The world is rapidly turning into a huge digital marketplace with hundreds and thousands of new websites deployed daily. From blogs and company’s websites to professional portfolios and digital stores – the Global Web appears to be the best way of representing the brand’s public face.
In other words, everyone needs a website. However, not everyone has enough skills to create a site from scratch.
A user currently has several options:
The first one is to actually build the website using coding languages and modern web instruments. This path requires a deep technical understanding and programming experience. Moreover, the process comes with multiple trials and errors, debugging, A/B testing and other terms most of us do not understand.
The second way is to hire someone to have a site developed for you. We are talking of custom and outsource development teams, freelancers, etc. Well, that might work in case of unlimited budget and eagerness to pay for each modification or update. That will hardly work for individuals who want to launch a simple block or tiny online store with a limited budget.
The last option is to opt for drag-and-drop website building software. The technology was developed to help newbies of ay level to build different types in hours or literally minutes depending on the implemented technology. They are easy to use. They are available at affordable price. They deliver a rich feature set to let newbies customize their pages in accordance with the desired style or preferences. Today, drag-and-drop functionality is probably the best and simplest way to create digital content without special skills.
What do we actually know about technology? How can it help beginners? What are the key characteristics and advantages of drag-and-drop functionality? What are the best drag-and-drop website builders? The review is to answer all these questions.
What Is Drag-and-Drop?
Before we dive deep in the world of moving contact forms, customized “About Me” and header sections, let us define the term “drag-and-drop”.
“Drag-and-Drop” means that you may capture any element or on-page block and move it to any place on the page. The same thing with media files. To upload an image, a user should only hover it with the mouse to the area he or she wants to see it.
To use the software, we only need a computer, laptop or mobile device in case the website builder has a mobile app. connect your device to the Internet and start creating your site. The key advantage is that users are not obliged to do the learning curve or take up coding and programming. You get a pre-determined layout available for customization. Some platforms (Wix, uKit, Weebly) allow creating new pages from blank. It means it is up to you what sections and blocks your page will contain: text sections, galleries, and slideshows, contact forms, media files, etc.
To customize the page, a user needs to drop any of the following elements on the page:
- Structural components.
- Background images and dividers.
- Header and footer menus.
- Custom headings and background images.
Users are free to create as many pages as they need unless their amount is limited by the software plan. The process hardly takes more than a couple of hours. Some products offer advanced technologies based on Artificial Intelligence to create new sites from scratch in literally minutes. Once again, no coding is required!
We Tested Out 10 Of The Best Drag-and-Drop Website Builders:
- Wix – The Best Drag-and-drop Website Builder
- WordPress – Best Drag-and-drop CMS (Content Management System)
- uKit – Small Business Drag’n’Drop Website Builder
- Shopify – Easiest Ecommerce Website Builder
- Bookmark – Website Builder to Create a Website with AI
- SITE123 – Free Drag & Drop Website Builder
- Weebly – Simple Website Builder to Make a Website
- Mobirise – Offline Drag-and-drop Website Builder Software
- Elementor – Drag-and-drop Website Builder Plugin for WordPress
- Webflow – Professional Drag’n’Drop Website Builder
Wix – The Best Drag-and-Drop Website Builder
Wix – is one of the most popular website builders, which refers to the category of 100% drag-and-drop systems. It means no limitations in terms of placing different elements or sections as well as their modifying and customizing. The platform made a name for itself by implementing the latest AI-technologies that let newbies create new sites in minutes. Here is what it offers:
- Wix ADI – this is the AI-feature we were talking about. It will actually build a website for you based on the answers you provide. A user needs to indicate the niche, website type, functions he or she wants to see on pages… Voila! You get a site with built-in sections, plugins, widgets, and even relevant content generated from your Facebook page.
- Wix Editor – the tool if for users who still want to get involved in the building process and want to express their creativity without special coding or web designing skills. The system does not have an AI-based instrument, On the other hand, you are free to choose any layout design or create your own pages from blank. Place them whenever you need whether it is a calendar or contact form. Create engaging structure and take the most of users’ engagement.
- Wix App Market – the collection of custom widgets and add-ons makes it easy to add new forms, integrate analytics, add eCommerce features in case of launching a digital store, etc. Simply drag-and-drop the widget you need and have it on your page.
