When you first decide to build a website for your business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is determining which platform is right for your company. The best website builder will enable you to design a professional website and not require a ton of time and effort on your part.
As you begin to research different content management systems (CMS) and website builders, you might be wondering, “What is the most popular website builder?” Read on and discover why WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world and determine if it’s the right platform to meet your needs.
Looking for the right fit for your business website needs? Check out our Best Website Builder Review to learn more.
The Most Popular Website Builders
Here, we've narrowed it down to the top five most popular website builders for small business owners. All of these are used by a large portion of the internet, and boast features that make it easy to build, scale, and maintain a professional online presence.
However, just because something is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the best or the right fit for your business. Read on to learn why WordPress might be more difficult to navigate than you might be prepared for.
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WordPress: World's Most Popular Builder
Although WordPress is technically considered a CMS, it remains the most popular website-building platform in the world. Over 60% of the world’s CMS websites are built using WordPress. WordPress is used by individuals, small businesses, and large corporations alike. It is highly flexible and expandable, though it is not the easiest platform to use.
Websites built through WordPress require users to purchase their domain name and website hosting packages from a third party, like Bluehost or Kinsta. Once purchased, WordPress can be installed and activated for free. From there, you can add and edit any element or functionality to your site thanks to the flexibility of WordPress.
WordPress is an affordable option for building small business websites, possibly why it’s so incredibly popular. Plans and costs will depend on which host you choose for your WordPress site, but most start under $5 per month. To learn more, be sure to read our full What Is WordPress article.
- Great for Budgets: WordPress is essentially free to use, however you will need to host your site and add themes and plugins for functionality. Luckily, hosting your site can be as little as a few dollars a month, and many add-ons are free or low-cost as well.
- Options Are Limitless: The level of customization available with an open-source CMS can’t be beaten.
- All-In-One Hosting Solution: The ability to use WordPress software with an all-in-one domain name and website hosting services is a game changer. Plus, many hosting platforms like Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Kinsta, all offer website-building tools to make the process even easier.
- Wide Range of Plugins: With access to the WordPress Repository, an extensive suite of integrations and plugins, any feature or functionality you may want to add to your site is at your fingertips.
- Tons of Integrations: WordPress.com easily integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) programs like HubSpot and Salesforce, ecommerce tools like Shopify, and more.
- Steep Learning Curve: WordPress is notoriously difficult to get a handle on. It can be challenging and time-consuming for beginners.
- Limited Free Features: It can be near impossible to install your own themes and plugins to your business website without purchasing top-tier hosting plans.
- Can Be Costly: Top-tier plans are expensive, particularly for those accustomed to WordPress being free software.
GoDaddy: Most Popular AI Builder
GoDaddy is one of the easiest website builders to use. By answering a few questions during the sign-up process, GoDaddy’s artificial intelligence (AI) will essentially create a website for your business. All you’ll have to do is update the content, it’s that easy.
Plus, GoDaddy also has hosting plans for WordPress. So, if you ever want the best of both worlds, you can have your WordPress website hosted by GoDaddy. And if you’re a complete beginner to WordPress or website building, GoDaddy offers pre-built sites with a drag-and-drop page editor included in its WordPress hosting plans.
GoDaddy plans start at $6.99 per month when you sign up for an annual plan. Read our full GoDaddy Website Builder Review to learn more or if you just need to host your site, then check out our GoDaddy Web Hosting Pricing and Plans guide.
- Speed: With GoDaddy, you can build a complete website in fewer than five minutes.
- Simplicity: You don’t need to know anything about website design to create a professional website tailored to your business.
- Effective Marketing Tools: All GoDaddy-hosted websites come with guidance and analytics. And most GoDaddy plans come with GoDaddy’s search engine optimization (SEO) tool.
- Limited Flexibility: For most small businesses, the simplicity of the GoDaddy website builder is a pro, not a con. Businesses that need more flexibility and expandability in their website options may miss the mark with this tool.
- Basic Ecommerce Functionality: While the ecommerce options included may work reasonably well for small online shops, larger stores may want to opt for a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify.
- Limited Customization: To make its website builder as simple to use as possible, GoDaddy limits some of the layout customization options. This means you’re probably out of luck if you want to move a button five pixels to the right. GoDaddy isn’t designed for perfectionists.
Keep in mind that all the cons of the GoDaddy website builder are removed should you choose to host your WordPress website through GoDaddy. Hosting your WordPress website with GoDaddy allows access to everything that makes WordPress flexible and everything that makes GoDaddy an easy web-building platform.
Web.com: Popular for Affordability
Similar to GoDaddy, Web.com is a website builder that offers an incredibly easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. This means you can have your website up and running in an afternoon, as opposed to having to hire expensive designers.
Web.com also has plenty of unique and responsive templates to help your website shine, no matter what device it’s being viewed on. Plus, Web.com boasts some of the best customer service reviews.
