Website Builders Comparison Chart

Key features is based on our opinions and feedback from our visitors who completed our surveys:

 

Squarespace
Wix
Weebly
Jimdo
GoDaddy
Webs
See Squarespace
See Wix Here
See Weebly Here
See Jimdo
See GoDaddy
See Webs
Overall [1]

4.8 / 5 Stars
4-stars 4.2 / 5 Stars 4-stars 4.1 / 5 Stars 3.5-stars 3.5 / 5 Stars 3-stars 3 / 5 Stars 3-stars 2.9 / 5 Stars
Websites Powered [2] 1.8m 50m 20m 10m N/A 55m
Ease of Use 4 / 5 4.5 / 5 5 / 5 4 / 5 4 / 5 3.5 / 5
Design Flexibility [3] 5 / 5 4 / 5 4.5 / 5 4 / 5 4 / 5 3 / 5
Themes Design [4] 5 / 5 4.5 / 5 3.5 / 5 3 / 5 4 / 5 3 / 5
Responsive Themes X X X X X
Mobile Editor [5] X [5]
Pricing
(Monthly)
[6]
$8.00
$16.00
$24.00
$4.08
$8.25
$12.42
$16.17
$24.90
$4.08
$8.25
$24.92
$7.50
$20.00
$5.99
$9.99
$14.99
$4.25
$8.33
$18.89
Free Plan? 14 Days Trial X
Free Custom Domain [7] [7] X [7] [7] [7]
SEO [8] 5 / 5 4 / 5 3.5 / 5 3 / 5 3 / 5 3 / 5
Export Website? [9] X X X [9] X
Support [10] 24/7 Email
Live Chat
Knowledgebase
Email
Phone
Forum
Knowledgebase
Email
Live Chat
Knowledgebase
Email
Live Chat
Forum
Knowledgebase
Email
Live Chat
Phone
Knowledgebase
Email
Live Chat
Phone
Blogging [11] 5 / 5 4 / 5 3.5 / 5 3 / 5 3 / 5 3 / 5
e-Commerce [12] 5 / 5 4 / 5 4.5 / 5 4 / 5 0 / 5 2 / 5
Email Service [13] X X X Upgrade Upgrade Upgrade
Newsletter Creator [14] X X X X
Mobile Apps [15] X X X
Multiple Editors [16] X X X X
Overall [1] 4.8 / 5 Stars 4-stars 4.2 / 5 Stars 4-stars 4.1 / 5 Stars 3.5-stars 3.5 / 5 Stars 3-stars 3 / 5 Stars 3-stars 2.9 / 5 Stars
See our Detailed Review Squarespace Review Wix Review Weebly Review Jimdo Review GoDaddy Review Webs Review
See Squarespace
See Wix Here
See Weebly Here
See Jimdo
See GoDaddy
See Webs
Squarespace
Wix
Weebly
Jimdo
GoDaddy
Webs

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Footnotes:

[1] Overall – Scores are based on average of scoring above – You should not base your decision solely on the average scores as there are many qualitative / subjective factors that you should consider prior to deciding.  Our scoring is to help you narrow your choices, then you should always test out at least 2 of the website builders to see which one you are comfortable with before investing your time and money.  We highly recommend you read our detailed reviews for each website builder as we cover each builder in much more depth in those reviews.

 

[2] Websites Powered – Number of websites powered (in millions) by each website builder is based on publicly available information.  This does not necessarily equal to the number of active websites, or number of paying customers, but will give you an indication of its size.

 

[3] Design Flexibility - Refers to access to HTML / CSS codes to make further customizations, or extent of tools provided by website builder to make modifications to design

 

[4] Themes Squarespace themes are responsive and polished – by far the best amongst its peers.  Weebly is gradually releasing more updated themes.  If you want your web design to look good, click here to see a collection of free beautiful, professional themes.

 

[5] Mobile Editor - Squarespace doesn’t need a mobile editor as their design themes are fully responsive – meaning your website design is automatically optimized to look good on any mobile devices.  Wix & GoDaddy mobile editors allow you to hide specific content on your mobile display, while keeping these content displayed on your desktop version of your site.  This gives you flexibility to have more control over your visitors’ experience while they are surfing your site on their mobile devices.  If you know a bit of codes, Jimdo gives you access to edit the CSS codes of your mobile site – an added flexibility.

 

[6] Pricing – Monthly pricing based on annual plans.  Monthly price will be a bit higher if you enrolled on month-to-month payment plans.  Pricing plans should not be compared directly based on pricing, as each website builder offers different features for their own plans. Please read our detailed review for each website builder for further details.

 

[7] Free Domain – For web builders that offer you free custom domain names, you have to sign up to their annual plans. For Wix, you only get a free domain name if you sign up to their Combo or higher plans.  For Jimdo, you get 2 free domain names with their Business Plan, and 1 free domain name with their Pro Plan.  For Webs, you get a free domain name if you sign up to their Enhanced or higher plan.

 

[8] SEO - Squarespace gives you full control over page titles, meta descriptions and custom URL.  It also has the “Google Author Rank” built into your profile to improve your search engine exposure & site indexing.  This is automatically done so you don’t have to manually insert snippets of codes into your site which is very convenient.  Weebly allows page level control but no H1 title tags (on page level) or custom URL. Wix allows page level control, including H2 to H6 titles, but no H1 title tags (on page level) or custom URL.  Jimdo and Webs only allow page level title and meta description controls if you upgrade.  IM Creator only allows you site wide SEO configuration, but not on a page level.

[9] Export Website - Squarespace websites can be exported into WordPress, allowing you to edit your content in WordPress without knowing codes.  For Weebly, you can export HTML / CSS codes to upload into your own host.  But to edit your site, you will need to modify the codes yourself.   For GoDaddy, you can create backup points and restore your website if you want to go back to an older design.

 

[10] Support – Squarespace provides 24/7 email support and answers you within 1 hour.  Live chat support (Squarespace & Weebly) only available during day time.  Wix’s phone support is only available for for everyone which is fantastic, and if you are a VIP plan user, you get first priority.  Webs’ live chat and phone support are only available for higher premium plan subscribers.  GoDaddy is very well known for their strong 24/7 support environment.

 

[11] Blogging – Squarespace allows you to schedule when to publish your post (so you can write ahead of time). It can also connect & automatically publish your blog post on your Facebook & Twitter accounts.  Squarespace has the “Google Author Rank” built into your profile (to improve your search engine & blog indexing), a spam blocker, built in integration with Disqus commenting system (if you don’t want to use Squarespace’s commenting system), and has multiple author support for guest postings.  Wix integrates Facebook commenting system and you can  style your blog background, which is an added flexibility. 

 

[12] e-Commerce - If you are building an online store, see our e-commerce builder comparison chart.  Even though Wix has decent e-commerce tools, you can access even more powerful tools through the Wix App Market (our review), allowing you to bolt on powerful e-commerce platforms such as Shopify (our review) or Ecwid.  Currently, GoDaddy website builder does not offer any e-commerce features.

 

[13] Email Service - For Squarespace, Weebly and Wix, you can get your own custom email address through Google Business Apps (Gmail, but for businesses) for about $4 per month. For Jimdo, Webs and GoDaddy - “Upgrade” means that email service is only included if you upgrade to the web builder’s premium plans.

 

[14] Newsletter Creator - Wix & Jimdo have built-in newsletter creators where you can send your contact list update newsletters. For Wix, their newsletter creator (called Shoutout) allows you to import email addresses from your Gmail or Outlook / Hotmail. You can also automatically insert addresses of people who has contacted you through your contact form.

 

[15] Mobile Apps - Squarespace as 4 mobile apps, allowing you to write blog posts, manage comments, monitor traffic, track social followers, showcase your galleries / portfolio in a as a presentation on your iPad / iPhone, and a note app so you can keep track of your ideas which syncs with your website, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.  The Weebly App allows you to write blog posts, manage comments, monitor traffic, and manage products & get sales notifications for your online store.  Jimdo’s mobile App allows you to build / update your entire site (including blog posts), and monitor your traffic.  It is the only App that allows you to build an entire website through the App.

 

[16] Multiple Editors Squarespace & Weebly allow you to add editors with different levels of access / authority rights to help you manage your website.  You can set limits so some editors can’t access all parts of your website. This is a very handy tool if you plan on having a team to help you manage and/or build your site.

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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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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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215 Responses to Website Builders Comparison Chart

  1. Tony B August 30, 2014 at 4:45 AM #

    Thanks so much for all the help you provide. I would like to build my own easy to navigate website with 2 or 3 dropdowns that would contain a name list of places to contain about 25 names each, once a name was clicked from the list, a page would load showing 3 or 4 pictures of that location that I could change when necessary. I could not find any templates from WIX or Weebly for what I believe to be a fairly simple website design. Am I asking too much? Do I need to pay someone to build this because of the dropdown menu?
    Thanks in advance for your time answering this question.

    • Jeremy Wong August 30, 2014 at 1:39 PM #

      Hi Tony,

      You should be able to do this with all the website builders listed above, and it doesn’t have anything to do with which template you pick from any of them.

      It’s the way you are to create your page structure. Just create main pages that will show up on your menu bar, then create subpages below these main pages and these will be the locations that you mentioned. So when people hover their mouse over the main menu bar, they will see the subpages show up by the menu bar and can click into them.

      You can modify all the pages with your own content as you want to.

      - Jeremy

  2. Remy August 29, 2014 at 3:58 PM #

    Hello Jeremy
    Thank you for all your efforts of trying to answer all of our questions.

    Now as for me, I know nothing about building a website, i am a TRUE NEWBIE. I don’t even know what’s a domain name or where to obtain one ! I have never built or try to build a website in my life and i never came in contact with anyone who created one for their personal use.
    Please talk to me like a three year old and in a few sentences explain to me where do i start.
    do i start by getting a domain name ( what’s that !) then pick one of those companies mentioned above and am done?
    I am trying to build a websites for my new established business of selling services to foreigners. I am just going to use it to put information about my business, and be able to receive payments and other common things that you normally see in a business website. Nothing major except for posting a few pictures here and there.
    Please help me out, your advice is much needed, I’m kind of in total darkness about this topic.
    Thank you so much.

    • Jeremy Wong August 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM #

      Hi Remy,

      A domain name is your website address. So for instance, our domain name is http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com. That’s the address where people insert into their web browser to find your website.

      So basically you have to connect your domain name to your website, so that when the address is searched, it will load up your website. You can purchase a domain name from GoDaddy (one of the biggest domain name providers), or some website builders above actually give you a free domain name if you subscribe to their annual plans.

      If you are a beginner and looking for something extremely easy to use, I’d suggest checking out Weebly or Wix. Wix has a bit more advanced features if you want to be a bit more adventurous, and Weebly is actually quite easy to use (but will a bit less tools – but good enough to build a good website).

      Each website builder will have comprehensive tutorials on how to connect a domain name to the website that you build with their platform.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      - Jeremy

  3. Lake August 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

    Hi,

    I’m a teen who would like to create a portfolio website for my photos, without having to spend a bunch of money or pay a high monthly fee. What do you recommend?

    • Jeremy Wong August 27, 2014 at 1:46 PM #

      Hi Lake,

      If you are very price sensitive, I’d suggest Weebly then as their lowest plan is $4 per month and if you purchase their annual plan, you get a discount which lowers your investment per month even lower. With their Starter Plan ($4/month), you can connect your own domain name to the Weebly site, and also have their advertisement removed so your site is only branded with your own content.

      Wix also has a $4/month plan, but that plan doesn’t allow you to remove the Wix logo from your site, even though you can connect your own domain name to the site.

      - Jeremy

  4. Nick August 24, 2014 at 7:31 AM #

    Hi,

    Using the various web builder ‘designer platforms’ or ‘white label products’ to build sites for clients/customers is something that I have been taking on lately, I have built some with Dreamweaver but my coding isn’t great and takes ages to complete, but with these products I can produce great sites with with great results, my questions are, how is this viewed with web designers, is this frowned upon? Am I classed as a web designer? Does anyone else run this kind of business?

    Regards
    Nick

    • Jeremy Wong August 24, 2014 at 5:19 PM #

      Hi Nick,

      This is a great question. From my perspective, if I want a website built and I want to hire someone, it’s the result that matters to me, not what tools you use (within reasons of course, unless you charged me $10,000 and used a drag and drop website to create a simple website – but that’s a whole other discussion about pricing and what you get!)

      There are a lot of designers using drag and drop website builders to help their clients build websites. The advantage includes being able to hand off the website to the client so they can manage it themselves on the go (no need to email / call the designer if you want to change the color of the font, for instance).

      Weebly has a good white label program and you can access it here. But for sure, it is no uncommon for designers to use these builders to service their clients. They are usually up front with their clients about this especially if they are not using white label options such as what Weebly offers.

      - Jeremy

  5. Marie-Eve August 18, 2014 at 6:26 AM #

    Hi, What is Responsive Themes?

    Thank you!

    Marie-Eve

    • Jeremy Wong August 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM #

      Hi Marie-Eve,

      Basically, it is a template that automatically “responds”, or changes the layout to adapt to whatever device you are viewing the website with.

      So typically, a visitor to a website would be using a computer with a larger screen. But when he/she visits the same website using a tablet or a mobile phone (with a much smaller screen), if a website still insists that the visitor view the website the same way as he/she would with a larger computer monitor, it’s creates an inferior experience as you’re basically trying to stuff a large website viewing experience into a small mobile device screen.

      So a responsive template will “intelligently” adjust itself to “compress” or realign the content so that a person viewing the website with a mobile device will have a better experience.

      If you want to see it first hand, just visit Squarespace’s website on your computer, then start to manually shrink your web browser and you will start to see the website content shift to fit better in a smaller screen.

      Also, Squarespace is the only website builder at the moment that offers responsive templates for its users.

