How to Build a Website 2018 | You Don’t Have To Be A Tech Geek

Last updated on May 21, 2018

How to Build a Website

If you’re wondering about how to make a website (even for free), then
you’ve come to the right place.

Have no idea where to start? Worried it will cost too much and take too long?

Don’t worry, that’s what most people think (including us seven years ago).

We’ll take you through the process of creating a website step by step and show you why:

  • You don’t have to be an IT geek to build a website from scratch nowadays
  • You don’t need to know code, manage hosts or servers
  • You don’t need to have a lot of money

If you want to build a website, you just have to know where to start.

Follow our step-by-step guide and you could have your website up and running online in a matter of hours. If you’re looking to build a personal website, or want to create a site for your small business, this process is right for you.

Websitebuilders are the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to build a website. Our top four are Wix, Squarespace , Weebly and Jimdo. These builders power millions of websites built by ordinary web users like you and me, so you’ll be in good company.

Start your website-building journey at step one below, or navigate to the step that you’re currently working on:

1

Choose Your Website Builder

More and more people are creating websites online as a way to express themselves and get in touch with others. Businesses cannot afford not to have a website as a way of reaching more potential customers.

The reason normal folks like yourself can build your own website for free is because of website builder tools.

Thanks to these drag-and-drop website builders, building your own website is as simple and as intuitive as creating a powerpoint presentation.

Website builders have programmed the software you need to make a site, so now you literally just have to use your mouse and drag a slideshow, a block of text, images or video into your website. You can also insert your own text, upload your own pictures, insert your own videos (such as YouTube), and click publish.

That’s it!

Website builders make getting set up online so quick and simple! (Results taken from 1881 survey respondents)

You don’t need to have any coding knowledge whatsoever, so if HTML (Hypertext Markup Language – common coding language for text fonts and styles) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet – used to layout web pages) sound like foreign languages, don’t worry!

Mastering code takes months (and a lot of skill) and using it to build a website is complicated and time-intensive.

Using a top-quality website builder means anyone can build a website. It’s why picking a builder is your first step when creating a website.

Sounds good right?

But how do you know which one to pick?

After all, it’s not just about choosing any old builder, you need to choose the right website builder.

When we started making websites ourselves, we found it hard to figure out which website builder was the best fit.

So we decided to test a lot of them.

Our comparison chart shows you what we found out. You can see which is the best all-round builder, which is the best builder for designers and which is the easiest builder to use, and compare them.

If you already know what you need from a website builder, our comparison chart will show you which builder offers the features important to you.

Best All-Around
Top Choice

4.8 out of 5

Ease of Use

0 out of 5 stars

Template Design

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Popularity

0 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

0 out of 5 stars

Pricing

0 out of 5 stars

Best Design Oriented

4.6 out of 5

Ease of Use

-1 out of 5 stars

Template Design

0 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

0 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Easiest to Use

4.4 out of 5

Ease of Use

-1 out of 5 stars

Template Design

0 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

0 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-1.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-0.5 out of 5 stars

3.5 out of 5

Ease of Use

-2 out of 5 stars

Template Design

-2 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

-2.5 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-2.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-1.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-1 out of 5 stars

If you need more detailed information to make a choice, see our big comparison chart.

With any of the builders in our comparison chart, you won’t need to code and you won’t need to spend loads of money hiring freelancers to help you design and build your website.

When we started out, there was so much information out there that it overloaded us, and pretty much paralyzed us in terms of choosing which website builder to use.

After investing hundreds of hours in using many different website builders ourselves (gosh those days were painful!), we’ve compiled a few different resources to help make your choice (and life) a bit easier.

If you’re torn between two and need more information about the best website builders for specific industries, below you will find some industry focussed comparison charts and in-depth reviews of our top-rated website builders.

This guide is for people looking for the easiest way to build a website (without any coding knowledge). You can also build a website using WordPress and BlueHost, but we only recommend this option if you are technically skilled. If you are, find out more here.

If you’re still unsure about which website builder to choose, and are struggling to whittle down our list of recommended builders, take our guided quiz and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Take a minute to answer our four key questions and we’ll give you personalized advice on which website builder is right for you.

Other helpful pages:

Looking to build an online store?
E-Commerce Online Store Builders Comparison Chart for 2018 – if you’re looking to build an online store, use one of our top-rated builders.

The 5 Best Business Website Builders – if you’re a small business owner looking to get online, these are the 5 best website builders if you’re looking to get your company online.

Top 5 Website Builders for Photographers – if you’re a photographer looking to build a website and show off your work, these are your best options.

Top 5 Website Builders for Portfolios – are you an artist or a designer? These are the 5 best website builders for creating a portfolio and growing your fanbase.

Wix – Read our full review
Squarespace – Read our full review
Weebly – Read our full review
Jimdo – Read our full review

2

Test Your Website Builder

Once you’ve chosen a website builder, the next step is to make sure you’ve chosen the right website builder.

All of the website builders in our comparison chart have their pros and cons, and some of them are better at certain things.

When it comes to choosing, there really isn’t a “one website builder fits all” type of solution.

You’re probably thinking:

“But I can’t afford to sign up to all of them, how do I know I’ve picked the right builder to create my website?”

All of the website builders that we recommend either offer free trial periods or have free basic plans. Signing up to a free trial lets you experiment with each website builder, without having to spend any money first. You just might enjoy using them, too!

Think of it like shopping for a car (but MUCH cheaper). You can take each website builder for a test drive to see if it works out for you.

It’s that simple!

We recommend that you narrow down your search to two or three website builders, and spend a little time playing around with them.

When testing different builders to find the best one to create your website, ask yourself:

  • Which interface do you find the easiest to use?
  • What templates and design features do you like the most?
  • Does the builder’s functionality help you build the site you picture in your head?

You can see how each website builder compares on several key factors in our comparison chart below. Just select the builder that appeals to you and use the free trial button to take it for a spin!

But that’s not all!

You can also see how each website builder caters for mobile websites. With more people (your site’s potential visitors) using smartphones to browse the internet than ever before, it’s very important your website looks good on any device.

All of Squarespace’s themes are mobile responsive (meaning they will automatically look as good no matter what device your visitor is using, without any legwork needed from you), freeing up your time to focus on other parts of your site.

Jimdo and Weebly both offer a selection of themes that are mobile-responsive, while Wix and GoDaddy provide mobile editors that allow you to tweak your site’s display so it looks good on mobile, or hide certain content from mobile browsers altogether.

This approach does take a little bit more of hands-on approach, but gives you greater freedom to design a personal mobile experience for your visitors.

Good website builders let you toggle between desktop and mobile view, so you can see how your site looks to visitors using different devices. You can easily step in and tidy up any problems.

Let’s get started by comparing each builder’s key features…

Best All-Around
Top Choice

4.8 out of 5

Ease of Use

0 out of 5 stars

Template Design

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Popularity

0 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

0 out of 5 stars

Pricing

0 out of 5 stars

Best Design Oriented

4.6 out of 5

Ease of Use

-1 out of 5 stars

Template Design

0 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

0 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Easiest to Use

4.4 out of 5

Ease of Use

-1 out of 5 stars

Template Design

0 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

0 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-0.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-1.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-0.5 out of 5 stars

3.5 out of 5

Ease of Use

-2 out of 5 stars

Template Design

-2 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

-2.5 out of 5 stars

Popularity

-2.5 out of 5 stars

Mobile ready

-1.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

-1 out of 5 stars

Wondering what each of our rated features actually means?

Don’t worry.

We’ve provided definitions below (if everything is clear, great! Pick your builder and start testing).

Chart Features Explained:

1 Ease of Use – our score is based on how easy it is to learn how to use the website builder (even if you have no technical skills). Quite simply, we put ourselves in the shoes of someone using a website builder for the first time and tested each one out to see how intuitive it is to use. Is adding functionality and images simple? Is editing straightforward? Do you have support readily available? Is the interface clear? The higher a builder’s ease-of-use rating, the better they answered these kind of questions.

2 Template Design – to rate our recommended builders on template design, we looked at the overall variety and quality of the themes each one offers. Wix gives you access to a huge library of over 500 professionally designed themes. They span practically every industry, so whatever your website is about Wix has you covered. Squarespace’s themes are best looking and can make your site look like it’s been built by a designer.

3 Features & Flexibility – the higher a website builder scores in this category, the more apps and features they offer to help you take your website up a level, and the more types of website they support (ecommerce stores, for example). The more flexible builders let you integrate third party tools with just a click of a button. If you’re looking for a builder with endless possibilities, pick one with a high features and flexibility rating.

