Have you encountered a drag-and-drop feature in the digital world before? Well, if you weren’t hiding under the rock for the last 40 years, you have. This function is widely used not only in drag and drop website builders but also in the mobile phones, in personal computers, and – widely – in everyday activities, where you operate a drag-and-drop with your hands when you take things and put them to another place. That real-life action is the basis for the digital analog.
When you click an object, drag it and drop to another place, it is called ‘drag and drop functionality’. In a computer, you have been interacting with it for sure in a case of taking a file and replacing/copying it to another folder. Or attaching a file to your letter to send it to someone. It is easy and saves a lot of time compared to the more classic way of interacting with an object through an interface (open a window, find a file, click on it, and choose a proper action to do with it). Drag and drop website builders also widely use this feature to save much time for their users, thus improving the convenience of use, shrinking the time to obtain the desired result.
There are such basic steps to enact this option:
Find an object and click on it once with a mouse or tap with a finger (for a touch screen device).
Hold the click or tap and start dragging.
Drag it to the destination and release.
You receive a copy (if otherwise is not indicated) of the dragged object (if moving between windows/folders) or the moved file (if moving inside of the same folder).
The types of actions, which become simpler with drag and drop:
starting the default action with an object – if it is moved to an icon of some executable program or its ‘.exe’ file, which knows how to open this type of file
attaching it – when dragging it into the field of working with attachments (for instance, in your Google Mail interface)
uploading – if moving from an offline location to online one – by default. Sometimes, uploading can be combined with attaching or starting a default action – which makes things even simpler.
When the object is moved from a side panel of your drag and drop website builder, a new copy of it is created in the interface of a webpage you’re currently working on. The action of dragging and dropping is so important because it allows making many lines of HTML/PHP code (depending on the type of webpage you’re working in) – and it makes them automatically. The code behind defines such properties of a newly created (dragged) object:
its location on the page – absolute or relative towards the sides (up, down, right, left) of the page
color(s) and their changes between the inactive/active states
its size – sometimes active/inactive states also apply (like an icon increasing in size when you hover over)
properties that are revealed when the object is enacted (clicked or tapped or automatically engaged during the execution of some ongoing process on a webpage)
behavior – what it is in a calm state and what it is in an activated state
the layer of a page that it is located at (if applicable)
the picture behind the object (if any) that is used to form its final appearance
the other properties, if any.
Using drag and drop, it is possible to move texts, pictures (including their blocks, like when they are organized in a portfolio), blocks of data, videos, tables, embedded elements, buttons, menus, headers and footers, widgets, pieces of other visual elements on the page, change layers, and do other definite actions. Double-clicking on an object with a mouse is a part of the function, which enables the action menu – listing those, which you can do with an object right now. Amongst them, it is usually, editing, deleting, moving, and copying.
All the mentioned above used to be made with manual coding before the occurrence of the function. At worst, the number of lines of code behind all this stuff is thousands. At best – dozens. That is why before the emergence of drag and drop website builders, it was nearly impossible to make a web page professionally and fast, for a regular person, far from this knowledge. And that’s why forming a well-built website might consume so much money and time before.
But the advantage of spending lesser time to make things done and automation of tonnes of code lines is not the only side of the coin – there is another side. On it, you can find the limited creativity, as drag and drop is the option, which works well only within the predefined limits – from and to. If you need to go beyond – you will have to dive into the code for sure. This is not always affordable unless you know how to do it – otherwise, you’ll have to opt for hiring a programmer to make the work done (and its price may be significantly higher than the one you will pay for one of the subscription plans of website builders). Don’t expect to have a drag and drop alongside with total freedom of actions – as the nature of this feature is going to limit you.
Important: the drag and drop feature was added to the HTML5 version of web coding language (it wasn't in previous ones), so you will have to update your browser to the latest version in order to use it smoothly (if you haven’t done it years ago).
Now, it is time to consider the top 7 of them to look at modern and well enough makers, which can cover your essential needs in making a website.
Wix is amongst the most popular website makers in the world with the highly usable functionality of drag and drop. Wix’s light & totally comprehensible – that’s why millions of users all over the world choose Wix drag and drop website builder as some of the preferred software pieces to launch your website easy and fast.
Wix’s nice and not hard to work in.
It has 500+ of themes discerned at types of industries and even types of websites (for instance, a web store or a landing page).
The choice of apps, add-ons, options of integration and possible actions with all its templates is so high that it can be overwhelming at first.
It offers an ADI function (Artificial Design Intelligence), which can build a website for you literally in seconds, based on the data you input to define yourself and your business.
It can be overwhelming due to the high choice, which may seem even abundant for a newly registered user (so the richness of Wix’s interface is both a pro & a con).
Some of the presented themes do not support mobile friendliness, so one has to be careful when going through the selection process.
Once you’ll have chosen a theme, ya won’t be allowed to select another without the loss of the executed changes completely, to the ground.
