The Cream of the Crop: New Breed of Pro Website Builders Are Changing The Field

BY: ON MONDAY, JANUARY 20, 2014

Every month website builders are quickly growing in popularity by leaps and bounds, increasing the demand for designers. As internet presence becomes more of a requirement for a successful business, whether it be a brick and mortar store or eCommerce, professional designers want an easier solution for quicker turnarounds. Recent developments in do-it-yourself website builders have made this a reality - circumventing the difficult task of coding a website. Previously, web designers had to either spend much of their time learning how to code, or setting aside large portions of their budgets for hiring coders to handle that aspect of a project. Now, with these options available, professional designers have a shortcut of sorts, to streamline their process, and thus making more of a profit.

However, there are quite a few website builders to choose from, and it can be a time consuming process to evaluate which one will fit your needs. Some builders are more simplistic, and sacrifice the ability for wide customization in exchange for usability. Others are extremely customizable, but require many hours of training in order to be utilized efficiently. To this end, we’ve selected some of the most popular website builders, and highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Webydo
First on our list is Webydo, a powerful online SaaS website builder created for professional web designers. Their platform includes a customized content management system to assist you in easily managing your set of websites and domains. It also allows you to set up a client-side section for each site, so clients can make payments, edit their content, and more.

Webydo’s biggest feature though, is its ‘online canvas’ tool - a setup that facilitates pixel-perfect designs, with a UI that vaguely resembles a simplified Photoshop workspace. This makes it easier for an experienced designer to simply hop in and get started on creating a website. You can click, drag and drop, and set up your layout, then enter your content - and with a single button push, launch your website.

As for the generated code their platform produces - Webydo’s software actually creates W3C compliant code. This is an advantage, as many other builders do not have this capability.

Webydo is also a freemium service. It’s free, with no ads, and you can set up unlimited subdomains. If you wish to host on your own domain, there is a low monthly cost (which is even lower if you pay by year), and you are then free to make an unlimited amount of domains - even bandwidth is unlimited.

Adobe Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver is one of the most widely known visual website design software packages. Now part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, it still holds one of the largest market shares in DIY design.

Dreamweaver has several helpful features - from a Live Preview mode, to a split screen Code and Design view, and a wide array of customization options. You can also easily preview how a site looks in various browsers from the main menu - if the browser you wish to test isn’t listed, you can also add it.

However, with all of its features comes the heavy price of reduced usability. Dreamweaver can require an intense amount of training to be an efficient tool, and the UI is cluttered and confusing. The price can be an obstacle as well. Outside of subscribing to the Adobe service, the Dreamweaver software can cost hundreds of dollars, rendering it un-obtainable for some designers. While Dreamweaver does provide a useful visual design tool, its various drawbacks are a large obstacle that will need to be overcome.

Wix
In its original launch, Wix was a clunky, flash-based builder, that lacked user-friendliness. With their new relaunch, Wix announced a new HTML5-based platform, that was also compatible with smartphones and tablets. You can easily create great-looking designs by choosing from their available templates, but there are some cons to balance out the pros of this builder.

When choosing a design from its list of templates, once you made a selection, you're stuck with it. Navigation creation is also severely lacking, only allowing up to two levels to be designed. Their blog creation, while easy to setup, does not allow RSS feeds, sharing, or any SEO optimization. In addition, if you wish to have an ad-free website, you must purchase the Premium plan. While well done, and a very easy to use builder, Wix has quite a few areas that need to be addressed to further update its usefulness.

Whether you are a small business or large corporation, your internet presence has never been more critical to your success. With the ever changing digital landscape, finding the right platform to bring together your team’s skill sets and reach business objectives can be the difference between a flourishing online presence and failure. Circumvent the time consuming and costly process of coding a new web property from scratch by utilizing an industry leading website building software.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy is a Social Media evangelist and technologist based out of Orlando, FL and the President of Social Swayy. Matt's passion is to help connect brands with consumers in a meaningful, authentic way.

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