Website builders have made it easier than ever for small businesses to make a website.
In the past, building a website would require you to have some knowledge of coding or you would have to hire a developer. Website builders, on the hand, lets you create a website with just a few simple clicks.
The question then, which is the best website builder for you?
Detail Guide (Table of Content)
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The 5 Best Website Builders for Small Business
There are plenty of business website builders available online and we’ll help you narrow down the choices by going over some of the most popular ones.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best website builder for small business.
Weebly is one of the more popular website builders around. They encourage their users to reach to them and share about the industry they are focusing on. By understanding their users, they can provide a guide towards building a website that helps grow their business and meet their immediate and long-term goals. Plus, you can sign-up for free!
- One of the cheapest website builders with $12/mo for their Pro Site plan.
- You get a free email account.
- You can sign up and activate your account instantly.
- Their drag-and-drop system is easy to learn and use while still offering a number of customization options based on pre-built features (ability to image+text, galleries, slideshows, etc.). You can easily add images or text with just a few clicks.
- They have a great support/help center with a ton of articles/guides that you read and refer to if you’re stuck or need help. They also have a forum and a support ticketing system plus the ability to call them.
- They have a limited number of themes (around 80 or so) which are ok-looking at best.
- eCommerce stores are limited to only 25 products. Anything more and you’ll have to pay extra at $24/mo, which is quite pricey.
Pricing & Plans
- Starter – $8 /mo
- Pro – $12 /mo
- Business – $25 /mo
Weebly is a great website builder if you’re an absolute beginner and need to create a simple website fast. Their drag-and-drop is very intuitive and you can easily launch a decent website within minutes.
In addition to being a great website builder, Wix offers secure and reliable web hosting (for free!) with 24/7 customer support in addition to providing Google-friendly mobile designs. Aside from customizing your website with their intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can also add apps to further customize your website and build up more traffic.
- They have a huge library of templates (around 500+) which can cater to any type of websites, ranging from small businesses to photographers and bloggers alike. You can even customize their templates to fit your website needs.
- Since their drag-and-drop interface is highly visual, you can make changes by simply pointing-and-clicking on the site elements. Plus, it’s surprisingly flexible and allows you to make substantial changes.
- If you’re an absolute beginner, Wix uses ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to help create a website that’s tailored to your personal or business needs.
- You can sign up and activate your account instantly.
- Their “ad-free” package is fairly cheap at $8.50/mo.
- They offer reliable server performances with fast load times and minimum downtimes.
- Comprehensive customer support with articles, videos, and a help center that you can refer to for help.
- Adding an email account will cost $5 each.
- Building an eCommerce store will require you to sign up with their “higher” package which costs around $20/mo.
Pricing & Plans
- Combo – $8.50 /mo
- Unlimited – $12.50 /mo
- eCommerce – $16.50 /mo
Wix has always been the “go-to” website builder as they offer a ton of features and flexibility for beginners and advanced users alike. The fact that more than 100 million people uses it is a testament to that. The only downside is that if you want to create an eCommerce store or want extra features, you’ll need to pay a bit more.
Squarespace is another website builder that focuses on providing quality design template and images. Since they are integrated with Getty images, you’ll have access to over 40 million high quality images that you can use on your website. Plus, you also get a free domain when you sign up for their plans.
- They have a variety of modern templates (around 40+) which you can use for your website. All of the templates are beautifully designed and professional looking.
- You get a free domain and privacy when you sign up.
- You have no limitations when creating a website, blog, or even an eCommerce store.
- Sign up and account activation is instantaneous.
- They offer decent server performances.
- There are FAQs, live chat support, and 24/7 email support.
- The fully loaded site plan is quite pricey at $18/mo (which is the highest among the list).
- Despite having great looking themes and a decent interface, editing on Squarespace can be a bit difficult if you’re a beginner and requires a bit of a learning curve.
- Adding an email account will cost $5/mo.
Plan & Pricing
- Personal – $12 /mo
- Business – $18 /mo
If you’re planning to use a ton of images on your website, then Squarespace is a great choice for you. Especially if you’re a photographer or want to start a blog that relies a lot on images. At the hands of a designer, Squarespace can create visually compelling websites. The downside is that they are pretty expensive and are very designer/photographer oriented.
4. iPage Website Builder
While iPage is primarily known as a web host provider, they also offer website building tools as a separate addon to their hosting services. The iPage Website Builder offer tons of flexibility that allow you to create a website that reflects your business or brand.
- A simple and easy to use drag-and-drop interface which you can use either for free with a limited version or have access to its full features with the professional or business plan.
- Over 100+ templates that are professionally designed and can easily be applied with just one click.
- The ability to create a mobile-friendly version of your website that’s compatible with all kinds of mobile devices.
- A number of useful features, such as built-in social media tools, SEO integration, Google Analytics, and more, that you can use to improve your website’s traffic.