4 Popularity – The more users a website builder has, the higher their popularity rating. While this doesn’t reflect the number of live websites or paying customers, it will give you a general idea of how popular the builder is.

5 Mobile ready – mobile readiness of a website builder tells you how easy it is to make sure your site looks great across devices. We have rated them on how good their responsive themes are at scaling across devices and the adjustment options they offer for mobile experiences.

6 Pricing – Monthly pricing based on annual plans. Monthly price will be a bit higher if you enrolled on month-to-month payment plans.

One of the best things about these established website builders is that they take care of a lot of your concerns, so you can focus on building your website, creating content or growing your business online.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

They also take care of all the security upgrades for the hosts so you don’t have to bother with all this techie stuff. They ensure that your website is always up and running, and doesn’t get hacked.

We know there’s A LOT to think about and choice can be a bit daunting.

But getting started is as easy as clicking on the builder you want to trial, entering your email address and password, or signing up through social media, and off you go!

Don’t believe us? Take a look at this:

Free-trail-gif

A free plan is a great way of creating a website and getting up and running (or testing out which website builder is the best for you).

But if you want to build a website with real personality and add all the bells and whistles, then you’ll want to think about upgrading to a paid plan to access more advanced features and functionality.

It’s your call.

All of our recommended builders come with quality templates – set designs that let you build a stylish website in no time whatsoever.

Editing your website’s template by changing fonts, styles, colors, images and navigation bars is the best way to build a website with really personality.

As there’s no one-size-fits solution, when you’re experimenting with different website builders test which one you find the easiest to customize.

We’ll explain more about customizing your template in step 6.

 

What about ecommerce website builders?

If you are thinking about building an online store, there are ecommerce website builders for you as well!

The best of the bunch that we recommend is Shopify if you need a very comprehensive ecommerce solution.

Their themes are great, and they have a very powerful App Store to add more functionality and tools to your store.

You can see how Shopify stacks up against the best ecommerce store builders on the market in our comparison chart.

Dedicated ecommerce website builders like Shopify are great if you have many products that you want to see online, or if you already have a physical store and you just want to start selling products online.

If you don’t need too many advanced tools and only have a handful of products to sell, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Jimdo are also excellent candidates to consider. These are great ecommerce solutions if you are selling unique, boutique products, photographs, art, or just anything that are not mass produced.

It all boils down to this:

If you know your website is going to be used to sell lots of products, you might want to check out our 5 best ecommerce website builders.

But if you’re just looking to get a website up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible, you’ll want one of the builders we’ve recommended in this guide.

3

Choose The Right Plan

As well as picking the right builder to create your website on, you need to choose the right plan.

Website builders offer different levels of subscription and, as with most things, the more you pay the more you get.

All of our top website builders are reasonably priced and are far cheaper than a custom-built site, which can run into the $1000s. Their cheapest monthly paid plans are often less expensive than the price of a coffee.

You’re not obligated to sign up to a paid plan (and our recommended builders won’t auto-enrol you when your trial ends) and you have the power to cancel and walk away any time you want. You can build your website for a transparent monthly fee, so there’s no surprise bills. Most website builders also have generous money back guarantees. For example, Wix lets you cancel your Premium Plan at any time within the first 14 days and get all your money back. So you can basically try premium without being left out of pocket!

If you’ve come to the end of your free trial, or you’re finding the free version of a website builder too limiting, step 3 is to think about what premium plan to sign up to. You might want greater functionality that shows you how to make a website with all the bells and whistles.

If this sounds like you, here are four questions to ask yourself to find out if you need a premium plan:

  1. Do you want to get rid of your website builder’s logo?
  2. Do you need a personal domain?
  3. Does your site need a lot of images, videos or other big files?
  4. Do you need access to premium templates?

If the answer is yes on any of these, you’ll probably want a more advanced plan.

Let me explain.

While most website builders offer free hosting no matter what plan you’re on, upgrading to a paid subscription will typically get you more bandwidth (the ability to handle more visitors) and more storage (the amount of pictures, video and media you can have on your site).

With most website builders, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to get rid of the builder’s logo and give your site your personal branding. You’ll also need to sign up to a paid plan to create a personal domain for your website (more on this in step 4).

These two factors alone show how even paying a small amount give you the power to create a really personal and unique website.

Paid plans will unlock more templates for you to use. The better your plan, the more templates you can use and the more you’re able to customize features like menus and images.

Upgrading your plan will also give you access to more SEO (search engine optimization – where your site appears in Google’s results pages for key related terms) support. The higher your site ranks in Google, the most visitors – and customers, if you’re running a small business website – you will get. Weebly, for instance, will only index your site if you are on a paid plan.

For some sites, particularly if you’re trying to create a professional small business website, a free plan might not be enough.

OK, so a premium plan opens A LOT of doors, which one do I choose?

Just like choosing a website builder, to pick which plan to sign up with you need to weigh up what you want from your site.

So let’s get down to business.

Use our comparison chart to compare different builders, based on three important features and whether you get them on a free or paid plan. The features are:

  • Free of Adverts – whether the builder’s ads are display on your site or not
  • Personal Domain – whether you get your own personal website address or not
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – the amount of traffic and data your site can handle

*Squarespace is the only builder that doesn’t have a free plan, so to get the features you will have to pay a modest monthly fee. It does, however, offer a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

Features
Free* Plan
Paid Plan
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
4

Choose Your Domain

Now you’ve signed up to a free trial, and picked the right website builder and the right plan, step 4 of our how to make a website guide is to choose a domain name.

A domain name is the bit of the URL (the long address in your browser’s search bar) that identifies a web page – in this case your website.

You have two choices when it comes to domain names:

  • You can either purchase your own custom domain name through the website builder
  • Or you can purchase it on your own through registrars such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.

As we covered in step 3, website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Jimdo will give you a free custom domain name if you sign up to a premium plan.

Keeping your own domain name requires you to pay an annual fee – roughly $12 for most people. So signing up to a premium plan will save you the domain name fee and effectively lower your yearly investment in the website builder.

Once you’ve got your unique domain name, what happens if you want to move?

This is a very common question we get (and certainly one of our own questions when we first started figuring out how to make a website well!).

Here’s the deal…

When you purchase a domain name from a website builder or through separate registrars, you own the domain name and can take it to wherever you want.

Having your own domain name is a great way to add personality to your site.

So is creating your own custom email address. Not all the website builders provide email services built into their platform.

Let’s rewind: if you look at our comparison chart, you’ll see that Jimdo, GoDaddy and IM Creator provide email services if you subscribe to their premium plans.

If you decide to use the other website builders that don’t offer email services, don’t worry. Google’s G Suite (using the friendly Gmail user interface) can also help you create your own email address for a few dollars a month.

In fact, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly all partnered up with Google to offer you this customized email addresses. Google’s G Suite email service is integrated with these website builders so setup is straightforward.

5

Pick Your Template

OK, so you’ve followed our steps to the letter: you’ve chosen a website builder and are ready to start creating a website.

The next step is creating the website you want.

How do you make your website look good? After all, you want to build a website that stands out, right? And you want to know how to build a website with personality?

Let’s face it, the majority of us don’t know how to design well, let alone code up our own web design!

That’s where website builders come in.

They create design templates so you can use them to populate your site and make it look good, without having to spend money and time hiring a designer.

Whichever website builder you’ve chosen, you’ll have a really a good selection of design templates to choose from (generally speaking, the better your plan, the more templates you’ll have access to).

Templates dictate what your homepage header and menu bar look like, and the content width on your site, so they’re pretty important.

Think about them as “clothes” for your website. If you don’t like one set of clothes, just change to another one to give your website a completely different feel.

Almost all website builders give you at least a selection of templates for free, and hands down using these design templates will give your website the biggest visual impact in the least amount of time. Some are better for certain types of template than others.

Wix has a massive library of of over 500 templates that cover a wide range of industries, so you can easily pick which one best suits your website. Squarespace’s themes are highly polished and give off a very professional feel. Play around with each one to find the right templates for your site.

You don’t need to touch any codes whatsoever!

Stylish, easy-to-use templates mean learning how to build a website from scratch isn’t just simple, it’s fun too!

Drag-and-drop website builders (if you haven’t chosen a website builder yet, head back to step 1 and we’ll show you how) give you really good looking design templates to give you a head start already. There are more important things to focus on while your business is still young than hiring a professional (and potentially expensive) designer. We’ve got more on the cost of building a website here.

