Best Website Builder 2023: 12 Website Builders Reviewed
There are many ways to establish a web presence – but none are as simple, affordable, and convenient as website builders. So, which one's the best?
We've reviewed 12 popular platforms to help you find the right solution for your needs.
Creating a website used to be difficult. It required some serious technical skills or enough money to hire professional programmers and web designers. These days, there's a third option that allows even non-techies to put together a homepage in just a few easy steps: website builders.
From simple blogs to full-fledged online stores, website builders make it possible to create a professional website from scratch without any programming know-how. Thanks to their intuitive user interfaces, drag-and-drop editing, and flexible design templates, launching a website has never been more straightforward.
Still, you shouldn't start your website project without a plan. Below, we'll show you what website builders can do, and which ones we think are the best.
What is a website builder?
A website builder brings complex programming and content management system (CMS) tasks from the back to the front end, packaging them in an easy-to-understand visual interface of tools and guidelines. Once in their platform's browser-based editor, users can manually design and create a website without any coding skills since actions are automatically translated into a programming language.
This makes website builders ideal not just for those without web design familiarity, but also, for anyone who likes to work visually. With that said, not all platforms are created equal. Significant differences do exist between solutions, especially in terms of how complex their editors are and which features they include.
With website builders, all you have to do is fill your homepage with content (Example: Wix).
Just because programming skills aren't explicitly needed doesn't mean there isn't a learning curve. Having some background knowledge of web design or coding can make a huge difference. Each website builder has its own logic that you'll need to familiarize yourself with before being able to unlock its full power.
Website Builder Review: Comparing 12 Platforms
Below, we'll briefly introduce you to the website builders we reviewed, and let you know what we thought of each of them. After that, we summarized our rating criteria and scoring process so that you know what a platform needs to do to get our stamp of approval.
Wix: EXPERTE.com's Winner
Wix combines both quality and quantity like none of the other website builders we examined, making site creation a breeze, even for newcomers.
At first glance, the user interface is a bit overwhelming and reminiscent of Photoshop owing to its movable toolbars and grid lines. Luckily, the platform's learning curve isn't too steep. Alongside its standard editor, Wix also provides a slimmed-down ADI editor, which is less complex but comes with fewer features and isn't as flexible.
What we like
The standard editor offers plenty of flexibility: You'll get lots of elements and ready-made templates, all of which can be easily integrated into your website. In addition, Wix Media Manager provides access to a treasure trove of high-quality pictures and illustrations. The service's blogging and ecommerce features are also solid.
And if you can't find the content element or feature you're looking for, you can always comb through Wix's well-stocked app market for additional extensions. Rounding out the positives, Wix's approach to making a multilingual website is refreshingly straightforward.
Among the programs we reviewed, Wix offers the best balance of user-friendliness and functionality.
How is Wix different from other providers?
Wix offers what is probably the best mix of features and user-friendliness on the market. From templates, to design options, to widgets, the service serves up both quality and quantity without overwhelming newcomers.
Who is Wix for?
Anyone who wants to create a professional website without breaking the bank will likely be interested in Wix. This makes it ideal for small businesses, freelancers, and individuals. It's also perfect for beginners who are just starting with website building and will need more advanced features down the road.
What we don't like
Generally speaking, Wix is not anywhere near as flexible as content management systems (like WordPress), however, this applies to all website builders. If you're opening an online store and need more extensive sales features, you'll be better served with an ecommerce platform like Shopify.
Within its market segment, Wix hardly places a foot wrong. There are a few minor issues: Unfortunately, whenever you switch to a different design template, you'll lose any progress you had in the previous one. And even though it's for beginners, the ADI editor lacks too many features.
Wix's Advantages and Disadvantages
More than 800 templates
300+ apps in the App Market
Intuitive drag and drop editor
Wide variety of features
Not possible to easily switch templates
ADI editor lacks features
Squarespace: Premium Templates, Excellent Designs
Squarespace is a popular platform that lets you create websites with an unmistakable look. It scores highly in our ranking thanks to its stylish designs and templates. But there's much more to Squarespace than meets the eye: its user-friendly editor makes site building incredibly intuitive, even for beginners.
