Top Website Builders
Whether you're starting a brand-new website or just looking to revamp an existing one, your website builder should allow you to create a site that reflects your company or personal brand.
If you're looking for the best website builder for e-commerce, for example, you should look for a platform that allows you to easily add e-commerce features and store management tools to your site.
If you want a more sophisticated business website, choose a website builder with a live chat feature, online store management tools, and slick mobile functionality. If you have limited design skills, it's also worth checking out a drag-and-drop website builder, which lets you add content and graphics to your site without having to know any code.
These are just a few of the things to look for when picking the best website builder for small businesses or personal websites.
It can be hard to find the perfect fit, but once you do it's easy to build a beautiful new site from scratch with professional features.
At WebLime, we work with a variety of client websites, and we come across these website builders the most:
In this article, we’ll go over these top website builders and help you make the right choice.
WordPress for content-heavy websites
The best thing about the WordPress.com website builder is that it's completely free. Unlike most other website builders, you don't have to pay a monthly fee to use the service.
The WordPress.com website editor is a simple, but robust, blogging platform that will get you up and running in minutes.
There are several reasons why WordPress is so popular among bloggers and site owners. One is that it's free and open-source software, with a thriving community of developers contributing to the platform and building new themes and plugins for it.
You can also host your website on your domain name at no charge using WordPress.com or self-host your website on your server, which will require a monthly fee for web hosting.
WordPress offers a free blogging platform option, but I would highly recommend paying for their service if you want to make money from your blog.
This is because the free version has ads and limits on how much traffic you can receive per month if your blog becomes very popular.
The paid version of WordPress starts at $4 per month, which is pretty cheap if you're looking for a platform that will help you monetize your content.
There are three pricing tiers:
- $4 per month removes ads and gives you 6GB of storage;
- $8 per month gives you 13GB of storage and lets you earn ad revenue;
- $25 per month gives you more features such as premium WordPress theme options and add-ons.
If you're just starting a blog, I recommend going with the first pricing tier so that you can grow without worrying about ads or storage space.
If you’re considering WordPress for your website, make sure to check out our Ultimate WordPress Guide to help you get started.
Shopify for e-commerce websites
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps users create an online store to sell their products or services.
The platform allows users to design their website using templates, and its e-commerce tools allow users to accept payments, manage inventory, ship orders and view sales reports.
Shopify works on all devices and browsers, including mobile phones and tablets.
The main advantage of using Shopify is that it's easy to get started selling on the web without any technical experience or knowledge of HTML code.
Shopify's templates are responsive, meaning they adjust seamlessly depending on the device being used to view the site. Users can easily customize their site or switch out the template entirely.
Shopify is considered the best website builder for e-commerce because of its ease of use and shallow learning curve.
Shopify has no upfront costs - but unlike its competitors, it also has no free option.
The basic Shopify plan offers unlimited storage, bandwidth, and transactions at a rate of $29 per month. It also comes with a domain for one year through Shopify's domain provider partners.
The most expensive plan Shopify offers is the Advanced Shopify plan, at $299 a month. It includes priority support, advanced marketing tools, and a dedicated account manager.
The company also offers several apps that integrate with its e-commerce platform. Some of these are free, while others cost anywhere from a few dollars up to $100 per month. These include mobile commerce tools, inventory management, point-of-sale systems, and customer relationship management software.
Wix for small startups
Wix is a cloud-based platform that allows anyone to create and manage a website. It was founded in 2006 and has since emerged as the clear front-runner in the race for website builder dominance.
With over 110 million websites built, Wix boasts the greatest quantity of tools, capabilities, and freedom among all these solutions. It's also the most convenient tool on the market with its drag-and-drop capabilities and one-click publishing, which makes it super easy to build even the most advanced of websites.
Wix has partnered with Microsoft to make its website creation process compatible with Microsoft Azure. This means you can find all Wix templates optimized for Azure and use them seamlessly on your site.
Wix also supports Google AdSense and has a variety of free themes and design templates that users can download from Wix's library at no cost. Additionally, Wix offers an extensive library of relatively inexpensive premium themes. These premium themes are prebuilt with various features including sliders, page-building tools, eCommerce support, etc.
Wix has a free plan, but it’s not very customizable. The website builder offers 7 different pricing plans When you sign up for one of the paid plans, you'll receive access to more advanced features and templates than the free plan allows.
Wix's free account allows you to create an unlimited number of pages on your site but comes with some limitations.
You can use only five fonts on your site; there are no custom domain names, and you can't use any of Wix's e-commerce options (like Paypal). It also only allows you to publish two videos on your site and doesn't come with any phone or chat support. You can upgrade to one of the premium plans at any time if your needs change.
