How We Review Website Builders

Our focus is on how good each website builder is for creating a business website. We evaluate online website builders that are used through your Web browser. We do not review ones you download onto your computer.

We cover a range of categories common to all website builders.

The 10 review areas are:

  1. Overview
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Editor
  4. Design
  5. Promotional Tools
  6. E-commerce
  7. Tools and Features
  8. Customer Support
  9. Value
  10. Technical Specifications Sheet


In the overview we give the pros and cons of each website builder in point form, as well as its price range for quick reference. The bottom line gives our overall impression from the review.

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Ease of Use

We rate each website builder's ease of use based on the following criteria:

  • Time spent / level of difficulty using it. The best builders are the ones that are easiest to learn. These ones take less steps or clicks to accomplish a task. They also have layouts that are easy to understand without having to refer to documentation or ask for help.
  • Consistency of tools within the builder. When a builder uses consistent interfaces throughout its tools, it makes the learning process faster and the program easier to use. Some builders have different systems for different tools making them confusing altogether.

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We examine each website builder's editor for the following:

  • Editor ease of use. Some of the website builders have an interface similar to Microsoft Word for Windows. Because most people are already familiar with Word, learning to use the editor is second nature. Some use a WYSIWYG ("What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get") editor, which allows you to edit right on the Web page so you can see exactly how it will look as you edit it. For the most part, these systems are also intuitive and easy to learn. Others have entirely different interfaces of their own design. These usually take the longest to learn.

  • Text editing tools - quality and range. These include bold, italics, bullets, tables, etc.

  • Image upload and editing system- quality and ease of use. Each builder has a different system for uploading images. Some allow you to browse from your computer or from the builder's image library and add them directly on the page. Others take more steps requiring you to upload them to a library before adding then to the page. Some allow you to resize your images directly on the page. Others require you to resize your images yourself using design software like Photoshop before you upload. The fewer steps it takes to get your image on the page the way you want, the better the system.

  • Editor flexibility. Some builders have editors that give you more control over how your content looks on the page. The WYSIWYG editors allow you to easily reposition text and images on your page by clicking and dragging. MS Word style editors, while not as easy to move around text and images on they are created, they generally allow you to insert images and text directly on a page wherever you want. The least flexible editors force you to put images and text in specific places, but these sometimes also provide convenient page layouts so you don't have to spend as much time thinking about how you want things to look.

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We evaluate each website builder's design capabilities for the following:

  • Design templates - number, range and quality. More templates give you more choice, but we also look for a range of categories that spans a variety of business types.
  • Image library - number, range and quality.
  • Extra design features - availability and usefulness. Some examples include animation, sound tools, splash pages, etc.
  • Customizability of design. Some builders give you minimal control over how your website looks, while others allow you to add your logo to templates or change the color and size of design elements. Some even have affordable design programs to give you exactly the look you want.

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Promotional Tools

Getting a website is a lot easier than getting it found by people on search engines and then getting those people to buy. The best website builders recognize this and provide promotional tools to help you get started.

This section evaluates each website builder's promotional tools for the following:

  • Meta tag editor - quality and ease of use. All website builders should have a Meta tag editor. It allows you to enter info into a website's code that helps search engines to index the content of the site. The better editors allow you to add more types of information into the Meta tags.
  • Articles about website promotion - quality and usefulness. These can be about a variety of topics including pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization (or S.E.O.), copywriting, design strategies, etc.
  • Coupons/ credits with promotion-related companies. Some builders have recognized the benefits of partnering with companies to provide discounts to their customers on useful advertising programs like Google AdWords.
  • Built-in promotional tools - availability and usefulness. There are a number of useful tools like Google Sitemaps or shopping listing sites that can help your website's visibility on the Web. They are sometimes hard to use though, requiring you to add code to your site or use complicated programs. If a builder provides easy integration with these tools it helps customers by-pass the harder steps in set-up making it easier for them to promote their site.

