Written by Sabrina Dougall Reviewed by Natasha Willett Updated on 29 December 2023 On this page Head to head: Best website builders 1. Wix: Best All-Rounder 2. Squarespace: Best for Portfolios 3. Shopify: Best for Sales Features 4. GoDaddy: Best for Speedy Set Up 5. Hostinger: Best for Multiple Websites 6. WordPress: Best value for money How We Test Website Builders Expert verdict FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. 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? Wix – Best all-rounderSquarespace – Best for portfoliosShopify – Best for selling onlineGoDaddy – Best for speedy set upHostinger – Best for multiple websitesWordPress – Best value for moneyWant 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 buildersRivalry 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: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Best all-rounder Wix Best for portfolios Squarespace Best for selling online Shopify Best for speedy set-up GoDaddy Best for multiple websites Hostinger Best value for money 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 Find the web builder that best suits your needs. Compare now 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-RounderMid price rangeBeginner-friendly website editingMore templates than any competitorBest suited to: hospitality and gymsScoring 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 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 pricingWix 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: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward 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 store2GB storageNo Wix adsFree domain (1 year)Customer data forms Key Features 50GB storageFree domain (1 year)Sell products, video, music1 auto backup/monthBasic gift cards Key Features 100GB storageFree domain (1 year)Sales tax automationPrint shipping labelsSell in 6 currencies Key Features Unlimited storageFree domain (1 year)Loyalty rewardsPriority customer supportCustom reports Key Features Account managerPerformance tracking and site optimizationEnterprise-grade security Create a versatile website that works for your customers Try Wix You can find more details on its highs and lows in our detailed Wix review. 2. Squarespace: Best for PortfoliosStrong value for moneyUnlimited storage space and bandwidthFocus on beautiful designBest suited to: photographers, visual artistsNipping 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 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 pricingSquarespace'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. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward 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 storageCollect visitor dataVideo maker Key Features Sell unlimited number of productsFree domain (1 year)Free Gmail (1 year)Pop-ups and banners Key Features Point of SaleCollect reviewsProduct waitlistsFree Gmail (1 year)Free domain (1 year) Key Features Abandoned cart recoverySell subscriptionsLocal shipping ratesAPIs for custom integrations Visit Squarespace to learn more about their pricing plans Try Squarespace If you need a closer look at what's included, check out our Squarespace review. 3. Shopify: Best for Sales FeaturesMore expensive than mostVariable transaction feesSync inventory across multiple locationsBest suited to: SMB retailers looking to scaleShopify 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 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 pricingShopify 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: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Starter Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify Shopify Plus Price $7 per month Price $56 per monthGet your first three months for $1 each Price $149 per monthGet your first three months for $1 each Price $575 per monthGet your first three months for $1 each 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 pagesBasic order managementCustomer support Key Features Sell an unlimited number of productsUp to two usersSell in 33 currencies (1.5% conversion fee)Basic performance reports Key Features 5 user accountsImproved reportsBetter shipping discountsShipping insurance (with Shopify Payments) Key Features 15 staff accountsAdvanced reportingThird-party calculated shipping ratesCollect duties and import taxes at checkout Key Features Faster checkoutAutomate workflowsSecurity and compliancePriority support Ready to scale up your sales? Shopify is our top choice for an online store Try Shopify 4. GoDaddy: Best for speedy set upOn the cheaper sideEasy to useSend hundreds of marketing emails monthlyBest suited to: time-poor entrepreneursGoDaddy 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 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 genericHow 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 pricingGoDaddy 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): Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Basic Standard Premium Ecommerce Price (Paying Monthly) $13.95 per monthRenews at $18.95 per month Price (Paying Monthly) $17.95 per monthRenews at $24.95 per month Price (Paying Monthly) $24.95 per monthRenews at $34.95 per month Price (Paying Monthly) $26.95 per monthRenews 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 security100 email marketing sends monthlySales tracking dashboard Key Features Everything on Basic, plus:SEO support3 social media platforms20 social posts per month500 email marketing sends per month Key Features 25,000 email marketing sends per monthRecurring appointmentsEmail and text appointment reminders Key Features List 5,000 products50 orders/month across marketplacesUSPS discounted shippingAbandoned cart emails Set your website live today, with a speedy GoDaddy creation Try GoDaddy 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 WebsitesUp to 100 websitesNo app storeAI website writing toolBest suited to: entrepreneurs looking to scale up fastHostinger 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 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 pricingThere'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 moneyOver 9,000 free templatesCustomization through apps or codeUnlimited pages and contributorsBest suited to: Publishers and content creatorsProfessional 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 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 pricingThere'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. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward 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 storageUnlimited webpagesUnlimited collaboratorsPublish newsletterNo plugins Key Features 6GB storageFree domain (1 year)Subscription toolsSell access to your contentNo plug ins Key Features 13GB storagePremium themesContact formNo plugins How We Test Website Builders for Small BusinessesWe 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 UseWix(4.9)220.127.116.11.84.84.4Squarespace (4.8)4.64.24.04.84.74.4Shopify(4.2)3.63.73.04.05.03.7GoDaddy(4.1)3.03.34.43.74.44.1Hostinger(3.7)18.104.22.168.33.33.9WordPress.com(3.3)22.214.171.124.13.22.7Remember, 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 Web Marketing Expert 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: Natasha Willett Head of Research 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.