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Online Website Builders

It isn’t hard to get online today with your own site, where so many site builders present. Their market is vast and keeps expanding, going to literally every area of sites, from blogs and personal ones to heavyweight e-shops and even White Label models. Today, we are considering ten popular site builders to give you comprehensible information so you can choose what site builder is right for you or your company.

Every builder we are first considering in general, then give its pros and cons, and after look at its pricing, to cover as much as possible in a short review.

 

Ten top website builders that you can use to start your online presence

To make you refrain from looking at the site builders on your own, wasting your time to obtain information about them, we’ve gathered them all here on the list below:

  1. uKit

  2. Wix

  3. Godaddy

  4. Shopify

  5. Strikingly

  6. Web

  7. Sitebuilder

  8. Ucraft

  9. Webnode

  10. Webstart

 

  1. Description of one of best website builders uKit

This is a top site builder on the market, which allows its users to create absolutely any website. Small or big, complex or simple, the one needing the fast start or elaborated detailed approach to jump online – these all are embraced by uKit. It has several hundreds of templates to choose from, many options to give to your website even in a free version of subscription (like unlimited hosting and bandwidth) and the best pricing on the market. HTTPS comes for free in a few clicks, SSL, SEO, selling widgets, and other useful must-have stuff like mobile friendliness come without saying and there’s hard to imagine at least anything that you would not be able to create using uKit.

 

Advantage of this best website builder:

  1. Already in its free version, it gives you more than any other site builder from available ones on the market gives.

  2. The best pricing strategy from all that we’ve analyzed up to date.

  3. Over 200 diversified and categorized easily customizable templates.

  4. Great support services and FAQ.

  5. You can pay monthly, 3-monthly, annually or for several years, each time receiving a great discount – and it gets bigger as you pay for more time.

 

Rated disadvantages:

  1. Not super great for blogging as it only allows several types of content to be present on its pages.

  2. You can’t build a big e-store using uKit, as every page must be manually created, so there is no such a thing as automatically formed pages. With persistence and time, though, you can. However, managing pages (after changes) has to be done manually.

 

Pricing model:

It offers 4 basic subscription plans for 4, 8, 9.60, and 12 dollars a month, with incremental discount when paying for more. However, that’s not all: there may be some promo campaigns like the one it is holding now in the summer of 2019: when you pay for 6 months and more, you get +3 free months of using it. Isn’t that great?

 

  1. Description of a website maker Wix

Wix is one of the most popular website makers and it’s the only real rival to uKit in terms of functionality, power, and pricing.

 

Advantages:

  1. One can create powerful sites with Wix, choosing from many categorized and customizable templates.

  2. Easy-to-use visual editor with lots of widgets and tools.

  3. Broad pricing that should suit everyone.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. It is resource demanding for the PC/laptop and the Internet connection.

  2. You can’t switch off the ads in the lowest paid plan despite the fact that you pay for Wix usage.

  3. It is impossible to create really SEO- and technically-optimized sites so if you want something powerful and up-to-date to run your business, blog or whatever – you should search elsewhere.

 

Pricing model:

You are free to choose from 7 available plans:

  • four for regular websites that start with 4.50 Euros a month (all prices on its pricing page are indicated not in dollars but somehow in Euros) (1 GB bandwidth, 0.5 Gb online disk storage, a possibility to connect your domain, which you shall buy additionally), continuing through €8.50 (2 GB bandwidth, 3 Gb storage, no ads, free 1-year domain) and €12.50 (10 Gb storage and no limits in bandwidth, 60 minutes of videos placed on the site), ending with €24.50 a month (2 times bigger storage and video than the previous subscription plan).

  • three business plans from €17 to €35 a month tuned to create and run e-stores and other professional websites (they mostly differ from plans for regular websites with a possibility to accept online payments and absence of commission for that).

