Website Builder is a tool with which you can launch your own website in just a few minutes. This is how manufacturers usually advertise. Of course, 5 minutes is a gross exaggeration. You can create a website in half an hour - an hour, provided that you do not make any major changes to the selected graphic template and the website is a typical business card. In any other case working on a website, regardless of the wizard, will take you much longer - two hours, a day, a week... So take this marketing slogan with a pinch of salt, bearing in mind, however, that it really can be done quickly.
A website builder is nothing more than an application designed to give you the tools you need to create your first website without any coding knowledge. Today's creators offer a lot in this respect.
Who is the Website Builder for?
Website Builder is, as the name says, a certain mechanism enabling creation of a website in a way that is as easy and pleasant as possible, and, what is most important, in a way that does not require the creator to have knowledge of IT issues in the field of website creation. In principle, this sentence exhausts the subject of the target group. Is Website Builder right for you? If at least one of the following points resonates with you, it will probably be a good choice.
So is a website builder the tool for you? Surely you can already answer this question, at least initially.
Which website builder to choose?
And this is where the first stairs start. You already know that you want to run your website on a wizard, but which one to choose? What should you look for? The answer to this question is not simple. If we went back in time, say 5-10 years, then the choice would not be so difficult. There were not many such tools, and their functionality left much to be desired. Today, however, things are very different. Thanks to technological developments, you now have choices that you could only dream of a few years ago. On the one hand, this is a good thing, because you choose the solution that best suits your needs and possibilities, but on the other hand, you may feel a little lost with so many different options available.
Perhaps you expect me to point you to one particular tool. I would like to do so too, but I know that each of us is different, has different experiences, different knowledge and skills, and in the end each of us has a different idea about his or her website and what goals to pursue.
The easiest way to make a decision is to review the rankings and reviews of individual wizards. However, there is a trap here that you should be aware of. A considerable part of rankings, and especially reviews, are the actions of producers of particular solutions. This is nothing more than content marketing, which consists in investing in online content whose task is to present a given product against the competition in an appropriately illuminated way. The same applies to all kinds of opinions, where whisper marketing comes into play. So how do you find yourself in all this?
Check out the Website Builder before you decide
Trivial, right? But actually the most effective and only way to choose a tool that will not only allow you to launch your first website, but also provide an environment in which you will feel like the proverbial fish in water. The vast majority of website builder providers allow you to at least test the tool before you buy it, and in some cases they also offer basic versions that are quite stripped down, but completely free of charge. So you can check whether a given tool will fit into your needs and possibilities.
See. The wizard is supposed to enable you to create a website quickly, but it may take you a few hours to choose it. However, it is worth doing it thoroughly, so that it does not turn out later that the time you spend on creating a website will turn out to be wasted time. Know that what you do in one wizard or another is only available in itThis means that if, after creating a website, you find that you are not satisfied for one reason or another, you won't be able to move it to another builder. This is one of the quite significant disadvantages of SaaS model website builders. So you should also be aware of this imperfection and take it into consideration from the very beginning when deciding to enter any website builder.
Ranking of page builders
I have mentioned rankings and the fact that you have to look at them with your fingers crossed because of their, often well-targeted, message. One of the reliable rankings is the popularity ranking, which is far from perfect and only shows the scale of marketing activities, but at least you can find out what people choose most often. And so in the case of typical website builders at the moment when I am writing this text and based on W3Techs data, the top three looks like this:
Seemingly small values at first glance, some interest, right? Realistically, however, the number of sites running on each of the wizards mentioned is in the tens of millions, so each of them has a huge number of people and companies who trust them. I'm not saying that you should go with the crowd, but on the other hand you can conclude that such a large number of people can't be wrong. This is not the case in life, but no matter how you look at it, these are solutions worthy of your attention and testing.
