Best Website Builders UK august 2016

Hosting Prices form Features Free trial Our Score
  • 9.99
  • 6.90
  • Stunning New Templates
  • New Apps
  • Mobile Optimized
  • Easy Drag n’ Drop
9.9
  • 10.90
  • 7.95
  • Free Domain
  • 1000s Free Templates
  • Free Email
  • Drag & Drop Editor
9.9
  • 11.60
  • 7.95
  • Free Domain Name
  • SEO Tools Included Free
  • Free Business Email
  • Easy eCommerce Integration
9.8
  • 10.99
  • 7.79
  • 100's of Templates
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Custom Domains
  • Reliable Hosting
9.7
  • 5.50
  • 2.75
  • Free Domain Name
  • Free Email Address
  • Free Marketing Tools
  • Drag & Drop Site Builder
9.7
  • 9.20
  • 6.99
  • Beautiful Themes
  • Easy Editing
  • Powerful Stats
  • Hosting
9.6
  • 12.99
  • 5.99
  • Custom Domain Names
  • Email Addresses
  • Cloud Hosting
  • Drag & Drop Builder
9.5
  • 250
  • 200
  • Free Domain
  • Free Email
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • 1000s Free Templates
9.5
  • 11.20
  • 9.95
  • Free domain
  • Websites
  • DNS management
  • Database backup/restore
9.4
  • 16.00
  • 12.00
  • Templates
  • Customization
  • Hosting
  • Social
9.4
  • 9.95
  • 0.99
  • Domains
  • eCommerce
  • Online Marketing
  • Hosting
9.3
  • 3.98
  • 2.99
  • FREE Domain Name
  • FREE Email Address
  • FREE Website Builder
  • Unlimited Domains
9.2
  • 599
  • 299
  • Free Domain
  • Secure Hosting
  • Free Email
  • Ecommerce
9.1
  • 13.99
  • 10.45
  • 1000s Free Templates
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Free Domain
  • Free Email
9.1
  • 12.95
  • 1.99
  • Core Features
  • Designing & Building Tools
  • Hosting Utilities & Settings
  • Marketing Your Website
9.0
  • 8.95
  • 6.95
  • Mobile, Facebook, and Web Publishing
  • Domain Name
  • Online Store
  • Business Tools
8.9
  • 5.98
  • 2.99
  • Free Domain
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • $100 Free Advertising Credits
8.9
  • 10.99
  • 7.95
  • WordPress Hosting - INCLUDED
  • Domain Name - INCLUDED
  • Nightly Backups - INCLUDED
  • Theme Setup - INCLUDED
8.8
  • 4.20
  • 1.00
  • Personal / Blog
  • Business
  • Templates
  • Excellent Customer Service
8.7
  • 31.33
  • 29
  • 100+ professional themes
  • Edit HTML and CSS
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • Brand and customize your online store
8.6
  • 11.66
  • 8.99
  • FREE Domain
  • FREE Website Builders
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Support
8.5
  • 14.00
  • 8.00
  • App Center
  • Domains
  • Statistics
  • Hosting
8.5
  • 10.00
  • 8.00
  • Domain Names
  • Simple Blog
  • Analytics
  • Sign Up & Contact Forms
8.4
  • 32.99
  • 29.95
  • Design & set up
  • Host securely
  • Drive traffic
  • Convert visitors
8.3
  • 5.99
  • 2.99
  • Blog, website, or both
  • Plans for any budget
  • Custom domains
  • Hundreds of themes
8.2
  • 7.99
  • 2.95
  • Modules
  • Themes
  • Documentation
  • Forums & Issues
8.1
  • 8.99
  • 6.21
  • Artist
  • Hosting
  • Wedding
  • Personal Website
8.0
  • 13.99
  • 9.95
  • Photography
  • Professionals
  • Cover pages
  • Weddings & Events
7.9
  • 9.95
  • 5.95
  • FREE Domain Name
  • Powerful Website Builder
  • Stock Image Library
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
7.8
  • 15.99
  • 9.99
  • Mobile Features
  • Responsive Features
  • Reseller Features
  • inSite Features
7.7
  • 7.99
  • 4.89
  • SSD Hosting
  • Shared cPanel Hosting
  • eCommerce Hosting
  • SSH Hosting
7.6
  • 7.89
  • 5.56
  • Shared Hosting
  • Managed Server
  • 24/7/365 Support
  • Windows Hosting
7.5
  • 5.99
  • 3.95
  • UNLIMITED GBs Hosting Space
  • UNLIMITED Data Transfer
  • UNLIMITED Domain Hosting
  • UNLIMITED Email Accounts
7.4


What Is A Website Builder?

