Best 5 Free And Paid Website Builders 2019 | Small Computing.net
If you have an organization or a small business you need a website to showcase and promote your products or service. A professional-looking website always adds credibility in the eyes of your customers. And if you have a beloved hobby, a website can be a great way to share your passion with the world. Fortunately, nowadays it is very easy to build a website with the help of website builders, the number of which had grown over the past several years. But with the vast, diverse choice comes the agony of choosing. You will have to sort through one website builder after another to find the best option. In order to save you some time and effort we’ve compiled this short list of five best free and paid websites.
This is the easiest and the most popular website builder that you may find on the internet. With its help you can create a highly customized web-site for free even if you are just a beginner. Wix offers you a spectacular selection of beautiful templates to choose from as soon as you sign up. What’s very interesting and unique about Wix is their Artificial Design Intelligence tool: it asks you a few questions and creates a basic design website in a few seconds. But that’s not all, they have a pixel-perfect drag and drop editor. This tool allows you to position any element at any pixel on the screen, which means you get total control over the layout. Not so many website builders let you animate text and images, but Wix does. Wix’s App Store is flooded with addons: online bookings, newsletter, advanced SEO, email marketing, integration with 3rd party services like Instagram feeds and calendars. If you happen to have any troubles, inquiries or complaints, Wix’s 24/7 support will help you over the phone/email/livechat. You can always revert to older stages of your website via “Site History” in case you did something wrong.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to switch templates, once you’ve started. The free package only offers 500MB of storage and 1 GB if bandwidth. Upgraded plans range from $5 to $25 a month. Another downside of free or cheap plans is that it has the Wix ad and it is very visible. Plus the free URL is too long and not easy to remember.
- Quick and easy registration process
- Over 475 professional looking HTML5 templates
- Mobile optimized version of your website
- Easy Social Media integration
- Unlimited depth of navigation
- Excellent App Market with premium and free add-ons
- No access to ecommerce tools in free version
- Doesn’t provide its own email
Example of websites:
Seven Grams Caffe
In case you want to create a website mainly for blogging, Wordpress is exactly what you need, since it is the most well-established blogging platform. It is quite popular too and a thousand of blogs powered by WordPress can prove it. There are both paid and free templates, although there aren’t many of free ones. It must be mentioned, however, that unlike its competitors WordPress can be tricky to work with and may require some learning, if you are a beginner. This platform includes Inherent Search engine optimization which helps create pages that are optimized to feature in the top search results from Google, Yahoo and Bing and you don’t have to stress a lot about SEO. On top of that you get no limit on pages and you can create your website in any language from a list of more than 70 languages. There is an option of scheduling your publications and saving posts. Finally, WordPress has built a large and diverse community over the years, so you can always participate in discussions and even find new clients/colleagues/interesting people among its members. WordPress offers amazing ready-made themes, mobile-optimized templates, and widgets that allow you to include everything from comments to images.
Naturally, if you upgrade to a paid version, you’ll get a free domain, removed ads, larger storage space and the option of email and live chat support. The ad in the free version is quite visible. There is no drag and drop editor, not many options of support unless you upgrade. There is limited customization of page layout and the interface is rather counterintuitive.
- Automatic backup of your website
- Your software is updated without the need for any intervention
- Almost all popular third-party tools already have integrations available for WordPress
- Great content management system
- Unlike WordPress.org, you can’t install custom plugins or themes unless you pay for a business plan
- Lack of eCommerce features unless you upgrade to Business which costs $24 per month
- Custom Layouts Are Hard To Use
Examples of websites:
The Fashion Pledge
This website builder will suit for both beginners and professionals. At first, you’ll get to choose among responsive and customizable templates and then you’ll tweak everything to your liking with the help of drag and drop editor, although, it is worth to mention that the editor is not as precise as Wix’s. Weebly has a great deal of flexibility when it comes to website’s design. If you have some programming and coding knowledge, you’ll be able to alter the design exactly as you want it, since the constructor provides complete HTML and CSS code access. And if you are a beginner and don’t know much about website building, Weebly will guide you with on-screen help. This website builder also offers basic SEO and marketing functionalities. The app store is growing and has some useful addons to offer.
