The Most Popular Website Builders
Website builders are a quick alternative for creating a site. While it's best if you have coding and design skills because in this case you can make the site look and work exactly to your liking. That said, most website builders can actually be used by anybody, even if he or she has absolutely no coding/design skills. Here are the most popular website builders - they all allow to build a basic site but many of them have advanced functionality, such as a shopping cart, promotion tools, or various widgets as well.
Web Design Cources
Wix is a great choice for any kind of site, but it's especially good if you want to build an interactive site with lots of images. It's a drag&drop builder that offers huge customization options. Wix comes with hundreds of free templates you can use as is or build upon them. This website builder has many options, so at first it might look hard to deal with, but once you get used to it, you will see it's a really user-friendly tool. The basic functionality of Wix is free, as well as most of the advanced tools (shopping cart, promotion tools, widgets), but this is because it comes with ads. If you want to get rid of ads, you can upgrade to one of its paid packages.
Shopify is your best choice if you plan to run an online store and you are serious about it. Shopify comes with a free 14 day trial, after which you either switch to a paid plan (ranging from $29 to $179 at the time of the writing of this article), or go elsewhere. Even most of the paid plans come with a 1 or 2 per cent transaction fee, which means you really need to have a solid business in order to justify the expenses. However, aside from that, Shopify is really awesome because it not only provides a plethora of templates, promotional tools, etc. but it also handles payment, invoicing, fulfillment, and shipping, so you can concentrate your efforts on building your store, not on the administrative chores related to running it.
Homestead is one more advanced website builder (and beyond) to consider. Similarly to Shoppify, it comes with a free trial and 3 paid plans (ranging from $4.99 to $59.99 a month). Homestead offers a lot - hundreds of customizable templates, over 1.1 million royalty free images, e-commerce and promotion tools, though for its price its features seem kind of limited. In other words, Homestead isn't for those of you who want a quick and cheap builder because most of the paid functionality here you can find elsewhere for free, but since it's a comprehensive solution, if you want everything under one roof, Homestead is a good choice.
With a name like that, Web is certainly a popular site. However, its popularity is due not only to its catchy name but also to the nice features of its website builder. The website builder is only one of the numerous services offered on this site and it has everything you can expect from a website builder - 9500+ design layouts and free templates, thousands of royalty free images, free domain name (though this could be a trap, if you later want to migrate your site elsewhere), marketing, payment, and shipping options. Web.com is a good website builder without being something extraordinary, but it does a good job if you want a quick and simple site.
Webs is one of the website builders that has been around for quite a lot of time. Probably, today it isn't as popular as it used to be when there wasn't that much competition, but still it's a top choice for many types of sites. With Webs, you can create a business, a group/organizational, or a personal site. In addition to its free version (the features of which can be quite sufficient for most of us), there are also paid plans. In terms of features, Webs is just fine - free drag&drop templates, lots of customization options, SEO and promotion, etc. Its reports and analytics deserve mentioning, as well as the option to create a custom Facebook page with another service of theirs, called Pagemodo.
6. Dynamik, CobaltApps' Genesis Website Builder
While there is nothing wrong with static sites, sometimes you simply need a dynamic site. For such cases you might want to consider Dynamik, a dynamic website builder based on the Genesis theme. Its output is HTML5 compliant and responsive and it requires no coding/design skills to use it. Dynamik costs $79.95, but with all the perks it has, it's by no means a ripoff.
Compared to the more powerful website builders on the list, WebStarts looks like a poor relative, but in fact it has everything you need in order to create a basic site. It has free templates, e-commerce functionality, SEO and promotion tools and it doesn't cost a dime. The free version is limited to 5 pages only and it contains ads, so if you want something better, you can choose one of the paid plans but for a very basic site even the free WebStarts functionality is just fine.
8. Ecommerce Website Builder from Volusion
If e-commerce is the focus of your site, this website builder is one more alternative to consider. It has a free trial and numerous paid plans, so chances are, you will be able to get exactly the plan that suits you most. As you can expect, the website builder comes with tons of templates to choose from, payment processing, SEO and promotional tools, etc.
Even if you are an experienced designer, website builders are a viable option to consider. They help you get a site up and running much faster than if you build it from scratch. If you have no design/coding skills whatsoever, then website builders might look too hard to use, but in fact they aren't and, odds are, they might be your best option on the way to building your site.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
da is a fulltime freelancer and enjoys every second of it. She is also the Blogger Relations Manager at WinkPress.com, which is a web resource about leveraging WordPress, its themes, and plugins to create versatile and unusual websites.