Ranked: The 3 Best Website Builders in 2019 (Based on Speed, Ease of Use, Support d Extra Features)
The world of website builders has gotten a little more complex nowadays. In the past, many people were using them to rapidly build websites. Today, there has been an explosion on the eCommerce front and many website builders have dived into this business with a vengeance.
Rather than only offer website building tools, website builder today have gone the extra mile and are in many cases able to offer end-to-end support for online businesses. From providing a host of marketing tools to helping with online transaction processing and inventory management, the website builder of today is extremely powerful.
Yet there are always differences between various providers. Some offer low prices but come with higher transaction fees. Some are more user friendly than others. The list goes on. Yet at the end of the day, three brands int eh website builder business have come to our attention time and again.
Our top three website builder for 2019 are no newbies and all come with formidable reputations and features. Before we introduce you to them further, let’s look at how we rate them.
How We Choose the Best Website Builder?
The complexities involved in the ranking top website builders are complicated since so much depends on the needs of individual users. As such we have broken some of the key areas to focus on for ease of reading. However – I urge you to pay close attention in particular to ‘Notable Extras’ as that is the area in which major distinctions are made – and where you might find what you in particular need.
- Speed Speed is the lifeblood of any website, from personal blog to massive online store. It affects so many things that it simply must be one of the key requirements in any host. website builders not only help you create your websites, but also act as your hosting platform – affecting your website speed.
- Ease of Use A tool is only as useful as its ability to be wielded. The most powerful website builder in the world is useless if it isn’t user-friendly enough to be used without too much of a learning curve. Ideally, it should offer mainstream features in website development but be so simple to use that instructions shouldn’t be necessary.
- Mobile SupportThe world has gone mobile and even search engines like Google are placing enhanced focus on mobile-friendliness. Website builders should at the very least be able to offer you the opportunity to make your website mobile friendly.
- eCommerce FeaturesOne of the most important elements of an online store is the ability to process transactions. After all, without them there is no real eCommerce, right? Yet not all transaction processing is equal, and they come at various costs to the site owner.
- Notable ExtrasNot all eCommerce site needs are equal and as such, there are often subtly different features which one offers over another that distinguishes it.
With that, let’s take a look at the top 3 website builders of 2019:
- Huge template collection
- Powerful mobile editor
- Lots of useful extras
- Extensive third-party app availability
"Wix offers users a great way to create professional looking sites without having to know a line of code."
- Wix sites are speedy Among all the website builders I reviewed, Wix has by far the best speed performance among them. True, this may not be your key consideration, but I would suggest otherwise. Once you’ve found a great website builder – you need to be able to host a fast site there. A slow site will ultimately affect your sales somehow or other.
- Powerful mobile editorAs a website builder, Wix has a fantastic drag-and-drop interface but where it really impresses is what it calls its mobile editor. This is an editor that specially lets you modify the mobile version of your site – right down to having it show a different layout compared to the full site. This is very useful and in today’s market is a top-notch selling point for Wix.
- The App Market is very usefulBesides the standard features that it offers, Wix comes with a marketplace that lets you do all the things you might want or need. Add or remove them to give your site various features and you’ll find that you can have a very agile and thriving online business.
- Great marketing capabilities Building your site is only half the problem – how are you going to attract people to it. With SEO Management built into the fabric of Wix, that solves a big part of the problem. SEO is often one of the most difficult aspects of hosting a site that new owners face – and even many veterans. With Wix? Well, just click on their Wix SEO Wix and you’ll be guided through the steps to make it work.
The Downside: Your Site is Stuck with Wix
Given how powerful Wix is, it isn’t surprising that it guards its customers jealously. If you’ve created your site with Wix, you can’t move you business elsewhere easily. Wix doesn’t allow customers to export their websites, so in essence you either start anew or stay with Wix. Read our in-depth Wix review here.
- Amazing marketing tools
- Community support
- Access for third-party apps
- Sell across multiple platforms
"Shopify is one of the best eCommerce site builders in the market today, offering users a scalable way to sell."
