In 2021 more and more businesses are trying to move online due to the pandemic, but not many know where to begin. They start doing research and see that they would need at least one designer and a couple developers, which is costly. In this article you’ll find out how to build a website without a single line of code. We’ll talk you through the process and help you understand what the best platform for your business would be.
There are a lot of tools out there that allow users to build their websites by using an online constructor. These options do not require the user to write code, however there are some tools that allow users to write their own code to customise their site to their liking.
1. No need for developers. By using online website constructors, there’s no need to hire a developer.
2. Cost efficient. Because you won’t have to hire additional people to develop your website you can save a tremendous amount of money building it.
3. Speed of creating a website. Since there’s no need for developers or even, quite often, a separate design,creating the site and publishing it is much faster than coding.
4. The design of the website turns out to be exactly what you want. Since there are no developers, you can create pages to look exactly how you want. When you code something from scratch, developers might not code exactly what the designer had in mind.
5. Templates. All online site constructors have templates available, which save time and make the design process quicker and easier.
6. Option to add custom code. Some of the no-code platforms allow you to insert your own code giving you the best of both worlds, with quick code-free implementation and extra flexible functionality. Sometimes you might want to add something beyond the basic components, for example custom animation, custom forms or some functionality that goes beyond what the platform offers.
7. CMS (Content Management System). Many online constructors have a CMS, which allows you to update and add content to your site in seconds visually.
1. Limited possibilities. Most of the platforms have limits when it comes to design, backend functionality and animation. For larger scale projects with functionality that goes beyond displaying basic content and imagery, you will need to get web developers involved; the technical possibilities are far greater and you can create almost anything you’d like.
You can build almost any type of basic website with an online constructor. Huge websites that involve a lot of user engagement, such as Airbnb, Uber, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. would require much more in-depth server-side implementation.A no-code platform would be a great choice for a portfolio website, a landing page, a commercial site for your business or even an e-commerce website. The reason for this is that bigger websites require a lot of back end coding for more advanced features, such as connecting APIs and interacting with databases, in order to function. With a no-code platform it might be possible to implement some features, but others would need to be coded separately; this kind of hybrid option can be good for some projects.
There are a huge number of constructors to choose from these days, but not all of them might not be a good fit for your specific needs. Here’s a list of the best online constructors out there:
WordPress is probably the most well-known site constructor out there.More than 40% of all websites on the internet are made with WordPress. It is best for simple blogs and content management sites, as it does have its limits. It is simple to use even for beginners and it is free. You will, however, need to pay for hosting and your domain. You’ll also most likely have to use a lot of third party plug-ins if you want to create any type of website beyond a blog. This can lead to potential security issues as there are no guarantees that what you are installing on your site is safe. They can often break or fail to interact with other plugins, especially if they are not kept up to date.
Squarespace allows you to easily create websites by dragging and dropping elements on your canvas or using their templates to create your site. It is still pretty limited when it comes to design though. Squarespace is great for creating e-commerce sites, with a great online check out system and good social media integrations. It is not free to use, but it offers a free domain if you purchase an annual plan. The cons of using Squarespace are higher pricing than average for online website builders, difficult navigation and slow performance at times.
Wix has two separate platforms; one similar to Wordpress and a second with more flexibility design-wise. To me they’re not that different, as I’ve been able to create flexible designs in both. In Wix you can design for both mobile and desktop, but design for mobile is very limited. Wix also has many plug-ins and a good SEO and Analytics tools as standars. It is mostly used for its templates, to create websites for restaurants, small businesses, e-commerce websites and artists who wish to show off their portfolio. Another huge advantage of Wix is the ability to create multilingual sites. Wix is a heavy online constructor and the design process can get quite slow.
Wix is available for free, however, the free version does not allow you to connect your own domain and includes a Wix banner which right at the top of your website. Their paid plan has average pricing, and they often have a 50% discount deal. Their paid plan also allows you to get a domain for free for a year.
Tilda is another constructor similar to the ones mentioned before. Its advantages include fast performance and a focus on UX design, making it harder to create poorly designed sites as a non-professional. Tilda also has many integrations such as HubSpot and Bitrix24 as well as its own CRM System where you can see all the leads through the site. Tilda also allows you to create adaptive designs and email newsletters. Disadvantages of Tilda include restrictions for online stores and relatively low hosting space. The cost of Tilda is average in comparison with other tools, but provides great value compared to other platforms.
Webflow is our favorite no-code platform, because it is very flexible when it comes to design, has a CMS and allows you to customise animations for every element and page. It is not a drag and drop tool like others, which takes some getting used to and might be hard for beginners, but a couple of YouTube tutorials can really go a long way. Webflow also has a forum called Webflow University where you can learn how to use it and it is definitely worth the hassle. Webflow is not a heavy tool and the speed of designing is fast. They also have many templates, some for free and some you can purchase. They also have templates that just help you start on your website by setting up the right components for e-commerce websites, portfolio websites and landing pages. This drastically shortens design time.
The other huge advantage of Webflow is their adaptive design. Other platforms only allow you to create mobile interfaces and have very limited options. Webflow allows you to create designs easily for three different desktop resolutions, a tablet view, a landscape mobile view and a regular mobile view. Their adaptive design is also a lot more flexible than other tools.
Webflow also allows you to input your own code on any element, page or the entire website, making it super flexible in terms of functionality. There’s also an option to export the site as code to give it to developers and to host it off Webflow’s more expensive platform.
The disadvantage of Webflow is their pricing, which is above average but they have many different plans including Starter plan, CMS plan, Business plan and E-commerce plan. Another disadvantage is that it does take some time to learn how to use it. Since it is not a drag and drop tool, it is quite different from other no-code design platforms, but once again it is worth it, because that’s what allows it to be so flexible.
Find out more about Webflow here.
At Heliotrope Digital, our team includes specialists from lots of different countries. Our company’s head office is located in London, where key employees work, and we also have technical specialists working in Russia and Ukraine. This allows us to create a balance between high quality service and expense. If you’d like to discuss a project, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat!