Read part 1 of this series to learn more about
But what if you need to build a complete website from scratch? Is hiring an expensive web designer the only solution?
Fortunately, you can choose from several tools to help build your website. These tools, called site builders, give you a lot of control over the look, layout and content of your website. They effectively replace web designers for a tiny fraction of the cost.
In the last part of this article, we covered a few reasons to use site builders. We also compared five popular site builders — Wix, Weebly, WordPress, Squarespace and Adobe Muse.
In this article, we will look at 5 more site builders and see how they stack up.
Overview of Site Builders
Although there are literally hundreds of site builders around, we’ll focus on more popular alternatives with strong support and easy integration with online stores.
Here are our five options:
There is one thing in common between all five tools on our list: they offer free trials. This takes a lot of guesswork out of the
But to make things easier for you, let’s do a deep dive into each of these five site builders.
Site Builders Compared
There is no
Let’s look at each of our five site builders in more detail.
Drupal is a lot like WordPress — a free,
Drupal is popular with developers thanks to its free,
- Free; you only pay for your hosting costs.
- Thousands of extensions and themes (almost 50,000).
- Can be modified to fit virtually any need.
- Rock solid and stable; won’t crash.
- Difficult to use. You will need external help if you’re not technical.
- Plain vanilla Drupal isn’t very useful. You will need to buy/download extensions.
- No hosting or support.
Best for: businesses with
Ecwid integration: Follow the instructions here to learn how to integrate Ecwid with Drupal.
Here’s a very high profile site using Drupal — Weather.com:
Where Joomla stands out from Drupal is in its
Joomla has the same downsides as Drupal or any other
- Great at handling large amounts of content (1000+ pages).
- Thousands of extensions and themes available.
- Not as customizable as Drupal.
- Hard to use compared to paid alternatives.
- No hosting or support.
Best for: Businesses that expect to host a large number of pages such as media companies.
Ecwid integration: Joomla has an official Ecwid integration that you can find here.
Here’s an example of a
Strikingly isn’t a
As the name implies, these are sites with a single, scrolling page.
Where Strikingly stands out is in its ease of use and beautiful templates. Instead of building a site from scratch, you can quickly click and customize existing templates. This makes getting online incredibly fast and easy.
On the downside, this
If you are an Ecwid seller, you can also consider using a free Ecwid Instant Site instead of a
You can learn more about Ecwid Instant Sites for ecommerce websites here. You can also view inspiring sites built with Ecwid.
- Beautiful templates out of the box.
- Extremely easy to use.
One-pageformat is convenient for many small businesses.
- Extremely limiting format; can’t add pages or change templates.
- Limited templates.
- Need to purchase pro plan to use a custom domain.
Best for: Small businesses that need a placeholder site that links to their online store.
Ecwid integration: The Ecwid app is available in the Strikingly app store. You can access it here.
Here’s an example of a Strikingly site: TribeWanted.com
Duda is the responsive website builder from Duda. It complements DudaMobile, which is Duda’s mobile website builder. This can be confusing for most businesses.
Setting aside naming confusions, Duda offers a simple,
One big strength of Duda over its competitors is that it gives you access to the underlying code. If you know your HTML/CSS, you can customize any template extensively.
- Offers a free option with limited, but usable features.
- Drag and drop builder is easy to use.
- Supports a number of integrations such as OpenTable reservations, Yelp reviews, etc.
- Doesn’t support blogs.
- Can’t change web hosts.
- Some stability issues.
- Limited templates.
Best for: Small businesses who want a quick and cheap site for establishing a web presence.
Ecwid integration: Duda supports Ecwid out of the box.
Here’s an example of a site built on a Duda template: ChefAdoni.com.
Weld is a relatively new player among site builders. Weld helps you build any kind of site with its flexible,
Weld’s ease of use and flexibility are its two biggest strengths. The site builder uses smart objects and content blocks to help you create interactive, dynamic websites. You aren’t limited by the number of pages or
On the downside, Weld’s
- Highly customizable templates.
- Drag and drop smart objects and content blocks.
- Free to use.
Pre-builttemplates are somewhat basic.
- Little documentation or support.
- Need customization to get the most out of Weld.
Best for: Businesses who want a free site builder and are willing to figure things out on their own.
Ecwid integration: You can add Ecwid to your Weld site using the Ecwid app in the Weld library.
Here’s an example of a site built on Weld: Framtidskoll.nu.
If you want a simple
In other words, choose the tool that helps you build the site you want to build. Figure out your needs, then use the guidelines above to pick the right site builder. Once you’re done, use the