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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 its 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.
If you're new to the world of web design and site creation, Weebly is just the thing to ease you into establishing your personal or professional web presence.
Best-known for the browser-based, drag-and-drop website editor available for free online, the Weebly software is now available as a value-add on some of the web's leading hosting plans.
Whether you sign up for fully hosted Weebly.com directly or opt for a Weebly-friendly plan with a third-party host, this interface is ideal for first-time site owners.
Website builders all begin with a theme, and the Weebly website carries hundreds of beautiful, creative website templates that can be customized to meet your intended aesthetic.
You can select text, images, buttons, product displays, and other site elements from the interface sidebar. Simply drag the item into place and adjust as needed.
Although sites hosted on the free Weebly.com plan will display Weebly ads and come with a Weebly.com subdomain, all paid plans are ad-free with a complimentary domain name.
Free plan users get 500MB of storage while all other plan holders feel the freedom of unlimited bandwidth and storage. If you're an aspiring online store owner, know that ecommerce features advance with each plan upgrade.
While the option to display up to 10 products with a 3% transaction fee comes standard, you can get up to unlimited products, zero transaction fees, and advanced shipping and inventory options with higher-tier packages. Weebly is wonderful for beginners.
Once you outgrow the basic plans, it would behoove you to consider migrating to a host that includes Weebly in its packages. It'll be more cost-effective as your site traffic and revenue increase.
The BoldGrid site builder and WordPress content management system are both available to everyone without charge. But there is a catch: to take advantage of such a stellar deal, you will need to create a hosting account starting at $2.99 a month.
With extremely affordable plans available from several top providers, however, BoldGrid is sure to appeal to even those with the strictest budgets.
BoldGrid is available to site owners whose hosting accounts give them access to either the Softaculous software installation portal or Plesk control panel, but we recommend turning to the hosting company responsible for birthing BoldGrid.
Not only did InMotion Hosting empower its engineers to build such an innovative platform, but the company provides superb services for a great value. For roughly $5 per month, InMotion gives customers SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and email accounts, plus free backups, malware protection, and an industry-leading 90-day money-back guarantee.
Site owners who want to move their files to InMotion will really enjoy the hassle-free, no-downtime transfers performed by InMotion's talented and friendly customer service teams.
When paired with InMotion (or other BoldGrid partners we can happily vouch for, such as A2 Hosting and Web Hosting Hub), BoldGrid offers a much-improved WordPress experience for both beginners learning to craft their first site and developers looking for workflow efficiencies.
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 $15 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.
We realize that pairing the technical might and prowess of a dedicated server with a simple drag-and-drop website builder is somewhat odd, but BoldGrid certainly meets the challenge.
The free suite of WordPress plugins does more than hold beginners' hands and walk them through creating their first website. Enterprises and agencies will appreciate the speed at which BoldGrid enables in-house development teams to create, test, deploy, and stage vibrant websites.
When looking for a dedicated hosting plan to match up with BoldGrid, look no further than InMotion Hosting, the company responsible for creating the builder.
In addition to a 100% uptime guarantee, InMotion's single or dual processors come with included SSDs, managed updates, and hardware replacement in two hours or less. Customers will appreciate InMotion's Launch Assist™ onboarding process, which entails between two and four hours of time with a Tier-3 or higher system administrator who will help with server configuration, website migration, enhanced security setup, and performance optimizations.
With optimized servers and dedicated resources, VPS hosting environments are primed for high-speed WordPress performance. Whether you're managing multiple websites or looking to build and scale your first online presence, BoldGrid is engineered to make your VPS hosting foray both powerful and painless.
Perfect for resellers and development agencies, BoldGrid promotes an efficient design and deployment process with hundreds of themes, integrations with stock photo libraries, and ready-to-go content.
Site owners can test and tweak their work in BoldGrid's staging area before moving a site live. Like WordPress, BoldGrid requires you to purchase a separate web hosting plan. We love InMotion Hosting regardless, but their leadership, skills, and engineering ability in creating the BoldGrid platform certainly doesn't hurt.
