Crafting Content: Website Builder Reviews

Crafting Content: Website Builder Reviews

There are tons of website builders out there, and each one of them has at least one distinctive feature that makes it better than the rest. With so many factors to consider, how will you know which to use? This article tells you about some of these website builders along with their benefits and drawbacks. But before you head down that road, you should know what a website builder really is and what its advantages are.

Website builders are also called site creators. They’re online software programs that you can use to develop and customize your website so it looks the way you want it to and is organized in an easily navigable way.

There is no need to learn any programming language, which is their primary benefit. You can add pictures, videos, and text, and some even let you add games. Some are free to use and have limited features, while others require you to make monthly or yearly payments but offer many more tools.

You can upgrade most of them to premium accounts by paying some money to get extra features. The website builder reviews below include both free and paid options.

Shopify

There are countless designs and templates on Shopify that make your website look stunning and are available for premium members. There are also basic templates, but they are not that appealing. Regardless of the templates you want, you still have to pay to use the builder; basic plans start at $14 and month, while the unlimited plans are $179. If you have some knowledge of CSS or have some HTML skills, then you can use them to improve your website further. This program is especially tailored towards e-commerce websites.

Pros

  • It is SEO friendly
  • If you get stuck on something, you can contact the 24/7 customer service for help
  • It has a built-in blogging functionality
  • It provides strategies and a platform for you to sell your virtual or physical goods

Cons

  • There are only a few basic templates
  • Access to the paid templates is expensive

Most customers are satisfied with this website builder because it handles most of their e-commerce work, and they did not have to do much to get their sites up and running. You get a free 14-day trial to see if you like the system, so Shopify is worth a look if you want to open an online store.

Sandvox

Sandvox is not browser-based; it’s a native Mac application. It was initially a replacement to iWeb (a website builder that Apple offered) after that site was closed. Users of Keynote and Pages will have no difficulty in understanding the software, as they are very similar to each other. You can purchase Sandvox from the developer’s site for a one-time cost of around $80.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • The software shows you exactly what your website is going to look like on the Internet when it is published
  • You can develop a website really fast even if you only have basic knowledge of design and computing

Cons

  • Limited fonts available for a given template; you might find it hard to get the right combination that users would prefer
  • You have little control over your website. You cannot change the background color and it is hard to put in pictures. You cannot change the page width
  • For Apple computers only

Most users of Sandvox are pleased because the software is easy to use. This is a great builder to try if you prefer using Apple computers, but if not, you’ll want to pass on this one. This is also an ideal program for beginners because you can drag and drop most images and text; if you’re looking to really get into customization, you might not be satisfied with the relatively small range of options.

Lifeyo

Lifeyo is a relative newcomer to the site-builder scene, but it’s the ideal application if you’re building a site for the very first time. It’s similar to Sandvox but works on all computers and provides 500mb of storage space. Your site built with Lifeyo is hosted via Amazon.com and only costs $8 a month to maintain.

Pros

  • It has a drag and drop service. You can add text and images this way
  • All the tools and features are very accessible and well-organized
  • You get unlimited pages on each site you create

Cons

  • It has limited themes (only 15)
  • You can’t add any tailor-made customization with your own HTML/CSS
  • Themes are simple and a little amateurish
  • Some users report that the builder itself is buggy

Choose this builder if you’re new to the game and want to familiarize yourself with designing your own site before you pay more for another more comprehensive builder. This is a great program to use if you only need a site with the bare basics; otherwise, you might be disappointed with the lagging interface and lack of unique page themes.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a well thought out website builder. It has many features to make it easy to use, and the learning curve is relatively small. The best part is that you don’t have to know a lot about web designing, you just need a basic understanding of computer tools to do the job. Pricing ranges from around $100 a year for the basic plan to a little less than $300 per year for the business plan.

Pros

  • You can completely customize your website as you like
  • There is a variety of templates available that you can use. All the templates are professional and sleek
  • You can always preview how your website is going to look
  • 24/7 customer service is efficient and available for all users

Cons

  • Adding things through dragging and dropping can be a bit buggy

There are almost no complaints about Squarespace anywhere online. The site is extremely user-friendly and you’ll have no problem using it, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.

WordPress.com

Don’t confuse this one with WordPress.org; they are two different things. This is a lighter version of WordPress but still has many of the same features you expect from a site with such a powerful reputation. Basic hosting is free, but if you want your own domain that doesn’t have ‘wordpress’ in the URL, you can expect to pay around $25 a year to remove it.

Pros

  • Really appealing, professional templates
  • Many features make it easier to customize and edit your website

Cons

  • There’s a learning curve that might take you a little longer to learn to use this builder
  • It’s a bit confusing
  • Too many features can sometimes make it hard to understand

WordPress is similar to Squarespace in terms of everything it offers, but it’s a little harder to use. If you’re familiar with builders already, WordPress’s endless customization options are hard to refuse. If you’re a beginner, however, Squarespace will be easier for you to use, especially if you don’t anticipate needing a huge variety of customization options in the future.

Analysis

Overall, Squarespace is the top choice when you’re looking for the best site builder. It’s one of the easiest to use even with all the available options. WordPress comes in at a close second; while it offers similar features to Squarespace, it’s a bit harder to navigate. Shopify comes in with a third-place ranking because while it’s really easy to use and customize, it’s meant mostly for eCommerce businesses, not blogs or other sites.

7 Comments

  1. Good writeup. I had not heard of many of these builders. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    Marc

    • Marc, Thanks for visiting Create Your Free Blog and leaving a comment. You are welcome, Glad you found some useful information. Please come back and visit/comment often.
      Rick

  2. hi there!
    Good presentation of website builders out there. I cannot say that I really knew any of them other than wordpress. I think that for me, price is for sure important (179$ for the unlimited plan with Shopify would be too much) but also options and user friendliness. However, I think that with some directions, I can figure it out pretty quickly, as well as with trial and error. But one does have to be resourceful and be willing to explore and spend some time on it

    • Emily, Thanks you for the compliment and for visiting my blog.
      There are many other website builders out there as well and the main goal of this post was to show how different each builder can be. Those that are looking to create a website are aware of these differences and perform their due diligence before spending money on a website builder that is not going to perform the way they need it to.
      Have a great day.
      Rick

  3. Great post and I learned something new, didn’t know there were so many options out there, good to know.
    Thanks for sharing this great info.
    Donna

    • Donna, Thanks for commenting. I am so glad I was able to offer quality content regarding website builders as well as pass some valuable knowledge on to my audience.
      Rick

  4. Hi,

    I never used any other website builder than wordpress, but this is definitely an awesome review about other website builders. If I was to choose a new website builder, then I would look into your reviews to choose the best fitting for me 🙂

    Rolandas,

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