Website Builders – The Contenders for the Best Service Around
In the past, the task of building a website could only be accomplished by someone with extensive knowledge of programming languages and the software environment.
Today, even a layperson with very little familiarity with coding can build a website, thanks to intuitive website builders that have become a welcome feature in leading web hosting solutions.
Still, website builder experiences range from clunky to smooth, and finding a hosting service with an easy-to-use website builder is key if you don’t have the technical background, or if you’d simply prefer not to invest time in building a website from scratch.
Looking into hosting services with website builders included? Here are some of the website builder issues you should look into:
- Is it included in the plan price or is it an add-on?
- Is it drag-and-drop?
- How many free themes does it come with?
- Are the themes responsively designed?
While there are other features that should influence your decision, these questions give you a pretty good idea of whether a website builder can provide the results you’re looking for.
Find which website builder best suits your website needs by reading this expert review and then browsing through our users’ assessment of the leading website builders on the market.
What is a website builder?
Website builders are tools that allow you to create a website without any prior coding knowledge. Instead, the company that has produced the website builder has done most or all of the coding already, leaving you to make design changes such as choosing themes, fonts, and media and positioning them within the website.
Unlike a CMS, which typically requires more familiarity with the software environment, most website builders have the layperson as their target audience. To attract users without programming familiarity, many hosting services now offer free website builders, either in-house or third-party, along with their plans.
Why do You Need a Website Builder?
If you are an SMB, a small e-commerce business, a blogger or have a personal website, a website builder is a great way for you to create a personalized website in no time.
The most obvious advantage of a drag-and-drop website builder is that it lets you create a fully functional website customized with themes and features that you choose without having to code a single line.
Different website builders have different strengths, and it’s worth taking the time to see which features are critical for your website. Some excel at responsive design, others at e-commerce stores, while others are renowned for their ability to design an entire website as a single page.
Many website builders offer various types of support for your website, such as built-in backups and multilingual options, that can be critical for websites with growth in their sights. In general, website builders come with the basic applications the you need, leaving little room for confusion. However, many website builders let you incorporate different apps into your website to broaden the scope of what you can do with it.
Finally, a number of leading website builders are caught up with the newest in design trends. If a static web design isn’t for you, there are website builders that enable you to include animation or even video backgrounds in your design, all without any prior programming knowledge.
A word of caution: though websites built by website builders can accommodate smaller audiences, enterprise-level businesses or businesses that need a high level of website customization will need to use their in-house IT team or hire a developer.
What are the Benefits of a Website Builder?
- You can build a website without coding. Website building is no longer just a developer’s game. Whether you’re building an e-store, a blog, or a non-profit site, website builders can provide all of the features you need for your website to work without a hitch.
- You have access to built-in SEO. A website that doesn’t invest in Search Engine Optimization isn’t going to go very far. However, even if you’re new to SEO many website builders offer support and guidance on how to improve your SEO and point out all the different sections of your website that would benefit from SEO.
- You create beautifully-designed websites. We know that first impressions are formed in a matter of seconds, and having stunning web design plays a big part in keeping users on your website once they’ve landed there. With website builders, all you need to do is choose from one of hundreds of themes and customize it with your content – no graphic design degree necessary.
What Factors to Consider for a Website Builder?
- Is it drag-and-drop? The drag-and-drop editor is pretty standard with newer website builders, but it’s still worth double-checking. Drag-and-drop is what makes it possible for non-programmers to create such stunning sites and quickly. If it’s not drag-and-drop, it’s probably not worth the investment of time and money.
- How many themes does it offer? For beginners with little ability to make changes to the source code, being able to choose from a wide range of themes is critical to building an online brand image that you’ll love. Why go with a website builder that offers you a few dozen themes if you can choose one that offers you hundreds?
- Is it optimized for e-commerce? There are a lot of different components that go into a successful e-commerce site, and your website builder must include the majority of them if you want to provide a seamless online shopping experience for your consumers. Specific features to look for include multiple shopping cart options, social media integrations, advanced analytics and abandoned cart recovery tools.
- Is it responsively designed? More and more consumers prefer to shop on their smartphones than from a desktop. However, you don’t want to target just one device – you want to target them all. Make sure you choose a website builder that has responsive design built in, so that the website you took time to dream up and build looks beautiful no matter what device you’re browsing on.
Choose the Best Website Builder
The website builder you select is only one half of your website puzzle – the other half comes in the form of the web hosting solution you choose and its feature set, price points, and performance. Nevertheless, website builders are an incredibly simple way to set up beautiful websites, and finding the right one can make all the difference between a website that soars and a website that flops.
Ready to start building your website? Read our user reviews to figure out which website builder has the features you need.