What is the best website builder?
- 30 Apr 2021
- Faye Newman
Building your own website doesn’t have to be a pricey problem. With the evolution of website builders, you now have a selection of great sites to help you build your dream website at a faction of the cost.
Here are a few examples of some great platforms to help you get your website up and running:
Wix is great place to start building your website, as you can test the waters with free options before you take the plunge of setting up the website properly.
It has over 500 design templates to choose from, depending on the kind of company site you want to create, including many different types of pages, such as product selling pages or even just simple portfolio pages.
Wix is very easy to navigate and use and includes design widgets that you can simply drag and drop to add different properties to your website.
Another great thing about the Wix website builder is that it is very simple to link your domain to the website get your own specific URL. It’s also easy to plug other apps into it – like PayPal, for example.
It wouldn’t be fair to give only praise Wix, however, as it certainly isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.
There is a pretty hefty jump in price from a free membership to an ad-free, domain-connected and professional looking website. For this you will be paying over £8.50 each month.
That’s not to say you can’t get packages at a lower price (from £3 a month), but you will find it is heavily promoted as a Wix website and you will need to pay more for a cleaner look.
Another problem with Wix is that it is built with little creative leeway: it often restricts where you can place parts of your website.
All in all, Wix can be a strong starting website – especially if you have little prior knowledge of website building.
Squarespace, much like Wix, is a great platform to start building a website from scratch. It is a very simple site to navigate, and templates are readily available. It sets itself apart from Wix, though, because users are less likely to see it as a “homemade” website: you get a slicker and more professional feel from it.
Squarespace have done a good job creating tutorials and guides for members of the platform to dip into when they need inspiration or advice about setting up their website.
Much like Wix, Squarespace makes plugging in the domain and other apps easy, which might otherwise be a tedious task.
It must be said, though, that Squarespace is a little more pricey: costs begin at £10 a month and range up to £30 a month. The main difference between these packages is in the marketing and analysis side of the website.
Overall, Squarespace is more suited to people who have a clear understanding of how a website works and want to use the analytics to really help with their business development.
WordPress is a fantastic platform to build a website on as you have much more of a creative input, as well as some great customisable designs and templates to use from the start.
Another great feature of WordPress is that it allows you to easily flip and restructure the website, while also making it look professional (when done well).
The pricing of the platform is reasonable, as you can start with a free package, while more complex packages range from £7 to £36 a month.
£36 a month may sound daunting, but this package is mainly for bigger businesses who also run multiple features through their websites such as sales, blogs and much more. A good example of this is Ladybird Books, below.
There are some issues with WordPress, however, as it does not offer simple navigation like Wix and Squarespace: so in fact, a lot of the impressive things you see on WordPress examples are actually coded in. My advice would be to use WordPress if you are comfortable with code or if you are happy to work with someone who is.
It comes with some great pros, including being a sleeker and flexible creative space with fast and secure hosting and a good analytical back-end. There are many evident cons too, however: you need to be code-literate, it can be an overwhelming creative process and it does take some getting used to.
If you are confident in code and have worked with websites before, I would definitely recommend this, but just don’t jump into WordPress before you’re ready, as it can be overwhelming.
Ionos is a relatively new platform to the scene but has some fantastic features for someone starting up their own company.
From easy-to-use templates and tools to competitive pricing and built-in analytics, there are many advantages to this platform. Perhaps the best feature, though, is that it includes the option to have someone design your website for you and assist with your marketing.
My only reservation with this is the communication process: there is a risk that the team will strip away your design input. However, if you are completely new to website creation and need someone else to take the reins, this platform could be helpful.
The website is open in saying that their package is free for the first six months, then £9 per month after that. It’s not obvious if there are hidden charges behind this, but the free six months could be useful for someone new to website building.
Hopefully this guide will help you with your website building journey – and, don’t forget: if website design isn’t really in your comfort zone, ask for help. Your network will be vital in the early stages of your business: don’t be afraid to make the most of it!
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