13 Best “WYSIWYG” Web Builder Reviews (2017)

People just getting started making websites already know that HTML and CSS coding can be hard — and don’t even get us started on PHP or JavaScript. It’s hard to understand how lines of seemingly indecipherable code can turn into a beautiful website.

WYSIWYG is another intimidating set of letters that somehow results in a website. The acronym, however, should be a welcome sight: WYSIWYG stands for “what you see is what you get.”

Put simply, a WYSIWYG web builder means what you see on your computer screen as you’re editing your website is exactly what you’ll see when you visit your website in a browser window once it’s published. You can add all sorts of content without messing with any code.

1. Weebly Web Builder

More than 20 million people have signed up for the incredibly popular WYSIWYG editor, making Weebly one of the most popular options.

Like all WYSIWYG builders, Weebly features a drag-and-drop interface.

PROS
  • Responsive templates
  • Integrated eCommerce (with paid plan)
  • Mobile app lets you edit on the go
CONS
  • Limited storage and domains in free plan
  • Basic template designs and customization
  • Not ideal for blogging

With the limited offerings of Weebly’s free plan, you’ll be better served in the long term by investing in a paid plan — or better yet, a hosting account that includes the Weebly design environment. Our experts took the Weebly interface for a test run, and you can browse our findings in our Weebly review below.

ASP.NET RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • All-in-one hosting and industry-leading drag-and-drop website builder
  • Start designing for FREE, upgrade to an affordable plan whenever
  • Easily build a blog, personal site, online store, or business portfolio
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $8.00
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 500 MB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (w/ paid plans)
ASP.NET Hosting Plans www.weebly.com/site-builder

Our Expert's Weebly Review

Weebly is a well-known name in the cheap shared hosting space — not necessarily due to competitive pricing but because several of the web's leading low-cost hosting providers have opted to include Weebly software for free, adding value to their existing... read more + Weebly is a well-known name in the cheap shared hosting space — not necessarily due to competitive pricing but because several of the web's leading low-cost hosting providers have opted to include Weebly software for free, adding value to their existing offerings. It's worth noting Weebly does offer a free plan, but websites are found on a Weebly subdomain and display Weebly advertising. By simply upgrading to the basic Starter plan, website owners get access to unlimited storage, the popular WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) builder, a free domain name, and no ads.The free perks add up as you migrate up the tiers of Weebly packages. Highest-tier plan subscribers enjoy community membership benefits, the option to use a video as your site background, password-protected pages, and advanced eCommerce features. While Weebly online store plans are not economically on par with the top-recommended hosting plans for online store owners, they make everything you could possibly need to launch an online marketplace accessible and user-friendly.If you're looking for a feature-rich site-building solution for less than $10 a month, you've stumbled onto a fantastic choice. We recommend the Weebly platform to first-time site owners and anyone in a hurry to get a site online quickly. collapse info -

See Weebly alternatives »

2. Wix Web Builder

The biggest player in the site-builder industry, Wix boasts more than 90 million users and averages 45,000 new signups per day. Wix’s editor is based in HTML5 and offers some of the most flexibility found anywhere among WYSIWYG platform.

PROS
  • Top-notch templates
  • Lets you animate text and other elements
  • Support through website, phone, or email
CONS
  • No access to source code
  • Can’t switch templates later
  • No way to export your website

While many site builders offer templates tailored to specific industries, Wix takes those websites a step further with programs that help hotels book rooms, musicians sell songs, and restaurants take online orders.

WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • No coding skills needed with drag-and-drop website builder
  • 100s of templates with industry-specific designs
  • Add features via the App Market
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $5.00
Money Back Guarantee 14 days
Disk Space 500 MB - 20 GB
Domain Name Transfer
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.wix.com/site-builder

Our Expert's Wix Review

Website building is where Wix shines. The thousands of templates, the intuitive editor, the industry-leading designs that cater to a variety of specific fields and use cases — all these facets represent a platform that... read more +

Website building is where Wix shines. The thousands of templates, the intuitive editor, the industry-leading designs that cater to a variety of specific fields and use cases — all these facets represent a platform that excels at facilitating easy web design for the non-tech-savvy user. Sign up with your Facebook account or email address and get started for free.

I'll admit, the Wix Editor may appear daunting when you first meet it, but get to know the interface. Once you familiarize yourself with the environment, you'll realize that what first comes across as overwhelming is actually empowering — the customization functionalities to be had are many, and they're awesome. There's no need for coding of any kind. Just drag and drop elements of your new site and BAM: What You See Is What You Get (i.e., Wix is a WYSIWYG website builder!).

You don't have to design your website from scratch with Wix, though blank templates are available. There are thousands of templates, each one categorized by design need and further classified into industry niches, and the site's look can be molded to match your brand or personality very easily. Layout and design options include parallax themes (where the viewer scrolls down the screen and one page rolls seamlessly into the next), custom sliders, multiple columns, mobile-specific and mobile-responsive displays, and tons of button and menu navigation tricks.

