Ultimate Guide on Website Builders: 10 Best Website Builders

A website builder is an all-in-one service that allows you to create a website with a professional appearance and get it up and running quickly and easily. You do not need any prior experience with coding or design to use a website builder. A website builder, as opposed to web design software like Dreamweaver that you install on your computer, runs in your browser and walks you through everything from registering a domain name (if you don’t already have one) to designing your site to adding important features or web pages, such as a contact form or an online shopping cart. Dreamweaver is an example of web design software that you install on your computer. Even more, it will host your website for you.

The majority of site builders provide users with dozens, if not hundreds, of pre-made site design templates that can be customized. These site builders also provide users with an easy-to-use interface (typically a drag-and-drop system) for rearranging text boxes, images, and other elements on a web page. If you have ever worked on a presentation using PowerPoint or Google Slides that involved text blocks, images, and other objects on a single page, you already have some experience that will help you when learning how to use a website builder.

Our Top 10 Pick

Wix — Overall, the best website builder

Simplicity and Ease of Use

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The website builder provided by Wix is, without a doubt, the simplest and most user-friendly editor for sites that I examined. Everything I required was in the very first place I looked, and I never once felt overwhelmed or like I needed to seek assistance from the support center in any way, shape, or form. It took me about an hour and a half to build my entire Wix website, but I was able to construct approximately half of the site in just thirty minutes.

Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence feature, known as Wix ADI, makes the process even simpler by asking you a few questions about the requirements of your website before automatically constructing it for you within a matter of minutes. The tool even has the capability to import content from your social media accounts, making it easier to maintain a unified brand.

Although the Wix ADI does have some design restrictions, you can always switch to the regular editor to add your own unique flair to your website. Additionally, Wix ADI will save previous versions of your website, allowing you to return to a previous version in the event that you do not like the modifications that were made.

Wix makes even more technically challenging aspects, such as SEO, much easier to understand and implement. The Wix SEO Wiz will walk you through some fundamentals of SEO without requiring you to have any prior knowledge of the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) or how it operates. It will generate a checklist of optimizations based on your responses to a few questions. The fact that Wix directs you to this feature by saying “Get Found On Google” is another thing that I really like about the platform; it ensures that anyone can use it.

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Wix SEO Wiz checklist

One of the drawbacks is that the templates do not have a mobile-responsive design, which means that they do not display correctly on mobile devices by default. If you make a lot of changes to the desktop layout, you may need to separately edit your mobile site to ensure that it displays correctly on mobile devices. The default version of each template is already optimized for mobile use; however, if you make a lot of changes to the desktop layout, you can skip this step.

There is no requirement to double edit content because many of the other website builders on this list offer templates that are fully responsive. During my tests of page speed, my Wix website loaded quite slowly on both desktop and mobile devices.

Design Flexibility

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Wix gives you access to dozens of different layouts and components for your website

Wix certainly delivers on its promise of enabling you to edit each component of your website in order to personalize it in the manner that is most suitable for you. You have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to color, font, blocks, and layouts. Additionally, it is simple to store color palettes and font schemes for use across the entire website.

You can make sure that your headings, images, and other elements are aligned with each other with the assistance of the built-in guidelines. When I was playing around with the page height and making other adjustments, I occasionally had trouble getting the drag-and-drop editor to do what I wanted it to do. However, these adjustments are nearly at the pixel level and aren’t a significant issue when thinking about the design of the website as a whole.

You are more likely to find a template on Wix that is close to what you want compared to the likelihood of finding such a template on any other site builder. This flexibility can be obtained with less work up front thanks to the enormous number of templates. Because the majority of Wix templates are fairly distinct, unlike the templates offered by some other builders, you won’t be selecting a template based on its color scheme but rather on the functionality it offers. You also have the option of beginning with a template that is totally blank and designing the entire website from the ground up.

It is not possible to switch to a different template once you have begun editing the current one; therefore, you should be certain of your selection before proceeding too far in the design process. Having said that, due to the high degree of adaptability offered by the editor, you should be able to create anything you want within the confines of the template you have selected, or even reproduce a layout from a different template if you find one that appeals to you in the future.

Pricing

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You have access to all 800+ templates and a wide selection of apps with the free plan that Wix offers, giving you a lot of leeway to personalize your website. If you want to connect a custom domain, accept online payments, and integrate with Google Analytics, you will need to upgrade to a business plan.

There are a total of eight different plans, which can be broken down into two categories: personal and business/e-commerce; however, the majority of these plans are very similar to one another. The higher tiers come at a significant cost increase for just a little bit more storage space and what they refer to as “VIP Support”.

Other Aspects

There are a few other noteworthy aspects of Wix that I adored, and they are as follows:

  • Online store — The user interface of the Wix Store is extremely intuitive, guiding you step by step through the process of adding product information, shipping and payment options, and other related elements. You can also add apps to your store to expand its functionality. Some examples of such apps include Laybuy, which allows for flexible payment options; Gifted, which facilitates the sale of gift cards; and Shippo or ShipStation, which facilitates the printing of shipping labels and the acquisition of lower shipping rates.
  • Options for more advanced SEO — The advanced SEO settings on Wix include options for structured data, canonical URLs, and user-defined meta tags. These settings are separate from the Wix SEO Wiz. These help Google better understand your site on a technical level, and you don’t have to do any complicated technical work to benefit from it. You can also set up AMP pages to provide a more streamlined experience for mobile users.
  • Support center — Despite the fact that I have never needed the support center, I checked it out, and it does have a large number of articles that can be read on your own to provide answers to any questions you might have.
  • Reliability and safety at the cutting edge of technology — Wix uses the most recent version of the HTTPS security protocol and an SSL certificate to protect your website from unauthorized attempts to steal sensitive data. It also includes solutions that are built in to prevent cyberattacks, such as DDoS attacks, from taking your website offline, as well as a dedicated incident response team that can get everything back up and running quickly in the event that the worst case scenario occurs.

