It seems our business has been targeted by a person named KRISTA PATTERSON—if this is their real name. They are shown to live in the USA.
This person is using our email address to sign us up for a lot of websites which are genuine. We then, of course, we get them emailing us. We have unsubscribed from over 64 sites so far, however; Records of all the emails have been kept in case we can do something about this TROLL. We have also notified some websites that our address has been used fraudulently.
The reason for this post is just in case anyone else has been targeted.
We have no idea who this person is, and why they are doing this. It’s weird!
Until now, I had never used a website builder before…
Having developed websites for a while, I’d rather dive straight into coding HTML, CSS and PHP. And avoid those drag-and-drop functions that website builders have.
I was pretty sceptical.
However, I was positively surprised by the ease-of-use and customization options that some of these website builders have.
Especially for the cost. Unfortunately, I also ended up trying website builders that were just outdated or used sketchy billing strategies (hint: #10).
Website builders vs. hiring a web developer?
A good custom website could easily cost $2000 (on the low end). Making changes could still require a freelance designer and developer to help you continually update your site (additional $$$).
Yet, for only a few dollars each month, some of these website builders below could give you almost everything you’d ever want at less than 1% of the cost.
Not to mention, you can easily login yourself and change copy, upload images, or add new pages within seconds (all without calling for tech support).
Website builders for Who?
Website builders are the perfect solution for individuals or small businesses with low budgets. Just to name few of them:
small business owners
and so on…
Here’s What I Did To Uncover Website Builders:
Unlike many other blogs you might read on this same topic, I really spent some money and signed up with each one – so you’ll be able to see the “test sites” I made.
My goal is to provide a review, by actually going through each product in detail, to help you make the best decision.
Here’s the process I took:
1. I signed up with the top 10 website builders (I paid for them).
I searched on Google until I had a list of 10 most popular website builders on the market.
2. Setup a simple ‘5-minute’ test website.
After signing up with them, I decided to make a quick ‘5-minute’ website on my own domain name, like websitesetup-wix.com and websitesetup-yola.com etc.
3. Monitored each site’s uptime and page load times (1-12 months, ongoing).
Over a period of 1 to 12 months (still ongoing), I monitored my websites uptime and page load times via Pingdom.com. Some of my sites had more than 24 hours of downtime…(!)
4. Uncovered the TRUE cost of each website builder.
Many of these website builders trick you with their low introductory prices, like letting you set up a website for free. But once you want to launch it, you’ll need to pay. That’s why it’s VERY important to check the pricing before you set up a website with them.
This last point is especially important because most website builders will claim to be ‘free’ even though you’re gonna be forced to take out that credit card at some point.
So before we dive into the detailed review of the top ten website builders, here are the gory pricing details. Read why…
Best Website Builders 2019 (Review)
Keep in mind that the usability is the most important factor of a website builder. Second is uptime, third is speed, and the least important factor (for me) is the price.
Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you end up purchasing a SiteBuilder, Site123 or Wix through my referral links in this review. This is how I keep WebsiteSetup.org up and running and there are no extra costs to you at all. Regardless, I only recommend website builders that I’ve personally used and found reliable and simple.
Without further ado, let’s dive into a detailed review of each website builder. Starting with the best, narrowing it down until we reach the ones to avoid.
1. SiteBuilder (www.SiteBuilder.com)
Best “All Around” Website Builder
CONS of SiteBuilder Website Builder
#1. Emails cost extra at $5/monthly through Google’s GSuite. (You’ll notice that this is a pretty common tactic across nearly every website builder on this list.)
#2. E-commerce plans are only available on the most expensive plan. HOWEVER, that plan is currently only priced at $9.22/month. It’s promotional for the first year (about 50% what it usually is), but it’s easily the cheapest e-commerce option available here.
PROS of SiteBuilder Website Builder
#1.SiteBuilder is a very reputable option with over 200,000 users.
#2. With over 1,200 template options, I honestly don’t think you’ll find more design options to pick from.
#3. As mentioned, they boast an awesome (and affordable) e-commerce product to build a fully-functioning online store. Each template is extremely easy to customize as well. Just point, click and adjust.
#4. SiteBuilder gives its users a free domain name for the first year, and not forcing any ads on your site under any plan, either.
#5. My test site saw excellent uptime over the last six months, only going down for about two minutes across two outages. That’s almost as good as it gets over 99.99%.
