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WordPress vs Website Builders

Updated on July 28, 2015
uKit website builder
uKit website builder

Website builders are on the rise today

There was a time when drag-and-drop page builders were a joke, but that’s not the case anymore. Website builders have not died. Over the past few years they have morphed from clunky page construction kits into feature-rich web services that don’t solely target end users, but also aim at web professionals.

Website builders are on the rise today, there’s no doubt about that. But how do they compare with other established web publishing solutions, like WordPress? I’ve researched and compared all the top website builders, and I’ve distilled the results into this post.

As someone looking to create a website, you are likely to fall into one of these groups:

  • a non-technical business person who wants an easy and fast way to get his or her business online;

  • a developer who is comfortable with code, but not design;

  • a designer who prefers to work as visually as possible.

Have you figured out your group? Great. Now we can pair you up with the perfect website builder.

Wix, Weebly, uKit: Best for the non-technical

Wix, Weebly and uKit are some of the best site builders for the non-technical. Their focus is on providing a simple means to design and publish a beautiful, responsive website within minutes - without having to code. They work as follows: you create an account, choose a template and then customize it directly in your browser, in a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get environment.

Balancing ease of use and functionality is a tough task, so in most cases, the easier the service, the less flexible it is. Though the three site builders offer enough tools to set up a decent website, their feature sets don’t let you fully overhaul the look of your site. This is done to ensure you can’t break the functionality of your site.

Further, because these site builders lock sites within their platforms (you can’t transfer those), they are unsuitable for developers looking to customize a ready template with extended functionality.

However, if you need a simple website for yourself or your small business, uKit, Wix or Weebly will certainly handle it.

Wix templates
Wix templates

WordPress: Best for developers

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system on the web. An enormous community has grown around this free open-source system, resulting in a huge volume of both add-ons and support.

However, despite being the most used CMS, WordPress isn’t the easiest option. The piecemeal nature of WordPress ecosystem makes it ill-suited to the non-technical. With WordPress, you’re expected to tackle a lot of the technical aspects yourself: you’ll need to set up hosting, integrate add-ons, modify your template which is unfortunately rather painful, if you’re not a developer. Newbies and designers will find this workflow hostile.

In other words, WordPress is designed first and foremost for those who know a thing or two about coding. The power of this CMS cannot be understated, but it can be only leveraged by professionals.

WordPress plugins
WordPress plugins

Webflow and Webydo: Best for designers

These code-free site builders are technically more-in-depth than Wix and Weebly, but still created with the non-technical user in mind. Both Webflow and Webydo provide full control over every element in a template so that you can build out sites to clients’ exact expectations. They’re best suited for web design agencies and freelance designers.

Webydo interface
Webydo interface

To wrap it up

Without specifying the user market, comparing different website building solutions is just muddying the waters. Whether you’re a coding champion or a budding novice, there’s indeed a perfect website builder for you.

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      In the summer of 2013 I decided I needed a website in order to create an "office" for my freelance business. It terrified me. I'm not tech savvy, nor could I afford to hire someone to build my site for me. At the recommendation of a few friends, I opted for Weebly. It took me several days to build - lots of research was involved. After it went live, I tweaked it several times. The more I learned about how sites are seen by the search engines and how "back door" maintenance is key to visibility, the more I tweaked.

      You've presented some good options for those of us who are techno-igno. In today's world, websites have become a necessity for anyone who is self-employed or has a book or other products/services to offer.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 2 years ago from USA

      I have multiple sites on Weebly, plan on creating more there.

    • sitebuilders profile image
      Author

      sitebuilders 24 months ago

      Thanks for your comments! Weebly is a great pick.

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 24 months ago from Newport Beach

      Love your smart, intellectual approach to this topic. I have had websites with sitebuilders since the 90s. I LOVE that they're getting better and better. I'd love to see a hub on comparing professionally designed websites with a website builder. Often we think we can make something that looks like a beautiful website we've seen. And that brings to mind the question of "Does the beauty of a website increase traffic and commerce?" I always spend so much time trying to make my website lovely and I don't get traffic! (But once you start playing around with a sitebuilder, you can't stop!!! :)

    • sitebuilders profile image
      Author

      sitebuilders 24 months ago

      Hi Billie, I think that the beauty of a website does influence its success. People stay longer on websites that are eye-pleasing and easy-to-navigate. So do you have a website built using a site builder? What's your favorite pltaform?

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 24 months ago from Newport Beach

      I've only used website builders. I don't have programming skills. My husband does, but he's not a web developer. So my favorite website builder right now is godaddy because I can call them any time day or night, it was intuitive for me, and the mobile app it creates is nice and clean and crisp. They don't have an FTP feature though, so we have to use networksolutions to upload big files. I hate that we can't be promotional here, but you can find my website through my profile here. I also created some other pages to which I point a different url for my children's ebook about a little left pawed dog. The games my husband and I created are on the kids' page link for little kids and student cafe for higher grades with some literary terms, sentence exercises, etc. I HATE my store setup through network solutions, but we don't sell anything any way, so I might just take if off. I welcome any suggestions. Don't get much traffic except on the "I Have a Dream" exercise. No money made at all on the site - never was actually. Thanks for the interest.

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