The Best Website Builders in Australia

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If you need a website for your business – you're in the right place. We've tested over a dozen website builders on 70+ different features and come up with final scores.

What are the best website builders?

  1. Wix – Best all-rounder
  2. Squarespace – Best for portfolios
  3. Shopify – Best for selling online
  4. GoDaddy – Best for speedy set up
  5. Hostinger – Best for multiple websites
  6. WordPress – Best value for money

Want to get started today? Click any of the above links to go straight to the website builder (and its free trial, where available).

Wix is the top performing website builder: easy to use no matter your tech skills. It's affordable ($16-$45 a month), its websites look great, and its appointment booking features are particularly useful.

But you may need another tool instead, depending on your business type. Shopify is our expert recommendation if you're looking to scale up a retail outfit.

Read on for our comparison guide to the best website builders – looking at value for money, ease of use, range of features, and design options.

Head to head: Best website builders

Rivalry is high between the major website builder brands. Although many contain really similar features, there are differences in the quality and performance of each. We'll go into more detail in the individual reviews below, but for now let's look at the overall comparison.

Click the left and right arrows to scroll the table and compare features:

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Wix

Squarespace

Shopify

GoDaddy

Hostinger

WordPress.com

Score
4.7
Score
4.7
Score
4.3
Score
4.5
Score
4.0
Score
3.3
Price Range

$15-$179 per month

Price Range

$16-$52 per month

Price Range

$56-$575 per month

Price Range

$13.95-$26.95 per month

Price Range

US$1.99 – US$8.99 per month

Price Range

$0-$59 per month

Pricing is wildly different depending on which product you're looking at. For instance, you'll notice that Shopify is much more expensive than GoDaddy. The reason is they're aimed at completely different people: if you're a microbusiness, or focused more on services and appointments, then GoDaddy may be the best web builder for you.

But if you're scaling up a business selling products, (either online only or to support a brick-and-mortar shop), Shopify is a better choice. Shopify's sales features (including inventory oversight, order management, and shipping options) are far more advanced than GoDaddy's, hence the higher price tag.

What are transaction fees?

If you take payments through your website (for instance, you sell products, subscriptions or services), some platforms will take a commission from each transaction.

This is unrelated to payment processing fees (which are charged by payment gateways for the service of facilitating the money transfer).

1. Wix: Best All-Rounder

Scoring a mighty 4.9/5 in our comprehensive testing, Wix certainly earns its place as the best website builder. Its range of features goes above the basic expectations. Sure you can book appointments, sell products, and install a chatbot – but its Fit By Wix app gives health and fitness clubs a digital platform to host community groups.

While its editor is not hard to use, you may find it takes an irritatingly long time to load. One of our focus group users complained they were “sat watching the spinning wheel of doom” on a loading screen a little too often. But the prebuilt sections allow you to create a well-functioning website much quicker than typing everything yourself.

Pros

  • Wide range of payment gateways
  • No commission on regular sales
  • Sell unlimited products

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • Can't migrate to another platform
  • 2.5% commission on all ticket sales
screenshot of Wix web design editor with layout panel on right hand side loading
While we liked Wix's user-friendly website editor, we found the buffering time to be a hassle.

How does Wix stack up to the competition?

Wix beats rival platforms in most key areas: scoring 4.8/5 in our ‘Website Features' category, its nearest competitor is Squarespace, which scored 4.6. Wix came top of the charts in ‘Design Functions', ‘Customer Support', and ‘Ease of Use' as well.

But Wix lacks unlimited storage space, unlike Weebly, GoDaddy, and almost all other competitors which offer this as standard.

Wix pricing

Wix offers a 14-day free trial on its premium plans, with several plans to choose from. Only three of these offer the chance to sell online, so look carefully at the features included in each one:

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Light

Core

Business

Business Elite

Enterprise

Price

$15 per month

Price

$30 per month

Price

$44 per month

Price

$179 per month

Price

Variable

Best For

Basic small business website

Best For

A small online store

Best For

Expanding online sellers

Best For

Fast-moving online stores

Best For

Competitive large retailers

Key Features
  • No online store
  • 2GB storage
  • No Wix ads
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Customer data forms
Key Features
  • 50GB storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Sell products, video, music
  • 1 auto backup/month
  • Basic gift cards
Key Features
  • 100GB storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Sales tax automation
  • Print shipping labels
  • Sell in 6 currencies
Key Features
  • Unlimited storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Priority customer support
  • Custom reports
Key Features
  • Account manager
  • Performance tracking and site optimization
  • Enterprise-grade security

You can find more details on its highs and lows in our detailed Wix review.