Wix pricing policy is moderate and affordable for everyone. Apart from the variety of paid subscriptions, the website builder has a completely free plan, which lets you explore the feature set of the platform prior to picking one of the paid options. Mind, however, that free Wix plan has a number of limitations. Thus, you won’t be able to connect your own domain, get rid of the system ad banners, increase the amount of disk storage space etc. To get these and other benefits, it’s highly recommended to upgrade to one of the paid plans. Fortunately, Wix provides quite an extensive choice of subscriptions available in its Standard and Business/eCommerce packages. The cost of Standard plans starts with $13/mo, while the price of the cheapest Business subscription currently constitutes $23/mo.
WordPress – Best Drag-and-Drop CMS (Content Management System)
WordPress – is the most popular CMS platform that powers millions of websites across the globe. The platform has mainly distinguished itself as a professional open-source content management system. However, it also delivers some of the most remarkable and functional drag-and-drop features that can notably simplify the process of website development. For this very reason, we have included WordPress in our list of the best drag-and-drop website builder software. Mentioned below are the most impressive features of the CMS:
- Updated Website Editor – The system has notably updated its traditional editor, having added some of the handy drag-and-drop capabilities. This means that everyone can add versatile blocks and elements, while creating new pages, sections and categories. These content blocks/elements may range from images and videos and up to “read more” tags, shortcodes, galleries, widget areas etc. Users are not able to customize or modify the elements themselves. They may only need custom forms in different places on the page. Inline editing process made WordPress easier for newbies.
- Powerful Integrations – WordPress stands out from the crowd due to its powerful integration options. The system allows for template/plugin selection and integration, while the range of add-ons and widgets you may choose from is quite extensive and rich enough to come up to any web design requirements. Some of the most popular WP plugins that may be categorized as drag-and-drop ones include Unyson, PageLayer, Visual Composer, Post and Page Builder by BoldGrid, Nimble, Colibri, CaptainForm Builder, Themify, Cyclone Slider, Drag and Drop Multiple File Upload and many more.
- Hosting and Domain – As a Content Management system, WordPress does not offer all-in-one integrated hosting/domain choice solutions. The platform implies separate selection and integration of hosting, which, correspondingly, triggers extra budget investment. Fortunately, some contemporary hosting companies provide affordable plans and full-featured solutions that completely come up to user website hosting requirements. Bluehost is one of the companies to deal with, when it comes to hosting choice. This is the best WP-recommended all-in-one solution optimized specially for WordPress sites.
WordPress is a free Content Management System. This means that you can download and install it at no cost at all, using the set of advantages provided by default. To get the most out of the system’s functionality, however, get ready to invest into its plugins or templates. Extra budget will be required to get hosting and domain name. However, if you give preference to Bluehost, the cost won’t hit you on the pocket. The cheapest Bluehost plan constitutes $2.95/mo, which is definitely worth the attention of newbies and web design pros.
uKit – Small Business Drag’n’Drop Website Builder
uKit – is mainly a block-based small business drag-and-drop website builder. It means a user may add new elements and blocks but they should be placed in the pre-determined order. The good news is that such website platforms still bring enough customization tools to modify objects and create web appearance. As for the editor features, they are as follows:
- User-Friendly Dashboard – uKit is probably one of the easiest platforms to use. Its drag-and-drop technology lets you create clearly structured pages with everything on its places. Moreover, users are free to edit texts, hover media files and images, and modify any of the available mobile responsive templates.
- Flexibility – although uKit does not have its own app market, it reserves enough room for third-party integration. You are free to connect any service to your website form music streaming apps to analytics, geolocation services, etc.
- Collaboration Functionality – a great feature for those who prefer working in teams. Users may enable the Developer Access to collaborate with freelance web designers, copywriters, etc.
At the same time, uKit is one of the cheapest tools meant for the development of feature-laden small business projects. The system doesn’t offer any unlimited free subscriptions, but there is an opportunity to test its integrated feature set at no cost at all. The trial period extends for 14 days, granting access to all the features, tools and options uKit has in stock. As soon as you decide to keep using the system, you’ll be offered to choose from four paid plans. The cheapest of them constitutes $4/mo, while the most expensive option will cost you $12/mo. To get the discount, you can get the plan for 3, 6, 12 or 24 months and make a one-time payment. The longer the duration of your plan is, the higher the discount will be (generally, it ranges from 5 to 30% correspondingly).