Looking for the best website builders UK or otherwise? Then you’ve come to the right place. In the early days of the internet, if you were going to launch a website you would have know how to code the site yourself or hire somebody else to do it. This is because behind every webpage is a complicated language like html or php that drives it. From the position of text and images, to the links and more complicated features, every aspect of a page has to be crafted almost like a mathematical equation.

Fortunately as time went on tools and programs emerged that made this easier. Today there are full blown website builders that require very little (if any) backend knowledge. As long as you can click buttons and follow prompts, you can build a professional, secure and unique looking website yourself with all the support you need.

Types of Website Builder

There are many different types of website builder out there, and the one you choose depends on your individual needs. Will you be adding a lot of content daily or will it be more of a static website? Do you need advanced features or is it mainly just going to be text? These are some of the questions you will have to ask yourself if you plan to build the site yourself. Here are some of the types of best website builders available:

Free Website Builder

You can find many website builders and tools for free by doing a search. Some of these may be downloadable programs or apps that you operate from your computer or device, while many are based online which you access through a web browser. Leading services like WIX require you to register an account, and while the basic tools are free you have to pay to access premium tools and to use what you’ve created on your own domain. Other services like Weebly are technically free but only when you buy a hosting package.

One of the most popular free website builders is WordPress. Don’t be fooled in to thinking it is just a blogging platform, WordPress is a powerful content management system that can build any type of website. You can use their own free hosting platform with some limitations or download the system and install it on your own server or hosting plan.

Paid Website Builders

While some free options do the trick and WordPress is as powerful as they come, paid website builders tend to offer all the features you could need without throwing you in the deep end. Squarespace for example has one of the easiest to use but most advanced platforms out there, and you get hosting, 24/7 support, and a custom domain – an all in one package.

Most premium website builders are offered on a subscription service with varying price points, depending on the features you require. Most standard plans are under $10 per month, but the price of more advanced plans can vary from provider to provider.

If you are a novice at creating websites but you have a big idea and a budget, paid website builders are perhaps your best option if you want to be the one in control and not hire a web designer and webmaster.

Open Source Website Builders

What makes a website builder stand out is its features, that’s why open source website builders are so popular. Through the use of plugins and other modifications, the likes of WordPress, Drupal and Joomla have become extremely versatile thanks to the community that surrounds them. Sure, the basic packages are powerful themselves, but it’s all the extras you can find that make them so great.

One downside is that unless you have a web host with great support, open source website builders can be a little daunting for the novice. Fortunately if you spend the time reading online you should eventually get the hang of building and modifying your site with one of these platforms.

Website Builders For Creative Professionals

There are also different website builders for niche purposes. For example the type of site a photographer or artist requires is not the same as a blogger or somebody launching a news portal. While many builders can create sites for all kinds of purposes, there are certain builders that get it done out of the box.

 

Format for example is a portfolio focussed builder than allows you to showcase your photos and creative works crisply and clearly across all mobile and computer devices, in high definition and with retina support.

Other notable mentions include ZenFolio, PhotoShelter, Virb and Neon Sky – all designed with photographers and creative professionals in mind, who need to show off their work visually.

Website Builders For Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner and are looking to launch your business website, then you may want to consider using one of the many website builders mentioned. Small businesses often do not have a large budget for web design and management, so using an easy to use platform like Weebly or Wix is a great option. You can even choose from a series of pre-made professional business templates and then modify them with your logo and other features to make it unique to you.

Website Builders For eCommerce

One of the most difficult types of websites to build from scratch is an online store, in fact it’s almost impossible unless you are an expert coder or have the funds to hire one. That’s why new businesses and seasoned retailers alike turn to special eCommerce software to get the job done. There needs to be a way of displaying products and easily adding more in a scalable fashion, an option for customers to securely check out through a shopping cart system, social media integration, customer support pages and so on. Online shopping is a very unique web experience.

