My Review - by Jordan Bones {Home}

Website Builder Reviews

 

Building a website is hard, right? Well, it was like that 25 or 20 years ago, in the era of the growth of the Internet. But today, it’s in many cases not harder than clapping fingers – especially for simple sites that contain a few pages (up to 5 or 10). This task is easily implemented today using site builders – their market is on the rise and has been so since the 2000s. With many site builders, one can create and launch own site of almost any complexity (well, maybe, with a few exclusions when we’re talking about really big complex sites with hundreds of thousands of users of a daily audience and/or millions of active sessions a day (social media sites or online exchanges where professionals meet, as all other options are pretty doable). Below in this article, we are considering a list of 5 site builders, with their pros and cons, and what they are best for.

 

Top website builders to consider

We have collected five site builders for your attention:

  1. uKit

  2. Wix

  3. Weebly

  4. Squarespace

  5. Jimdo

 

  1. Description of one of the best website builders uKit

Users of uKit site builder are given with tremendous opportunities to power-up their sites with any of its tariff plans, beginning from the ‘Minimal’ package, which includes:

  • A possibility to connect a custom domain

  • Unlimited number of disk space to store files and pages online, a number of allowed users, and pages to be created, the same as SMS notifications about important events, domains to use, and 24/7 support that is mostly tuned to Russian-speaking and English-speaking audiences

  • Mobile friendliness from the start (while some site builders don’t offer this in the cheapest plan)

  • Backups to store up to 10 varying versions of your site (when their number reaches the point, you can select which one to delete to free the space) – they can be manual and automatic

  • Wide selection from over 2 hundred professionally looking categorized templates to simplify your initial choice.

 

Advantages:

  1. A great number of templates to choose from and many high-end capabilities already in the cheapest tariff plan, which not many site builders offer from the start.

  2. Small price and great discount options when paid for 6 months and longer time with one payment.

  3. A possibility to create e-commerce sites (web stores) to sell your merchandise with tens and hundreds of pages.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. You can’t create a large web store, as every page that you will create must be done manually, not automatically, so all further changes to already existing pages will slow down your working process, as they’ll be manual.

  2. Not the best choice for blogging sites compared to other site builders that are made to support specifically blogs.

 

The pricing model of this best website builder:

UKIT has one of the best models of pricing currently existing on the market:

  • Minimal for 4 dollars a month

  • Basic for 8 bucks

  • ‘eCommerce’ for 9.60

  • and ‘Pro’ for 12 dollars.

There are periods when users of uKit can largely economize on payments or have an additional period of usage. For instance, in the summer of 2019, all users paying for 6 months and more with one payment at once receive +3 months of completely free usage (6, 12, and 24 months). This is a wonderful opportunity considering that the initial (basic) price that we’ve highlighted above decreases, even more, when a user pays for 6, 12, and 24 months in one payment, up to -30% from the regular price. So, it’ll make you spend as little as 3.50, 7, 8.40, and 10.50 dollars a month.

 

  1. Description of a website maker Wix

It is one of the most popular site builders on the market, which powers today several dozens of millions of sites globally. Its simplicity and power are what attract users all over the world but you have to be prepared that this builder works well only with good Internet speed and kinda powerful laptop or a personal computer mounted on a table.

 

Advantages:

  1. Many options of tariff plans, which anyone can select for own needs.

  2. A big number of templates and tools to choose from.

  3. Simple and intuitive visual builder.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Only works well with a powerful computer of a user and a wide Internet connection channel.

  2. Not every paid plan eliminates Wix-branded banners on every page of the site.

  3. It mostly limits users in bandwidth and it always limits users in storage space.

 

Pricing model:

There are seven subscription plans – 3 for e-commerce and 4 for regular websites.

Starting from $4.50 a month, one can have 1 Gb bandwidth, 0.5 Gb storage space and a possibility to connect own domain, which, however, you have to buy additionally. Also, this plan does not eliminate Wix-branded ad banners all over your website (there may be several on each page of the site).

For 8.50 a month, it is possible to improve storage space & bandwidth, remove the branded ads and to receive a free domain for 12 months, with a possibility to store some video on the site (if, for some reason, you find YouTube improper place for that).

For $12.50, bandwidth is no longer limited, and storage increases up to 10 Gb, and a few extras are added.

For $24.50, storage increases up to 20 Gb, one gets social media logo files (if you haven’t managed to gain them manually before), priority response in the help center with a VIP status of a user in the support.

None of the above-described plans can help you with an e-store, which only appears in plans for 17, 25, and 35 dollars a month. They give you much better storage, a possibility to accept online payments with a free commission, many hours of video hosted, widened Google Analytics, and some money for ad promotion (the same as a few of non-e-commerce options allow you to have).

