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Hi, I’m Steve. I try every website builder so you don't have to. I even use my own credit card to pay for them— so you know which ones to avoid.

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Website Builders



Common Questions

  • How is a website builder different from a CMS such as Wordpress?

    How is a website builder different from a CMS such as Wordpress?

    A CMS and a website builder are two different things. Examples of a CMS include Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla.

    A CMS is more powerful than a website builder but has a steeper learning curve— for example, a CMS will typically require you to setup a web host and configure databases.

    Even though I'm a web developer, I still use Squarespace for projects (for example: my band's website. Why? It's just easier. I believe a website builder such as Squarespace or Weebly is suitable for 95% of websites.

    So what about the other 5% of websites? Here's two situations where I think you should consider a CMS:

    1. If you're building a large website. A website builder, for example, is not suitable for making a university's website.
    2. If you're building an unconventional website. Website builders are designed to build conventional websites— you'll want to use a CMS if you're building something unconventional (though realistically, you'll likely have to learn to code or hire someone to code for you if you want something truly unconventional).
  • Can I build a website on a website builder and move it to my own host?

    Can I build a website on a website builder and move it to my own host?

    No. Unfortunately it just doesn't make technical sense. Website builders bring together several technical aspects of web design: web hosting, databases and themes. Bringing these technical aspects together makes it easier for the user but makes it unrealistic to import and export websites. (This is why I'm so critical of companies that acquire website builders and then abandon the website builder— it strands thousands of websites!)

  • Should I use a store builder or a website builder if I plan to sell products?

    Should I use a store builder or a website builder if I plan to sell products?

    I would recommend using a store builder if the purpose of your website is primarily ecommerce. If your website has several purposes— for example you need a blog, photo galleries and also a store— then I would recommend using a website builder. Store builders don't typically have a drag and drop interface.

    If you use a website builder for ecommerce make sure that they support full ecommerce. Some website builders advertise that you can build a store— but really only offer "Pay Now With Paypal" buttons. That's not full ecommerce. Full ecommerce has on-site checkout, email receipt customization and more. You can check my reviews of website builders to find out if they support full ecommerce.

  • Should you hire a web designer or use a website builder?

    Should you hire a web designer or use a website builder?

    I wrote an entire blog post on this :)

  • What do you think of design tools such as Webflow, Webydo and Froont?

    What do you think of design tools such as Webflow, Webydo and Froont?

    Design tools such as Webflow, Webydo and Froont have a steeper learning curve. While they don’t require you to learn how to code, their environments are code-like (similar in complexity to Photoshop). Design tools also don’t include themes— instead they are for users who want to code their own theme from scratch.

    People (such as professional graphic designers) that find website builders too simple or limited may find design tools a good option— but my hunch is most users will find design tools too step of a learning curve.

  • What is the best website builder for SEO?

    What is the best website builder for SEO?

    There isn’t one. And don’t believe website builders that claim to have "great SEO".

    The only thing a website builder can effect is your website's on-site, technical SEO. And on-site technical SEO is generally the same across website builders— the differences tend to be minor.

    In short: the website builder you choose will only have a trivial effect on SEO.

    Instead, focus your SEO strategy on creating great content and a great user experience. Google will reward that.

    If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, I’d recommend reading Moz’s Beginner's Guide to SEO.

"Thanks for taking all the angst out of finding a good website builder. I'll be singing your praises for ages." - Carol

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