We know that the traditional way of building a website has always been on a laptop or a desktop. But nowadays, we all have powerful computers sitting comfortably in our pockets. And surprisingly enough, there are in fact, free apps that you can use to build a website in the palm of your hand.
So, I’ll be doing a review of the top 5 Website Builder apps.
And all these apps except for one are available on both the iOS app store as well as the Android Google Play Store. But there’s one that’s only available on iOS so far. But I actually think that this app has a lot of potentials and I really enjoyed using it. So I wanted to mention it anyway, I’ll be rating each app based on ease of use, customization, and power and functionality. So let’s get started.
1. WEEBLY – Upon opening the Weebly app, I noticed that the signup process was very easy. You can register for free with just a name, email, and password. And then you immediately get started by choosing the type of website that you want to create and viewing a handful of themes within that category. Now, they really don’t have many themes to choose from, which is a downside. But the ones that do have each have a very clean and creative design, the user dashboard for your account is very minimal and easy to navigate, which I really liked. And the editing interface was as well. It’s got this really cool simple drag and drop method of building your website, where you can add text, images, galleries, contact forms, buttons, videos, and more. To drag an element in, you just simply tap and hold on to it. And then you place it wherever you want, which is indicated with this blue line. Editing text was as easy as double-tapping and replacing.
But there were a lot of bugs around customizing the color and size of the text. And by bugs, I mean that no matter what color I changed it to, the text will just remain white. But again, editing the style buttons was extremely minimal. You can’t change the color or animations only the size or whether it was a primary or secondary button. It was easy to create a contact form and put it in your own email in order to receive messages to your inbox through your website. But you couldn’t edit the form fields to include more of them or delete fields that you don’t want. And you also can’t change the look and style of the contact form.
However, I love the instant preview function to see what your website will look like. And being able to preview that with the desktop version was awesome as well because you can see the desktop version right on your phone and they made getting a custom domain name very simple as well. You can choose their free one which will end in dot Weebly or you could purchase a professional dot com domain for about $40 a year, which in my opinion is a bit expensive. So overall, I would rate Weebly as 8/10 for ease of use, 2/10 for customization, and 7/10 for power and functionality, seeing as they do have e-commerce functionality built-in, as well as an insights tab to view analytics about your website.
2. Wix – Wix was very easy to sign up with for free and get started on any type of website that you want. And any extra added features such as a blog, a booking page store, and more. Then they have about 15 different themes that you can choose from their editing interface was pretty user friendly, because you can just click on any section that you want, change the text, images, and buttons. The downside was that you can’t change the font or color of the text within a theme, you would have to choose a completely different theme. In order to do this, you can add a new section by tapping on the plus button anywhere you want to place it. But I found that they don’t have many options to choose from as far as new sections. And certain things like adding an Instagram section, you have to actually go over to a physical computer to connect with no instruction on how to do that.
One thing I did like was that you can easily change the themes with the button at the bottom, as well as add or delete new pages for your website. I also like that customizing the contact form was pretty robust, being able to add images, a map, custom business address, and more. But another downside to Wix was that the user dashboard was very busy and confusing. It actually took me a while to figure out how to get back to editing my website once I was on the user dashboard. But on the other hand, you can see analytics handle email marketing, create coupons for your store, add new roles and permissions to other people, and more all through the user dashboard on your phone. So all in all, I’d give Wix 5/10 for ease of use, 4/10 for customization, but a 9/10 for power and functionality.
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3. MILKSHAKE – After signing up, you can immediately grab a free URL, but you can’t get a custom.com domain which is unfortunate. The user interface is very simple. You can select a card pick a stop Or theme for that card and then edit the image, the text, the button text, and the URL, and the descriptions. And there’s this really cool Shake It Up button where you can instantly see your card in different styles after you’ve created it. Now, there were a few major downsides to milkshake though. Number one is that there are only a few cards to choose from, none of which are a contact form or anything with advanced functionality to add to your website, purely visual. Number two, the final website isn’t able to be scrolled up or down, it’s navigated left and right, hence the cards, which will end up hiding a lot of your content. And number three, there is no desktop view. Even viewing the site on a desktop, it shows up looking like a mobile simulation. So with all that said, I would give milkshake a 9/10 for ease of use, a 5/10 for customization, but unfortunately a 2/10 for power and functionality.
4. UNIVERSE – was actually a very interesting fun, and it’s fairly new. After opening the app, you can choose from a custom domain if you’d like, which was very expensive because you’re paying for the universe Pro with it. So it comes out to around $25 a month or $120 a year. But you can get a free domain by tapping on the skip, but you won’t be able to choose what that domain is, then you simply pick the type of website that you want, browse through their pre-made styles, and then you can start editing and editing is very, very user friendly, you simply tap and hold for a second and drag over the number of blocks that you want to create a new element for and then you can choose an element such as text, photos, videos, buttons, contact forms, galleries, and more. And you can reorder anything you want by simply tapping and holding and then dragging any element wherever you want it. And you can add new rows at the bottom as well as changed the background and the theme of your website at any time. You can also change the font colors and size of the text, which is a fantastic universe made making the website very fun and creative, which is why it’s my second favorite app. I love that you can create an awesome mosaic effect with elements on your website and customize how the images are displayed. You can also decide on how each element will function such as opening up in a new page, opening up a new website, sending an email, or calling a phone number.
The downside was that if you want to view the website on a desktop, it looks more like a tablet version than an actual desktop version. So I consider this website best for someone who wants a digital business card that’s easily shareable over mobile. But all in all, the user interface was incredible. So I would say universe a 10/10 for ease of use, 9/10 for customization. But unfortunately a 5/10 for power and functionality.
5. SQUARESPACE – Out of all these apps, Squarespace was by far my favorite because it was most directly replicated to what it’s like to build a website on the computer version of Squarespace, but with the comfort and ease of a phone. I genuinely tested all these apps for several days and found that this one was my favorite. Upon opening the app, you immediately get started by picking a template, and you have tons of options. And what I loved about Squarespace was that you can see what your website will look like on desktop, tablet, and mobile directly on your phone. It gives you a simulation of each one. And the user dashboard was very easy to navigate between finding where to edit your website, edit your header, and customizing the overall style of your website. And there’s a menu at the bottom to add or reorganize pages on your site, as well as site settings such as changing the logo, the title, handling your email marketing, SEO admin permissions for other editors, blogging, and more.
Editing my site with Squarespace was very easy to do, you can use the Style Editor button up at the top right to change fonts, color schemes, animations, button styles, and more across your entire website. You can change the text by just tapping and typing as well as changing button text and adding custom URLs to buttons. You can add new sections anywhere by tapping on the plus button and selecting any custom block that you want out of several different categories. There are lots of designs and layouts to choose from for each block. And it’s as simple as adding it to your site and replacing the text and the images. I also found it easy to customize your contact form by adding new fields and putting in where you want your emails to be sent. You can even connect cloud storage such as Google Drive, or you can even hook up MailChimp to build an email subscriber list. And all the websites on the Squarespace app are fully responsive to mobile tablets and desktop. So you don’t have to do any extra editing. So overall, I would give Squarespace a 10/10 for ease of use, 10/10 for customization, and a 10/10 for power and functionality because you can create online stores blogs portfolios, and more, as well as manage all of your search engine optimization, your email marketing, and everything through the app. So this is hands down my number one recommendation. Alright guys, so I hope you enjoyed this review on the top five of Website Builder apps for iOS and Android.