In the modern world, any company, small business, or just a regular person can open a website to sell products, offer services, or simply share personal thoughts. Thanks to website builders, you can create your own site yourself. However, how to choose the very best platform giving the number of options? Let us find out together!
On this page, we have tested the most popular mobile-compatible website builders suitable for most users. They offer various options depending on the type of account. If you have no idea what website builder is best for your needs, thoroughly compare options from our list before making a purchase.
Creating a Website Is Easier Than Ever Before
Despite the flourish of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others, websites remain very popular. People who want to truly represent their businesses on the internet need a unique website to stand out from competitors. With a decent website builder, you get complete control over content and design. Pages on social media share the same design, while your own website can look any way you want.
Fortunately, there are tons of great website builders for novice people. They allow anyone to build an optimized and good-looking website compatible with mobile devices. The most popular services such as WordPress, Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, and others, are on the market for years. Newer options such as GroovePages might not be around for long, but they are significantly better in many ways and also cheaper, especially in long term.
A couple of decades ago creating a brand new website was very hard. People had to understand how servers and FTP work, learn HTML, use site registrars, and web hosting services. Nowadays, you can open a website in a matter of minutes. Website builders do not require any technical knowledge but let you make beautiful mobile-friendly websites.
Of course, larger companies usually hire professional web-designers and programmers for advanced websites, but there is no need to waste as much money for smaller firms and individuals. Most website builders can help you open and host a unique website from 10 to 30 dollars per month.
Such services offer simple drag-and-drop interfaces where you can build web pages from scratch. Moreover, you can easily add social share buttons, blogs, photo albums, videos, and more. The most advanced builders (such as Wix, Duda, WordPress, or GoDaddy) allow you to restrict viewing with a password and let you have clients sign up as members of the website.
What Websites Are Used For Nowadays
In the first place, let us find out why would even need a website in the era of social networks. One of the most popular reasons is that you can use it as a customized online resume. In comparison to a Facebook or LinkedIn profile, it is a much more professional option that can impress your potential employers.
Another advantage of personal and business websites is that it gives you endless design opportunities (as we have already mentioned before). Moreover, your own website grants you complete control over products and services you may sell and the way they are delivered to customers.
Additionally, a decent website with high-quality content makes your business seem more trustworthy and serious. It does not mean that your company should not be presented on Facebook and Twitter. You can even put Subscribe and Follow buttons on your website, which is a good method of increasing the company’s client base.
Free Website Builders
The vast majority of website builders are available for free. However, free options come with restrictions such as the limited number of pages, branding from the provider, lack of templates, and others. Free options can be useful to test specific services before purchasing a subscription. If you do not want to waste money at all, choose between GroovePages by GrooveFunnels or if you are more tech-savvy WordPress.org since they offer the most flexibility, customizations, and they are great for SEO.
Register Your Own Domain
Before creating your own website, you have to get an address for it. It is called a domain name. It can be a maximum of 63 characters and is entered after the protocol in the URL. A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination with the various domain name extensions, such as .com, .gov, .net, and more.
There are different types of domains. The most popular ones are the TLD (Top Level Domains) and SLD (Second Level Domains). A top-level domain is the last segment of an internet address, followed by the final dot. Second level domain names are the ones directly to the left of top-level domains.
Most of the website building platforms presented in our rating list allow you to create a unique domain for your company. You can get a web address using the provider’s subdomain for free (for instance, companyname.subdomain.com). Advanced services include a custom domain name with their paid plans. Finally, you can use any domain name from a third-party registrar such as pairNIC.
Easily Change the Looks of My Website
You do not have to be a professional web designer to change the looks of your site since every service offers a huge selection of website templates for any use case. Most of them automatically reformat your webpages to make them compatible with mobile platforms. Additionally, they offer specifically targeted templates based on the purpose of your website. There are templates for e-stores, landing pages, travel companies, rental agencies, and so on.
After you choose a website template you like, you can customize it. Most services allow you to change the color scheme, page layouts, fonts, background images and add new pages. The advanced website builders offer sub-templates for the most popular types of webpages.
Adding custom content is extremely easy. Website builders feature text areas, photo galleries, buttons, and other widgets. The better site builders, such as GoDaddy and Wix, have a marketplace of third-party widgets where you can get new forms, reservations, social feeds, and more.
