By: WZ (UK) Ltd
The name itself explains the working of the software. WebsiteBuilder builds websites using various tools which may act a bridge between your creative mind and the screen.
Every business, individual, event, etc., requires maintaining its online presence, and for that creating a top-notch website is the top need that comes in our mind.
The look of the website, the presentation of the information, and layout of various webpages that hold this information combine to define a website.
If you are a beginner, building a website would have a steep learning curve. But as soon as you get familiar with the tools, it will be your creativity that matters.
However, what if the tools aren’t sufficient?
That’s the reason we bring you a detailed review of every product which could aid you while making the decision.
Every software comes with some limitations, and so the WebsiteBuilder. It depends upon your requirement, whether the drawback will draw you back or remains ineffective.
WebsiteBuilder is owned by Endurance Internation Group Inc. which also owns multiple online applications as well as hosting services dedicated to enhance the presence of small businesses.
The highlighted attributes of this product are its editors making the product suitable for the individual as well as small businesses.
Also, it has an App Market for paid users. We have reviewed the apps, and a conclusion about the functionality of the application is also generated.
In this review, you will also learn about the importance of speed and security, and how WebsiteBuilder maintains it.
There are two major ways by which you can create your website. The first one, by using the predefined templates which can’t be customized further to a great extent, and another which allows you to edit even the minute features of the website.
Former provides the ease and latter gives the user control.
If you are creating a website for the first time, you may get inclined towards the easier option. However, after you become a pro, you may look forward to get the user control.
If a website builder is associated with one of the two types of editors, you need to change the website builder if you wish to switch the editor.
However, a WebsiteBuilder user will never face such an issue as he gets both the editor types under one software which can be handled from a single account.
After you sign-up, you need to choose how would you like to create your site. This you need to choose for every website that you create using WebsiteBuilder.
That’s a unique attribute as there are a very few website builders which offer such flexibility.
The application, using Express Editor lets the user create a website in a time-efficient way. You can also use this editor when you are not familiar with the usage of various tools that are used for specific customization.
Express Editor has its own benefits, and you may find this shortcut suitable for building a website. But a website created using it will not be quirky, and thus, unappealing. That’s why we don’t recommend using this editor unless there is an urgency.
The other option: Traditional Editor, also known as Drag and Drop Editor permits the user to customize every element of the website.
As we already have stated that there would be a lack of uniqueness when one uses the Express Editor. The user must know what makes a website unique? It will be unique if you create it from scratch.
If not from scratch, you can at least make it different from other websites by customizing the predefined template. Express Editor doesn’t even provide a template library making it extremely rigid when it comes to the design.
However, with its help, you can get your website within minutes by changing the media files and adding the content in this editor’s window. It leads to a faster website building when compared to other builders or even to the Traditional Editor.
Moving to the Traditional Editor, in our opinion, is better than the Express. However, it is time-consuming, and the learning curve is not at all gentle. It may take time for you to discover every aspect.
But the flexibility that it offers makes the learning worthy. Thankfully, unlike the previous editor, Traditional editor has its template library of two hundred plus templates.
So, now we know that there are two different editors provided by the applications. That’s a remarkable characteristic taking care of everyone’s requirement. If you wish to prioritize the customization, you can use choose the Traditional one, and if time constraints are implemented Express Editor is there for help.
But both the editors have their limitations which are discussed in the next section along with their working and functionality. Note that, this website builder can be used to build a website with a basic layout.
We have discussed that the appearance of the website is highly important to create a notable impact on visitors.
However, when you use a website builder, such opportunities are limited, and you need to work inside the boundaries defined by the editors of those websites.
When you compare various editors, you will find that the boundaries vary significantly. The best amongst all the builders would let you create a website with complete control that anyone gets when he creates a coded website. However, such freedom while generating is website is hard to obtain.
Let’s see how efficient WebsiteBuilder’s Editors are:
‘No template library’ is the biggest limitation that you will face while using the application. There is a predefined layout by which the various sections are segmented. The menu for each section appears as shown below.
Even though it is rigid in design, we must say that the universal template that they have selected, covers most of the basic requirements.
You get the option to edit the background by adding an image or video or else keep it simple by just adding color in the background. The options may not look enough at first, but they are actually sufficient.
