There has never been so many options for starting a website or blog. Wix was one of the companies to really start the “drag & drop” design revolution where non-developers could start and setup a unique, fully-functional, beautifully designed website with no knowledge of HTML/CSS. They have been the name brand in the website builder industry for quite a while.
But what if you want an alternative to Wix? After all – there is no such thing as a “best website builder” – only the best for your project. And if anything has truly changed in the past decade – it is choice. Website owners can not only forego a developer/designer – they can go right to the DIY setup that fits their needs, expertise and focus.
In my career as a marketing consultant, I’ve been able to use and consult on a full range of website builders, software & platforms for both my in-house projects and client projects. While Wix is a fine for some projects, I also thought it would be useful to have a list of Wix alternatives along with what they do well & who they focus on.
Here’s a brief summary along with an extended explanation below.
Summary of Best Alternatives to Wix
|Name||Best if you want…||Visit!|
|Weebly||…drag & drop features w/ diverse integrated features.||Visit|
|WordPress.com||…simplified setup w/ managed, blog-focused platform.||Visit|
|Self-hosted WordPress||…ultimate control of your website & unlimited options.||Learn!|
|GATOR||…simple setup w/ great pricing.||Visit|
Guide to Wix Alternatives
Here’s an extended guide to each, along with other Wix alternatives for specific use cases.
Weebly is known as a drag and drop website builder. But – they also have plans that add ecommerce functionality. Weebly is not as big or as established as Wix, but I found that their approach to rendering your site is more web-friendly. They also give more control & support. If want a Wix-like setup, but without some of Wix’s problems, then Weebly is a good choice.
WordPress.com is the commercial provider of the open-source & community-supported WordPress software. They provide a managed platform where they provide a limited version of WordPress software in exchange for taking care of all the technical considerations. You can make use of the versatility of WordPress without worrying about HTML/CSS, security, speed or hosting.
WordPress is free, community-supported software that “powers” your website. In the industry-jargon, it is a “content management system” that allows you to log into you site’s backend to change the design, functionality, content – anything you can dream up. To run it, you have to purchase hosting and install it. Unlike a hosted platform like Wix, it allows you unlimited options. You control your expenses (as little as $3/mo – as much as $1000s). There are even drag & drop builders that install “on top” of WordPress. It has a steeper learning curve than Wix, but also provides more opportunity.
GATOR Website Builder
GATOR is a website builder developed by HostGator, an established hosting company. It’s robust with drag & drop functionality and integrations. It comes bundled & pre-installed on HostGator hosting. This setup allows you to have the same benefits of a hosted builder like Wix while also retaining the full access & ownership of a self-hosted website.
I wrote a review of the GATOR Website Builder here.
Squarespace is a major brand in the website builder industry, thanks to their heavy ad spend on podcasts & Super Bowl ads. They do not have drag & drop, but do offer a user-friendly platform with a focus on design. They are pricier than other options (and have inherent hosted platform limitations), but serve as an excellent name-brand Wix alternative.
Other Wix Alternatives
There are, of course, tons of other alternatives including options that either have a specific use case, I haven’t used enough to fully judge or don’t quite have features/benefits that the alternatives listed above already cover.
That said, I’ve had managers compiling a list for internal evaluation. Here’s the list that I usually provide.
- Shopify – a hosted ecommerce platform for online store owners. It has drag & drop design with tons of features for an online store. I compared Shopify to Wix here.
- GoDaddy GoCentral Website Builder – a pre-packaged website product from GoDaddy. Not as flexible as Wix, but very straightforward. I reviewed GoDaddy’s website builder here.
- SiteBuilder – a very straightforward product that is similar to Wix. I reviewed SiteBuilder here.
- BoldGrid – software offered by some hosting companies that installs with WordPress so that you get all the benefits of self-hosted WordPress in addition to drag & drop design and simplified setup.
I’ve written a lot about website builders – and have been able to consult with a variety of clients from small shops to household brands. Here’s related resources that I’ve written.
- Shopify Review
- Weebly Review
- Wix Review
- Squarespace Review
- WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
- SiteBuilder Review
- GoDaddy Website Builder Review
- Shopify vs. Wix
- Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespace
- Wix vs. WordPress
- Best Website Builder Guide w/ Quiz
- Best Online Store Builder Guide w/ Quiz
- How To Set Up A Website w/ WordPress
All the best on your project!