13 WordPress “Website Builder” Options (2016)

13 WordPress “Website Builder” Options (2016)

Ahh, WordPress — it’s probably the first name that comes to mind if you’re thinking of building a site. It’s popular, it’s free, and it’s helped millions of users showcase their brand or personality.

While WordPress can be wonderful, it also can be tricky. Once you install the free software, you have to actually build your site, which doesn’t come easy to those who lack programming skills.

Fortunately, there are a number of WordPress themes and plugins that will make building your new site simple as can be — even if you’re a first-timer. Let’s take a look at the very best of these “website builder” options, along with other considerations you should have along the way:

1. Set Up Hosting | 2. Choose a Theme or Plugin | 3. Non-WordPress Site Builders

1. Set Up WordPress Hosting

Before we dive into themes and plugins, keep in mind that you can’t build a WordPress site — or any website — without first setting up web hosting. Web hosting costs just a few bucks per month, and the best hosts will let you download and install WordPress in one click. Some even have WordPress pre-installed for you.

We’ve tested all the popular web hosts, rating them on everything from cost to support to eCommerce features, and we highly recommend these three as the best hosts for WordPress:

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • WordPress pre-installed
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on one account
  • Choice of datacenter locations
  • Get started on InMotion now.

WORDPRESS
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWordPress Hosting Plans
90 daysUnlimitedFREEwww.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

eHost.com

eHost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.75

  • Install WordPress with one click
  • Includes cPanel and FREE online store
  • Visitor stats, SEO tools, and $200 in ad credits included
  • PayPal and social media integration
  • 1,000s of templates and drag-and-drop site builder
  • Get started on eHost now.

WORDPRESS
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

eHost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): Perfect for first-time users, eHost makes it easy to get started on the Web fast. They offer a free, drag-and-drop website building tool that comes with thousands of pre-made, professional-looking templates. For added flexibility, the included cPanel hosting... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWordPress Hosting Plans
45 daysUnlimitedFREEwww.ehost.com/wordpress

SiteGround.com

SiteGround review

Monthly Starting Price $3.95

  • 1-click install, FREE transfer, and FREE domain name
  • Isolated servers and multi-location dedicated servers
  • Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
  • FREE WordPress setup wizard, staging, and auto-updates
  • 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and custom Chat System
  • Get started on SiteGround now.

WORDPRESS
RATING

4.7
★★★★★

SiteGround: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): Want a hassle-free, WordPress-compatible hosting service? SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Starting with the essentials, users get free email accounts, site transfer, cPanel, Cloudflare CDN, and free domain... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWordPress Hosting Plans
30 days10GB - 30GBFREE for Lifewww.siteground.com/wordpress

See More WordPress Host Reviews »

Once you’ve set up a web hosting account and successfully installed WordPress, you’re ready to start designing. In the next section, we’ll cover the top theme and plugin options for building your WordPress site.

2. Choose a Theme or Plugin

As those who are familiar with WordPress can tell you, there are two easy ways to build a WordPress site yourself without having to write code: themes and plugins.

Themes are simply pre-made templates that you can manipulate to make a site look and function as you wish, while plugins are a common form of software that you can install on your WordPress backend to get a certain type of functionality — in this case, site-building functionality.

Below are the top themes and plugins we recommend as easy WordPress website builders:

Free Themes (5) | Paid Themes (5) | Page Builder Plugins (3)

Free Site-Building Themes (5)

The following themes are not only beautiful and intuitive, but they also feature easy customization tools for users of all skill levels. In addition to drag-and-drop editing, you’ll also get responsive (mobile-friendly) designs and tons of customization options — all for free.

1. Sydney ($0)
Sydney allows site owners access to all Google fonts, with full control over layout, coloring, and navigation options. Professionals can upload logos, header images, and full-screen slider content to create eye-catching, responsive designs.

Sydney WordPress theme screenshot

A responsive theme ideal for professionals, Sydney offers Google fonts, logo upload, full-screen sliders, and more.

2. Astrid ($0)
Astrid features a sleek, seamless layout that allows site visitors to scroll through the facets of your business with ease. The template is dynamic and designing is intuitive. You’ll get color options, the ability to add a full-width header image, options for blogging, and custom widget support.

