TLDR: Wix is the best website builder overall. Their platform offers hassle free, no-code, drag and drop website creation that is accessible to anyone. Used by over 100 million people across 190 countries – the platform has been tried and tested by many. With it you can build anything from single single page sites to full ecommerce stores.
When the internet was invented, website creation was esoteric to say the least. Only the geekiest of the geeky knew how to do it. Back then, most people would have trouble logging on to the internet.
Nowadays, the internet is ubiquitous and widespread.
Web development has also followed suit with a host of website builders.
In fact there are now 104 different website builder platforms.
With so much choice, it’s often hard for those just starting out to get a sense of what the best choice is for them.
Luckily, I’ve developed this guide to bring to light the top website builders for beginners. But before diving into the list – we first need to understand – what exactly are website builders?
What Are Website Builders?
Website builders are online tools that allow anyone to easily build, maintain and manage a website without knowing how to write a single line of code.
These builders often abstract away the complicated functions such as website hosting, domain name setup and migrations allowing you to focus on the most important features – content and branding.
There are nearly 1.8 billion live websites today – this astronomical amount is due in part to the accessibility that these website builders offer.
These website builders have levelled the playing field for non-techies and allowed anyone to easily set up a website and share their idea and product with the world.
It’s also made the playing field much more competitive – this makes it all the more important to choose the right tool for the job.
What Are The Best Website Builders?
The best website builder depends on the purpose of your website.
If you are building a personal portfolio then a simple one page site would be best in which case Squarespace would be the most suitable.
If you want to create an ecommerce store then consider Shopify.
Whereas, if you want to create a blog then WordPress.org may be the best solution.
It’s important to find the right tool for the job.
Knowing about the different website builders, their weaknesses and their strengths will go a long way in helping you pick.
You don’t want to be using a hammer when a screwdriver is the best tool.
It’s also important that you understand your technical capabilities.
If you hate the sight of code then choosing a website builder with an easy and intuitive drag and drop editor is the best way to go.
If you are a HTML and CSS ninja then you can go for more sophisticated content management systems (CMS) that allow you to fine tune and customize your website to your liking.
Generally speaking, we look at these features when deciding:
- Pricing (if they have a free tier they get extra points)
- Best for small businesses
- Beginner friendliness of interface
- SEO capabilities
- Online store features
- Ecosystem of third party apps
- Quality of support
Let’s head straight into the list.
1. Wix – Best Overall
Since it was launched in 2006, Wix has gained immense popularity as a budget-friendly drag-and-drop website builder.
It is used by over 100 million people across 190 countries.
Wix offers a hassle-free way of building a website within minutes.
You don’t need to expertise in web hosting or domain management because the Wix platform manages of all of this for you.
Wix offers 100s of free templates ideal for restaurants, small businesses, online stores and artists. The templates are all optimized for mobile devices. This is important because 73% of ecommerce traffic today is from mobile devices.
Furthermore, you can add non native functionality to your website via the external apps in the Wix App Market.
Working with Wix editor is a easy and you get numerous intuitive tools like animated texts and photo filters.
Everything is done for you. All you need to do is customize your website to your liking.
- Over 500 stunning templates
- Complete design freedom
- SEO friendly
- All-inclusive App Market with powerful web apps
- Advanced design features
- Huge media library of stock photos
- Unlimited fonts
- Automatic mobile optimization
- Easy-to-use editor with a side menu for adding apps and images
- Remarkable ‘Help Feature’ that includes a searchable knowledge base
- Built-in marketing tools
- Easy integration with over 40 secure payment gateways
- Automatic website backups
- Not as customizable as other CMSs due to Wix’s push for simplicity
- You may have to spend more on third party apps for scalability
You can use Wix for free for as long as you want.
You will, however, need to pay for professional features such as a unique domain name and ecommerce features.
The premium plans range from “Connect Domain” which goes for $4.50/month to “VIP” which costs $24.50/month.
2. Zyro – Best Drag and Drop Editor
Zyro was founded in 2019, and it didn’t take long for it to become a user favorite when it comes to website builders.
Both individuals looking for a dazzling personal site and companies that need a top-quality ecommerce platform will love this tool.
What makes Zyro unique is its simplicity. With a 1-minute registration, you can start building the website immediately.
The drag and drop interface is intuitive and easy to use for beginners.
Experienced users will also appreciate this editor since they can make the required changes quickly.
You begin by choosing from over 80 templates in different categories, such as Business, Portfolio, or Resume.
Each design was crafted by professional designers and is mobile-friendly. It is possible to customize everything from page names and URLs to general website settings.
- Available in 10+ languages
- Drag and drop website building system
- More than 80 templates in six different categories
- Mobile-friendly site designs
- Easy to change page names and URLs
- Add SEO titles and descriptions
- Multiple payment methods accepted
- Intuitive and easy to use website builder
- Templates are designer-crafted
- SSL technology keeps your site secure
- Suitable for ecommerce businesses
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited bandwidth in the free version
- Premium plans are the only way to remove ads
You can use the Zyro website builder for free, but that comes with limitations. The platform will place ads on your site, and you won’t be able to use ecommerce or advanced features.
Storage space and bandwidth are limited with the Free (500 MB each) and the Basic plan (1 GB of storage + 3 GB of bandwidth), which costs $1.99/month.
The Unleashed pricing plan is only $3.49/month, and it removes ads and offers a free domain for a year. You can also use advanced features, including but not limited to Google Analytics and Messenger Live Chat.
The standard Ecommerce option costs $14.99/month while the Ecommerce+ is priced at $21.99/month and comes with features like Instagram Store and Facebook Shop.
