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Best online website builders

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Good, so you have decided to get yourself a website. You've picked your hosting company from the recommended list on this website, you've chosen your spanking new domain name that you are all so proud of and now, there is one vital thing missing before you can have an online presence for yourself or your business, and that's surprise surprise, the website itself.

Now, there are many ways to build a website and with a range of different languages that you can use to build it. The options are as follows:

web editor image

Option 1: Build it yourself through a web editor

First of all, you may decided to build the website yourself on a web editor like Adobe Dreamweaver which is more user-friendly and where you could use languages such as PHP, HTML, ASP to write it in. Or you can opt to use more hardcore programs such as Visual Studio which requires ASPX with knowledge of C# or Basic. Using this method will require you to build your website from scratch and will require a lot of skill and time.



open source logo

Option 2: Use open source solutions

You could also go for a 2nd option which is to use open source solutions which are content management systems (CMS) such as Joomla, Drupal for information sites, Wordpress for blogs, Magento and Zen Cart for ecommerce shopping sites or for forums you can use PHPBB3, SML or Vanilla. For all of these, you would need knowledge of PHP to customise your site. You could always use their default or search for other templates designs out on the WWW somewhere, but the chances of your website looking like someone else's are very high, therefore, no uniqueness.


web design company

Option 3: Hire a website design company

The 3rd option is of course to get someone to build your website for you. There are loads of web design companies out there that could do it for you, some good and loads bad but all costs you money. So if you decide to build a website that has many pages and a lot of functions, your costs could escalate. Also, if you hire a web design company to create your site for you, when the time comes that you need to modify or maintain the site, you'll be asking them to do it for you, which again, will cost you money. Saying that, I too can do your website as I work freelance as well. You can checkout my portfolio here and if you decide that you want to take things further, contact me and we'll talk business.


website builders

Option 4: Website builders

Secret option number 4 is an option that many people don't know about and that is online website builders. To be honest, online website builders are for people who don't like coding, who doesn't know coding and people who just plain can't be bothered to write the code. But seriously, they are for people who don't have the time and knowledge to create their own website the conventional way, but would like to have a shot at developing and maintaining their own website. Chances are that because you are here reading this article, you may could well be an amateur in the field of web development and would like all the help that you can get, so therefore, this is what I will introduce to you here in this article.


Using online website builders

Online website builders are a great tool and a hidden gem because you can have full control of your website without knowing anything about websites. The recommended website builders should be completely online based and controlled through your browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari. Not too many people know that these tools exist but the people that do know, have created really impressive websites and to be honest, you wouldn't have the slightest of clues that it was built using an online website builder.

So who would benefit from using website builders? The answer would be probably you. The reason I say that is because since you are here reading this article on this website, you are most likely looking for a way to build a site other than doing the programming completely yourself or hiring a design team. Website builders are suitable for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. There are many advantages in using them but there are also some disadvantages which I will outline below.


Advantages of using website builders

  • Easy to use:
    Good website builders are designed with simplicity in mind so they are relatively easy to use and get started with. Everything is pretty intuitive. Some also have help and video tutorials if you get stuck. usually, it's a case of drag and drop to add features onto your website like menus, images, contact us forms, etc
  • Cheap costs:
    Building your website usually will cost you hundreds of pounds to build website functions and hosting. Website builders are ultimately the low-cost way to build a website yourself. They usually don't cost you anymore than £10 per month. Some website builders even come free as well.
  • Security and updates:
    Good website builders get updated regularly with security loopholes patched so your site is safer from being too easily hacked into.
  • Continuous development:
    The developers behind the top web builders in the market are constantly upgrading their products with more tools and making it more user-friendly to compete for more customers like yourself.
  • After purchase support:
    is good with good online builders through the use of online chat, emails, FAQ and forums.
  • Less setup time:
    Online website builders is your one-stop workshop for everything you need to get your website online. Think of it as a website in a box on the shelf of a shop. Buy it and it's yours. The same concept applies here to builders. The box provides all the development tools, your domain, the software, your hosting, etc. Normally, a web developer would have to source all these separately through his/her own knowledge and then tie them together to create their website.


Disadvantages of using website builders

  • All your eggs in one basket:
    Because website builders plans provides everything you need to get started, it also means that if this company decides to close down or go bankrupt, they will take your web and business down with them. Enough said!
  • Limited flexibility:
    If you are looking to make your website very unique in layout design, then this is not going to work for you. But if you're not looking for anything too spectacular, then website builders would do you nicely.
  • Dynamic coding:
    There is no dynamic coding on website builders. There is no coding full-stop. If you are looking to be using your own database and writing server-side code, this option should definitely be crossed off your list with a big X.
  • Growing websites:
    Website builders are not ideal for larger businesses who can foresee their web business functions expanding. Because of the limited flexibility, you are bound to using their tools by this provider. You wouldn't be able to develop your own code for a custom function for your website at all unfortunately.

Have you decided?

So what's it going to be? Website builders or some other method to create your website? If you have decided that website builders are the way to go for your specific website and business needs, then great, I have some good recommendations for you to choose from on the next page ».

Last Updated April 26 2014 by Alex Tse