Creating your own website is cheap and reasonably easy these days. It's a great way to boost business, share information about an event or start a blog. You don't need to know how to code, and it's not expensive either. Here, we share the best web building tools to help you learn how to make a website.
If you don't mind a few adverts on the site, there are many places where you can sign up for a completely free package. However, if you want your own personal domain name such as www.pcadvisor.co.uk rather than www.pcadvisor.wordpress.com, you'll need to spend a little money per month. This will also give you the benefit of more space to store your website, an email address such as [email protected], higher bandwidth limits (so more people can visit your site) and no unwanted adverts on your pages.
If you plan to sell products on your site, it pays to choose the right package as some are much better than others. Some are suitable for only a few items, while others are built for importing huge product catalogues.
Now that you've got a better idea of what to look for, take a look at these 8 great tools to help you build your website from scratch.
- RRP: Free option available | £7.76 per month, Free option available
Wix is a great tool for absolute beginners who've never made a website before but want to get one up and running quickly. It uses an intuitive drag and drop editor to help you build exactly the website you want, and has over 250 templates to help you get started.
The website you create will be mobile friendly, and if you're willing to cough up some cash each month you can get your own custom domain name complete with an email address and all.
Wix's most popular Premium Plan costs £7.76 per month, with unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, your own domain name, no ads and more.
- RRP: From £1.99 per month, US$1.99 per month
1&1 also has a website builder that requires no previous experience. There's no free version, but the personal package is only 99p per month and comes with a domain and mail address plus 200 mobile-optimised design templates.
Upgrading to the basic package for professional business websites will give you access to more than 10,000 templates and industry-specific features that should come in handy. It's £4.99 per month and you still get the web editor, domain and mail. There are additional packages to choose from if you also want online marketing, a professional mail account, an eShop and a personal consultant.
The templates aren't as stylish of some of the other options in this round-up, including Wix and Duda, but it does have the benefit of helping you fill your website with relevant content when you pick your business sector.
- RRP: Free version available | £5 per month, US$5
There's a free version of Jimdo available, with professional templates, contact forms, file downloads, built-in social media tools and more, but you'll have .jimdo.com at the end of your URL and you might see ads here and there too.
A better option is the £5 per month plan with a domain, an email account, website statistics and no ads. You can also add a basic online store with 15 products.
There's a more advanced option that's £15 per month, adding a complete online store into the mix and a business email account.
There is a nice mix of modern-looking templates, all simple and clean, and you can change the template at any time if you change your mind.
- RRP: Free version available | More features start at £5 per month, Free version available
Another option is Weebly, which also uses drag and drop tools that are really useful for beginners. There's a free option available if you're content without a shop or your own domain, but you'll need to pay from £5 for those features if you need them.
There are plenty of templates to choose from, each with full customisation to allow you to tailor it to your business, event or organisation. You'll also be able to track visitors using the statistics tools, and even host your own video content.
We rather like the range of templates available on Weebly, which look modern and stylish, so it's well-worth a browse.
GoDaddy Website Builder
- RRP: Free trial available | From £4.99 per month, US$5.99
GoDaddy is more widely known for its domain and hosting services, but did you know you can also use it to build your own website? There's no free version but you can get a free trial of either the personal, business or business plus accounts.
The personal account is £4.99 per month, with 50 themes, 1GB disk space and 150GB bandwidth, or you can upgrade to the business plan at £6.99 per month, with 300 themes, 10GB disk space, 500GB bandwidth and a mobile site.
We're not the biggest fan of the range of templates offered by GoDaddy - many of them seem rather outdated - but they are quite well tailored to business sectors so it's worth a look.
- RRP: Free version available | £12 per month, US$14.25 per month
Duda's website builder offers gorgeously modern and responsive templates that use a drag and drop editor to make things nice and easy. You'll be able to integrate the likes of OpemTable, Yelp and Paypal, and you'll get analytics to track your visitors too.
Handily, there's also the option to import existing content including images, contact details and more from any other website or Facebook business page, and if you feel confident enough to dig deeper into web design there's a developer mode that lets you access the HTML and CSS too.
- RRP: £10 per month, US$12 per month
Squarespace, which also offers a free trial, offers stunning templates that would suit high fashion stores or professional, image-led blogs. Again, it uses a drag and drop system to help you get your website looking just how you want it without requiring code.
You can browse the templates here, which will give you a good idea whether Squarespace will be right for you. If you decide it is, prices start at $12 per month, which is just under £10.
- RRP: £6 per month, US$8 per month
Our final suggestion is Moonfruit, which has hundreds of templates that'll suit any website. They're mobile friendly, offer online shop features and are easy to build and edit. There's a 14-day free trial available to help you decide whether you like it, after which you'll pay from £3 per month.
The most popular plan is the Standard Moonfruit plan, which gives you a free domain, 20GB bandwidth, unlimited pages, 1GB storage, up to 50 products in your online store and unlimited site admins. You can also add custom code, build forms and more, all for £6 per month.