The Ultimate Website Builder Guide (2018)

We put 18 of the internet’s most popular website builders through some of the most critical analysis and testing ever conducted

Explore Our 11234 Word Guide

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Intuitive and versatile, Wix can create any type of website with unmatched fluidity. Highly affordable plans, hundreds of add-ons, regular updates and over 110M users make Wix the most popular website builder.

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Flexible and functional, Weebly is the most user-friendly site builder in existence. Powering over 40 million websites, it can accommodate any taste. Weebly is probably the best place to start your online journey.

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Did you know that one-page websites can be Strikingly awesome? Showcasing, events and resumes are merely 3 of the many applications of Strikingly and its impressive collection of plug-ins and in-built functionality.

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Simple, yet powerful, Site123 facilitates an easy and quick site creation with masterfully guided design process. Its highly responsive templates with potent features.

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Encompassing and easy to work with, Shopify is a powerful and versatile e-commerce solution. Excellent design interface, wide variety of templates and numerous external integrations open up countless possibilities.

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Stylish and enticing, the Squarespace templates are the epitome of web design mastery. Ideal for visually captivating websites, Squarespace is top choice for 3 things: portfolios, photography and visual narratives.

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Big Commerce

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Packing a heavy punch, BigCommerce can easily propel your e-store into the stratosphere! Many useful functions - reporting, gift cards, ratings, reviews, no transaction fees - feature in all 3 BigCommerce plans.

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Mobile and multilingual, Duda sports many unique features for modern, fully responsive designs. With Duda you can have the best mobile websites, thanks to tweaks and subtleties unavailable in any other site builder.

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Fun and flexible, Jimdo will make you play and will make you stay! 17 templates might seem like a limited choice, but the customization options and the ease of use turn this into a memorable creative experience.

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Gamers from around the world, unite! If you can’t, Enjin is here to help. The gaming site builder makes the creation of forums and clan and guild websites a breeze. Enjin will make you game like never before!

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Hi! I am Megan, a web developer, content curator, Editor at
I have been in web development business since 2014 and here is what I have to say about best website builders.(My opinions are based on 12 step evaluation process and user reviews and ratings)

A website is an Important Asset For any Business.

With 88% of Americans using the internet, with e-commerce sales set to reach $1.915 Trillion this year(2017), there is no denying that fact.

But still, around half of small businesses yet don’t have websites.

This might be due to the prevailing myths people have about creating a website

Building websites without codingMyth1: You need programming skills to build a website on your own.

Website building is not costlyMyth2: You need to pay thousands of dollars to developers to develop a website.

You dont need web developerMyth3: Website maintenance is hard and requires a full-time developer.

With this guide, I am going to show how we can bust those myths with website builders — the tools that can help you make websites without any technical experience. Besides that, I also tried to cover answers to questions like what is the best website builder and how to choose one from the many

So let's dive in to see how to make your own website!


Chapter 1 :

Why Website Builder?

Why choose website builder

Do you want to build your own website? 
Do you want to control every aspect of your website while 
saving time and money?

Let see how this can be done!


My Programmer Ego vs. Wix IPO News

I always turned a blind eye to drag and drop website builders and assumed they were worthless. Being a programmer, for me developing websites has always been writing some PHP or Node.js code.

How did that perception change?

Recently, I came across the news article title — Wix raises $122M In NASDAQ IPO! It started itching my programmer ego!

Although that news was Intriguing enough, I couldn’t just go and try creating a site using drag and drop. Instead, it provoked me to dig more into the website builders market!

I was shocked to know Shopify and Weebly were also publicly listed. I couldn’t believe that Shopify powered around 400k stores!

“Those stats put an end to my meaningless ego.”

So I gave in, and I bought Wix Vip plan to check out how to build a site using WIX. After developing a website — in less than a couple of hours, there was only one thing on my mind :

This is revolutionary!

website builders are easy to useThey save time, cost and increases maintenance efficiency.

I felt like I had been hiding under a rock for not taking advantage of the conveniences that a website builder can offer to even an experienced web developer!

Back in the day even for coding a simple e-commerce store, it would almost take a month for me. Additionally, maintaining it is a full-time coding job.

Thanks to websites and store builders — I can now create such e-commerce stores with Shopify in less than 2 hours!

Amazed by the cost, time and maintenance efficiency of WIX sample site, I decided to check performance, features, and other aspects of top website builders.

