How to Build a Website: the Step-by-Step Guide to Easy Setup

Last updated on September 17, 2018

How to Build a WebsiteGetting online is easier than ever. There are now over 200 million active websites, and they weren’t made by over 200 million web developers.

Today anyone can make a website, regardless of technical skill level. The real question is ‘what is the best way to make a website’?

We recommend making a website in one of two ways. With a website builder or with WordPress. These aren’t the only ways, but they are by far the most popular and cost-effective.

In general, website builders like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are better for creating websites:

  • If you don’t know how to code
  • Focusing on content and strategy
  • All-in-one convenience
  • Ecommerce

While WordPress is a neater fit for:

  • Independence
  • Backend control and advanced customizability
  • Scalability

We’ll be going through the website building process for both approaches step-by-step. You may well be surprised by just how simple it can be. It’s possible to build your website in an hour, though we wouldn’t recommend being quite that gung-ho about it.

Ready to build your website? Let’s get started. Click here for the website builder guide, or here to go to the WordPress walkthrough.

How to Build a Website Using Builders

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

An enormous number of people use website builders to make a website. Wix has well over 3 million paying subscribers and Shopify recently passed 1.2 million. Platforms like Weebly and Squarespace keep their cards close to their chests, but it’s safe to say tens of millions of people are making websites using builders.

Why is this? Website builders mean anybody can make a website, regardless of technical skill. In the early days of the internet, making a website required a working understanding of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).Then CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) came along to make things even more confusing.

Website builders take care of the technical jargon and let you focus on design and content. Some do this through templates, others through drag and drop interfaces. Some are even dabbling in artificial intelligence that builds the site for you.

That does then mean choosing the right website builder is very important. Different builders serve different needs. Moving forward with the right one is essential to making a website you’ll be happy with.

Which website builder should you choose?

What is the best way to build a website? Which website builder should I use? What’s the easiest way to build a website? These are questions we get asked every day. There are so many questions and so many builders. We get it, it’s hard.

That’s why we’ve conducted in-depth research. Personal experience with website builders is all well and good (and we have plenty of it), but we test builders with people just like you. So when you’re making your own website, you can rest assured we’ve got you covered.

Our team conducts user testing and interviews, and painstakingly tracks hundreds of features across dozens of products to provide you a bird’s-eye view of the market. We want you to find builders that fit your needs. With that in mind, here’s the lowdown on the top builders for creating websites around today.

Best All-Around
Top Choice

4.7 out of 5

Ease Of Use

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help And Support

5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Best Design Orientated

4.3 out of 5

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

5 out of 5 stars

Features

4 out of 5 stars

Help And Support

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Easiest to Use

4.1 out of 5

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help And Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Best Customer Service and Support

4 out of 5

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3 out of 5 stars

Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help And Support

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Wondering what all this actually means? Not to worry, we have a bite-sized breakdown below. To learn about our research in more detail check out our methodology page.

Chart features explained

Ease of use – How simple the builder is to learn and use. This is determined through user testing, giving participants a series of tasks and asking them to score how easy (or hard) they found them. A great deal of our users want the easiest way to make a website possible.

Value for Money – A balance between pricing and features. No-one wants to pay through the nose, but cheapest isn’t always best either. We size up pricing plans with features in mind to find the best of both worlds for when you build a website.

Design Flexibility – How aesthetically pleasing, industry appropriate, user-friendly and modern each template selection is. We did this by consulting design experts and testing how well templates work on various devices.

Features – What the builder is capable of doing. We not only look at what they can do, but how well they can do it. Blogging, ecommerce, search engine optimization, and more factor in to this. The more a website builder can do, the more you can do with it.

Help & Support – We size up how strong each builder’s help and support is, taking into account everything from knowledge centers to live chat. This is especially important when starting your own website.

Customer Score – We don’t want you to just take our word for it that certain builders are excellent and others not. User testing concludes with us asking participants whether they would recommend the product they’ve been using to others making a website.