Squarespace, a website builder for creatives
Squarespace is known for its clean, elegant design. It's simple to use and makes it relatively easy to edit your website's appearance without having to constantly call tech support. The Squarespace editor uses drag-and-drop functionality, so you can move around images, text, and other elements however you wish after uploading them.
Squarespace also has a strong selection of website templates to choose from. There are many different types of websites to create beyond the standard blog or small business site that you might be looking for. You can also find pre-made sites that are already set up with the content you want to be included.
Squarespace offers lots of extra tools and add-ons if you're looking for them, but they're all optional.
The website builder offers features like e-commerce, social media integration (if you want your social accounts somewhere on your site), blogging platforms, and more at additional costs. The cost for these extras can add up quickly, so be sure to consider if they're necessary for your site before signing up.
Squarespace is very reasonably priced, especially if you start with the $12 per month Personal plan.
If you go with the $26 or $40 plans for your online store, you get some additional features like gift cards and an abandoned cart recovery tool. However, if you want to build a more elaborate site than Squarespace can support on its own, then you'll probably find yourself frustrated by its limitations.
Squarespace also offers support via online chat or email, but no phone. If you need help, you'll have to go the self-help route. Squarespace's website has thorough documentation and a helpful knowledge base to guide you through your issues.
Webflow for ease of use
Webflow is a website builder that allows you to create a website from scratch, or you can choose from hundreds of professionally-designed templates from which you can build your site.
You can also utilize Webflow's drag-and-drop platform to add text, images, video, and other content to your website.
Webflow makes it easy for web designers and small business owners to create attractive and functional websites that work across all devices.
You start by choosing a template that best fits the theme you want to convey to your audience. Then, you can add text, photos, videos, and other content to describe your business in the best way possible.
There is a set of editing tools that allow you to make changes when needed or you can hand off the project to a Webflow designer for an additional fee.
In addition to creating a great-looking site, Webflow also has plenty of features for social media integration and search engine optimization (SEO). From setting up Google Analytics to using Schema markup correctly, Webflow helps you get good search results and good engagement with your users.
In terms of website plans, there are three packages available. Each has a slightly different purpose and price.
- $12 a month.
The basic plan is the most appropriate for smaller firms that don't need a CMS or a ton of traffic, as the plan limits it to a maximum of 25,000 visits per month.
- $16 a month.
The CMS plan is ideal for mid-sized businesses that seek to provide more customized information to their customers.
- $36 a month.
Lastly, the business plan provides an ideal solution for larger companies that need to be able to scale up their website's capabilities and keep up with their growing user base and traffic.
All plans include:
- SSL certification;
- Fast page speed;
- Advanced SEO capabilities;
- Password protection.
Weebly, a website builder for small businesses
Weebly's biggest strengths include ease of use and platform flexibility. Users can create a website in minutes with its drag-and-drop interface; there are no complicated programming languages to learn and no coding required.
In addition, Weebly offers a comprehensive list of app integrations and site templates that customers can select from, therefore it is considered one of the best website builders for small business owners.
However, as a small business owner, you might run into the risk of your customization choices going wrong, which could cause your site to crash or have navigational issues. And since there’s a lot of third-party software involved in creating a customized website, you’ll have to learn how all of these tools work together. If you want to make changes to your site in the future, you may also find it difficult to manage all of these different tools.
If you opt for a more customized website on Weebly, you might also be responsible for updating and supporting any third-party tools or software. You could be responsible for updating them on your own, paying someone else to do it, or paying the vendor directly.
Depending on the level of customization and the number of vendors involved, this could be an ongoing process that might require extra time and money from you.
Nonetheless, Weebly is a great choice if you’re just getting started.
Weebly has excellent customer support and includes a variety of plans for users to choose from.
The free option allows users to design an unlimited number of websites, but all of these websites will include the Weebly logo at the bottom and they do not have access to all of the features offered in the paid options.
Weebly offers three paid plans that range from $5 per month to $25 per month.
The lower-priced plans offer limited features, while the more expensive plans have more features available. Users can pay $12 per month for a Pro plan that includes everything the lower-priced plans as well as a free domain and a $100 Google Ads credit.
Choose the best website builder for your needs
So how do you choose between all these options?
Some of the factors above, such as price and ease of use, are objective. But some are subjective. What is the "right" amount to spend on a website? How easy is "easy enough"? It's a personal decision, based on your budget and your needs.
If you're unsure, you can check out another post we have on this subject: 10 Reasons to Use a Content Management System.
Contact us today for a free consultation to help you choose the best website builder for your needs.