Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

I found CMS Made Simple to be very easy to template, for instance. And I used ModX for years before using WP, and it is also very easy to template, and offers a lot of nice features. They will appeal to someone who wants to develop, but is generally uncomfortable in PHP. You can mostly get by with HTML and template tags. This tends to prevent the “white screen of death”.
Squarespace's pre-designed themes usually emphasize imagery or video, so it might be great for people in visual media, entertainment, dining, or fashion industries. Many templates, such as the one below, are both simplistic and mobile optimized. While simplicity might be difficult for a software company or a business which offers many services, it could be great for consumer facing companies that sell products related to one major industry:	

I have personally built two different sites using WordPress and found it very easy to use, setup and configure. Once it is initially setup, maintaining the site is as easy as logging into the WordPress admin site and adding your content. I was initially very surprised by the ease of the setup to get my sites up and running. I was able to get the site online and running on a customer domain within 15 minutes. This was a welcome surprise to me the fist time I used WordPress. While WordPress sites are not as simple as drag and drop configuration for the novice computer user, average users will find it easy to edit text and add content using the built in templates. The price is possibly the most attractive feature of WordPress. The word free will often attract users but the usability and ease of the software is what will make users stick with the platform. After building two sites on WordPress, I would strongly recommend it and will surely use it for my future website building projects.
I found CMS Made Simple to be very easy to template, for instance. And I used ModX for years before using WP, and it is also very easy to template, and offers a lot of nice features. They will appeal to someone who wants to develop, but is generally uncomfortable in PHP. You can mostly get by with HTML and template tags. This tends to prevent the “white screen of death”.
Squarespace's pre-designed themes usually emphasize imagery or video, so it might be great for people in visual media, entertainment, dining, or fashion industries. Many templates, such as the one below, are both simplistic and mobile optimized. While simplicity might be difficult for a software company or a business which offers many services, it could be great for consumer facing companies that sell products related to one major industry:
In other words: You don’t need to install any software on your computer (let alone on a web server) and you don’t need to set up an FTP client either. You can register your domain name through the same provider that offers the website builder. And the fact that website builders offer individual support is particularly good for beginners. This means that you don’t need to go and sift through web forums to find solutions to any potential problems.
Such website builders are based on the business model called ‘freemium.’ This means that they offer a basic service absolutely for free. There are no time limits – you can use this tool as long as you want. But if one of the Premium plans is paid, you’re likely to get an opportunity to use your domain name and upgrade your website’s capabilities. But this Premium plan is not mandatory.
My general opinion of October is it’s basically the ugly stepchild of WordPress – and is trying *really* hard to live up to big brother. It has a lot of the right pieces in place, though like Craft it tries harder to be developer friendly, so code editing is built in to the admin, up to and including snap-ins to build your own plugins as needed, theoretically without ever jumping out to brackets or whatnot.
Hi Eric, Thanks so much for your comment! Wix and Weebly both have integrations with POS systems - but only if you're based in the US. However, you won't be able to use this on a free plan - you'll need an ecommerce plan, which lets you accept payments and orders through your website, or to connect a POS sytem as you said. On Wix, the cheapest option would be the $23 per month Business plan (billed annually), and on Weebly this would be the $12 per month Pro plan (also billed annually). If you're setting up a serious ecommerce business and you want more selling features to support you, I recommend checking out Shopify, as it's specifically designed to support online stores. I hope this has helped, and I'll link to some reviews I hope you find helpful too: - Wix eCommerce Review - Weebly Ecommerce Review- Shopify Review Many thanks for reading, and all the best! Lucy
WordPress (or WooCommerce) are definitely good platforms and will be the exact right choice for many users: Scalability is excellent and the number of extensions is impressive. On the other hand, beginners will have a hard time getting everything set up without running into problems – unless, of course, they get outside help to setup this popular CMS.
While WordPress offers an unbelievably wide range of designs, we had to realize that customizing these designs to match our needs meant loads of tedious work and custom code. Building a Wix site is different. You move the elements around with a click of the mouse, dropping them right where you want them. All plans (even the free one!) come with the same design options.
We may receive compensation from some partners and advertisers whose products appear here. That’s how we make money. Compensation may impact where products are placed on our site, but editorial opinions, scores, and reviews are independent from the advertising side of The Blueprint and our objectivity is an integral part of who we are. Our commitment to you is complete honesty: we will never allow advertisers to influence our opinion of products that appear on this site.
Thanks for this informative article, but I am still a bit confused. I am a novice blogger but I would much rather do it right the first time…but what is right? I had my mind set on wordpres.com until I read various articles that compare wordpress.org and .com. I don’t want ads popping up on my blog unless i put them there and I don’t want the company to own my content. Ideally, I was going to purchase a theme that supports music, video, photos but now I don’t know what to do. Can someone please point me in the right direction?

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.
Finally, I would like also to draw attention to another interesting CMS that I used a decade ago and really enjoyed using at the time: it was originally known as Article Manager, and its current incarnation is CMS Builder, from InteractiveTools (a company based in Vancouver). At the time I was using it, I remember that the developers were very helpful, and the forum was lively and helpful too. Now that I am using WP, I would not really consider moving to CMS Builder (although I own a license), since WP offers much more in my view. But some people might have reasons to prefer it. However, one should pay attention to the fact that some of the add-ons can make it more expensive than the initial $200 price for a single site.	

This review covers WordPress.com, which is a simplified version of WordPress that functions like a website builder. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a content management system (CMS) that can organize and store a lot more content, but demands a bit more technical know-how. We’ve written a full comparison of these two WordPress platforms if you’d like to learn more! If not, then read on for our review of WordPress.com.
WordPress VIP offers everything that a web developer would want, but all these advanced functionalities and amazing features are overkill for an average website owner. The price is also a huge obstacle, and no small business would be willing to pay that. It is merely a VIP option for WordPress users that takes them to the next level of web services.
However, there are some big downsides. You aren’t actually able to amend the mobile version of your website when you’re working from a desktop, while SimpleSite’s premium plans are relatively expensive overall compared to other website builders should you want to access more features. While it does have a free plan, the premium options range from $9.99 to $28.95 per month.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.	

I use ExpressionEngine for most of the professional sites I’ve developed over the past 10+ years or so (I think Craft is based off EE, or developed by one of the EE programmers — I forget the details). Started out with that one because it’s easy to create templates and you know exactly what’s going on under the hood. WP was not an option earlier because it was an easily hackable mess. I finally took another look at WP because 1) I’d seen so many complex, well-crafted sites and 2) ExpressionEngine got too pricy for many of my non-profit organization clients. I just wish WP code wasn’t so convoluted — it’s not elegant code, but any means, and there is way too much stuff loaded that doesn’t serve any purpose. I guess I just have to get used to it.
×