Some web design tools and services are intended for personal use and lack the built-in functionality that serious business users need. To identify the best and brightest, our team reviewed some of the biggest names in the web design software and services business, taking careful note of usability, flexibility, integration, customer service and other factors that are important to entrepreneurs.
Aimed at “lifelong learners” rather than beginners, Udacity is firmly focused on teaching specialised skills to help people in the tech industry get to the next level of their career. Courses are focused on high-end topics such as autonomous systems, AI, machine learning and full-stack web development, and are built in partnership with Google, AT&T, and Facebook. 
Thank you so much, Mr. Robert, for this review article. I’m just now getting started with a new Entrepreneurship, as an Author & illustrator, Speaker, and Podcaster. And I think it’s a good idea for me to get my own website. I didn’t need to read any further than your 1st review (of Sitebuilder), then I skipped to your conclusion section. I’ve had some experience with both blogging and with web design, and it sounds like Sitebuilder has everything that I’m looking for. So, I’m going to give it a try. It might be a day or two before I will have the time for it, but I’ll be sure to save this page so I can return to it and use your link for my purchase and set up, in support of your venue, as a small token of my appreciation for your sharing of this helpful information. Again, thank you very much for the help, Udi DarkChild
One of the most professional and up-to-date online magazines directly aimed at web developers and designers, A List Apart is home to a multitude of exceptional articles dealing with everything from coding and techniques to design and user experience.  If you want to do some light reading and learn from the experience and advice of other experts in the field, browsing through the articles here is a great resource.
Hey, Jeremy, thanks for an informative article. I'm planing to start my own blog but choosing the right hosting provider gets me a bit confused... I'm still a beginner at this, so would prefer something that would offer a free plan, at least for testing purposes. A (very!) user friendly interface is obviously a must... Could you please share some hosting companies that match my requests or at least point me in the right direction where to find them? Many thanks.

Using a website builder program is tempting, all TV ads point to *easy*, but in reality, if you want a professional looking website it will involve work, whether you use a proprietary site builder, an HTML downloaded template, Wordpress, or a professional web developer. If you're looking for a professional looking design that allows for comprehensive SEO and the ability to integrate any type of application into your websites, then using downloadable templates is the best solution. Web builders are very popular, but creating the exact website look and feel you want for your business can be a more involved and cumbersome affair than learning instead about HTML and CSS code and how real websites work. Builders are really a shortcut to creating a website. Do you want to be as big as Apple, Adobe, Microsoft or even Mrs. Fields? Do they use proprietary site builders?
About.me and Flavors.me are examples of nameplate services. You simply upload one big photograph as the background for your personal webpage, then artfully overlay information and links to create your digital nameplate. These free sites help you pull images from your social networks or from a hard drive, then provide the tools to make the text and links work unobtrusively, though it really behooves you to check out other personal pages for an idea of what works.
Building a site is going to take a lot of time (as it did for us), but once it's created, it's time to publish it. As part of our evaluation, we graded each of these services based on how easy it is to get your site established on the major search engines. As we created both blogs and business landing pages, we scored the level of search engine optimization (SEO) tools each service provided. We evaluated how easy it was to add metatags, keywords and titles for each article and page and whether the web builder company submitted your site to search engines or if you had to submit it yourself.
What do you mean by "fluid and professional"? Are you saying the purpose of the site is to impress people with how fluid and professional it is? So it loads into a browser or on mobile smoothly and quickly? Those "qualities" should be a given for any business-oriented site. You need a site design with content and functionality that is going to achieve your business goals. Also, whatever you come up will be imperfect out of the gate. It's impossible to have a perfect website, ever, but...

Lynda is one of the most versatile websites on the list that provides tutorials on a wide variety of subjects. The subscription-based website offers a wide range of video tutorials that will teach you how to design websites. Its basic HTML essential training video covers the basics of HTML programming that includes the fundamentals, text, images, multimedia, HTML5, metadata, CSS integration and more.

