Google Sites, Jimdo, Yola, uCoz, Weebly
When you need to create your own website, the choice seems to be endless; there are millions of ways to do that. So what will you do? The amounts of money and time spent on creating a website, as well as its functionality, depend on your choice.
If you don’t have a lot of experience in web design and don’t want to spend money, and, at the same time, the website has to look professionally, then your choice is narrowed to free website builders. The very first services of this kind were Geocites and Blogger. There is no doubt that their contribution towards the Internet development was extremely important at that time. The key to success was in the simplicity of usage on the free-of-charge basis.
However, time flies, and new tools for creating personal pages on the Internet enter the market. Blogger chose a conservative way and made only few changes in these years. Geocities, which was used by many people to create their first web-pages, couldn’t compete with the new CMSs and went out of business.
So who has replaced them? Among the new generation of website builders, we can single out the following: Google Sites, Jimdo, Yola (ex-SynthaSite), uCoz, Weebly. Each of them is free and has advanced premium features.
The selected Web services are the fastest growing free web builders today. Except for Google Sites, which is more of an example of a passive market penetration by a large corporation.
Comparing to Blogger and Geocites, the progress is obvious, especially, towards Web 2.0. The modern features, such as RSS, comment systems, customizable templates, drag&drop tools have been added.
Despite the fact that all these Web services solve the same task, help to create a website, they are all different and offer different functionality.
Google Sites announces 10Gb of disk space. However, this amount is assigned to the whole account, including email. And this is the main advantage of this website builder. Even integration with the other Google tools cannot make up for the primitive functionality that did not come a long way from the closed Geocities.
Jimdo is a Web service that appeared rapidly and that offers basic features for quick website creation. Modern drag&drop technologies allow to create a website easily. However, the selection of templates isn’t large, and there is a number of limitations that incline to use the premium package. The limitations include such “exotic” ones as customization of the website logo.
Yola is an interesting website builder with a number of various add-ons. But some of the modules are realized on the basis of widgets, which affects the general integrity and logic of the website’s work.
uCoz. Despite its peculiar page password protection and poor chat, it is the only Web service that offers end-to-end User Management in all website modules: from Forum and Blog to E-Shop.
Weebly’s announced unlimited disk space loses its meaning because of the limitation on the maximum upload file size (5 Mb). But in general, we can see quite a wide choice of website add-ons. However, the forum module is realized as a widget.
The detailed differences are listed in the following table:
The common features offered by all of these Web services include:
- Page editor;
- Photo gallery;
- Online store (except Google Sites).
Today’s generation of website builders shows a considerable progress. Having such a significant choice in hand, it is important to compare the variety of tasks your website will be needed to perform with the abilities and the restrictions of the selected Web service. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time on the website building and then be held back by a limitation that does not allow its further development. Be careful when choosing a builder for your website!
See the website builders and website examples.