A website builder is a platform that helps you create your website online without relying on coding. Website builders eliminate the need for a developer if you want to create or upgrade a website. They also come with easily customizable templates ideal for blogs, portfolios, photographers, online stores, restaurants, clubs, ecommerce, and associations.
What Makes a Website Great?
Before exploring which website builder to use, let's look at what makes a website great.
- Appealing Design and Functionality
Your website should represent the image you want to show to your clients. Go for an uncluttered layout and select quality graphics that reflect a professional look.
Introduce a clear, consistent navigation system that helps site visitors find information quickly and complete tasks fast and efficiently. Visually distinct layouts and controls aid in usability and provide a pleasant experience for your clients.
Before your website goes live, be sure it's mobile-friendly. The more your site caters to all devices, the better your visibility will be.
Having fresh and relevant content is critical to your site’s success. Use concise, engaging words and phrases that will keep visitors reading.
Examples of call to action (CTA) that you can use include phrases about reading and sharing the information, following the brand on social media, downloading packages, or learning more about the brand.
Each page should have at least one CTA pointing to a solution for a pain point, contact address, or additional information.
- Optimized for Search and the Social Web
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website for search engines to make sure that your site ranks high on SERP and your site’s content is valuable to users.
Here are a few tips to help you optimize your website for search engines;
- Using page titles and meta tags on every page and alt tags on every image.
- Optimizing content to be in line with words people search for.
- Use keywords well in content and links.
- In the layout, use Cascading Style Sheets and de-clutter your HTML code.
A Review of Popular Website Builders
Website builders are two grouped into 2 main types;
- The classic template-based platforms
- The modern Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms
A classic website builder has a wide range of pre-designed templates to select from. The templates are easy to customize and populate with your content. AI website builders ask you a series of specific questions, then create the website for you. There are some design options, though limited.
Wix is a classic template website builder and an AI platform combined into one. It comes with over 500 industry-specific templates to select from.
Wix has a drag-and-drop editor and the option to use Wix ADI, a guided website creation assistant.
- Wix is scalable and suits any type and size of business website. It’s constantly evolving, with new features such as Wix Bookings, a self-service appointment booking system.
- Wix Restaurants, a commission-free add-on to reserve tables, order food, and check menus.
- Wix has its business tools such as Ascend by Wix. It has a CRM, email marketing, automation, invoice generator, and video maker.
- Wix Editor X and Wix Velo help you develop fully responsive, interaction-driven sites. The editor has a side menu to add images and apps
- It has a searchable knowledge base and automatic website backups to ensure your work safe
One disadvantage of Wix is that once your site is live, it's impossible to switch templates. If you need a robust e-commerce website, you may have to engage a third-party app
WordPress was intended for blog websites. It is very powerful, highly customizable, and user-friendly. WordPress can help you create any website like e-commerce, real estate site, or even online newspapers.
The software itself is open-source and free. However, you can choose paid versions like other website builders found through WordPress.com.
WordPress comes with web hosting, plugins already pre-installed, various themes, and a dedicated support team.
- WordPress has a simple build that allows anyone to publish quickly
- It’s flexible, enabling you to create any type of website and extend it with plugins.
- It’s easy to create posts, format them, insert media, upload live content and publish.
- You can have a variety of contributors to your website. For example, administrators to manage the site, editors to handle content, authors for the content, and subscribers.
- WordPress comes with three default themes and a theme directory with thousands of options. You can also upload your theme.
- WordPress features a plugin directory that contains everything you need to create a website. It also offers social media widgets, gallery section, spam protection, calendars, and many forms.
- WordPress has optimization for search engines with numerous SEO plugins and allows you to own your data, including the website, content, and data.
Divi is an elegant, popular WordPress theme designed to suit any kind of website built with WordPress.
Divi has a plugin version known as Divi Builder. It allows you to add the page builder of the Divi theme to any WordPress website.
It comes with numerous website templates and various customization options and settings.
- It has a comprehensive library of quality templates, different themes, and WordPress plugins.
- Content Optimizer Divi has a split-testing tool. It includes the feature that enables you to do A/B tests for your content.
- Responsive editing ensures your website is responsive on mobile. You can edit how you want the website to look on mobile using responsive editing tools.
- Real-time visual editing helps you design the page while seeing how it looks. It also has intuitive visual features.
- Full website packages have pre-designed website packs. They feature different types of industries and websites.
- Divi has more than 30 customizable content modules inserted in row and column layouts. For instance, it has CTA buttons, forms for email opt-in, maps, testimonials, video sliders, and countdown timers.
- The inline text editing feature allows you to point, click and edit any block of text.
Elementor is a website builder integrated inside WordPress. It is also a drag-and-drop website builder and comes with live editing.
Elementor gives you control over your website design from one central platform. Elementor is simple and flexible and helps you build a website that loads faster.
All design elements are in one place, so you can edit all content on the same page. You don't have to change screens to update anything.
It’s possible to save design elements and widgets in your account for later use on other pages.
- Elementor has over 300 pre-designed templates for any website and industry.
- Elementor enables you to customize how your website appears on both desktop and mobile platforms through the responsive mobile editor.
- Elementor’s interface is very intuitive, with easy-to-use design features.
WPBakery Page Builder is a popular drag-and-drop WordPress plugin. It works with any WordPress theme, so you don't have to switch from builder to builder whenever you want to change the theme.
It has an intuitive inline frontend editor that allows you to view changes instantly. The back-end editor helps to build your pages, posts, and custom post types quickly.
WPBakery Page Builder has pre-designed templates you can download. Updates come out every week.
The tool has over 50 pre-packed content elements. This means you can create pages and posts by dragging and dropping elements into your WordPress website.
Oxygen Builder is a WordPress plugin tool with very powerful extra functionalities in comparison to Divi and Elementor.
- It's design blends with divs, columns, and other elements instead of blocks, modules, and layouts.
- It comes with very complex functionalities but enables experienced web developers and designers to build awesome sites.
- Oxygen supersedes other website builders in its ability to load fewer elements when someone visits your page. Instead of loading the entire library like others, Oxygen loads only what's necessary for that specific page.
- Oxygen has a powerful visual designer to allow you to create quick designs. It uses the pre-built components or from fundamental HTML elements.
- It’s Search Engine friendly as SEO plugins work like regular WordPress themes.
Squarespace website builder is perfect for anyone who loves design. Although Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder, it's section-based, unlike other builders where you can drag and drop anything anywhere.
- You have access to in-built tools that you can use whether you run a small business or are trying to promote your blog.
- Also available are fully integrated extensions for PayPal, SEO tools, eCommerce functions, and simple social media integration.
- The templates are responsive and optimized for desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Squarespace mobile apps make it possible to edit pages, blog posts, and eCommerce functions as you proceed.
- On Squarespace, you can restore deleted posts and pages for up to 30 days after the fact.
- It features deep e-commerce capabilities such as selling digital downloads. You can custom code and schedule posts using the blogging tool.
- You get a Free SSL certificate, unlimited storage, and monthly data transfers for all payment plans.
To build the website of your dreams, you need to first envision it. What kind of website do you want? What features should it have? Where will you find a good theme for it? We hope that our reviews will give you a solid starting point!