      - Jeremy

      • Ben August 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM #

        Jeremy,
        From my experience with WIX, you have the option of making your site responsive too. You have the option of deleting parts of the page and shrinking the text so that it is easy to use on a mobile.
        Ben

        • Jeremy Wong August 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM #

          Hey Ben,

          You’re absolutely correct in that you can hide / show certain content on a mobile device through using Wix’s mobile editor – which is quite powerful in that it gives you the flexibility to optimize your site’s mobile display (for those wondering how Wix’s mobile editor works, see our discussion here).

          Although it isn’t technically “responsive”, the final outcome can be quite good with this approach, in creating a more mobile user friendly experience for your visitors.

          Thanks for adding this point to our discussion!

          - Jeremy

  6. Sindi McGuire August 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM #

    I have a lot of pictures on my website and would like to know how to compress them for upload to Weebly. I’ve never compressed anything but think I probably should. I use PC at home and Mac at work. Is there a program or is it already a part of my computer system? Thanks for your help.

    • Jeremy Wong August 16, 2014 at 10:05 PM #

      Hi Sindi,

      I’d suggest you use a couple of free online based software to really compress your images so that your website will load faster.

      Either Kraken or Yahoo SmushIt works. I personally prefer Kraken and it really does a great job in compressing your image files without sacrificing too much quality. Give them a try!

      - Jeremy

  7. Casey August 16, 2014 at 1:33 PM #

    Hi Jeremy!

    I am having problems with godaddy in regards to player mp3 audio files through my music site. Their website builder audio player is only compatible with desktop computers and not mobile. So when mobile users go to my site the audio player doesnt play….and I’d say 80% of my fans go to my website via mobile. Which website builder would you recommend would be best for me in that regards? Or is there a way to get html coding for an audio player that works for mobile that would allow me to keep my godaddy website builder…..if so where do I find the html code for my mp3 audio file I want to put on the html audio player and can I have it automatically play when someone visits my site?

    Thanks so much

    • Jeremy Wong August 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM #

      Hi Casey,

      Hmm that’s very interesting – I didn’t know that so thanks for sharing your findings!

      I think there are other good audio players available in the market that you can embed into your website. I don’t know off hand all the big names but I’m sure you can find them with a Google search. I have seen more people using Soundcloud to embed their audio files on their websites, and I would be surprised if the Soundcloud audio isn’t mobile compatible.

      I think they will give you some sort of embed code and you can just use GoDaddy’s HTML embed code element to insert the audio player on your page. This approach should also work with other website builders.

      Aside from GoDaddy, you can also check out Squarespace as they have some great built-in audio tools, such as allowing you to create an audio gallery / collection (if you have multiple audio files), or you can upload one audio file at a time and play it directly on your Squarespace page.

      Wix also utilizes Soundcloud to power their audio players, so you don’t have to mess around with codes to insert your audio player into a Wix website.

      Weebly has their own Audio Player built in, so you an just upload your audio file into a Weebly website.

      - Jeremy

  8. Angela August 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM #

    So glad I found you guys!! This site is awesome =) thank you for all of the helpful info.

  9. Peter August 14, 2014 at 5:42 AM #

    Jeremy,

    Great site. Looking to set up a simple website for a non-profit org and want to do the following:

    Create simple, attractive website
    Collect emails from visitors and be able to conform them by email
    Have email address for the site
    Add other collected emails to the site list
    Send out occasional email ‘blast’ to members to announce events
    Add pictures and videos from time to time
    Add links to other related sites
    Add links to Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
    No e-commerce anticipated
    Ability to create a .org domain and transfer it if necessary

    Would like to work with just one vendor (if possible) to handle domain setup, email management and website design, maybe simple blog too. Thinking that Weebly might accomplish all this but unsure.

    Would appreciate any recommendation. Thx

    • Jeremy Wong August 17, 2014 at 11:09 AM #

      Hi Peter,

      Amongst all the web builders we’ve covered on this page, none of them have “all” the features that you want, but you can certainly “bolt on” a few tools to get them which isn’t too challenging.

      For instance, Squarespace has most of what you want, except that they don’t have a built in email system, or newsletter system. But you can use Google Business App to create your own custom email address and connect it with your Squarespace site. Squarespace also allows you to integrate with Mailchimp which is a newsletter service provider as well.

      For Wix, they just released a newsletter feature called Shoutout which allows you to send out newsletter using their internal system so you don’t have to get any external services to supplement this. But the same as Squarespace, you do have to get your own email service.

      Weebly doesn’t have their own email services either, and doesn’t have tools to integrate with newsletter services but you can definitely sign up for your own newsletter service (such as Aweber) and insert it into your Weebly site using the Embed Code element. That works just fine.

      For the other websites (Jimdo, GoDaddy, Webs), as mentioned on the chart above, do provide email services if you upgrade.

      They all should work with .org domain names (though I never had a .org domain so I haven’t tested that before!)

      - Jeremy

  10. Jay August 8, 2014 at 6:52 AM #

    Hello Jeremy,
    First of all, what a great work is this site. It is really helpful already.

    I am considering working on a site based on certain fandoms. Most, if not all of the builders seem to be able to handle all what I desire.
    I have a question on some additional feature that might be implemented in the future.

    Originally I was intending to, as part of the site, link to portfolios which visitors would like to be featured. However another option, more complex undoubtly, is to give visitors some freedom in this. So my question:

    From your comments below, I see that it would not be possible for users to upload their own artwork. I was thinking that some smart user rights and blogging access might be a work around.
    What would your opinion be on this and, if you think that this would be total unworkable, which builder would you recommend for something that comes close?

    • Jeremy Wong August 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM #

      Hi Jay,

      The website builders we’ve listed above don’t have the ability for your visitors to upload and control some of your pages. I think a lot of webmasters are reluctant to do this as while it’s a great way to build up some interaction, there are a lot of spamming out there that will be very challenging to manage.

      Having said that, if you really want something that can enable this, I don’t have any software / platform in mind. Based on what I know, I can only suggest that you seek our a developer to help you develop this custom project.

      You can check out either Elance or oDesk as there are a lot of decent coders there that you can consult with, or hire.

      Good luck with that!

      - Jeremy

      • Jay August 9, 2014 at 1:06 AM #

        Hello Jeremy,

        Thank you for your reply. I feared so much, but no problem. I’ll just go with a “light” version without it and if the site has enough visits to make it worthwhile, I’ll extend from there.

        Thanks

        Jay

    • Rachel August 11, 2014 at 8:50 AM #

      Hey Jeremy! I LOVE your website and you are a lifesaver for people like me!
      Anyways, I currently own an clothing store in Tictail, and I like it. But it doesnt have much flexible options. I cannot afford monthly payment services or anything like that. I chose Tictail because of the variety of style. What FREE website builder do you most recomment? Thanks. :)

      • Jeremy Wong August 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM #

        Hi Rachel,

        You can still use Weebly, Wix or Jimdo to power your online store but your access to their ecommerce features can be limited (for instance with Weebly and Jimdo, you can only sell up to 5 product items).

        Also, without their paid plans, you won’t be able to connect your own domain name to your site and you’ll have to use their subdomain name (such as tictail.weebly.com).

        But at the end of the day, you’ll still be able to sell products with the basic tools. But obviously, upgrading will give you a bit more flexibility.

        - Jeremy

  11. Pat Jackson August 7, 2014 at 5:49 PM #

    Hey Jeremy, HELP! I’m so ignorant about all this! I tried to “build” a site on Homestead. I could get NO help. I couldn’t even post a comment or
    question on their so called Community page. I did get a domain name, I think. When the web site was finished and published, I could not get to it
    from any search engine or even by typing in the exact domain name in the URL address. Just got a blank page. I couldn’t even find a place to cancel the whole mess. It wouldn’t let me cancel my 1 month trial because I had gotten the domain name. I couldn’t even delete the domain name. There is no contact info. There is no phone. There is no supposed “live Chat” There is nothing except I will be billed every month for a non existent web site.

    All I want is a site to show and advertise my registered cats. There are many breeders on-line. I only need 3 or 4 pages with a place to post pictures
    of kittens for sale, and a home page to show my basic information. I have a business card that I would like to put on the site. Thank so much for any
    suggestions. I have a friend that uses GO Daddy but she seems to have a bit of trouble with them also. Pat J.

    • Jeremy Wong August 7, 2014 at 7:56 PM #

      Hey Pat,

      I’m sorry to hear about about your site with Homestead. I haven’t used them before so can’t speak to their effectiveness.

      Moving on, I think any of the top 3 website builders above will get the job done just fine. They’re very reputable and have good support. Squarespace will answer emails in an our and with Wix, you can even schedule up phone support. Weebly also has reliable support as they usually get back to its users in a day or 2.

      Squarespace has a free trial program (no credit card required) and both Wix and Weebly have free plans (but you can upgrade if you are comfortable with them).

      Good luck!

      - Jeremy

  12. Cory Yeakel August 6, 2014 at 9:43 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Awesome reviews, thanks for all of the great info. I do have a question though – not sure if this is possible on any of the above builders – I’m looking to build a site that allows users to post their own content. I read below that uploading things like pictures will require an actual developer, but can any of the above builders allow users to create their own account (just a username and password) and let them upload text posts? Similar to Reddit.com if you’re familiar with that.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong August 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM #

      Hi Cory,

      Thanks for your question – I still don’t think any of the website builders we’ve mentioned above will allow you to do this. It sounds like you’re thinking of creating a forum, so you can try searching for some forum software that will enable you to do this.

      - Jeremy

  13. Donna July 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    This is a great resource. I’m glad I found you! First off, I am a REAL NEWBIE here! I have a marketing/PD background and am trying my best to figure out what I need to do to make money from domains I own. I do not have digital media/social media experience at the moment. I have several domain names with GoDaddy and want to build a site for one of them now. I have been researching web design companies and honestly am overwhelmed by all that is required to build a site, keep it running and make money from it! But I am determined to do so with at least one of my domains!

    Without going into a long post here, it will be an information site but I need the capability for users to post comments regarding the content/information they see and for me to reply and want users able to upload pictures or photos from any device to the site. I want to monetize the site in whatever way possible. Want to be able to link to my other domains (after I create pages for them). Also have capability to use PayPal and other services like. I am the only one working on this site so I need a web builder (and hosting company) that can make my work as easy as possible. With this limited information which ones would you suggest I try out? Which one do you think would best serve my needs. Appreciate any thoughts you can offer as to best web builder and/or hosting company.

    • Jeremy Wong July 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM #

      Hi Donna,

      The website builders above certainly allow you to create blog posts where your visitors can freely leave your comments. However, none of them have the ability for your visitors to upload their own pictures to your site. For this advanced feature to work, it sounds like you will probably have to get a good developer to help you build a fairly customized website.

      As for your other questions, you will be able to connect your custom domain names to the websites we mentioned above (most of them will need you to upgrade to their paid plans before allowing you connect your own domain name), and will work with PayPal as well.

      Hope this points you to the right direction!

      - Jeremy

  14. vinothini July 30, 2014 at 7:44 AM #

    Hi,I have an idea of building a website for medical school. I need online application forms which is compulsory ,so could you suggest me is it good to build a website with website building sites. And i want a domain with edu.lc,where I cannot find this domain in any of the builder.only.org,.com etc are available. So is it good to buy a domain with any other company and connect with builder? I like to build a complete professional website(medical school) to attract students,and it should be user friendly . Even the information and the data’s will be more .So please suggest me an idea. whether all my needs are fulfilled with the website builder.If so suggest me the best.

    • Jeremy Wong July 30, 2014 at 3:48 PM #

      Hi Vinothini,

      I’m not sure how sophisticated you need the form to be, but all the website builders above have the ability to help you insert a custom contact form. So perhaps your applicants can submit their information through the contact form, and you can customize the number of fields / requirements you need in the contact form. It’s best to sign up for 2 or 3 website builders and test out their contact forms to see if they meet your needs.

      As for the domain name, you can try to secure the one you want through registrars such as GoDaddy. You can then connect the domain name with the website builder if you want to. All of the builders have detailed tutorials on how to connect your own domain name.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      - Jeremy

      • Vinothini July 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM #

        Hi Jeremy,
        Thanks for your reply. That’s a nice idea. I will check with the different builders. Your message was useful. Thank you.

  15. Kathy July 28, 2014 at 7:41 AM #

    I am looking to set up a web site for our church. I have never done this before and found your site very helpful. I was wondering what hosting company do you recommend. We were looking at go daddy, since we already have our domains with them, but was wondering what you use. Is it good to go with a hosting company that provides web builder services along with it…or does it make a difference? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Jeremy Wong July 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM #

      Hi Kathy,

      There is no significant advantage when it comes to using the same company to hold your domain name and also to host your website. The only (minor) things that I can think of is that it is probably slightly easier to connect your domain name to the website, and that you only get one invoice instead of two separate companies.

      If you are using GoDaddy to hold your domain names, you can still use other website builders that we highlighted above in the chart. All of them will have detailed guides on how to connect your domain name to the website you build. So I think the key is to focus on which website builder best suit your specific needs.

      The best way forward is to sign up for a free website / trial with at least 2 website builders, and invest a bit of time to playing around with them to see which one works best for you. At the end of the day, all of them are capable builders, but only you can figure out which one has the best tools for your needs!

      - Jeremy

  16. Bec Solo July 26, 2014 at 3:29 PM #

    Hi Jeremy – Wonderful advice especially for a newbie. I want to set up a site to sell old postcards. Each is a unique item and I’d want to list 100′s of them in different subjects. And I need a site that can handle the payments. Any suggestions? Thanks! Bec

    • Jeremy Wong July 26, 2014 at 6:00 PM #

      Hi Bec,

      Sounds like it’s a fairly straight-forward selling process, so I think the likes of Squarespace or Weebly will get the job done fairly well. Have a look at our ecommerce online store comparison chart which will highlight some of the key features for them. Hope this is helpful!

