Best Web Design Software

September 11, 2018

12:19 pm

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:

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 blogger-friendly controls
  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 Pro – 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 personalized coding and simple templates
  11. Aptana Studio Free – A decent free software option, but has limitations

Wix

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

Pros

  • Lots of quality features
  • AI-powered site development
  • Wide range of price plans

Cons

  • Set in stone templates
  • Less storage space than you’d think
  • Ads in free demo

Weebly

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.

Build Your Dream Website With Weebly

Pros

  • Beautiful templates
  • Customizable templates and content
  • Lots of apps and tools

Cons

  • No mobile editing
  • Branding still present with basic plan
  • Ecommerce exclusive to most expensive plan

Squarespace

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.

Build A Great-Looking Website with Squarespace, and Take 10% Off With Code 'TECH10'

Pros

  • Stunning templates
  • Custom code friendly
  • Comprehensive ecommerce function built-in

Cons

  • No long-term free plan available
  • A bit intimidating at first
  • No apps

WordPress

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.

Create an Amazing Blog With WordPress Today

Pros

  • Blogger-centric platform
  • Wide range of templates
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • Little design flexibility
  • Must pay for key features
  • More expensive than WordPress.org

1&1 MyWebsite

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

Pros

  • Thorough editor
  • Simple coding features
  • Multiple languages available

Cons

  • No free option
  • Credit card required
  • No ecommerce option

GoDaddy GoCentral

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

Pros

  • Comprehensive website editor
  • Surprisingly simple ADI
  • Easy, quick sign up

Cons

  • Restrictive editor
  • No apps or widgets
  • Few theme options

Site123

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?

Site123 is the Fastest Way to Build a Website, Get Started Now

Pros

  • Very fast, from start to finish
  • Simple app and widget integration
  • Quick, helpful ADI system

Cons

  • Boring templates
  • Limited template customizability
  • Only surface website editor capabilities

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 bare bones of a website that you can then build on and customize to create 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

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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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