With so many low-cost website creation apps available, many aspiring entrepreneurs choose to build their first business websites on their own, rather than hire a web design company. After all, it’s 2014, and the web is full of ‘easy-to-use, fast and SEO-friendly’ website builders.
Indeed, WYSIWYG website builders have improved in quality over the last few years. However, we always get what we pay for. It may turn out that your jaw-dropping $10.95 website doesn’t reach your target customer, doesn’t reflect your corporate philosophy, doesn’t convert visitors or is simply unusable.
No need to panic. If you have some marketing experience, follow some SEO-related blogs and have a great sense of aesthetics, you could certainly build a website yourself. But it’s vital to understand that when you hire a professional, you’re not just paying for his/her technical skills, you’re paying for such critical elements of running a website as: planning and strategy; experience in the industry; current design and development trends; holistic approach.
In order not to lose valuable time and energy that can be applied elsewhere, I highly recommend that you research the market before signing up to what you think is the perfect website builder for your case. Whether you just want a one-page website with your photo and phone number on it, or a feature-laden site that looks like it was developed by an army of nerds, leading website builders will help you accomplish this task. If you choose the right brand, of course. In this post I tried to select a range of site builders, from ridiculously easy-to-use to super-heavy, highly customizable platforms.
For Tech-Savvy Users
uCoz. This website builder is intended for users with a technical background. It’s like an all-inclusive WordPress. The system comes equipped with a range of Modules (forum, blog, mini chat, web polls, ad board etc.), handy widgets and included hosting. You can either use an existing domain or purchase one via uCoz. In other words, everything you might need for your website is gathered under the same roof.
Webydo. This website builder works like a cloud-based Photoshop and is primarily targeting professional designers. Its Design Management System allows you to create any complex forms and shapes using advanced web design tools. Once you have built your site you can either publish it via Webydo or export it and use a web host of your choice.
Wix. Wix is one of the best solutions for completely HTML-illiterate users. With Wix you’ll be doing a lot of text-box editing, dragging and dropping and no coding at all. It offers many ready-to-use solutions without sacrificing customization capabilities.
MotoCMS. As opposed to Wix which runs only on its own servers, MotoCMS operates as an independent online site building application. The site builder provides users with CMS templates equipped with an admin panel, ready-to-use widgets, mobile editor and other website creation tools.
Most site builders offer either absolutely free (limited) versions or free trials, so you can take them for a test drive right after finishing this post. If you use a site builder for your website, please share your experience in comments!