Here you’ll learn what drag-and-drop website builders are, why they’re fantastic tools for anyone who doesn’t know (or care) about HTML. Plus we’ll review the best drag-and-drop website builders out there right now.
Click the links below and you will be taken to the relevant section. Of course, if you want to just browse, keep on scrolling down.
How Websites Used To Be Created
Not too long ago creating a website was a complicated (and costly) thing to do. In fact it was impossible for many, as you needed a lot of money and time, and you had to be a HTML and CSS expert.
Even the professional web developers and designers whose job it was to create websites had to think twice before before even creating the most basic personal website.
It just took too long to create a site
Because they knew they would have to put in precious time and give it best effort, as they could not afford to spare several weeks building a basic website while at the same time holding down a full-time job.
Then there were the non-tech individuals (i.e. the mere mortals like you and me) who just didn’t have the skills to even manage a website, let alone create one.
We didn’t stand a chance. We had to put the thought of creating a website out of our heads completely.
Unless we took a gamble
The option to hire developers and designers was one way that unskilled individuals could choose to go. But that cost a fortune (it still does).
But horror stories of being ripped off by rogue web developers scared people off who were thinking of outsourcing.
Fears of spending a small fortune on a shoddy designed site that looked unprofessional became a major deterrent for many aspiring online entrepreneurs.
It just wasn’t fair.
Why should it have to cost so much money to hire someone, take so much time and be so difficult when when all I wanted was to create my own website?
Luckily things have changed
Today things have changed for the better when it comes to creating websites, as the tools for creating websites have become cheaper, are easier to use and can create professional and modern websites.
Gone are the days when building a website was almost impossible or a task best left to the professionals.
Enter the website builder tool. It’s your prayers answered if:
- You want to be able to make changes to your site, easily and quickly?
- You don’t want to start from the absolute scratch, but you don’t want to do any, or pay for, web design?
- You don’t understand code, or you have no interest in learning about it, but you don’t want to pay for web development?
- You don’t want to pay freelance web developers and designers to create a website for you?
- You just want to create a website yourself!
The use of drag and drop website builders has greatly simplified the process of building a website.
Thanks to these tools, keeping your website up and running has also become easier as well as less time intensive and expensive.
Before we jump into the tools we recommend you to use, let’s kick off with a bit of an introduction.
What is a Drag and Drop Website Builder?
Drag and drop website builders are web development software that allow web pages to be visually created much like using a desktop publishing program (e.g. like Microsoft Word).
For this reason, such software is also called “what you see is what you get” or WYSIWYG site editor.
Typically, web pages are designed using a graphical user interface (GUI) and the software automatically generates HTML code for the layout and CSS code for the style of web pages based on how users design their website.
The design process would involve dragging web page elements from a toolbar and placing them on any desired area of the page, hence the name “drag and drop”.
Some of these site building tools even allow the user to toggle between the GUI (design mode) and HTML source code and make changes from either end.
In most cases, drag and drop site builders let you see a preview of your work to get a sneak peek of how each web page would look like before publishing.
Why Use a Drag and Drop Website Builder?
So, why choose to have your website built with a website building application instead of doing it the traditional way by relying on pure HyperText Markup Language (HTML) or other programming languages?
HTML isn’t overly complicated, but why have to learn a new language when you don’t have to?
We already covered some of the main benefits, but drag and drop site builders provide several key advantages that make them indispensable tools for beginners wanting to create his/her own website.
Ease of Use
Perhaps the biggest advantage of drag and drop technology is the ease of use it offers to just about anyone who wants to create a website.
With the right tool, you don’t have to start from scratch by learning HTML or other programming languages to design a website that functions.
In fact, anyone with basic computer skills can figure out how to make a simple landing page using drag and drop site builders.
These tools provide instant visibility because you can literally point and click your way to creating a website.
But it gets even better.
Another benefit of this type of application is that it will save you a significant amount of time.
Most WYSIWYG website builders come with a huge range of pre-designed, professional looking and mobile responsive themes for you to choose from.
Meaning you don’t have to worry about web design, and you take take hiring a web designer out of the equation.
You can also choose a basic website layout with a few mouse clicks then customize graphical elements of your pages and add some content without having to write a single line of code.