If you’re sitting in front of your computer looking at a hundreds of templates, thinking “I didn’t know how to make a website five minutes ago, how can I possibly pick one?”, ask yourself:

  • Do you want a modern, artsy look? (full-width design) or a more professional and traditional feel? (boxed-width).
  • Does your design’s header tell the story of your website? Does it reflect what your site (and you) are all about? Play around with slideshows, static images and videos until you find one that makes you scream ‘Yes’ to these questions.

For inspiration, you can check out the best free templates for your business website in our collections below.

Banner_Template_designer
Banner_Template_ecommerce
6

Customize Your Template

If you think that now you’ve chosen a template all you need to do is sit back and admire your site, you’re wrong.

The next step when learning how to build a website is to customize your template. After all, you want your site to stand out from the crowd don’t you?

In the design section of your website builder you can edit the pre-made features in your template to add your own flavour.

The template image is just a set design. You can use it or choose to add your own image (you won’t need any coding to do this), but we recommend you only replace the builder’s set image with your own if you’ve taken a really high-quality image or one that is very personal to your business.

Why should you do this?

Most builders provide quality images that make your site look very accomplished, so it makes sense to use them! The more professional your website looks, the more your visitors are going to trust you.

Customizing your template could include:

  • Adding new pages to your menu
  • Changing the size, colors and fonts of the buttons on your menu
  • Editing the images on your homepage gallery
  • Choosing a different color palette for your template

Building a website is like cooking a dinner. Just like cooking, knowing how to build a website from scratch is much easier with the right tools and instructions. A template gives you a recipe – you can choose to follow it or you can mix up the ingredients and style to give your dish your own flavor.

In Wix’s Design Editor, you’ll be able to see your changes in real time, meaning that as you start making a change, you’ll be able to see that change happening on your site. This is great because you don’t waste time saving each change and then checking what it looks like live.

The more advanced your subscription, the more opportunities to customize your website: another reason you might want to spend a bit money on your website builder.

Watch our video tutorial to see how easy it is to customize pages and menu bars in Wix:

One neat aspect of Wix, Weebly and Squarespace that’s worth mentioning is the ability to add multiple editors to your site. This is really useful if you’re building your site with a partner or a friend.

All this talk of customizing your website might make you think: why don’t I just hire a designer?

As we said earlier, if you’re building your first website (as we’re guessing you are), we’d urge you NOT to hire a designer.

Here’s why…

While website builders aren’t absolutely perfect (nothing is), they are the best solution to setting up a website quickly and affordably.

We explain in full detail why we’re against first-time website builders like you hiring designers in our guide here, but the key reasons are:

  • Website builders mean you can personalize your store without design expertise
  • Designers cost a considerable amount of money
  • A designer might produce a site you or your visitors aren’t happy with or don’t actually want, and you’d have to spend more money to change it.

If all those template customizations are not enough for you (and if you’re building your first website, they will be), you might want to think about building your website on an open source platform like WordPress. You will get more flexibility, but if you’re not a coder learning WordPress takes A LOT of time – especially compared to drag-and-drop builders.

Looking to learn to code? Here’s our guide on coding for beginners.

7

Preview & Test Your Website

With your template chosen and customized, you’re probably itching to publish and get your website live.

Slow down for just a second.

Knowing how to make a website is one thing. Publishing your website blindly is another.

Publishing your website without previewing and testing would be like doing the opening night of a play without any dress rehearsals.

Before you publish, you need to make sure your site looks and functions how you want it to.

Stick with me and I’ll show you how.

The best way to do this is to preview & test your website. You’ll want to do a thorough test, but four key things to ask are:

  • Is all the spelling and grammar correct?
  • Are all the buttons on the menu working? Do they take you where you’re supposed to go?
  • Does your site fulfill a purpose? You want your visitors to land on your site and know exactly what you’re about and think ‘this is EXACTLY what I wanted’.
  • Is your formatting consistent? Make sure, for example, you don’t have different font styles on different pages.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if you took the time learning how to make a website only to publish an unfinished site.

Website builders make previewing your site really easy. You just have to hit the preview button in the editor mode to see what your website would look like on mobile and desktop if you published. Some builders let you see how your site displays on different screen sizes, so you can further improve the experience for your visitors. For example, Squarespace’s zoom feature means you can test what your site looks like on browsers with different widths.

An easy-to-use preview mode will save you a lot of time as you won’t need to keep saving changes and switching back and forth between editor and preview mode. You can make a change and then just hit preview to see how it would look live.

Top Tip: Don’t just test your website yourself. You’ve just finished building it and might be blind to some of its faults. Plus, you know how your site is supposed to work, so while you might find navigating it easy that’s not to say a stranger will. Ask your family members and friends to test your site and give you feedback. If they’re anything like my family or friends, they won’t be afraid of offering criticism.

Wix’s Get Feedback feature makes this super easy by giving you a link that you can send to people for two weeks and let them access your site, without needing to publish it first.

It’s a no-brainer.

8

Publish!

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the 8th and final step in our ‘how to build a website’ process.

We hope we’ve shown you that anyone can learn how to build a website, no matter what technical level you are – thanks to easy-to-use website design software.

Before you hit the button to publish your newly built website, make sure everything you need has been ticked off with our final checklist.

Here are the seven things you should have sorted out creating your website:

  1. Chosen a website builder
  2. Tested your chosen website builder
  3. Picked the right subscription plan
  4. Chosen a domain name
  5. Decided on a template
  6. Customized your template
  7. Previewed and tested your website

Keep in mind that these are just the basic items you need to create a website, and you can expand this list as you become more comfortable with the process.

Still not convinced? 

If you’re still a bit unsure whether you can do it, especially if you feel that you’re not the creative type, we have a comprehensive What You Need To Build A Website guide that covers all of the checklist items above, plus Google Analytics, logo design and images, in detail.

Once you’re ready, publish your site and share it with the world!

Found This Guide Helpful?

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Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight.

The purpose of this study was to identify what the preventative barriers are to getting online. We surveyed a total of 1,881 individuals – the majority of which resided within the US, while additional results were captured from a global audience.

Please note: the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. For further information regarding the study, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com 

Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

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

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

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

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164 Responses to How to Build a Website 2018 | You Don’t Have To Be A Tech Geek

  1. #

    thank you for sharing information how to create website. this article is very useful. I will do it.

    please visit my blog. thank you

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thanks for the comment Putrabungsu – hope you found the guide useful!

  2. #

    Exactly what I am looking for. Thanks! amazing article. I will try this on my next holiday break!

    • Natasha Willett
      #

      Hi Shubham,
      Glad to hear you found the article interesting, all the best creating.
      Natasha.

  3. #

    This is AWESOME! I always like step-by-step tutorial and this one is really comprehensive. I hope I found this article when I first building my own website. (Sorry for bad English)

    You really did a great job, especially step 3! Most articles I found did not explain how to choose the right plan.

    As I am from Malaysia, due to the currency, the monthly payment of Wix in USD is quite expensive for me.

    I strongly recommend new starters to follow exactly all the steps above to get familiar with building websites. After having some basic knowledge, you may start to learn some basic coding skills or switch to a one-time-payment customization tools available on the internet to save cost.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Liew,

      Glad to hear you found the piece helpful – thank you for the comment!

  4. #

    Thanks to her you’re finding the content helpful.
    I can recommend to you a website design application without use code.

  5. #

    Nice Article

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thanks Ali – glad you found it useful!

  6. #

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am genuinely impressed
    to read all at alone place.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Great to her you’re finding the content helpful! Thank you for the comment.

  7. #

    Thank’s for sharing such a nice info.

  8. #

    This is very helpful. I do have a question though. Once you publish your website, will you be able to easily edit it? Especially since I have new stock coming in every season, I’d like to be able to change the images and text as needed.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Lauren,

      Yes, you will be able to hear into your store’s editor and update stock, descriptions and images in real-time. A top ecommerce store builder will make this very intuitive and easy to do. Any questions, just shout.

      Thank you for your comment,

      Fred

  9. #

    Thank you so much, this is very helpful info for me to create my plan. :3

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Duke,

      Thanks very much for the feedback, great to hear you found the post useful.

      Good look with your website.

      Fred

  10. #

    Thanks so much for this awesome article 🙂

    I had literally no experience in building a website when I started using Weebly and I was surprised at how easy it was to make!

    I’m interested in looking into other platforms now that I’m up and running, particularly WordPress? But I’ll probably be sticking with Weebly for a long time until I’m ready, it really was super easy to use.