To be clear, the builders listed above aren’t the only ones worth considering. Not by a long shot. They perform best overall in our research, but, again, it comes down to your needs. WordPress.com, for example, is superb for blogging, while Shopify leads the way on ecommerce.

Be clear on what your priorities are, have a browse through our comparison chart and reviews, and settle on two or three builders that seem like a good fit. Once you have that shortlist, you’re ready to start testing.

building a website is easy

Test your website builder

We can point you in the right direction, but only you can know which builder feels right. Almost every website builder offers free trials, so take advantage. Signing up is simple and there are no strings attached, as you can see below.

Free-trial-gif
2

Sign Up for the Right Plan

Once you’ve settled on a website builder, you need to sign up for a plan. Website builders tend to offer multiple plans. Different sites have different needs, and plans ensure you aren’t paying for things you don’t need.

This is a massive plus of website builders compared to web developers. A web developer can cost between $300 and $1,000 for template customization alone, and a fully customized website built from scratch will often amount to thousands. Making your own website using a builder, meanwhile, allows you to get a fully functioning website up and running for less than the price of a coffee.

Which plan you choose depends on your needs. Are you making a website for a portfolio to showcase your artwork? Wix’s Basic plan, costing $5 a month, will probably do. Want to create a website for your business that will get thousands of visitors and have multiple staff accounts? Then the VIP Plan, costing $25 a month, may be a better fit.

Rest assured there’s a plan out there for everybody. If in doubt, start small and scale up.

Can you make a website for free?

You can make a website for free, but there are catches. Free accounts on website builders hold a lot of important features back. You can’t use custom domains, and your free site will have ads for that website builder. If you’re looking to learn more about website building then the free options are worth a look. However, if you want a professional, feature-rich website you’re going to have to pay at least a few dollars a month.

Check out what you can get just by signing up to the most basic website builder premium plans:

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

*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.

3

Choose Your Domain

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 can register them separately at sites like GoDaddy and Namecheap, but website builders offer to do it for you when you sign up with them. Most provide it for free (at least initially), while a handful charge a few extra bucks.

A domain name is one of the main ways a site presents itself to the internet, so make it count. Here are a few rules of thumb when choosing a domain name.

  • Make it relevant. This sounds obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Make sure the domain matches what visitors see when they visit your site. If your company is Vintage Pantaloons ™, don’t register the domain flipflopsfromthefuture.net
  • Keep it short, or at least memorable. If you want people to remember your site don’t pick a domain that’s dozens of characters long. It will look silly and no-one will remember it
  • Avoid numbers. It’s generally best to avoid numbers in domain names. It (generally) looks unprofessional and adds another element for people to remember.
  • Check the branding doesn’t already exist. There are millions of websites already out there. That means there millions of domains already taken. Check whether yours will stand out before committing to it

Once you’re sure about a domain, simply register it as part of the signup process with your chosen website builder. Some of the leaner plans will require an annual renewal fee of around $12, though with premium plans it’s usually included.

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

This is a very common question we get. Don’t worry. When you purchase a domain name — from a website builder or through separate registrars — you own the domain name and can take it wherever you want.

4

Pick Your Template

OK, so you’ve followed our steps to the letter: you’ve chosen a website builder, signed up for a plan, and registered a domain. You’re ready to start creating a website. Rather than leaving you to do this all by yourself, website builders support you through the process with templates.

Templates provide a framework for your website — a coherent, attractive canvas for you to paint the content of your site onto. They’re how you can have a site that looks good without having to hire a designer. Templates dictate color scheme, what your homepage header and menu bar look like, and the content width on your site, so it’s essential to pick the right one.

build a website with wix templates

Whichever website builder you’ve chosen, you’ll have an extensive selection of design templates to choose from. Generally speaking, the better your plan, the more templates you’ll have access to. The top builders provide hundreds of templates across dozens of categories. Whatever the focus of your site is, there will be a template for it.

