Website Developer & Designer.

Been involved with website development since 2004.

Website builders use drag and dropLast update: May 15th, 2018.

To be honest, I had never used website builders before…

Having developed websites for a while, I’d rather dive straight into coding HTML, CSS and PHP; avoiding those drag and drop functions that website builders have.

I was pretty skeptical.

However, I was positively surprised by the ease-of-use and flexible customisation options that 1-2 website builders have.

Especially for the cost. Unfortunately, I also ended up trying website builders that were just outdated or used sketchy billing strategies (hint: #10).

Website builders vs. hiring a web developer?

A good custom website could easily cost $2000 (on the low end). Making changes or ongoing updates could still require a freelance designer or developer to help you continually update your site (additional $$$).

Yet for only a few dollars each month, some of these website builders below could give you almost everything you’d ever want at less than 1% of the cost.

Not to mention, you can easily login yourself and change copy, upload images, or add new pages within seconds (and without calling for tech support).

Website builders for Who?

Website builders are the perfect solution for individuals or small businesses with low budgets. Just to name few of them:

  • small business owners
  • writers
  • musicians
  • artists
  • photographers
  • wedding planners
  • and so on…

Here’s What I Did To Uncover Website Builders:

Website Builders testAs I stated before and unlike many other blogs you might read on the same topic, I really spent some money and signed up with them – so you know which ones are the best website builders.

My goal is to provide an unbiased review, by actually going through each product in detail, to help you make the best decision.

Here’s the process I took:

1. I signed up with the top 10 website builders (I paid for them).

Those that are recommended by the major ‘Review Websites’ like SiteBuilderReport.com, Reviews.com, PCMag.com and many others.

2. Setup a simple ‘5-minute’ test website.

After signing up with them, I decided to make a quick ‘5 minute’ website on my own domain name, like websitesetup-wix.com and websitesetup-yola.com etc..

3. Monitored each site’s uptime and page load times (6+ months, ongoing).

Over a period of 6 months (still ongoing) I monitored my websites uptime and page load times via PingDom.com tool. Some of my sites had more than 24 hours of downtime…(!)

4. Uncovered the TRUE cost of each website builder.

Many of these website builders trick you with their low introductory prices, like letting you set up a website for free. But once you want to launch it, you’ll need to pay. That’s why it’s VERY important to check pricing before you set up a website with them.

This last point is especially important because most website builders will claim to be ‘free’ even though you’re gonna be forced to take out that credit card at some point.

So before we dive into the detailed review of the top ten website builders, here are the gory pricing details.

Read why...

Best Website Builders 2018 (Review)

Keep in mind that the usability is the most important factor of a website builder. Second is uptime, third is speed and the least important factor (for me) is price.

 WEBSITE BUILDER  PRICE  SPEED  UPTIME  USABILITY  RATING
 1. Wix  $12.50/mo  436ms  99.96%  BEST ★★★★★
 2. SITE123  $9.98/mo  501ms  99.96%  GOOD  ★★★★
 3. SiteBuilder  $9.22/mo  510ms  99.96%  GOOD  ★★★★
 4. Squarespace $16.00/mo  564ms  99.91%  DIFFICULT  ★★★
 5. Weebly.com  $12.00/mo  316ms  99.90%  AVERAGE  ★★★
 6. Jimdo.com  $7.50/mo  404ms  99.96%  TOO LIMITED  ★★
 7. Doodlekit.com $10.00/mo  439ms  99.90%  OUTDATED  ★
 8. Webs.com  $12.99/mo  973ms  99.26%  TERRIBLE  ★
 9.Yola.com  $9.95/mo  307ms  99.99%  TERRIBLE  ★
 10. Web.com  –  –  –  BAD BILLING  ★

Without further ado, let’s dive into a detailed review of each website builder. Starting with the best, narrowing it down until we reach the ones to avoid.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be referral links. I’ll earn a commission if you make a purchase. This is how I keep WebsiteSetup.org up and running and there are no extra costs to you at all. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I’ve always believed in integrity and transparency on the internet.

#1. WIX Review

(‘go-to’ website builder, easy to use)

Wix is the second best website builder

CONS of Wix Website Builder:

#1. An email account will cost you an extra $5 bucks each. This isn’t very much, though.

#2. If you want to create an online store, you’ll need to choose the more expensive package which is around ~$20.

PROS of Wix Website Builder:

#1. Wix has around 500 templates, perfect for small businesses, photographers and freelancers alike. The templates are fully customizable, so users can adjust the site to fit their needs.

