John Stevens  — 7 Comments

Website Builder Review Case StudyDo you need a quick and simple website for your personal or business brand at a low cost?

You don’t have time to learn HTML, CSS and PHP?

With a proper website builder, you should be able to create a stunning website in only a matter of minutes.

We made this case-study testing 10 most popular website builders and found that some builders can leave you frustrated and confused without a working website.

Moreover, 2 out of 10 failed hard.

To help you figure out which website builders are worth your hard earned money and which ones aren’t, we’ve spent the past six months testing and reviewing the most popular ones on the market.

But first:

Who Should Use a Website Builder? Is it For You?

Website builders are a fantastic asset when used correctly. Unfortunately, they aren’t right for everyone. That being said, it’s probably right for you if:

  • You need a website/blog for your small business or a personal brand
  • You want to include an online store option
  • You don’t have the time or the budget to design a traditional website
  • You are starting a business and need a simple website NOW
  • You are a photographer, blogger, eCommerce store owner or a freelancer

The Methodology for This Review

Similarly to how we compare web hosting, we’ve done this:

  • ✅Signed up with 10 most popular website builders.
  • ✅Created a small business website and tested their usability and design options.
  • ✅Analysed their reliability by doing speed tests and uptime monitoring (last 6 months)

The current speed and uptime data of website builders can be found here.

Full disclosure: We earn commissions from all of the website builders listed on this site if you end up purchasing through referral links on this page.

 

The 10 Best Website Builders of 2018

Here’s a rundown of 10 most popular website building software/subscription:

1. SiteBuilder.com – Best in Overall, Very User-Friendly

sitebuilder review

Go to SiteBuilder.com

Despite their relatively short tenure in the website builder market, SiteBuilder offers an exceptional service that stood out among the sea of competition.

How User-Friendly is SiteBuilder? 5/5

One of the biggest perks of using SiteBuilder is that their platform is highly intuitive and straightforward.

Whether you are looking to build a beautiful blog, a high-converting eCommerce store, or a professional website to attract new clients, SiteBuilder makes the process easy and pain-free.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 5/5

Sitebuilder website builder design outlook

SiteBuilder comes equipped with an impressive array of features that are sure to appease even the most ardent web design professionals.

Among my favorites are their 1,200+ premium templates, their “Save History” feature, blog builder, and impressive live chat customer support.

Pricing 4/5

SiteBuilder offers three basic packages with three different rates based on the length of your billing period. Here’s how it breaks down:

SiteBuilder Pricing and plans

Pro Plan: $3.84/mo (regularly: $7.68)

In exchange for a (relatively) small chunk of change, SiteBuilder Pro includes free hosting, access to their drag-and-drop website builder, more than 1,200 customizable templates, a free domain name for a year, website statistics, an ad-free site, and ad credits.

  • Monthly: $9.98/mo
  • Yearly: $9.22/mo (billed annually at $110.64)
  • 24 Months: $7.68/mo (billed bi-annually at $184.32)

Premium Plan: $5.99/mo (regularly $11.98)

The only noticeable difference between SiteBuilder ‘Pro’ and ‘Premium’ is priority access to their customer service team. While this might not seem important to some of you, this seemingly small feature can save you thousands of dollars in certain situations (e.g. server crashes during holiday sales).

  • Monthly: $12.98/mo
  • Yearly: $12.29/mo (billed annually at $147.48)
  • 24 Months: $11.98/mo (billed bi-annually at $287.52)

eCommerce Plan$9.22/mo (regularly $18.45)

  • Monthly: $24.98/mo
  • Yearly: $19.98/mo (billed annually at $239.76)
  • 24 Months: $18.45/mo (billed bi-annually at $442.80)

In addition to these basic expenses, SiteBuilder also charges a one-time $16 domain fee for customers who decide to cancel their initial subscription.

Pros and Cons

  • + Free domain for a year and email address included with subscription
  • + Fast Customer Support
  • + Easy-to-use and Intuitive Platform
  • + Exceptional customization and design features
  • + Fast Page Speed (~415ms) & Strong Uptime (>99.99%)

Sitebuilder last 6 month stats

  • Their eCommerce site builder is very expensive (costing almost as much as Shopify)
  • Activating your account can take hours (I didn’t have this problem, but several other reviews pointed out this particular issue)

Conclusion: Highly recommended

SiteBuilder offers a comprehensive and affordable service with an abundance of features that cater to novices and experts alike. If it’s within your budget, SiteBuilder is, without a doubt, the best website builder on the market today.

