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A website builder allows you to create a website without coding experience. It’s a convenient solution for freelancers, small business owners or anyone who wants to put up a website quickly without investing too much time or money. These use a drag-and-drop interface that is intuitive to use and offers plenty of flexibility and customization. This article explains what website builders are, what they are best suited for and what features they provide.
- 1 Featured Partner
- 2 What Is a Website Builder?
- 3 How a Website Builder Works
- 4 Website Builder Features
- 5 Drag-and-Drop Interface
- 6 Pictures and Video Storage
- 7 Hosting and Domains
- 8 Third-Party Integrations
- 9 Mobile Compatibility
- 10 Business Email
- 11 SEO Analytics
- 12 Do I Need a Website Builder?
- 13 Bottom Line
- 14 Frequently Asked Questions
- 15 Which online website builder is best?
- 16 What’s the easiest way to build a website?
- 17 How much do website builders cost?
- 18 Related posts:
$2.90 per month
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
What Is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a tool that allows you to build a website without coding experience. There are two different types of website builders: online and offline. An offline website builder is a software that you download to create the website on your personal computer. Online website builders are web-based and allow you to create and edit your website directly on the company’s server.
This article focuses on online website builders such as Squarespace, Wix and Weebly. We’ve also put together a list of our top 10 website builders for easy comparison.
How a Website Builder Works
A website builder converts your drag-and-drop commands into code. They can either be hosted by the company or connect to your hosting provider. Most website builders offer a selection of themes or templates that are suitable for different types of websites. For example, a portfolio would use a different template than an e-commerce store. Once you select a template, you’ll be able to customize many of the features. Depending on the website builder, this includes elements like typeface, the layout and the size of the text and images. You may also be able to add contact forms and embed videos.
Website Builder Features
A website builder makes many of the complicated aspects of running a website simple and intuitive. Here is a list of some of the most common features.
Many website builders allow you to drag and drop the components of a web page to design it as if you are assembling a collage. This could be text, photos, video or any other component on your web page. Each website builder offers different flexibility for customization options. Some companies use themes that are harder to adjust, while others allow you to customize almost every aspect of the web page.
Pictures and Video Storage
Website builders make it easy to upload pictures and videos. With Squarespace, for example, you’ll have access to an image gallery on your account. This way, you’ll be able to edit and remove photos and videos from different pages, but still store them and refer to them in the future. Storage capabilities generally vary by subscription plan.
Hosting and Domains
When you’re building a website, you need two components other than design: a website host and a domain name (the URL used to navigate to your site). Many website builders offer all three services. If you already own a domain name but want to use a different website builder (for example, you purchased your domain name through GoDaddy but want to use Wix for design), you’ll have to migrate your domain to the new platform.
Website builders make it easy to integrate third-party applications like social media feeds or shopping carts. Lead capture forms are another commonly used integration, allowing potential customers/clients to provide their information and dump it directly into your preferred CRM or data repository.
Because so many people browse the web, mobile compatibility is an important feature for any website. Many website builders integrate this feature automatically and allow you to view the mobile version of your website as you edit. Some can even reflexively adjust the elements on your site so that one design functions well on multiple platforms.
Most website builders come with the ability to create an email address with your domain name as the extension. Some always charge extra for this feature while others offer one or two emails for free and charge for each additional email, so be sure to choose the best plan for your needs.
While many people use Google Analytics to assess traffic, most website builders come with their own form of traffic analysis that is easier to follow for laypersons. This will give you information about which websites your traffic is coming from and how viewers found you. If you are actively trying to develop your SEO and expand the reach of your website, you may find the need to invest in specific software for analytics. However, for most individuals and small businesses, the insight available through their website builder is sufficient.
Do I Need a Website Builder?
If you want to create a website and you don’t have experience coding, a website builder is the easiest way to do it. The other option is to build your website yourself, but this requires knowledge of coding or hiring a professional. The benefit of hiring someone is that you have complete control of how the website looks.
When you are working with a website builder, you will likely come across design challenges that the website builder does not support. For example, let’s say you want a drop-down menu, but the theme you’re using doesn’t offer that feature. Or, you may love a particular template but find you’re not able to change the color theme.
Each website builder and each theme within it has different limitations, and you often only learn what they are as you go. If you don’t need complete creative control, you’ll find that the best website builders offer more than enough features to build a professional website.
A website builder is an ideal solution for freelancers, small businesses or anyone who wants to set up a website quickly, easily and without a larger investment. Many offer the option of a free plan using the website’s subdomain. The monthly subscriptions are much lower than a professional web developer. As long as you’re not too concerned about the minute details, and you’re flexible about how your website will look, you’ll find that there is a lot of room for creativity in a way that’s easy and intuitive to understand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which online website builder is best?
We’ve put together a list of our top 10 website builders. We considered many factors in creating this list, including price, features, storage and bandwidth allowances, reviews and unique value proposition. Some of the top website builders are Weebly, GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace.
What’s the easiest way to build a website?
A website builder is the easiest way to build a website. Website builders often have design limitations, as they use templates, but many people find the capabilities and features are more than enough to create a professional website without investing in professional web development services.
How much do website builders cost?
Website builders typically have a monthly subscription fee if you don’t want to use their subdomain. The prices can range from under $10 per month for basic features, to over $50 per month for packages with powerful e-commerce and SEO functionality.