If you want to build a good, mobile friendly and functional website quickly, you’ll need to choose a platform (also known as content management system). Content Management Systems (CMS) generally provide wide design customization options and tools you can use to give your website one-of-a-kind design. They work great for some types of custom-made websites as well as for projects, which are meant for further monetization. The only problem is that exploration and use of such systems may be a problem for users, who lack coding basics. Below are the reasons I recommend you start becoming a good friend with WordPress.
WordPress vs. HTML & CSS
Learning HTML from scratch can take 6+ months, let alone CSS and PHP. Having a basic knowledge of HTML can help you gauge things more quickly, but if you want to create a website within a day or two, learning HTML isn’t a viable option.
WordPress vs. Website Builders
Website builders are expensive and often very limited. They are good for one-page websites, but not more.
WordPress vs. Joomla/Drupal:
Drupal is a very powerful platform that is popular with web developers and experienced coders, but it comes with a very steep learning curve that makes it a bad choice for beginners. Joomla is similar to WordPress and works great for online stores, but you’ll need at least a little bit of technical coding to make it work the way you want. Websites differ as well as the approaches to their creation. The more full-featured website you need, the more effort you will have to invest into the process of its development.
How to Create a Website with a Website Builder?
Website builders are quite easy-to-use and it’s not difficult to explore their basic features. To launch a project with a website builder, you’ll have to complete the following steps:
Registration and Template Choice. As soon as you are done with the system selection, it is high time to sign up for it. You can generally do this in a few simple steps – either by filling out the registration form and using your email to confirm the action or by using the social network accounts. Both options are easy, understandable and quick, irrespective of the service you use. Right after you register with the website builder, most systems will offer you the template selection option. Browse the collection to get the template, which adheres to your website specialization or business specification most of all.
Domain Name Selection. As a rule, website builders offer domain connection option right from the start. If you don’t have the one yet, you are welcome to buy it from the system. Whatever service you will go for, you will get a free third-level domain by default. Mind, however, that it works well for testing the major system features only. It doesn’t make any sense to publish your website with it, especially if you have long-lasting goals and serious aspirations.
Design Customization. Suppose, you are done with the template and domain choice. What’s next? Your further step implies design customization. Modern website builders come with a pretty nice selection of web design tools you can use to give your project unique and attractive appeal. It is up to you to decide what fonts, backgrounds, layouts, icons and other design elements to select.
Content Upload. Design customization is an important part of your website creation process, but the “content is certainly the King”. Take your time to create and upload the most suitable content for your website. These may be articles, images, videos, galleries and other elements you consider essential.
Publication. Finally, your website is ready for publication. Go ahead and bring it online by activating the corresponding button. It takes a few seconds only to make your project accessible on the web. Now that you have an idea of what it takes to create a website with a website builder, it makes sense to proceed with the description of the most popular services you can use for this purpose.
Best Website Builders
Wix is one of the most popular contemporary website builders. It’s ease of use, convenience and rich feature set make the service a decent choice for newbies and proficient web designers. Wix is a universal website builder. Whatever type of website you plan to create, the service will cope with the task pretty well. Your web design skills don’t matter a lot here – the system is easy-to-use, intuitive and understandable even for users with zero coding knowledge. Wix pricing policy is also affordable for users with diverse financial abilities and objectives. Wix features include and are not limited to:
Editing Options. Wix currently offers two website editing options you may choose from depending upon the available web design skills. Web design pros can use the standard Wix Editor, which allows customizing a website by using design customization tools available in the dashboard. If your web development skills, however, leave much to be desired, Wix offers its Artificial Design Intelligence tool to help you get started successfully. Wix ADI makes it possible to launch a website from scratch by using the information you provide. It takes around several hours to create, edit and publish your website with the service.
App Market. The website builder comes with a set of widgets, integration of which can give your website the required functionality and visual appeal. Among the most popular widgets, you can add to your project, it makes sense to mention Form Builder, Comments and Events Calendar, LiveChat, Wix Hotels, Wix Forum, Wix Restaurants and many more.
eCommerce and Blogging. With Wix, you can create a full-featured blog and a web store. When it comes to the blogging option, you can add, edit and schedule posts, enable user comments, add a Featured posts section, create a custom feed, activate Facebook comments, add and update image galleries or videos etc. If you decide to launch an eCommerce website, you’ll be able to create and update product galleries, use professional web store management features, add multiple payment options, adjust tax and shipping details etc.