Between coming up with working algorithms and debugging scripts, creating a website by hand-coding HTML would take much longer compared to using a drag and drop tool for creating your website.
But now you might ask, how much will this end up costing me?
The best drag and drop website builders are not free, but close enough.
Website building tools greatly reduce the cost of launching and maintaining a website.
Since they create the source code automatically, this eliminates the need for hiring professional web developers or coders to help you setup your website.
Before you go ahead a sign up with builder here are a couple of things to consider.
How to Choose a Reliable Drag and Drop Website Builder?
There are many drag and drop website builders available these days. However, not all website builders are created equal.
Some site builders will obviously be better than others and therefore it is important to know what you should look for in a reliable tool.
Desktop vs. the Cloud
When looking for site builders, don’t make the mistake of using desktop-only based applications.
The latest site builders are cloud based, meaning they operate 100% online and most even provide web hosting services.
This means that you don’t have to download the application onto your desktop and create your site offline, and there is no need to find a hosting provider to upload your site to.
This will all be taken care of, as creating your site happens in the cloud with web hosting (and email address) created and set up for you.
Another important factor to consider is SEO. Find out whether you will have any SEO tools or mobile friendly templates at your disposal, as these two aspects are a must-have for creating modern websites that search engines will love to rank in their search results.
Ideally you want to be able to search engine optimize page titles and meta description tags. Find out if you can customize URLs and setup 301 redirects. You would also want to be able to set custom headings and image alt attributes.
Modern and Mobile Friendly Themes
Already mentioned here above, but you should pay close attention to the type of templates, themes and customization options that various site builders offer.
The website builder must offer modern and mobile optimized templates. This trend is clear, having a mobile friendly website is a must today for every business wanting to attract visitors from search engines.
Finally, it is almost certain that you at some point will have to reach out to support so you should sign up with a reputable and trusted company.
The number of online website builders that exist these days can be overwhelming, but the quality of services varies greatly from one platform to the next.
To choose a reliable or trusted site building application, you need to be inquisitive about the company behind that product.
For instance: How long has the company been in business? Are there people searching for that brand on Google?
How many people are using that site builder? Is it easy to contact customer support? Does the company offer a refund or cancellation policy?
Best Drag and Drop Website Builders
Given that there are plenty of drag and drop website builders out there, the wise way to choose the best platform is to make a list and make comparisons.
To help you get started, here are quick reviews for 6 best drag & drop website builders in no particular order of preference.
Wix is a site-building platform that was established in 2006. Its founders had one main aim – to provide a simple site builder that can be used by even the average person who has no knowledge of HTML or other programming languages.
Today, Wix commands a large following that reaches to the tune of tens of thousands. Find out why so many people choose this site platform by reading this quick review.
Wix offers a free site option that allows users to test their platform. However, the free version uploads banner ads on your site and you will not have the freedom of choosing a custom domain name.
For full control over your website, you have the option of signing up for a Wix monthly subscription plan.
Prices for the paid plans cover the cost for hosting, premium support, a custom domain name, and integration with Google Analytics.
What’s more, banner ads are removed and you get to choose from several packages that come with varying amounts of bandwidth and storage capacity.
Launching a website with Wix is fast and easy. The platform features more than 500 preloaded design templates, which are further broken down into industry specific categories to help you narrow down your choices.
Chosen templates are 100% customizable using the graphical user interface.
Wix offers the option of creating a website with multiple pages for member logins, blog posts or contact details, just to name a few.
Another important feature that Wix offers to website owners is the ability to make use of SEO tools. For example, the editor offers the ability to edit meta descriptions, insert keywords, and edit title tags.
All web pages can be integrated with Google Analytics or Wix’s custom Web Stats app to evaluate site traffic and performance.
As an added bonus, Wix creates sites that will perform well on mobile search results.
The platform does not apply responsive design but rather allows users to create separate mobile sites. However, the desktop and mobile sites are created in separate design modes.
Ease of Use
Using the Wix user interface is a breeze. This WYSIWYG editor makes extensive use of right click menu options.
Almost all web page elements have help buttons that pull up tutorials when clicked. This feature shortens the learning curve for new users.
