If you’re building a website for the first time, chances are you’re looking into a website-building service to help you out in the development process. You may have checked out some high-tech options with what seems like endless support and features and poked around at the lower end of the spectrum, where the DIY-focused website builders / content management systems lie for lower costs and a simpler functionality.
For first-timers, though, the simpler options usually end up being more effective for their needs. Since this trend has become so prevalent, we wanted to break down the features and specifications of some of the most popular beginner-friendly platforms on the market today.
Enter Weebly, SimpleSite and Wix: three top options that can still work well for someone with little to no design experience without breaking the bank.
Through our comparisons, we hope you’ll be able to successfully determine which option is right for you.
Weebly is a builder that has no requirements for coding knowledge in order to use it. Like Wix, which is also on this list, Weebly’s site is based on the simplicity of the drag-and-drop function. It offers a free plan, and a couple different options for payment that all feature different levels of storage and data use, increasing respectively.
Easy to get started
Weebly has such a low learning curve that the most basic of users can figure out, which makes it accessible to a wide range of people. The simplicity of it is based on the high activity that takes place behind the scenes, so as not to tie up the site owner. Extra ease of use comes from its visual-focused design that allows you to see your site coming together as you build it.
- Templates: Weebly offers customization through its different templates, which are divided into several different categories. There are also tons of apps in the Weebly App Store that can add more depth to any template.
- Mobile Admin Site: One main feature of Weebly is their mobile administrative site, so you can essentially run things from the palm of your hand.
- Marketing Features: Other features offered by Weebly.com include a built-in SEO guide that can help you improve your site as you set it up, analytics and real-time statistics to track your presence, email marketing options. You even have an option to integrate e-commerce into the site.
SimpleSite’s main offering is its super simple site builder. They offer solutions for the person who doesn’t necessarily want to put a ton of time and effort into creating their site but still want a site that performs well and has a high ROI.
- Design Options: SimpleSite bases their design options on hundreds of templates that can then be further tweaked by changing up things like color and backgrounds. Selecting and confirming a template source isn’t quite as simple as the other two options because it doesn’t feature the same drag-and-drop ease, but it’s still not too complicated.
- Add-Ons: Some great add-ons that help SimpleSite stand out from the others. Options are guest books, photo albums, e-commerce compatibility, video support and music support.
- Price: All these great features come at a completely free price tag. While you can upgrade to a paid plan to get your own domain name and get extra add-ons, most of the things listed above come included in the basic free plan!
Wix.com is one of the newer players in the website management game. This platform has gained major popularity in the publishing market with its interface that’s easy to configure (drag and drop easy) and templates that make design simple.
Wix is a great development tool for the non-developers to create a great, clean, functioning websites quickly and easily. Here are some great key points about this option:
- Customization: Customizing a site is as easy as dragging and dropping features into your site design. The developers clearly thought about their audience when creating this platform, so they’ve intuited some of the features you’re looking for, like ease of use to make a bespoke site that pops.
- Templates: The templates on this site are what makes customization so easy. Their library of templates includes hundreds of options. Every option is fully HTML-responsive and supports HTML-5, which means a quality, responsive design for your users whether they’re browsing on a computer or on mobile. The only caveat? Once you’ve decided on a template for your site, you won’t be able to change it. So, think long and hard before you settle on the one.
- Plugins: Wix.com uses plugins to add cool functions like payment processing, testimonials, and calendars. Wix offers some of its own, but most are third-party plugins developed using Wix’s own development tools, so it’s still built for you.
- Extras: You can add additional functions like marketing automation, invoice management, and SEO development tools.
- Support and Maintenance: Wix offers comprehensive customer support and site maintenance tools. When you need help, they’ve got forums and a help center where you can seek answers. If you need more direct help, you can call or email them. The security is decent due to the ability to utilize HTTPS and the option for SSL security.
- Storage and Bandwidth: The basic Wix plan is free, so it does place some pretty strict limits on upload and site visitor capacity. But with one of their paid plans, you won’t have to worry about stuff like video, audio or traffic limitations.
So which site should you use – Weebly.com, SimpleSite.com, or Wix.com? Well, we’re not here to tell you which site is better. Instead, we’ve highlighted the main features of each option so that you can decide which is the best fit.
Some questions to ask when considering include:
- What kind of site do you want?
- What’s the budget you’re working with?
- What kind of template needs do you have?
- How many people will be accessing the site?
- Do you have security or space requirements?
- Any other key features you need?
Mull over the above questions after reading this review, and you’ll be able to narrow down your site options to find the right website builder for you.