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This section evaluates each website builder's e-commerce capability for the following:

  • Uploading products - quickness and ease. As with image uploading, the fewer steps required for you to upload your products, the faster it is. We also look for options to upload multiple images at once.
  • Shopping cart - quality and ease of use.
  • Shopping cart options - range and usefulness. Some builders allow you to set options like shipping methods, taxes, calculators, time zones, etc, which make the shopping cart more professional-looking.
  • Product options - range. The best e-commerce systems allow for product optioning. They allow you to sell a single product with options for colors, sizes, etc.
  • Methods of payment accepted. All builders with shopping carts have at least one method of credit card payment. Good ones also offer alternate methods of payment including money orders, C.O.D., online checks and PayPal. PayPal is important for selling to users who are used to buying products through eBay.
  • Merchant account - option to use one. If you expect to have a high volume of sales, you'll probably want to use a merchant account to avoid paying transaction fees on alternatives like PayPal. Not all website builders allow you to use a merchant account.
  • Number of products you can sell. There is usually a limit to the number of products you can sell on a website from a builder. Some builders allow you to increase your limit by paying an extra fee.
  • Transaction fees. We hate transaction fees because they allow the company to pick your pocket every time you make a profit. If a builder has them, we'll be sure to let you know.

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Tools and Features

Most website builders offer a range of tools and features that make it easier to create professional-looking pages for your website. This includes things like online forms, photo albums, message boards, event calendars, newsletters and more. Some builders also include pre-formatted text-based pages, making it easy to put up an FAQ page or your hours of operation.

We evaluate each builder for the following:

  • Number and range of tools and features.
  • Usefulness of tools and features. Some builders' features are designed to be cute or flashy but provide little practical use on business websites. The better builders take business needs into account and tailor their features accordingly. This is the difference between a simple mailing list and a newsletter that simultaneously publishes on your site when you send it to subscribers and has security features.
  • Ease of use of tools and features. Some builders have pre-made pages that only require you to fill out a few fields to create them. Other builders require you add and position all the different pieces of the tool, like the fields for an online form. This can be time-consuming, though it can give you more control over how the tools appear on the page.

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Customer Support

We examine each builder's customer support system for the following:

The availability and quality of...

  • Online documentation. Quality online documentation is often more important than other forms of support. It should be more efficient to use and, if well written, helps you learn the builder for yourself so you don't have to call for help. The best documentation has screenshots to accompany step-by-step instructions and is searchable.
  • Email support / support question submission. The best of these systems provide responses in less than an hour during business times.
  • Phone / chat support. Some phone and chat support systems are only available during the company's business hours. Others are available 24/7. The best systems don't make you wait on hold too long. We also note if the company charges you for calls.

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When it comes to website builders, there seems to be little connection between their price and the quality/ range of their features. We actually found that the most expensive ones were the hardest ones to learn and use.

We rate each website builder's based on the following:

  • Value of monthly or yearly fees.
  • Different packages - availability and value. We prefer builders that have all-in-one pricing. However, sometimes you can get a better deal if you only need a limited number of features, pages, etc.
  • Add-on services - value. Usually, you have to pay extra for things like domain names, design services, phone support or extra disk space and email addresses.
  • Transactions fees. A few builders charge a transaction fee on every item you sell through your website. We hate these fees because they eat into your profits.
  • Free trial. The best builders allow you to try their product before you buy. This trial period usually ranges between 10 and 30 days. Some require a credit card number while others require nothing more than to fill out a form.
  • Guarantee. The best builders usually offer a money-back guarantee if you decide you don't like their product.
  • Existence of hidden fees. Website builders have mostly gotten away from having hidden fees simply because it's bad business, but there is the occasional bad apple.

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Technical Specifications Sheet

This section is an overview of the main features of each builder and what they come with. You can use this to compare different builders.

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On to the Website Builder Reviews

Now that you know how we review website builders feel free to browse through our reviews. We're confident they'll help you find the one that best suits the needs of your business.

Read our reviews.

Who We Are
Senior Writer
Rodney Scott
Senior Writer
Senior Writer
Eric Rancic
Chief Researcher

We are a team of five website creation professionals. We believe that the website builder is a wonderful tool that puts website creation in reach of any person or business.

Our interest in creating Website Builder Magazine is to promote the growth and development of website builder technology so it continually reflects the wide variety of needs that business owners have.

How we fund our site

In order to provide this service to you, we earn revenues from:

  • Affiliate links
  • Online advertising

Some of the website builders and services we review are from advertisers and partners, however, we rate products based on merit and an extensive review process that is documented in How We Review Website Builders.

Builder We Review

Our goal is to have the most complete set of reviews with the most comprehensive review process of any website builder review site. We have started with some of the more prominent builders in the industry, but we are continually adding new reviews to Website Builder Magazine.

If there is a website builder you’d like to see reviewed, please email us and forward the link.

Contact Us

We can be contacted by email and will usually reply within one business day.

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