Squarespace — The most effective website builder in terms of design

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

One of the simplest block editors to work with, Squarespace is like a cross between Wix and WordPress.com in terms of its functionality. When compared to WordPress.com, navigating between the various components of the block editor has a smoother and more natural feel to it, and everything is a little bit easier to find.

The Assistant feature provides you with a checklist of everything you need to get your website up and running when it first begins, and it can be displayed or hidden at any time depending on your requirements (or lack thereof). It guides you through the fundamental steps of setting up a website and then links you to the relevant guide so that you can obtain as much information as you require. The majority of website builders offer some kind of tutorial, but Squarespace’s was hands down the most informative and useful of them all.

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Your page layout can be customized in a wide variety of ways using the Squarespace block editor

In contrast to SITE123 and other editors, which require you to open one tab after another whenever you want to preview a change, you are able to toggle between the live site preview and the editor within a single window. This is a feature that may seem insignificant, but it is actually very helpful.

Design Flexibility

In terms of the amount of design flexibility they offer, Squarespace’s themes are on par with the average offering from WordPress.com. Squarespace is home to some of the industry’s finest templates. You are not able to change every single color like you are able to do so on Wix, and the block editor presents you with some natural limitations; however, in general, you have a great deal of leeway in terms of customization, and the platform is designed in such a way that the results of your work appear to be quite impressive.

One of my favorite design features is the color palette picker, which allows you to choose three primary colors to match your website, and then Squarespace generates broader color themes to be used throughout your site. This is one of the reasons why Squarespace is one of my favorite website builders.

And the following are some of the themes that it generated:

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Squarespace allows you to generate custom color palettes for use across your entire website

You can make more substantial changes to these color themes, but adhering to them will ensure that you have a designer’s eye on your color palette, even if you’re not a designer yourself. This is the case even if you’re not a designer. You don’t need to worry about whether or not that color font looks good on that color background because Squarespace will tell you that these ones do look good on that combination.

Pricing

Although Squarespace does not offer a free plan, even the more affordable tiers provide a significant number of useful features. Before committing to the paid plan, you also have the option of participating in a free trial that lasts for 14 days. Smaller blogs and online stores will find Squarespace to be an affordable option because it comes with increasingly sophisticated e-commerce features as the price point increases. When compared to the prices offered by builders who specialize in e-commerce websites, the prices of the more advanced e-commerce plans are typically lower.

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Overall, it seems as though Squarespace is committed to ensuring that you have the best site possible, and they know that a free plan just won’t cut it to get you the best experience and website there is to offer.

Other Aspects

Although Squarespace’s designs are its primary strength, there are a few other aspects of the platform that are important to highlight:

  • Online Store — The process of adding products is comparable to that of e-commerce-specific builders, despite the fact that it is not quite as user-friendly as the store setups on other regular site builders. After putting all of these different builders to the test and gaining a lot of knowledge about online stores, I’ve realized that the e-commerce functions that are more sophisticated and capable come with a steeper learning curve. That is also true with regard to Squarespace.
  • Integrated Email Marketing Campaigns — When you publish a post, you will have access to their email feature, which will allow you to immediately begin constructing an email marketing campaign. You don’t need to add any additional integrations or extensions in order to gain access to this feature, making it easily the most integrated email capability that any of the website builders offers.
  • Additional Features for Marketing Purposes — There are a few other marketing features that really stand out, despite the fact that the SEO features are pretty standard for website builders. You can even track paid search campaigns with the help of a URL builder, in addition to having direct integrations with social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

SITE123 — The ideal beginner-friendly website builder

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

If you are familiar with how it operates, the editor that comes with SITE123 is easy to use and makes it simple to make changes to your pages. My website was set to have a single page by default, and it took me a good twenty minutes to figure out that when you add a block, you need to adjust its settings so that it does not appear on the homepage but does remain in the navigation menus. If you do not do this, the block will appear on the homepage. After I had figured this out, the process of creating my SITE123 demo site went extremely quickly. In less than an hour, I will have built the entire website (including the 20 minutes of troubleshooting).

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The user interface for adding new pages and sections to SITE123, as well as rearranging existing ones

In general, navigating the interface isn’t as straightforward as it could be; you might have to do some exploring before you find exactly what you’re looking for. However, if you do experience issues, the live chat is pretty responsive and helpful; they responded to my question in less than twenty minutes.

The user interfaces for each feature, such as the online store and the blog, are pretty straightforward and easy to navigate. They do not have the same sense of modernity as, for example, Wix or Squarespace, but that does not reflect negatively on the overall appearance of the websites that this builder can create.

Design Flexibility

Even though the amount of control you have over the appearance of your website is more limited on SITE123 than it is on Wix, you still have quite a bit of leeway. There are over 180 different design templates to choose from when you first begin, and there are 14 different categories of page layouts to choose from, such as text, photo galleries, events, and even restaurant reservations.