WordPress is the website builder Digital Trends is based on, though we have our own set of professional programmers behind the scenes. The service can be found at wordpress.org and is arguably one of the most capable given its open-source nature (especially for blogs), which allows for an extensive amount of templates, themes, and plugins which can be downloaded for free or bought for a premium price.


Online website builders are web-based and run on the provider’s service. Unlike offline website builders, you don’t need to download or install the software on your computer – all you need is a web browser (ie. Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer) and an Internet connection. This allows you to work on your website from anywhere and any device. Another benefit is that the website builder comes with web hosting services so you don’t need to purchase it and/or set it up separately. Many online website builders are designed for people with little or no coding experience.
Squarespace gets a lot of attention, and for good reason. It’s sleek, full of features, pretty, and inexpensive. Squarespace will run you $12 a month for the basic package, with rates topping out at $40 a month for its Commerce package. The $12 a month nets you unlimited storage and bandwidth, but a restriction to 20 pages. You also have full e-commerce integration, and an included SSL security certificate.
The more you can budget for a website builder, the better the services and features you’ll get. For example, the top plan from Weebly allows you to add as many products to your ecommerce site as you’d like, plus it’ll allow for coupon codes and product reviews from customers. Then again, not every small business owner needs to sell products online. Also, it’s easy to upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.
Thanks for the response. Having looked a little further into Weebly I don’t think it would fit my needs. I already have a hosting service that is paid up for another year so I wouldn’t be using their service, and based on your response to Brady below it sounds as though I wouldn’t be able to use most of the features. I am looking for a software package I can buy for a one time fee, not a monthly subscription service.

Hello, i am looking to start a website and have used wix and wordpress on seperate sites. I want to allow visitors to the site to be able to post a tutorial or something of that nature to my site what would be my best option? i do not want a straight forum look unless i have no choice. Any help would be appreciated and your reviews have already helped me a ton!

There are dozens of web creation applications to choose from, and you'll invariably find that the interface and design of one application appeals more strongly to you than others. For our evaluation of this category, we evaluated applications strictly on whether they provided the capabilities needed to quickly create a website with as few hurdles as possible, especially for someone with little to no coding experience.

Schools are starting to realize that a code curriculum should be real-world focused. That means students come away with both conceptual, and practical coding skills. Unfortunately, many courses/solutions offered today only offer conceptual learning. … There are no jobs in block based coding, or in using code snippets to move a character around a screen. …
Great Article jeremy! VERY informative!! I'm working on making a job-board type of site. Where users can post jobs and and possible create profiles to frequently post job vacancies. The applicants should be able to filter through and search for jobs, so some sort of filteration system would be useful. If possible, I'd like for the job posters and the people searching for jobs to be able to create a profile on the website. What web-builder would you suggest? So far word press with cetains plug-ins seems to be the best bet but I'd appreciate your advice on this. Thank You
An extremely useful learning site that covers all manner of subject, and the computer programming section of Khan Academy in particular cannot be overlooked.  It features a variety of self-guided tutorials, generally with experts providing audio and/or video guidance on the topic while interactive on-screen windows show the code and output the results during narration.

