The web nowadays is teeming with users promoting their work or businesses. Startups and billion-dollar companies are powered by online platforms that let them connect with, and collect from, their target markets. You want to join the fray, but where do you even begin?
If you’re finding that the creation, management, and maintenance of a website is too much and your needs don’t really require the advanced functionalities that dedicated CMS applications offer, then website builders are here to give you an easier way out. And as website builder platforms continue to improve, more users should find it easier to get a website up and running in no time.
It is in this context that we’ll walk you through a comparison of the top 3 website builder software by applying an in-depth analysis of their key features like web design tools, ecommerce functions, analytics, and more. With more insights about each application, you should be able to pick the one that best meets your requirements.
There are approximately 1.94 billion active websites today and over 4 billion Internet users worldwide. For businesses, this means that having no website equates to lost opportunities for customers to identify with your brand and purchase your products. A strong online presence greatly affects your branding, and more importantly, your sales.
But when putting up a website, web design is a crucial factor to consider. In fact, 8 in 10 consumers stop engaging with a website if it doesn’t display nicely on their device. Having a bad website design is close to having no website at all—it’s not going to bring you new customers, and it might leave your regular customers a bad impression of your brand. But with so many template-based website builder software available today, there’s hardly any excuse for you to go down that path.
Source: Clutch (2018)
Another challenge that businesses face is the cost of building a website. Hiring web developers to design your website is a good investment, but let’s be practical here—that can cost hundreds up to thousands of dollars as you’ll have to pay for the hosting and maintenance of your website. But thanks to the website builder platforms available today, you’ll be able to save that money and still have an online presence that supports your marketing efforts. Below is a roundup of the top performers in the website builder software category, and as you read on, we will provide you with an in-depth comparison of each of them.
With millions of users worldwide, Wix offers stunning templates and customizing tools. It comes with reliable web hosting, top security, and the best search engine optimization for your website.
Ranking first in our top 3 website builder software category, Wix offers over a hundred tools to make a professional-looking website that does not require advanced coding skills. Among these are scroll effects, animations, image quality tools, mobile optimization features, and various templates to choose from. With its drag-and-drop functionality, the Wix Editor makes the platform easy to use.
Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you sign up for Wix free trial here.
Starters can avail of the freemium plan offered by the vendor, and you can pay for advanced features and upgrades as you grow your website.
Also, the platform provides the best marketing tools for the promotion of your site. Following the latest social media trends, Wix lets you create and share relevant and captivating web content on your social media accounts. It also allows you to prepare promotional videos for your marketing campaigns and put them up on your Wix website.
BigCommerce is among the best website builder software available today, powering some of the world’s most successful online shops like Ben & Jerry’s and Skullcandy. Perfect for startups and big enterprises, BigCommerce provides intuitive customization and optimization tools for your website. It is a user-friendly ecommerce platform that has designing tools and fully-customizable themes for your online store.
Aside from making sure that your store looks good all the time, BigCommerce comes with a flexible product management system and support for multiple storefronts. No matter how many stores you are managing, you can easily switch from one storefront to another after a single login. It also integrates with leading marketplaces like eBay, Google Shopping, and Amazon.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for BigCommerce free trial here.
Another great feature of the application is its checkout customization tool that allows a server-to-server checkout API and SDK for your site. It lets you customize each and every detail of your website, from its home page up to its checkout page. The platform’s global CDN also ensures that your site loads quickly for your customers worldwide.
Moreover, its scalable product catalog and broad portfolio of shipping partners streamline online shopping for your customers. It supports 250+ local currencies in over 129 countries and multiple languages to help you with international transactions, allowing your website to reach a broader range of audiences from all over the world. To further simplify payment processes, digital wallets like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal One Touch are supported.
Zoho Sites is a website builder platform that provides extensive customization tools perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. By simply dragging and dropping items, you can create a wonderfully crafted website to attract your visitors and engage them with interactive and compelling content.
With Zoho Sites, you can customize your own template with its HTML or CSS editor. You can choose from various visual customizations to determine the look and feel of your website. It also lets you add multimedia and visual content for marketing, ensuring that your website stands out and captures the attention of your visitors. Features like photosets, lightboxes, and animations give life to your content and a unique visual allure to your website.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for Zoho Sites free trial here.
There are also social media sharing tools that make it easier to share your content on different social media channels, and you have total control over the display of your social profiles so you can place them strategically on your site.
