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The Best Website Builders of 2021

Daniel Blechynden

In the modern world, a digital presence is a must for virtually any business that wants to become successful. Social media is a good place to start, but creating your own website presents an even better way to promote your name and begin growing brand awareness. 

Up until the past 10 years or so, creating a new website was a difficult process that required a significant amount of skill. However, the invention and growing popularity of website builders has opened up web development to virtually everyone, and they now represent the best way for the average person to create a website. The top website builders are very easy to use, enable rapid site creation, and require little to no tech skill or coding knowledge. 

Usually, website builders have some form of drag-and-drop interface that enables you to design your site visually. You will have access to a selection of pre-built website templates, and you won’t have to spend a fortune to hire a developer. 

Here, we take a closer look at some of the best website builders on the market. By analyzing their prices, main features, user interface, and customer service, among other things, we aim to bring the information you need to select the best website builder for your needs.

Versatility
Beginners who want a basic website
Beginners
Small businesses looking to grow online
Getting online fast
Small businesses that want to launch online stores
Image-heavy sites
Blogging
Basic websites with design flexibility
Restaurants and retailers pivoting to online sales
From $14per month
$14.95-$109.80per month
From $6.99per month
$9.98-$24.98
From $4per month billed annually
$5-$35
From $16per month
From $7per month
From $10per month, $22.95 after
From free
Yes
No
YesMay vary by country
No
Yesand 14-day free trial
No
14-day trial14-day free trial
Yes
No
Yes
Basic
No
Yes (GoDaddy Studio)
No
Basic
No
Yes
Basic
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (with an Ecommerce plan)
Yes
Basic
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

A Closer Look at the Top 10 Website Builders

    • Best forVersatility
    • PriceFrom $14per month
    • Free versionYes

    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.

    Pros
    • Great editing tools
    • Strong e-commerce support
    • Long list of pre-designed templates
    Cons
    • Editor intimidating at first
    • Templates can’t be changed
    • Can’t export to HTML
  • 2
    Network Solutions

    Network Solutions

    • Best forBeginners who want a basic website
    • Price$14.95-$109.80per month
    • Free versionNo

    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.

    Pros
    • More than 150 well-designed templates
    • Very easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
    • Marketing tools available
    Cons
    • Very expensive after introductory pricing
    • Limited design flexibility
  • 3
    GoDaddy
    • Best forBeginners
    • PriceFrom $6.99per month
    • Free versionYesMay vary by country

    The GoDaddy website builder is designed for and targeted at beginners with little to no web development experience. It boasts an intuitive, beginner-friendly editor, basic e-commerce tools, and a selection of integrated marketing tools. More advanced users might find the editor a bit too limiting, but it does allow for basic customization.

    However, design flexibility is a little limited, the SEO tools are poor, and there are currently only 22 templates available. GoDaddy’s prices are competitive, though, and we’d recommend using the free plan to test the platform if you’re looking for a simple, beginner-friendly website builder that will enable you to get online fast. GoDaddy's strength lies in the marketing, e-commerce, and other tools as well as its very competitive pricing plans. Top that off with excellent customer service and you get a good option for beginners creating their first site.

    Pros
    • Enables rapid site creation with no special skills
    • Integrated e-commerce and marketing tools
    • Very beginner friendly and easy to use
    Cons
    • Design flexibility is quite limited
    • Poor platform for SEO
  • 4
    HostGator

    HostGator

    • Best forSmall businesses looking to grow online
    • Price$9.98-$24.98
    • Free versionNo

    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.

    Pros
    • Flexible, easy-to-use page editor
    • Email marketing and Ecommerce with all plans
    • Cheap introductory pricing for 2 years
    Cons
    • Limited number of email campaigns
    • Abandoned cart recovery is not automated
  • 5
    SITE123

    SITE123

    • Best forGetting online fast
    • PriceFrom $4per month billed annually
    • Free versionYesand 14-day free trial

    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.

    Pros
    • Great selection of well-designed templates
    • Foolproof, easy-to-use editing interface
    • Excellent range of guides and tutorials
    Cons
    • Design flexibility is very limited
    • Ecommerce, blogging, and marketing tools are basic
  • 6
    1&1 IONOS

    1&1 IONOS

    • Best forSmall businesses that want to launch online stores
    • Price$5-$35
    • Free versionNo

    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.