While Wix isn't our favorite host in terms of expert support or top-of-the-line hardware, it's an industry-leading platform for website building. It's popular for many reasons: the simple startup process, the ease of use, the array of customization options, and the WYSIWYG results, as examples. Its reputation precedes it, and we can totally see where the rave reviews are coming from.

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See Wix alternatives »

3. WordPress Web Builder: BoldGrid

Powering 26% of the entire internet, WordPress is a go-to option for many website creators, whether they’re experienced or just getting started.

The open-source software was created by a community of hundreds of volunteers. As they say on their website, WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

One of the few free platforms with all the resources you could ever need, WordPress is not technically a website builder. You can choose from a seemingly infinite number of free or paid themes and further customize your website with a variety of plugins, but the content management system alone is not as intuitive as true WYSIWYG builders.

BoldGrid solves all that with a mission to make WordPress competitive with the top web builders. Originally an in-house product at InMotion Hosting, BoldGrid works as a suite of plugins that seamlessly integrates with WordPress and transforms it into a fantastic website builder.

The team at InMotion is so proud of BoldGrid that they are offering it to other hosting providers. Given their dedication to a one-of-a-kind product, InMotion Hosting is far and away our favorite WordPress website builder host.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • One-of-a-kind WordPress builder
  • Good for beginners or professionals
  • Drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG editing
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Best Overall Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com

Our Expert's BoldGrid Review

No matter how simple website builders are made, people still flock to content management systems — especially WordPress — by the millions. BoldGrid, an innovative platform created by InMotion Hosting, seeks to merge the two... read more +

No matter how simple website builders are made, people still flock to content management systems — especially WordPress — by the millions. BoldGrid, an innovative platform created by InMotion Hosting, seeks to merge the two popular systems into one incredibly easy-to-use tool for producing vibrant, professional websites.

Now forging their own path, the BoldGrid team is fine-tuning and growing a platform that introduces drag-and-drop simplicity to the limitless power and functionality of WordPress.

Unlike other site builders, BoldGrid is free. Because it integrates with WordPress, you'll need a separate hosting account. Currently, you must be hosting your website on one of BoldGrid's approved partners (we recommend InMotion) to use the full platform. Fairly experienced WordPress users hosting elsewhere, however, can download a somewhat limited version and installation instructions.

BoldGrid quickly shows newbies and experienced pros the path to website inspiration with a plugin that steers you to the right design, features, and content you may need. That's right — instead of nonsensical dummy content, BoldGrid gives you the images and text relevant to your industry, goal, or idea.

From there, you have free rein to make the site your own. Customize colors, fonts, menus, and more with a WYSIWYG (or, What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) builder interface that's as simple as any of the more established platforms. BoldGrid provides SEO tools and even a staging area to ensure your site is absolutely perfect before you publish.

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See more WordPress hosts »

4. Other Free WYSIWYG Web Builders

Although the website builders themselves are free, you tend to get what you pay for. Free plans are a great way to test out a builder’s features and usability, but you will probably need the additional features that come with a paid hosting plan. The vast majority of hosting plans remove restrictions on your domain name and storage and often include add-ons such as eCommerce stores, marketing tools, and WYSIWYG builders for free with a paid hosting plan.

These hosts below use Weebly or other easy-to-use builders we haven’t mentioned above. They’re free with hosting plans, and give your site plenty of room to grow.

WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • 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
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $0.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 50 GB
Domain Name FREE for life!
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.1and1.com/site-builder

Our Expert's 1&1 Review

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... read more +

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 and database storage, 1&1's MyWebsite option includes all the essentials for starting a site from scratch.

MyWebsite: 1&1's Free Website Builder

With 1&1's MyWebsite packages, you can quickly and easily create a custom website, without any coding or programming knowledge. Best of all, 1&1 MyWebsite packages each come with a free 30-day trial period, so you can be certain that this easy-to-use solution is the right one for you.

Their drag-and-drop site editor features tons of high-quality, customizable templates. Your site will automatically be optimized for smartphones and tablets, and 1&1 offers hundreds of web apps to integrate with your site, such as Google Maps, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

Excellent Options for Online Marketing & Online Retail

Whether you're looking to sell online or just market your blog, 1&1 has you covered. Their more popular MyWebsite packages come equipped with features to help you build and grow your brand and/or online marketplace.

SEO Assistant & SiteAnalytics

1&1 offers $50-worth of PPC credits to be used with Bing and Yahoo!, and their SEO Assistant to boost positioning in search engine rankings. They'll also help you build a professional-looking Facebook page and eNewsletter to inspire a following and build customer loyalty. Then, you can track your site's success with 1&1 SiteAnalytics.