Shopify – Easiest eCommerce Website Builder
Shopify – is the easiest eCommerce website builder software, which has gained worldwide popularity due to the extensive set of web store creation and marketing features and tools. The platform is currently one of the niche leaders that makes it possible to start and manage all kinds of online stores, irrespective of their sizes, areas of specialization, functionality etc. Shopify stands out from the crowd due to its advanced feature set, the most outstanding of which are as follows:
- Web Store Management Options – The software grants access to multiple web store and product management options that make it possible to create and customize any project with regard to your eCommerce needs. Thus, the platform offers its advanced Point-of-Sale feature that allows selling products both in physical and online storefronts. Additionally, you can make use of the powerful Augmented Reality feature, multiple shipping/payment tools, high end security measures as well as numerous product management options (shopping cart integration, CSV file export/import, appealing product display options and embed code generation feature etc.).
- Powerful Integrations – The system allows for powerful integration opportunities. Thus, it is possible to synchronize your Shopify account with popular accounting software and well-known marketplaces, including Quickbooks, Amazon, Xero and more. As a result, these features let you sell digital and physical products not only in your storefront, but also on the synchronized platforms, getting the most out of multi channel support advantages.
- High End Marketing Features – With Shopify, you can both design a professional online store and effectively promote it on the web. Among the most well-known and handy marketing features, it makes sense to mention the opportunity to view and analyze web store statistics, create online receipts, control your eCommerce account balance etc. What’s more, the system lets you make use of its long list of powerful marketing features, namely Shopify Ping, Shopify Tap & Chip Reader, App Store, BOGO discounts and many more.
Shopify offers moderate pricing policy, which absolutely comes up to the feature set provided. You won’t find a free account here, but the platform allows testing its functionality during the 14-day trial available for each and every new user. The most affordable subscription costs $9/mo, which is quite a worthy choice for any entrepreneurs willing to improve web design and business skills.
Bookmark – Website Builder to Create a Website with AI
Bookmark – is a popular contemporary website builder to create a website with AI. This is one of the best samples of how the power of the Artificial Intelligence can simplify the process of website development for first-timers and how helpful it can be for professional web designers. The platform is a nice pick for everyone, who intends to start and then independently manage all types of projects, starting with simple landing pages and up to complex business websites or portfolios. Here is the list of features Bookmark currently boasts:
- AIDA Assistant – A real Bookmark highlight is its advanced AIDA Assistant – the tool that automatically creates a website for you. To be precise, it literally does around 90% of the entire work. The concept is simple. A user should provide several answers that describe his or her future online presentation in the most detailed way. The AI-based system will process all the answers and provide a ready-made template with all sections and widgets you may need. In other words, there is no need to edit elements or deal with web designing. It will take not more than 60 seconds for users to create a new site from scratch with AIDA. The entire building process is focused around speed. You may instantly add “focus” page elements or sections, and benefit from access to a huge collection of stock images.
- Website Customization and DIY Editing – If you do not like the version created by the AI-technology, you are free to make as many revisions as you need until you are totally satisfied with the result. At the same time, you are still capable of editing elements on your own whether there is a need to modify the header menu, add some styling, etc.
- Image/Video Editing Tools – The website builder also boasts extensive image/video editing options and tools. It comes with a stock of free images and video files you can choose from to further integrate them into your project to boost its performance and attract the attention of the target audience. Thus, Photo Editor allows editing, cropping and resizing the chosen images. Additionally, it is possible to integrate video backgrounds and apply visual effects upon the selected files here.
Bookmark is also known for its generous pricing policy. The website builder is available absolutely for free, but get ready to encounter multiple restrictions in this case. Thus, you won’t be able to connect your own domain name, add a web store if needed or remove the system’s ad banner. Likewise, it won’t be possible to create more than 10 website pages with a free plan. If that’s not what you actually need, it makes sense to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions the website builder offers. Actually, Bookmark has quite a limited choice of paid plans, the cost of which constitutes $11.99 and $24.99 per month correspondingly.
