When looking for a web based site builder or website builders, there are a number of things you must take into consideration. If you’re looking for an “easy” site builder, then things become a bit personal. What might be easy for your friend, who praises one site builder, might not be easy for you. So, in order to sort out what is overall the better site builder I’ve gone through a number of different programs so that I can compare some basic points: Ease of Use, Pricing, Provided Templates, Help Guides, and Provided Widgets. When you stand two site builders next to each other and compare these tools then you get a good idea of which builder may be for you.
Just for a bit of clarification let’s define our categories. Ease of Use entails how the builder works. Is there a drag, drop system or a click, and add system, or something else? How easy is it to edit the different elements on a page? Pricing will tell you which sites offer free sign-up, and what you have to pay for to use within the builder. Provided Templates will let you know if the builder offers a good amount of premade templates that you can edit to your liking. How professional are these templates, how changeable, how varied? Help Guides will cover if the site builder and the hosting site offer tutorials, walkthroughs, guides, and help from another person. Finally, Provided Widgets will tell you if the site builder has widgets of any kind but especially if it has widgets that allow you to link to your own personal social media sites.
With all that in mind don’t forget that my idea of usefulness might be different from your own, so don’t be afraid to try each of these site builders for yourself.
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Easy WebContent – Website Builder
- Ease of Use: Easy to use drag and drop system. Editing requires clicking on the element and selecting the edit button.
- Pricing: Sign up is free without credit card. $10/month for Standard (up to 10 web pages, 10GB bandwidth, 1GB storage, custom domain name, limited features and “goodies”, standard support) and $22/month for Complete (unlimited web pages, 50GB bandwidth, 5GB storage, custom domain name, all features and “goodies”, priority support).
- Provided Templates: A reasonable amount of templates, not all professional quality but good layouts.
- Help Guides: Through Help you get FAQs and Contact Help and other tutorials, and there is a tutorial within the site builder.
- Provided Widgets: There are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media widgets and many other widgets including PayPal, Google Maps, and EWC specific widgets.
Wix Free Website Builder
- Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use, if a bit over complicated. To edit content you must enter the WixExpress, to add/remove content you have to go to the editor.
- Pricing: It’s free to sign up without a credit card. You can go Premium (your own domain name, no Wix ads, unlimited bandwidth, extra storage, Google analytics site stats, free gift vouchers, professional hosting, premium support), but you have to create and save a website before you can even guess at the pricing.
- Provided Templates: There are many templates, and you can choose between flash and HTML5 templates as well as different categories of style, i.e. Photography, Music, Architecture, etc.
- Help Guides: There is an initial walkthrough video, under support on the main site are some guides, and while editing the site there is a help button that links to guides and a search engine that answers your questions. You can contact someone for help through the main site’s support link.
- Provided Widgets: No social media widgets, and only a few others including a Contact Form and Google Maps.
Squarespace – Build a Website – Create a Blog
- Ease of Use: Very easy to use, smooth interface. Editing sections requires clicking either “Content” or “Structure” depending on what you want to edit and then you select the “edit” button over the section you want to change.
- Pricing: Sign-up required, but free without credit card. $8 for a standard package (core features, 20 pages, 500GB bandwidth, 2GB storage, free custom domain name, 24/7 support), $16 for the unlimited package (core features, unlimited pages, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, free custom domain name, 4 audiences, unlimited editors, advanced control, form builder, user registration, business features), you can renew monthly, pay for a whole year, or two years.
- Provided Templates: Few templates, at least on the free trial, but sleek and professional.
- Help Guides: 24/7 online help, guides, and walkthrough/tutorial.
- Provided Widgets: Only twitter and flikr specific addons, but a general widget covers other social media sites through links, and there are many other widgets.
Weebly – Create a free website and a free blog
- Ease of Use: Very easy to use drag and drop system, a bit industrial but still smooth. Editing each element is done by clicking the element and then clicking the edit button or choosing one of the other buttons that appear.
- Pricing: It’s free to sign up without a credit card. To gain Pro options (password-protected pages, remove or customize Weebly footer, 10 sites per account, 100 MB file uploads, audio player, video player, embedded documents, premium support) you can pay for 6 months at $4.58/month, 1 year at $3.99/month, or 2 years at $2.99/month.
- Provided Templates: There are a lot of templates with professional design styles.
- Help Guides: There is a help button on the editing page aside from the initial pop ups that guide you through the different sections of the editor, and you can send in a question that will be responded to “asap”.
- Provided Widgets: No social media widgets, but icons that you can add your links to that are automatically added to a page but can be turned off. In order to add widgets you must embed them in HTML.
Yola – Make a Free Website
- Ease of Use: Easy to use drag and drop system, smooth and simple. Editing each element requires clicking the element and selecting the edit button. Applying changes to the whole page can be done through a drop down menu, “Style”, where you can choose font or change the template.
- Pricing: It’s free to sign up without a credit card, but you can choose Bronze (use or add custom domains, premium phone and email support) for $4.95/month or Silver (use or add custom domains, premium phone and email support, premium styles, CSS editing and footer removal, mobile publishing for mobile optimized sites, advanced analytics) for $9.95/month.
- Provided Templates: There are a number of templates to choose from, some are free some are Premium, which require a Silver membership.
- Help Guides: There is Instant Help, a search engine, and there is a Help Center with Tutorials. You can also contact Yola.
- Provided Widgets: There are social media widgets for Google+, Facebook and Twitter, and there is widget for Tumblr. There are other widgets as well such as forms, maps, ecommerce, and multimedia including YouTube.