These are just a handful of the categories you can expect to find when starting your own website:

  • Photography
  • Restaurants
  • Online Stores
  • Portfolios
  • Blogs

Think of templates 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. And again, don’t rush into it. Choose different templates, browse them, see if they fit. The whole point of templates is choice, so dive in and find one that feels right for what you want to achieve.

5

Customize Your Template

As we said in the last steps, templates provide a framework. Given how many people use builders to make a website nowadays, odds are there are a few sites out there with the same framework as yours. At the very least you will need to populate a chosen template with content specific to you. And to really stand out, you’ll need to do some customization.

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.

What goes into customizing a website? Well, that’s largely up to you. Website builders are very flexible these days. Customization can include:

  • Adding new pages to your navigation
  • Changing the size, colors, and fonts of buttons
  • Adding new elements like contact forms and menus
  • Editing the images on your homepage gallery
  • Choosing a different color palette
  • Linking/embedding social media channels

The best website builders walk you through all these things, so don’t be intimidated. They understand their purpose is to make web design easy. As is so often the case with website builders, don’t be afraid to play. You’ll be surprised by how how much you can do.

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

If those template customizations don’t look like enough for you (though 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.org. 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.

You can almost always play around with templates as part of the free trials, so you can get a sense of how easy customization is without spending a cent.

6

Preview and Test Your Website

With your template chosen and customized, you’re probably itching to publish and get your website live. Slow down there. Knowing how to make a website is one thing. Publishing your website blindly is another.

Always preview changes to your website before publishing them. You need to be sure things are working the way you want them to. Some of the key questions to ask are:

  • Is all the spelling and grammar correct?
  • Are all the buttons on the menu working?
  • Does your site fulfill a purpose?
  • Is your formatting consistent?
  • Does it function on desktop and mobile phone screens?
  • Does the site load quickly?
  • Is it optimized for search engines?

You’ll have done so well to get this far. Be vigilant. It would be a massive shame to build your own website, only to publish an unfinished site.

How do you preview your website?

Website builders make previewing your site really easy. Usually you just have to hit the preview button in the editor mode to see what your website would look like. Most offer a toggle so you can see how it works on different screen sizes.

An easy-to-use preview mode saves 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 will 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. Get a fresh perspective. Ask family members and friends to test your site and give feedback. If they’re anything like our family and friends they won’t be afraid of offering criticism.

7

Publish!

All this done, you should be ready to go. Before you hit that ‘Publish’ button and send your site out into that cold, unforgiving world, let’s recap the steps you should have gone through to get to this point:

  1. Choose your website builder
  2. Sign up for the right plan
  3. Choose a domain
  4. Pick your template
  5. Customize your template
  6. Preview and test your website

All done? Splendid. Press ‘Publish’! Tell your friends, shout about it in crowded streets, hire a blimp — get the word out. Your site is now live for the world to see. You can still customize and develop it of course, but you’ve taken the plunge. How very exciting.

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.

Anyone can make a website, and (literally) costs nothing to find out. Take a couple of builders for a spin and see what happens. You just may wind up creating something wonderful.

How To Build A Website: The FAQs

How do you create a website for free?

Building a free website is fairly common these days. Most website builders offer a free plan, or a trial plan. You can build your own website without spending a cent, but it won’t have the bells and whistles of a paid plan. Overall, Wix offers the best and most comprehensive free plan of all the website builders.

Can I move from one website builder to another?

You can, but there’s usually a lot of hassle involved. Most, if not all, of the content will have to be moved over manually. Website builders are a bit clingy. This is why it’s so important to test a few contenders before signing up to one.

How long will it take to build a website?

On most builders you can create your website in less than an hour. We don’t recommend being quite so quickfire about it, though. The best way to make a website is to give yourself a solid day to play around with the software and fine tune your site. It can take much longer than this to make a website site though – it depends on how many pages you have and how much customization you need to do.