- The ability to create a comprehensive eCommerce store with features such as PayPal integration, shopping cart tools, and even shared SSL certificate.
- The list of features available are limited and you can’t add new features to your website.
- No third-party integrations or plugins that you can install to your website.
Plan & Pricing
- Basic – $6.99 /mo
- Professional – $10.99 /mo
- Business – $20.99 /mo
Compared to the rest of the website builders, iPage Website Builder is simpler and easier to use, which makes it a perfect choice for those wants a starter website with fewer pages. You can get their website builder for free when you sign up for iPage hosting and it can be upgraded to the professional plan at $6.99/mo or business for $15.99/mo. The downside is that it’s fairly limited in terms of upscaling or expanding your website.
Shopify is an eCommerce-centric website builder for small businesses that want to create an online store. With their free 14-day trial, you can use Shopify to easily set up an online store or use to sell on the go (i.e. at trade shows, pop-up shops, or at an event). Their system is easy to use and requires no training at all. Plus, if you have an actual retail store, you can simply add on their retail option and connect it to your store.
- An all-in-one solution that offers everything from hosting solutions to managing software and website backups.
- Offers a ton of eCommerce features such as full inventory management, unlimited product listing, integrated marketing solutions, and built-in analytics.
- Hundreds of beautifully designed templates and themes that you can choose from.
- An intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create a fully-functional eCommerce store with just a few clicks.
- Integrated payment solution with Shopify Payments or you can use third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
- Can easily integrate with WordPress, allowing to use both platforms.
- The most expensive website builders on the list with the basic plan costing $29/mo.
- If you decide to move your website to another platform, Shopify makes it a very difficult process.
Plan & Pricing
- Basic – $29 /mo
- Shopify – $79 /mo
- Advance – $299 /mo
Shopify might be the most expensive website builder on the list but it offers a range of features and tools that are quite useful for an eCommerce store. At $29/mo for the basic plan and $299/mo for the advanced, it can get pretty costly. However, if you want a hassle-free eCommerce website builder, Shopify is definitely your best choice.
What To Look For In a Website Builder
Ideally, the best website builder should be one that fits the need of your website. If you want to know what are the things that you should look for in a website builder, let’s go through the below.
Take a moment and write down what kind of website that you want to make. What features would like you to have and what do you intend to do with it.
Some ideas would be: a contact form, Google Maps, blog section, gallery mode, online store, and more.
Alternatively, you could research on your competitors or even other websites for inspirations or ideas on what you would want for your website.
Aside from knowing what your website needs are, it’s also a good idea to use these five factors to decide whether a website builder is good or not.
The 5 factors are:
1. Easy to use
An important factor for a choosing the best website builder is whether the interface is user-friendly and easy-to-use. Doubly so if you’re just a newbie with no technical knowledge whatsoever.
The great thing about website builders is that most of them use a drag-and-drop system to build a website and that they usually offer a trial account. That means that you can test it out first before choosing which is the best website builder for your small business.
A few things that you should ask yourself when testing a website builder are:
- How easy is it to add pictures and templates, without messing up your current site’s layout?
- How easy is it to make changes such as putting new products or updating your contact details?
- Can you easily find the features you need for your website? If you’re a bakery shop, can you put in a Google map of your store?
- Do the templates and color schemes fit your brand and business? If you’re a bakery shop, then your website design is going to be different from an advertising agency.
The list of website builders that we recommend are definitely top-notch but we can’t say which one is the best website builder for you as it all depends on personal preference.
We definitely recommend that you test out each website builder using a trial account to get a feel for their interface and whether it’s easy to use or not.
2. Social media integrations
In 2018, every business should have a social media presence. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest, social media has proven to be a great way to get more eyeballs on your website.
Not only that, social media is an important tool that you can use to generate sales or interact with customers.
If social media is going to be a key component of your brand, then you should go for website builders that focus on integrating social media. Wix, for example, let’s you integrate Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter to your website for free, including the ability to add popup buttons as well.
Use the trial account to check whether the website builder offers social media integrations that fit your needs and whether you can do the following:
- Add icons that link to your social media pages
- The ability to pull content from your social media page — such as “Instagram Post of the day” — into your website.
- The ability to post content straight from your website onto your social media pages.
3. Templates and images
Web design plays a major role in building a website. If you don’t want your website looking unprofessional or uninviting, you need to use the right templates and put in the right images.
A sharp and stylish website sends the message to users that your business is professional and trustworthy. The website builders that we suggest offers a wide range of free and paid stock photos and templates that you can use for your website.
Of course, it’s always important to check the templates and images first and whether they meet the needs of your website.
If you’re an online consultant agency, you want to use a more professional looking templates and the keep the images to a minimum. On the other, if you’re a photography or a food blog, then builders with more polished and attractive images might be better suited for you.
