview
Pros: generous bandwidth and storage. Simple, intuitive interface. Beautiful sites for both desktop and mobile displaying.
Cons: Limited design customization and layout. No photo editing. And there are no built-in traffic reports. Requires updates for the online store.
Bottom line: GoDaddy’s new website builder is fairly easy to use and provides beautiful websites with responsive design, but it doesn’t provide too many options for page design.
Pros: makes site creation easy. Preview samples of sites embedded in the template. Beautiful design for mobile and desktop PCs.
Cons: less choice of templates and less settings than some in other competitors. Many standard features require a paid account.
Bottom line: strikingly allows you to create a well-designed site with great ease, but unfortunately it offers limited customization options.
uCoz uKit Review
Pros: great interface. Saves downloaded images for reuse. Great, easy blogging tool. There are gamification options. Offers a low monthly price.
Cons: restrictive positioning of site elements. There is no mobile site setting. Editing of zero image. Site statistics is not included.
Bottom line: This is a great Russian website constructor that has almost everything you need to get a mobile, easy-to-trade website on the Internet. However, look elsewhere at the built-in statistics and image editing.
Pros: clear interface. Attractive themes for responsive design.
Full commercial options. Site statistics included. Allows you to load the code of your site in standard HTML/CSS. It has an iPad application for editing sites.
Disadvantages: the absence of multiple storage of photos. Non-customizable mobile sites. There are no interface cancel functions.
The bottom line: Weebly service is an easy-to-use website constructor offering a free option. It allows you to build and publish attractive platforms with responsive design sites, online stores and blogs.
Pros: The platform offers excellent blogging options. Saving draft and scheduled posts. There are very beautiful design themes.
There is also a free option. Reasonable pricing for paid plans. It is possible to transfer the site.
Cons: missing drag and WYSIWYG. Limited customization for page layouts. Illogical interface. There are no email campaigns. Store integration is not as transparent as the competition. There are no photo editing tools. No technical support by phone.
Bottom line: WordPress.com site builder is a great and inexpensive blogging service, but building individual sites with it is not as easy as its competitors. However, this constructor is good because with its help you can simply choose a tariff plan, set up your domain, choose the necessary updates and enter personal data and information about your site. After that, your site will be placed immediately with your chosen domain.