      - Jeremy

  17. Mark Vieta July 26, 2014 at 6:43 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Your article and information is great! I am not a techy kinda guy so in your opinion what web builder would you go with in my case? We are going public with a personal safety academy that involves simple awareness to firearms use and fire safety/first aid to all hazards preparation. This for individuals and families. We have full time jobs also so we need something that will not eat a lot of time on the computer. Thank you for your help!

    • Jeremy Wong July 26, 2014 at 9:51 AM #

      Hi Mark,

      I’d say that Wix and Weebly are both really easy to use. Wix has a lot more comprehensive set of tools and allows a bit more creativity and flexibility when it comes to site design. They also have significantly more design templates for a broad range of industries.

      Weebly is more minimalistic, and intuitive to use – that’s what they’re known for.

      Both are great builders so I’d encourage you to sign up for free accounts and invest some time to exploring which one works best for you!

      - Jeremy

  18. Sharon July 23, 2014 at 11:26 PM #

    Hello and thank you for offering your thoughts and experience and for providing a forum for ideas and exchanges. I am a psychologist and want an easy-to-build, simple site that

    1) allows me to use and place my own images in varying sizes as visual interest on a number of different pages alongside more or less static written informational content about my practice and about me.
    2) I’d like at least one page that provides links to useful articles and resources.
    3) I would like the option to post articles that I write, possibly an ongoing blog.
    4) I would like to be able to provide forms for downloading and printing prior to an appointment.
    5) I would like the ability to accept payment in advance of an appointment.
    6) Ideally I would like an email address integrated with my domain and website, but from what I have read that is not as easy as it seems for a Mac. (I think that Gmail is not sufficiently encrypted and thus not HIPAA compliant for communication with patients.) (Regardless, I imagine that I can just provide a link on the website to whatever email I use.)
    7) I would like excellent accessible assistance along the way. Maybe even hand-holding.

    From what I have read so far it seems that Squarespace, Weebly or IM Creator would work for my purposes, although I am not sure about a few of the features that I mentioned.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts and for your expertise.

    • Jeremy Wong July 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM #

      Hi Sharon,

      I think the website builders that you mentioned have the tools to give you what you need. Instead of IM Creator, I would suggest you check out Wix as they have really good looking templates that are targeted to the health industry, and that IM Creator doesn’t have built in e-commerce functions to help you collect payments.

      As for email, we use Google Business Apps to run our business emails and we feel comfortable with it. I know a lot of other much larger organizations also use Google’s email app to power their email systems, but I can’t say with confidence if they are compliant with you industry standards or not. With Google Business App (email), you can use your own domain name to create your own custom email addresses, and it’s only a few dollars a month. The user interface is Gmail so it’s really easy to use.

      As for support, if you need a bit more handholding, I’d say that Squarespace and Wix are pretty accessible, as Squarespace has a 1 hour email response policy along with live chat, and Wix actually provides phone support if you make an appointment with them in advance.

      At the end of the day, the best approach is to sign up for a couple of trial accounts to see which one best suits your needs. That’s the only way to find out!

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      - Jeremy

  19. Cheyne July 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM #

    Hello,

    As everyone else has said, the information here is invaluable. What a great source!

    I am a new owner of a restaurant and we already have a website through WordPress. I’m not fond of our website now, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can. It appears that Squarespace is the solution for us. Would you share a few words of advice to see if I’m on the right track? Pub/Restaurant, sells clothes, etc… but we don’t have an online store (yet). Pretty standard stuff beyond that.

    Lastly, would a small business like this only merit the Professional level? Any reason to consider the premium?

    thanks!!

    • Jeremy Wong July 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM #

      Hey Cheyne,

      Thanks for your compliments! I think Squarespace will work well for your needs, especially that Squarespace has really great looking design templates. They also have “Menu Blocks” that can help you create menus within the Squarespace site.

      You can always sign up for a free trial to see if they have what you need. If so, you can also just sign up for their Personal plan, as you can upgrade to their Professional plan at any time!

      - Jeremy

  20. Andy July 20, 2014 at 2:48 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great site for a newbie like me. I would like to have a single page site to just collect user interest and registration at this point. Does any of the site builders you review (WIX, WEEBLY) offers user registration services (hosting the data), with maybe more sophisticated API integration for say social login/registration options?

    Thanks again.

    • Jeremy Wong July 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM #

      Hi Andy,

      I don’t think there are any tools that will host the data for you. But what you can do is set up contact forms and you can create options for your visitors to select which options they want (such as interests), then submit the form to you. But you’d have to manually collect the data on a separate spreadsheet for tracking purposes.

      - Jeremy

  21. Elaine July 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    I really appreciate that you are advising people based on their needs, and not trying to sell a particular website builder. Perhaps you’re the one to help us. :)

    We have a small, home based wedding decor rental & consultation business. We currently have a website with Homestead, but we’re not getting many hits off it and are considering making a change. Our main objectives are #1, to have a home page that will make our potential clients want to browse the rest of our site, and #2, to make it user friendly so our clients can easily see what our services are and what our inventory is. We’d like to have drop down lists for the various categories of decor and services, and also a search function for clients looking for a specific item. Our current web builder has neither of these options.

    Now that you know the background, I have two questions. #1 If we decide to change web builders would we be able to do it easily, keeping our domain name? #2 Is there a particular web builder you would recommend for a business such as ours?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    ~Elaine

    • Jeremy Wong July 17, 2014 at 9:00 PM #

      Hi Elaine,

      1) Yes you can definitely keep your domain name. Just make sure you keep paying your annual fee to your domain name registrar. You can point / connect your domain name from your Homestead website to your new website builder. The new website builder that you choose to use will have tutorials on how to do that.

      What I’d suggest you do is build out your website first, using the free temporary subdomain name that the new website builder gives you. Then when you are ready to launch your site, point your domain name from your old site to your new site.

      2) I’d suggest checking out Squarespace, as their design templates are very professional and polished. So it can help you create a visually stunning website, which will probably be suitable for what you do.

      Wix also has a huge variety of available templates. So chances are pretty good that you can find a good looking, and relevant design for your site!

      - Jeremy

      • Elaine July 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM #

        Thanks so much for the response, Jeremy! We’ve looked at several of the web builders from your comparison chart, and are going to play around with both Squarespace and Wix to see which we like the best.

        I also want to say that the emails you send are very informative. You’ve been a great help! Thanks, again!

  22. Christine July 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM #

    I want to set a website where clients can see who I am, what I do and contact me. They will not purchase anything from the site. It whould be pretty basic……one page and button for email What would you suggest?

    • Jeremy Wong July 13, 2014 at 7:47 PM #

      Hi Christine,

      All of the website builders above will be able to help you create a simple website about yourself. I suppose the question is how you envision the website to look like, then spend some time to pick the right template design to use.

      Squarespace has some really good design templates for you, and all their templates are responsive so that it looks great across all viewing devices. Wix also has a lot of good templates (over 280), and Weebly has been introducing some more updated templates lately.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      - Jeremy

  23. Hanz July 9, 2014 at 12:24 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Really like the detailed information on the free web builders. All of them grant you your own domain name when you sign up for a paid version. Which one of them is best when you should decide overtime to switch to another web builder? Do you own your own domain and can you take it with you, or is it lost because the web builder is the actual owner of your custom domain? I would like to use a free web builder but at the same time own my own domain name..

    Thanks for you thoughts on this.

    Regards,
    Hanz.

    • Jeremy Wong July 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM #

      Hey Hanz,

      When you get your domain name, you own it and can take it with you if you decide to change websites builders. Just make sure you pay your annual registration fee going forward! All website builder services that give you a domain name use some sort of domain name registrar partner. So you can either continue to use their service (the domain name registrar that is), or you can transfer your domain name to other domain name registrars such as GoDaddy.

      - Jeremy

  24. Maggie July 5, 2014 at 12:50 PM #

    Jeremy – your site is a godsend to our new business. Question: which, if any, of the reviewed site builders allows for people to register – and pay – for workshops? Thanks! Maggie

    • Jeremy Wong July 5, 2014 at 7:24 PM #

      Hi Maggie,

      I don’t think there is a checkout / product process just for paid workshops. But here is a workaround to consider.

      You can sell your workshop as a digital product, then after your customer pays, you can automatically send him/her an email with the workshop details (this email is an order confirmation that can be automatically sent right after the checkout process is complete).

      Squarespace and Weebly both has the capability for you to sell digital products, and also send out order confirmation emails automatically so it can be pretty hands off for you!

      - Jeremy

  25. Waldopepper July 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I just wanted to thank you for the reviews and content on this site – they are so useful to those bamboozled by the various web-building services out there!

    We’re just starting to provide this service to clients to it’s good to get overviews of which technology is good/bad for each type of requirement.

    One thing we are still struggling to get an overview of, and would be good to add to your awesome comparison chart (if it gets updated), is the availability/rating of the CMS that users can use to update the site after you leave it with someone. It’s useful to be able to hand over a website with different levels of access for users e.g. overall admin, designers, content writers etc. Also how good the interface is, if is saves the revision history etc.

    As far as I can tell (so far!), Wix doesn’t really have a detached one (it’s basically the design interface which also includes text editing), Weebly has the client login page and you can restrict access to design, or just content editing which is great. Will have to check out the others too, has anyone experience of all of these and can give us a quick low-down?

    Thanks!
    W

    • Jeremy Wong July 1, 2014 at 12:49 PM #

      Hey Waldopepper,

      We actually do have a section for that and it’s the “Multiple Editors” line. Also see Footnote 13 above.

      In addition to Weebly, Squarespace gives you excellent control over this and you can see their help page for more information about how it works.

      Glad you’re finding the chart helpful!

      - Jeremy

  26. Grant June 30, 2014 at 12:02 AM #

    Jeremy, thank you SO MUCH for the reply. I hope you dont mind if I ask you one more question. Thank you in advance. My question is my partner and I we are thinking of building a website with multiple languages (Spanish, German, French, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and English of course). WHat do you recommend? Short of learning WordPress or coding, do you know any site builders that you compared have foreign languages built in as part of the options? Thank you Jeremy!

    • Jeremy Wong June 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM #

      Hey Grant,

      Building multi language sites is a bit tricky, and the website builders we’ve discussed above doesn’t cater specifically to multiple languages.

      What you can do, is create a separate website for each language (yes there will be a lot of repetitive translation and setup work). Then, give your main site the main domain name (for example: ‘www.example.com). Then for your other language sites, give them a subdomain such as german.example.com or french.example.com

      Then you can just link out from your main site to these other language sites.

      - Jeremy

      • Jase July 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM #

        Hi Jeremy,

        Like Grant too, I’d like to build a 3 language site – perhaps using Squarespace. Does that mean that I have to pay for 3 sites each month. If I subscribe to their business plan, does that mean that each month I have to pay them $16×3 = $48 each month?

        Below is your reply to Grant:

        “What you can do, is create a separate website for each language (yes there will be a lot of repetitive translation and setup work). Then, give your main site the main domain name (for example: ‘www.example.com). Then for your other language sites, give them a subdomain such as german.example.com or french.example.com.Then you can just link out from your main site to these other language sites. ‘

        I have never built a site before and will the support people at Squarespace help me or show me how to do the linking of the 3 sites?

        Jase

        Jase

        • Jeremy Wong July 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM #

          Hi Jase,

          I’ve never tried it myself (as in building a multi language site) so I suspect that you would have to pay for 3 separate websites. I think it might be helpful if you send in a support ticket to Squarespace to see what they say, and if they have a special setup / package for those who are building multiple sites (same content but different languages).

          As for linking of the 3 sites, what you can do is just insert a button / text links perhaps in the footer or in the body of your site, that can lead your visitors to your other websites. So for instance, you can insert a small image of a German flag or just text, and hyperlink that to the German version of your website. That will work well to funnel German visitors there.

          - Jeremy

          • Jase July 5, 2014 at 5:01 AM #

            Thank you so much Jeremy. This is most helpful. I will check out with Squarespace on that!

            Jase

  27. Sue June 27, 2014 at 5:18 AM #

    Jeremy – thanks so much for testing and reviewing all these website building tools and for creating a very informative website of your own!
    I’m looking for a website building application for a small non-profit – we have 100+ members who each contribute money that we collectively donate each year. Our members are actively involved in reviewing grant requests and, therefore, we need a website that provides member-only access to a series of documents. Would Webs be the way to go? Any others to consider? Thanks for your help!

    • Jeremy Wong June 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM #

      Hey Sue,

      Glad you’re finding our discussions helpful! We tested a lot of these website builders because we needed them to build our own websites a few years ago, and so we thought we’d put together our knowledge and experience to share them with others (as we couldn’t find any good discussion sites a few years back).

      As for membership gateways, yes – Webs is the only builder that has this as part of their basic package. But there are 2 other options:

      1) Wix – if you visit their App Market (see our discussion here), search for “Member” and there is an app that you can bolt on to your Wix website that can create a membership area.

      2) Sentry Login – this is a paid service but it can be used with Squarespace and Weebly.

      So there are a few options that you can consider to help you build your website!

      - Jeremy

  28. Erica June 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM #

    hello. Great job! I have a question. I like many that have asked for advice am new to the world of websites. I need your advice as well .We own a customized phone case business and looking to showcase and sell our phones. I am needing the ability to show a certain design in different colors. A drop down box that when selected goes to that particular color. I am also needing the option for our consumers to select a device after they choose their design, for example iPhone or Galaxy4. One more important option we need, is to allow our consumers to download images so we can customize the the product with their image. These our main concerns in choosing a web builder company. thank you so much for your time

    Erica

    • Jeremy Wong June 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM #

      Hey Erica,

      It sounds like you’re going to need a pretty robust e-commerce building platform, that has good flexibility to power your store.

      I’d suggest you take a look at Shopify or Bigcommerce, as both are online store focused builders, and both have flexibility to create quite a bit of custom tools / functions that can match your needs.

      Both platforms also have quite a number of experts who can also help you customize your store. It might be worth while to seek our some of them to customize your store for you. We discussed briefly about Shopify’s experts here.

