How to Make a Website With Web Builder

in 2018


  • make website builder teaser-image-1
  • make website builder teaser-image-2
  • make website builder teaser-image-3

by and FirstSiteGuide team (Last updated: April 03, 2018)

GeoCities was one of the first more modern site builders that didn’t require any technical skills. Five years after its launch in 1994 Yahoo! purchased it for $3.6 billion

Are you looking for the all in one simple solution to building your website? If so, then a website builder might be just what you are looking for. Unlike CMS platforms that have to be installed and configured on your web hosting account, website builders allow you to to create static websites, blogs, and e-commerce stores with ease in one place. Many give you drag and drop functionality, hundreds of designs to choose from, and host your website for you. Plus, you’ll have access to support to help you with developing and maintaining your website.

The downside of website builders is that once you pick your builder and make a website, you cannot take what you created and move somewhere else. Your website is designed and made to be hosted only on this platform, and web builders have that described in their Terms of use. So it’s important to pick the right one.

In this guide, we’re going to look at how you can build your website using three of the most popular website builders:

Creating a website with Wix

Wix Site

In this day and age, saying your business doesn’t need a website is like saying you don’t need oxygen to survive.

Wix is a website builder that can be used to create stunning and professional websites. It features a user-friendly Drag n’ Drop Editor and can be used by anyone without any knowledge of coding.

Costs

Wix offers free accounts, and you can sign up to test their tools without paying a penny. Of course, you are not going to get your website on a custom domain for free. Your website name will look like this, yourwebsite.wix.com, but they give you the perfect opportunity to play around with what they have and decide if you like it or not.

Once you create your website and you’re happy with what you have, you can upgrade to one of the plans and set the custom domain for your site. Wix offers five different plans:

Wix was founded in 2006 by Israelis Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with offices in Be’er—Sheva, San Francisco, New York City, Dnipro, Kiev, and Vilnius
Contain domain Most basic $4.08/month
Combo For personal use $9.25/month
Unlimited For entrepreneurs $12.42/mont
eCommerce For entrepreneurs $12.42/month
VIP Priority support $24.92/month

The benefits

Today Wix is a world class website building platform with over 110 million users in 190 countries

The platform is all about giving users the freedom they need to design their sites however they want. They’ve introduced praise-worthy features over the years; the following ones command your attention:

Templates. Wix offers over 280 beautiful templates in different industries and categories to choose from. You’ll find everything from baking to finance to law. These pre-made templates give users the overall structure and guidance they desire. Take your time in deciding as you can’t switch from one template to another. This shortcoming aside, templates feature a wide array of tools and useful applications.

Customizable add-ons. The Wix app market has dozens of add-ons to set up your website in the perfect manner. As a result, you can engage customers with live chat, social interaction, coupons, surveys, or even sell them items using eCommerce features such as shopping cart and payment gateway. Wix offers instructions on how to integrate these apps into your site and one-click installation.

Wix is used by 0.8% of all the websites whose content management system is known. This makes 0.4% of total number of websites globally

Drag & Drop Editor. If you’re new to website building, being able to position elements exactly where you want them to be, without having to know coding basics, is amazing. This is made possible by the Drag & Drop Editor. It also works as a prop for advanced users who are trying to refresh the design of their site.

Customer support. Wix offers a user-friendly interface, and most of the elements and features are accompanied by additional details and practical advice. In case users run into issues, they can take help from the forum or Support Center. There are FAQs, video tutorials, and the option to contact the most relevant department. The customer service team answers queries within 24 hours.

Using Wix and setting up your website

Physical locations of businesses using Wix
Locations of businesses using Wix

Read Wix web builder review.

View Wix overview video.

After you sign up, you can choose a template for your site. Click on the ‘Edit’ button to launch the Drag and Drop Editor. You can edit anything in the template, including images and text.

A great feature of Wix is that you can save the work in progress while modifying the template. This saves you from the hassle of starting from scratch in case you get disconnected from the internet, or you have to work in intervals. And at any point in the customization process, you can see the site in your web browser, so you can preview exactly how it will appear once live.

To make additional website customizations use the menu on the left side, which includes:

  • Pages — here you can add pages by clicking ‘Add page’. You can open ‘Page Settings’ to change the name of the page and its URL. Enter SEO details to help search engines find your pages.
  • Design — customize your background, colors, and fonts
  • Add — here you can change the background of different elements, and select a particular color palette. With ‘Add’ option you can add a text, image, gallery, media, buttons & menus, and more
  • App manage — here you can integrate several features into your sites such as a contact form, Google Maps, PayPal, and Flickr Gallery.
  • Setting — here you can connect a domain name, update SEO settings to make your site visible in search engines, add social profiles, and setup Google Analytics account to keep track of the stats
The number of registered Wix users grows 24% every year. The number of the paid Wix accounts grows 35% a year

In the default plan, your site will be online on a domain address that starts with wix.com, but you can upgrade your account to get your free domain and remove all Wix advertisements. Once you’ve done that, you can utilize Wix-powered email for your domain. To set up your email, go to My Account – > Mailboxes. The email system relies on the Google Apps framework, so you’ll need a Wix plan that includes a custom domain.