When it comes to eCommerce website builders, Shopify is so much more than your average bear. Supporting more than 600,000 merchants today, Shopify offers a broad range of tools that are specially designed with online stores in mind. Its rapid-built technology combined with those tools offer customers a one-stop solution to becoming an eCommerce merchant.
- Great onboarding experienceRather than just let you dive into the site building game blindly, Shopify guides you along right from the beginning. Offering an intelligent site building process which you help along by answering a few questions, it gives you something to work with. Once you’re there, then you can explore all the tools it has to your leisure.
- Wide variety of third-party appsThe Shopify gives you access to many third-party apps that can work with your online store. Although not done by Shopify themselves, they are approved for use on the platform. This means that you can very quickly and easily extend the functionality of your online store. Their apps are comprehensive and cover everything from standard newsletter creators all the way to managing exchanges and/or returns.
- Cross-platform capabilitySelling online through a store you own is one thing, but is it enough? Thanks to Shopify you can sell through multiple channels. From Point-of-Sales all the way to Facebook, reach out to customers like you never have before!
- Combine online with offlineFor those who already sell through brick and mortar stores, Shopify has an option for you to simply extend that business online. Their complete integration capability helps you merge your inventory and control all your sales channels at one – even from the physical store.
The Downside: Too Much Detail
With such power comes a potentially serious drawback. Shopify’s attention to detail can get too overwhelming at times. If you are new at eCommerce this may exceed your capability to manage a simple store to begin with. Read full Shopify review here.
- Checkout on Weebly.com
- Integrated SEO
- Lead capture
- App Marketplace
"Easy to use and a well-rounded product, Weebly offers a potent combination of good features and performance."
Weebly may start off from as low as $5 per month but there’s a small catch. That price doesn’t apply to eCommerce sites. If you want to run an online store you’ll need to buy in to Weebly at one of its higher-priced plans which start at $12 per month.
- Great feature-packed editorWith 35 templates in its stable, you can get started quickly on Weebly. This is an area in which this website builder really shines. The term ‘drag and drop’ is very literal and you can use this to add almost anything to your site. From simple text blocks to complex rich media – everything is there.
- Responsive and totally mobileWith the basic feature being mobile responsiveness of their sites, I say that Weebly has gone far above and beyond in this area. Aside from a mobile editor they have a complete mobile app to benefit its users as well. The app is so powerful that you can virtually build your site from your mobile device.
- Awesome App CentreHere is where the beginners in website builders drop out and champions like Weebly shine. It offers you not just its own features, but the features of a ton of other developers. Extend your site functionality with add-on tools covering a massive eCommerce market. There’s everything from simple analytics to advanced marketing available.
- Bonus extrasWith each Weebly plan comes a free domain but they also offer free plans for basic sites. One standout feature that comes as a result of their App Marketplace is the MarketGoo App which offers you free SEO analysis report on your site – awesome for new site owners.
The Downside: Speed is a Little Wonky
Although Weebly managed a strong A rating overall in our Bitcatcha speed test, we were a litter disturbed that response rates are good for US sites but drop the further away it gets. This coupled by some slight drawbacks in image compression and content caching did drag down our overall score of Weebly. Read our complete Weebly review.
Which Website Builder Should I Go For?
The three website builders I have listed here are what most people would consider the cream of the crop – I certainly do. Yet to ask anyone to pick them in the order I’ve listed is simply asking for trouble, since if you take note, each of them have strong pros and cons in various areas. I highly recommend that you consider your individual needs and then match accordingly. If you do the matching, it is almost impossible to go wrong with one of these.
A last word of advice – many people find it tempting to base their choice on price. While that certainly is a consideration, I strongly recommend you match features with your real needs before considering the price as a factor. Choosing the wrong host because of a price advantage alone can lead to a possible need to move later on – that would be both time consuming and perhaps, pricey.