Website Builder Key Features
There are several key features you should look for when choosing the website builder that’s right for you. The following features are all included in our Market Standard, which is a set of metrics we use to compare each vendor.
Check out our Website Builder Comparison Grid to see which top vendors offer the features below.
Most website builder services provide a free trial period, during which you can test their service, or a money-back guarantee. It’s important to use a free trial in order to fully test the functionality of a website builder before you commit to a month, or even a year, of service. Free trials allow you to test multiple services, in case you want to the see the interfaces of different programs before you select a service.
Of course, you want to get the best website builder service for the lowest price possible, but understanding the pricing structure for particular website features is the key to accomplishing this goal. The website builders reviewed on this site bill monthly or annually. Your periodic payment grants use of their website builder software as well as web hosting. Annually paid plans tend to be cheaper than monthly paid plans on a per month basis, but monthly plans obviously require a lower up-front investment and do not require the long term commitment. Some services also include domain name registration and/or e-commerce tools with this payment, while some services require you to pay an additional fee for those features.
Read our full Website Builder Reviews for details about pricing plans and included service features.
All website builders reviewed on ChooseWhat.com come with a web hosting service. A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. The amount of storage space offered by each vendor varies, so make sure that your service provides ample storage for your needs.
A setup wizard is a part of the website builder that guides you through the first steps of building your website. For instance, it might prompt you for your company name, your contact information and a short description of your business. It might also ask you to pick a color scheme for your website. Once you have completed these initial steps, a skeleton of your website will be set up for you, and you will have free range to customize your site using a wide variety of tools. A setup wizard is helpful for first time builders who are just familiarizing themselves with how to build a website.
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get” and is a type of website editor that precisely illustrates what your website will look like to your visitors while you are editing it. In general, a WYSIWYG gives you the ability to directly manipulate the layout of your website. These editors are usually much easier for beginners as opposed to HTML editors, which are much more difficult to master but can provide more flexibility. Every vendor we've reviewed provides a WYSIWYG interface, which is a feature we strongly suggest as the tool for beginners to use when creating websites.
Whereas a WYSIWYG editor is far easier to manipulate for the average computer user, an HTML editor included with the WYSIWYG allows a developer with a bit more experience to edit and correct the display created by the WYSIWYG. Some website builders allow you to edit the code generated by their WYSIWYG, and some even allow you to fully upload an entire HTML document.
Many people build their first website in order to promote their business and sell goods and services. Many website builders provide prebuilt e-commerce tools for displaying your products online as well as taking payment, usually in the form of a credit card. Make sure to check if your preferred online merchant account provider (for example, PayPal) is supported by the website builder that you choose.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools
Many website builders provide tools that allow you to customize meta descriptions, meta keywords, title tags, etc. in an attempt to have search engines properly rank your website relative to the content you're providing and the audience you're targeting. Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to a collection of processes or overall strategies that improve the visibility and traffic your site receives from search engines. Properly optimizing your strategy for gathering traffic is absolutely key to creating a highly visible, valuable site. Some website builders even provide SEO review by in-house pros who go over your site to make sure that it's properly optimized.
View our Website Builder Comparison grid.