Some site builders, such as Squarespace, Strikingly, Virb, and uKit, restrict you from placing objects in spots that won’t make your site look garish, which can be an advantage if you are not a very good designer. Other services offer more freedom; if that is what you’re looking for, check out Wix or Gator.
In recent years, the biggest website builders started to offer instant website features. Thanks to this tool, you can get your own website in mere minutes — you will only need to enter your social accounts and other information. For instance, Wix can automatically create an online resume for you using data from your LinkedIn account.
According to statistics, the vast majority of internet users browse the web using their smartphones. No wonder why most website builders offer mobile-friendly templates nowadays. Some of them, including Weebly and Squarespace, use strictly responsive-design approaches to optimize websites for smartphones and tablets.
Responsive design is a popular web design strategy used by many website builders. This method reformats the existing webpage content to fit different screens. As you probably know, search engines care about whether a webpage is optimized for portable platforms. You can check whether your website plays on mobile acceptably using Bing or Google.
Photos and Galleries
Many people would probably agree that photos and pictures are the reason why the internet has become so popular. If you want to create your own gallery instead of sharing pictures on social networks, pick a website builder with appropriate functionality. Fortunately, the vast majority of services offer tools that will allow you to display photos and create galleries.
The most advanced website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and Gator allow users to use collections of stock photography. Additionally, they offer convenient editing tools — you can adjust brightness, color balance, contrast, as well as rotate and crop your pictures online. The less popular builders, such as Simvoly and uKit, only offer simple tools to resize or rotate pictures.
As for photo gallery options, they vary greatly across different website building platforms. For instance, Weebly has a huge collection of styles for any taste that can be applied to online galleries. At the same time, services like GoDaddy and Strikingly do not offer as much variety in terms of design choices.
How Can I Start Making Money from My Website?
Obviously, those people who want to start selling items on their websites should consider using dedicated online shopping cart services like X-Cart or Shopify. However, you do not have to do that if your online store is not very big. Most of the website building platforms from our list offer some ability to sell products from your own website, if only in the form of a PayPal button. Do note, though, that you might need to buy a paid subscription to be able to use it.
The best website building platforms will allow you to add your own checkout pages, shopping carts, as well as process credit card payments. Moreover, you can use advanced instruments for product promotions, inventory management, and email marketing by buying a premium membership on some of the most advanced services.
If you need a website to sell digital products (such as eBooks, online courses, or software), pick a platform that supports download selling. For instance, you can get the “Sell Downloads” WordPress plugin. It will allow you to sell audio, video, pictures, documents, and other files using your own website. The plugin uses PayPal as a payment giveaway, which makes it very easy to use.
You can also monetize your website with ads. The vast majority of builders let you do that, but you might need to purchase a paid subscription. With a Google account, you will be able to sign up for Google AdSense and make money by showing text, video, image, and other advertisements on your website.
Social and Site Statistics
Every single website building platform presented on this page allows you to put social media share buttons (such as Twitter Follow and Facebook Like) on your webpages. Moreover, some even let you show feeds from the most popular social networks. For example, GoDaddy gives users help to build a Facebook Page and tying it into the website design and updates.
Many platforms include SEO tools that can be used to monitor and optimize the SEO rankings of websites. Search engine optimization is extremely important for any business since it vastly improves a site’s visibility. The higher your website ranks for keywords, the more traffic you will get.
Most of the website building platforms from our list can give you information regarding your site traffic. However, this feature is usually available in premium account levels only. For instance, Weebly’s business plan not only shows you the number of unique visitors and page views for each day of the month, but also referring sites, top-visited pages, search terms used to get to your website, and other details. At the same time, uKit and Wix do not offer built-in site stats and require you to create your own Google Analytics account, and even that requires a premium subscription. This approach has a huge drawback: you can only see traffic from the preceding day and earlier, but there is no way to get more detailed information.
WordPress is a blog-focused content management system that comes with many themes and plugins that extend its functionality (such as the “Sell Downloads” plugin we mentioned above). In general, WordPress (either .org or .com) is not the best choice for beginners since it is rather hard to use in comparison to other platforms from our list. Choose it only If you are ready to spend some time learning WordPress. Remember that the ability to use WordPress is a valuable skill, as some estimates say that this platform powers around 30 percent of websites around the world.
