Website Creation Software Review
Why Website Creation Software?
The top performers in our review are Weebly, the Gold Award winner; Homestead, the Silver Award winner; and Squarespace, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of the 10 best website creators.
In the past, if you wanted a website built, you'd have to find a friend who knows something about HTML coding. Now, there is no excuse to not create a site. Dozens of companies have stepped up their services and created easy web creators that are targeted to users that may only have enough proficiency to click and drag with a mouse. Web creation software has gone away from the standalone offline programs. It now is meant to be an ongoing service that provides hosting and constant support as part of the site ownership.
How to Create a Website
The best web creation software should be easy enough for new users but also have a substantial amount of tools to cater to those who have a high level of experience. Typically, those using these programs are looking to establish their brand online, whether it's to gain visitors on a popular blog or to have an online storefront for a small or medium business.
As you search for the best paid professional website creators, it's important to find the one that caters to your interests and business goals specifically. As an example, Wix allows you to pick an industry type as you choose the site theme. From there, you still have control of what goes on the page, but it provides an industry-specific background and a host of images that correspond to the type of service you've chosen. The types of sites can be as various as a restaurant, a community page and an art portfolio, among several others.
Almost immediately, you are taken to your determined page, which also works as a preview. The landing page is your direct online storefront. As an addition, there are typically predetermined pages meant for a contact page, a map and an about us description. The majority of the services on our lineup allow you to build unlimited pages. Homestead provides the lowest allotment at 100 pages, which still allows for plenty of space for a blog.
The best web creators come packaged with a blog manager. Many new site creators are looking to give their blogs some credibility by adding professional design and the .com that comes with any paid host. Blogging pages are meant for dynamic content that is prone to continual change, rather than landing pages that remain largely static.
What to Look for in the Best Web Creation Software
When choosing website creation software, look for programs that are intuitive to use and offer a wide range of features, including graphics, image-editing tools, webpage templates, scripting support and helpful documentation. Read more about the criteria Top Ten Reviews used to evaluate the best website creation software below.
Good website creation software also provides you with a library of professional-quality webpage templates that make creating your pages easy. Today's websites need to be visually appealing, so your program should come with a large, built-in library of images, including clip art, animated GIFs, buttons and other images. Good software includes built-in tools you can use to manipulate (resize, crop or compress) images and automatically preview samples of images at various resolutions. This feature will pay off when you need to reduce the image quality so your webpages load more quickly for visitors.
Marketing Your Professional Website
Creating the site is only the first step. You now need to get it in front of the right online audience. Each website creator should have the means to share your site through organic and paid means. The easiest ways to gain instant promotion are through the use of meta tags, advertising credits and social media integration.
Hosting Your New Site
Hosting gives your site a home. The URL will never be seen if the program doesn't actually go online. You should find the application that has great hosting features, like a large number of pages, email addresses and storage. Even these storage plans come in tiers, but you can often find the right web creation service that incorporates every feature into one manageable cost.
Due to its technical nature, website creation software calls for particularly good help and support. Your software should offer a comprehensive user guide and help system. You'll also need tutorials to learn how to create a website; good software products offer website-building tutorials on their websites or directly in the software. Lastly, the manufacturer should offer a customer service email address or telephone number in case you need help on specific topics.
Making a Website: How We Tested, What We Found
Every piece of website software is intended to be user friendly. We took claims of usability and measured them against new site creation. We purchased plans, created a hosting account, along with creating a landing page and testing each interface. For comparison, we used the most popular package, typically the Pro plan for each. In doing so, we had access to far more features than a starter package but were still focused on keeping costs down, which any efficient small business owner would do when they create a website.
While testing, we took a step back from whether we liked the design of one product against another or whether certain editing tools were easy to find. Instead, we graded this website creation software on whether it provided the capabilities to create your site with as few hurdles as possible.
The industry has changed to the point where WYSIWYG editors are commonplace. Every one of the applications utilizes a drag-and-drop format of site creation. We started off every site builder with the hope that a walkthrough would show us how to best make a website as typically these programs are proprietary and unique for every company. Surprisingly, not every program showed us how to use it.
In addition, we valued the website creators that gave us full rein of customization. A small sample of proprietary themes and templates is nice, but we took note of the services that allowed us to import our own theme and edit the HTML for more in-depth customization.
Building a site took the majority of our time, but once it's created, we graded these services on how easy it was to get them established on major search engines. As we created both blogs and business landing pages, we scored the level of search engine optimization (SEO) tools each service provided. We evaluated how easy it was to add meta tags, keywords and titles for each article and page.
Similar Services to Site Creators
Every service in our lineup puts the control in your hands. However, if you have a significant budget to make a great-looking, professional online persona, it might be worth checking out web design companies. These services take the work out of your hands. They run site creation and maintenance. Also, much of the budget goes to marketing your site.
Each website creation application comes with a basic hosting plan that is essential to giving your site a professional domain. However, if unlimited storage and subdomains is your priority, take a look at our hosting comparison. These hosts have a few more options of builders, with an emphasis on WordPress.
The best professional website creators come packaged with a mobile builder. However, if you currently manage a desktop-only site, we recommend you take advantage of converting your site to mobile to reach a wider online audience with a mobile website builder. If you need more information about creating desktop sites, mobile sites or apps, check out our articles on website builders.
Our Verdict & Recommendation on the Best Website Creation Software
The main reason to seek a site builder over a standard online hosting service first is that you're soon to be making a website and you want a specific builder. WordPress is available for every service, but it isn't for everyone. Each of these builders is designed to be the easiest format – drag-and-drop –and most accessible to any users, regardless of experience.
Weebly excels due to its effortless editing on both desktop and mobile sites. Previously, Homestead always developed quality physical web creation software, but it has now brought those features to a great monthly service. Squarespace is one of the best known names in professional website industry, thanks in large part to its sharp interface. While some of these site builders may have an easy learning curve, each platform will bring you closer to getting your brand online.