#2. The website builder is pretty simple and easy to use overall. It’s pretty flexible, meaning you can make a substantial amount of site customizations. It’s also highly visual, which means changes can be made by simply pointing-and-clicking on a site element (i.e. no sticky back-end options to mess with).

#3.  ADI – Artificial Design Intelligence: It is an additional tool to the Wix Editor. Perfect for complete beginners. With just a few simple questions, Wix ADI designs tailored websites by learning about each person’s or business’ own needs. As you can try the Wix ADI for free then just play with it for a while.

#4. Very user-friendly and easy to use. Advanced SEO options.

#5. Signup and activation was instant!

#6. Cheapest ‘Ad-free’ package is $10.00/month (billed annually at $120)

#7. Super reliable (with fast load times & only minor downtimes)

wix review and performance

Support: Comprehensive support articles and videos and a help center: You can type in your question(s) in their search box. They also have an active forum and phone support across all their plans. No live chat, though.

Do I recommend it? YES.

Wix is widely suggested as the ‘go-to’ website builder, more than 100 million people using it already.

Their drag and drop feature is such a game changer. Not many website builders will allow their users that much flexibility. It was ONLY let down by the numerous annoying upsells. The template options and website builder is the best. I really like their comprehensive support center.

Should you give it a go? Yes. Wix has a lot to offer compared with others.

Go to www.Wix.com

Here’s my 5 minute test site. (not too bad, huh?)

#2. SITE123 Review

(cheap and very simple to use)

Site123 review

CONS of SITE123 Website Builder:

#1. Some professionals might find the lack of extra features limiting.

#2. Some of the lower tier plans (and the free plan) have significant limits on what you can do, making it difficult to build a large and fully functional website.

PROS of SITE123 Website Builder:

#1. Instead of the traditional templates to which we’ve all grown accustomed, Site123 offers their users access to 13 customizable layouts that are flexible and easy to change. In addition to these basic layouts, you’ll also have access to a wide variety of tools and features that allow you to add in layers of customization.

#2.  Third Party Plugins: Site123 integrates with a number of third-party plugins, primarily analytics and webmaster tools, that are beneficial for advanced users and online business owners.

#3. Very beginner-friendly. Their drag and drop website builder makes it easy for even the most novice webmaster to quickly and effortlessly create an aesthetic and responsive website.  

#4. You can manage as many websites as you want from only one account. Even though you have to pay for each separate site, this is a great feature that many popular website builders lack.

#5. Very affordable pricing. The cheapest option other than their very limited “Free Package” is only $9.98 a month when billed annually. I got even 40% off and paid exactly 5,88 a month (billed annually)!

cheap cost

#6. Super reliable (with fast load times & only minor downtimes)

Support: Site123 offers their customers access to a comprehensive support database where you can quickly find the answer to the most common questions. They also offer a live chat service that was, in my experience, very fast and helpful.

Do I recommend it? YES.

Yes. Site123 is a feature rich and easy to use website builder that allows novice webmasters to quickly build beautiful and functional websites from scratch.

With affordable pricing, reliable uptimes, and responsive customer service, they are a great option for any beginner.

Although the lack of more advanced features and options prevent them from taking the #1 position, Site123 is still a great option for anyone who wants to build a website quickly, easily, and cheaply.

Go to www.Site123.com

Here’s my 5 minute test site. (looks good to me…)

#3. SITEBUILDER Review

(Easy to use, Professional & Reliable)

CONS of SiteBuilder.com:

#1. If you want an eCommerce store, you’ll need to choose the business account which starts at $18.45/month.

#2. It took 3 hours to activate my account on a weekend. Should be faster.

PROS of SiteBuilder.com:

#1. You get a FREE domain name and one email account

#2. There are 1,200 templates available to choose from. That’s A LOT – compared with others, especially with Jimdo that has only 17 templates/themes.

#3. SiteBuilder’s website builder was relatively easy and simple to use. It’s fairly intuitive, and the templates appear to be WAY more modern than previously reviewed options. You can simply click on a page element to bring up customization options.

#4. They have „Save History“ feature and ability to build a blog as well. Not many website builders have those features!

SiteBuilder provides good customer support:

Tech support, billing support, FAQ’s page, Live Chat and a Contact us section. They also have a really convenient search button on their support page. The search button pulls up all related articles and links to your question/keyword with detailed explanations to all. I also tested Live Chat and answers came instantly.

Do I recommend it? YES.

I really like their platform. Their website editor is intuitive. Very intuitive! Template options were at an acceptable level (compared with many others), appearing modern while still easy to customize.