Visit SiteBuilder.com

Check our test site made with SiteBuilder.com

2. Site123 (www.Site123.com) – Best Budget-Friendly Website Builder

site123 homepage + review

Site123 wasn’t on our radar until just recently. And boy, are we glad they appeared. We’ve been blown away by the overall quality of what they offer. Plus, the prices can’t be beaten. Check it out:

How User-Friendly is Site123? 4/5

Site123 strikes a nice balance for both beginners and experts. Beginners will like that you can customize the look and feel of the site with just a few simple clicks. Re-ordering pages, for example, only requires a slide up or down.

While advanced users, on the other hand, will also appreciate some of the hands-on controls, allowing them to customize pages or the design further than just a color picker.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 4/5

Site123 has hundreds of different templates to choose from. The themes span everything from basic, portfolio sites for photographers, to local restaurants, and fully-fledged online stores. They have an entire help section dedicated just for e-commerce sites.

Site123 usability

Pricing 5/5

Site123 has a lot going for it. But the pricing is probably the cherry on top.

They have a free option. Yes – free! The Premium plan only costs around $129.60 for the year, and includes a domain name, too! Some of the other site builders we’ve reviewed will set you back a lot more than this, and charge extra for a domain. Therefore, it’s an excellent deal.

Site123 Invoice

 

Free Plan$0!

If you’re just looking for a few simple pages online, Site123 has you covered with a completely-free plan. This plan comes loaded with over 500MB of storage, and 1GB for bandwidth. You can also add a subdomain, which would be perfect for those new blog posts.

Premium Plan$10.80 /Month

The Premium option comes in at $10.80 per month, with a free domain name (for a year) thrown in as well.

Upgrading to this option will extend your storage to 10GB and 5GB for bandwidth. It’ll also remove the “Site123” branding (which you’ll definitely want to do for a business-focused site).

The other good news is that you can connect any personal domain name, and set up an e-commerce shop.

Professional Plan$22.80/mo

The Professional plan is exactly what it sounds like:

A professional option for growing a business. It includes 90GB of 45GB of bandwidth. You can connect a domain and they’ll remove Site123 branding.

You’ll also get a lot more advanced features. Those include up to 2500 mailing list messages, up to 500 monthly e-commerce orders, five mailboxes, and even credit card gateways.

Gold Plan$28.80/mo

The Gold plan is the gold standard at Site123.

Not only do you get 270GB of storage and 135GB of bandwidth, but you’ll also get up to 10,000 mailing list messages as well!

Plus, you get an increase in mailboxes to ten, with up to five different languages supported for your international visitors.

And, of course, credit card gateways are thrown in. This is the complete package.

Pros and Cons

  • Emails are included in their three more expensive plans. This is great news because most other website builders charge you extra for them.
  • The actual editor is extremely easy to use. Everything is laid out well and intuitively.
  • + All of their site designs look clean and modern. Virtually no one will be able to tell you’re using a website builder, instead of a custom site.
  • + Site123 made my day by providing live chat. What’s even better – they connected almost instantly and gave me sufficient info.

Site123 customer support

  • Site123 has delivered near-flawless uptime while we’ve been testing, posting a stellar 99.99%. You literally can’t get much better than that.
    Site123 Uptime
    Last month Site123 performance stats
  • – Pricing is extremely affordable for basic sites. That’s the good news!
    The bad news is that it does get more expensive if you want to use their Professional or Gold e-commerce plans to build your empire. Otherwise, you’ll probably run into limitations on the smaller ones.

Site123 Pricing

Visit Site123.com

Here’s my 5-minute test site.

3. Wix.com – Best Easy-to-Use Site Builder

Wix reviewGo to Wix.com

In recent months, Wix’s countless celebrity endorsements and viral YouTube ads have swept across the online marketplace and propelled their company to new heights.

If you are anything like me, this rapid rise in popularity has likely made you more skeptical and left you asking yourself,

Can they actually live up to the hype?“.

