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9 best website builders for designers

best website builders for designers

Designers focused on building a website require a website builder that offers aesthetic capabilities, flexibility and functional design tools. The ideal website builder for designers should have a rich selection of templates and design elements to choose from. It should be user-friendly and support design customizations. With the many available options, designers can select a platform that aligns with their creative vision and needs.

There are a lot of website builders that are tailored to the unique needs of designers, ranging from code-free website builders to builders that offer complete control over the design process and coding elements. Some focus on providing extensive eCommerce features for professionals looking to sell their work, while others prioritize powerful visuals and dynamic interactions for creators who aim to showcase portfolios.

9 best website builders for designers

01. Wix

Wix is a highly popular website builder known for its versatility and ease of use, making it a top choice for designers of all skill levels. It offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows designers to create custom websites without needing to code. Wix’s extensive range of templates caters to various industries, including design portfolios, providing a strong starting point for creative projects.

Wix is also known for its robust design features and advanced web design capabilities like video backgrounds, gradients and animation effects. These features give designers the creative freedom to make distinctive and dynamic websites.

For designers looking to expand their services, Wix offers an integrated App Market that includes various business tools and applications to enhance website functionality. SEO tools, social media integrations and eCommerce capabilities are readily available, making it a comprehensive platform for designers to not only showcase their work but also drive their business forward.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface

  • Wide range of customizable templates

  • Advanced design features for creative freedom

  • Comprehensive app market for added functionality

Ideal for: Beginners and professionals looking for easy customization.

Pricing: $0-$159/month. Paid plans available. 

  • Free plan ($0): Limited features and ads.

  • Light ($17/month): Basic plan for simple sites.

  • Core ($29/month): Basic eCommerce features and marketing suite.

  • Business $36/month): Geared towards growing your brand. 

  • Business Elite ($159/month): Unlocks unlimited storage & scaling capabilities.

  • Enterprise: Custom plan for large corporations. 

02. Wix Studio

Wix Studio is an advanced platform offering from Wix that focuses on providing professional designers with greater control and advanced functionalities for creating more sophisticated web designs. This platform is ideal for designers who require more bespoke solutions and are looking for tools that extend beyond standard templates and layouts.

With Wix Studio, designers can leverage more complex design tools, collaborate with clients and team members and access enhanced project management features. The platform also supports extensive customization including code input, allowing designers to build unique websites that stand out from the crowd while maintaining an intuitive and accessible user experience.

Wix Studio is particularly beneficial for those involved in web design at a professional level. It offers higher-end services like multi project management for agencies, responsive website templates and capabilities, design libraries and no code animations. This makes it a viable solution for high-demand projects that require meticulous attention to detail and scalability.

website builder for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Enhanced control for professional designers

  • Built-in collaboration and project management tools

  • Tailored for handling complex design projects

Ideal for: Professional designers needing advanced design features.

Pricing: Plans start at $19 per month for basic features and scale to a custom quote.

03. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is primarily known for its domain registration and hosting services but it also offers a user-friendly website builder aimed at non-tech savvy designers. The GoDaddy website builder is designed to be intuitive, with a focus on helping users get online quickly. It features a variety of pre-designed templates that can be easily customized to suit different design needs.

The builder includes basic SEO tools and social media integration, making it easy for designers to create websites that are not only visually appealing but also optimized for search engines and social platforms. GoDaddy’s website builder is particularly well-suited for small businesses and individuals looking to establish a straightforward online presence without delving into complex design features.

GoDaddy also offers marketing and eCommerce tools as part of its website builder for designers package. This makes it a practical option for designers who want to sell products or services directly through their websites. The platform’s support and reliability are backed by GoDaddy’s extensive experience as a web hosting provider, ensuring that websites are secure and accessible.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Beginner-friendly with quick setup

  • Integrated marketing tools for SEO and social media

  • Reliable hosting with strong performance

  • Simple eCommerce solutions for small businesses

Ideal for: Small businesses and individuals seeking simplicity.

Pricing: Starts with a free plan; paid plans begin at $10.99 per month.

04. Weebly

Weebly is another popular choice among designers due to its clean interface and powerful editing tools. It offers a range of attractive templates that are especially appealing for portfolio sites and creative businesses. Weebly's templates are highly customizable, allowing designers to tweak them to their preferences while maintaining high usability and modern design standards.