SiteBuilder is simple, too: You can drag and drop the elements anywhere on the site.

They’re reliable (good uptime and load time).

They’re somewhat affordable (around $80/year).

Should you give it a go? Yes.

Currently 50% off

Go to www.SiteBuilder.com

Here’s my 5 minute test site. (best you can do in 5 minutes)

#4. SQUARESPACE Review

(Another ‘good’ website builder. Best for photographers.)

SquareSpace homepage

CONS of SquareSpace Website Builder:

#1. SquareSpace costs around $18.00/month for a fully loaded site (which is on the expensive end of these sites listed).

SquareSpace billing

#2. The SquareSpace themes are great to look at. And the website builder itself is actually pretty good. However, they can be a little difficult to edit for newbies so there’s a bit of a learning curve. They also require a lot of photography to look right, which is perfect for people with visual businesses (think bloggers, photographers, artists, restaurants, musicians, weddings, etc.) but not great for people lacking high-quality image assets.

#3. Each email account is $5/month (extra).

PROS of SquareSpace Website Builder:

#1. SquareSpace has a variety of 40 modern templates. These are probably the highest quality designs, with everyone being extremely contemporary and beautiful overall.

#2. Free domain name and privacy.

#3. You can create a blog, website or e-commerce site (with no limitations).

#4. Account signup and activation is instant. ‘Live by default’: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206536837-Is-my-site-live-

#5. Decent page loading times and uptime.

Support: FAQ, live chat support and email support 24/7.

Do I recommend it? YES.

If your have tons of images that you’ll use on your website (hint: photographers).

SquareSpace looks looks great from the outside, but when compared with the rest of this list, can become very expensive.

Each of these templates require the help of a photographer or design touch in order to look the best too. It’s a GREAT option for a certain type of person or business case, such as photographers for example.

Go to www.SquareSpace.com

Check out my 5 minute test site. (To be honest, I kinda like it.)

#5. WEEBLY Review

Just an average website builder

Weebly website builder

CONS of Weebly Website Builder:

#1. There are around 80 themes to browse, which are simply OK-looking (but nothing special).

#2. If you want an eCommerce store with over 25 products, you’ll need to pay $24/month which is pretty steep.

#3. While Weebly performance was on the good side (only 10 minutes of downtime). For some reason, Weebly reported fake (or error-prone) site statistics:

Weebly stats are wrong

PROS of Weebly Website Builder:

#1. $12.00/month, I paid $144.00 (12 months upfront). It’s pretty cheap.Weebly Pricing

#2. Free email.

#3. Instant account signup and activation. Hooray!

#4. Weebly features drag-and-drop customization options from pre-built features (like one for adding an image + text, slideshows, and more). Changing these elements is pretty easy, but also fairly basic and limited. You can add images or text in a few seconds (really simple).

Support: They have a help center where you can read articles/guides that can help
you possibly answer your questions. Also have a forum and support ticketing system. Availability to call them. No live chat, though.

Do I recommend it? Nope.

Weebly is one of the most popular website builders, and the intuitiveness is a huge positive. However, theme or template options are merely so-so.

While they also charge extra for email accounts (each one will set you back $3.75/month) which can quickly add up. And after you signup, you’ll be constantly bombarded with up-sells that quickly become annoying.

Go to www.Weebly.com

Check out my 5 minute test site. (not too bad, huh?)

#6. JIMDO Review

(Too limited, only 17 themes)

Jimdo website builder

CONS of Jimdo Website Builder:

#1. Jimdo comes complete with ONLY 17 themes. Yup, you need to pay $90/year to get access to ONLY 17 themes.

#2. You can easily change colour and add text or images. However, anything more sophisticated than that is difficult. Otherwise, the templates themselves are fairly rigid, making it difficult to make large-scale changes.

#3. If you’d like unlimited eCommerce product options, be prepared to pay $20/month (or $240/year).

PROS of Jimdo Website Builder:

#1. Pricing was advertised as $7.50/month and I paid exactly $90 for one year.Jimdo pricing

#2. Up-and-running in 30 minutes. Not bad!

#3. Best performance

Just take a look at the graph below (fast & stable loading times with over 99.96% uptime)

Jimdo performance review

Support: Knowledgebase. FAQ page. Contact Form.

Do I recommend it? Unfortunately, no.

The initial design is very clean and neat, making it appear more contemporary than some of the ones we’ve already reviewed here.

I’m even OK with one email account and 15 eCommerce product limitation in the short-term. But it worries me that they only have 17 templates and your customization options are limited to only relatively basic changes.

