Website Builder News: Our 2023 Recap

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As we kick off 2024, we wanted to reflect on all of the amazing website builder updates and new tools released over the last year. From huge feature rollouts to fresh AI tools, 2023 packed a punch.

Our team has reviewed the hottest industry news from 2023 and we’ve collected our top picks to share with you. By no means does this cover everything we found exciting last year, but you can read all of our news stories in detail if you want to find out more. Let’s dive right in!

Shopify Black Friday

Shopify's interactive Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend page showing real-time sales

One of our most timely news pieces from 2023 covered Shopify’s record-breaking Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. When it comes to ecommerce website builders, Shopify is the best on the market, so we were pleased to read that Shopify merchants broke a new record with $9.3 billion in sales over the weekend. And that’s not all – thousands of stores had their best sales day ever, while over 17,500 businesses secured their very first sale with Shopify.

It really demonstrates how Shopify leads in the ecommerce sector and the difference it makes to small business owners.

Headshot of WBE's Managing Editor Lucile Michaut
Lucile Michaut Managing Editor

WordPress Plugin Vulnerability

Ultimate Member plugin in WordPress library with a download button

Unfortunately, the news can’t always be positive – in June 2023, over 200,000 WordPress accounts faced a security threat when Ultimate Member, a popular membership plugin, was hacked. The exploit gave hackers access to admin-level information and users were advised to uninstall the plugin. The news was a real blow to customer trust given WordPress’ reliance on third-party apps and plugins, but the vulnerability was resolved by July.

I like the piece because I got to cover something that could have directly impacted our readers’ lives.

headshot of Sam Jagger
Sam Jagger Senior Writer

Wix Studio

Wix Studio homepage with a button inviting users to "start creating"

Wix, our top-rated website builder, launched Wix Studio in 2023. The fresh design solution combines AI, code, and Wix’s existing design tools, giving users (particularly designers, freelancers, and agencies) total creative control when it comes to website creation and management. While this piece of news is more relevant for agencies and advanced designers, Wix Studio is one of the most impressive products to roll out last year.

Wix already gives users so much creative freedom when designing a website, so the introduction of Wix Studio really helps to elevate Wix above its competition. Game-changing updates like this are why we recommend the builder time and time again. 

emma ryan author bio
Emma Ryan Senior Writer

2023 AI Updates

Using Shopify Magic to generate a product description for a t-shirt

2023 was the year of AI, and that’s no exception when it comes to website builders. Now, we couldn’t narrow down our favorite specific feature – there were simply too many and they’ve all been interesting! We saw GoDaddy unveil an AI prompt library to help business owners with content creation, Shopify Magic which generates copy such as product descriptions, Wix’s AI site generator, and much more.

This year we’ve seen a number of exciting AI updates to the top platforms, which can enhance your website’s functionality, security, and performance. This ensures a competitive online presence, attracts customers, and allows businesses to thrive in the dynamic digital landscape. 

Headshot of Heleana Neil
Heleana Neil Commercial Content Editor

Shopify’s One Page Checkout

Shopify's one page checkout promo graphics

Shopify’s one-page checkout rolled out in October 2023, streamlining the overall checkout process and aiming to get more customers over the finish line when it comes to sales. By optimizing and personalizing the page, business owners can engage with their customers effectively and help reduce the possibility of abandoned carts. Not only does the new one-page checkout automate the payment and billing address section, but it also includes guest checkout to help speed things along.

I think a feature like this will be so important to users who are selling and will help make the buying process much more seamless and ultimately help them to increase their revenue and conversion rate. 

Headshot of Ollie Simpson
Ollie Simpson Research Executive

Squarespace Refresh

Squarespace Refresh 2023 interactive page

Squarespace made a big announcement in 2023 with the latest installment of Squarespace Refresha showcase of the latest features and upcoming tools on the platform. Some of the most notable updates to mention include Squarespace Payments (a native payment solution) and Client Invoicing (to help improve workflows for business owners), as well as improvements to Squarespace’s AI offering.

It’s so nice getting clarity on what the builder’s working on and prioritizing, and seeing them committing to new features. It’s just an exciting feeling of what’s to come!

lucy carney
Lucy Carney Content Manager

Those are just a few of our favorite product updates and announcements from 2023, but what was your favorite new website builder feature? We covered over 90 stories last year, so make sure to check out our dedicated news page to see if you missed anything.

Written by:
emma ryan author bio
Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.

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