Will my site appear in search engines?

If you build a website that’s optimized for search engines, then yes it will. It’s a common myth that you can’t rank as well with website builders – you definitely can! How to create a website that ranks in Google will require good content, and a bit of background research into SEO. Building websites that people can find is key to a good website marketing strategy, and not that hard to do.

How to Build a Website Using WordPress

1Decide if WordPress is Right for You

Almost a third of all websites are built on WordPress. It’s a subtle, essential part of the internet. But it also requires more setup work and maintenance than most website builders do. The first step of building a website using WordPress is taking stock and knowing what you’re signing up for.

WordPress is not an all-in-one package. It’s a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS allows you to create and organize digital content. Other elements like hosting and domain registration are best done separately. It’s up to you to bring these together in service of a WordPress site. This isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think, but it’s not the easiest way to make a website. We wouldn’t recommend it to people uncomfortable with technology.

The first major logistic of setting up a WordPress site is web hosting. We have a full guide on what web hosting is, but in brief it’s a home for your website. The files that make up your website need a virtual location to live in.

We’re going to go through this step-by-step guide using web hosting company Bluehost as an example because they’re one of the services explicitly recommended by WordPress. Do keep in mind though that lots of other web hosting providers are available.

Check out our comparison of the best hosting providers to get a sense of what other services are out there.

If you’re not fazed by any of this language, read on. If this all sounds a bit too technical for you, check out how to make your own site using a website builder instead.

2Buy the Right Hosting Plan

Before you can get down to the business of building your WordPress website you need a place for it to live. This requires a hosting plan. Signing up for a hosting plan is easy. Signing up for the right hosting plan is where things get a bit trickier.

There are various types and tiers of hosting designed for everything from tiny blogs to online stores with millions of visitors per month. For an idea of the range of plans available, just look at Bluehost:

bluehost hosting

Some of the main types of hosting are as follows.

  • Shared. Where you share a server with multiple other websites. This helps to keep costs down, but limits how much traffic your site can handle. These plans are best for small and starter websites with modest traffic.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS). These mimic the control of a dedicated server, but still share space with other websites. A good half-measure if you’ve outgrown a shared plan but don’t want to commit to the cost of dedicated hosting.
  • Dedicated. A server all to yourself. These plans can take a lot more traffic and offer full admin control. On the flipside, as you can see, they also cost a lot more. Dedicated hosting is for the very top tier of sites.

If you’re just starting a website it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to look past shared hosting. If, further down the line, a shared plan proves inadequate you can simply upgrade. For your first WordPress site a basic shared plan will see you right.

Best WordPress Hosting
Top Choice

4.6 out of 5

Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Features

5 out of 5 stars

Help & Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Up Time

4 out of 5 stars

Value

4.5 out of 5 stars

3Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is the virtual address of your website. Ours is websitebuilderexpert.com. That’s where you find us. The New York Times’ is nytimes.com. That’s where you find them. And so on. Your site needs one too, and when setting up a WordPress site it’s something you may have to take care of yourself. Bluehost lets you choose a domain for free as part of the signup process.

Bluehost domain registration

If you’d rather get one separately, simply go to a domain registry site like GoDaddy or Namecheap, find a name you like and is available, and buy it. It’s that simple. Once you’ve acquired the domain the registrar will give you an account. It’s through this that you can attach a domain to a site. More on this later.

How much does a domain name cost?

There’s not a set fee for domain names. Their value tends to be set by the market. Facebook bought fb.com in 2010 for $8.5 million, while the 2005 purchase of lasvegas.com amounted to a cool $90 million.

Don’t panic. You probably won’t have to pay millions for your domain. Regular, non-famous domains cost in the region of $12 a year. Far more manageable.

Choosing a good domain name

There’s no secret formula for choosing a great domain name, but there are some rules of thumb worth sticking to when starting a website.