Not recommended, unless you want to create a one-page-website.

Go to www.Jimdo.com

Check out my 5 minute test site.

#7. DOODLEKIT Review

(Very outdated experience)

Doodlekit website builder

CONS of Doodlekit Website Builder:

#1. Doodlekit comes with around 170 themes, but again most of them are old and outdated.

#2. I’ll be honest: it’s hard to find ANYTHING positive with this builder. The templates are horrible. Editing them is horrible. I couldn’t create a simple work gallery or portfolio. Pretty much the only thing I could do was add a few pictures (and even that was complicated as hell).

#3. If you want to build an eCommerce shop, you’ll need to pay $24.99/month (which is on the more expensive end).

#4. My account was activated instantly, but domain verification (which is free) took 48 hours. That’s slooooooow.

PROS of DoodleKit Website Builder:

#1. It comes with a domain name and unlimited email accounts (nice perk!).doodlekit pricing

#2. Pricing was as advertised at $10.00/month, I paid exactly $120.

Support: FAQ page. Support ticket system.

Do I recommend it? No.

Using Doodlekit seems like I flew back in time (and not in a good, Marty McFly kinda way). Their design is outdated and I highly doubt you can create anything meaningful out of it.

Everything is extremely dated, which doesn’t make sense when there are MUCH better options available for just a few more dollars. However, for the sake of this review I paid for 1 full year upfront, so I’ll keep my test site up.

Again, not worth your time/money. But if you really want to dig, use their free trial to test the waters.

Go to www.DoodleKit.com

Check out my 5 minute test site. (How does it feel to be back to 90s?)

#8. WEBS Review

(Slow and unreliable)
Website Builder: Webs.com

CONS of Webs Website Builder:

#1. Webs has 500 themes, but most (again!) look old and outdated.

#2. The drag-and-drop menu makes things very easy to edit. However, the templates themselves are extremely outdated. Changes almost resemble word processor style editing, with clip art and poor stock photography options. They have some extra widgets and other elements available, but most have an amateurish look or feel.

#3. eCommerce stores are limited to 25 products. If you want no limitations, you’ll need to pick their more expensive package which is $22.99/mo – pretty expensive in my opinion.

#4. Took 4 hours to activate my site. Kinda on the slow side.

#5. The average load time came in at 1128ms (around twice the average!), with 26 minutes of downtime alone in June! Also, every site tweak/change takes 5+ seconds to load.

Webs.com performance review
More than 24 hours of downtime during last 6 months…

Pros of Webs Website Builder:

#1. Webs throws in a free domain name and three email accounts.

#2. Pricing isn’t too bad at $12.99/month. I paid $119.80 for 1 year (10% off the monthly price).

Webs.com billing

Support: Knowledgebase. You can submit support tickets. Email. Forums. 24/7 Chat
support (requires a premium account).

Do I recommend it? No.

The annual discount was a nice surprise. However, their admin panel is VERY slow, with each action taking 5+ seconds to load. The outdated design, limited customizations, and SLOW page loading times were also problematic. You’re better off looking somewhere else.

Go to www.Webs.com

Check out my 5 minute test site. (Again, pretty awful…)

#9. YOLA Review

(Outdated and very weak…)

Website Builder: Yola

CONS of Yola Website Builder:

#1. While Yola has about 215 templates, most of them look old and outdated. Like really old – 2006 stuff.

#2. The design template options look very similar to Web.com (not in a good way). Customizations are also very limited. For example, I wanted to remove the website menu while building out the site, but it wouldn’t let me delete this option. Instead, I had to to start all over again with a different template..

#3. If you want to build an e-commerce shop, you’ll need to pay $10/month additionally (so it would be approximately $200/year). That’s a lot of money..

#4. If you want email accounts, you’ll need to pay $9.96/year for EACH email account. Sneaky marketing tactic that many website builder companies use.
yola price

PROS of Yola Website Builder:

#1. Advertised as $8.33/month and I paid exactly $99.95. On the cheaper side.

#2. Signup and site activation was instant. Always a good sign to start with!

Support: 24/7 live chat support (also includes tutorials).

Do I recommend it? No.

To be honest, I don’t like the Yola design templates and the website builder isn’t adequate.

I also found the excessive up-sells and ‘extra add-ons’ frustrating. While I initially was looking for an all inclusive package, I soon realized after signing up that there was no way around paying for extras, such as email accounts and the e-commerce feature.

Go to www.Yola.com

Check out my 5 minute test site. (nothing to be proud of)

#10. WEB Review

(Bad billing practices, difficult to cancel)

Website Builder - web.com

Web.com was added to this list largely because of its wide promotion online.

