The Best Website Builders [February 2020]
Building a website has never been easier than in the past couple of years. What before took at least a decent level of coding knowledge and understanding of web design is now a piece of cake. Of course, you will need the right tools and the right platform.
That said, it’s still tough to pick the right platform for you or your business. After all, there are so many options to choose from, and so many things to understand before actually getting started. Here’s a look at the top three best website builders that should help you find out what’s best for your needs.
BigCommerce is a specific website builder, one that prides itself on offering professional solutions and numerous marketing features. Among the most impressive things about the platform is its integration and support of tons of accounting, inventory management, and marketing systems.
This builder shines when it comes to creating mobile-friendly stores, which are essential for virtually any online business nowadays. It’s also SEO-friendly, which is excellent for advertising and keeping up your Google rankings.
Most online entrepreneurs seem to prefer BigCommerce because of its straightforward admin page. That can come in handy to slightly inexperienced website builders and less tech-savvy business owners. The fact that it comes with a drag-and-drop style builder makes it easy to customize everything.
Others, of course, prefer it for its unlimited product attribute customization, a feature that’s unsurprising to see in one of the industry’s leading eCommerce platforms.
The builder also features an HTML/CSS editor. Although it’s already effortless to switch themes without coding knowledge within BigCommerce, this is a nice perk, too. It makes the platform more appealing to experienced builders, as well.
It also doesn’t hurt that BigCommerce has a good selection of quality free themes, not just premium ones.
All in all, BigCommerce provides entrepreneurs with a user-friendly interface, an intuitive website builder, and loads of customization options. It’s also worth pointing out that by using BigCommerce to create your website or shop, you can gain access to an extensive customer database.
One that will make analyzing client trends easy and accurate. That should ultimately help with targeted advertising, developing products that have a higher chance of success, and of course, drawing in the appropriate audience.
Setting Up Your Shop
Setting up a shop using BigCommerce is relatively easy but not the fastest process. You’ll have to take the tour, integrate your products, set up all the payment options, implement security layers, and much more.
Nonetheless, BigCommerce clearly shows its users that the platform is all about maximizing your eCommerce potential, the right way.
There aren’t a lot of negative things to say about BigCommerce as a website builder. However, there are some limitations when it comes to its usefulness. Due to its preferred user group, BigCommerce won’t be ideal for everyone.
For example, BigCommerce, unlike many other builders, doesn’t have a free membership plan. That means that no matter how basic an online store you want to create, you will have to pay. It also doesn’t help that BigCommerce has one of the more expensive entry-level plans either.
Because of this, this website builder is a much more appropriate tool for large companies, corporations, and overall big businesses. Individual sellers, small companies, and anyone else just trying to market a single product should try their luck somewhere else.
It’s also worth pointing out that BigCommerce severely lacks in the store management department. That’s because no app will allow you to manage your store, analyze data, and do other things from a mobile device.
- Unlimited product attributes
- Multi-channel selling
- Great SEO optimization
- Mobile-friendly websites
- Drag-and-drop interface
- No free plan
- Has a learning curve
Preferred User Group
If money’s not an issue, some entrepreneurial experience, and a wide range of products to sell, BigCommerce comes with all the tools necessary to make that happen. It may not be the ideal choice for small online boutiques. However, it can be the perfect solution to give your business a big boost or to make sure you can meet customer demands.
If you’re expanding a bit too fast compared to our projections and expectations, this platform can come in handy.
Shopify offers a bunch of membership plans, including some very cheap entry-level options. While it’s not free by any means, it’s also cheap enough that anyone starting a business can afford to pay.
For the money, Shopify does offer a broad range of features. Its websites are mobile-friendly and can feature any one of over 100 pro themes. The themes are there to simplify the user experience and minimize the load.
An HTML/CSS editor is also available. It’s there for anyone with extensive coding experience that may want to customize their website further of what Shopify already offers. You can play with themes, navigation, interaction, and so on.
What’s also cool is that this platform also gets you access to a dedicated blogging platform. That’s something that larger website builders, or those intended for big business, often lack. Everything about Shopify revolves around SEO and marketing. That means that you can get seamless social media integration, implement product reviews, use email marketing, offer discounts, and much more.
Another great benefit is the unlimited bandwidth and, of course, the free hosting. That makes Shopify considerably cheaper than most of its competition. Website analytics are detailed and easy to access, especially given the intuitive admin area.
Setting Up Shop
As many users will tell you, creating a shop from scratch with Spotify’s platform takes under 20 minutes. As long as you have everything ready, of course. The list includes products that are ready to add, a billing address, and an idea on how you want your website to look.