Web page elements can be dragged into designated spots on the screen with easy and placed in perfect alignment thanks to the grid lines that appear in design mode.
Also, every element in focus will have resizing handles for further customization.
Help and Support
At the time of writing writing this review, Wix only offers direct support over the phone.
Although the company is lacking behind when it comes to offering multiple customer support channels, they have a very comprehensive online help center.
Finding answers for sales, billing and other general questions is easy through the Wix Help Center, which features FAQ sections and help articles.
Topics are indexed in categories for easy navigation or you can run a quick search to find something of interest fast.
Wix also hosts a community forum where members answer questions or engage in conversations on topics of interest.
- Creates SEO and mobile friendly sites
- Site builder comes with hosting service
- Free trial version with a 14-day period
- User friendly drag and drop site builder
- Powerful web development tools that can build anything from an ecommerce store to personal website
- No live chat support
- SSL encryption is not provided
- Wix sites cannot be exported to other hosting providers
Wix is a solid site builder overall and the fact that a free version is available allows you to try their service to get a taste of what to expect.
It does have a few drawbacks, however, so whether to settle for this platform boils down to your specific needs. Take advantage of Wix’s free trial and give their website builder a test drive.
Weebly is another online-based website builder that has been around since 2007.
What started out as a simple project launched by 3 college students from their dorm room has grown to become one of the most popular site building platforms.
Currently, Weebly reports of supporting more than 30-million websites. Weebly shares many similarities with site builders such as Wix. However, it also has a few unique aspects that make it slightly unique.
Much like Wix, Weebly offers their own free site option. The free account allows you to get a feel of what the site build has to offer. It comes with 500MB of storage capacity, free hosting and best of all, no expiration date.
However, free sites do not have custom domains and will contain Weebly banner ads.
With the premium plans, Weebly not only removes branding, but also offers a domain name of your choosing that will remain free for 1 year.
Regardless of the chosen package, you will be able to use Weebly’s drag and drop site builder. Users not only get access to the graphical based editor, but they can also customize raw CSS and HTML files.
This feature provides great flexibility to skilled web developers who want to customize themes or add more functionality to their websites.
The paid accounts also do not place limits on storage and offer standard features such as search engine indexing, customizable footers, and expanded stats.
With the Business plan option, online entrepreneurs planning to launch ecommerce stores benefit from features such as SSL encryption, a tax calculator tool, an inventory management shipping system and ability to generate coupon codes for customers.
Since they rolled out the Carbon update, Weebly reduced their templates selection, but newer themes now feature responsive design.
This means that users can create websites that are optimized to work well on mobile devices.
The SEO tools that this website builder provides are quite basic at best. These include a blogging function as well as the ability to perform on-page SEO with title tags, keywords, and meta descriptions.
Ease of use
Weebly features an intuitive design that provides great ease of use on many levels. The simple dashboard has a menu bar that allows users to select site wide options or go to the web editor.
Like most WYSIWYG site editors, Weebly features full drag and drop functionality.
Web pages are customized by dragging elements to the desired spot, resizing them, and aligning everything to create an organized web page.
Another great feature on the Weebly site editor is the auto-save function. So, in case power goes off suddenly, all changes to the page layout will already have been saved.
Help and Support
The only drawback that Weebly has as far as help and support goes is not having a community forum where members can ask questions, get answers and share insights.
What the company lacks in a forum platform, they more than make up for it with other forms of customer support.
When the need arises to speak to someone, you can get in touch with Weebly technical staff via phone, email (support ticket) or live chat.
For general sales questions and common problems, the online Help Center provides plenty of useful support material in the form of FAQs, Q&A articles and tutorials.
- Free hosting account with no expiry date
- Full access to CSS and HTML code
- Comprehensive e-commerce package with shopping cart and SSL encryption
- Site builder supports integration with third party extensions and apps
- Attractive themes with mobile friendly designs
- Site portability is possible via RSS
- No community forum
- Limited photo editing features
Unlike Wix, Weebly supports site portability so that you are not trapped into or forced to use their platform only even when the service becomes unreliable or unscalable for your growing website.
This benefit along with many others such as a generous 30-day free trial period makes it a top contender for one of the best drag and drop site builders on the web.
