I personally don’t think site builders will ever replace web designers/developers completely. Most site builders are targeted at small businesses and could never meet the demands required for larger businesses with all their complex requirements. I think Shopify plus is the only product trying to take on the larger CMS platforms right now (e.g. Magenta, Demandware) in the eCommerce space

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I think you should consider mentioning some of the options available for the open source version of WordPress (WordPress.org). The most notable option we have now I think is the page builder plugin Elementor from Pojo. The free version has tons of widgets one could use to build a responsive website for free without touching a line of code. I believe the space in WordPress.org is no longer for just for Developers. Anyone in the beginner stage can build sites on WordPress with much more flexibility than anything like WIX could ever offer since they are a closed platform. Mathew from LaunchParty has provided an amazing FREE course that will guide you how to build amazing sites with WordPress and Elementor. And he even provides you with amazing Elementor templates that you can use. Lastly, please note that not every thing that is meant to be sustainable is truly free. Last time I checked, in order to have a proper website with WIX, it was only free when you use their domain extension. If you ever wanted to remove WIX from the domain name, then you would have to pay for that. On the other hand, WordPress.org is open source, meaning free. But hosting is not, neither is your own domain name. There are many WordPress plugins that are worth paying for as well, including Elementor as well as others that will handle other important features such security.

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In 1989, whilst working at CERN Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a global hypertext project, which later became known as the World Wide Web. During 1991 to 1993 the World Wide Web was born. Text-only pages could be viewed using a simple line-mode browser.[2] In 1993 Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, created the Mosaic browser. At the time there were multiple browsers, however the majority of them were Unix-based and naturally text heavy. There had been no integrated approach to graphic design elements such as images or sounds. The Mosaic browser broke this mould.[3] The W3C was created in October 1994 to "lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability."[4] This discouraged any one company from monopolizing a propriety browser and programming language, which could have altered the effect of the World Wide Web as a whole. The W3C continues to set standards, which can today be seen with JavaScript. In 1994 Andreessen formed Communications Corp. that later became known as Netscape Communications, the Netscape 0.9 browser. Netscape created its own HTML tags without regard to the traditional standards process. For example, Netscape 1.1 included tags for changing background colours and formatting text with tables on web pages. Throughout 1996 to 1999 the browser wars began, as Microsoft and Netscape fought for ultimate browser dominance. During this time there were many new technologies in the field, notably Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and Dynamic HTML. On the whole, the browser competition did lead to many positive creations and helped web design evolve at a rapid pace.[5]

Fresh, innovative, creative, minimalist...when digital design agencies are left to their own devices to make their own portfolio websites, that's when the magic really happens! Free from the constraints of clients' requirements they can create surprising, animated, interactive wonderlands to show off to potential clients, as well as the competition, what they are capable of. Awwwards provides an infinite playground of inspiring work, coming up are some of the digital projects that have caught our eye.
All of the site builders included here let you put Facebook Like and Twitter Follow buttons on your pages, and some even let you display feeds from the social networks. Some give you help building a Facebook Page and tying it into your site design and updates. Many products offer some sort of SEO tool, but too often this is just a form on which you can enter meta tags. You're mostly left to wrestle with that black magic known as SEO for yourself. It's very important to submit and verify your site to the search engines, unless you don't want anyone to find it!

We know Philadelphia. We know small business. Our web design services will help you meet your goals and help your business grow. We won't make you a website that is just a piece of art - we make beautiful, functional tools that you and your company can use. We'll sit down with you to learn about your business and discover what you need. Whether it's an ecommerce system, portfolio, wordpress, informational website design, or SEO web design, our agency has you covered.


Great writeup Tom! What do you think of clickfunnels as a website builder? A lot of my friends keep telling me to use it but I don't think its a website builder from what I can see. I'm willing to pay the money for only if it's a good website builder. I was doing some research and found these share funnel things. I like that fact that I can import template that are all ready to be used. What do you think of it? Just trying to look for some real opinions so doing some research first.
But, how important is it to have a shiny new website that has all the bells and whistles to really "wow" your audience? Most web designers will tell you it's super important: a great new, beautiful website will magically attract new customers and help them convert. But, that's not necessarily true. I've personally seen old websites significantly outperform new ones, for a number of reasons. Here are a few things to consider before making the leap to the new digital age:

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Obviously, your website will need extensions to connect with your social media accounts, add voting plugin, save user account details, and more. For all that you will need a platform that can be extended to meet your needs, and WordPress makes all this super easy. You may also be able to find free plugins to do a lot of things which will help you keep the costs in check.
In 2012 and 2013, carousels (also called 'sliders' and 'rotating banners') have become an extremely popular design element on homepages, often used to showcase featured or recent content in a confined space.[26][27] Many practitioners argue that carousels are an ineffective design element and hurt a website's search engine optimisation and usability.[27][28][29]
Templates provide a framework for your website — a coherent, attractive canvas for you to paint the content of your site onto. They’re how you can have a site that looks good without having to hire a designer. Templates dictate color scheme, what your homepage header and menu bar look like, and the content width on your site, so it’s essential to pick the right one.
Dynamic phone numbers - one of my favorite ways to track website goals is through phone tracking. Any service-based company or local business should consider installing a system where the contact phone number on your website changes according to how the user got to it. This helps you determine if you're meeting your goal by separating phone calls from your online profiles from that of paid campaigns to direct traffic, and even organic traffic.

