It’s 2020 and if you still don’t have a website for your business or brand then it’s time to fix that. Whether you’re a digital marketing guru or a small business owner, you need a website in order to make your digital presence known.
You might be saying yourself, “I don’t know a single thing about programming, how am I supposed to build a website!”
Worry not! A lot of website building platforms today are super simple to use, you don’t need to be an IT expert to create an amazing looking website.
For those who are not afraid of coding, we’ve got a few CMSes that you can sink your teeth into.
Super Easy Platforms
|Platform||What does it offer?||Examples|
|About.me||Simple and fast landing page. Perfect choice for digital business card.||Explore|
|Weebly||Easiest platform. Great for creating first website online. (Read review)||Explore|
|Jimdo||Simple eCommerce focused platform. Limited templates.||Explore|
|WordPress.com||Hands down the best platform for blogging and publishing.||Explore|
|Webnode||Good for creating multilingual website and don't mind showing ads.||Explore|
|Wix||One of the best platform we loved. Top of the class. (Read review)||Explore|
|Squarespace||Plenty of beautiful well-designed templates. (Read review)||Explore|
|Shopify||Online store builder we loved. Start selling on social with ease. (Read review)||Explore|
|Volusion||Leans towards online store management.||Explore|
|Bigcommerce||Comprehensive and easy to use online store builder. (Read review)||Explore|
Expert Level Platforms
|Platform||What does it offer?||Examples|
|Joomla||Advanced CMS platform with powerful tools to built from the ground up.||Explore|
|WordPress.org||Highly customizable CMS with lots of plugins and themes.||Explore|
|Drupal||Open source script and popular among programmers.||Explore|
|PrestaShop||e-Commerce focused CMS for comprehensive digital storefront.||Explore|
|WooCommerce||Unique plugin that turns WordPress into powerful online store easily.||Explore|
|Magento||e-Commerce platform with expansive features but steep learning curve.||Explore|
Mobile App Maker Platforms
|Platform||What does it offer?||Examples|
|AppInstitute||DIY app builder platform for iPhone and Android app.||Explore|
|Swiftic||Mobile app maker with loyalty card features to boost online store.||Explore|
|Shoutem||Create an app faster with the platform. Or, you can hire their team to do it.||Explore|
|AppYourself||User-friendly platform for beginners to app-making.||Explore|
So, are you ready to start building your own website? Here are 16 awesome platforms and 4 app maker to build a website!
10 Super Easy Platforms to Build A Website
Building a website doesn’t have to be a painful experience. With these content management systems (or website building platforms), you won’t have to look at a single line of code when you’re creating your own website.
Whether it’s a simple portfolio page, a digital store for your business, or even just a hobby food blog, as long as you know how to use text processors (i.e. MS Words) or email, you’ll have an awesome site up-and-running in no time.
The best part? A lot of these platforms are super cheap! You can have a personalized domain name and reliable website provider for less than $5 per month.
One of the easiest website builders around, Weebly is great for people who are creating their first website. Using a simple “drag-and-drop” system, you can build beautiful Weebly websites that are relatively quick and painless.
Weebly offers different tiers in terms of pricing but their free account still has a lot to offer, including an unlimited amount of online storage.
Note – You might also want to check out traditional hosting company SiteGround. SiteGround is one of our best business hosting picks. Its basic shared hosting plan comes at slightly lower price, supports Weebly Basics, and offers other user-friendly features (such as one-click SSL installation, free site migration, and cheap malware monitoring).
Shopify is the e-commerce builder equivalent of Wix and Squarespace. In terms of designs and ease of use, Shopify is one the best for setting up your online storefront.
Having all the tools and services ready at their site, Shopify is all about making their platform the 1-stop-shop for online stores and retailers.
Here's how you can start a dropshipping store using Shopify.
WordPress(powers 31.9% of the Internet)has always been a favorite with bloggers for its user-friendly tools and blogger-centric interface that allows for high customizability.
Compare to other website builders, WordPress has a bit of a learning curve but if you take the time to learn the ins-and-outs of its system, you’ll find that WordPress offers plenty control in creating blog website.
Widely regarded as one of the best free website builders, Wix has a lot to offer for businesses and brands that are just starting out and are on a tight budget.
With an impressive catalogue of designs and themes, Wix’s extremely flexible tools let you create websites that are “pixel perfect” and professional.
Learn how to create a Wix website using this step-by-step guide.
Need a fast and simple landing page for yourself? About.me is the perfect choice for creating a digital business card or a hub page that links to all of your online profile sites (such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, etc).
