To grow your business, you definitely need a website—and not just any website; one that's beautiful, functional, and easy to navigate. A slow website that provides a poor user experience leads to visitors leaving without looking back, according to Arun Arora, senior partner at McKinsey & Company.
The good news is that you no longer need to hire a designer to build a sleek website. You can do it yourself, even if you're a complete beginner. The best website builders are affordable, easy to use, have lots of visually appealing templates, and let you scale your online presence as your business grows.
In this article, we'll review and compare the top 10 website builders on the market to help you pick the one that truly fits your needs.
Wix, which serves more than 220 million users, states that its main mission is to provide a platform that anyone can use to build their online presence. It boasts a library of 800+ professionally-designed templates divided into dozens of categories—you can simply pick the best one and use Wix's built-in drag-and-drop editor to customize it.
Chris Priebe, founder of Zelt, tells us that his team used Wix to build their website and launched it in just one weekend. Zelt stayed with the platform for much longer than they initially thought they would, as it gave them everything they needed "a web presence, a blog that is easy to set up, an agile way of iterating copy and content."
Need a feature that Wix doesn't have? You can almost certainly find the right plugin on the Wix App Market, which has over 300 third-party apps to help you customize your webpage.
Why we chose Wix: For beginners, Wix's Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature enables you to build a professional website quickly. Plus, Wix has everything you need to build an online store—abandoned cart recovery, multi-currency support, and much more.
Our experience: We tried the ADI feature and started with a standard template. Both were effortlessly customizable. It's just as easy to publish a new blog article as it is to create a new product page or build a portfolio.
Web.com is a US-based company providing website-building services, domain name registration, and web hosting to small and mid-sized companies. It's been around since 1999, making it one of the pioneers in this industry. Web.com's website builder is beginner-friendly and intuitive (albeit a bit lacking in customization options) and offers 150+ industry-specific templates that enable you to get online quickly, even if you have zero experience building websites.
According to Abhishek Shah, founder of Testlify, Web.com's power lies in the "variety of services it offers beyond just website building", such as SEO and PPC, web security solutions, and hosting.
All its plans come with free hosting services, domain registration, and basic marketing features. Plus, with Web.com, you get one hour of dedicated support from expert web designers for free.
Why we chose Web.com: We like that Web.com is straightforward and simple to use, making it a great choice if you're looking to get online fast.
Our experience: We think Web.com is a solid option for beginners, although its editor may feel a bit clunky until you get the hang of it. We especially liked the variety of templates you can use when getting started.
For a visually impressive website, Squarespace is one of the best choices out there, thanks to its wide variety of striking templates. With Squarespace, you get access to advanced SEO capabilities, robust e-commerce features, unmetered bandwidth, responsive designs, and more. It's one of the more expensive website builders, but it offers flexible pricing options with its personal and business plans.
The intuitive and powerful Fluid Engine, Squarespace's new and improved drag-and-drop editor, has a ton of customization options while completely simplifying website building and providing an incredible end product.
Why we chose Squarespace: We were impressed with the quality of Squarespace's templates and varied design styles—it feels as though the templates all have their own unique structure.
Our experience: We found the Fluid Engine editor very easy to use: the grid makes it a snap to rearrange elements and even add animations. We could quickly switch between the desktop and mobile versions of a website and adjust designs at the same time.
With Network Solutions, you can build and launch a basic website fast. It offers a wide range of templates, an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, a personalized email address, free hosting, and a domain name.
Network Solutions' pricing structure isn't very transparent, however. While the subscription fee for the first month is quite affordable (from $2.95), consecutive months cost significantly more (from $14.95 for the lowest tier plan).
On the upside, many customers are pleased with the efficacy of Network Solutions' technical support team and their ability to resolve complex problems quickly. The quality of customer support was an important consideration for us when building this list: business owners need speed and efficiency when dealing with technical problems, and Network Solutions offers just that.
Why we chose Network Solutions: Network Solutions makes website building simple and straightforward, even if you're a complete beginner. It's a solid choice for small businesses looking to establish their online presence.
