When you’re looking to build your first website or revamp your current one, using a website platform can help you build a beautiful, user friendly website without hiring a professional web developer. With so many options, it can be difficult to pick the right one for your business. We give you a thorough comparison of the pros and cons of Wix, Weebly, WordPress, Squarespace, Go Daddy Website Builder, Jimdo, and Webs.
Other than cost, some things to consider when picking a website builder are:
- Its SEO abilities
- Its user support
- Its reliability
- Your ownership of the content you create on the platform
Costs: Including connecting your domain, costs range from $4.08 to $24.90 per month, based on a one-year contract.
- Large selection of professional templates: Wix provides over 510 professional templates for you to choose from and the option to create your own custom design.
- Intuitive drag and drop interface: The Wix interface allows you to drag and drop your content anywhere and there’s no coding required.
- Very available support: Wix has support buttons everywhere and offers phone support
- If you are using Wix’s free website builder, it includes advertisement logos on the side and at the bottom of the website after you publish. All free website builders have their own advertisement credits, but Wix’s are really quite prominent. To remove the advertisements, you will need to upgrade to at least their “Combo” premium package.
- Once you pick a template, you cannot change it without rebuilding your website.
- Extras like e-commerce are only available with the highest-priced options, and though hosting is included, storage and bandwidth (how many files your site can house, and how fast it performs) are limited on most plans.
Within the Wix App store, Wix provides a SEO Wizard and monitoring tool. Its a step-by-step guide to improve your site’s SEO. This super-friendly tool gives you easy to implement recommendations on increasing your website’s visibility on search engines and attracting more clients.
Wix does not allow you to export your content, so if you ever want to leave Wix, you’ll have to build your website from scratch.
Cost: Monthly prices, based on a one-year contract, range from $8 to $24.
- The templates are varied, beautiful and look professional. With these you can build almost everything you want with the extensive content blocks
- In contrast to most other website builders that provide another mobile builder, Squarespace’s templates are responsive and perform well on mobile.
- You can customize many of the elements of the website with their styling options. You can adjust the fonts, colours, image opacity, sidebar width, background images, sizes, spacing / padding, etc of just about anything on a Squarespace website.
- There isn’t a free option. If you want Squarespace, you’ll have to pay either $8, $16 or $24 per month to keep your site up and running. That makes it far and away the most expensive site builder on this list.
- If you are looking to set up an e-commerce site, you are only able to sell on Squarespace and can’t connect other online retailers. You can also only use Stripe, which is a great tool, but not available in all countries yet.
Squarespace sites are optimized for SEO out of the box without the need to download additional plugins. Squarespace allows you to optimize all the basic SEO functions, such as titles and descriptions for your overall website and also for each web page. It produces pages with clean HTML markup so that it is easily indexable by search engines.
Squarespace also has their own analytics which helps you track website traffic. Squarespace’s analytics also tell you information about mobile usage (your visitors who visited your site with mobile devices), who referred visitors to your website, the most popular content, etc.
Squarespace allows you to export your pages and blog, but only to WordPress.
Costs: Monthly prices based on a one-year contract range from free to $25. Using your own domain name is an extra $39.99 per year.
- You can use it for free with minimal advertising. They only put a Weebly ad on the footer of your website.
- Even with the free account you have access to a broad range of templates that are suitable for many different types of sites. You also get access to HTML / CSS codes if you need more design flexibility.
- One of the easiest and user friendly drag & drop website builder in the market. The website builder is very easy to use and intuitive and is suitable for users of all technical skill levels.
- If your business site needs to be more complex, then Weebly might become limited. The blogging functionality is limited, as well as the social integration.
- The quality of Weebly’s templates is relatively average when compared to other website builders. However, they are ramping up their designs and are getting much better at this.
Weebly covers all the basic SEO functions, such as descriptions, titles and keywords for each web page. You can also insert Google Analytics to start tracking your website visitor statistics as well. Alternatively, Weebly also provides a website statistics dashboard which tracks page views and unique visitors on your behalf from the past 30 days.
One important benefit that makes Weebly stands out is that they allow you to export / archive your website. So if you ever want to export your website to another host, you can be free to do so.
Cost: Plans range from free to $240 per year
- Jimdo has some of the strongest e-commerce tools for online stores. Jimdo’s e-commerce platform provides you with back-end support which helps you track inventory, open / close orders and automatic pre-set email responses to your customers, etc. Theres even more functionality with the Jimdo Business upgrade.
- Jimdo’s free platform (JimdoFree) provides you enough tools to build a very functional website. There is absolutely no pressure to upgrade to the paid platform (JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness).
- The Jimdo offers 30 customizable templates. Each new template comes in numerous pre-styled variations. Additionally, if you know a thing or two about coding, you can create a unique template for your Jimdo site using their Custom Template Interface (HTML/CSS editor + file manager).
- If you like drag and drop builders, Jimdo won’t give you that. Even though Jimdo’s website building tools are not drag and drop, don’t let this fool you into thinking that Jimdo isn’t easy to use. Its functions and user-friendliness still gets the job done, although it would feel more interactive with drag and drop.
- Jimdo has a limited number of templates right now especially if you are using the free version, and especially if you are not starting an e-commerce site, you may be a bit disappointed by the range of templates
- You can adjust the built in tools to adjust site titles, descriptions and keywords. Jimdo also offers an add on called rankingCoach, which is a premium software.
Jimdo does not have an official exporting option yet. If you decide to leave Jimdo, you won’t be able to take your site with you.