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hello Danny,

      I definitely agree with your thoughts on Weebly, it really is a very easy-to-use platform if you’re new to website building.

      Weebly have made a great effort to ensure the platform (and especially their editor) are as user friendly as possible, which really does make it easier to build a great-looking site without any technical skills!

      If you feel like your technical skills are up to the challenge then WordPress is definitely worth trying out. Give it a test and see how you get on.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  11. #

    thanks for sharing the informative post about website designing it’s really helpful.

  12. #

    Great article. You know starting a website is the EASY part — the DESIGN and format is the difficult part. People just dont trust websites with the typical, standard design templates. People trust Facebook, and Google, and twitter.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi wbs,

      Getting started is definitely the easy part – no doubt about that!

      And I take your point that it can be challenging to make a design that you’re 100% happy with.

      So, I guess we’re pretty lucky that website builders like Wix and Squarespace offer such eye-catching templates that we can edit to our liking or use as jumping off point! (Our 3-step guide can help you pick the right template too..)

      Not having to work with a blank canvas certainly makes things much easier and gets the creative juices flowing.

      I think the best thing we (as amateur designers!) can take from sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc is the simplicity of their design.

      Your users want to find what they need quickly and easily, so the key lesson is to keep designs eye-catching but user-friendly (oh and don’t forget the importance of color on a website!).

      Thanks for joining the conversation,

      – Tom

  13. #

    What a great read, you make something that is complicated sound so easy, thank you kindly for such an interesting article!

    I have a question though, if i just want to start a website all about me, about telling folks that my journey through ill health has been uplifting, like a blog, can i do that?

    Kind Regards Billy.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Billy,

      Great to hear you found the article so helpful!

      There’s no reason at all why you can’t use a website builder to create a website for yourself, even a blog style site.

      I’d recommend having a look at our website builder comparison chart as this is a good jumping off point and will give you some ideas of where to start.

      Off the top of my head, I know that Wix launched a new version of their blogging tool, which is really easy to use and can be integrated as part of a wider site (thankfully Wix is also super easy to use so it’s great for newcomers to web design like yourself!)

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  14. #

    thank you its really informative article.

  15. #

    Great article! For someone who is non-technical it can be quite mind blowing understanding the hosting and security around a website.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Dionne,

      Glad to hear you found the discussion so useful.

      Getting your head around hosting and security is definitely one of the trickier aspects of setting up a website, I agree!

      It took me a while before I knew what to look for. Hopefully you feel more confident about the topic now 🙂

      Thanks for reading.
      – Tom

  16. #

    Wix is pretty much the best platform for beginners and the sites you create are very beautiful.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Alex,

      I totally agree with you – Wix really is the most versatile and easiest to use website builder around!

      I’ve been really impressed with some of the Wix websites I’ve seen really and with new advancements like Wix Code I think they are only going to get better.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  17. #

    Everything is very clear. It was definitely informative.
    Your website is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  18. #

    Actually being a blogger myself I am looking for answers to typical issues that everyone faces. On the same way I came up on this page. I think you could help me clear up some confusions. As your explanation skills are top notch. I’ll surely go through your website for further leads. Thank you

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hello Jamie,

      It’s really good to hear you found our content so helpful – it’s always reassuring to hear!

      Hope you find the answers you need. If not , drop us a comment and we’ll try and get back to you.

      Thanks,
      – Tom

  19. #

    Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have Keep up the good work you are doing here.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Mohan,

      Great to hear the discussion has proven useful.

      Please feel free to share our website with others by clicking on the social sharing buttons to the left of this page. We really appreciate it!

      thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  20. #

    Hi, I don’t need all the bells and whistles…all I need is a single, static page so that I can describe what i do and to give my prospective customer my contact details…that is all.

    Any ideas please?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi HARVEY,

      I recommend looking at Wix and Weebly as both are very easy to use. You won’t have any trouble getting to grips with them as they been designed to be user-friendly.

      You’ll have no trouble creating a simple one-page website with either one.

      As a heads up, Weebly has a smaller selection of templates, but they are generally simpler and more basic templates, so this might save you some time.

      And remember, just because all the bells and whistles are available, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to use them!

      I’ve linked to our Weebly + Wix reviews for you.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  21. #

    hello, I can’t find an answer for this anywhere …maybe I’m just asking a wrong question…but I just created a website…..and trying to figure out how to have DESKTOP SHORTCUT ICON of my OWN website that I just created….so when someone visits my site and decide to keep it on their desktop….I want them to have my own designed icon to their desktop of my own website.

    maybe you can help?

    thank you!

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hello Christopher,

      Users can save your website to their desktop by going into their internet browser (e.g. Chrome), navigating to settings and then manually creating a desktop icon that they can use.

      This process typically uses the website ‘Favicon’ as the default image for the desktop icon. Your favicon is the small image that appears in the tab next to your web page title at the top of a browser. For example, Wix’s is a small version of the Wix logo, Gmail has a red and white envelope, while our site has a tiny WBE logo in a navy circle.

      You may need to do some research into how you can change your website’s favicon, but if you do then this is how you can have a degree of control over how the desktop icon looks.

      I hgope that makes sense?

      – Tom

  22. #

    This is a great write up Jeremy. Thanks for going through all the effort to put it up.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Great to hear you found it useful Akintayo!

      – Tom

  23. #

    design is very good

  24. #

    This a great article and there are a lot of good tips

  25. #

    Hi, nice article. I want to build a website for a makeup brand in which people can get in touch with different makeup artist in in my area.. please which web builder is best for sure.
    Thanks and God bless.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi ify,

      The best advice I could offer is to give the free trials a go on Wix, Weebly and Squarespace and see how you get on with each builder. This will give you a chance to explore their functionalities and see how feasible your ideas are.

      Squarespace is highly regarded as a portfolio website builder and that sounds like it may be something in line with your ambitions (e.g. showcasing make up examples).

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  26. #

    Thanks for the time you put into this. Has been very helpful along side the hours that I have already put in myself scouring and trialling sites.

    Any recommendations for sites where they assist in interactive map building such as the magicseaweed.com site. I can build a location map and embed it onto my site (that I am building at the moment through Wix) but it’s very limited and I cannot link it to a specific page or location on my website pages. I would also like to create a service where subscribers can access more information on the website than non subscribers. Any thoughts on the best site to use?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Mike,

      Interactive map building is something I have very little experience with – I haven’t ventured much beyond embedding google maps in iframes such as yourself.

      I would suggest browsing the app market and 3rd party plugins available on builders like Wix and Weebly, who both offer a huge amount of additional features. It would surprise me if there wasn’t a plugin that could help get you on your way.

      Similarly, you can also find membership area functionality through these app markets. I believe Wix also offers the ability to add member areas and logins though its editor too.

      Hope that points you in the right direction,
      – Tom

  27. #

    Thank you for giving the details, it is a good site to know about hosting

  28. #

    Nice article

  29. #

    Great Article…. Thanks for sharing valuable article.

  30. #

    Hey,thank you for writing this cool article.Nice article,great efforts.

  31. #

    Hi Jeremy
    I have a desire to make an easy solution for my users who can make their own website / theme for wordpress.
    A plugin that allows my users, through frontend on my site, to choose between menu, (text / grib layout – blog styles, magazin) photo slide, footer, etc. – so they can make there style theme

    Do you know if there is a plugin that can this? (So I upload the different layouts examples that they can choose from)?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi TomN,

      Thanks for reading and joining the discussion.

      What you are looking to build is beyond the scope of our discussions here. It is possible but you’ll either need to be very proficient with coding or have a healthy budget to hire a capable developer to assist you with your efforts. The reason is that the project you have seems like a very customized project.

      -Jeremy

  32. #

    Good day, my name is Esther. please i need your help. i want to build or create a website without using HTML, CSS, or JAVASCRIPT. i want to try the drag buttons.please help me .

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Esther,

      Check out the list of drag and drop website builders on this page. You don’t need to know how to write or edit any codes and you can still build a good looking and functional website.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  33. #

    Hi Jeremy.

    Superb article, which I would also use to describe the other articles and reviews you have created for building a web site.

    I’ve understand that Shopify is your primary recommendation for an ECommerce site. I’d like to see the capability of various vendors availing of our site’s services to post and sell their products. Can Shopify handle this as well?

    Thanks for helping a lot of people! Wishing you more success.

    JP

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey JP,

      I don’t think Shopify has the capability for third party users to post products and sell them like a marketplace (such as eBay).