The platform supports drag-and-drop functionality, which simplifies the process of website creation. This feature is complemented by advanced site stats, an integrated blog platform, and responsive design capabilities, which are critical for modern web design. Weebly also integrates well with third-party applications, enhancing its functionality with additional features like appointment scheduling and customer feedback forms.

Weebly is also a solid option for designers who also handle online sales, offering features such as inventory management, a tax calculator, and a mobile app for managing the store on the go, making it a versatile platform for a variety of design-focused websites.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Modern, customizable templates ideal for creatives

  • User-friendly editor with drag-and-drop functionality

  • Extensive eCommerce tools for store management

  • Third-party app integrations to expand capabilities

Ideal for: Creatives wanting easy, attractive customization.

Pricing: Free plan available; professional plans start from $10 per month.

05. Duda

Duda is specifically tailored for web design professionals and agencies who need a platform that can handle the demands of multiple client projects. It is known for its powerful collaboration tools and sophisticated design capabilities, which allow designers to create high-quality, responsive websites with minimal effort.

Duda stands out due to its focus on speed and efficiency. The platform offers a wide array of templates that are not only modern and aesthetically pleasing but also optimized for performance and SEO. Moreover, Duda allows designers to save custom templates, which can be reused for multiple projects, enhancing productivity and brand consistency across client websites.

Another significant advantage of Duda is its client management system, which facilitates smooth interactions between designers and their clients. This includes permissions settings, client billing and white-label options, making it ideal for professionals looking to scale their operations and maintain control over the design process. Duda’s emphasis on automation tools also helps streamline workflow, such as auto-publishing and page duplication.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Scaled for agencies with multiple client projects

  • Highly customizable templates and reusable designs

  • Efficient client management and interaction tools

  • Productivity-enhancing automation features

Ideal for: Design agencies needing efficient project management.

Pricing: No free tier, plans start at $19 per month for basic features.

06. Site123

Site123 is designed for simplicity and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for designers who need to launch a website quickly without compromising on design quality. It offers a straightforward approach to website building, where users can choose from a variety of pre-made styles and layouts that can be customized to fit specific branding needs.

Despite its simplicity, Site123 includes all the essential features such as responsive design, free hosting, and SEO tools. It is particularly appealing to less tech-savvy users and those new to web design, as it removes the complexity often associated with building a website from scratch. The platform also supports multiple languages, which is a significant plus for designers working with international clients.

While not as feature-rich as some other builders, Site123 is perfect for small projects and portfolios. It also includes eCommerce capabilities, though somewhat limited, which are enough for designers looking to sell a few products or showcase their work. Site123’s support system is robust, offering 24/7 live chat to assist users with any issues they might encounter.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Very easy to use, perfect for quick setups

  • Multilingual support for global reach

  • Basic eCommerce tools for small-scale selling

  • 24/7 support to quickly resolve issues

Ideal for: Beginners who want quick, straightforward setups.

Pricing: Free version available, upgraded plans begin at $12.80 per month.

07. Strikingly

Strikingly is unique in that it specializes in the creation of one-page websites, which are becoming increasingly popular due to their simplicity and ease of navigation. This focus makes Strikingly an ideal choice for designers who want to create sleek, modern websites that provide all the necessary information on a single page.

The platform offers a variety of templates that are optimized for one-page websites, with intuitive sections that are easy to edit and customize. This can include sections for about info, services, portfolio, and contact details, all accessible through a scrolling interface. Strikingly’s templates are responsive, ensuring that websites look great on both desktops and mobile devices.

Strikingly also includes an eCommerce option, though it is more basic compared to other platforms. This is suitable for designers who wish to sell a limited amount of merchandise or services directly from their site. Additionally, Strikingly provides basic SEO tools and analytics, which are essential for tracking visitor behavior and optimizing site performance.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Specializes in sleek, one-page websites

  • Quick and efficient website creation process

  • Basic eCommerce and SEO functionality

  • Minimal setup needed

Ideal for: Users needing simple, stylish one-page sites.

Pricing: Free plan offered, premium versions start at $8 per month.

08. Webflow

Webflow is a powerful platform that combines website building with advanced web design features, making it a top choice for professional designers and developers. It provides the flexibility of front-end coding without requiring you to write the code manually, thanks to its visual editor which translates design choices into clean, standards-compliant HTML and CSS.

