With the best website builders, anyone can create their own website or online store. Most modern website-creation platforms are very beginner friendly and don’t require any special skills to use. With an industry leader like Wix, you will have access to a suite of versatile design tools that you can use to create virtually anything you want. Or, with a builder that focuses on ease of use, like GoDaddy, you will be able to get online in a fast, hassle-free way.
But for your website to be successful, you’ll need more than any website: you’ll need one with all the right features for your business to grow and scale.
There are countless options on the market, which can make it difficult to decide which one best suits your needs. To help you make the right choice, we’ve analyzed leading website builder options, taking into account their prices, main features, user interfaces, and more, and created a handy guide to what you need to know.
Website builders are usually much easier to use than traditional content management systems (CMSs), and you don’t need any coding or special tech skills. This makes them especially useful for small business owners who want to create their own website or who can’t afford to hire a web developer to do it for them.
A website builder is a platform that enables you to create a website without a large number of special tech skills. Most website builders offer a selection of pre-designed templates that you can base your site on, user-friendly drag-and-drop interfaces to design your pages, and SEO support.
The key takeaway here is that if you can use a computer, you can use a website builder.
When you invest in a popular website builder, you will get access to a suite of tools for creating a website and managing ongoing operations. You won’t have to hire skilled web developers or other professionals to help you get online, which could lead to large savings.
Plus, website builders come with various features for customization and ongoing management, and they are usually all-inclusive—which means they come with web hosting, built-in security, and most management tasks taken care of.
Wix has a powerful editor, a massive list of templates, and great e-commerce tools. Wix offers a great balance of functionality and simplicity. Wix's smart ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) editor makes creating a complex website with all the bells and whistles as easy as answering a few quick questions. If you do run into problems, Wix's customer support is outstanding and help is available from within the editor. In-depth video tutorials, step-by-step exercises, and examples can guide you if you're the type that likes to figure things out on your own.
With nearly 1,000 great designs, excellent e-commerce tools, and superb support, you’ll find Wix offers all the features you need in a website builder. It makes creating and managing a website a cinch. If you want to use Wix's full editor, it might take a little longer to get started as you learn how the interface works, but it’s arguably the most versatile website builder available today. Just beware that Wix websites don’t always work well on mobile devices without some finetuning and its SEO tools aren't the greatest.
The Network Solutions website builder is designed to help you launch a basic website in minutes. It provides a straightforward experience for beginners and well-made templates, but the platform leaves a lot to be desired. For example, Network Solutions doesn’t offer many customization options and its ecommerce plan doesn’t support inventory management.
While these problems might be overlooked, it’s hard to ignore Network Solutions’ expensive and non-transparent pricing structure. This website builder is far more expensive than competing builders that offer more flexibility and features, especially for online stores. Overall, we think there are many alternative website builders that provide more bang for your buck than Network Solutions.
The GoDaddy website builder is a versatile option that caters to users of all skill levels. You shouldn’t have any trouble using its intuitive editor, and there are loads of additional tools to help you grow your site, from powerful online booking and marketing tools to an online store builder.
GoDaddy has an excellent help center, and the main user dashboard enables you to manage all of your GoDaddy products in one place. Its editor does lack design flexibility, the SEO tools are a little basic, and there are only 22 templates available. But with its competitive prices and wide range of tools, overall, it stands out as an excellent option for everyone from beginners creating their first site to advanced webmasters who want an online store.
HostGator offers an excellent website builder that’s easy to use, extremely functional, and surprisingly affordable. HostGator offers an AI design process or a drag-and-drop page editor. The range of customization options is impressive, and we found the overall process of creating a website to be pretty pleasant.
HostGator offers email marketing tools and Ecommerce capabilities with all of its plans. The 2-year introductory pricing makes it one of the cheapest Ecommerce website builders around, and the cost of this platform is competitive even after the promotional pricing ends.
Site123 is one of the best beginner-friendly website builders we’ve used. It lacks advanced marketing and SEO features and its design flexibility is limited, but it does a great job of catering to those with little web development knowledge.
There’s a decent free plan available that you can use to test the builder, along with excellent support resources to help if you run into any problems. The prices are a little on the high side, but they certainly aren’t a deal-breaker. You can even add a basic store to your new website if required.
1&1 IONOS MyWebsite is a capable website builder for small businesses looking to get online. The platform offers 2 versions of its site builder to cater to both new designers and experienced creators, as well as 18 templates to help you get started on the right foot. 1&1 IONOS’ more advanced editor offers plenty of design flexibility as well as excellent support for blogging.
What really makes 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite stand out is its marketing, SEO, and ecommerce features. This platform has all the tools that small businesses need to start selling online, including options for local pickup. You can also personalize visitors’ experiences on your site, which makes it easier to convert new visitors into loyal customers.
Squarespace is an excellent website builder with some of the best designs on the market. Its minimalist interface takes some getting used to, especially if you're already familiar with more complex website building tools. Once you're past that initial learning stage, you can build gorgeous responsive-design websites in no time. Overall, Squarespace’s interface strikes the right balance between accessibility and complexity but is probably best suited for people with a decent understanding of computer applications.
Squarespace is relatively pricey, and some important ecommerce features are reserved for the most expensive plans, but it makes up for it with unlimited bandwidth and storage, fully responsive designs, and a fantastic support team that answers quickly (during its slightly limited business hours).
Jimdo is a simple website builder that lets you launch a website in minutes. It uses AI to get your site off the ground instead of requiring you to choose a template. While your customization options are limited, Jimdo is very user friendly and doesn’t require any experience with website design.
Jimdo offers excellent SEO features to help get your site noticed, but it lacks even basic marketing tools. You can’t launch a blog with Jimdo, for example, and there’s no email marketing capability. Overall, Jimdo is best for creating basic websites and online stores quickly and affordably.
Web.com is a simple website builder that enables you to create a professional website from more than 150 templates. The platform offers decent customization options, but the site editor can feel clunky. In addition, Web.com only offers limited support for marketing and ecommerce.
While Web.com might work well for some basic sites, we think that most users will be better off with an alternative website builder. For a similar price, builders from Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy offer substantially more features.
Weebly is an inexpensive yet highly capable website builder owned by Square. This platform offers 75 templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder that gives you a good amount of control over your site. Weebly isn’t the most flexible builder that we’ve seen, but it’s close.
What really makes Weebly shine is its tools for businesses, especially online stores. You can sell an unlimited number of physical and digital products and manage inventory across online and physical stores. It also includes an email marketing suite complete with automation features. Overall, Weebly is an excellent choice for building a professional or e-commerce website.