 

  1. Description of a website creator Godaddy

It is very easy to start a site but you won’t have too much creative freedom. Their pricing is good at first glance but terrifies you with loads of additional pricing when swimming deeper. The company gives you much advantageous stuff to create your own website but they are very aggressive in up-sell to you and their company was one of a handful few companies several years ago that supported one of the most horrendous laws about limiting the Internet. So if you can deal with contradictions that Godaddy is about to offer you on each step of interacting with them – then go for it. Or leave to find a much better site builder service.

 

Important advantages:

  1. 1-month free trial, no credit card required.

  2. It is quite easy to build a website and to get it to life on a Godaddy-branded server name.

  3. Basic pricing is not too expensive (not taking into account loads of additional pricing you aren’t told about when getting started with them and that you only discover again and again when want to use the site builder’s functionality).

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Bad customer support.

  2. Many hidden charges for its use, which are not directly indicated in the description of its pricing plans – like annual payment for domain renewal, e-mail forwarding possibility, WhoIs protection, and other stuff like not free customization of landing pages.

  3. Its hosting is slow-speed as this site builder place thousands of websites on a single server, overselling hosting space (which is extremely bad for SEO).

  4. Too little control on the server’s back end. This site builder gives you not the standard interface of administrator but proprietary one, which offers not so many useful tools and widgets as it is interested in selling you more Godaddy’s products.

 

Pricing model:

This site builder doesn’t allow you to have a domain bought in any of their pricing plans, you have to buy it for an additional cost starting with $0.99 for ‘.club’ and $4.99 for ‘.life’ continuing to $11.99 for ‘.com’ and $13.99 for ‘.net’.

It is very hard to find their pricing on their site and you shall make a ton of clicking before reaching it but eventually, you can see that it’s from $5.99 a month to $19.99 a month. But you can’t pay for a month just like that – the money is billed annually. Too bad. No wonder this site builder powers less than 0.08 million sites across the globe. But this site builder does have a free trial though.

 

  1. Description of a website creation tool Shopify

Its pricing is significantly higher than of the most part of other site builders but it is easily explainable – Shopify is tuned to create a professional web store and run it smoothly. This web builder may not give you too much flexibility or power for any other website but an online shop but if you’re specifically looking for an e-shop builder – you’ve found a perfect answer.

 

Advantages:

  1. It is really powerful for e-stores, tuned for that as many as you might dream (and even bigger).

  2. You can sell across many channels, powerfully, manageable, and easily.

  3. The inventory system is truly brilliant, saving you so much time when managing your merchandise.

 

Disadvantages of this interactive tool:

  1. It has many additional payments that can largely boost your sales productivity but, at the same time, may cost you several times bigger than the initial ‘naked’ plan of your subscription.

  2. You have to be careful in choosing your website’s theme, as switching it to another won’t make all made changes in a theme to change smoothly (leaving you loads of manual work to do).

 

Pricing model:

The basic plan starts with $29 a month, the middle is for 79 dollars, and the most powerful one is for 299 dollars a month.

In addition to that, an owner of a web store will be charged with credit card rates, which are usually 2-point-something percent from the amount + some cents as a non-variable part of the commission. Then you’ll meet transaction fees starting from 0.5% ending with 2.0%. The additional feature called ‘Retail Package’ will cost you + $49. Prepare to have Shopify Shipping price (with a variable discount depending on your subscription plan).

Also, it offers many apps from its App Store that will cost you additional money (some of them are free to use during some meager days).

But the good thing is that when you opt for an annual payment, you get -10% discount. Opting for 24 months at once, face -20% discount.

 

  1. Description of a site builder Strikingly

In a couple of words, this site builder is good for blogging but not good for e-commerce. However, you can create up to 500 products for sale using Strikingly and have 5 sites under your simultaneous operation. It is possible to edit HTML & CSS. You can build multiple pages in it, have unlimited storage and bandwidth, as well as implement search on a site and make a mobile-friendly version.

 

Advantages:

  1. Great help and nice value for money.

  2. If you want to run a blog – there is no better solution than to employ Strikingly to do that.

  3. It is easy to work with templates, adjusting and reformatting them.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. This isn’t the best choice for e-commerce and any other type of business, as it has a scarce number of tools to create and scale up the business.