3. Squarespace – Best for Editing on the Go
Squarespace was established in 2003 by Anthony Casalena, a student of the University of Maryland at the time. Today, this NYC-based company has over 1,000 employees, and has helped thousands of users create their websites.
You can try the platform’s premium features with a two-week trial. Once you register, you get access to a user-friendly dashboard.
From there, it is possible to edit pages, fonts, animations, and other site features. The builder seems like a great choice for bloggers since it offers a simple WYSIWYG interface.
The only thing to watch out for is that headlines serve as meta titles, which is a minor SEO restriction.
Squarespace offers exceptional support for mobile devices. Users can see both mobile and desktop design previews from their dashboard.
The platform offers Android and iOS apps, which simplify adding posts and managing websites on the go.
This can be great if you are not near a PC and you need to publish an important announcement.
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Wide range of templates available
- Everything you need for an e-commerce platform
- Customize websites with fonts, animations, etc.
- Edit websites on the go with mobile apps
- 24/7 customer support
- Dashboard is beginner-friendly
- Editing on the go is useful
- Free custom domain with every premium package
- Desktop and mobile previews both available
- Minor SEO limitations with headlines turning into meta titles
- Advanced premium plans are not that cheap
Squarespace offers four different plans:
- Personal – the cost is $12 per month, and you get all the basic features, including unlimited storage and bandwidth, a wide range of templates, and basic website metrics.
- Business – advanced site analytics and credits for Google AdWords are a great way to jump-start your online business for only $18 per month.
- Basic Commerce – for $26 per month, you get an integrated e-commerce platform to sell unlimited products without a transaction fee.
- Advanced Commerce – the most expensive plan costs $40 per month. In return, you get commerce APIs, abandoned cart recovery, and an option to sell subscriptions.
You can pay for all these plans monthly or annually.
4. Weebly – Best Free Plan
Although Weebly has been around for over a decade, it underwent a major change in 2018 when the US financial giant Square acquired it for $365 million.
Thanks to it’s partnership with Square, Weebly has become the perfect choice for selling items online.
You can use Square and third-party providers for payments, and ecommerce features offered will cover all your needs.
The platform doesn’t limit your storage or bandwidth with premium plans. The wizard will help you go through the initial settings and pick a suitable template in seconds.
Weebly offers an intuitive and fast editor.
Thanks to the navigation on the left, it is easy to choose the sections to include on a page.
You can use the WYSIWYG editor to edit texts, images, and other details to ensure everything looks perfect.
- Free and premium plans available
- SSL certificate for maximum security
- Numerous customization options
- A fast and reliable editor
- Supports payments via Square and third-party providers
- Free domain with some premium plans
- Mobile preview allows seeing how the site looks on portable devices
- Easy to set up websites and ecommerce stores
- No learning curve with the editor
- Phone support only available for Pro and Business plans
- With the free plan, you need to use Weebly subdomain and brandin
Here is the kicker – you don’t have to pay a single cent to use Weebly! The free version offers 500 MB of storage and an SSL security certificate.
You can use a custom domain as a part of the Connect plan, but that costs $5/month, and ads will still appear on the site.
Removing the ads and getting extra features is possible with these premium plans:
Pro – the price is $12/month, and you get unlimited storage, advanced statistics, and ecommerce features. The plan also includes a free domain and $100 credit for Google Ads.
Business – for $25/month, this plan includes everything from the Pro package plus additional ecommerce options. That covers coupon codes, gift cards, built-in labels, item reviews, and inventory management.
5. Shopify – Best for Ecommerce
According to statistics, Shopify has more than 800,000 clients at the moment.
Over the years, it has become a prominent platform for ecommerce businesses.
If you plan on launching an online store, Shopify is the perfect builder for you.
You don’t have to sell immediately – thanks to the extensive range of options and features, you can start by designing a website.
Not all templates are free, but the library is extensive, and you shouldn’t have a problem picking a suitable design. Adding a blog post or page only takes seconds, and no customization is off-limits.
The Shopify app store offers hundreds of applications to improve customer support, marketing, store design, or sales.
The customer support is helpful, and you can even hire trusted experts to take your business to the next level.
- SSL certificate included
- Complete website + ecommerce experience
- Add products, pages, and blog posts
- Reliable customer support
- Connect with Facebook and other social channels
- Even the basic plan offers a generous ecommerce feature list
- Numerous customization options
- Store with hundreds of apps available
- No credit card required for the trial
- Not all store themes are free
- URL structure limits on-page SEO
You don’t need a credit card for a 14-day free trial offered by Shopify. Once those two weeks expire, these premium plans are available:
Basic – for $29/month, you can add unlimited products to your online store. The plan allows two staff accounts, inventory management with up to four locations, and even abandoned cart recovery.
Shopify – this plan offers professional reports to assist with growing your business, more attractive credit card rates, and shipping discounts. It costs $79/month.
Advanced Shopify – for $299/month, you can add up to 15 staff accounts and 8 inventory management locations. You can also use a report builder and enjoy the best rates for shipping and payments.
6. Hubspot Content Management System – Best Uptime
Hubspot is essentially a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, but they recently added a CMS hub.
The creators guarantee maximum uptime since everything is delivered via a content delivery network.
They also added an SSL certificate to keep your website safe.
You can choose between different website themes, and the designers made sure all templates are mobile-friendly.
It is possible to create landing pages by yourself, and it’s worth noting that the drag and drop builder is easy to use.
The tool offers A/B testing, reporting, and SEO suggestions to improve traffic.