Given the fact that the initial customization options on Shopify are not exhaustive, you can have your store up and running in minutes after signing up. Also, given all the extra sales options you have available, finishing the store’s customization may take you a while longer.
Although one can’t condemn Shopify for not catering to larger businesses, it’s still not without some disadvantages.
Unlike some other website builders, the Shopify platform is limited in terms of product creation, or parameters. Mainly, it only offers support for size, color, and material. If you need detailed descriptions on your product pages, you might be better off with another platform.
And, even though you can do a lot with offered parameters, there’s no way you can create new ones. Because of this, there’s a chance that Shopify-hosted and created shops can end up looking bland, or too similar to one another.
- Cheap entry-level plan
- Multi-channel selling
- Advanced social media integration
- Impressive inventory system
- Numerous sales features
- Not the best international scalability
- Obligated to use Shopify Payments to avoid transaction fees
Preferred User Group
As you can see, Shopify is a pretty specific website builder. It can be the ideal platform for a scalable e-commerce business. It is an excellent solution for a company that does dropshipping, wants to take on additional payment gateways, wants global presence, and other things of this nature.
The very first thing that defines Wix and its preferred user group is the pricing. Wix offers not only some of the cheapest membership options, but it also has a free plan. Even the free one will allow you to create a functional online store from the ground up.
There’s decent variety within the platform, seeing that it offers at least 100 templates spanning various categories. You can customize these templates to minimize the chance that your store will look like a rip-off of your competitors.
Among the included features, you will find a drag-and-drop website builder, various optimizations to make websites mobile-friendly, as well as tons of helpful features for a growing business. Wix allows you to account for global shipping, tax management, implement photo gallery showcases, and it even has a secure shopping cart.
Wix also offers hosting, which makes it an even cheaper option for beginner entrepreneurs or struggling businesses trying to make a comeback in the online medium. With the help of the HTML5 editor, you can customize virtually anything on your website.
Setting Up Shop
This platform’s philosophy centers on the idea that even a non-technical user should be able to create a functional store from the ground up. Therefore, Wix offers a decent balance of customization, security, and data tracking, as well as visual and navigational variety.
Because of this, Wix probably has the fastest start-to-finish store set-up speed. Both the free and paid versions are faster than the competition. The same applies if you focus on content creation rather than selling.
And, if you opt for one of the more expensive plans, access to the Artificial Intelligence-assisted automatic website builder can speed things up even more.
Perhaps the only real drawback of Wix is that it doesn’t seem to cater well enough to larger businesses. Seeing as it only has two product attributes – color and size – it lacks the versatility one would need when selling complex digital and physical products.
Even the customization options, though easy to use, can seem a bit intimidating at first. Not because they’re rocket science, but mainly because there are so many of them.
That’s interesting as the customization is also one of the main draws of this website builder. But what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Also, keep in mind that switching themes after your store is up and running will require a complete makeover of the website. That’s because you need to reimplement all the small adjustments you’ve made before.
- Free plan available
- No transaction fees
- Multiple payment methods
- Social media integration
- Highly customizable
- No built-in multi-currency support
- Not the best dropshipping support
Preferred User Group
If you’re looking for an easy way to create your online store from scratch and you don’t have money to invest, then Wix is the platform for you. It has plenty of design flexibility, support for content creation, and even caters to those who don’t want to focus on selling products.
A Direct Comparison
Wix is by far the winner in the pricing category. That’s because it caters to small businesses, individual sellers, and less tech-savvy users that are just starting their e-commerce businesses. On the other end of the spectrum, BigCommerce aims at established sellers.
Shopify is perhaps the leader in terms of social media implementation and various sales features. It some affordable membership plans, but nothing that comes close to Wix. Its business model focuses on transaction fees, and a business owner can’t afford to get behind in this section. That’s especially true for those dependent on their international sales, that get paid in various currencies.
BigCommerce is, well, for big businesses and anyone else that wants to market a wide range of products. Due to its unlimited product customization, there’s not a lot you can’t sell using a BigCommerce website.
But, it is a niche builder, just like the others, even though its niche may seem more appealing or lucrative. And, it’s not as mobile-friendly to business owners as it is to customers. That can be a severe drawback for the growing base of active businesses with lots of sales.
Know Where You Are Before You Make Your Decision
All e-commerce platforms, including the biggest ones, will have some beginner-friendly features. Therefore, you can’t decide between them if you don’t know where you stand with your business, budget, and products.
As you can see, all the platforms discussed in this article tend to have their preferred user groups, pros, and cons that need careful weighing on your part. The good news is that between the three of them, there’s almost no type of online store you can’t create and no product you can’t market.