September 11, 2018
It’s never been easier to make your own website. Thanks to web design software, the time required to create your own online domain has dropped from days and weeks to minutes.
Gone are the days of coding, testing, and even CD-based web design software. Instead, browser-based services such as Wix, Squarespace or WordPress will allow you to create a fully functioning website in less than half an hour.
However, some web design services are better than others, and some might not be able to fulfil your exacting requirements of a website. So, which service is the best for you? And how much will it cost – or can you do it for free?
In This Guide:
Whether you’ve heard it on Tech.co, on another review site, or from your local web designer, the fact remains that Wix is the best website builder that money can buy. It perfectly walks the line between easy-to-use and deeply customizable, so new users and seasoned veterans alike can get the most out of the platform.
For new users, the helpful ADI can build you a stylish, well-designed website based on a few simple questions. The SEO assistant will guide you through best practices to make sure your website is actually getting some attention. Sure, pesky ads might get in the way of the free version while you’re testing it out, but you’ll want to upgrade soon after you begin designing it all on your own.
For seasoned users, the sheer number of features makes Wix worth the very reasonable price tag. Their comprehensive design tools, ecommerce capabilities, and the enormous selection of apps all make Wix a no-brainer for any experienced web designer looking to really make an impact.
Create a Great Looking Website in Minutes With Wix
- Lots of quality features
- AI-powered site development
- Wide range of price plans
- Set in stone templates
- Less storage space than you’d think
- Ads in free demo
While the number one slot is taken, Weebly would certainly be considered stiff competition. With all the ease of use of Wix, bundled with some truly deep customization possibilities, Weebly is more than a great option when it comes to choosing a website builder.
Some of the templates even give Wix a run for their money, and that’s saying something. The problem is, the range is a bit limited, so if you don’t find something you’re looking for, you’re pretty much out of luck. Fortunately, they all look pretty great, so you shouldn’t have a problem there.
You will have to pay a bit extra if you want the really great features that Weebly has to offer. Plans go from $8 a month for the basic plan, which still brands your entire website as Weebly-owned, to $38 a month. This is still a very reasonable price, but doesn’t leave much room for squeezing every penny out of your budget.
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- Beautiful templates
- Customizable templates and content
- Lots of apps and tools
- No mobile editing
- Branding still present with basic plan
- Ecommerce exclusive to most expensive plan
If you’re looking for a website builder that puts style above everything, Squarespace is for you. In addition to their truly stunning templates, you’ll be able to create cover pages that will make any website you build look like a professional photographer’s portfolio.
Additionally, if you’re hoping to add a little bit of custom code to spice things up, Squarespace makes it very easy to access and edit code as you go along. This does make the platform seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on your way to a truly good-looking website.
Squarespace isn’t just about form over function though. With quality built-in ecommerce functions, you’ll be able to run your website as efficiently as you need. Because there’s no point in looking that great if you can’t deliver the goods as well.
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- Stunning templates
- Custom code friendly
- Comprehensive ecommerce function built-in
- No long-term free plan available
- A bit intimidating at first
- No apps
A tried and true classic, WordPress has been in the website builder game for a while, and for good reason. Their blogger-friendly platform is unmatched when it comes to ease of use, with simple guidelines to follow, incredibly basic interface, and a wide range of templates and themes to choose from.
However, in an age with so many options for website builders, WordPress does suffer from a notable lack of customizability. Once you’ve chosen your template, your website design is relatively set in place, with very little flexibility for your own vision.
For beginners, WordPress can do a lot to introduce you to website design, as nearly anyone can navigate the easy-to-use platform. But if you’re looking to branch out a bit, there are other platforms with more to offer – particularly when you have to pay to get the most out of WordPress’ key features.
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- Blogger-centric platform
- Wide range of templates
- Very easy to use
- Little design flexibility
- Must pay for key features
- More expensive than WordPress.org
If you’re trying to avoid the biggest, most popular website designers, 1&1 MyWebsite certainly wouldn’t be a terrible option. You’ll have the power of a very in-depth editor behind you, a multilingual platform, and easy access to coding. Plus, you can use their unique “Online Business Card” feature, which can produce a baseline functional website in a few minutes if you’re in a serious time crunch.
However, none of that really makes up for some of its flaws. For one, there are no free options, so you can’t test it out before you buy. To make matters worse, all contracts loop you in to a yearly commitment, which is pretty risky when you can’t test it out.
No free trial or demo is one thing, but tragically enough, 1&1 MyWebsite doesn’t provide website owners with an ecommerce option, so you’ll also be out of luck if you’re looking to sell anything online.
Create a Website for Your Business in Minutes with 1&1 MyWebsite
- Thorough editor
- Simple coding features
- Multiple languages available
- No free option
- Credit card required
- No ecommerce option
So, you’ve seen the Super Bowl commercials for the last half decade and you want to know if GoDaddy GoCentral is the right website builder for you.
This straightforward platform makes it easy to build a website with a simple interface that almost anyone could probably figure out. However, if you’re one of the people that can’t figure it out, you’re in luck – GoDaddy’s ADI is incredibly efficient, and can get you a website that looks great based on some pretty basic criteria that you provide.
Unfortunately, anyone beyond a beginner is going to find this platform a bit restrictive. With few design editing options and a notable lack of apps or widgets to add to the interface, you’ll be pretty much stuck with what you get once you’ve chosen your template from the already limited selection.
Get Your Business Online With GoDaddy
- Comprehensive website editor
- Surprisingly simple ADI
- Easy, quick sign up
- Restrictive editor
- No apps or widgets
- Few theme options
If you need a website immediately, Site123 can help you out. While their claims of being the “easiest free website builder” on the market may be a tad exaggerated, it’s worth noting you could easily build a website with Site123 in just a few minutes with zero coding or design expertise at all. Now that is easy.
The simple sidebar editing process (as opposed to the more popular drag-and-drop) makes Site123 admittedly strong, but decidedly limited in its ability to make a good looking website. Yes, you’ll be online in less time than it takes to cook a well-rounded dinner, but it’s certainly not going to turn any heads.
It does have a few key features that make it somewhat competitive on this list, from ecommerce to fast ADI, so you really can get up a fully functioning website in comparatively no time flat. But is it worth it?
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- Very fast, from start to finish
- Simple app and widget integration
- Quick, helpful ADI system
- Boring templates
- Limited template customizability
- Only surface website editor capabilities
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