BoldGrid differs from other drag and drop website builders in that it is not a standalone or one-stop solution, because it’s powered by WordPress.
BoldGrid is free software, but since it is built on top of WordPress you need to get web hosting from one of their partner web hosts.
To integrate this site builder with WordPress, you will need to get a Connect Key to be able to install the BoldGrid plugin to setup the website builder.
By doing so, a button for switching to the BoldGrid interface appears in your web management control panel. Clicking this button prompts a wizard process that allows you to create a username and login password for access the BoldGrid site editor.
However, if you are using another web host can still use the free website builder tool (but with limited functionality).
In such a case, you would only pay for a Connect key and access support. Once integrated into WordPress, BoldGrid offers access to thousands of free templates.
In reality though, most of the themes are just minor variations of several base template types. On the plus side, BoldGrid creates responsive sites that adapt to any screen size.
The staging feature lets designers create a webpage and launch it later while a “Coming Soon” page shows online in the meantime.
As development of web pages continues, the interface has options to see previews, save pages as pending, set visibility only to signed-in users, and even choose a site publication date.
Ease of Use
BoldGrid has an intuitive user interface but it does not offer some of the customization possibilities or ease of use that you will get with standalone site editors like Wix or Weebly.
To commence the design phase, first you have to choose a template from BoldGrid’s “Inspiration“ section and deploy it into your website.
This in turn installs the chosen theme and populates your website with custom pages and layouts.
For instance, some of the templates will create a site with pages such as Home, About Us, Services, Gallery, Events, FAQs, Contact Us, and so on.
A unique aspect about this site builder is that it enables designers to add custom grids into pages.
The grids make it possible to populate pages with multiple column layouts that contain photos, text blocks, social media buttons, forms, maps, and media players.
Users have the option to upload photos, images and video files, which will all be saved in the Media Library.
However, BoldGrid web page elements only fall into specified areas, unlike those for Wix, which can be dropped right where you want them.
Although there is limited flexibility with the drag and drop capabilities, this is necessary for the responsive design functionality that the site builder has to generate.
In contrast to Weebly, the BoldGrid site builder does not archive edits or changes made to individual pages. However, you can undo some of the changes while working on your site.
On the ‘text tab’, advanced developers will be able to modify HTML code for a more customized layout.
Help and Support
To get technical support regarding the BoldGrid site builder, your options will be dictated by the chosen hosting provider. BoldGrid hosting partners provide support either via phone, live chat or email.
The site builder has an online support center, where users can read tutorials to learn more about the various functions they will be using.
Should the service not meet your expectations, the BoldGrid web hosting partners offer a money back guarantee.
What’s more, you can export your site to other WordPress hosts that you find more suitable for your needs.
- Creates mobile friendly sites using responsive design technique
- Users can save uploaded media in the Media Library
- Site portability is possible
- Unrestricted access to HTML code
- Website builder is powered by WordPress (learn how to create a website using WordPress)
- Not a one-stop solution/site builder since a separate WordPress host is required
- Lacks ecommerce functions
- Requires web hosting
BoldGrid may be a bit harder to use than other drag and drop site builders, but it lets you create a responsive and good-looking website.
Overall, it is a great option for site owners who want to create mobile friendly and powerful WordPress powered sites with ease.
The drag and drop site builder that Websitebuilder.com offers is the same one that you will find on sitelio.com, sitebuilder.com, and sitey.com.
These sister sites only differ in terms of pricing, but this review will talk more about Websitebuilder.com.
Interested users can test Websitebuilder.com by signing up for a 14-day free trial. The free account has a few drawbacks.
For instance, Websitebuilder.com advertises on free sites and you won’t be able to customize your domain name.
With the paid plans, you can choose your own domain name, have banner ads removed and access more advanced functions that are not included on free accounts.
Regardless of the chosen premium option, WebsiteBuilder caters for hosting and provides new subscribers with free ad-credits to spend on PPC campaigns.
Other features largely depend on the type of hosting plan that you choose. These include SEO tools, e-commerce functions, and the ability to create mobile friendly sites.
Ease of Use
WebsiteBuilder.com has thousands of templates to choose from, although many of the themes on offer are just slight variations of several common styles.