  2. Not so many templates to choose from and your editing and creativity wants will be limited. But that only concerns the visual editor – if you want more freedom, do the code change in HTML and CSS.

 

Pricing model:

It is possible to have a free 14-day trial of any paid plan (currently, three existing plans).

But if you don’t want to pay at all, you can explore a free plan that will not push you to pay, showing advertising of Strikingly on every page of your website and giving you a domain name within its own domain name.

‘Limited’ is for $8 a month, ‘Pro’ is twice as expensive, and ‘VIP’ will cost ya 49 dollars a month.

In addition to those, you will have to buy a domain name for 24.95 dollars for 1 year and to pay 25 dollars a year for a custom e-mail.

The drawback of every subscription plan is that the payment is billed for 1 year, not on a monthly basis.

 

  1. Description of a website builder software Web

It used to be a site builder but it is no longer that. It has rebranded into a web design agency that provides only manual website creation and editing. But we will tell one word about their previous website building functionality: awful. Everything was limited, messy, cheap-looking though cheap-pricing. This is a perfect example of what kind of site builder to avoid. No good template design or ease of use, extreme unpopularity among customers, and also average 1-star estimation out of possible 5 stars.

 

Advantages:

  1. It is easy to use and you can publish a newly created site pretty fast, stuffing it with free pictures from the database of the site builder – that saves you a lot of time but is bad for SEO as many other people potentially used the same data set, which make your site to be indistinguishable from theirs.

  2. 24/7 phone support but too little practical help in building a site.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. The drag-and-drop editor is a mess and it is very hard to create something decent.

  2. The starting price of $1.95 ends after the first month ends. After that, it is definitely above the market with its high prices compared to too scarce functionality.

  3. There is no try-and-buy usage. You can (potentially) return your money but in practice, it is literally impossible to do.

  4. Messy tools and non-comprehensible templates that you can’t choose on your own, only having to deal with three proposed to your attention after the software decides on its own, which are good for you.

 

Pricing model:

You start with as little as 1.95 a month – having a non-branded domain name for that and some other great-looking features. But that is only for the first month. All consequential months would cost you $22.95 and more. Well, at least, now you know what kind of site builder to avoid for sure.


 

  1. Description of a simple website builder Sitebuilder

Sitebuilder is one of many site builders that do not give you too much power in building a website. Yes, you can start an online presence doing it pretty fast but your website will look unprofessionally similarly to millions of other simple sites, which are mostly created just for fun and forgotten in a blink of an eye. You can make an e-commerce site with it but it won’t be any good or even closely as pro as the one made with Shopify or uKit.

 

Advantages:

  1. It is easy to use and one can build a simple website relatively fast.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. You really can’t build any powerful site and especially an e-store using Sitebuilder.

  2. It doesn’t offer an opportunity for the free trial using.

  3. It gives you no SSL.

  4. It is outdated and inflexible.

 

Pricing model:

It lures users with promo prices that are -50% from the regular prices. They are very short-lived and once you decide to abandon, 16 bucks are non-refundable, as this is a price for a domain (even though 16 dollars are much bigger than two out of tree its monthly plans). The cheapest plan goes for $7.68 (giving a user a free hosting, domain name, and website statistics). The next one costs $11.98 and adds to that priority support. And the costliest plan for $18.45 a month gives al the same and a possibility of e-commerce.

 

  1. Description of a website builder Ucraft

It is one of not many site builders, which focus on a visual part of making a new website and giving it design attractiveness. It gives you an amazing set of visually alluring adjustable templates that you can personalize without too much hustle.

 

Advantages:

  1. Even a free plan offers many appealing nuances like security and inbuilt analytics. It has a free plan that will not prompt you to jump to another.

  2. It is possible to create a website that will look sleeky and appealingly to your audience.

  3. Nice prices that are within the market.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Not a very easy in use but this is compensated by the power.

  2. If you have many requirements for your site, Ucraft is not the best option, as it focuses on user-created websites, not professional ones.