What we like
With Squarespace, everything flows together: The editor is easy to use, its design templates are among the most aesthetically pleasing on the market, and the variety of features is more than solid.
Beyond the standard website-building tools, you'll also find plenty of extras, including a practical email newsletter creator. We also liked the platform's stock photo integrations, which give you access to both free and paid graphics that can be included on your website. This meshes nicely with Squarespace's straightforward approach to managing images and pictures.
Squarespace is particularly well-known for its elegant templates.
How is Squarespace different from other providers?
The biggest arguments in Squarespace's favor are its templates: These stylish designs ensure that any website built with it will, by default, be more visually appealing than those made elsewhere.
Beyond looks, Squarespace offers very generous page limits (up to 1,000) and some practical extras that its competitors don't have. These include extensive marketing tools and a video creator that you can use to prepare ads for your business.
Who is Squarespace for?
Squarespace is targeted at creatives and businesses that need image-intensive, modern websites, such as photography studios, artists, or gourmet restaurants.
Owing to its solid ecommerce features, the platform is also a good choice for smaller and mid-sized online stores that want to present their catalogs in a visually appealing way.
What we don't like
Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn't have a dedicated app marketplace like Wix, and third-party tools are limited to a handful of integrations.
Making multilingual websites is also unnecessarily complex: Without a premium (paid) tool like Weglot, you'll need to add an extra menu level for each language you want to include and add each individual page to it. Other site builders take more streamlined approaches to this.
Squarespace's Advantages and Disadvantages
More than 100 modern and elegant designs
Lots of features
Practical smartphone apps
Excellent help center and fast live support
Lacks a true app marketplace, limited extensions
Many templates look identical
IONOS MyWebsite: Complicated, but Versatile
IONOS is one of the largest hosting providers in the world but it also offers a website-building solution, MyWebsite. With its drag-and-drop editor, this makes creating a website simple for anyone, even without a degree in computer science.
Although IONOS MyWebsite isn't as easy to use as its competitors are, it made it into our Top 3 for a number of good reasons.
What we like
IONOS MyWebsite is a powerful site builder with a wide range of features and lots of customization options. There are plenty of widgets, and the ready-made sections can be used for a variety of different purposes. Each individual content element can be flexibly edited. In terms of templates, you'll have more than 400 to choose from.
The platform's ecommerce features, from product management to payments to marketing, are also well-developed. Unfortunately, some features and capabilities (like selling digital products) are only available to specific subscription tiers.
IONOS MyWebsite takes some getting used to, however, it offers extensive customization.
How is IONOS MyWebsite different from other providers?
The platform makes quick work of setting up a multilingual website. New languages are added through the page menu and include automatic translations for default pages (you can manually translate these later on if desired).
IONOS offers good support, with staffers standing by around the clock and reachable via hotline, email, or live chat.
Who is IONOS MyWebsite for?
IONOS MyWebsite is a highly versatile platform that's excellent for smaller and mid-sized businesses and online stores. Since it makes creating multilingual websites so easy, it's also a solid choice for pages with an international audience.
What we don't like
Its editor is clunkier than the more intuitive solutions its competitors offer. When starting out, you'll probably wish IONOS MyWebsite was more straightforward, with fewer fragmented input fields.
Set alongside the templates offered by Wix or Squarespace, what IONOS MyWebsite brings to the table isn't as impressive. Even though there's no shortage of templates, their quality isn't as high, and there are a number of plain and boring options to get through.
IONOS MyWebsite's Advantages and Disadvantages
More than 400 versatile templates
Flexible editor that facilitates lots of customization
Easy to create multilingual websites
Editor takes some getting used to
Templates of varying quality
Webflow: Visual Coding for Advanced Users
Webflow shows that there are major differences between website builders.
