Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
Magnolia CMS is a big one. It’s best suited for large scale enterprises, as not only is the functionality massive, but so is the price tag, which is revealed only after a consultation. However, if you need a large site or something that can handle a lot of functions and capabilities, this is a top choice. If you’re only looking for a simple WordPress replacement, though, this may be too much.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
But even if you’re not that into technology, you don’t have to go without a website of your own. Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly offer a wide range of advantages, but it’s important to choose the right provider! Switching providers is difficult once your website is up and running because every platform uses its own system, and these systems are usually not compatible with other website builders.
Ghost is another popular open-source CMS, geared more towards creating stylish blogs or online publications (as opposed to complex websites). It comes with versatile features for customizing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from one streamlined interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and produce content on multiple distribution channels (maximizing your readership in the process).
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Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.

Another big name when it comes to eCommerce platforms after Shopify is BigComerce. It is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows the users to set up their own online store and sell their stuff. It is flexible allowing anyone from beginners to experts to use the services and create the ideal platform. Compared to WordPress however, it is not ideal for other types of sites.
Hi Henry, Glad you found the piece helpful! Good question. I'm not 100% sure which builder would be better for the kind of site you have in mind. I'd recommend using the free trials available to experiment first. Wix has a very useful guide on creating a one-page site here: https://support.wix.com/en/article/creating-a-one-page-site Hope this helps.
Just imagine Medium shuts down as did Posterous back in the days (which was a similar service). You will not necessarily lose all your content but all the SEO rankings you ever created. To get it right you need to publish on your own domain name and preferably on your root domain (www.yoursite.com/blog) and not a sub-domain (blog.yoursite.com). This has numerous SEO advantages.
Drupal is another alternative to WordPress which is more digital. Being preferred for digital solutions Drupal is not suitable for beginners to use. The various advantages of Drupal include creating blogs, personal websites, forums, and even social networking sites. It also has several modules and themes which have various features and help in enhancing the looks of the site. It can handle huge amounts of data and hence makes it useful for different corporate and enterprise websites. The varied kinds of modules make it user-friendly. The modules that are present in Drupal can instantly help you in handling the non-English sites by just activating them. With the perfect prototyping options, it can help you in creating complex sites in a very short span of time. Having the complexities of digitization, Drupal is ideal for being used for highly advanced websites. Learning it initially is a bit difficult but once you get the hang of it you can easily understand how extensible this is. You can use contributed modules and start a completely blank site and extend Drupal to see how your requirements fit in.
Jimdo delivers a way for you to build a beautiful website and have it optimized for the search engines. Your Jimdo experience starts by picking the design for your site; then you’re led through the process of having your site launched to the world. Jimdo is also a hosted solution, which means that they take care of the technical details and giving your site a home.
Wix is one of the oldest and widely used websites which is used to build sites. It was launched in 2006 and has been in the industry since then. One of the best catches of Wix is that it provides animation features that animate texts and other elements. It is one of the most intriguing factors of Wix. The latest ADI feature enables the user to add a website link so that the tool can help you in building the exact version of the site of which you can edit and customize it. Wix is extremely user-friendly and easy and that is the reason it attracts so many beginners to try it. It has an extensive market which helps in finding different extensions and helps the users out with it. The templates provided by it are very well designed and have a great range available. The post editor and dashboard of Wix are user-friendly.
Hi Henry, Glad you found the piece helpful! Good question. I'm not 100% sure which builder would be better for the kind of site you have in mind. I'd recommend using the free trials available to experiment first. Wix has a very useful guide on creating a one-page site here: https://support.wix.com/en/article/creating-a-one-page-site Hope this helps.
As the Weebly team states, the idea behind the platform is to make website creation available for everyone — not only programmers. Weebly remains one of the easiest-to-use site-building solutions out there. It delivers great tools for creating straightforward sites that serve specific purposes. Weebly is another hosted solution, which means that it takes care of housing your site and all the technical details related to it.
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