Nonetheless, there is no shortage of layouts and choosing a theme gets easier since templates are grouped into industry specific categories.
The drag and drop editor contains a multitude of tools that you can use to design a fully-fledged website. Widget tools allow addition of music players, image galleries, videos and maps.
Higher tier accounts that target e-commerce customers have the option to integrate online stores with payment providers such as Ecwid and PayPal.
Websitebuilder.com does not offer SSL encryption, so keep in mind that you would have to use a third party to offer your customers a secure checkout process.
Help and Support
As of compiling this review, the only direct support contact methods that websitebuilder.com offers are email and phone calls. The company operates three (U.K, U.S and Canadian) phone numbers.
For non-technical inquires, users can visit the online support center, which offers published help articles that answer questions on billing and other technical concerns.
The support center has searchable FAQs and troubleshooting guides as well.
- Thousands of website templates to choose from, including responsive design layouts
- Intuitive drag and drop site editor
- Easy to use Adobe’s Aviary online image editing tool
- Builds sites that can be easily integrated with Google Analytics
- Basic SEO tools, blogging function and e-commerce tools provided in paid plans
- Free trial account
- Although websitebuilder.com makes it possible to design online stores, the payment gateways it supports are limited
- The free account has many limitations
If you are a beginner, websitebuilder.com is a solid platform that can help you create your first website without having to write a single line of code.
It is easy to use and functional, but bear in mind that this website builder still has its own drawbacks.
Most drag and drop site builders facilitate design of multi-page layouts. Strikingly is a website editor that does the exact opposite.
This platform creates single page sites with sections to which you can navigate to by scrolling up and down. Although an unusual format, single page sites have many applications.
Strikingly offers users several plans (both free and paid) with access to the site builder as well as various web-hosting services.
The free account creates unlimited sites, but with a limit of selling only one product per site. In addition, free sites become sub-domains of Strikingly.
Meaning your website URL will have the format “www.websitename.strikingly.com” which if you are serious about your business isn’t the ideal option.
Accounts for the other paid options provide free domain registration as well as custom website URLs. Depending on the subscription you choose, the number of products to sell per site and bandwidth allocation will vary.
Strikingly plans come with a 14-day free trial, including the premium subscriptions. Strikingly makes it possible optimize web pages for search engines. This may be done by filling out metadata and keywords.
The site builder features a built in analytics app that saves visitor data dating back to 90 days.
Alternatively, you have the option to integrate your Strikingly website with Google Analytics to get more detailed site traffic evaluation tools.
When it comes to mobile friendliness, Strikingly does not disappoint. Naturally, single page sites perform well on mobile devices.
The Strikingly site builder not only creates responsive layouts but also allows visitors to jump between sections with the help of touch friendly menus.
Ease of Use
The Strikingly interface was designed with user friendliness in mind. First, users have to choose a template and theme. There are less than a dozen main templates but the number of theme choices is extensive.
To populate your single page site with content, the editor lets you work with large content blocks called sections.
Every theme has its own unique combination of sections. Your chosen theme will therefore dictate what type of page elements you can use.
The drag and drop editor lets users create single page sites with social media buttons, galleries, text blocks, images and even contact forms.
Strikingly even has the option to create an ecommerce site that sells up to 20 products or a blog with links for posts published on separate pages.
Help and Support
Customer support channels are somewhat limited for site owners who decide to settle for Strikingly.
As of writing this review, the company only offers an online contact form for users to fill out and communicate with the technical staff via email.
On the plus side, the online knowledge base offers a wide range of help articles, troubleshooting guides and even video tutorials. Browsing through the help center is easy since various topics have been grouped into categories.
Alternatively, you can use the search box to find help materials quickly or browse Strikingly’s Idea forum for answers.
- Responsive templates optimized for mobile devices
- 14-day free trial even for premium plans
- Easy to use drag and drop editor with pre-designed page sections
- Strikingly badge is only removed when you sign up for the highest premium plan
- This WYSIWYG website editor only creates single page layouts, which might not be ideal for everyone.