You can use a wide range of marketing and other utilities to optimize your online business in client communication and other areas.
Compared to Shopify, Hubspot Content Management System doesn’t seem to offer an intuitive interface.
It will take time to understand all features, but many will find this all-around CRM tool worth their time and effort.
- Drag and drop builder
- SEO suggestions for optimizing pages
- 99.99% uptime guaranteed
- SSL certificate included
- Smart reporting for increasing traffic
- CDN guarantees maximum uptime
- A/B testing can assist in finding the perfect design
- Use existing templates or design pages from scratch
- Wide range of marketing and other tools
- Not the most intuitive builder out there
- Expensive premium plans
Hubspot CMS offers a 14-day free trial, but once that finishes, you need to pick a premium plan. Compared to One.com and other simple solutions, this platform is expensive, but it offers a lot in return.
The Professional plan costs $240/month, and you get an intuitive editor, numerous themes, and functions that assist in increasing traffic and growing leads.
Advanced users can pick the Enterprise plan for $900/month. This tier adds membership options, performance monitoring, code alerts, adaptive testing, and other high-end features.
7. BigCommerce – Best for Large Online Stores
BigCommerce might not be as popular as Shopify, but it is worth considering if launching an ecommerce business.
The platform is secure, and even offers a custom SSL on premium plans.
The feature that makes BigCommerce stands out is affordability.
You will get unlimited staff accounts, multiple payment gateways, and other advanced features with the Standard package.
There are no transaction fees, although the platform charges extra once you cross certain sale limits.
The website builder is beginner-friendly and easy to use. Page loading speeds are exceptional, and everything works flawlessly.
The library is filled with different themes, but some are quite expensive.
With a high degree of customization options, it shouldn’t be hard to tailor everything to your preference.
- A secure platform with an SSL certificate
- Multiple payment gateways
- Beginner-friendly builder
- No transaction fees
- Reliable customer support
- Optimized for ecommerce websites
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Fast page loading speeds
- Intuitive editor makes it easy to add and edit products
- Additional charges for successful stores
- Some themes are expensive
Pricing might seem a bit complicated at first, but you essentially choose between four premium plans:
Standard – the basic paid option offers excellent value for the money. You get unlimited storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts, as well as support for gift cards, discounts, and coupon codes. The price is $29.95/month.
Plus – cross-platform support for items in the cart and abandoned cart recovery can be useful for frequent buyers. This plan costs $79.95/month and also includes grouping customers.
Pro – custom SSL and increased sale limits are among the features available in this plan priced at $299.95/month.
Enterprise – if you run a large ecommerce, you might benefit from a plan tailored to your business.Before choosing a plan, every new user is eligible for a 15-day free trial.
8. Duda – Best for Agencies
Duda was established in 2010 in California, but also opened branches in Israel, United Kingdom, and Brazil over the years.
They have more than 400,000 business clients from around the world and are famous for their agency solutions.
Duda offers 90+ responsive templates that look great on both PCs and portable devices.
While the designs look great, you don’t have much creative freedom. For example, Weebly allows you to place a section or container anywhere on the page. On the other hand, Duda has certain structural guidelines that users must follow.
Reliability is what makes this tool stand out from other website builders.
It uses Amazon Web Services to host sites, which ensures maximum uptime and scalability.
Agencies love this platform since the site commenting feature simplifies client communication.
- 90+ mobile-friendly templates
- Easy to use editor
- All sites hosted on AWS
- 99.99% uptime
- Developer tools and API support included
- Reliable service and maximum uptime
- Excellent choice for beginners
- App store filled with useful tools
- The site commenting feature is useful for agencies
- Not all premium plans include phone and chat support
- Less creative freedom than when using similar tools
Duda doesn’t offer a free plan, although you can try the platform for two weeks. Once the trial expires, you can pick between Basic, Team, and Agency premium plans.
The Basic version costs $14/month, and it hosts a single website on AWS. You can count on e-mail support, but if you need more, the Team plan allows you to contact customer agents over the phone or chat.
For $22/month, the Team version also includes extra management features.
Those with multiple websites will appreciate the opportunity to build up to four sites with the Agency plan. It costs $44/month and allows you to use dynamic pages and a widget builder.
9. Pixpa – Best for Photographers
Pixpa has been in business since 2012, and it focuses on creators with a special emphasis on photographers.
The platform stands out with the option to create image galleries and mobile apps.
The themes are mobile-friendly, but you can attract more users by creating a beautiful app with your new photo collection.
Thanks to the ecommerce features provided by Pixpa, you can sell images via this platform.
Depending on the plan, you can also add up to 1,000 products to your store. Premium options are affordable, but it is a shame that checkouts can be done via your site only if you choose the Business plan.
Unlike Squarespace, Pixpa’s website builder doesn’t feature a drag and drop interface. Instead, you use menus to add and remove items from pages.
While that is a bit of a hassle, the builder is reliable and simple to use.
- More than 30 templates available
- Build image galleries and mobile apps
- Ecommerce features included
- 24/7 customer support
- SEO page management
- Excellent for selling photos
- Suggesting templates based on your niche
- Useful set of marketing tools
- Affordable premium plans
- Only the Business plan allows checkouts on your domain
- No drag and drop interface for the builder
Pixpa offers a 15-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all premium plans.
The basic Personal plan costs $7/month includes a free domain name, SSL security, and SEO features, but it comes with some restrictions. For example, you can only add five products to the online store and publish up to 15 galleries or pages.
You can remove these limitations with the Expert plan, which costs $10/month. This option also includes creating up to 25 mobile gallery apps.