WordPress is a very popular brand when it comes to building sites. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that WordPress.com, which is linked in our list of the best website builders, is not what most internet users are talking about when they mention WordPress. Usually, people refer to WordPress as the free, open-source blogging platform, which is available at WordPress.org. You have to find your own website hosting service to make a WordPress site. WordPress.org CMS software is extremely popular and there are dozens of web-hosting services that offer managed WordPress hosting plans.
If you do not want to waste your time on finding a hosting service, use WordPress.com. This website building platform hosts and deploys that software for you, which is way easier and faster.
What Types of Customer Support Website Builders Offer?
Customer support among website building platforms varies greatly. For example, WordPress.com only has community support, while Wix offers professional telephone-callback service to every user, including free accounts. The most advanced platforms have detailed FAQs and huge support knowledge bases, so there is a good chance you will not even have to contact customer support service.
Usually, you can find all the information you need in tutorials. For instance, the Wix website includes a bunch of videos for any use scenario. Additionally, you can just contact me or another detective.
Can I Transfer To Another Website Building Platform?
The biggest drawback of modern website building platforms is that you might not be able to transfer your website to another web host because of the custom code. Only a few of the services presented in our list allow you to instantly move your website to another web-hosting platform.
If you want to be able to easily transfer your website to another host, choose platforms with an export function. In terms of portability, Weebly is one of the best options since it allows users to download the standard website server folders. Squarespace is also a good choice that lets you output your website in standard WordPress format. Finally, you can download a complete copy of your site with the WordPress Duplicator plugin.
So Many Website Building Choices!
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best website building platform. Making the right choice can be very hard for those who have never used such services before. That is why we decided to review some of the most popular options available on the market. Check our list below to compare website builders and pick the one that suits you the best.
List of 13 Best Website Building Platforms 2020
GroovePages by GrooveFunnels #1 Website and Funnel Builder
Cost: FREE and Paid
Web Hosting: Included
GroovePages is a part of GrooveFunnels Software Suite and offers great flexibility and features never seen before at any website building software platform. GroovePages quickly became the No.1 website and funnel builder and we expect to keep at the top for a long time to come.
Unlike other website builders, GroovePages was created by a group of experienced digital marketers who were looking for better solutions to build slick and beautiful looking websites fast and effortlessly, with all the SEO benefits for the highest visibility in search engines possible.
GroovePages offer 3 versions of the account.
- GrooveFunnels Gold
- GrooveFunnels Platinum
A free account gets you to access 16 GrooveFunnels tools, GroovePages, and GrooveSell for free for life.
The platinum account is literally Buy-All-In, basically, you get unlimited access to ALL GrooveFunnels tools (16 at the moment), and every single software that GrooveFunnels will create in the future.
Special LIMITED Time Offer!
GrooveKart Best eCom Website Builder
Cost: $99/month, $497/year, or FREE with GrooveFunnels Platinum
Web Hosting: Included
GrooveKart is also a part of the GrooveFunnels software suite and offers simplified solutions to building and managing eCommerce websites without any technical skills.
It’s like a Shopify, but better!
WordPress.org CMS Open Source Software
Web Hosting: Not Included
WordPress.org is the most popular free website builder and content management system for the last decade. It’s an open-source platform and it’s been used by the vast majority of professional or hobby web developers because of its flexibility and good SEO properties. We have favored WordPress for years too and we believe that it’s still going to remain as the most popular and utilized website building platform.
The only downside is that it’s not newbie-friendly and could cause a lot of confusion, headache, and frustration when starting out.
For some types of websites we still prefer WordPress from GroovePages, but again, maybe it’s just because we are used to it.
WordPress.com Website Builder
Cost: FREE and Paid
Web Hosting: Included
- Pros: Convenient blogging interface. Many design themes for any taste.
Affordable pricing for premium plans. Can be used for free.
Code export feature. Over 50000 plugins.
- Cons: No drag-and-drop interface for website building, which makes it hard for novice users. Page layout customization is limited. Lack of customer support. Ineffective store integration. Lack of photo editing tools.
- Verdict: WordPress.com is one of the most popular website builders with good functionality and affordable pricing.