Setting up an about.me page is simple enough. Just claim your name and URL, put in a background picture along with a description and you’re done!
For a more e-commerce focused website builder, you can’t go wrong with Jimdo. Similar to Weebly, Jimdo offers easy-to-use tools that can easily let you create a slick online store within minutes.
You can choose to remain on Jimdo’s free platform (which has no time limitation) but upgrading to their Jimdo Pro and JimdoBusiness offers great all-in-one packages.
Webnode might not stack up to other website builders in terms of features and tools, but in terms of supporting multiple languages, Webnode has them in spades.
With the ability to create multilingual websites for over 20 languages, Webnode’s platform is catered more towards an international audience.
A direct competitor to Wix in beautiful designs, Squarespace is all about building a beautiful website for your brand.
With the tagline “Build It Beautiful”, you can expect plenty of design templates for your site that are, well, beautiful.
Follow the beginner guide on how to use Squarespace to build a website.
Volusion leans more towards the operational side (i.e. inventory management, customer management, etc.) of the web building side of the spectrum.
Similar to Shopify, Volusion provides an all-in-one solution for businesses to create an online store.
The most comprehensive online store builder, Bigcommerce gives you all the tools you’ll need to start a digital store for your business.
Paying for their standard plan gives you access to their feature-rich platform which includes unlimited products, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and a fully functional store.
6 Expert Level Platforms to Create a Website
The expert level platforms are where you can really can technical with building your website. Think of the easy platforms as redecorating an apartment or condominium while using the expert platform is akin to building your own house.
There’s more control to what you can build with these content management system (CMS) but it’ll require you to be familiar with things like HTML, CSS, PHP, and other web programming languages.
Using these platforms can get costly but you’ll be able to create and maintain your site more directly and have better flexibility in terms of adding features.
An award-winning CMS, Joomla is one the most widely used open source web builder with its powerful online applications, ease-of-use software, and flexible extensibility.
With native support for social, networking, and e-commerce features, Joomla’s highly advanced CMS tools mean you can have an amazing looking site, built from the ground up.
If you loved WordPress’s features and tools but wanted to host your site on its own domain name, you can switch to WordPress.org, their CMS focused platform for web building.
A lot of the features are retained on WordPress.org, however, since you’re hosting your own domain, there’s more flexibility in terms of adding extensions and features as you’ll have direct coding access.
Here's how you can start a blog or create a news website using WordPress.
Drupal takes an advanced approach for their CMS by offering a platform that’s tailor-made for programmers and coders.
The open source script is widely popular among programmer as it allows for full control and customization of your site, which means you can create anything from simple blogs to comprehensive discussion boards.
PrestaShop is the solution that most online retailers go for if they are looking to build a comprehensive digital storefront.
The e-commerce focused CMS is a great starter choice for small businesses and entrepreneurs as their robust features and extensive integrations are great for starting out with a simple and evolving it into something more down the line.
5- WordPress + WooCommerce
WooCommerce is unique compared to the other CMSes in that it is essentially a plugin that turns your WordPress website into a powerful online store.
They are often bundled with WordPress as a package by web hosting sites such as Bluehost so that you can have both a powerful web builder and e-commerce platform for your business.
Learn how to build a WooCommerce online store with WordPress.
Magento boasts an expansive feature set and allows customizability for its sites, which makes them the best choice for merchants who have the resources and want to implement the most advanced technology on their web store.
Its robust platform and powerful capabilities are suited for advanced programmers and developers who know how to fully utilize their functions.
4 Mobile App Maker Platforms
Majority of people today are more likely to use their smartphones and tablets to visit your site so it pays to have a website that’s optimized for mobile.
Creating a mobile-optimized HTML5 website can be easily done using apps that can optimize your site for both Android and iOS. No coding experience necessary!
For startups and small businesses, trying to capitalize on the popularity of mobile marketing can be a massive challenge.
AppInstitute provides a simple way for small businesses to create, publish and manage their own iPhone and Android app using a DIY app builder platform, making entering the app market easy for even the least tech-savvy small business owner.
With the easy to use interface, you simply pick a template and mix and match app creator features to make your own app quickly, without writing a single line of code using the intuitive, powerful, app maker.
Formerly known as Como, Swiftic lets you create your very own professional-grade mobile site using their app.
Great for small businesses, the app allows you to create a mobile site that tacked on with plenty of e-commerce features such as loyalty programs and table reservations for restaurants.