Astrid WordPress theme screenshot

Looking to blog or add custom widgets? Astrid is the ideal theme for building a beautiful business site quickly.

3. Llorix One Lite ($0)
An all-star in the 1-page design arena, Llorix One Lite is ideal for professional-looking landing pages and basic personal site building needs. It includes a full-width template, a responsive blog section with threaded comment capabilities, and an array of color theme options to choose from.

Llorix One Lite WordPress theme screenshot

If a single-page site is all you need, Llorix One Lite includes a responsive blog section and eCommerce functionality.

4. Pixova Lite ($0)
For clean lines and a modern feel, Pixova Lite offers a variety of content options to make your site look like it was designed by the pros. Included features are custom slider, animations, 2-column and full-width layout, responsiveness, and custom menus and headers.

Pixova Lite WordPress theme screenshot

For a more modern look, try Pixova Lite with its customizable sliders and animation options.

5. Moesia ($0)
Featuring cool animations, 11 predefined site elements, and two blog page layouts, Moesia makes building professional sites a breeze. This theme comes with an attentive support team, regular updates, and support for all the popular web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE9+, & Opera).

Moesia WordPress theme screenshot

Moesia makes professional site-creation simple. Choose from 11 pre-made design blocks and begin building!

WordPress themes are great, because even a non-techy can have a professional-looking website — complete with beautiful photo sliders, eye-catching buttons, and custom sidebars or menus — without touching a line of code. However, you can’t expect to get everything you want for free.

If you’re willing to commit around $50 to your site building endeavor, you can get the same drag-and-drop functionality, with more customization options, dynamic design options that may be limited in the free version, and all-around advanced features for premium-quality site building.

The following are our favorite premium WordPress theme options for site building:

1. Avada ($59)
Our favorite of the premium WordPress website builders, Avada comes with an incredible amount of template layouts, header options, color choices, and additional integrations. Whether you want to blog, sell, or display photos, Avada is the #1 pick in premium WordPress themes.

Avada WordPress theme screenshot

Featuring a brand-new theme options panel, Avada is the #1 pick in premium WordPress themes.

2. X ($64)
With X, you also get nearly two dozen extensions, including MailChimp integration, Envira photo gallery, and Olark chat. Plus, X users get to take advantage of the extremely popular UberMenu, so your site has a navigation menu that matches the look you want.

X WordPress theme screenshot

Complete with 20+ included extensions, X is the only theme to come with separate plugins for optimized site performance.

3. Enfold ($59)
Enfold is great for an easy start in WordPress site building. Its creators offer different versions for bloggers, business folks, resume posters, and for various industry-specific niches. The drag-and-drop editor and narrated video tutorials warrant its reputation for mega-fast 2-minute setup.

Enfold WordPress theme screenshot

With an ever-growing list of pre-made content options, Enfold is boasted as the “user-friendliest” WordPress theme.

4. BeTheme ($59)
BeTheme is actually a beastly package of over 210 fantastic pre-made site templates, so you’re sure to find the design that matches your style. It’s fully customizable and easy to use — starting with the 1-click installation, all the way down to the custom font uploader.

BeTheme WordPress theme screenshot

The BeTheme creators offer 200+ beautiful pre-made websites for you to choose from. Need I say more?

5. Massive Dynamic ($59)
Massive Dynamic features a live website builder that allows you to customize colors, layouts, and shortcodes and preview how it will look on your site easily. Design the perfect header to meet your objectives — whether you want visitors to pick up the phone or check out your portfolio — using the customizable menu designs.

Massive Dynamic WordPress theme screenshot

WordPress website builder Massive Dynamic allows you to customize, edit, and manage multiple WordPress sites.

“Page Builder” Plugins (3)

Finally, the options below are plugins, which you install from your WordPress dashboard. To help you perfect your layout and content, plugins work with your WordPress theme — making dragging and dropping and manipulating elements of your site’s design that much easier.

1. Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder is certainly one of the most popular page builder plugins for WordPress out there. There’s no need to bother with HTML or custom styling, because Beaver Builder allows you to visually edit elements of your site right on the frontend. If you are slightly tech savvy, you’ll be happy to hear that you can add your own CSS classes and IDs, plus widgets and shortcodes.