      - Jeremy

  29. Yoses June 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM #

    jeremy thanks for the article you made its helpful
    but i still confuse which one to pick

    im a fashion disgner but i won’t sell a fashion product i just want to share a fashio/lifestyle tips
    no product at all,and if i publish my website using one of those which one do you think that would make my web site appear in google search ? (SEO)
    i don’t wanna pay and my site doesn’t appear in google search at all, which one do you think its the best ? or its depend fully with us who manage it ?

    i guess its gonna be squarespace because it has a great design and SEO but do you have any suggestion ?

    • Jeremy Wong June 21, 2014 at 5:27 AM #

      Hi Yoses,

      I’d agree to give Squarespace’s free trial a test as their templates can be quite suitable based on the industry that you are in!

      As for ranking on Google, it is a very complicated topic and takes much more work than just building a website to get good ranking! If that was the case, then everybody will rank on page 1 of search engines (which in fact is a very very challenging task)!

      There are a lot of discussions about SEO and how to rank well on the internet if you search for them. A lot of it is decent, but a lot are not that great, so it will take you some time to study and sift through them. But it’s a good investment of your time if you are serious about ranking your website well.

      Also aside from SEO, you can also promote your site so that your content is not only discoverable with search engines, but also through social channels, word of mouth, etc.

      - Jeremy

  30. Adam June 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM #

    Thanks for the helpful article but I still Have a few questions. I am a first time website builder so simplicity is key. I want a website to store my opinionated writings for some of my school classes, so I want it set up almost like a news site.I would really like the website to include a comment section for other to post their opinions. My main concern is money. I want NO costs for this website while still being able to do what I asked for above. Which website do u recommend?

    • Jeremy Wong June 17, 2014 at 5:52 AM #

      Hey Adam,

      The easiest website builder to use in our view is Weebly, and you can sign up for free as well. I’d suggest you use their blogging function, so that others can leave comments on your blog posts. Hope this is helpful!

      - Jeremy

  31. Geoffrey Grosse June 6, 2014 at 6:27 AM #

    Jeremy,
    First off…thanks for providing this resource. I’ve used weebly to create a new site and overall like it as a website builder. What it doesn’t do well is any sort of document management. When files are uploaded via Weebly for users to access, it’s extremely clunky for a site admin to delete those files later on.

    Question: What is your experience with these tools in this area? Do any of them provide any level of document management, such as bulk add / delete, etc? I’m not interested in document workflow or versioning by any means, just a better way for clients to manage documents once the site is handed over to them.

    Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong June 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM #

      Hi Geoffrey,

      Squarespace does allow you to manage files a bit better than Weebly. You can rename and delete files in a separate window, but I don’t think there is a bulk delete button. But it’s still a lot easier to manage!

      - Jeremy

  32. Jim June 4, 2014 at 12:31 PM #

    I am a fledgling, new author who is just getting into the game, so to speak. I have written and published two books and I am planning to complete and rewrite 10 to 15 more over the next several years. I am looking for the best website builder to help me help readers find my books, purchase them through the appropriate channels, and hopefully continue to build followers of my books and writing. I am not necessarily a geek when it comes to this kind of stuff, although I’d like to be. I am just concerned I will choose the wrong builder and waste time getting up and running. Appreciate any and all recommendations.

    • Jeremy Wong June 5, 2014 at 6:28 AM #

      Hi Jim,

      I think all of the website builders will allow you the ability to showcase your books. You can set up the pages so you can add descriptions and images for each book, and show your readers where they can purchase the books. You can even sell the books directly on your site if you use each website builder’s commerce functions.

      The question is which website builder you ultimately feel comfortable working with. It also depends on which design template you prefer to use. If you are looking for the easiest website builder to use, I’d suggest testing out Weebly. If you want something a bit more interactive with sliding backgrounds (for instance), Wix has a lot of templates and tools to allow you to do that.

      Squarespace has some really nice looking design templates and they are all responsive so they are optimized for mobile viewing experiences. The websites that they can build tend to be a lot more polished looking.

      You should sign up and invest some time to test them, as that’s the only way you can see which one of them is a good match for you!

      - Jeremy

  33. Lane June 2, 2014 at 12:44 PM #

    Hi Jeremy, great writings here. I just have a question. I’ve been using WordPress for around a year for professional blogging and posting my articles from the Lamar University Press that I’ve written for my portfolio. What website would you suggest for that? I need to get into SEO for more traffic and maybe one of these websites are good for that too. I’ve been thinking Squarespace. I’d like to have separate pages or folders for portfolio content then everyday blogging content. I like that you can integrate everything from WordPress into Squarespace.

    • Jeremy Wong June 4, 2014 at 7:09 AM #

      Hey Lane,

      I think Squarespace is a good candidate to test out as they do allow you to import WordPress content so you don’t have to start from scratch again. You can also separate your blogging content with your other content, as your blog page doesn’t have to be blended together with your other pages.

      Plus, our of all the website builders that we’ve used and discussed, Squarespace gives you a bit more flexibility when it comes to SEO. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that your website will rank really well (nobody can guarantee that!) but Squarespace does give you a bit more tools over the other website builders.

      - Jeremy

  34. Tina May 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM #

    This is great, thanks for the review… I’ve been looking for a site builder to build a hotel website and I ended up with im-creator, after seeing this site I’m now a bit concerned. Which site builder would you recommend for small hotels?

    • Jeremy Wong May 22, 2014 at 12:21 PM #

      Hi Tina,

      I don’t think you should be concerned about IM Creator at all, as they are a very capable website builder! Finding a website builder that suits your unique needs is an exploratory process, and while some website builders work well for some people, it may not work well for others.

      If you really want to (as in if you are not satisifed with IM Creator), I’d suggest you sign up to try some other website builders and test them out. THat’s the only way to figure out how well each builder caters to your own needs!

      - Jeremy

  35. Sindi May 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM #

    Hi Jeremy
    I have never attempted to build a website and my group is slightly different. We are a motorcycle group that would like to share our information with the public such as pictures from events, calendar of events, educational safety information and a place for our members to post. I’ve looked at the different sites you have reviewed and still I am not sure what might be the best for me. Simple is better and time is not something I have a lot of. Thank you for your help.

    • Jeremy Wong May 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM #

      Hi Sindi,

      In this case I’d suggest you check out either Weebly or Wix. Weebly is probably the easiest website builder to use in our opinion, but Wix isn’t too far behind. You will be able to drag and drop elements directly into your webpages, where you can just insert your pictures or text very quickly and easily.

      - Jeremy

  36. Craig May 18, 2014 at 7:06 AM #

    Hello, I am not a technical person but was hoping there was a website template that acted similar to Craigslist that allows users to input a one or two line summary on the homepage in a list form and if a user clicks on the summary, it redirects to a more in depth page with more detail. I don’t know what it is called, but almost like a classified add.. I would also like the home page to target the city in which the user is accessing the site.. does this make sense? I believe it is possible since I regularly get poppups of adds in my city. Sorry I am such a novice, but not sure where else to turn.
    Thank you so much
    Craig

    • Jeremy Wong May 19, 2014 at 12:20 AM #

      Hi Craig,

      It doesn’t sound like any of the website builders that we’ve covered here will be able to do this, as it sounds like what you’re looking for is a very customized solution. Perhaps you should look at perhaps using WordPress (I’m not entirely sure if they have a template that will allow for these functions) or even hiring someone to custom build it for you?

      - Jeremy

      • Craig May 19, 2014 at 6:20 AM #

        Thank you Jeremy

  37. dan May 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM #

    What do you think of WebEasy? I’m a technical person but am just considering the simple drag-and-drop or wysiwyg type web builders, because this can’t take a lot of my time, don’t want to work with HTML or other coding and also because I’m building a site for a non technical person who will take it over.

    Base on what I’ve seen here the top candidate for me is Weebly, but I don’t want to tied to one host for ever, would not use their web hosting, if it’s possible. I’m old fasion, I like the idea of buying software, getting a CD, installing it on my PC, and having control of the files that are created. If the builder is online, like godaddy, then I don’t want it, because it ties me to that web host, which I don’t like. Is Weebly like that? This is one good thing about WebEasy, although I hear there are support issues with WebEasy.

    Any comments would be appreciated!
    Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong May 16, 2014 at 12:40 AM #

      Hi Dan,

      We haven’t used WebEasy before so can’t really comment on them. But Weebly is in our opinion, the easiest drag and drop builder to use. Even though by default, your website is hosted with Weebly (which a lot of people like as they don’t have to deal with the technicality of hosting their own websites), there is an export function which we discuss a bit more in our detailed review of Weebly (look under the “Hosting and Export Options” section).

      So you can definitely export whatever you create into your own host, but there are some drawbacks to that such as you will have to edit the codes directly once you export your site out of Weebly’s drag and drop builder environment.

      - Jeremy

  38. Jason May 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM #

    I see where Wix was knocked for not allowing you to change your template. Which provider is the most flexible in this regard?
    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Jeremy Wong May 15, 2014 at 3:49 AM #

      Hey Jason,

      Squarespace, Weebly and Jimdo all allow you to change templates, while retaining your content!

      - Jeremy

  39. Ken May 13, 2014 at 7:31 AM #

    Hi,
    I’m a psychotherapist who wants to build a web site. I signed up with BlueHost and started to build a web site with Weebly. I talked to one of the BlueHost staff who thought I would be better off building a site with Word Press. I did notice that Word Press has more Themes to choose from. Some of the themes say they haven’t been updated in two years so I’m wondering if I would have a problem choosing a theme from Word Press.

    I don’t think I’d need a lot of pages. Maybe ten pages with a page for billing, pages for different types of information, one for directions, etc.

    My knowledge of building a web site building or anything related to building a web site is minimal.

    Do you have any words of advice for me regarding Blue Host or Word Press.

    Thanks,

    Ken

    • Jeremy Wong May 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM #

      Hey Ken,

      You should also consider whether you would like to learn how to use WordPress effectively as it has a much higher learning curve than using drag and drop web builders such as Weebly. On the other side of the coin, WordPress is a lot more flexible and customizable, if you have the technical knowledge (codes) or have the resources to hire someone to help you do that.

      If you were to go with WordPress, you should make sure that you use a theme that is updated, as outdated themes may not incorporate the latest features properly and could even potentially be a security hazard to your website. This is one of the benefits of using hosted website builders (such as Weebly) as they are the ones who are providing themes themselves, so they’re always updated.

      We have a number of discussions that compares using WordPress and various drag and drop web builders. You’ll find some thoughts and discussions on this topic.

      - Jeremy

  40. T May 10, 2014 at 4:28 AM #

    Great article, as always; you’re insight is much appreciated by those of us not in the know.

    I’ve been researching the various platforms, and have been between Squarespace and Virb, though still unsure if either is right for my medium. I enjoy making YouTube videos, but would like a personal site to organize them in a manner more consistent than by upload date or playlist. I would prefer a site that allows Google Adsense (without taking 50% like Weebly), plus has ecommerce opportunities for a small business.

    Ideally, I would learn about web deisgn or hire someone, but this is new to me and I prefer to start with one of these and go from there. Any advice or recommendations for what I’m attempting?

    Thanks again!

    • Jeremy Wong May 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM #

      Hi T,

      I think for Squarespace you do have a bit more customization capability than other website builders that we’ve looked at. For instance, you can create Gallery Pages in Squarespace to display just images or videos (which you have), and you can choose which videos to display depending on how to tag or categorize your videos.

      So once you upload a video, you can give it a tag (think of it as a label) or categorize it. So when you tell the Gallery Page to only show specific tags or categories, then only those videos will be displayed.

      If you want even more flexibility, then you might have to use a more powerful platform such as WordPress and have someone custom create whatever function you are looking for.

      As for Adsense for Weebly, they no longer take 50% of your earnings. Whatever you earn through Adsense while using Weebly, you now get to keep 100% of it (see this announcement here).

      - Jeremy

  41. ren May 4, 2014 at 5:46 AM #

    what is your opinion on godaddy?

  42. AK May 1, 2014 at 9:08 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thank you very much for the many great articles. Love your writings.

    I just have a quick question. If I want to create a website with online assessment forms/surveys, and auto generated reports for the users, and credit card payment systems (based in Thailand) for face to face/skype counseling, with members log-in system for members to check their appointments and progress reports. What is the best website builder that you would recommend?

    Thank you very much for your kind guidance in advance.

    Best,
    AK

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong May 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM #

      Hi AK,

      I think what you need is a pretty customized set up and best to hire a professional developer to help you map out your website system and to custom build something for you. That is not to say you can’t create something with a drag and drop website builder, but your entire system will be pretty manual and will be a bit labor intensive.

      For instance, you can get your visitors to submit a contact form (which you can customize to a certain extent to ask for key information), then you have to extract these data points and generate your own reports manually for each visitor. Then you have to somehow guide the them to pay you, then you manually reach out to them to set up an appointment, etc etc.

      So if you want a fluid system where each function is fully integrated, I think your best bet is to hire someone to custom build the system for you.

      - Jeremy

  43. Ed April 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM #

    having now tried our several web builders we have thankfully settled on Shopify.
    It is absolutely brilliant and the add on’s (many are free) make this into a complete professional package.
    In our viewm Shopify beats hands down all of the other ones (we also tried squarespace, weebly and wix),
    The templates are completely customisable, as are the add ons. such as marketing, selling, emails etc,
    Thanks to these articles and Jeremey and Connie’s hard work, we were able to make an excellent choice.
    The ONLY fault with Shopify is their lack of response to queries, some take up to 4 days to answer, very frustratring.
    The product, howeverm, is top notch and we would not use any other now,
    We are due to go live with our new website withi the next 7 days, so fingers crossed. Our old one has beem up for 7 years and is a little tired now.
    Thanks again to you both.
    Ed and the team

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong April 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM #

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Shopify. They are indeed a very powerful and comprehensive e-commerce online store builder (others can read our review on Shopify here). The thing I really like about them (aside from being a Canadian company!) is that they have so many Apps available, that you can rest assured that as you grow your business and need more tools, there is a good chance that you will something that can help you in their App store.

