Best Website Builder Software

Website builders provide users without extensive development knowledge a basic platform for creating websites by utilizing templates with drag-and-drop capabilities to easily create and maintain a site. They often provide domain name offerings, search engine optimization, analytics, e-commerce plugins, and mobile web functionality. Website builders are used by businesses of all sizes and can range from promotional outlets for artists or personal websites to advanced e-commerce stores. Website builders are used in conjunction with hosting services to make the website accessible to others. Additionally, they can work side-by-side with solutions that provide video embedding, marketing and social media tools, web design, and content management tools to add depth and functionality to your website.

To qualify for inclusion in the Website Builder category, a product must:

  • Offer a platform for creating a website
  • Provide unique templates for website organization, navigation, and components (e.g. pages, widgets, etc.)
  • Provide extensions for common website features such as blogs or multimedia
  • Generate an accessible link or integrate with external hosting services

Website Builder Software Grid® Overview

The best Website Builder Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on products’ scale, focus, and influence) and placed into four categories on the Grid®:
  • Products in the Leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 Crowd users and have substantial Market Presence scores. Leaders include: HubSpot, Wix, Squarespace, Duda, Weebly, WordPress.com, and Google Sites
  • High Performers are highly rated by their users, but have not yet achieved the Market Presence of the Leaders. High Performers include: WebsiteBuilder, ucraft, and Flockrush
  • Contenders have significant Market Presence and resources, but have received below average user Satisfaction ratings or have not yet received a sufficient number of reviews to validate the solution. Contenders include: Zoho Sites, Jimdo, Adobe XD, and GoDaddy Website Builder
  • Niche solutions do not have the Market Presence of the Leaders. They may have been rated positively on customer Satisfaction, but have not yet received enough reviews to validate them. Niche products include: OptimizePress and Odoo Website Builder
G2 Crowd Grid® for Website Builder
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Hubspot
Wix
Squarespace
Duda
Weebly
Optimizepress
Zoho sites
Odoo website builder
Websitebuilder
Jimdo
Wordpress com
Ucraft
Flockrush
Google sites
Adobe xd
1398499323
Market Presence
Satisfaction
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    Buying Considerations for Website Builder Software

    1. Themes and Templates: Website builders provide users with ready-made themes and templates to assist in setting up their websites or blogs. Before choosing a website building tool, peruse the various options to see if that solution offers a good thematic fit. For example, are you intending to construct a site for a conference or other event? An event-specific theme might offer a template with pre-existing RSVP and ticketing tabs. A business template might feature pages for contacting the company, learning more about the product, and reading press releases. Most website builders offer a variety of templates and themes, but ensure there is a fitting option for you before landing on a specific tool.
    2. Site Creation Method: The purpose of a website builder is to simplify the process of establishing a digital presence for those who lack extensive development knowledge. However, some website builders will still let users utilize their coding knowledge to enhance the site. If you have an employee who is well-versed in HTML, consider a tool that will allow them to apply that knowledge to make unique site customizations. Some website builders offer drag-and-drop editing only, which means you can only apply the features and edits that exist within your tool. This solution is great for those with no understanding of HTML code but could be limiting later on. Know your current development capabilities, but also have an idea of what you might want later on before making your decision.
    3. Integrations and Features: No matter the number of fancy tricks a website builder offers, none of it matters if the tool cannot integrate with the plug-ins you necessitate. For example, a website for an online boutique will require integration with an e-commerce tool. A website created to garner interest in a concert or conference will need to integrate with a ticketing service. Some users want their websites to come with email marketing capabilities, while others prefer to use a standalone email marketing tool. Explore the product and see if it has important features already built in. If not, verify that you can connect your website to an outside tool to accomplish these goals.
    4. Cost: As with every type of software, you get what you pay for with a website builder. Free versions will typically require the builder’s name to stay in the domain name. For example, Shoe Store could get the URL www.shoestore.websitebuilder.com for free but would have to pay for www.shoestore.com. Other stipulations include limited template and theme selection, and the requirement to feature ads throughout the site. Most tools have varying plans that are priced according to type of use, storage needs, and bandwidth capacity. Pricing plans vary from one solution to another, and a user should be certain their budget is compatible with the features they require in a website builder.
    5. Hosting: Every website has to be hosted, or provided storage space and access through a server. A website builder can offer this service, or site developers can seek hosting from outside web hosting providers. A positive aspect of hosting your website within your website builder is that performance is less affected by sudden increases in traffic. A user has the support of their tool to ensure visitors are always receiving a quality experience on their site. A positive of hosting your website on an outside server is that if the website builder were ever to discontinue its services, your content would not be compromised. The latter is not a common occurrence, but remains something to consider. Be sure you understand the hosting options that are available with your website building tool. What kind of support comes with it? How does the provider address performance issues? Your website’s functionality is important.

