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Best Website Builders for Designers

There are myriads of web building options for creative designers, who have an intention to develop websites for personal use as well as for professional web designers, who need functional tools to create portfolios or client websites with maximum efficacy and minimum investment of effort and time.

Experience, knowledge and skills matter a lot as well – the more proficient in web design you are and the more complicated the project is, the more advanced programs you have to use.

An important factor to consider is that both user groups generally tend to look for simpler web building tools. Newbies just need skills and practice to use more complicated programs, while web design pros usually have many tasks and face the necessity to search for a solution that will boost their productivity without compromising with the quality and professional look of projects they work on. Website builders prove to be the only reasonable solution for both groups of web developers.

Whatever web design skills and background you have, you’ll be interested to browse the reviews of the best website builders included in the list. Awareness of their pros, cons and special characteristics will help you create websites that will stand out from the crowd due to their quality and high end performance. Have a look at them now to decide on the most suitable web building solution.

1. Webflow

Product Name:Webflow
Official Website:webflow.com
Founded:2013
Complexity:Complex
Free plan:Yes
Paid plan:From $14/mo

Webflow – is a professional website builder for creatives, which allows starting and managing nearly all types of projects, including those that feature a high complexity level. The platform comes with a drag-and-drop editor, customizable responsive templates and advanced website development tools that make it similar to standard Content Management Systems or professional web creation software like Adobe Dreamweaver. In this respect, Webflow mostly works great for experienced web designers working on the development of client projects yet it can also be used by those web designers, who intend to improve their skills. It’s high time to find out what exactly the website builder has to offer to non-techies and web design experts.

For Newbies:

  • Responsive Templates. As a design-focused website builder, Webflow grants access to the huge collection of responsive switchable themes, which are available in free and paid variants. All in all, there are over 200 high end templates here, which are completely customizable and there is also an opportunity to design an absolutely personalized website from scratch here, using the black canvas without any demo content.
  • Template Editor. Webflow template editor is more complicated and unusual as compared to standard editors, but it can be mastered by ordinary users as well. The editor comprises the features of usual visuals editors along with widgets, multiple modules, folders and general settings section. These elements make up the so-called “CMS Collections” of the website builder. Users can choose from Designer and Editor modes to work in.
  • Creation of Dynamic Content. The platform lets all users create truly unique dynamic content out of the available structures. Among the content types you can create with Webflow, it makes sense to mention galleries, blogs, forums, news feeds, web forms, event posters, photo/video presentations etc. Lightbox Gallery, Lottie and AfterEffects integration contributes to the creation of personalized and impressive content.

For Professionals:

  • Advanced Design Customization. With Webflow, web developers can take full control of JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 codes to create unique web canvases. The system also offers high end style and class management options to launch quality and impressive ID templates and content elements.
  • eCommerce. The website builder allows creating full-featured online stores that differ in complexity and functionality aspects. The system puts a user in charge of the web store development process, offering an exhaustive collection of page customization tools and eCommerce features. These include integrated shopping cart settings management, product list creation, inventory and design tools choice, shipping/payment/tax parameters set up, order management options etc.
  • Powerful Animations and Interaction Tools. The system empowers web designers to build complex and visually-appealing animations without writing a line of coding. Thus, you can create and integrate scroll-based multi-step parallax and animations, connecting motion to the scrolling progress in order to get a truly stunning effect.

Cost: Webflow stands out from the crowd due to its versatile and extensive pricing policy. The website builder has the never-ending free plan, which is enough to test the entire feature set of the platform. If you decide to start building professional projects with the system, you’ll be offered to choose the subscription available in one of two plan groups – General and eCommerce.

Each group includes several more detailed subscriptions that differ in terms, services, built-in tools and pricing, of course. The cost of the cheapest General plan constitutes $14/mo, while that of the most affordable eCommerce subscription is $29/mo when billed annually. By the way, you can test the system for free when exploring the Starter plan included in the General pricing package.

See also: Webflow review.