- MSRP: $4.08
- Pros: Novice-friendly site-building interface. Free website option. Tons of website gadgets to choose from. Over a hundred website templates for specific uses.
Decent mobile-site-building instruments. Good web-store features. Amazing Customer Support.
- Cons: There is no built-in statistics. The builder lacks responsiveness.
- Verdict: Wix is among the easiest and most versatile website building platforms on the market. It is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a high level of customization and an intuitive interface.
- MSRP: $14.25
- Pros: Simple interface. Impressive mobile site building features. Can be used for free. Easy social media integrations. Detailed site-traffic analysis. Great web store tools. E-commerce features can be accessed even on free accounts.
- Cons: Does not support widgets from third-parties. Lacks email newsletter integration. You will not be able to export your website to another web host.
- Verdict: Duda comes with a complete set of features needed to create and host a website optimized for mobile platforms.
Gator Website Builder
- MSRP: $4.99
- $3.84 at HostGator
- Pros: Beautiful design, intuitive website-building interface. Many good site templates for any taste.
Premium subscription includes the domain name and free SSL certificate. Supports digital download selling. Detailed website statistics. Easy to use e-commerce features.
- Cons: There are no free plans at all. The app store is very limited. Email marketing is not available. Lacks photo editing tools.
- Verdict: Gator is a great platform with impressive functionality. It offers one of the best price/quality ratios.
- MSRP: $5.99
- $5.99 at GoDaddy
- Pros: Lots of storage space and bandwidth. Clear interface without unnecessary details. Beautiful websites for desktop can be automatically optimized for mobile platforms in a matter of seconds.
- Cons: The amount of layout and design colors are very limited. There are no tools for photo editing. Lacks a website traffic monitor. The quality of e-commerce features is below average.
- Verdict: GoDaddy’s is an easy to use platform that can be used by beginners. Unfortunately, it is rather limited in terms of design customization.
- MSRP: $12.00
- $12.00 at Squarespace Personal Plan
- Pros: Uses responsive and attractive designs that make websites mobile optimized. Comes with many e-commerce features, including digital downloads. You get an SSL certificate for free. Offers good search engine optimization tools.
- Cons: It is difficult to use. The number of templates is low and they are restrictive. There is no free version at all. Cannot be used with third-party widgets. Portable website customization is limited.
- Verdict: Squarespace allows you to create and host a responsive website for desktop and portable platforms. It comes with e-commerce features.
- MSRP: $8.00
- $8.00 at Weebly
- Pros: Intuitive interface with tutorials and FAQs. Responsive customer support. Comes with a full package of e-commerce features. Includes website traffic statistics. Code export feature. Responsive-design themes.
Convenient editing app for iOS.
- Cons: Does not offer storage for pictures. Mobile websites cannot be customized.
- Verdict: Weebly is a decent website building platform that can be used for free. It allows you to create and publish beautiful websites, blogs, and e-stores.
- MSRP: $8.00
- Pros: Can be used by beginners thanks to the simple interface. Built-in website templates can be easily changed at any moment. Comes with dozens of unique styles for desktop and portable platforms.
- Cons: The number of templates is not very high. The vast majority of standard features require a premium paid account.
- Verdict: Strikingly allows you to create a well-designed website in a matter of minutes, but it offers fewer customization options than other builders.
- MSRP: $5.00
- Pros: The interface is very easy to understand. Comes with e-commerce feature (including download selling). You can easily check your website’s statistics. Many customizable website templates to choose from.
- Cons: Does not provide editing tools for photos. You will not be able to customize websites optimized for mobiles. The number of widgets is very limited. Lacks shipping service integrations.
- Verdict: This service comes with a convenient interface for building beautiful websites with a decent level of customizability.
- MSRP: $4.00
- $4.00 at uCoz
- Pros: Smooth and intuitive interface. You can upload images and reuse them in the future. Offers convenient blogging tools. Has an award system that motivates users to improve websites. The monthly price is very low.
- Cons: Restrictive site element positioning. You cannot customize mobile websites. There are no tools for image editing. Website statistics are not provided.
- Verdict: This website builder made in Russia combines a great interface and amazing functionality. You can build mobile-friendly and commerce-capable websites using it. We only wish it would have built-in statistics and image-editing tools.