Websites are one of the most important marketing tools a business can have in the modern world. They establish your online presence and allow you to reach a much wider audience. However, not all websites are equal. Numerous factors affect the performance of a website. Things get worse when you factor in the everchanging online landscape that you need to keep up with. This means that websites need to be flexible, which is where the importance of customization comes in. Customizable website builders allow you to play around and improve your website easily and more affordably. While there are numerous options on the market, it is important to know what you are looking for in a website builder before committing to one.
The first thing that you should take into account when considering a website builder is responsiveness. A lot of time and resources will go into getting the proper web design. You will want this design to show up on numerous devices, not just desktops. This is why it is important to look for a site builder that is mobile responsive. More than 50% of searches today are done on mobile devices. If your site is outdated or lacks mobile optimization, chances are your potential customers will turn to a competitor with a better website.
Aside from having a mobile-optimized site, you need to consider customization. This can include anything from your web design options to additional plugins. Not all website platforms support the same diversity of plugins and designs you might be looking for. So, you need to know what limitations you could run into before making a final decision on the right website platform to use.
WordPress might just be the most popular website builder for many. There is a lot to say about the benefits of choosing WordPress for your site. We should begin by clarifying that there are two WordPress sites, and each one of them allows users to do slightly different things for different prices. Although they both use the same software, they operate as separate companies.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted WordPress website builder. In other words, WordPress.org allows you to download the free WordPress software, buy a domain (or bring your existing domain), and use software to build your site using paid or free templates, as well as paid or free plugins. It is important to mention that WordPress.org is a free, open-source software.
Open source means the code used to design the site is available for anyone to study and improve. This is a useful addition that can save you time if you ever need a solution for a bug or small technical issue on your site. It’s likely that you will not be the first person to come across a certain bug, and more often than not, someone has already come up with a fix for an issue you are experiencing. Thanks to open-source code, you will be able to apply their fixes on your site. If this doesn’t make sense to you, that is ok. The only thing you need to know is that using open source code gives you more control over your site.
Regardless of what type of business you run, you are sure to benefit from the flexibility of WordPress.org. The ability to play with the backend code of a WordPress theme allows for a lot more customization and personalization. This ability to tailor themes to your specific business and personal needs is what sets WordPress.org from other popular website builders.
WordPress.org is a great option because it has thousands of ready-made templates. There are specially designed themes for all types of businesses. Another key selling point of WordPress.org is the diversity it gives with plugins. Whether you need to apply additional features with the click of a button, or you want to create multilingual sites – WordPress.org has the plugins for the job. There are more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins at your fingertips, and more and more keep getting developed.
One of the most powerful features is the use of builders such as Divi to make changes to the front end of your WordPress site. This fact takes a tremendous amount of pressure off as no extensive technical knowledge is needed to make layout and text changes. The staging site or test site feature is super practical and is where you will spend most of your time getting your website to look just right.
Anyone new to WordPress could easily confuse WordPress.com and WordPress.org. After all, the name is the same. The difference lies in the customized user experience. WordPress.com is a website hosting service, such as BlueHost or SiteGround. This particular web host offers four different paid plans and a free version.
- Personal Plan – This is considered the cheapest plan and comes out to $4 dollars per month
- Premium Plan – The second most affordable plan comes out to $8 dollars per month
- Business Plan – The business plan is a little more expensive and comes out to $25 dollars per month
- ECommerce Websites Plan – Is the most expensive plan and comes out to $45 dollars per month
All plans are billed annually, and further pricing details can be found here.
Depending on your budget, you can use their free or paid plans, either of which gives you access to free templates as well as paid ones. Note that although the Personal Plan allows the use of a custom domain, it does not support custom CSS. If you are thinking of choosing one of the paid plans, the Premium Plan is considered by many as the better option because it supports custom CSS and gives you Google Analytics support. All plans come with a pre-installed SSL certificate.
WordPress.com does not use builders like WordPress.org.Elementor or other well known front end builders. Instead, it uses a customizer that is built into the platform. Although it is not as easy to use as the drag and drop function, it still allows you to add sections, navigation menus and add content to your site.
One key thing to note here is that there are no plugins available. You will not be able to use free, paid, or custom WordPress plugins when using WordPress.com.
There are a few other downsides, although you may save money by using the cheaper versions, you are sacrificing a lot in the process. For example, in the free version and personal plan, you are limited to the free templates that are available on the WordPress.com platform. Free, personal, and premium plans will show “Powered by WordPress” in the footer on your site. You may use custom domain names starting from the Personal Plan. Another thing affected by the plans is storage. Storage is based on the plan you choose, starting with the free plan which offers 3GB of storage. As for the question of having a truly responsive website with a responsive design, we can say it will depend solely on the theme you choose.
You won’t need any coding skills to work with Weebly. The built-in page builder allows you to create the site you want from one of its many available designs.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons. Weebly makes it very simple for beginners to get a website and offers a fully hosted website platform. You will have everything you need once you sign up. You don’t need to have a separate hosting account. Neither will you need to install any software to start building your website. You can enjoy working with Weebly’s live page editor. It shows you just how your page will look as you are testing out new layouts and designs.
Bloggers and business owners alike will appreciate simplicity, although it is important to state that Weebly is best for building personal websites. Larger companies looking to have a competitive business website might want to consider other options.
If you are planning to have an eCommerce site, you need to know that Weebly charges a 3% fee for every transaction done via your eCommerce store. While it might not sound like much, some people still see it as an unnecessary expense for their online store. If you are keen on keeping every penny you through your online shop, then you should opt for using WordPress.
With more than 160 million websites to their name, we can say that WIX is one of the key players when it comes to customizable website builders. However, does its popularity mean it is the best website builder? As far as building a DIY website goes, it just might be.
Hundreds of templates are available on this fully-hosted website building platform. Drag and drop building makes it super-simple to build and edit your layout. In addition to the simple drag and drop feature, it also eliminates the need for using another hosting company. Wix prides itself on providing safe and free web hosting, which allows you to focus on more important things.
One of the best benefits of WIX is the apps. Numerous free and paid apps make it super easy to add new features and functions to your website. Paid WIX plans also offer SSL certificates, which you will need to enable before going live.
WIX has a number of different plans available for customers. Those that are looking for a free website will be glad to know that there is a free version available. However, the free version will have ads on it. If you are looking to get a better, ad-free service, then you should look into their paid plans. WIX plans include: the combo plan, unlimited plan, business basic plan, business unlimited plan and the business VIP plan. If you are looking for a more in-depth look at their plans and pricing details, then click here.
Overall we can say that WIX layouts are more designed for smaller businesses rather than large corporations. They are the perfect option for artists, photographers, and small business owners that are looking to create an online presence with less hassle. Can leverage the online store to sell products online.
Building a website is not for the faint of heart. We recommend taking the time to dedicate to building your company’s website. Most importantly, be realistic about the time and skills required to create a professional site that is up to date with current demands. Your website, after all, needs to be a great representation of your company or organization. Therefore, treat it with the level of importance that it requires, and if it is possible, hire an agency to do the work for you.