So you want to launch a startup, have a blog, or build your online store. You need a website that resonates with your vision and appeals to your audience. But you know nothing about web development. You also don’t want to hire a high-end web developer to make the website from scratch.
The good news is that you can use site builders and simplify the process by orders of magnitude. Site builders make it very easy for anyone to build websites, even total beginners and people who are not tech-savvy at all.
We have come a long way from 2003 when WordPress was first launched. We now have a dizzying array of options for building a website. WordPress continues to be popular, but many other site builders have entered the game like Wix, Squarespace, SITE123, etc.
With so many options at hand, it’s difficult to choose the right website builder for you. That’s why you should have a clear goal for your website. You can find more trusted tools that resolve this goal here. But before you select one, know that there is no one size fits all with website builders.
Although site builders have many similar features, they have differences that make them stand out in different niches. The site builder that’s ideal for one purpose may not work for another. For example, WordPress is great for blogs. For e-commerce, try a different option like Shopify.
Once you are clear on your goal for the website, you can move on to the next step of choosing the right website builder. We have done a comparison of the most popular site builders to make the choice easier for you.
WordPress is a site-building giant that powers around 39% of the world’s websites. WordPress.org is self-hosted. There is a learning curve to using this site builder, and beginners cannot get started right away. The other version of WordPress, WordPress.com, is easier to use and you don’t have to host your own site.
For people who value customization and don’t want to work with templates that others might use, WordPress is ideal. However, to take advantage of this feature, you must have some knowledge of web development. You also need to understand web hosting.
With WordPress, you also get access to third-party plugins. WordPress has thousands of plugins, both free and paid. There are 54000 plugins available to date. With some of its plugins like the Gutenberg Editor, you will not need to do any coding.
Although you can make free websites with WordPress, you will need to invest to have a proper, functional website. The investment varies when you add up different costs of web hosting, SSL, themes, plugins, etc. Therefore, WordPress is not the cheapest option out there.
Wix is another popular platform and some consider it to be the best website builder among all others. It has an intuitive design with the drag-and-drop feature. Beginners can build their own website in a very short time. Unlike WordPress, you don’t need to have any coding knowledge.
Wix also has 500+ themes to choose from and the interface looks good on mobile too. However, for blogging, Wix might lose the race with other popular site builders like WordPress or Squarespace. You can’t archive posts on Wix, so you will lose some posts after a time. You also can’t change your template after your site goes live.
Wix has around 200 apps which makes it less diverse than WordPress. But Wix has SEO tools that help your site get a high ranking on search engines. You can effectively use its SEO without learning how to code, unlike WordPress.
The accessibility that Wix offers is why it has the best value at its price. Wix offers a free plan and seven paid plans, starting from $14/mo. You can choose the one that has features you want, such as e-commerce and greater customer support.
Squarespace is the best site builder for creative industries and people who prioritize beautiful design. It has aesthetic templates and the most visually impressive design among all site builders
Squarespace is not as easy to use as Wix, but this shouldn’t deter beginners. It will just take a bit of time to get used to it. You don’t need to learn how to code, unlike WordPress. You just need to use your creativity.
Squarespace is great for both blogging and e-commerce. Its SEO tools are also noteworthy, but Wix has better tools, especially for beginners. Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, but it has a free trial. Its premium plans have reasonable prices, starting from $12/mo.
Shopify is the fourth most prevalent website builder. It is meant for e-commerce. It has many features and tools so you can build any kind of online store you want. One of its most powerful features is that you can integrate it with WordPress or other site builders. You can also sell your products through social media. Shopify is the best option if you want to expand to multiple channels.
Shopify has great product management and marketing features. You can generate product embed codes, create online receipts, monitor web store stats, and manage your e-commerce balance, all in one place. You can also get shipping discounts. Shopify has a free trial and a paid plan that starts from 9/mo.
The fifth on the most popular list is GoDaddy. GoDaddy is your go-to option if you’re short on time and you want to make a website quickly. You only have to enter your details and GoDaddy makes the website for you which you can customize.
The design is very straightforward. You can change the templates any time you want. However, you might not want to use GoDaddy if you want a complex and personalized website. It does not have the features you can find on other popular site builders, and its cheapest plan does not have SEO tools. GoDaddy has a free trial, and the paid plan starts from $10/mo.
It is worth taking the time to assess which site builder is right for you. Try not to be impulsive and jump to the most popular one. A good tip is to take advantage of the free trials and plans to narrow down the choices for the best site builder for your unique needs.