Website Builder Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by Anjali Banerjee, Aug 19, 2012.

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  1. Anjali Banerjee

    Anjali Banerjee New Member

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    Can anyone give me some feedback on good website builders? I've gotten recommendations for Weebly and EXAI, but I don't have any experience with either of them. Thanks.
     
  2. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    If I ever find one, I'd be more than happy to provide a review.
     
  3. Nir

    Nir New Member

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    Hey guys! This is my first post on the forums.
    I have just now started learning how to code, so far i have been using Wix and am super happy with it, but i am having so much fun learning to code, that i might start designing from scratch, will see how that goes, so far the posts on forums are super helpful!

    Anyways, i would definitely check out Wix.com, there are a number of good editors, but i just love how user friendly Wix is.

    Best of luck (for the both of us! :) )
     
  4. JakClark

    JakClark New Member

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    If I ever found one I'd cry.
     
  5. Presence

    Presence New Member

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    I hate templates.
     
  6. Adam Jackson

    Adam Jackson New Member

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    I completely disagree with Chris and Jak. There are some great website builders out there, and it's a waste to spend your time, money and effort when you can easily make a website in a few minutes for a low cost.

    The website builders you mentioned, Exai.com and Wix.com, are both great. I personally prefer Exai because they don't use pre-designed templates. Weebly is pretty nice too, and Webs.
     
  7. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Member

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    The best website builder is a web designer with a keyboard and a text editor.
     
  8. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A web designers skill level is directly proportional to how much they like or dislike "website builders"

    someone who is an entry level designer would probably look at wix and think it wasn't too bad. and you know, If I was in that boat, I probably would think that too.

    however as you improve your skill level, it becomes increasingly apparent that your quality of sites, and your own technical ability is limited by what can (or cannot) be done within these website builders, so realistically to me they are like training wheels on a bike.

    Possibly use them for the concept (and maybe your first ever site) but once you actually have even a reasonable understanding of how the internet works, and what language to use for what purpose and so forth, you soon realise that they are innately limited by design and thus are not very good.

    The best way to use website builders IS to not use them at all. Sorry Adam, but to me using ANY website builder is a waste of not only my time and my clients time, but it doesn't stimulate your greymatter. But above all, you are NOT learning or having any understanding of the structure and the coding behind the project. All you are doing is pushing shit around a screen. Any monkey can do that.

    I suggest next time you use wix, rightclick > view source and if you don't understand each and every line within that source code, (that you didnt write), then you can't really call yourself a web developer can you? and if you do, I'm sorry your being a show pony.
     
  9. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    Nailed it Phreaddee! lol

    I absolutely, monumentally dislike website builders.

    That being said they are a tool for a purpose and the purpose is to bring *better* websites to people with less technical knowledge (or money).

    What many people fail to realise is what you have to sacrifice by using these builders. Upgradability, performance, code readability, flexibility, SEO considerations and so forth.

    But a die-hard web-builder will tell you otherwise.

    And of course it depends on the skill of the designer or developer no matter which side of the fence you are on. I've seen many fantastic and many cruddy websites from both sides of the fence!
     
  10. krymson

    krymson Member

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    Couldn't agree more, these WYSIWYG editors and "web builders" spit out crap code and its not really cross browser compatible...

    My point, hire a web designer...

    You're going to be able to customize your site and have the features you want, website builders are limited by what you can choose from and features they have...
     
  11. loopy1215

    loopy1215 New Member

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    Jeez...everytime I hop on this forum. I'm more and more discouraged from coming back. I truly admire the patience and knowledge of web 'developers' but you don't have to spit on everyone else who comes in for advice and tips from the more experienced. If you can't answer the question, don't bother. All you're doing is putting down & discouraging everyone else. Didn't realize you guys owned the place.

    ANYWAY to answer your question Anjali, I've only had experience with Wix so far, and it's very user friendly and effective. I built a 30+ page website. It functions just right and the client is happy. I am on the search for something better, myself, though.
     
  12. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    I'm not sure where the 'spitting' was but we are merely discussing from our perspective!

    If you went to a car manufacture forums and asked them if the best way to design and build a car was with parts from your local hammer hardware store I'm sure they'd jump in with many reasons why it's a bad idea and how they dislike the hammer hardware store for misleading people down this avenue.

    Especially if you are planning to use the car for your business. If you are building a car as a hobby then by all means go to the hammer hardware store and have some fun! But keep in mind your hobby will eventually lead you away from the hardware store if you are going to take it seriously.

    I think this is the underlying scenario of what we are trying to get people to understand. Maybe we are being too blunt for some peoples liking but oh well. I've coded about 90hrs this week and I need an outlet for the micro pauses in between. Webdesignforum is one of them!

    However you'll always find me helping people which is the basis of most things I post in these forums!
     
