Choose your platform
Go to the top The first thing that springs to mind when you think of quality world wide web design is a professional representation, correctly ? And while top companies largely do a bang-up job, they can be eye-wateringly expensive. fortunately, there is another way : website builders and ecommerce platforms. These are DIY on-line tools that allow you to create and design your own web site – without needing to know a individual line of code ! naturally, there are tons of options out there – of varying quality – but we ’ ve arrange in the legwork and researched the best on the market. Through a combination of adept research and thorough examination, we can now reveal the best options for designing your very own web site.
Below, we ’ ll run through the top three options for both regular websites and on-line stores. First, though, let ’ s address the elephant in the room : WordPress .
What about WordPress?
WordPress.org is a self-hosted, open-source CMS ( subject management system ) – but all you very need to know is that it ’ s the most popular platform for designing a web site. WordPress gives you entire operate over the look and feel of your web site, and is technically free to use. We say this because, in order to get your web site live, you ’ ll actually need to pay for world wide web host, security, a knowledge domain name, and any extra plugins or themes you need. The biggest exit with WordPress, though, is that it ’ s not in truth suitable for the average Joe. Unless you ’ re comfortable with code – or have the budget to hire a master developer – WordPress will prove near-impossible to use. For this rationality, we ’ five hundred recommend that people who are building their own locate stick to website builders and ecommerce platforms .
Designing Websites: Website Builders
Unless you’re looking to sell online, website builders are the most effective way for non-tech whizzes to create their own website. If an online store is what you’re after, skip to our ecommerce platforms section. From our technical research, we ’ ve been able to establish the 10 best web site builders available to you nowadays. All cater to different needs, but for a general overview, take a attend at our quality scale below :
|Wix Pros||Wix Cons|
|Highly intuitive and easy-to-use editor||Can’t switch templates after your website goes live|
|Great value for money||May have to spend more on third party apps to scale your website|
|Strong help and support features||The sheer choice and amount of customizable options can be overwhelming|
|The builder our users were most likely to recommend|
Wix is generally regarded as the best website builder on the market. Its easy to use drag-and-drop editor program gives you sum creative manipulate, allowing you to add in all your content and position it wherever you see equip . There ’ sulfur besides a choice of 510 professionally designed templates, a bunch of amazing features which come built-in, and a huge app memory where you can install any extras you may need. From thoroughly testing the platform ourselves, we can confirm Wix lives up to the hype. Have a attend at our final examination inquiry scores and see for yourself :
4.8 out of 5 top Choice comfort of Use 4.3 out of 5 stars Features 4.9 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 4.5 out of 5 stars avail and support 4.3 out of 5 stars Value For Money 3.4 out of 5 stars Customer score 4.6 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review We besides arranged for regular people, equitable like you, to sit down with Wix and attack to design their own web site. These volunteers were blown aside by equitable how quick and easy Wix was to use, adenine well as the bluff choice of features on display. here ’ s what they had to say : “ I was truly surprised that it was that immediate [ to design a web site ]. I didn ’ metric ton think that it would all get done in an hour. ” “ I like the side menu where you can add images and apps etc. because it was simple and easy to navigate. ” Wix is the best web site builder on the market. Sign-up to its free plan and see what you make of it. Try Wix For Free
|Squarespace Pros||Squarespace Cons|
|Best quality templates in terms of design and flexibility||Limited number of price plans|
|Best quality features of any builder on the market||Not totally beginner friendly|
|Full customization control without the need for coding|
Squarespace is a website builder that oozes class, and comes with a glossy, agio feel. Squarespace prides itself on its templates. Their up-to-date designs make them perfect for anyone in a creative field, such as photographers, artists, or graphic designers . Squarespace besides comes with an range of quality features. here you can see how it scored in our inquiry for all the major categories :
4.7 out of 5 rest of Use 4 out of 5 stars Features 4.4 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 4.7 out of 5 stars help and support 5 out of 5 stars Value For Money 4 out of 5 stars Customer score 4.5 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review Squarespace proved a real hit with our users, besides. here ’ second merely a copulate of their thoughts : “ My web site looks in truth clean and fresh. I think a batch of that is down to how well the template I chose is designed. ” “ It ’ s a huge challenge to create a site by yourself unless you ’ re a designer, so the fact that the templates have industry-specific features is a huge benefit. I ’ d say that ’ s one of the most significant factors [ when designing a web site ]. ” Squarespace offers a 14-day exempt trial. Discover why creatives love it so a lot. Try Squarespace For Free
|Weebly Pros||Weebly Cons|
|Best for small businesses, with all the basic tools you need to build a great business site||Drag-and-drop customization is limited – unless you’re confident with code|
|Cool customizable templates||No personal restore option, so if your site goes down, you’re totally reliant on the Weebly support team|
|Really helpful SEO guides in Weebly’s help and support center||No ADI option (short for Artificial Design Intelligence, this is where a website builder uses information you provide to automatically create a site for you)|
Weebly is marketed as a web site builder for all, but actually, it specializes in small business websites. It has a big roll of templates to choose from, and a drag-and-drop editor program that ’ mho pretty easy to get to grips with. Weebly very comes into its own when you start looking at its features – there ’ sulfur hundreds to choose from, and most of them are bright ! For a closer look at where Weebly ’ mho strengths lie, take a look at our scores :
4 out of 5 ease of Use 3.3 out of 5 stars Features 3.5 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 3.9 out of 5 stars help and support 3 out of 5 stars Value For Money 5 out of 5 stars Customer score 3.6 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review Our users who tested Weebly actually liked how it helped them structure their locate, and how it showed them that anyone in truth can build their own web site :
“ I think Weebly ’ south templates are a commodity manner of introducing you to the structure and presentation of a web site. ” “ Overall, it was actually easy to use, and kind of debunks the myth that it ’ randomness very, very unmanageable [ to build a web site ]. ” Weebly ’ s complimentary plan lets you ‘ try before you by ’. Take a spirit at what all the dither is about. Try Weebly For Free
Designing Websites: Ecommerce Platforms
Ecommerce platforms work in a very similar way to website builders, but they’re specifically designed to help you set up an online store. Some are purpose-built just for ecommerce, while others (like Wix) are website builders that have ecommerce functionalities.