To cover all of the best website builders in the market, I teamed up with my other developer friends Muninder and Deepak. We developed a 12 step evolution process which could help us uncover all the pros and cons of top website builders.

Here are top few builders we reviewed..

Chapter 2:

Website Builder vs Hiring Developers?

Advantages and Disadvantages of using a website builder and professional developers

Let us show you when to go with a website builder and when with a developer

As I mentioned in Chapter 1- Website builders saves money, time and eases down the maintenance overhead compared to other traditional ways of coding from the ground up.

However, in some cases, even the best website makers are not the right website development choice.  Certain things are better coded from scratch. For instance, if you need a real-time web application, it's better to build it on node.js

So, I decided to clarify following things in this chapter.

“Is it best for you to use a website maker to build your own website or shell out the big bucks to hire a professional website developer to do it all for you?”

The final answer really comes down to your REQUIREMENTS and how much TIME and MONEY you want to spend on a website that will satisfy all those requirements while giving you the power to modify and make changes later on down the road.

Web Developer Cost

If you hire a web developer, it can easily cost you $2500 or more at the very lowest end of the cost scale. Many of the “elite” web developers ask $10,000 or more. Also, once you get your website up and running, you are stuck with it, and if you decide you want to make any changes or “tweaks” to the design, you’ll be more than likely have to rehire them or someone else to make the changes.
This means more money out of your pocket and more waiting time.

Ask Yourself, These 3 Questions Before You Decide On Custom Web Development:

  1. Will I need a custom, scalable website?{What is a scalability }
  2. Can my business afford the budget needed for website development and maintenance or does it need a custom coded website in the first case?
  3. Am I ready to deal with overheads involved in hiring a developer?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, Don’t Worry!

Website Builders are Powerful!

1. Features

  • Pre-built Website Templates
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • Drag and drop anything
  • Constant new features
  • Build in less than 4 hours
  • Start at $10 [Free Trial]

2. Easy to Use

If you can just point and click, you can create your own website.
Most of them are drag and drop builders. All you need to do is drag and drop web elements to customize the web design.

3. More Control and Flexibility

The best part is, by using a website builder software, not only do you get CONTROL over your website, but you’ll also be able to modify it whenever you wish, and do it all for way less than hiring a web developer.(way less money and time)

Overall flexibility is another great thing about these web builders.That flexibility can let you create a blog or website for any small business easily—All by yourselfIt doesn’t matter if it’s a small “mom and pops” business or even a business with a handful of employees.

That’s not it!

4. Website builders are Affordable

Yes, they are not costly! Some of them just cost about as monthly shared hosting prices.

And almost all builder either have Free website builder trials or 14- 30-day money back guarantee offers. You can pretty much create a basic business website for free with these offers.

These options are mostly for promotional purposes, and I personally don’t suggest this free plan for professional sites.

Note: Most builders have the limitation on the number of free web pages you can create with the free package.

Here are few business categories, for which you can effortlessly create a business website with website builders.

Now that you know when to choose “ a website builder vs. a web developer “

Let me ask you a question

Do you prefer a website builder?
Do you belong to above business niches?

Then let's move to chapter 3 where I explain the process we followed in reviewing and rating website builders.


Chapter 3:

12-Step Evaluation of Website Builders

evaluation of we

There are hundreds of web builders out there and choosing the best is an uphill struggle!
Let me simplify that process!
I feel reviews will be effective if I am transparent about the way I review them.

So, let me walk you through 12-step evaluation process my team, and I followed to do an in-depth analysis 

Which Website Builder is the Best?

The online website builders market has exploded in the recent times with many new additions. In addition to this excess, all top web hosting companies started creating their own website builder software giving their users easy-to-implement features and much more.

Such increase in options is a good thing for the market except for one problem for the users.
It is the complicated process of figuring out the best website creator which will make the process of building a website fast, easy and effortless.

Although all website creators are out there in the market with the same goal of making website building an easy task, yet, each one of them is different. Every bad or good site builder has its own features set, advantages and of course… disadvantages.

Although it is possible to test some of them which provide free website builder options, it is an uphill drive for small businessmen to make tens of sample sites.

So I decided to take that uphill drive as my daytime job.

I built a sample site on all top website builder and reviewed them. I mostly bought small-medium packages from the builders for creating these sample sites. For less common website builders, I created sample sites using their free plans.