After taking their site builder for a spin, I was surprised (and delighted) to find that the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”.

How User-Friendly is Wix? 5/5

Wix is one of the pioneers in the drag-and-drop website builder industry, so it should come as no surprise that they are also one of the most intuitive and user-friendly platforms on the market.

Wix has been refining their site builder for years – a fact that is obvious from the moment that you log in to your account. The site building process is smooth, simple, and incredibly satisfying.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 5/5

wix website builder design and usability

Wix comes armed to the teeth with innovative and highly useful features and design options.

Their platform comes preloaded with over 300 basic themes, a plethora of unique features such as their SEO whiz, image filters, and video templates, and an extensive blog and help center.

Pricing 3/5

Wix isn’t the cheapest, although they offer several pricing packages to help suit any budget and any customer’s needs. Here’s how their plans break down.

wix pricing

Connect Domain: $5/mo

  • Monthly: $7.00/mo
  • Yearly: $5.00/mo (billed annually at $60)
  • 24 Months: $4.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $96)
  • 36 Months: $3.50/mo (billed every three years at $136)

If you are looking for the most budget-friendly, barebones, no-frills website designer, then Wix’s ‘Connect Domain’ package is perfect for you.

Costing only $5/mo for a yearly subscription, this package gives you access to 1 GB of bandwidth, 500 Mb of storage, and the ability to connect a pre-owned domain. (This plan displays Wix brand ads on your website)

Combo Plan: $10/mo

  • Monthly: $14.00/mo
  • Yearly: $10.00/mo (billed annually at $120)
  • 24 Months: $9.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $216)
  • 36 Months: $8.50/mo (billed every three years at $306)

Costing almost twice as much as their most basic plan, Wix ‘Combo Plan’ provides you with a free domain for a year, access to 2 GB of bandwidth, 3 GB of storage, and no Wix ads on your site.

Unlimited Plan: $14.00/mo

  • Monthly: $16.00/mo
  • Yearly: $14.00/mo (billed annually at $168)
  • 24 Months: $11.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $264)
  • 36 Months: $10/mo (billed every three years at $360)

Wix provides their ‘Unlimited’ customers with unlimited bandwidth, 10 Gb of storage, a free domain (or domain connection), ad removal, $300 of ad credit, and several additional apps and integrations.

eCommerce Plan: $17.00/mo

  • Monthly: $20.00/mo
  • Yearly: $17.00/mo (billed annually at $204)
  • 24 Months: $15.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $360)
  • 36 Months: $14/mo (billed every three years at $504)

Although Wix’s eCommerce plan is far from “Budget Friendly”, it offers significant savings over their main competitor, SiteBuilder, and gives their customers access to unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB of storage, and plenty of other exclusive features to keep subscribers happy.

VIP Plan: $25/mo

  • Monthly: $30.00/mo
  • Yearly: $25.00/mo (billed annually at $300)
  • 24 Months: $22.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $528)
  • 36 Months: $20.50/mo (billed every three years at $738)

Wix’s VIP Plan, as the name implies, is the most exclusive and premium plan available through their platform.

It includes everything that is available through their other packages plus priority access to their customer support (both online and over the phone) and a professional website audit.

Pros and Cons

  • + Incredibly crisp site builder and intuitive interface
  • + 300+ Free Templates for Agencies, Freelancers, Businesses, and More
  • + Plenty of plans and packages designed to fit anyone’s needs and budget
  • + Super Reliable with a 99.97% uptime and 466ms average speed
  • + Comprehensive support database and over-the-phone support

Wix last 6 month stats

  • Email accounts aren’t included in your subscription (but they only cost about $5 a pop)
  • No online live chat feature

Conclusion: Recommended

Yes, I do. Wix is regarded as the “Go-To” website builder for good reason. Their abundance of endorsements and celebrity testimonials were no accident and their service is one of the simplest and most effective that I’ve ever seen.

Visit Wix.com

Check our test site made with Wix.com

4. Squarespace.com – A ‘Good’ Website Builder that’s Perfect for Creatives

Go to Squarespace.com

squarespace review

Squarespace has a sophisticated sort of elegance about it that caters to individuals with an eye for design and beauty.