When there are more options, it may confuse the user leading to distress. This editor is developed to create a website in lesser time, so by keeping it simple, it serves its purpose.
The menu also contains a few settings which are related to the selected sections. You can choose the layout for every section. The number of layouts varies every time whenever a different segment is chosen.
But it at least makes the website different by generating a unique combination of different layouts selected.
Now, the question arises whether there are enough types of sections that you can include on your website or not. When you click on the “+” button that appears between two sections, a list of sections will appear like the one in the image below
There are twenty-five sections in the list; some of them are widely used on websites, and their inclusion is considered essential. There are a few which are lesser important ones but are still placed on the list.
Twenty-five is not a big number, and we are pretty sure that this editor contains categories which are missing on other builders.
However, in this builder itself, we came across several absent features.
For instance, there is no news section. There should be a section where you add a list of news related to your website, the newest appearing on the top. Nor there is any section present to showcase the portfolio on the homepage.
You can use the media and text section for describing projects, but here you would need to make a compromise as there is no dedicated section as per the requirement.
They need to add a few more sections by researching about the various websites and their design. That would render somewhat flexibility to the user even if the editor is rigid.
Moving back to the menu option, you will find a few settings by which you can include or remove some of the text boxes, but not all, depending upon the section.
You can align the content to center, left, or right. That’s a basic feature that a builder has to provide. You can also attach a link for any element of any section to a page or a web address.
Have you thought of any customization option which you find absent? Well, let us tell you what more they could have included.
If you love to play with fonts, there are no options to edit what they have provided. Also, the Express Editor doesn’t let you highlight the text. Nor you can write strikethrough texts.
We copied strikethrough and highlighted texts from the word document and pasted them on the editor. The result was plain text. The highlight and strike were not visible.
These are just two examples, and there could be several limitations such as no options to generate bullets, enter subscript or superscript, and many more. The Unavailability of such basic feature questions the quality of the website that we generate through it.
These limitations were related to the text. There could be more related to media as well; for instance, limited option to include animation.
Media reminds us of the library that the application has. Initially, the software asks the user about his website. For expample; when you enter that your website is about donuts, WebsiteBuilder provides you the editor where media elements related to the entered keyword.
If you wish to change them, just open the library for that, and you will see multiple images and videos for your keyword. It makes the search and selection of the background and images easier.
Express Editor is easy to use an editor which does most of the tasks for the user. However, it is rigid and lacks many basic features. Its review depends upon the necessity of the creator of the website.
If you want just to add the text, image, and a few more elements that combine to present something through the website, it is enough. But if the requirement is to generate something unique, Express Editor is not a good option.
In that case, it is better to go through the Traditional Editor. Maybe there you will find what you are looking for.
We have previously mentioned that the Traditional Editor is for users who wish to edit every element of their website.
It renders power to the user to create his website in his own way, and the initial step is to select the template from the huge template library.
After you choose the template, it does not ask you the keyword, and so, unlike the previous editor, there won’t be any preferred images already set up for you.
It is a completely empty land where you can build whatever you like, but according to the template you have selected. That’s the only constraint that you face in case of Traditional Editor.
You will land on the homepage first as soon as you start the editor. There you will come across a list when you click on the ‘Element’ button. The list of various elements allows you to add anything you want and place it wherever it suits you.
You can have a look on various elements in the above-added screenshot. What more Traditional Editor offers is a variety of options for all the elements.
The text related downsides which were present in the previous case are not present here. That way, you can see that the Traditional Editor has a very high functionality comparing to the Express Editor.
However, you also know that you manually need to input every element, and without proper planning, it may ruin the complete design.
That’s a limitation which can only be removed from the user end. Here you won’t find any inbuild guide that suggests you how you should proceed. To avoid making the layout messy, you should predefine the layout, and select the template accordingly.
Remember discussing the limited number of section types in the Express Editor? Well, here also, you will only get twenty-one type of sections. Even after having four lesser sections, Traditional Editor delivers more functionality. The reason is visible in the image shown below.
There is a huge number of layouts present in the previous section. That’s why one can say that their inbuilt library is vast enough to give space to your required addition on the website.
In addition to these options, there are many more design related features that support the way your website should look.
We must say that there is a sufficient number of background options: various colors, textures, and images that can be found in the design section.