2. Squarespace: Best for Portfolios

  • Strong value for money
  • Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
  • Focus on beautiful design
  • Best suited to: photographers, visual artists

Nipping at Wix's heels is Squarespace with an overall score of 4.8/5. The key difference is you'll get photo uploads without limits on Squarespace. That, combined with its world class template designs, is why it's best suited to image-centric websites. If you need to sell a vision, Squarespace is the web platform for you.

This year, Squarespace has upgraded its editor so editing your design is more precise. Drag-and-drop blocks now align and resize to match nearby elements. A grid pattern appears while you're moving pieces around, which is useful as a set of guidelines.

Pros

  • Precise layout editing
  • Ctrl+Z to "Undo" edits
  • Automatic sitemap creation

Cons

  • No autosave
  • No point of sale hardware
  • Just three payment gateways
grid appears as a shadow overlaid on top of squarespace web design editor
When testing Squarespace, we found the grid pattern that appears as you move elements around made it much easier to align components on the page. This can help even first-time builders achieve a slick, neat page layout.

How does Squarespace compare with rivals?

Squarespace offers a higher quality editing experience compared with GoDaddy and Weebly. GoDaddy only allows you to move blocks up and down, and you won't be able to drag and drop individual images or text boxes like you can with Squarespace.

That said, it's a less sophisticated online shop option compared with Shopify. For instance, you can't accept multiple currencies on your Squarespace shop but you can with Shopify.

Squarespace pricing

Squarespace's pricing plans include a 14-day free trial period and two ecommerce-specific plans to choose from. Also, don't forget you can save 10% on Squarespace by using code EM10 at the checkout.

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Personal

Business

Commerce Basic

Commerce Advanced

Price

$16 per month

 

Price

$25 per month

Price

$34 per month

Price

$52 per month

Best For

Early stage entrepreneurs

Best For

Small businesses

Best For

SMBs looking to sell online

Best For

Growing retail businesses

Key Features
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Collect visitor data
  • Video maker
Key Features
  • Sell unlimited number of products
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Free Gmail (1 year)
  • Pop-ups and banners
Key Features
  • Point of Sale
  • Collect reviews
  • Product waitlists
  • Free Gmail (1 year)
  • Free domain (1 year)
Key Features
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Local shipping rates
  • APIs for custom integrations

If you need a closer look at what's included, check out our Squarespace review.

3. Shopify: Best for Sales Features

Shopify is rather different to your standard website builder because it's really focused on retail and inventory management. With Squarespace and Wix, you begin by customizing your website's design. But Shopify's dashboard is mainly for managing orders, products, and sales channels. Design is secondary.

Unlike Squarespace, you can link Shopify to Point of Sale hardware (such as Shopify POS). Shopify is also introducing AI features to help retailers. As of April 2023, you can use Shopify Magic to generate product descriptions in your preferred tone based on a few keywords.

Shopify's newest AI tool Sidekick is designed to be a commerce assistant. It can carry out various tasks such as adding discounts or creating reports you request. This AI tool makes it a lot easier to run an online store as you can have it carry out some of your to-do list for you.

There are also two new apps: Bundles and Subscription which are handy tools to diversify your website's offerings. The Bundles app can be used to create bundles and if you have Shopify Plus, you can create custom bundles using Shopify APIs. A bundle is typically different but related products sold together or products which aren't sold separately but are sold together.

The Shopify Subscription is a free app that can be used to select specific products for subscription and customise delivery frequencies. Your customers can set up a subscription, pause, or skip orders. The subscription app opens up another revenue stream for your business and encourages customer loyalty.

Pros

  • Platform for online and in-person sales
  • Generate shipping labels and policy documents
  • International selling

Cons

  • Charges transaction fees
  • Design is hard to customize
  • No autosave
screenshot of Shopify website editor showing central design space and menu options in columns on either side
We found the Shopify design editor a little less hands-on, click-and-drag like its competitors. While it can produce great results, there is a bit of a learning curve to get to grips with it.