If you need more applications, choose the business variant. It costs $16/month and allows adding up to 1,000 products to your store. Additionally, it is the only option that includes checkouts on your domain, which can be important for gaining users’ trust.
10. Hibu – Best for SEO
Do you need a website, but don’t want the hassle of using a site-building tool?
If that is the case, consider Hibu, a digital marketing company that has been designing websites for two decades.
The best thing about Hibu is that they require minimal effort from clients. All it takes is contacting them and telling your requirements.
Based on that, they will design a modern website suited to your niche. The designers use modern templates, and everything is optimized for Google. This increases your chances of positioning high in search engine rankings.
The experts from Hibu are skilled, friendly and helpful. They will answer any question you might have, and the communication is smooth.
The downside is that you have limited customization options because you won’t be doing the actual building.
This platform isn’t the best choice for ecommerce businesses since your store might lack some important features.
Although it minimizes the hassle and guarantees premium SEO, be careful when deciding if it is a smart investment for your website.
- Smart websites optimized for Google
- Themes suited to your niche
- Ongoing site maintenance
- All-around digital marketing services
- Customer support
- Minimum hassle on your end
- Modern websites up to the latest standards
- Sites designed by experts
- Reliable customer support and smooth communication
- Restricted customization options
- Not the best choice for ecommerce sites
Hibu doesn’t list service prices on their website. Instead, they require you to fill a form with basic information, and they will contact you. Once you talk to the company experts, they will offer a customized price for the services you need.
According to the information we discovered, the cost ranges from $100 to $500/month or more. The good news is that you will get a team of digital marketing professionals to take your company forward.
11. Jimdo – Best for European Market
Jimdo is a German-based company, which is great if you need a website focused on the EU market.
If security is a concern, you can rest easy knowing it complies with GDPR and other data privacy regulations of the European Union.
If your company is stationed or plans on expanding its business to Europe, this service is a smart choice.
Websites built on this platform are secured with the SSL encryption.
The registration process is simple, and the drag and drop interface is intuitive. Templates are beautiful, but editing comes with minor structural limitations.
However, you get free Android and iOS apps.
Thanks to these editing tools, editing your site on the go is a piece of cake.
Jimdo comes with bandwidth restrictions. It is not as limiting as Webnode, but you risk the site going offline if traffic increases, which can harm reputation and sales.
Choosing the Unlimited option removes those limits, but this plan’s price is quite high.
- Drag and drop builder
- Free and premium plans
- Simple registration process
- SSL encryption
- Android and iOS mobile apps
- Excellent for sites focused on the EU market
- Entirely free
- Easy to change SEO elements
- Mobile apps allow using on the go
- Free version doesn’t include customer support
- Bandwidth limitations seem restrictive
Jimdo has different pricing for websites and online stores.
For websites, you get 500 MB of storage, 2 GB bandwidth, and up to five pages for free. If you go with the Start plan, you increase these limits to 5 GB of space and 10 GB of bandwidth for $9/month.
Those who choose the Grow option ($15/month) can create up to 50 pages, but it is only the Unlimited option that removes all restrictions.
That will cost you $39/month, but you also get a professional design analysis by experts from Jimdo.
The Basic plan for online stores costs $15/month, and is commission-free.
The next step is the Business option, which is priced at $19/month and enables different product layouts.
Finally, the VIP plan secures unlimited storage plus priority customer support for $39/month.
12. Strikingly – Best One Page Builder
The great thing about Strikingly is that it is an all-around website builder.
While it doesn’t excel in any category, it is great for personal and business sites. The template library is filled with themes that fit various niches.
All Strikingly designs are mobile-friendly and look beautiful on both PC and portable devices.
Strikingly comes with an intuitive editor that offers creative freedom. You can edit practically any page section, and add new items in seconds.
Inserting contact forms and social feeds is simple, and the app store offers additional functional improvements.
Plus, if you want to build a single-page website, you can do that in minutes.
Would you like to launch an ecommerce business? If you are only starting, Strikingly is an affordable option you should consider.
It is a shame that there is no unlimited storage option.
If you outgrow the space offered by this platform, the only option remaining is to look for an alternative, and migrating a site is a big hassle.
- Intuitive editor
- Ecommerce functionality
- HTTPS for increased security
- Social feeds and contact forms
- 24/7 customer support
- Reliable and easy to use editor
- App store offers handy solutions for site improvement
- No transaction fees for selling products
- Useful website statistics
- No unlimited storage option
- Phone support only available in English
If you are fine with using a subdomain, Strikingly can be free forever. This plan is better than the Jimdo’s free version since you get 2.5x more bandwidth (5 GB compared to 2 GB). However, you can only add a single product per site.
Alternatively, choose a Limited plan that costs $8/month to receive a free domain or connect a custom one. “Limited” is a good choice of word since the restriction is placed at five products.
The Pro plan priced at $16/month increases the limit to 300 products, which is acceptable. It also includes a site membership, mobile action buttons, and access to the app store.
Finally, the VIP plan (priced at $49/month) will grant an option to send newsletters and receive priority customer support.
13. WordPress.org – Most Flexible
WordPress.org offers the same content management system as WordPress.com.
The main difference is that this service allows downloading the WordPress CMS and installing it on your site.
The creators update the system regularly with bug fixes and improvements, which means it meets the latest security standards.
The biggest advantage of WordPress.org is the exceptional level of customization offered.
First, it will be easy to find a theme regardless of your niche. You can choose between simplistic and complex designs, and all templates are responsive and highly adjustable.