    Pros
    • Beginner and advanced versions of site editor
    • Excellent ecommerce features for the price
    • Options for personalized visitor experiences
    Cons
    • Blog features require an upgrade
    • Limited selection of templates
  • 7
    Squarespace

    Squarespace

    • Best forImage-heavy sites
    • PriceFrom $16per month
    • Free version14-day trial14-day free trial

    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).

    Pros
    • Great-looking themes
    • Unlimited bandwidth and storage space
    • Good blogging features
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Abandoned shopping cart recovery requires the top-tier plan
    • Limited number of templates
  • 8
    WordPress.com

    WordPress.com

    • Best forBlogging
    • PriceFrom $7per month
    • Free versionYes

    WordPress.com takes care of all the hosting, installation, and updating of a WordPress website for you and throws in a competent drag-and-drop website editor to speed the process even more. 

    It shines for its huge plugin and theme library and industry-leading E-commerce features. But it’s a little pricey, so if you’re dead set on using WordPress, you might want to check out other hosting companies that offer the same content management system (CMS) for less.

    Pros
    • Massive list of plugins and themes
    • Powerful E-commerce features
    • Free-for-life basic plan
    Cons
    • Unintuitive editor
    • Same CMS can be found cheaper elsewhere
    • Most templates are for blogging sites
  • 9
    Web.com

    Web.com

    • Best forBasic websites with design flexibility
    • PriceFrom $10per month, $22.95 after
    • Free versionNo

    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.

    Pros
    • Nicely designed templates
    • Pre-built content blocks
    • Includes a blog
    Cons
    • Expensive to unlock essential features
    • Page editor feels clunky
    • Best forRestaurants and retailers pivoting to online sales
    • PriceFrom free
    • Free versionYes

    Square Online is a capable website builder from Square, the payment processing giant. This website builder enables physical restaurants and retail stores to sell online and integrate their existing brick-and-mortar operations. It also works well for online-only stores that want to take advantage of Square’s Ecommerce and marketing tools.

    Square Online’s site design process is simple, although you have limited customization options and there’s no drag-and-drop page editor. This platform is packed with features for inventory management, marketing, and customer analytics. 

    Pros
    • No coding knowledge needed
    • Supports contactless ordering and in-store pickup
    • Excellent inventory management system
    Cons
    • Limited design flexibility
    • Only works with Square or PayPal for payments
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best website builder in {year}?
-
+
The best overall website builder in {year} is Wix. It offers a beginner-friendly Wix ADI designer and a more advanced Wix Editor, providing options for everyone from industry newbies to seasoned professionals. It boasts a huge template library, and its design flexibility is excellent.
Which website builder is easiest to use?
-
+
The easiest website builder to use is GoDaddy. It’s far from the most powerful option on the market, but it enables even the most inexperienced users to create a new site in next to no time.
Do I need to know how to code to build a website?
-
+
No, modern website builders offer a code-free site creation experience. Some enable you to add your own custom code snippets if you want to, but this isn’t necessary.

What to Consider When Choosing a Website Builder Platform

When selecting the best site to build a website with, you need to think about your requirements, skill level, budget, and the amount of time you have to dedicate to the site creation process. Keep the following at the front of your mind during the selection process. 

Ease of Use

Some website builders focus on useability, while others come with more advanced design tools but are more complex to familiarize yourself with. If you just want to get a basic site online quickly, you are best off with a beginner-friendly website builder like GoDaddy or Site123. But if you want a little more design flexibility and are willing to put some time into the site creation process, a more powerful option like Wix could be best. 

Pricing

Before you begin your search for a website builder, set your maximum budget. Weigh up the value for money each builder offers, and ensure you select an option that you can afford. 

Design & Features

Platforms like Wix and HostGator’s Gator Builder come with excellent design and website building features as well as hundreds of templates. In fact, they are two of the more complex builders on the market, largely because of the power their editors offer. But for many, a simpler builder that offers fewer features will be a better choice. 

Customer Support

When you’re creating your first website, the chances are that you will run into some sort of problem. This is where great customer support comes into play. Look for responsive live chat, email, and phone support, along with a decent knowledge base or help center. 

