Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

If you don’t have a design muscle in your body, you might experience some difficulties making a Squarespace site look good (due to the platform’s reliance on good stock imagery to be part of your site’s final look). Also, Squarespace offers a good range of features from the get-go, but above that, there’s not much you can do when there’s a feature missing. Just like with Wix, if you want a site that can grow alongside your business, this might not be quite the solution you’re looking for.
I am a Blogger to Joomla to WordPress user and I can definitely say that WordPress is the Big Boss of the lot. I am a web designer who started with HTML and no PHP knowledge, but got hooked to WordPress due to its ease of use and simple learning curve. Even a novice with basic knowledge of html and php can find it easy to adapt quickly to WordPress. I am here to stay with WordPress 🙂

You surely have heard the name before! Joomla is yet another powerful and popular name when it comes to CMS platforms. It is free, multi-purpose and is built on the model-view-controller web application framework. Already with millions of users by its side, it will be celebrating it’s 14th year of establishment this year! Although not as widely popular as WordPress, it is equally competitive and is a great alternative!


You can import your WordPress blog to Squarespace, which we like a lot. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend using Squarespace for blogging unless you don’t particularly care about SEO because page titles and meta descriptions can’t be adjusted for individual blog posts – which is very important for ranking with search engines. However, be aware that Squarespace is more difficult to use than Wix or Weebly due to its convoluted interface.

After you've built a site on Webflow, you will need to transfer it to a content management system. There are some features, like drag-and-drop widgets for adding social components, maps, and videos, that don't require coding knowledge. But if you want the full benefits of Webflow, you'll need to know HTML or CSS. There's a limited set of themes, a responsive interface, and your Webflow site can be customized for desktop, tablets, or smartphones.

I don’t think you are being fair. The average small blogger on a shared host isn’t going to be an expert in PHP. Like the poster I have seen 4 wordpress sites hacked and have just switched hosts following 2 in a year. One of these did use an outdated commercial template, the other 3 used standard templates with no plugins supposedly automatically updated at every new release.. There are plenty of simple things that could be done to make WordPress more secure including the most simple one of notifying any changes to configuration files via basic checksum. PHP as a product may be very secure but the way it is implemented by shared hosts allows for multiple infections. Security and ease of maintenance should be number one on the list when looking for a blog if you don’t want to be monitoring round the clock. I’m looking for a simple occasional blog that I can configure without a computer science degree and hopefully tweak by looking through the code. Ghost seems interesting but my host doesn’t support NodeJS
Thank you! I tried to sign up for your list and freebie, but you use Aweber, which has blacklisted me for years! I put a half dozen quite spammie emails into Spam ("Hurry, Last day for ___") and was forever and unforgivably condemned to their ship list... I have fought through to a human at Aweber twice, and both swore they could do nothing about it! Sad, but thus far and no farther! Thanks for the analyses, Sam	

Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy

You can import your WordPress blog to Squarespace, which we like a lot. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend using Squarespace for blogging unless you don’t particularly care about SEO because page titles and meta descriptions can’t be adjusted for individual blog posts – which is very important for ranking with search engines. However, be aware that Squarespace is more difficult to use than Wix or Weebly due to its convoluted interface.


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Weebly has a similar ‘drag-and-drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly. Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly stands out as the best free website builder for small businesses. It achieved the best features score of any builder we’ve tested (4.2/5). If you’re in the US, you can even sell from your free Weebly site, although you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee on each sale.


Now, whether you choose to use a content management system like WordPress, a website builder tool like Weebly, or an e-commerce platform like Magento, you’ll need to install the software on your server. The same goes for other external applications you want to use for your website, but that aren’t inherently part of your chosen content management system.
I am a Blogger to Joomla to WordPress user and I can definitely say that WordPress is the Big Boss of the lot. I am a web designer who started with HTML and no PHP knowledge, but got hooked to WordPress due to its ease of use and simple learning curve. Even a novice with basic knowledge of html and php can find it easy to adapt quickly to WordPress. I am here to stay with WordPress 🙂
Medium is one of the fast-growing online publishing platforms that allows any users to create stories and post them on their own personal web space. So if you are looking for a blogging alternative for WordPress, this is a pretty good option. It is easy to use, understand and also features built-in social networking feature. Although branding and promoting is not the ideal purpose at Medium, if you are simply looking to share contents then it is a great platform. Of course here, users lack the flexibility and the control over a specific content or profile.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
There are more than a hundred free website builders available online, and new ones keep popping up every year. According to my research, the percentage of sites developed using online website builders (including free ones) is catching up with the percentage of websites built using popular CMS with open code as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and the like.	

Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, Weebly and SITE123, as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses. SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online.
Today, HostGator is known for its budget-friendly hosting plans that web entrepreneurs and businesses of all types are leveraging to build online presence. The host’s proprietary website builder provides a drag-and-drop environment and a wide range of templates that make getting a site up and running a cinch. HostGator also gives customers access to a number of CMS and eCommerce platforms, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento, among others.

However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates. It was the platform our users were least likely to recommend after testing, and also came out last for ease of use with a score of just 3.2/5.


Another of the WordPress competitors, Kentico, is a user-friendly, highly adaptable offering. It requires minimal coding to yield any number of customizations and functionalities. Digital marketers and tech enthusiasts flock to Kentico because it is fully APS-integrated (an open-source framework that allows for building apps in several programming languages in tandem) and lets you integrate with Google from the start.
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Welcome to the CNET 2020 directory of web hosting services. In this directory, we'll look at a few of the best web hosting providers like Bluehost, A2Hosting, Hostinger, DreamHost, HostGator, InMotion Hosting and more. In this evaluation of the best web hosting providers, we're featuring commercial web hosting companies that offer WordPress, VPS, shared hosting and many more web hosting services, along with a variety of annual and monthly plans.     


One thing we would note, however, is that it’s always best to work with a hosting provider that understands the importance of separating these different technologies from one another on the server. In other words, WordPress installations should not share space with Drupal installations. It creates for an insecure environment and can severely compromise your website’s performance.
The best CMS software knows they are only made better by expanding their basic offerings. For true customization and full ability to meet your unique needs, there should be some level of add-on you can integrate. Each website is going to be a little different, and you’re going to have specific functionality needs, so having access to apps and extensions that make those needs possible is key.
We believe in democratizing publishing and the freedoms that come with open source. Supporting this idea is a large community of people collaborating on and contributing to this project. The WordPress community is welcoming and inclusive. Our contributors’ passion drives the success of WordPress which, in turn, helps you reach your goals. More Info »
Unlike other sites, e-commerce sites also require alterations and demand to have something easy. Among all these WordPress alternatives, Shopify is the best alternative to WordPress in this regard. It is simple and helps in growing your business the easy way. It is user-friendly and assists entrepreneurs in focusing on their products and promotions. It is easy to manipulate and offer varied kinds of themes. The added advantage of Shopify is that it integrates with social media which helps in selling the products on these social networking sites. As it is meant for e-commerce websites it is integrated with PayPal and can use it for simple and easier transactions. It helps in displaying an unlimited number of items as it has unlimited disk space. It also has advance shipping options and discount codes available.
Hi Emily, Thanks for your input! WordPress.com is a great option for blogging websites as it's what the platform is designed for. But, as you mentioned, there are easier options out there. WordPress.org is where you can really build powerful websites but the platform itself isn't really suitable for beginners. We definitely agree with you that the price is attractive either way though. Thanks for sharing and we're glad you've found a home online with WordPress! Charlie

All that being said, October’s gets pretty rough the closer you look. The community isn’t deep or broad enough to support a wide enough range of prebuilt plugins or themes, and to make that worse the October crew has set up a weird cloud-based “project” validation thing, in the interest of being security conscious I believe. Regardless of the intent, it makes it super-difficult for newbies to figure out how add, update, or edit any of the plugins on their site. And heaven help you if you decide to ‘detach’ your site from a project … ::sigh::


Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
You can absolutely do that. If you want to upgrade to a paid plan to get some of the features you want, then you can switch at any time through the My Products option in your account or with the help of a GoDaddy Guide. Once you upgrade your site will have all the same customizations and work that you've already put in place, just with the added features. See Website Builder plans and pricing for more info.
It goes without saying that WordPress has emerged as a leading option when it comes to building a website for all kinds of different online endeavors: from small personal portfolios to enterprise-level business and eCommerce sites. It’s got a large community of devotees and users, and a huge list of developers forever coming up with all kinds of different plugins to expand its capabilities. That said, WordPress isn’t the be-all and end-all. Indeed, there are in fact a number of different alternatives on the market.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, it is – people are always happy to get something for free. It’s right. But you need to understand that for free you always have to pay. Often not money, somehow differently, but have to. In the case of free website builders, such a fee is the availability of brand ads on the website. And in my opinion this is not a very high fee for a completely free website.

For anyone accustomed to a great variety of free templates in Wix, Weebly, and Webnode, it’s very difficult to choose within only 12 Wild Apricot themes. Besides, despite their being responsive, the web design in some of them appears obsolete. I think it’s the weakest point for Wild Apricot. I hope that the developers will take notice of what I write and correct such comissions.
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