Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

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.     
It is preferably more simple, light-weight and is a clutter-free content management system. The flexibility is obviously not great as WordPress. But it is surely an amazing platform if you are willing to forgo the large but complex marketplace of WordPress. Best suited for beginners, bloggers or anyone looking to create a simple, elegant and easy-to-manage website, Ghost can be an awesome alternative for WordPress if you are looking for one!
Amazon is known for being one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, but were you aware that it offers one of the best web services in the world today? Well, Amazon Web Services is a secure cloud services platform that provides computing power and other functionalities to help businesses scale up. Out of all these services, we will be more interested in their hosting services and whether you can start hosting WordPress on AWS.
When we say online business and eCommerce, the first thing that comes to mind is surely Shopify! It is an amazing alternative to WordPress that allows any users to easily create your online shop! It is a simple, secure and stable platform where you can start and grow your business with very less effort. While comparing with other web hosts, it surely does not offer the same level of robustness. However, it is best known for its amazing eCommerce based features more than anything else.
Although Craft CMS is not that famous, it is extensively being used by Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is developer friendly due to its extensive back end features for your application. It does not provide any front-end themes. Unlike WordPress, it does not have a predefined content type and hence it allows the user to set up their own content by making use of 18 different types of fields. It provides user view to the admin console and also enables side by side changes that they can make. The admin can create groups that can help in restricting or enabling different users from accessing some specific features. It supports different environments which can help in creating site locally. It deploys to staging and then to production. The flexible fields can also help in creating perfect interfaces with complete developer control.
You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
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.

Thx for your article Colin 🙂 As u said Joomla is great for an intranet-like web site. I made a lot of knowledge bases and a bunch of intranets with Joomla and since 1.6 version, new ACL Management helped a lot i must say. I found out very lately about WP and i think it’s like going Mac after a long period of Windows struggling (kind of). Anyway there is also a very good database based/self hosted CMS which deserves IMHO some interest: MODx. Not very well known but probably the most flexible CMS when it comes to templating. You literally design your website in Photoshop, export the HTML then put wherever you want some snippets and Boom! Incredible tool. Learning curve is however longer than Drupal, Joomla or WP obviously. WP ecosystem and simplicity out of the box + universality made it the winner. Just a thought 🙂 thx again for sharing.
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.
Wix supplies built-in Google Analytics to monitor your site, and even offers additional apps for individual preferences. If you want, Wix can even design your site for you. The biggest downside of Wix's free version is it doesn't come ad-free, and each page of your site will have a prominent Wix ad. Ad-free is only an option if you pay for the premium version.
Imagine just letting your website sit around for a year without ever editing its content. After a year, the WordPress CMS version is old and probably susceptible to hacking. Most website builders, on the other hand, are silently updated and maintained behind the scenes by the provider. As long as your password is secure, you have almost nothing to fear.	

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.     
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You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.

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.
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.
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.
It also includes hosting, themes as well as apps to help you get your site up and running. Although not as advanced as WordPress blogging platform, the blogging capabilities of BigCommerce is pretty great. It is easy to use and is secure as it is protected by multiple layers of security. Managing and running an efficient and successful online shop is easier and we can say that it is a pretty great alternative to WordPress in this niche!
As the Weebly team states, the idea behind the platform is to make website creation available for everyone — not only programmers. Weebly remains one of the easiest-to-use site-building solutions out there. It delivers great tools for creating straightforward sites that serve specific purposes. Weebly is another hosted solution, which means that it takes care of housing your site and all the technical details related to it.
Hi Michael. Many of the website builders described here are capable to accomplish this. You only need to find a suitable web template. In addition, if you won’t find a perfect template suitable for the options you need, pay attention to the ecommerce website builders. Yes, yes – to them, only you won’t have the options to buy, but instead of the description of the products – the descriptions of the doctors you are talking about. Just to filter and to sort is what ecommerce websites can do very well.
You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
Ghost is another popular open-source CMS, geared more towards creating stylish blogs or online publications (as opposed to complex websites). It comes with versatile features for customizing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from one streamlined interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and produce content on multiple distribution channels (maximizing your readership in the process).

It is preferably more simple, light-weight and is a clutter-free content management system. The flexibility is obviously not great as WordPress. But it is surely an amazing platform if you are willing to forgo the large but complex marketplace of WordPress. Best suited for beginners, bloggers or anyone looking to create a simple, elegant and easy-to-manage website, Ghost can be an awesome alternative for WordPress if you are looking for one!
If Wix does not make to your cut, then Weebly is also an awesome WordPress alternative for you. It is a fully hosted online site builder that enables the users to easily create and build the ideal site. Much like WordPress, Weebly also has a selection of tools built-in that helps with various features. However, where it differs is that while WordPress has a huge range of third-party software and plugins, Weebly is not as competent. However, it does make up for it with the stunning and excellent design structure. The Drag and Drop Page builder makes the process as easy as a breeze.
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.
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:
The company offers strong security features (LetsEncrypt SSL), a variety of domain management tools and unlimited data transfer per month. WordPress comes pre-installed and the company also has its own easy-to-use and beginner-friendly website builder. They don’t have cPanel which is well known in the web developers industry, but DreamHost offers their own admin panel which pretty much does the same as cPanel or Plesk.
Comparatively not so advanced, Squarespace is ideal with the simplest method to build a basic website. Unlike traditional Page Builder, you do not need to sign up for hosting, purchase a domain or go through the extra hassle. Instead, you simply create an account on Squarespace and that’s about it. After answering a few more questions on your preference you end up with a working website in a matter of minutes. While it includes a drag and drop builder that you can use to add and customize the elements of the site, it does not provide much control to the users.
Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
That said, there are some elements that you should pay close attention to when deciding on which free website builder you choose – which is exactly what we do To create this ranking of the best free website builders, we drew upon our extensive research and user testing for each website builder as a whole, and combined this with a specific focus on their free plans, paying close attention to whether or not the builder ticked these boxes:
The blog feature is the most flexible we’ve seen. You can create all sort of layouts and use all the available elements (e.g. galleries, contact forms, video integration, etc) and have blogging features (e.g. tags, categories, comments, etc), excellent for publishing posts. It also boasts an integrated video and audio player (Pro plan only). Check out our direct comparison: Weebly vs WordPress.

Another big name when it comes to eCommerce platforms after Shopify is BigComerce. It is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows the users to set up their own online store and sell their stuff. It is flexible allowing anyone from beginners to experts to use the services and create the ideal platform. Compared to WordPress however, it is not ideal for other types of sites.


GoDaddy Website Builder can act as your hub, the place where your friends and contacts can see your posts, photos, videos and more. With the option to link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube on your website, your visitors can be everywhere you are on the web. Being able to cover multiple platforms gives you the opportunity to reach more people, while creating appropriate content for each of your socials (like posting all of your photos on Instagram, and tweeting about your most recent business venture on Twitter). By centrally locating all the links in one place – your new website – you are giving your website visitors a seamless experience. Linking to your social media in your website gives you an advantage in communicating with your visitors; the more they can connect with you and do so in the forum that’s most comfortable to them, the more they’ll engage with your site, and thus you or your business.
With the promising load time and reliability, what more can you ask for? Price? At $1.98/month and rising to $5.99/month on resubscription, this is also impressive, and much more competitive than some of the more well-known hosts. That’s for shared hosting, which is the basic option. Reseller, VPS and dedicated server hosting is obviously more expensive but is available.
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