Best website builders for 2019 – CNET
building a website has come a long way since the neon-text-on-black-background-days of Angelfire, and MySpace. Now you can easily and professionally present your services or business without the need for ato know that , HTML, or look like a middle schooler online-science-project.
The website builder industry has grown significantly over the past 10 years, and it can be overwhelming for beginners. But that complexity and growth also means that you have more options than ever before, and you can easily find the best website builder tailored to your wishes and needs. It is true that a few website builder favorites have emerged-and these sites are usually a good place to start-but also the front-runner,for each scenario. Make it easy for you, we have compiled all the information you need to make a good decision for the best website builder and get to the fun part of designing your Website.
*Ab-price is not included in cheaper plans, if you are ad-supported. Some providers offer free domain hosting for the first year on some plans, as well.
These services can be independently selected by our editors. CNET, can a share of the revenue, if you buy anything featured on our site.
To compile this list of the best website builders we researched the prices, plans and features from over 12 different home builders and one of the crawled website builder reviews from multiple sites, including PCMag, Wirecutter, website tool tester, site Builder report, WPBeginner and more, to see where it achieve a consensus. We also have the respondents CNET staff, and finally spent the time to build some test sites with the help of the following tools (if we are not already users). We pay special attention to the categories, which differ not only, a side of the other, but don’t really care, entrepreneurs, artists and creators.
If you are at the end of the list, you’re still not sure what direction to go, we have a guide at the bottom, including the most important questions you should ask as you begin your online venture. Finally, if you already have a website and need a host, or you’re interested in building a WordPress Website, take a look at our list of the best web hosting services.
Jump to: How to choose the best website builder
Wix is the clear frontrunner in the race to website builder domination. It is the largest player, with over 110 million webWebsites built, and has the largest amount of tools, skills and freedom.
Like many of its competitors in this space, Wix is a freedom offers-plan, you can create a free website starter Website with ads. If you like what you see, you can spend for a premium, ad-free site. The pricing falls within industry standards with a $13 per month Combo plan that covers most of the needs for a personal website, up to $49 per month “Business VIP” e-commerce plan for your online Shop. These prices do not include domain, so you need to these separately. And if you have an interest in statistics and Analytics, you get a paid Google Analytics account or another third-party tool, such as Wix on his own.
Although they are the clear favorite among most reviewers, Wix has a few demerits. Wix was one of the few builders that with data, the restrictions that apply to the individual plan levels, so if you want to upload, an infinite number of photos and videos, or expect more than 5,000 visitors a month to your Website, make sure that you have the math to do before you a plan.
Also the editor is freedom and choice of options can be overwhelming for people who don’t have the time or the inclination, to the many small decisions, and the design flexibility means that you need to be more hands-on with the format and layout, which, in contrast to more structured or limited editors, where you can’t draw too far outside the lines.
Squarespace appears to us as a child in school,-eye-catching and hip on the surface, but the substance is missing including. We found it to be between Wix and Weebly in terms of usability, but it got generally positive scores from reviewers for the quality of design. Where we think it could really Shine for small to medium-sized businesses who want a beautifully designed page and space for e-commerce growth with lower transaction fees.
The Squarespace editor is not as intuitive as Wix and Weebly, require a bit of work until you get the hang of it. There are a lot of add-ons, website templates and tools, and the universal style editor and powerful image-editing are helpful. The responsive website editor means that your site will always look good on mobile, but you will not be able to mobile-specific edits, such as with Wix or Duda. We also found consistent good grades, helpful, and responsive customer support, the calm should an entrepreneur spirit.
Squarespace starts with a $12-per-month Personal plan, also with unlimited space, bandwidth and domain, and offers an $18-Business-site plan, includes unlimited contributors, a Gmail pro account and e-commerce functions. If you are looking for a “Online Shop” plan, you can choose between $26 and $40 per month, the latter of which contains a few final touches, such as abandoned cart recovery, and gift cards. It is important to note that the $26 online planning to Shop, while maybe a little over the market price for an e-commerce Website, comes with no transaction fees. So depending on your sales in a particular month, the savings for our online Shop can really add up.
Overall, Squarespace website is a good analogy for what you get with their products: clean, professional and inviting design, but without the layers of the design power or freedom of other builders.
Weebly flies under the radar relative to Wix, with more than 50 million sites created, but offers some good options, depending on your needs. If you want a simple and easy-to-use do-it-yourself website editor, a large plot of land (more than 25 to 30 pages), unlimited space, Website, portability and affordable, but powerful online-Shop-features, Weebly is a good David to Wix plays ‘ s Goliath.
