Testing driving the best website builder tools for designers

Are you looking for the best website builder for designers & creatives?

To help you find the right solution for you, we took some of the best website builder tools for test drives and looked into their designer-friendly features.

There are many website builders out there that even beginners can use, but creative professionals need more advanced customization tools. Lucky for you, just because they’re easy to use doesn’t mean that they’re lacking in functionality.

Let’s dive in!

A quick note before we get started. This article contains affiliate links so if you use our links to purchase something, we earn a commission at no cost to you. 

What is the Best Website Builder?

Choosing the best website builder can be difficult because there are so many to choose from.

When choosing the right builder to make a website you have to consider price, reliability, web hosting services, technical support, site speed, SEO, features, ease of use, template design, and much more.

When you’re a designer it can be difficult to find a website builder that understands your needs.

If you’re looking for a tool that will help you build a beautiful website from scratch, you need to look for one that is specifically tailored for designers and that gives you all the options you need to create your vision.

What to look for in the best website builder for designers?

You don’t have to build your client sites from scratch. In fact, a lot of designers and developers don’t. Sophisticated customization options are a must. Your website builder shouldn’t restrict your design capabilities, so being able to modify each element should be on top of your requirements.

Look for this when trying out a new website builder:

Drag-and-drop builder: Being able to easily move various elements around the content area will improve your workflow.

Visual effects: Impress clients and visitors with effects such as parallax scrolling or animations to elevate your work.

A choice of pre-made templates: You’ll be able to work much faster if you have high-quality templates to use as a starting point.

Integrations: Streamlined integration with third-party apps and/or platforms such as Google Analytics will enhance your final products.



Slides by Designmodo is one of the easiest ways to get an awesome looking landingpage created quickly.

It’s a static website generator, meaning that you don’t have to install a CMS like WordPress or build a backend in Webflow to get it live on the web. You just download a zip-file from Designmodo’s Slide builder containing all the assets for your site and upload that to your webhosting. You dont have to deal with backend databases or anything. Just upload your files and it’s live. The downside is that if you want to make any changes to your website you have to edit the html files or images and re-upload the files to your server in order for the changes to take place on your site.

Slides features over 140 slides in both light and dark variations with animations and page transitions that makes it possible to build a website in a few minutes.

I’ve been using it for many years for my own projects and it creates high quality and fast-loading static websites quickly.


User experience

The setup is quick and easy. You can create projects and websites directly from your dashboard. The builder includes 140+ slides with different layouts, so it’s easy to find slides that fit your needs. Once you have assembled your website it’s easy to customize the colors, transitions and the overall look of your website before downloading it.


Using Slides is free to use but the selection of slides and effects is limited.

If you upgrade to the Business plan for $59 per quarter, you get unlimited projects, unlimited pages and access to all the slides and all the effects as well as 20 site exports per month.

Upgrading to the Agency plan is $79 per quarter but that gives you unlimited site exports per month which is a good thing if you’re a freelancer making landingpages for clients.

What I like and dislike about Slides

Given the many layouts and customisation options it’s quick to assemble a proof of concept website for a project, but if you don’t know anything about coding or HTML/CSS/JS I would stay clear of Slides and choose one of the other website builders in this list instead.

If you want to edit the prebuilt slides you have to edit the code yourself. Designmodo has provided good documentation with code snippets and examples as well as a FAQ for the most common problems. Until you are familiar with the framework it can take a long time to customize your website.


Given the lack of a CMS backend updating your website can also be a tedious process where you have to manually edit the code and replace the files on your server again afterwards.

Slides is best used for landingpages or brochure website with only a handful of subpages. I\’ve used it to create quick landingpages and client pitches for years. 

Slides has just been updated to Version 6 and a lot of the customisations can be set directly in the builder before export, so you don’t have to adjust the code afterwards in your code editor which is a big plus. Previously this had to be done manually and it took a lot of time.

What I like about Slides is that the overall design of the different slides is stylish and elegant and once you know how the code work you can build a landingpage in a few hours. Given that the pages are plain html, css and javacript and not tied to a CMS, the pages loads in an instant and looks great. You can play with animations and transitions directly in the builder and their example page features solutions to special layouts and integrations like fullscreen video, YouTube embed and more.

Try Slides here



Startup by Designmodo is a responsive website builder built on the Bootstrap framework. It’s a no-code builder and it comes with over 150 different pre-designed blocks in different categories like headers, navbars, footers, etc and each premade design can be customized to fit the users needs.

You can customize your website using the Startup online editor and it’s large selection of pre-design blocks. Each element has lots of possibilities, so you can easily make the landingpages into your own design.

With the Startup editor you can edit and customize your content visually, so there\’s no need for a backend content system. Once you’ve finished the customizations, you can export and publish your website or landing page. Just download your website in zip-file that includes all your images, text and styles and upload them directly to your webhost.

Key features

Lots of prebuilt layouts and loads of customisation options makes Startup a great tool for creating landingpages or small brochure websites with only a few subpages.

Other features include global style changes, so if you can change the font with one click and change it everywhere.

Startup also integrates with Designmodo’s Static.app hosting solution which makes it easy to get your site live in no time. Read more about Static here:

Static Website Hosting – Static.app


User experience

You assemble your website using the built in section templates that Startup comes with. They are organised under categories like “Header”, “Navigation”, “Content”, “Blog” and other commonly used sections in webdesign. Each category have between 10-30 different layouts in both a light and dark mode. Each element has lots of possibilities, so you can easily make any landing page layout your own.



Using Startup is free to use but you are limited in the selection of blocks.

If you upgrade to the Business plan for $5o per quarter, you get 20 site exports per month and full access to all the blocks and priority support.

Upgrading to the Agency plan costs $62 per quarter but that gives you unlimited site exports per month which is a good thing if you frequently create websites or landingpages for clients.

What I like and dislike about Startup

Just like Slides, Designmodo has created a great landingpage builder where it’s possible to build a small responsive website in a short amount of time.

Where it sets itself apart from Slides you can use the Startup interface to customise the layout, images and colors without having to edit the HTML code and CSS. It exports an static website with HTML/CSS/JS files that you can upload straight to your webhost. The advantage of having a static website instead of using WordPress is that there’s no backend to hack or plugins to maintain and your site is going to be blazing fast.

The interface is a bit tricky to navigate at first, but once you learn how to use it you can build the foundation of your website quickly using the pre-designed layouts. If you’re familiar with the Bootstrap framework you’ll quickly learn how to work with the structure of the different sections.

Changing the look and feel of your website is easy once you get familiar with the interface and how it works with the rows and sections and the predesigned blocks are well thoughtout and can be combined in an almost infinite amount of combinations.

Try Startup here