|Shopify Pros||Shopify Cons|
|Sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay||You have to create your storefront between the editor and dashboard, meaning you’ll have to flick between the two|
|Brilliant inventory system which helps you manage your store||Only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments|
|Came first in our research for sales features and customer score||Content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme|
Shopify stands head and shoulders above its peers as the best ecommerce platform. It has a scope of themes which are all designed with your products in judgment, and more sales features than you can shake a stick at. Where Shopify actually excels, though, is away from your web site. The platform allows you to broaden your on-line storehouse ’ s reach by tapping into unlike channels, and by selling across respective marketplaces and social media networks. here you can see how Shopify performed in our ecommerce platform quiz : 4.6 out of 5 top Choice still of Use 3.5 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 3.7 out of 5 stars Sales Features 4.5 out of 5 stars Website Features 4.2 out of 5 stars avail and support 3.8 out of 5 stars Value For Money 3 out of 5 stars Customer score 4.7 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review Shopify provides a gentle slope into designing your own ecommerce website. Shopify is slightly different to website builders in that you predominantly work from a dashboard, quite than an editor program. Because there is so much more to consider with on-line stores – like market, inventory, and shipping – it makes sense that you have a hub to manage everything from, including your web site ’ south design . Shopify ’ s 14-day spare test lets you get a real feel for the chopine before deciding whether to invest Try Shopify For Free
|Wix eCommerce Pros||Wix eCommerce Cons|
|Eye-catching designs – add product videos to give customers a better shopping experience||No social media integration – doesn’t let you sell across multiple channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest|
|Advanced ecommerce tools, including abandoned cart recovery to catch customers who have left items at the checkout||Too much creative freedom, which can get in the way of ecommerce design best practices|
|Multilingual sites – grow your business globally by creating multiple sites for different countries|
“ But haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate you already covered Wix ? ” Well, yes – but building an on-line store with Wix is a unharmed other ball game ! Although Wix can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate equal Shopify when building a ‘ pure ’ on-line shop, it ’ randomness arrant for people who barely want to have a memory incision on their web site. Anyone who sells products on the side could benefit from Wix. If you ’ re in a set, for example, the main function of your site will credibly be to provide fans with tour data and take bookings for gigs. however, you may besides want to sell merchandise, such as tour tops, albums, and branded instruments. Wix makes it easy to either build an on-line store from the away, or add in a memory section further down the lineage .Wix provides attractive template designs to really show off your products and catch the customer’s eye here are Wix ’ s ecommerce-specific scores from our research : 4.7 out of 5 ease of Use 4 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 4.5 out of 5 stars Sales Features 4.4 out of 5 stars Website Features 4.4 out of 5 stars serve and support 3.8 out of 5 stars Value For Money 4.4 out of 5 stars Customer score 4 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review Squarespace and Weebly besides offer on-line store pricing plans, thus if you just want the choice to sell on-line, it ’ sulfur worth having a look around . Use Wix ’ s platform loose of charge and see whether it ’ s worth upgrading to the on-line store plans. Try Wix For Free Wix eCommerce Review – Discover why Wix is the best website builder for ecommerce. Wix vs Shopify – Learn more about the difference between the two platforms .
|BigCommerce Pros||BigCommerce Cons|
|Most scalable ecommerce platform||Hard for ecommerce beginners to get to grips with|
|More built-in features than any competitor||No mobile app to run your store on the go|
|Lets you sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest|
|Fantastic SEO tools|
Between Shopify and Wix, BigCommerce is far more similar to the early. It ’ sulfur designed entirely for selling on-line, and is widely regarded as one of the best platforms to create an online store with. One thing BigCommerce has over Shopify is the sum of built-in features it has. With Shopify, you may end up spending far more than just the standard monthly fee to install a whole bunch of apps – many of which are absolve to use with BigCommerce. On the flip-side, BigCommerce is undoubtedly harder to use than Shopify. Some of the terms it uses are quite technical, and the actual design of your locate can get quite complex – meaning it ’ s not precisely a beginner-friendly platform .BigCommerce is a powerful online store builder with tons of built-in tools still, BigCommerce more than held its own through our research screen : 4.1 out of 5 facilitate of Use 3.3 out of 5 stars Design Flexibility 4 out of 5 stars Sales Features 4.6 out of 5 stars Website Features 3.6 out of 5 stars aid and corroborate 3.4 out of 5 stars Value For Money 3 out of 5 stars Customer score
3.1 out of 5 stars Visit Site Read Full Review We ’ five hundred see BigCommerce as a platform for those who are both more technically skilled and budget-conscious. It ’ s in truth designed for SMEs, so anyone just looking to sell a few products a month will be better off with a web site builder that has ecommerce functionality . BigCommerce offers a 15-day exempt test for you to find your feet. Try BigCommerce For Free