Web designers use a variety of different tools depending on what part of the production process they are involved in. These tools are updated over time by newer standards and software but the principles behind them remain the same. Web designers use both vector and raster graphics editors to create web-formatted imagery or design prototypes. Technologies used to create websites include W3C standards like HTML and CSS, which can be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG editing software. Other tools web designers might use include mark up validators[7] and other testing tools for usability and accessibility to ensure their websites meet web accessibility guidelines.[8]
Usability experts, including Jakob Nielsen and Kyle Soucy, have often emphasised homepage design for website success and asserted that the homepage is the most important page on a website.[16][17][18][19] However practitioners into the 2000s were starting to find that a growing number of website traffic was bypassing the homepage, going directly to internal content pages through search engines, e-newsletters and RSS feeds.[20] Leading many practitioners to argue that homepages are less important than most people think.[21][22][23][24] Jared Spool argued in 2007 that a site's homepage was actually the least important page on a website.[25]

For companies where sales is usually outbound, bid, or referral-based, the website may not be the first touch in your sales funnel. So, your website doesn't need to capture data, but rather convince and compel. Your sales team as already visited the potential customer, or you've been referred, or you've submitted a bid; now your website's job is to convince that customer that you can perform the service offered, and that you can be trusted. These are often portfolio-type sites where the content might be thinner than the imagery and trust signals, but you measure success by your closing rate increasing and getting feedback from those clients.
If not, it’s time for an immediate online renovation. Remember, it’s not about grand gestures and overhauls. Rather, 2018 will focus on a shift towards simple, functional, and futuristic designs. Implementing these (relatively painless) standards as a non-negotiable design baseline can have a significant impact on the way we do business and connect with potential customers online for optimal ROI with every user engagement.
Webstarts Complete online store Webstarts not only lets you add up to 10 products, but you can also accept credit card payments through Stripe, WePay or Authorize.net. Inventory management is included and there’s even an option to sell digital goods. The only downside is that you are limited to 20 sales per day. But hey, then you should really think about a paid upgrade.
This is a bit of an odd company: they use three different brands that sell exactly the same site creator. And we couldn’t find any company details as there is no ‘about’ page on either of the three websites (even their own domain names seem to be registered privately). At first glance Sitey & Co. looks pretty sweet: they offer a vast number of flawless templates. Once you get to the editor you’ll start to notice some similarities to another well-known player: Wix. Everything is really similar (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). However, we see little reason not to opt for the original. The free plan is limited to 5 pages only and their paid plans are all more expensive than Wix’s.
As web features barrel ahead, web typography advances with it. We now have more control over type than ever before. But, as the often-quoted line from Spiderman goes, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Well-built websites can be plagued by bad typography, creating an unpleasant experience to the user. In this course, we’ll cover all you need to know to begin building websites with good typography, giving users a great experience.

Dynamic websites are generated on the fly and use server-side technology to generate webpages. They typically extract their content from one or more back-end databases: some are database queries across a relational database to query a catalogue or to summarise numeric information, others may use a document database such as MongoDB or NoSQL to store larger units of content, such as blog posts or wiki articles.
We make sure that, when SEO is important for a website, we follow all best practices with page structure, content breakdown, site crawlability, proper tagging and schema, and other relevant features we have to consider. There are some sites where SEO isn't as important, and we can be a little more flexible in our design (especially to the way content is laid out), but for the most part, we want your site to be optimized first for the user experience, and second for the robots.

“Wow! I mean WOW. Stupid easy and brilliant website builder software. How did it take so long for this to be created. I have been out of Web Dev since 2010 so maybe just being away from it all impresses the hell out of me but you guys deserve a GOOD JOB! Award. I will pass on your name to all I know. Best of luck to you and I can not wait to see what is next.”


For companies where sales is usually outbound, bid, or referral-based, the website may not be the first touch in your sales funnel. So, your website doesn't need to capture data, but rather convince and compel. Your sales team as already visited the potential customer, or you've been referred, or you've submitted a bid; now your website's job is to convince that customer that you can perform the service offered, and that you can be trusted. These are often portfolio-type sites where the content might be thinner than the imagery and trust signals, but you measure success by your closing rate increasing and getting feedback from those clients.


