Guide

A guide to website builders

Red Ant Social Team

Editor
A guide to website builders

If you’re a new business owner or looking to launch your existing business onto the internet, make sure you try a website builder platform before spending big money on a professional designer — web design is easier than you think!

Starting a business is challenging. You pour your heart and soul into your business, work day and night on it, and finally get it up and running. All you need to do now is get a website built around it and start making some money.

Here is where you, as a business owner, have a choice. One option is to find an expensive website designer and pay them to design your website. This may be a reasonable option because you are not a website builder; you are an entrepreneur. However, this option also means you will have to explain your business to the website designer to get what you want. Speaking of getting what you want, you will have to be with the designer every step of the way to get your website exactly the way you want it to look, feel, and function.

This brings us to the second option: finding a website builder and building your website yourself, your way. Advanced technology has made web design more manageable, not more complicated, and learning how to build a website has been made quite simple. You can create a website in very little time, with minimal effort, and at a fraction of the cost of a professional website builder.

If you decide to build your website yourself, you’ll want to know which website builders and landing page builders will suit your business’s needs best. This informative guide breaks down the specifics of the top website builders and landing page builders on the market today, giving you all the information you need to decide which one is most suited for you and your business

Let’s get started.

Landing page builders

A landing page is simply a page on your website to generate and convert visitors into leads. These are perfectly suitable for small businesses that want a quick and easy way to sell their products. A landing page can also be a web page a customer “lands” on after clicking through from an email, ad or other digital location.

Here are some of the top sites for landing page builders:

LeadPages

Leadpages homepage
Leadpages homepage

LeadPages is one of the top landing page builders and testing platforms. They make designing, launching and testing your landing pages very straightforward. They use a simple drag-and-drop interface for website building and have a vast selection of website builder templates from which to choose. They are fantastic for marketers and campaigns and great for any business selling products and services, collecting quality leads, and growing and optimizing their business.

Features
  • Easy-to-use, code-free software
  • Quickly and easily publish your first web pages in minutes
  • Start with a conversion-optimized, mobile responsive template, then customize it with the Drag & Drop Builder
  • Available A/B testing feature to drive traffic between several landing pages to see which performs best
Pricing
  • Plans start at $37 per month

Instapage

Instapage landing page builder homepage
Instapage homepage

Instapage is another leading landing page builder known for its user-friendly interface. Founded in 2012, Instapage has added more powerful marketing tools to its standard landing page builder over the years and is now one of the industry’s most popular landing page builders.

Features
  • Very user friendly with excellent customer support via live chat or email
  • Drag-and-drop landing page editor that allows users to create pages in three minutes
  • Choose a landing page template from their marketplace based on user reviews
  • Build landing pages with conversion-focused layouts
Pricing
  • Plans start at $199 per month if paid annually

Unbounce

Unbounce landing page builder
Unbounce homepage

Founded in Canada in 2009, Unbounce was the first landing page software on the market.. They use marketing tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to promote your business, quickly creating and optimizing campaigns to convert more visitors into leads.

Features
  • Conversion intelligence, sticky bars marketing tool (horizontal bars on the top or bottom of your landing page to show off your offer), marketing automation tools, and data and analytics tools
  • Unbounce builder lets you easily drag-and-drop, also allowing you to create 3D and fullscreen background images
  • Lead notifications so you, your boss or your client know when you’ve captured a new lead
  • Smart Builder: pairs your marketing know-how with Unbounce Conversion IntelligenceTM and AI insights to help you launch higher-converting landing pages
  • Smart Copy: AI writing tool that can create, remix and expand content quickly
  • Smart Traffic: after creating a few landing pages, it will send your visitors to the page variant most likely to convert them
Pricing
  • The Smart Builder packages start at $90 per month

Email marketing software

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses. Choosing the right email marketing platform to meet your business goals and needs is crucial. The emails you send out will seamlessly direct your new customers to a landing page which you can build within these all-in-one sites.

With that said, let’s see how some of the top email marketing service platforms stack up to each other:

Mailchimp

Mailchimp homepage
Mailchimp homepage

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers globally. They boast an “advanced yet easy-to-use platform” and are an “all-in-one marketing platform for small business.” Mailchimp offers a landing page creator and publisher that integrates with your email marketing.

Features
  • Email designer, Mailchimp Editor, Mailchimp mobile, multi-user accounts, campaign archives, email blasts, and targeted emails
  • Template archive with hundreds of options to choose from
  • Landing page URL can be created using the Mailchimp domain or customized with a domain you’ve connected and purchased in Mailchimp
  • Publish unlimited landing pages for free and bring all of them under one domain
Pricing
  • Plans range from $0 per month with signup for up to 2,000 contacts to $299 per month for up to 10,000 contacts

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign marketing automation and landing page builder platform
ActiveCampaign homepage

ActiveCampaign is a “category-defining Customer Experience Automation Platform” with email marketing, marketing automation and a CRM platform that excels at providing incredible customer experiences. ActiveCampaign pages create beautiful, high-converting landing pages in minutes.

Features
  • Customizable landing page templates
  • Easy to use drag-and-drop designer
  • Build your list and send emails on the same platform
  • Quick startup time with no code to learn
Pricing
  • Plans start at $15 per month


Hubspot

Hubspot homepage - marketing automation and landing page builder
Hubspot homepage

Hubspot offers a complete platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software to help businesses build their sales pipelines and accelerate growth. Hubspot provides the ability to design, build, host, and modify a website without coding. They make it easy to personalize content and publish content optimized for mobile.