While it isn’t the most intuitive (or budget-friendly) platform on this list, it brings some unique features and perks to the table that make it a welcomed addition to the list.

How User-Friendly is Squarespace? 4/5

Much to my surprise, Squarespace is nowhere near as intuitive and easy to use as some of its less expensive competitors. At times, their platform can feel clunky and confusing and, unlike Wix or SiteBuilder, I found myself growing increasingly frustrated with Squarespace until I’d been using it for half an hour.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 5/5

Squarespace website builder design options

Although you might assume that Squarespace’s handicapped website builder would make the platform all but useless to the experienced web designer, this is far from the truth.

Unlike the other site builders on this list, Squarespace allows their users to change elements of their website’s code directly from the builder. This opens up a whole new level of web design that simply isn’t available on most platforms.

Pricing Plans and Packages: Very Expensive for What You Get 2/5

Squarespace offers two premium packages for both websites and online stores.

SquareSpace pricing

Personal Website:

  • Monthly: $16
  • Yearly: $12/mo (billed annually at $144)

The Squarespace personal website includes an unlimited number of galleries, blogs, and pages, unlimited bandwidth, an SSL certificate, a free custom domain (with a 12-month subscription), and 24/7 live support.

Business Website: 

  • Monthly: $26/mo
  • Yearly: $18/mo (billed annually at $216)

The business website offered by Squarespace includes everything from the personal package plus a fully integrated eCommerce platform with a 3% processing fee, promotional pop-ups, a professional email from Google, $100 in Adwords credit, and a plethora of advanced features and bonuses.

Basic Online Store:

  • Monthly: $30
  • Yearly: $26/mo (billed annually at $312)

Squarespace’s basic online store includes everything from the business website without the transaction fees. It also includes the ability to sell an unlimited number of items and a wide variety of features to help you track, analyze, and optimize your store’s results.

Advanced Online Store:

  • Monthly: $46
  • Yearly: $40/mo (billed annually at $480)

The advanced online store includes everything from the basic online store and a few additional features to increase the power and revenue generating ability of your eCommerce platform. The most important features are the abandoned cart auto recovery, real-time carrier shipping, automatic discounts, and gift cards.

Pros and Cons

  • + The ability to manipulate your website’s code opens up dozens of new opportunities for creating beautiful designs
  • + Squarespace offers the highest quality templates that I’ve ever seen (roughly 40 of them)
  • + Free domain (for 1 year) and privacy settings (with annual purchases)
  • + Reliable: 99.93% uptime and ~991ms load time

SquareSpace last 6 month stats

  • They are very expensive
  • They aren’t ideal for users outside creative industries
  • The platform isn’t user-friendly

Conclusion: Recommended, if you’re a creative artists or need a photo-oriented site

Squarespace is one of the fastest and most reliable website builders that I have ever used and although the site builder was far from user-friendly, my overall experience with their platform was exceptional.

For those of you who run a creative business (like photography or graphic design) and rely heavily on visual content, Squarespace is the ideal website builder for your needs.

Visit Squarespace.com

Our test site made with Squarespace

5. uCraft.com – New Website Builder

Go to uCraft.com

ucraft website builderuCraft, a relatively new player in the website builder industry, has recently begun earning a reputation as an upcoming leader in the marketplace. After taking it for a spin myself, it’s easy to see why.

Although it wasn’t the best site builder I’ve reviewed, uCraft does several things well and, if they continue on their current trajectory they might move up in our list in the coming years.

How User-Friendly is uCraft 5/5

Much like Wix and Sitebuilder, uCraft is very easy to navigate and use. The learning curve is almost nonexistent and even novice users will be able to drag and drop their way to a beautiful new website within minutes.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 3/5

Where uCraft falls short compared to the competition, is in its customization and advanced features. Although the company’s themes are sleek, modern, and highly customizable, uCraft lacks the raw coding power provided by many other site builders on this list.

For most users, uCraft should prove to be sufficient for all of your site building needs. Just note that it lacks the robust customization tools that companies like Squarespace and Wix provide.

