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Best Site Builder

The best site builder for building your first website is a hotly debated topic in Internet marketing.

The "best" website builder means the one that offers you an easy combination of tools for non-technical users to build a robust new website inexpensively. 

But I'm looking for a service that is not just cheap or free or easy...

The best website building service should also include hosting (meaning you don't have to have your own servers).

[If you are just looking for good hosting, my website hosting recommendation is detailed here.]

It offers professional-looking (and free) design templates, and includes WYSIWYG access to the underlying HTML and SEO customization, too.

  • Wordpress:  The most popular website publishing and hosting system today is Wordpress.  It offers most (although not all) of the features detailed above.  However, there are several different flavors of Wordpress that can be quite confusing.  Read this article if you are interested in learning more.

Unfortunately, that type of platform confusion is typical of the Wordpress world. Most experts agree that Wordpress is the best combination of features and price, but it's still pretty techie to learn and get started.

If you are interested in other hosted services that can help you build your website with a minimum of technical knowledge needed, try these.  These are the site building services I hear the most about, several of which I became an affiliate for due to their excellent reputations:

 

My #1 recommended website builder is Site Build It.  Their service includes such good SEO training, a helpful support forum, and a money-back guarantee that I'm an affiliate for them, too. 

Learn more about Site Build It here.

(And see how Site Build It compares to WordPress (and beats it) here.)

UPDATE:  See SBI's new "BizExpress" WordPress plug-in here!  This new plug-in may give you the best of both WP and SBI...

And, if you are only looking for good hosting, my website hosting recommendation for Blue Host is explained here.

Thanks to the readers of my books and the Click Millionaires 
MasterMinds members for their help in developing these recommendations.


Disclosure: These recommendations probably include affiliate links as detailed here.

What do you think?

Which website building services do you nominate as "best" and why?

(Nominations for "worst" are also helpful!)

 

Your comments below are appreciated by Click Millionaires worldwide and can help us update this page!

Thanks for sharing.  

 

Comment by Paul Feakins on October 8, 2012 at 4:19am

I was just wondering if there's a forum for best web development company?

Comment by Scott Fox on October 8, 2012 at 10:23am

Hi Paul,

Sure.  There's no single answer that fits all situations so that topic is under discusion constantly in the web design category of the Forum: 

http://clickmillionaires.com/forum/categories/site-building-web-des...

Dig around in there for advice and opinions from others, or please post your own questions for more specific feedback.

Comment by Wilfred Ruck on December 24, 2012 at 7:07am

I'm no expert, but I made my first site on wix. Their designs are just stunning.

Comment by kay lewis on January 1, 2013 at 12:57pm

i used Weebly,easy to do,as im not a computer expert.

Comment by Scott Fox on February 5, 2013 at 10:20am

Hi Wilfred - Yes, Wix makes beautiful sites.  However, since it is a Flash-based system their sites are notorious for having weak search engine optimization (SEO).  (Google's crawlers can't read flash.)

Kay - Thanks for the vote for Weebly.  I have heard good things about that system but also that they hit you for many upgrades which end up getting expensive.  Has that been your experience?

Thank you both for chiming in here to share your experiences with others.

Comment by Suzanne Giancoli on February 26, 2013 at 11:58am

I use yahoo's site builder...have not heard  anyone mention this one.  Would appreciate any feedback.

Comment by Scott Fox on February 26, 2013 at 12:25pm

Hi Suzanne - This page is more for comments than questions.  If you'd like feedback on Yahoo's Site Builder, can I suggest starting a new discussion in the Forum? 

You'll get more and better answers there.

Comment by Jake Liddell on May 18, 2013 at 6:30am
I have to say that I love WordPress. It does have a learning curve initially, but it will grow as you grow. Switching platforms later is a real nightmare, and so far I have never outgrown WordPress. It will be fine with complex membership systems, squeeze pages, payments and subscriptions, etc. So learning about it is building a skill you can use in the future.

Perhaps pay a friendly web developer to help you in the early stages?!
Comment by Theophilus (TU) Mbaike on May 26, 2013 at 12:56pm

Thanks for all your comments especially Jake's. Still learning but struggling for ample time to work, sustain income and still learn. I will keep trying! However I need to say this: Yahoo site builder is good for a hardworking beginner to understand and manage/edit. I got help to set it up. However my experience is that the opt-in form is simplistic and the go-to-cart is costly should the need arise. Maybe SBI first, then WP for the next website. Comments welcome please!!

Comment by James Justin on June 26, 2013 at 3:55pm
"Thank you for sharing valuable resources on website building.  I am in the process of updating my website, and I am looking for a web-designer."
Comment by Mark Gray on June 26, 2013 at 4:39pm

Hi James,  I will be happy to offer my assistance for what it may be worth.  I am a former website developer and current hosting provider.  I don't intend to step on Scott's toes.  But I do need to share my credentials so my offer can be seen for what it's worth.  I basically got burned out developing sites, which is why I decided to check out Scott's recommendations above.  And I have to agree with him as to the best service offering the greatest potential, which is Site Build It.