However, it’s the only service I did NOT personally sign up for. Here’s why.

Reason #1. They have sketchy billing practices. The plan details are crystal clear (see #2 below), there were tons of upsells, and the only way to eventually cancel your plan is to CALL them (yes, this is still 2016).

Reason #2. There are NO plan details. The ‘Do It Yourself‘ option doesn’t tell you exactly what you’re signing up for, which is worrying considering how difficult it might be to back out of this decision in the future.

Reason #3. Despite having almost 2,500 website templates to choose from, virtually all of them look extremely dated (borderline Geocities for you Web 1.0 peeps).

Reason #4. Their website builder used to adjust or tweak each template looks very rigid and fairly primitive (think MSpaint-level customizations).

Reason #5. Finding these issues got me a little worried. So I decided to check around to read reviews from a few real customers to see if I was just being paranoid.

I wasn’t. Here’s one that accurately summed up my worst nightmare:

How do I get any Senior Executive at web.com to figure out what is going on with my website? It has been down for more than 2 weeks. 31 trouble tickets. Simple domain name changes and now no website, and apparently no archive, cache, or even record that I have been a customer since 2001!

Reason #6. At $22.00/month, Web.com is ALSO one of the most expensive website builder options available.

Conclusion: I decided not to test them.

 

Website Builders Conclusion

Phew. Made it to the end!

Time for a quick recap.

Overall, website builders are great for beginners or small businesses looking to get a professional (and affordable) option off the ground in a matter of days (instead of the weeks or months it would take for a custom site).

While there are a ton of good (SiteBuilder.com & Wix.com), reputable options out there to choose from, there are also a ton of terrible ones too.

I put this review together to provide an unbiased look at what your best options are. I signed up for each of the most popular ones, paying for annual accounts in most cases while setting up a test site to try out the service and monitor it’s performance over the course of a few months.

So which website builder is your best bet? 

Best all around option? Go with Wix if you don’t want to be disappointed and over pay.

Best option for Beginners or those needing eCommerce? Wix is your best bet.

Best for photographers, designers, or other visual businesses? Chances are you’ll love SquareSpace’s beautiful templates.


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  1. Thanks for the review – this really helps. I’m currently in a situation where there’s so many different website builders out there, yet which one is the best – hard to tell.

    After reading your review, I think I’ll go with Wix, but might try Boldgrid as well.

    Anyways, huge thanks for putting this together.

  2. This is a very useful read Robert, thank you for the exhaustive post!

    Have you tried XPRS? How about SwiftySite, a plugin to build WordPress sites?

    Also, do these sites fare well in Google speed testing tools?

    • Hey Victor,

      I haven’t tried those as BoldGrid is slightly more user-frienldy for the end user.
      About Google Speed Testing Tool – sure, it’s worth to check them. Might make a small addition to the post, but I’ll surely keep them all online (test sites).

  3. Thanks for a great review! My only “con” would be that you didn’t included customer service. But I understand the work it would have involved. I LOVE WIX. I have been with them since they started. But their customer service stinks. I don’t like having to search through a database of questions other users have submitted to find an answer to my problem. They make it hard to find a phone number. Otherwise, besides a few technical beefs I have, it is a great option.

    • Hi Rob,

      I haven’t heard about PageCloud before – thanks for letting me know. I might review them in near future. Thanks.

  4. Hi Robert,

    I’m currently searching for a website builder to help me make a site for my husband’s small business (plumber) and am very glad I found your article.

    I’ve run into Wix before but have been put off by many people claiming that it’s hard to get a Wix site listed high on Google as Google doesn’t like the technology it used.

    I really like Wix mainly because of the ready to go templates, but it seems a little pointless using Wix if potential customers can’t find the site in search engine.

    I do understand that all websites need “optimizing” and I’ve purchased a course to help me achieve this.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this given your experience.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Google actually promotes WIX, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t rank them. Then again this comment was made a year ago, so it might have changed since then.

      In Google’s support page they are offering several choices for domain service and WIX is one of them.

  5. This is a great review post on website builders. I have tried some of them myself but most of them were hard on the budget and too clunky for me to actually use. Weebly and Squarespace did have what I was looking for but decided to abandon them for lack of time. The customer service on most of these is pretty bad (except the top3). I was actually going to do a review on most of these website builders myself but you’ve done a good job here.