      I believe there are marketplace builders out there that enable you to create a marketplace. Try Googling for it and I’m sure a few will pop up?

      Jeremy

  34. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    It’s a fantastic article. I admire you the way you articulated this.

    I am planning to build a website. It would be more like, subscribers can post a question and the reply to this question feed will comprise an attachment that needs to send to a specific mail id.

    Could you please suggest me which website builder suits most for this use case?

    Thanks,
    Sri

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Sri,

      It sounds to me that you’re looking to build a forum of some sort. Wix’s app market offers a forum function (free) where you can build an online community.

      Take a look at our guide on Wix’s app market. Search for “Forum” when you get to Wix’s app market page.

      Jeremy

  35. #

    Hi,

    I love your writting. Your post is very much helpful and informative. Keep up the good work and present us your best.

    Regards
    Clara

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thank you , Clara. That means a lot!

      Jeremy

  36. Jeremy Wong
    #

    Hi Chris,

    We actually used WordPress to build this website. Our website is focused on blogging and so we used the best, most flexible platform for this purchase.

    Having said that, we’ve heavily customized this websites since we’re now proficient with coding. If it was 6 years ago, we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing now.

    We started making websites in 6 – 7 years ago and didn’t know anything about coding. It took us a few years to become more proficient with coding, with a lot of practice. So during the first few years, we relied on code-free, drag and drop website builders for all of our projects. They were great since we didn’t need to be technical at all, and we were able to build businesses.

    So if you want to build something similar to our website, I’d suggest you learn how to code and practice a lot. Eventually you’ll get there!

    Hope this explains things a bit!

    Jeremy

  37. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great article. From your experience, how do most small businesses that are looking to build their online presence? Do they purchase a domain name or start with a website builder?

    Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi A S,

      Picking and purchasing a domain name and start building your website go hand in hand.

      What usually happens is that you test out a few different website builders to see which one you enjoy working with and has the tools that you are looking for.

      During that time, you can also start your search for your domain name. This is usually your business’ name or brand name. We have a domain name guide here.

      Once you settle with a website builder and decide to upgrade to a paid plan, you can then connect your domain name to the website. Each website builder will have tutorials on how to do that.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

      • #

        I agree with Jeremy. The purchase of the website should really go hand-in-hand with the business startup or company formation. Many startups think it doesn’t really matter to get that best domain name, whether it is an exact match keyword, or a brandable name keyword, until after they’ve started up the business. This is so backwards thinking. Your domain name should be an integral part of your business and development plan, if any significant part of your business is going to come from your online presence.

        Taken to the extreme, if you are an online marketer, you don’t want you domain name to be AppleTurnover.com, because your business premises are in Apple Street. and your company domain is Apple Online Marketing Agents, and AppleTurnover.com (which is anyway surely taken) was the closest name available. It needs careful planning. Of course depending on the size of your business.

        rgds
        stu

  38. #

    Hey Jeremy,

    Awesome article. I especially like the flow and the logical approach that you took to educate people. This is the article I point clients to, to get them up to speed before starting projects. I think it’s important for them to know how their products work. While they aren’t making their own sites, it definitely still fits the bill.

    Also, I’m curious as to what you think about WooCommerce these days. I didn’t seem them on the list in the other article you wrote “Best Ecommerce Software”.

    Anyways, I’ve been sending my clients here for a while now and just want to give you a shout out at a job well done!

    If you are able to send me an email, I do have a question I’d like to ask if you have the time.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Richard,

      Thanks for your comment and for your support!

      WooCommerce is a solid ecommerce tool (they were purchased by WordPress last year, I believe). They’re flexible and you can bolt on a lot of different tools, but the downside for a “typical” business person is that to use WooCommerce (and WordPress) well, they’ll need to invest more time into learning and managing the tools, or hire someone knowledgeable for help.

      A lot of new small businesses just don’t have the mental bandwidth and time to learn the in’s and out’s of operating a WordPress site efficiently and effectively.

      The article you mentioned focuses more on hosted ecommerce builders, versus platform where you need to get your own hosting services (and there more technically and administratively challenging for users).

      We did highlight WooCommerce briefly in this guide where we dig into the differences between hosted and non-hosted ecommerce platforms.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Ah, now it makes sense. Totally understand how that doesn’t fit now.

        I also like how you phrased “mental bandwidth”. That definitely seems to be the case with most businesses that I work with, especially startups. The other thing you mentioned that I really like is “typical” businesses. I think that all too often when people think businesses corporate America comes to mind. Most businesses are normal people running shops and trying to stay afloat in a digital sea.

        So, I wrote something on a similar topic, and I don’t want to spam you with a link or anything like that. I was actually looking for feedback on it. If you’re interested at all, shoot me an email. GREAT job on this site. It’s obvious that you all dropped a lot of time and effort into your site and articles. Bravo!

  39. #

    It is great. I think I should continue in it.

  40. #

    Powerful work !!!
    Thanks you for this . I want to start but don’t know great things. Do you think weebly can provide all the support I need ?
    Thanks Jeremy ?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Theo,

      Generally speaking, Weebly is a solid website building platform. You don’t need how to code, their probably one of the most user-friendly web builders, and their support is good.

      Best way to decide is to sign up for a free account and start testing their tools. You’re not obligated to subscribe to a premium paid plan at all. You can upgrade whenever you want to, and only if you find them being to provide the tools and services that you need.

      Jeremy

  41. #

    Good article – but to make my choice easier, i must say this web site is awesome. What website builder did you build this site on Jeremy? Because all other website templates from the builders that i see operate nowhere near as good as this site. This site looks great in all devices, it runs quick – looks really professional and has so many features that i see. It just works well. The others look good on the surface but when you realy start to see how they look (changing browser window) and how they run and load this web site is light years ahead. So which website builder did you use for this site? This would be my choice for sure.

  42. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    nice info… But how do i create a website where i can merge/pair/match people (interactive website).. ?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Noah,

      If you are trying to create a site that has matching functions, sort of like a dating site, I suspect those types of functions are proprietary so they custom coded those features from scratch. I’m not aware of any website builders that can cater to that.

      Jeremy

  43. Jeremy Wong
    #

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your comment. Making websites is just like any new skill – it always “feel” more difficult than it really is! With the right tools, it’s really not as challenging as most people think.

    Good luck with building your website!

    Jeremy

  44. #

    Thanks website holder. Getting started just feels a whole lot easier now!

    Richard

  45. #

    I am still a little confused but this was helpful and has given me some ideas to look into before I get started. So thank you

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Elaine,

      Also take a look at our website building checklist to get a deeper dive into what you need to build your first website. That might be helpful to you as well.

      Jeremy

  46. #

    Weebly is a nice website :3

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Kakkoiikun,

      Yup, they are. Weebly is very user-friendly and is suitable for users of all skill levels! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

      Jeremy

  47. #

    All my questions were answered in this page. Thank you !

  48. #

    Much appreciated sir! I was searching for instructions and even just information on how to divert from old fashioned career paths into using the internet as a business thus having unconventional income sources and making a living that way. My standing ovation!

  49. #

    Nice Article bro.
    I was just wondering if you have any idea on how to make my own Email address on my own website without using Gmail. My webhost provided me 5 email services and I don’t have any idea how to make it work.
    I’m just using an FTP named FileZilla to access and edit my website. I’m also just a student and willing to learn more about these things.
    Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Miguelle,

      Depending on which hosting service you are using, they should have full tutorials to show you how to get it setup. I think you probably need to verify that you own the domain name first, then the rest should be pretty procedural? Check their tutorials or contact their support team for exact steps.

      Jeremy

      • #

        I see. Thank you very much for the article and the reply. It was really a great help to help me proceed with my next step. I hope you can help many people like me who are willing to learn. Thanks again.

  50. #

    Great Article jeremy! VERY informative!!

    I’m working on making a job-board type of site.

    Where users can post jobs and and possible create profiles to frequently post job vacancies.

    The applicants should be able to filter through and search for jobs, so some sort of filteration system would be useful.

    If possible, I’d like for the job posters and the people searching for jobs to be able to create a profile on the website.

    What web-builder would you suggest?

    So far word press with cetains plug-ins seems to be the best bet but I’d appreciate your advice on this.

    Thank You

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi there Shannin,

      What you’re looking to create is a bit too advanced for the website builders we suggested above. You’ll probably need a more specialized website builder (perhaps search for a “marketplace website builder”?) or have one custom built for you. If you decide on the latter, take a look at our guide on how to hire a website developer.