- No auto-save feature, but editor offers ’save’ and ’publish’ buttons
Strikingly is a unique drag and drop website editor that can’t be compared to other one-stop solutions such as Wix, Weebly and WebsiteBuilder.com.
That said, however, this site builder is the ideal choice for designing business cards, portfolios sites, limited product stores or other types of website designs that intend to fit content on a single page.
#6: VEVS Website Builder
VEVS is a powerful and unique of its kind website builder that lets you quickly and easily create drag-and-drop built niche websites without any prior programming knowledge, and created exactly as per your business specific needs.
VEVS website builder is aimed towards creators of niche websites such as car dealer websites, real estate or vacation rental websites.
Not long ago you would have to hire expensive developers and designers to create websites using functionalities such as smart search, inventory management, online booking and reservation management, and more.
That’s a thing of the past. When building websites with VEVS, custom functionalities like these that used to cost thousands of dollars – all come built-in into the site builder’s CMS.
VEVS website builder creates all-in-one solution and ready-made websites that are stylish and modern website design based, that are built on the latest web technologies. Your site will be user-friendly, mobile friendly, fast loading and SEO-ready.
With VEVS you can create a fully functional niche website, turn key and using drag and drop techniques, like:
- Car Dealer websites
- Car Rental websites
- Vacation Rental websites
- Job Portal websites
- Yacht and Boat websites
- Real Estate websites
- Holiday Property websites
- Car Parking websites
- Shuttle and Taxi websites
- Hotel websites
- (Hair Salon, Flower Shop, Restaurant, and Clothing Websites are coming soon)
Now you may think, how much is this going to cost me? Not a lot. You pay $45 per month on monthly paid plans; and $37 per month on yearly paid plans (domain name is included for free on yearly paid plans)
VEVS hotel website builder has a slightly different pricing plan. Small business plan is $20/mo if paid yearly ($25 if paid monthly) and the Enterprise plan is $45 ($59 if paid monthly).
VEVS Website Builder has an open, month-to-month policy allowing you to cancel your subscription at any time.
Ease of Use
You can easily manage all your text based content and visual designs on your website through VEVS’s smart content management system (CMS). VEVS site builder allows you to make numerous layout and color theme combinations to fully meet your specific business needs.
You can enable the on-site editing tool and make the necessary changes with just a few clicks. You can change your website’s color and style; rename menu titles, links, buttons, add and replace images, set custom meta tags, translate your page into any language, you can make functionality modifications, add new pages, add-ons, and much more.
Help and Support
At the time of writing VEVS only offers support via email/support ticket. However don’t think that you have to sit and wait for a response back. They usually write back on the same business day (often sooner). Their customer support is online every weekday from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM (GMT).
You’ll get access to help articles that answer questions on billing and other technical concerns. The support center offers helpful FAQs, video tutorials and troubleshooting guides as well.
- Powerful (both backend and frontend) all-in-one niche website builder
- Easy to use drag and drop editor for content and design
- Powered by StivaSoft, which is a solid and reputable software company
- Stunning, modern and mobile responsive designs
- Built in SEO capabilities
- Loads of affordable extra services such as custom logo design, Facebook fan page creation, translation, mobile app creation, SSL certificate and more
- Try before you buy 7-day free trial for all websites
- You pay for add-ons like adding on a blog, review and ratings, ticket support system, invoice manager, call-back widget etc (however these are all low cost upgrades – between $30-$60 and these are one-off costs)
- The option to self-host is a fantastic one but is rather expensive (i.e. you can download the entire website and host it on your own web hosting account – one-time fee of $1,199).
VEVS is unlike any other website builder out there, it’s a true multi-specialized and business specific site builder. It gives you everything you need to run your niche business online.
If you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a custom developed and designed niche website then VEVS is an option that you should consider.
As you can see, there are plenty of factors to consider and options around when choosing a website builder.
Drag and drop website builders are ideal for beginners wanting a website, who have no experience in web design and development, or have no interest in learning how to code.
Using a website builder won’t get you a website that looks and functions like Amazon.com.
But you will be able to create a website yourself, without having to pay freelance web developers and designers to get involved and you will be able to make changes to your site, easily and quickly.
Take action now and get started with your website! (Remember you can take the website builders for a test drive, by using the free trials)