  13. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @loopy.
    your perspective is that we haven't answered the question simply because we haven't put a shiny glow on website editors, and any "spitting" that is being done is directed towards website editors and not the OP, and general statements (which are not in any way personally directed at the OP)

    I have used wix, weebly, yola, and several other "free webbuilders". I have a formed opinion of them from actual use. I can't speak for the other posters, but I'm pretty sure they all too have at least tried these webbuilders to form their own opinion about them as well.

    this is the truth and does entirely answer the OP's question.

    how can you disagree with this? once you've developed beyond static sites and want to add more dynamic content to your site, quality commerce modules, interesting dom manipulation, completely customisable structure, crm's and databases, etc, this is when you (me, you anyone) using one of these website editors hits a massive brick wall. sure it "can" be done, but either on the terms of the website editor itself or you really have to do some fancy JS or otherwise complex coding to work around the limitations. and if your coding ability has been stifled from underuse because your constantly moving boxes around a screen in a drag and drop fashion, you probably don't know how to do that.

    this to me seems like pretty sound advice on what to look out for if you were using a website editor.

    very true as there probably isn't a great one out there. and if I found a good one, I probably would be happy to provide a review too, but to date, and i'm starting to go pretty grey now, I've yet to find one.

    writing posts on forums is a funny thing because tone is often misconstrued. Its a shame you see constructive criticism and discussion as "spitting"…
     
  14. loopy1215

    loopy1215 New Member

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    All good, everyone - like I said I appreciate your knowledge and skill level and hope to be that good myself one day. Like you mentioned - you, too have used the builders at some point, as maybe some other people who are just starting out or just curious.. I just find some of the comments discouraging (as truthful as they may be) but put a little harshly sometimes. Let us learn.
     
  15. brucemc777

    brucemc777 New Member

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    OK, folks, I see both perspectives. I built my original website with Notepad and looking at the source of what everyone else was doing back in the mid to late 1980's; but it was not my focus, I have forgot much, and now I am jumping back in myself as my old business was fried and I got to do something to support my family.

    The site I am looking at taking over uses some css and javascript, and though I see no php, I have used a form generator to generate a form in php once for another friend.

    Just like an Excel macro, I agree any code generator is limited in what it can do and generally generates as many lines of rubbish as are good, but when you got to ramp up quick, a code generator, like a macro, is about the best way to get the job done down and dirty while you study the code to learn at the same time.

    So that being said, instead of arguing whether or not a generator is of any good or not, can someone look back on all their experience and advise what might be a good starting point for me, and others, to get the job done and learn from the source? I had used Kompozer and intended to pick the ball up there, but would rather benefit from you guys who actually know what you are doing; poking around, like walking through a mine-field, is a real pain in the backside. I also am going to have to take a quick free internet crash course in css, and probably php, like I did before in basic html, and appreciate any other advisement of what the heck I better learn about quick!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  16. Anjali Banerjee

    Anjali Banerjee New Member

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    Thanks for this.

    I appreciate everyone's feedback, but I'm looking for a website builder because I don't have the means to spend an excessive amount of money on a web designer or the programming skills to build my website from scratch.

    It encourages me to hear that you've had success with a website builder. Other people have referred me to Wix as well but, like you, I'm looking for something a little better, more unique. I might take Adam's advice and look into Exai.
     
  17. brucemc777

    brucemc777 New Member

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    Since I appear to be in the same boat you are in, how fancy are you looking to get? If something relatively simple, and free, I have had good experiences with Kompozer. If you want to include forms and form management, Simfatic has been an outstanding solution for me and at a great price. I wish some of the pros would weigh in a bit more though, as I keep feeling like I am stumbling around in the dark-.
     
  18. Edge

    Edge Member

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    I think asking about DIY website builders on a web design forum is a little bit like walking into an art school and asking where you can get the best paint by numbers set.
     
  19. brucemc777

    brucemc777 New Member

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    Nice shot! I will have to remember that one, and I hope to share your perspective ASAP, but for now, I just need to find out how to ramp up as efficiently as I can. Any direction you can give is appreciated by all us trying to get going! How do you efficiently go between writing source and what it will look like managing logos, perhaps some flash and different styled text? If you are one of those gurus that just knows, go away...
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  20. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    keep your browser window open, draw sketches, consider whether I need flash or is there a better option instead, css, css, css.
    logo design I would do in illustrator or indesign 9 times out of 10.

    keep presentation (css) and markup (html) as separate as possible. avoid inline styles. put all your scripts (js) at the bottom of the document.
    optimise ALL the images. smallest filesize whilst avoiding artifacts.

    stacks of general efficiencies in the daily workflow, too many to mention, but I've never once found a website builder to help with efficiency save for this one time when I had to make a website for my landlord in an afternoon (this was to avoid paying rent for the week as, you know freelancing can be difficult) I made it in wix. fully functional and operating in 4 hours.
    did I avoid the rent? yes
    was it a successful (and efficient) afternoons work? yes
    is it in my portfolio, or something I am proud of? hell no.
    I don't even know if it is still operational, or if he has even updated it since.

    It served a purpose, to pump out crap really quick. If you are happy to serve up mediocre websites go for it. If you want a career, then I'd avoid them all with a ten foot pole. just saying...

    did you want an answer or not ???
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

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