Best Website Builder
Your small business needs a website builder that meets the needs of the business without jeopardizing your most precious resource: time.
Choosing a builder is about finding a balance between your business's needs and the time it will take to launch and maintain your site.
In fact, no website builder is necessarily hands-down better than another — every builder we reviewed offers value when applied in the right situation.
Things we care about in a web builder:
- Ease of use
- Time from start to launch
- Technical support
- Templates and customization
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Ecommerce systems
Our Top 5 Website Builders for 2021:
1. GoDaddy: Best Small Business Website Builder. Godaddy's drag-and-drop editor and Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) will have your website up and running in minutes.
2. Weebly: Best for Ease of Use and Features. Weebly's editor offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface with more than 40 themes. Weebly offers affordable ecommerce functionality.
3. Squarespace: Best for Templated Design and Blogging. If aesthetics are important but your time and skillset are limited, Squarespace might be the website builder for you. Their ecommerce offerings deserve an honorable mention, and their blogging platform is best-in-class.
4. Wix: Best for Custom Websites. Design-oriented businesses can create a beautiful portfolio site with Wx. For some, the freedom of this editor can be too much.
5. Shopify: Best for Ecommerce. Not much competition or controversy here. Although, if your store has less than 100 products or processes 300 or more transactions per month, we can help you pick a different builder.
GoDaddy offers the best free, fast, no-frills website builder for small business.
Best Website Builder for Small Business: GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the most capable beginner-friendly website builder on the market. With the help of Godaddy's drag-and-drop editor and guidance from their Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), you can have your website up and running in minutes.
GoDaddy's website builder is excellent for small businesses that need a basic site that's simple to start and maintain.
Their free package includes an SSL certificate and social media marketing tools but doesn't include a custom domain or ecommerce capabilities. Ongoing marketing support includes suggestions to improve traffic and site-metrics/analytics.
- You can create a website in minutes
- Very affordable
- Very easy to use
- Free package is better than any competitor
- Ecommerce offerings will accommodate most small businesses
- Features are simplistic
- Limited design freedom
- Visual aesthetic can be a bit lacking compared to other builders
Read the full review at: GoDaddy Website Builder Review
Best Full Feature Website Builder: Weebly
Weebly is a relatively easy to use drag-and-drop editor. Weebly offers more than 40 mobile-friendly themes and more developed features than GoDaddy, but it will also take more time to build and maintain your website. If your business's needs can be supported by an easier to use website builder, we always recommend going with the simplest, quickest option.
Weebly's ecommerce capabilities are functional and affordable for smaller stores. The free package will include a Weebly ad on your page but won't include a custom domain.
- Easy to use
- Features offer more depth than GoDaddy
- The app center makes adding features simple
- Strong ecommerce platform
- Less design flexibility than builders like Wix
- Many important non-English character sets are not supported
Read the full review at: Weebly Website Builder Review
Best for Easy Design: Squarespace
If design and aesthetics are important, but your time and skillset are limited, Squarespace might be the website builder for you. Squarespace has the capability to create top-notch portfolio sites in half the time of other, more customizable editors.
A business owner would need to weigh the importance of design flexibility vs. time when deciding on Squarespace. If flexibility is most important, we recommend Weebly. If you're just not sure, Squarespace offers a free two-week trial.
Squarespace could be particularly useful for an ecommerce store that requires aesthetics without a large time commitment.
- Easy to use
- Best website builder for tempates and pre-packaged design
- Solid ecommerce set up
- Good SEO tools and options
- Blogging platform contends with WordPress
- Offers podcast hosting
- No phone support
- No free package
- Can't create multilingual websites
Read the full review at: Squarespace Website Builder Review
Best Website Builder for SEO: Wix
Wix offers artificial design intelligence like GoDaddy or drag-and-drop templating like just about everyone else. But sadly, you can't combine the two.
Wix can do a good job of helping you create just about any type of website with over 500 industry-specific templates.
If SEO is important for your small business, Wix has you covered with what might be the best SEO offerings and guidance of any website builder.
- Relatively easy to use
- Drag-and-drop editor is intuitive for most users
- ADI is available but can be limiting
- Over 500 industry-specific templates
- Excellent built-in SEO tools
- SEO apps provide top-notch support
- You're stuck with your original template — FOREVER
- Difficult to grow (or scale) your site without purchasing apps
Read the full review at: WIX Website Builder Review
Best for Ecommerce: Shopify
Shopify is a specialized ecommerce website builder and it's our top pick for small business ecommerce.
If you are a small business that is strictly running an online store (with more than 100 products), Shopify will provide a better experience than its closest small business competitor, Wix. Less than 100 products — take a closer look at Wix.
- Easy to use
- 100s of mobile-friendly designs for free or for purchase
- Flexible design options available
- "Lite" plan available for social media sellers $9 monthly
- Easily scales for small to big online stores
- 24-hour tech and customer support
- 2% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments
- Not great for content that isn't ecommerce related
- Multi-language options only available via paid apps or paid templates
Read the full review at: Shopify Ecommerce Website Builder Review
Choosing the easiest and fastest way to start and maintain your website is the best strategy for most business owners.
We recommend GoDaddy’s website builder for any business that needs a good website without wasting their most valuable asset: time.
Website Builder Frequently Asked Questions
Can I design my own website?
If you are skilled in coding and web design, you could start your own website from scratch. However, if you aren’t a pro, you can use a website builder to design your website.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a program that helps you build a website without writing code manually. Website builders include templates and typically have drag-and-drop functionality, which allows you to easily arrange different design elements. Website builders are often operated through a web browser, rather than requiring you to download additional software.
What is the best website builder?
The best website builder depends on your specific needs. Some website builders are better for ecommerce sites, some are easier to use than others, and some give you more design options.
What is the best free website builder?
The best free web builder is one that fits your situation best. Read our best website builder review to help determine the best option for you.
What is the best website builder for beginners?
The best website builder for beginners depends largely on your needs. But, a beginner should look for one that offers a structured drag and drop editor and Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI).
Are website builders worth it?
Yes. Unless you have the time and skills to create an attractive website yourself or the budget to pay for a custom website, a website builder provides a valuable service at a reasonable price.
Is it better to build your own website or use a website builder?
It depends. If you have the coding skills and the time to build your own website, there are advantages to having a custom site. However, most people are probably better off using a website builder.
What are the pros and cons of website builders?
Some of the pros of a website builder are that you don’t need any coding knowledge and you can build a website quickly and inexpensively. Cons of website builders are that you can’t have a custom design, the page might load slower, SEO might be limited, and there is often a limit on the number of pages your website can have.
How much does it cost to build a website?
Building a website can cost around $100 or lower if using a website builder to tens of thousands of dollars if you hire someone to design a custom website.
How can I build my own website for free?
There are a number of free website builders you can use. However, the free builders typically have limited features and can include ads. You also may have to pay for a domain name and hosting.
Do website builders include hosting?
Website builders themselves do not include hosting -- they just build the website. However, some companies offer both website builders and hosting services.
Is WordPress a website builder?
You can build a website with WordPress, but it is typically considered a content management system (CMS) rather than a website builder.
Should I use WordPress?
This depends on your own website needs and computer skills. Using WordPress may have some advantages, but it will be easier to build a site with a website builder.
How scalable are website builders?
Different website builders have different scalability. So, if you think you will need to grow your website over time, it is important to be aware of the scalability of the website builders you are considering.
How does a website builder work?
Website builders typically work through your internet browser and don’t require you to download additional software. Website builders offer different design templates and drag-and-drop capability, which allows you to easily move around different site elements.
How long does it take to build a website?
You can build a website in as little as a couple hours if using a website builder. It can take weeks or months to build a website if doing the coding manually.
Is a website builder good for a blog?
Different website builders are better suited for different types of websites. Some are good for blogs, including Squarespace.
Is a website builder good for an ecommerce website?
Different website builders are better suited for different types of websites. Some are good for ecommerce websites, including Shopify.
Do website builders work for mobile?
Many website builders work for making mobile-friendly sites. Make sure to research which one best suits your needs.
Do I need to know how to code to use a website builder?
No! One of the best things about using a website builder is that you don’t need to know how to code.