In this article, we take a wide-ranging view on the available website builders and free membership website builder apps out there currently. But, while reading this, don’t forget that we offer our own hosting at EZI-Gold which we use ourselves and happen to think is a match for all the other offerings from the large impersonal web hosts out there. Take a look at EZI-Gold Hosting here.
Open-Source or Hosting-Company’s Website Builder: Which is Better?
Which is better, the website builder which is made available to you by your website shared hosting provider or a Content Management System type website builder like WordPress?
Website builders that are included with a hosting package are increasing in popularity. They are included as an incentive to sell hosting packages. Most start off by providing a basic website builder free, and once the user has spent time using the system they will find that they need facilities added. At that time they will start paying. The hosting company makes big money when users grow their sites and purchase the upgrades needed for eComm and related services.
Hostgator hosting has for example the Gator Builder. It is provided free with Hostgator shared hosting, gives its users access to over 200+ professional website templates, and is one of the oldest website builders. Hosting account holders like it because they can customize their sites with a drag and drop editor with ease. Every template is built for mobile-responsiveness in mind, with no extra effort required from the user. Account-holders also get access to an extensive built-in stock photo library. They can find quality images that they can add to their website or online store. This is a strong asset when you’re getting started and don’t have any pictures yet.
Some reviews say it was the best website builder they ever used. The following comments are typical of hosting company online website builders. It has a lot of features. I got everything in one place for creating top membership sites, which was one comment we saw. Highly recommendable, for my website builders cheap website was another. An online beauty product seller was looking for the builder where they could get every feature that an online store consists of – read review visit site. They reported that their search ended on a large hosting company’s builder. Another user responded to say that their host’s website builder was an appreciable builders portfolio website builders tool, he was “damn tired” of his previous website’s slow loading speed and customers were complaining. He reported that he finally landed on their builder and is now extremely satisfied.
Of course, many people don’t like to be tied to one hosting company’s system. They realize that once their website is built on these systems they are fully committed to paying whatever charges their hosting company seeks to charge for continuing their service. They would be concerned at the damage to their business if for any reason the hosting company’s service was to deteriorate, and thus many want a builder which is independent and can, if necessary easily be moved to another hosting service. Open-source programming, where an app is developed and maintained by a community of coders (html css), provides that sort of portability, with the guarantee that their website builder will always be free. There are more than a hundred free website builders available online, new ones keep popping up every year, and most are based upon open-source programming.
Apparently an increasing number of those building new websites don’t mind being beholden to the hosting companies pricing policies. According to our research, the percentage of sites developed using online website builders (including free ones) is catching up with the percentage of websites built using popular CMS website systems. These are the popular ones with open code, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and the like. At this rate, by our estimates, the number of sites created on website builders is likely to exceed 400,000,000 by 2021. The same is confirmed by data from Google trends which also indicates that the popularity of website builders’ is increasing every year.
Advantages of an Open Source Website Builder
You might already be aware of the professional website builders that help in creating a website. The greatest help that these website builders provide is the opportunity to design your own website even when you have no technical knowledge about doing so. Moreover, if you are neither tech-savvy nor have the time to learn, these website builders are really essential. You can study the various templates that the website builder software offers and select one of your choosing. In fact, the advantage of open source website builder software is that it can be endlessly customized by its users even for free eCommerce website builders.
To start, you need to pick the right platform for your website. While there are website builders like Squarespace and even some dedicated membership or course creation tools, WordPress is the best option for most membership websites. WordPress is free, open-source software. The WordPress. Com (CMS) paid and free service which only offers its CMS alone, powers a huge proportion of all the websites on the internet, including some of the world’s most successful membership websites. Beyond being immensely popular and free, another thing that makes WordPress so suited for all websites and especially membership websites is how easy it is to extend the core WordPress software.
Free website builders like WordPress, are no minor thing, nor are they likely to disappear overnight. In fact, if you spend time browsing on the web probably most of the time you do so, you are using WordPress based websites. A very large number of website owners, start with WordPress and never move away from using it, even when their sites grow massive. In other walks of life free almost always means inferior. People say that you get what you pay for, and they are usually right! But let’s think about why people who want to succeed in all types of businesses on the internet are using free open-source website builders. Wouldn’t it be better to use a paid website builder?
Let’s try to figure that out. To understand the difference between paid (usually provided by a large hosting company with a hosting account, or a dedicated eComms website platform such as Weebly Membership, Wix, Shopify or WooCommerce, and free open-source website builders (such as WordPress), consider some of the advantages of each type of website.
However, we can tell you right now that once you have based your entire business one dedicated paid-for system by any provider including the popular dedicated eComms website platforms such as Weebly membership website, Wix, Shopify or WooCommerce (eCommerce website builders), you will not ever be able to easily move your site to another server anywhere without a complete re-coding of that website. Moving these websites for a well-established business is a risky undertaking as it depends on producing a re-coded rebuilt website which, if not immediately providing the same useability as the original site, will cause loss of business.