Designers appreciate Webflow for its control over HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The platform supports complex interactions and animations, allowing for the creation of highly interactive and visually appealing websites. Additionally, Webflow is highly scalable, supporting everything from simple landing pages to complex eCommerce sites with numerous integrations.

Webflow also stands out due to its hosting capabilities, which include automatic scaling, fast content delivery and top-tier security. This is important for designers who manage websites that experience varying levels of traffic. The platform’s emphasis on design and development integration makes it a preferred choice for those looking to closely collaborate on projects and push the boundaries of web design.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Detailed control over design without coding

  • Integrates design and development seamlessly

  • Scalable hosting for varied traffic needs

  • Comprehensive CMS for complex functions

Ideal for: Professionals desiring complete design control.

Pricing: Starts with a free tier, paid plans begin at $14 per month.

09. Adobe Portfolio

Adobe Portfolio is designed specifically for creative professionals who need to showcase their work. It is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which allows it to integrate seamlessly with tools like Photoshop and Lightroom. This integration is particularly beneficial for photographers, graphic designers, and artists who want to create portfolios that reflect their skills and aesthetics.

The platform is straightforward to use, focusing on providing designers with a quick way to build an online presence. Adobe Portfolio offers a selection of layouts that emphasize visuals, making it ideal for displaying high-quality images and designs. Each layout is customizable to ensure it fits the designer’s personal brand and style preferences.

For Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, Adobe Portfolio is an excellent value as it comes as part of the subscription. This integration not only simplifies the workflow but also provides a cost-effective solution for designers looking to maintain a professional online portfolio. Additionally, the platform supports responsive design and is optimized for all devices, ensuring that portfolios look impressive on any screen.

website builders for designers

Why we picked it:

  • Seamless integration with Adobe tools

  • Designed for high-quality visual portfolios

  • Included with Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions

  • Responsive design for optimal display on all devices

Ideal for: Creative professionals using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Pricing: Free with any Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which starts at $9.99 per month.

How to select a website builder as a designer

Selecting the right website builder for designers relies on several considerations. A suitable platform should offer intuitive navigation, robust customization tools, diverse website templates and if required, comprehensive eCommerce capabilities.

Ease of use

You should look for a website builder that simplifies the design process. A user-friendly interface allows designers to manage their work with efficiency, regardless of their technical expertise. Features such as drag-and-drop functionalities provide a smooth workflow for creative professionals.

Customization options

Designers need a platform that accommodates creativity and a personal feeling. This means the website builder must have good customization options, enabling you to tailor every aspect of a site to fit the unique vision of its creator.

Templates and design flexibility

A rich library of templates gives a head start in the design process while ensuring a professional look. Flexibility within these templates is important as it allows designers to adjust layouts, incorporate brand elements and alter aesthetic details to their liking.

Advanced design features

  • Multimedia content: The inclusion of multimedia content, such as high-quality images, videos and audio, helps the visitor's experience and makes it better. 

  • Animation tools: Animation tools bring a website to life. Whether it's subtle hover effects or complex sequence animations, these tools help to guide users through the site, highlight important information or simply add a layer of polish to the design.

  • Code access: Designers often need direct access to the website's code or wish to use custom scripts for unique features or integrations. A website builder that provides this freedom allows for endless customization and functionality, catering to intricate design requirements. Velo by Wix is a good example of a blend of an easy-to-use website builder that gives you the capability to add custom code to the website.

Integrations and plugins

Designers appreciate website builders that offer a variety of integrations and plugins, as these tools enhance website functionality and user experience. Advanced SEO tools, comprehensive social media integration, extensive marketing plugin options and detailed analytics are needed for designers to create successful websites.

  • SEO tools: Designers can greatly benefit from website builders with SEO tools that automate and streamline on-page optimizations. For example, Wix comes with its own SEO capabilities, such as a personalized SEO plan tailored to improve visibility on search engines. 

  • Social media integration: Effective social media integration is great for designers to increase engagement and drive traffic. Integration features range from simple share buttons to embedding live social feeds on the site and sharing videos from social media sites.