Features
  • Quickly design and launch professional-looking landing pages with the drag-and-drop editor
  • Built-in library of mobile-optimized templates
  • Display personalized content, CTAs and forms
  • Dynamically show different content based on a visitor’s location, source, device, Lifecycle stage, or any other content detail in your CRM
Pricing
  • Packages start at $45 per month

Ecommerce

Ecommerce landing pages are designed to persuade visitors to act on an offer. They are created to sell physical, tangible products as opposed to services. In addition to marketing and selling your products, a good eCommerce website builder should consider shipping, stock management, credit card handling, shopping cart functionality, and more.

Here are some of the top website builders for eCommerce:

Shopify

Shopify homepage - ecommerce platform and website builder
Shopify homepage

Shopify is now one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world. They are a complete eCommerce platform that helps you start, grow and manage your business. Shopify helps small businesses sell, process payments and ship their products globally. Shopify also enables you to create a website for selling your products in your online store.

Features
  • Choose from 70+ professional themes
  • Customize the look and theme of your online store
  • Start accepting orders within minutes — quick and easy to choose a theme, add your products and begin receiving orders
  • You can choose to add page builder apps from the Shopify app store, such as PageFly Landing Page Builder and Shogun Landing Page Builder
Pricing
  • Plans start at $29 per month

WooCommerce

WooCommerce - custom ecommerce plugin for Wordpress and website builder
WooCommerce homepage

WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source platform built on WordPress that makes creating and managing an online store simple. It lets you turn a basic website into a website with a shop, which WordPress cannot do on its own. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you need a WordPress site first.

Features
  • An open-source platform enabling you to customize your website any way you want
  • Countless themes to choose from, including each year’s default WordPress themes and popular themes from around the web
  • Built-in blogging by integrating WooCommerce with eCommerce to publish great content and build a strong brand
  • Unlimited images and galleries to show off your products with a featured image highlighting the best photo site-wide
Pricing
  • WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, so you will need a WordPress site first, available from $0-$59


Etsy

Etsy ecommerce artisanal shop website builder
Etsy homepage

Etsy is an American eCommerce company focusing on handmade and vintage products and craft supplies. It’s a global marketplace where people can make, buy, sell, and collect unique items.

Features
  • Etsy is a marketplace, so marketing and promotion are done for you as customers simply search the website
  • Etsy Pattern is Etsy’s eCommerce platform where you can build your website to sell your products with fewer restrictions than the marketplace
  • Quick and easy setup — create an account, upload photos and information, start selling
  • The unique shopping experience helps foster an extremely loyal buyer base
Pricing
  • Free 30-day trial period, after which there’s a monthly subscription fee of $15

Full-featured platforms

Full-featured platforms are website builders for designers who want access to more advanced functions and complete control of their website. If you simply need a functioning website to sell your products, one of the previous website builders will do. However, if you are looking for maximum customization and performance, perhaps checking out one of the following sites would suit your business needs:

Webflow

Webflow advanced website builder
Webflow homepage

Webflow has been around since 2013 and has been steadily growing as an alternative to the more popular WordPress. Webflow is generally seen as the most advanced of the full-featured website builders, garnering a robust following over the years.

Features
  • Writes clean, W3C-compliant, semantic code for you without all the messy inline classes from drag-and-drop site builders
  • It offers lots of mobile-responsive templates that can be easily edited with a visual editor
  • You can add custom code for the entire site, a specific page or a particular part of the page to create anything you need
  • Great for selling digital products such as software and apps
Pricing
  • Site plans start at $12 per month

WordPress

Wordpress website builder
Wordpress homepage

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system among the most popular website builders globally. It powers over 40% of the websites on the internet. All you need to start a WordPress site is a domain name and a web hosting account, or use WordPress.com, which is a free hosting platform.

Features
  • Reasonably easy to use; adding content is simple with the intuitive visual editor called the block editor
  • Pages can be customized using blocks to make a fantastic website layout without having to write any code
  • Lots of ready-made templates to choose from, or you can create your own from scratch
Pricing
  • For the WordPress.com-hosted solution, there are five plans from $0 - $59 per month


Wix

Wix drag and drop website builder
Wix homepage

Wix is an easy-to-use, cloud-based website builder that lets you quickly create a website using a drag-and-drop interface. No coding is required, and all you need is an email address to get started.

Features
  • Uses an unstructured editor, which allows for more freedom and flexibility in terms of where you can drag-and-drop elements (as opposed to a structured drag-and-drop editor, which only allows you to place elements in certain places)
  • Over 500 designer-made and customizable templates, mobile-optimized, a robust app market, and customized colors and fonts
  • It has more features than any other website builder
  • Drive organic traffic with built-in SEO tools, customizable meta tags and more
Pricing
  • Website Plans start at $5 per month

Squarespace

Squarespace website builder
Squarespace homepage

Squarespace is a New York-based company launched in 2004 that provides software as a service for website building and hosting. It has become one of the most popular website builders globally in recent years, even running ads during the Super Bowl.

Features
  • It uses a structured editing tool where elements snap into columns and rows
  • It offers some of the best templates of any website builder and is responsive to mobile devices
  • Has powerful eCommerce tools comparable to the the more popular eCommerce platforms mentioned above
  • Easy-to-use blogging features such as post-scheduling, categories and more
Pricing
  • Personal package starts at $12 per month


Final Thoughts

There you have it! If you are a new business owner and want to get your business on the internet, you don’t need to hire a fancy and expensive website designer — you can do it yourself. It’s always best to start with something simple and go from there. Use one of the website builders mentioned above and take your business matters into your own hands.

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