The editor is one of the easiest to use, and the low learning curve yet networks great-looking Websites. That ease-of-use means that the editor is more limited in terms of add-ons and design flexibility, and the range of options, or a mobile adaptation, which has a builder like Wix doesn’t have to. However, in our Tests, we never came to a point where we can find, to limit these restrictions. For a high-octane web designer though, it could come out.
the Weebly prices are similar to competitors such as Wix or Squarespace, but his free-plan-option is one of the most generous generators free website, and for only $5 a month you can get up and running with your own domain name (even if with Weebly ads). His US $12-per-month plan will give you skills an ad-free Website with analytics and commerce, while the $25 plan, you get tools and more Shop, such as taxes and shipping calculator, inventory management and discounts.
Weebly is a good option for those who may be more restricted in terms of your time investment, and commerce options to outshine competitors such as Wix and Squarespace. For those who are wary to commit to a website builder know that you will not be able to pick up and later, Weebly also offers you the possibility to download the site files, so you can move to another host, a rarity in the site builder landscape.
Duda is built to be a small player compared to the other builders at the top, with around 15 million websites, and it focuses on a specific segment of the market: designers and design agencies. It is aimed at individuals and groups that make a lot of sites, but with a powerful and easy-to-use generator, and a number of differentiated offerings, it is a good option for all those, the development of an online presence.
Duda is builder provides a number of functions that deal with it, including the mobile site customization, detailed data analysis (e.g. advanced metrics, such as form, time on page and bounce rate), and user personalization, so you can easily show certain messages or promotions to the users based on the time of day, your location or your browsing history. It is also known for its multi-lingual support, and a free e-commerce add-on that allows you to sell up to 10 products.
Duda is the price is a little higher than that of its main competitors such as Wix and Weebly, starting at $14 per month for the Basic plan. For $22, you can have up to four editors for your site (instead of just a Basic), access advanced analytics, and start with Duda as a white label/custom branded generator, another one of Duda’s selling points. His “Agency” plan at $74 per month is aimed at web designers who build sites for multiple clients, and includes eight sites, and the ability to download site files for portability.
Duda is a little expensive, but fills some of the cavities, the major players have, such as analytics, multi-lingual features and better personalization and mobile adaptation.
GoDaddy is best known for their custom domain name and web-hosting services, so it makes sense that it also offers website builder software. The problem is that it feels very much like a fringe benefit — it doesn’t seem like it in the development and effort that some of the mainstream site, players such as Wix, Duda, and Weebly have time to create. However, if you are in search of simplicity and a user-friendly interface, GoDaddy could be a good option.
GoDaddy “GoCentral” generator is one of the easiest tools available, but it is also the most restrictive. You can create a website and get it live in an hour or two, and the rigid structures and the lack of customization options means it will look good, even if not dramatically unique. It is a challenge to certain limited changes to the pre-designed templates with pre-defined templates, you are, as a rule, on the add a content block, the default text, image, and formatting, instead of being able to add, drag or drop the individual elements. The editor is more of a Madlibs-style fill-in-the-blank instead of a responsive, free-flowing experience.
isn’t It a little ironic that it’s name offering a domain in its prices, its core products, but other than that there are not too many surprises. The $6 monthly plan is straight-up basic; $10 gets you a PayPal option, and SEO help; $15 attacks on E-Mail marketing and social media integration, and its $20-per-month plan for online store the features are actually pretty impressive. You will receive abandoned cart recovery, inventory management, discounts and promotions, and Amazon, Etsy and eBay integrations-most of which are usually only for a online business to higher prices.
GoDaddy is a well-known name, but not for the site generator. However, we want to, that there is a super-easy and not to expensive way, for those who don ‘ T care about some of the style rankings, and multi-faceted Designs.
When most people talk about WordPress, they are usually referring to the free, open-source software available on WordPress.org. This is very powerful, but it takes some time to learn and still requires that you have a website Hosting and domain name. If you are interested in the advanced route WordPress.org we recommend you check out a tutorial or instructions on how this can be found on WPBeginner or website tool tester to learn how it works.
The WordPress.com website-generator is something else. It is similar to other builders listed, and is directed, first and foremost, a Blogger and a writer. The editor is rather limited compared to other services, but is simply furnished and has everything you need for blogging. We should also note that it is not an intuitive drag-and-drop website builder like Wix or Weebly.
the pricing is pretty cheap, starting at $5 per month to remove WordPress ads and give you the 6 GB of memory. From there it then goes to $8 to 13GB of storage, and online-selling-functions, and finally, a $25 option, enables the use of custom themes and add-ons. The $8 option seems like the best thing, if you’re setting up a blog and think about money earn it at some point.