Note: Wix has everything tested by its private development team to ensure seamless functions. It is one of the easiest website builders to use. All you have to do is place different elements on your site exactly how you want them to appear to your site visitors. As a result, you enjoy the benefit of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) when you create a website with Wix.

Creating a website with Weebly

Starting and Creating Weebly

Weebly was founded in 2006. For the past nine years, it has continued to grow, month after month, to become one of the top website building platforms in the world. While some people have web design experience, others don’t know the first thing about getting started. And this is where Weebly comes into play.

Weebly is built on the premise that anybody can create a website. It doesn’t matter if you are creating a personal blog, an online store, or a website for your small business, this platform allows you to do so with ease.

Costs

You are probably wondering how much it costs. If you only need to test the tool, you can opt for the free version. This gives you unlimited features, free of cost. You will also get access to a fully integrated eCommerce platform in addition to all the features. Here are four plan options that they offer:

David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri co-founded Weebly in 2006 while attending Pennsylvania State University. The project came together as a result of Penn State’s requirement that all students create a Web portfolio; the trio created software that made it easy for anyone to build a personal website
Free $0 / month
Starter $4 / month
Pro $8 / month
Business $25 / month
Since its days as a class project at Penn State, the Weebly platform has grown to become a reported $455 million company which employs some 300 people

Using Weebly and setting up your website

Read Weebly web builder review.

Step 1

67% of Weebly users started because they either wanted to conduct business online, or grow their existing businesses to get more customers

Getting started and signing up. You can do this for free via the Weebly website. All it takes is your full name, email address, and password. Once you enter your information, you are taken to the next page with the Add site button. It is here that you are asked one fundamental question. “What’s the Focus of Your Site?”

You have three options: Site, Blog, or Store

Before making a decision, think carefully about the information your website will provide as well as your target market. A small business that doesn’t sell anything online may opt for the “site” option. If you are starting a blog, the “blog” prompt is your choice. And if you plan on selling a product online, choose “store.’

Step 2

Choosing your theme. This step shows why it is so important to make the right decision when selecting a focus. At this point, you are provided with themes based on your site’s purpose.

Weebly powers more than 40 million websites. It is equivalent to 2% of all websites that are currently live

For example, if you choose “site,” there are hundreds to choose from, so you shouldn’t be in a rush to make a decision. Instead, check out each one, including the layout and features, to decide which is best for your website.

Tips. Weebly makes it simple to change your theme at a later date, so don’t slave over this for too long. There are more decisions to be made. It is also the aspect where Weebly shines over competitor website builders such as Wix.

Top Website Categories
Website categories where Weebly is being used
Business & Industry
18.63%
Arts & Entertainment
11.46%
Career & Education
6.45%
Career & Education
> Education
5.28%
Other
58.18%

Step 3

Choosing your website domain. Once you select a theme and before you start adding content, choosing colors, and moving things around, you will have to set you site name.

Your options include the following:

  • Use a subdomain of Weebly.com (free).
  • Register a new domain.
  • Connect a domain you already own.

We recommend going with the free version to start with and add your custom domain name down the road if you are happy with what this tool has to offer.

Customizing and designing your website

Weebly offers over 100 page design templates and multimedia features such as photo galleries, slideshows, integrated maps, video and audio. Site members can alter the appearance of their Weebly – hosted website by dragging and dropping widgets into different places on the Web page. Content can be managed through the Weebly website, or with Weebly’s iPhone app, available on the App Store

Now it’s time to dig around the dashboard and customize your site as you see fit. Just the same as any content management system (CMS), Weebly has a dashboard from which you can do anything and everything. Your dashboard will have these admin options:

The left sidebar is your jumping off point. It is here where you will find the ability to drag and drop components from these categories: Basic, Structure, Media, Commerce, and More.

The top navigation bar provides you with even more options. In addition to the building, which displays the left sidebar, you can click on: Design, Pages, Store, and Settings.

Note: With four distinct packages, a boatload of high-end features, and a simple to use the platform, it is evident why Weebly is trusted by tens of millions of site owners. Their Help Center offers a broad range of support in the form of email, chat, videos, webcasts, and guides.