2. Adobe Dreamweaver

Product Name:Adobe Dreamweaver
Official Website:adobe.com
Founded:1997
Complexity:Complex
Free plan:Free 14-day trial
Paid plan:From $31.49/mo

Dreamweaver – is a powerful web creation software for complex projects that mainly targets professionals and allows for convenient development of web applications. With its intuitive visual interface and robust coding capabilities, Dreamweaver caters to both beginners and experienced developers. The software offers a WYSIWYG design view, letting users visually construct web pages without delving into code. At the same time, the code view provides a comprehensive environment for manual coding, making it suitable for developers who prefer hand-coding HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. To decide whether the software works for your individual web design needs, have a look at the features it offers to beginners and web experts.

For Newbies:

  • Responsive Design Tools. Beginners can build websites that easily adapt to various screen sizes, parameters and resolutions. There is access to tools that let you preview how a project will look on various devices, ensuring a consistent user experience across different platforms.
  • Starter Templates. The app provides a collection of ready-made themes for different website types. These designs offer a basis for further customization by means of replacing the available content.
  • Code Suggestions and Auto-Completion. Even if you’re new to coding, Adobe Dreamweaver simplifies the process of working with code by suggesting the most suitable samples while you type. This eventually reduces potential errors. Autocompletion prompts are available here as well, helping non-techies write accurate code even with limited experience.
  • Integrated FTP. It is easy to upload your website to a server with Dreamweaver due to the availability of the built-in FTP. As a result, beginners can publish their sites with no need to look for separate software.
  • Tutorials and Learning Resources. Adobe comes with a range of tutorials, guides and online resources that help beginners learn how to effectively use Dreamweaver and gradually develop their web development skills.

For Professionals:

  • Advanced Coding Environment. Dreamweaver has a powerful code editor with advanced features like syntax highlighting, code collapsing and intelligent code completion. This environment is perfect for professionals who prefer hand-coding HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other languages.
  • CSS Grid Layouts. The software supports the creation of complex CSS Grid layouts, letting professionals design intricate, responsive grid-based structures for modern web design.
  • Git Integration. Due to the integrated Git, it is now possible to enhance collaborative features. This is done via enabling version control, branch management and code collaboration directly within the app.
  • Extensibility. Professionals can extend Dreamweaver’s functionality by installing plugins to integrate extra tools, libraries and frameworks. It is also possible to connect to databases directly from within the app, making it simpler to integrate dynamic content and manage data-driven websites.
  • Custom Workspaces. Users can customize their workspace layout to match their workflow preferences. This maximizes web design efficacy by keeping frequently used panels and tools at hand.

Cost: Adobe Dreamweaver CC doesn’t have a free plan yet there is a trial period (14 days) before you buy the product. During this term, you can cancel the selected plan and get a complete refund.

If you decide to keep working with the software, you will be offered to choose one of three tiers. They actually offer the same features/tools, the only difference is the term. The monthly payment currently constitutes $31.49 per month, but if you decide to get the annual subscription, the monthly cost will be reduced to $20.99. The most affordable offer, though, is the one-time annual payment. This solution will cost you $239.88 per year. This approximately equals $19.99 per month (no refund is provided here, however).

3. Wix Studio

Product Name:Wix Studio
Official Website:wix.com/studio
Founded:2023
Complexity:Average
Free plan:No
Paid plan:From $12/mo

Wix Studio – is the innovative platform for agencies that has been introduced by Wix website builder on August 1, 2023. This is an advanced design solution that uses the AI tool to help boost the efficacy and speed of creating cool animations, interactive projects and dynamic designs. As opposed to the standard Wix ADI tool that automatically creates your project within a few seconds, Wix Studio is used to launch complex designs comprising lots of moving elements. This is one of the reasons that make the platform a great pick for agencies and freelancers who manage multiple projects. Let’s explore what exactly the software has to offer to beginners and design pros.

For Newbies:

  • Intuitive User Interface. Wix Studio has the interface that is a kind of a blend of Standard Wix Editor and advanced Editor X. However, it is quite easy-to-master and navigate as well as unobtrusive and clean. The Inspector Panel helps streamline the web creation process, focusing on height and width adjustments.
  • Design Versatility and Customization. The platform also focuses on a no-code design approach. Successful combination of Velo and Wix IDE tools provides multiple creative opportunities. The system has recently implemented five new features to create custom animations and interactions (loop, entrance, hover, click and scroll). As a result, such designs become more engaging and appealing.

