If you're just starting out in the world of website building, chances are you don't have mad coding skills or tons of money to throw at a web developer to design and maintain your website. You're in luck, however, because there are dozens of DIY website builders available today that make building a beautiful website a fun and easy task.
Here are our four picks for DIY website builders for the technologically challenged, whether you're a photographer, landscaper, or selling homemade artisanal soap.
Wix, which is short for "Windows Installer XML," has more than 35 million users worldwide using it's simple tools that require no coding experience. This website builder allows you to craft your own SEO-savvy website through drag 'n' drop tools and hundreds of templates tailored for specific fields that are completely customizable. With your free Wix membership, you get free hosting and a custom URL, not to mention comprehensive 24/7 support in the Wix Support Center. You can upgrade for more options, like access to Google Analytics and Premium Support, but the free package gives you just about everything you need to get started.
With the tagline "Surprisingly easy," Weebly's platform is similar to Wix with its drag 'n' drop tools, but, unlike Wix, before diving into your website design Weebly starts you off with a planning stage where you organize your information to find a theme that coincides with your goals. Weebly sites are automatically mobile friendly, and you have access to the website code if you want to get your hands dirty with CSS and HTML. One major benefit of Weebly is that they only place a very small ad in the footer of the free website making it the best among other free website builders. Like most free builders, you can upgrade on Weebly for more advanced features for $4-8/month. With 24/7 customer service, that's a small price to pay!
Squarespace is a popular and easy-to-use option that provides step-by-step instructions and extensive styling options for building and launching your website. Although there are a limited number of templates available compared with other DIY website builders, Squarespace templates will make you look like you spent thousands on a website design. Also, sites built using Squarespace are responsive, so you don't have to worry about mobile users struggling to look at your site. You can also expect live chat and 24/7 email support with a guarantee to answer you within one hour. The major hitch with this high-end DIY website builder is that it's only free for 14 days. After that, you have to pack your bags or choose one of their plans that range from $8-24/month.
One website builder that doesn't get much play in the free, DIY website builder scene is Jimdo, which is top dog for setting up an ecommerce site without any hassle. Known for its expensive paid platforms (JimdoPro at $90/year and JimdoBusiness at $240/year), JimdoFree requires zero coding experience, is set up for SEO success and social media compatibility, and offers tools to build a functional website with no pressure to upgrade. The ability to build an online store and set up discount codes and promotions with ease makes this website builder a real standout on the DIY scene. Jimdo has a large community forum available in several languages where you can get answers to questions from Jimdo forum moderators and users.
Each of these DIY website builders offers something different, so be sure to set up a free trial with a few different platforms to see which is going to be best for your own needs. If you're selling something, you might want to try out Jimdo and Wix. If you're a designer with a profile to show off, give Squarespace and Weebly a chance. Whichever platform you choose, you'll be in good hands with stellar customer service options and endless customization - without mortgaging your home.