As you’ve already noticed, my website is fully dedicated to website builders. And this is for a reason. Though I know well how websites are being made, I still prefer using site builders to build websites for my clients.
What does it take to make a website? How much does it cost to build a website? What training do I need to create a website from scratch? What is the easiest way to build a site? These are some of the most common questions I get through the comments.
What does it take to make a website?
Hosting. In case you decided to use the traditional method (CMS+hosting), you’ll need to find a reliable hosting provider first, and this can be a real challenge for those who have no experience. Though most providers offer quite intuitive control panels, they’re still more complicated than those of website builders.
Website builders. While the traditional method requires taking manual actions, website builders come with included hosting and work out of the box requiring no user intervention.
CMS. To make your website work, you’ll need a content management system, like WordPress for example. If you’re a pro, choosing and installing a CMS won’t be a problem for you, but if you’re a newbie, selecting the right CMS can be a real problem, saying nothing about the installation.
Website builders. Site builders come equipped with a CMS that works in your browser, so there’s nothing to download and install. Just log in and start working. Besides, website builders are updated on their own – you don’t have to manually approve updates.
How much does it cost to build a website?
It depends on the chosen option and your budget. The price can be as low as $3/mo, and as high as several thousand dollars (one-time payment). If you decide to hire a pro, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions to estimate the approximate cost of the project:
- How much content do you currently have? Will you need any custom elements (logos, images, icons etc.)?
- Do you need other special features (shopping cart, user management etc.)?
- Who’s going to maintain the website after it has been launched?
On average, the following numbers can be applied if you are going to build a site the standard way:
- Domain name: $12/year.
- Hosting: $20 -$150/year (depending on traffic and included hosting services).
- Planning, design and development: 60 hrs and up.
- Website maintenance: $400/year and up (depending on the number of updates and their type).
- Promotion: $500/month and up.
Website builders seem to be a bit simpler: you’ll have to pay your monthly fee ($4-$25) that already includes hosting, CMS and templates + about $12/year for your domain name.
Website builders are cheaper, but most of the work is done by the end user.
Do I need to know how to code?
Whether you’re a coding champion, or you have no idea about how sites are being created, you have an equal chance to build a beautiful website. Most website builders are completely code-free systems that require no special training at all. All you need is the Internet, email and some inspiration. No coding!
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular site builders that require no special training at all:
Wix is known for its beautiful templates and very flexible drag-and-drop editor. While most site builders limit your freedom to dragging blocks only to specific areas in the template, Wix lets you place any type of element anywhere on the page. With an ‘Artificial Design Intelligence’ (Wix ADI) you can create a website with Wix even without mouse clicking.
Wix has a nice blogging engine and its own eCommerce solution. Please be aware that the cheapest version of Wix ‘Connect domain’ doesn’t remove Wix ads from your site.
uKit is a drag-and-drop website builder developed with the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs and established small-to-medium businesses in mind. Its intuitive editor lets you visually build and manage your website literally through the front-end of the site – the site builder’s editor is dominated with the preview of your site.
uKit’s main benefits are responsive templates, affordable pricing ($4-5/mo) and a gallery of ready-to-use widgets you can integrate into your site with just a few clicks. Some of these include: SoundCloud, MailChimp, Ecwid, Google Maps and LiveChat, among others.
Weebly is one of the most reliable DIY site creation platforms out there. Being one of the oldest site builders, it offers a rich feature set and intuitive, time-tested interface. There are both in-house and third-party applications.
You may want to see what real Weebly websites look like in my handpicked collection.
If you’re looking to create a simple website that doesn’t require sophisticated functionality, website builders are probably the best and the easiest way to do that: they’re time-, money- and energy-efficient.
What’s more – they are absolutely code-free and can be effectively used by anyone. Still hesitant? Sign up to one of the most popular website builders, reviewed at my blog, today. It’s free.