How does Shopify match up to competitors?

Shopify is more expensive than any other website builder on this list. That's because it's designed to make you money through advanced retail operations; Shopify has far superior sales features (particularly when it comes to selling abroad) compared to Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace or Hostinger. For a quick example, you can list limitless products with Shopify, whereas Hostinger only allows up to 500.

It's a little light on templates though – there are around 130 Shopify themes to choose from, and only 12 are free (Wix has 900 at no extra cost, and there are thousands for WordPress). If you need a pretty website more than you need excellent sales features, you should choose Squarespace over Shopify.

Shopify pricing

Shopify used to offer a 14-day free trial period, but this shrunk to just three days in 2023. Anyway, here are Shopify's price plans:

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Starter

Basic Shopify

Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

Price

$7 per month

Price
Price
Price
Price

$2,000+ USD per month

Best For

Selling on social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Small and medium sized businesses

Best For

International sellers

Best For

High volume retailers

Key Features
  • Get shoppable links (URLs)
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
  • Customer support
Key Features
  • Sell an unlimited number of products
  • Up to two users
  • Sell in 33 currencies (1.5% conversion fee)
  • Basic performance reports
Key Features
  • 5 user accounts
  • Improved reports
  • Better shipping discounts
  • Shipping insurance (with Shopify Payments)
Key Features
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Advanced reporting
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Collect duties and import taxes at checkout
Key Features
  • Faster checkout
  • Automate workflows
  • Security and compliance
  • Priority support

4. GoDaddy: Best for speedy set up

GoDaddy is known as a domain registrar and hosting provider, so its websites are highly secure and unlikely to drop offline. Its website builder works well, but you'll get absolutely no frills on the cheaper plans. Even the ability to take payments for appointments only starts at the $14.99 a month Premium plan.

One of the best things about GoDaddy is its simplicity – creating a web presence is a low stress experience. That's why it scored 4.1/5 in our ‘Ease of Use' category. The Ecommerce plan is suitable only for smaller shops without ambitious plans. So if you're looking to sell in several countries, pick Shopify over GoDaddy.

Pros

  • Easy way to build a website
  • Websites load fast
  • Industry specific templates

Cons

  • Poor quality SEO tools
  • Basic selling features
  • Poor third party app integration
A pop up window shows four restaurant related images with 1087 further options
GoDaddy offers a library of stock images. We found this saved time when building a test site, but be warned, your site could start looking generic

How does GoDaddy fare against its foes?

GoDaddy has less precise design options than Squarespace, fewer business features than Wix, and limited selling options compared with Shopify. But GoDaddy is faster and simpler to use than all of them. And definitely lighter on the wallet than Shopify.

Honestly, GoDaddy doesn't come with the perks of its near-priced competitors. While Wix and Squarespace come with a year's free domain, GoDaddy (surprisingly, as it's a major domain registrar) does not.

GoDaddy pricing

GoDaddy has a 30-day free trial, plus a 30-day money back guarantee if you change your mind after buying it. That makes it pretty low risk for you, financially. Here are the price plans (only the top one is for selling online):

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Basic

Standard

Premium

Ecommerce

Price (Paying Monthly)

$13.95 per month

Renews at $18.95 per month

Price (Paying Monthly)

$17.95 per month

Renews at $24.95 per month

Price (Paying Monthly)

$24.95 per month

Renews at $34.95 per month

Price (Paying Monthly)

$26.95 per month

Renews at $39.95 per month

Best For

Getting started with a website, marketing and payments

Best For

A small business website

Best For

Taking online appointments and boosting your marketing

Best For

A small store

Key Features
  • SSL security
  • 100 email marketing sends monthly
  • Sales tracking dashboard
Key Features
  • Everything on Basic, plus:
  • SEO support
  • 3 social media platforms
  • 20 social posts per month
  • 500 email marketing sends per month
Key Features
  • 25,000 email marketing sends per month
  • Recurring appointments
  • Email and text appointment reminders
Key Features
  • List 5,000 products
  • 50 orders/month across marketplaces
  • USPS discounted shipping
  • Abandoned cart emails

Although it's convenient and simple, GoDaddy has some serious limitations in its features for business. So you should check out our full GoDaddy review before going ahead with it.