A plug-in is a software feature that you can add on to your website builder’s basic tools. It lets you expand on the originally intended design and content for the back end and front end without any coding necessary. There are literally thousands available. The best WordPress plug-ins, for example, include tools for analyzing your web traffic, adding an interactive calendar to your site, and forms that verify email addresses for you automatically. Many of the plug-ins are free while some come with a price tag.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these methods of web development, including having site backups, web hosting portability, ease of editing, professionalism, flexibility as well as optimization and other SEO concerns. Most professional developers and designers do not use website builder programs because in the end it actually takes longer to setup a website. The majority of designers and web developers prefer to edit the website files and images on a desktop computer and then FTP upload them (sometimes referred to as publishing the webpages). See website builder vs downloadable templates.
What do you mean by "fluid and professional"? Are you saying the purpose of the site is to impress people with how fluid and professional it is? So it loads into a browser or on mobile smoothly and quickly? Those "qualities" should be a given for any business-oriented site. You need a site design with content and functionality that is going to achieve your business goals. Also, whatever you come up will be imperfect out of the gate. It's impossible to have a perfect website, ever, but...
Many of the top website builders support free trial options for potential customers. Some even allow a site to remain free, though with limited function and heavy branding. So, if you aren’t sure which platform is right for you, then consider starting trials with more than one. This allows you to experience the website builders simultaneously and can make a direct comparison easier. Then, as you find that certain website builders don’t meet your needs, simply remove them from contention.
Thanks, Robert. I guess it is what you get used to. I went to Weebly several years ago from both Yola and Wix. At the time they were the only one that could easily do drop down menus which was important to me. Also have found them very innovative and have rarely suffered any downtime. Their tech support is excellent. While their selection of templates may be limited, they work closely with another company, Baamboo Studios who produce impressive templates for their users.
Feedback is absolutely crucial. We’ve worked on websites, apps and augmented reality games, and one of the things which have remained consistent between all of them is the absolute need for user feedback. We like to sit down with an array of users, put the software in front of them and ask them to talk us through what they’re experiencing. It’s so easy to get close to the design that you can miss a lot of obvious UX tweaks with just a five-minute chat with someone who’s unfamiliar with the software.
Speaking of usability, website builders are also made to be extremely functional and usable by even novice users. An average website can be built in a matter of hours and changes can be made in minutes. Something that users often fail to keep in mind is that a website is never completed. It is always a work in progress that requires changes and edits and they give users the ability to make snap edits and changes.
The best place to begin getting a feel for how development works are the numerous free, self-guided online web development courses that cover everything from basic programming introductions to development best practices.  Below we’ll take a look at the cream of the crop web development courses and highlight what they can each offer you and a selection of the best links or tools to check out.
Well, it depends on what you are looking for. It’s great that they hardly have any restrictions on the free plan in terms of features and templates. On desktop computers, they place a pretty visible ad at the top of your website that is sticky (i.e. it will stay even when you start scrolling the page). Fortunately, on mobile phones, it far less visible and also not sticky. To use your own custom domain name, you’ll need the Combo plan at least, which is $11 per month.

Hey Theo, Generally speaking, Weebly is a solid website building platform. You don't need how to code, their probably one of the most user-friendly web builders, and their support is good. Best way to decide is to sign up for a free account and start testing their tools. You're not obligated to subscribe to a premium paid plan at all. You can upgrade whenever you want to, and only if you find them being to provide the tools and services that you need. Jeremy
The Webmaster – Responsive Web Design Course is aimed at students with a pre-existing knowledge of HTML and CSS and will show how responsive web design (RWD) can be used to build stunning responsive website which allow an optimal viewing and interaction experience using the very latest HTML5 and CSS technology. Responsive web design is a methodology which aims at providing an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices, from computer monitors, through laptops and tablets, to smartphones. A responsive website automatically adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries.
Weebly is one of the largest site creators out there and hits the top spots in our ranking table. But since we are mainly looking at the free plans here, we have to judge our contestant with slightly different criteria. The free plan is where Weebly doesn’t shine quite as bright, mainly due to the very visible ad in the website’s footer that even sports a mouseover effect.
Hey, Jeremy, thanks for an informative article. I'm planing to start my own blog but choosing the right hosting provider gets me a bit confused... I'm still a beginner at this, so would prefer something that would offer a free plan, at least for testing purposes. A (very!) user friendly interface is obviously a must... Could you please share some hosting companies that match my requests or at least point me in the right direction where to find them? Many thanks.
Before you do anything, you’ll have to pick a website builder to build your site with. We’re generally big fans of Wix here at Tech.Co – it’s super easy to use while allowing you loads of creative control. However, some website builders, such as Site123, make the initial construction of your website ludicrously simple – although they do rob you of some editing capabilities.

Thanks so much for this awesome article :) I had literally no experience in building a website when I started using Weebly and I was surprised at how easy it was to make! I'm interested in looking into other platforms now that I'm up and running, particularly Wordpress? But I'll probably be sticking with Weebly for a long time until I'm ready, it really was super easy to use. Thanks again :)
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