Before choosing a site builder, it is very important to understand the pros and cons of each one and to define your own specific needs.
There isn’t one website builder that is better than the rest for every type of website. Different builders have different features and advantages, and you have to choose one based on your specific needs and requirements.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at three of our favorite website builders, Wix, SiteBuilder, and Boldgrid and how suitable they are for building a blog.
A blog template is very different from an e-commerce or business template, so you need to look for different layouts and structures.
Wix offers many very beautiful themes and has a “Blog” category with 20 different themes, each uniquely designed to fit a different subject. You can find very standard templates like the “Entrepreneur Blog”, modern designs like the “Food Blog” template, and colorful as well as unorthodox designs like the “Advertising Blog” template.
- Great designs
- Some responsive features
- Completely customizable
- Not many blog templates to choose from
- Not entirely responsive, the mobile site is edited separately
SiteBuilder has thousands of templates, 20 of them are under the “Blog” category. They all look professionally designed, though they are also quite similar in layout and overall look. Really, there are about four very different templates and the rest are just variations with similar layouts.
Given the control you have within the editor in terms of design, you would expect a bit more variety in the blog templates.
That being said, you can create your blog with one of the other category templates, and there are many to choose from, and add the blog to the site.
- Fully customizable templates
- Professional design
- Not enough variety in the templates available
- The mobile site is edited separately so it’s not fully responsive
BoldGrid is a website builder based on the WordPress platform, which means that you have access to all of the WordPress themes – that’s tens of thousands of themes on a platform that is very popular among bloggers.
- Thousands of themes to choose from
- Many of the themes are fully responsive
- WYSIWYG editing
- Not drag-and-drop – you are limited by the template you choose
There aren’t many cons in terms of the templates here because there are so many to choose from and, because it’s built on WordPress, you can change your template at any time without rebuilding the entire website.
Social Media Features
Social media features are important on any type of website, but they are a must on blogs. Blogs are all about getting your content out there and shared, so you have to make it easy for your readers to share your posts and articles with their networks.
Wix has everything you need when it comes to social media add-ons. You can insert like, share, and follow buttons, a social media bar with icons and links to all of your social profiles, and feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
You also have access to the Wix App Market, which features many interesting apps that you can add to your website. Some are free or partially free, and others are only available under the Premium account or for an additional subscription fee. There are 50 social apps, many of which could be very useful depending on the audience that you’re targeting.
SiteBuilder doesn’t have the wide range of social options like Wix, but they do have the basics.
You can add social links and sharing icons or different buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, such as like, share, +1, follow, and tweet. You can also add a Facebook page plugin and Facebook comments on each blog posts, which is a great way to get even more exposure on Facebook with each comment that you get. If you want to add feeds, Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all satisfactorily available.
Because BoldGrid is built on WordPress, you have access to all of the benefits of building a WordPress site. That means that you can use any plugin or widget that can be installed on a regular WP website. Basically, BoldGrid opens the door to pretty much any social media feature you can imagine, from Facebook login to share buttons and feeds, and much more.
Search Engine Optimization
Blogs are all about content, and if you’re going to build a website that is packed with quality content, you want everything to be optimized for search engines so that it is easier for your target audience to find.
By accessing the site’s settings, you can use the SEO wizard and optimize your website for search engines. If that isn’t enough, and you’re more advanced in SEO, there are 12 different apps in the Wix App Market – some free, some premium – that let you further optimize your website and view visitor analytics.
In the pages section of the menu you can access the page settings of each page. That’s where you can enter the text for the page title, description, meta tags, and more. It is very straightforward and easy to use. The stats section is available for premium users that upgrade from the free version and provides info into the activity on your website.
WordPress is usually chosen as the primary site builder for blogs because of how search engine-friendly it is. Users have that advantage with BoldGrid and can use the various SEO tools available to optimize the website and reach more people.
Other Blogging Must-Haves
There are a number of different features that every blog should have besides search engine optimization and social media integration.
Bloggers have to develop ways to keep interacting with their target audience after they visit the website and getting readers to subscribe to your mailing list is crucial.
Both Wix and BoldGrid feature apps and plugins from different mailing companies like Aweber and MailChimp, so you can simply install them and have a form on your site that is connected to your MailChimp or another mailing account.
SiteBuilder doesn’t have widgets or apps that help with getting subscribers, but you can embed code. Companies like MailChimp let you create a designed form and provide code that you can simply copy and paste to your website.
Readers should be able to navigate through your posts to find interesting topics, and that gets harder the more content you add to your blog. The best way to fix this problem is to add a category and tags to each post so that readers can easily find what they’re looking for.
Same goes for “Recent Posts” and “Popular Posts” widgets, which let you showcase your latest articles and the ones that are most popular among your readers.
BoldGrid, Wix, and SiteBuilder let you do this easily and it is very convenient for both the readers and you.
Always make sure to know exactly what you need before starting to build your blog or testing out site builders. Make a list of the must-have features that you need based on your industry and target audience, for example, an Instagram Feed or Facebook Comments.
Once you’re clear on what you need, test out different site builders and their features, taking into consideration the available features, themes, ease-of-use, support, and price. You can find out more in our ranking of the best website builders for bloggers.