You are able to further customize these page types by adding blocks; however, depending on the layout that you select, there are some restrictions that apply. For instance, I decided to use an About page template, but I was unable to embed a video in the way that I had envisioned. In the end, rather than using the format of an About page, I decided to redo that page as a simple text page in an effort to fix the issue.

Where SITE123 falls short in terms of design freedom, it makes up for it with a number of other important advantages. Because of the predetermined layouts, your website will always have an appealing appearance, regardless of the circumstances; you won’t be able to ruin the look of your entire website just because something is off by a few thousandths of an inch.

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SITE123 provides you with dozens of different page layouts that you can use to help build your website

Because there are fewer places where colors and fonts can be changed, you will be able to focus more of your attention on the content of your website and spend less time debating whether this color or that other one is closer to what you want. This simplicity also results in faster load speeds, both on desktop computers and mobile devices, which is an essential component of a pleasant experience when using a website.

Pricing

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SITE123 also offers a free plan that is functional to a certain extent, and the premium plan with the lowest price point provides significantly more storage space, a free domain name, and e-commerce capabilities.

If you want more creative leeway with your design, you’ll also find a lot more options to customize it how you want.

Numerous blogs and local businesses will find that this choice offers a reasonable price for their needs.

Other Aspects

SITE123 does not have a large number of additional features, but it does cover the fundamentals that the majority of website builders provide, and it does so in a more user-friendly manner than its competitors.

Some examples of those are as follows:

  • SEO — The only other thing you can do is add your title tag, meta description, and image alt text. There is also a keyword meta tag field, but considering its lack of relevance in modern SEO practices, its inclusion is more of an afterthought than a true feature.
  • Online Store — As someone who has never created an online store before, I found it very simple to navigate the online store, despite the fact that it is fairly comprehensive in terms of adding information about the products being sold. If you have the premium plan or a higher one, it comes as a built-in page type, which means that you do not need to add anything extra to get started.
  • Single-page Website — Even though I had the most trouble with this feature at first, SITE123 is without a doubt the easiest builder to use when it comes to creating a single-page website that has distinct sections and automatic navigation links scattered throughout the page. It is an excellent choice for websites that only need a single page, such as event websites, online portfolios, and resumes.

1&1 IONOS — The Ideal Builder for New Businesses

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

MyWebsite Now and MyWebsite Creator are the names of the two different site builders that are available on IONOS. In light of the fact that the latter product is primarily geared toward seasoned developers and designers, I decided to concentrate on MyWebsite Now as the option that is most accessible to novices. As it turns out, MyWebsite Now is extremely straightforward and simple to utilize.

Set-up is super simple. You merely need to choose a format, and then you can begin clicking. If you’ve worked with other website builders in the past, learning how to use MyWebsite Now won’t take you nearly as much time as it would otherwise.

On occasion, however, I did find that the way IONOS operates left me feeling a little befuddled. For example, there is a distinction between adding things and editing them after they have been added. To add something to your section, such as a button, you have to first go into the “Section editor,” and then you have to go back one step to customize the button. Even though it goes against common sense, once you get the hang of it, everything will be fine.

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In the grand scheme of things, however, this was hardly a learning curve; rather, it was more of a learning blip. You are able to construct your website using ready-made sections of content when you use MyWebsite Now. You begin by adding a section to your website, such as a gallery, a grid, or a contact form, selecting the layout that you like best, and then editing the text and the images.

There is no need to make countless adjustments in order to get things to look just right. I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to put my website together using this method. It was a quick and easy process.

If you ever run into problems, there is a large knowledge base that contains a lot of different tutorials, tips, and tricks for you to look through. In addition, there is phone support available to customers.

Design Flexibility

There is a selection of professionally designed templates that are easy on the eyes, up to date, and compatible with mobile devices within the MyWebsite Now builder; however, there aren’t very many of them. There are only 18 designs to choose from, which is basically one for each industry. There are not a lot of choices, but you can personalize each one to meet your needs.

IONOS, which is a straightforward website builder, provides you with a reasonably wide variety of customization options. You have the option to create your own custom color palette, which you can do in addition to setting colors and fonts that will be used throughout your entire website. Additionally, you have the ability to customize each element individually in terms of colors, fonts, and spacing.

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The ability to simply drag and drop components to any location of my choosing was the one feature that I sorely lacked. You cannot, for example, drop a button in the middle of a section of pre-designed content that you have already created. You are able to do so – sometimes, but only in locations where IONOS believes it is appropriate to do so. It is not a deal-breaker by any means, but because of it, I was unable to get my website to look exactly the way I wanted it to.

The MyWebsite Creator builder provides users with a greater number of opportunities to personalize their websites, but this platform is not as user-friendly for novices.

Features of E-commerce

You have the option to upgrade for additional e-commerce features with IONOS, which also happens to be one of the most affordable e-commerce plans available. This is an affordable option for those who are looking for a straightforward online store.

When considering the cost, it is reasonable to assume that the e-commerce tools provided will not be as feature-rich as those provided by a dedicated e-commerce builder such as Shopify or BigCommerce. You do, however, get basic inventory management, product options, settings for tax and shipping, and a content block for adding related products to your product pages. All of these features are included. You also have the option of selling digital as well as physical products.