As a website builder/CMS hybrid, the service does demand some coding familiarity from its users, making it more complex than the other services we reviewed. If you bring this expertise to the table (or if you're ready to learn), you'll get a powerful tool that is far more versatile than its counterparts.
A finished Webflow site is made up of containers (boxes) that are stacked on one another and can be flexibly arranged. Web designers and programmers will recognize the "box model" at work, but it's probably news to the everyday user of a website builder. What makes Webflow so special, is that it shifts the programming process – box management – to a drag-and-drop editor, allowing anyone to "code" visually.
What we like
As a visual website design tool, Webflow is extremely powerful. For those willing to come to terms with its usage concept, nearly unlimited design freedom awaits, even in comparison to other website builders. And the best part? You won't need detailed coding knowledge to get a truly personalized website.
Once your website is ready to go live, you'll be able to manage it with Webflow's powerful CMS, which also takes some getting used to. We particularly liked Webflow University, the service's learning platform where users can educate themselves about all of its features at their own pace.
Reminiscent of Photoshop: Webflow's user interface is definitely more detailed than those of other website builders.
How is Webflow different from other providers?
Directly comparing Webflow to Wix and other providers is unfair since it's so different from classic website builders. As a hybrid website builder/CMS, Webflow demands considerably more technical know-how, however, it's also much more versatile than more beginner-friendly solutions.
Even though backend processes are intuitively visualized, the platform's logic remains similar to programming. This means that you'll get just as much flexibility when adjusting your website, even if designing it will be slightly trickier than with a classic drag-and-drop solution.
Who is Webflow for?
Webflow is the best option if you'd like to visually design your website, but can't put up with the limitations imposed by a regular website builder. If you already have some background knowledge of web design and coding (or are ready to take some classes at Webflow University), you can easily design a website on your schedule and to your specifications.
What we don't like
Webflow is significantly more complex than other website builders, which means it isn't really an alternative to platforms like Wix if you're looking for a user-friendly option for simple websites. Beyond that, it's also fairly expensive.
Webflow's Advantages and Disadvantages
Significantly more powerful than WYSIWYG builders
Website builder/CMS hybrid
Design visually, without coding
Excellent learning platform "Webflow University"
Steep learning curve
Weebly: Also for Building on the Go
Like most solutions we've reviewed up to this point, Weebly offers an easy-to-use editor that makes creating a website simple, especially for beginners. These days, Weebly is owned by Block, Inc. (formerly Square), a payment services company, and making a good impression as an ecommerce platform.
What we like
Ease of use is Weebly's priority: Thanks to its 'drag-and-drop-on-rails' approach, you won't have to worry about misplaced content elements skewing your design.
In terms of ecommerce, Weebly also has something to offer: You're able to do everything important in the product management area and easily create product variants. The platform also includes a comprehensive marketing suite that offers lots of discount and coupon options and even a fairly powerful email marketing tool.
Weebly impresses with its innovative smartphone app that makes building on the go possible.
How is Weebly different from other providers?
We particularly liked Weebly's mobile app, which you can use to build and manage your site from practically anywhere.
Of course, there are a few other website builders that make it possible to either design or monitor your page from your smartphone. However, none of them are as user-friendly or comprehensive as Weebly's.
Who is Weebly for?
The service is geared towards beginners and small businesses looking to take the first steps in the world of ecommerce. Anyone who is willing to trade ease of use for creative freedom will probably have a positive experience with Weebly. Similarly, for non-commercial and private projects, it's a good choice owing to its free version.
What we don't like
Since Weebly's editor doesn't offer unlimited drag-and-drop capabilities, your design options are somewhat limited. Also in terms of templates, there's a lack of variety.
Weebly's Advantages and Disadvantages
Easy and intuitive drag-and-drop editing
More than 200 apps for advanced features
NIfty smartphone app for mobile building
Limited customization options
Templates could have more variety
SITE123: Foolproof Builder for Smaller Projects
SITE123 markets itself as "by far the easiest free website builder", trying to appeal as directly as possible to beginners. Instead of drag-and-drop capabilities, it relies on ready-made layouts which can only be minimally customized and filled with content. Although perhaps a bit exaggerated, you could create a website by the count of three.