    Key Benefits of Website Builder Software

    With a website builder, you can:

    • Track valuable analytics such as unique and returning visitors
    • Have help with search engine optimization (SEO) to increase website rank
    • Own a unique domain name that leads users straight to your site
    • Have a mobile friendly webpage
    • Connect a blog to your product
    • Encourage users to connect with your social media accounts

    How Does Website Builder Software Work?

    Website building software exists to get everyone on the grid. Small-business owners, photographers, and hopeful bloggers can use these tools to publish their content on the web with little to no help from a site designer. The platform usually offers hosting services and the option to purchase a domain name, making individuals and businesses look as official as they come.

    A quality website builder works with you to make your website as authentically “you” as possible. It offers themes that appeal to your readership and align with your brand. For example, a blogger will want a template that optimizes and breaks up text for readers to digest easily, while a retail establishment will want the capacity to organize photos of apparel. Customization is key, as no two websites want to be exactly alike. A website builder will often allow users to change up pages with drag-and-drop features, or arrange the layout in a unique fashion.

    Once the site has been created, it is imperative it has viewers—especially if an administrator hopes to use this website to increase or generate revenue. Website builders will often offer marketing tools that can help the site be more easily searchable. Additionally, it can offer readers and viewers the option to sign up for mailing lists or fill out surveys. This helps administrators build up their contact books, increasing their reach and potential customer base.

    A retail website cannot function without e-commerce. Website builders can often provide features that turn a domain into a full-fledged online business. This can be done by integrating the site with payment gateways such as Paypal, WooCommerce, or Square. Some of these e-commerce systems can integrate with in-store point of sale products, helping store owners and management balance the various market sales in one place.

    How Does Website Builder Software Differ From Other Content Management Software?

    Website builders are a great place for people to go when they want their product or content open to the public, but aren’t sure how to develop a site from the ground up. The functions are ideally intuitive and can be figured out by even the most novice of users. However, it should be understood that website builders aren’t inherently collaborative environments. While running a website, an administrator might want to send a newsletter or homepage description over to a colleague for edits or suggestions. This function would be more easily accomplished by a content management system or file storage and sharing tool.

    Role of Website Builder Software in Content Management

    An important aspect of operating a website is having a safe space for content to live and breathe. While website builders are a great place to make content go live, it may not be the best method of storing, editing, or sharing web content. A blogger might want to also store content within a content management tool, whereas a photographer could want to connect their website to a digital asset management tool.

    Role of Website Builder Software in Customer Relationships

    Website builder software can help administrators get into contact with their readership via pop-up contact forms, questionnaires, or subscriber lists. This aids site managers in forming relationships with their audiences. Although these site builders can integrate with email and newsletter software such as MailChimp, it won’t help track a customer from point of interest to final sale. For site administrators working with a sales team, a CRM tool might be additionally useful.

    Business Problems Solved with Website Builder Software

    Website builders are great, simple tools that make a variety of businesses and individuals accessible via the world wide web. They open up a world of opportunity for fashion bloggers, shoe stores, and wedding photographers alike who might otherwise struggle to set up a digital presence.

    Through website building software, almost anyone can reasonably afford and create their own domain. The following are ways a business could benefit from this specific type of software.

