Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

If you’re knowledgeable about site building and e-commerce, you’ll find solutions on this list that give you better extension possibilities, more overall features, and the freedom to potentially do anything you want with your online store (since you’d be hosting it on your own server). That said, if you’re just getting into selling things online and want to do everything yourself, Shopify can often be a great place to start for new businesses and less technically-savvy folk!
Groupon may not be as trendy as it once was, but it is still generating millions in sales each month. They get you with an email popup before you ever click on the page. If you bypass the popup, you get to the homepage. It’s laid out very clean and with buttons at the top that very clearly help you find other things you need on the site. The ads that populate are also helpful in getting you to click, therefore generating revenue for their company and closing the sale.	

Video backgrounds and animations are no problems whatsoever. This website builder gets SEO right, too. Portfolio pages, in particular, turn out really good, and most importantly, without being difficult to create. They have many business-focused apps (e.g. for hotels or restaurants) that can make your life easier if you are in one of these industries.
The popular streaming site Netflix is another company that hits you with a popup before you ever hit the homepage. Everyone new to Netflix gets a free trial, so they want you to signup before you even see the homepage. You do have the ability to bypass this and get to the site. Once there, what they offer and their prices are clear, along with what shows and movies are the latest and greatest to stream right now. Should you click around and want to view something, you are prompted to log in or signup. Their strategy is clearly working when you see how many people have a Netflix account.
Being extremely flexible as well as user-friendly, it enables any entrepreneurs to focus on their products and it’s promotion. It is relatively easy to manipulate and use and offers hundreds of free and premium themes to choose from. What’s great is that Shopify also offers the user the option to sell their products through social media, by integrating a Buy Now button or even using the POS system.
Groupon may not be as trendy as it once was, but it is still generating millions in sales each month. They get you with an email popup before you ever click on the page. If you bypass the popup, you get to the homepage. It’s laid out very clean and with buttons at the top that very clearly help you find other things you need on the site. The ads that populate are also helpful in getting you to click, therefore generating revenue for their company and closing the sale.
Comparatively not so advanced, Squarespace is ideal with the simplest method to build a basic website. Unlike traditional Page Builder, you do not need to sign up for hosting, purchase a domain or go through the extra hassle. Instead, you simply create an account on Squarespace and that’s about it. After answering a few more questions on your preference you end up with a working website in a matter of minutes. While it includes a drag and drop builder that you can use to add and customize the elements of the site, it does not provide much control to the users.

Fun fact: I once received a nasty email on Christmas morning from someone on my email list. They received an automated email from me that morning (they subscribed to my list a few days prior) and they didn’t realize that it was an automated email. They thought that I actually wrote and sent that email to them on Christmas morning, and they were livid. I did end up apologizing to them, and explaining that it was an automated email. But trust me, in most cases it’s best to just unsubscribe these people from your email list and get on with your day. 


I don’t think you are being fair. The average small blogger on a shared host isn’t going to be an expert in PHP. Like the poster I have seen 4 wordpress sites hacked and have just switched hosts following 2 in a year. One of these did use an outdated commercial template, the other 3 used standard templates with no plugins supposedly automatically updated at every new release.. There are plenty of simple things that could be done to make WordPress more secure including the most simple one of notifying any changes to configuration files via basic checksum. PHP as a product may be very secure but the way it is implemented by shared hosts allows for multiple infections. Security and ease of maintenance should be number one on the list when looking for a blog if you don’t want to be monitoring round the clock. I’m looking for a simple occasional blog that I can configure without a computer science degree and hopefully tweak by looking through the code. Ghost seems interesting but my host doesn’t support NodeJS
Oberlo For WooCommerce – Oberlo Alternative Plugin (Save Money)

FuFu: Follow up Funnel sales funnels are for repeat customers. These funnels maximize the value of each customer over the lifetime of the relationship. To do this, you will follow-up and send customers to other sales funnels that offer more expensive products. For example, customers already purchased your $37 product in sales funnel #1. So in sales funnel #2, you can offer a $297 product. In sales funnel #3, you can offer a $997 product.
It also includes hosting, themes as well as apps to help you get your site up and running. Although not as advanced as WordPress blogging platform, the blogging capabilities of BigCommerce is pretty great. It is easy to use and is secure as it is protected by multiple layers of security. Managing and running an efficient and successful online shop is easier and we can say that it is a pretty great alternative to WordPress in this niche!
It’s chock full of some pretty sweet features that will make your content managing life easier, leading its devoted fans to argue it’s even better than WordPress. You can split-test two versions of web and landing page examples, build in easier content transition, take a deep dive with Google Analytics, for truly detailed marketing analytics, and even let HubSpot CMS analyze your pages to help you optimize them for higher search engine ranking.
You need to understand your audience like you do your very own yourself. You are aware of your dislikes and likes, you know what problems you face and you know the sort of people you will let help with those problems. If you learn to know your audience in the same manner, the chances of you establishing a genuine connection increase vastly. You will also be able to guide more people through your sales funnel and get those coveted ‘closed-wons’.
Imagine just letting your website sit around for a year without ever editing its content. After a year, the WordPress CMS version is old and probably susceptible to hacking. Most website builders, on the other hand, are silently updated and maintained behind the scenes by the provider. As long as your password is secure, you have almost nothing to fear.
If you find WordPress too complicated, you can stop right here. The Joomla! CMS definitely has some nifty features built right in, most importantly, management for multilingual web pages – but it’s complicated! While WordPress sometimes almost feels like a website builder for beginners, you’ll find Joomla! much more complex. Just look at the screenshots below.