 

Pricing model:

It offers 4 plans, one of which is a free one. 10, 21, 39 dollars a month are for the rest three. The drawback is that the money is billed annually (but there is a two-week trial period coming for free). The free option provides you with an opportunity to connect your domain (bought for additional money here or elsewhere), SSL security, powerful Google analytics, an opportunity to change colors, rule its SEO but it will fill your website with its branding.

For 10 bucks, you get 50 products to sell in your e-store, 1 multilingual site, more elements to choose from, favicon, Google fonts, nice round-the-clock support, a possibility to embed CSS/HTML and JavaScript, protect pages with password, search on your site using Google, sell your goods in multiple currencies (with a possibility to track), manage your payments and orders, and a few more pieces of useful stuff. The next subscription package will provide you with all these plus 1,000 products to sell, tax and VAT possibilities, wishlist and favorites’ options. And the costlier plan gives a possibility to have as many products as you want and to sell through multiple worldwide-known selling platforms like Amazon and others.

 

  1. Description of the easiest website builder Webnode

If you need a site fast but don’t need it specifically to be professional or taking too much storage space, Webnode is a simple solution. But if your initial goal is to make a website with many possibilities, options, SEO and other things, without which modern sites can’t exist – do not choose it.

 

Advantages:

  1. Great pricing with a possibility to create most of the websites but powerful e-stores.

  2. Easy to drag and drop.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. It does not offer nice storage space, only giving 5 Gb, which limits you to small sites and almost entire absence of possibility to create your e-store with a number of products to power up their pics, descriptions, and the other features.

  2. It is stuck back in the 2000s when the limited features it offers for website building had a good value.

  3. A scarce number of available templates.

 

Pricing model:

There are 4 plans:

  1. ‘Limited’ for $3.95 a month: includes 0.1 Gb storage and 1 Gb bandwidth

  2. ‘Mini’ for $5.95 a month: includes 0.5 Gb storage, 3 Gb bandwidth, 1-year own free domain, 1 e-mail account, premium support, form builder, video background, and website stats.

  3. ‘Standard’ for $11.95 a month: includes 2 Gb storage, 10 Gb bandwidth, all mentioned before, 20 e-mail accounts, 2 languages per 1 site, and 5 possible backups.

  4. ‘Profi’ for $19.95 a month: includes the mentioned plus everything unlimited but 5 Gb storage on online disk and 100 e-mail accounts.

 

  1. Description of a website builder Webstarts

This site builder is just right to start if you aren’t looking for much sophistication, having only one goal – to start fast. It is reliable and appealing in many criteria, such as an unlimited number of pages even in the free plan, with pretty decent cloud storage of 1 Gb. Yes, to make it any decent, you should opt for any of its two paid plans but consider this option as a modern site builder, which covers all basics.

 

Advantages:

  1. Bonus features and membership system.

  2. Unlimited pages in every plan, including a free one (compared with many others, which limit you for nothing).

  3. Many images in stock of its gallery.

  4. Easy to use.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. You won’t have unlimited storage but 40 Gb in the maximal plan should be good for most cases.

  2. Very limited free plan, which offers you much less than in Wix and especially – in uKit.

  3. There is no possibility to adjust pages to any extent, as you want

  4. Tools and widgets are limited.

 

Pricing model:

It gives three plans:

  • A free one (a decent choice considering all available features if you’re not afraid of site builder’s ad on every your page)

  • Pro for $7.16 a month (after the promo offer ends, it’ll be regularly charged $14.32 a month)

  • And ‘Business’ for $39.98 a month (with a promo price twice as much lower).

Free option brings you to the unlimited number of pages that a website can have, 1 Gb cloud storage, and the same bandwidth per month, notification center and live chat. The ‘Pro’ version largely expands your horizons, giving a custom domain name, submitting your site to Google search engine, social integration, 1 e-mail address, SEO tools, contact forms, 10 Gb cloud storage, 100 Gb bandwidth a month, and ad-free. It also provides mobile friendliness, HTML change access. The ‘Business package’ gives you all that + Yahoo and Bing search engine’s presence, 5 e-mail addresses, 40 Gb storage, many styles and effects, e-store option, and everything else unlimited.

