Most of us are familiar with the simplicity of use, flexibility and ability to customize that website builders offer. These positive aspects of website builder tools become even more significant when we compare getting a website built from a hired web developer to building it yourself with the help of website builders.
A decent website built and customized according to your requirements can easily cost upwards of $1800. Also, building the website is only the beginning. Regular maintenance and updates need to be made to the website to keep it in good working condition. In this situation, website builders can help out at around 1% of the cost of hiring a web developer. Websites can be built from scratch, easily updated, new pages added and content edited using your own login.
Ideal Solution For Small Businesses
Website builders may not be the answer for everyone. Big enterprises might benefit from hiring a team of web developers for their website creation and maintenance. However, small businesses or freelancers can highly benefit from the use of website builders. Following are examples of some other ideal candidates for the use of website builders:
- Event planners
- Musicians or persons working in the music industry
- Artists and commercial designers
Free Website Builders
Nowadays there are many companies offering free versions of website builders. Small business owners on tight budgets and beginners to web development can get easily attracted to these quick money saving offers. However, experts advise to tread this path carefully and do thorough research before choosing a website builder even if it is free.
Here are some reasons why free may not always be the best option:
Too many limitations – ‘Free’ sounds great! However, you can be pressured into coughing up some cash at different points in the web development and maintenance process. Upgrades or extras like choosing more than a certain number of themes, additional features like search box, customer support etc. will be offered only if you pay for them out of pocket. The list of these limitations can go on and on. The website builders claim to be free at first and then you end up paying a lot more than you would have for an inexpensive paid version of the tool.
Domain name issues – A free website builder can provide you with a website built for free. However, unless you have a good domain name launching the website is impossible. Free website builders provide you with silly web addresses like: user.myfreesite.com or user.freebuilder.com etc. These web addresses are free and will work however, they are absolutely unprofessional and aren’t advisable for websites that are intended to generate income.
No control on website – As the website builder company offers hardly any tech support, there is hardly anybody answerable to issues occurring with your website. If your site crashes or disappears suddenly, the customer support (if any) might end up blaming you for violating some random terms and make you pay for getting your site back on the internet.
Top Rated Website Builders
Expert reviewers have rated website builder tools on the factors of ease of use, uptime and price.
Being the all-rounder in the web hosting industry, SiteBuilder also ranks number one for providing the best website builder with hosting plans. The following features have earned this hosting provider the high ranking:
- More that thousand templates and themes to choose from for site-building.
- Easy to use with the drag-and-drop technique.
- Affordable price
- Plan comes with free domain name and email account.
Wix ranks almost as high as SiteBuilder and comes with the following advantages:
- Easy to use on the whole
- 300 plus templates available
- Very reliable with high uptime guarantee
SquareSpace is a reliable website builder that is very popular among photographers.
- Around 40 modern templates
- Free domain with the hosting plan
- Customer can create ecommerce website or blogs with no limitations
- Good uptime guarantees and high page loading speed
- Somewhat expensive when compared with the other reputed website builders.
Inexpensive and very flexible website builder tool. However, takes effort and time to master successfully.
- Runs on top of WordPress.
- Lot of options and unlimited scope of customization’s for the websites.
- Very affordable
- Free domain, unlimited email accounts and many other useful features provided with the hosting plan.
Decent website builder.
- Not many templates or themes to choose from
- Free email and instant sign-up available
- Easy-to-use with drag-and-drop methodology
Good website builder but very limited design options.
- Comes with very few themes
- Good performance
- Easy to install and start using
Not many modern design options available. Offers an outdated website building experience.
- Around 170 themes available
- Free trial available
- Hosting plan comes with a free domain name and unlimited email accounts
Considered very slow and unreliable. The themes offered are not very modern or interesting. Easy to use. Free domain and email accounts provided.
Inexpensive but very outdated. Themes and design options are old and uninteresting. Signup and activation is fast and easy. Excessive add-ons needed can make the experience frustrating.
Very expensive and has bad billing practices. Large number of themes available however, not very interesting ones. Very limited and primitive design options.
In conclusion, we can safely say that using website builders is the ideal option for small business owners on a tight budget and not much time on their hands. However, the choice of a website builder needs to be made carefully.
As we have seen above there are many website builders available in the market today with great features and affordable prices. On the flip side there are many not-so-great website builders also present. Hence, proper research and analysis of your requirements and the available options is important.
Resources For Beginners
- Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website_builder
- GoDaddy – https://www.godaddy.com/websites/website-builder
- InMotion – http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/edu/premium-website-builder