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We’re proud of Pixel Together, a website builder designed for the unique needs of creative people. But we know that choosing a website builder can be a confusing process, so we’ve put together a shortlist for you to consider. We believe in finding the right combination of tools to support every project and every designer, and these platforms all approach our view of creative freedom in different, equally impressive ways.
Co-founder @ Pixel Together
Thursday 10th December 2020
'A huge range of available plug-ins to add functionality, like e-commerce, enhanced personalisation or additional SEO optimisation.'
Best for: Designers with some coding experience or the help of a web development team.
What we like:
You can choose to host your site within the platform or self-host.
Wide selection of templates for free or to buy.
A huge range of available plug-ins to add functionality, like e-commerce, enhanced personalisation or additional SEO optimisation.
Sites can grow and expand with your business.
What to consider:
Originally designed as a platform for blogging, the Wordpress CMS has become a lot more sophisticated, and you will most likely need either some coding knowledge or help from a developer to achieve the site you are after.
Working out which plug-ins are for you, how to use them, and how to keep them updated and secure can be time-consuming.
For self-hosted sites, you will need to manage the ongoing maintenance and security upgrades yourself.
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Best for: Designers looking to create a professional site efficiently, when a visually unique site isn’t the priority.
What we like:
You get all-in-one approach, so you can build your site within the platform and host on Squarespace servers.
The templates tend to have a sleek, contemporary feel and are fully responsive, which is great if you have a lot of customers who use mobile.
The Squarespace CMS is based around templates with predefined layouts, which means you can’t mess up the layout if you’re worried about making a mistake. Customer support is on hand when you get stuck.
What to Consider:
There isn’t a white label option within Squarespace, so your client will know the source of your site.
Access to different functions can add up. So, if you’re looking to add CSS or scripts, access ecommerce functionality or to integrate third parties like Mailchimp, you could be looking at a more expensive plan.
Image Credit: Kaleidico
'An intuitive user interface gives you the ability to see what you are creating on the canvas in real-time'
Best for: Designers who enjoy working with code but need additional tools to create freely.
You can choose no code and visual canvas to create, or add custom code easily.
Aesthetically attractive layouts and clean grid based designs.
An intuitive user interface gives you the ability to see what you are creating on the canvas in real-time, with functionality supported by box model, selectors, flex box and responsive design.
Because Webflow sites are white label, your clients will only see the site you create.
Webflow isn’t a true drag and drop or template based program, and it may take some time to learn its full functionality.
The editor is very much grid based, which can be frustrating if you’re looking for an alternate layout design.
Pricing wise, it is expensive. With Webflow charging for both team members and for hosted sites, it may be out of the running for a designer prioritising efficiency in cost and time investment. There are also no bulk discounts for hosting multiple websites with Webflow.
Image Credit: Toa Heftiba
Best for: Businesses who need an ecommerce solution.
Attractive, responsive templates are designed for storefronts, so you can easily create and apply product categories and point of sale options.
You can add hyper-specialised functions to your template using the inbuilt app store.
The website contains an extensive FAQ section and access to customer support if you run into any trouble.
Completely focused on ecommerce, making it not ideal if ecommerce isn’t the whole focus of your website.
The app store lets you add functionality to your site, but the templates don’t allow for a lot of creative freedom and adding custom fields can be complicated.
Technical skills or help from a Shopify developer may be needed to develop your website.
The limitations of the templates mean that your Shopify site may not be able to support your business if it expands or pivots.
The platform has inbuilt marketing and payment functionality but both can be tricky to modify if you need something different.
'Easy to achieve highly visual websites including touch-enabled galleries, slideshows, parallax scrolling, animations on scroll and video backgrounds, for visually appealing sites.'
Best for: Visual thinkers looking for a customisable, flexible and intuitive website builder.
The platform uses a true visual drag and drop system, with a responsive and highly customizable editor. You can start with a blank canvas or a starting point template.
Custom website designs can be achieved without any coding required.
Easy to achieve highly visual websites including touch-enabled galleries, slideshows, parallax scrolling, animations on scroll and video backgrounds, for visually appealing sites.
Pricing is competitive, with the option to bundle plans and get reduced pricing with the more sites you host with Pixel Together.
Unlimited seats and pages on every Site plan.
Advanced developer tools allow you to add custom code and embed third-party widgets for no additional cost.
Support is available through the friendly, knowledgeable team in Melbourne, Australia.
There is a time investment required to learn how to maximise the functions, so if you’re looking for a quick, one-off template, Pixel Together may not be the best option.
Fully customisable templates help alleviate this, but the range of templates is still on the smaller side.
Once you’ve decided on a website builder that works best for you, should you consider user research before you begin to create your site? We chose to do so and share our process and the results here.
Link to useful tools/articles:
Thursday 19th November 2020
Create your way - design and build custom websites without the need for code or restrictive templates. Get full creative control and confidence with securely hosted and auto SEO optimised sites, made by you.
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