 

Defining a website builder

Online (sometimes – offline) software to make and host a website is called a website builder. Each and every one of them presented on our list allows visual editing, which helps build a website without knowledge of any coding and other site-building related stuff. To create a website today, you just have got to have an idea of what you want, have a few sites opened in front of your eyes to scoop ideas of practical realization from them, and several hours of your free time fully dedicated to the builder.

If you want some easy website, it is quite fast to implement in any presented builder such as Wix, uKit or Ucraft. Some of those site builders even allow you doing that in a matter of minutes – literally. But you shall invest tens of hours of working time to make something fine-tuned, professional, and powerful. Still, an approach with free website builders is much wider adopted than hiring a person to make you a website.

 

Hiring a developer versus using a site builder tool

Advantages of hiring a person:

  • making a site of any complexity

  • let it look professionally on many sides if not in everything.

Disadvantages of hiring a person:

  • it is very costly, thousands of dollars at least

  • it takes much time

  • you have to prepare a super detailed technical specification describing each and every feature of a website but not always a person-orderer is capable of that.

Advantages of using an online quick website builder:

  • building and launching a website fast

  • no need to pay anyone hefty money to make it go live

  • you can do it on your own having no special knowledge in website builder practice, Photoshop, hosting, selling, or any other technical related issue to what builders do

  • site builders cover around 90% of the needs of all users.

Disadvantages of using an online website builder:

  • unless you don’t know how to code really well, you won’t be able to build a powerful, professional, and fine-tuned website on your own using site builders

  • the most part of website creation services does not provide making a website really differing from the rest of other sites, which were created in the same website builder and are now connected to a very limited number of templates

  • when you want to upgrade, you’ll have to pay to a person pro to make a powerful site for you.

 

Who might use a platform to build a website

We can highlight a few categories of users who might find working with modern website builders useful:

  • people that only start their business so they don’t have much money or time to invest in the construction of a site but they desperately need an online presence

  • ones who know how to count money and so they opt for free or low-cost web builder instead of giving thousands of dollars to someone

  • people who might have had a site before that had been done by themselves or someone else and they now want to change that or upgrade fast and efficiently

  • owners of small web building studio or freelancers making websites for other people who don’t have much time or money to do it

  • someone who thinks that having a site is cool for this or that reason but doesn’t have knowledge or experience of coding and Photoshop.

 

Features to look for in a web page builder

Creating a website for someone who doesn’t know how to do it is a tricky thing. That’s why, selecting a website builder to implement your oeuvre, pay attention to one of those features:

  1. Templates. The more the better. Categorized, adjustable, able to be stuffed with usable widgets and run the processes of moving a visitor between stages you need.

  2. Coding on/off. For newbies, coding ‘off’ to make a site from start to finish is a must. For advanced users, coding ‘on’ is a chance to make a fine tune and greater personification.

  3. Drag-and-drop is what eases work to a maximal extent.

  4. Using various content – not only text and pictures affect the user experience but also audio, video, embedded parts from social networks or an opportunity to share/tweet right from the page and other stuff like widgets make use.

  5. A need to search your own images or to use ones in stock of a website builder affects the time of work.

  6. Customizable templates, a possibility to download pages or sites in a whole to adjust it offline, backups, and other technical stuffing.

 

Tips about selecting a website builders company and the best option for your industry

  • How usable and good templates it offers. Templates in a site builder have to be up-to-date and cover everything you might need, with as little effort to adjust them as possible to save your time and shorten the path between the need to get online and actually getting online.

  • Free try-and-buy period or a free subscription in a site builder – to check whether this or that website builder suits you.

  • Ease of customization and work in general in this or that site builder. If it isn’t comprehensible for you how to work inside a builder and FAQ won’t help, you should look elsewhere.

  • Uptime. How much time your website will be available to everyone.

