Arguably the foremost name in site building, WordPress continues to power more than a quarter of websites. We love a hosting plan that marries WordPress functionality and industry reputation with WYSIWYG ease of use because it's... (read more)
Arguably the foremost name in site building, WordPress continues to power more than a quarter of websites. We love a hosting plan that marries WordPress functionality and industry reputation with WYSIWYG ease of use because it's probably a great fit for first-timers and/or web veterans. We took a look at the hosts that offer WordPress-specific toolsets and other popular website builder options, and now give you the web's finest hosting providers for WordPress website building.
Ready to begin building your WordPress site? Our WordPress website-building experts have compiled the summary table below to give you a quick glance at the most popular and trusted plans on the market. As you review each host, take into account price, design tools offered, support reviews, as well as our ratings, before making a decision.
|Rank||Web Host||Price||Domain||Expert Rating|
|1||BoldGrid||$4.99||FREE (1 year)||★★★★★ 5.0|
|2||Bluehost||$2.95||FREE (1 year)||★★★★★ 4.9|
|3||A2 Hosting||$3.92||New or Transfer||★★★★★ 4.9|
|4||SiteGround||$3.95||New or Transfer||★★★★★ 4.8|
|5||iPage||$3.75||FREE (1 year)||★★★★★ 4.8|
I spend a lot of time considering what prospective website owners need to turn the ideas they share with their partner over coffee into a reality shared with friends and customers overseas. Something interesting I’ve noticed is that WordPress, the web’s leading platform for publishing blogs and other web content, has become practically synonymous with website building in general. I have mixed feelings about this, but the HostingAdvice call is clear: We’re here to help new site owners navigate the wilds of WordPress, and while the hosting providers we discuss above are excellent resources, I thought we’d address some additional questions that might be roaming through your mind as you get set to embark on this exciting web-building journey.
It’s pretty impossible to unilaterally say which is the best website builder platform for every website owned by every human across the globe. That’d be like asking, “Which is the best movie genre?” Uhh, what’s your current mood? How do you feel about slapstick comedy? Are you blissfully single or in a contented relationship? How old are you? The list of qualifying questions goes on…
First off, do I think WordPress is the best? To be frank, yes, I do. I think it has a steep but feasible learning curve that can be tackled by first-time site owners and is loved by longtime developers. There’s something to be said for its popularity, too. The broad user base means you have a wealth of free expertise at your fingertips via the community forums.
However, let’s clear up one common misconception: WordPress is inherently a blogging platform. When we in the hosting realm hear “website builders,” we automatically think Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or some other drag-and-drop or browser-based interface for website creation. In similar form, WordPress often gets lumped in with two other open-source software scripts, Joomla and Drupal, which are actually content management systems (CMSs).
The thing of it is, blogging platforms, drag-and-drop website builders, and content management systems all serve the same purpose: They allow non-programmers to design webpages, organize content, and publish intellectual property to the web. WordPress, Wix, Magento, or some proprietary website builder created by your host all help you build a website. Ergo, they’re all commonly referred to as website builders. It irks those of us who know their differences under the hood, but we’ve learned to live with it.
All that being said, I do think WordPress is the best if you’re building a professional website and/or you intend to create a lot of pages and hopefully drive a lot of traffic to them. If you’re just looking to casually blog, publish your résumé, or host a photo gallery, website builders tailored to novice users (e.g., Wix) will suffice.
Keeping in mind the nuanced naming conventions of various site-building options, let’s look at the features you should pay attention to as you’re perusing website builder reviews. We’ve thoroughly vetted the best website builder platforms — from best overall to best for eCommerce and even the easiest drag-and-drop builders — so we have a great deal of experience evaluating such tools.
Generally speaking, the idea of website builders came about as a way to simplify what was considered a convoluted and overwhelming process for many folks. So ease of use is an obvious make-it-or-break-it point.
Here’s just a sampling of the assets we look for in the top builders:
However, website builders aren’t just useful to the coding clueless. These days, web developers use website templates as a way to save time at the initial site setup stage, and some say website builders are the next generation of that efficiency strategy. Any way you slice it, we expect the best website builders to be easy to get started with, cost-effective, well-supported, and secure.
About seven minutes into researching WordPress as a potential site-building solution, you’ll probably come across this idea of plugins. In layman’s terms, plugins are pieces of software (think apps for your phone) that you can download and install to extend the functionality of WordPress.
There’s a plugin for everything — from calendar widgets to caching for performance and, yes, website building. With certain tools, you can actually transform the controversially intimidating WordPress interface into a point-and-click, drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get website editor. Let’s briefly explore some of the most popular website builder software for WordPress.
Hands down, if you’re new to WordPress, you should at least try BoldGrid, the drag-and-drop site builder tool built by the InMotion Hosting team that sits atop the WordPress platform. BoldGrid is one-of-a-kind software that’s free to download and install, and it transforms WordPress into a Weebly-like interface that marries the robust functionality of WordPress and the user-friendliness of WYSIWYG layouts.
If you’re more of a WordPress straight-up kind of guy or gal, you can still download and install as many plugins as your heart desires to simplify the site-building experience. A popular choice is SiteOrigin’s Page Builder. The plugin works with any WordPress theme, and you can use it with virtually any configuration of fellow plugins and widgets to create the ultimate drag-and-drop layout resulting in a responsive web presence.
Lastly, a popular theme developer, Elegant Themes, created Divi, a builder that epitomizes code-free simplicity. Rather than customizing HTML or navigating an intricate backend, Divi users can drag and drop various content modules into place on the visual preview of their website. Build posts or pages, add audio players and email opt-ins, and amplify your social media traction in one intuitive space.
One of my favorite WordPress perks is the fact that everyone and their uncle’s neighbor’s cousin has written about the software, the community, and its associated tools and features. WordPress expertise abounds, whether you know where to look or simply know how to use Google.
Fortunately, you’ve stumbled into one of the web’s leading sources for WordPress wisdom and wit. Our team of WP gurus has poured hours and hours and thousands of words into narrating a virtual tour of the wonderful world of WordPress.
Below you’ll find a smattering of the guides we’ve published in recent years:
Building a WordPress website is an exciting new challenge, whether you’re doing it for the first time or your 15th time. I hope the tips, tools, and additional resources we’ve provided here today will empower you to launch that online presence you’ve been wanting. And be sure to check back in with us, as we’re constantly cranking out fresh content on all things WordPress!