What we like
Simplicity is what SITE123 is all about: It consciously limits the degree of freedom users have when designing their website in order to get it online as quickly as possible. This is a bold strategy, particularly since most providers take the opposite approach, clamoring over one another to offer more features and design options.
SITE123 makes website creation simple, even within the website builder segment.
How is SITE123 different from other providers?
Almost every website builder advertises its beginner-friendliness since their target groups are those without any coding or web design knowledge. However, few website builders are as consequential as SITE123: You'll basically just need to add content to your website and there's little that you can mess up.
SITE123's customer support, which we really liked, is available 24/7 and answered our queries quickly and competently.
Who is SITE123 for?
Because it significantly limits design options, we recommend SITE123 for personal websites or smaller projects (such as club pages). The platform is also well-suited for blogs. Of course, smaller businesses and stores can use the service, however, its limitations will become apparent sooner rather than later.
What we don't like
Ease of use comes at the cost of flexibility. This makes it hard to create a unique website with SITE123 since the ready-made layouts can only be modified so much. For that reason, we don't recommend using the provider for bigger projects and professional businesses.
SITE123 could also be clearer about its subscriptions and pricing. When comparing rates, it appears that there are two options, however, upon closer inspection, there are actually four paid plans which differ in terms of storage space and bandwidth.
SITE123's Advantages and Disadvantages
Excellent customer support with live chat
Solid blogging features
Limited customization options
Unclear pricing structure
Jimdo: The Website Builder for Freelancers
Jimdo is a website builder from Hamburg that caters specifically to freelancers. Users get two editors for the price of one: A standard editor as well as an AI-assisted, beginner-friendly one.
What we like
There isn't much to criticize about Jimdo's usage concept: Both editors are user-friendly, however, we recommend using the standard version. It isn't too complicated to figure out and offers significantly more customization.
Jimdo's design template selection isn't huge (when we last counted, there were 75 options), however, their quality is very high. In contrast to other website builders, you can easily switch between different templates without losing your progress. Those who are familiar with HTML or CMS are able to create their own, unique template, or extensively edit an existing one, two features that you won't find among many of Jimdo's competitors.
Jimdo offers both a beginner-friendly editor and a standard one.
How is Jimdo different from other providers?
Not many website builders offer two editors for the price of one, and we can only think of Wix from this list. Even though we definitely prefer the regular editor, beginners lacking technical familiarity will certainly benefit from Jimdo's AI-assisted editor.
Who is Jimdo for?
Jimdo is a user-friendly option for small businesses and freelancers that need a professional website but lack web design knowledge. Thanks to its free version, Jimdo is also an excellent choice for personal projects and blogs.
What we don't like
The platform tries to balance between simplicity and functionality, however, isn't always successful. For example, there are some issues in terms of ecommerce, since Jimdo's approach to product management is a bit outdated. Unfortunately, multilingual websites are only possible with a workaround. Finally, Jimdo seems to have cut a few too many corners in terms of templates.
Jimdo's Advantages and Disadvantages
Two editors for users of varying experience
Underdeveloped ecommerce features
No app market
Support limited to paying customers
Strikingly: Simple Builder for One-Pagers
Strikingly makes many of the same promises that its competitors further up our list do: Create a website in a few minutes without any code using ready-made designs. However, millions of customers swear by the website builder for its ability to set up simple websites and landing pages.
And these are exactly the kinds of websites that Strikingly specializes in: Single-page websites, more commonly known as one-pagers.
What we like
Strikingly is a beginner-friendly website builder that's great for creating a one-pager or small online boutique. Your creative freedom is limited, however, it's possible to make some general adjustments to a page's layout and design, and certain elements can be dragged and dropped in the editor.