  • Load times – the faster your website is rendered on a user’s screen, the better it is for SEO and ranking.

  • Cost. This is where many potential users stop at, as they don’t know if they should pay for usage or not.

For a small business, choose uKit. For blogs, choose Strikingly. For photographers, go for uKit or Wix. E-commerce is the best with Shopify, while professional builders will be glad to use uKit, as well as for the best-on-market mobile friendliness. Drag-and-drop is good with any – try Wix, Shopify or uKit.

 

Consumer website builder reviews

  1. Richard from Cincinnati on uKit: I needed to build a site for my flower shop that I started a month ago. Like any other small entrepreneur who starts something on his own, I didn’t have much time and did not have a budget at all to launch but I needed to make it good. I took me a half a day on a weekend to build the as a powerful site as I dreamt of – thanks, uKit!

  2. William from Trondheim, Norway, about Wix: Powerful for almost everything, they say. To me, it was not powerful for my e-store. I didn’t find a possibility to make automatically-created pages when a user adds goods to comparison or to build a page that would have a ‘load more’ option (that’s convenient for users and saves traffic). So maybe 4 out of 10.

  3. Robert from Milwaukee on Godaddy: I was frankly disappointed with its non-user friendly attitude in pricing, as literally anything but what’s strictly included into the paid package needed money from me. Spending 200 dollars just during the first month, I gave it up and left. Then I found a really good website builder but that’s another story.

  4. Michael from Stockholm, Sweden, about Shopify: A perfect choice for a perfect e-store. That’s what I was looking for when departing from Wix to seek something professional. I did my store’s basis in 2 days and completed it in a week after that, being able to build as a powerful and appealing store as I was oriented at based on my experience and Google’s top.

  5. David from Wyoming on Webstart: I wanted to create a blogging site to start with something on my own that would be different from Facebook that I was pretty tired of already. Within 3 hours in the evening, I did a decent blog and dealt with posting my first post. Did I like it? Yes, it gave me everything I wanted.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I build my first website alone?

Yes, and all website builders are made to make it happen. Depending on free or paid functionality, the outcome will also be different, limiting you most of all in a free version but the biggest part of sites can be made and launched less than in a day. Some website builders allow doing it in minutes or an hour.

 

  1. How much does it cost to launch a website from start to finish?

It can be zero dollars if you will feel ok with inbuilt advertising of a website builder you use all over your website, as well as a branded domain name and limited functionality. If you don’t want to be as limited as a free version stipulates, depending on a type of site you want to initiate (e-commerce sites are the most expensive ones) you will have to pay from around 2 dollars a month to as much as 299 dollars a month. Some of the low-cost tariff plans won’t eliminate website builder ads and all limitations.

 

  1. Mobile device responsiveness

Almost every website builder offers mobile friendliness. Some do it for free, while others – only paid. But if you encounter some website builder that doesn’t offer that – please, refrain from its usage.

 

  1. Drag-and-drop editors

Every website builder on our list provides a possibility to use a drag-and-drop editor. It is visually appealing and makes it easy to develop a site with absolutely zero knowledge of coding. What you do with your mouse and keyboard in the editor – that’s how your site will look and work like.

 

  1. Domain names

Every website is obliged to have own domain name. Free website builders provide a free temporary domain branded with their own name. To avoid that stimulated branding, you have to buy one of its subscription plans (bear in mind that the cheapest ones do not always allow you to connect your own domain name; sometimes, it must be bought separately).

 

  1. SEO recommendations

It is good if your website builder offers you SEO management opportunities. The best website builders such as uKit provide you this possibility in every plan, even a free one, so you can take care of your good online presence from the start. SEO work is an entire science but most of the website builders give you only some basic moments of it.

 

  1. Types of website builders

We can roughly divide all website builders into three categories of performance:

  • Modern ones like uKit and Wix, allowing creating powerful and beautiful websites in design

  • Completely outdated like Webnode, not giving you anything good

  • Specialized ones, which can be used to create a specific type of website like Shopify for e-stores or Strikingly for blogs.

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