Beaver Builder WordPress plugin screenshot

The Beaver Builder plugin allows you to drag and drop photos, audio and video clips, and sidebars directly onto your site.

2. Live Composer
The page builder of choice for over 30,000 site owners, Live Composer is an extremely easy-to-use drag-and-drop frontend editor. You can edit your content in real-time, so you can have a ready-to-convert landing page or a blog boasting your recent travels up on the Web in minutes.

Live Composer WordPress plugin screenshot

Live Composer is a frontend page builder, meaning you can visually edit elements of your site right on the page.

3. MotoPress
MotoPress is a drag-and-drop frontend builder that’s compatible with nearly any WordPress theme. It features over 30 content elements, with the option to gain additional customization options with MotoPress add-ons. The end result is a completely mobile-responsive website.

MotoPress WordPress plugin screenshot

MotoPress works with many WordPress themes — allowing you to create a responsive site by dragging and dropping.


These free WordPress website builder plugins also come with the option to upgrade to a premium license for around $50 to $100. Buying a license gives you access to expert support and more customization features than non-licensed versions.

3. Non-WordPress Website Builders

Ask yourself this: Why does your site have to be built with WordPress?

If you don’t have a highly technical answer to that question, your site probably doesn’t need to use WordPress at all. While WordPress is a nice and popular platform, there are plenty of website builder options that will give your site the same look and functionality as a WordPress-based site.

Next up are hosts that offer a super-easy combo package: hosting with a free website builder. For just a few dollars a month, these hosts will give you the excellent web hosting you deserve, plus free drag-and-drop website builders and tons of free templates to make your own:

iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • #1-rated Weebly site builder
  • 100s of professionally-designed, customizable themes
  • FREE domain name included
  • Start your personal blog or business site in minutes
  • Join today for +75% off your first month
  • Get started on iPage now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Do you want your website built today? If you answered "yes," you should look no further than iPage. In fact, it's possible for you to be online before you even finish reading this article. Thanks to iPage's user-friendly interface, instant provisioning, and... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWebsite Builder Hosting Plans
30 days100GB - UnlimitedFREE (for 1st year)www.ipage.com/site-builder

1and1.com

1&1 review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • No coding skills necessary with 1&1 MyWebsite
  • Free domain name included, or transfer your existing site
  • Quickly build a site equipped for online sales with PayPal
  • $50-worth of free paid ad credits and 1&1 SEO Spotlight
  • Measure and track your success with 1&1 SiteAnalytics
  • Get started on 1&1 now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

1&1: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If you're in need of a one-stop shop for building and hosting a website, you should be pleased to hear that 1&1 offers their own custom website building tools for desktop and mobile. In addition to a free domain and email address, and unlimited webspace... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWebsite Builder Hosting Plans
30 days10GBFREEwww.1and1.com/site-builder

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • FREE WYSIWYG builder: BoldGrid sits atop WordPress
  • FREE domain, with tons of options to customize and scale
  • 500+ easy-to-edit blog, gallery, and eCommerce themes
  • Choice of WordPress, Joomla, or PrestaShop pre-installed
  • Animated flash intros
  • Get started on InMotion now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): If you're aiming to build a dynamic, user-oriented website — an active blog, a photo gallery, an eCommerce store — check out InMotion Hosting. The InMotion team is extremely knowledgeable in the hosting industry, and they're attuned to the ever-evolving... Go to full review »
Money Back GuaranteeDisk SpaceDomain NameWebsite Builder Hosting Plans
30 daysUnlimitedNew or Transferwww.inmotionhosting.com/site-builder

See More Website Builder Reviews »

The beauty of these combo deals is that you get a free drag-and-drop editor to create beautiful, responsive designs and all you have to do is pay for the hosting — typically $3 to $10 per month.

Ready to Start Building Your Site?

WordPress is the foundation of some of the Web’s most popular sites — and yours could be next. While the increasingly popular platform can be tricky for non-techies, now that you’re equipped with the best options for hosting and building your WordPress site, there’s no reason not to get started today.

Let me know in the comments below how you do — I’d love to hear your success story!

Ryan Frankel

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Ask a question and Ryan will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.