Building your own website can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Several different companies offer easy-to-use tools that help you create the site you’ve always wanted. The good news is that these sites also take care of the heavy work, such as hosting and securing the server where your customer data lives, for you so you can focus on what’s important- your business. Here are three of the biggest competitors that provide super easy website building.
For the Beginner
very easy to use
everything in one place
no credit card required
harder to learn
GoDaddy has been working to develop a solid website builder for some time now.
The result is a website builder that comes bundled with a marketing package. The new avatar, with its modern interface, definitely stands out. The available designs are mobile-optimized, and beginners may find them very easy to use. In addition to all of the marketing tools the website builder bundles together, it’s super easy to create the content you need and your site SEO optimized. Whether it is writing blog posts or email marketing, even a social media content creator is provided, setting GoDaddy apart from the competition.
Price and Offerings
GoDaddy does give you a free option for elementary sites. Unlike other alternatives that only offer a free trial, GoDaddy gives you an option to keep using the builder for free forever. Bear in mind though you will have to display an ad on your pages and have limited functionality. Subsequent plans start at $7 a month, increasing in steps of $5, all the way up to $25. Features are gradually increased and improved upon with the more expensive plans. However, the e-commerce functionality is reserved for the highest tier, at $25 a month. Just keep in mind that these prices are for an annual contract, without any extras, such as domain names, etc.
Getting GoDaddy To Work
One of the GoDaddy website builders’ benefits is the visual editor that works quite well on desktops and even mobile devices. The builder has a centralized dashboard that provides quick links to all of the various functionalities. The visual editor is quite powerful and allows you to see the page exactly as it would appear on the live site. There is no undo function with most web editors, so make sure to review your changes before you finalize them.
If Squarespace is all about high-quality, professional design, the themes available from GoDaddy are clean but a bit harder to use. However, in the end, you should be able to have a combination of columns, images, texts, and composition elements to make your site look the way you want.
Of course, all of the layouts are responsive to screen sizes. It is easy to include or exclude elements to make your site the way you want it. But, where GoDaddy stands out is in its marketing offerings, with most of the essential marketing functions being included. For example, both blogging and automated email marketing are designed to be easy. Additionally, the builder has a premium functionality with its social media content creator – a function that costs extra with other website builders and apps.
In many ways, GoDaddy is not as premium as Squarespace. While there is a free plan, to bring your own domain, you will have to upgrade. Then the features and functionalities for web development are not as cutting edge. For example, there is no app store. You do have the option to add Google Adsense for monetization or widgets for numerous small functionalities like integrating GoFundMe, Yelp, etc. As mentioned previously, for entry-level e-commerce, you can add a PayPal button anywhere. But, if you need an online store, you will need to go with a top-level plan (as with any provider). The problem is that for the price, there are several alternatives with better offerings.
Go Daddy and the Competition
You should use GoDaddy’s website builder if you wanted a very tight integration between domain management, your website, and entry to mid-level marketing functionalities. You may also like the highly simplistic interface in designing a website. With other providers like Weebly, you may still need a robust DNS.
Some people want to go with GoDaddy because they offer telephone support, which has always been stellar! Just keep in mind that you will require a lot more help because GoDaddy can be peculiar and lock several straightforward functions to secure subscriptions and gain long-term business. For example, transferring a domain out of GoDaddy may require a few extra steps that are not industry standard.
If you are looking for the easiest website builder, you should probably go with Weebly. Weebly has been around for years, and they continuously invest in their product, improving it repeatedly. The word small keeps coming up in just about any discussion on Weebly: perhaps Weebly is best suited for a small website with a small online store. This could have a lot to do with their excellent value proposition as well.
Like other website builders, pricing varies based on your required functionality and flexibility. Weebly does offer a free plan, but it will require a domain with Weebly branding. This means your website will take the form Yourname.Weebly.com. A high school online project appears to be the perfect use case.
Personal blogs or businesses that do not want the Weebly branding will need to go with a paid plan, but you don’t have to worry about paying more than elsewhere. For a simple company site, plans start as little as $6 a month. Professional plans that are more suited for a more well-rounded product start at $12 a month. Meanwhile, for e-commerce applications, plans start around $26 a month.
Getting Weebly to Work
Weebly simplifies the process of building a website by providing users with a straightforward drag-and-drop interface. The way things appear in the backend is precisely how the final product will look. The website editor comes across as highly intuitive, even allowing you to work on a mobile device. While you won’t have the theme portfolio out of Squarespace, Weebly can hold its own. For those in the know, you are also provided with a CSS module, allowing you to directly make changes to the template.