5. Hostinger: Best for Multiple Websites

Hostinger is a less well-known website builder provider (it bought Zyro in 2022, using it as a blueprint for its own product). As you can likely tell from the name, Hostinger is a hosting and email provider, but also a domain registrar. For that reason, it's well placed to offer secure web hosting, DNS firewall, and unlimited bandwidth. You'll also get the added bonus of daily and weekly backups, with the option of restoring your website if needed.

You're able to build up to 100 websites with unlimited SSL security certificates included. Plus these all come with AI tools and the ability to sell up to 500 products on each. That makes Hostinger a cost-savvy solution to scaling at speed.

Pros

  • Strong security features
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Easily create foreign language versions

Cons

  • Only list 500 products
  • Not good for blogging
  • No social post creator
website editor screen with lefthand menu showing several options to add elements including a star shape
Unlike Shopify, Hostinger's website editor lets you drag and drop elements to wherever you like on the page. We found this very easy to get the hang of, so means even beginners can create professional looking results.

How does Hostinger measure up to similar providers?

For a provider that specialises in hosting and web security, Hostinger's design editor is surprisingly high quality. Far more flexible than GoDaddy, and easier to use than Shopify, Hostinger's editor has a similar grid alignment to Squarespace. The unique “Add shape” feature gives you more creative freedom than GoDaddy.

Yet Hostinger lacks a couple of features you'd get as standard with Wix, Squarespace or GoDaddy; for instance, you can't create and post social content from within your Hostinger site.

Hostinger's website builder isn't a good choice for bloggers or subscriber content, either. You can't create a paid members area, and there's no blog archive or comments. You'd be better off with WordPress, which has blog analytics and specific SEO tools (that Hostinger lacks).

How popular is Hostinger?

You may not have heard of Hostinger, but it's home to some two million websites around the world.

Hostinger pricing

There's just one Hostinger website builder price plan, named ‘Website Builder & Hosting'. From $1.99 per month , it's very affordable compared to competitors.

Note: Hostinger does not list its prices in AUD, prices pictured here are in USD.

Hostinger pricing is displayed in a slightly confusing way on its website because the discount offer makes it seem like the website builder costs $1.99 monthly. Which would be the cheapest premium website builder on the planet. But pay attention to the term, you'll actually need to pay the entire yearly fee upfront.

Read our full review of Hostinger here.

6. WordPress: Best value for money

  • Over 9,000 free templates
  • Customization through apps or code
  • Unlimited pages and contributors
  • Best suited to: Publishers and content creators

Professional grade web content management: it's yours for free with WordPress. There's a good reason 43% of all websites use WordPress; the wealth of handy plugins make it endlessly versatile. Not to mention the opportunity to upload your own theme (meaning web layout design), which you can't do with Wix (a platform that won't even let you export your website).

The main benefit of WordPress is the ability to edit the website according to your exact preferences. Sure, you may need some knowledge of computer programming, but it's a great platform to start learning that. And there's plenty you can do without that skillset. The plethora of inbuilt features and free add-ons is why WordPress.com scored 4.4/5 for ‘Value for Money': higher than any other leading website builder we tested.

Pros

  • Excellent blogging features
  • Built-in malware and DDoS protection
  • Connects with multiple other tools

Cons

  • More complicated to use than some
  • Storage is limited
  • Coding required for some customizations
12 previews of Wordpress themes in a grid with a lefthand menu of text options
WordPress has plenty of free templates for your website.

How does WordPress look next to similar website builders?

It's tempting to class WordPress in a league of its own due to its highly customizable nature. But the truth is, WordPress may be more than you need. If you're not interested in fiddling around with plugins and aren't fussy about exactly how your website looks, a Standard GoDaddy plan may be just what you need instead.

That said, if you want to publish articles, blog posts and company updates (or make money from paid content), you'd be a fool to pick any other platform than WordPress.

WordPress pricing

There's a generous free WordPress plan to get started with – and you'll get far with that plan. But if you're ready to invest, we recommend the Premium plan for improved website performance and better scaling capacity.

Even in its free plan, if you'd like to venture into ecommerce territory, you can use its Woocommerce add-on and start selling through your website at no extra cost. Shopify, for instance, doesn't allow you to do that for free – something we delve into in more detail in our Woocommerce vs Shopify comparison.