 

  1. Description of a website builder Weebly

It is one of the powerful website makers that allow you to create and run a web store. From the value for money considering the functionality of web stores, Weebly gives many really useful things like managing abandoned cart, a number of options of accepting payments, inventory management, different angles of representing your merchandise in a store, tax calculator, gift cards, shipping tracking, and many else.

 

Advantages:

  1. Powerful for e-stores.

  2. Has a number of subscription plans to choose from, including a free one.

  3. SEO optimization and tips already in the free subscription plan.

  4. Nice customizable templates, which allow you to create a number of professionally looking websites.

 

Disadvantages of performance:

  1. Its first two plans contain branded commercial on your site (and even when you opt for its cheapest paid option).

  2. You have to pay for 1 year at once to have the pricing mentioned below.

  3. Its drag-and-drop does not give you too much of creative freedom.

  4. You can’t restore your site unless you address specifically to the Weebly’s support team (there is no 100% guarantee they’ll be able to help you, though). And there are no backups for your site.

  5. You have to know how to code in order to more precisely fine-tune the looks of your website.

 

Pricing model:

The same as Wix, Weebly also offers subscription plans differing for regular websites and for e-commerce. However, many of them overlap in the definition of ‘e-commerce’ when you’re looking at their pricing pages.

  1. ‘Free’ with very limited storage space and banners.

  2. ‘Connect’ for 5 Euros a month with a possibility to connect a custom domain name.

  3. ‘Pro’ for 10 Euros a month withdraws limits for storage and removes ads, giving a possibility to add a shopping cart and some other features.

  4. ‘Business’ for 20 Euros a month, which largely expands doable actions in site building and embedding processes of payments into it, as well as in marketing and support.

  5. ‘Business Plus’ for 30 Euros a month gives you only one valuable add-on compared to ‘Business’ plan – managing an abandoned cart including e-mailing.

 

  1. Description of a website creator Squarespace

Squarespace site builder has been here for a while, giving its users a number of great options to make websites. It is easy to use and visually alluring, which is a perfect choice for beginners. However, if you’re advanced, it offers you to make changes in CSS and JavaScript to approach your pages more premium-style. A point to ponder about is that Squarespace does not allow its users to actually own the content they’re placing on the platform, and ultimately, they don’t own the content, while Squarespace does – through an acceptable use policy.

 

Advantages:

  1. This site builder was here from 2004 and has been developing ever since, adding great power to the websites it creates.

  2. Gorgeous templates with a super easy-to-use interface.

  3. Import tools so you can easily add content from the third-party sites or storages.

 

Disadvantages of this interactive website builder:

  1. You can’t just buy a subscription package and hope for a free not-branded domain name. You’ll have to buy it additionally.

  2. Its pricing is designed in a way to make people opt for the costliest subscription plan, as they carefully dose a number of things a user can do in each of its plans, each time leaving some scarcity to make a user want more.

  3. Content versioning is absent. So if you need to show that some product you’re selling lost 25% of its price recently, you’ll have to do it manually. The same, it does not allow auto-saving of pages and posts.

  4. One level of navigation only (main page and sub-lying pages, and that’s it).

  5. Not rich choice of possibilities to pay for merchandise – as you can do it only in two pretty costly channels (which may not work in many countries of the world).

  6. In one of its plans, it limits the number of contributors one may have within one site – for instance, having 2 of them in ‘Personal’ plan, you can’t have more than 2 bloggers, 2 webmasters, and so on.

 

Pricing model:

It offers 4 options of pricing: two for regular websites and 2 for online stores:

  1. For 16 bucks a month (or 12 if paid annually), you get unlimited storage and bandwidth, mobile optimization, basic metrics for your website, SSL, and limited contributors.

  2. For $26 (or 18 if paid annually), a user gets the same plus advanced metrics for the website, any number of contributors, e-commerce possibility with 3% transaction fee, a hundred dollars for Google Ads, mobile information bar, CSS and JavaScript are possible, widened integration, amongst the other added stuff.

  3. For 30 (26 on an annual basis) bucks, a user gets no-fees approach, a possibility to sell unlimited products, e-commerce metrics to sell better, inventory, tax, and coupons, check out on your domain, a possibility to have customer accounts, and place products on Instagram.

  4. For the costliest 46 (or 40 if paid for 12 months) dollars, you get the mentioned plus abandoned cart management, flexible discounts, more options for shipping, and gift cards among the other added possibilities.

