With every passing day, creating and hosting your website is becoming easier and there are plenty of options to choose from. This article should help you in making the right decision based on your requirements. Before we go on, let's learn a bit about the basic terminologies.
A website builder is a tool provided by hosting companies that allow the creation of websites
without coding or design knowledge. It usually has a drag & drop interface. The focus is on ease of use and cost effectiveness. It allows you to go online quickly without hiring a developer.
Take a cake mold for example. If there was a company renting it out, wouldn't it be easier? You could make all sorts of cake shapes based on your mood and event. In that case, wouldn't you prefer to have a provider who offers you the largest variety of molds that match your design taste and requirement?
A website builder is a similar service that has templates (like molds) which you can use to create your own website. You usually cannot tweak the templates because you don't own them.
Setting up an application (like WordPress, Ghost, etc.) is a task that usually requires some expertise. Set up is usually not that hard, and once it is set up, you can use it for creating and managing content easily. However, chores like backup, patching, server maintenance still remain your responsibility. Since the server resources are not shared, you may incur higher cost. On the positive side, only the sky is your limit. You can tweak the platform to your liking and host as many applications on the same server that your server can handle.
Managed hosting gives you the functionality of the application
without the pain of hosting and setting up the application yourself. Since the managed host provider is taking care of the pain, they may restrict certain functionality. This is a good choice for the non-technical people who need more flexibility.
Sometimes, it is good even for seasoned technical folks to use a managed provider simply because of the comfort it offers. If anything goes wrong, the service provider loses their sleep and ensures that the service comes back up as per the agreed service level agreement (SLA). Hosting is serious work, and many people and agencies choose managed hosting over self-hosting because of the overall cost involved.
For a quick comparison check the figure below. It should give a basic idea about the core differences between these choices.
The Best Website Builders
There are quite a few website builders out there in the market. The best of the lot are as follows:
- Wix was found in 2006 and often considered the BEST because of easy drag and drop tools.
- More than 90 million users in 180 countries use Wix.
- Wix ADI learns about you and applies this knowledge to create the perfect website for your needs.
- They are even listed on NASDAQ.
- More than 500 templates to choose from.
- Prices start as low as
$5/month in the USAor
₹122/month in India.
- Weebly was found in 2007.
- Has over 40 million users.
- More than 100 templates to choose from.
- The design is not as great as Wix.
- Gives you more control on design if know how to code.
- A little easier and less flexible than Wix to work with.
- Prices start as low as
$8/monthwhen paid annually.
- Squarespace was found in 2004.
- Has over 1 million paying customers.
- Similar to Wix but allows changing templates afterward. With Wix, once you select a template, it cannot be changed as easily.
- Has over 40 beautifully designed templates.
- The number of templates is less, and hence it might not suit you necessarily. However, the quality of these templates is amazing.
- Prices start at
$12/monthwhen paid annually.
The Best Self Hosting & Managed Hosting Providers
There are a variety of applications for various needs, and every application has its own set of providers. Hence, it is not really possible to list them all here.
That said, we keep playing around with various technologies and applications. So, stay tuned for more articles on managed providers for various technologies and self-hosting options. Also, if you have any website designing or hosting requirements, check out our services or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.