  6. I rarely comment on these sorts of reviews, but after reading your clearly unbiased and in depth review I felt it necessary to thank you. I already have a boldgrid website and domain and wanted to understand more about the limitations of that vs it’s competitors, a LOT of other articles on the subjects are clearly shills for one of the companies, it’s refreshing to see such an honest and thorough review, thanks again!

  7. Thanks, Robert. I guess it is what you get used to. I went to Weebly several years ago from both Yola and Wix. At the time they were the only one that could easily do drop down menus which was important to me. Also have found them very innovative and have rarely suffered any downtime. Their tech support is excellent. While their selection of templates may be limited, they work closely with another company, Baamboo Studios who produce impressive templates for their users.

    Have just started to use their e-commerce features and agree they are awesome. By comparison I have just built an e-commerce site using BigCommerce and it has been a chore using their site builder. Also have a Shopify site on standby, but I think Weebly will end up being my site of choice, mainly because the guys listen and make every effort to accommodate the users.

    While I can’t argue with your 4th placing I was surprised.

    Great article.

  8. Hey Robert,

    Thanks for your work here, it has really helped me in deciding which site builder to use. (I like how you write too, keeps the reader interested).
    keep up the good work!

    • Hello Robert. Thanks for the write up – you exfoliated the competition out there. Yet I am poor at developing and building sites.
      Do you ave your own design studio? If you do and if you do not cost an arm and a leg I would love to work with you. Is it possible that you could send me your price chart for site from one-page crowdfunding type site up to e-commerce?
      I am a writer with many project I could have up on the page but held up by my inability to be comfortable with mastering web building. Having a reliable specialist like you or associates that work for you, who is agile with affordable prices will give me a good, long collaboration.

  9. Thank you so much – your evaluations will save my artist group members so much time and frustration. Wix and Weebly were my short list too. I recommended Weebly to them last year, as most members are not tech-literate and Weebly seemed the least frustrating for a first timer. Also, fewer and simpler templates were a plus in this case, rather than a problem. I will have another look at Wix now to see if the issues I had in my test site have been fixed. I agree with your comment on the Weebly statistics (e.g. it counted my edit tweeks as hits) and the constant upsell ads. As noted here by others, Weebly’s support by phone or online chat are excellent. I will have another look at Wix now and see if that might work better for us now that more members have some online experience. Thank you again for your excellent and well-written research.

  10. Robert,

    I just wanted to thank you for your reviews. As a new business owner, I was looking at serval of these sites and I will take your advise. Thank you again for saving me from making a poor, uneducated decision.

  11. Thanks for this thorough investigation. We’ve added a link to this article on our writers’ resource site, WinningWriters.com, under Business & Technical Resources. One of our subscribers recommended the article to us.

  12. Thanks so much for this review. Really helpful and very detailed. A lot of work for free. I was just curious about Shopify As I was about to sign up with them until I read your reviews. If you have any insight into those folks would be greatful. At this point however I’m leaning towards Wix. Thanks!

  13. Thanks so much for this information… am a visual artist but do not know how to code so I was looking at site builder options. This was very helpful.

    Thanks!

  14. I’ve always been curious about building my own website for personal use. I see commercials and banners saying how “THEY” are ‘free’ or ‘are easy to use’ or ‘best web builder around’, etc, etc. Not knowing who to believe, I, like many others, used the best resource that money can buy… i Googled! Your site was one of the links that I decided to explore and was impressed off the back. I liked your unbiased thoughts and personal 10+ experience in the field so you know what you’re talking about. So thank you for making our research, any potential pitfalls, future headache, possible regrets that we could’ve suffered by making the the selfless sacrifice by exploring these website building companies for the masses.

    Are any of the top three you recommended, also viable for non commercial use, i.e. personal use? Just looking to share information with friends and family, or would you recommend that one take web development classes at a local community collage?

    Thank You, in advance!

  15. Hi there – thank you for your recommendations. I found this very useful. The fact that you took the trouble to actually sign up for each of this and detail out the findings in an unbiased manner speaks for itself. Thanks! – nc

  16. This was great! Thanks for taking the time and great research. I’m just getting starting with a new site and doing some research myself. I really want to get what’s best for the ladies and viewer that visit.
    This will definitely help me decide
    Great job!

  17. Thank you for your review!! It was very helpful!! I’m looking at the ones you reviewed and also Dudamobile. Have you tried or reviewed that site?

  18. Very helpful! My son is also a web designer and now too busy to update my 2005 custom built site. Time for mom to venture out and create her own. Thank you for taking the time to put this info together.

