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The Best Website Builders of 2021 - Tried and Tested

Dave Platt

Living in the digital era means one important thing whether you're a business owner, write a blog or want a personal website: you better have an online presence if you want anyone to notice you. In 2021 all you need to get started is a well-known website builder to help you and you'll have a professional looking site live in no time. 

With so many worthwhile options to choose from, it's worth comparing what the best website builders have to offer before you commit to one. This includes deciding what you need the site for, comparing the different features and templates offered and then deciding how much you want to spend. 

Most of these website builders offer deals with their annual plans, often with huge discounts, so make sure to take advantage of this and take your website to the next level this year.

Templates and features
Easy to edit sites
Easy custom website with business tools
Beginners and SMBs
Site design with lots of extras
Easy-to-build websites
Professional websites
Sites with lots of features
DIY website builder
People with no coding knowledge
From $14.00 per month
From $2.95 per month
From $9.99 per month
From $3.84 per month
From $12.80 per month billed annually
From $5 per month
From $12per month
From $4 per month
From $1.95per month, $22.95 after
From $12 per month
Yes
No
YesMay vary by country
No
Yesand 14-day free trial
No, but paid versions have 1 month free
No14-day free trial
Yes
No
Yes
Drag and drop
Built-in tool for advanced editing
Intuitive full editing capability
No
Basic editor with image library
Yes
Various tools
No
N/A
Variety of tools
Personalized SEO, email marketing, social, +
Smart SEO optimizer, customized plan
SEO wizard, get found online, social, email
Keyword suggestions, on-page optimization
Tags, sitemap, 301s, webmaster, +
Yes
Site map, SSL cert, HTML markup, tagging, +
Yes
Business listing, content dev, keyword, +
Optimization tools and suggestions
Yes
Yes with dedicated plan
Yes, including sync with 3rd party sites
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes with dedicated plan
Yes
Yes
Yes

A Closer Look at the Top 10 Website Builders

    • Best forTemplates and features
    • PriceFrom $14.00 per month
    • Free versionYes

    Wix has got hundreds of templates to choose from, delightfully simple drag-and-drop editor functionality, and packs a lot of features even into its free accounts. Without an ounce of design know-how, you can create, edit, and upload your own website in a relatively short amount of time.

    Pros
    • Comprehensive free version
    • Easy to use for anyone
    • Best-in-class reputation
    Cons
    • Templates are rigid, not very flexible
    • Confusing pricing structure
  • 2
    Network Solutions

    Network Solutions

    • Best forEasy to edit sites
    • PriceFrom $2.95 per month
    • Free versionNo

    Network Solutions offers businesses all manner of tools and software for managing and running a successful business. Now, you can even build your own site using this popular tool. Network Solutions has both a DIY option and a professional builder plan. Either way, you'll get a free domain name, high-quality design layouts, and personalized email.

    Pros
    • Impressive stock image library
    • Free domain name and personalized email
    • Easy point-and-click editor
    Cons
    • Confusing interface
    • Site and tool could use a makeover
  • 3
    GoDaddy

    GoDaddy

    • Best forEasy custom website with business tools
    • PriceFrom $9.99 per month
    • Free versionYesMay vary by country

    GoDaddy’s website builder (named GoDaddy Websites + Marketing) is all about speed. The successful domain registrar stripped away all the complex functionality, confusing terminology, and unnecessary frills to create a simple and smart website builder that anyone could use to create professional websites in minutes. GoDaddy's  artificial design intelligence tool will learn about your business and suggest design edits to help make your website put its best foot forward. 

    Pros
    • Artificial design intelligence for smart design tweaks
    • Create a complete site from zero in minutes
    • Competitive pricing plans
    Cons
    • Limited customization and features
    • Blog feature needs more functionality
  • 4
    HostGator
    • Best forBeginners and SMBs
    • PriceFrom $3.84 per month
    • Free versionNo

    HostGator’s website builder draws from the company’s celebrated hosting services to offer users a simple yet more-than-capable website builder. The service combines convenience and professionalism with an easy point-and-click site builder as well as some advanced tools such as SEO and ecommerce capabilities.

    Pros
    • No tech savvy required
    • SEO tools included
    • Easy point-and-click site builder
    Cons
    • Not ideal for larger businesses
    • User support is lacking
    • Best forSite design with lots of extras
    • PriceFrom $12.80 per month billed annually
    • Free versionYesand 14-day free trial

    Site123 is cleverly-named to tell businesses exactly what they can get: a website builder that will help you build your own customized site as easy as 1, 2, 3. In fact, this system is wonderfully simple to use. Site123 comes with a robust set of features that can give your website an obvious edge over the competition. Tools like website design, booking scheduler, logo designer, responsive web templates, and SEO tools really create a comprehensive package for a reasonable price.

    Pros
    • Flexible pricing plans and subscriptions
    • SEO, design, logo, and more tools built-in
    • Responsive designs
    Cons
    • Pricey upgrades
    • Limited control over functionality
  • 6
    1&1 IONOS
    • Best forEasy-to-build websites
    • PriceFrom $5 per month
    • Free versionNo, but paid versions have 1 month free

    If poring over lines of code doesn’t sound like a recipe for fun to you, then 1&1’s website builder, IONOS, could be the best tool that you haven’t yet discovered. 

    This website builder centers around a DIY tool, but users also have the option of receiving professional design help from a member of an expert building team. 