      As for support turnaround time, I think they are growing so fast that they might be falling a bit behind in terms of responsiveness (typical growing pains for fast growing companies). But we didn’t have any issues with that before (our own experience anyway). One thing to know, if you’re not aware of it yet, is that they recently raised $100 million and I’m fairly confident that one of the things they want to invest in is more customer support specialists (in addition to growing and improving their platform / tools).

      Thanks for adding to this discussion again!

      - Jeremy

  44. Roy April 27, 2014 at 7:18 AM #

    What an incredibly usefui set of articles — thanks!

    I have had experience with Drupal and WordPress (and looked at many other CMSs) but never “cloud” tools like these. How would you compare using, say, WordPress, to using Weebly or Squarespace to build a small business site with a few dozen pages? How about adding more content later on, searching for content, and working with a database?

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong April 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM #

      Hi Roy,

      I haven’t had a chance to familiarize myself with Drupal (didn’t have an opportunity in our projects) so I’m not quite qualified to comment on it. But in general, WordPress is much more powerful and flexible than the likes of Squarespace and Weebly. But the drawback is that WordPress has a much higher learning curve than these cloud-based / hosted website builders.

      So at the end of the day, I always advise readers to choose a builder based on their specific needs. Some people will need maximum flexibility and the option of hiring developers to build in some customizations into their websites. In such cases, WordPress (or Drupal?) may be the better approach. Just bear in mind that hiring good developers is not cheap.

      But for those who doesn’t need maximum flexibility and just want to build a great looking website without climbing a steep learning curve (not technically oriented, or just don’t have time), and/or for those who may not have the financial resources to hire a developer, then these drag and drop website builders are really great options. You can definitely keep adding more content later, and grow your website with these website builders as well. But if you want to work with a database, then WordPress is the way to go.

      I have more benchmark discussions comparing WordPress with these drag & drop website builders here.

      Hope this is helpful!

      - Jeremy

      • Roy April 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM #

        Thanks for the response! I used Drupal quite a bit before using WordPress and, in my opinion, Drupal is like a more complex, harder-to-learn but more flexible and more powerful equivalent to WordPress. I’m a developer myself, old school, way pre-web. I’ve taught myself HTML (not v5 yet), CSS, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, etc., and can do a decent job with them. Integrating custom PHP code into WordPress can be tricky, and doing so successfully with Drupal can be way beyond tricky. (Haven’t used Drupal in a few years and it may have gotten a lot better in that time.)

        Since I wrote my comment, I read your article comparing e-commerce solutions. It was superb. I maintain a system that was created with osCommerce a decade ago and it can be a nightmare to update. You got me motivated to look into switching to a more capable, friendly, and up-to-date solution.

        You make a great website with very helpful, well-written, and informative articles. Kudos!

  45. Carol April 20, 2014 at 10:07 PM #

    Hi

    Thanks for all the info. I am a first timer and looking for a basic site, easy(ish) to build and economical to run. My main query concerns something not addressed here (I dont think). If I build a website (using my macbook air) will the site be viewable by others on iPads, iPhones, and tablets etc as so many people use mobile devices these days

    Also do all these builders have the ability for readers to send an email to the site’s admins.

    Thanks for your help, Carol

    • Jeremy & Connie April 20, 2014 at 11:02 PM #

      Hi Carol,

      As mentioned in some of my comments below, the easiest website builder to use is probably Weebly. It is also mobile ready and so your website will look good on mobile devices. Wix is also pretty easy to use and has a bit more tools than Weebly.

      But at the moment, Squarespace has the best mobile experience as their templates are all responsive and so your content will look great on all mobile devices. Their templates are also very stylish, but they do have a bit steeper learning curve compared to Weebly.

      For all the website builders, you can set up contact forms and so people can fill in their comments / questions to contact you through your website.

      Hope this is helpful!

      - Jeremy

      • Krupa Kapadia April 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM #

        Carol,

        I completely agree with Jeremy on this one.

        I’ve been using for over a year and recently shifted to squarepace thanks to this article.

        It is a little tougher to use square space, however they have a brilliant help tool which make it really east to use square space. I’m a weebly fan but there is something about square space that makes it worth a try!

  46. Priyanka April 20, 2014 at 6:30 AM #

    Hi,

    You have a very interesting blog here. Keep up the good work.

    I’m a first timer when it comes to building a website and the options out there is quite overwhelming. I hope you can help me make a decision. I am a freelance writer and I want to build a website to showcase my services. Which website do you feel would best suit my needs?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Jeremy & Connie April 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM #

      Hi Priyanka,

      If you are looking for something very easy to use, I’d suggest you check out Weebly or even Wix. But if you are looking to create website that is very stylish and has responsive templates, I”d suggest you test out Squarespace.

      At the end of the day, it’s very challenging to find a “perfect” website builder for you without testing some of them out. So it’s worth investing some time to sign up for 2 – 3 website builders and just play with them to see which one suits you the best.

      Just because one website builder works for someone doesn’t always mean you will like it either! So I’d encourage you to sign up for a free accounts and test them out.

      - Jeremy

  47. Krupa Kapadia April 19, 2014 at 3:34 AM #

    Hello Jeremy & Connie,

    I cannot thank you enough for this article!
    It saved me hours of research. Great work & I particularly love how updated it is!

    I have a weebly pro account, which was purchased over 2 years ago. I pay only 48$ for that and it supports 10 websites!
    I need another account like that which even if more expensive, supports multiple websites.

    What do you suggest?

    • Jeremy & Connie April 20, 2014 at 12:40 PM #

      Hi Krupa,

      Yes – in the past, when you upgrade to Weebly pro, you get Pro for all 10 websites! However, this has changed about a year ago and now you have to upgrade to Pro 1 website at a time, which is consistent for all website builders that we’ve discussed.

      If you just want to manage multiple websites within the same account, you can just sign up for another Weebly account (using a different email address) and you can create up to 10 different websites under this same Weebly account. But to upgrade to Pro, you will now have to upgrade 1 website at a time.

      Another website that supports having multiple websites within the same account is Wix.

      - Jeremy

  48. Jocelyn April 16, 2014 at 6:33 PM #

    Hello Jeremy & Connie

    Can you please suggest a website builder for a first timer. I am having a very difficult time deciding. Preferably a low cost, easy to build, easy to edit, mobile friendly, that will help me with domain & hosting questions because I’m confused with it all. And maybe 24/7 customer support too. (or should I just hire someone? & who would you suggest?)

    Thank you in advance

    • Jeremy & Connie April 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM #

      Hi Jocelyn,

      For ease of use, I’d suggest checking out Weebly as they are one of the easiest website builders to use.

      Squarespace is also a very good candidate to test out as they have really stylish responsive templates, very mobile friendly, and has 24/7 email support in which they answer emails within 1 hour (which is pretty awesome).

      Wix has phone support and you just have to make an appointment in advance, and they will call you.

      Another great 24/7 support website builder is GoDaddy (see our review here).

      So if you have any questions or need a lot of handing holding, I’d suggest checking out Squarespace and GoDaddy website builder.

      Hopefully this points you in the right direction!

      - Jeremy

  49. Mark April 16, 2014 at 7:16 AM #

    Hey there,

    I am new to this but want to create a website for presentations in schools boards. Teachers can find my website using google and also through my cards. I want to have pictures and videos on the website and be able to possibly hook an email up to it using the name of the website. I want my own domain name without anything else on the URL but the name and .ca. I wouldn’t mind being able to set up a paypal option to pay for small shipping fees for the presentation equipment but that isn’t crucial. Looking forward to hearing from anyone that can possibly help me out with this. I wouldn’t mind it to look professional and let me personalize and customize it and have a possible like ticker tape window that is always showing quick one sentence reviews of the presentations that I have done it the past. Don’t know much about this stuff. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Mark

    • Jeremy & Connie April 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM #

      Hi Mark,

      Pretty much any of the website builders above can do what you are looking for, including connecting the site to your own custom domain name (note that Squarespace and Wix gives you a free domain name if you sign up to their annual plans), and you can also set up your own custom email address by using either Google Business Apps or Microsoft mail (free).

      All of them can be connected with PayPal buttons as you can get an embed code from PayPal and just insert into the website builder.

      I think the best way to find out what works best for you is to sign up for 2 – 3 website builders based on our discussion points above, and just invest some time to test them out. There isn’t a “perfect” website builder out there, so it’s important to try a few of them to see which one suits your needs the best.

      Hope this is helpful!

      - Jeremy

  50. Tomija April 14, 2014 at 6:50 AM #

    Hi, i want to create a blog with some different themes, like exercise nutrition and stuff that generally is about my life.

    What website builder would you prefer? I think those normal blogs are not that good cuz it’s kind of difficult to add ads.

    • Jeremy & Connie April 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM #

      Hi Tomija,

      I think most of the website builders I mentioned above will work, as their blogs will allow you to insert images on the sidebars or even in the content area of your blog posts. There, you can insert your own advertisements if you want to, either with images or text.

      - Jeremy

  51. Mansi April 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM #

    Hi.
    I think u guys have done a fab job on the charts n stuff.
    My issue here is I have a website but my domain name expired and it’s with volusion so here it is first I want to change from volusion and get it to a more simple one. Do I just cancel my account .. Can I transfer the data n stuff to a newer one
    Which website developer do u suggest. Please help
    Thank you
    Mansi

    T

    • Jeremy & Connie April 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM #

      Hey Mansi,

      I don’t think you can import your data from your Volusion site into any one of the website builders above. Squarespace does allow you to import content from Tumblr, Big Cartel, Etsy, Shopify, Blogger and WordPress, but not Volusion.

      But I’m not 100% sure if you can migrate from Volution to Shopify or Bigcommerce or not. I would imagine that there must be some discussions on this on the internet. Maybe what you can try is contact Shopify or Bigcommerce support teams and see if they have a way to migrate your data from Volusion.

      In terms of your expired domain, you should try to see if you can register for it again using domain registrars such as GoDaddy.

      Once you have the domain name registered, you can then connect it with any website builder and continue to use your domain name. You would, however, need to build your store from scratch again (if you can’t migrate your data to either Shopify or Bigcommerce)

      - Jeremy

  52. Ed April 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM #

    I personally think that Shopify will be your best bet here Mary Ellen.
    Though it will not allow you to disable the cart system, you will be able to place a link on the page that will take your visitors to a custom form that you use.
    I must say that Shopify is absolutely brilliant to use, though it is not the cheapest.
    It is, howeverm, in our opinion, the most professional of them all.
    None of us here are web experts, and I myself am merely a beginner, but Shopify allows you to use as much, or as little of HTML/css coding as you like. It really is simplicity itself to use.
    Our only regret is that we did not use Shopify sooner.
    Regards
    Ed

    • Jeremy & Connie April 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM #

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for contributing to this discussion relating to Mary Ellen’s question. Shopify is a really stand out shopping cart as well. I forgot to mention this to Mary Ellen so thanks for your suggestion. We have another comparison chart which focuses on e-commerce online stores here. For those interested in our thoughts on Shopify, you can also see our discussion here.

      - Jeremy

  53. Mary Ellen April 13, 2014 at 7:36 AM #

    Hello Folks:

    I have a small antiques business for which I have finally decided to take the plunge and build a website. I have been weighing the option of designing a site using either Square Space or Weebly. For me-simpler is definitely better.

    Ideally, I want to have a venue where I can showcase my wares, give a description and a price for an item and a means for a customer to contact me for more information and/or to make a purchase. At this time, I do not want to utilize an automated checkout/shopping cart.

    I have a logo and photos I have taken which would provide the backdrop for the site. The changing array of antiques will provide the majority of the photos for the site.

    I need to be able to show multiple views of an item and would like a “click to enlarge photo” feature.

    Also, in lieu of clicking on a purchase button to add an item to a shopping cart-ecommerce checkout system-I would like the button to take the customer to a contact page or form that they can complete and email to me for further information and/or to make a purchase-which I guess equates to “disabling the shopping cart feature” on a template.

    I was looking at the Square Space “Montauk” template-but I can’t seem to find anywhere in the information whether the shopping cart can be disabled. Do you know if that can be done?

    In looking at Weebly-it wasn’t clear if there was a “click to enlarge” photos component to their templates. Do you know if this can be done with Weebly?

    Lastly, I’m wondering if you would be kind enough to give me your opinion, based on the information I have provided-which website builder you think would best fit my requirements.

    Thanks very much. I have found your website comparison articles to be endlessly informative and helpful, and your story of how you started your business to be very inspiring.

    Best Regards,

    Mary Ellen D.

    • Jeremy & Connie April 13, 2014 at 10:21 AM #

      Hey Mary Ellen,

      Thanks for your comment and glad you found our story inspiring! If we can do it, so can you!

      To answer your questions, I don’t think any website builders allow you to disable their shopping cart buttons, or to re-direct them to a contact page instead of the shopping cart. I’m sure this can be done with a custom built site, but the drag and drop builders that we’ve discussed don’t have this flexibility as it’s not a common set up.

      What you can do, without complicating the process, is to just have a banner or text on your pages where you display your products, to communicate to your interested prospects to reach out to you through your contact form. Then have a button and hyperlink it to your contact form.

      This way, it’s clear and not ambiguous that if they want to purchase or want more information, to email you through your form. I like this approach as you don’t have to mess around with trying to customize the shopping cart function (I’m not even sure if it’s at all possible).