Website Building with web builders

Note: If you want to create a free website with best free website builders, you can check my other guide on the topic.

Why my website builder reviews are better than others?

Unlike other lengthy website builder reviews that are HEAVILY biased to favor most popular companies that pay highest affiliation commission, the goal of this website is NOT to sell you any particular website builder to make a quick buck.

I want to provide you a completely unbiased (and meticulous analysis) AND transparent critique of all leading website builders on the market right now.

Not only have I conducted the most thorough evaluation of each of the top website builders in a completely unbiased way but I’m also giving you a clear breakdown of what I liked, what I didn’t like, and much more for each website creator.

Quick Note: Real user reviews and ratings is also a factor in how and why I tag few of them as best, few as easy and some other as simple website builders.

Detailed Reviews for Each BuilderHere’s The Exact Process We Used To Figure Out The Best Website Builder.

I established this process and implemented it with the help of my team, so from here on I would like to address ourselves as a team!

So here is what we did:

  • We Signed Up for Top Website Builders
    We started out by choosing most of the top website builders.  We plan on continuing to add more to the list as we review them every month, to make sure all the best website makers are reviewed for you.
  • We Built Complete Demo Websites
    Once we signed up with each, we took our time and built out a demo website for each particular website builder and then recorded our experience in detail
  • 12-Step Evaluation Process
    During the process of building the demo websites with each of the website builders, we conducted a very strategic and thorough 12-step evaluation with each builder.

We took a very close look at 12 of the most critical aspects which are listed below:

  • Ease & Usability
  • Design Options
  • SEO Features
  • Scope of Features
  • Real User Views
  • Loading Speed
  • Overall Responsiveness
  • Scope of Integrations
  • Pros and Cons
  • Pricing & Support

We Wrote Detailed Reviews for Each Builder.

Once we set up the demo sites and evaluated each website builder according to our 12-step evaluation process, we wrote out a detailed review of each website builder. You can now read all of these reviews by visiting reviews section on

For every step in our 12 step evaluation process, we have a winning website builder that prevailed over the rest.

Find the list of winning website builders for each step in Chapter 4.

Chapter 4:

Winners By Category

We have winners for every step in our 12-step-evaluation.

So how is this chapter useful for you?

For Example: If your priority is ease of use in a builder, our winner for usability section is most likely what you are looking for.

1. Usability

Usability factorsAfter all, we are choosing website builders for ease they offer.
So, most of the bests are continuously trying to make themselves, the easiest website builders to use.

In that process, almost all old and new website builders introduced drag and drop function—you drag the element you want, and you drop it to your page.

Sounds pretty good right?

But this ain’t right with all website builder.

This USP feature doesn't work the same way for all website makers. And that is our first factor to test and compare.

Besides that, there are other things to take into consideration, such as smoothness, the speed of the interface, efficiency of the editor and how intuitive is the website builder software dashboard.

winner wix-Website BuilderIf you can design and build a beautiful and functional website, but to get there if you have to lose your mind trying to figure out how it works, perhaps it’s not really worth it.

That’s why usability is the first point on our checklist.

Following are the factors tested to find the easiest and usable website builder:

  • Ease of Dashboard Use
  • Speed of interface
  • Efficiency of editor
  • Intuitive Software

WIX is the one-word answer for “which is the best website builder for beginners.”

WIX’s powerful combination of drag & drop and editor makes it easy to create personalized websites.

And you don’t need to read the user manual to understand WIX options and features.

2. Loading Speed

Loading speed is important

Loading Speed Is Important, But Why?

You may be able to add colorful charts, attractive galleries, and fun videos to your site. But if it takes 30 seconds to load all that beautiful content, nobody will ever wait to see how amazing your page is.

Just imagine — would you as a customer wait that long?

The loading speed is very important for your users/customers —and it is for us too — therefore, the website builder of your choice should be up to par in this category.

winner weebly-Website BuilderHow We Tested Loading Speed

We made sure to run different tests for different templates and various devices, to make sure that regardless of the circumstances, the final product—a.k.a. Your page— has a decent—which means at least an average—loading speed.

Factors Tested:

  • Page score
  • Yscore
  • Page Size vs Page Load Time
  • Number of Calls Made to Database
  • Caching Capabilities

Loading speed is one of the very few problems we usually face with website creators. But unlike rest of them, Weebly with 3.5 seconds loading time is not only the best amongst website builders but also can be compared with most self-hosted websites on the internet.

