Even just a few years ago, many Web professionals would look down on those businesses that opted for a do-it-yourself (DIY) website builder to develop their online presence.
The same could be said today, to some degree, but even those doubters would have to admit that website builders have come a long way - offering aspiring site owners all the tools and features they need to make a website that meets modern visitors' expectations of how a site should look and function. Here are eight of the top DIY website builders for your consideration.
With nearly 70 million users, individuals and businesses turn to Wix to create HTML5-based websites with no coding thanks to its hundreds of available templates. It's drag-and-drop website builder is a breeze to use, and Wix also offers free hosting using content delivery network (CDN) cloud technology. What's more, Wix provides additional website support through its Wix App Market, ecommerce solutions, mobile-optimized features, search engine optimization offerings and 24/7 support.
One of the most-recognized names in do-it-yourself website creation, many site owners choose GoDaddy for the convenience of buying a domain name, hosting their website and designing their digital property all with the same company. Users can select from hundreds of customizable designs and leverage many of GoDaddy's tools that help them learn and leverage best practices for increased online visibility, like social media and search engine optimization.
GoDaddy's website builder can really be as simple or as complex as one wants/needs it to be, from a basic 1-3-page site (see template examples below) to a full ecommerce shop, with payment processing, analytics, reviews, social sharing and digital coupons baked in.
Similar to GoDaddy, users of 1&1 simply have to pick a domain name, pick a design and start building - all with no prior programming knowledge or skills required. 1&1, a top hosting company, can also be a Web professional and/or company's one-stop solution for domains, website building and hosting. 1&1 MyWebsite offerings are in-step with what their site owners need to be successful online, like better and more accurate online visibility on more than 50 directories, social media integrations, more than 140 integrated apps to increase site function and the ability to keep track of marketing efforts in regard to what's working and what isn't. 1&1 also offers an ecommerce website builder complete with a setup wizard, a drag-and-drop interface, a shop designer, eBay features, website templates and more.
From brands to bloggers, Squarespace offers unique templates for a user's needs when building a website on an easy-to-use platform. In addition to ease of use, Squarespace offers 40 million editorial and stock photos for use within a design, thanks to its Getty Images integration. Similar to the above mentioned website builders, Squarespace provides analytics and metrics tools to get insights into a company's initiatives, as well as the ability to create a simple logo and run a mobile website and store.
Getting started with Web.com is as easy as three steps. The first step is to choose a free domain name, followed by selecting the package the user wants (ranging from about $2/month to $4/month) and finally creating an account. From there, users choose their design, customize their website and publish their website on the Internet - all with point-and-click editing.
Professionals or business owners using Webs simply need to select a professionally designed theme for their sites, add dynamic pages (about, services, contact, etc.) and then add apps like a Web store, blog or calendar to get their site up and running. They can add their own content by adding a company logo, adding slideshows, images and more.
Webs.com's SEO booster is pretty innovative as those using the website builder can get a score based on the percentage of their site that is optimized, as well as get suggestions to make it more attractive to users and the search engines.
With millions of users, weebly is a very popular website builder that gives even users of its free plans everything they need to for a high-quality site, including free hosting.
Weebly's mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android let users manage their sites, blogs or stores with their 5-star rated apps, from payment and order tracking to blogging and analytics.
Tools of the Trade
While the aforementioned do-it-yourself website builders are certainly some of the top options available today, there are others like Websitebuilder.com, Puzl, Jimdo and more that are worth a digital look. And, if we missed your favorite DIY website builder, please let us know in the comments below!