These are exciting times.
Let’s say you’re about to launch an online store. Or you’re an artist, photographer, or writer building an online portfolio to showcase your work. Even if these don’t apply to you, chances are, you’ve chosen an industry that requires a website.
But wait – how do you even build a website?
And where do you build it?
Did you know that you need to optimize your site for mobile users – and that a quality user experience matters? 79% of ecommerce occurs on smartphones. You also have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. First impressions are related to design 94% of the time – and if your site is poor quality, you’ll lose 89% of your consumers. As a new business, that could cost you $2.5 million a year.
And then there are so many site building tools …
Let’s face it: Building a website is hard.
That’s why we’ve made this list of website building tools, separated by industry, so you don’t have to sift through the internet for the perfect one. With these tools, website building is so much easier.
But first, let’s explore the different types of tools.
22 Website Building and Online Portfolio Tools
Are you a startup owner? Artist? Photographer? Writer? Maybe you’re in another industry that requires you to build a website. While the sheer number of digital tools can be overwhelming, they’re often specific to industry. Websites for ecommerce are different from online portfolio sites, so their website builders are, too. Some tools are highly versatile and can suit any industry.
Let’s dive in.
7 Tools for Growing a Business
1. WordPress.org allows you to buy and host your own domain. This is different from WordPress.com, which we’ll cover later in this list. WordPress is the website builder I use for all my sites, as it is the most SEO friendly. Check out these wild stats on why this is the best CMS (shameless plug alert!):
- 39% of the web uses WordPress.
- WordPress pages have 400 million readers a month.
- Since launch in December 2020, Version 5.6 has had an insane number of downloads (I took this screenshot on January 5:
- WordPress dominates the SERP (it makes up 45% of all sites using a CMS)
- Of its 58,000 plugins, 90% are free, and many are specifically for SEO.
- With an Alexa Rank of 56, they know what they’re doing when it comes to SEO.
WordPress creates a seamless user experience – it’s built to be fast and mobile optimized. As a website builder, editing metadata and optimizing images is easy. This CMS is also highly compatible with many software tools.
Verdict: WordPress is the best choice for any business owner trying to rank, gain traffic, or build an online store.
2. BigCommerce is a flexible and scalable tool for building an online storefront that’s compatible with WordPress. As a site owner, you can offer over 70 promotions and discounts. Check out Skullcandy’s options for medical professionals, first responders, and students:
BigCommerce is also internationally scalable – meaning, it supports multiple languages and currencies. If your focus is on growth, go big with BigCommerce.
3. Duda includes some business platform integrations. It’s awesome for having the best multilingual options and backup and restore. The included tutorial helps you build useful website-building skills. If you want to cater to a wide audience, choose Duda. To cater further to your customers’ experience, you can implement these:
- Delivery zones map
- Favorites list
- Product search categories
- Flexible shipping
- Tracking codes
4. Jimdo is great for small businesses, as it has a fast, inexpensive setup. You also won’t have to pay transaction fees for anything you sell online. Jimdo is for the entrepreneur who’s in a hurry and on a budget.
5. Shopify allows you to build your ecommerce business. The Shopify App Store and other innovative features like Shopify Payments, POS, and AR make it one of the most well-known ecommerce powerhouses. Invest in Shopify if you plan to take advantage of its extra capabilities. Check out this awesome demo of what you can do with Shopify Augmented Reality:
- Mobile editing
- Custom internal search engine
- Content scheduling
7. WooCommerce has shop-building capabilities paired with great SEO that gets high customer retention. Connect your store to WordPress using the WooCommerce plugin, and you’re good to go – all at an affordable price. This program is perfect for you if you already use WordPress.
4 Tools for Creatives Just Starting Out
1. Adobe Portfolio is for creatives who already use Adobe CC. Though not as customizable as other tools, this is top-notch creative software and is fully integrated with Adobe apps. College graduates can also get Adobe free for a year, making this an ideal student choice.
2. EZZL allows you to showcase and market your artwork. You can promote, sell, and manage your work, build a blog or newsletter, and even network with other artists and buyers through the site. A worthy investment at only $9 a month, this is perfect for you if you want to develop your professional network.
3. Fabrik is for designers, filmmakers, and visual artists. With upfront pricing, easy-to-change themes, and full-screen mode, this is a solid choice. You can even try it free for 14 days – without entering any credit card information.
4. Krop supports portfolio building for graphic design, branding, and digital art. This incredibly useful platform has easy templates and might even get you hired. Have a look at the current listing of job opportunities:
Krop doesn’t require coding experience, but you can fully customize your site with CSS if you choose. If you want job opportunities and flexibility in design, this tool is for you.
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3 Tools for Photographers Just Starting Out
1. Format shows off your work with modern design. Loved by photographers, this one-stop-shop includes blogging, a store, and proofing. It also connects to Adobe Lightroom. It’s only $6 a month, too – that’s just one less coffee every four weeks.
2. SmugMug lets you protect, share, store, and sell your photos. Its best attributes are its gallery protection and custom watermarks. Don’t lose your work to thieves; invest in SmugMug and limit visibility of your best work to VIPs.
3. Viewbook helps you create a clean, minimal portfolio. While working on your site, choose “live view” to see what it will look like before you publish. Take a look:
There is a free option, but even on a paid plan, you’re able to try it for free until you go live. This is a great choice if you like tinkering without immediate commitment.
3 Tools for Writers and Journalists Just Starting Out
1. Clippings.me allows you to save your articles and present them in one place. A free plan offers access to a journalism directory and Facebook group for advice and professional prospects. Simple, convenient, and well connected, Clippings.me is useful for any writer.
2. Journo Portfolio is a no-nonsense portfolio builder with built-in analytics. The most expensive plan is only $10 a month, but it’s worth it if you want portfolio protection and backups. Invest in this tool to affordably reduce the hassle of portfolio building. Here’s a look at the built-in analytics:
3. Pressfolios gathers, organizes, presents, and saves your best stories. It’s where the press meets the portfolio. Even the Lite plan is robust, providing backups and 250-story limit. Try it free for 14 days – or pay for a plan starting at $9.99 a month.
5 Tools for Any Industry
1. Cargo has website templates for any business in any industry. This unconventional tool has bold templates that make you stand out online. Its many fonts are attractive and provide diversity to your site. If you want a site that shouts your name to the world, Cargo will get you there.
2. Nuton provides stacks of tools for building an internet business in multiple industries. From tech and design to monetization, growth, and ecommerce, Nuton gives access to nearly every tool you could possibly use to support essential aspects of your site. $9 a month will get you access to more than 50 member-only stacks.
3. Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder. This is the most intuitive site builder and offers a generous free plan. Build a website, blog, or online store with this tool. No technical skills required!
4. Wix is an ultra-customizable website builder. Its innovative design gives you more creative freedom. You’ll also find the best selection of templates out there. If you don’t want to be constrained by template “walls,” go with Wix.
5. WordPress.com is the simplified version of WordPress.org with no installation or HTML required. While it has a poor price to value ratio, it’s one of the best platforms for blogging. Most of the online world has built a site on WordPress, so you can’t go wrong.
Now Build Your Site!
Knowing your needs is the first step to finding the right website building tool. So now that you know which site builder will best suit your industry, what comes next?
Build your site, of course!
If you’re using WordPress and don’t know where to begin, check out these lessons on their page to learn the process.
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