Overall, the dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. It takes a while to figure out all options available, but it will be worth it. Once you get the hang of it, you will love the unique look of your website.
WordPress.org mentions that there are over 55,000 plugins to edit your website.
You can install analytic tools to assist in increasing traffic, forums to improve community engagement, or an entire online store to sell products.
The choice is up to you, but be ready to pay for some plugins. WP also supports media management and makes it easy to add photos and videos to blog posts and pages.
- Free open-source CMS
- Download in a couple of clicks
- New versions released regularly
- Intuitive and user-friendly dashboard
- Responsive themes for various niches
- Extremely versatile and suitable for different site types
- Wide range of themes and plugins available
- Easy to use and highly customizable
- Powerful media management
- After downloading, you need to install it manually
- More complicated than other website builders
Here is the great news – WordPress is completely free.
It only takes a couple of clicks to initiate the download. From there, you will need to upload and install it manually.
The installation only takes five minutes, and the instructions will guide you through the process.
However, you might encounter some problems if you don’t have basic hosting or tech knowledge.
14. One.com – Best Pricing
One.com was founded in Denmark in 2002, and it is primarily a web hosting service.
The website building tool is an additional feature available to those who purchase a hosting plan over this site.
Users can choose from various designs listed in different categories. Although the platform offers a user-friendly builder, it comes with a learning curve.
That is because you have plenty of options to customize a website. Apart from texts and images, you can add contact, social, and other buttons in a couple of clicks.
The best thing about One.com is that you don’t need coding or SEO knowledge to use it.
From the main menu, it takes seconds to insert sections like Services or About Us.
This simplifies website customization and allows tailoring any design to your needs.
Once you insert vertical or horizontal menus, boxes of various shapes, and other details, your site can look completely different from the initial template.
- Drag and drop editor
- Responsive designs suitable for any device
- Mobile and desktop previews available
- Google Ads and Facebook Pixel supported
- Add contact and social buttons
- Free building tool with a website plan
- Intuitive editor with simple navigation
- Easy to insert different sections
- No option to use without purchasing a website plan
- Comes with a learning curve
One.com is free with any website plan purchased via this platform. You even have the option to try the building tool for two weeks before buying anything.
Apart from the Standard version, users can pay extra for the Premium plan. It is free for the first year and costs $4.99/month after that. Users will get access to premium templates and photo library, as well as HD image support.
15. Webnode – Best for Multi-Language Sites
If you are a beginner learning how website building works, you will love Webnode.
Its basic version is entirely free and offers everything you need to start.
The registration process only requires an e-mail address and takes less than 30 seconds.
You start by picking from more than 50 templates. Thanks to its library of modern and beautiful designs, finding a suitable option shouldn’t be a problem.
Regardless of your niche, it will be easy to find suitable templates since they split their library into eight categories.
It only takes a couple of minutes to feel at home with the Webnode wizard.
Users can edit pages, SEO settings, as well as check out website statistics and add different languages. Those with visitors from different countries will appreciate the multi-language support.
- More than 40 languages available
- 8+ template categories
- Edit page SEO settings
- Google Analytics and AdSense supported
- Up to 100 e-mail accounts available
- A completely free option available
- Launch a website in minutes
- Browse popular and recently added templates
- Excellent for multi-language sites
- Beautiful website designs
- Premium options come with limited storage
- Some paid plans include ads, too
Webnode is completely free with 100 MB of storage and 1 GB of bandwidth monthly. The Limited premium plan costs $3.95/month and secures additional space and premium support.
You can go with a Mini plan to get an e-mail account and background video feature for $5.95/month.
If you want additional options and an ad-free website, choose Standard for $11.95/month or Profi for $19.95/month. The latter comes with unlimited bandwidth, but still seems expensive for a plan with restricted storage.
The platform also offers Standard and Profi plans tailored to ecommerce businesses. These cost the same but include store analytics, conversion tracking, and other convenient features.
16. WordPress.com – Most Popular Builder
Did you know that more than 70 million websites use WordPress? That is 37% of all sites on the internet.
Why is this content management system so popular?
For starters, it offers incredible versatility.
Do you want a dazzling biography site or need a simple small business solution? Perhaps you prefer a massive ecommerce platform? Whatever the requirements, WordPress.com is the right choice.
You can choose between a large number of themes, although some are expensive.
The editor comes with a learning curve due to the sheer number of features offered.
From changing the colors to installing plugins for improved functionality, with WordPress.com you can tailor every detail to your needs.
The pre-installed SSL certificate guarantees optimal security, and the free Jetpack plugin will suggest how to improve on-page SEO.
- Reliable and user-friendly CMS
- Huge selection of themes
- Plugins for improving site functionality
- Tips for enhancing SEO
- Ecommerce features in premium plans
- Generous storage available in the free plan
- Huge selection of themes
- Beginner-friendly and easy to use
- Pre-installed SSL certificate
- Premium themes and plugins can be expensive
- Comes with a learning curve
The free plan is limiting, but offers 3 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth. Those features only make it better than the premium options offered by Strikingly.
If you want to upgrade, these plans are available:
Personal – you pay $4/month to remove ads and receive a free domain for a year, as well as unlock paid newsletter and subscriber-only content.
Premium – it is billed $8/month and gives access to unlimited premium themes to pick a dazzling design.
Business – this plan will cost you $25/month. It includes SEO tools and options to install plugins, upload themes, and use automated backups.
Ecommerce – as the word suggests, this $45/month plan is for online stores. The system accepts payments in over 60 countries and is integrated with premium shipping carriers.
17. Site123 – Best for Landing Pages
Although it has only been around since 2015, Site123 has become a favorite of many users.