GoDaddy Website Builder
If you want to sell products, it links you up to a PayPal store. There’s no blogging either — you can only integrate a separate blog, like a WordPress or Blogger feed. If you want to get your hands dirty, no dice: you can’t edit the source code.
- GoDaddy comes with lots of pre-made website templates designed specifically for various industry categories such as business, finance, law, education, etc. The website builder is easy and intuitive to use. This makes it fairly easy to get a website off the ground quickly.
- GoDaddy might have the strongest support of all the website builders. They offer 24/7/365 Phone, Live Chat and Email Support and has a good reputation for providing support to its customers.
- GoDaddy website builder allows you to create backup copies of your website whenever you want. So you can save multiple copies / versions of your website, just in case if you make a mistake and want to restore to a previous version of your website.This is a very powerful function that no other website builders offer
- Even though GoDaddy website builder has a lot of pre-made designer templates for you to select, one of the main downside is that once you’ve picked a theme to use, you can’t switch to another one without losing your content. This is a huge draw back and many other platforms allow you to do this easily.
- This version of GoDaddy website builder doesn’t come with any e-commerce tools. GoDaddy has another website builder that’s dedicated specifically to online stores, so if you want to build an e-commerce store, that website builder will probably suit you better
- Even though GoDaddy website builder does automatically convert your site into a “mobile friendly” interface for people visiting your website using smart phones, the look and feel of the mobile versions of their websites is “basic” at best, especially when compared to how good their themes look on a desktop computer
GoDaddy website builder allows you to optimize all the basic SEO functions such as title and description for each web page. You can also upgrade to an SEO service that goes above and beyond what their website builder plans.
Services include granting you access to their keyword and topic suggestion tool, structuring your website with their Rich Snippet and Market Generator, 1-click submission of your website to over 100 search engines, including leading ones such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and SEO checklist and ranking reports. All of this can be done without paying, but it will save you time.
While you can backup your website with GoDaddy, it doesn’t have an export option yet. So if you decide you want to move your website, you won’t be able to do that without recreating it.
To use WordPress is free, however like most things in life, you get what you pay for. For free you can create content, install a pre-approved list of plugins and install basic themes. For a business, you should pay for a hosting package to get the innumerable options of WordPress. At the low end you find hosting for $5 per month at the low end(e.g. GoDaddy, Bluehost) up to $50 for hosting from companies like WP Engine.
- WordPress is an open source platform meaning you have access to all of the source code.
- Its an incredibly flexible and robust platform with countless templates and plugins that enable you to create anything that you need on your website
- Learning to use the backend dashboard of your website is very simple and there are tons of support forums on the web for users that get stuck. You won’t have to call up a developer every time you want to write a blog post.
- Although WordPress is the most powerful platform, if you don’t want to dive face first into learning the technology of how to work it, you might have to hire a developer to set it up for you
- You have to be cautious with free templates and plugins because anyone can create these things and they might not have very clean code
One of WordPress platform strengths is its Search Engine Optimization. While the standard WordPress install has some basic SEO foundations, you can install free plugins to get you 80% of the way there. We prefer the use WordPress SEO (by Yoast) plugin, and there All-In-One-SEO plugin is comparable. Install those, flip through the settings, then use their tools when writing and publishing and you’ll have a well optimized site.
You’re purchased the hosting package and so all the webpages, wordpress code and content reside on your server. Some licensing and technical points aside, you own it. You can export your data, and import to another location, you can change your web server in almost in way you want. You’re not limited by the number of themes, plugins or customized pages.
Cost: Webs has three levels of premium plans from $3.75 to $16.50 per month
- Webs allow you to build membership sites directly on their websites. This is a very rare feature in the world of website builders and is a great feature is you have “membership only” content.
- Webs has an App Store that allows you to integrate more features and third party tools directly into your Webs website with both paid and free Apps. These apps give you integration with other websites and web applications, SEO tools, etc.
- Users don’t have access to the template’s HTML or CSS files, so if you aren’t completely happy with your template, you can’t change it.
- In general, compared to other website builders, Webs’ templates selection and flexibility is not very comprehensive. You can still build a good website with Webs, but if you’re selective over design, this is where Webs can fall short.
Webs allows you to optimize all the basic SEO functions, such as titles and descriptions for your overall website. However, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan in order to customize the titles, description and meta tags for individual web page.
Webs also provides you with an internal traffic tracking tool which allows you to see how many visitors you have, number of pageviews, monthly averages, traffic sources, etc.
One downside of Webs is there is no exporting function. This means if you ever want to use a different website builder or host your own website, you can’t take the website with you. You will need to build the site from scratch if you ever choose to leave Webs.
|Builder||Cost per Month||Ownership||SEO||Major Pro||Major Con|
|Wix||$4.08 to $24.90 per month||No export||SEO Wizard in App Store||Large selection of templates||Cannot change template|
|Squarespace||$8 to $24||Export to wordpress||Built in||Best templates and all responsive||No free option|
|Weebly||Free to $25||Full export||Built in||Easiest drag and drop builder||Limited blogging|
|Jimdo||Free to $20 a month||No export||Built in and upgrade available||Strong ecommerce tools||Limited templates|
|GoDaddy Website Builder||$2.99 to $7.99 a month||Can back up, but no export||Built in and upgrade||Best support||No e-commerce tools|
|WordPress||Free to use (+ hosting and domain costs)||You own everything||Free plugins available||Most flexible and robust builder||Need a developer if you’re unfamiliar|
|Webs||$3.75 to $16.50 per month||No export||Can edit basic functions+ has tracking tools||Has ‘membership only’ feature||Not very many templates or flexibility|