It’s easy to create websites nowadays. You don’t have to learn any coding or technical skills. You can just search for a web-based website builder and proceed to creating the site you want. Even better, you no longer have to worry about web hosting. Site builders typically provide free but limited web hosting. You can just pay for more storage and bandwidth if you need it.
Not all website builders, though, provide a good level of customization. Not all of them can let you design something that really looks great and distinctive. Some are just better than other when it comes to design customization. To help you find the right site builder to use, go over the following list.
“Out of the Box” – Generic Web Hosting Site Builders To show how different the website builders mentioned above are from ordinary website builders, consider this website builder from LCN. It is by no means a bad website builder. It comes with a drag-and-drop interface, a variety of templates, and the ability to generate search engine optimized and mobile-ready sites. You can create decent sites with it. The drawback, though, is that your site design will mostly be limited by the templates available. You cannot adjust the dimensions of different elements. You cannot open the HTML code of the site to implement your desired edits. It’s a straightforward site creation tool that only grants you basic creation and editing functions.
Still, as mentioned, the website builders of web hosts are by no means a bad. They usually adequately deliver in their promise of allowing anyone to produce a decent looking site. However, they are unlikely to let you build something distinctive and striking. The site you create is bound to have a doppelganger as others decide to use the same template you use.
Weebly is one of the first web-based website creation tools. Now, it offers more than just website building. It also provides ecommerce and marketing solutions. Still, its drag-and-drop website building service remains to be one of the best around. It is easy to use but has powerful features.
Weebly stands out for the thoughtfulness in the way it is created. Users will likely notice that elements don’t appear half-baked. This website builder provides adequate levels of customization. For instance, it comes with a map element that has options for configuring markers and adjusting the zoom. Additionally, it comes with the Sections feature (introduced in Weebly 4), which divides a page into multiple sections. This feature is advantageous as it enables enables the creation of a more customized appearance. Moreover, Weebly comes with its own app store. Weebly offers various apps that can be added to the website you are creating.
Wix is another excellent website builder with a full-fledged drag and drop interface. Basically, Wix provides a blank canvas with which you can easily create the site you want. You can then drag different elements into any part of the blank canvas. Using it is comparable to the experience of making a presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint.
The concept of a blank canvas editor allows extensive customization but it also has the potential of becoming a disadvantage as it can lead to clutter. Wix, fortunately, has developed a system to address this potential disadvantage. It prevents the overlapping of elements. For instance, texts added to an element are wrapped and they push elements below the element (where the lengthy text is added) to avoid overlaps.
Wix provides users control over every element they add on their websites. It’s possible to add galleries, buttons, icons, photos, videos, as well as audio players. This means its possible to create distinctive website designs. You will not be tied to a specific template or color scheme.
Squarespace is arguably one of the most polished if not the most polished website builder at present. It particularly works great with the presentation of photos in galleries with its way of cropping images. With Squarespace, you can set a focal point in the photos before cropping is implemented. This results in photos that look great when displayed in galleries.
Additionally, Squarespace features “content blocks,” which allow you to create great looking content using different types of content. These could be texts, markdown, quotes, images, audio, a slideshow, grid, carousel, post summaries, and more. There’s a content blocks search bar on top of the interface so you can easily use the content block you want. This feature alone makes it possible to create distinctive websites that does not rely on templates or layouts and color schemes that could be used by others.
Squarespace is doubtlessly a thoughtfully crafted website builder. Create unique blog, ecommerce, or plain websites with it by taking advantage of the numerous features and functions available. It comes with numerous beautiful themes, all of which employ responsive web design. Moreover, if you are building a website for your restaurant, you will surely appreciate the restaurant menu builder feature on Squarespace. It can automatically stylize your menus and also let you customize them.
Strikingly excels in the creation of one-page, mobile-optimized websites. For the uninitiated, a one-page website is a site wherein everything is presented in a single but very long page. All the internal links of the site point to a page element or section within the same page. Taking advantage of new features in HTML5, Strikingly lets you build modern looking sites that are unlikely to look boring.
Strikingly takes away the confusion of making long one-page sites with its “sections editor.” With this, you can easily and intuitively create the different section of your site without having to tediously scroll up and down to go to the section you want to work on. You can see a summary of the sections on the left sidebar. Everything you need to build and edit a section is on the left sidebar.
If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can use the pre-built section templates available on Strikingly. It would be better, though, if you create something that is totally yours to make sure it’s unique and distinctive. You can add headings, images, videos, columns, and other types content to a section.
Strikingly, by the way, is not limited to building one-page sites. You can create multi-page sites with it—not for free though. You have to upgrade your user plan to be able to create a site with multiple pages.
Much have changed in Blogger since the last time it enjoyed popularity as a free blogging platform. It now comes with a number of new features. The interface has changed but it still retains the intuitiveness and familiarity most Blogger users have become accustomed to.
Blogger is included in this list not for its ability to add different kinds of elements on a page. It’s actually not as good as the rest of the options here when it comes to drag-and-drop site building. What makes it worth including in this list are its free template uploading and HTML editing features. These two features alone let you do many things with the site you want. You need to be familiar with HTML, though.
With Blogger, you can look for any Blogger compatible template you like and upload it to your site’s theme editing interface. You can then edit the template’s HTML code and add more features or change its appearance. The drawback here is that you may encounter errors along the way. The resulting site may not be that stable. If you do a lot of customizations in the code, you may end up with an unoptimized site that loads slowly or is defective in certain sections or pages.
This list is not a ranking of website builders. It’s difficult to rank them considering that they offer different sets of features and functions. They have different aspects they excel in. You can be sure, though, that if you use these website builders, you can create better looking sites that don’t appear that different from those created by professional web designers. This is not to say that you will not end up with something good or decent if you create a website using a free website builder offered by a web host. The website builder offered by some web hosts as a complimentary or bonus service are usually not bad but they may not compare to the options mentioned above in terms of design customizability.