Website builders? I know what you’re thinking: ugly templates, buggy control panels, brutal restrictions… Let me interrupt this train of thought. Though there’s some validity to this statement (since the market is flooded with many low-grade site makers), many web services have significantly improved their feature sets over the last few years. Some of the major players can even compete with WordPress and other popular content management systems for professionals. Let’s have a closer look at three web publishing platforms to keep an eye on in 2014.
uCoz combines the power of WordPress and flexibility of the average website builder. It tops most of my ratings for the following reasons:
- It’s an ‘all-in-one’ platform. It operates like a one-stop shop: you can get everything you may need to build, publish and grow your website under the same roof. I mean templates, various extensions (plug-ins/widgets or whatever you may want to call them), domain names, hosting and support.
- It’s affordable. uCoz has a free version (with ads) and premium packages that start at $3.09 per month including hosting. The most expensive package is only $10.99.
- It’s flexible. uCoz puts no restrictions: you get access to your site’s source code and can change it ad lib, while other site builders don’t have this feature and you’re limited to their default set of templates, tools and widgets.
Just recently uCoz has added a bunch of responsive templates. Without you doing anything extra, you can make your site responsive in a matter of minutes – just switch from your old template to a new one (I tested these new templates personally and was very satisfied).
#2 IM Creator
IM Creator is another promising website builder that has gained incredible popularity among photographers, designers, models and other independent professionals ever since its launch in 2011. One year later, they released IM Creator Mobile Website Builder and in 2014 kicked off IM Free, a curated collection of free ‘Anti-Stock’ images. IM Creator gets second position in my rating for the following features:
- It’s beautiful. IM Creator is focused on web design: their template collection is very impressive and is updated as soon as new trends in web design and development appear.
- It’s user-friendly. IM Creator is probably one of the simplest website builders. It’s so intuitive that anyone can use it – the editor contains no sophisticated terms and acronyms, everything is maximally simplified.
IM Creator is also catering to professional designers that use the platform to create unique websites for their clients obviating the need to code each single page from scratch.
Duda has simply revolutionized the niche and we hope it won’t stop releasing new products in 2014. In brief, Duda specializes in creating responsive/mobile websites. All you need is to specify your site’s web address and watch the system optimizing your website. The process is entirely automated – no need to copy and paste texts, upload images and restore links. If your website isn’t responsive or you consider providing yourself with a mobile version of your current site, I highly encourage you to read my DudaOne review.
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