  • Relevance is key.Make sure your domain matches your site. If your business is called ‘Green Paper’, don’t register pinkclouds.com.
  • Short and sweet. You want people to remember your URL, so the shorter the better!
  • Don’t use numbers. It’s a little awkward to have numbers in a domain name, as people don’t know whether to type ‘3’ or ‘three’, for example.
  • Be unique! Make sure the domain isn’t already taken. Sounds obvious, but saves time in the long run.

Once you register a domain, it’s all yours. You only lose it if you choose not to renew, at which point it will be put back on the market.

4Install Your WordPress Site

Once you sign up to a hosting plan with Bluehost, an account will be made for you automatically, though setting up a WordPress requires something from you: a click.

WordPress’s massive popularity means it’s in the interest of hosting providers to make setup easy. Accordingly, most offer one-click WordPress installation. In the case of Bluehost, that means going to ‘My Sites’ on the dashboard. As you can see below, it’s very easy to find.

Bluehost dashboard

If you bought a domain name as part of signing up, a WordPress site will already be there (a no-click setup!). To create a new one, you simply click ‘Create Site’. Most web hosting providers offer a similar experience

For a complete walkthrough, check out our guide on how to install WordPress with Bluehost, or watch our 2 minute how-to video:

5Choose a Theme

While website builders have templates, WordPress has themes. Your theme affects how your site looks. There are free themes and paid themes, and you can change your website’s theme as often as you want.

The upside with free themes is the cost, obviously, though bear in mind a nice free theme is likely being used on a lot of sites already. Paid themes are more ‘exclusive’ in that sense. Some only require a one-off payment, while others offer a subscription in exchange for support, updates, and maintenance.

Once you select your WordPress site you will find yourself in the WordPress dashboard. Get used to it, it will be your online control room from now on. It’s here that you can manage themes. A handful of default themes are waiting for you when you arrive, and adding new ones only takes a few minutes.

The best place to find themes is through WordPress’s own Theme Directory. Search for the types of themes you’d be interested in. If you’re setting up a newspaper search ‘newspaper’, if you need a site for your café search ‘cafe’. There’ll be dozens, if not hundreds, of contenders. Clicking on a theme takes you to its own page where you can see user reviews and preview the theme in action.

wordpress theme directory

Once you find a theme you like, download it. Go to the ‘Themes’ section of your WordPress site, select ‘Add New’, and upload the theme you’ve just saved. Voila. You now have a new theme. Rinse and repeat until you find one that feels just right.

Customization on WordPress requires much more technical skill than it does with website builders. You’ll need to dive into the code to make the changes you want. If you’re comfortable with HTML, CSS, and Javascript (or looking to learn more about them), this shouldn’t be an obstacle. Just be wary. WordPress offers more control than website builders, but only to those equipped to use it.

6Create Content and Pages

Adding content to WordPress is much more structured than you might think. Content on WordPress sites essentially breaks down into two types: pages and posts. What they look like will depend on the theme you use.

Pages are static one-off pages that make up the backbone of your site. Your homepage and contact page would be pages, for example. Posts are more timely. If your site has a blog, each entry in that blog would be a post.

Creating pages and posts is easy. Both require a couple of clicks in the WordPress dashboard. For pages you go to ‘Pages’ and ‘Add New’. For posts you go to ‘Posts’ and ‘Add New’. Both ‘Add New’ options will take you to the editor, where you can add content, preview, and publish.

To add pages to your main menu you simply go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Menus’. From there you can select which pages appear in which menus. For most sites and most themes you’ll only need one navigation menu, so putting one together is easy.

7Install Plugins

Plugins are bits of software that can be added to WordPress to improve the functionality of your site. Default features offer enough to make a perfectly good website, but plugins are often necessary to take it to the next level.

WordPress has tens of thousands of plugins for everything from search engine optimisation (SEO) to image compression. Browse the WordPress plugin directory and you’ll soon get a sense of how vibrant and creative a community it is. Each plugin has its own page with descriptions, screenshots, user reviews and more.