SEO Wiz. With Wix SEO Wizard, you’ll develop a detailed plan of your website promotion, which will help you analyze and detect the available problems with your website SEO and boost your site positions in the search engine.
uKit has won recognition as the easiest small business website builder. The service is simple for beginners, while web design experts like it for its stunning functionality. Whatever web design goals you have, uKit will help you reach them with no special effort and time investment. The website builder encompasses hundreds of industry-related themes, which are responsive by default. If you still realize that you’ve made the wrong choice, you can change it on the go on any stage of the development process. The template gallery consists of several categories based on the specialization of themes. These include Games, Automotive, IT Services, Cafes and Restaurants, Wedding, Education, Finance and Insurance, Travel, Photography and more. Some of the uKIT features include:
Integration of External Services. uKit allows for an effective integration of third-party services into your website. Some of them include MailChimp, AMO CRM, LiveChat etc.). They make your website more functional and visually appealing, driving user attention.
eCommerce. You can choose between two eCommerce web building options: an Ecwid plugin and an eCommerce widget. Both options have their advantages, which make it possible to create full-featured online stores almost in no time.
SSL Security. A free connection of the SSL Certificate helps protect your website content and personal information from unauthorized access and confidentiality violation.
Useful Widgets. By integrating uKit widgets, you can notably enhance your website performance. These elements are easy to set up and update. Some of them include Online Calculator (uCalc), Timeline and Stages, Slider, Gallery, Video, SoundCloud etc.
Mobile View Set Up. uKit has now made it possible to manually set up the mobile view of your website for smartphones and tablets. It is you, who now defines the way your website will adapt to these mobile devices. It is possible to hide the unnecessary blocks, set up the number of widget columns, change the background of blocks and do other actions to reach the best mobile view.
Weebly is a universal cloud website builder, which makes it possible to launch multiple types of visually-appealing and functional websites. These are business websites, portfolios, landing pages, online stores, blogs etc. The service has a drag-and-drop editor, which allows building websites without a line of code. Weebly cannot boast such a powerful template collection as those offered by Wix or uKIT. As of today, the number of templates constitutes around 60 themes, but the system developers update it when possible. All the templates are responsive. Some of Weebly features include:
Powerful eCommerce Options. The website builder comes with an integrated shopping cart, safe payment options, product preview and update options, search filter section, multiple product settings, Android and iPhone apps to manage the web store any time of the day, CSV file import/export features and other powerful eCommerce options.
Blogging. What you can do here is to add and schedule the posts, select social media sharing options, choose various commenting systems, fill your blog with content etc. Weebly has a collection of free blog templates that will boost the design of your website.
Promote Tool. It can automatically generate messages and send newsletters to the members of promo campaigns, create different types of emails and marketing lists, view marketing statistics etc.
AppCenter. Weebly’s App Center is similar to Wix App Market. This is the place, where you can find and select applications to create the engaging content for your website. Among the apps you can find here, PinPoll, LiveChat, Call-Out-Box etc. should be the first to mention.
IM Creator is a website builder that deserves special attention due to its pricing policy and niche specialization. The thing is that the service has a strong focus on building websites for entrepreneurs willing to establish a powerful web presence for their businesses. It also has nice offers for creatives, who have an idea to launch portfolio websites and landing pages for better presentation of their talent. Even though the website structure is mainly formed by using the Stripes and Polydoms Technology, IM Creator still has a pretty impressive collection of responsive templates. These templates also fall into several thematic categories to make the selection process easier and more convenient. Some of their features are:
Stripe-Based Structure. One of the major distinctions of IM Creator from other website builders is its Stripe-based structure. To launch a website with the service, you’ll have to choose between multiple content Stripes and arrange them on a web page as you need. These blocks harmoniously combine with each other and you can change their positions on a page as many times as you need.
eCommerce and Blogging Engines. IM Creator allows creating decent web stores and blogs. There are multiple templates you may browse for this purpose. If you wish, you can also select and integrate a corresponding eCommerce Stripe to launch a web store.
SITE123 adheres to the needs of newbies and professionals. With the website builder, you can solve a broad array of universal web building tasks. Whether you plan to create a business website, a portfolio, a landing page or a blog, SITE123 is a nice solution to cover these web design needs. Being a cloud website builder, SITE123 has a collection of pre-designed templates and layouts. They are free and responsive. The templates are comprised of modules users may choose from to develop web page designs. For the ease of search, the templates are grouped into categories based on their topics. In case you cannot find the template, which comes up to your web design requirements, you can get a blank canvas and create a website from scratch. Some of their features are:
Multilingual Support. You can create several language versions of your personal or business website. This contributes to the enhanced result, driving the attention of the foreign audience and potential partners.
Free SSL/HTTPS. To make sure your newly launched website and confidential information are well protected from the unwanted access, you can connect SSL encryption protocol to it. This will ensure better security and your website protection absolutely for free.
eCommerce and Blogging. The website builder can boast powerful eCommerce and blogging engines. SITE123 has special templates for each of these project types and design customization tools to give them the preferred appeal.
We’ve tried to answer the most important questions and dispel the obvious doubts related to the process of creating your first website from scratch. You can find out detailed information regarding the features of separate website builders from our multiple reviews to decide what web building tool exactly to go for. You can also write to us a request on what you would like us to expound further regarding website design and development even if you have no idea on how coding is done.