 

  1. Description of a website builder Jimdo

This site builder tool powers up around 25 million sites globally. It offers you some e-commerce plans and it has 0-bucks subscription plan (a very limited, though). Globally rated, this site builder is below the average on the market.

 

Advantages:

  1. Unlimited storage space – but that only applies to the costliest plan.

  2. Help database is really helpful and concise.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. It is costly compared to many site builders and especially uKit (with 4 times comparable difference).

  2. In 4 out of its 5 subscription plans, it limits your site’s storage space, bandwidth, a number of created pages simultaneously active on your website, and the time needed for the support service to answer on your questions (1-2 working days).

  3. There are not many well-designed templates to choose from, their overall number is limited.

  4. No website-restore function.

 

Pricing model:

It offers 0-dollar subscription plan, then it continues through $10 per month, $16.5, $21, and $43.5, giving you pretty the same features (frankly speaking), which you can get in Weebly, Squarespace, or uKit for significantly lesser money (sometimes, 4 times cheaper).

Only in the costliest plan, it gives you unlimited storage space, bandwidth, and a number of pages your site can have, support response in less than 60 minutes. Only two costliest plans allow you to have an e-store (which includes 0% commission, any number of products to sell, and choice from a number of convenient payment methods). It offers annual billing only – for instance, are you ready to pay $522 instantaneously for a year of its costliest plan, when you have, as an example, uKit, with its 126 dollars per year? We aren’t sure that there are many people outside who would.

 

What’s a site builder

A builder of websites is online software that allows its users to create websites from scratch or based on one of many of its templates. Availability of professional and good-looking templates, their adjustability to users’ needs, and ease of work in a visual editor of a site builder are decisively the main parameters according to which online users choose one or another site builder.

Site builders can be specialized or, as it is the case with our list of builders that we’re observing today, they can do any type of website. With a few general exclusions, it is possible to make any type of the one:

  1. Personal – a type of a website that tells about a person, his or her life and achievements, outlook, and other related issues. This type of website has the main goal to represent a person and submit information. Before the wide emergence of social media, personal websites were widely popular amongst teenagers but largely faded today.

  2. Professional. These can be related to self-employed people or small companies or organizations, where it is told what they do and how to find them, giving a map, prices, examples of work, portfolio, feedback of their clients, and other relevant information.

  3. Club. Website, which gathers people with some mutual interest(s). These can be yachting, horseracing, equestrian sports, lovers of Star Wars, or basically anything other. They may have a club member’s personal account page, payment system, and informational content.

  4. E-commerce (online shops) – one of the most popular websites as well as the costliest ones on the list. They are used to make money by their owners, as it is possible to sell goods and services through them.

  5. Blogs. Widely used by bloggers, along with social media, to write about stuff: overviews of products or services, travel experience, and so on.

  6. News. These sites are very frequently updated and their value for their owners is a large number of visitors on a daily basis, to whom it is profitable to show advertising and sell subscriptions.

  7. Community. If your community needs organizational power, this can be a website for members of your community.

  8. Data exchange. These can be photo stocks and galleries, databases for research papers, software or pieces of code exchanges and others.

  9. Business (company) site to represent a company, its history and employees, products, social responsibility, innovations, contact data, catalogs, prices, and other important information.

 

Comparing hiring a person-programmer with using a website builder software

Pros of a human builder:

  1. You can tell him or her to build absolutely any type of website you want and it will be done.

  2. Even the biggest websites that aren’t constructed using site builders can be made by a person or a company-developer.

  3. You can go far beyond the existing templates that site builders offer you.

Cons of a human builder:

  1. It is costly. If a site builder tool allows building a website for a few bucks at least, then a professional builder will do that starting with thousands of dollars.

  2. Time-consuming. Do not expect to get a good, optimized, professional, and reliable website lesser than in weeks or months.

  3. Much routine bureaucracy is embedded. You have to make and agree on the technical specification for the website, test and check, seek for mistakes of its work, and test again. All these are added with paperwork, agreements of all important steps, feedback and payment schedule.

Pros of a tool builder:

  1. You can start a website within minutes or hours. Some AI-powered site builders are ready to shrunken the time to deliver a ready-made website to minutes starting from registering in the site builder to having a website hosted online. It is extremely important when you need to share your business contact to someone but you don’t yet have a website (so you can do it in a PC on your lap during some business seminar or a meeting).

  2. It is fast also due to the absence of bureaucracy.

  3. It is cheap – starting from 0 dollars a month to a couple of dozen bucks a month, you can have a nicely built website to represent you and/or your company online.

  4. Most site builders offer a try-and-buy period, so you won’t get to pay instantaneously if you wish only to try its resources before deciding.  

