An Honest Look at 10 Website Builders Without Coding
Starting a successful business is hard work. With long hours and many hats to wear, anything that saves time without sacrificing quality is a huge bonus. That’s where website builders without coding for marketers come in.
The company website is often one of the most time-consuming and expensive elements of a new business’s marketing plan. As the first impression of your business, this needs to be a good reflection of your level of professionalism and should show off what makes your company stand out.
And with 57% of internet users saying they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile, it’s important to get it right. But it’s more than just a pretty face.
Your website also houses all your content, updates, and product pages – so buyers can find everything they need to advance their journey with your business.
There are three options when you come to this:
- Learn to code and create the site yourself
- Pay for a professional developer to create your site
- Use a website builder tool
Of these options, website builder tools occupy a unique space – cheaper than a web developer, yet faster than learning to code. And with an ever-growing selection of website builders to choose from, it’s worth shopping around.
10 Website Builders Without Coding
We took an honest look at 10 of the best, so you don’t have to:
Wix often tops the charts in the battle of code-less web design. Slick templates and an easy user interface make it a great option for non-coders who want to create a good-looking website sharpish.
It’s cheaper than many of its contenders and features a number of additional apps, as well as an option to use code or drag and drop. That’s great if you’re still learning the ropes as you build.
The main limitation of Wix is the lack of e-commerce tools available. Whilst this builder may help you to create a good-looking and functional website, you may struggle to scale it in line with your ambitions after a certain point.
Squarespace is another firm favorite among small businesses. It too features a raft of stylish templates that can easily be dragged, dropped, and customized without entering a line of code.
It features more e-commerce options when compared with Wix, but the added features will also cost you significantly more, too. Squarespace also features analytics and marketing tools to help get your website in front of possible customers.
Weebly’s popularity is drawn from its success as an e-commerce platform builder. With much more e-commerce capabilities than many of its competitors and a simplified way of using third-party add-ons, this is ideal for new commerce businesses.
However, Weebly’s image editing isn’t as versatile as most website builders, and this can cause problems during the design stage. Weebly also allows both drag-and-drop and code-based input.
HubSpot’s main function might not be website building – it’s more of an integrated free CRM with CMS and marketing tools – but it does make creating websites, as well as workflows, data capture, and pretty much everything else, easier.
Not only does HubSpot allow you to build your site, but you can also set up automated workflows, create mailing lists, build gated landing pages, as well as sharing all of this on a single platform with your sales team.
This may sound ideal, but HubSpot comes with its fair share of issues. The platform can be buggy on some computers, and the interface sometimes favors integrations over usability. It can also become extremely expensive once you start to use add-on other elements.
And you’ll soon find that each of HubSpot’s tools have been designed to work specifically as part of the wider HubSpot platform, not with your existing tools from other providers.
WordPress is a name synonymous with bloggers and writers who find themselves needing a website. As the most popular website builder in the world, it’s definitely one to consider.
Whilst there’s no drag and drop functionality, the modular sidebar is easy enough to work with. The huge array of plugins and templates also help to make your site into something that perfectly fits your needs.
However, sometimes coding is needed to help resolve design issues, and it’s hard to scale a site up without significant further financial commitment.
Shopify offers a low-cost e-commerce platform that’s easy to build and maintain. You can add a built-in blog to the site to grow search traffic and keep customers in the loop, and use templates that are fully responsive.
One thing to note about Shopify is that, as the name might suggest, it is heavily e-commerce centered. There isn’t much scope for scaling beyond a small e-commerce site. You can also only edit your site from the app – there is no browser-based editor.
Shopify also charges a transaction fee for all purchases made on your site, and this fee cannot be removed. This can be a deal-breaker when businesses start to grow.
Duda provides what is possibly the most intuitive and helpful design process when making your site. It offers design guidance as you build, as well as some great templates.
However, this builder is a little light on features and lacks any real business functionality beyond hosting content pages online with a custom domain. It is also expensive, considering that it isn’t quite as powerful as its competitors. Depending on your requirements, Duda may be a little too basic for business purposes.
Webflow has one of the largest libraries of responsive templates and intuitive design functionality that makes it easy to create a beautiful website. It also features powerful integrations for e-commerce and dynamic content.
However, the platform could be confusing for some, and with no telephone support, you’re left a little in the dark. Webflow is also a little more expensive than most of its competitors.
You would be forgiven for expecting GoDaddy’s website builder to be something of an afterthought. But the domain-broking giant’s offering actually has one of the easier-to-use interfaces in this list.
It also offers excellent website performance and speed, something that has become increasingly important for SEO in the last couple of years.
The main issues are the price. Add-ons soon make this an expensive option. A lack of developer tools also makes it harder to build upon your existing site when you want to scale up and hire a permanent dev team.
Tribe comes with loads of e-commerce features as standard, without the stubborn transaction fee that many of the other platforms feature. There is also no setup cost, making this builder one of the cheapest options for creating up a new e-commerce site.
However, you might feel a little limited by the pre-set themes on offer, making it difficult to create a truly bespoke site.
Are Website Builders Worth It?
Having looked under the hood of all these no-code website builders, should you spend your budget on a website builder? Or is it better to take the plunge and pay a developer? Let’s look at the pros and cons:
- Price – Website builders are cheaper initially, so tend to be more viable for new businesses.
- Freedom – There’s no coding knowledge required so you can make any changes you like, whenever you like.
- SEO – Most website builders have good SEO functionality or inbuilt optimisation tools.
- Less functionality – Website builders tend to have limited functionality when compared with the resources and knowledge of a professional developer.
- Added costs – When you start to add extras such as security features, e-commerce addons and more, you’ll find your monthly bill gets more and more expensive.
- No bespoke websites – Using publicly available templates means that your website will likely share a lot of design elements with other existing websites.
- The price of knowledge – When you pay for a developer to build your site, you’re paying for more than just someone to put some things together on a webpage. You’re paying for years of design experience and technical knowledge.
Website Development Agency vs. Online Website Builders
Overall, it’s fair to say that online website builders have their place. They are becoming increasingly more powerful and packed with amazing features. Certainly, small businesses, freelancers, and artists will find that these platforms are ideal for creating beautiful, responsive, and easily managed websites.
However, for scaling businesses, these tools aren’t quite going to cut the mustard. Many scaling businesses might not have their own dev team but have far outgrown the capabilities of a website builder. That means they’re going to need something a little more personal.
Digital agencies offer bespoke website building packages that take into account the way the business works. That includes its values, goals and how it helps customers to solve their problems.
These agencies tend to be overflowing with experience and creativity and their success depends on your results, so commitment is guaranteed. Choosing between these two options means deciding if you’d rather spend more and invest in the future of your website, or start with a cheaper alternative and worry about the rest later.
Having a well-designed company website is the crucial part reflecting your level of professionalism and digital appearance stand out. The easy-to-use website development tools take an efficient role considering the business marketing plan, and they’re cheaper, yet faster.