#6. SiteBuilder’s friendly support rep hopped on our live chat session within seconds. They were helpful throughout, answering my (many) questions with personal detail. They didn’t just link out to a bunch of support docs and force me to manually comb through, looking for a needle in a haystack. Very positive experience!
They are also currently running a massive 50% discount. So if you purchase a 12 or 24-month plan, you’ll not only get a free domain but lock-in a lot of savings, too.
For example, I paid $143.76 for two full years. The $16 domain was free as well.
Just keep in mind that renewal prices will adjust back to the normal rate. That means you’ll often lose the initial discount.
You’ll notice below that pretty much all website builders do this. So try to lock in a longer term, if possible to save the most.
Do I recommend it? YES.
SiteBuilder is at the top of my list.
There are tons and tons and tons of theme options that can be easily modified by dragging and dropping sections.
The current promotions they’re running right now are awesome, too. You get a free domain name for the entire first year. And, the e-commerce plan is significantly less than any other website builder on this list.
All of those reasons, plus near-flawless uptime, make it an excellent place to start.
Very easy to use, professional and reliable website builder (out of 10 I’ve used).
#1. I found customer service to be a little lacking.
For example, I tried asking about how many users they have, how many template options, etc. Yet, they wouldn’t be transparent and answer anything, instead of responding with, “In our webtool support department we do not have access to information concerning how many clients we have.”
Seems more like they just didn’t feel like finding the answer for me.
And when I asked a few other standard questions, they would just give me a link to the answer.
#2. Standard pricing is pretty good, but the bigger plans get really expensive quickly.
For example, the Gold and Professional plans range from $22.80 – 28.80 per month paid annually.
PROS of Site123 Website Builder
#1. Emails are thrown in on three out of four plans. Hooray!
#1. Wix partners with Google’s GSuite to offer email accounts for $5 each. Notice a trend, here?
#2. E-commerce and online stores are only available on more expensive plans, starting at $20/month.
PROS of Wix Website Builder
#1. Wix is legit, hosting more than 100 million users worldwide. There’s a reason so many people use it.
#2. Wix is also an excellent option for e-commerce stores. This includes everything from simple products to even bookings and registration for events.
#3. Wix has one of the biggest libraries of site templates, boasting over 500 “designer-made” options. They’re also good for any level, whether you’re a beginner or pro.
This site builder might just be my favourite. The customization options are almost endless. And you can tweak your site in a matter of seconds.
#4. You can build just about any site imaginable with Wix. That includes typical e-commerce features to handle online payments, but it also includes a customizable music player, video uploads to the media gallery, events with invitations and bookings, even online ordering for restaurants!
#5. I submitted a support ticket with a few questions for their customer service department and received this thorough reply about 12 hours later. Pretty good overall!
#6. Our Wix test site has seen decent uptime over the last nine months at 99.93% (and solid speed at ~600ms).
#7. Wix also offers long-term discounts. The longer you prepay, the less per month it comes out.
I opted for the annual plan and got a free domain in the process, paying just $132.00 for both.
You can also purchase two or even three years plans to save as much as $216!
Do I recommend it? YES.
Yes, I do.
Wix was one of the easiest site builders I used.
There are so many themes to choose from. They’re all well designed, too. The extra features that Wix sites include mean you can basically use it for any purpose, from a simple blog to an advanced restaurant site or e-commerce store.
Plus, the budget-friendly pricing is perfect for even your personal or hobby site. Highly recommended.
#1. Jimdo comes with ONLY 17 themes. Yup, you need to pay $90/year to get access to ONLY 17 themes!
#2. You can easily change the colour and add text or images. Anything more sophisticated than that is difficult. Otherwise, the templates themselves are fairly rigid, making it difficult to make large-scale changes.
#3. If you’d like unlimited eCommerce product options, be prepared to pay $20/month (or $240/year).
PROS of Jimdo Website Builder:
#1. Pricing was advertised as $7.50/month and I paid exactly $90 for one year.
#2. Up-and-running in 30 minutes. Not bad!
#3. Best speed performance. Just take a look at the graph below (fast & stable loading times with over 99.96% uptime)
Do I recommend it?
Yes and no…
The initial design is very clean and neat, making it appear more contemporary than some of the ones we’ve already reviewed here.
I’m even OK with one email account and 15 eCommerce product limitation in the short-term. But it worries me that they only have 17 templates and your customization options are limited to only relatively basic changes.
Great for a one-page-website. Need something bigger? You’d be better off with SiteBuilder.