Squarespace Website Builder
It owes its popularity not only to its refined quality, but also to the fact that it is one of the oldest website builders. It is now over 11 years old. In Poland it is rather unpopular, which is conditioned by the fact that Squarespace is probably not particularly interested in our market. There is no Polish language version and eCommerce functions are only available in a few countries, not in Poland of course. Apart from that, it is a good tool with the help of which you can create a really interesting website. Although it may not be as intuitive as the other two - Wix and Weebly, it is definitely worth testing. A glance at the interface:
If you would like to share your experience of the Squarespace creator you can do so here:
Wix Website Builder
Probably the best known website creator in Poland, used by a considerable number of users. This is mainly the result of extensive marketing campaigns conducted in our country. You may have even seen a commercial on TV. Wix offers great templates and even something like intelligent design. Whether it does the job or not is up to the individual website owner and their preferences. You are tied to a template, which means that once you have chosen one for your site, you can't change it. All you have to do is delete your site and set it up again using a different base theme. Wix offers practically everything you might need to create an attractive website with eCommerce mechanisms included. Here's a look at the interface:
Share your experience of Wix:
Weebly Website Builder
Not as popular as Wix, but more recognisable than Squarespace, at least in the UK. It's another alternative for those who want to create their own website with little time and commitment. The interface is very friendly. For a beginner it is very intuitive and you can quickly find your way around it. On the similar methodology of the backend many other wizards were created including for WordPress like my favourite Elementor, which I will mention. Here you will find tools that allow you to run your own online shop, blog, SEO optimization capabilities and other basic functionalities useful for daily website management. A glance at the interface:
Write what you think about Weebly if you use or have used this tool:
Duda Website Creator
It is not on the podium as far as popularity is concerned, but it is undoubtedly a website builder you cannot pass by indifferently. Like its predecessors, it offers a complete toolkit, and the pages it creates look really great. Despite the fact that it is practically unknown in Poland, unlike Squarespace its interface is available in Polish, and even, as you will notice while watching the video below, the default content in templates is also in Polish! The DUDA website builder will also allow you to start an online shop and even in the free version you have the possibility to publish up to 10 products. However, it does not belong to cheap wizards. And again, a glance at the interface:
If you have or have had your site built using this wizard write about your feelings.
SitePro Website Builder
Another website creator created and developed by Lithuanian company - in our neighbourhood 🙂 Also with this tool you can create your website based on many available templates. It is not as powerful as its predecessors, but its use should not cause trouble to anyone. An interesting feature of this wizard is the ability to import an external website. So, in a situation when you want to transfer your website from another site, you can use this feature and save a lot of time. It also has eCommerce mechanisms, although at the moment they are rather poor and integration with external solutions such as ECWID is rather involved. Nevertheless, to create and maintain a company website, it will work flawlessly. I am describing the second method of creating a website based on this wizard. You can find it here here. A traditional glance at the interface:
Share your experience with SitePro
And what next?
Well. I could mention at least a few other creators, including Polish products, but I don't see the point of adding to the dilemmas you may already be facing. Each of them gives you one essential advantage, namely the ability to create a website without knowing any programming language. If you have a flair for design, all these tools will enable you to build unique and visually attractive websites. If you don't have such a flair for design, then in one way or another, based on ready-made templates you will create a website that will appeal to your customers. Of course, there is a danger that you will get carried away with your imagination and something that originally looked good will turn into a little monster, but you can always start from scratch 🙂 - you know what to do
What are the disadvantages of website builders?
Perhaps by the time you reach this point you have already made up your mind and are sure that a website builder is the solution to your problems. This is probably the case, but before you finally decide take into account some of their limitations, which are largely a common feature of all of them, or at least the ones I have come across.