Pricing 4/5

ucraft website builder pricing and plans

uCraft Website: $6.41/mo

  • Monthly: $8
  • Yearly: $6.41/mo (billed annually at $77)

Although uCraft’s basic website package is fairly minimalistic in terms of special features and bonuses, it provides customers with everything that they need to get the job done at a very budget-friendly price.

With a uCraft website, you get a custom domain, access to the company’s drag-and-drop builder, a plethora of SEO and design tools, and no uCraft watermark.

uCraft eCommerce: $12.91/mo

  • Monthly: $16
  • Yearly: $12.91 (billed annually at $155)

uCraft’s bottom tier eCommerce plan is surprisingly affordable considering their generous 50 product limit and 0% transaction fee. It includes everything from the website package with the addition of more than 70 payment and shipping options, multi-currency support, real-time tracking, and unlimited storage.

If you wish to upgrade the number of products which you can sell, you can upgrade your product limit to 1,000 with their Pro Package ($375/year) or remove the product limit entirely with their unlimited package ($730 a year)

Pros and Cons

  • + Extremely Affordable (even for eCommerce sites)
  • + High-quality templates
  • + Easy-to-use interface
  • + Abundance of SEO tools and tips

uCraft last 6 month stats

  • Underpowered customization
  • No coding availability
  • Poor page load time (99.67%) and average speed ~976ms

Conclusion: They’re OK, but it wouldn’t be our first pick

For the more budget conscious readers, uCraft provides a perfect balance between affordability and practicality. Although it doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles offered by their more expensive competitors, they more than make up for it with their low price tag and user-friendly platform.

Sadly, we’re let down by their poor loading time and uptime (not very reliable).

Visit uCraft.com

Our test site made with uCraft

6. Weebly.com – An Average Website Builder with an Overblown Reputation

Go to Weebly.com

Weebly website builder review

Weebly has held a long-standing reputation as one of the most popular website builders on the market. After taking their platform for a spin, I was surprised to find out that they simply aren’t up to par with the rest of their competition.

How User-Friendly is Weebly? 5/5

Weebly is actually incredibly simple to use. Within a few minutes, even the most technologically challenged users will find themselves maneuvering through the site builder with ease.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 3/5

Weebly website builder desing

Although Weebly has some great things going for it in terms of price, its intuitive design, and high value per dollar offers, when it comes time to actually build a high-quality website, Weebly falls very short of its competition.

The drag and drop website builder is very limited in its utility and forces you to adhere to their pre-formatted templates strictly.

Pricing 3/5

weebly builder pricing plans

Starter: $8/mo

  • Monthly: $14.00/mo
  • Yearly: $8.00/mo (billed annually at $96)
  • 24 Months: $5.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $120)

Although the quality of Weebly’s site builder is a far cry from that of Wix or SiteBuilder, in their defense, they offer customers an exceptional amount of value in exchange for your money.

Even the most basic Weebly plan includes a free domain (for a year), $100 of Adwords credit, an ad-free site, a free SSL security certificate, and advanced analytics.

For those of you in the eCommerce space, this plan even allows you to sell up to ten products on your site (you are charged a 3% transaction fee).

Weebly Pro: $12/mo

  • Monthly: $18.00/mo
  • Yearly: $12.00/mo (billed annually at $144)
  • 24 Months: $9.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $216)

For those of you in need of a more robust site builder, Weebly Pro offers all of the features included in Weebly Starter with the addition of video backgrounds, HD video and audio, password protection, site search, and the ability to build a membership site with up to 100 individuals.

If you can stomach the 3% transaction fee, you can sell up to 25 products on your Weebly pro website.

Weebly Business: $25.00/mo

  • Monthly: $30.00/mo
  • Yearly: $25.00/mo (billed annually at $300)
  • 24 Months: $21.00/mo (billed bi-annually at $504)

Weebly’s Premium business plan includes everything from the starter and pro packages plus an unlimited number of website members, products, and a 0% transaction fee.

Pros and Cons

  • + Their services are very affordable
  • + The site builder is incredibly user-friendly and simple to use
  • + Their designs are mobile friendly
  • + Creating an online store is very easy
  • + Solid uptime (99.94%) and speed ~863ms

Weebly last 6 month stats

  • Very limited design capacity
  • The drag and drop website builder feels underpowered
  • Creating a scalable eCommerce store will cost ~$25/mo
  • Phone support is only available to customers who have purchased a Pro subscription or higher

Conclusion: Not recommended

While the company has a lot of great things going for it and they do their best to provide as much value as possible to their customers, Weebly’s site builder simply lacks the “Wow” factor that I’ve experienced with many of their competitors.