Unfortunately, Weebly’s free version doesn’t shine as bright. You cannot create a store to sell your products with the free plan, unfortunately, and the ad is very visible. Weebly has four premium plans ranging from $8 – $38 a month. All paid plans remove ads, give you your own domain name and unlimited storage, the ability to sell online, bigger or even unlimited storage and some extra features like video backgrounds. Since October 2018, Weebly blocked all traffic from a number of countries, including Russia and Ukraine.
- Ability to create two free sites on one account
- Ability to download the site for hosting elsewhere
- Built-in Site Planner
- Assign different access levels for editors
- Unlimited depth of navigation
- Mobile optimized version of your website
- The quality of templates could’ve been better
- Doesn’t provide its own email
- Very basic blog functions for free version
- No special features to create multilingual sites
Examples of website:
By now you’ve probably heard about Squarespace due to its popularity, especially among YouTubers, whose videos have been sponsored by it. Squarespace’s templates are sleek, minimalistic and incredibly stylish. You can leave them as they are, but if you know a little coding, you can edit the HTML and CSS of said templates. Squarespace offers over 1000 Typekit fonts and over 600 Google fonts, so you can play around with different elements and truly make your website standout. This website builder also has some great marketing tools - email campaigns, social integration, analytics, SEO features, calendars and many more. Aside from amazing responsive designs you also get free SSL certificate and loads of integrations like PayPal, Unsplash, Disqus, Google Maps and so on. This feature is reported to have some flaws, though. Nevertheless, Squarespace builds some of the best looking sites around and there is no doubt about that.
The main disadvantage of Squarespace, though, is that it has no free version - you’ll get a 14-day free trial period, but then you’ll have to pay to keep your website up and running; plus it’s probably the priciest website builder on our list. Squarespace’s pricing plans range from $12 to $40. There is also little customization for mobile sites and lack of third party widget marketplace. Squarespace offers over 60 templates, which is fewer than other competitors. There is no backup and restore feature.
- Video background - perfect for a stunning landing page
- Full customization control
- Best quality templates in terms of design and flexibility
- Best quality features of any builder on the market
- Email and live chat support
- Not totally beginner friendly
- Pricing is more in-line with Shopify and BigCommerce without the same tools
- No Preview Mode
- SEO and Page Speed
- Only one sub-navigation
The last item on our list is not a website builder, but a static website generator. Jekyll doesn’t have bells and whistles, so it’s pretty straightforward. It’s completely free and quite easy to use, although requires some coding knowledge as your posts and pages have to be written in Markdown or Textile. Jekyll takes your content, runs it through a converter and renderer, turning it into a complete static website ready to be served by Apache HTTP, Server, Nginx or another web server. And you can host your website on GitHub’s servers without paying any cent. This software can be used with front-end frameworks such as Semantic UI, Boostrap and many others. Generally, it is a perfect fit for those, who want to create a simple website or a blog. Jekyll is blog aware, so it can process text files as blog entries, which can include images, videos, and other resources. It is very easy to manage your files as well. Moreover, you can easily transfer your old blogs into Jekyll as well.
Jekyll has a community-created themes and templates that you can customize and, on top of that, it supports the insertions of plugins. There is a great choice of templates at [Jekyllthemes] (http://jekyllthemes.org). This software is not as fancy as other website builders on this list, though, and it has to be downloaded. The installation process is not that complicated.
- Speedy fast page load
- Control of the content
- Security. No databases - nothing to hack.
- SEO is included
- Fast content creation
- No maintenance
- Not beginner friendly
- Relatively small community
- No WYSIWYG Editor + Image Editor
- No server-side scripting - you need a api for this.
- Can’t update your site or blog on live.
- No CMS (Content Management System). No Dashboard.
There are many more website builders with their pros and cons, but we’ve chosen the best of the best, which will suit any needs. For instance, Squarespace - despite some of its flaws - is perfect for creatives and aesthetically oriented people. Wix is suitable for everyone - this is the reason why it’s so popular. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, in need of an online store, a blog or a portfolio, Wix is the answer to your prayers. On the other hand, if you have at least some coding knowledge and you don’t need a fancy, over-the-top website, you might take a look at Jekyll. Now, it is up for you to decide which website builder will be the best for you. Hopefully, this article will help you narrow down your choice.