You can only have 1 template for the entire site. Having two or more of them is impossible.
It may have compatibility issues between browsers.
The price of usage of Wix has increased lately (in June 2019) for around 5%-10%: for instance, from $4.50 a month, its simplest plan now increased to $5 sharp. From $28.50 in VIP, it is now 29. You can find more on its pricing page – and to compare the data to the previous pricing (if you knew it).
If you’re not interested in e-commerce, it’s gonna cost you from $5 to $29 (as we now know). E-commerce sites are going to cost you from $20 to $35 – they also have raised.
The Weebly drag and drop website builder is one of the top choices for all types of websites, including e-stores. It is great for SEO and has huge scalability to make your site grow in the future together with the growth of your business. Weebly’s customer satisfaction score is high almost the same as the one of Wix. This web maker offers ‘bold and beautiful themes’ – as it defines itself (and based on what we see, we believe this definition). The templates it offers are of nice variety & it is generally powerful to make a site of any complexity (which does not require coding).
Pros of this best drag and drop website builder:
Ease of use.
Has a number of tools to help small businesses to start their online presence and grow in the future.
It has a free plan (though limited).
Has an app center to easily connect to some app that you will have selected.
Unearthed cons of this free drag and drop website builder:
There is no backup and restore – so don’t mess up, okay?
It’ll take time to figure out how to work with its interface and where the buttons are located (but things will speed up as you master it).
The two of its pricing plans are free of charge one and a small-cost one for 5 Euros a month. For 10, 20 & 30 Euros, you can have own e-store.
The initial 10-euro payment is going to start a store, giving a free customized domain & free money to advertise within Google. You get SSL, no limits in storage, a site search, shopping cart, a number of ways to accept payments, SEO, forms creation & the support of users in a number of channels, which will be to the liking of anyone.
The next payment for 20 Euros does it all + adds more: 10 new options to deal better with your merchandise, taxation, delivery, reporting & better marketing, including the integration with Facebook & advanced marketing stats.
For 30 Euros, you get the mentioned and abandoned cart e-mails.
It is not the easiest tool to create drag and drop websites on the market – and, frankly speaking, we can range its simplicity as 3.5 stars out of 5. It has astounding design flexibility and ‘Good+’ customer score. Squarespace is made to deliver very good-looking designs to all pages, no matter what is the type of the website. The beauty of its templates is nearly comparable to uKit’s ones – you can compare those website builders when you will have time to make such a comparison.
Pros of this software:
Very good templates of high visual beauty in every pixel.
It is powerful enough for blogging, e-marketing, integration with social media.
It won’t limit you too much in creative freedom without ungrounded boundaries, which other website builders may impose.
Quality of every feature it offers tends to be the best.
Let’s consider some cons:
It has not the easiest visual builder & its function of drag and drop is limited compared to other website builders & so it will take time to master it.
Not too many apps and extensions are allowed, their number is significantly lower than the ones in Shopify or Wix, for instance.
Its pages are low-speed in the score of load speed that you can measure using one of the available online tools - over 8 seconds for 1 page on average, which will automatically put your site lower in the search engine score, taking into account that the average normal speed shall not be more than 5 seconds per page.
The unveiled pricing model of this creator:
There are four subscription plans, which one can use:
For 12 dollars a month, you receive a personal or a business site with limitless storage and bandwidth, SSL, rapid support of customers & an ability to attach an own custom domain (if you purchase the annual subscription). Paying on a month-to-month basis, the price is 16 dollars.
For 18 (26) dollars, you get the mentioned and an initial web store with a commission (which is withdrawn in the higher plans). You can alter JS and CSS in this plan.
Online store plans for 26 and 40 bucks a month (or 30 and 46 if paid month to month) differ between one another in the ability to manage the abandoned cart & they both better in value of sales features compared to the plan costing 18 (26) bucks.
Site123 is not too powerful drag drop website builder. The general normalized score of the entire functionality of this website builder is 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Very nice customer support – you won’t be left alone with your issues.
The app market is great – but it is not specifically ample in the choice of apps to integrate with.
Poor e-commerce functionality, not too powerful, just to dangle round more or less unprofessionally.
Limitations in storage and bandwidth – in every (visible) plan.
Creative freedom is highly limited.
Not too quality features – they should have been improved, really.
You can’t download a website – it means no shifting to other website builder and no manual enhancement offline.
People tell that it is rather impossible to withdraw money in the money-back issue.
A model of pricing:
Despite the fact that this website builder offers much more tariff plans than 2, on its pricing page, it shows only 2: a free one and a paid one. The other options are obviously hidden from the general public (and shall appear only after initially buying the paid plan). We don’t know why. Maybe, it is for the reason to make a personal price for every user based on a number of factors – we aren’t sure if this effective.
So, the shown plans are:
A free one (giving you 0.5 Gb storage, 1 Gb bandwidth & a branded subdomain in a Site123 domain name).