There’s nothing wrong with Weebly per se, but if you are looking to get the biggest bang for your buck and find the best website builder possible, Weebly simply isn’t it.

Visit Weebly.com

Our test site made with Weebly

7. Jimdo.com – Not Enough Themes to Choose From

Go to Jimdo.com

Jimdo review

Jimdo was, perhaps, the most uneven website builder that I’ve ever reviewed.  Although their platform offers exceptional uptimes and load times, the site builder itself is all but inadequate and its clunky interface and severely limited design options hold Jimdo back from being a great (or even passable) site builder.

How Easy is it to Use 4/5

Jimdo, like many of the other builders on this list, is a very simple and intuitive site builder. With a few clicks of a button and a few taps on your keyboard, you can quickly have website up and running.

Design and Customization 2/5

Jimdo website builder software

With only 17 themes and extremely rigid site builder, Jimdo is possibly the most limited tool on this entire list. Outside from changing colors, adding text, and uploading images, Jimdo makes it difficult (even impossible) to create a unique and well-designed website.

Pricing 4/5

Jimdo pricing in 2018

Jimdo Pro: $7.50/mo

  • Yearly: $7.50/mo (billed annually at $90)
  • 24 Months: $6.87 (billed bi-annually at $165)

A Jimdo Pro subscription will give you access to all of the company’s basic features plus an HTTPS encryption, a free domain for one year, 5 GB of storage, 10 GB of bandwidth, access to Jimdo’s customer support team, an ad-free site, and more.

Jimdo Business: $20/mo

  • Yearly: $20/mo (billed annually at $240)
  • 24 Months: $18.33/mo (billed bi-annually at $440)

Jimdo’s Business package includes everything from the Pro package plus a fully equipped online site, unlimited bandwidth and storage, priority access to customer service, and advanced SEO features.

Pros and Cons

  • + Affordable pricing
  • + Strong uptime (99.97%)

Jimdo last 6 month stats

  • Limited Design Options
  • Only 17 Themes
  • Expensive for eCommerce websites
  • Poor page speed (935ms)

Conclusion: Not recommended

Although Jimdo performed admirably with great uptimes and load times, the lackluster themes and rigid design options make their site builder all but useless for the serious web designer.

Visit Jimdo.com

Our test site made with Jimdo

8. Yola.com – Incredible Performance from a Lackadaisical Site Builder

Go to Yola.com

Yola website builder review

Like Webs.com and Doodlekit, Yola is a seemingly smooth and easy to use site builder that seriously under-delivers on its promises.

How User-Friendly is Yola? 4/5

Yola is a very simple but limited site builder. Although the platform is easy to understand, it became tedious after a few minutes as I encountered several instances. For example the templates I was using were so rigid that I had to completely scrap the website and start fresh with a new template.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features  3/5

Yola website builder inside look

Although Yola has more than 270 themes for their customers to choose from, nearly all of these themes are outdated to the point of incapability. Yola would have been a fantastic site builder if you were building a website back in 2008. However, in the modern world of web design with responsive themes, video backgrounds, and exceptionally complex interfaces, Yola simply cannot compete with any of the major site builders out there.

Pricing 3/5

yola pricing and plans

Yola Bronze: $4.95/mo

  • Monthly: $6.95.00/mo
  • Yearly: $10.00/mo (billed annually at $120)

Yola Bronze provides their customers with unlimited bandwidth, 2GB of storage, unlimited pages, customer support, and private registration.

Yola Silver: $9.95/mo

  • Monthly: $14.95/mo + $10.00 Setup Fee
  • Yearly: $12.99/mo (billed annually at $288)

Yola Silver includes everything from the Bronze package plus premium templates, an advanced website editor, and a mobile ready website. This package also removes all Yola branding from your website for a cleaner more professional appearance.