For Professionals:

  • eCommerce. Wix Studio offers consistent eCommerce solutions. They are somewhat similar to traditional Wix eCommerce features yet deeper flexibility is implied here in terms of design customization and functionality.
  • Advanced Web Development. The software allows for code writing and editing in a full-stack development platform and with the use of high end customization tools. Users have access to hundreds of APIs, content blocks, built-in IDE, database collections as well as site monitoring tools like Loggly or Google Operations etc.
  • AI Tools. Based on the AI functionality, Wix Studio allows using multiple AI tools to gain the objectives and reach the best results possible. These include responsive AI editor, AI code assistant, OpenAI for superior imagery, AI text generator, AI labs and more.

Cost: Wix Studio offers five plans to choose from, each including versatile tools, features, services and terms. The most cost-effective solution is Basic plan, available at $12/mo. Other fees range from $20 to $149 per month. The price of the most expensive – Enterprise plan – is discussed individually with the service managers.

4. WordPress

Product Name:WordPress
Official Website:wordpress.org
Founded:2003
Complexity:Complex
Free plan:Completely free
Paid plan:Paid plugins, themes and hosting

WordPress – is a free CMS for professional website creation, which is familiar to designers, who have ever been interested in website building. The platform has gained worldwide popularity due to the abundance of design customization tools, extensive integration options, rich plugin and template cholice. Let’s see what the system has to offer to first-time users and web design experts.

For Newbies:

  • Easy-to-Use Interface. The interface of the system is quite simple and understandable. It makes it easy for newbies to add new pages, crop and insert images, add posts etc.
  • Built-In Templates and Plugins. For those users, who have not worked with the system before, WordPress offers a set of built-in templates and plugins. Their choice and integration doesn’t require coding knowledge. Mind, however, that this collection is pretty limited and makes all websites similar to each other because of the same structure.
  • Blogging. WordPress was initially created as a blogging system. Hence, its feature set is geared towards the development of this type of website. Adding and managing blog posts is easy and quick – right what beginners need!

For Professionals:

  • Extensive Integration Options. If you can boast web design skills, you will certainly be interested in integrable templates and plugins. They will notably enhance your website design, but their installation may require certain degree of web design awareness. Among decent samples of WP plugins for designers, it makes sense to mention TablePress, Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, WP Touch Mobile, WP Retina2x, Elementor Page Builder, Meta Slider, Slideshow, Contact Widgets, Custom Facebook Feed, Instagram Feed, Easy Google Fonts, YouTube Plugin, Responsive Lightbox by dFactory and more.
  • Design Customization Freedom. The use of programming skills ensures design customization freedom. WordPress allows for code editing options, which gives you an opportunity to develop, manage and update unique and impressive projects.

Cost: WordPress is free for everyone.You can download and install it at no cost. It’s even possible to launch simple sites with it for free. However, to deeply customize your projects, you’ll have to integrate external templates and plugins that are available in free and paid variants. Additionally, you won’t go without getting hosting and domain name for your ready-made website. This is also a paid service. Fortunately, the use of trusted hosting providers like the official WordPress Bluehost allows cutting down these expenses. Thus, the cheapest Bluehost plan will cost you $2.95/mo + domain name as a gift – that’s definitely a reasonable offer!

See also: WordPress review.

5. Squarespace

Product Name:Squarespace
Official Website:squarespace.com
Founded:2003
Complexity:Average
Free plan:No
Paid plan:from $16/mo

Squarespace – is an easy website builder for web designers and one of the most recognizable platforms for entrepreneurs and creatives from all over the world. The system can be used to start different types of projects, but it excels at the development of online stores, professional portfolios, blogs and small business websites. The website builder has quite a distinctive set of features to meet the needs of newbies and web design pros. Let’s have a look at some of them now.

For Newbies:

  • WYSIWYG Editor. Being a WYSIWYG website builder, Squarespace is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for first-timers. It lets you control the web design process from the very beginning and up to the publication and further website management stage. Mind that all the edits made in the process of website creation are saved automatically, which makes the preview option not available. As a result, it’s impossible to see the final project version until its publication, which is not quite convenient, especially for beginners.
  • Responsive Designs. Squarespace offers high quality and completely customizable templates, the number of which, however, is somewhat smaller as compared to other website builders. A convenient drag-and-drop editor of the system allows for simple project customization, due to which you can effectively create blogs, portfolios, restaurant and wedding websites, online stores and other types of projects.
  • Useful Integrations. The system grants access to multiple add-ons and widgets you can pick and integrate into your project. You can apply functional analytic tools (Google Analytics or Squarespace Metrics App) to control your website performance, social media buttons, contact forms, photo/video galleries and other elements that will contribute to your website functionality.
  • Logo Maker. When it comes to website development, having a quality logo that represents your business is definitely an advantage. The platform offers a handy Logo Maker tool that lets you upload, customize or design your own project logo from scratch. The system offers multiple web design tools and elements that help you get the most out of your logo development process.
  • Blogging Platform. With Squarespace, everyone can set up and manage a blog to drive user attention and boost customer satisfaction rate. The integrated engine lets you publish and update posts, integrate RSS feeds, add geolocation tags, enable user comments etc.

For Professionals:

  • Portfolio Design Focus. Squarespace features a distinctive portfolio design focus that allows creating and managing professional portfolios. The website builder grants access to the set of integrated elements and options, including a Cover Page Builder, Checkout Page Editor for Digital Stores, HTML/CSS editing options, Logo & Title editing tool etc. There is also a high end Style Editor here that lets you pick the required web page styles to fit your current project requirements and goals (blog pages, index pages, blog and event pages, cover pages, galleries etc.).
  • Marketing Tools. The website builder is rich in marketing tools that contribute to effective website promotion after its publication and quality interaction with the target audience. It’s possible to start and manage email marketing campaigns, make use of extensive content import/export option, integrate links to emails and images into your website, choose among multiple email layouts you can customize to your liking etc.
  • eCommerce. The platform makes it possible to launch and manage quality small-to-mid-sized web stores. Among th eeCommerce features you can make use of, it makes sense to mention integrated shopping cart set up, image/video embedding options, product display parameters set up, SSL Certificate connection and more. There is also an opportunity to adjust shipping/payment parameters, add product variations, implement loyalty programs etc.
  • Unfold Storytelling Toolkit. The advanced storytelling tool – Unfold – allows designing professionally looking social content to further spread it in corresponding resources. Users get access to over a hundred of designer templates and customization elements that make it possible to create unique and attention-grabbing content for social sharing.
  • Professional Developer Platform. Squarespace Developer Platform lets you create custom websites for professional use. This is a nice choice for everyone, who just intends to start (or already manages) independent web design business projects. There is an opportunity to integrate with 3rd party services, customize ready made templates or design one of your own from scratch.

Cost: Squarespace is a moderately-priced website builder, which has plans to meet any needs and web design goals. The system does not have a free plan yet there is a free 14-day trial that lets you test all the features of paid subscriptions before choosing the one to upgrade to. The cost of paid plans starts at $16/mo.

Bottom Line

The need for quality websites keeps growing and so does the demand for high quality web building tools. This is where website builders prove to be useful both for beginners and professionals.

What you should also realize is that these systems cannot be considered the alternative to hiring experienced web designers, especially if you require individual approach to your project creation. On the contrary, many professional web developers use website builders as handy, feature-laden and powerful tools that help them speed up their work on client projects without compromising with the result.

As to beginners, website builders serve a pretty nice basis to acquire or boost their web design skills, get the required practice and just experiment with different types of systems to launch simple websites for personal use.

Whether you are a proficient web developer or a newbie, you can use website builders to reach your personal or business goals. Platforms reviewed above are the best services to choose from. They are easy-to-use, but they also offer a rich feature set to cover all the possible web design needs. We recommend testing each of these systems to decide, which of them comes up to your project specifications and requirements most of all.