3. Design Options

Factors to check on templates
The Appearance Of Your Site Has A Huge Impact

If your page loads as soon as you click on it, but it is just a basic, non-appealing, boring website template, your visitors will leave just as fast as they got there.

Let it be a photography site, restaurant site or some other small business site, it is important to find a site builder that offers a good selection of modern templates for your business category.

In addition to that, those website templates should have enough customization options to design your website the way you want.

We want to help you find it too!

How Do We Achieve This?

We check how many themes, in what business categories, customization options and how many styles—minimalist, vintage, modern, etcetera—, each web builder offers.

Not only that, but we also check to see how well they perform.

In short, we look for the whole design package!

winner squarespace-Website BuilderFactors Tested:

  • Number of Themes
  • Categories
  • Look of Themes
  • Customization Options
  • Technical Background of Themes
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Responsiveness
  • Styles each theme provides

With a total of 84 responsive themes with hundreds of customization options, Squarespace is our winner - may be your winner too in this category.

The categories list includes travel, photography, small business, lifestyle, home, health, food, fashion, art and even online stores.

They let you edit the code.(Many top builders won’t let you do that)

4. Responsiveness

responsive websites

This is the mobile-first generation.

FACT: The number of mobile visitors to your business website or blog is increasing faster than you think.

Moreover, it is one of must do things to make your website mobile friendly to be a search engine friendly website. (Google is soon going to introduce mobile first index)

So, it is imperative to know:

winner squarespace-Website Builder

Can your website maker make mobile-friendly websites?

To find that out, we figure out if it is a responsive or adaptive or mobile dedicated website maker.(These days all best website builders are responsive).

To do so, we check the following factors:

  • Responsive Check
  • Technology Used in Themes
  • Mobile Editor
  • If AMP(accelerated mobile pages) is supported
  • Loading Speed on mobiles

Quick Note: We used Screenfly tool to check how responsive are sample websites.

5.  SEO

Search engine optimization

Be Visible!

If you are putting all that thought, time, effort, and sometimes even money to your brand-new website, you probably aren’t looking just to enjoy it yourself. You want the whole world to know about it! SEO helps you get there!

That’s why the SEO—search engine optimization—options of a website builder come in handy for you.

Moreover, SEO is the best way for small business owners to compete with big guns in their niche.

In a way- choosing an SEO friendly website is choosing the best website builder for small businesses

How Can You Say a Website Builder is SEO Friendly

winner squarespace-Website BuilderConsidering the importance of SEO, almost all top website builder provide at least these basic SEO options:

  • Editing Meta Titles and Descriptions,
  • SSL, https, sitemaps, robots.txt,  header tags, alt tags, URL editing, Canonical and category options
  • Analytics and Search Console Integration.

But miss out on few crucial technical SEO things like :

  • Letting you edit the code- for valid HTML, CSS and correction crawl errors
  • Managing proper site structure
  • Optimizing website for AMP
  • Managing page duplications and precise page redirections,
  • Easy integration with location-based services
  • Ways to optimize the load speed

Compared to other easy to use website builder software providers, Squarespace covers most of those technical SEO options. So it's our winner for best SEO friendly website builder.

Special Mention: If you are okay to go an extra mile to read a bit on the internet, we suggest using Wordpress with the help of best WordPress website builder, DIVI. It, in our opinion, gives you comprehensive solution for building SEO friendly websites.{We would have rated it as the winner, but considering other factors like ease of use, we have chosen Squarespace }

Note: Options are just not enough to make your site SEO friendly. Please check our guide on how to optimize your website for search engines.

6. Integrations


The integrations offered by a website builder tool can not only allow you to customize your site to your preference but also can attend to all of your needs and the needs of your visitors.

Can the software integrate social media—a.k.a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.? Does it allow you to add plugins to facilitate mail subscription, membership, commenting and other features?

We check to see if you can add additional features to your site or store!

Winner for apps - wixWe make sure to review the website builder’s app—or, if not available, at least the plugins compatible with the tool—to see how personalized your final site can be.

If you are going to build a website, you’ve got to make sure to use software that lets you do it your way! And we want to help you find it.

Factors Tested:

  • Number of Apps
  • Free and Paid Apps
  • Options to Integrate Custom Apps
  • API Integrations

With over 250 free apps, Wix lets you add almost any kind of functionality.

