Creating a website in 2021 – What are your options?

There are numerous easy ways to create your own internet presence. This is done quickly, especially in social networks from Facebook to Instagram. If you want your own appearance to be more original and/or prestigious, you can hardly avoid having your own homepage. That sounds like a lot of work and administrative stuff again – and this is exactly where the so-called website or homepage builders come into play. The providers promise that in no time at all you will create an attractive website that will attract attention, customers, and other contacts.

There is also something to it – provided you choose the right provider or the right tariff. All service providers offer a free version, but we can hardly recommend it. This is where advertising is played on your side, which often significantly affects your website – and from which you do not even benefit. So we only test offers that are free of advertising and those that contain their own domain. That looks more professional, just like the associated e-mail addresses.

Particularly important for beginners: the operation

The biggest advantage of the website builder: You don’t have to know what HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, or MySQL is. Instead, you move around in a more or less intuitive editor that shows a largely empty page on which you can arrange the desired elements such as text boxes, images, or videos, usually using drag & drop. You don’t need any programming or technical knowledge, a little sense of style and proportions are more important.

Give the best picture in this discipline, with only slight differences, Cabanova and Strato. Both offer a similarly comfortable interface that users can use to orientate themselves. And if necessary, the desired elements can be arranged largely freely on the side, which is by no means all solutions offer. You can even set up a small online shop in both cases.

The negative example in this regard is the website builder , the editor of which apparently has not been further developed for a long time. That’s why it’s looks pretty retro – and that’s not cool in this case. Especially since the functionality is comparatively limited. For example, the important tracking services that you use to analyze your visitor traffic are missing, as is a backup option. The latter is otherwise not missing from any provider.

Good design takes time

One point should be kept in mind regardless of the details of the operation and the selection of functions: With a snap of the finger, no website is plugged together with the homepage editors. Even with good preparation (i.e. selection and design of texts and images), something like this takes an hour or more, depending on the preliminary exercise – but it can also be that way. Your own Internet presence is more permanent than other forms of presentation on the Internet. You should take your time for material selection and design.

Hosting/support

In our hosting and support category, test winners 1 & 1 IONOS and runner-up Weebly offer the best performance. Both offer a satisfactory range of information sources from telephone support to extensive FAQs. Most importantly, the comprehensive hosting features make both packages a good choice. With the tested tariffs, you have unlimited storage space and any amount of traffic as well as any number of pages within the homepage project. This combination only offers Squarespace within the test field. That gives you a lot of freedom, but of course, it costs money. Squarespace is even the most expensive provider with a monthly cost of 11 euros. IONOS and Weebly are more cautious, both earning a “good” rating for their price-performance ratio.

You don’t have to worry too much about other options: Statistics functions, for example, or the use of an existing domain in the website builder are standard and are not missing from any provider.

The fine print: extras and contract details

Nobody likes to be tied to a provider for unnecessarily long. That is why contract terms and notice periods are also of interest to website builders. The provider Domain Factory excels here and is the only one of our candidates to only have a minimum term of one month for the tariff tested. With all others you have to commit to at least one year, with Weebly, Cabanova, Wix and Jimdo it is even two years. That doesn’t seem unusual and is quite normal for cell phone tariffs, for example. But the Domain Factory example shows that there is another way. In addition, you do not have to pay a “one-time setup fee” here. Webgo , One.com , Strato, and IONOS can be remunerated with 10 to 15 euros.

For our rating, we also looked at the payment options. A conspicuously large number of companies offer no choice at all: At Squarespace, you can only pay by credit card, Strato and Domain Factory only accept direct debit. Webgo is the only one to offer old-fashioned transfers (alongside direct debit and PayPal).

Performance and costs – how do they fit together?

The costs for the private website design are noticeably different for our thirteen test candidates. With Squarespace you get an impressive 264 euros (11 euros per month) with a 2-year term, One.com charges 56.64 euros plus a one-off 12 euros setup (2.36 euros) during this period. With such blatant differences, the question arises: Are the price differences reflected in different services? The answer: Apparently not, at least not necessarily. The inexpensive One.com, for example, ranks 6th out of 13 with an overall rating of good (1.7). With its roughly four times more expensive service, Squarespace only ranks seventh.

One.com is even at the top of the price-performance table with its starter tariff. The combination of a good performance with no painful gaps and the surprisingly low price well below the average is simply unbeaten.

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