Planning to create a website for your wedding, travel blog, restaurant or store? Website builders make it easier than ever. These online tools give you everything you need to make your very own website, without having to know a thing about HTML coding. We've reviewed some of the most popular options out there and tested them out for things that matter most when it comes to creating and customizing your website, including template selection, SEO, storage, bandwidth, social media and e-commerce. To find one that best fits your needs, check out our reviews below.
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How it works
After selecting a website building service to use to create your website, you'll either create a new domain name or connect a pre-existing one. Then you'll choose from one of the pre-made templates or designs to begin customizing your website. You then have the option to add, edit, delete or reorder the pages for your website (e.g. Home, About Us, Contact). These services offer customization tools that allow you to fully customize your website to your liking, including things such as text, headers/footers, photos, background image, audio and video files, color scheme and social media buttons.
How we tested these website builders
We signed up for each one of these website builders to see how user-friendly they were and to try out all of the tools offered for website building. With each service, we selected the "restaurant" category to create a website for a mock coffee shop. Some of the website builders had templates specifically curated for this type of restaurant, while others had a generic restaurant template that we had to customize with our own images and background image. For the most part, the website builders automatically generated multiple pages for us for this particular category, such as Home, About, Menu and Contact Us. Some, however, only gave us a home page to start with, and then we added these additional pages. We then tested out other features that allowed us to add/edit other things, including text, photos, slideshows, photo galleries, social media buttons and other layout and design features.
Can I keep my website private while editing?
Of course. All of these website builders let you edit and customize your website privately until you're ready to push it live. You can even select which pages you want published and which ones you want to keep private while you're still working on them. For example, you can publish your main Home page and About Us page, and keep your Menu page private if you're still working on finishing it.