7. Support

customer support winner

Everyone Needs a Little Help!

Like we said before, if you are going to embark upon a DIY website, you might as well choose one that is going to be easy to use!

winner shopify-Website BuilderEven with the most comfortable, intuitive software on the market, questions are going to be inevitable. We know that. That’s why we want you to find a website builder that offers only the best customer support.

Is the website builder supportive enough?

We created a list of possible issues one might face throughout the website building process. For every website builder, we send them to the support team—via phone, email, live chat, and also look it up in their FAQs section—, and we review their service. They should not only be fast, friendly and patient, but they should also have an accurate and helpful response to the specific problem or query.

We put their user support system to the test!

Factors Tested:

  • How fast, friendly and resourceful are Support Teams
  • Timings
  • Activity on community forums

Note: Extensive customer support is something you cannot get on open-source, free website builder software like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, or Magento.

8. Pricing

Almost all website builders available offer free versions—or at least free trials—of their core services. These free website makers won’t take you far.

Best of the website makers features come only with their paid plans.

But are they worth it?

Are their prices comparable to the other options on the market?

winner wix-for pricingThat’s what we look at in this section.

We review not only the different website builders’ prices, but also the features included under each package, the price models, the paying options, the hidden discounts—if any—, and even their billing practices.

When it comes to money—especially yours (our reader)—we want to make sure everything goes safe and sound!

Factors Tested:

  • Prices of Packages, Features Included, Value for the Money
  • Is the payment gateway secure?
  • Hidden Prices
  • Fair Billing
  • Yearly Package Discounts

By offering pricing packages that suit most budgets, Wix definitely is our and your winner in terms of pricing.

9. Features

Most of the time, the differentiative factor in a website builder—what makes it better or at least different than the rest of its competitors—comes down to one thing:

winer squarespace-Website BuilderThe Features.

Maybe it’s blogging options; perhaps it’s a cool form builder or a useful membership system. Or it could be all of them — and believe us, this can happen!

As many as they could be, we go through all of the available features in the given website builder to show you all the possibilities and tools offered!

Factors Tested:

  • All Basic Features every website builder provides
  • Any unique features for specific niches

10. Real User Reviews

No matter how hard we try, we may not be able to give you every detail of all the website builders.

winner wix- Website BuilderThis Is Why We Included User Reviews

To make our website a complete and thorough source for website builder reviews, we designed a user reviews system where all website builder users can give their reviews and ratings for the software they are using.

Factors rated by real users

  • Features
  • Templates
  • Support
  • Pricing
  • The aggregate of all the above.

Based on the user ratings, Wix is the winner of this category.

Quick Note: We feel real user ratings and reviews are invaluable. So we have a dedicated new chapter about them.

11. Pros and Cons of Website Builders

Pros and Cons logo

We agree it is hard to digest such colossal research of each website builder.

To make it easier, we added pros and cons section to each review page to give you an overview of all the provided information, just at a quick glance.

How we listed them for you.

Once we’ve reviewed every single detail about the website maker — usability, loading speed, designs, responsiveness, SEO features, integrations, support, prices, and features—we can then make a list of the significant strengths and weaknesses of their software.

You know what they say! If you have to make a decision—especially one that will have such an impact on your business—make a pros and cons list. And that is exactly what we do for you!

Are the pros good enough for you? Can you look past all the cons? Now would be a good time to start making your own, personal assessments.

12. Our Final Say

Conclusion logo

As the title of this steps suggests—duh—this is our final say about the website builder we are reviewing.

What Do We Include In This Section?

Is it as good as it claims to be? Is it worth it? Do we recommend it… or do we not? Find answers to such questions in this section.

But be aware of the following:

You know how they say—there is a match for every heart?

Well, it is kind of the same thing for website building solutions.

What may work for, let’s say an ecommerce site, may not be the ideal option for a blog, or a portfolio. And we want to emphasize that in this section.

Our final goal is to make your decision and even your learning process for a website builder easier, faster, more fun, and overall, smoother. We work hard to provide you with an in-depth review and, ultimately, a non-biased overview of the website building software that best suits your needs and goals.

In the end, the final decision is up to you!

Chapter 5:

  Top Website Builder


Do you want to choose the best website builder for your website in less than a minute?

Check out results of all our analysis in one table.

