Which Website Builder is Best for Business?

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 hand let you create a website using easy-to-use visual interfaces.

The question then is which website builder is the most suitable for you?

Popular Website Builders Compared

We signed up and tested each of these popular website builders. We believe usability, speed and server performance are important factors for a website builder.

 

Website Builders Pricing From Domain Name Speed Test Server Performance Verdict Find out
Wix $8.5/mo Free 531ms A Excellent web editor with tonnes of apps Visit
Weebly $12/mo Free 723ms A+ Easy to use web editor; suitable for newbies Visit
Shopify $29/mo No 943ms A The comprehensive online store builder Visit
Strikingly $8/mo Free 1099ms C+ Best one-page site builder Visit
Squarespace $12/mo Free 1375ms B+ Offer tons of beautifully designed themes Visit
WebStarts $4.89/mo No 1048ms C Comes with features for local businesses Visit
Bigcommerce $29.95/mo No 1031ms B+ Store builder with features to boost sales Visit
BoldGrid $5/mo No 415ms A Proven hosting platforms; WordPress-ready Visit
Gator $3.84/mo Free Popular hosting platform; limited apps choices Visit

 

FTC Disclosure: BuildThis receives referral fees from tools listed on this website. But, the opinions are based on our experience and not how much they pay. We focus on helping small businesses and individuals to build websites as a business. Please support our work and learn more in our earning disclosure.


The Best 3 Business Website Builders

In the following section, we’ll help you narrow down the choices by going over some of the three very best, business-friendly, website builders. Let’s dive in!

1. Weebly

Weebly is one of the more popular website builders around. They encourage their users to reach out to them and share about the industry they focus on. By understanding their users, they can provide better guides to building a website to help businesses grow and meet their immediate and long-term goals. Plus, you can sign-up and try it out for free!

Weebly Themes
Weebly offers a good mix of free templates (browse free Weebly Themes here).
Weebly App Center
Weebly has a total of more than 270 apps here which are a mixture of free-to-use and paid. Here you can easily add and enable things such as eCommerce, marketing, or social media features.
Weebly Editor
Weebly editor demo: To add content to your site, use the drag-and-drop builder on your left.

Pros: What makes Weebly right for business owners?

  • One of the cheapest website builders around at $12/mo for their Pro Site plan.
  • Free email account and SSL for Pro Plan and above.
  • You can sign up and activate your account instantly.
  • Weebly 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.
  • Online store ready – Start selling products as soon as your website is built.
  • Support various payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2CO,e tc.
  • They have a great support/help center with a ton of articles/guides that you can read and refer to if you’re stuck or need help. They also have a forum and a support ticketing system. Even better, you can call them directly.

Cons

  • Weebly has a lesser number of themes (around 80 or so) and apps.
  • eCommerce stores are limited to only 25 products. Anything more and you’ll have to pay extra at $25/mo, which is quite pricey.

 

Weebly Plans & Pricing

Weebly Plans Free Pro Business
Yearly Price $0.00/mo $12.00/mo $25.00/mo
Disk Storage 500 MB Unlimited Unlimited
SSL Security Yes Yes Yes
Connect Domain Yes Yes
Free domain Yes Yes
Transaction Fees 3% 0%
Add Products 25 products Unlimited

Which Weebly Plan to go with?

For those who plan to sell products directly from their websites, we recommend Weebly Business Plan (or above) because:

  • Support product reviews and coupon code
  • Support shipping fees and automatic tax calculator
  • No additional fees for using a 3rd party provider
  • Integrated shipping labels

Bottom Line

Weebly is a great website builder if you need to create a simple website fast. Their drag-and-drop system is very intuitive and you can easily launch a decent website within minutes.

 

Visit Weebly


2. Wix

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 enhance your website and build up more traffic.

Wix Editor
Editing your website at Wix.
Wix Templates
Showcase of Wix templates – There are more than 500 ready-made Wix templates (see all templates here).
Wix Plugin
The Wix App Market has apps for possibly all the functions you might ever need on your website.

Pros: Why Wix is good for businesses?

  • Wix offer a huge library of templates (around 500+) which can cater to any type of websites, covering everything from photographers and bloggers to online stores. 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 site elements. Plus, it’s surprisingly flexible and allows you to make substantial changes if necessary.
  • 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 Wix 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.
  • Support various payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2CO,e tc.
  • You can build a private membership forum quickly using Wix.
  • Multilingual support – Expand your business to other countries easily.
  • Comprehensive customer support is available through articles, videos, and a help center that you can refer to for help.

Cons

  • Email accounts  are chargeable extras at $5 each.
  • Building an eCommerce store will require you to sign up for their “better” packages which start at $20/mo.
  • You can’t transfer your Wix site somewhere else

 

Wix Pricing & Plans

Wix Plans Connect Combo Unlimited eComm. VIP
Yearly Price $4.50/mo $8.50/mo $12.50/mo $16.50/mo $24.50/mo
Disk Storage 500 MB 3 GB 10 GB 20 GB 20 GB
SSL Security Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free domain Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remove Wix Ads Yes Yes Yes Yes
Form Builder App Yes Yes
Site Booster App Yes Yes
Online Store Yes Yes
Email Campaigns 10 emails /mo

Which Wix plan to go with?