      You can also insert galleries, slideshows to highlight your products. You can do this with both Squarespace and Weebly, or just with any other website builders out there to be honest. But for the long haul, if / when you are ready to activate the shopping cart function, Squarespace and Weebly do have great e-commerce functions. So starting off with them are good choices, at least in my view.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  54. Teena Davidson April 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM #

    Hello, my company manufacturers upholstered furniture. We currently have a static website that is “to the trade only”. We are wanting to create an ecommerce site where we have 2 price lists. We found that Yahoo has a module that will satisfy that need. We also need the site to be able to handle the many options that we offer for some of our pieces. Like a chair… leg color, tufting or no tufting, nail heads, etc. We have been looking at Yahoo as it seems to satisfy these needs as well as a shipping module which is also important. However it concerns me that we have to pay a monthly subscription for the shipping module as well as the log in module that provides a 2nd pricing structure. Then I find out we have to pay a percentage of sales to Yahoo. We are a small company at the crossroads of trying to expand our business. I think one of the reasons I am liking Yahoo is I finally found someone that does the programming for this platform that I could actually speak with and he understands what we are trying to accomplish. We had such a nightmare of a time 6 years ago trying to create an eccomerce site that we just gave up and created a static one in Magento. Please help.

    Thanks Teena

  55. Ed Bradford April 2, 2014 at 2:56 PM #

    Hello. Do you have any recommendations for a good product to use to build a website for a historic theatre and ballroom. The theatre hosts live plays, concerts, MET Opera streamed live, comedians and the like. Not so much movies, although we have that capability. The ballroom is used for wedding receptions and fundraisers.

    • Jeremy & Connie April 2, 2014 at 5:08 PM #

      Hey Ed,

      There isn’t any website builder that’s tailored specifically to your industry, so I think all of the above will work. It really comes down to what matters more to you and which one works best for you (in terms of user interface).

      If you are looking for a builder that’s more imagery oriented, I’d suggest Squarespace or Wix. But if you prefer a builder that’s very easy to use, Weebly and IM Creator works well. Jimdo is great if you like to be on the go and build your websites using a mobile device.

      At the end of the day, I’d suggest signing up for a free or trial account for a couple of them (read our reviews and narrow down your choices) and just invest some times to test them out. That’s the only way to know for sure which one fits you the best!

      - Jeremy

  56. Ed April 1, 2014 at 2:35 AM #

    Hey both, love your comments and advice.

    I am wondering why you left out Shopify from this list? Surely it has to be top of the list for any serious website owner? Or is it that it provides mainly ecommerce sites, rather than general websites?

    Anyway, we have taken the plunge and started our Shopify website build prior to moving our existing website over to them. All of this mainly due to your very in depth reviews of them and others.

    We have a few early teething problems, but nothing major. Not too happy with their response time though. emails take up to 4 days for a reply and their online chat service, well, yesterday we were in the queue for over 50 minutes before we hung up- still at number 11 in the queue.

    All in all though, we think Shopify is top dog in the ecommerve website building league.

    Keep up the good work, we need people like yourselves to help point us in the right direcion in the Intenet maze.

    Ed

    • Jeremy & Connie April 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM #

      Hey Ed,

      Yes you’re right, this chart above mainly focuses on non-e-commerce focused builders. We do have another comparison chart dedicated to e-commerce builders.

      Glad we’ve been helpful in pointing you in the right direction! I think in terms of support, Shopify is definitely beefing up their support team as they are growing so fast (high new paid subscribers growth). They recently raised US$100 million to aggressively improve and add more e-commerce tools, and i believe that a dedicated portion is to further enhance their support!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding to this discussion!

      - Jeremy

  57. David March 30, 2014 at 8:22 AM #

    Hi Jeremy!

    I am so glad that you guys created Website Builder Expert. It has really helped me learn a lot about site usage and what not. I wanted to ask you if once I create my domian name under Wix would I be able to transfer my domain name to another site builder if I so choose so? I’ve heard that once you create a domain name with Wix it stays with Wix. Is that true?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM #

      Hey David,

      Glad you found our resources helpful! Do click on the social sharing buttons to spread the resources as it can help others in need as well.

      As for your question, once you purchase a domain name, you own it and you should be able to transfer it out and use it on another website if you wish (as long as you are paying the annual registration fee going forward).

      What you can do if you use Wix, is to just purchase your own domain name with domain name registrars such as Godaddy, then connect your domain name with Wix if you want to. This way, you can help ensure that you keep your Wix site (hosted with Wix) separate from your domain name – if that makes you feel better.

      You can find out how to connect your domain name from GoDaddy to Wix here. Hope this helps clarify things for you!

      - Jeremy

  58. shirish March 27, 2014 at 7:39 AM #

    Hi Jeremy and Connie, Thank you for an informative forum. I was wondering if any of the website builders offer video through lightbox pop up. Basically I wish to have a collapsible list of videos, and link the text to video hosted at vimeo or any other hosting site. If I show thumbnails, it will occupy too much space, so a collapse/expand text list is the only way forward for me. I doubt Wix offers these features. Much appreciate your help. Best,

    • Jeremy & Connie March 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM #

      Hi Shirish,

      I don’t think the website builders listed above has a lightbox function for videos. But an option is to consider using DivTag Template’s Video Lightbox widget which allows you to insert your own custom thumbnail image for a YouTube or Vimeo video inside a Weebly website.

      Disclosure: we also operate DivTag Templates

      See if this helps!

      - Jeremy

  59. Caue Rego March 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM #

    I see you’ve already answered about multiple language support, although you do not cite the top one, SquareSpace. I’ve actually tried making such a site once, and it has very limited support for doing it. If you want a “simple” site which has each page in just 2 different languages, you basically can’t have it easily. There is no direct way to do it. You can use a custom template for best results, or manually make 2 sub domains which won’t link one page to another unless you manually add the links (and thus, risk breaking them if you change anything). It’s quite bad.

    Here I ask a bit deeper on this similar subject, although I suspect from your previous comment you won’t know the answer.

    How about international support? Not only multi language, but also things like shopping cart outside USA (I know SquareSpace doesn’t have it) and a builder in other language (again, not in SS). Can you elaborate on that?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

      Caue,

      For international support, I know that Jimdo has multiple support teams around the world, including in the US, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Portugal, Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Japan and China.

      Jimdo is a very “international” company! Here is our review of Jimdo if you haven’t seen it yet.

      - Jeremy

  60. Sue March 25, 2014 at 8:13 PM #

    Hi Jeremy and Connie,
    Wonderful forum and very informative Q&As. I am not very savvy in website making, have a full time job. I need to get an e-commerce website made for my product line (lotions, body sprays, body and face scrubs etc.). I need to get it built since I do not have time to do it by myself and need to build it fast, but good. What should be my budget for a full functional website? I will need to add discount coupons, code etc from time to time. And, will change products as well. Need to build the site from scratch, get it maintained and will need logo etc. done as well. Please guide.
    Thanks,
    Sue

    • Jeremy & Connie March 25, 2014 at 10:32 PM #

      Hi Sue,

      It’s really hard to provide guidance on the cost of building a website, but a few items that you will need include monthly subscription fees if you upgrade to a premium plan of a website builder, annual domain name fees (some builders include this as part of the package if you subscribe to a premium plan), email services (you can find free or paid), design costs (if you hire designers, which can vary in prices), freelancers (if you hire people to help here and there, such as formatting of images, some modification of codes), etc.

      So it’s quite challenging to estimate, and can go from hundreds per year into thousands if you really want to. Also, if you plan on using advertisements to drive traffic to your site, this guess-timate can go much higher!

      Just in case you haven’t seen this yet, but we also have a comparison chart for e-commerce online store builders.

      - Jeremy

      • Sue March 26, 2014 at 7:41 AM #

        Hi Jeremy and Connie,
        Appreciate your prompt response. Do you have any feedback on the company called Deluxe. They make e-commerce websites and they are offering a package of approx. $129/ month. Any suggestions?
        Thanks,
        Sue

        • Jeremy & Connie March 26, 2014 at 2:38 PM #

          Hi Sue – we haven’t used them before so we can’t quite comment on them.

          - Jeremy

    • Binyomin March 26, 2014 at 6:28 AM #

      [NOTE FROM JEREMY: The following comment is just an example estimate from one of our commenters who is a freelancer. His price / quote estimates are unique to what he has to offer, and so it only gives you a frame of reference. But as I mentioned in my comment above, prices fluctuate greatly amongst service providers. So take his estimates as a reference point.]

      Hi Sue,
      I saw your post on Jeremy’s great website. His answer is 100% correct.
      As a graphic designer and web builder, I can provide you with figures that are a little clearer.
      These are my personal charges, and vary from designer to designer. I charge $500 (per language) to build an average site of 7 to 10 pages. This includes shopping pages and carts, general info page, contact us and google maps, etc..
      I can create the site to be mobile friendly as well for an additional $180.
      This price does not include maintaining the site after all is finished.
      If you want me to stay available to make changes, add, delete products, update special offers and change pictures, etc or upload testimonial videos etc.. I charge $25 per hour aprox.
      To create a logo I charge $50 for 3 designs. THIS IS FREE IF I DO YOUR WEBSITE.
      You need to pay for shopping cart hosting which I can get you for around $100 a year.
      You need to pay for a domain name of your choice for around $12-$15 per year.
      I hope this is useful for you.
      Feel free to contact me for any other questions or services.
      Binyomin

  61. Molly March 25, 2014 at 7:46 PM #

    Thank you for your easy-to-follow chart! I love seeing everything in one place like this! In my research, I’ve also run into Breezi and Strikingly as options. I would love to see your thoughts on these!

  62. Daley March 14, 2014 at 1:08 PM #

    Thanks for the comparison chart.

    From the 6 website builders above, I’ve tried Weebly and IM Creator.

    While Weebly is certainly a good website builder: easy to use, good costumer support etc., I found more cool looking templates at IM Creator. Plus, they seem more suited for those looking to build a website and not a blog.

    Nevertheless, this is my personal opinion, but I think IM Creator deserves a 5/5 as well.

    The comparison chart is definitely great. Keep up the good work!

    • Jeremy & Connie March 14, 2014 at 10:04 PM #

      Hey Daley,

      Thanks so much for providing feedback for IM Creator! Good to hear that you’re enjoying their builder.

      The main reason why we didn’t give it 5/5 is because its SEO functions aren’t as flexible as other website builders, and that they don’t have any built-in e-commerce functions. You need to use 3rd party widgets if you want to operate an online store. But if you don’t need e-commerce features, then you can definitely build a good looking site with IM Creator!

      - Jeremy

  63. Tan March 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM #

    Which website builders allow for you to have multiple languages on your website? Being able to switch the whole website to a few different languages…
    Is it easier/more difficult with any?

    Thanks,
    T

    • Jeremy & Connie March 12, 2014 at 10:41 AM #

      Hi Tan,

      I think most of them can have this capability if you know how to implement them manually. For instance, if you search for the term “language” on Wix’s support page, they have a video showing how to create multilingual structure on a Wix site. Same for Jimdo’s support center.

      For Weebly, I think the only way to do it is if you set up a sub-domain structure. So your main domain will be in your primary language, then you can set up a subdomain and have it in a separate language. Then you can link using images, buttons, or text in your main domain, hyperlink them to your subdomain site to lead people to the different language.

      Note that all the options above will require you to translate your main site yourself. Pretty much duplicating your entire site. If you prefer to to use an automatic translation tool, check out Google’s free Translation Widget which will you can insert into your site as an HTML code (use the HTML widget that the website builders provide) which will then become a drop down bar for people to choose which language they want to see your site in.

      Just a caution that this translation tool from Google is just like Google Translate. It will probably get the points across, but not the best available translation. So even though it’s much easier to implement and can get the job done, if you are running a business you may want to consider investing the time to manually translate your site!

      - Jeremy

  64. SMx March 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM #

    Thanks for the information. Very helpful. Are you aware of any website builders that allow you to create and integrate a database so you can have pages that have a portion which is dynamic and driven by the database? Ideally the users would also be able to do some searches based on some of the elements in the database. Thanks.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM #

      Hey SMx,

      I think you will probably need a much more powerful platform such as WordPress, or something custom built. All of the drag and drop website builders are not as advanced enough to cater to what you are looking for. But if you are looking to build a good website without having to display information dynamically from a database, the platforms above are good candidates.

      - Jeremy

  65. Dee March 11, 2014 at 7:25 AM #

    I’m an artist looking to update my website. I have been creating my own list of comparisons based on what I’m looking for (Much like your list…and includes a few of your website comparisons). So, I was very pleased to come across your site and to see your you-tubes as well. Extremely helpful! Thanks for doing all the homework! I’m finding the questions others are asking below are my own questions and worth taking the time to read and see the answers.

    Customer support is VERY important to me! I spent most of my day trying to get through to support on my current web hosting yesterday! Ugggg. I really just want to be an artist..not be in the business of building websites! But unfortunately, being an artist also means cost is an important factor too.

    I plan to try out a few of the free ones…as a test drive. I just hate how long it takes to set up just to get the feel for it. And then having to do it on 3-4 different platforms all takes time. But this is all the business side of things. I just wanted to say thanks for all your work on these reviews. One other thing to add on your list is whether or not blogs are integrated. I have a separate blog now and would like to have it as part of my website and not have my clients leave my site.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 11, 2014 at 8:49 AM #

      Hi Dee,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I think reading through all the comments is very informative as well, as we spend a lot of our time responding to comments (and great questions), which provide “extra” information on top of our existing reviews!

      I’d definitely agree with you that building websites can be a bit of a pain, especially if you want to focus on other parts of your craft. But it’s a necessary step, and just treat the initial learning curve as a 1-time investment up front! No doubt, there will be some updating work from time to time, but once you get the hang of things, and choose the right builder for you, it will get easier.

      Thanks for recommending to include whether blogs are integrated or not. If we get more questions about this, we’ll add it to our chart.

      Thanks for adding to this discussion!

      - Jeremy

  66. Bill and Jody March 10, 2014 at 8:15 PM #

    Dear Jeremy and Connie,

    Just a note to thank you for your excellent reviews, emails, and comparisons of websites.

