As we kick off 2024, we wanted to reflect on all of the amazing website builder updates and new tools released over the last year. From huge feature rollouts to fresh AI tools, 2023 packed a punch.
Our team has reviewed the hottest industry news from 2023 and we’ve collected our top picks to share with you. By no means does this cover everything we found exciting last year, but you can read all of our news stories in detail if you want to find out more. Let’s dive right in!
One of our most timely news pieces from 2023 covered Shopify’s record-breaking Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. When it comes to ecommerce website builders, Shopify is the best on the market, so we were pleased to read that Shopify merchants broke a new record with $9.3 billion in sales over the weekend. And that’s not all – thousands of stores had their best sales day ever, while over 17,500 businesses secured their very first sale with Shopify.
It really demonstrates how Shopify leads in the ecommerce sector and the difference it makes to small business owners.
Unfortunately, the news can’t always be positive – in June 2023, over 200,000 WordPress accounts faced a security threat when Ultimate Member, a popular membership plugin, was hacked. The exploit gave hackers access to admin-level information and users were advised to uninstall the plugin. The news was a real blow to customer trust given WordPress’ reliance on third-party apps and plugins, but the vulnerability was resolved by July.
I like the piece because I got to cover something that could have directly impacted our readers’ lives.
Wix, our top-rated website builder, launched Wix Studio in 2023. The fresh design solution combines AI, code, and Wix’s existing design tools, giving users (particularly designers, freelancers, and agencies) total creative control when it comes to website creation and management. While this piece of news is more relevant for agencies and advanced designers, Wix Studio is one of the most impressive products to roll out last year.
Wix already gives users so much creative freedom when designing a website, so the introduction of Wix Studio really helps to elevate Wix above its competition. Game-changing updates like this are why we recommend the builder time and time again.
2023 was the year of AI, and that’s no exception when it comes to website builders. Now, we couldn’t narrow down our favorite specific feature – there were simply too many and they’ve all been interesting! We saw GoDaddy unveil an AI prompt library to help business owners with content creation, Shopify Magic which generates copy such as product descriptions, Wix’s AI site generator, and much more.
This year we’ve seen a number of exciting AI updates to the top platforms, which can enhance your website’s functionality, security, and performance. This ensures a competitive online presence, attracts customers, and allows businesses to thrive in the dynamic digital landscape.
Shopify’s one-page checkout rolled out in October 2023, streamlining the overall checkout process and aiming to get more customers over the finish line when it comes to sales. By optimizing and personalizing the page, business owners can engage with their customers effectively and help reduce the possibility of abandoned carts. Not only does the new one-page checkout automate the payment and billing address section, but it also includes guest checkout to help speed things along.
I think a feature like this will be so important to users who are selling and will help make the buying process much more seamless and ultimately help them to increase their revenue and conversion rate.
Squarespace made a big announcement in 2023 with the latest installment of Squarespace Refresh – a showcase of the latest features and upcoming tools on the platform. Some of the most notable updates to mention include Squarespace Payments (a native payment solution) and Client Invoicing (to help improve workflows for business owners), as well as improvements to Squarespace’s AI offering.
It’s so nice getting clarity on what the builder’s working on and prioritizing, and seeing them committing to new features. It’s just an exciting feeling of what’s to come!
Those are just a few of our favorite product updates and announcements from 2023, but what was your favorite new website builder feature? We covered over 90 stories last year, so make sure to check out our dedicated news page to see if you missed anything.