      Jeremy

  51. #

    articles were excellent and very helpful. thank you

  52. #

    Excellent article…very helpful

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Glad you enjoyed our discussions here!

      Jeremy

  53. Jeremy Wong
    #

    Hello Vivy,

    If you are a beginner and don’t want to climb a steep curve to learn the technicalities of managing a hosting company, then consider taking a look at drag & drop website builders.

    These website builders manage all the hosting and technical aspects of operating a website for you. And, their platform allow you to drag and drop your content when making your pages so you don’t have to know how to code.

    I’d suggest testing out Wix and Weebly to start. Both are code free and have free plans for you to test. They don’t have a time limit on their free plans so don’t worry about upgrading until you are satisfied with them.

    But if you really want to use a hosting company (for instance, you want to use WordPress.org), then someone like Bluehost is pretty good, in general.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy

    • #

      Thanks for your informative reply. Yes, I would like to try a hosting company, since WordPress is kinda what I’m aiming for. Yet, did some research and wish to start from a free hosting site. Found some options online, such as 000webhost, googiehost, freehostia, hostinger, etc.
      Any tips for choosing the best one?

      Thanks in advance!

      • Jeremy Wong
        #

        Hey Vivy,

        I haven’t used any of those hosting services before so I can’t quite comment. I’ve used Bluehost and WP Engine.

        WP Engine is more expensive, but they’re good. They’re a hosting service that is dedicated to WordPress users, so their support people are quite knowledgeable about WP in general. I’ve had excellent experiences with them.

        Jeremy

      • #

        Hello Vivy,
        I was in the same situation some time ago, so I tested the free hosting providers, the ones you mentioned above and even a few more. Took some time, yet saved me money.
        If you want to start from free plan, my favorite was Hostinger. I believe it will match your requests: the cPanel is “(very!) user friendly” – you’ll be able to install WordPress with only a click of a button and it also provides many great plugins, don’t be afrait to experiment!
        Since you’re a beginner, having customer support is a great bonus and theirs will definitely help if you have any issues (sure helped me), don’t be shy to contact them.
        Good luck with your blog! Hope I could help.

  54. #

    Hey, Jeremy, thanks for an informative article.

    I’m planing to start my own blog but choosing the right hosting provider gets me a bit confused… I’m still a beginner at this, so would prefer something that would offer a free plan, at least for testing purposes. A (very!) user friendly interface is obviously a must…
    Could you please share some hosting companies that match my requests or at least point me in the right direction where to find them?

    Many thanks.

  55. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    just one more question… does squarespace offer an email platform option?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Amanda,

      Yes. Squarespace has partnered up with Google Apps to offer you the ability to create custom email addresses. The interface is the same as Gmail, which we like as it’s user-friendly, reliable and secure.

      If you sign up to annual Business or higher plans, you get a custom email address for free for your first year. After the first year, you will pay about $4 per month for the email address.

      If you sign up to Squarespace’s Personal plan, you won’t get a free custom email but you can definitely pay $4 per month for this.

      In our view it’s a pretty reasonable price so you can brand your email and business (or whatever you are building) properly. Looks so much more professional than just using a generic Gmail address.

      Jeremy

  56. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    I’ve done so much “research” into making my own website and have to be honest, feel rather overwhelmed! I’m wanting to create a website that will allow regular blogs, resources and ultimately to sell consulting services. I’d like to be able to upload clients videos/pics and also sell ebooks. I’m mindful of good seo but also safe storage of customers personal details.
    Longer term, if I wanted to move my website, and all its info, can I transfer this information to another host?

    Many thanks for any help.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Amanda,

      I’d suggest you take a look at Squarespace.

      With Squarespace, you can create blogs, sell services, upload images / videos, sell digital products (ebooks).

      They also allow you to export most of your content into WordPress (a very powerful and popular website builder) later if you want that option.

      The benefit of using Squarespace now is that you can build a website without knowing how to edit codes. You can literally have your site up in quite a short period of time. With WordPress, it’s much more advanced and technical so it’s not as user-friendly compared to Squarespace. You can see our comparison between them here.

      So Squarespace is much easier to get setup and will give you what you need. Once you’re established and want a much more advanced platform down the road, WordPress is worth considering.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Hi Jeremy,
        That’s awesome!

        Really appreciate your honest feedback!

  57. #

    Creating a website is like making a coffee now. With the help of awesome online website building sites like wix, it is very convenient to just drag and drop elements…and create a basic site within hours.
    For a bloggers, wordpress is the best option, but they have to learn a bit about wordpress first.

    After creating website, especially a blogging one, there are some necessaries like a good hosting like godaddy.com, social share plugin (I recommend social share plugins by social9.com), cdn service for protection against attracts (cloudflare.com).

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Jenny. It’s helpful to our readers!

      Jeremy

  58. #

    I’ve used Wix & Weebly for my work and both the platforms are perfectly awesome to create a good website. To manage my work I’ve used calendar templates to schedule my activities in a much better way. It is recommeded to use a Weebly and visit getcalendartemplates.com to download free calendars, they provides free calendars in PDF, Excel, and Word format.

    • #

      Weebly is not the best website builder. Yes, it’s convenient and has intuitive interface but their web templates aren’t good. Compare them with free templates from Wix or with paid ones from Squarespace – they are really worthy and beautiful web templates. Weebly doesn’t have such. I think that many believe that Weebly is the best website builder because everybody talk about it and not just because it’s the best. It’s like about IKEA furniture – many like it but I wouldn’t say that it’s the best. You could better try to work with another platform.

      • Jeremy Wong
        #

        I have to agree with Jonian here.

        Weebly is a wonderful website builder as it is so easy and intuitive to use. However, their template designs are not as good as those offered by Wix or Squarespace.

        Jeremy

  59. #

    Hi Jeremy! Thank you for giving me a very straightforward and transparent approach to making your own website. My daughter is a visual artist, and she will be applying to art schools in the next year. A website is necessary for her to show her work (all still paintings) to prospective art school admissions councilors and staff. What would be a good builder to use to “bring to life” her paintings and present them in a simple, tasteful and uncluttered way? And at this time, she is not going to use this site to sell her work, just present it to schools.

  60. #

    Top article Jeremy !

    I own a cosmetics company, pre start up and I am looking at a web presence. I want to keep costs down but quality very high due to the nature of my business, lipbalm. Can I run my own video ad on a homepage of any of the drag and drop site s? I will be creating one for initial social media marketing campaigns)

    I want it to start playing as soon as someone lands on the homepage. And are they mobile / cell friendly ?

    Thanks
    Paul

  61. #

    Hi Jeremy!

    Thank you so much for posting this! I found this to be very helpful!!

    So I do have a few questions though…

    First off, I am wanting to build a website that advertises a service I offer, displays images in two separate galleries, can be involved with a separate calander that can be accessed from my phone and be up to date on available times to schedule an appointment, and, most importantly, can have a payment option to prepay for my service to secure a time slot with a possible escrow type function to be able to add payments onto the set appointments.

    Does this make any sense? If it does, does this sound possible? Which website builder would you recommend to have access to these functions? I am just starting out so cost is also a factor, although I am willing to pay a reasonable amount of money to get this set up and to maintain it.

    Thank you in advance!!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Kayla,

      Have a look at Wix. They have a booking system that allows your customers to book and prepay for appointments.

      Jeremy

  62. #

    Thanks for the article Jermey. I was looking into making a site that serves dual functions. I wanted to create an entertainment news site that also functions as an online business. I purchased a subscription with godaddy for an online shop, but the templates are pretty bland and the customization is dreadful. Is there a site you could recommend for something like that?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Joe,

      If you want an ecommerce store, I’d definitely suggest you check out Shopify. I’m not entirely sure you want to layout your news articles, but if it’s in a form of blog posts, then Shopify will work.

      Jeremy

  63. #

    hello there the website on how to create a website is all good but do i have to pay a monthly fee to create a website were i can talk to people or just broadcast myself on youtube to tell everyone what my site is made for so they can talk back to me i think i have a pretty good idea on that subject but getting started there seems to be a lot of buttons to push like findind domain name finding a host

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Kevin,

      With website builders like Wix or Weebly, you can use them for free and there isn’t a time limit. However, with the free plans, you won’t be able to connect your own domain name to the website, and you will be limited to certain functions. But you can definitely publish a website.

      Further, all hosting services are provided by the website builders listed above. So you don’t have to get your own hosting services.