Similarly, you can edit the theme, font, and text style. We can’t ask more to be added apart from the more animation and effects which doesn’t have a significant room on the editor.
The blog is an essential division that most of the websites have. Generally, when a user wants to add a blog section using the website editor, he has to add a new page, and whenever there is a new blog post, he needs to add a new section from where the post will be linked.
This task is reduced by the application by implement predefined blog themes. You can choose the theme and manage the blog post easily.
Whenever there is a new post, you don’t need to add a section every time. Just go to manage posts, click on “Create new Blog Post,” and it will be automatically added to screen according to the theme.
It doesn’t end here. You can add tags to your post, add a URL of your choice, and create a cover page summary and image. Enough options to create a credible blog.
However, whenever there are so many options, it becomes tough for the user to navigate through every section. We thought the same would be an issue with WebsiteBuilder, but on the other hand, it provides every feature on the surface.
The section is present on the dashboard and provides insight about your website. It is important to know about the user’s behavior to enhance the website.
That’s the reason why people install Google Analytics on their website. You get the option to do the same just by adding your Google Analytics ID.
However, here we are talking about the information that application delivers without the integration of any third-party application.
As you can see in the image, only a limited amount of data is visible. But if you click on the open button, you will find much to explore.
By using WebsiteBuilder, you can find a data about number of visitors per day, per hour, and week. It also helps you to identify the region from where traffic is generated. You can also know about the pages they visit, the traffic source, and their devices.
WebsiteBuilder even lets you know about the language of users visiting the website. This information will help you know much about your website users. That gives the opportunity to generate content accordingly from the user’s perspective.
But still, the information is not satisfactory for many websites, and you need to install trackers for extracting more information.
It is impossible to include all the required features on the cloud product. Not because there are limitations on the developers’ side, but it may cause trouble to the users.
Just imagine that you find all the Integrations already implemented on the application. It may look shiny at first, but as you start using it, you may find it complicated.
More the features, better the software can be a correct saying, but it must not lose its ease to use.
There can be some attributes which you don’t even need to use, and their presence would unnecessarily make the search and use of other elements tough.
Considering that a company wishes to increase the profit, in that case also, it may introduce integrations and provision of linking to other cloud programs.
The add-ons designed by WebsiteBuilder are also based on these two concepts mentioned above.
Although there are not many add-ons present which you can integrate with your WebsiteBuilder, their functionality highly affects the website.
Currently, there are five categories which house seven add-ons in total. Seven isn’t a big number, and we strongly feel that many more integrations must be introduced.
Five out of seven integrations come free when you purchase the premium plan. And for the other two, you need to make an additional payment.
Even the priority support is considered as an add-on which can be included in the main application itself.
However, when the application doesn’t want to take any risk which can make the user interface complicated, they always prefer to display the feature as an integration.
We have discussed earlier the possibility that a user doesn’t require some of the features; such cases also exist when you use WebsiteBuilder.
For instance, the user who wishes to create a blog doesn’t need to create an online store for his website.
That shows that e-commerce features present on the website are needless for the person. When it is added as an integration, the users who wish to have an e-commerce website can move their mouse pointer to “Get this App.”
Similarly, add-ons related to marketing and security also hold places in this app store. Let us review the paid add-ons for you so that you can conclude the purchase would be worthy or not.
My Social Suite; the name itself explains that this add-on is introduced to market your website through social media and customer interaction effortlessly.
This add-on, with no doubt, would help your business to grow as it works to maintain your online presence as well as allow to get customer insight.
However, the online issue that you may face here is the price of the application. It comes with an annual plan of $99.99 which is even higher than many other social media managers.
However, in addition to social media management, it also provides room for customer support conversation. You can also manage Google Adverts through this application.
If you are not already using any other application for these purposes, you can give My Social Suite a try. But take care of the pricing as the amount as it isn’t a small one.
Another integration for which you need to pay is the Save History. It may sometimes happen that you would want to undo the changes that you make to your website.
This provision to undo the changes is available on many of the website builders. But what if after updating the website, you realize that the website was better without the changes made?
In those case, you would want to save the history of changes. For that purpose, WebsiteBuilder has introduced the integration which costs $39.99.
As this integration has only a specific purpose of saving different versions of your website, the deal could be considered expensive.