WordPress vs Paid Website Builder Platform
WordPress is one of the oldest and most popular blog platforms on the internet and despite its blogging origins is also used by businesses and other organizations of all shapes and sizes. While WordPress is not known as a website builder, it has thousands of plugins that make website building of all conceivable types possible. It is used by web designers to create everything from membership websites to hobby blogs to massive news sites. Because this website builder is used as a resource for so many website creators around the world, there are countless resources dedicated to it online. If you’re unsure how to do something in WordPress, you can type your question into a search engine to find an online forum.
Now thinking of membership websites, a membership website builder plugin for WordPress lets you build a premium content library that only registered members can access. You can use this to share exclusive articles, video content, tutorials, private forums, or online courses with your members. Building a membership website in WordPress is a great way to generate recurring revenue for your business. For example, you can create an exclusive community, website builders portfolio website, website builders church websites, builders ecommerce website builders, and charge users for access to premium content, or drip content (like online courses) to learners.
Paid for website builders like those provided at least partially for free by your hosting provider, and dedicated platforms such as Weebly, Wix, Shopify, or WooCommerce, cover all the basic features you need: tags, categories, comments, moderation, SEO optimization, and customizable URLs. Both have support for multiple contributors in different roles (editor, moderator, writer, etc. ) and both have beautiful post-editors. Both are extendable for all sorts of websites and the platforms are particularly well provided with all eCommerce add-ons for accepting secure payments etc. However, the platforms and hosting website builder providers are not known for having well-developed membership-website creation and maintenance options.
CMS Based Website Builders
The most popular CMS-based website builder in the world is to be found at WordPress. Org from where it can be downloaded. The WordPress CMS powers 34% of the entire internet. WordPress sites “self-hosted with virtually any web hosting service” is by far the most popular way to use the WordPress content management system (CMS). Todays’ web hosting services know that most of the server space they rent out will be devoted to WordPress websites. They compete with each other to offer WordPress setups that are the fastest, most flexible, and super easy to use. In particular, most people agree that it’s the best free website builder for small business websites. (Note: Make sure you’re clear on the differences in WordPress. Com vs WordPress. Org. If you’re using WordPress. Org, creating a so-called “self-hosted” website (on your own server/ your own rented shared-server space), is super easy because you can use the fantastic drag and drop website builders out there like Divi, Elementor, or Beaver Builder. These to make your site look professionally designed without the need for any coding skills. WordPress. Com provides WordPress hosting on their servers. There is a free version but the free version is very basic and does not allow the user to add specialist plugins.)
There are also free WordPress website plans available from a number of hosting providers. The limitations are usually that you can’t connect your own domain. An Example is Webflow. You can only use a subdomain from Webflow for free. You can’t remove the Webflow badge, and you’re limited to a set number of only views a month. At Webflow you’re also limited to 50 CMS items (Content Management System items; such as portfolio entries or blog posts) and only two static pages. but, it’s a good way to start for zero cost and you can launch two websites on the free plan. Once you start to earn money you can of course upgrade. Webflow, for example, has a couple of paid plans, which are nicely balanced based on your needs website builders ecommerce website, and.
WordPress originated as a web-based user interface for designing, publishing, and updating websites that Matt Mullenweg created on May 27th, 2003. Matt created WordPress to democratize publishing on the open web, so the platform is open-source. His success in doing that is legendary. The technology behind WordPress allows any person off the street with no technical experience to design and build a website. Its open-source environment allows talented web developers from all over the world to continuously add contributions to its technology. These contributions are what makes WordPress such an amazing CMS (Content Management Software). A CMS helps you create, edit, organize and publish content. Creating and editing websites without a CMS requires a knowledge of how to code website pages.
Top Membership Website Builders
Wild Apricot is an all-in-one solution for membership organizations. A Doodlekit review says it offers a decent service when it comes to building a membership site. Wix provides membership-centered features if you add a paid-for plug-in to their editor. Squarespace offers a complete website builder package, but you will have to install plug-ins to turn it into a membership site. Sub Hub has been providing a full-featured membership website builder for over a decade. WebStarts is an affordable website builder that offers membership options. Weebly has a general membership website builder with easy to use modern designs. However, for most, if not all of these examples you will find that you will have to pay for the more sophisticated add-on units, such as membership site services.
The software platform probably still most often chosen to deliver a membership site is WordPress. WordPress has plugins that will create membership sites, both as sites which are regular websites but have areas where the content is private and available to members only, and which require membership for any entry at all. The simplest membership sites on WordPress allow “members” to subscribe at an access grade below the full access “administrator role” for publishing articles etc. The coding for signing in is already included in the CMS, so the simplest membership plugins use modifications of the existing code to provide a bunch of exclusive content around a topic and put it behind a paywall. Then, they simply charge people a monthly or annual subscription fee to access it.
