What is the easiest website builder?
I know there are hundreds of articles out there listing all the easy website builders available, so in this article I’m not going to give you a long and exhaustive list that in the end will leave you just as confused as you were before. Instead, I’m going to tell you of the few that I know of and have used personally.
Additionally, there is not one website builder that is easier than another. Many options available are relatively simple to use, so it depends on what kind of website you want to build and what you find easiest to use. Some allow you to sign up for a short, typically 14-day trial, so you can test it out and see how you get on. They also offer a range of pricing plans to suit your requirements, from basic for those wanting a simple website to advanced with e-commerce options and other bells and whistles.
What is the easiest way to build a website?
The simple answer to this is that there is no easy way to build a website. However, there are many options to make it easier for people with no technical knowledge and who just want to build themselves a nice, simple website. All the dedicated website builders below are simple drag and drop builders that allow you to use templates, sections, tools and widgets to put your site together.
Each option is relatively simple and intuitive, but does require some work and time to learn. But fear not, as each offer excellent help sections, along with video tutorials. You can also find lots of tutorials on YouTube, including my own YT channel.
With the exception of WordPress, all the other website builders require no technical maintenance or upgrades on your behalf. All that is taken care of by the provider, so you can focus on simply creating and updating the pages on your site.
So here are 5 options for building your own website:
Best & easiest website builder for photographers
Smugmug is without doubt the simplest and most beneficial dedicated website builder for photographers. It also allows you to upload full resolution JPEGs, which can then be used for photo storage. There is no limit to how many you can upload on all plans.
Therefore you can easily upload all your photos without having to resize or adhere to file size limits. Smugmug has a lot of good templates to choose from and some useful tools to customise each template and all pages to suit your own style.
Additionally, with the portfolio or pro plans you can sell your photos using their sales and fulfillment tools. Unlike some others, Smugmug has partnered with print companies to also take care of the printing and manufacturing. This takes away all the extra work of having to deal with fulfilling sales yourself. All you need to do is set everything up and then be notified of any sales. Smugmug sets a base price and you set your own markup.
The downside to Smugmug is that it doesn’t have a dedicated blogging facility. However, you can still have a blog with a little bit of extra work. Watch my video here to see for yourself:
Best and easiest website builder for small business
Squarespace is ideal for small businesses who also want an e-commerce site. Recently it upgraded its website building tool, which I must say is a massive improvement. I have worked on several of my clients’ Squarespace websites and in the past felt quite restricted by its very basic tools and widgets. However, the new one is much more versatile. The page is broken down into a grid and you can now simply move your sections, blocks and widgets around and place them within more specific areas of each page.
Squarespace has excellent e-commerce tools and beautifully crafted templates to easily build your store and product pages to showcase your products and services in the best way. You can also sell in person using their “point of sale IOS app“
If you want to have a blog, then Squarespace also has good blogging tools that make creating and writing a regular blog to promote yourself or your products.
An easy website builder with great template sections
Strikingly is another easy website builder for personal or small businesses. It allows you to build your website using templates and anchored sections, so you can link people not only to other pages, but sections within your page for easy navigation and less page scrolling. There are templates for each section to help you more easily build the pages.
You also get e-commerce tools ranging from:
Basic (up to 5 products with a 5% fee)
Pro (up to 300 products with 0% fee)
VIP (unlimited products with 0% fee)
4: Elementor Pro Cloud Website
WordPress originated as a blogging platform but has evolved over the years into a superb website builder, especially if you also want a blog. It can require a bit more technical knowledge to install and setup, but you could get help from a web designer for this part if you need it. One option is to have a web designer build the initial site for you, but then you can easily make changes and update text and photos etc yourself though the WordPress dashboard.
Maintaining your website:
The downside is that it is a standalone option and means you or your web designer will be responsible for dealing with any technical problems and updates. That being said, WordPress is much more user friendly that it used to be and all plugins can now be set to automatically update when the developers release a new version. For tech problems, a good hosting provider will be able to deal with any simple technical problems or point you to a help article so you can do it yourself.
WordPress comes with its own website builder of course. But you can also install plugins (extra software to have additional features on your site). One of these is a great website builder plugin called Elementor. You can literally use Elementor to build the entire website, including using its own theme. This website you are on now has been built entirely using this plugin.
Elementor pro is a paid annual subscription, but comes with a whole lot of great extra tools and lots of excellent template pages and also entire website templates with their kit library. Elementor turns WordPress into a much easier website builder to use but with the added flexibility of really customising your pages with a variety of great tools and features that make things a lot easier.
You can use Elementor pro on your own self-hosted wordpress website. The cost is just US$49 per year for one website.
but a much easier way to purchase their all inclusive cloud solution. This offers all in one solution which includes built in hosting and wordpress. The cost is just US$99 per year, which is a great deal for small websites.
A free website to get your started
If you are still on the fence about whether you can build your own website, or your budget doesn’t stretch yet to a full scale solution, then you can start with a free basic website at Weebly.
Their basic website offers you 500mb of webspace, free SSL (secure websites are mega important these days) and a free domain with Weebly branding. This is a great option to get you started and you can upgrade to a paid option at anytime.
Getting your website seen
If you going to build and manage your own website, then getting it seen is a very important part of this. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a large part of this. Local SEO is particularly important for small or large businesses who operate and sell in a specific location. Search engines are far more sophisticated than they used to be. Google’s algorithm in particular can tailor its results pages to the individual searching, by their location and their own search and browsing habits when they are signed in to their Google account.
Brightlocal is a great place to get tools and learn how to do this yourself. One particularly useful tool, Local Search Grid, gives you the ability to carry out virtual searches as if you are in a particular city around the world. So for example, if your target audience is New York, you can do a search as if you were actually in the Big Apple to see where your website comes up in the results. You can also use the local rank tracker to see where your site is ranking in a specific location. This is a great way to test how your SEO is working, and help make changes to improve it.
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