While Web.com is a bit expensive compared to other website builders, its intuitive interface, access to thousands of eye-catching royalty-free photos, and impressive SEO offerings make it a great fit for beginners.
Web.com does not offer a free trial, but plans start at $1.95 for the first 30 days, making it possible to try this website builder without a huge initial investment. Plans can be canceled at any time if you are unsatisfied with the service. Learn more by checking out our full Web.com Pricing Guide.
- User-Friendly: Web.com’s drag-and-drop editor makes setting up your website an easy affair.
- Advanced Templates: Web.com boasts dozens of attractive and customizable templates to help add sleek functionality to your business website.
- Premium Image Library: Access thousands of professional photos through Web.com’s Site Editor.
- Confusing Image Editor: All those amazing photos do come at the cost of an intuitive photo editor, making this part of the process trickier than it needs to be.
- Slow Load Times: Web.com’s servers aren’t as fast as others, and this can lead to your webpage taking longer to load. This can negatively impact your SEO and cause visitors to leave before even viewing your page.
- No Free Trial: Even though Web.com offers a discounted 30 day trial period, and a no-risk money-back guarantee, it does not technically offer a free plan. So to even test out this builder, you’ll have to throw some money down.
Wix: Most Popular Free Option
Even though Wix has been in the website-building game for an incredibly long time, it is one of the most versatile and adaptable web builders around. Wix is also a true drag-and-drop editor, allowing for greater control of how your finished product will look. Plus, with Wix's free plan, you can get a website up and running with no cost.
Should you be entertaining the idea of adding some limited ecommerce features, Wix offers plans for websites with and without online stores. It also provides an intuitive website-building interface and lots of customization options, but choose carefully because not all Wix templates are compatible with each other.
Wix is affordable and full of great features for artistic and creatively aligned businesses. Wix plans start at $14 per month, and if you’re not satisfied, Wix offers a 14-day, money-back guarantee on your first plan purchase. Read our full Wix Pricing Guide to learn more.
- Storage Space: Every Wix plan comes with enough storage to house plenty of images and media, allowing for gorgeous sites. Plus, if you purchase a Wix Business & Ecommerce plan, you can offer unlimited products to your online store.
- Secure Online Transactions: All Wix plans come with a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate, ensuring your site and the data of your visitors are kept safe.
- Customer Support: Wix’s support staff are well-trained and you have access to priority support with a VIP plan.
- Free Plan: Wix has one of the best free plans around, use it to get comfortable with the builder and upgrade whenever you're ready.
- Slow Loading Speeds: Unfortunately, the sophisticated templates offered by Wix end up slowing most of its sites down. It’s something Wix is continually working on, but Wix websites still lag behind the competition.
- Difficult Migration: Wix notoriously makes it challenging to migrate any Wix site to a separate web hosting provider.
- Overly Basic Metrics: Even at higher plans and price points, Wix’s analytics aren’t as put together as some of its competitors. For those needing more detailed metrics, you’ll have to install and connect Google Analytics to your Wix website.
Shopify: Popular for Ecommerce
Shopify is an incredibly popular ecommerce website builder for small businesses looking to start an online store. With hundreds of professional themes, access to apps for customization, and a reliable, SSL-protected online storefront, Shopify has you covered.
If you’re looking to run both a brick-and-mortar location as well as an online store, you can integrate the Shopify POS Lite app or any other point-of-sale (POS) system into your store so all your transactions stay synced on the same software,
Shopify offers several tiers of plans with a variety of services so you can choose one that fits your business and your budget. Shopify plans start at $29 per month, and Shopify offers a 14-day free trial to let you test out the platform first. Read our full Shopify Pricing Guide to see if it's the right fit for you.
- Unlimited Storage: There’s no limit to how many products you can offer, no matter which Shopify plan you choose.
- Intuitive Controls: Shopify’s main dashboard provides easy access to key metrics, to help you keep track of what ad campaigns, sales, and products are doing well.
- Integrated Features: Connect and manage your social media accounts as well as gain access to alternate sales channels right from your Shopify dashboard.
- No Autosave Function: When setting up your Shopify website, you will have to be diligent with clicking that “Save” button, as Shopify doesn’t currently offer an automatic save feature.
- Higher App Costs: Sure, the Shopify app store has thousands of plugins available, but some of them come at a high cost or an expensive subscription fee.
- Transaction Fees: Unless you use the Shopify Payments online gateway, Shopify will charge a regular transaction fee for every purchase made on your site.
Now that you know the most popular website builders around, it’s time to choose one that’s the right fit for you and your business. Remember, just because something is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your business.
Make sure the website builder you choose includes all the features you will need. Be sure to check out our Best Website Builder guide to find more resources on how to create and operate a successful business website.