Our experience: We liked that Network Solutions offers website building services. It has a team of web designers who can build your website for a fee (pricing is not transparent, but you can speak to an expert to get a quote). After that, you get access to your website from the standard editor, where you can make changes as needed.
IONOS is a reliable e-commerce website builder geared toward small business owners. With IONOS, creating a website is hassle-free—even if you've never done it before. You can easily cross-sell and upsell products on individual product pages to boost your profits, and you get a comprehensive abandoned cart recovery feature (which not all website builders offer).
It's easy to scale your business with IONOS, and even sell across the most popular social networks and marketplaces, such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, and Amazon. It has a limited number of templates (we counted 19), but they're all well-designed and built for mobile responsiveness.
Why we chose IONOS: IONOS is a top choice if you want to build an e-commerce store fast. Its subscription fees (even for the premium plans) are quite affordable, especially in the first 6-12 months. After this period, subscription fees increase but IONOS is transparent with its pricing—no nasty surprises.
Our experience: We found IONOS' dashboard, known as the Presence Suite, to be an intuitive system for managing your website and online presence. Plus, the website builder is specifically designed for beginners, so it's pretty easy to figure out.
HostGator is a budget-friendly web-building solution with all you need to get started: over 200 templates, an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, and solid email marketing tools included in all its plans. You can get three, five, or 10 email campaigns per month, depending on the plan you choose.
HostGator's editor is extremely versatile, especially considering the price. It offers two options: the AI-powered design assistant or a template, where you can customize everything yourself.
Why we chose HostGator: HostGator is an affordable option with excellent hosting. Its intelligent site builder (included in all plans) is ideal if you're looking to build your website with minimal effort.
Our experience: We found HostGator's dashboard to be super easy to navigate—and you even get to create your own logo with its LogoMaker. While we found customization options to be a bit more limited with the AI-powered website creator, it's still an ideal choice if you're looking to launch your website as soon as possible.
SITE123 is one of the most intuitive and simple website builders out there, making it ideal for beginners. It's an all-in-one solution for all your site-creation needs, featuring an intuitive no-code editor, free hosting, powerful SEO tools, and responsive templates.
Creating an online store is very straightforward, too. Since its e-commerce features are limited, it might not be the best choice if you're planning to scale your business fast. It'll serve you well should you be looking for an easy way to start selling online.
Why we chose SITE123: SITE123 is a beginner-friendly, hassle-free platform that can help you launch your site in no time. Plus, it offers a free version for you to test before you commit.
Our experience: Compared to other website builders we've tested, SITE123 was perhaps the easiest to use. All we had to do was pick the type of website we wanted to create, the name we wanted to use, and our favorite template.
Jimdo is a German website builder specifically geared toward self-employed professionals, aiming to empower them and help them thrive. Jimdo's founder, Matthias Henze, has dedicated his career to helping small businesses build an online presence because he believes small business owners "form the foundation of our economy."
Small business owners who want assistance building a website will find Jimdo Dolphin very useful. It's an AI-enabled design assistant that streamlines and simplifies the design process. In only a few minutes, you can create a basic website with industry-specific photos and content, which you can customize later. It's a budget-friendly option and even features a logo designer.
Why we chose Jimdo: Jimdo is a great choice when you're looking to automate and streamline the website design process as much as possible. We were impressed with how easy it was to create our own website with Jimdo Dolphin.
Our experience: When we tried the platform, we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we could set everything up. We simply had to answer a few questions about our business, the type of website we wanted, the pages we wanted to add, as well as the style and colors we preferred. We even had the option to import photos from social media. After that, Jimdo Dolphin gave us a few website options to choose from.
For those of you looking for a tailor-made website, marketplaces like Fiverr are invaluable resources in helping you find a talented web designer or developer. Fiverr stands out to us because of its transparent pricing, excellent user interface, and how easy it is to find the right web design specialist.
