Whether you're an individual wanting to start your own blog or own a business planning to sell your products online, having a presence on the Web is essential in today's world. And for that, you need a website.
Thanks to the advances in technology, getting a website up and running is no longer the chore that it used to be. There are dozens of website creator solutions to choose from, catering to everyone from bloggers to companies. While most of them are Web-based apps, some are also available as desktop programs. But the question is, which of them is/are the best suited for your needs?
Read our round-up of the best website builder software to find out.
Best Overall: Wix
Having over 500 designer-made templates and a truckload of features, Wix makes it simple to create great looking websites with little to no effort.
Wix features a drag-and-drop module editor that lets you build and customize your website exactly the way you want it, with zero coding knowledge. From video backgrounds to parallax animation, anything can be added to websites. The templates cover a broad range of categories, such as portfolios and online stores.
It's also possible to add blogs and social media buttons to websites directly from Wix. A contact manager lets you organize all your site members and subscribers, while smart actions can be used to send triggered emails easily. There's an SEO wizard to improve your website's rankings, site analytics to keep track of the website's traffic and much more.
The app market has hundreds of Web apps and services, which you can use to further enhance the functionality of your website. Wix's paid plans include site hosting, storage and full support for custom domains.
Best Offline: Mobirise
Majority of the website design apps today are Web-based. As such, you always need to be online in order to use them. If you'd rather have something that can be used sans Internet connectivity, look no further than Mobirise.
Undoubtedly the best offline website builder software out there, Mobirise lets you create everything from small/medium websites to landing pages. The fact that it's completely free and doesn't require you to know anything about coding, makes things even better.
Mobirise's website editor comes with full drag-and-drop support. It has more than 2500 blocks, which are modules that can be used to build websites. These blocks are in turn part of several themes that come preloaded with the software.
All websites created with Mobirise are responsive, with layouts that adapt automatically when viewed on mobile devices. The templates are based on Bootstrap 4, the most-powerful framework(s) for developing mobile-first websites.
Some of the elements that Mobirise lets you add to your websites include image/content sliders, contact forms, mobile menus, social buttons and Google maps. Once created, websites can be published to FTP or local drives. They can even be hosted on Amazon S3, Google Cloud and Github pages.
Best Offline, Runner-Up: TemplateToaster
Among the most powerful website builders, TemplateToaster has more features than you can count. And since it doesn't require network connectivity, it can be used just about anywhere.
Like other modern website creators, using TemplateToaster also doesn't require any programming knowledge. The program supports responsive Web design, so created websites look great on all devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones. TemplateToaster offers advanced options to draw and add any number of custom widget areas, modules and regions to websites. Its WYSIWIG editor includes everything from hyperlinking to font properties.
TemplateToaster's standout feature is its extensive CMS support. The software can be used to design themes and templates for a wide variety of Content Management Systems (CMS), including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. You can also add buttons for social media services such as Facebook and Twitter easily. Furthermore, you get access to hundreds of stock images, logos, textures, fonts and much more.
Thanks to built-in FTP, you can directly transfer designs and templates to the hosting server. TemplateToaster supports the latest HTML5 and CSS3 standards.
Best for Per Device Website Customization: Duda
Today, people browse the Web on a multitude of different devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. So it's essential that your website looks perfect, regardless of the screen it's viewed on. Duda makes designing such websites a breeze.
Duda's extensive set of tools lets you customize every element of your website's design on a per-device basis. The website's layout and features can be configured individually for computers, tablets and smartphones. There are numerous flexible navigation styles to choose from, and the developer mode can be used to access HTML and CSS code for better flexibility and control. You can customize color overlays for images and videos, copy and paste elements within the website, and even duplicate entire Web pages.
Widgets like popups, contact forms, click to call/email, social feeds and comments can be added directly to websites. If that's not enough, you can build your own custom widgets and add them to the website.
Duda has a vast library of natively responsive website templates that can be used. The templates are divided into categories for easy selection. The website can be further enhanced with numerous triggers and actions. A built-in e-commerce solution lets you create product pages, add payment options and integrate coupon codes.
Best for Blogs: WordPress
Arguably the most-popular website and content management system out there, WordPress is the powerhouse behind 30 percent of the top 10 million websites on the Internet. But even though it can be used for many types of websites, WordPress is the best website builder software when it comes to blogs.
Offering a vast selection of mobile-responsive themes, WordPress lets you create websites and personal blogs that look great on all devices. Its built-in text editor has a lot of customization options and saves your work automatically every few seconds. For more control, you can switch to the HTML editor with one click. Drag-and-drop support makes adding everything from images to videos an effortless affair.