A paid one – for $10.80 a month; gives you an unbranded domain, 10 Gb storage, 5 Gb bandwidth & e-commerce functionality.
You can get a long-term discount: buying 12, 24 & 36 months. As the FAQ section says, they have 4 plans – but why don’t they disclose the entire pricing at once?
This website builder is not the best. And even not the best of the rest. It’s kinda 3 out of 5 stars generally. It allows making websites but the creativity and template choice possibilities are cut-down & it is good for 1-page sites only.
Mobile responsiveness embedded.
Analytics is possible through an in-built functionality of this website builder and you can connect to Google too.
Easy to use.
Nice FAQ base.
SEO is weak and provides only a few possibilities from the entire viable scope: description and title (basic meta tags), alt, favicon & some headings.
Too scarce choice of available themes: only 30 or so, so there is not so much possibility to launch your website fast – it seems like you will have to start making your website from scratch (which is not something you’re aiming in website builders, right?).
Costly domain – $24.95 a year (there is a bunch of website builders over there and even domain registrars, which allow you to cut this amount approximately twofold).
Disqus model of commenting will prompt the user to log through their Facebook/Twitter/e-mail accounts each time they want to leave feedback – that’s an extra step that will bother people, leaving your blog comment-less.
One-page websites only (that’s too little to embrace all users of such tools).
Even if you pay, there is a plan in which you won’t be deprived of branding.
It offers the grade of subscription plans, which span from 1 month to 1 year, 2, 3 and 5 years. Each of them offers the cost on its own:
Monthly subscription proposes you to have a free plan for no money, limited for $12 and pro for $20
Yearly offers you to have limited for $8, pro for $16 & VIP for $49 (a month)
Two years give you the previously mentioned for 7, 14 & 43 dollars respectfully (a month)
Three years will discount the amount of money to $12 in Pro and $39 in VIP
And 5 years are going to cut down your expenses to $11.20 for Pro and to $34.40 for VIP.
This is one of the poorest website builders on our list – just to show you that not all market options are equally good for making a website today.
Let’s look at the pros:
Easy to work with its drag and drop editor but it does not allow you to move too far in your creativity.
If you wanna grow – you must opt for any of the two highest-paid plans.
Here are the cons:
It limits you in every plan but the costliest one in bandwidth and storage space, as well as the number of pages on your website & in the quality of support. E-commerce becomes possible only in the two highest plans.
Poor flexibility and quality of designs, lower than the market average, as well as it does not demonstrate a good support service.
You can’t back up and restore – not automatically, not manually.
Consider that this website builder is going to orient at your current geographical location, offering you the pricing in the local currency. We are seeing Euros in all its subscription plans (you can turn them into dollars by applying the current cross-currency rate):
A free-of-charge plan will give you the branded subdomain and just some basics
9 Euros a month will free you from the branding and will give you the own domain – if purchased for a year (but when you are going to renew for another year, it’ll be 20 Euros annually)
For 15 Euros a month, you get the mentioned in the previous + visitor stats, SEO and a better support
19 Euros are going to expand you to the online store and no sales commissions
39 Euros a month will not limit you in storage space & bandwidth, giving much more operative support and the possibility to analyze your custom-made design by a professional.
In addition to all plans mentioned above, if you want to list our business in Google (to be found online), get prepared to pay 4 Euros per month billed annually.
This website builder may be good for the nice technical protection of your site but it is not good to make your business grow.
The stability of work of sites is good, as it hosts them on own platform, which is a popular hosting tool, one of the most reputable and old in the digital world. However, according to the tool of speed testing of sites gtmetrix.com, it has a fairly low speed of loading pages – only 9.5 seconds on average, with the normalized score equal to C (average) with 73% of speed, while the Internet’s middle is around 75%.
Well protected from DDoS attacks and possesses other security advantages (SSL, HTTPS).
Automated backup – you can restore your website to any point in time to prevent serious damage.
The price of usage indicated on its pricing page is applied to new users only – it’ll grow automatically for you after 6 or 12 months of use (kinda deceptive pricing, don’t you think?). For instance, after the 1-dollar promo plan is over (in 30 days), it’ll cost you 5 dollars a month.
Your site won’t be able to embrace more than 100 visitors per minute (considering that every one of them is going to do 1 action with your site only during this minute – so it actually means that there can be 5-10 regular visitors at a time) – so, it’s not of any good for a big business, as even popular forums host hundreds of users at a time, not even speaking about web stores.
$1 a month (after the 1st month – 5 dollars)
$15 a month – enabling way more features.
We’ve revised some popular drag and drop website builders and it is obvious that far not all of them are good for creating and running a website. For the ease of use, power & generally nice user experience, we recommend you Wix, Weebly & Squarespace, while you should closely study the features and restrictions of Site123, Strikingly, Jimdo & 1&1 IONOS.