Web Builder Platform Review II
When it comes to website builder platforms, there are dozens of options to choose from. We’ve reviewed Wix, Wordpress and Squarespace, and here we’ll take another look at more widely-used platforms.
With so many great tools on the market, you’ll need to identify your site objective before making the choice. What kind of website are you building? Different website types need different elements, and each platform offers different options. Is your goal to build a very simple site like a brochure website or a portfolio site? Or will your Internet presence serve as an e-commerce home? Are you an information entrepreneur and need a site to house your digital collateral?
These are questions that should be considered, if not answered, before you choose a platform.
Take a look at our continued review of popular platforms — Weebly, Shopify and 1&1 — and determine which platform and its elements will best build your website.
Best WYSIWYG | Apps | Fully Hosted
Like most of its competitors, Weebly has an intuitive user interface and automatically generates mobile-friendly designs The platform offers complimentary stock photos and template options, which can be used as-is or customized.
Weebly also has e-commerce capabilities, though not as robust as other platforms like Shopify (see below). But don’t let this discourage you. Many report success using Weebly for their online shop.
There are also blogging capabilities like post scheduling and categorizing, and a variety of subscription options to choose from, similar to other platforms. Do beware of the advertising link in the footer of the free version.
What Weebly is most hailed for is its app center.
Some examples of these apps include:
- Testimonial slider can add customer testimonials and reviews to your site.
- Team Cards allows you to easily create a page of your organization’s team members.
- Social Media Stream provides a live updated feed of your social media posts.
Weebly helps you add value to your site with a robust app center and the ability to customize your digital presence to best match your needs.
Interested in reviews of other platforms? Read our Web Builder Platform Review I.
Best Ecommerce | Credible | Dynamic
Known as the most popular e-commerce builder platform, Shopify is dynamic and varied and suitable for small and large businesses.
As a fully hosted platform, Shopify provides you with everything you need to create and manage your very own online store for a monthly fee. As reported on their website: “Trusted by over 800,000 businesses worldwide, Shopify handles everything from marketing and payments, to secure checkout and shipping.”
Since it was developed to serve customers with little technical background, the interface is very easily manageable and fun to navigate. With endless templates and apps to choose from, Shopify makes it easy to personalize sites. Another helpful element is the built-in blog.
A standout feature is their abandoned cart order recovery. This feature allows you to track and target abandoned carts with automated emails designed to convert customers after they’ve left the site.
Though Shopify’s price is slightly higher than its competitors’, this hassle-free and credible website builder would certainly be a trusty home to your e-commerce site.
Small Business Focus | Customizable | Intuitive
The website builder 1&1 IONOS is fully-hosted and known for being extremely intuitive. The simple drag-and-drop functionality makes building and personalizing your website quick and easy.
With customer service being paramount, 1&1 was created with small businesses in mind. Create your professional website in a just a few minutes, with the help of a personal consultant if you choose!
Like many of its competitors, it offers hundreds of attractive templates and uses time-tested, simple functionality. A blog feature is built in, as well as a free domain name and branded email addresses.
Every site is automatically mobile-friendly and will display properly on any screen (when you enable the “MyWebsite Mobile” option).
Are you designing a church website? Check out the Best 5 Website Designs for Churches.
The only downside to 1&1 is the limited e-commerce tools. For an online store, we do recommend you look into one of the other dependable platforms we’ve discussed, like Shopify or Wix.
It’s exciting to explore the available platforms that save you from hiring a web developer. Think carefully about the style and type of site you’re creating, and then dive into a couple of the tools and see which ones are intuitive for you.
Don’t settle for a Facebook business page. Build your custom home on the web.
Which website builder have you used? Leave us a comment and give us your review.