This platform proves that the secret often lies in simplicity.
It offers a beginner-friendly editor perfect for those only entering the website building world.
The wizard takes you through three steps of creating a site. You can pick between a personal and business site, or design a landing page with a CTA button. It only takes seconds to become comfortable with the intuitive editor.
Users can change fonts and colors on the site, as well as add pages and SEO elements.
Site123 can create a standard text page, as well as pricing, testimonial, and other sections.
Each option comes with a different layout to meet your preference, but creative freedom seems a bit limited.
Whatever you do, you have to stay within the structure provided by the platform.
- Three steps to creating a website
- Simple and intuitive editor
- Edit themes, colors, and fonts
- Add pages and choose layouts
- Ecommerce features
- Excellent choice for newbies
- Easy to add different sections
- Multi-language websites
- Different page layouts add to the versatility
- Order restrictions with some plans
- Layout limitations in the editor
Premium Site123 plans increase bandwidth restrictions, allow plugin installation, and remove ads.
The Basic version costs $7.8/month and grants a free domain for 12 months.
You can upgrade to the Advanced plan ($13.8/month) for two mailboxes and 1,000 mailing list messages.
The creators suggest the Professional option for ecommerce stores. It unlocks credit card gateways and allows 500 orders monthly. This plan also includes support for additional three languages and costs $19.8/month.
The Gold option removes order restrictions and adds abandoned cart recovery and other features for $25.8/month.
The pricing varies – if you purchase the service for three years immediately, you might get a better price than for a three-month-long plan. Additionally, Site123 ocassionally offer time-sensitive and other discounts for new users.
What Is The Best Website Builder For Ecommerce?
With ecommerce on the uptrend, it’s important to pick the right tool for the job. When looking at a website builder for ecommerce tools, the best one feature payment integrations with multiple providers, coupon management, product page templates as well as logistic fulfilment features.
I’ve profiled the top three website builders which I believe are most suitable for ecommerce. If you want a more in depth analysis please see my list of the best ecommerce platforms.
I’ve put Wix first on the list because of how quickly you can get a site up and running with their library of stock photography and designer made templates.
Wix’s interface is extremely user friendly and intuitive – even more so than Shopify and BigCommerce.
They also have a very large selection of 500 ecommerce website themes.
Furthermore, you get a free custom domain name when you sign up.
It is easy to connect to multiple payment providers and add products to your store.
Automatic compatibility for mobile also means you won’t have to worry about fiddling with your site design too much.
BigCommerce is #2 because of it’s no transaction fee and flexibility.
They are primarily a WordPress plugin so in comparison to Wix and Shopify, it is very easy to optimize your SEO as well as site speed since you can leverage WordPress’ extensive library of plugins.
BigCommerce is perfect for ecommerce sites who want to scale and do not want any hidden fees in the process.
It is tailored to those serious about ecommerce and on higher tiers you even get access to your own industry specific design consultant to help you modify your storefront.
My number #3 pick for an ecommerce store – their interface and entire platform are designed around selling products online.
They have a fantastic third party library of apps and integrations with multiple dropshipping suppliers as well.
With a large choice of elegantly designed free and premium themes, it is very easy to get up and running with Shopify.
As a matter of fact, Shopify is the platform I used to scale one of my stores to $800 in revenue a day.
So if you are looking for a time tested and proven ecommerce website builder, look no further than Shopify.
What Is The Best Website Builder For Small Business?
When running a small business, you need a website that is reliable, stable and secure. If you are processing customer information, you do not want this to leak out.
For smaller businesses, SEO features are important as you would typically be advertising at a local vs national level.
Hence, look for platforms with native integrations to Google My Business as and Google Search Console.
It’s important to determine who is visiting your website and what terms they are using to land there.
Features to look out for include integration maps, social media plugins, photo galleries, coupon sharing.
Many sites I’ve mentioned on this list have these features but there are a few which stand out.
I previously mentioned Wix as my top pick for ecommerce and it takes the trophy in this competition as well because of its SEO capabilities and high quality themes.
It’s easy to connect both Google My Business and Google Search Console.
It even has a built in scheduler so that you can take bookings inside the website.
You can use it’s drag and drop editor to create custom popup forms, quizzes and surveys to engage your viewers.
Wix even has integrated invoicing features if you are a B2B business.
It is a jack of all trades and is beginner friendly and intuitive.
I highly recommend it for any small business who is serious in establishing a strong, long-term web presence.
Second on the list is Squarespace – their one standout feature is their library of custom designed templates that are neatly categorized.
This makes it easy to get up and running. They also have their own inbuilt analytics suite – so if you aren’t a fan of Google Analytics you could always use their dashboard.
If you are looking for a beautifully designed website out of the box that is easy to set up then look no further than Squarespace.
They are perfect for design oriented businesses such as agencies or art galleries – a lot of Squarespace’s default templates fit with the aesthetics of these businesses.
Out of all competitors on this list, Hibu has the strongest digital marketing features which is why it deserves a mention.
Within their platform you can easily manage a Google My Business listing and optimize keywords for the local area.
Because they are a bespoke service rather than a DIY platform, Hibu’s SEO professionals can help guide you on creating the best content that can rank on search engines.
Thus, even though Hibu is a slightly pricier option than Squarespace and Wix, you have a much higher chance of ranking and ultimately gaining more revenue long term.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Website Builder?
If you have a business idea or a blog you want to start, you don’t want to get bogged down by the technical details.
At the same time, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars outsourcing website building without knowing if your idea will take off.