InMotion's VPS containers are housed in high-availability cloud server clusters, ensuring real-time redundancy and enabling live-state snapshots to further protect your data.
The servers utilize performant solid-state drives that perform up to 20 times faster than standard hard drives, and the company supports PHP 7 and nearly every caching plugin.
A2 Hosting is another solid, SSD-driven host that excels with WordPress and has partnered with BoldGrid. The site builder platform is available to still other hosting customers through the one-click Softaculous installer or those using the Plesk control panel.
Automating tedious tasks and reimagining the WordPress workflow, BoldGrid reinvents the wildly popular content management system as a user-friendly, visually appealing, and efficient publishing platform.
The website builder takes care of the usability challenges WordPress often presents to first-time site owners, instead giving them all the tools needed to craft a stunning online presence. Experienced WordPress users will appreciate BoldGrid's familiar interface while appreciating and exploring the platform's added features.
BoldGrid operates as a suite of plugins that guide users through the site-building process, starting with design and theme inspirations before moving through the page builder phase, customizations, and staging.
The BoldGrid team also provides plugins for creating forms, building photo galleries, streamlining backups, and boosting your search engine optimization. Like WordPress, however, BoldGrid won't work without a hosting plan.
We recommend InMotion Hosting, the company behind the creation of BoldGrid and a strong WordPress host in its own right. The company fine tunes its SSD-powered infrastructure for premium performance and security, tailoring services for WordPress users by managing security patches, supporting PHP 7, and providing caching plugins.
InMotion's WordPress hosting plans come with the CMS pre-installed automatically, with the option to load BoldGrid from the very start. Site owners will appreciate the unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts, along with a stellar 90-day money-back guarantee and free SSL certificates.
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After taking the BoldGrid suite of plugins for a test drive, we experienced how the company makes WordPress more accessible for beginners and much more efficient for professional developers.
Because BoldGrid requires a separate hosting account and WordPress installation, it is a little more challenging for wide-eyed beginners to get started than it is for other website builders. However, by signing up with a reputable host — we recommend BoldGrid partner InMotion Hosting — you'll be equipped with a helpful support staff to lead you through the setup process.
BoldGrid themes are beautiful, modern, responsive, and come with usable content out of the box. Choose from pre-made page layouts or create your own using GridBlocks, which create clean, modular designs without any coding.
Simply drag and drop each element to adjust its position and size. Unlike most other site builders, BoldGrid generates pristine code that is friendly to SEO and developers who want more control.
The two features most appealing to us, however, are the staging environment and editing capabilities for mobile and tablet views. The lack of a staging area has long been one of the few complaints about WordPress, and BoldGrid has solved that issue with aplomb. Use it to test new looks, plugins, or updates before you deploy them to the active site.
Although many other site builder themes boast mobile-optimized responsiveness, BoldGrid is one of the few platforms that give you control over exactly how your site will look in tablet or mobile modes.
Weebly is in the elite clique of drag-and-drop website builders that includes WordPress and Wix.com. The platform is known for its feature-rich functionality that can be easily controlled by novices and seasoned site owners.
Our favorite part is that many of the top-recommended site builder hosts have actually opted to offer the Weebly software as their "free website builder included" offering. Nevertheless, you can sign up for a Weebly account and have your site hosted directly through Weebly.com.
If you're just getting started or simply dabbling with the idea of creating your own website from scratch, Weebly does offer a free plan; however, this is not conducive to professional site building as it includes ads and a Weebly.com subdomain.
Alternatively, premium plan subscribers get a free custom domain and an ad-free website that they can customize with themes and an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. If you're looking to display and sell products, you have the option to showcase 10, 25, or an unlimited number of items, depending on your chosen plan.
Weebly does charge a 3% transaction fee for those with lower-tier plans, but that requirement goes away when you upgrade to the Pro or Business plans.
We highly recommend the Weebly software. It's easy to get started and the drag-and-drop editor is about as beginner-friendly as it gets. Those who are on a time crunch and budget-minded, however, might consider using a Weebly-enabled hosting provider instead.
Either way, Weebly is an excellent choice for getting a beautiful web presence up and running.