Yola Gold: $19.95/mo

  • Monthly: $29.95/mo
  • Yearly: $40.00/mo (billed annually at $480)

Yola Gold builds on the silver and bronze packages by including several advanced SEO and keyword optimization tools to help businesses show up on the first page of Google for their respective keywords.

Unlike the other site builders I’ve reviewed so far, Yola does not offer a specific eCommerce package and instead allows users to add an online storefront to any package for an additional $10/month.

Pros and Cons

  • + Affordable
  • + >99.99% Uptime: 0 Outages During 2017 (that’s phenomenal) with ~522ms load time

Yola last 6 month stats

  • Outdated themes and website builder
  • Expensive upsells ($9.95 for one email account)
  • Limited customization options
  • Expensive eCommerce Add-on
  • Slow page load times

Conclusion: Not recommended

Not only was Yola was of the most outdated and aesthetically un-appealing site builders I’ve ever reviewed, their convoluted pricing structure makes it all but impossible for you to find an all-inclusive site builder package at a reasonable rate.

Unless you are looking for a way to waste money on tax-deductible expenses, I cannot recommend Yola to anyone for any reason. They would make a good hosting (not a website builder), though.

Visit Yola.com

Our test site made with Yola

9. Doodlekit.com – Limited, Slow and Out-Dated, Avoid

Go to Doodlekit.comDoodlekit review

Considering that Doodlekit has survived for more than a decade in one of the most competitive and cutthroat industries on the internet, I was surprised to find that most of the feedback I heard about their product was overwhelmingly negative.

I decided to test out their services for myself to see if they’d made any changes in 2017 to improve their user experience and site-building platform.

How User-Friendly is Doodlekit 1/5

Doodlekit is one of the most unusable and unintuitive website builders on the market. Editing the limited number of templates is confusing and convoluted and taking advantage of the advertised features is more trouble than it’s worth. Despite my extensive history with site builders and web design, I found myself confused and frustrated when trying to make even the simplest changes on my Doodlekit website.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 2/5

Doodlekit websit builder looks outdated

Doodlekit comes pre-loaded with about 170 themes. Unfortunately, each of those themes is as ugly and outdated as the next. The website designer is so limited and difficult to use that actually customizing these themes and turning them into a passable website feels like an impossible task.

Pricing 2/5

Doodlekit has three premium subscription tiers in addition to their $0/mo basic website builder. Here’s how everything works out:

Doodlekit pricing and plans in 2018

Doodlekit Simple: $10/mo

  • Monthly: $14.00/mo
  • Yearly: $10.00/mo (billed annually at $120)

Doodlekit’s Simple pricing plan includes everything from their free site builder plus unlimited bandwidth, 3 GB of storage, a free domain for a year, and bulk image uploading.

Doodlekit Business: $24/mo

  • Monthly: $29.00/mo
  • Yearly: $24.00/mo (billed annually at $288)

The Doodlekit Business includes everything from their basic package plus 10 GB of storage, a web form builder, shopping cart, forum, and email forwarding.

Doodlekit Advanced: $40/mo

  • Monthly: $49.00/mo
  • Yearly: $40.00/mo (billed annually at $480)

Doodlekit advanced gives customers access to everything included in the basic and business package with unlimited users, bandwidth, and storage.

Pros and Cons

  • + Relatively affordable pricing
  • + Domain name and email accounts included
  • Good load times (642ms)

DoodleKit last 6 month stats

  • Terrible website builder
  • Awful uptime (99.26%)
  • Outdated themes
  • Unintuitive interface
  • Expensive for eCommerce sites
  • A slow ticket support system

Conclusion: Not recommended

With all of the amazing and versatile website builders on the market, using Doodlekit to build a beautiful new site is about as good of a decision as using a Windows 98 computer to try and play the latest version of Call of Duty. It’s just not going to happen.

Visit Doodlekit.com

Our test site made with Doodlekit

10. Webs.com – Very Poor Website Builder

Go to Webs.com

Webs website builder review
Their website is un-secure (non-https://). Really?

There isn’t much that I can say about webs.com that hasn’t already been said.

The service is slow, unreliable, and frustrating at it’s best and downright useless at their worst.

While they have a semi-intuitive site builder, the rest of the company’s services are so bad that I was encouraged not to even consider reviewing them for the purposes of this guide.