SITE123 – Free Drag & Drop Website Builder
SITE123 – is a free drag-and-drop website builder, which ensures smooth navigation, intuitive web creation process and explicit simplicity for everyone. The platform is mostly used to start and manage all types of projects, ranging from landing pages and up to small business projects, portfolios and blogs. The system comes with the integrated drag-and-drop editor, which makes it possible to customize the project to give it high end look and functionality. The list of the major SITE123 highlights is as follows:
- App Market – The website builder allows choosing and integrating an extensive variety of widgets, add-ons, applications and extensions. They can notably boost website performance and enhance its design. Among the most popular apps users may pick and use, it makes sense to mention Galleries, Analytic Tools, Live Chat, Social widgets and more. Additionally, each user has an opportunity to apply the integrated Online Form Builder to start different types of online forms, including registration, callback, online inquiry forms as well as polls, questionnaires etc.
- Logo Maker – When it comes to the ease of website editing, Logo Maker proves to be a handy tool. SITE123 allows using it to design and customize your website logo to enhance brand reputation and popularity. If you are lucky to have your own logo already, the system provides an opportunity to upload and edit it with regard to your current business needs.
- Multilingual Support – With SITE123, it is possible to create several language versions of your website as the system ensures multilingual support. This eliminates the necessity to start several websites in different languages to target versatile user categories. Instead, you can create a single multilingual website to come up to your business/web design requirements and needs.
SITE123 is both simple and affordable. Actually, this is one of the cheapest website builders available in the modern website development niche. The system has a completely free never-expiring plan, which also delivers multiple limitations (subdomain, limited disk storage space/bandwidth, ad banners etc.) that prevent you from starting a full-featured project. If you expect to get the most out of your website, make sure to upgrade to one of SITE123 paid plans. The cheapest of them will cost you $10.80 per month.
Weebly – Simple Website Builder to Make a Website
Weebly – is a popular simple website builder used to create websites of different types. It also uses strict areas for its blocks and elements. On the other hand, the system hardly lacks editing flexibility. It is extremely user-friendly and has a website builder mobile app. It also boasts a powerful ecommerce engine that lets you design and manage all types of online stores, irrespective of their sizes, niche focus and special parameters. The list of the most stunning Weebly features is as follows:
- Mobile Editing – The website builder is available via a mobile app to edit your website on the go. Users may access the dashboard through tablets and smartphones as well as preview sites’ mobile versions.
- A Variety of Blocks – Weebly offers a vast selection of different elements. You may find – them in the left sidebar. Apart from traditional galleries and slideshows, the system offers embedded codes and other blocks you may need on a page. We should also mention the system’s grid that makes it easier to avoid elements’ overlapping.
- Content Editing Tools – Although the website builder uses content grids, different elements let users enable the customization process. You may edit text blocks, resize frames, and enable different element settings by clicking on the section you want to modify. No input masks and simple inline editing make this website builder great for newbies.
Weebly also distinguishes itself due to its pricing policy,which comes up to the needs of the majority of the system users. The system has a free plan, which can be used for the unlimited period of time, but it also has certain restrictions that do not let you get the most out of its entire feature set. Thus, free Weebly subscription offers limited disk storage space and SSL certificate connection opportunity. At the same time, it does not allow connecting your own domain name and it does not remove the ad banners of the platform. What’s more, free plan subscribers don;t have access to the integrated eCommerce features of the website builder. To avail these and other stunning opportunities, it makes sense to upgrade to one of the plans Weebly offers. The cheapest of them costs only $4/mo, which is more than a worthy investment.
Mobirise – Offline Drag-and-Drop Website Builder Software
Mobirise – is a contemporary offline drag-and-drop website builder software. This means that users should download and install the program before using it, which hardly boosts ease of use. The good news is that Mobirise software runs equally well on Mac or Windows OS and it is good for non-technicians without special skills, although dedicated coding pros are also welcome to work with the system. The key features are as follows:
- Simple Dragging and Dropping – The editor lets you add any block from the list and edit the content inside as well as upload background images, etc.