Strikingly is ideal for one-pagers.
How is Strikingly different from other providers?
Strikingly's calling card is its emphasis on one-pagers and landing pages: Its editor is designed for creating single-page websites as easily as possible. The same holds true for online stores since the provider caters to those with small product catalogs.
Many website builders try to please everyone by supporting all sorts of websites. Strikingly's approach is different, targeting a very specific type of page and online business, and offering everything users need to create one of them.
Who is Strikingly for?
Strikingly is a solid option for creating very specific types of websites: one-pagers and landing pages. These are often used by small start-ups, freelancers, or even blogs and web boutiques.
Should other website builders be too complicated and offer features that you don't need for your single-page website or small store, Strikingly could be an attractive option.
What we don't like
Owing to its focus on simple websites, Strikingly is nowhere as versatile as other website builders. Multilingual websites can be created if you're a Pro subscriber, however, the platform was definitely not conceptualized for this. Its designs aren't too varied, more elements and sections could be offered, and its app market is limited.
Strikingly's Advantages and Disadvantages
Easily create one-pagers
Solid ecommerce features for small stores
Not suited for complicated, multi-page websites
SEO disadvantages owing to focus on one-pagers
Limited design freedom
Webnode website builder
Webnode scores with its sleek editor that makes website creation a cinch, however, this comes at the cost of functionality.
For us, this was too high a price to pay: there's a noticeable lack of variety among the service's content elements, blogging support is limited to the bare minimum, and in terms of ecommerce, you'll only get the basics.
GoDaddy website builder
GoDaddy gives its users a helping hand by providing ready-made sections that are arranged within a template to create a website. While it's possible to modify their content, you cannot make any structural adjustments to their layout. Likewise, elements cannot be moved around within a section or dragged and dropped.
As such, GoDaddy ensures that sites created by its users are visually harmonious, but not personalized.
Zyro website builder
Zyro makes it easy for anyone to create a website or online store, even if they don't have any web design or coding skills. You'll get access to high-quality design templates for different branches that can be intuitively adjusted. Anyone looking for more than just the basics will be disappointed though.
Content elements could be more versatile, ecommerce and marketing features are limited, and the AI tools which the developer offers aren't anything special.
How We Reviewed
As you can see, no two website builders are alike. However, our testing criteria are always the same: We assessed website builders across six categories, awarding scores in five of them. These were then combined to create an overall score for each service. Below, we'll briefly explain each of our six categories in greater detail.
Configuration and Ease of Use
Every website builder has a learning curve. Editors that appear more complicated at first, might become easier to use over time, while those that are intuitive from the outset can grow frustrating.
In addition to their overall user-friendliness, we also check how website builders familiarize users with their features and underlying logic.
The very best website builders are equally appealing to both beginners and advanced users. Some platforms, like Wix and Jimdo, even have simplified AI-assisted editors for newcomers to the world of web design.
Jimdo's AI-assisted editor makes creating a website even easier than its standard editor.
Website builders should always strike a balance between user-friendliness and sophistication. The more elements and customization options that are offered, the more unique the finished product will be. At the same time, more freedom in the design department also increases the chance of things going wrong or the website not looking as professional as its owner might want.
The ideal website builder takes users by the hand when they want help, allowing them to create professional-looking homepages without any coding or programming know-how. It should also give more technically advanced or creative users the chance to create more complex and personalized websites.
A finished website's quality and uniqueness largely depend on how many website elements a website builder's editor offers.
Alongside standard blocks, website builders should also help users to create specific kinds of sites: a restaurant homepage needs menu or reservation boxes, while artists or designers will want to add portfolio sub-pages to showcase their work.
Thus, a good website builder will cater to a wide range of needs and make it easy for users to find the features they're after through clearly-labeled and organized menus.
Every website builder offers ready-made content blocks for different purposes and types of websites.
Because lots of users need blogs, blogging features are another key aspect to be on the lookout for. To receive a good score from us, website builders should make it possible to create a highly customized blog.