    We have never seen anything as helpful as your work, and we really appreciate everything you’ve done.

    Thanks and Best Regards,

    Bill and Jody
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    • Jeremy & Connie March 10, 2014 at 8:54 PM #

      Hi Bill and Jody,

      Glad you found our materials helpful! Be sure to click on the social sharing buttons at the top or left side of any page that you found helpful – you never know who else you can help along the way!

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

      - Jeremy

  67. Darren March 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM #

    Thanks for your site. Do any of these websites have integrated memberships? I’m looking for a site that will not only let me sell products but also allow shoppers to buy a monthly or yearly membership. Once a membership is purchased I would like them to have access to a members only area that they access via a personal log-in. I would like the whole purchase and get access be automated. If the card expires or the membership is over they would automatically no longer have access to the embers only site. The members only are would be a place to get current work-outs in video format.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 9, 2014 at 7:29 PM #

      Hey Darren,

      Unfortunately none of these builders have a membership payment gateway fully integrated with their platforms. I’ve discussed a possible solution with Squarespace and Weebly in my March 5 2014 comment below.

      Wix as has a membership app add-on. See a short discussion on this on December 23 2013 below. We also have an article on Wix’s app market here.

      - Jeremy

  68. MJ Stamper March 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM #

    Not sure where to best ask this question…getting ready to set up website for my husband’s art (paints on palm fronds) and I believe we’ll go with Squarespace. My question is: do any of these allow you to put your store on “inactive” status like when you’re on vacation for a week or two and can’t ship product? Thanks!

    • Jeremy & Connie March 7, 2014 at 7:33 PM #

      Hey MJ,

      I answered this question in the other post where you posted your question. Here it is again!

      What you can do is set your inventory levels to zero, then Squarespace won’t allow your visitor to add any products to the shopping cart. So this workaround will definitely work for you!

      - Jeremy

  69. Gillian March 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM #

    Hi there:
    I am a copy writer/content marketer but am looking to expand my business into creating websites for small businesses using a website builder service. Here are my questions:
    a. is there a service which allows you to change themes without losing your content?
    b. do they include email services?
    I love your website and really appreciate your observations
    Thank you, G

    • Jeremy & Connie March 7, 2014 at 7:29 PM #

      Hi Gillian,

      1) Check out Squarespace, Weebly and Jimdo to start. With them you can change your themes without losing content.

      2) The ones I suggested don’t. Check out footnote 9 above to see more information that can help you.

      GOod luck!

      - Jeremy

  70. Karen C March 5, 2014 at 5:57 AM #

    I am working with a friend to help them set up a website for their small business (I’m a novice at this myself, but they are relatively clueless). We’ve narrowed it down to Weebly and Wix. They want to be able to collect email subscribers from the site. Can we add in something like MailChimp to either of these for that purpose?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 5, 2014 at 10:59 AM #

      Hi Karen,

      Yes you can integrate newsletter services such as Mailchimp or Aweber (we use Aweber ourselves) to both Wix and Weebly. When you sign up for these newsletter services, they give you tools to create / design sign up forms. They then provide you with a snippet of code based on what you’ve designed and you just have to insert these codes into either your Wix or Weebly website.

      If you decide to use Wix, you can use their “HTML App” to insert the code. If you are using Weebly, use their “embed code” element. Once you do that, then your newsletter sign up form will appear on your website!

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  71. Ed March 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM #

    Thanks for the great comparison chart. I’d like to create a website to promote and market training videos. I’ll need a membership site option with online payment and an e-commerce option for virtual sales only. Since I’ve never created a website before, I need a fairly easy to use web site builder, but I’d like it to offer me options for professional customization in the future so that I can improve my site over time. Being able to export the site in the future would be nice but it is not essential.

    I’ll also need a site that makes it easy to post lots of photos for each video with some type of options for narration of the images. I’ll also need a good Search function so members can find what they are looking for. After reviewing your list of web site builders, it looks like the Webs.com site offers me basically what I need, but I’m a little concerned about the mediocre rating it received relative to the other sites.

    What other Web Site builder would you recommend that I compare to for this type of web page. Also, I’ll need to know if I can keep my website name and take it with me if I decide to choose a different website builder. Thanks for the help.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM #

      Hey Ed,

      Currently, only Webs has a membership gateway function built directly into its platform. However, they don’t have a “paid member” option built in yet.

      There is a service called Sentry Login that can help turn a Squarespace or Weebly website into a membership site, where you can either grant access to restricted pages only after your visitors become a member (free or paid).

      Both Squarespace and Weebly allow you to export your site so that’s helpful for you (see our Footnote 6 above for more details).

      Both Squarespace and Weebly allow you to insert a lot of images and video, and you can definitely insert caption / narrative for them. Both platforms also have a search function.

      If design is important to you, Squarespace’s templates have an edge over Weebly’s templates, as they are more “designer oriented” which gives you richer visuals and presentation, plus they are responsive so they work well across all mobile devices. See our thoughts on their templates here.

      If you get a free domain name from Squarespace, you actually own it and so you can take it with you even if you decide to leave the platform. You just have to make sure you pay the annual registrar fee so you get to keep the domain name.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  72. Peter Gellatly February 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM #

    Aloha,

    I love your reviews. They are simple yet thorough, engaging and personal, kind-spirited and buoying for simpletons like myself. That’s the problem, actually. Or I should say that I’m the problem. The information you presented sold me on Squarespace, and I can’t figure out how to get started. I have asked their staff many questions, and I have watched tutorials, but it’s not clicking with me.

    Can you possibly recommend a “how to” piece that will kick me in the okole (Hawaiian for read end) and tug me into the future? I have very specific ideas and content ready to go for the creation of a travel guide for the island of Oahu.

    mahalo & aloha, Peter

    • Jeremy & Connie February 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM #

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. That’s just part of the process of finding the best website builder that fits your unique needs. When we first started, we tested so many different platforms and invested a lot of time into this! This is what inspired us to create this website to hopefully help others “jump start” their search.

      The only way to really find out which website builder is suitable for you is to sign up and test a couple of them. If Squarespace doesn’t fit your needs (as it does have a slightly higher learning curve), test out Wix or Weebly (see some of our thoughts on them in the chart above). In my view, Weebly is probably the easiest website builder to use.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  73. David Seppa February 20, 2014 at 8:49 PM #

    Very useful, comprehensive collection of information. Thank you, guys.

  74. SK February 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM #

    Great info on your site. I think you should also include GoDaddy’s Website Builder. It’s drag and drop. Lots of customizable templates, robust, and very easy to edit. The only negative is that the slideshow does not have a stop/pause button, and captions on the slideshow and image gallery are inside the image, and the images for the gallery have a white border. Hopefully, they will address these issues soon. I just experimented with most of the sites you reviewed, and realized that the GoDaddy Website Builder is on par with and in most instances better than most of them.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 3, 2014 at 2:18 PM #

      Hi SK,

      Thanks so much for suggesting GoDaddy! We tested it out and you can find our GoDaddy website builder review here. Definitely worth while checking them out as they have a number of great things going for them, and some drawbacks (which all website builders have!).

      - Jeremy

      • Connie March 7, 2014 at 8:22 AM #

        Hi

        I want to build a website for my boutique I’m clueless when it come to making a website…I’m gnna need shopping carts and payment options please help..I would prefer a website that does all of this for me :)

        • Jeremy & Connie March 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM #

          Hi Connie,

          Unfortunately these website builders do not offer any hands on services, but rather, they focus on giving you tools so you can build your own websites.

          What you can do, is look for freelancers to help you build your website in return for a free. You can usually find a lot of these individuals on marketplaces such as Elance or oDesk. Good luck!

          - Jeremy

  75. Deborah February 14, 2014 at 9:37 AM #

    Hi — I’ve recently closed my brick & mortar retail business and am looking for a free solution to maintain some form of web presence (primarily informational for customers looking for products we carried). Currently I’m using 1&1 (no e-commerce) and it’s been okay, but I don’t want to pay for something when there isn’t any income. I’ve found your information very helpful, but the one question I have is I’d like to continue to use the web address I’ve had for a very, very long time. Will any of these sites allow me to do that for free while I figure out what is next?

    Thanks

    • Jeremy & Connie February 14, 2014 at 3:48 PM #

      Hi Deborah,

      For all the website builders here, you will have to at least upgrade to their lowest plans before you can connect your own custom domain name to the website. In a way it’s a “fair” trade to them to provide website building services to you and to help you connect your domain name to the site.

      You can always sign up to their month to month plans so that you can cancel if you have a “change of plans” so you don’t have to commit long term to their services.

      - Jeremy

  76. YK February 10, 2014 at 12:47 AM #

    Hi Jeremy , Connie,

    excellent work you are doing here on website builder reviews. Just wondering if u have a review on email marketing systems, such as mailchimp and its counterparts comparison?

    and thanks again for all the work done here on this site!

    yk

    • Jeremy & Connie February 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM #

      Hi YK,

      We don’t have any reviews on them, but we use Aweber ourselves which is really easy to use and we like it. Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  77. Jeannette February 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM #

    Thank you for a very informative analysis of web builders. It confirms what my head and heart said!

  78. Marv.n.Jo February 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM #

    Congrats on living the dream! And great review of the various website builders! Out of curiosity…which one did you use to build this site? It looks fabulous!

    • Jeremy & Connie February 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM #

      Hey Marv,

      Thanks! We built this site on WordPress as we needed a lot of the additional tools that we envisioned our website to have. But this is after spending a few years learning how to work websites properly, and also investing a lot of time to learn coding which is very helpful.

      When we first started a few years ago, we used pretty much most of the major, reputable website builders out there. Connie and I just experimented through trial and error, and invested a lot of time into testing them. That’s why we started this blog so to share our experiences with those who are going through what we went through a few short years ago.

      We wished there was a resourceful blog back then that shared ideas and discussions but couldn’t find anything that was good. That’s what compelled us to start this one!

      - Jeremy

  79. Greg Sargent February 5, 2014 at 8:23 PM #

    I just discovered this blog today…and love the work you have put into all this amazing content! I will for sure have to direct people here who are trying to make the DIY website decision. I recently started a Squarespace centered blog (content is covering everything Squarespace…not just built using Squarespace) and found you on my MOZ keyword report! You have a great blog, great content, great delivery! Keep up the good work!

    • Jeremy & Connie February 5, 2014 at 8:52 PM #

      Hey Greg – Thanks for your comment! Your site looks very helpful as well! Awesome job!

      - Jeremy

  80. Chris February 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM #

    Greetings, great site you have here.

    My question is about credit card transactors. Are there ANY of these ecommerce builder sites, etc.
    that offer a BUILT-IN credit card transactor? Perfect examply would be 2nd hand sellers on
    Amazon.com – Amazon does ALL the financial transactions without the 2nd hand sellers on their
    site having to start their own secondary CC transactor service.. Amazon does it all nice, simply, and efficiently..
    and deposits the money into your checking, piece of cake)…
    Meaning, without you having to sign up ot contract with PayPal (can’t stand them… read the THOUSANDS of horror stories on PayPalsucks dot com),
    Stripe, Authorize dot net, etc? This is the bane of starting or creating and trying to flourish
    a personal or ecommerce site to sell something…

    THanks, hope to hear your feedback.
    Chris

    • Jeremy & Connie February 6, 2014 at 12:23 PM #

      Hi Chris,

      The only e-commerce online store builder that provides its own transaction services is Shopify with their Shopify Payments feature. So everything is under Shopify, and so you don’t have to use an external payment processor like PayPal, if you don’t want to.

      Check out our review on Shopify here.

      - Jeremy

  81. Ed Barker February 5, 2014 at 7:51 AM #

    Is there a website builder that provides the ability to restrict individual content editors to update just their own pages?
    Thx, Ed

    • Jeremy & Connie February 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM #

      Hi Ed,

      I don’t think any one of these website builders have the capability for you to invite other editors to edit your sites content. Something like that might require a more customized solution, or a more powerful platform such as WordPress.

      - Jeremy

  82. Lena January 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM #

    Jeremy,

    If you had a choice between a free Bluehost account and a paid Weebly Pro account, which would you choose and why?

    THANKS for all you do!

  83. Todd January 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM #

    Thanks great article! Do you know if any of these offer white labeling?

    • Jeremy & Connie January 22, 2014 at 6:51 PM #

      Hey Todd,

      Weebly and IM Creator offer white labeling.

      For other readers who are not familiar with white labeling, basically it is a service that allows designers to use the website building platform (such as Weebly or IM Creator) to serve the designers’ customers. The designer can insert his/her own company logo into the drag and drop builder and brand it as his/her own. So the end customers will receive “full” service while the designer will get to build a brand around his/her services.

      Currently, if a customer logs into the a Weebly or IM Creator website, they will wonder why the designer is using Weebly or IM Creator. So with white labeling, the designer can brand the drag and drop builder as his/her own!

      - Jeremy

  84. Pieter January 10, 2014 at 4:34 AM #

    Squarespace is awesome, however the payment gateway stripe is not available in all countries which means they don’t support all currencies.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 10, 2014 at 9:34 AM #

      Hi Pieter,

      You’re right in that their payment gateway is slightly restrictive in that they have selected using Stripe as their preferred partner to integrate into their ecommerce platform. Stripe has been expanding internationally in 2013 and I think they will continue to do so in 2014 and forward as well. You can see in our Squarespace e-commerce discussion that Squarespace now caters to e-commerce markets in Canada, the UK, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain. I’m sure this list will continue to expand in the near future!

      There is one other option – to use an independent shopping cart service provider – Ecwid – and integrate that with Squarespace. Ecwid is a pretty powerful e-commerce shopping cart widget that you can use with Squarespace. They currently have over 400,00 customers in over 175 countries and so supports you wherever you are internationally.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  85. Tsen January 6, 2014 at 6:58 PM #

    Thank you for the great work! My friend directed me to your site as I have been researching all the sites that compare the web builder service and find yours the most comprehensive and up-to-date. It seems that you have some exposure in China so your feedback is highly appreciated.

