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Best Tools for Building a Website

Best tools for building a website
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

If you’re thinking about building a website but have no idea how to start, this is the guide for you! Thanks to technology, you can easily build a professional-looking and responsive website without any coding knowledge. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best tools for building a website.

The best tools for building a website are WordPress, a good host like Bluehost or Hostinger, and a website builder like Elementor. You can build a very capable website just with these tools alone.

There are three main tools you need to create a website with ease – a website platform, a website builder, and a hosting service. You can of course implement other tools and plugins, and your own coding knowledge if you want. However, for this article, we’re sticking with the barebones for beginners. Below, we’ve compiled the 4 best options of each of these tools to help you create your first website. But first, let’s take a closer look at these tools and what they do.

 

The Tools You Need To Create a Website

To build a website you’ll need a website platform, a website builder, and a website hosting service.

  • A website platform is the overarching technology that allows you to create the visual and functional elements of your website
  • A website builder is the specific tool you use to build your website
  • A hosting service provides a home for your website on the internet, by storing its data and allowing users to access it

So, let’s take a look at each of these tools in more detail and compare the most popular options available.

 

Best Tools for Building a Website — Website Platforms

Choosing your website platform is an important step because it determines the look, functionality, user experience, and maintenance requirements of your website.

When deciding which platform to use, keep the objective of your website in mind. Some platforms are better for bloggers, while others are better suited for e-commerce or small businesses. Below are a few of the best website platforms for beginners.

 

1. WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular website platform, and one of the most talked about tools for building a website. It powers more than 40% of all websites on the internet. Its popularity is mostly due to the powerful features it provides, the scalability it offers, and its user-friendliness.

WordPress is a free and open-source website platform. With WordPress, you get lots of control over how your website looks and performs.

Pros

You can use WordPress to create any kind of website, including e-commerce sites, community forums, social networks, blogs, and landing pages. There are thousands of pre-made themes that you can customise with WordPress’ simple drag and drop website builder. Plus, there is a huge variety of plugins to make your website even more dynamic.

WordPress comes with powerful SEO tools to ensure your pages always rank high in the SERPs. It’s also one of the cheapest platforms on the market.

Cons

WordPress offers a lot of freedom when designing your website. But this also means you have to manage almost every single aspect of your website too. While this doesn’t require any coding skills, it can take some time to become familiar with the system and its tools.

Depending on the type of website you’re creating and the functionalities you want to include, there can initially be a lot to learn. Also, you need to keep track of WordPress and plugin updates and create regular backups to ensure your website is safe.

 

2. Wix

Wix is a cloud-based website platform that’s very popular with beginner creators. It’s easy to use and offers powerful features to help you build your website very quickly.

Pros

Wix is fully hosted, meaning that you won’t need to arrange or pay separately for hosting. It offers hundreds of templates for your website’s design, each of them fully customisable with their drag and drop website builder.

It also offers numerous apps you can install to add more features and functionality to your website. Wix offers free and premium plans, depending on your needs.

Cons

Wix’s free plan has its limitations. It comes with limited bandwidth and storage, and it doesn’t include a domain name. 

The Free and Connect Domain plans also display branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to a Combo or Unlimited plan to remove them. Once you’ve created a website on Wix, it’s very hard to move it to another platform. This makes Wix better for small projects or personal websites. You can learn more about Wix in this article.

 

3. Squarespace

Squarespace is another professional website platform known for its clean designs and intuitive user interface.

Pros

Squarespace has its own infrastructure for hosting your website, so you won’t need to pay separately for it. It has tons of amazing designs that are ready for any kind of content. The templates are completely customisable by simply dragging and dropping or editing items. This allows you to create beautiful pages in minutes.

Squarespace offers a specific e-commerce plan that allows you to add an online store to your website. The e-commerce plan has a simple interface for product management, inventory, order placement, and coupon discounts.

Cons

Squarespace has developed most of the features it offers. This limits integrations with third-party services and can slow your website down a fair bit if you use a lot of extra features.

There’s a lot less room for customisation on Squarespace too, compared to other platforms like WordPress. It’s also worth noting that Squarespace’s e-commerce plan only accepts payments through Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal. Find out more about how Squarespace shapes up against WordPress here.

 

4. Shopify

Shopify is a popular website platform specifically designed for online stores and e-commerce websites. With 1.75 million merchants selling on Shopify, $79.5 billion worth of products have been sold on the platform.

Pros

From a website design standpoint, Shopify offers you hundreds of templates to choose from. From an operations point of view, this platform has you covered with full inventory management, unlimited products, statistics and reporting, marketing solutions, and in-store POS, allowing you to sell products locally if you want as well.

You never have to worry about managing software, installing updates, or keeping backups. You can even integrate Shopify with WordPress to use both solutions at the same time, taking advantage of the different benefits of both platforms.

Cons

Shopify is quite pricy compared with some other platforms, especially if you’re just starting your business. The basic plan starts at around £22 ($29) a month. Also, trying to move your website from Shopify to another platform is challenging. Shopify is best for beginner e-commerce websites. We compare Shopify to WordPress in this article

 

Best Tools for Building a Website — Website Builders

If you choose WordPress as your website platform, there are several website builders available to help you create all your pages without having to know how to code. Bear in mind that if you choose one of the other options above, you’ll be using their built-in website builders. 

Here are a few of WordPress’ best drag and drop page builder plugins that will help you set up a professional website in no time!

 

1. Elementor

Elementor is one of the most popular website builders on WordPress. This drag and drop visual editor allows you to choose from over 80 design elements and widgets to customise all your pages. Elementor is easy to use and very intuitive. Anyone can quickly learn its interface, so it’s a great option for beginners.