- Mobile-Friendly Design – Mobirise comes as a mobile responsive bootstrap platform. The software has a mobile preview feature to have a look like a site will run on various devices before the deployment.
- AMP Functionality – A great feature for bloggers who want to deliver their content faster than competitors do. It improves the page loading speed and provides faster access to blog posts and articles via smartphones and tablets.
Mobirise is a completely free web building software. Its download and installation are available for everyone without the need to invest into the system right from the start. However, the platform’s functionality, which is provided by default, is somewhat limited. Thus, you will sooner or later face the necessity to use code editor, integrate extensions or pick one of the custom themes the system has in stock. All these features, tools and integrations are provided at extra cost, while the final website development budget depends on the amount of elements/extensions chosen for your project.
What you should know is that each pre-designed Mobirise template costs $49, while the price of its extensions ranges between $49 and $99. The advanced Code Editor tool used to change the HTML/CSS source codes of web pages costs $69. To save the money and get access to all the extensions, themes and Code Editor at once, you can opt for the Mobirise Kit, the cost of which constitutes $149. Additionally, you will have to invest into domain name and hosting as the platform does not provide these options by default. In this respect, Bluehost will prove to be the most suitable solution. The cost of using the platform along with its numerous advantages constitutes $2.95/mo only – there is hardly such an affordable offer out there!
Elementor – Drag-and-Drop Website Builder Plugin for WordPress
Elementor – is a modern drag-and-drop website builder plugin for WordPress, which can be used to create appealing web pages suitable for further customization. The plugin works equally great for newbies and professionals, making it possible to start stunning pages with excellent design and high end functionality. What’s important, no CSS or HTML skills are required to work with Elementor. Have a look at its major highlights right away:
- Excellent WP Compatibility – As a WordPress plugin, Elementor is fully compatible with all the themes the CMS offers to its users. Whatever design you will go for, the plugin will smoothly work with it. This concerns both free and paid solutions. What;s important, Elementor grants full access to the entire set of integrated design tools and it also guarantees multilingual support to let users start websites in more than 20 language versions.
- Enhanced Visual Customization – The plugin ensures enhanced visual website customization, making it possible to complete inline editing via changing blocks and sections on the main screen. All the edits you make are displayed in the live mode and no coding is required to customize header and footer.
- Popup Design Tools – Elementor makes it possible to use high end design tools that are specially created for popup form development. You can use the tools to design different types of popup forms to grow your website customer base. For this very purpose, it is possible to customize ready-made popup layouts, including lead capture forms, sale banners, announcements, Hello bars, email subscribe forms and many more.
Speaking about the pricing policy, Elementor is free for download and use as this is initially the WordPress plugin. However, free plan subscribers have access to quite a limited set of features. To get the most out of its integrated functionality, Elementor allows choosing from its paid subscriptions. The cheapest of them costs $5/mo, letting you create one website only. If you plan to start more projects, it makes sense to upgrade to more advanced subscriptions, which make it possible to build from three websites and up to the unlimited number of web projects.
Webflow – Professional Drag’n’Drop Website Builder
Webflow – is a professional drag-and-drop website builder, which encompasses some of the features typical for contemporary CMS. This is what makes it different from the majority of standard website builders meant for beginners and web design pros. Webflow is not quite easy to master as it resembles advanced web creation software like Adobe Dreamweaver. Thus, it works great for complex projects completed by professionals. It is high time to enlist the main advantages of the platform now:
- Powerful Design Customization – Webflow is all about providing its users with powerful design customization features without complex coding awareness. For this very reason, it offers advanced classes and styles management options that make it possible to create unique ID elements and templates. To do this, you are expected to edit the major CSS features (layers, colors, sizes, spacing, alignment etc.) in the graphic interface.
- Template Editor – Webflow template editor also differs in its structure and dashboard. It combines the main features of the standard visual editor, widgets, general settings area, folders and modules that make up the “CMS Collections” of the platform. Additionally, it is possible to make use of template mode switch options, extensive image library, multiple element highlight modes and other tools. There is also an opportunity to choose the mode you’d like to work in – either Designer or Editor.