Great reviews, Robert. It’s unique that you bought accounts for all the builders, and showed us your sample sites. Very informative. I’m working on articles for beginners to know what they’re getting into on the web, having built websites for clients since 1998, and found what most confused and overwhelmed beginners. I’ll be linking to this set of reviews in my summary of web builders, if you don’t mind.
Fluid layouts increased in popularity around 2000 as an alternative to HTML-table-based layouts and grid-based design in both page layout design principle and in coding technique, but were very slow to be adopted.[note 1] This was due to considerations of screen reading devices and varying windows sizes which designers have no control over. Accordingly, a design may be broken down into units (sidebars, content blocks, embedded advertising areas, navigation areas) that are sent to the browser and which will be fitted into the display window by the browser, as best it can. As the browser does recognize the details of the reader's screen (window size, font size relative to window etc.) the browser can make user-specific layout adjustments to fluid layouts, but not fixed-width layouts. Although such a display may often change the relative position of major content units, sidebars may be displaced below body text rather than to the side of it. This is a more flexible display than a hard-coded grid-based layout that doesn't fit the device window. In particular, the relative position of content blocks may change while leaving the content within the block unaffected. This also minimizes the user's need to horizontally scroll the page.
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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I had been with a builder/host who’s focus migrated from yoga studios (closest match I could find at the time) to chiropractors, eye doctors & vets. I changed to a new builder/host that supposedly fully integrated all the aspects of my business mgt. software; only to discover after going live that things like BUY NOW links didn’t work & the ability to embed code provided by the business mgt. software really doesn’t exist.

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None gets the job done better Editors' Choice award-winning Wix. It has a drag-and-drop interface, and all elements of the site are customizable. It doesn't cost a cent to get started with Wix, but you'll want to go premium, starting at $5 per month for a domain and scaling upward to $25 per month for unlimited monthly data transfers and 20GB of storage.
Our Services display some content that is not Google’s. This content is the sole responsibility of the entity that makes it available. We may review content to determine whether it is illegal or violates our policies, and we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or the law. But that does not necessarily mean that we review content, so please don’t assume that we do.

Thanks for a great review! My only “con” would be that you didn’t included customer service. But I understand the work it would have involved. I LOVE WIX. I have been with them since they started. But their customer service stinks. I don’t like having to search through a database of questions other users have submitted to find an answer to my problem. They make it hard to find a phone number. Otherwise, besides a few technical beefs I have, it is a great option.

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Maybe the most difficult part is finding the designer who really understands your needs and design style requirements. This is why it is best to start a contest, find your winner and (as enjoyed by many here) continue working with your designer through One-on-One project individually. We make it easy, simple and fast for anybody to find their designers and get the unique graphic design done in the most efficient way.

One of the top marketing strategies that will bring you leads and sales is a Call to Action (CTA), but only if you apply it accordingly. The CTA is meant to inspire your website visitors to take action. Generally, the call to action is the most critical part of your entire marketing campaign. Here is where you will either lose a potential customer or make a sale.

In situations where you can’t find an included tutorial to meet your needs, you can often find instruction from a variety of web resources. Whether you prefer written instructions or want to see each step in a video, you can find free information online to help you move forward with your design. So, before you think completing part of the setup of the site is too difficult, hope into your favorite search engine and see what if the larger community doesn’t have an answer.
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?
Our WordPress themes are responsive, which means they will automatically adapt to mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. Responsive web design (also known as RWD) is a web design approach that provides optimal viewing across a wide range of devices. One website can accommodate desktop computer monitors, tablets, and mobile phones. This saves you development time, as well as reduces ongoing maintenance costs.

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Support among the services varies widely, from free WordPress.com account's only offering community support, to Jimdo's email-only service, to Wix's telephone-callback service—even for free accounts! Many of the site builders offer rich online support knowledge bases and FAQs, so there's a good chance you won't even need to contact the company. I test each service's support as part of the review process by asking about some less-common site-building procedures. 

Webstarts Complete online store Webstarts not only lets you add up to 10 products, but you can also accept credit card payments through Stripe, WePay or Authorize.net. Inventory management is included and there’s even an option to sell digital goods. The only downside is that you are limited to 20 sales per day. But hey, then you should really think about a paid upgrade.
Note that I’m not criticizing CMSs here: in fact, it’s possible to deliver these sorts of experiences via a CMS. It just takes a little ingenuity — all of the visuals from this story can be delivered via background images and videos — and careful attention to consistency across stories, as you’re writing, designing, and developing them. And yes — a content model that differs from your standard “blog posts.”
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.

