DIY Website Builder – Even You Can Build & Publish a Website

Last updated on December 21, 2016

DIY Website BuilderA DIY website builder is a way for you to create and publish a website, without having to know how to write codes.

In the past, you had to know how to write HTML and CSS codes if you wanted to put anything online.

This is not the case anymore.

Anyone, including you, can create an online website presence quickly and easily – without knowing how to code.

Just a few short years ago, building a website for your business, to share your hobbies, or just for whatever reasons, you either had to learn how to code, learn how to get hosting services to get your website up, and all sorts of technical mumbo jumbo that majority of the people either don’t have the time or interest to learn.

It’s that, or you would have to pay thousands of dollars to hire a programmer to build it for you.  Most people just don’t have the money or appetite to commit to this.

These hurdles or barriers to create your website are now gone.

You can sign up to use a DIY website builder (some of them are free), and start dragging and dropping text, images, slideshows, or videos into an editor, and publish your own website with just a click.

No coding necessary, you don’t need thousands of dollars, and you can get something good published in under an hour.

 

WHAT IS A DIY WEBSITE BUILDER?

A DIY website builder is a program that is accessible online (it is a software) where you can sign up using just your email address, and the program allows you to start inserting components such as text, images, slideshows, etc, into a blank canvas so you can start populating your website.

You can also select from a variety of free beautiful and professional templates to give your website a unique look and design.

(Click here if you are want to look at free, professional ecommerce templates)

The DIY website creator will also host your website for you, so you don’t have to worry about all the technical details of setting up hosting (including configuration, security updates, etc).

What does this mean?  For a website to “exist” on the internet, someone has to “host” the website.  Simplistically, the host will power your website so that people can visit it on the internet.

In general, a good DIY website builder will take care of all the technical parts of website creation, so you can quickly insert your own content and get your site up and running.

 

WHAT DIY WEBSITE BUILDERS ARE AVAILABLE

Nowadays, there are a lot of different DIY website creators available to you.  Most of them offer you free services with the opportunity to upgrade to their paid subscription plans in order to access more advanced features.

But the upgrading part is optional as if you find the free tools sufficient for your own needs, you don’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to.

The fact that a lot of them are free for you to try, this gives you the advantage of testing some of them before deciding which one best suits your needs.

Some of the DIY website builders that we’ve used ourselves include:

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. Weebly
  4. Jimdo
  5. IM Creator

You can click on the links above to see our detailed reviews on those individual website builders.

Not sure how to pick the best website builder for yourself? Here are 9 Simple Questions you should ask yourself to help you choose.

 

NOT ALL DIY WEBSITE BUILDERS ARE CREATED EQUALLY

Overall, there isn’t a clear “best” website builder out there, as each builder has its own unique qualities which we fully describe in our review articles for them.

For instance, Squarespace has some of the most polished and professional templates available and they are all responsive (meaning that they will provide you with some of the best viewing experiences no matter if you are looking at your website on your desktop, tablet or mobile phones).

DIY Website builder - templates

Click to see Squarespace Templates

Weebly is one of the easiest to use drag and drop DIY website builders available on the market.  Their user interface is very intuitive and so you can quickly learn how to use it in a pretty short amount of time.

Click here to see a detailed Pros and Cons discussion table on Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Jimdo.  This pro and cons page outlines our thoughts on what each of these website builders is good at, and what they need to improve.  This will hopefully help you save time to figure out which ones you should test to see if they fit your overall needs.

DIY website builder - comparison chartWe also compiled a comparison chart so you can have a quick glance over  our ratings of each of the website builders based on our experiences of using them.  Some key features that we score include:

  • Ease of use
  • Design flexibility
  • Themes design available
  • Pricing
  • SEO (search engine optimization – basically how search engine friendly it is)
  • The ability to export your website
  • Support services available
  • e-Commerce tools

 

ANYTHING I SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT USING A DIY WEBSITE BUILDER?

As with all things, there are pros and there are always cons.  It’s a balance that you need to strike for yourself to see if you can live with them.

Here are a few limitations that you should be aware of:

Customization Limitations – DIY website builders are “closed source” programs, so they do have limitations when it comes to customizations that you can make, which is less than other more advanced website builders.

Shared Hosting – any websites build with DIY builders will be hosted on these their servers, so you don’t have full control over your own content.  Also, if you violate the builder’s terms & conditions, they can shut down your account.  Now, this rarely happens unless you are abusing their services, or if you create content that is considered to be in “bad taste”.  So if you don’t have such intents, you don’t have much to worry about.

No Backup – most of the builders (except for Weebly and IM Creator) do not allow you to fully backup your websites. So if you want to take your entire website elsewhere, this is going to be a challenge.

Slower Loading Speed – as the website that you build will be hosted on shared hosting, you will be sharing server resources and bandwidth with other websites. This will result in slower website loading speed, especially if you have very large image files on your website.  Overall, it might take a few more seconds to load a page, but it won’t be detrimental to cause a normal visitor to leave your site.

So there are definitely some drawbacks to using a DIY website builder.  In our view, these are not massive limitations, especially if you don’t have the appetite (or time) to spend a month or more to learn how to code, or use other more advanced website builders.

 

CONCLUSION – DIY WEBSITE BUILDER

Gone are the days where you have to hire a programmer or spend months to learn codes in order to build and publish your own website.  A DIY website builder allows you to publish your own website within one single day if you really wanted to.

