Website Builders for Creatives

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Website Builders for Creatives

Key takeaways

Introduction

There are several website-building tools and platforms catering to the needs of digital artists and creatives. Each platform is unique in how they tailor their services to meet the specific needs of clients. This competitive analysis examines SaaS website-building tools using key talking points, which for artists are affordability, SEO, and design.

Website Building Platforms

1. Wix

Quantitative metrics

• The VIP plan costs $24.50 per month and is tailored for First Priority Support Users.
• The Unlimited plan costs US$12.50 per month and is most popular among entrepreneurs and freelancers.
• The Combo plan is tailored for personal use and costs US$8.50 per month.
• The Connect Domain is the most basic and costs US$4.50 per month.
• The Business VIP plan is a full suite costing US$35.00 per month.
• The Business Unlimited plan costs US$25.00 per month.
• The Business Basic plan costs US$17.00 per month.

2. Squarespace

  • Squarespace is the website building platform developed by Squarespace Incorporated, an American website building and hosting company started in 2003 and based in New York, USA.
  • Squarespace is a software as a service (SaaS) platform with in-built website templates and drag-and-drop tools to allow users to create and modify their websites. It is suitable for artists seeking to display their work.

Metrics

Personal plan costs US$12.00 per month.
• The Business Plan is the most popular and costs US$18.00 per month.
• The Basic Commerce Plan costs US$26.00 per month.
• The Advanced Commerce Plan costs US$40.00 per month.

3. WordPress.com/WordPress.org

Metrics

• The Personal Plan is billed US$4.00 per month.
• The most popular Premium Plan is charged US$8.00 per month and is tailored for freelancers.
• For small businesses, WordPress offers the Business Plan at US$25.00 per month.
• The eCommerce Plan tailored for Online stores is billed at US$45.00 per month.
All plans are billed yearly*
  • Competitive advantage — the WordPress platform is open-source.

4. Format.com

  • Ideaform Inc., the private company behind Format.com, regards its platform as the "best portfolio website solution for the international photography community." The platform focuses purely on providing "the photography community with the tools and resources they need to share their work and grow their business."
  • Format.com is for artists and creatives who want to showcase their work.

Metrics

• The Basic plan for Starters is billed at US$7.00 per month.
• The Pro Plan is billed at US$15.00 monthly.
• The most popular Pro Plus plan is billed at US$25.00 monthly.
• The Premium Plan for established businesses is billed at US$40.00 per month.

5. GoDaddy

  • GoDaddy is owned by GoDaddy Inc., a publicly-traded American company headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons. It is the "largest services platform for entrepreneurs" and offers a constellation of web-based services, including website building, domain naming, and website security, among others.

Metrics

• The Basic Plan costing US$9.69 per month.
• A Standard Plan that goes for US$13.85 per month.
• A Premium Plan billed at US$20.79 per month.
• An eCommerce Plan that goes for US$27.72 per month.
  • All plans are inclusive of a one-month free trial period, after which billing is done annually.
  • Competitive advantage — this website builder's competitive edge lies in the wealth of experience it brings to the table and its wide range of products and services. This essentially makes it a one-stop-shop for individuals and business entities as far as web products and services are concerned.

6. SiteBuilder.com

Metrics

• The Pro Plan is the most popular. It costs US$5.20 per month (for a 2-year subscription).
• The Premium Plan costs US$6.30 monthly with a 2-year plan.
• The eCommerce Plan costs US$9.40 with a 2-year plan.

7. Weebly

Metrics

• Weebly's Connect Plan costs US$5.00 monthly, paid annually.
• The Pro Plan, which is tailored for groups and organizations, costs US$12.00 monthly paid annually.
• The Business Plan for small businesses and stores costs US$25.00 monthly, paid annually.
• A Pro Plan for groups and organizations billed at US$12.00 monthly but paid annually.
• A Business Plan for SMBs billedUS$25.00 monthly.
• A Business Plus Plan for Power Sellers billed at US$38.00 monthly.
  • Competitive advantage — Weebly's competitive advantage lies in its reasonable Pricing, user-friendly GUI, fast hosting, beautiful modern themes, and a simple framework that makes workflow efficient and seamless.

8. Hubspot

Metrics

• The Starter Plan costs US$45 monthly (or US$540 annually).
• A Professional Plan that goes for US$800 per month (or US$9,600 annually).
• An Enterprise Plan that is billed at US$3,200 monthly (or US$38,000 annually).
• The Starter Plan goes for US$45.00 per month or US$540 yearly.
• The Professional Plan goes for US$1,600 monthly or US$19,000 yearly.
• The Enterprise Plan goes for US$4,000 monthly or US$48,000 yearly.

