Launching a startup or small business today often requires an online presence, but many founders struggle to build professional websites due to limited budgets, time and technical skills. Traditional web development with custom coding can be complex, expensive and time-consuming. This is where do-it-yourself website builders like Unicorn Platform shine for early-stage entrepreneurs.
With intuitive drag-and-drop editors and pre-made templates, DIY website builders enable anyone to create beautiful, functional sites themselves in days or weeks, not months. No coding expertise needed. Whether you need a simple informational brochure site, advanced ecommerce store, or modern portfolio to showcase your work, user-friendly website builders empower startups to establish their brand online the easy way.
In this post, we'll compare the most popular DIY website builder options to help you find the best fit for launching your startup's online presence quickly based on your abilities and goals. Read on to learn how services like Wix, Squarespace, Webflow and Unicorn Platform allow you to turn your business ideas into reality by building customized sites fast without coding. Let's dive in!
Understanding Website Builders
A website builder is an online platform that allows you to create and publish websites through visual drag-and-drop editors instead of manually writing code. The intuitive interfaces and pre-made templates make building pages as easy as dragging and clicking elements into place.
Compared to complex traditional web development, DIY website builders dramatically simplify the process for entrepreneurs and small teams by handling the technical work behind the scenes. You can focus entirely on content, design and functionality using the pre-built tools - no HTML, CSS or other coding expertise required.
Key Website Builder Features
Leading DIY website builders share several core features that empower easy site creation:
Drag-and-drop editors to visually design and arrange pages by dragging, dropping and clicking elements into place. Easily customize layouts, colors, fonts and more.
Templates provide professionally designed site samples to start from instead of a blank canvas. Provides consistent styling and speeds up building.
Integrations connect your site to popular external tools and services like payments, email marketing, calendars, social media and more to expand functionality.
Built-in hosting and CDN allow you to instantly publish your site and deliver fast performance without a separate web host.
Design elements like galleries, blogs, forms, animations and more help enhance site visitor experiences and interactions.
Free domains provide custom .com URLs to brand your site professionally. An easy alternative to buying domains.
Website Builder Types
Some of the most popular DIY website builder categories include:
Wix: Extremely popular all-in-one builder with 500+ designer templates. Offers extensive integrations and marketing tools.
Squarespace: Elegant templates focused on clean, sophisticated designs. Built-in ecommerce and marketing features.
Webflow: Robust animations and interactions for advanced customization. Closest to true coding but visual.
Shopify: Leading ecommerce builder optimized for setting up online stores and selling. Deep commerce features.
Unicorn Platform: Emerging DIY website builder tailored for startups with components library, code support, and startup-specific templates.
Niche Builders: Specialized platforms for portfolios, restaurants, events and other specific use cases.
Top Website Builders Comparison
When it comes to versatile DIY website builders for startups and small businesses, Wix, Squarespace, Webflow and Unicorn Platform provide excellent options. Here is an overview of how they compare:
|Tailored for startups
|Intuitive drag & drop
|Visual but some code
|Visual with code support
|Wix App Market
|Steeper for advanced
Wix is one of the most popular DIY website builders overall with key strengths:
Extensive template library with 500+ designs for all site types. Easy to find an ideal look and layout.
Intuitive drag-and-drop editor to customize templates visually. Add and arrange elements by dragging and dropping.
350+ integrations available via Wix App Market like Stripe, MailChimp, Dropbox, and more.
Reliable hosting, CDN for speed, and free .com domain included.
Built-in tools for blogging, forms, galleries, ecommerce, and marketing.
The main downsides are less design flexibility compared to rivals and limited direct code access. But the all-in-one features make Wix a great starting point for many use cases.
Squarespace focuses on empowering beautiful visual designs with strengths like:
Stylish templates optimal for photography, fashion, architecture, art and other visual fields.
Powerful yet easy-to-use customization capabilities. Alters templates visually with minimal code needs.
Excellent built-in features for branding like custom fonts, color schemes, image galleries and more.
Includes ecommerce, mailing lists, scheduling, coupons and other marketing tools.