4. Email marketing integration
For small businesses, email marketing is an important asset to build up your business. Using emails are a great way to connect to your users on a personal level and to reach out to potential customers.
Whether you’re just starting out or have built up a big email list, having a website builder that lets you manage your mailbox will be useful. Apps such as MailChimp are a great way to scale your email marketing and acquire new subscribers and they easily integrate with popular website builders such as Squarespace.
The great thing about these email tools is that you don’t need to know any HTML to use it and create professional looking emails. Plus, they use a similar drag-and-drop interface that lets you create and design a custom email newsletter.
5. Customer help and support
This should go without saying but if you’re looking to use a website builder, they should always come with a good customer support and help team.
Especially if you’re just starting out, having a support team that you can go to will make a huge difference in the overall experience of building your own website.
The website builders that we suggest all have great support channels that you can contact via email, phone, and even online chat, so you never have to worry about needing help when you’re looking to launch your website.
Should You Use a Website Builder
A website builder is a great way to get started with a website for your business, however, it’s far from being the perfect solution.
There are a number of pros and cons of using a website builder for your small business.
Pros of using a website builder:
- Very easy to use & get started
A lot of website builders lets you create a website easily using their drag-and-drop system. Anyone can start building a website even if they have no coding knowledge.
- All-in-one solution
Most website builders today aims to be a one-stop shop for all your website needs. Including registering a domain to even providing hosting services.
- Affordable barrier to entry
The cost of using a website builder can be very budget-friendly. More often than not, they cost about the same (or less) to paying for a hosting and web space of similar size separately. Plus you have the opportunity to use their free plans and pay for extra services as necessary.
- Tons of features
A good website builder will have a deep library of features, and apps that you can easily integrate to your website.
- Plenty of security updates
Security is a big issue for any online business. With website builders, the providers will do the security update for you. All you have to worry about is creating a secure password.
- Drag and drop interface
Adding and removing widgets, galleries, pages, is as simple as dragging and dropping them with the best website builders.
- Comprehensive support
Technical and customer support is available on multiple channels including email, online chats, phone calls or even forums, depending on the provider.
Cons of using a website builder:
- Limited customization/flexibility
Using a website builder means you’re limited to what the provider has to offer. You might want a certain template for your website but if the website builder doesn’t support it, you’ll have to choose something else.
- Dependence on one provider
If the provider closes down, then your site goes down it. Ideally, the website builder that you opt for will remain in the long run.
- Data location
When you go for website builders, you won’t have control over the location of the data. It’s up to the providers where they choose to store your website.
- Lack of advanced functions
Using PHP, Java, and SQL is not possible for website builders as you’re stuck using their internal programs. If you’re a programmer, you won’t have access to advanced functions when using a website builder.
- Not suitable for big websites
A lot of the website builders are catered towards small or medium businesses who need a simple website to get started. Those looking for more complex web-based projects (i.e. 300+ web page, multiple language support, etc.) will need to look elsewhere.
Conclusion: Which Is The Best Website Builder For Small Business?
Honestly, it’s hard to pick which is the best website builder for your business because it all depends on what your website needs are. But if we were to choose, then we basically boil it down to these main 3:
Best Website Builder for eCommerce: Shopify
If your focus is to start an eCommerce store, then Shopify is the clear winner as they are the best website builder for creating an online store. Not only do they provide all the features and tools that you would need for an online store, they can also easily integrate with your physical retail store through their POS.
With hundreds of great template and an easy to use interface, you can launch easily create and launch an online store within minutes with Shopify.
Best Website Builder for Ease of Use: Wix
For those who want a website builder that offers great ease of use along with powerful features to build a website, then you can’t go wrong with Wix. The entire philosophy behind Wix’s design is to make website building a simple and intuitive process for any users.
With Wix, every template is fully adjustable and editable which makes it easy for you to create a unique one-of-a-kind website. Plus, with tons of free and paid apps, you can easily add extra features and functionality to your website.
Best for Website Builder for Beginners: Weebly
If you’re an absolute beginner and just want to create a simple website that looks professional, Weebly is by far the best website builder for that. Their beautifully crafted page builder lets you edit your website without the need to learn any coding skill whatsoever.
Plus, they are a fully hosted platform, which means that you don’t need to install and manage any hosting. They take care of everything for you in the backend, including hosting the website and managing all the software as well.
Best Small Business Website Builder: The FAQs
Which Is The Cheapest Small Business Website Builder?
It’s hard to compare the popular website builders.
Wix and Weebly can be used for free, for as long as you want. If you were to upgrade to their premium plans, their pricing is still considered the most affordable.
How Long Will It Take To Build My Own Small Business Website?
With the intuitive and easy-to-use interface that the website builder offers, you can easily create and launch a website within minutes. Of course, the more features and complicated your website is, the more time it will take.