August 21, 2018
So you’ve decided you need an online home and are on the lookout for the best website builder to meet your needs. The good news is there are so many options to choose from now! The bad news is, how do you decide?
Gone are the days when you needed to hire a developer to code everything for you into a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. Building a website from scratch on a CMS is tricky if you’ve never done it before.
Nowadays, website builders allow you to create a website and modify your web content ongoing with ease. Of course, as with anything, some are easier to use than others. Also, some offer greater flexibility and features than others.
What I love about Website Builders:
Now, before deciding on a system, it’s important to consider your options to determine which one is the best website builder for you.
WordPress has been the go-to in the industry for blogs, with 75 million websites running on the platform or approximately 26% of all the world’s websites.
However, it’s not a website builder but a content management system. With WordPress, your website needs to be set up with a hosting company and features all need to be added via plugins. There are 44 thousand + plugins available to add to your WordPress site depending on what you’d like the site to do. Sometimes these are free or at least have free versions, and other times premium plugins are required which come with licensing costs.
I personally have a love-hate relationship with WordPress. I love using it for blogging but do not enjoy the struggle for the right plugin at the right price. Plus, plugins require regular updating and I can think of better things to do with my time.
Therefore, my choice for websites with blogs is Showit. It’s integrated with WordPress so I get to keep my WordPress blog but use the Showit platform to design my site exactly the way I like. An added bonus, the Showit support team is amazing and can help me with any of my blog setup issues!
Some website builders are specifically designed for visual curators in mind. If your brand is visual in nature, look for:
The Showit web builder was designed specifically for photographers. Big name photographers like Jasmine Star and Jenna Kutcher have websites built on Showit.
Squarespace is all about the visual impact of design and imagery. Their website templates are clean and modern, with simple features that are built to show off gorgeous photography or inspiring videography.
Consider which option will be the best website builder for your e-commerce needs.
Squarespace is definitely my pick for this. Their templates are modern and high-end. They don’t have a massive library to choose from, but the selection they do have is high quality, clean and classic.
Showit offers some beautiful starter templates but many come with a premium price. You need to know you are committed to that design before purchasing. Whereas with Squarespace, you can try a few templates out at no additional cost.
I’ve focused on Showit and Squarespace in this article. Mostly because I believe they are the two best website builders and I personally recommend both to clients.
I do have experience working with Wix, GoDaddy and other builders but I find they often fall short or have significant limitations.
In trying to provide an all-in-one solution, you are often prevented from using third-party providers. This can be frustrating if you have to make due with a sub-par solution for things like e-commerce or email marketing when there are other options on the market that do the job much better.
Maybe you’ve had an experience with a web builder that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m Vanessa, a west coast Canadian girl obsessed with all things design who left her corporate gig to build websites for like-minded creative entrepreneurs. I’d love to help you too!
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