Here are a few things to consider before hiring someone on Fiverr:
Then, you simply need to head to the website design category and use the search engine to find the right person. After you've selected a few freelancers that look promising, you can look at their portfolios, reviews, and the packages they offer to find the perfect fit.
Why we chose Fiverr: You can find professional web designers on Fiverr who can build anything according to your specifications, usually at a very competitive price. You can also use Fiverr Pro to find hand-vetted professionals who offer stellar quality and service.
Our experience: We found Fiverr to be really easy to navigate. Simply select the type of service you're looking for and use the search engine and filters to narrow it down. Going through the top listings of a specific category proved to be much faster than trying to sift through hundreds of listings in broad categories like website design.
SimpleSite is a simple website builder that’s designed for those who want to get online with a minimum amount of fuss. The editor is severely limited, with next to no design flexibility apart from the ability to re-order basic elements and add your own content.
There are no marketing tools, and the built-in e-commerce, blogging, and analytics features are so rudimentary that they’re almost useless. On the plus side, there’s a 30-day free trial, and SimpleSite is extremely easy to use. Give it a try if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly, no-frills website builder, but don’t expect too much.
|Compare the Best Website Builders|
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Versatility and its large selection of templates
Beginners looking for a simple solution
Creating a beautiful, image-heavy website
Getting your website online fast
Launching an online store quickly
Budget-conscious business owners
Building a simple website fast
SMBs looking for an AI-powered design assistant
Extremely simple websites
Renews at $9.99
per month billed annually
per month billed annually
$11.25 to $30.49
14-day free trial
14-day free trial
and 14-day free trial
Online store option
Website builders like Wix, Jimdo, and SITE123 have free plans you can use indefinitely. Keep in mind, however, that you won't be able to connect your website to a custom domain, and that the platform you choose might display ads on your site.
A simple site that you build yourself with a website-building platform typically costs around $150-600 per year. For example, with Squarespace's business plan ($23/month), your website will cost around $276/year. With Wix's VIP plan ($45/month), your yearly costs will be about $540. This cost can increase if you have an online store, and it could decrease if you simply need to upload your portfolio, contact info, and price list.
Yes, it's possible to build a website for free with Wix, Jimdo, and SITE123, but you won't have your own domain name. Instead, your URL will be something like "yourbrand.wix.com."
To make your website look more professional, there are a few things you can do using your selected site builder. For example, you can start by choosing a well-designed, minimalistic template. Next, pick the right color palette and use white space generously. Lastly, upload high-resolution photos and images. Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are perfect for creating an elegant-looking site. Their professionally designed templates make it easy to choose the right colors for your website, even if you're not familiar with the basics of color theory. Plus, most themes leave plenty of white space around key design elements (such as headings, photos, buttons, and text), giving your website a sleek, uncluttered look.
Yes, most professional website builders have built-in SEO features to get you started.
While they're an excellent option for most business owners, website builders have a few limitations: 1) Drag-and-drop editors provide varying degrees of design flexibility 2) Not all templates are responsive from the get-go 3) Technical SEO features can be basic 4) It might be difficult or impossible to migrate your website to another builder or server. Plus, hiring a web designer might be the only way to go if you truly need a custom design with lots of unique features and interactive design elements. This is where a marketplace like Fiverr can help. You can connect to a professional web design freelancer who can meet all your requirements.
Yes, you need web hosting if you have a website. Web hosting refers to the storage space and bandwidth your website needs. Most DIY website builders offer free website hosting as part of their subscription plans, so if you're paying for a website builder, you usually don't need to worry about hosting.
Web hosting provides a place to store your website, while a website builder gives you the tools to design it. Most website builders companies offer hosting services as well.
Hosted software (e.g., an all-in-one solution like Wix or Squarespace) is the better option if you're just getting started and have no experience. This can get everything you need in one place: an editor to design your website, website hosting services, and domain name registration. If you already have solid experience with building websites, you may want to opt for self-hosted software like WordPress, a popular CMS used by 43% of all websites. This gives you more control over the way your website looks, where it's hosted, and its security.