9. Shopify

  • Its in-built tools enable customers to sell in-person using the site's POS system, sell online with its online store, or sell through its other online channels. The platform is the property of Shopify Inc., a Canadian global eCommerce company based in Ottawa, Ontario.

Metrics

• The Basic Shopify Plan is billed US$29.00 per month and suits businesses that occasionally undertake in-person selling.
• The Shopify Plan costs US$79.00 per month and suits businesses selling online or in-store.
• The Advanced Shopify Plan costs US$299.00 per month and is suitable for businesses that need advanced reporting.
  • Competitive advantage — Shopify's strength lies in the fact that it is the easiest platform to use and has the biggest app store. The platform maintains basic features that are usually sufficient for most of its customers. In addition, the large app store means customers can add more features when they need to.

10. Duda

Metrics

• The Basic Plan costs US$14.00 monthly billed annually.
• The Team Plan is billed US$22.00 per month.
• The Agency Plan is billed US$44.00 per month.
• The Custom Plan, tailored according to the customer's budget.

11. Strikingly

  • Like most modern website builders, Strikingly is a platform that enables "users with little or no development experience to create mobile-optimized websites within minutes." Despite its mobile-first approach, the company strives to create websites optimized for viewing on all devices, including tablets, desktops, and smartphones.
  • The website builder's beta platform was released in 2012. This free website-building platform comes with built-in SEO features, page analytics, social media plug-ins, and email-collecting functionalities. In addition, strikingly targets complete novices with its budget-friendly plans and products.

Metrics

  • Revenue — The company's main source of revenue is investor funding. It raised US$10 million from its latest funding round, which was in September 2018. Overall, Strikingly has raised US$17.5 million since its founding in 2012. Its main investors include Index Ventures, SV Angel, Infinity Venture Partners, Y Combinator, FundersClub, and CRCM Ventures, among other investors.
  • Employee size — As of September 2018, its employee population was estimated at 300. However, owler.com puts Strikingly's employee population at about 110. The company's 'About Us' section on its official website does not provide this information.
  • Number of locations — Strikingly operates from its headquarters in Shanghai, China.
  • Customer base — There are no precise numbers to back up Strikingly's claim that it is "trusted by millions of entrepreneurs and creatives" worldwide. However, customer reviews from various social media sites suggest that this website builder might have a substantial user base though such may also be curated to serve the company's marketing interests.
• The Limited Plan costs US$8.00 monthly.
• The Pro Plan costs US$16.00 monthly.
• The VIP Plan costs US$49.00 monthly.
  • All plans are billed annually.
  • Competitive advantage — Strikingly's standout feature is its mobile-first approach to web design. Consequently, its sites are typically optimized to perform on all screen sizes, including tablets, smartphones, and desktops. Further, its ease of use and simplicity makes it perfect for complete beginners.

Webflow

  • Webflow enables "designers to develop professional custom websites in a completely visual canvas." It does not require users to have coding knowledge because it has drag-and-drop tools that make up for this. However, this platform is ideal for people who want to come up with something novel for their sites. Though it has templates, it accords much more freedom to designers to choose from hundreds of templates and customize them.

Metrics

• The Basic Plan costs US$12.00 per month paid annually or US$15 paid monthly.
• The CMS Plan costs US$16.00 per month, paid annually, or US$20.00 paid monthly.
• The Business Plan costs US$36.00 monthly paid annually or US$45.00 paid monthly.
• The Enterprise Plan has not fixed prices. Instead, it is tailored according to the client's needs and brand.
• The Standard Plan costs US$29.00 per month, or US$42.00 billed annually.
• The Plus Plan costs US$74.00 per month billed annually, or US$84 billed monthly.
• The Advanced Plan costs US$212 monthly billed annually or US$235 billed monthly.
Account plans are categorized into individual plans and team plans.
• The Starter plan is free.
• The Lite Plan costs US$16.00 monthly, billed annually, or US$24.00 billed monthly.
• The Pro Plan costs US$35.00 monthly billed annually or US$42 billed monthly.
• The Team Plan costs US$35 monthly billed annually or US$42 billed monthly.
• The Enterprise Plan does not have a fixed price. Instead, it is tailored according to the client's budget and brand.

Research strategy

This comparative brief was conducted using a multi-pronged strategy that incorporated searching for the required information directly from credible sources, triangulations, and estimations where the precise data was unavailable.
The comparison has been conducted based on key metric data points, including company revenue, employee population, user base, number of locations, and pricing plans. For most of these data points, the required information was readily available.
The sources used in this research include official company websites, credible third-party sites, and marketing sites.

Sources
Sources