Best WordPress Membership Website Plugins
Building a membership site is a great way for creators to build a stable, recurring revenue stream for their online business. There are many factors that contribute to the success of a membership site and the tech platform that you use plays a significant role as well. A membership website remains one of the best solutions for bringing your community or customers together. You retain full control, unlike using a social networking group or similar. These kinds of web resources are ready to offer plenty of advanced functions, such as sharing media, guides, or ideas among the chosen users of your platform.
However, managing membership site platforms can quickly become complicated since you will need to handle subscription payments and refunds, control access permissions, and delegate rights for different user classes. Therefore, it is important to choose the right builder at the outset for creating any membership website.
How to create a membership website with minimum efforts? what is the best WordPress membership website plugin available in 2020? Read on to find out!
There are plenty of WordPress membership plugins, and each has specific features that you may need for creating your membership site. Some allow no more than selling subscriptions on a single level while others offer more diverse membership levels and subscription management features. Some plugins offer a drip content feature to slowly release new content to a user. While others allow the full member content to be available from day 1. For payment, you will need the minimum of a PayPal business account (free) for the simplest one-off payment. For period subscriptions you will need to set up a payment gateway. Other factors will also apply, for example, do you want to accept credit cards only, PayPal, or both? Your membership plugin will need to have support for the payment gateway you choose.
MemberPress is a simple to use WordPress membership plugin. It will enable you to start charging your users in order to get access to your content. However, no free trial version of the MemberPress plugin is available, and the entry-level plan is expensive considering that until you build your membership site you won’t know whether it will work and people will be willing to pay you for joining.
Simple Membership and WP-Members Membership Plugin both provide a basic set of subscription website functions.
LearnDash is a good WordPress membership plugin for those looking to sell online courses and other educational materials.
Paid Member Subscriptions is another popular WordPress membership plugin available in both free and pro versions. Restrict Content is another. Ultimate Member is another of the top WordPress membership plugins, and this allows members to create beautiful profiles on your site.
Others are WooCommerce Memberships, MemberMouse, S2Member highly rated and free WordPress membership plugin, MemberMouse, WishList Member, ARMember, and more.
Best Free Personal Website Builder 2020
Our vote for the best free personal website builder in 2020 goes to the Wix editor which as a paid option gives total design freedom, the limited free plan can be quite good enough for a personal website. We like the way you can start from scratch or choose from over 500 designer-made templates to make your own website. The innovative drag and drop website builder, allows easy customization to change anything. Subscription website add-ons such as video backgrounds, scroll effects, and animation can be added. With the Wix Editor, you can create your own personal or professional website that looks stunning. Answer a few simple questions and Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) will instantly build a personalized website just for you, complete with custom text and images. Choose your style, change the layout, and add any features you need for your personal, business, online store, or booking system.
Wix is a hosted website builder that offers a limited free plan and several premium plans. On any of these plans, you can create a member’s area and let visitors register and get access to exclusive content. If you upgrade to one of the premium plans, you can also sell paid subscriptions without installing any third-party integrations. Wix is limited in functionality, however. You can’t personalize a registration email or create a multilingual membership site, for example. You’ll also have to download several of Wix business and social solutions, like Wix chat, to improve your members’ experience. When you’re ready, go live in a click!
But, an old favorite is the humble Google “Blogger” platform. It’s Google’s very own builder for bloggers. The default themes are reasonable but if you do some searches online, you’ll be amazed at all the free and minimalist templates available free of charge.
Summarizing the Website Builders and Free Membership Website Builder Apps
The great thing about website builders, which we’ve found during the website builder overview, is that the best offer templates for a range of different industries. Wix is great for this for example. You pick the one you like and just add your own text and images. You don’t have to start from a blank slate, which makes it super easy to achieve impressive results in no time. Website builders are perfect for small businesses, portfolios, photographers, online stores, restaurants, and hotels, as well as clubs and associations.
Many website builders also offer pretty powerful features to create password-protected websites or membership areas, and most of all, they are fairly easy to set up. Before you get started, however, you should have a clear plan that details exactly what you want to achieve. In many cases, password-protected areas, or a simple membership area, will be enough. If you want to create a social network, expect to invest a lot of energy into it to get it off the ground. As a free alternative, consider creating a private group on Facebook or LinkedIn.
The best website builders and free membership website builder apps provide a range of integrated features from form builders and calendars, to memberships, video hosting, music playlists, music stores, Google XML sitemaps, SEO, and much more for registered users. These specialist features are designed to help your website attract more visitors, capture more leads, and make your website more sticky. The downside is that even for the website builders and free create membership website builder apps that start out as being free, the monthly cost can become quite steep once you had added a few.
But many people do say that when it comes to membership website builders, Wild Apricot is at the top of its league. Their Apricot membership platform was built specifically for membership organizations and includes many additional features like registration forms, recurring payments, event calendars, forums, and membership databases. Their editor is also flexible for all kinds of users; the interface is extremely easy to use for beginners. You can also tweak CSS settings or modify an existing site if you already have one. What’s more, is your website comes ready with a robust membership database and emailing system so you can analyze your members and communicate with them. Whether your group is just growing, or if you already have an established member count running in thousands the Wild Apricot platform is worth considering.