  19. Hello Robert, thank you for the comprehensive review. I would really appreciate your recommendation for my specific case (I have studied your review carefully and still I’m not sure). I am an artist and want to build a website showcasing my paintings (photographed high resolution), and an online store selling paintings. It is essential that I can add items to the store on weekly basis. It is also essential the site loads quickly to get high google ranking. Cost is an issue, and I don’t mind a learning curve. I want a clear and clean website, no confusion / getting lost elements. Would you recommend Bold Grid?

  20. You rock. This whole website has extremely useful. I call myself a professional dabbler in that I have dabbled in many things, not proficient in any of them. I have been asked to redesign my company website (I think I can I think I can) and you have made this whole process so much easier. Thanks again!

  21. Have you tried Vista Print? If so, what do you think? I have a small business and can’t afford to pay a web designer to make simple changes all the time.

  22. Thank you so much for your reviews. I needed a little help, because I need to have simple professional website made, but didn’t know the best options. Thanks to your review site. I make decisive choice now.

    Best Wishes
    Edward Williams
    [email protected]

  23. Hello pal, you should have mentioned that some builders charged developers fee while some doesn’t, I am so glad I have found your website though, I really appreciate it.

  24. That had to be one of the most comprehensive reviews I have ever read. Thanks so much spending your own money to help save someone, liked me, from wasting mine.

  25. WOW! Very in depth review of all the website builders. Thank you! I have been building in Weebly and found it to be easier than Wix – so maybe I can try Wix out again sometime. I am definitely interested in Sitebuilder now! Thank you for taking all the time to share this valuable info!

    • Hey I saw a lot of websites who offering free website builder website, some of my friends suggested me many websites, but I found one who provides best templates webgen.com & also saw Wix, Weebly, could anyone suggested me which one is best.

    • FREE Wix website is more limited and they’ll place ads on your website. If you’re serious about your website, it’s important go with the paid version.

  26. What is your opinion on Clickfunnels verses traditional websites-esp. for small business sites?

    BTW: I really appreciate your review. I refer to it every time any discussion about site-building comes up.

    Thanks again for providing such an invaluable reference source!

  27. Hi Robert,
    I am kinds of confused on what you mentioned website builders (above) and what you said website setup using bluehost and wordpress? Are they the same things?
    Thanks,

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      No, they’re not the same things. WebsiteSetup is built on WordPress (using Bluehost hosting). Website Builders are products/services that allow you to create a website using their software (in this case, you don’t need to buy hosting or use WordPress).

      WordPress is more flexible, but is more difficult for complete beginners.

  28. This is awesome and very helpful for a novice. It helped me narrow down my choices clearly. This is a confusing arena for a newcomer and this article spells it out thoroughly and quickly.
    Much appreciated.

  29. Why wasn’t 1and1’s in there? the were rated 31 by SMB trust & Consumer Reports. I love mine. The have loads of templates, & comes with literally everything. SSL Cert, 200 emails, SEO tool, Newsletter tool,Numerous payment and delivery methods, Site Analytics, mobile optimized all for less than $15 a month. 3 other things I love are they the have 24/7 US hosted Tech support, they don’t post any ads on my site and the don’t take a penny when i sell items!!

  30. This seems really helpful, I’m glad I found this. I’m working on making a new website for my families business and I’ve been having a hard time reviewing all my options and deciding on the best ones. This will definitely help me, thanks!

  31. One question do any of them allow for advertising?

    Secondly should your business grow enough that you can spend the money to build a “real” site how easy is it to port it over.

    • All of them allow advertising. Moving from one to another is complex, though. It’s better to hire a web developer for that.

  32. Chiyoka E. Ajimoto

    This is one of the most informative and analytical articles I have encountered upon my research. I got an answer for what I was looking for. I’m taking your recommendation. Thank you! -from Kyoto Japan

  33. I find it odd that Webflow wasn’t included. From what I’ve been tell is appears to best all the top products you mentioned in terms of features. Interestingly, a number of sites that purport to review and test site building platforms have omitted Webflow. Is there a reason?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve currently reviewed only 10 most popular website builders. Hence the reason WebFlow isn’t added (yet).

  34. Being able to look at your test sites in addition to reading the text content of your article was extremely helpful. Thank you for such high quality (and helpful!) content.