Starting a website that I prefer would be hosted with security features… a combination blog/website with “tab” for online store for a few items (or that would link to an Etsy store) accepting payments by Paypal, Visa/Mastercard. Also a “tab/dropdown” for ability to select videos that I will be posting on you-tube. I don’t want to do any coding, so drag and drop to a template plus ability to add in my own photos and SSL certificate are primary concerns. Is this all possible with wordpress choices?
"You have a great basic product formula that appeals to entrepreneurs wanting to build their own web sites without any coding. If you continue to refine this basic concept — no code at all — the Mobirise website builder software will gain more and more users - do-it-yourself entrepreneurs - independent, freelance, contract, solo and other non-traditional workers.. If you add more prebuilt blocks to drag and drop into the web pages, that will help growth."

This Specialization covers how to write syntactically correct HTML5 and CSS3, and how to create interactive web experiences with JavaScript. Mastering this range of technologies will allow you to develop high quality web sites that, work seamlessly on mobile, tablet, and large screen browsers accessible. During the capstone you will develop a professional-quality web portfolio demonstrating your growth as a web developer and your knowledge of accessible web design. This will include your ability to design and implement a responsive site that utilizes tools to create a site that is accessible to a wide audience, including those with visual, audial, physical, and cognitive impairments.

SITE123 is more basic compared to Wix and Weebly, but it’s still got a lot to offer! As well as the standard features seen across all three free builders, SITE123 allows you to create an ecommerce store on the free version! You can only accept offline payments (for example you enter a phone number or wire transfer details), but if you upgrade you can connect online methods such as PayPal.

Their approach to site design is somehow different. Instead of having a set of elements (e.g. headline, text, images, icons, etc.) that you combine into a design, they have prebuilt sections that you can customize. This makes it less flexible, but you are less likely to mess your design up – a good approach for beginners without much time to experiment with design and layouts.

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The best way to begin your search is to sort the themes by category. If you are opening an eCommerce store (using Bigcommerce for example), there is no reason to browse through blog-optimized themes. Most online website creation services use categories like portfolios, online shops, and blogs to differentiate their templates. Some go even further by creating more specific categories like sites designed to showcase bakeries or sell sunglasses.
Get started creating web pages with HTML and CSS, the basic building blocks of web development. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a standard set of tags you will use to tell the web browser how the content of your web pages and applications are structured. Use CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, to select HTML tags and tell the browser what your content should look like. Whether you are coding for fun or planning to start a career in web development, learning HTML and CSS is a great place to start.
Mobirise Website Builder offers 50+ themes and 150+ demo pages that include sliders, galleries with lightbox, articles, counters, countdowns, full-screen intros, images & videos, features, data tables & pricing tables, progress bar & cycles, timelines, tabs & accordions, call-to-action, forms, Google maps, social blocks, testimonials, footers, and more. Blocks are designed considering the latest web design trends, and they are flexible and full of customizing options.
Designer and engineer Adam Michela hit many of the same notes in “I’m a Designer at Facebook, and This Is What’s Missing in Design Tools Today.” There, he argues that most designers spend the vast majority of their time creating artifacts of little to no tangible value because they merely represent the final product — the digital interfaces that quickly diverge from said representations.
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Hey Ben, thank you for all the information. I think web site builders in general are a great tool for novice computer users such as myself. I started my own website and it took me only a few hours to do so! I know I might sound childish, but this is unheard of for me. I used the Wix website builder software which was free of charge, and I am contemplating upgrading to the 2nd plan in order to remove the banner ads.
WordPress, as mentioned above, is by far the most popular CMS on the market. It's supported by a great community, constantly updated, and ever improving and growing. By building our sites in WordPress, we know our clients can find any number of developer to support them (though most choose to stay with us). We don't ever want a client leveraged by our technology and forced to work with a specific firm or custom web system.

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Before you design a website, it's important to have some kind of a plan or a wireframe to guide your efforts. But sometimes when you go from a simple sketch to digital pixels, the results aren't exactly what you expect. When you work with real HTML and CSS, and you're able to see your site on a real screens, you're able to see a more accurate representation of the final result. In this course, we're going to build a website prototype using the Bootstrap web framework. 

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WordPress (either version) is a blog-focused content management system that accepts plug-ins and themes that extend its capabilities to what most of what the other products here offer, including commerce. In fact, WordPress.com uses plug-ins such as JetPack to provide many of its features. As a whole, WordPress (either .com or .org) is not as easy to use as the other options in this roundup, but if blogging and site transferability are of key importance and you don't mind digging into its weeds a bit, you should consider the platform. Furthermore, the ability to use WordPress is a valuable skill, as some estimates say that WordPress powers 30 percent of the internet.
Templates provide a framework for your website — a coherent, attractive canvas for you to paint the content of your site onto. They’re how you can have a site that looks good without having to hire a designer. Templates dictate color scheme, what your homepage header and menu bar look like, and the content width on your site, so it’s essential to pick the right one.
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