Potential limitations are fewer integrations than some competitors, inconsistent custom code support, and limited fonts. But Squarespace excels for creative, design-focused sites.
Webflow offers advanced creative customization with minimal compromises:
Create highly animated, interactive sites with complete design freedom. Mimics coding environment visually.
Animate on scroll, add hover interactions, build multi-page forms, and more. Brings sites to life.
Robust CMS, hosting, CDNs and speed optimization features built-in.
Extensive template library and integrations available via Webflow Marketplace.
The tradeoff is Webflow's steeper learning curve. It provides the most capability but requires more time to master vs Wix and Squarespace. Overall, Webflow is great for experienced designers who want true coding power visually.
Unicorn Platform is an emerging DIY website builder tailored specifically for startups with advantages like:
Modern templates designed for tech/SaaS sites, blogs, portfolios, and landing pages.
Drag and drop editor to customize templates visually. Also supports custom code editing.
Curated components library for startup and SaaS site building blocks.
Integrations with leading tools like Stripe, Mailchimp, Calendly, and more.
Built for rapid iterations and growth. Easy launch then expand and customize.
The main limitation is a smaller user base and template library compared to established rivals. But for startups seeking a focused website builder solution, Unicorn Platform balances ease of use with advanced capabilities.
Choosing the Right Website Builder
With the range of options available, it's important to select the best website builder for your specific startup's needs and goals. Here are some key factors to evaluate:
Purpose - Will your site be purely informational or also need ecommerce capabilities? Complex portfolio site or simple homepage? Match the builder to your goals.
Skills - Beginners may prefer Wix or Squarespace for simplicity. Webflow has a steeper learning curve best for experienced designers.
Available Time - If your schedule is constrained, prioritize easier builders like Wix and Unicorn Platform.
Required Features - Determine must-have tools for forms, payments, booking, etc. and choose a builder that provides them.
Audience - Pick templates and styles tailored to your target customers and industry.
Growth Plans - Will rapid scaling be critical down the road? Prioritize builders like Webflow and Unicorn Platform with enterprise-level plans.
Budget - DIY website builders offer lower costs than developers, but some have higher pricing tiers for advanced features.
Best for Beginners
For first-time website builders, Wix and Unicorn Platform are great choices thanks to:
Intuitive drag-and-drop editors and high-quality templates allow easy site creation in days/weeks.
Huge assets libraries with images, icons, videos, design elements and more to piece together sites.
Extensive built-in features like blogs, contact forms, galleries and ecommerce without needing other tools.
Active communities and plentiful tutorials guide beginners in building confidently.
Best for Advanced Users
Experienced designers wanting maximum creative control should look at Webflow:
The robust editor mimics coding environments for full customization flexibility visually.
Animate scrolling, create hover interactions, dynamic forms, and more to build highly advanced sites.
Scale traffic smoothly via enterprise hosting, CMS, CDNs and performance optimization.
Best for Ecommerce
If selling products online is your top priority, ecommerce-focused builders like Shopify shine:
Deep specialized features for payments, taxes, shipping, inventory and other ecommerce essentials.
Templates designed to boost conversions and sales through best practices.
Seamlessly grow into enterprise-level plans rather than needing to rebuild as sales expand.
Unify your tech stack by integrating POS, accounting, CRM, marketing and other vital business software.
Modern DIY website builders empower startups and entrepreneurs to create professional digital presences themselves with minimal time, money and expertise.
Leading options like Wix, Squarespace, Webflow and Unicorn Platform make it possible to get online quickly based on your specific needs and skills. Carefully weigh factors like your goals, abilities, schedule and budget when deciding on the ideal platform.
Ecommerce builders like Shopify offer deep specialized features for selling physical or digital products. But for versatile sites, Wix and Unicorn Platform provide excellent blends of simplicity for beginners and customization capabilities for advanced users.
With the right website builder tailored to your startup, you can turn your business ideas into reality faster than ever before. No more excuses – start establishing your brand’s presence and connecting with customers online today. Try Unicorn Platform to launch your startup site in record time!