In 2022, it seems like website builders are a dime a dozen. I can’t keep track of all of the new options that keep appearing. However, with 12+ years of experience in the web development world, it only takes a minute to see that some platforms are lacking.
I often have clients ask what the best website builder is, so I figured it was time to jot down the information I share with clients.
First: What to Avoid
Although there are many options available for creating a website, they all have certain limitations. They might make it easy to put together a homepage, but then you’ll quickly find you can’t edit media on the site, you can’t adjust the SEO on the site or worse, the site doesn’t work on a mobile phone. For these reasons and more, I advise clients to avoid the following:
The biggest problem I have with Wix is that you can not control the SEO on your site because you can’t edit the underlying code. Don’t get me wrong, a Wix site can still rank well in Google, but it should be seen as a starting point and not the type of platform you would run a business with.
Weebly has improved a lot over the years, but it’s still not a platform I recommend for business owners. The main reason is that Weebly sites are not as fast as they could be. In addition, Weebly doesn’t give you access to the code which means you can’t make certain customizations. The platform does have some basic e-commerce functionality, but it’s nothing like what you would find with a dedicated e-commerce platform. We often get clients looking to move from Weebly to another platform once the limitations are realized. Here’s a great example of a site we just moved from Weebly: https://www.muddybootbotanicals.com
Like Wix and Weebly, Squarespace is a great place to get started, but it’s not a platform you should run your business with. Squarespace offers its users drag-and-drop functionality, but very limited access to code and stylesheets. In fact, I’ve learned if you want to track your traffic through Google Tag Manager, you have to upgrade your account. Before you know it, you’ll be spending just as much you would have with a more customized platform.
My Go-To: Wordpress
Wordpress is my top pick for the best website builder. It’s what we use to build most of Octiv Digital’s websites.
Why do I love Wordpress? Let me count the ways:
1. It’s free — That’s right, Wordpress is 100% free to use. You can download the software and host it yourself, or you can pay for a hosting plan that includes Wordpress pre-installed.
2. It’s flexible — With Wordpress, you can create any type of website you want. There are hundreds of themes and plugins available to make your site look and function exactly how you want it to.
3. It’s easy to use — One of the reasons Wordpress is so popular is because it’s relatively easy to use, even if you don’t have any coding experience.
4. It’s SEO friendly — Wordpress sites are typically well-optimized for search engines right out of the box. However, there are also plenty of plugins available to further optimize your site.
5. It’s secure — Wordpress is constantly being updated with security patches, which makes it one of the most secure website platforms available.
If you’re looking for a platform that will give you the flexibility and control you need to build a successful website, Wordpress is the way to go.
Below are a handful of recent example sites I have built using Wordpress as the backend software:
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