Data Ownership & Portability

With many website builders, you won’t actually have any ownership over your site files and other data. Migrating to another platform is sometimes impossible. Keep this in mind if you are likely to want to export your site and/or its data at any point in time. 

Free Website Builders: How Do They Work?

Many website builders offer a free forever subscription option that enables you to create a new website without spending a cent. These may appear like great choices at first glance but remember, nothing is ever truly free. 

Using a free website builder has several limitations. Usually, you will have a very small amount of storage, a limit on the number of pages you can add to your site, and some restrictions on the design and management tools you can access. 

You may also be stuck with a platform-branded subdomain. In the case of Wix, for example, this looks something like “yoursite.wix.com,” which is far from professional. Many website builders will place adverts on your website if you use their free plan, and some will limit the available customer service options. 

At the end of the day, free website builders can be useful for testing platforms, creating simple personal websites, or learning how to build a website from scratch. However, we would highly recommend paying a few dollars per month for a premium subscription if you want to build a high-quality business website. 

Other Website Builders We Reviewed

BoldGrid

BoldGrid is among the best page builder plugins for WordPress.org. It’s not strictly a website builder, but rather enables drag-and-drop editing for WordPress websites.

Bookmark

Bookmark offers beginner-friendly, AI-powered website building solutions. It does a great job of coupling advanced features with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate designer and management interface.

Domain.com

Domain.com is one of the more basic website builders we’ve used, but it comes with a beginner-friendly editor that’s designed to help you get online as fast as possible.

Hibu

Digital marketing agency Hibu offers a selection of website creation solutions. It’s not a website builder, and it doesn’t allow you to create your own site, but you will benefit from the experience and know-how of Hibu’s developers.

HostPapa 

Although it’s better known for its hosting solutions, HostPapa offers a basic website builder designed for beginners who want to create simple sites.

IM Creator

The IM Creator website builder is arguably the best website creator for creatives. It’s absolutely free for students and artists, and it boasts a powerful editor that is admittedly a little confusing to get the hang of.

iPage

iPage certainly isn’t the most powerful website generator on the market, but it’s an excellent option for those on a tight budget.

Jimdo

Jimdo is one of the more popular website makers. The Jimdo Dolphin editor is beginner-friendly and powered by AI technology, while the Jimdo Creator offers much more design flexibility and code access.

Register.com

Register.com offers website building solutions alongside its hosting and domain registration services, but its site creator is very limited and one of the most expensive options we’ve seen. 

Shopify 

Shopify is a beginner-friendly website builder that’s designed specifically for online stores. It’s one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, and it’s backed by a suite of online selling and store management tools. 

SimpleSite 

SimpleSite is exactly what its name suggests—a simple and easy website builder, albeit one that lacks the power to create anything more than a very basic website. 

SiteBuilder 

SiteBuilder is a competitively priced, beginner-friendly website builder that’s useful for creating basic online stores or websites. It’s one of the simpler options we’ve tested, and it seriously lacks design flexibility. 

Site.pro

Site.pro’s drag-and-drop website builder offers decent design flexibility, the ability to add an online store, and the choice of more than 200 templates to get started with. 

SiteW 

SiteW boasts great design flexibility and very competitive prices, but its editor is quite confusing to get started with, and its e-commerce tools are effectively useless. 

Website.com

The Website.com website builder is one of the most powerful we’ve used. It boasts a large selection of templates, a very flexible builder, and impressive e-commerce tools. 

Weebly 

Weebly is arguably the best website builder for SEO. It’s backed by a selection of professionally designed templates, comes with great e-commerce tools, and features a foolproof editor. 

Zyro

The best website builder for blogging should include a range of blog tools, reporting, and analytics features, and streamlined management tools. Zyro does this well, and it’s a great option for those looking to start a simple blog. 

Conclusion

There are dozens of website builders on the market, and finding the right one for your needs can be a little complicated.

Before you go on to select the right builder for your needs, we’d suggest sitting down and identifying your exact requirements, budget, and amount of time available to create a site. Take advantage of free forever plans to test different platforms, and ensure that any option you shortlist has the tools you require. 

Daniel Blechynden
Contributing to the likes of top10.com, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide, Daniel’s writing focuses on technology, science, and dependable reviews. He has been a regular critic of software and products from various industries for several years, often utilizing his academic background in the sciences.