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For most users, free themes are the best place to start. When you install a new theme, it doesn’t change the content on your site, only the layout. This means you can download and install a number of different themes to see which theme suits you best. If you feel like you need something more advanced than a free theme, you can always install a paid theme at a later date.
If you prefer a more traditional URL, you'll need to purchase one from the likes of GoDaddy or Namecheap. Domain name pricing can range from extremely cheap to extremely expensive, depending on whether or not domain squatters are looking to flip a valuable piece of online real estate. You'll want to get something short but evocative and catchy, and depending on what you do, you may find that many of your first choices are taken by either other legit domains, or by squatters who've scooped up the names as an investment. For more, please read How to Register a Domain Name.
Italiano: Realizzare una Pagina Web, Español: diseñar una página web, Português: Preparar o Design de um Site, Nederlands: Een website ontwerpen, Français: concevoir un site internet, Deutsch: Eine Webseite designen, Русский: создать дизайн сайта, 中文: 设计网站, Čeština: Jak navrhnout webovou stránku, Bahasa Indonesia: Mendesain Website, العربية: تصميم موقع إلكتروني, ไทย: ออกแบบเว็บไซต์, 한국어: 웹사이트 디자인하는 방법, Tiếng Việt: Thiết kế website

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For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web... See Full Bio

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Thank you so much for your comprehensive review of the website builders. I’m a writer with a need to add affiiate advertising to a website and blog and I want to have E-commerce capability. #1: I basically want to upload articles I’ve written so I’ll have a digital archive. #2: Write a blog. #3: Sell products or affiliate products. I’ll continue to explore SiteBuilder, Wix and WordPress. I would not be able to pick these 3 without your reviews. Thanks again!
The basic plan is free, but is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.
Is your website down every other day due to things like memory errors, hacking, plugins breaking, exploding when you try to change some text? Some of these things might be fixed by better hosting, and some might be because your website was built poorly. I'm going to confess something: developers are lazy - we like shortcuts. Unfortunately, some of those shortcuts cause long-term stability and security problems. So, get an honest opinion from someone who knows their stuff as to whether or not your site needs a few band-aids, or if it needs a full-body amputation.

Google gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to use the software provided to you by Google as part of the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the Services as provided by Google, in the manner permitted by these terms. You may not copy, modify, distribute, sell, or lease any part of our Services or included software, nor may you reverse engineer or attempt to extract the source code of that software, unless laws prohibit those restrictions or you have our written permission.


“Wow! I mean WOW. Stupid easy and brilliant website builder software. How did it take so long for this to be created. I have been out of Web Dev since 2010 so maybe just being away from it all impresses the hell out of me but you guys deserve a GOOD JOB! Award. I will pass on your name to all I know. Best of luck to you and I can not wait to see what is next.”

The most important thing to consider with your website is whether or not it's meeting your goals. If you're a small business that is doing quite well with lead generation or reputation, and your website is a part of that funnel, it might be doing pretty well already even if it's not your flavor of beautiful. Break down what you want or expect your site to do: generate leads, support your message, gather data, sell products and so on: if it's performing well at its function, you may be better of investing your time and dollars at other areas of business that need bolstering first.
Hi there and thank you wor this fantastic WP resource. So much useful information. I have a question, though, I am not finding an answer anywhere but I’m sure you’d be able to point me in the right direction. I have a webpage that I had built with weebly time ago but I finally have time and wish to turn it into a more professional site and blog. I want to move to WP.
I have personally built two different sites using WordPress and found it very easy to use, setup and configure. Once it is initially setup, maintaining the site is as easy as logging into the WordPress admin site and adding your content. I was initially very surprised by the ease of the setup to get my sites up and running. I was able to get the site online and running on a customer domain within 15 minutes. This was a welcome surprise to me the fist time I used WordPress. While WordPress sites are not as simple as drag and drop configuration for the novice computer user, average users will find it easy to edit text and add content using the built in templates. The price is possibly the most attractive feature of WordPress. The word free will often attract users but the usability and ease of the software is what will make users stick with the platform. After building two sites on WordPress, I would strongly recommend it and will surely use it for my future website building projects.

Getting your message out these days requires good helpings of Facebook and Twitter, with maybe a dash of Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr. But that's not enough: if you want an internet presence that truly represents you or your organization, you also need a website that sets you apart from the crowd. A real website, as opposed to a social media page, gives you complete control over design and content. This lends credibility to your business, organization, or personal brand. Facebook pages all look alike in terms of design, but on your own website, you can realize a brand image, offer products for sale, and integrate third-party web services. 

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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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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