The only reason this website builder is on this list is that there are many (falsely) positive reviews which are circulating on the internet. Therefore I decided to go ahead and review it anyway.

How User-Friendly is Webs.com? 3/5

Webs.com website builder is actually fairly intuitive. The layout is simple and they make it easy to design a website in only a few minutes. Unfortunately, the flexibility that you have when designing the site is fairly limited.

Design, Customization, and Additional Features 2/5

Webs.com website builder behind the scenes

Much like Doodlekit, using webs.com feels like taking a step back in time. Although they have an abundance of themes (500 and counting), they feel amateur, sloppy, and outdated to say the least.

Customization and special features are almost nonexistent and I found it all but impossible to create a passable website

Pricing 3/5

Webs.com pricing and plans in 2018

 

Webs.com Starter: $5.99/mo

  • Monthly: $14.00/mo
  • Yearly: $10.00/mo (billed annually at $120)

With Webs’ most basic paid subscription, you receive a free domain name for a year, unlimited pages, basic statistics, 1GB of storage, and a few other basic features.

Webs.com Business: $12.99/mo

  • Monthly: $16.99/mo + $10.00 Setup Fee
  • Yearly: $12.99/mo (billed annually at $288)

Webs.com business package tries to add some extra incentives into the mix by offering customers 5GB of storage, 20 web-store items, access to premium themes, 3 custom email addresses, and live customer support.

Webs.com Pro: $22.99/mo

  • Monthly: $49.00/mo
  • Yearly: $40.00/mo (billed annually at $480)

Webs most expensive subscription, their “Pro” package, gives customers access to everything mentioned in previous packages plus unlimited storage and web store items, search engine boosters, and access to live phone support.

It is worth noting that all webs.com subscriptions come with a surprise 33% off if you purchase an annual subscription. Note that, after the first twelve months, the prices will renew at the rates listed above.

Pros and Cons

  • + Relatively affordable pricing
  • + Domain name and email accounts included
  • + Surprisingly good speed – 564ms

Webs-com last 6 month stats

  • Very bad uptime – 99.54%
  • Terrible website builder
  • Outdated themes
  • Unintuitive interface
  • Expensive for eCommerce sites
  • A slow ticket support system

Conclusion: Not recommended

Even the most amateur web design enthusiasts will feel underwhelmed and disappointed at webs.com lackluster site builder. Although it might be easy to use, there isn’t very much to use and, even with the introductory discount, their services are steeply overpriced for what they deliver.

Visit Webs.com

Our test site made with Webs.com

 

Conclusion: Which Website Builder Should You Use?

1. SiteBuilder ($3.84* regularly: 7.68/mo) ★★★★★ / SiteBuilder Review
2. Site123 ($10.80/mo) ★★★★★ / Site123 Review
3. Wix ($5.00/mo) ★★★★★ Wix Review

4. Squarespace ($16.00/mo) ★★★★ / SquareSpace Review
5. uCraft $6.41/mo ★★★ / uCraft Review
6. Weebly $8.00/mo (★★★) – Weebly Review
7. Jimdo $7.50/mo (★★) – Jimdo Review
10. Yola $4.95/mo (★★) – Yola Review
9. Doodlekit $10.00/mo () – Doodlekit Review
10. Webs $5.99/mo () – Webs Review

If you are looking for the best all-around website builder for 2018, then SiteBuilder is, without a doubt, the ideal solution for you or your company.

Another option is using the well-known Site123 or Wix – they are simple, easy and reliable, but come with a higher cost.

What service/software have you used? Leave a comment – either good or bad- as long as it’s transparent and sincere:

7 Comments

  1. I’ve recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  2. HI, great article, I have used weebly and they are very low on customization. Great pick on Ucraft, still has more work to do, wix has some problems like: non-responsive layout and page switching on live website is rusty and shows no loader.

    I am wondering why ImXPRS website builder wasn’t included, the designs are really modern when I tried it, also Duda One offers some great options too, but I guess they are more focused on selling it to website design agencies.

    Would love to see your take on them.

  3. I find Wix, Squarespace and so on very restrictive unless you’re ok with a having a website that looks like thousands of others…

    I’ve used and really like Studio because as someone with a web design background I like to make my OWN design from scratch

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