To install plugins it’s easier to browse within your WordPress dashboard. To do this go to ‘Plugins’ and ‘Add New’. There you can sort through featured, popular, and recommended plugins, as well as search for them yourself. To install simply press ‘Install Now’.

Here are some of the top plugins if you’re unsure where to start:

  • Jetpack. Made by Automattic, the team behind WordPress, this is essentially dozens of plugins within one plugin. In-depth site stats, automated social media posting, and lazy loading (a way for pages to load faster) are just a handful of the features available
  • Google Analytics Dashboard. This one’s a no-brainer. Google Analytics is a superb, free tool for tracking traffic to your website. This plugin allows you to see everything in your WordPress dashboard
  • Social Media Share Buttons. You want your content to be shared right? This plugin allows you to add fully customizable social share buttons to your posts so they can get as much exposure as possible

You manage your plugins in the ‘Installed Plugins’ section of the ‘Plugins’ tab. There you can edit plugin settings and toggle installed plugins on or off.

As ever, don’t be afraid to test things out. You have a whole lot more to gain from plugins than lose. Worst case scenario you simply deactivate a plugin you no longer want to use.

8Publish!

All right, we’re almost there. Before publishing your WordPress site let’s recap the steps you should have gone through to reach this point.

  1. Decide if WordPress is Right for You
  2. Sign up for the right hosting plan
  3. Choose a domain name
  4. Install your WordPress site
  5. Choose a theme
  6. Create content and pages
  7. Install plugins

All done? You’re ready to go. Don’t think the work is over though. A good website is never finished. You’ll see. The internet is constantly evolving, and your site will too. The life of a WordPress site is a steady circle of stages six and seven, with a bit of theme customization thrown in for good measure.

Making and maintaining a WordPress site is a deeply rewarding experience. You will learn about design, content, search engines, coding and more, and the structured framework WordPress gives you will always keep things manageable.

If you’re still not sure whether WordPress is right for you, check out our full WordPress review, or if you’re ready to get started, hit the button below!

How to Build a Website with WordPress: The FAQs

Is WordPress free?

Yes, WordPress is free, it’s just that everything around it isn’t. You’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain, and you might want to opt for paid themes or plugins too.

Is WordPress easy to maintain?

You’d be surprised. Once it’s up and running WordPress is pretty straightforward to manage. The real trick is juggling the elements that go into a WordPress site, rather than WordPress itself.

How long does a WordPress site take to set up?

Most hosting providers provide one-click setup, so you can technically set up a WordPress in five minutes. Setting up a good WordPress site rich in content shouldn’t take you more than a day if you’re clear on what you want to achieve and have the technical know-how.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

Jeremy

About Jeremy

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

About Jeremy

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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182 Responses to How to Build a Website: the Step-by-Step Guide to Easy Setup

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    Thanks for sharing this article it really helps me lot

  8. #

    I read the whole thing and loved it but I’m up to the last step! I’ve published my website and nothing’s happening! I need to register it with google or something? How do I make it come up when I search for key words?

  9. #

    Excellent article!

    After surfing the Internet and reading many websites on how to create a website, I can honestly say that it is the most complete and easy to understand, for a complete beginner!

    Your step by step guide is comprehensive and very informative and has given me the confidence to move forward and try to set up my own commercial website …

    A big thank you!

  10. #

    Hi!

    I just create a free site on WIX and bought a domain on NameCheap. Now I want to connect both of them but without upgrading my account on Wix.

    I understand there is a coding way to make my domain redirect to the WIX site, is this possible?

    Thank you,
    Gabriel

  11. #

    Great Article and the only one that gives a step by step guide.

    This might be a silly question but I keep reading about buying a hosting space on the internet and you haven’t mentioned that at all. Is that same as buying a domain?
    Does it mean that if i get one of the website builder plans with the domain included, then I dont need to go anywhere else?