I plan on using them when I build my site.  Have you checked out Scott's mentions above? 

Comment by scott dean pyle on June 27, 2013 at 1:49pm

It seems as if wordpress is the "healthiest" format for the long haul provided your commitment is as great as your platform.

Comment by Mark Gray on June 27, 2013 at 2:44pm

Scott, I have to agree with you.  WordPress is a development that was the right thing at the right time just when blogging was starting to get some notoriety.  But I have yet to see a Wordpress site that gave me the "WOW" factor given it's dry, geometrically rigid layout.

Comment by Jake Liddell on June 28, 2013 at 3:25am

Hi Mark,

Wordpress really can have any layout you want, if you know how to customise a theme.  I'm almost of the opposite view to you there Mark - I've yet to see a site that someone's shown me that I couldn't build with Wordpress at the back-end driving the content.  If a client comes to me with a design, I'm pretty confident I can build it with WordPress.

Now perhaps your comment is more a fair accusation for 95% of the themes that are out there for WordPress.  But that's the lack of creativity of the theme writers, rather than WordPress itself.

As Scott says, I think WordPress is a very solid platform for the long haul, but it's not as easy if you just need to get something live in a hurry.  Horses for courses...

Cheers,

Jake.

Comment by Taneka on June 28, 2013 at 6:08am

I am hoping to build a multi vendor ecommerce site (similar to Etsy), which from my research, is almost impossible for a novice on wordpress.  The multi site option on wordpress is not appealing (even with me branding it) and I just need users to be able to easily upload items to their own stores with out having their own WP interface. (Maybe what I need is a web designer) In any case, I will do some research on SBI and then make a decision.  If not it is off to my plan b idea.

Comment by Jake Liddell on June 28, 2013 at 9:02am

Custom Multi-vendor e-commerce sites are definitely not for the faint-hearted...  If this is something you're planning on doing for your business, I would recommend you get some technical help.  Rather than looking to pay a developer, you might consider getting a partner in your business - someone who shares your vision and can dedicate the time to get it built without constraints of having to pay for all the time it will take.  You'd give away ownership, but you'd gain in the long-run I would suspect.

Others might have a lot to add to this subject.  It might be better if you start another thread.

Comment by Taneka on June 28, 2013 at 4:28pm
Great idea. I'll start another thread and see where it takes me.
Comment by Andrew Stoller on November 22, 2013 at 5:23am

The only site builders I have used were WIX and Wordpress. Wordpress for a blog and Wix for a website. The website builder is good, but I found some of the functionality very annoying, especially when it came to the footer and what you wanted to put in it. Sometimes it would allow you to drag the content in there and then a minute later it wouldn't. It got very frustrating. 

Although I did not use the Website function on Wordpress, I found that it def. had a learning curve and found it slightly frustrating. 

Best of luck, 

Andrew 

Comment by kevin dietsch on February 17, 2014 at 12:59pm
Delete

Hey Marshall,.

I just had a few thoughts for you about SBI.  I think I told you I joined SBI, and  I'm still pretty new to it but I really like it so far.

I've probably created 10 websites using Homestead for my businesses over the years.  It's been a while but I think I was paying almost $30/month for hosting through them for each site.  I still used many other services like awebber for my mailing lists, godaddy for my web addresses and I'm blanking right now on the name but I used to do a lot of web conferencing.  All in all I was paying over $200/month in web expenses.

I never even thought about key word research and optimizing my sites for google to find me, so on top of the web stuff I was still placing adds in news papers and magazines just to drive traffic.  SBI is teaching me how to set my websites up so that Google will find me and I hope that when my site is set up Google will bring me my clients.

I think SBI charges a very fair price for what they give, and you always have their guarantee to fall back on if you don't like it.

Comment by Wilfred Ruck on February 17, 2014 at 3:13pm

 I've been doing this now for about a year. I'd say, it depends on if you are selling less than 25 items, and of you want a hosted site, or if you want to host the site yourself. I find the biggest expense by far is the developers cost for modifications. So choosing a template that is pretty much a fit for your niche is important. For self host less than 25, Wordpress WooCommerce, with a themeforst theme. For host less than 25, 3DCart. They have a $10 per month special right now.

Greater than 25, self host, Open Cart, for hosted, (now that they dropped the 1% of sales fee) Shopify. This is what I believe is the all around best choice, but it's expensive.

Whatever you do, budget at least 200-350 per month, for six months for SEO, SEM.

If you can't pay for the theme, domain and maintain expenses for six months, wait till you can.

You'll just spend time refining refining and not making any money since you won't have enough visitors. I'd suggest eLance for finding great SEO people. Interview them by PHONE via skype and ask to see Google Analytic data.

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