    I am starting with
    phase1. An English blog that I can upload video/blog for users to leave comments for audience outside China BEFORE BUILD
    phase2. A property listing site in Chinese for Mainland Chinese audience

    Q1 Since the export functions is important at the later stage, it seems i can only considered Squrespace, Weebly, or WordPress.org , doesn’t it?
    Or shall I leave out squarespace as it can only be exported to wordpress.org?
    Q2 I read that Squrespace and Weebly are (occasionally) blocked in China. What choice would I have if I prefer my site being viewable in China from phase I?
    Q3 If I just focus on phase I to get the site running swiftly on my own, which would you recommend.

    Could you suggest where you are based since you offer website building service.

    Thank you,
    Tsen

    However would it be okey if Squrespace seem to export to WordPress.org only?
    What would you recommend?

    Q2

    • Jeremy & Connie January 7, 2014 at 8:13 AM #

      Hi Tsen,

      IM Creator also allows you to back up your website. Squarespace only allows you to export to WordPress at the moment, whereas Weebly allows you to export all the codes so you can upload them into your own host if you wish. However, just note that not all Weebly functions will work outside of their own hosting platform.

      I haven’t heard of Squarespace or Weebly being blocked in China – but then I don’t live there so I can’t really share any experiences there. Has any one else had similar experiences?

      As for Squarespace or Weebly, it really depends on your preference on which website builder works better for your needs. I would suggest you sign up for both and invest time to using them to see which one suits your needs. Both have blogging functions so you can definitely insert your content that way to share with your readers. As for listing properties, you can upload images and text to showcase the properties. But if you were to use some sort of external widget, both Squarespace and Weebly have the ability to allow you to embed codes into their sites so they can run external widgets.

      - Jeremy

  86. Michael January 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM #

    I just need to say that they way you present your information and manage this site is outstanding. The content is excellent, the formatting and layout (ease of read) is great, and your professionalism in responding to every comment – good or bad – in a helpful, courteous manner is really something to be admired. I know all sites should operate this way but we all know most don’t. Thanks for doing what you do so well!

    • Jeremy & Connie January 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM #

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Glad you found our website helpful. If you think others will also find it helpful, do share it with others by clicking on the social sharing buttons at the top of the page or on the left hand side. You never know who else will find it helpful!

      Best,

      Jeremy

  87. Janet Gonzales January 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM #

    Thanks for all your information. Your reviews and comparisons are helping me learn as I have no experience in website builders and hosters. I read somewhere that I should look for builders that provide/use HTML5. Your WIX review noted their use of HTML5. Do Weebly, Jimdo and Squarespace also use/provide HTML5?

    Also, I will be selling products online and want to be sure transactions are secure. Is there a difference in security of transactions between the free and the paid for accounts?

    • Jeremy & Connie January 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM #

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for raising a great point! Yes, Weebly, Jimdo and Squarespace are all HTML5 compatible.

      All the transaction pages are secure. If you want to check, just take a look at the URL of the webpage when you are on a transaction page (such as the page where you insert your check out information). You should see that the URL changes from “http://” to “https://”. “https://” indicates that the page is secured.

      - Jeremy

  88. Larry B January 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM #

    Very informative comparison with useful information, especially for those “not up to speed” on we-hosting. The one area I feel you lacked to compare is the email hosting abilities for each. I know for me, this is a must.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 3, 2014 at 5:02 AM #

      Thanks Larry, and a very fair point and I will add this to the list above.

      But just a bit more discussion on this. For all the website builders listed above, only Jimdo and Webs offer email services, but with both you have to be subscribed to their premium plans.

      One thing I think people might be nervous about, is what if they decide to leave Jimdo or Webs and move over to another website builder, or custom build a website. What would happen to their email account and all the email history?

      Having said that, there are email apps that you can use to create your own custom domain email addresses. One is Google Business Apps (which we use ourselves) but it is now a paid subscription (about $4 per month) and you get to use the Gmail interface and have your own custom email domain. The other service is Windows Live (Hotmail) which at the moment, is still free if you want to set up your own custom email domain.

      I think use either one of these services / apps is a worthwhile consideration, as you get to keep the email accounts if you ever decide to use a different website builder service. Your emailing function won’t have to change at all, and you won’t lose any history.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

      • Stacey January 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM #

        Jeremy, would Hushmail and Yahoo also be email services that can be used with some of these website builders? I may want to use them as part of my business
        Stacey

        • Jeremy & Connie January 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM #

          Hi Stacey,

          Hushmail looks interesting (I haven’t seen them before). It looks like they allow you to use your own domain name, though I’m not sure if they are free. We recommended Gmail Business Apps and also Hotmail because they are established players in the emailing space. I’m not sure if Yahoo also provides the same service or not.

          - Jeremy

  89. Chad Miller December 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM #

    Thank you for the candid information and your expert opinions. I am sifting through all of the information out there in my quest to start my own website and it is overwhelming to say the least. I am aware many review sites and such are reviewing products that lead to affiliate sales so I always struggle with what is an honest assessment or merely sales copy. Never-the-less, I am attracted to Wix apps options as I’d like to have a forum, and add other apps for registration services if possible and potentially password protected content that requires a membership or one time fee to access or purchase. Wix appears to offer a relatively easy to use app section, however I’m sure it is limited to apps they have partnerships with so the selection could remain limited to these partners. Do any of the other drop and drag builders offer the ability to add things like this as Wix app page allows?

    • Jeremy & Connie December 24, 2013 at 1:53 AM #

      Hi Chad,

      Aside from Wix, the website builders that we have listed above don’t have app markets. The only one that has a membership area is Webs. However, what you can do is check out Sentry Login which is a membership widget that you can plug into Weebly and Squarespace. I haven’t used them myself before, but have heard a few Weebly users using them.

      Hope this helps!

      - Jeremy

  90. joe December 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM #

    How is Wix and Weebly with spam bots. Have simple web site on WordPress and always trying to guard against bots filling forms with spam and getting blocked by gmail.?

    Also does Wix and/or Weebly have good set-ups for using video on web sites.?

    Thanks, Joe

    • Jeremy & Connie December 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

      Hi Joe,

      Both Wix and Weebly doesn’t have spam bots (such as Captcha) guarding tools at the moment. Nevertheless spamming technology nowadays have the ability to force its way through captcha, so perhaps these spam avoidance tools will get weaker in time. It’s nasty and annoying, but plenty of WordPress sites get spammed really badly too!

      Yes both Wix and Weebly can use videos. You can drag and drop their video elements into the screen, and either upload your own video or play YouTube videos.

      - Jeremy

  91. Ann December 17, 2013 at 1:13 PM #

    Is GoDaddy a bad option? An Executive Board Member uses it for her org and wants me to go that route, but I have read so many bad comments that I am scared off. Plus I was originally turned off by their advertising. Thanks for any insight.

    • Jeremy & Connie December 17, 2013 at 4:14 PM #

      Hi Ann,

      I’m not really sure as I haven’t used their web builder myself. Though I have seen some negative reviews about their website builder – but all businesses gets both positive and negative reviews. Have you tried using it before? You never know until you test it!

      - Jeremy

  92. Stan December 13, 2013 at 3:38 AM #

    I’m new to your website and to the very helpful reviews and relative information that you have provided. A while back, I used a Website Builder called Lifeyo. I was very pleased at the time with the functionality and ability to create a nice looking product. However, I never see them in the mix, when it comes to Website Builder products. Having said that, I’m wondering if you would have a comment or two on the Lifeyo’s product, as I’m getting ready to produce several more Websites and I’m wondering if I should make a change. At present, I’m very impressed with your review on the Squarespace option….but just curious as to why there was no mention of Lifeyo, since they are so similar in useability…Thank You

    • Jeremy & Connie December 13, 2013 at 6:15 AM #

      Hi Stan,

      Thanks for your suggestion. I’ve heard of Lifeyo before but never tried them on any of our previous projects. I suppose they are “relatively” new so we just haven’t had the opportunity yet. But thanks for bringing it up. I just tried to visit their site but their website isn’t loading – not necessarily a great impression! In any case, I’ll circle back to them when I have some time to take a deeper look.

      If you want to take a deeper dive into Squarespace, we have a category page here that will show you all the posts that relates to Squarespace.

      - Jeremy

  93. Erica December 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM #

    Fabulous. As a soul business proprietor you guys are just the best. Thank you for all your help and much appreciation. Your expert guidance and advice makes the process of setting up the website so much easier.

  94. Michael B December 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM #

    Hi Guys, Great work, appreciated.

    Would like to see you look at and review Snappages. I know it is much smaller company than some of these, but their NEW version 2.0 has been up and running for some time, and it was a BIG step up from earlier version. I’m just a user, but have become enamored with their engine and level of flexibility. I’m a big WEEBLY fan as well, but for now doing my projects in Snappages.

    • Jeremy & Connie December 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for your suggestion. Snappages look interesting. When we free up some time maybe we’ll give it a try!

      - Jeremy

  95. cyndi December 12, 2013 at 9:23 AM #

    Thank you for this! It helps a lot as there are so many variables to look at when you make your decision. I noticed in Squarespace you indicate 14 day free trial. Is the price after the prices you list above or is it an additional amount?
    I am with Weebly and because it is a blog – I feel I am stuck as I believe weebly does not export blog entries – only the rest of the site. Do you think they may change this anytime? Also, thanks for your list of tutorials you sent the other day. I took some of your advice in one of them and made the “recent blogs” boxes for mine! You guys rock!

    • Jeremy & Connie December 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM #

      Hi Cyndi,

      Squarespace doesn’t have a permanent free program, like the other web builders. So they give you a 14 day trial which in my mind is not a short time for interested people to test things out. But after the 14 days expires, you have to make a decision to upgrade to one of their plans (hint: I think you can extend your trial period – they give you this option when the 14 days is up).

      As for Weebly blog posts, I’m not entirely sure when they will be exportable – hopefully soon! But to be quite honest, even though one can export the entire website, you can’t really edit / modify the site in another host unless you are proficient with codes. Weebly as a platform allows you to drag and drop items without knowing codes, so this ability goes away once the website is outside of its operating environment.

      With Squarespace, at least you are exporting the content and importing it into WordPress, which gives you some sort of infrastructure to host and modify your content.

      Glad you liked our tutorials! :)

      - Jeremy

  96. Jeff December 12, 2013 at 8:24 AM #

    Why is there such a big difference between Squarespace (4.8/5) and Jimdo (3.6/5)?
    A good motivation would be appreciated. I think Jimdo has some desadvantages, but it is hard to beat its overall performance.

    • Jeremy & Connie December 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM #

      Hi Jeff,

      I think Jimdo is great, but as I noted in the footnotes (specifically footnote 9), the scoring is based on a simple average and should not be taken literally without reading the detailed review that we’ve written up for Jimdo. Based purely on the scoring, the main reasons why Squarespace looks better are due to it having more SEO related flexibility and also the caliber of themes that it provides. Functionally, I think Jimdo is also great, but just lacking a bit behind in these two aspects.

      Hope this makes sense!

      - Jeremy

  97. Laura Lash Fitzgerald December 12, 2013 at 5:41 AM #

    Great information, but I am curious why you only chose these to compare? And what about wordpress? (I’m not an advocate of wordpress but am recently forced to use it).

    Regardless, thank you for the useful information.
    Laura

    • Jeremy & Connie December 12, 2013 at 7:29 AM #

      Hi Laura,

      That’s a very fair question. We left out WordPress as it is a complete different “animal” from hosted, drag and drop website builders (or WYSIWYG builders). We would not consider it as a good apples to apples comparison. We do have several articles comparing WordPress to a few drag and drop website builders. I think you’ll find those a lot more detailed and helpful.

      Thanks for asking though.

      - Jeremy

  98. Ben December 12, 2013 at 5:23 AM #

    Why is wordpress, joomla and droopal not on the list ? I am sure that readers would like to see how they compare….(if they compare !)
    Thanks
    Ben

    • Jeremy & Connie December 12, 2013 at 7:32 AM #

      Hey Ben,

      Great question. See my answer to Laura just above your comment regarding WordPress. As for Drupal and Joomla, we don’t have any hands on experiences with using them, so we’re not quite qualified to comment on them. Maybe one day we’ll try our hands on them!

      - Jeremy

      • ekkekan December 14, 2013 at 4:27 AM #

        Thanks for a most informative item.

        Any comments on yola?

        I’m looking a a web site builder that is easy to work with and easy to find the links to any file used to post in blogs.

        Regards.

        • Jeremy & Connie December 14, 2013 at 5:18 AM #

          Hi Ekkekan,

          We haven’t used Yola before so we can’t comment on this. but if anyone reading this comment has had experiences with Yola, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on them!

          - Jeremy

          • Judith August 5, 2014 at 3:31 AM #

            Hi jeremy!

            firstly, i wanted to say that you are making a great job giving the advices for us, so lost sheep)))
            2ly, i have a question as all of us here: I own a restaurant and after several weeks of studing the market of mobile apps i chose the one – Restaurant solution, so now we have a very accurate and clear site with small fee for it( what is important!!!) . The thing is that i can`t understan if we should build the usual site, if we need it… What do you think? and which one from those above is better to use if i want to repeat the style which we used in Mobile app????

            Thank u for ur answer in advance!

            • Jeremy Wong August 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM #

              Hi Judith,

              If you are building a restaurant, I’d suggest you go with Squarespace as their design templates are really great looking and can help you create a really nice looking restaurant website. Further, their designs are all responsive and so will look great across all mobile devices automatically.

              Also, Squarespace has a “Menu” block which is a feature that allows you to create menus on your site and you can update it really easily. So you don’t have to upload any PDF’s, or custom code menus into your site. They’ve taken care of that for you already.

              Squarespace also has an OpenTable “app” that can help you connect to OpenTable – so your visitors might find that helpful!

              - Jeremy