You can also generate discounts and coupons with IONOS, as well as set up abandoned cart emails and use integrations to sell products directly from your website through Facebook Shopping, Instagram Shopping, Google Shopping, and eBay and Amazon. While other builders on this list keep these features exclusive to their more expensive e-commerce packages, IONOS includes them by default in all of their packages.

Pricing

If you decide to go with MyWebsite Now (which is the platform I would advise beginners to use), there are two different plans available to you: Starter and Online Store Starter. Which one is best for you is determined solely by whether or not you plan to sell your products online.

The Starter package includes all of the available templates, design options, color schemes, as well as a professional email address and a free domain name for the first year. Tools for running an online store, such as product listings, payment options, shipping and collection options, marketing tools, and integrations for selling your wares over social media, are all included in the Online Store Starter plan.

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There is a free trial that you can use to test out the builder, at least in a limited capacity. It’s annoying, but the only people who can get free plans on IONOS are those who pay for monthly subscriptions. If you choose an annual plan, which is significantly less expensive overall, you will not receive a free month but rather a discounted rate for the first year of your subscription instead.

You do, however, get a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that regardless of the outcome, you have the option to cancel within the first 30 days and receive a full refund. On the other hand, it would be convenient if you could sign up for the service without having to pull out your credit card. Just saying.

Other Aspects

The IONOS operating system does not have an abundance of additional features. For example, there is no app market for adding functionality; however, it does have the majority of the fundamentals, including the following:

  • SEO tools — The free version of MyWebsite Now includes some fundamental SEO tools, such as the ability to set page names, descriptions, and images for sharing on social media.
  • Analytics — Utilizing the straightforward analytics tool that is pre-installed in IONOS, you are able to monitor who is visiting your website.
  • GDPR — Your website can easily demonstrate compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by utilizing the pre-built cookie banner.
  • Image library — Even if your photography skills aren’t the best, you can still make your website more visually appealing by accessing a library that contains more than 17,000 royalty-free images.

WordPress.com — The Most Appropriate Website Builder for Bloggers

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

If you are familiar with the idea of constructing layouts with blocks, you should have no trouble using the Gutenberg block editor that is available on WordPress.com. To make your experience with design more streamlined, you can begin building a page from an existing template, and there are dozens of different types of blocks from which to choose. Because these are arranged in helpful categories according to their functions, you won’t have to spend a lot of time searching for the things you require.

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There are dozens of blocks available for use on WordPress.com

This block editor, in particular, irritated me more than any of the others on this list did while I was using it. It would occasionally place blocks slightly off alignment for no reason that I could figure out, which meant that I had to rework certain parts of the page or copy blocks that were already there in order to get it to function properly. This isn’t an insurmountable problem, but it does crop up frequently enough to be a nuisance.

You have the option to install Elementor, a plugin that transforms the editor into a drag-and-drop interface, if you are using a plan that is at least the Business plan.

Despite the fact that everything within the editor is clearly labeled, it often feels as though you have to hop around quite a bit in order to complete all of the tasks for a single page. For instance, in order to change the color of the background, you have to exit the block editor, navigate to the customizer, and then return. This can feel a little disjointed, particularly when contrasted with other website builders that allow users to make all customizations and adjustments within the same interface.

Design Flexibility

The customization options are extremely varied, and their availability is wholly determined by the theme that you pick. The first theme I tried wouldn’t even let me change the colors or fonts; however, the second theme I chose gave me a lot more customization options to work with. In general, more recent WordPress themes allow for greater flexibility. For my WordPress test site, I used a theme called Twenty Twenty, whereas the capabilities of third-party themes are more hit-or-miss.

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The customizer on WordPress.com adapts to your theme in different ways

You can get a head start on your design by using one of the available page templates, but you can also begin with a page that is completely blank and add blocks in any order and configuration that you prefer. When it comes to design flexibility, there is a good balance of freedom and guidance: if you’re building your first website, you won’t feel like you have to suddenly master web design, and if you’re an experienced designer, you won’t feel limited by existing templates. This is because there is a good balance between freedom and guidance.

The adaptability of WordPress.com extends all the way into its functionality, with thousands of plugins readily available to add analytics, contact forms, SEO, and virtually anything else you can think of. The block editor is compatible with the plugins to a large extent; however, similar to the themes, the plugins created by third-party developers may have some restrictions on what they are able to accomplish. (It is important to note that in order to install plugins, you will need a Business plan or a higher one.)

Pricing

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One of the most extensive price ranges is offered by WordPress.com, which also provides a free plan. There are significant differences between each of the paid plans offered by WordPress.com. Bloggers and freelancers who need a website that is highly functional but has a low cost will find that the lowest tiers, which are very affordable, meet their needs adequately. To access plugins, custom themes, and other advanced features, the Business plan is required; however, considering all of the benefits it provides, the investment is more than justified.

Other Aspects

Plugins make up a significant portion of the best features that WordPress.com has to offer; however, there were a few built-in things that I found to be helpful and that I had not seen in any other website builder:

  • Image credits from sites like Pexels and other stock photo databases are automatically added
  • Videos are able to be uploaded straight away
  • The majority of import and export possibilities between platforms
  • The quickest load times possible on mobile and desktop devices

Zyro — Easy Website Builder with the Most Flexibility

Simplicity and Ease of Use

Zyro is incredibly user-friendly and simple to operate. Even though I was a complete “Zyro newbie,” I was able to get the hang of the fundamentals in a little under five minutes. Zyro does not provide you with a helpful start-up checklist or walkthrough wizard; however, getting oriented doesn’t take more than a few clicks and scrolls of the mouse to accomplish. This could be considered a potential drawback of the product. Everything is fairly easy to understand.