Creating a website with Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is one of the most popular all-purpose website builders in the marketplace – and it has only improved since the introduction of Squarespace 7. It is a hosted solution, which means it is easy to setup and customize a fully functional website without getting too involved in how the hosting works.

Costs

Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, but there’s a 14-day risk-free trial. Users can sign up for to test their website before making a decision. Beyond that, there are three packages:

Standard $10 / month or $96 / year
Unlimited $20 / month or $192 / year
Business $30 / month or $288 / year

For existing domain names, you have to configure your domain with Squarespace. This involves editing your DNS records and pointing them to Squarespace servers (Squarespace offers a video highlighting major registrars). The customer support department assists users who run into problems while integrating existing domains with the Squarespace platform.

Squarespace was founded in 2003 in Anthony’s dorm room at the University of Maryland and it has grown to a team of more than 720 talented individuals

The benefits

Squarespace has no shortage of power regarding the following:

Since its launch, millions of websites have been created on the Squarespace platform

Templates. Squarespace provides minimalistic and highly professional templates that command user attention. There’s ample variety. Some are detailed; some are sparse, some are eCommerce oriented, some are designed to work as an online portfolio – so you can choose the type depending on the nature of your business. Apart from being sleek and minimal, each template is mobile-friendly and responsive.

Style editor. The style editor makes it easy for users to customize their website without modifying the CSS code. There are options to adjust background images, colors, the width of sidebar, spacing, and padding, the opacity of pages, and typography. Also, there is a CSS editor for users who are familiar with coding.

Marketing & SEO. Squarespace has effective SEO and marketing features. Users can edit meta descriptions, URLs, page titles; and XML sitemaps + HTML code is already included. There’s also social integration for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Squarespace is used by 1.5% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 0.7% of the total number of websites

Commerce. Squarespace enables you to create an online store to sell products and services. The Commerce feature supports different product variants including weight, color, and size. Advanced eCommerce features such as express checkout, integrated account functions, label printing and carrier shipping are included in the paid package. Users can receive payments via Stripe.

Customer support. Squarespace offers free 24/7 live chat and telephone support. The company also boasts instructional documentation, video tutorials, and even an active forum; that’s the place where you can get your questions answered. The customer care team consists of experienced users, and nothing is ever outsourced.

Popular websites that use Squarespace
Squarespace

Using Squarespace and setting up your website

Read Squarespace web builder review.

View Squarespace overview video.

Step 1

Visit Squarespace, select ‘Get Started,’ and pick one of the templates. You can choose a different template later if your initial selection doesn’t suit your business needs. After selecting the template, click ‘Start With This Design,’ and enter your credentials.

Step 2

Next, you will see a Welcome message, and you will have to select the site purpose with the following options: Business, Personal, eCommerce, and Non-profit. Then you will have to fill in Site title and depending on the site purpose you choose maybe include your business information.

Customizing and designing your website

Once you complete the signup process, you will be redirected to the site admin area. Inside the admin panel, you will see left side menu bar and in the middle the website layout you are working on. You can point at your site and see some of the basic admin functions available to you right on the website itself. However, the most customization work will be done on the left side menu bar, which includes the following items:

Squarespace allows you to see your visitor traffic and behaviour in real time, meaning you can actually ascertain what keywords your visitors use to land on your site and you can also see from where they are coming
  • Pages tab lets you create new pages for a blog, site, and online store in the main navigation menu. Content is added to the page blocks, and different blocks can be created for various types of content.
  • Design tab lets you customize the appearance of your site, create a unique look to match your existing brand. It includes logo and title changes, switching the template, and making style changes.
  • Commerce tab lets you add products, pricing, and an on-sale tag. There’s also an option to put additional information about the product (physical or digital). Also, select a carrier and connect a payment account.
  • Metrics tab lets you check a comprehensive overview of visitor interaction on your website and helps you track recent traffic statistics. Activity in Metrics refreshes with new data about every 90 minutes.
  • Comments tab lets you interact with your visitors and build a community. In Comment Settings, you can control how comments are posted, approved, replied to, and more.
  • Settings tab lets you manage multiple tasks such as: change basic information of your site, that includes site style and description, connect a custom domain name, email account, social media profiles. Also, you can modify blogging and SEO settings.
  • Help tab speaks for itself. Here you can find answers to any questions you have in the form of in-depth articles, videos, and workshops to help you get started or finish.
Squarepace integrates with all of the important social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and more. Post statuses update automatically and you can publish galleries to your Facebook page directly, and even integrate Google+ authorship

Note: Squarespace offers multiple plans, and you will have access to professional templates, drag and drop editor, or 24/7 customer support that they offer. So the value of setting up a Squarespace website is compelling once you weigh in the benefits you get from the platform.

Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed our introduction to the modern website builders that are available for you to create your static website, blog, or eCommerce website.