    Pros
    • DIY or professional options
    • Ecommerce support
    • Multilingual option
    Cons
    • Template based
    • No free tier
  • 7
    Squarespace

    Squarespace

    • Best forProfessional websites
    • PriceFrom $12per month
    • Free versionNo14-day free trial

    Squarespace does an excellent job of delivering a top-quality website builder experience. For one thing, the templates are crisp, clean, and professionally designed. It’s also nice the way Squarespace conveniently organizes templates by industry and genre, so you can quickly pick one based on your requirements.

    Pros
    • Professional quality and design
    • Great mobile app
    • Blogging app with commenting, multi-author, and more
    Cons
    • No third-party app integrations
    • Shallow menu hierarchy
  • 8
    WordPress.com

    WordPress.com

    • Best forSites with lots of features
    • PriceFrom $4 per month
    • Free versionYes

    If you love the thought of building a site on WordPress but not the prospect of lining up and comparing a variety of hosting companies, then WordPress.com might be the solution for you. WordPress.com’s premium plans allow users to access almost all the themes and plugins available to WordPress CMS users—and there’s even a special version to support eCommerce users.


    Pros
    • Most WordPress features
    • Special eCommerce version
    • Add plugins and themes
    Cons
    • No custom domain on free tier
    • No control over underlying infrastructure
  • 9
    Web.com

    Web.com

    • Best forDIY website builder
    • PriceFrom $1.95per month, $22.95 after
    • Free versionNo

    Web.com lets you choose between a DIY website builder or a professionally built site. If you’re a do it yourself kind of business owner, you’ll appreciate the easy to use platform. Drag-and-drop editor, image library with thousands of choices, and customizable content blocks all add up to a fast and painless design process.

    Pros
    • DIY or pro build design options
    • 24/7 phone support
    • Launch your site in 15 minutes
    Cons
    • Very limited template selection
    • Difficult to make complex edits
    • Best forPeople with no coding knowledge
    • PriceFrom $12 per month
    • Free versionYes

    Square Online Store helps power your online business with tons of eCommerce features. It’s incredibly user-friendly, so even those without any tech or coding skills will have an easy time creating a website. It gives e-commerce merchants a variety of tools to grow their businesses, including connecting their store to social media, integrating SEO best practices into individual products, and a start-to-finish shopping, shipping and inventory management system. 

    Pros
    • No coding knowledge needed
    • Supports syncing with internal inventory-tracking systems
    • Integrates with Square payments and other solutions
    Cons
    • Online stores available for US and Canada residents only
    • Loading times can be slow depending on inventory
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a website builder subscription cost?
-
+
Most website builders offer a free version, but if you want to take advantage of all the features, you should get a subscription. Paid plans can range from just $4 a month for a basic option, up to over $25 a month if you're looking for more features.
Are free websites good for SEO?
-
+
It depends how in-depth you'd like your SEO capabilities to be. While some free providers offer SEO tools, they'll likely lack detailed reporting and statistics as well as the content suggestions and even SEO content creation tools that paid services provide.
Which website builder is best for a small business?
-
+
Wix offers an excellent user experience, beautiful templates, and a marketplace for apps, making it a top choice for many small businesses. Network solutions and GoDaddy also offer plenty of features that can help your small business grow.

Finding the Right Website Builder for Your Needs

Hiring a professional to build your website costs around $2,000 on average. Any change you need to make after that will require additional payments. 

Using a website builder is significantly less expensive. And these days, you hardly need the technical prowess of a designer to create clean, elegant, fully functional websites that are more than capable of presenting your business or blog in a professional light. With simple drag-and-drop design technology, easy-to-use templates, and even algorithmic design programs, the laymen is more than equipped to create their own website.  

What to Consider When Choosing a Website Builder Platform

The best website builder is the one that best fits your needs. Ask yourself some of these questions about your new website:

  • What type of site will it be?
  • What key features do you need?
  • Are you running an online store?
  • What is the vibe of your business?

Free Website Builders: How Do They Work?

If you just want to build a basic site without an online store, then a free website builder is an excellent way to get started. Most top website building programs listed above offer a free version, which may be enough if you're looking to set up a basic site. However, if you want to upgrade your site, it may be worth investing in a paid subscription so you can take advantage of all the features available. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a free website builder:

Pros

  • A free website builder could give you just what you need to get started
  • Get a professional-looking website without a lot of bells and whistles
  • You have the option to upgrade to a paid plan when you outgrow your existing storage limit, need more options, or want particular features

Cons

  • Free website builder plans come with much less storage and slower load time
  • There are fewer practical tools, if any
  • Websites built on free plans don’t have their own unique URLs, instead they have the website builder’s name in the URL, for example: yourname.wixsite.com
  • Free websites also includes advertising and the branding of the company hosting your page

Other Website Builders We Reviewed

This list of 10 website builders is composed of companies that chose to partner with Top10.com. In total, we reviewed over 30 brands when doing our research into website builders, with new brands being reviewed on a regular basis. Interested in learning about the features, templates and pricing of some big website builders that don't appear on this list? Check out more details about these big names:

Dave Platt
David Platt writes for top10.com. He developed an extensive working knowledge of background check and data management services in his time providing support for military access credentials with respected biometric security service provider SureID. He has further developed his internet security skills in completing a Bachelors of Science degree at Portland State University.