Best Web Design Software

September 11, 2018

12:19 pm

It has never been easier to make your own website. Thanks to web design software, the time required to create your own website 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:

The Best Website Builder Software

  1. Wix – Pound-for-pound, the best website builder you can choose
  2. Weebly – It’s slightly more expensive than Wix and is an excellent alternative
  3. Squarespace – This design-led software will help you create a stunning website
  4. WordPress – An excellent content management system with surprising depth of customization
  5. 1&1 MyWebsite – Offers deep customization, but the templates it uses are a let-down
  6. GoDaddy GoCentral – A user-friendly design experience but not a particularly rewarding one
  7. Site123 – Lacks the necessary depth to be a truly good way to design a website
  8. Adobe Dreamweaver – If you want to install web design software, this is the gold standard
  9. Webflow – Good coding options for experts, but intimidating for the uninitiated
  10. BlueGriffon – An excellent split between personalised coding and simple templates
  11. Aptana Studio Free – A decent free software option, but has limitations

Which Website Building Software Should You Use?

As we mentioned above, some software is better suited to certain types of websites than others. So, before you choose a website builder software, you need to have a clear idea of what you want your website to be. For example:

  • Is it a personal blog? If so, you’ll need a website builder with generous storage options for all your photos, videos and other pages – Weebly and Squarespace both offer unlimited storage even with their cheapest paid plans.
  • Is it a business listings website? Then you’ll need a template that shows off your location, contact details and maybe a contact form. Wix has over 500 templates to choose from, so you’ll definitely be able to find one that works for you.
  • Are you running an online store? You’ll need a website builder that won’t take a commission from online sales and will give you an easy product management system. Wix or Squarespace would be perfect here, as they have great e-commerce plans.
  • Do you run a sports club? Then you’ll need a site that can be easily updated regularly but with enough creative control that it matches your branding. You might even need a password-protected area for club members to share information – in which case, Weebly should be your software of choice.
  • Do you want to create a news site or online magazine? You’ll need something with a great content management system and lots of customization. Try WordPress.

All of these web design tools will help you with great templates, which give you the barebones of a website that you can then build on and customize to make your perfect site. The tools we mentioned above are all great, but these are our top three:

TechCo Logo thumbnail
  • Score
  • Features
  • Design
  • Support
  • Ease of use
  • User score
  • Value
  • Try it today

Wix logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • 90%
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • Visit site

Weebly logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • 79%
  • 5 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • Visit site

Squarespace logo thumnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • 78%
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • Visit site

Wix logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Score: 90%
  • Features: 4 stars
  • Design: 4 stars
  • Support: 5 stars
  • Ease of use: 4 stars
  • User score: 5 stars
  • Value: 4 stars
  • Visit site

Weebly logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Score: 79%
  • Features: 5 stars
  • Design: 5 stars
  • Support: 4 stars
  • Ease of use: 3 stars
  • User score: 4 stars
  • Value: 3 stars
  • Visit site

Squarespace logo thumnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Score: 78%
  • Features: 4 stars
  • Design: 4 stars
  • Support: 4 stars
  • Ease of use: 4 stars
  • User score: 4 stars
  • Value: 4 stars
  • Visit site

Should You Buy Web Design Software?

There are loads of reasons why the type of web design software you install on your computer might be the best option for you.

For example, if you’re a super-confident coder and have experience creating websites. Or, if you want the absolute last word in custom design.

However, the programs you’ll need for this kind of work tend to be expensive and intimidating. We’re going to round up the market leaders, what they’re good at and, whether they’re right for you – but our verdict remains, you’re better off using a website builder such as Wix or Weebly.

Adobe DreamweaverAdobe Dreamweaver Logo small best web design software

Dreamweaver is quickly becoming the gold standard in high-end web design software with a ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) editor. It has loads of options for customization, but it is very full-on and might be intimidating for anyone apart from experts.

Cost: It’ll cost you $20 per month if you buy the app on its own with a year’s subscription. However, you can add all the Adobe Creative Cloud apps for $50 per month.

Webflow

Another WYSIWYG editor, which allows users to create websites visually and prides itself on the succinct semantic coding it generates. This allows you to easily hand off your site to developers, or customize further down the line. Like Dreamweaver, Webflow is a complicated piece of software that you’ll need to sink a lot of time into to become a competent user.

Cost: Pricing depends on the number of sites you want to make, for a single site all you need to pay for is Webform’s hosting, which starts from $12 per month.

BlueGriffonBluegriffon Logo Best Web Design software

Combining the power of an HTML editor with the intuitive approach of a WYSIWYG, BlueGriffon lets you create and edit e-books as well as websites. It doesn’t leave you completely on your own, either, with over 2,500 website templates to get you started.

Cost: The basic license, which will let you create and edit websites, will cost you €75 (the company uses PayPal to convert prices into other currencies) but the license only covers one user on one machine.

Aptana Studio 3

Designed to create web apps, Aptana Studio 3 goes big on the coding. It supports HTML, CSS, Javascript and more. If you’re not an expert, it’s worth building up some knowledge of different coding languages before attempting to dip your toe in.

Cost: Aptana Studio is free to download, but anything you create on it must be made available to the public.

This type of installed web design software is complicated and, might not be right for everyday users. Instead, browser-based website builders allow you to quickly create and publish fully-functioning websites without coding knowledge in a matter of minutes.

Start building your website in minutes with Wix

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.Co covering everything from website builders to mobile phones. He also loves soccer, probably too much.

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