      Jeremy

  64. #

    How possible is it to create a 100% totally free website for calls. I mean a website for making calls. Can someone throw a little light on this please?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Vincent,

      Could you elaborate a bit more by what you mean by “calls”? You mean you want to be able to use a website to make phone calls? Or maybe something like Skype where you can log into the app and make phone calls?

      Jeremy

  65. #

    Great Article

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks, Mutua!

  66. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    This is the most informative article on web design that I have come across. And I have read quite a number!
    I had a question though. I don’t know anything about html/css or any code for web design, and I need to include a searchable database in a website I’m to create. Any ideas/tips on doing this on a WYSIWYG website builder?

    Thank you very much

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Mart,

      I don’t think WYSIWIG website builders have any built in searchable databases – at least not the ones I’ve used before anyway.

      I “think” I’ve seen an external widget that you can use and plug it into a website. Have you tried searching for one?

      If there isn’t any, I’d imagine you’d have to have one custom built to work the way you want it to.

      One “hack” you might want to consider is to use the website builder’s search bar tool. So you would insert all your data into your website as pages, and let people use the sitewide search bar to find what they’re looking for. It’s not an elegant solution, but worth considering or testing.

      Jeremy

  67. #

    Great article, Keep sharing with us.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thank you for reading, Sara!

      Jeremy

  68. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    What do you recommend for someone who sells Domain Names?
    I am looking for a site builder that can sell Intellectual Property like domain names.
    Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Joe,

      I’m not entirely sure to be perfectly honest. I’d imagine you would have to have the ability to host the domain name, help your customers connect the domain names to their websites, etc.

      The website builders mentioned above are probably not equipped for the unique requirements that a domain name registrar need in order to run its business properly. I’d imagine a lot of the functions will be pretty customized.

      Jeremy

  69. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    I’m looking to build a site that my paying subscribers can log in and post pics and embed links to other site. Do any drAG and drop sites offer such a template or or am I looking at a whole different animal. If you have or know of a possible option it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Pete,

      It sounds to me that you are looking to build a community type website? Unfortunately the drag and drop web builders above won’t be able to do this. Take a look at Ning. I heard that it’s pretty good and easy to use, though I don’t have any experiences with them.

      Jeremy

  70. #

    Hello,

    I used BigCommerce to build the website, tenbrookeleanne.com, for my girlfriend’s brick and mortar boutique. I do not know any code and before making this website, I knew nothing about ecommerce.

    The customer service for BigCommerce is awesome! Even though they are a WYSIWYG drag and drop site builder, they helped me customize my website by editing the code for me. They changed the background for my chosen (free) template and added an instagram social button even though it wasn’t in the template.

    When making the website I had a ton of questions and they were always happy to help, now I very rarely have to call support. The BigCommerce University and question forums are very resourceful at well.

    I would highly recommend BigCommerce to anyone who is looking to make an ecommerce site.

    My only complaint about BigCommerce is that they do not have a native solution to integrate with the brick and mortar store POS to keep the inventory up to date (though they say they are/have been working on it). I have to use an expensive and less than satisfactory third party software for the two platforms to communicate with each other.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with BigCommerce with us! That’s awesome and I’m glad you’re having a great time and getting great support from their team!

      I also heard that they are working on their own native Point of Sale system. I’m not entirely sure when it will be released, but hopefully soon. Shopify has their own POS system, which integrates smoothly with an online store built with their software.

      For those who are curious about BigCommerce, take a look at this discussion here.

      Thanks again for sharing and adding to this discussion!

      Jeremy

  71. #

    I am very happy to find out this post regarding making build a website. You have given deep information about ‘domain name, hosting, security. I really appreciate your efforts.

  72. #

    Hey, I find this article really helpful. Thanks! I am planning to build a video streaming website on which I can upload my movies for people to watch at little cost. Which builder or solution you would recommend? Thx!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Xylvia,

      The website builders that we suggested above aren’t built specifically to stream videos for a price (sort of like Netflix).

      However, that’s not to say it’s not possible with a few simple workarounds. What you can do is set up a membership access only area (Wix and Weebly has this feature). You’ll have to manually insert a payment button of some sort (such as using PayPal). Once your customer pays you, you can then email them links to pages that are “locked” behind the membership gateway, so they can access the videos.

      It’s a bit manual and not as smooth as multi-billion dollar companies like Netflix, but it will work in concept.

      Alternatively, take a look at Sentry Login, which is a membership widget that works with Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. With Sentry, I think you can unlock a membership area once your customer pays. So it connects the payment system with the membership access system for you, which streamlines the process so you don’t have to manually grant access to pages.

      Another thing you should consider is how big are the videos you want to upload. While you can upload pretty large movie / video files into the website builders, there are certain reasonable limits. For instance, if you’re going to have 1,000 people viewing your HD movie that’s 3 GB large all at the same time, that might be problematic.

      A workaround might be to get your own hosting solution for such large videos, then embed the videos into your membership only pages.

      It goes without saying that make sure you have distribution rights for the movies! But I’m not a lawyer, so best to consult proper advice in that regards!

      Jeremy

  73. #

    Jeremy,

    I believe this article is really helpful to cross the initial mental hurdle of making a website. I do also want to build a website. But before getting started few questions are coming into my mind.

    Brief about my planned website:
    A website strictly user login based. User can upload audio, video, image and text files or may be youtube/soundcloud links. Those uploaded files should be played or displayed on the website UI only. Users can view/like/share other users’ uploaded files or can download on basis of permission given during upload.

    Now my questions:
    1. Is this really possible to build this kind of website though the online website builders?
    if yes, then:
    2. Which builder will be best suited for my requirements?
    3. Who will give me this amount of cloud storage? How much will it cost?
    4. How do I write decision making codes inside?
    5. How do I maintain database and run query on database?
    6. How can I get money from my website (without advertisements)? Who will pay me money and how?

    See, I am an IT professional (though not working in web development domain). I have no issue in writing codes, but I was wondering if I could do it with shorter timespan and lesser amount of maintenance effort. That’s why I was going through your blog.

    Lastly, if you really believe that it is quite impossible to build this kind of website online, please suggest me what should be the best way to build it from scratch. What framework should I use (I know Java and Python both)? But in that case also, one question still remains: how can I earn from this kind of website?

    Thanking you in advance.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Abhishek,

      Based on what you’re looking for, it sounds to me that you’re looking to build a community type website (something like Facebook). The website builders we discuss here aren’t equipped to do that. Take a look at Ning. I personally haven’t used them before, but I read somewhere in the past that they’re decent.

      Jeremy

  74. #

    Hi! I was wondering, if you built a website using one of the above i. Wix, weebly, word press etc nd it gained lots of traffic, enough to sell, who actually owns the site to be able to sell it?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey KJ,

      You can definitely sell websites that you built. I’ve seen people sell websites built on WordPress, Weebly, Wix, etc. A key component of the sale, in addition to the actual webpages, is the domain name. People buy and sell domain names all the time!

      Jeremy

  75. #

    I am really enjoying this post. Thanks a lot!

    I am a second year computer science student. I want to build a simple website. How do I get it done. What free builder would you recommend for me? I’d also like to do a trier for the small organization I work with. Please educate me. Am ready to learn. Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Glenn,

      The 3 top drag & drop website builders that I’d recommend that you check out include Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.

      You can take a look at the side-by-side comparison chart so you get a birdseye view of the key differences.

      Also check out this guide on how to pick a good website builder. It’s a good place to get started!

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Wix is nice but one of the Cons noticed is the inability of the user to build a free site using a tablet device. As for WordPress, I think I am beginning to love it with my new site as I am trying to experiment with it.

        You are doing a great job man. Keep it up.

  76. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for your article.

    I have a question I am hoping you can help me with. The original site I started was a free blog through wordpress website.
    I then decided to go towards an actual site with a blog attached, I made the switch to Hostgator. During this switch Hostgator took our domain name and is requesting $700 to get it back even though we paid the yearly fee. They are now saying they will not release our domain name until May.
    Does this seem correct?
    Thanks
    Kate

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Kate,

      Based on your comment, that doesn’t sound right at all! Did you give you a very detailed and sensible reason of why they are requesting the $700?

      Normally, domain names cost about $12 – $15 to renew on an annual basis. You can see more discussions about domain names that we’ve put together here.

      You should definitely demand a reasonable and detailed explanation.

      Good luck with that.

      Jeremy

  77. #

    I would like to know whether you can use this drop and drag websites to make money by putting ads on your website. (I know it is difficult to make a lot of money through ads on websites).
    Thanks in advance!
    Xander

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Yes you can, Xander.