Website builders allow you to start a website at a low cost and create elegant designs straight out of the bat – all without any coding expertise.
They adhere to web design best practices and remove the guesswork so you can focus on building your brand and creating quality content.
Here is a list of the key benefits of using website builders:
1. No Technical Skills Needed
Gone are the days of hardcoding your website from an HTML file. With website builders, all you need to do is sign up with them, select a plan and then build a website from their library of pre made templates.
Most website builders use intuitive drag and drop editors to make the user experience as smooth as possible.
For example, Wix uses a state of the art what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor.
Furthermore, you have access to persistent elements such as the header and footer which are available on each page. This means that you do not need to develop them again and again for each new page.
This vastly speeds up development time. You also don’t need to worry about custom code breaking your site because you won’t need to write any of it.
2. Pre Made Templates For Fast Development
The added bonus of using website builders is that you do not need a web designer.
Almost all the candidates mentioned on this list have field-tested pre made templates that are ready to go right off the bat.
This provides you with a great starting base and means that you do not need to design your site from scratch.
You simply need to pick a theme and edit it so that it suits your needs.
Instead of configuring margins, creating the header and footer from scratch and linking the relevant pages. With pre made templates you can just focus on changing the colors/fonts and modifying the logo and images.
If this is your cup of tea, Squarespace has the most extensive (and I believe highest quality) set of pre made templates for you to choose from and edit to your heart’s content.
3. Cloud Based File Management
Typically building a website requires you to host files your local storage. This means that you can only access files when you are on a specific computer.
Website builders fix this problem by hosting files on the cloud.
You can access your files anywhere and from any computer so long as you are connected to the internet.
Even if your computer breaks down you will not lose those files since they are saved on the website builder’s servers.
You won’t have to worry about files going missing and you can edit any file on the fly with whatever device you have thanks to this cloud based file management system.
4. Save Time – Build In Hours Not Months
If you want to build a website from scratch – expect to take a few weeks and even maybe a few months.
If you want to build a website using a website builder – expect it to take a few hours to a few days.
This is a huge order of magnitude in difference.
The saved time allows you to focus on more valuable activities such as marketing your site and building content to engage your readers.
Even if the project or idea doesn’t pan out in the end – it won’t be as bad.
You won’t have spent as much time so you can move on and focus on your next idea/initiative.
5. Cheaper Than Having A Dedicated Team
There is a time and place for a dedicated team – the start of a new website or blog is typically not one of them.
Unless you have a large lump sum of cash lying around, its often better to start with a budget solution such as a website builder.
Customization wise, if you want extra features such as email popups or backend analytics – you can get charged upwards of thousands of dollars if you are working with a contractor.
Contrast that to a few dollars a month via a third party plugin for website builders.
In certain instances, you may even be able to build your website for free.
Furthermore, in case there are any issues or functionality that you want to implement you could always contact their support team for free and ask for any guidance or recommendations.
6. Additional Functionality
Beyond the standard features, there are some website builders that feature extra functionality right off the bat.
Take the popular ecommerce builder Shopify – they market themselves as an online store front builder but also have functionality such as blogging.
Even their cheapest plan allows you to modify presets and styles, create interactive cards, edit on mobile and customize navigation bars.
They also have a huge library of free and paid third party apps to extend the functionality further.
Replicating this functionality from scratch would cost thousands and furthermore it would be difficult to scale this as your traffic increases.
7. Regular Maintenance & Updates
Once you have build your website, you need to ensure that the website platform and all associated plugins are maintained and updated to ensure stability and interoperability.
If you built a website from scratch, it would be very costly to continuously maintain and upgrade your site.
However, using website building platforms, you can leverage their dedicated technical support team to help you with any issues free of cost.
Third party plugin developers also typically have their own technical support staff (who you can reach out to for free) especially if the plugin is paid.
What Features Should I Look For In a Website Builder?
If you’ve read until here – you probably know that website builders come in all shapes and sizes. There are 5 features that you should pay attention to when selecting the best website builder:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Drag and drop editor
- Domain name integration
- Support speed
1. Mobile Responsiveness
Since July 2018, Google has factored mobile page load speed in their ranking algorithms.
In fact, Statista estimates that 52% of web traffic is on mobile.
This means that if you want to compete you will need a website that is mobile friendly and mobile optimized.
The first thing to check for is mobile compatibility of your website builder. They should allow you to see how your website looks on any device size. Furthermore, you should be able to edit the mobile layout to your liking.
2. What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor
The next feature to look out for is a WYSIWYG editor – this ensures that your editing and real time view of the website is consistent.
You should be able to move around text elements on the page easily, upload pictures and resize them, create navigation (header & footer) bars and insert dividers as well.
These editors should also allow you to create templates of pages as well as custom designs for individual pages (e.g. “About Us”).
All of this should be possible without you having to write a single line of code.
3. Domain Name & Hosting Integration
Domain names are URLs that show where your website lives. Like your home address but in the digital world.
This simplifies the setup of the website greatly. If you have an existing domain name, you can also import it into your website builder.
Templates allow you to speed up the development of your website. They control the look and feel of the website.
Most website builders even categorise their templates. For example, in Squarespace, they have templates for photography, online stores, blogs, podcasts, professional services and even events.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can stand on the shoulders of giants and use tried and tested templates proven to convert and engage.
5. Support Speed
This is more difficult to identify than other features but one that is equally important. Your website is bound to experience technical issues at a certain point in time.
Glitches and crashes even are inevitable but the bigger question is – how quickly can you get the site back up and running?
Prompt support is one thing you should look out for. Bonus points if they can be accessed via phone or live chat.
