7 Website Builders To Avoid Forever

Godaddy girl wants you to build a website tonight

Admittedly, to say that you should avoid a website builder forever might reek of hyperbole. You can avoid a website builder for 10,000 years and still not make a dent in the amount of time we recommend avoiding the following website building web sites. But since none of us are going to live for 10,000 years, when we say you should avoid these sites “forever,” we’re really just saying you should just plain avoid them.

Heck, if you’re a bad website builder, you’re a bad website builder. There’s just no getting around that fact. And if you build your website right the first time, there’s no reason you should have to revisit it again, not for a long time. And if you do, your web site should hopefully bring in enough money that you can afford a web design better than the ones these sites’ll give ya.

With the same number of website builders as there are deadly sins, let’s take a look at the seven sites in particular you don’t even want to waste your time with.

1. GoDaddy Website Tonight

Corresponding deadly sin: Lust

Entertaining though their highly-sexed commercials may be, the GoDaddy Website Tonight interface includes so many ticks and upsells that you wonder how to even navigate, let alone construct a page of your own. And while I’ve always been a fan of GoDaddy’s prompt 24-hour customer service, the business here is building websites, not hosting them. If you’ve got a site to build and need a simple way of doing it, GoDaddy is not the builder for you.

2. Site Build It!

Corresponding deadly sin: Wrath

As if the almost-angry exclamation point weren’t enough to make you wonder about Site Build It, the general layout of the site itself helps you understand what it wants to help you accomplish: build another site like Site Build It. Essentially, it wants you to set up shop on the Internet quickly and easily; professionalism be damned. It can be effective, sure, but is it really the kind of site you’ve been looking for to build your Internet presence – or do you want a little more?

3. Weebly

Corresponding deadly sin: Sloth

We know we rated Weebly 5/5 stars in our review – heck, you’re talking to the same reviewer here – but there’s a reason Weebly should sometimes be avoided: if you don’t want such a dang simple web site.

Sloth is the appropriate deadly sin here, because there’s no ambition to Weebly’s site building tendencies, unless you yourself have the same lazy tendencies as it comes to building web sites. And if that’s the case, the 5/5 star rating makes perfect sense.

4. Homestead

Corresponding deadly sin: Pride

Why pride? Because Homestead thinks it’s more than it is, riding on the curtails of the far-superior Intuit site builder. There’s really no reason Homestead should exist, really, because it does come from that Intuit family of web site builders, and because Intuit already does the website-building thing so well already. Homestead’s lack of identity was a problem for me when I reviewed it and still remains reason enough you should avoid it altogether.

5. Soholaunch

Corresponding deadly sin: Greed

Greedy thanks to a too-high price of about $20/month, Soholaunch is in my dog house not because it’s necessarily the worst website builder you’ll find, but because website builders are inexpensive enough that I have a low tolerance for the monthly expenses they demand.

Marketing itself as a site builder for business, Soholaunch fails to realize how superior a resource like Intuit is, and fails to charge the appropriate price. A simple yet powerful complaint.

6. Jimdo

Corresponding deadly sin: Gluttony

Like so many at the all-you-can-eat-buffet, Jimdo isn’t satisfied until it’s had more. How so? Well, Jimdo starts off by doing everything the right way – quality service, attractive site templates – and then drops this bomb on you: unless you pay for their service, you’ll have to host ads on your Jimdo-made site.

Not exactly a new innovation, to be sure. But the pricing plans after that, like calories, add up quickly, making it a website builder you’ll want to avoid in favor of something a little simpler and a little bit more willing to share its extra fries.

7. Angelfire

Corresponding deadly sin: Envy

Remember when Angelfire was all the rage? Yeah, me, neither. A healthy dose of jealousy has kept them modern, however, as they’ve updated their web site over the years to compete with the other free web site builders out there. The problem? They haven’t really kept up with website builders in general, and are simply an also-ran.

While the tone of this article has taken a holier-than-thou approach, realize that there are redeeming qualities in some of the website builders here. Weebly, for example, is far superior to Angelfire. But if you have been considering a website builder on this list, it might be time to second-guess yourself.

Dan Kenitz

Dan Kenitz is a former professional Search Engine Optimization specialist and current freelance writer, commentator, and all-around entrepreneur.

4 comments

  1. Hey GoDaddy! When you need to use half naked women to convince businesses that you’re a professional service provider, you might be doing it wrong. ;-)

  2. Oh, man! These are all awful!

    And what about WIX? They are advertising heavily on Facebook and seem to have at least some nice layouts. But, the problem here, as well as on the others is that eventually all the websites done through these services are more like clones and not individual sites.

    Great post, Dan!

    Cheers,
    Kris

  3. Emory Rowland

    The corresponding deadly sin is a nice touch, Dan :)

  4. Hi Dan,

    Your title caught my eye because I’d penned an article called “25 reasons to never use a site builder” (or something along those lines). Makes me think about how down we can be on website builders, wanting people to avoid the worst of them at all costs.

    I DO remember when AngelFire was all the rage!

Leave a comment