Having said that, due to the fact that Zyro does things a little bit differently than other website builders, there were a few instances in which I got a little bit stuck. For instance, the buttons weren’t located exactly where I anticipated finding them… But that might just be due to the fact that I have prior experience doing so; it’s not necessarily a problem for people who are just starting out.

Zyro provides a comprehensive set of artificial intelligence tools with the goal of making your life even simpler. There is an artificial intelligence (AI) business name generator, a slogan generator, a blog title generator, and even an AI writer that will generate pages of content that is optimized for search engines for you if you don’t have any inspiration.

The text that it generated for me was undeniably on the boring side, and all things considered, I believe that writing my own copy would satisfy me better, so thank you very much. But if you’re stuck with the “blank page syndrome” and have no idea where to begin, it might be a good way to kickstart your creative process and get some ideas flowing again.

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Zyro’s feature set, in general, is not overly complex, which contributes to its user-friendliness because there is not a great deal of information to process at once. There is a possibility that Zyro does not offer a feature that is important to you, which is a drawback.

In my experience, for example, I was unable to incorporate a calendar or an event page into the site. After inquiring about this issue through the live chat support, I was informed that I needed to first create a calendar through an external provider and then embed the code into my website. Not the best.

Design Flexibility

In spite of its reputation as a basic website builder, Zyro actually provides a respectable amount of design flexibility. The templates have all been put together very nicely; however, you are in no way obligated to use the design or layout that comes with the template.

For instance, if you want to make life easier for yourself, you can select an overall color scheme for your website; however, this does not mean that you are required to use those specific colors. In point of fact, you are free to change the color of each and every individual element in any way that you see fit.

You are required to set text styles for headings and paragraphs across the entirety of your website; however, as this is simply good design practice, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.

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Using the drag-and-drop editor, it is also simple to modify the size of individual elements as well as their placement and the order in which they appear. Because Zyro employs a grid-based layout, its components will automatically align themselves on a grid as you move them around the page using the arrow keys or your mouse.

This can take some getting used to; on a few occasions, a button or a block of text that I had placed suddenly flew away from where I had placed it; however, I thought this feature was pretty cool in general. Since this isn’t Wix, you won’t have complete creative control over where things go on your site, but this will help keep things organized and give you more breathing room.

Features of E-commerce

The e-commerce features that come with Zyro, which are accessible starting with the eCommerce plan and going up, are powerful and simple to use. To begin constructing your website store, you must first leave the website editor and then enter the “Store Manager,” but switching back and forth between the two is a very straightforward process.

Additionally, Zyro provides you with a helpful step-by-step list of activities to carry out in order to get your online store up and running. It walks you through the fundamental steps of adding products, specifying delivery options, and setting up payments for your e-commerce store.

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When it came to organizing my products into categories, keeping track of my inventory, and developing product variants, things got a little more complicated (this last part in particular had me lost in a sea of error messages for a few minutes). Of course, difficult does not necessarily equate to impossible, and in the end I was successful in working it out.

However, the thing that bothered me the most was the fact that Zyro does not have a pre-made content block that can be used to display featured products on the homepage. This is a feature that is pretty standard on most other website builders. Instead, the only choice I had was to copy my store page in its entirety and insert it elsewhere. Weird.

Pricing

The prices at Zyro are affordable, and I would even say they are fair when taking into account everything that is included in the purchase. Every one of our yearly plans comes with a significant price reduction, as well as a free domain name for the first year of your subscription.

However, I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that Zyro has a sneaky side to him. For instance, the price that is advertised is based on the assumption that you will pay the full amount up front for a four-year commitment. That’s a pretty significant time commitment there. If you consider the additional expense of paying on a monthly basis, you may find that you get more value elsewhere for your money. This is especially true when you take into account Zyro’s below-average PageSpeed Insight Score.

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It’s also annoying that there isn’t a free trial, which is something that the majority of Zyro’s rivals provide even if they don’t have a free plan of their own. For me personally, the idea of having to pull out my credit card before I’ve even had a chance to try the product first was a little bit off-putting. Having said that, Zyro does offer a money-back guarantee for a period of thirty days, so… a free trial in reverse?

Other Aspects

Zyro is a relatively straightforward website builder, and as such, it does not provide a large number of additional features; however, it does cover all of the essentials, in addition to quite a few other things. The following are some of the best features that are available:

  • Comprehensive set of search engine optimization and marketing tools, including heat maps (for monitoring how users interact with your website), integration with Facebook Pixel and Facebook Live Chat, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager
  • Dedicated mobile editor that allows users to independently edit desktop and mobile page layouts
  • Apps for iOS and Android allow you to manage your online store no matter where you are
  • Zyro includes a tool called Website Importer that allows you to import text and images from your existing website

Webnode — The Best Option for Websites with Multiple Languages

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

On Webnode, there are a lot of things that are simple to do. You can add content to your template by selecting content blocks from a menu that is located directly on your page editor. This provides you with easy access to the components that you require. I really like that there is no need to switch back and forth between the customization menus and the draft of your website because all of the options for changing up your design, adding images, and other tasks appear right next to whatever it is that you are working on.

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There are thirteen distinct types of content blocks available for use on Webnode

You will also find a series of helpful hints scattered throughout the interface of the editor. These hints will point you in the right direction if you need to change your navigation structure or update any other page settings. These are fairly useful, but they are not as detailed as they could be. For instance, despite the numerous helpful hints that are scattered throughout, it took me a few tries before I figured out where to manage the blog posts. Also, the Add Products interface didn’t appear the first time I tried to add an online store, so I had to add the store twice.

When compared to other platforms’ ease of use, Webnode falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. It seems as though the majority of the things you try to accomplish require one or two additional clicks than are strictly required, but as I’ve discovered through conducting these tests, the situation could be a lot more frustrating.

Design Flexibility

The lack of design flexibility is without a doubt the most significant drawback of Webnode for me. You are only allowed to select one color to go with your base template’s complementary color, and that color can only be used in a total of five different places. The default color for the rest of the template is applied to everything else.

You also do not have the option to add a customized color, which can be problematic if you have colors associated with your brand that are very specific. Because there is such a large variety of options, it is highly likely that you will be able to locate something that is sufficiently similar to what you are looking for; however, if you are hoping to reproduce an exact color, you will probably be out of luck.

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You are not allowed to select individual colors for each of these five components

If you want to change the color of something, you have to leave the content editor every time and go into the design settings instead. This is an extremely annoying requirement. It is difficult to switch between the two, and the color settings are not in the least bit obvious where to look for them.

You’ll find the same limitations on font options, but I have to give credit where it’s due: there are a ton of customization options for almost any content section’s background image. You have the option of selecting from pre-existing images and patterns or uploading your own, and there is a comprehensive range of filters available to add even more variety. Personally, I’d prefer to have the option to customize the colors, but Webnode does have some redeeming design flexibility features.

Pricing

There are four paid plans available on Webnode, but if you run an online store or require support for multiple languages, you will be required to select one of the top two plans. The most expensive plan offers an increased storage space as well as a greater number of advanced features, such as unlimited language support and product variants for online stores.

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In comparison to the other website builders on this list, the plans offered by Webnode do not provide the best value for the money. This is primarily due to the fact that there are so few opportunities for customization. To continue in the same vein as the rest of my review, I will say that Webnode is worth it if you need to build a website that supports multiple languages.

Other Aspects

I have spent a lot of time discussing the multi-language support feature, which is an incredible asset because it makes it very simple to offer users of the site the same experience no matter what language they speak. However, Webnode also provides users with the following additional cool features:

  • Page-specific SEO settings that include blanks for user-supplied HTML code
  • Form designer that allows for complete personalization (for contact forms, etc.)
  • Options for signing up for membership (on the top two plans)
  • Page headers or other sections can use blocks of background video content
  • Depending on the plan you choose, you can have up to one hundred email accounts on your domain

Shopify — The Most Affordable Website Builder for Online Stores

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

Although Shopify has many features that are simple to use, the editor’s appearance shifts depending on what you’re working on, which is not an ideal experience. Shopify also has many features that are easy to find. Every page besides the homepage is edited using a text-based format that is reminiscent of the WordPress editor prior to the release of Gutenberg. The homepage is edited using a block-type editor, similar to SITE123 or Jimdo.

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Editor for Shopify pages

Because the product manager and editor have a very similar aesthetic, this particular builder’s e-commerce features do not appear to be as cutting edge as those offered by other builders. The app that I used for the photo gallery on my Shopify test site had an even more dated feel, but as is the case with the majority of third-party apps, that could have just been a coincidence.

Even though some of the editing options have an outdated appearance, it is still relatively easy to navigate and locate the features that you require. Blocks and apps are organized and labeled in a way that is easy to understand, and you are able to sort and filter your products based on a wide variety of criteria.

Shopify additionally features a comprehensive support section, which means that information regarding anything that is more difficult to achieve can be easily located in the help center.

Design Flexibility

Shopify provides a wide variety of color and font customization options, allowing you to make your theme look exactly how you want it to, and also provides a variety of blocks from which you can construct your homepage. However, a small number of the thousands of apps that are currently available are page builders, which may provide some store pages with additional layout flexibility. This flexibility is not applicable to other pages. (However, if you require a significant amount of website content in addition to a significant amount of online store capability, you will most likely require a different website builder anyway.)

Features of E-commerce

The e-commerce features that Shopify offers are designed to be useful to traditional retailers as well, which is why the company offers some nifty tools for adding locations, tracking inventory at each store, and transferring products to and from different stores.

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In addition to this, they provide methods of tracking products, inventories, and variants that are analogous to those provided by Square Online and BigCommerce. In general, Shopify provides users with a robust experience when it comes to e-commerce store building.

Pricing

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The pricing structures of the various e-commerce builders are comparable; however, Shopify offers you somewhat better value for your money (in addition, there is a free trial available). BigCommerce can provide you with massive shipping discounts, the ability to add store locations, and a few other enticing features for a price that is virtually identical to that of BigCommerce.

BigCommerce — The Most Effective Website Builder for Managing a Large Number of Products

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

BigCommerce is a tool that is typically intended for use by teams and enterprises, as well as individuals who are already familiar with the e-commerce industry. Therefore, despite the fact that it is not difficult to use, it is not very intuitive and is not beginner-friendly.