Apart from a powerful editor with all the usual bells and whistles, website builders have to lend a helping hand in organizing content with tags and categories. Since blogs often have multiple authors, collaboration features are another nifty tool.
We also check how easy it is to create multilingual websites. Ideally, website builders should allow users to select multiple languages, and make it simple for visitors to switch between them. Most of the services in our sample offer dedicated language menus, however, some still require users to implement complicated workarounds.
Creating a multilingual website is easy with IONOS MyWebsite.
Overall, website builders are feature-rich if they allow users to create unique and highly detailed websites for a variety of purposes using ready-made boxes and templates.
Templates & Design
Every website builder relies on ready-made templates that users manually customize. These should be abundant and diverse, otherwise, all websites created with that platform will look similar.
You're more likely to find a design that fits your needs if there are many to choose from - IONOS MyWebsite has more than 400 templates, for example.
Templates should be versatile and adaptable to a range of different types of websites, such as blogs, business pages, or online stores.
Even more important than the number of templates is their versatility. Most website builders offer different layouts for each template, but users should be able to modify these to their exact preferences.
Can elements be moved freely, or is it only possible to adjust a few aspects like color schemes and backgrounds? Spacing, fonts, and menu types are just several of the factors that a good site builder should allow you to fully customize.
To receive a good score from us in this area, a website builder needs to offer a wide selection of templates and layouts and facilitate as much personalization as possible.
E-Commerce, Marketing & SEO
Not every website needs an online shop, however, a good website builder will allow you to add one whenever you decide the time is right. In terms of ecommerce, straightforward product management is one of the most important features to look out for, in order to easily add new products (physical or digital) and services.
The exact number of options varies from platform to platform: What's important is that users can specify product types and categories and adjust details such as stock, weight, or size. Shipping & handling, payment methods, and taxes should also be highly configurable.
Marketing features, such as discounts and coupon codes, are also worth reading up on.
Alongside physical goods, you should also be able to sell digital ones, like above with GoDaddy.
Every website builder should provide a few basic SEO options such as customizable meta-tags, page titles, and descriptions. Some solutions, like Wix, go so far as to provide tips for how they can optimize their ranking.
In terms of analytics, it's good to be able to integrate tools like Google Analytics, Yandex Metrica, or Facebook Pixel, as well as user-defined tracking codes. Many website-building platforms, like Squarespace, also include a dedicated statistics area, which provides information about traffic, visitor location, and other factors.
To receive a good support score from us, providers should offer an extensive help center filled with guides and FAQs and a few direct support channels for tackling more complicated issues.
Live chat support, such as that offered by SITE123, is a big plus since because it makes resolving issues particularly easy. Hotline, ticket, or email support is also good, so long as it's regularly monitored and competent.
Live chat support is always something to look out for, while static content should be informative and insightful.
There are also major differences in price between the providers from our sample and subscriptions usually vary in terms of the features they include. We summarize all packages a website builder offers and their specifications. In addition, we also let you know whether a free trial version and a money-back guarantee are offered.
We don't score providers in this category, but instead, ranked services from the most to least affordable, ad-free subscription that includes a custom domain:
Guide: Website Builder FAQs
Over the past few years, the popularity of website builders has grown significantly. This makes sense because the number of people who would like to have their own website is considerably greater than the number of people who can code it on their own, or pay professionals to do it for them.
Still, is a website builder really the right choice for you? Which projects are they best suited for? What can they realistically make, and are there any alternatives? We'll answer these questions and more below.
Who Are Website Builders For?
A website builder allows anyone to create a website, so long as they're able to use a computer and Internet browser. For a small monthly fee and a minimum amount of effort, it's possible to launch a professional-looking web presence, either for yourself or your business in no time flat. Website builders are particularly useful for:
- Anyone who cannot or doesn't want to program one on their own;
- Those who find other solutions, like WordPress, too complicated;
- People who cannot afford an agency or freelancer.
