Creating a website can be difficult and time consuming, especially if you aren’t familiar with the various codes and processes that can go along with it. Even looking at hosting plans and comparing services can be a bit overwhelming – there are so many choices, and every website seems convincing in their claims of excellence. Where do you begin?
Why don’t you consider using a website builder? Website builders are relatively new services that have become increasingly popular within the last few years. They allow you to create and customize a website to your liking, and depending upon the chosen service, you don’t need to have prior knowledge of any type of coding whatsoever. One such website builder is SiteBuilder.com. I’m going to take a look at their service so that you can make an informed decision without actually having to go through the process of registration before being sure you’re ready to commit!
Ease of use
SiteBuilder.com makes the claim that their service is as simple as the following: “Choose a Template You Love. Point & Click to Edit. It’s That Easy!”
I’d say that the claim is pretty accurate. Once you sign up for the service, you’re directed to a page that lists a number of templates from which to choose. They can be organized in a number of different ways. Initially, there are a few categories provided that are taken from popular tags used when looking for a template; clicking on those categories will help filter through the large variety of options. There is also a search bar that you can utilize if you’re looking for something specific which seems to work fairly well. I entered a few different keywords to test it out, and the layouts that were included in the results were relevant and appropriate.
Each template listed has two options that are immediately visible: Edit, and Preview. Choosing preview will, aptly enough, allow you to preview the template in action via a mock site. I really liked that the pages were fully functional on the preview, which allowed me to click through to different parts of the website and see how the layout transitioned from one page to the next. From the preview, you can either go back to the templates list or choose to immediately begin editing the layout to fit your needs. Choosing Edit also launches you directly into edit mode, allowing you to get started right away.
Another feature to note is that SiteBuilder.com lets you easily check out how your website looks on a computer screen as well as that of a mobile device. This is an incredibly cool and useful feature, especially as more and more people are using their mobile devices to surf the internet. I looked through a number of different templates, and they all looked beautiful on my computer screen as well as the mobile preview.
Once you’ve completed the customization process, you can quickly and easily publish the website using SiteBuilder.com’s one-click publishing feature.
This is really the meat and bones of the website – the most important part. As I mentioned above, I used a number of different layouts during the review process to check the usability and extent of the editor – my comments are based on those experiences.
First of all, the editor looks really nice and clean. This might not seem important, but I assure you that it is. The interface doesn’t look cluttered or confusing, and everything is clearly labeled. Something else that I really liked is the fact that the templates themselves often have instructions on them – used as the text to fill up the mock website content. This gives instructions about which fields are editable and how to go about changing them, etc. It’s a nice touch that could be really helpful for beginners who are new to the process.
The editor itself is adequate. You can create and edit pages for your website as well as a blog, and play around with the design of the template until you find something that suits you. The background image (when applicable), for example, is fully customizable; you can either upload your own images or choose from the provided gallery. The color scheme is another editable feature; you can either create your own theme from scratch or choose from their existing offerings. There are also a number of options to customize both the font and the style of text that is used throughout the website. You don’t have to select each portion manually to apply the change – simply select the option you’d like to see, and the whole website changes accordingly. You can easily roll back the changes if you decide against changing.
You can edit specific template elements by clicking directly on them within the template itself, which is a fairly straightforward process. You can also create all sorts of additional features for your website, including options like image galleries, a site menu, social media connections, an e-commerce section, a video gallery, and much more – you can even upload documents, which is incredibly useful if you’re creating an online portfolio and need to provide examples of your work.
I would say that this editor is geared towards beginners without a lot of experience, and is therefore not the most full-featured offering available. That is not to say that it is necessarily lacking, but it doesn’t offer many advanced editing features.
All in all, SiteBuilder.com is a solid choice for anyone looking to build their own website easily and quickly. The templates are honestly gorgeous; I didn’t see the need to make all that many changes; however, your own mileage might vary depending upon your tastes. It’s an easy website to use, and you can even buy your domain and hosting directly through the site. There are also a number of marketing options available depending upon the plan you choose, which is nice – it helps make the SEO processes fairly painless.
I’d recommend this website, especially if you just want something that looks lovely and functions well without all the fuss that can come along with the creation process.