Best Website Builders for Small 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||Free Trial*||Verdict||Order|
|Weebly||$12.00/mo||No||Easy to use web editor; great for newbies.||Visit|
|Wix||$8.50/mo||14 days||Easy-to-use web editor with tons of apps.||Visit|
|Shopify||$29.00/mo||14 days||Powerful POS system and wide payment gateway support.||Visit|
|Bigcommerce||$29.95/mo||15 days||Top online store builder with endless features to boost sales.||Visit|
|Strikingly||$8.00/mo||14 days||Best for one-page websites; endless free plan.||Visit|
|Squarespace||$12.00/mo||14 days||Beautifully designed themes; online store ready.||Visit|
|WebStarts||$7.16/mo||No||Simple website editor; good features for local businesses.||Visit|
|BoldGrid||$6.99/mo||No||Proven business hosting platforms; WordPress-only builder.||Visit|
|Gator||$3.84/mo||No||Popular web hosting platform; limited apps choices.||Visit|
* No credit card information needed during free trial.
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5 Best 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!
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.
Pros: What makes Weebly right?
- Super easy to start with – No coding skills needed.
- 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.
- Free email accounts and SSL for Pro Plan and above.
- Instant account activation – Signup now and get started immediately
- Online store ready – Start selling products as soon as your website is built.
- Support various payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2CO,e tc.
- Great support – 24×7 after-sales support via ticketing system and phone call. Also, Weebly help center with a ton of guides that you can read and refer to if you’re stuck.
- Active community – Weebly hosts an active forum where you can interact with other Weebly users.
- You must provide credit card info to try out Weebly Pro plan.
- 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
|Disk Storage||500 MB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Add Products||–||25 products||Unlimited|
Which Weebly Plan to go with?
Weebly Pro is right for business owners who need a simple website that lives on its own domain.
For users who plan to sell products directly from their websites, we recommend Weebly Business Plan (or above) because:
- Display unlimited products on your web store
- 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
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.
Taken in its most basic form, Wix is a website building tool that offers users the opportunity to create stunning websites through an easy to use drag-and-drop interface. It also has the extra features that allow powerful add-ons to be included to extend site functionality, making it one of the more versatile site builders exiting today.
Aside from the traditonal website editor tool, Wix also offers an AI-based program that helps users auto-create a site by answering some basic questions (known as Wix ADI).
Pros: Why Wix is good for businesses?
- Wix offers one of the cheapest plans in market – Wix “ad-free” package starts at just $8.50/mo.
- Start instantly – You can sign up and activate your Wix account instantly.
- Wix provides 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 Wix 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.
- They offer reliable server performances with fast load times and minimum downtime.
- Support various payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2CO,e tc.
- Membership website support – Users 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.
- Wix email accounts are chargeable extras at $5 each.
- Building a basic eCommerce store will require you to sign up for their “better” packages which start at $25/mo. In comparison, Shopify and BigCommerce offer much better features at around the same price.
- You can’t transfer your Wix site somewhere else – which is a big turn off for us.
Wix Pricing & Plans
|Disk Storage||500 MB||3 GB||10 GB||20 GB|
|Remove Wix Ads||–||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Site Booster App||–||–||Yes||Yes|
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.
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.
Shopify is more than just a “website builder” – it's an eCommerce-centric website hosting / online store 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.
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.
- Hundreds of beautifully designed templates and themes that you can choose from.
- Easy online store builder – Intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create a fully-functional eCommerce store with just a few clicks.
- Accept payment easily – Shopify offers integrated payment solution with Shopify Payments for certain countries or third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
- Sell on various channels – including popular online marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, etc) and social media networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc).
- One-stop worry-free eCommerce platform – Shopify offers a ton of eCommerce features such as full inventory management, unlimited product listing, integrated marketing solutions, and built-in analytics.
- 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.
- High transaction fees – 0.5 – 2.0% transaction fees for each sale.
- Difficult to move your website from Shopify.
Shopify Pricing & Plans
|Shopify Plans||Shopify Basic||Shopify||Shopify Advance|
|Monthly Price||$29 /mo||$79 /mo||$299 /mo|
|Credit Card||2.9% + $0.30||2.6% + $0.30||2.4% + $0.30|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Real-time Shipping Rate||–||–||Yes|
Which Shopify plan to go with?
Shopify Basic – You can always setup a store and pick a plan later. Hence it's best to start at the lowest plan.
Note that 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.
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.
BigCommerce is the all-in-one online platform that let you build and scale your online store. It comes with complete eCommerce features for growth, supports multi-channel selling (Facebook, eBay, Amazon, etc.) and apps to streamline your operations.
The best part of BigCommerce come in payment solutions – there are no extra charges when using a third-party payment solution (whereas Shopify and most other store builders charge 0.5 – 2.5% transaction fees).
Pros: Advantages of BigCommerce
- One-stop eCommerce solution that offers everything from hosting server to product management system and website security features.
- Rich in features – Promo personalization, real time shipping quotes, coupons, product reviews, and single page checkout in all plans.