How Do You Use A Website Builder?
We’ve seen some of the benefits and features of using website builders. But how exactly should we use them. Here is a list of steps you can take to get started.
1. Understand Your Requirements
Before even selecting a website builder, it’s important to understand what your requirements are. You should have clear answers to these questions:
- How much am I willing to spend?
- What kind of site do I want to make?
- How technical am I? Can I code?
- How customizable do I want my site to be?
- How many visitors do I want to have?
- Will I bring on extra freelancers to help me?
With answers to these questions, you can make a more informed decision about what website builder to ultimately go for.
2. Select Your Website Builder
Now that you have identified and understood your requirements – the next step is to choose the most appropriate website builder. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible by providing options which are best for a specific use case.
Most website builders have a 14 day or 30 day free trial. You should make use of this and try them out first.
There is no substitute for first hand experience. Before choosing a website builder you should consider these factors:
- User friendliness
- Customer support quality
3. Pick A Pricing Plan
Once you have decided which platform you want to go with – you should now select a pricing plan which suits your budget and requirements. In the case of Wix, there are pricing plans for both website and business/ecommerce as seen below:
Each tier caters towards a different goal – if you just want a simple site then opting for the “Business Basic” or “Combo” would be the best option.
If you want to migrate an existing website with a lot of traffic and want personalized support then opting for the “Enterprise” solution would be preferable.
Since you have identified your requirements already you should be able to select the most appropriate plan easily.
4. Select Your Domain Name
Picking a domain name that resonates with your target audience is another key consideration. Try to pick something that is memorable – you can use this domain name generator to help you out.
Most website builders include both hosting and domain name registration.
Spend some time selecting a relevant domain name as this can be a make or break for your website – particularly if you are doing outreach.
5. Pick A Template
No need to start from scratch with website builders – I recommend going the route of choosing a template that best represents your brand.
Good templates feature attractive backdrops and entice potential users to scroll down further and find more information about your website.
Templates should have optimized webpages and layouts for both desktop and mobile with fast loading speeds.
They include persistent items such as header and footer navigation bars as well as page specific elements such as headings, text and images.
The best starting point is to look up categories of templates and select which ones most closely represent your website.
This makes the editing process much quicker since the essential elements are there.
For example, Squarespace has categorized their templates to make it easy.
Choosing the correct template is half the battle – the other half is ensuring that you tweak and edit it so that it is tailor made to your brand and business.
Using drag and drop builders allow you to prototype ideas without being a design expert. These builders should allow you to:
- Adjust the font size
- Add or remove pages
- Insert advanced blocks (e.g. accordion dropdown menus)
- Use third party plugins to extend functionality
- Select your colors
If you are looking for some inspiration in terms of color palette you can check out BrandColors which features top brands such as Adidas and CNN.
This should give you a good starting point.
Some website builders even provide official video tutorials to show how to edit and customize templates step by step.
6. Audit Your Website
Before launching your website, it’s important to do a thorough audit to make sure nothing has slipped through the cracks. This could involve:
- Checking for grammatical and spelling mistakes
- Testing your website with different browsers and devices
- Testing site speed (use tools such as GTMetrix for this)
- SEO optimization
- Testing payment gateways and automations (if you run an ecommerce site)
Beyond just doing the above, you can also ask close friends and family to provide you with an unbiased review of your website. Sometimes, they will be able to see errors that you do not see.
Website Builders FAQ
What is the cost of developing a website?
If you are using an agency and want custom development – expect the cost to be at least $1,000.
If you are using a website builder then monthly plans range between $4 to $50 month depending on the package you select.
This also comes with hosting. Another one off payment would be the domain name which would cost around $10 per year.
What is the monthly cost of maintaining a website?
You would be looking to pay between $4 and $50 per month for the website builder (hosting included) and $10 per year for the domain name.
All in all this would amount to around $5/month minimum for most packages.
This is exclusive of other third party add ons which typically have a monthly fee attached to them.
Is Wix better than WordPress?
Each of them have their own strengths.
Wix is much more user friendly than WordPress so if you are a complete novice and just need something simple then opt for Wix.
Wix also bundles in hosting and domain name in its offer so you don’t need to worry about setting them up separately. One of it’s main limitations is that it is not as customizable or scalable as a WordPress setup.
WordPress requires you to set up your own hosting and use a third party domain name – so more technical finesse is needed.
But you also have more control of the website. WordPress is ideal for setting up a blog or setting up a complex website that is likely to receive more traffic.
From an SEO perspective, WordPress also has better features with free third party plugins as Yoast which allows you to optimize meta descriptions and titles.
Is it possible to start a website for free?
Yes – but there are some limitations.
You can host your website on WordPress.com but you will not get your own URL.
On Wix, you can opt for the free plan but you will not get your own domain name.
I recommend to get at least the tier above free so that you have your own branded URL.
Does Google have a website editor?
Yes – you can use their free editor Google Sites.
It is very user friendly but I don’t recommend it if you are serious about your website.
In terms of extra functionality such as email popups and SEO, it is severely lacking compared to other solutions on this list.
Congratulations on reaching the end of the article. Hopefully you are more informed about the best website builder after reading this article. I’ve condensed 104 options into the best ones to help you make your final decision. To reiterate:
- If you want the best overall website builder then go for Wix
- If you want to build an ecommerce store then choose Shopify
- If you want the best pre made templates then go for Squarespace
Even if you don’t make the right choice, most platforms come with a free trial so it’s best to experiment before committing.
What did you end up choosing in the end? Let me know in the comments.