Ian Middleton

Writer - Photographer - Teacher

Content creator - web Design - SEO - SEM

5 Easy Website Builders

By Ian Middleton

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which, if you click and buy something I will receive a small amount of money in commission at no extra expense to you. In fact, where possible I have ensured you get a discount as part of my affiliation with these companies.

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:

1: Smugmug

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:

2: Squarespace

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.

e-commerce

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

Blogging:

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.

3: Strikingly

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: Zenfolio

Zenfolio is another very popular photography website builder. It offers a great selection of templates and you can also choose your setup according to the genre of photography you are in. It also comes with some great e-commerce and marketing tools for those wishing to sell prints or other services.

5: Weebly

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.

SEO

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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