We suggest business owners to start with Wix Unlimited Plan and only move up when you need additional site features.

Bottom Line

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.

Visit Wix


3. Shopify

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.

Shopify has a wide range of free and premium themes at their Theme Store
Shopify has a wide range of free and premium themes in their Theme Store (see all templates here).
Simple and straight forward interface to add product on Shopify.
Simple and straightforward interface to add product on Shopify.

Pros: What makes Shopify a good builder for businesses?

  • An all-in-one solution that offers everything from hosting solutions to inventory 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 the use of both platforms.
  • Sell on various channels – including popular online marketplaces and social media networks.
  • Shopify Point-of-Sale system (POS, pay additional) helps manage your sales, inventory, customer data, etc, online and offline, on a single platform.
  • Shopify offers “Abandoned Cart Recovery” – a tool designed to help you follow up with visitors who didn’t complete the checkout process.

Cons

  • The most expensive website builders on the list with the basic plan costing $29/mo.
  • Difficult to move your website from Shopify.

 

Shopify Plan & Pricing

Shopify Plans Basic Shopify Shopify Advance Shopify
Monthly Price $29 /mo $79 /mo $299 /mo
Staff accounts 2 5 15
Credit card fee 2.9% + $0.30 2.6% + $0.30 2.4% + $0.30
Transaction fee / 3rd party gateway 2% 1% 0.5%
Shopify payment 0% 0% 0%
Gift cards Yes Yes
Abandoned cart recovery Yes Yes Yes
Free SSL certificate Yes Yes Yes
Advance report builder Yes
Real-time shipping rate Yes

Which Shopify plan to go with?

Basic Shopify – You can always setup a store and pick a plan later. Hence it’s best to start at the lowest plan (Shopify Basic).

Note: Some features at Shopify (ie. POS, Abandoned Cart Recovery, pro reports) are super useful but they might not be needed in some business operations. If all you need is a simple website with basic business features, you might want to go with Weebly or Wix, which is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Bottom Line

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.

Visit Shopify


Should You Use A Site Builder to Create Your Business Websites?

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.

Benefits of using a website builder

  • Very easy to use & get started
    A lot of website builders lets you create websites 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 aim at being a one-stop shop for all your website needs. This includes everything from domain registration, SSL certificates, and web hosting.
  • Affordable barrier to entry
    Using a website builder can be very budget-friendly. More often than not, they cost about the same (or less) compared to paying for web hosting of similar capacity separately. Plus, you have the opportunity to use their free plans and pay for extra services only if 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 manage security updates for you. All you have to worry about is creating a secure password to access your account.
  • Drag and drop interface
    Adding and removing widgets, galleries, pages, is as simple as dragging and dropping them in with the best website builders.
  • Comprehensive support
    Technical and customer support is usually available on multiple channels including email, online chat, phone or even via community forums, depending on the provider.

Drawbacks

  • 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 information. A good web hosting provider, on the other, usually runs their operations from multiple data centers in different locations.
  • 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.

How to Choose 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, we’ll go through that below.

Take a moment and write down what kind of website that you want to make. What features you would like to have and what you intend to do with it.

Some ideas would be: a contact form, Google Maps, blog section, gallery mode, or even an online store.

Alternatively, you could do some research on your competitors or 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. The 5 factors are:

1. Ease of 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 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 elements to templates, without messing up your current site layout?
  • How easy is it to make changes such as adding new products or updating your contact details?
  • Can you quickly  find the features you need for your website? If you’re a bakery shop, can you embed a Google map showing the location 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 likely going to be very different from that of 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 for you as much depends on personal preferences.

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 integration

In this year and age, 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 channels
  • The ability to pull content from your social media page — such as “Instagram Post of the day” — onto 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 the business. Using emails are a great way to connect to your users quickly and extend your reach 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 mass-mailers will be useful. Apps such as MailChimp are a great way to scale up your email marketing efforts and acquire new subscribers. They also normally integrate well with popular website builders such as Squarespace.

The great thing about these email tools is that you don’t need to know any coding to create professional looking emails. Plus, they use a similar drag-and-drop interface that lets you create and design custom newsletters.

5. Customer help and support

This should go without saying, but if you’re looking to use a website builder, it  should always come with a good customer support team.

This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Having a good 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 on the journey to launch your website.


Conclusion: Which Site Builder to Use?

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 three:

Best for eCommerce: Shopify

Recommended plan for business: Shopify Basic ($29/mo)

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 physical retail stores through their POS system.

With hundreds of great templates and an easy to use interface, you can easily create and launch an online store within minutes with Shopify.

Visit Shopify to find out more.

Best for beginners: Wix

Recommended plan for business:  Wix Unlimited ($12.50/mo)

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 user.

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 quickly add extra features and functionality to your website.

Visit Wix website for more.

Powerful page builder: Weebly

Recommended plan for business: Weebly Pro ($12/mo)

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 look for or manage any hosting services. They take care of everything for you in the backend, including hosting the website and managing all the software for it as well.

Visit Weebly website for more.

About Jason Chow

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Jason is a fan of technology and entrepreneurship. He loves building website. You can get in touch with him via Twitter.

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