- Dynamic Content – The website builder makes it possible to create unique dynamic content by using the structures from corresponding field combinations. This is how you can create and manage full-featured blogs, forums, galleries, blog feeds, event posters, online forms, video/photo presentations and other website content sections. There are also ready-made templates here you can use for further customization. The possibility of Lightbox Gallery integration along with Lottie and After Effects application contributes to the creation of truly personalized and dynamic website content.
Webflow has one of the most extensive pricing plan options to fit any budget and design customization needs. The website builder can be used for free for as long as you need that. In this case, however, get ready to encounter a set of functionality restrictions. These include the system subdomain, absence of code export feature, ad banner and many more. To get rid of these unneeded limitations, Webflow offers two large groups of plans. Each of them includes several additional subscriptions to fit more distinct user groups. The cost of the cheapest Site Plan Pack constitutes $12/mo, while that of the most affordable Account Plan Pack is $16/mo.
Drag-and-Drop Website Builder Characteristics
When you see the “drag-and-drop” term in the website builder’s feature description, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Apart from the ability to move elements and place them wherever you want, the SaaS software has several signature features that define them from traditional CMS and other web platforms.
If you use WordPress CMS, for example, you need to update the page and then enable the preview mode to see the changes live and then switch back to the dashboard, which is time-consuming. Drag-and-drop editors are much easier from this point of view.
All you need is to duplicate the existing layout and use it in other website sections instead of creating several product pages from scratch. You will only need to change texts as well as upload new item images.
Drag-and-Drop Editor Types
Most users think that each website builder uses the same drag-and-drop technology. It is not quite right, as the software’s functionality differs a lot. The issue is very important in terms of picking the tool that will meet your expectations.
You need to clearly understand the capabilities delivered by the drag-and-drop instrument. This is where our classification might come in handy. So, the software types are as follows:
In other words, you may create your own unique structure n matter if you modify the existing template or create a site from blank. 100% drag-and-drop tools deliver enough customization means to change elements styling, resize or replace them, change settings or dimensions to meet the overall web design.
Such platforms generally use bootstrap grids. They make it easy to aggregate as much data as you need and introduce it in the order determined by the system. Although users still have a chance to manipulate with different elements in terms of sizes, styling or settings, they can do it only in the prescribed order.
Choosing the drag-and-drop website builder type mainly relies on your needs and goals. While baseline visual editors might be good for users who do not crave for exclusiveness, 100% d&d platforms are the better option for those who require maximum customization freedom.
Who May Use Drag-and-Drop Software
Drag-and-drop technologies were initially implemented in content-based website builders. They mainly served bloggers, individual entrepreneurs, and small business companies to introduce themselves online.
The software has evolved over the years. It received new features and extended functionality. Today, such instruments allow building any website type form photographers portfolio and wedding sites to small, medium or huge eCommerce projects.
Most drag-and-drop website builders have special blogging features with ready-made blog layouts. All you need is to enable the feature and get a pre-installed blog with publishing tools that include social preview modes, baseline SEO settings, article and tag management, social sharing, etc. The functionality may be different from software to software. At least, you have that option.
As we have stated before, most drag-and-drop website builders were created to introduce media content in the most engaging manner. For small business companies and individual entrepreneurs, it means a great chance to create attractive portfolios, professional business cards, websites for dining venues, B&B properties, etc.
Users have an option to work with stock images or upload their own. A selection of galleries, photo grids, slideshows and other ways to represent media files will certainly result in better online representation.
Website builders are improving. They receive new functional features. Some of them let users create online ships as well as manage products, promote their business online, and improve customers’ loyalty. Drag-and-drop technology will meet the requirements of:
- Small digital store owners selling one or several products of the same type.
- Medium online shops with multiple products related to various categories.
- Shop owners who want to take control over product page management, shipping and tax settings, payment integration, etc.
If you are planning to create a growing business and sell online thousands of products, you might need an eCommerce-specialized platform with an extended feature set.
As we can see, the term “drag-and-drop” is not only about content. It is about fast and simple web building process for users of any level. Although some platforms use different technologies, they all serve the same goal. You only need to choose the one that meets your expectations.
The good news is that most of the software comes with free trials or baseline plans at 0 costs. It is a great opportunity for you to test the service and decide whether a straightforward drag-and-drop editor with little customization options would be enough or you need a 100% d&d editing instrument.