It may sound a little strange in the context of what you've read, seen and perhaps already tested, but it's true. Depending on what plan within a given wizard you decide on, you have access to something and not to something. Every producer has its own vision and strategy of software development and no matter what they do they are not able to satisfy all needs and preferences of their Customers. That's why you have to take into account the fact that if you come up with an interesting functionality, which you have seen on a few websites of the competition and which might be perfect for you, you will not be able to implement it. You will write emails to the support asking to add it, and in response you will get information like "thank you for your suggestion, we will pass it on to our team of developers". This is usually where it ends.
When at some point you find that you can't wait for the functionality you've dreamed of that will give your business wings, irritation will set in and you'll start thinking about moving your site somewhere where perhaps that magical functionality is. And this is where the problem will arise, because you won't be able to move your site to another provider or even to another hosting. So you will be faced with a dilemma: stay and make it work, or move and build the site from scratch. It's not so bad if you've already planned a complete overhaul, but it's worse if not so long ago you devoted a lot of time to it, polished it up down to the smallest detail and suddenly all that work has to go to waste.
It is not so that if you create a website in the creator, it builds itself, and you, in a deckchair, holding a drink with a palm tree, enjoy its appearance and effectiveness. It is you who creates it, using tools that are only supposed to make this task easier. You devote your time, you learn, you often cuss when something does not go your way, but you act. If it suddenly turns out that the creator blocks the development of your business and you have to move, all your work is gone like the fog in the morning. It is a pity.
This disadvantage concerns only free versions of creators and only projects of business character. If you want to run a website for private purposes and the possible emission of advertisements is not important for you, this item does not concern you. However, if you want to present yourself as a true businessman and seriously present yourself to your current and future business partners, choosing free versions of creators is unlikely to reflect positively on your company's image. Of course, the producers claim otherwise with slogans like "a website for your company for free", but they know very well that if they catch you with a free one, then if you care about your image you will sooner or later switch to a paid version. All you have to do is wait. From my side I can only suggest that if what you want to run is going to be your company website and the wizard is the perfect way to create it for you, invest those few dozen or so zlotys a month. Use the free version only to make sure that the choice of the wizard is right.
How to get around the disadvantages?
You can't 🙂 Because even if you choose a different path, the disadvantages I mentioned will disappear, but in their place other disadvantages will appear so there will always be something at stake. It is up to you to judge what will be more beneficial for you. But OK, let's assume that we get rid of these disadvantages by staying with the wizard. How to do it?
Website Builder on WordPress
An alternative that more and more people are opting for precisely because of the lack of restrictions related to the later development of the website. If you've heard of WordPress, you might associate it with blogging software, and you'd be right, because WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but over time it has evolved into a machine for creating virtually any kind of website. Read my a review on WordPress to get to know it a little better.
In order to transform it into a thoroughbred website builder, all it takes is a simple operation - installing the appropriate extension. However, here it turns out that you also have a choice, which you will read about in the article: Page builders for WordPress. Using them, you will be able to manage the look of your website just as conveniently, use templates and even create your own, launch an online shop and much more, which a lot of traditional wizards will not be able to offer you.
Take a look at how it works on one of them and answer the question: is it that different from the others you have seen above? In my opinion, as far as the end result is concerned, it does not differ at all. The interface is very similar to the one on Weebly.
If you want to share your experience with WordPress and using it as a website builder, please write below.
Advantages of this solution
Really the only thing that limits you in this case is your own ideas and of course your budget, because if you come up with the idea of implementing something that requires a lot of programming work, then it will cost money. But what is important in this case is that you can do it. Besides, WordPress is such a popular platform (over 30% websites on the Internet are running on WordPress) that many of the ideas that come to your mind can be implemented based on ready-made solutions. Often you just need to install a free extension to enrich your website with one or another possibility. It's really great and it works.
A traditional website builder is a system that you do not have access to. You can only use the results of its work. In the case of WordPress, you have access to its every file. You can download it at any time, turn on your heel and move your site to another provider. There is no question here that your work and the time you have spent on the site will go to waste. Everything you do is yours at 100%.