Integrated social sharing features let you directly send posts to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and Powerful SEO tools ensure that the content reaches its desired audience. WordPress also provides in-depth stats that lets you find out about the visitors and engagement on your blog or website.
WordPress is available both as a fully-hosted platform and a self-hosted service. While the former is easy to set up, the latter provides better control in terms of updates, module management and more.
Best for Fast Website Creation: Jimdo
No matter what kind of website you want to create, getting it up and running (even if at a very basic level) is certainly going to take you a few hours. If you can't wait that long, Jimdo is just what you need.
Perhaps the fastest website builder software available online, Jimdo lets you create and publish your website in minutes. This is done with the help of Dolphin, Jimdo's AI-powered website designer. Once you get started, Dolphin asks you a series of questions (e.g. type of website, intended audience). In addition, it also gathers all the information about you (or your business) from social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. Armed with these details, Dolphin works its magic and creates a website in just moments.
Of course, you can fine-tune the details (e.g. images, widgets and text boxes) on the website before publishing it.
From navigation menus and photos to music playlists and galleries, Jimdo Dolphin can add everything to your website. It comes with many tools that can be used to improve SEO and track visitors. All of Jimdo's design templates are mobile-responsive and have support for custom domains.
Best for Ease Of Use: Site123
Want a great-looking website that's also effortless to create? Site123 is exactly what you need. As its name suggests, Site123 makes building feature-loaded websites as simple as 1-2-3.
To get started, simply enter your website's content and Site123 will take it from there. You don't even have to drag and drop modules, as the website builder takes care of that. All of Site123's websites are fully mobile-responsive and look great across devices.
Site123 provides SEO tools to increase your website's search rankings. Websites can have unlimited pages, custom domains and even attached mailboxes. There's a built-in image library, custom form builder tool, social media integration and much more. Third-party plugins such as live chat and analytics can be used to further enhance the websites. Some other features offered by Site123 are drop-down menus, cookie consent plugins, password protection and Google Maps integration.
Best for Basic Websites: Google Sites
Not everyone needs a fancy website with animated menus, scrolling social media feeds and the like. For some, a basic Web portal with a few static pages will do just fine. If that includes you, take a look at Google Sites.
Google Sites is intended for those who just want to have a simple online presence on the Web. Just sign in with your Google account, and you can get started with building your very own website. There are a handful of themes to choose from, and anything from text to images can be added. You can also embed YouTube videos, Google Calendar events and more to Web pages. It's also possible to add multiple web pages to a website.
What makes websites created with Google Sites different from the rest is the fact that they are collaborative. You can add invite multiple users to add/update content on the website. This makes them perfect for planning meetings and sharing info on private networks.
What Is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a set of tools that help you build and set up a website without having to manually input the coding. A website builder may be online or offline. The offline version is a software program that is installed on your computer, letting you build the website and save the files to your computer. The online version is a web interface where you can make changes and they automatically appear. Using a website builder typically means that you don’t have to hire a web designer.
How Does a Website Builder Work?
A website builder works by providing the necessary computer code and templates to get your website up and running. It will provide customization options so you can choose what suits your business or personal needs. You input the words that you want to be displayed, and the website builder takes care of the structure and design of the site.
You can select from different layouts, color schemes, and backgrounds. You can also choose how many pages your site needs and what type of pages they should be. To create a page, upload your images to the website builder and add text to the page template. The website builder will also have additional features, such as social links and contact forms. You will be able to preview the site and make changes before it’s live.
How Much Does a Website Builder Cost?
Website builders vary in cost and features. Some website builders offer basic free services and then charge for add-ons. Typically, a website builder will cost a few dollars to several hundred dollars or more depending on how complex your site is. Keep in mind that you will also need to pay monthly hosting charges, which typically start at $5 to $15 per month. Other costs will include purchasing a domain name and possibly hiring someone to help you run the site or make changes to it.
Is a Website Builder Worth the Cost?
A website builder is necessary and worth the cost. Unless you know how to code and build a website from scratch, you will need the assistance of a website builder. Because there are so many to choose from, you can start with a free or inexpensive version of a website builder and then upgrade later. A website builder also helps your site look more professional, which can be attractive to customers and result in more sales or site visits.
Who Should Use a Website Builder?
You should use a website builder if:
- You’re building a new website and aren’t sure where to start
- You don’t have the know-how or time to completely build a website yourself
- You want to quickly launch your website to promote your goods or services
- You want a custom, personalized site that looks professional
- You want to link your site to your social media accounts
How We Chose the Best Website Builders
There are hundreds of website builders to choose from. We reviewed more than twenty before narrowing them down to our top recommendations. We compared website builders based on their features, ease of use, and the type of websites you can create. We also considered set-up times and integrations with other software, as well as editing tools.