After you have successfully registered, you will immediately be taken to your dashboard, which is where you will manage every aspect of your website. The initial setup process can appear to be quite complicated due to the presence of numerous menus, pop-up windows, and drop-down lists. In my opinion, it would have been helpful to have a brief tutorial that explained the primary functions of the dashboard. On the other hand, there is a checklist that will assist you in getting started.

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At first glance, the BigCommerce dashboard may appear to be quite complicated, but you will quickly become accustomed to its layout

It is possible that the separation of BigCommerce’s product management tools, site design tools, and page builder tools will initially be difficult to understand if you are accustomed to using “regular” site builders. For instance, I wasted some time attempting to figure out how to edit the menu for my website using the page builder before I realized that I had been looking in the incorrect location all along. In order to get the menu to update, I had to exit the product manager and make changes to my product categories there.

Thankfully, BigCommerce provides a comprehensive knowledge base in addition to a large number of video tutorials. In addition, customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat around the clock for users of any plan. I eventually got the hang of things, but it took me quite a while to get there because I made a few rookie mistakes along the way.

Design Flexibility

BigCommerce provides its users with a wide variety of attractive and mobile-friendly template options to choose from. Only 12 of them are free, but that is more than what large competitors like Shopify or Square Online are offering, even if it is less than what generalist builders have to offer in terms of website builders.

The majority of paid themes can be purchased for between $110 and $220 (while others can cost as much as $300), which is not a small expense for a large e-commerce store but is also not a prohibitive one. You also have the option of purchasing more affordable themes from third-party providers such as ThemeForest if you so choose.

In addition, BigCommerce provides a wide variety of configuration choices (provided you can work out how to use the BigCommerce editor). You are able to personalize the appearance of any page that is not a product or listing page by utilizing the storefront editor in conjunction with the page builder. This will allow you to change the colors, fonts, typographies, and layouts. In addition, the majority of the templates come with between four and six different color presets.

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When it comes to fonts and colors, BigCommerce gives you a plethora of customization options to choose from

You are also able to make alterations to your product pages, such as modifying the image sizes, the number of products displayed on each page, or the manner in which the product names are presented. Although it is not the most sophisticated page builder available, it is more than adequate for use with an online store.

Features of E-commerce

BigCommerce didn’t exactly blow me away in terms of its ease of use and design flexibility, but when it comes to e-commerce features, this builder really comes into its own – as you might expect it to.

BigCommerce has a robust collection of essential features, including unrestricted file storage and bandwidth, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to accelerate website loading times, a mobile app, straightforward tools for blogging, discounts and coupons, product ratings and reviews, reminders to return items to abandoned carts, and integrations with third-party payment processors (among other things).

For some online stores, the time spent tinkering with BigCommerce’s editor will be more than compensated for by the presence of a few standout e-commerce features that, in my opinion, will make the experience more than worthwhile. For example, BigCommerce enables you to sell your products in every region of the world. We are not only referring to sites that are available in multiple languages, but also to sites that are distinct for each region and contain their very own product lists.

There are many ways to improve your company’s performance, regardless of the size of your operation. One good example is the multi-channel selling offered by BigCommerce. Your products can be listed on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Google Shopping, and social media platforms, and your BigCommerce account can be used to manage all of these listings. Your stocks and orders are in perfect harmony, which ensures that you never oversell.

BigCommerce provides powerful marketing tools in addition to its robust SEO (search engine optimization) tools. You have the option to synchronize the data from your store with email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, G Suite, and Constant Contact. Additionally, beginning with the Plus plan and progressing upwards, you will have the ability to divide your clientele into distinct groups and market to each of those groups in a unique manner.

BigCommerce integrates with leading point-of-sale (POS) solutions, such as Square, Vend, Clover, and more. This gives you the ability to sync your inventories and to give your customers the option to pick up their orders in person. If you want to combine online and offline shopping in an easy way, BigCommerce is the platform for you.

You have the option of extending BigCommerce’s functionality by choosing from among its nearly one thousand available apps (many of which are free). There is an app for everything these days, including marketing and analytics, as well as shipping and order management.

Pricing

After reading through all of these features, you may have already formed an educated guess that BigCommerce is not exactly inexpensive. However, taking into account everything that is provided, BigCommerce’s pricing is more than reasonable. In point of fact, BigCommerce uses a pricing structure that is relatively standard, with each plan costing almost exactly the same as Shopify plans that are comparable in nature.

Despite this, there are a few key distinctions. While BigCommerce requires you to upgrade to their Plus plan on the middle tier in order to gain access to this feature, Shopify includes abandoned cart recovery with even its most basic plan. BigCommerce, on the other hand, does not impose any initial limits on the number of staff accounts you can create, whereas Shopify caps you at either 2, 5, or 15 accounts, depending on the plan you choose.

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The fact that additional transaction fees are not charged by BigCommerce, in contrast to Square Online and Shopify, is one of the company’s most notable selling points (the latter only waives transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments). Because of this, selecting BigCommerce as your e-commerce platform of choice is an obvious choice if you plan to conduct a significant amount of business online because the associated fees can quickly add up.

In addition, BigCommerce provides a free trial period of 15 days, during which you can test out the software, evaluate its features, and determine whether or not they meet your needs.

Square Online — The Best Free Tools for Online Selling

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Simplicity and Ease of Use

On this list, Square Online is most likely the e-commerce platform that is easiest to use for those just starting out. The process of setting up my Square Online site was (for the most part) quick and did not cause me any discomfort. The user interface is very easy to understand; all of the buttons have descriptive names, and the initial tutorial for setting up the software shows you exactly where all of the primary functions that you will require are located.