  • Analytics: Analytics plugins help the website builder with real-time data on website performance. Google Analytics can be integrated into most website builders, offering insights into user behavior and traffic patterns. For a more hands-on approach, website builders like Wix offer their own analytics tools to monitor and analyze website effectiveness directly from the platform's dashboard.

Pricing and plans

Before you choose a builder you need to understand how much a website costs to build and what they offer. Designers should consider their budget and needs when looking at free versus paid options, subscription models, trial periods and upgrade potentials.

  • Free vs paid plans: Many website builders offer free plans to help users get started without upfront costs. These typically include basic features suitable for personal projects or small portfolios. On the other hand, paid plans offer advanced functionalities such as custom domains, eCommerce capabilities, and increased storage necessary for professional designer websites.

  • Subscription models: Subscription models for website builders generally come in monthly or annual payments. Discounts are often available for users who commit to long-term subscriptions. Designers should evaluate the long-term cost implications of these subscriptions, as well as the flexibility offered by various payment intervals. Comparing different subscription models ensures users find a balance between cost-efficiency and their specific website requirements.

  • Trial periods: Trial periods are opportunities to test a website builder's features before purchase. Most trials range from 14 to 30 days, sufficient time for designers to assess if a platform meets their design needs. They should take advantage of these trials to explore the builder's design flexibility, templates, and user interface without financial commitment.

  • Upgrade options: As projects grow, designers may find the need to access more powerful tools and features not available in their current plan. Upgrade options allow for scalability. Designers should consider the ease with which they can move between tiers and whether upgrades can happen right away or require waiting until the next billing cycle. Knowing the potential costs and process of upgrading will help them plan for the future development of their sites.

Platform usability and support

The effectiveness of a website builder for designers depends on its ease of use and the level of support provided. These facets determine how fast a designer can go from a concept website to a live website.

  • User friendly interface: Designers favor website builders with intuitive interfaces that streamline the design process. Great builders are known for clean layouts and customizability, which are important for designers that are looking for creative freedom without complexity.

  • Customer support: Reliable customer support is a necessity for solving technical issues quickly. Builders like Wix provide multiple assistance channels, ensuring that designers can get help whenever they encounter a roadblock, whether through live chat, email, phone, or helpful guides.

  • Community and resources: A strong design community and a wealth of online resources helps a designer's ability to utilize a website builder to its full potential.

Mobile optimization

Designers must consider how each platform handles mobile optimization. This is a must have aspect for any modern web design, as a large portion of internet traffic is mobile.

  • Mobile-first design: Designers often take a mobile-first approach, which means that the website is designed for mobile devices before desktop versions. A builder that offers mobile templates ensures that sites are accessible and perform well on smaller screens.

  • Mobile support: The ability to update website content on the go is an important feature for designers. Some website builders offer this functionality through mobile apps. Wix, for instance, provides a mobile website builder app to help manage all the aspects of the website's content, contacts, live chat and much more, to help make changes directly from smartphones.

Security and reliability

Designers should prioritize web security and reliability features to ensure their websites operate smoothly and to keep user data safe. These features are foundational to maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of a website.

  • SSL certificates: SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are critical for website security. They encrypt data transmitted between the user's browser and the web server, offering protection against interception. Website builders like Wix include free SSL certificates as a standard part of their service.

  • Backups and restore: Regular backups ensure that website content is preserved and can be quickly restored in case of data loss. Designers should look for website builders that offer automated backup and restore options, enhancing contingency planning.

  • Uptime: Uptime is a measure of system reliability, expressed as the percentage of time a website is available and operational. Designers should consider providers with high uptime guarantees, which reflect the provider's confidence in their ability to keep websites running with minimal downtime.

Designer collaboration and workflow

Designers benefit from website builders that have streamlined teamwork and efficient processes. Modern website builders offer robust features to help collaborative efforts and manage workflows effectively.

  • Team accounts: Website builders offering team accounts allow multiple users to access and contribute to a project. For instance, Wix Studio enables teams to work together by assigning roles and permissions, ensuring a secure and organized collaboration space.

  • Design collaboration: Effective design collaboration is achieved through tools that allow real-time feedback and version control. 

  • Workflow management: Workflow management is integral for maintaining the efficiency of design projects. Features that include task assignments, progress tracking and deadline scheduling are common among top builders. 

All prices were verified as of April 16, 2023

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