  35. HI Robert,
    I have been looking for a review on website builders and just came across yours!
    i think your reviews are brilliant as i was in two minds which to use.
    After checking out your “5” minute websites i was impressed totally, as i am resident in the UK and Southern Spain i need to set up a site for property sales, lettings and information site i need to not only add and remove properties but a good quality enquiry page.
    Thanks again for the amazing reviews and i am setting up with WIX as i believe best site for me.
    thanks

    Steve

  36. Thank you so much, Mr. Robert, for this review article. I’m just now getting started with a new Entrepreneurship, as an Author & illustrator, Speaker, and Podcaster. And I think it’s a good idea for me to get my own website. I didn’t need to read any further than your 1st review (of Sitebuilder), then I skipped to your conclusion section. I’ve had some experience with both blogging and with web design, and it sounds like Sitebuilder has everything that I’m looking for. So, I’m going to give it a try. It might be a day or two before I will have the time for it, but I’ll be sure to save this page so I can return to it and use your link for my purchase and set up, in support of your venue, as a small token of my appreciation for your sharing of this helpful information. Again, thank you very much for the help, Udi DarkChild

  37. I AM NOT A FAN of the WWW, the Internet, the Web, or whatever else it is called.

    However, your presentation of Comparative Web Builders was absolutely, totally and altogether superb! It was the essence of distilled intelligence, of simplifying a complex mess, of bringing flawless order out of scuzzy chaos. I congratulate you on possessing an unusual and unique skill and talent. I am a writer and inventor, and nothing turns me on intellectually more than seeing someone do what you did! Your work is stunning.

    If only others had your insight, and foresight, to provide the classically beautiful and easily understandable order that you revealed, I might actually BECOME A FAN of technology! You stand alone with your masterpiece! You have no equal! I salute you. Marala

  38. Fabulous, informative and useful comparisons and reviews. Thank you.

    Can you please tell me, are these Website Builders also all Website Hosters? I assume so as you have shown Uptime rates. Or, does this Uptime (Downtime) refer the time that Builder is not available for editing?

    Once again, BIG thank you. A great help

    • Hi! Yes, all of these website builders have their own hosting built-in so you don’t have to sign up for a hosting plan separately like with WordPress.

  39. Michael Fitzgerald

    I just wanted to thank you for your execellant review of the web builders. I am a professional Art Director who at my clients requests, needs to start building sites for them. I started a site for a film Director last year who wanted to feature his personal photography. So at the time, I used Square Space which seemed to be very versitle, however, I was never able to finish the site due to other job commitments. I have now been hired to design/build a site for a wonderful luthier. So I think I am going to go with WIX per your review. (Unless you think SP would be better.) please let me know and thanks again!!!!

    • Hi Michael,

      Sounds like you can’t really go wrong with either one for this but Wix is more affordable of the two so it would be my recommendation.

  40. I am a non-techical person who wants to build a simple, straight-forward website. Your review and attention to detail are greatly appreciated. Are there any tricks to building a website so it will be pulled up by Google, etc. ahead of other similar websites?

    Thanks again for your help.

  41. Thanks, Robert,
    Thank you for the work you shared. Hope you are having fun.
    I clicked on WIX and plan on giving it a whirl!

  42. Thanks for the info. Are you familiar with Adobe Muse.?? Do you know of any applications similar to Adobe muse? Adobe is jumping ship on Muse in 2020

    • Hi Gloria,

      It depends on the level of customization you’re looking for, when it comes to simpler sites, builders listed in the article like Wix are great alternatives as the process for building a site is more or less similar. Another good alternative is Webflow as it is highly similar to Muse.

  43. Looking at the list above i cannot find wordpress. I just need help with explaining an clarifying:
    1. What wordpress can do? ( Does it create blogs only or it can build a website with a blog also)
    and
    2. If i am to choose which option is best for me between wix and word press to build a website with a blog at a low price which one is the best?

    I just read ´´10 best blogging sites´´ on this site and it included wordpress.org. I understood that using wordpress.org one can build a website (not only a blog) just like wix does, except wix uses the drag and drop feature. Its just that with wordpress.org you will need a host and a domain.

    • Hi Spiwe,

      Technically WordPress.org isn’t a website builder but a CMS (Content Management System) which is a step up from website builders in terms of customization options. You can use it to build either a website or a blog, you can even have both at the same time (a website with a blogging page).

      When pricing is a priority then I’d go with WordPress, that way the only necessary cost would be for the web hosting and you can get that for a few dollars per month. Website builders would be easier to get started with but their plans tend to be more expensive.

  44. When it comes to these websites (top 3), how do I know which ones will allow me to sell ads (down the road)? These might be ads in the integrated blogs on the websites, or on the websites themselves. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Cole, pretty much all of them will allow you to sell ads, though if you’re not sure about a platform you can check the knowledgebase on their site and see what their advertisement policy is or get in touch with their customer service.