Overall, is WordPress to Blogger, the do not want or need to spend a lot of time on website design, but it feels very limited for most other use cases. That is, someone who should for more robust off-the-shelf CMS (content management systems) options to consider, Joomla and Drupal. Both are likely to be less user-friendly than WordPress, but offer more customization options. At least one CNET editor, the loading of the pages also accelerates the feeling that Drupal and Joomla also offered faster.
If Wix is the clear favorite for most of the site-building needs, Shopify fulfilled this role for an e-commerce store. The platform offers a simple and user-friendly way, an e-commerce website that store up and running online, and it supports entrepreneurs during the entire process with their e-commerce tools. Shopify is not a safe place to start for most of the “e-Tailer”, although similar to Wix, that means it is perfect for every scenario.
Like most of the other commerce-focused builders, Shopify platform is focused on your product and sales details. Fortunately, for those without a ton of experience, the establishment of a retail operation, Shopify process that you don’t miss an important step, as it leads you through the inventory, customer information and tax and shipping costs. And if you still have questions, Shopify 24-7 phone and chat support and a very active online community forum.
Given that its user base is not quite defined, Shopify offers a plethora of plan options, and their prices above the market average. The “Basic Shopify” plan is $29 per month and covers most of the basic needs for an online store, while the $79-a-month plan, gift cards and more account offers. From our point of view, it was hard to rationalize the $50 jump from basic to standard, but when you factor in the reduced transaction fees, and shipping discounts, it could make sense. If you are a larger operation, they also offer a $299 per month plan.
The biggest disadvantage of Shopify is probably its price model. If you want the support, guidance, and a construction worker, takes care of most of the technical details that are more cost worth it. And many of the apps are tempting, but they can also add, if you are the ones that cost extra. If, after examination of the various e-commerce functions, you are still on the fence, we recommend that you calculate the total cost for additional add-ons and the transaction fees on the basis of their sales, and then compare it with competitors like BigCommerce, which offers more product variants and combinations, and lower fees.
BigCommerce lives up to its name — it is best for medium to large online stores, costs can be in cash, to the lack of additional transaction and unlimited product variations. To use the Shop-site generator may not be quite as easy as Shopify, but the amount of time you used to spend, it could save a lot of money on the street.
The editor has a lot of features and flexibility, when you get up, but similar to Wix, that can be overwhelming for beginners. If you have a little experience, however, these features and tools, you to grow — how the product variants and tax rates-is likely to come in handy, such as or if you are already on the scale
BigCommerce price levels are the same with Shopify is $29 (Standard), $79 (Plus) and $249 (Pro), but what you get in each level different. Even the lowest BigCommerce plan at $29 and offers its clients unlimited users, unlimited bandwidth and storage, unlimited products, and no additional transaction fees. You can also create your e-commerce site after eBay, Google Shopping and Amazon. Where the prices is a bit more complicated with the turnover thresholds: The default plan only supports an annual turnover of less than $50,000, while Plus 150,000 in support of up to $Per, up to 400,000 US dollars. So basically you save a lot of money on transaction fees, the rack level, the more sales you up, but if you have enough sales, you need to upgrade to the next plan.
As with all online Shop owners, it will be worth it to do a little math, based on your product inventory, and the expected turnover. No transaction fees-you can even have a discount deal worked out with PayPal, where you can get an additional 0.5% to 1% — can save appears to us as an important deal-maker depending on your size, so if you have a larger operation, you can use the 15-day trial version and give BigCommerce a shot.
How to choose the best website builder
in view of the plethora of options and the fact that many website builders don’t allow you to pick up and move later, it is important to enter the fight with a clear idea of what you need. From the first establishment of their priorities and the direction, it will be easier to find a match for the best website builder and avoid buyer’s remorse down the road.
In terms of pricing, the offer, most of the builders two to four different price levels, each with a different set of functions. As a result, the comparison of services can be difficult, because they make it easy to line up the apples-apples, but this is a big reason why we have this handy guide!
in General, you can use the built in get a good custom website for around $8 to $10 per month with an annual subscription. The majority of e-commerce plans are between $20 to $25 per month, and if you are a enterprise-style plan with multiple editors and VIP-level support, the prices go up to $300 per month for the premium plans.
” storage and bandwidth are unlimited in the rule, but there are exceptions, such as Wix, the scales, the level of the storage capacity according to the plan. And, even in its lowest stages-the plan has a reasonable amount (3GB of memory and enough bandwidth to support up to 5,000 visitors per month).
According to the big questions, such as the price and the storage, find the best website builder is everything what you looking are for. The following are some guiding questions to ensure that you are ready to shop like an expert and find the best website builder for your needs.
What is the purpose of your Website?
your first step should be to determine the primary goal of your web presence. Do you want to sell a product? You pull potential customers for your services? You build up a portfolio page?