Among the top 3 website builder software solutions we featured, Wix provides the most reliable and scalable web hosting. Once you publish your website with Wix, your web content is automatically stored in secure servers located around the world. Web hosting with Wix guarantees that your site will load fast, no matter where your visitors are accessing it. You can expect a 99.9% uptime with Wix, and you can rest assured that your website is running on secure and stable networks.
Another thing great with Wix is it can scale your hosting as your business grows. You don’t have to be stuck at the free 500MB cloud storage. Wix gives you the option to upgrade to a premium plan with an additional 20GB of storage, as well as an unlimited bandwidth for your website.
Likewise, BigCommerce offers a superb hosting infrastructure aided by multiple layers of security, unparalleled bandwidth, and lightning-fast speed for your website. BigCommerce servers operate on a PCI DSS 3.2, certified at Level 1, which means that your site is protected against credit card data breaches and is in compliance with the highest international standards.
Meanwhile, Zoho Sites’ hosting capabilities is just as promising as it provides unmetered bandwidth and expansive storage that suits your business requirements. Zoho Sites also offer custom domain and SSL hosting that secures and ensures an encrypted server connection.
Verdict: Wix provides an unmatchable free web hosting for your website at no cost. It provides enterprise-grade reliability and ensures that all your data are safely stored in a fast-running server. BigCommerce and Zoho Sites offer reliable web hosting as well, with unlimited bandwidth and vast storage capacities.
As an essential factor to consider if you want your website to succeed and reach your target audience, SEO is an area where Wix greatly excels at. Wix provides industry-leading SEO tools for your website, and it allows you to come up with a personalized SEO plan. By making your website SSL-certified, Wix boosts your SEO ranking and ensures that your site can be easily found on Google.
Placing second in this aspect is BigCommerce, which enables HTTPS for their websites and complies with the latest guidelines of Google to maximize SEO ranking. The platform comes with built-in marketing and SEO tools to increase brand awareness for your site and drive more visitors. By using search-friendly themes, optimized URLs, and sitewide-HTTPS, BigCommerce guarantees your site a higher ranking on search engines.
On a similar scale, Zoho Sites allows you to build SEO-friendly websites with its SEO tools and sitemaps. It provides meta titles, tags, and robots text, which are all handy for optimizing your site for search engines and ensuring that your content stays relevant for millions of daily web searches. The sitemap feature of Zoho Sites also makes it easier for search engines to read your website intelligently.
Verdict: Wix offers the most advanced SEO tools in optimizing your website for better search engine rankings and making sure that you reach your target audience. BigCommerce and Zoho Sites, meanwhile, follow closely with their capabilities to create SEO-friendly websites.
If you want to go for a highly customizable website, Wix is simply the best choice. Wix provides web design tools that give you total freedom on the look and feel of your website. You can create your original designs, or you can choose from over 500 designer-made templates made for every kind of business. The animation, video background, and scroll effects add to the appeal of your website. And in case you need to establish an online site faster, simply use its artificial design intelligence (ADI) tool, which only asks you to answer a few questions and does the rest, creating a tailor-made design for your website.
BigCommerce proves just as competitive in the web design aspect. Many see it as one of the best website design platforms, and it’s easy to see why when you use its unique themes and advanced customization framework. You can fully customize and personalize your website or online store with an intuitive storefront editor. Other than attractive designs, though, BigCommerce also offers free and premium templates with a strategic marketing function.
While not as rich in web design options as the other two, Zoho Sites is equally capable of creating a website that attracts and retains visitors. A drag-and-drop feature also helps you build and customize a captivating website in minutes. For more creative content, Zoho Sites provides a visual editor that allows you to experiment with a wide range of customizations.
Verdict: Wix has the richest set of web design tools that goes beyond personalization and considers innovation and industry-specific layouts. BigCommerce follows closely with web design features best suited to online shopping sites, while Zoho Sites provides web designing tools for a more simplified website building.
As designs are Wix’s ultimate selling point, it does not fail to flaunt beautiful and elegant storefronts for displaying and selling your physical or digital products. Wix allows you to craft a nice-looking layout for your product page so you can showcase your goods and in-stock inventory to your web visitors. What’s more, the platform has a store manager that efficiently tracks and manages all orders from your site via desktop or mobile devices. It supports multiple payment methods and allows you to set customized tax and shipping rules for each destination.
However, for a more robust set of ecommerce functions, you may want to turn to BigCommerce. Its ecommerce tools are by far the most practical and effective in attracting customers and bringing the most conversions. Its built-in templates are more about delivering a satisfactory shopping experience for your customers than it is about designs and layout, which is why it’s among the best ecommerce platforms. It supports localized payments, and its native integration with ShipperHQ also enables accurate quoting for cross-border shipping.
Meanwhile, Zoho Sites is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides themes grouped into business sectors, such as real estate, construction, and many others. Another great feature of Zoho Sites when it comes to ecommerce is its form collection, which collects the contact information of your visitors. The commerce tab is also handy in listing or managing your product details.
Verdict: BigCommerce is the most practical and strategic option for an ecommerce website. Still, if your online store’s design and layout are more of a major concern for you, you may also want to consider Wix. Zoho Sites likewise provides great ecommerce functionalities.
With Wix’s tracking and analytics tools, you can embed a third-party application or tracking code that allows you to monitor how visitors interact with your site. This way, you’ll gain insights about your visitor’s online behavior, so you can better optimize your ecommerce marketing strategies. The visitor analytics feature also provides actionable data about your site traffic, giving you a clear view of your website’s performance.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, provides quick and easy analytics snapshots that show your store’s website metrics. Right from the dashboard, you get a quick glance at how your store is doing. The platform’s analytics tools monitor orders, sales channels, and conversion rates and turn your customer data into an insights report to help you target, segment, and increase sales. Additionally, BigCommerce assists your business strategy and marketing campaign by revealing product and customer trends.
In the same way, Zoho Sites will help you measure your site’s performance with its traffic analytics feature. It allows you to embed Google Analytics for tracking website analytics metrics that can help your site become more successful. It also helps in analyzing customer behavior online and lets you create a data-driven business strategy and a more optimized website content.
Verdict: Wix, BigCommerce, and Zoho Sites all have powerful analytics tools to help you track the performance of your website or online store.
Wix brings users a great mobile experience with its Wix Mobile App. The mobile version of the application lets you write posts, view comments and manage your site on the fly. Apart from this, any website you create is automatically mobile-optimized, so your website is sure to look amazing on any device.
BigCommerce performs just as great in this aspect as its ecommerce templates are all fully responsive even on mobile devices. It has native support for accelerated merchant pages (AMP), ensuring that your site delivers instant load times for your mobile shoppers. In addition, all storefront themes and multimedia content are automatically optimized for mobile browsing.
Just like the other two, Zoho Sites’ mobile optimization is fairly great as it makes sure that your website is mobile-ready. And while having a mobile-optimized site involves a lot of complex codes, there is very little effort required from your end because Zoho Sites does it instantly. It also provides only one URL for every device, which means that all mobile searches for your site are automatically redirected to its mobile version.
Verdict: It’s nearly a tie among the three, all of which guarantee fast mobile browsing. Wix allows you to have a simplified version of your website on mobile devices. Meanwhile, BigCommerce supports AMP for instant load times of your site, and Zoho Sites easily makes your website mobile-friendly.
When it comes down to the pricing plans, Zoho Sites offers the most affordable package, starting at $4 monthly. This starter plan is good for 5 pages, 500MB storage, and 10GB of bandwidth per month. It also includes other site requirements like custom domain hosting, SSL hosting, and code snippets, among others. Aside from the Starter package, Zoho Sites offers a Pro plan, which costs $15 per month.
Wix’s cheapest package does not lag far behind Zoho Sites. The most basic package of Wix is perfect for mainly connecting a domain, and it costs only $4.50 per month. It also includes 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage. From there, you can avail of the other plans for personal, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and first priority support, which ranges from $8.50 to $24.50.
BigCommerce offers more expensive plans by a long shot. Their standard plan, best suited for starters who want to sell online with a nice-looking site, starts at $29.95 per month. It includes unlimited staff account, file storage, and bandwidth. Other plans include the Plus and Pro packages for $79.95/month and $249.95/month, respectively
Verdict: Zoho Sites and Wix offer the most affordable plans. Zoho Sites’ starter plan is priced at $4/month, while the most basic plan of Wix costs $4.50/month. And while BigCommerce has more expensive packages starting at $29.95, it offers more scalable and unlimited features.
The Internet is a vast place to market your brand and products. What these website builders can do, however, is to ensure that your business stays on a competitive ground in the web. Your website serves as a powerful marketing tool. No matter if you have expert coding skills for creating a website from scratch, these apps provide a shortcut to having a professional website that connects with your customers better.
As you choose which website builder to use, always keep in mind the most important features you’ll need as your website and business grows. While design attracts customers, SEO tools can boost your website’s SERP ranking, and analytics tools can guide you towards better marketing campaigns. The good news is that Wix has all these and more, which is why it easily tops in the website builder category. To get you started with Wix in real-time action, sign up for Wix free trial here.
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