There are website builders such as uKit which offers this feature for free. It is true that one can’t compare two products just on the basis of one feature, but we would not suggest paying the amount which can be avoided.
Rather than buying this integration, being careful is a better option.
There are a few more add-ons which are free if you are already a paid user. However, there are many more that they can include. Such tools are required to widen the operationality of the website builder.
Major factors that stop visitors to visit one’s website are a slow speed and poor security. There is the possibility that even if the content is relevant, the user will refrain from visiting the website.
Because of these drawbacks, the growth of your website will get affected. That’s why taking a strong decision regarding the use of a website builder is important.
The website builder used to build the website should have low loading time and a secure connection.
When there is a huge amount of content on a webpage, it usually takes more time to load which is justified.
Media elements such as high-resolution images, videos, and maps are the culprits which make the website slow.
But it is the opportunity where the website builders are tested. The performance should not be affected to a high extend even after adding the media on the webpage.
For the page size of 1.73 MB, the full loading time is only 1.5 seconds. The performance recorded has a PageSpeed Score of 88% which is 16% higher than the average page score.
This provides proof that WebsiteBuilder doesn’t disappoint its users in terms of speed. However, we still need to discover the toughness of its security features.
Whenever someone goes to a website, he would only choose to visit its pages if it is “secure.”
The browser itself notifies the user that visiting the website would be risky by showing “not secure” before the website address.
It is the SSL certificate and HTTPS protocol that encrypts the connection established between the website and the user’s system.
Before introducing HTTPS, HTTP protocol was used by almost every website. But its vulnerability makes the hacking of the website painless for the cyber-criminals and painful for the webmaster.
That’s why one should only use a website builder if and only if it provides HTTPS protocol for your website.
Most of the free versions of website builders don’t offer HTTPS, and that’s how you can shortlist the perfect one easily.
WebsiteBuilder offers HTTPS for all its website regardless of the plan selected by the user. So, if you intend to make a free website, you don’t need to worry about your website security.
However, if you are looking for paid plans, there would only a rare class of website builders who don’t offer HTTPS.
So, for paid plains, the comparison needs to be done by features as the security remains the high whichever website builder you choose.
Building a website is a time-consuming task, but after it is built, we expect that its content is reachable to as many users as possible.
However, if the website that you have made is not responsive to multiple screen sizes, users will not be able to visit its content.
The usual problems such as a change in aspect ratio, lacking proper text arrangement, complexity in navigation, etc., leads to the confusion that users face.
That directly affects the reach of the website, and growth becomes a tougher task. That’s why responsivity is the major factor that one should consider while creating a website.
While reviewing the website, you will get the option to change the adaptive view. You can check the appearance of your website for Desktop, tablet, and Mobile.
Website Builder has taken the responsivity as a serious factor when web designing is considered. For that reason, it can be commented that one doesn’t need to make additional efforts for making the website responsive.
WebsiteBuilder is an easy to use web designing cloud software. Initially one may have issues in learning about the various features, and add-ons provided by the software.
However, for solving these issues, the application has provided two different editors. One of them delivers more ease, and another offers diverse features.
Both ease and features can’t be offered together as the increment in the number of elements surely makes the user interface complex.
Still, WebsiteBuilder has managed to keep it comparatively simpler than the other builders. This has cost the user the lack of a few options: one needs to work according to the format provided by the template.
There are a few other selections such as user management was missing, and the animation and effect options are limited.
Some other attributes such as online store and priority support are only available for the paid users. Also, you can create a website without the extension added by the website builder, if you are a free user.
When it comes to security, speed, and responsivity, WebsiteBuilder has proven that a user doesn’t need to give a thought about these aspects.
There are a few SEO related options available on the application which one can use to increase its web visibility.
The discussion shows that the use of a free account comes with multiple drawbacks. On the other hand, upgrading to the paid plan will open the gates for creating an online store, record business insight, get priority support, etc.
Even after upgrading the plan, the editor remains the same, and it is the aspect where WebsiteBuilder has room for improvement.
Overall, WebsiteBuilder is a cost-effective product with above average add-ons and an average editor. Improving the editor will take the application to the summit.
However, if you think that the number of features it offers are enough for the website that you wish to create, then you can get create an account and get started in no time.