Currently leading the pack is Shopify (which you can try for free for 14 days) and Big Commerce. These are focussed solely on online store building and can cater to newcomers and large existing businesses.

However WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly all have eCommerce solutions as well, so it is important to check out the features of each to determine which is best for you.

Offline Website Builders

Although these are often aimed at those who know more about coding, there are programs you can download that help you build websites offline from your Mac or PC. They will have a development area and a preview area, and all of the files are stored locally. When you are finished you can then upload these to your web host and take the site live. One program that is completely code free and works like many online website builders, is RapidWeaver for Mac.

Website Builder FAQ

What Is A Content Management System?

As the name suggests a CMS helps you manage your website content, but more than that it can also help you build the site itself. This is usually in the form of themes and templates that you can modify. A CMS usually comes in the form of an application or script that you download and install on your own server or hosting plan, though many hosts will have platforms like WordPress already waiting to go. A good CMS will allow you to make new website posts, pages and modify content very easily from an admin panel. Advanced platforms like WordPress also allow you to easily customize the design of your site.

How Is A CMS Different From a Website Builder?

A CMS and a website builder share many of the same functions and are often described interchangeably. However website builders are usually part of an online service aimed at beginners or those who want simplicity, and therefore there are some limitations. Whereas large CMS’s give the user full control, but can be quite complicated. For example you have to sign up to Squarespace to use its platform and you host your site through them. You can download Joomla and install it on your own server or hosting platform.

Do All Website Builders Come With Hosting?

Most good website builders cannot be accessed unless you pay for the company’s hosting. Services like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly are heavily geared towards website building and your site must be hosted with them. On the other hand GoDaddy is an all round web host that has an ok website builder as one of its features. Platforms like WordPress can be hosted by the company itself, but you can also take the package and use it yourself on another host.

What’s The Catch With Free Hosting?

Many website builders will offer ‘free hosting’ but this has significant limitations and is not ideal if you’re launching a business or commercial website. Your site will be located on their domain, e.g. yoursite.websitebuilder.com and they may also force you to display their adverts and branding, while restricting you from displaying your own. You might not get access to the full features of the website builder (only a few templates or no eCommerce option) and resources such as space, bandwidth and the number of sites/pages you can create may also be restricted. The free service is however great for testing the platform and deciding whether you want to pay for hosting and extra features or go somewhere else.

What Is A Free Domain Name?

If you pay to access a website building service they may offer free domain registration. This means you will be able to have your own personal web address yoursite.com, as opposed to yoursite.websitebuilder.com. Usually this would set you back $10 or more a year if you purchased it from a separate domain registrar. The only catch is that if you ever want to move your site to another web host or service, you will have to pay a fee to release the domain. Many website builder and hosts will allow you to use an existing domain name that you own, so it may be worth skipping the freebee and registering the domain yourself.

Can I Move From One Website Builder To Another?

So you have a site on Squarespace but have decided you want to switch hosts and use a different platform like WordPress. Can you simply move it over? The short answer is not really, the long answer is that you can export certain aspects of the code and written content, but it’s not going to look exactly the same. This isn’t so much a restriction imposed by website builders, rather the technical aspects of each platform aren’t the same. You should keep this in mind before committing to a paid service because it could be a nightmare if you want to migrate to another.

How Do I Choose The Best Website Builders?

Which website builder you choose is going to depend on your own personal requirements. The best website builders if you are launching a business or commercial site, will allow you to use your own domain, have access to the widest amount of features, and have the ability to craft a professional and unique design.

Where Can I Get Help When Building A Website?

Most website builders will have supporting communities, guides and tutorials, and if you pay a subscription you should also have access to support staff. You can also easily search the web for help as well. If you actually want to learn a bit of coding as you go along, then sites like W3Schools, HTMLDog and others offer tutorials for virtually anything you can think of.

Best Website Builders UK?

If you are looking for the best website builders in the UK, our reviews below will help. While most of these are based in the United States, there is no barrier preventing somebody from the UK using then. Many sites will bill you in dollars, but this will be automatically converted by Paypal or your card provider.