Website builders are especially popular with small and mid-sized businesses, startups, freelancers, clubs, and private individuals.
What Can I Make With a Website Builder?
Website builders allow users to make a number of different kinds of websites, such as:
Simple website (e.g. business pages)
A basic business website consists of a homepage and several sub-pages (such as "About Us", "Services", "Contact", etc.).
One-pagers are websites that consist of a single page. They're great for small businesses and new start-ups. All of the website builders above can handle one-pagers, but Strikingly specializes in them.
These don't require much technical know-how and always use the same features. Setting up and managing one with a website builder is very easy.
These can also be easily created with a website builder. Most providers even offer separate product and order management dashboards.
A landing page is a type of one-pager that's geared towards transforming visitors into customers, more commonly known as conversions.
The type of business you're in doesn't make much of a difference to the platform you're using, however, some website builders are better for certain kinds of projects than others. This can entail specific design templates, ready-made content elements, templates, or integrations.
What's Better: A Website Builder or WordPress?
In principle, WordPress isn't that different from a website builder: The highly popular CMS offers a wide selection of tools and design templates to help those lacking programming knowledge create and manage a website.
However, WordPress is far more versatile than a website builder. You'll be able to exert more control over your website's design and can make use of thousands of plugins and add-ons. There are visual editors for WordPress that make it more like a drag-and-drop website builder, while also allowing you to work directly with your page's code.
WordPress can do everything that website builders can, but is far more complex.
This flexibility definitely comes at a price: Compared to a website builder, WordPress is far more complex and requires significantly more time to get a feel for. Even though coding knowledge isn't explicitly required, it's necessary if you want to tap into the CMS's full potential.
It's also important to remember that, unlike website builders, WordPress doesn't come with hosting or security, so you'll need to arrange them on your own.
Choosing between a website builder or CMS like WordPress depends entirely upon your needs, budget, and how much time you're able to invest in creating a website. Below, we've linked a few articles that might help to make up your mind:
How Do I Make a Website With a Website Builder?
Every site-building platform is different, however, most follow the same steps:
- 1.Create an account
The first thing you'll need to do is to set up an account with the platform you'd like to use or try. Often, trials or free versions are available, making it possible to register without supplying payment information.
- 2.Select a design template
In order to start building, you'll need a blueprint: For website builders, this is a design template, which you'll select from a gallery.
- 3.Customize your website
After selecting a template, you'll wind up in the platform's editor. There, you'll get to work building your website: You can add or remove design elements from the template, tack on new pages, and edit your content.
- 4.Publish your website
Once you're satisfied with how your website looks, all that's left to do is go live.
This is a very brief summary. Step 3, in particular, takes quite a bit of time and effort, depending on how ambitious your project is. In order to see what this looks like in practice using Wix, the top service from our sample, check out our guide:
Can I Create an Online Store With a Website Builder?
Yes. Online stores can be created with almost any website builder. Usually, there are special subscriptions for this that cost slightly more than those for standard websites.
It's good to differentiate between classic website builders that offer ecommerce features (such as Wix, Squarespace, and IONOS) and dedicated platforms that are specifically for creating online stores (like Shopify or BigCommerce).
The latter usually offer more extensive business options, while the former tends to place greater emphasis on the visual and design aspects of an online store.
Can I Make a Blog With a Website Builder?
Yes, blogging features come standard with every website builder from our sample. These make it possible to add a blog to your website. Entries are composed in an editor that's part of your website builder and allows you to add different content elements and widgets.
How extensive these blogging features are depends on the website builder you've selected.
Is It Possible to Create a Multilingual Website With a Website Builder?
Yes. It's possible to create multilingual pages with most website builders. However, doing so isn't always straightforward.
If this is appealing to you, look for integrated features that allow your visitors to easily adjust the language your website is in through a dropdown menu or with a single click. Two of the best website builders for this are Wix and IONOS.
Some website builders make adding multiple language localizations easier than others.