I am biased towards WordPress, just FYI. I train new bloggers and website owners (non-profits and small businesses, etc) in setting up WordPress.org with an SSL and I do it in an 8-hour class. My point being I recommend you setup: 1) WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com; 2) Go with 1and1.com “Unlimited” + SSL (costs about $62 for 12 months, includes: domain name, SSL Certificate + web hosting). This will get you a web hosting account with a domain name, SSL and 1-year of web hosting for the cost of a SSL Certificate (most are $60+). Why SSL? because your site will display https and you can process online payments using Stripe.com (Payment processor similar to PayPal, Authorize.net, etc). I have setup at least 6 of these accounts exactly like this for attendees and clients. This will work for you and it will not have any ads popping up unless you put them there. Any questions just reply.

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The popular streaming site Netflix is another company that hits you with a popup before you ever hit the homepage. Everyone new to Netflix gets a free trial, so they want you to signup before you even see the homepage. You do have the ability to bypass this and get to the site. Once there, what they offer and their prices are clear, along with what shows and movies are the latest and greatest to stream right now. Should you click around and want to view something, you are prompted to log in or signup. Their strategy is clearly working when you see how many people have a Netflix account.
Our High Ticket Client sales funnel template does exactly this. Product details are presented in multiple information-rich videos on the main page which are then summarized in headlines and dot-points, backed up with strong and repeated calls-to-action. These lead to an optimized Sign-Up page which is coupled with additional information and persuasive language, and ends in a Thank You page which details next steps as well as offers potential upsells. In A-B testing with good content we’ve seen this funnel convert at a rate 2-5-fold higher than non-high-ticket optimized funnels.

Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy

Thanks for this informative article, but I am still a bit confused. I am a novice blogger but I would much rather do it right the first time…but what is right? I had my mind set on wordpres.com until I read various articles that compare wordpress.org and .com. I don’t want ads popping up on my blog unless i put them there and I don’t want the company to own my content. Ideally, I was going to purchase a theme that supports music, video, photos but now I don’t know what to do. Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Disclaimer: the sales funnel I am about to show you is not the only type of sales funnel that you can create to sell your course, but it is one that is currently being used by many online instructors in the Thinkific community. Thinkific customer Justin Brooke, for example, uses this sales funnel to sell his online courses. And as you can see from the post he shared in Thinkific’s Facebook Group, it’s working out pretty well for him:
Joomla is also another Content Management system which works on model view controller architecture. It is one of the biggest competitions for WordPress. In addition to the usual functionalities of WordPress, it also has additional extensions like components, modules, plugins, templates, languages, libraries and different packages. All these features have a purpose and are mostly built on Joomla. Joomla created URLs are great for SEO services. Also, the modules that are provided by Joomla are more flexible and can be easily moved to individual pages or menus. It helps the user in managing the site with all the ease even though the site may have multiple subpages. When it comes to being multilingual Joomla is ahead of WordPress. It supports many languages as they are created right from the core. Joomla also provides several plugins that can be easily accessed from its homepage.

You are mistaking the problems with WordPress as something that is inherit in PHP. That might have been true years ago, but modern php (php7 and hhvm) is a very powerful and mature language with rock solid performance, and in the case of hhvm that performance is equal to native,and in many cases faster than even C++. When written correctly and running in the right architecture it scales seemlessly and delivers low latency and high throughput. Sorry if you thought you could pay some indian 3 bucks an hour to slap together a wordpress site and be the next facebook.


I am a Blogger to Joomla to WordPress user and I can definitely say that WordPress is the Big Boss of the lot. I am a web designer who started with HTML and no PHP knowledge, but got hooked to WordPress due to its ease of use and simple learning curve. Even a novice with basic knowledge of html and php can find it easy to adapt quickly to WordPress. I am here to stay with WordPress 🙂
“Some of our guests have huge social media followings so we use their fans to get more listeners. It’s not an exact science but when we invite guests, we check how many followers they have on their social media accounts sometimes. We alternate guests that will help us grow our audience base with other guests who provide quality content but don’t have much social media presence.”

Hi Cedric, Have a look at this guide on mobile interfaces for drag and drop website builders. You can also build multiple sites within one user account. But if you want to subscribe to a paid plan, you will have to upgrade one website at a time. So for instance, you have 1 Wix account and within this account, you have 4 websites. You can upgrade each of the website one at a time. Jeremy	

If you’re knowledgeable about site building and e-commerce, you’ll find solutions on this list that give you better extension possibilities, more overall features, and the freedom to potentially do anything you want with your online store (since you’d be hosting it on your own server). That said, if you’re just getting into selling things online and want to do everything yourself, Shopify can often be a great place to start for new businesses and less technically-savvy folk!
Lastly, let them know that if they ever want to stop receiving emails from you, all they have to do unsubscribe from your email list. Email marketing only works when the people on your email list have given you permission to contact them. In fact, most email service providers require that you send all new subscribers a confirmation email (asking them to confirm they want to receive emails from you) before they will even send them your welcome email.
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Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Our Affiliate Survey Funnel sales funnel template has been designed to take advantage of this phenomenon, asking a few simple questions and collecting an email address which can then be automatically sent on to an automated email campaign app such as Drip for further use, before passing them through to a Upsell/Info page for additional engagement. We’ve seen increases in conversions from cold traffic of between 22-36% in A-B testing using this simple interaction funnel.
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