I have to say that I really hate website builders, I even hate WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) HTML editors. These tools are inflexible, create laughably complex website codes and are just a pain to work with. That said, I think I found one web service that could turn the tide a bit, and give people true freedom, without having to learn all this mumbo-jumbo.
Doodlekit is a website builder/maintainer. The reason I like it so much is that it really does give you a lot of tools. It doesn't just throw a template at you, allow you to upload pics and walk off and job well done. The free version will give you full W3C compliance (valid HTML and CSS), interchangeable templates, statistics, photo albums, sub-page management, blogs, searches and CSS override features, for budding web designers.
It also does this in style, cute graphics and a friendly tone will at least cheer you up. They provide a wealth of info, even before you sign up, and although I haven't gone as far as trying the paid service, they seem like a friendly bunch of people over there, trying to give you the best service they can. If you want the paid version, they give you a lot of extras.
Prices range from $15 to $50 a month and features are domain registration, more subpages allowed (up to unlimited), search engine optimization, form builders, email forwarding, adsense tools, user registration, shopping carts, erc.
In my opinion some of these features while great, can also be found in the web hosting package. My own website is registered through Bluehost, and they have email forwarding, user registration, shopping carts, adsense tools, and a lot, lot more. If you want to compare Doodlekit packages, take a look at their comparison page.
I would say this application is only suited well for anyone wanting a simple website, or a one click quick solution, but it isn't geared toward pro businesses, or even just simple professional pages, ones that need a lot of flexibility. If you find the features useful though, I'm sure you will be happy with this (finally) quality website builder.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.