- Accept payment easily – Shopify offers integrated payment solution with Shopify Payments for certain countries or third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
- Sell your products everywhere – BigCommerce integrate well with eBay, Amazon, Square, Google Shopping, Facebook, and Instagram easily.
- Wide range shopping and fulfillment options.
- Plan designed based on sales threshold.
- Higher package fees and expensive premium themes.
BigCommerce Pricing & Plans
Up to $50k
|Up to $150k||Up to $1m|
|Abandoned cart saver||–||Yes||Yes|
|Google customer reviews||–||–||Yes|
Which BigCommerce plan to go with?
BigCommerce plan is designed based on sales threshold – hence you don't have to sweat on which plan to go with.
To begin with BigCommerce – simply signup on their 15-day free trial.
For years Shopify remains the first-hand competitor to BigCommerce. Generally we think both of them are good eCommerce builders. Tools from BigCommerce are slightly more exhaustive than Shopify; while Shopify is slightly cheaper than BigCommerce.
Strikingly is a hidden gem among all the website builders. It has the features that let you create a stunning one-page website – parallax scrolling, animation, etc. It makes possible to manage and update your website on the go with their powerful mobile app. If you are looking for alternatives from the popular names (Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc) – Strikingly might be the one you are looking for.
- Excellent for creating one-page website.
- LinkedIn One-Click Personal Site Builder – Generate a resume website from LinkedIn profile.
- Build and manage your website from mobile.
- Not suitable for online store – Strikingly does have an eCommerce system built-in but the features are rather basic when compare to others.
- Limited website themes and apps selections.
Is Strikingly right for you?
A report from HubSpot says that 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. In other words, majority of your website visitors are not reading your website.
One-page websites (that you can built with Strikingly) solve this problem. They are short and actionable. They can convince visitors to take action within this short timeframe.
We recommend Strikingly for those who are searching for an affordable way to create:
- Simple company info websites
- Fashion / design / photography portfolios
- Event-based / charity websites
- Resume website
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.
- 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. Also some providers do not allow their users to move their websites away.
- 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.
Choosing Tips: How to Select the Right 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.
Website Builders FAQs
Depends on the purpose of your website and business needs. Weebly in general is the best site builder for newbies. If you are on tight budget, Strikingly offers the cheapest service in market; if you are starting an eCommerce store, Shopify and BigCommerce are the two best choices.
Weebly – they have one of the best website editors in market. Plus, every template is fully adjustable and editable which makes it easy for you to create a professional design website. Plus, with tons of free and paid apps, you can quickly add extra features and functionality to your website.
The entry cost for a website builder can range anywhere between $8 per month – $29 per month. The prices are different depending on which website builder you choose and which plan you sign up to. Website builder for eCommerce purposes generally priced higher compared to others.
Time and knowledge are the two biggest factors that make website builder a good choice. It allows you to create and host a website easily without any coding skills.
Your website looks unprofessional as the website address will appear on a subdomain such as yourwebsitename.weebly.com. Most of the time, free website builders are supported by advertisements and your visitors may see all sorts of irrelevant advertisements when they visit your website.
The worst thing is, there's no guarantee of using free website builders which means your website can be shut down for no reason or your website is vulnerable to hacking due to poor security. These are among the risks of using a free website builder.
Yes and no. It is easier to connect the domain to your website when you are buying a domain name from the website builder. However, the domain registration cost is generally (20% – 30%) higher when you register with a site builder company of maintaining a domain will be higher (around $20 with a website builder). Also, it's (even) harder to move your website away from the website builder when your domain is registered with the company. Learn more about website domain name in this article.
It's up to you to decide. You definitely can hire a professional to help you in case you are lost in the half-way.
For sure, you need to go through the learning curve of each website builder before getting used to it. Not to worry, most of the website builders offer a comprehensive tutorial. All website builders offer you a code-free way to building your website. You just need to decide on the theme and start inserting your content. Replace with your logo and favicon and your website is ready to launch.
No. Unfortunately, you can't do that with almost all site builders.
If you built a website with website builder, it also brings together several aspects with it. For example. web design, database, hosting and coding language are the things that involve. It may seem an easy task to just export and import but it's unrealistic. There are lots of proprietary aspects involved. Unless you are using CMS like WordPress, you can move your website to any host you like.
Yes. All the website builders are having easy to use drag & drop features. This feature empowers you to make a website even if you are not professional. The first step is to pick a suitable template for your industry. Then you can start editing and populating it with your content.
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 Small Online Store: Shopify
If your focus is to start an online store, then Shopify is the clear winner. 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.
Recommended plan for business: Shopify Basic ($29/mo) – Visit Shopify
Best 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.
Recommended plan for business: Weebly Pro ($12.00/mo) – Visit Weebly
Cheapest Website Builder: Strikingly
At just $8/month, you'll get a free domain and capacity to create 2 simple websites on Strikingly platform.
Recommended plan for budget: Limited ($8/mo) – Visit Strikingly