By the first device of its raison d ‘ etre, you’ll be able to prioritize, with the tools, plugins and features you want in your generator, and not get dragged off track by a chic add-on that does not actually help to achieve your goal. If you are interested in the first place, racking up sales, start with the e-commerce specialists, such as Shopify and BigCommerce. When you start a photographer or designer with a beautiful portfolio Website, Wix, and Squarespace are good places to be. Wix could edge Squarespace if you want to have more control over the design, while Squarespace could be better, if you just want a stylish framework for your work.
If you want to use just something simple, Weebly and GoDaddy both offer intuitive clients, with Weebly offers more features and design finesse, while GoDaddy is much easier and more limited. If you are setting up a Website or store, and you want to show you a tailor-made experience for the user, or you have something specific in mind for the mobile version of your Website, Duda provides the most customization options. And if you have a wordsmith who can’t be bothered, of design decisions and fancy editors, WordPress can help you, your blog, and offers good opportunities to reach your readers.
How much time do you want to invest in the construction of your site?
This will of course vary depending on a number of factors, not the least of which is how clear the design vision you have and whether you already have experience with building a website. That being said, each Website builder has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the level of usability or user-friendliness is based on the functions, the flexibility and the intuitive design of the user interface for editing. At one end of the spectrum you have a builder such as Wix, which is very easy to use, but also comprehensive — the sheer number of options and tools, making it difficult to stir up a site quickly. On the other hand, you have a builder such as WordPress or GoDaddy, which will not provide you with a ton of options when building your pages.
Most people want to devote enough time to your Website, it serves its purpose you are represented online in a good light, so we generally recommend you to learn take the time, your editor, and take advantage of the many options available.
How much design control do you want to do?
This goes hand-in-hand with the time-investment because you have more control, the more choices you have. There are builders such as Squarespace, which have a fairly rigid design structure, but still, you can customize fonts, colors, and content, and at the other end of the spectrum you have a site like Wix, you can use the objects anywhere on your Website (at your own risk!), or Duda, which allows you to customize the mobile experience or the ability to create custom user interfaces based on the browser history.
How big is your page?
Some editors are more geared towards large Website structures (40 plus pages) than others, so it is important to know whether you have a ton of pages and sections, or whether it is more in the range of a glorified digital business card or fancy-work portfolio.
The number of navigation levels, for example (you can think of, like file-folder (or establishment): a page in a directory to another directory three-levels of navigation), would be an important consideration can. Most of the pages probably need two levels-the sections and the pages in each section, but online Shops and other types of Websites more. Weebly and BigCommerce are probably the best examples for builders, the support of the major site structures, and Squarespace, and Wix, you are limited to two levels of navigation.
How important is e-commerce?
Each Builder, we researched, an e-commerce option available, but that does not mean that they are all up to the task. A Website such as WordPress is not really what you want if your plan is to sell products online, while a site like Shopify or BigCommerce is explicitly geared to online sales and e-commerce features. If you really want power just to have a clean and easy-to-use online shop, one of the dedicated e-commerce builders to make the most sense, but if it is more of an ancillary service or just nice, you can with the generator, feel the best, and sign up for the e-commerce option. There are also builders like Duda, which will allow it to sell up to 10 products for free of charge with a different plan.
How big is your turnover?
the transaction fees: we are not small business owners, we do as mathematics, and these variable suggested especially important to us. If you have $to sell 10,000 products a month with a 3% seller processing fee, you will have to spend an additional $300 per month. If you are paying for your site to host an additional 1% to 3%, that’s another $100 to $300. These numbers greatly eclipse the monthly rate that you pay, and you add even more if you sell considerably more. So, before you decide on a builder, make sure to read the small print about transaction fees.
Many builders do not charge on the top of the Square or the Paypal rate (usually 3%), but some do. Shopify charges extra if you don’t Shopify payments, but if you use their services, you can get a rate of under 3%. Then there are sites such as BigCommerce, which is not charged extra, and even has a PayPal discount, but the sales the boundaries for each plan.
We know you’re a smart and savvy entrepreneur, pay attention to the books, but we thought it would still help to remind you: do the math before you sign.
How flexible you want to be with the host?
As we already mentioned above, many builders lock you into their hosting service, but not all. If you are afraid of commitment or think you might want to change, how to develop your company or services, go with a service like Weebly or Duda, which allows you to upload your website files for easy use on a different computer.
The other important factor here is the free trial version period of time. The industry standard is around 14 days, but some go up to a month, and others will not but a test phase, you’re not back your money within 30 days if not satisfied.
Originally published earlier this year. It has been updated in order to better the free option available in Wix.
Released on Fri, 06 Dec 2019 04:09:00 +0000