Last updated on August 2, 2018
Your website matters. It reflects you, as a person, business or brand. So if you’re looking to use a website builder, there’s no point in choosing one on a whim.
When deciding on a printer for example, you don’t just opt for the biggest, shiniest one on the market. You identify what your needs are, set a budget aside, and read some reviews — or at least talk to someone who knows a bit about printers.
It’s the same with website builders, and unlike many of our competitors, we conduct real life research so we can tell you the key differences between products and help you get the best website builder for your specific needs.
But how did we do it?
Well for starters, we’re not some mad professors in white lab coats standing over a concoction of chemicals — we’ll leave that to the proper scientists!
We’re real people, just like you. We asked what you wanted to know then put these website builders through their paces to unearth accurate, reliable answers.
Through a combination of your queries and our expert knowledge, we identified six key areas of investigation:
- Ease of Use
- Value for Money
- Design Flexibility
- Help and Support
- Customer Score
Within each of these areas, we ran a series of tests which, added together, gave us a total score for that area. Once all six areas had a score they were then added together, giving us an overall score for each website builder, which is reflected through a star rating.
Still with us? Great. Below we’ll break down exactly what we looked at in each area.
Ease of Use
You probably want to use a website builder because you need to put something online and either don’t know how or haven’t got the time to code a whole site yourself, right? Not to mention the extortionate fees a web developer would charge you!
You want something simple. Something quick, that will allow you to create your own website hassle-free. And who better to test how easy a website builder is to use than someone just like you?
It’s easy for one of our competitors to sit there, use a website builder, and say how easy they thought it was to use, but how relatable to you really is that?
At Website Builder Expert we do things differently. We got participants to build a website from a designed task sheet (to make it a fair test) across every builder.
In order to make the test as accurate as possible, some participants did the test on multiple builders, to compare them, while others just used one, having never encountered a builder before then.
We asked them to score how easy, or hard, they found each task to complete and interviewed them at the end to identify any areas of the builder they were particularly pleased or annoyed with.
Value for Money
No one likes to be ripped off, but equally scraping the barrel for the cheapest product isn’t always the best route to go either. You want a product that meets all your needs, at a price that doesn’t make your eyes water.
That’s why we took our quality of features score and combined it with the average price across all pricing plans available on each website builder.
It’s also always a good idea to ‘try before you buy’, so we went and dug up the information on which website builders offer a free plan, or at least a free trial, giving you ample time to get a feel for the builder before fully committing to it.
Everyone wants to know what the product they’re potentially buying is capable of. More than whether it simply can or can’t do something, though, you want to know how good it is at doing those things.
That’s why the main test we ran in Features was the quality of them. We found out which website builders did what, and how well they did it.
After breaking down whether each feature was pre-built into the website builder, was offered via a third party app, or was an added extra cost, we then grouped them together to see which website builder had the best features for the following categories:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Password Protection / Members Areas
On top of this, we tested how easy it was to embed certain apps, the cost of purchasing or transferring a pre-existing domain, how much storage space was offered, and the price it cost to make your website free from advertisement.
This is all about the templates! We wanted to find out how many industries each builder covered in their selection of templates, and whether you had the ability to switch templates after publishing your site — without having to reformat everything.
We also spoke to a team of Design, Branding and UX (User Experience) experts and put together a list of best practices when it came to websites. From this, we were able to determine how aesthetically pleasing, industry appropriate, user-friendly and modern each template selection is.
Finally, we tested how effective editing your site was, both on desktop and mobile, to establish if any amendments made would automatically adapt to fit the different screen sizes, making it mobile and desktop responsive.
Help & Support
What’s the point in investing in a product only to get stuck within 10 minutes and be offered limited or poor help and support? Sure doesn’t sound very helpful to us!
We looked at all the different forms of help offered from each website builder (phone, email, live chat, forum, ‘how to’ videos/GIFS and social media) and established whether these services were available 24/7.
We also tested each builder’s knowledge base, asking a series of questions and seeing if the search returns gave us the answer we were looking for. To stay impartial, the same questions were asked to each website builder.
Finally, we checked out what restore options are available to you and which builders came with in-built SSL security.
It’s easy for us to sit here and rave about or berate each website builder, but what do you, the public, think of them? Well, we got real life participants to test the products and let us know what they thought about them.
As well as gaining some great insight into specific pain points, we also asked participants to rate how likely they’d be to recommend the website builder to a friend who’s looking to get online. This was fantastic as you’re no longer just taking our word for it — the people have literally spoken!
Moreover, we used our overall Value for Money score as well to show you what people thought about each website builder and whether you’d be getting your money’s worth.
Results: Ranking & Overall Score
- Wix – 4.7 / 5
- Weebly – 4.3 / 5
- Squarespace – 4.1 / 5
- Site123 – 4 / 5
- Strikingly – 4 / 5
- Site Builder – 3.8 / 5
- WordPress.com – 3.7 / 5
- Jimdo Creator – 3.7 / 5
- 1&1 – 3.5 / 5
- GoDaddy – 3.5 / 5
Having come from a research background, I know what to look for when it comes to product testing. My role is to speak to people just like you and test products to get the comprehensive and accurate answers you deserve.
It’s my job to research website builders and find out which ones really are best for your specific needs. Having tested numerous builders, I’m in a great position to help you guys not only get online, but have great success once there.
Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at email@example.com.