With other website builders, like Squarespace or Jimdo, you'll need to purchase add-ons or make do with complicated workarounds. As an example of the latter, some platforms allow you to add extra menu levels, one of which you can convert into a "language menu". After that, you'll need to add all of the pages you intend to offer in the second language to this menu and then manually translate them.
Should you want your website to reach an international audience, make sure that the website builder you're considering makes creating multilingual pages as easy as possible.
Can I Use My Existing Domain With a Website Builder?
Yes, you can use your existing domain with a website builder.
Should you already own a domain, you can link it in your website builder's user area. In case you don't have a domain, you can order one directly through your website builder. Most of the time, you'll get a free, custom domain for the first year and only have to pay to renew it every year thereafter.
Are Websites Made With Building Software Optimized for SEO?
Websites built with platforms like those above usually aren't automatically optimized for search engines. However, good website builders make a wide variety of SEO options available which allow users to ensure that their pages are easily found.
It should be possible to customize each page's title, URL, and meta description. For body text, headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) make a big difference. The ability to integrate Google Analytics is also important.
A number of providers offer special features and checklists for optimizing websites for search engines. Sometimes, you'll need to pay extra for these.
What Are the Limitations of Website Builders?
When using a website builder, it's important to realize that it represents a compromise: They offer an easy, all-in-one package that anyone can use and afford, however, they come with a few disadvantages:
Limited flexibility: When using a website builder, you're limited to the features and design options its editor includes. With a CMS like WordPress or when self-programming a website, you'll have much more choice.
Generic designs: Website builders use ready-made design templates and elements to create a homepage. Unfortunately, the end result can look a lot like any other website made using the same platform. This makes it difficult to break out of the mold and launch a truly unique website.
Technical weaknesses: In terms of loading speed or SEO, website builders often can't compete with self-programmed and designed pages.
Are There Free Website Builders?
Yes, there are quite a few free website builders. However, keep in mind that these often have limitations of some sort: You won't be able to use a custom domain, but only a provider subdomain (such as www.yourwebsite.wix.com). For that reason alone, free versions aren't suitable for much more than personal websites or projects.
To find out how to create a website for free, be sure to check out our guide:
Creating your own web presence has never been easier since website builders have smashed through the programming barrier. The Internet is full of half-finished and unprofessional websites because many users underestimate the effort that's still required. To enjoy success online, even with a website builder, you'll need to learn how to use it, have an eye for design, and ensure that you offer enticing content.
If you can keep up with these demands, many platforms are available for easily creating the perfect website. Wix* was the best service in our EXPERTE.com sample, owing to its winning combination of user-friendliness and features. Determining which platform can do the most for your project depends largely on the purpose of your website, your budget, and how familiar you are with programming.
To read detailed reviews of each provider from our sample, you can consult our individual assessments. For more information about online store-building platforms, be sure to also check out our review of the most popular ecommerce website builders.
A website builder is an all-in-one tool for creating professional websites. Thanks to their ready-made design templates and intuitive drag-and-drop editors, users can make and administer websites, blogs, and online shops without any knowledge of HTML or CSS. Since website builders are browser-based, there's no need to download any software. Subscriptions generally include everything needed, such as hosting.
A website builder is ideal for anyone lacking familiarity with coding and/or looking for an affordable alternative to hiring a professional web designer. Depending on the complexity of your project, chances are high that you'll be able to create and run it all on your own with a website builder.
Most website builders have simple interfaces and intuitive drag-and-drop editors, however, not all providers are equally welcoming to beginners. Differences do exist in terms of the number, quality, and variety of templates and content blocks, as well as blogging, ecommerce, marketing, and SEO features. Similarly, support, price, and whether subscriptions include hosting also varies.
Deciding what is the best website builder for your project depends entirely on your requirements. In EXPERTE.com's comparison, Wix scored highest thanks to its large number of features, bountiful design options, and well-stocked app marketplace. Second and third place went to Squarespace, with its high-quality designs, and IONOS MyWebsite, which gives its users significant customization options.