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Natasha, not a silly question at all! Online store builders like Shopify will include hosting as part of your plan. So that’s all taken care of.

  12. #

    Great article!

    Having trawled the internet and read quite a few websites on how to build a website, I can honestly say this is the most comprehensive and easy to understand – to a complete novice!

    Your step-by-step guide is thorough and very informative and has given me the confidence to go ahead and try to set up my own business website …

    A big THANK YOU!

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Perry, that’s great to hear – thank you for the comment! Good luck with your business.

  13. #

    Do you want to make your #website? #BeTheme is a great theme for create your #wordpress website. you will get 340+ per-built website.

  14. #

    Awesome explanation, you have covered all deep details helpful post for beginners and individuals how to want to create a website on WordPress for free.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thanks Ramiz!

  15. #

    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!

  16. #

    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.

  17. #

    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!

  18. #

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

  19. #

    Nice Article

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thanks Ali – glad you found it useful!

  20. #

    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.

  21. #

    Thank’s for sharing such a nice info.

  22. #

    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

  23. #

    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

  24. #

    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

  25. #

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

  26. #

    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

  27. #

    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

  28. #

    thank you its really informative article.

  29. #

    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

  30. #

    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

  31. #

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

  32. #

    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

  33. #

    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

  34. #

    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

  35. #

    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

  36. #

    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

  37. #

    design is very good

  38. #

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

  39. #

    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

  40. #

    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

  41. #

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

  42. #

    Nice article

  43. #

    Great Article…. Thanks for sharing valuable article.

  44. #

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

  45. #

    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
      #

      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

  46. #

    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
      #

      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

  47. #

    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
      #

      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

  48. #

    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
      #

      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

  49. #

    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
      #

      Thank you , Clara. That means a lot!

      Jeremy

  50. Jeremy
    #

    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

  51. #

    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
      #

      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

  52. #

    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
      #

      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!

  53. #

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

  54. #

    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
      #

      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

  55. #

    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.

  56. #

    Hi Jeremy,

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

    • Jeremy
      #

      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

  57. Jeremy
    #

    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

  58. #

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

    Richard

  59. #

    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
      #

      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

  60. #

    Weebly is a nice website :3

    • Jeremy
      #

      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

  61. #

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

  62. #

    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!

  63. #

    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
      #

      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.

  64. #

    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
      #

      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

  65. #

    articles were excellent and very helpful. thank you

  66. #

    Excellent article…very helpful

    • Jeremy
      #

      Glad you enjoyed our discussions here!

      Jeremy

  67. Jeremy
    #

    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
        #

        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.

  68. #

    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.

  69. #

    Hi Jeremy,

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

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Jeremy
      #

      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

  70. #

    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
      #

      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!

  71. #

    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
      #

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

      Jeremy

  72. #

    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
        #

        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

  73. #

    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.

  74. #

    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

  75. #

    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
      #

      Hey Kayla,

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

      Jeremy

  76. #

    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
      #

      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

  77. #

    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
      #

      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

  78. #

    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
      #

      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

  79. #

    Great Article

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thanks, Mutua!

  80. #

    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
      #

      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

  81. #

    Great article, Keep sharing with us.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thank you for reading, Sara!

      Jeremy

  82. #

    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
      #

      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

  83. #

    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
      #

      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

  84. #

    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
      #

      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

  85. #

    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.

  86. #

    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
      #

      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

  87. #

    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
      #

      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

  88. #

    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
      #

      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

  89. #

    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
      #

      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.

  90. #

    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
      #

      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

  91. #

    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
      #

      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

  92. #

    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
      #

      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

  93. #

    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
      #

      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

  94. #

    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
      #

      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

  95. #

    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
      #

      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

  96. #

    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
      #

      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

  97. #

    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

  98. #

    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.

  99. #

    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

  100. #

    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?

  101. #

    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