Shoutem makes creating a mobile site a fun experience with its polished and easy-to-use app maker.
The basic plan only allows you to create a native HTML5 app, while access to their best features and the ability to create iOS and Android compatible apps are on their Advanced plan.
AppYourself is tailored towards small businesses and entrepreneurs who want a no-frills app that’s easy to use and create.
Their online store features a number of modules and templates that can be used for different industries as well.
Website Building Platforms FAQs
Which website builder should I choose?
It depends on the purpose of your website and what are you looking for.
For website purposes: Weebly and Wix are highly recommended. They are the most innovative company, having the latest trend and industry-specific tools.
For online store: Shopify is the all-around eCommerce builder today. It has everything ready for you. You can expand your sales channel to other platforms.
If you are a DIY person, you can choose self-hosted CMS like WordPress.
Which online store builder do you recommend me?
Although in most of the website builder there is an option to create a store, we still think Shopify is the right one. It's easy to manage your products, customer information, integrates with other sales channels, etc.
Here's how you can create an online store using Shopify.
How much does it cost to make a website?
It's hard to find the actual cost of making a website. It often goes beyond money. Keep in mind that you need time and effort when making a website. If you are a business owner, should you include your monthly expenses as a part of the cost?
But, if you were asking the initial cost, the rough figure involves
1- A domain name (around $10 to $15)
2- Website builder (around $8 to $12) or Web host (i.e. SiteGround – less than $5)
What is the best website builder for SEO?
Website builders like Wix and Weebly offer the convenience to optimize a website for the search engine. However, it's hard to pin down which website builder offers the best SEO service.
Your website will not appear on the 1st page of search results by using the specific website builder.
It doesn't make sense. There are too many variables that go into SEO that will affect the ranking. This may vary from type of websites and the niche you are involving.
Here's the basic how SEO works.
Should I buy a domain name through a domain registrar company or a website builder?
It makes things easier if you are buying a domain name through the website builders. It's easy for you to connect the domain to your website.
Some website builders even offer 1 year free if you sign up with them. Seems like it's the right choice to purchase a domain name together with a website builder.
But, things may look different over the years. The cost of maintaining a domain will be higher (around $20 with a website builder). The price is cheaper if your domain is currently with a domain name registrar company. (GoDaddy or NameCheap – around $10 to $15).
You need to do a bit of work to connect the domain name (from a domain name registrar company) to your website builder. It's just a one-time effort.
Further, it's easier for you to manage the domain name if you are switching to another website builder.
Can I build a website without any design and coding skills?
Yes. All the website builders are having easy to use drag & drop features. This feature empowers you to make a website even if you are not professional.
The first step is to pick a suitable template for your industry. Then you can start editing and populating it with your content.
It's necessary to hire a website designer or developer?
It's up to you to decide. You definitely can outsource web development work or hire a professional to help you in case you are lost in the half-way.
For sure, you need to go through the learning curve of each website builder before getting used to it. Not to worry, most of the website builders offer a comprehensive tutorial.
All website builders offer you a code-free way to building your website. You just need to decide on the theme and start inserting your content. Replace with your logo and favicon and your website is ready to launch.
Can I move my website from a website builder to my own host?
No. Unfortunately, you can't do that.
If you built a website with a website builder, it also brings together several aspects with it. For example. web design, database, hosting and coding language are the things that involve.
It may seem an easy task to just export and import but it's unrealistic. There are lots of proprietary aspects involved. Unless you are using CMS like WordPress, you can move your website to any host you like.
What are the things I should look into when choosing a website building platform?
Each website builder has its unique selling point. This can be either good or bad. Every company wants to be different and offer something unique to capture the market. This results in lots of variation for users to choose from. We highlighted a few key differences that we think are important.
Usability: It involves the user interface, backend management, and website editor. Some are well designed to be user-friendly, some are a bit technical and some are between. Most website builders use a drag and drop interface where you can add the objects to the position you want. Others will need to use a few lines of coding to make it perfect.
Features: You may need to sign up for the free trial to take a look at the features of each website builder. Go back to the initial stage of your website purpose. Think carefully what you want to do with your website. Search for the website builder that offers you the most important feature you are looking for.
Costing: The fee is the least important factor. If the website builder is equipped with the things to make your website surge, it's worth the price.
Finding the perfect platform for your brand can be intimidating, especially if you’re a small business or a solo entrepreneur.
Thankfully, plenty of website builders are easy to learn so you can get started immediately. Once you’re ready to take it to the next level, you can check our free guide that lets you start building awesome things for your brand!