In the past, you had to know how to write HTML and CSS codes if you wanted to put anything online.
This is not the case anymore.
Anyone, including you, can create an online website presence quickly and easily – without knowing how to code.
Just a few short years ago, building a website for your business, to share your hobbies, or just for whatever reasons, you either had to learn how to code, learn how to get hosting services to get your website up, and all sorts of technical mumbo jumbo that majority of the people either don’t have the time or interest to learn.
It’s that, or you would have to pay thousands of dollars to hire a programmer to build it for you. Most people just don’t have the money or appetite to commit to this.
These hurdles or barriers to create your website are now gone.
You can sign up to use a DIY website builder (some of them are free), and start dragging and dropping text, images, slideshows, or videos into an editor, and publish your own website with just a click.
No coding necessary, you don’t need thousands of dollars, and you can get something good published in under an hour.
WHAT IS A DIY WEBSITE BUILDER?
A DIY website builder is a program that is accessible online (it is a software) where you can sign up using just your email address, and the program allows you to start inserting components such as text, images, slideshows, etc, into a blank canvas so you can start populating your website.
You can also select from a variety of free beautiful and professional templates to give your website a unique look and design.
The DIY website creator will also host your website for you, so you don’t have to worry about all the technical details of setting up hosting (including configuration, security updates, etc).
What does this mean? For a website to “exist” on the internet, someone has to “host” the website. Simplistically, the host will power your website so that people can visit it on the internet.
In general, a good DIY website builder will take care of all the technical parts of website creation, so you can quickly insert your own content and get your site up and running.
WHAT DIY WEBSITE BUILDERS ARE AVAILABLE
Nowadays, there are a lot of different DIY website creators available to you. Most of them offer you free services with the opportunity to upgrade to their paid subscription plans in order to access more advanced features.
But the upgrading part is optional as if you find the free tools sufficient for your own needs, you don’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to.
The fact that a lot of them are free for you to try, this gives you the advantage of testing some of them before deciding which one best suits your needs.
Some of the DIY website builders that we’ve used ourselves include:
You can click on the links above to see our detailed reviews on those individual website builders.
NOT ALL DIY WEBSITE BUILDERS ARE CREATED EQUALLY
Overall, there isn’t a clear “best” website builder out there, as each builder has its own unique qualities which we fully describe in our review articles for them.
For instance, Squarespace has some of the most polished and professional templates available and they are all responsive (meaning that they will provide you with some of the best viewing experiences no matter if you are looking at your website on your desktop, tablet or mobile phones).
Weebly is one of the easiest to use drag and drop DIY website builders available on the market. Their user interface is very intuitive and so you can quickly learn how to use it in a pretty short amount of time.
Click here to see a detailed Pros and Cons discussion table on Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Jimdo. This pro and cons page outlines our thoughts on what each of these website builders is good at, and what they need to improve. This will hopefully help you save time to figure out which ones you should test to see if they fit your overall needs.
- Ease of use
- Design flexibility
- Themes design available
- SEO (search engine optimization – basically how search engine friendly it is)
- The ability to export your website
- Support services available
- e-Commerce tools
ANYTHING I SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT USING A DIY WEBSITE BUILDER?
As with all things, there are pros and there are always cons. It’s a balance that you need to strike for yourself to see if you can live with them.
Here are a few limitations that you should be aware of:
Customization Limitations – DIY website builders are “closed source” programs, so they do have limitations when it comes to customizations that you can make, which is less than other more advanced website builders.
Shared Hosting – any websites build with DIY builders will be hosted on these their servers, so you don’t have full control over your own content. Also, if you violate the builder’s terms & conditions, they can shut down your account. Now, this rarely happens unless you are abusing their services, or if you create content that is considered to be in “bad taste”. So if you don’t have such intents, you don’t have much to worry about.
No Backup – most of the builders (except for Weebly and IM Creator) do not allow you to fully backup your websites. So if you want to take your entire website elsewhere, this is going to be a challenge.
Slower Loading Speed – as the website that you build will be hosted on shared hosting, you will be sharing server resources and bandwidth with other websites. This will result in slower website loading speed, especially if you have very large image files on your website. Overall, it might take a few more seconds to load a page, but it won’t be detrimental to cause a normal visitor to leave your site.
So there are definitely some drawbacks to using a DIY website builder. In our view, these are not massive limitations, especially if you don’t have the appetite (or time) to spend a month or more to learn how to code, or use other more advanced website builders.
CONCLUSION – DIY WEBSITE BUILDER
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