Hey Frank, we are big fans of WordPress ourselves. This very site was built with WordPress. However, this post is about website builders, not self-hosted solutions or content management systems. And, of course, having a website is just the beginning. To make it successful, you also need to learn about SEO, content, and other forms of marketing. We actually have a post on that very topic: https://websitesetup.org/increase-website-traffic/
Your report was exactly what I was looking for, thanks for doing all that research. It is daunting to change my website hosting & building. I am a long time Adobe muse user and hosting with GoDaddy and now I feel abandoned by both, as Muse is being discontinued and GoDaddy seems more interested in selling me more services than supporting what I already have.
Imagine just letting your website sit around for a year without ever editing its content. After a year, the WordPress CMS version is old and probably susceptible to hacking. Most website builders, on the other hand, are silently updated and maintained behind the scenes by the provider. As long as your password is secure, you have almost nothing to fear.
WordPress is software designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. We believe great software should work with minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely. The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started. It also offers powerful features for growth and success.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing an easy online website builder. And you have a slew of provider choices—there are at least 20 more vendors than those included in this list. Hardly a week goes by when we don't get a pitch from a new one we've never heard of before. We've reviewed many of those, but they didn't make the cut, either because of outdated site designs, lack of site-building options, or inadequate ease-of-use. Some recent examples include 1&1 Ionos MyWebsite, PageCloud, Ucraft, and Yahoo Small Business Websites.
Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.
First, let's discuss why you even need a webpage in this day of social media domination of the web. On a personal level, you wouldn't want to send prospective employers to your Facebook page, so a personal website makes more sense as an online, customized resume. Another reason worth considering, for both personal and business purposes, is that building your own site gives you endless design choices. You have total control over products and services you may sell and how they're delivered, too.
You can create a free and professional website all on your own. With Wix, you can start with a stunning template and customize it, or get a personalized website made just for you. When you choose Wix, you don’t just get a drag and drop website builder. You get the whole package. Free reliable web hosting, top security, the best SEO and a dedicated support team to help you along the way.
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
Support among the services varies widely, from free WordPress.com account's only offering community support, to Jimdo's email-only service, to Wix's telephone-callback service—even for free accounts! Many of the site builders offer rich online support knowledge bases and FAQs, so there's a good chance you won't even need to contact the company. I test each service's support as part of the review process by asking about some less-common site-building procedures.
Start from scratch or choose from over 500 designer-made templates to make your own website. With the world’s most innovative drag and drop website builder, you can customize or change anything. Make your site come to life with video backgrounds, scroll effects and animation. With the Wix Editor, you can create your own professional website that looks stunning.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as a Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew.
When it comes to themes, although the market is not as huge as WordPress, Weebly has a decent amount of amazing themes to choose from and customize. The tools are all super user-friendly and easy to follow. Simply put, Weebly makes a pretty great alternative for WordPress and is suitable for smaller websites. Although not as flexible as WordPress, if you are aiming for minimal and simplistic sites, then it is definitely a good start. To give you a bit more insight, here are some pros and cons of using Weebly!
I don’t think you are being fair. The average small blogger on a shared host isn’t going to be an expert in PHP. Like the poster I have seen 4 wordpress sites hacked and have just switched hosts following 2 in a year. One of these did use an outdated commercial template, the other 3 used standard templates with no plugins supposedly automatically updated at every new release.. There are plenty of simple things that could be done to make WordPress more secure including the most simple one of notifying any changes to configuration files via basic checksum. PHP as a product may be very secure but the way it is implemented by shared hosts allows for multiple infections. Security and ease of maintenance should be number one on the list when looking for a blog if you don’t want to be monitoring round the clock. I’m looking for a simple occasional blog that I can configure without a computer science degree and hopefully tweak by looking through the code. Ghost seems interesting but my host doesn’t support NodeJS
It goes without saying that WordPress has emerged as a leading option when it comes to building a website for all kinds of different online endeavors: from small personal portfolios to enterprise-level business and eCommerce sites. It’s got a large community of devotees and users, and a huge list of developers forever coming up with all kinds of different plugins to expand its capabilities. That said, WordPress isn’t the be-all and end-all. Indeed, there are in fact a number of different alternatives on the market.
Although Craft CMS is not that famous, it is extensively being used by Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is developer friendly due to its extensive back end features for your application. It does not provide any front-end themes. Unlike WordPress, it does not have a predefined content type and hence it allows the user to set up their own content by making use of 18 different types of fields. It provides user view to the admin console and also enables side by side changes that they can make. The admin can create groups that can help in restricting or enabling different users from accessing some specific features. It supports different environments which can help in creating site locally. It deploys to staging and then to production. The flexible fields can also help in creating perfect interfaces with complete developer control.
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