Website Builder Reviews

WordPress: One of the most popular content management systems available, WordPress accounts for a large percentage of all modern websites on the internet. The core platform is free and can be installed on most web hosts, although they also offer their own free hosting for non-commercial sites. It has a huge community that provide themes and plugins to help you create virtually any kind of website with any feature you want. Perhaps the only downside is that there’s still a learning curve that novices will have to get over before getting the most out of the platform. BBC America, Tech Crunch, Beyonce, ESPN and many other huge brands use WordPress to build and manage their websites. if you want to build choose one of the mobile app development company by skilled.co

Squarespace: Despite a pretty comprehensive range of features, this website builder is popular because of how easy it is to use. Squarespace allows even beginners to create pages in minutes, with a simple drag and drop interface. It handles static pages, forums, blogging and microblogging, and even eCommerce. One of their newest features is the ability to edit content “live,” meaning you don’t have to jump between the editing page and preview page. You see it all in one go. What also makes Squarespace so convenient is they will host your sites, provide support and allow you to use your own domain name, all starting at just $8 per month. This can be scaled up for the largest business sites at a cost of only $18 per month if you bill annually.

Wix: Great for small businesses, Wix uses a simple online website building interface which currently has over 43 million users! They recognize that not everybody is creative, that’s why they provide thousands of templates for your starting point, including ones that are suitable for all niches and industries. These are some of the best we’ve seen. You can then replace the stock logos and images with your own, alter the color scheme and use the drag and drop system to add a wide range of features. Unlike other builders that are quite limiting, you can modify every aspect of your site with Wix. In the end nobody will know you are using a template. They operate on a freemium model, where you must pay to be able to use your own domain and add eCommerce functionality.

Weebly: This versatile but easy to use online website builder allows you to create a standard website, blog, store, portfolio or anything else you could think of, without much more effort than dragging and dropping. That’s why some 30 million active websites used it. You can try the platform for free and go live on their sub-domain, or pay for one of their hosting plans and use your own custom domain, which removes the Weebly branding. The number of features increase with the price of the package, but even the $5 Starter package includes analytics and chat & email support 24/7. If you wish to launch an online store you will have to pay for the Business plan, which includes their eCommerce feature.

Shopify: A powerful eCommerce focussed website builder that features over 100 core templates that can be fully customized, all of the features that are required for an up-to-date online store, a mobile version, and an endless list of extras in the form of paid plugins. What’s more is they will host your store, help with marketing and SEO, and offer round the clock support. Shopify also handles payments directly, so you can take credit cards without having to sign-up to a third party gateway. Everything you need to start or expand your business is right here. Pricing starts at just $14 per month. You can also make use of a 14 day free trial, which will help you test all of the features and make you mind up whether to proceed.

Web.com: The Web.com builder is one of the oldest online website builders on the net, and because of that its platform is a little dated and behind some other others. Nonetheless it’s not a bad choice for beginners. You can use your own domain, choose a competitively priced hosting plan and then use their templates and tools to “do it yourself.” Alternatively you can get a website built for you by their in-house experts for free, so long as you sign-up for hosting. Their features include mobile optimization, tracking and analytics, and website marketing solutions. They also have a dedicated plan for eCommerce websites.

Jimdo: A website builder with simplicity and convenience in mind, Jimdo allows you to easily build a unique site with a simple drag and drop interface. You can also edit and update it on the go by using their admin app for iOS and Android devices. You start by choosing a base design and then you can modify every aspect of it, until it’s exactly to your liking. They also have an eCommerce option with simple PayPal and Stripe integration. The service is free if you use their .Jimdo subdomain, $5 for your own domain and most features, and $15 including all of the eCommerce features. Over 200,000 online stores utilize this feature, which can be setup in a matter of minutes. While it doesn’t quite have all the features of a dedicated eCommerce package like Shopify, it’s not far off.

Joomla: Like WordPress, Joomla is an open source content management system that is free to download and install on your own hosting plan. Its real power comes from over 7,000 ‘extensions’ that add more functionality to the core platform, including everything from an eCommerce store to forums. Setting up may be a bit daunting for beginners, but when its running adding new posts, pages and content is extremely simple with front end editing support. To get the hang of it you can get a hosted 90 day account, including video tutorials and even access to support staff. Joomla is used by thousands of governments across the world because of its security and ease of use. Ebay, Barnes & Noble, news outlets and countless others also use the platform to manage their whole sites or at least aspects of them.