We Picked The Top Winners!

Finally, after an intense review and evaluation process, we narrowed down the overall winners with the highest ratings. As we continue to evaluate new website builders, we will update this best website builders list every single month for you as well!

Best Website Builders 2017

Chapter 6:

Top Store Builders

evaluation of we

Were you looking for store builders and didn't find them in the previous table?
They are a bit more complicated than regular website makers.

Find them all in this chapter.

We feel online store builders and regular website builders, should not be and can’t be judged on the same scale.

Here are few reasons why:

  • The basic one: Website builders help you create websites. Ecommerce website builders lets you create online stores
  • Ecommerce Platforms are sophisticated.
  • Ecommerce websites deal with more web pages than regular business websites
  • Ecommerce websites are resource intensive
  • Ecommerce websites usually deal with more traffic
  • Every ecommerce web page has to deal with high-quality images.
  • It is a must for every website builder to deal with a payment gateway.(should be extra secure)

We also added these factors to our 12 step evaluation process to figure out: which website builder is the best for ecommerce websites?

And here are our winners

Best Ecommerce Platforms 2017

Chapter 7:

Real User Reviews

We are sure: No Matter how good we try, we can't cover everything related to every builder

But we want to be a definitive resource. So we included opinions of real users.
Dive in to check what fellow users are thinking about the choice you want to try!


Although we work hard to provide you with the complete picture of every website builder and store builder with reviews, we are sure we will not be able to cover every single issue involved in working with every website builder.

But we are dedicated to our mission to make a complete website builder review site so that you don’t have to go somewhere else to find the in-depth knowledge of several website makers.

This is why we have our user review system where real users write their experiences with their choice of website builders.

Hopefully, with time, we will be able to cover all points of concern involved with all website builders.

Website Builder review

Website Builder review

Website Builder review

Our end goal: To help find the right and best website builder software for your needs.


Chapter 8:

FAQ on How to Choose the Best Website Builders

Website Builders FAQ


Once you decide on using website makers to make your website, it's quite common to get few doubts.

We got you covered with few such Frequently Asked Questions.

And we plan to add more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What themes are available and how far can you customize these templates?

No website will reach its potential without an intuitive layout and an eye-pleasing design. Most generally operate by letting you choose a theme, which is a base template that can be customized to varying degrees. The variety of themes, the scope of customization, and how easy everything is to accomplish is important.

Wix was by far the winner in this category – it was remarkably easy to use, had the most number of theme designs to choose from (510), and these were easily customized by choosing from a range of options and dragging and dropping the elements you desire. There was also a blogging solution and portfolio themes for creative professionals.

In second is XPRS, which offers roughly 242 themes. Ironically Strikingly was strikingly limited, providing just 11 themes and little design flexibility.

What do you get for the monthly fee, is there a free trial, and what about extras?

Obviously, the price is an important factor when choosing the right one, but you must also take into account what you actually get for that price. How much bang do you get for your buck?

Again Wix takes the victory here as it is overall one of the cheapest website builders, but is also one of the easiest to use with the best features. It has four plans starting at just $4.08 and reaching $16.17. There is no need for any added payments once you’ve chosen a plan (unless you upgrade) and if you’re not entirely happy, you can get your money back within a 14-day window. This essentially gives you a free trial. You can also test the builder for free, but you won’t have access to all the features, and you’ll need to pay for a plan to use your custom domain name.

Yolas was also an affordable option (plans from $6.95 to $29.95) and provides a free trial and money back guarantee.

How fast do pages load and does the site do well under the pressure of many users?

To give a little insight into the performance of each service, we tested websites that were built with them via a standard speed analysis service.
The fastest of the bunch was a site made with Voog (2.8 seconds), and the slowest was Wix (18.6 seconds).

However due to various factors (size of the page) and limited nature of testing (small sample size) we don’t believe any service was so slow that it should be written off completely. It might be wise to do your own tests with sites of a similar size to what you plan to create.

Is the site you create accessible from all major devices?

In today’s world of smartphones and mobile devices, there’s no excuse for not having a site that can be accessed and is fully functional on all major devices.

We tested every builder’s ability to accomplish this. All of the others created functional mobile-friendly pages by default that worked on mobiles at 320px-374px, 375px-424px, 425px-767px, and on Tablet at 768-1024px. The exception was Weebly which we failed to test using all of our testing devices, but their promotional material and other reviewers assure is that it is mobile ready.