The process of setting up the entire website is divided into steps, which allows you to see what you need to do in order to be considered “done” before moving on. It was a pleasant and uncomplicated experience to add, edit, and rearrange the content blocks. The functionality of the autosave feature as well as the undo and redo buttons were both very well received.

My one and only beef with Square Online is that despite their best efforts, there are times when they actually make things more complicated for you rather than less so.

When I first added a product to my store, for example, I could only fill in a few of the product details, such as the title, price, and description. Even if I had wanted to add something else, I was unable to do so. However, when I tried to edit the product at a later time, the screen had changed to include a whole bunch of other fields, such as the item SKU, product variations, and SEO options. I was left perplexed as to why I was unable to complete any of these tasks earlier on.

It’s possible that they wanted to start off with something straightforward and then gradually add more customization options. For my part, I think it’s better to have everything laid out in the beginning.

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Because I encountered a few inconsistencies while using the product, I deducted one point from its overall score for ease of use. For example, I was editing the text of a button on my homepage when I accidentally clicked away for a split second. When I tried to edit the text again, I was unable to do so under any circumstances. Although I was able to highlight the words, I was unable to type anything. Weird. In the end, I was forced to remove the button and begin the process again from the beginning.

Design Flexibility

This is one area in which Square Online could use some improvement. While the other builders on this list offer a wide variety of template choices, Square Online only offers a single option.

The good news is that it’s a really nice sample to work off of. It is uncomplicated, tastefully designed, and responsive to mobile devices (although the super-low PageSpeed score for mobile places a major question mark over how phone-friendly your website will actually be).

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You do get some options for customization, but they’re not very extensive. You have the option of modifying your template’s font, as well as its primary color and accent color (from a selection of 15 different colors) (also 15 choices). You are also able to reorder your elements, as well as edit their layout and colors (although you do not have a free choice of colors; rather, you are given a selection that is based on the color of your primary element).

This is in no way full creative control by any stretch of the imagination.

Features of E-commerce

Square Online does not have the most advanced e-commerce builder on this list; however, it does have a robust lineup of features, the majority of which are included in the free plan, and it does have a good selection of payment processing options.

You are able to sell an unlimited number of products, select from a variety of available shipping methods, generate coupons and gift cards, receive text alerts regarding the status of an order, and permit customers to personalize their purchases.

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Your orders, items, and inventories will be synchronized between in-person and online purchases when you use Square Online because, as you might expect, it is integrated with Square Point of Sale and syncs automatically.

You are able to send abandoned cart emails, which are automated reminders that customers are prompted to complete their purchases, have customers leave reviews on individual products, and access advanced shipping tools if you subscribe to one of the more expensive paid plans.

Pricing

The only one of these e-commerce builders that offers a free plan is Square Online, making it the clear winner in this category. However, there is a significant catch: a processing fee of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents is applied to each and every sale that you make.

And even if you upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll still have to pay that fee. Oh, in addition to a few other advantages, they permit you to disconnect your Square ads and connect a custom domain. However, those processing fees are still in place, and even the most expensive plan only reduces them by a trifling 0.3 percent.

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Because the processing fees charged by the other builders on this list are lower, using Square Online could end up being more expensive for you in the long run if you make a significant number of sales.

What We Learned

Before I started working on this project, I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that there are many different kinds of website builders. The process of testing showed me how much variation there is, and how important it is to choose the appropriate website builder if you want to provide the best experience possible not only for the people who visit your site but also for the person who is building it.

The most surprising thing to me was seeing how design flexibility and other factors interact with one another in practice. In general, website builders that offer more flexibility, such as Wix, take longer to build and have slower page load speeds. On the other hand, website builders that restrict your options make the site building process go more quickly and are more likely to have a good design (because you can’t mess it up by deciding that your DIY layout is better).

After putting so many different website builders to the test and developing real websites, the following is the primary piece of guidance that I would give to those who are selecting a website builder:

  • Find out what your site’s goals are before you start. Do you want to run a blog or run a business selling products? Both? This will assist you in selecting the appropriate website builder, as each one has a unique set of advantages. If you are unsure, you should go with the option that offers more flexibility.
  • It’s not always the case that cheaper or free is preferable. There are some website builders that offer plans with exceptionally good value, but in general, you get what you pay for. If you are willing to pay for a plan, both you and your site visitors will benefit from an improved experience.
  • It is acceptable to rely on designs that have already been premade. There are many website builders that will try to convince you that you have a great deal of flexibility; however, if you do a lot of the design work yourself, things have the potential to go wrong very quickly. If you are aware that you do not have an eye for design, selecting a builder that already incorporates stringent guidelines, such as Squarespace, can be of great assistance to you.

When selecting a website builder, there is a significant amount of room for individual preference; therefore, you should give careful consideration to what you require from a website builder before making a commitment. If you feel that you need more assistance in making your choice, you can get additional information by reading through our in-depth reviews of each website builder.

Techexplains Team

Techexplains Team

We are a team of digital marketing experts with years of experience in website builders. CRM tools, project management software helping businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals. We are writing about benefits of using SaaS for businesses, and sharing our top picks for the best tools currently available on the market. Whether you are a small business owner looking to streamline your marketing efforts or a larger enterprise seeking to improve your marketing efficiency, we hope that you will find this useful and informative.