      I think you just have to place images / banners, and link them to the end product providers who you are advertising for. Or you can insert Google Adsense as well, to earn marketing commissions.

      Jeremy

  78. #

    Superb article! Don’t know if you can help here; My dad is a vegetable farmer and he sells his products to a small group of organic customers. I wonder if you could recommend a website builder so his customers can view the veggies available, rate them and even purchase online. Only thing I think it would be best if they would have to log in to get their individual pricing. Any idea? Thanks already. BTW I don’t necessarily need the easiest builder, I do some tech work; just a professional looking, free solution with our own domain cause my Dad won’t spend a dime on this until I make him see the benefits.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Kahil,

      I think it will be challenging to find a free website builder that will allow you to connect your own domain name to the website. All of the good website builders I know of, such as Wix or Weebly, even though they allow you to build websites for free, they do require you to upgrade to at least their lowest plan before you can connect your own domain to the website.

      I suppose this is just a trade off – they can brand their names on your free website, in return for allowing you to build a website for free.

      If you want the ability for each customer to log in to view his/her own specific / individual pricing, it’s not a feature that most website builders have.

      Builders such as Wix and Weebly has membership functions, but they just protect pages behind a membership gateway, where all members can access the same pages. So you can’t set pages up that each member has his/her own unique pages, if you know what I mean.

      If you want that function, I think you’ll have to use a more powerful membership software. Perhaps WordPress has a plugin for that, but I’m not familiar with one.

      Jeremy

  79. #

    A nice article! And yes, it is written in a simplest way yet being very informative. I have already tried some site builders but they were not easy to use. I want to create a simple website, just a pair of pages about my family. I want my friends could view videos and photos of the family celebrations. It’ll be good to create the site free of charge. I choose between Weebly and mobirise. They are both free site builders as I know. Can you recommend what builder is easier?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Emma,

      I personally think Weebly is a very easy website builder to use already. But you can also check out Wix as well as they are a pure drag and drop website builder, and you don’t need to know how to code to build a good looking website.

      Jeremy

  80. #

    Hi Jeremy, lots of good info on here. I am looking at building a website with the intention of pay per click or affiliate marketing. can you suggest which website builder would be the best to use for this endeavour of mine.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Leon,

      I think Wix, Squarespace or Weebly are potential candidates.

      I also heard that some affiliate marketing sites use WordPress. But with WordPress, it is much more technical challenging than drag and drop website builders. But WP does offer more flexibility, if you know how to use it proficiently (with a bit of coding knowledge).

      Give the ones I suggested a try. They’re free to test, before you commit to upgrading to one of their paid plans. That’s the best way to get a sense of what works well for you!

      Jeremy

  81. #

    Hi Jeremy, found your website VERY informative! Thank you. Since many web hosts (e.g., godaddy) have their own site builders, do you have any recommendation? I would seem easier to register and build site with them, plus you get email accounts for employees to use. Any thought? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Grant,

      Glad you’re finding our discussions helpful! GoDaddy is a pretty good website builder and we’ve discussed it in more details here.

      In general, while using website builders with hosts does give you access to a broader range of services, at times, their support teams may not be the best in terms of answering very specific website builder related questions.

      For instance, Weebly offers really good website building services, and you can reach them by going to Weebly.com. You can also use Weebly through hosts such as Bluehost.

      Both will work and enable you to build your website, but when it comes to support, if you are using Weebly through Weebly.com directly, you get Weebly’s direct customer / technical support team.

      If you reach out for help through Bluehost, you get Bluehost’s support team. We have a much deeper discussion about this specific scenario here.

      While some of the website builders don’t provide you with email accounts, you can also easily sign up for Google Business App’s email services for a few dollars a month. This way, you can take advantage of having your own custom domain email addresses, a familiar Gmail interface, and also that your email is stored on Google’s servers which is probably a lot safer / reliable / accessible.

      – Jeremy

  82. #

    I own a small business and am looking to redesign our website. Thanks for all your comparisons of the website builders! I currently use Mailchimp to send out weekly emails to my customers. Do you know if any of these website builder sites allow you to create an email list? Then use a template to create an email (like Mailchimp) and send it out to all your subscribers. Ideally there would be a tab on your website people can click on to enter their email address…..They would then get your emails. Thanks for any feedback 🙂

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Laura,

      If you are using Mailchimp (we use Aweber ourselves), you don’t need the website builder to be integrated with Mailchimp at all,unless you run an ecommerce store (I’ll address this below). Newsletter services allow you to create a sign up box, then provides you with some codes where you can copy and paste these codes into your website.

      All website builders have a tool that allows you to embed codes into wherever you want on your webpages. Once you publish your website, then the sign up box will show up.

      If you are operating an online store, you can integrate Mailchimp with websites built with Squarespace, Shopify or Bigcommerce. This way, after your customer buys from you, they are automatically invited to join your newsletter so you can continue to share news with them, or even promote other products to them.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  83. #

    I am using wix for building my e-commerce site in India, but after spending so much time building it i realized that it doesn’t support Indian Rupee. So i am just stuck at this and don’t know what else to do. My question is that, is there any other payment option that can be added to my site so that my customers can choose different payment options ( even if that means a third party payment gateway).??

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hi Vivek,

      Wix actually doesn’t control what currencies you can use as it is up to the transaction services provider such as PayPal. So if you use PayPal, Shopify App or Ecwid App that you can find in Wix’s app market (see our review), I’m pretty sure you will be able to find some transaction options in Rupees.

      – Jeremy

  84. #

    Hello Jeremy and Connie,

    I really have to first say, Thank You for all of your time and energy that you put into providing us, with informative and helpful education!

    I am starting an online business in women’s clothing, So I am extremely into design. Shopify seems to be a strong interest for me but, I do not know too much about codes. So does Shopify have alot of codes? and do you think this would be too much of a challenge for a beginner of codes?

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hi Latisha,

      Shopify is great for those who are not super technical as they are much easier to use compared to other e-commerce platforms. This is not to say that you can make unlimited number of customizations to the themes without ever touching codes, as some levels of modifications does require touching some codes.

      But if you just choose a theme, and work within the capability of the theme with Shopify’s tools, then you can get a really good store up and running fairly quickly. But if there is a certain look / feel / feature that you want to achieve that is outside the design of the theme, then you may have to code it yourself, or hire a Shopify expert to do so.

      Hope this gives you a bit more guidance!

      – Jeremy

      • #

        Wow, What a great response! You have answered my question for me and what you said really helps me make a great decision. Thanks a bunch for the awesome guidance and I look forward to following your work.

  85. #

    I’m having trouble finding the right fast website builder with ready-made goodlooking templates and high-quality free stock images; time is really an issue for me these days; what do you guys think about IMcreator.com?

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hey David,

      I think that IM Creator is a pretty good website builder, especially if you want to build a very basic website really quickly. Their tools are not he most comprehensive, but in a way that reduces confusion and allows you to focus on the basics which work really well in way.

      If you haven’t seen our review on IM Creator yet, check it out. You can also take a look at our website builder comparison chart here to get a high level overview of who are some of the leading platforms available today.

      If you want great looking templates, definitely take a look at Squarespace.

      As for great quality stock images, see our resources guide here.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  86. #

    Hi,

    I’m trying to build a website for my engineering consultancy business. I’m really new to all this website building thing. Looked at a few reviews on your site as well.
    Could you guide me a bit more?

  87. #

    I want to create a website where can I post the restaurant and retirement home business of my hubby. I would like to edit the website at least monthly depending on our promotional activities. No payment option needed yet but a simple information for local customers and travelers as well. We want our website displays when people searched from their phone while on their travel since our place is in between 2 big cities.

    I trust you, and since I described my main objective which one do you highly recommend?

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      Hi Gertrudes,

      I think if you want to build a simpler website, then Squarespace, Weebly and Wix are good candidates for you to test and see which one suits you better.

      Weebly has the lowest learning curve, then Wix and Squarespace. But from a design perspective, I think Squarespace will give you the most professional and beautiful looking website.

      All of them are mobile device friendly and so your visitors will be able to find more information about your website through their mobile devices.

      I think the best way forward is to sign up for them for free, then invest some time to play around with their tools and see for yourself which one you prefer. It’s a very personal choice when it comes to which builder interface you prefer, so investing a bit of time in testing them out is well worth it.

      – Jeremy

      • #

        this is cool. i love the way you deliver