They provide you with all the website building tools, hosting services and also customer support so you can also successfully create your own website without investing an enormous amount of time and money.

There is no “one size fits all” solution.  So to save you some time in testing all of them and to get started quickly, feel free to read through our:

Website Builder Comparison Chart

Pros & Cons Analysis of 4 Popular Website Builders

Hopefully, these will help you make an informed decision on which DIY website builder to test, and decide on your own if they have the right tools and features to help you create your website!

Found This Guide Helpful?

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

Leave a Reply

16 Responses to DIY Website Builder – Even You Can Build & Publish a Website

  1. #

    It is anyway to get the code of the site created?

    Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Jonny,

      Weebly allows you to export your sites’ codes. But generally speaking, it’s not very helpful.

      Each drag & drop website builder has its own code base which enables their tools to work in a drag and drop way. So once you take your website out of the code base, then a lot of the functions won’t work any more.

      It’s the same idea as taking a component out of an iPhone, that’s built specifically for iPhones, and try to insert that component into a Samsung phone. It’s just not compatible due to the proprietary construction of that specific component.

      With Weebly, while they allow you to export your entire website, you’d have to know how to upload all the codes into your own host, and any changes after that you’d have to hand code in the modifications.

      So you won’t be able to upload the codes into another website builder (say WordPress or Wix). This applies to other website builders too.

      Hope this explains things a bit.

      Jeremy

  2. #

    Thank you Jeremy. It was very helpful. I also found one called Pixel Together I found that it is very easy to use. I think it’s worth to try : )

  3. #

    A very encouraging introduction to the website subject. Thanks very much. MM

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Glad you enjoyed our discussion Denos!

      Jeremy

  4. #

    Thank you for the helpful information on these DIY website builders. I’ve been using Weebly for a couple years but I’m interested in trying other systems that might have features that Weebly lacks. I tried setting up a sample site on IM Creator but the resulting site is blocked by OpenDNS as a phishing site. I liked the package options and features but it doesn’t do any good if you can’t see it.

    Thought you’d like to know.
    Good review!!
    Debra

  5. #

    Please help. I hosted my website in godaddy. Now I need to just put an image like site under construction message. I don’t know to do this cpanel 🙁

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi there,

      If you are using GoDaddy as your hosting service already, try checking out their drag and drop website builder which allows you to drag any images to your website quite easily.

      – Jeremy

      • #

        Jeremy, thank you for all the helpful information. I actually have been using GoDaddy and their website builder for several years now, but they have recently “upgraded” the builder and templates and I find the new one absolutely horrible! I have always liked doing business with GoDaddy because of the ease of use and their wonderful customer service, but after 4 hours of trying to rebuild my website with their “new” builder, I finally gave up and am looking for a new one 🙁

        • Jeremy Wong
          #

          Hi Deborah,

          Sorry to hear about that.

          In my view there are a few other better drag and drop website builders in the market today. All of them provide you with either phone or live chat support (in addition to email & forum).

          I’d suggest you take a look at Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. Here’s a quick overview comparison chart which will compare some of the more popular website builders.

          Good luck and thanks for updating us!

          Jeremy

  6. #

    Jeremy, given the massive limitations you described, do you have any web hosting sites with web site builders that you could recommend? Godaddy? or JustHost? Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Grant,

      If you really want to get much faster loading speed, able to heavily customize your site, etc, the best option is to build your website on your own dedicated host, and learn how to code so you can modify your designs (that is if you aren’t proficient with codes already).

      Getting a faster, dedicated server can cost you quite a bit of money per month (maybe from $50 to hundreds of dollars per month).

      Even if you use website builders that are provided by hosts (such as GoDaddy), you still only get access to shared hosting.

      So if those items are important to you, perhaps you can build a custom site with WordPress.org, and also get some dedicated hosting services for your site.

      Hope this gives you a bit of direction!

      – Jeremy

  7. #

    Jeremy,

    Can you tell me which website builder or e – commerce builder offers the option to buy my site after certain period?

    Would that be something that you would want to know?

    Thank,

    Amir

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hi Amir,

      Can you clarify what exactly you mean by the option to buy your site? Do you mean if you were to build a website with say Squarespace, that you have the option to have Squarespace purchasing your site after a certain period?

      If that’s what you are implying, then I don’t think any website builders provide this option.

      But if you are asking which website builders are best if you were in the business of creating and selling websites, then I think any website builders will do. But your potential buyer may prefer a website that is hosted on its own, such as WordPress.org. But best to check with the terms of services of whatever website builder you are using to ensure that you have the ability to transfer ownership / user title to another person.

      Just a thought.

      – Jeremy

      • #

        To clarify my question I would like to find my self free off monthly payments after I can tell that I am satisfy with my website after it’s done. so for example after 5 years of service of hosting and other services that the website builder provided me with, I decided to own my website , so i would like to purchase it from the website builder and by that , I save myself the future monthly fees.

        I hope that was helpful,

        Thanks,

        Amir

        • Jeremy & Connie
          #

          Hi Amir,

          Got it. So you want to know which website builder allows you to export your site and host it somewhere else, where you can purchase your own hosting and have the choice not to continue paying the website builder on a monthly basis?

          If so, check out our website builder comparison chart and look under the “Export Website” feature. You’ll see that amongst all the builders we have compared, only Squarespace and Weebly allow you to export their websites at the moment.

          Read footnote 6 there for more discussions, or visit our Squarespace review article or Weebly review article for more details.

          Hope this helps!

          – Jeremy