On the other hand, if you are new to all this, just know that Weebly was created for beginners and amateurs. There is a lot of handholding everywhere on the platform, plus tips and tricks are emailed to your inbox. While Weebly is cheap and easy, it provides you with a remarkable set of features, including the ability to place custom code at the individual web page level.
Like GoDaddy, Weebly does offer phone support! But, to get phone or chat support, you will have to go with the paid plan. On the free plan, you only have the email support feature. This, of course, adds to a comprehensive knowledge base. Having tried out the product with a good deal of certainty, your question may have to do with something highly personal or particular to your project. Everything that Weebly offers is very well laid out and exceedingly easy to use.
On the outside, almost all website builders are equal. But, depending on your exact needs, certain nuances make some services better than others. For example, Squarespace offers some of the most beautiful, solid designs and is packed with features. However, the flip side is there is a learning curve to making the most of them.
Price and Offerings
Compared to other website builders out there, Squarespace is on the pricier side, with annual plans starting at $12 a month. For this price, you get over 100 professionally designed and manicured templates. This price will go up if you need more features. For instance, if you have advanced e-commerce requirements, you’ll be looking at around $40 a month with an annual plan.
All of the 100 templates offered with the monthly plan are responsive, meaning your site will work well on both phones and desktops. Many times, you can choose a beautifully designed template for your site, but the functionality is lagging. Squarespace makes sure this doesn’t happen. This is why it appeals to resourceful people by offering cutting-edge functionalities like selling on Instagram. Squarespace also makes it easy to sell directly on your site by offering 0% transaction fees with basic and advanced commerce accounts, as well as other functions such as customer accounts, e-commerce analytics, and point of sale.
The best way to understand the technical capability of the software is to use the 14-day free trial Squarespace offers. The solid design capability ensures you can achieve a perfect design with plenty of options in terms of functionality. The free trial lets you make sure the product works for you and is better than other options. If it does, then you can join the ranks of the millions of other subscribers that converted their trials into paid memberships.
While Squarespace has monthly and annual plans, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you opt for an annual subscription. Such plans come with tremendous savings, including a free domain name, an SSL certificate, as well as unlimited bandwidth and storage.
The personal plan is most suitable for setting up a small website, whereas the business plan is aimed at growing businesses. There are other more robust e-commerce plans for established and growing businesses; but, the basic and the advanced commerce plans are nearly two times the price of the personal and the business plans. The benefit of these bigger plans is that they allow you to create dedicated servers with the highest option, including several intricate features like abandoned cart recovery, specialty shipping options, subscriptions, etc.
Getting Squarespace To Work
Like almost every other product on the market, Squarespace gives you a drag and drop website builder. Perhaps because of the additional functionality, the builder is not so straightforward. It’s more like the interface found on WordPress websites, divided among sections. Otherwise, you will find it minimalistic and sleek. At times, this can make it harder to find what you need. But once you get used to working in the interface, you will surely like the quirkiness. Just to be sure, no extra skill set is required to work on your Squarespace masterpiece. All the changes that you are making in the editor get transferred as such to the webpage.
Squarespace & The Competition
Of course, if all you need is a simple website, you may not find it all that friendly. In such cases, a website builder such as Weebly may be more helpful. This is because Squarespace does have a bit more complexity that may be challenging to use at first. However, Squarespace has an excellent offering when it comes to beautiful designs and high-level functionality.
The Squarespace help space is designed as a knowledge base to help yourself.
You should not expect stellar customer service unless the problem can only be resolved at their end (it has to be a very personal, particular problem!). Squarespace does not provide a phone number either (for some real hand-holding, read on our review on Weebly). A lot of Squarespace offerings are highly intuitive and have already been tested for every use case.
Another unique feature of Squarespace is its artificial intelligence option that designs a simple website for you based upon the limited information that you provide up-front. A quick look online will show you that most Squarespace reviews are positive, but there is a consensus that the builder took some time to get used to.
In short, if you are looking for a beautiful design and could suffer through a learning curve, Squarespace should be your choice. If having everything in one place is important, go with GoDaddy. Just remember moving or changing platforms or services would be more complicated because GoDaddy does everything a bit differently. Finally, go with Weebly if you want the simplest solution imaginable. And if you need to make an online store, go with Shopify. The bottom line is that whichever website builder you choose, you want to make sure they have all the features you were looking for to make the website of your dreams!