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Landing page builders: compared. The ultimate landing page tool guide 2020

Posted by Olly Meakings | May 15, 2020

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Comparing leading landing page builders

A critical question when marketing your startup: what landing page builder should I use?

I've compared the most popular landing page builder tools for early-stage SAAS and B2B startups, and compiled the results in this easy-to-scan public Airtable.

I personally reviewed the websites and pricing pages of the leading landing page tools - curating their monthly price, number of templates, flexibility, core functions and specialisms.

Why everyone should use a landing page builder

I always recommend the use of landing page builders - even if you're a developer or technical team. Decoupling app and marketing site development is key. Your company's development should focus on building proprietary tech, not replicating that of the leading landing page tools.

Using landing page tools empowers your whole team to experiment and execute within their own work cycles.

What landing page builder shall I use?

Ultimately you will see that most landing page builders documented have a similar price point and functionality. Your choice may come down to personal preference. However I have tried to highlight below which tool is best for different use cases. I have used all of these tools in the last 6 months so have hands-on experience with them.

⚠️Before reading on, reflect on what matters to you both in terms of the price, function and complexity. Consider this, so you can frame your decision based on what you know to be true. There is a lot of information to work through.

Landing page tool summary table. You can scroll right on this table, or click 'view larger version'


⬇️ Best for speed

Site load time is a big factor in conversion. For me, Versoly is the leading tool for building landing page tools that load fast. The landing page speed comparison on their page is interesting reading. Versoly is a bit rough around the edges and has a limited range of templates, but support is incredibly hands on. They also have native blogs, knowledge bases and forms, which are critical to grow reach and conversion. It's also one of the cheapest tools featured.

⏰ Best for quick setup

Carrd. Not only is it extremely cheap - the annual cost is the same as most product's monthly cost - but Carrd is one-click and go. There are loads of beautifully-executed templates to pick from. Functionality and customisation options are slightly more limited on the basic plan. But that's not the point. It's a one-page site for a few dollars a month(!).

👏 Best for guided setup

Landen. Personally I find the Landen setup a bit too controlling, but if you're looking for a structured, guided, personal setup process this is the tool for you. They call this Generate, and they use it over editing Templates. I recently reviewed a landing page that I loved, and was built on Landen. Other features include native analytics, email lists and blogging tools.

🧰 Best full-stack marketing tool

Hubspot. Hubspot has a suite of tools to cover your whole marketing, sales and content stack. All the tools work gracefully together; your conversion, landing page, and content analytics will all be in one place. With Hubspot you can replace your existing marketing tools stack: email marketing, forms, contact management, live chat, booking meetings, SEO, social media and automation. This makes it ideal for content marketing teams.

Personally I'm not a big fan of Hubspot's landing page builder but appreciate Hubspot's value for scaling startups.

🖼 Best for beautiful sites

Unicorn Platform.  Makes beautiful, clean, modular websites. The focus is WYSIWYG, so you are limited over what you can customise in each module - but that is key to executing smart-looking pages. There is also a built-in Stripe payment integration, and some stunning and highly-considered pre-built modules, which UP calls components. Uniquely, UP focuses on components over templates so you build your landing page using a bric-a-brac approach.

⭐️ Best for testing and post-click

Unbounce. Unbounce moves us into a more expensive tier of tool-builders, from $99 a month - with limits on page traffic. These landing page tools are extremely focused on performance, with split testing and page-building at scale.

With tools like Unbounce (and Instapage) you can build anything from a simple landing page, to 100s of dynamic page experiences for your search ad campaigns.  Dynamic pages can massively increase conversion but tend to need volume to get meaningful results.

Unbounce has three core conversion products - landing pages, popups and sticky bars, with over 170 templates.

💸 Best for... something else

Wix & Squarespace

Obviously these tools are inescapable. Personally I don't recommend them for building a startup landing page. Theses products focus more on niche audiences and stunning visual execution for certain personas, rather than social proof, conversion, forms and integrations. You can make beautiful websites and webstores with these tools. But it's harder to make, measure and iterate on a high-performance landing page.


What functions did you compare and why?

I started with price, speed, number of templates or modules, and function. But then tried to explore things that were more subjective - support quality, UX, simplicity of use and sign-up, and unique selling points.

Here's a summary of what I recorded and the criteria I used:

Monthly price 

I reviewed the monthly price of the each tool's cheapest plan. I used the month-by-month pricing not the annual pricing. For Carrd I divided the annual cost by 12.

Templates

The number of customisable page templates provided as a starting point.

Blocks

The number of customisable blocks available to compose your page.

Blog

Whether or not the tool has native blog functionality for content marketing.

Speed

Speed is a massive factor in landing page conversion. I measured the speed of the company's own landing page.

Native analytics

Does the tool offer server-level analytics.

Front end code editing

For complete personalisation, can you edit the front end site design including the modules?

Email collect

Is email address collection baked into the product.

Native forms

Can you add lead or sign up forms using functionality in the product.

Integrations

The number of native integrations with other services.

Native Stripe

Is Stripe functionality baked into the product?

Custom Domain

Can you add a custom domain to your landing page?

Insert custom code

Can you insert custom code at a global level?

Ease

Ease of setup and ease of ongoing use. From my own experience.

Support

A rating on support quality from my own experience.

What tools didn't you compare?

I didn't compare Webflow or Bubble. These tools are closer to full-blown website builders and therefore not built purely for landing page optimisation. You might want to review them too. I also haven't yet reviewed WordPress landing page themes like Elementor, Thrive and Divi - although I may add these soon.


When should I build my startup's landing page?

Now. If you have an idea, if you're talking about it, or pitching it, you should have a landing page. Why? You want a space for people to register, to find out more, and to prove your seriousness about the project.

Some startups build an audience even before finishing their product. Building your landing page will also help you start to frame how you present your product to your buyer persona.


What next?

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