Cons of a tool builder:

  1. If you opt for a trial period, then when it’s over but you don’t pay for prolongation of using your website, its contents will be deleted after some time. So everything you might have done before, including customization, will no longer be available after deletion.

  2. You have to pay every month to keep using it (or on the annual basis, depending on what pricing is offered in this or that site builder) unless you don’t want it deleted. While in the man-builder option, you just pay for hosting if you don’t need anything to be changed on your website (which is cheaper).

  3. You can’t build a website of any complexity. Creative capabilities of your oeuvre will be limited to what is offered in the interface of site builders.

 

Who might use simple website builder

We would like to divide users of site builders into five big types:

  1. Ones who want a website fast and don’t want to overpay for speed to any website-making studio.

  2. Ones who don’t have money to pay for it or, at least, not as big money as website-making studios would require.

  3. Who are deep enough into making sites and there is no problem for him or her to make one with own hands (although the process is not more sophisticated than using Paintbrush and MS Word and in most cases, even lighter than them).

  4. Who are just ‘playing’ to see whether he or she can receive anything good out of own efforts.

  5. The ones who are learning how to create sites using site builders to see and define the HTML code behind each element, to write down the script and learn it.

The latest category embraces people who want to sell their services of website creation later. They understand that if site builders are the modern tool that allows creating modern and powerful websites, then no possible existing book about websites creation will be as useful as practical knowledge received by hands and eyes in the thorough experience of making real websites based on great templates or from the scratch. Although it is possible that some site builders would hide some pieces of code from the page to the core, where they are not so easily reachable by beginners in coding, learning is still widely possible.

 

Features to search for in the easiest website builder

  1. Simplicity. If you are not confident in websites creation stuff, site builders give a wonderful opportunity to master everything thanks to the simplicity of their interface. So choose those, in which it will be simple to work for you.

  2. The number of templates and ease of their adjustment. The more templates you will have in the selected site builder, the better are the chances to personify the selected one with great speed. Maybe some of them will look already as you desire. What if it’ll be so cool that you will only have to write in your name and relevant data to launch it online? The more time you spend on searching the proper template, the lesser time and efforts will be required to tune it to your needs.

  3. Load times. It is important for user satisfaction and SEO. The lesser time it takes to render fully on the screen of a user, the better your website will be for both.

  4. Uptime. 99%-100% of uptime is a great indicator, meaning that your website will be almost always available for the general audience.

  5. Good customer service. You don’t want to be left alone with your worries and questions, right?

 

Pieces of advice to choose a web page builder

Here are the things you should consider when searching for a proper site builder:

  • Cost. It is maybe one of the most important criteria that make users adopt the decision – whether to use it or not. If for the users from the developed countries, 15-20 bucks a month really mean nothing, then for the rest of the world, this price may be crucial and crushing.

  • Coding skills. If they are required at the start, you may consider another site builder to choose if you’re not pro in coding.

  • Drag-and-drop. This easy feature will simplify and accelerate your work, allowing you to have many options to choose from to personify the dropped elements. If it is hard for you, then you always have plenty of other site builders to select from.

  • Plugins and widgets. If a person can sign up to receive your call right from the site’s pages, it can boost up your sales. This is only one of many widgets to embed on your website. Other options may be signing up for the newsletter, receiving a discount right now, showing a map in a separate window with your address, the way how to get there, and so on.

 

Industries’ best options of website builders company

Small business will find powerful uKit and Squarespace nice for building anything they want.

Bloggers will be happy about Wix and Jimdo, as they let many blogging opportunities, with a few simple steps that these creators can guide you through: starting a website, activating a blog, writing, and publishing. You’ll have tags, categories, adjustable layouts, fonts, and pictures to distinguish you; sharing on social media is simple. People today want to start a blog to earn money by such channels as affiliate marketing, selling advertising space on popular blog websites, sell some products through the blog, sponsored writing, sell own pieces of something (training courses, books, unique knowledge, and the stuff).

Photographers can use literally any site builder from our list but we’d recommend Squarespace and uKit.

E-commerce becomes more powerful than ever with Weebly, while professionals in creating sites would think that editing possibilities of CSS an HTML that Squarespace offers as website creation services are good enough for them. Also, pros tend to choose other powerful features like backups, download of pages and the entire content of the site, and other ones.

Mobile friendliness is of a world-class in every represented site builder, starting with uKit, ending with Wix.

Drag-and-drop is the basis for functionality of any site builder here, but if to point at two, then maybe Squarespace and Jimdo would be to your liking.

