Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
I agree with you that Pulse CMS offers an interesting way to go, without databases. Before moving all my sites to WP over the past two years, I had always felt reluctant to use databases: but testing WP had convinced me to go ahead. Although I do not use it at this point (I played a little bit with previous versions), I bought a Pulse CMS license, if only in order to support that interesting project. I do not rule out using it for a site some day, at least experimentally.
You are mistaking the problems with WordPress as something that is inherit in PHP. That might have been true years ago, but modern php (php7 and hhvm) is a very powerful and mature language with rock solid performance, and in the case of hhvm that performance is equal to native,and in many cases faster than even C++. When written correctly and running in the right architecture it scales seemlessly and delivers low latency and high throughput. Sorry if you thought you could pay some indian 3 bucks an hour to slap together a wordpress site and be the next facebook.
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The selection below should be plenty to get you started. Read the blurbs and then click through to the linked reviews to find the one that best suits your needs. And don't hesitate to chime in below in the comments section to report your experience with a site builder or praise one that's not included. For more advice and alternatives to DIY website building, check out our primer, How to Create a Website.  
Google Sites Pros and Cons of this Excellent FREE Website Builder

The best CMS software knows they are only made better by expanding their basic offerings. For true customization and full ability to meet your unique needs, there should be some level of add-on you can integrate. Each website is going to be a little different, and you’re going to have specific functionality needs, so having access to apps and extensions that make those needs possible is key.
Got products to sell? Online Store has you covered. Create a sleek-looking online store, sell on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy, track inventory in one place, choose from flexible shipping and payment options, even let customers book appointments online. Whether you sell products, services or digital content, GoDaddy Online Store has everything you need to successfully sell online. Features available with paid plans.

WordPress is a big name when it comes to creating websites. But you should know that WordPress.com is not what most people are talking about when they mention WordPress. What most internet-savvy people mean by the term WordPress is the free, open-source blogging platform that comes from WordPress.org. Using this requires you to find your own website hosting service. The WordPress.org software is such a popular site-building platform that many web hosting services even offer managed WordPress hosting plans. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a service that deploys and hosts that software for you, so you don't have to go out and find your own hosting service.
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.
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