If you’re looking to save some time, Elementor also comes with pre-made templates that you can customise later. This plugin is very responsive and ensures your website looks good on any device.

Elementor offers free and paid versions. The paid plans give you access to a lot more widgets, themes, and better customer support. To learn more about Elementor and all of its features, check out this ultimate guide on our blog. To see if it’s the right website builder for you, check out this review.

Check Elementor Pricing

2. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is another user-friendly WordPress page builder that’s great for beginners. It works as a great visual editor that allows you to design your pages with real-time previews. You simply choose a template and replace its content with your own images and text.

The Beaver Builder also has a great landing page creation functionality. It allows you to choose the modules you want, drag, drop, and edit them to create a professional landing page in just a few minutes.

It offers free and paid versions. The paid options come with a few more design perks and allow you to work on unlimited sites. However, the paid versions are expensive compared to other builders on the market.

 

3. Divi

The Divi Builder is another powerful drag and drop website builder that lets you preview your design as you go. With this builder, you can customise everything including fonts, colours, sizing, and spacing to create unique and personalised page layouts.

It comes with its own themes that you can use too. You can also create and save your Divi layouts and import/export them to other Divi sites.

Unfortunately, the Divi builder isn’t free. It offers a yearly payment plan (£67/$89) and lifetime plan (£186/$249). This website builder is very popular, and it’s frequently described as a good Beaver Builder alternative for small businesses.

 

4. Gutenberg Editor

The Gutenberg Editor replaced the WordPress classic editor to offer a similar experience to other website builders. This builder uses individual blocks to insert content in the pages, making it easier for beginners to use. It allows you to get a better idea of how your content looks on the front end and customise it with a variety of features.

If you’re just starting out, the Gutenberg Editor might be a good builder to get some experience with dragging and dropping blocks of content. More seasoned website creators, or those that just want more customisation at their fingertips, might prefer to use other builders that offer more features and widgets.

 

Best Tools for Building a Website — Website Hosting

Web hosting allows you to host a website accessible via a web browser. It securely stores your files, like HTML and images, and makes sure your website runs seamlessly. When choosing the right web hosting provider, you’ll need to consider the type of hosting you need, how much storage you’ll require, and what type of security certificates the host includes.

If you want to know more about web hosting, check out this article from the Sophical Blog. Below are a few web hosting providers to choose from to start your website building journey!

 

1. Hostinger

Hostinger is one of the most popular web hosting providers. It made a name for itself through its budget-friendly options. Hostinger offers different types of hosting, including shared options, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.

If you’re unsure of how you want to build your website, Hostinger offers a tool called Zyro that allows you to create a website from scratch without having to leave Hostinger. However, we still recommend choosing an option like WordPress instead.

Hostinger offers three shared web hosting plans:

  1. The Single plan costs £0.99 ($1.39) per month and allows you to host one website, with 30 GB of SSD storage and a free SSL certificate
  2. The Premium plan is £1.99 ($2.59) per month and allows you to host 100 websites, with 100 GB of SSD storage
  3. The Business plan costs £3.99 ($3.99) a month and allows you to host 100 websites, with 200 GB of SSD storage and daily backups

Note that these prices are for your first year. They will renew at a higher price.

You can see our full guide on Hostinger’s pricing packages here. If you want to find out if Hostinger is the right host for you, check out our detailed review here.

Check Hostinger Pricing

2. Bluehost

Bluehost is another popular web hosting provider that caters to a range of users with different websites and goals. It provides cheap deals for beginners with simple hosting requirements. There are also options for more advanced users whose websites receive more traffic and need VPS hosting or even a dedicated server. 

Bluehost offers beginner-friendly tools for installing software on websites too, being famous for its one click WordPress installation (even though most other hosts now offer this too). It also offers you a domain name for free (for one year) if you pay for a full year in advance.

Bluehost offers three different shared hosting plans:

  1. The Basic plan costs £1.94 ($2.95) a month, allowing you to host one website with 50 GB of SSD storage
  2. The Plus plan is £3.62 ($5.45) a month and allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited SSD storage
  3. The Pro plan costs £8.74 ($13.95) a month and allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited SSD storage, plus other benefits

Note that these prices are for your first year. They will renew at a higher price.

 

3. HostGator

HostGator is one of the most well-known web hosting companies on the market. It offers different hosting plans and tiers depending on your needs. HostGator’s options include shared web hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting options, and dedicated servers.

Like other providers, it offers website-building tools to manage everything from one place. HostGator has three different web hosting plans:

  1. The Hatchling plan costs £1.99 ($2.75) per month which allows you to host one website with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth
  2. The Baby plan is £2.54 ($3.50) per month and allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth
  3. The Business plan is £3.81 ($5.25) per month and allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth

Note that these prices are for your first year. They will renew at a higher price.

 

4. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is another web hosting provider that offers shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting options. It promises 99.9% uptime, faster page load times, and a 1-click installation of website platforms like WordPress.

They have four web hosting plans for you to choose from, depending on your needs:

  1. The Economy plan costs £3.99 ($5.99) a month and allows you to host one website with 25 GB of storage
  2. The Deluxe plan costs £4.99 ($7.99) a month and lets you host up to 10 websites with 50 GB of storage
  3. The Ultimate plan costs £7.99 ($12.99) a month, allowing you to host up to 25 websites with 75 GB storage and increased processing power
  4. The Maximum plan costs £9.99 ($19.99) a month and allows you to host 50 websites with 100 GB storage, increased processing power and speed, and SSL certificates for all sites

Note that these prices are for your first year. They will renew at a higher price.

 

Start Building Your Website Today!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re now ready to start building your website! By choosing the best tools for building a website, you can now take the next step with more confidence.

If you’re interested in learning more about website creation, check out these other articles on the Sophical Blog.

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