Building your own website can be very rewarding. Creating a space on the internet where you share your thoughts, promote your business or sell products is often the first step on the road to success.
But if you’ve never attempted something of this nature, and don’t know your HTML from your elbow, it can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there are plenty of options that make designing and running a site quite simple. In this article we offer a selection of the best web-building software for your Mac.
Be sure to also take a look at our How to create a website on a Mac feature before you start the project.
Price: Free (Premium plans start at £3/$4 per month)
WordPress has been an invaluable tool for website builders over the years. In fact, the company claims that 30 percent of the entire web uses the service to run its blogs, news outlets and other sites. This is mainly due to a combination of easy-to-use design tools, a huge selection of style templates, and a low-cost entry-point.
It comes in two distinct varieties: Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com.
The former is software you download to your Mac and which can then be used to create a site from scratch. Once you’re happy with the creation this is then uploaded to a hosting platform of your choosing.
WordPress.com is the place to go if you’re new to building, as the free service allows you to instantly assemble a working, multi-page, website with only the barest understanding of technical elements.
Everything is done through an online interface that constructs your site automatically. First you select a template that lays out the look and feel of the pages, then use simple forms to enter text and images. WordPress does all the heavy lifting, and you’d be amazed at how quickly a fully functional site can be put together.
The free tier includes ads that generate money for WordPress and thus pay for the service, but there is a limit to how much you can tailor the site to your specific desires. Opting for a subscription removes the ads and brings additional features to the table. Prices start from £3 a month ($4).
Price: Free 14-day trial (Subscriptions from £10/$12 per month)
One of the most exciting new web design offerings to appear in recent years is SquareSpace. This site puts a heavy emphasis on aesthetics, featuring gorgeous templates built with the modern web in mind.
Construction-wise, it’s very much drag and drop, with images and text easily moved or repositioned in seconds. Clearly laid out style sheets allow you to enter the relevant information for each page, and you can even password-protect some to hide them from search engines.
The structural organisation of a site can take some getting used to, but SquareSpace wisely includes a number of tutorial videos to help you get up and running. Everything is live on the web, so there’s no DNS servers to set up, and once you’re happy with how things look you can sign up to a subscription and share your creation with the world.
A 14-day free trial allows you to experiment with the impressive array of tools on offer, and after that you’ll be looking at prices starting from £10 per month.