    Eliminate Need for Web Development Expertise

    Website builders offer features that help guide administrators through the steps of site development. By providing a variety of themes that can be customized to fit a specific style, business owners have virtually no need for knowledge on building a site from the ground up. Drag-and-drop features mean homepages and tabs can be customized without literacy in HTML. Although a knowledge in HTML is a definite plus—some website builders will allow administrators to use HTML to further customize the site—it’s not a dealbreaker for those just starting out.

    Additionally, website builders host the domains and typically come with support teams to ensure everything is working properly. If ever a site is down due to too much traffic or an unknown bug, support teams are in charge of addressing the issue and repairing it in a timely manner. This helps each site visitor have a positive experience that makes them want to return. Each website builder will have different levels of support, a factor worth researching in G2 Crowd user reviews or on the Website Builder Satisfaction Report.

    Website builders will also sometimes come with resources for administrators and site builders to perform self-service. Knowledge bases and articles are great ways for site creators to solve problems while learning, as opposed to depending constantly on a support team. By reading through user forums or FAQs, site administrators can develop an understanding of how to maintain their website. This gives an administrator greater independence from support services, and allows them to dictate how quickly issues are resolved.

    Form Better Customer Relationships

    Websites succeed because they have visitors who feel like returning to that site is a valuable use of time. One way website builders affect this is by providing opportunities for site visitors to connect with administrators. Many builders give site creators the choice of collecting contact information through question submission forms or subscriber pop-ups. By integrating a website builder with email software—or finding a website builder that offers email capabilities—site administrators connect with potential customers with little to to no effort. This information can be applied to future email newsletters or promotional deals, or simply be used to bring visitors back to the site.

    Visitors enjoy being a part of the conversation. Website builders that allow for forums or other discussion boards help site administrators include visitors on topics. Whether it’s reviewing a piece of apparel or commenting on a thought-provoking blog post, visitors who feel heard are likely to remain loyal to a brand or publication.

    Almost anyone visiting a website nowadays has some sort of social media presence. When a website builder integrates with social media channels, it helps to ensure visitors are reminded of brands via the channels they already surf. Site builders can help automate posts that are distributed to each channel so as to reach users on their preferred application. They can also include social media icons on the site’s homepage or elsewhere to encourage additional followers or support.

    Other Business Problems Solved with Website Builder Software

    Some of the other business problems solved with Website Builder Software include:

    • Receiving insightful analytics pertaining to page views and consumer demographics
    • Understanding popular pages or pages that deter customer interest
    • Development of a custom email that can be managed and checked within the website builder tool or integrated into an existing email platform
    • Higher traffic rankings due to SEO insight

    Website Builder Software for Small Business

    Website builders are especially helpful for small businesses, which typically have fewer expendable resources than their larger competitors. With a website builder, small-business owners can manufacture their web presence themselves as opposed to contracting a developer to do it for them. This saves money at the time of initial setup, as well as later on when site administrators might want to redesign or otherwise edit.

    Small businesses also have limited marketing budgets and rely more on person-to-person communication to build customer relationships. Website builders are helpful in this regard because they can create bridges between digital audiences and small business owners. Through contact forms, surveys, and questionnaires, website builders are able to gather consumer information that can be used for newsletters or informing the public of future specials or savings.

    Additionally, website builders can integrate with social media tools for simple social sharing. This helps align a small business's brand across multiple channels, and ensures every follower is receiving the same promotions or business information. While some businesses will still want to hire a social media manager who understands the logistics, others may decide this integration deems the role unnecessary in their business space.

    It’s important for a small business to determine how much traffic its site receives so it can decide where to focus future energy. Website builders often come with features that provide insight into analytics such as visitor traffic, time on page, entrance into site, and popular content. This helps administrators evaluate things such as site visuals and content to determine what needs improvement.

    Small businesses cannot survive without revenue. Luckily, website builders often offer integrations with e-commerce tools that allow websites to become online stores. This opens up a small business’s consumer base tenfold, taking it from a couple of store locations to nationwide or even international. Additionally, consumers who know they can buy or browse online might develop the opinion that a store is more accessible. This might increase their chances of returning later to peruse the new season’s products.

    Small business owners have a lot to gain from website builder software, as it opens them up to a world of simplified communication with the customers they already aim to satisfy.