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Free

Personal

Premium

Price (Paying Monthly)

$0

Price (Paying Monthly)

$5 per month

Price (Paying Monthly)

$10 per month

Best For

Non profits

Best For

Paywall content

Best For

Video content makers

Key Features
  • 1 GB storage
  • Unlimited webpages
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • Publish newsletter
  • No plugins
Key Features
  • 6GB storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Subscription tools
  • Sell access to your content
  • No plug ins
Key Features
  • 13GB storage
  • Premium themes
  • Contact form
  • No plugins

How We Test Website Builders for Small Businesses

We tested 10 market-leading website builders to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, accuracy, and aesthetics so we can make all the latest useful recommendations to US businesses.

Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in six main categories of investigation and 33 subcategories – this means 251 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!

Our main testing categories for website builders are:

Website Features: the capabilities and functionalities offered by a website builder, e.g. blog functionality, SEO capability, and marketing capacity.

Design: the aesthetic appeal and visual layout of a website created using a website builder. It encompasses aspects such as page templates and customizable themes.

Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular website builder – the market position and reputation a website builder holds.

Ease of Use: how user-friendly and intuitive a website builder is for people with varying levels of technical expertise.

Value for Money: the balance between the cost of a website builder and the benefits it provides. It considers factors such as pricing plans, subscription models, and available features.

Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using a website builder. This can include tutorials, knowledge bases, and email or chat support.

 

Expert verdict

We're confident our research can help you find the website builder best suited to your business project. If you're looking to sell online, you can check out our specific ecommerce platform comparison guide.

And if you're interested, here's a summary of the category scores of each top website builder (scores out of five):

Platform
(Total Score /5)
Website FeaturesDesign FunctionsValue for MoneyHelp and SupportBrand AwarenessEase of Use
Wix
(4.9)
4.84.33.64.84.84.4
Squarespace (4.8)4.64.24.04.84.74.4
Shopify
(4.2)
3.63.73.04.05.03.7
GoDaddy
(4.1)
3.03.34.43.74.44.1
Hostinger
(3.7)
2.83.63.73.33.33.9
WordPress.com
(3.3)
2.82.34.43.13.22.7

Remember, just because Wix is the best all-rounder doesn't mean it's the tool you need. Be sure to check out our other reviews and comparison guides if you still want to weigh up competitors.

FAQs

Are website builders worth it?
A website builder is a far more cost-effective way of creating a website for a small business compared with hiring a web designer. You'll have to sacrifice around 10-20 hours of time to get it started, but you won't need high level graphic design or coding skills. That makes website builders a preferable option for entrepreneurs looking to save  on business costs.
Is it unprofessional to use a website builder?
Not necessarily, as your customers might not even be able to tell. If you use a free plan (with Wix, GoDaddy or WordPress), then your web address will contain the name of the website builder. That looks unprofessional, honestly, as it shows you're not making enough money to pay for your own domain. The same reasoning applies to the banner adverts which appear on non-premium plans.

But if you use a website builder and tweak the template design enough to reflect your own branding, you can produce a professional-looking result. You should ensure your images are large enough to avoid looking pixelated. Hiring a quality photographer to create on-brand imagery can help add credibility to your site.

Which website is easiest to build?
GoDaddy is the easiest way to get a website up and running. All you do is answer two questions about the kind of website you need, and GoDaddy generates a website for you. It scored 4.1/5 in our ‘Ease of Use' testing, because you can start editing the auto-created template in just two minutes. You won't need high-level tech skills to make your GoDaddy site work the way you want it to.
How much do I pay someone to build me a website?
It can cost you anywhere between $30 – $100+ per hour for someone to build your website.
Is it worth hiring someone to build a website?
Hiring a professional to build you a site will probably result in a really great site for your business. But it will come with a much higher cost compared to using a website builder and you'll have to rely on someone else to bring your vision to life.
Which is the world's most popular website builder?
With over 200 million users, Wix is one of the most popular website builders in the world. Wix is also our highest-rated web builder providing plans from $16 per month and more website templates than its competitors.
Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
A head shot of Natasha Willett - a blonde woman in a work shirt with a blue background
For over 9 years Natasha has worked as a mixed method researcher working across a range of sectors from insurance and policy development, to business services and software. As a member of the Market Research Society, Natasha is an advocate for high ethical, commercial and methodological best practices.