Start Selling Online

MyWebsite Premium users can build their own online store equipped to offer up to 1,000 products, with numerous payment and delivery options. 1&1 also gives the opportunity to cross-sell with other online retail portals, such as Amazon and eBay, and they include a free SSL certificate as well.

The Final Word on 1&1 as a Website Builder

1&1 not only offers over 140 Click-and-Build Apps within their App Center, but they feature packages exclusive to customers shopping for website builders. They make it easy to get online and start blogging or start selling quickly, with no coding skill required. If you're seeking easy entry into the website building world, 1&1 MyWebsite has you covered.

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WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • FREE Weebly site builder and unmetered traffic
  • WordPress auto-updates and intuitive staging area
  • Easy CMS install and setup wizard
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name New or Transfer
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.siteground.com/site-builder

Our Expert's SiteGround Review

Do you know you need to build a website, but don't know where to begin? Well, SiteGround will start you off with unlimited email accounts, site traffic, and database storage options — all for free.... read more +

Do you know you need to build a website, but don't know where to begin? Well, SiteGround will start you off with unlimited email accounts, site traffic, and database storage options — all for free. Those are just some of the essential starting perks.

From the beginning, you'll also experience unrivaled customer service, whether you're transferring a domain or want a relatively hands-off experience starting your very first site. Even web savants will love the support they receive from SiteGround.

SiteGround Site Building: Easy Install of Your Favorite CMS

SiteGround hosting includes easy installations for your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. Their WordPress experts will even migrate your site for you — a seamless transition with zero downtime — or first-timers can benefit from their in-house setup wizard.

Customer Service: In-House Ticketing and Chat Systems

Once you're up and running, if you run into any trouble, their custom ticketing and chat systems' software has been engineered and implemented to provide you with pleasant and tech-savvy customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Site-Building Tools Options

SiteGround offers tons of additional freebies and add-ons to make building your website with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or Magento intuitive and stress-free.

Staging, Caching, Git, and More

Other WordPress website-building perks you'll enjoy with SiteGround include staging options to easily test and deploy changes to your site. Their SuperCacher offers four different caching options, including those for static and dynamic content, for optimized page loading. You can also opt to have Git pre-installed, so you'll always have version control and revision history.

Plus SiteGround's In-House Mechanism for Daily Backups

SiteGround also conducts daily site backups, using their own in-house system that can run backups in about an hour, compared to rival technologies that can take up to half a day to operate. For "GrowBig" and "GoGeek" Plan customers, up to 30 copies of these backups are available.

Final Word on Website Building with SiteGround

Tenko told us that customers "come for the customer service, but they stay for the technology." Whether you're a hosting newb or a site-building savant, you can trust SiteGround to provide you with a hosting and website-building combo that's simple to manage and pleasant to troubleshoot.

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WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
  • #1 Pick for WYSIWYG site building with FREE domain
  • 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/site-builder

Our Expert's iPage Review

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... read more +

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 free domain name, you can have a live, attractive website in mere minutes.

For those that have been around the Web for a while, you may remember when it took a day to get your server online; thankfully those days are gone. Your site is live the second you complete your order with iPage. A domain name is also included, so the ordeal of purchasing a domain name, setting name servers, and waiting for them to propagate is also extinct. Once that's completed, you are taken to the incredibly user-friendly interface, where you can begin your site creation process.

Powered by their own proprietary builder, iPage's WebsiteBuilder makes it easy to have a professional-looking site created in minutes. It all starts with your choice of template — with hundreds of options available. From there, you can customize color schemes, fonts, and sizes, and add your own pictures and videos. Adding forms for comments, RSVPs, or business contacts is just as simple. Before you know it, you have an attractive, functional website.

From the ease of use to the speed at which you are able to get a site live, iPage leaves us with little doubt as to why we've ranked them #1 on our list of web hosts with site builder functionality. An already incredible value, their 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can feel at ease knowing that iPage stands behind its product, and they're confident that you will be happy with their service.

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More WYSIWYG website builders »

These companies show that you don’t have to break the bank for good hosting plans or suffer with the limited features of free website builders.

Ready to See What You Get?

Whether or not you want to mess with the code behind your website, WYSIWYG builders will help you get the job done in a fraction of the time. WYSIWYG doesn’t have to be yet another scary acronym in web design — go forth and use it to your advantage. Pick up that old writing passion and start a blog. See if you could turn a hobby into a thriving online business. Whatever your web-building itch, let a WYSIWYG builder help you scratch it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Stamey

Laura Stamey is a multi-talented communicator with a master's degree in web design and online communication and extensive experience creating web, print, and multimedia products. As a Contributing Editor for HostingAdvice.com, she combines her communication skills with web design experience, a passionate love for WordPress, and a strong desire to continue learning. When she's not addressing user questions via helpful how-to guides, you'll find her connecting with the folks behind companies that are powering the Web — covering their innovative technologies and the teams that engineer them.