 

Consumer website builder reviews

  1. Alexander from Budapest, Hungary, about uKit: This site builder was my choice for a number of reasons and simply because it was better than any other site builder that I've explored up to date. I did a blog with it, and now, after 15 blog posts in it, I have gained over 1,000 readers a month, meeting my first goal. It gave me everything I needed from SEO, technical usability, simplicity of use, and updating my website.

  2. Ethan from Vienna, Austria, about Wix: A powerful tool that I used to make my own e-store. I previously had one that wasn’t built in a website builder and I was somewhat dissatisfied with it. Now I have done a completely new store and I’m hoping that it will work better. At least, it looks better for me already.

  3. Henry Oakenfield from Houston, the US, about Weebly: It’s the website builder to make stores online the best of all. However, I didn’t know that when I started making a blog on Weebly’s basis. Not to say I am dissatisfied with the result – it’s just I’ve heard that there are other tools better for blogging than Weebly. However, the website works great (though I can’t say it thrives) and I don’t plan to change a builder in the future. At least, not now.

  4. Sebastian Amirron from Genova, Italy, about Squarespace: This is a wonderful platform to build a website for our firmly-sitting company that produces automobile tires. After the management of our company have decided to hire a person who would lead the initial developments of the website on a contractual basis, the site was ready and fine-tuned within 3 months (considering all bureaucracy), and there is no longer need in an additional person – as he built it, told everything we needed to now to maintain the website, and we’re only paying for the monthly hosting now. It was significantly cheaper for us than we would pay for creating and maintenance in a developing firm.

  5. Quinn from Seville, Spain, about Jimdo: For my small typography, there was no better choice than to make a website with my own hands. Indeed, it lasted 3 hours and now, over a weekend, I have started and shaped my own website: simple yet attractive, eye-catchy yet non-extravagant. Jimdo is a perfect solution for me, as an entrepreneur who only works 1 year on the market and doesn’t have enough clientele yet.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about quick website builders

  • Can I build my first website alone?

Yes. Website builders are designed to do that. They are made for people who are not advanced in making websites and don’t know anything concerning the processes of making websites, hosting them, placing pictures, texts, video, and other types of content into website’s pages, and especially are not proficient in sales processes, which are required to start and run a web store. However, they are not only for beginners but also for advanced users, who know how to make and change the code of HTML, CSS, and how to use JavaScript among the other website building stuff. If you start your first time ever creation of a website, it’ll take you from hours to days to launch it.

 

  • How much does it cost to launch a website from start to finish?

The price ranges widely, depending on what exactly you are looking for to be on your website (what features it must contain). Simple enough sites, not e-commerce, may cost you zero for their entire lifecycle. E-commerce will cost you from several dozen to several hundreds of bucks a month. Some website builders have a trial period (for free) during 2-4 weeks to let you savor the taste of making a website. However, if you’re not satisfied with a big number of limitations that a free usage imposes, you have to pay.

 

  • Mobile device responsiveness

Every modern website builder must definitely give you a possibility to create a mobile version of a site, as, in 2019, over 50% of the global population (of the planet) use mobile devices to roam online. It is not even obligatory to have a computer or laptop anymore, as mobile devices are more widespread, powerful, and laconic, having one super-major advantage over any other computing device – exceptional mobility. The same as a modern man can’t imagine oneself without a mobile phone in hands every day, the same we can’t imagine that some web builder isn’t giving you a mobile version of a website. If it doesn’t – switch to another website builder instantaneously.

 

  • Drag-and-drop editors

Drag-and-drop editors are the basis for a visual interface of website builders. They are used by every user, no matter what technical background they have. Using the drag-and-drop option, it is possible to position elements on the page, change the way they look and feel, and adjust processes of working with clients (subscription, payment, delivery, leaving feedback, and so on). Without dragging and dropping, no thinkable work within website builders could be possible.

 

  • Domain names

A domain name is a unique name of your website on the Internet. The more it looks professional the better is the general feeling about its usage. For instance, a branded name of a website looking like ‘thisismysite.brandedwebsitebuilder.somethingelse.com’ is a not good choice, as it is visually non-appealing and hard to remember. However, the name like ‘mysite.com’ is a wow-great. So if a website builder offers you to have its branded name for 0 bucks a month, it is not the best choice but it’s not unforgivable as you don’t pay anything. Many website builders offer their users to buy a good domain name only for costly subscription plans or even to do it in addition to the money paid for the subscription.

 

  • SEO

Every website must be SEO-friendly if its owner wants to make it enter some search engine results. If you don’t care about that – then don’t worry about SEO. In another case, we advise you to undergo some online courses (or read the articles) about basics of SEO to know that SEO is a tool that can make you enter the top of search results, which will significantly increase the inflow of customers to your website.