Disadvantages of this solution
With a typical website builder you register, fire up the page editor, make changes, publish and forget. If you decide on a hosted solution, in this case WordPress, it is your responsibility to take care of the software. It's not that you should mess with the code. The point is that you should take care of updates, monitor the status of your website (there are tools for that) and that you should consciously choose addons for WordPress. This requires maybe not so much effort as some regularity and awareness. You can't forget about your site even if you don't need to make changes to it.
When using a traditional website builder you also have support. Regardless of whether the support is good or not in theory you have the feeling that there is someone behind your back that you can ask for help if you have a problem. By opting for a WordPress-based website builder, you don't have support from anyone. If you experience difficulties with your site, some extensions, etc... you have to be able to find a solution yourself. This is how it works, unfortunately. However, as a consolation I can write that WordPress has the biggest community of developers who support each other. So if you have a problem you can usually just google it, because it is very likely that someone already had a similar problem. This way you get a solution almost instantly. What if you can't find anything on the web? There are many discussion and support groups on various forums and social networks. Very often it is enough to ask a question there, and someone more experienced will suggest how to solve the problem. So it is not so scary, but it is good to be aware that in case of problems with the site you need to know where to look for help.
I could also write that the disadvantage of this solution is the need to find and buy hosting, because in the case of a traditional wizard you have it provided in the package, and here it is not. However, if you think about it as I do, you will probably come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter much. Assuming you don't opt for the free version of the wizard, which I advise against if you want to host a business website, the costs will basically be equivalent, and may even be lower.
Let's take the Wix wizard as an example. The cheapest plan that doesn't include ads costs less than 35 PLN per month. If you multiply it by 12 months, it comes out to about PLN 420 per year. Taking into account that you don't pay anything for WordPress license and you can have a hosting account for a simple business website for about 100 PLN, it turns out that you saved about 300 PLN.
Elementor is available in two versions. The free version and the PRO version, for which you have to pay $49 per year, i.e. about 180 PLN. So even if you decided to go for the paid version of Elementor and spent the $180 or even $200 you would still have a hundred in your pocket. That's why I don't see any point, contrary to other reviewers, in mentioning the necessity of buying hosting as a disadvantage against traditional creators where this service is included in the price. What's more, your own hosting usually gives you more possibilities e.g. mail handling (multiple accounts), while with wizards it's not so rosy in this field.
Website Builder is usually associated with companies such as Wix or Weebly. There are many such solutions on the market and all that I have mentioned in this text is just the tip of the iceberg. Certainly, there will be more and more of these tools, if only because the demand for your own website, for which you do not have to spend a fortune and wait for weeks, is growing and will continue to grow.
The creators we come across today are also more and more advanced tools that sometimes I feel forget about the original charge, but the world is changing. With a bit of persistence and a few hours of your time (forget about the website in 5 minutes), you can create something pleasing to the eye and functional. Most importantly, you don't have to keep your computer science degree in a drawer.
If after reading this you think that a website builder like Wix, Weebly, Duda etc... are the tools for you test them out first. Each of them allows you to run a free version where, either in demo form or at the ready, you can experiment and thus see where you feel most comfortable.
Believe me, if you just want to create a business card page for your company, it doesn't matter how advanced the functionality of a given wizard is, you will achieve your goal in every wizard without exception. The important thing is that you feel comfortable while working and have as few problems with mastering the interface as possible.
If you are a person who likes to be independent and wants to have control over every functional aspect of the website and you don't exclude development as far as your online existence is concerned, let go of typical website builders and get interested in WordPress one builder. Full instructions on how to use it, from your hosting account to how to install it, can be found by clicking the button below.
I haven't come across this solution until now, and it's been on the WordPress market for over a year. All in all, I'm starting to wonder if there's any point
Elementor is doing well and probably no major changes can be expected in this field, but the idea of builders is still alive and every now and then
If you happen to find a website on the Internet that you like very much and you would like to check which website builder it was created in, you can use
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