GoDaddy: The popular webhosting company also has its own website builder, though you have to be a paying customer to use it. There are hundreds of customizable designs to choose from, but you will have to pay for the Business or Business Plus plan to unlock them all. You also don’t get a mobile optimized site until you upgrade from the entry level plan. There’s also no eCommerce option, so don’t go here if you plan to launch a web store. We advise you to choose GoDaddy only if you already have or want to use one of their hosting plans, or are a beginner that isn’t looking to make money or draw a huge amount of traffic to your site. Many of the other builders are easier and have more features.

WebNode: They offer a free modern website building platform that supports over 20 languages and allows you to make backup copies of your site for no extra cost. What sets the free option apart from the paid plans is mostly just the amount of core designs you can choose from. Their Mini plan costs $6.95 per month, Standard is $9.95, and the Pro package is $24.95. The platform itself is very easy to use with the industry standard drag and drop functionality and widely customizable templates. Its only let downs are the eCommerce option, which costs extra and isn’t as strong as some of the others, and the fact that there is no option to build contact and other forms. There are also only 34 base themes to begin with.

Drupal: Another of the big content management software packages, which has loads of features thanks to an active open source community. Drupal now accounts for 2.1% if all websites in the world, so they’re doing something right. The platform can be downloaded for free and installed on your own server or hosting plan. The first step is to find a theme. Whether free or premium, they can be easily edited for a unique look. Then there are over 33,000 modules (add-ons) that can expand its functionality. While the admin panel is fairly straightforward, like the other CMS’s, it might still be a but too much for beginners. However if you have some basic knowledge it’s one of the best options out there. Everyone from the official Beatles band website, to Telegraph Newspaper travel guide app, to Georgetown University in Qatar, use Drupal as their base platform. If you choose Drupal and end up needing help, you can easily hire an expert online for a reasonable fee.

SiteBuilder.com: Site Builder is a web hosting service that offers site building as its core feature. They take the hassle out of the process by organizing everything in to 3 easy steps. First you choose a domain name for your site, then you choose from over 10,000 professionally made templates, and then you can go live or continue to fine tune everything to your liking. However if you’re struggling or can’t create something you like you can also put in a request for a custom made design for a reasonable fee. Other features include a free email address, SEO tools, a blog add-on, and eCommerce support. Pricing starts at $7.95 and then there are several more expensive packages to choose from as well.

SimpleSite.com: Although it doesn’t quite have the features and functionality of the likes of Wix or Squarespace, Simple Site really is simple. To start you choose the type of site you want to create (personal blog, business site etc), the color scheme, background image and it’s name. Then you are prompted to register an account. You get to test the service for 30 days at which point you must pay a $10 per month subscription (or cheaper if you go yearly). This is ideal for newbies just testing their first website, but if you’re serious the other builders are much better. One thing that put us off is they market themselves as a free website builder and you could go through the whole process of signing up without realizing that it’s actually only free for a trial period and you will have to pay to continue with your creation.

1and1: Another hosting based website builder, 1and1 is aimed at the absolute beginner who wants to launch their first personal or business website. The core of their builder is a wide range of templates that they organize in to different categories. Personal blog templates are more vibrant, business templates are more professional. You can then easily replace the stock images and text with your own, and drag and drop certain features. It’s a very basic service, but that’s because beginners are the target. If you want more control or more advanced features then you may want to consider something like Wix, Squarespace or a CMS like WordPress. But if you’re a beginner it’s a solid option. What’s more is hosting packages start as low as $0.99 per month and include all of the features you would expect from a good web host.

Strikingly: A newcomer to the online website building world, but a very promising one no less. They are up to date with the latest mobile functionality and their platform requires absolutely no coding whatsoever. You pick a base theme and then use drag and drop and a user-friendly text editor to add content. Features include easy social media integration, blogging, and a basic eCommerce add-on. The only downside is that because of its simplicity customization is somewhat limited and there aren’t that many base templates to choose from. All pages must adhere to simple scrolling and a navigation bar. Those who want more control may want to look elsewhere, but it is perfect for beginners. One great feature is that the backend allows you to access all kinds of analytics data to monitor the site’s growth. There is a limited free version hosted on their domain, while monthly packages range between $8 and $16.