What types of website can the builder create and how many can you host?

Wix, XPRS, and Site123 stand out here because not only do they support various types of a site from a functional standpoint (creative portfolio for example), they also have multiple themes that aesthetically appeal to certain industries (health, fashion, education, etc.).

We give Wix the edge here because it has the extensive selection of themes, but also has functional solutions for blogging, eCommerce, and creative portfolios. Of course how this all applies to your project is what’s important.

How well optimized for search engines is the site and how easy is it to accomplish optimization?

No matter how good your site is, if it’s not optimized for search engines, it is not going to get the amount of organic traffic it deserves. Wix, Weebly and Strikingly offered the most in the SEO category, allowing you to customize URLs with your keywords and titles, edit meta tags, and edit the alt description tag for images. It was this latter option where the others missed the boat and might cause you to lose traffic from the image search results.

Can your site integrate with important third-party services?

To make your website feature-rich, you should be able to use third-party services and code, as well as have access to add-ons that can be easily installed to expand functionality.

For example, it’s no good having a blog or content-rich site that provokes debate if you can’t integrate it with your favorite commenting platform. Most of the builders we used to allow you to add your own code in some form (even if it’s just limited to a box or the sidebar), but Wix had the most extensive list of add-ons (300 to 500) via its marketplace. Some of these are free, and others are premium. Squarespace, Weebly, and Site123 also had a respectable amount of add-ons to choose from.

If you make a mistake in the builder, can you easily go back?

There’s going to be a certain amount of trial and error when you’re building your website, so the ability to ‘undo’ or go back to get rid of mistakes and things you don’t like is crucial.
Weebly is king in this category as not only can you just use the keyboard shortcut for undo (Ctrl+Z) to go back on your latest action, you can also restore deleted blocks, pages, blog posts, and even an entire site. This essentially works like a recycle bin in Windows.

Site123, XPRS, and Squarespace are similar, but the latter only store's pages in the bin for 30 days.

Can you get fast and adequate help if you’re stuck or need a question answered?

There’s nothing worse than being sold that a service has good customer support, only for the person on the other end being unable to help you or to wait days for somebody to reply to the ticket at all. We gathered which support options are available for each builder and put email and live chat to the test where applicable.

Strikingly has the most support options, including email, live chat, and phone. Their live chat response was also just one minute – the fastest of the bunch. For everyone else live chat responses were always a matter of minutes, while responses that came by email were always within a few hours. Unfortunately, Weebly and Squarespace failed to respond to support emails, while Voog failed to respond to live chat.

Is there a blogging solution and how advanced is it?

If you want to create regular content, you could in theory just keep adding new pages, but blogging has a distinct style that includes the author’s name and date the post was published and is often separate from the other pages of the site.

We checked our 10 builders (all who had dedicated blogging solutions) for the ability to schedule posts (write them and have them go live at a set time), send a newsletter to followers of the blog, and whether there were different levels of editing (i.e., admin and contributor).

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly passed with flying colors; while Yola, Strikingly and XPRS could only accomplish the newsletter; Duda could schedule and edit, Voog could send a newsletter and edit, and Site123 could only schedule posts.

What features are there to encourage user-interactivity?

If you want to engage with your site’s visitors and build a lasting relationship, there need to be ways in which they can interact. The most common method has a commenting system where they can discuss pages and posts with each and even you (if you decide to chime in).

All of the builders we tested had commenting systems and some allowed third-party systems like Disqus through add-ons. Another way to encourage interactivity is to allow a more advanced membership system. If a user is part of a club, they’re more likely to return.

Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Duda all allow users to register accounts. If you want to create a welcome message or some kind of call to action, Wix, Yola, Weebly, XPRS, and Duda all allow you to serve a popup on the homepage. Wix, Weebly, and Duda offer all three options.

How easy is the builder to use and how long does it take to build an average website?

The easier a builder is to use, the faster you can make your site. However building a site quickly is meaningless if there aren’t many options and the end result is subpar. Strikingly fall into this latter category, and we advise to use this only if this is your first site and you’re not looking for anything advanced.

All other builders can range between a few hours (if you stick to the base templates) to a few days, depending on how much you wish to change, how many features you want to add, and the overall scope of the project. Best website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, offer the best overall experience regarding ease of use, while also offering enough features to create most types of site efficiently.