Best Website Builders for US Businesses

Best website builder UK

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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 the definitive shortlist.

What are the best website builders?

  1. Squarespace – Best for design
  2. Wix – Best all-rounder
  3. GoDaddy – Best for speedy set-up
  4. Shopify – Best for selling online
  5. Hostinger – Best for user experience

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

The best web builders on the market can make the website of your dreams a reality, with no need to learn how to code or employ a pro web developer.

While a professional web developer may be able to offer maximum customizability of your website, they aren’t cheap and can be extremely time-consuming. Plus, you may not be able to update your website independently.

On the other hand, a web builder is a budget-friendly alternative that allows you to make your own website, just the way you like it. You can start from scratch or base your design on a number of attractive templates. The process is quick, simple and secure – and won’t break the bank. Since it’s a DIY solution, you’ll be free to edit your website as often as you wish, saving time and money in the long run.

But which web builder is right for you? Read on to understand which web builder can help your business shine among the rest.

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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Squarespace

Wix

GoDaddy

Shopify

Hostinger

Score
4.7
Score
4.7
Score
4.5
Score
4.3
Score
4.0
Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$16-$49/month (paying annually)

$14.40-$44.10/month with code: EM10

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$16 – bespoke per month

10% off with code: GET10

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$14.99-$29.99/month (paying annually)

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront
Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$2.49 – $8.99

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 you should choose GoDaddy.

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. Squarespace: Best for Design

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

In the top spot is Squarespace, with an overall score of 4.7/5. The key draw 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 price plans offer a 14-day free trial period and has two ecommerce-specific price 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 (billed monthly)

$23/month

Price (billed monthly)

$33/month

Price (billed monthly)

$36/month

Price (billed monthly)

$65/month

Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
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

What do we like about Squarespace?

With the most mesmerizing design features of all the web builders we tested, Squarespace makes achieving your ideal website that much more realistic. Its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface and smooth backend integration mean that you don’t have to be a pro web developer to see beautiful results.

If you’re working in the creative industries, and want a creative website to match, Squarespace fits the bill. Its variety of tools such as accordions, carousels and scrolling banners make it well-suited for creative content-first websites.

Finally, if you’re seeking a website that supports booking appointments, Squarespace works in tandem with Acuity to make this easy both for you and your customers. This proves that this web builder allows you to make websites that both look great, but also perform highly in terms of functionality.

What could be improved about Squarespace?

If your business caters to an international customer base, it may require a multilingual website. Unfortunately, Squarespace may not be the easiest tool to create that. While it does support duplicated pages in various languages, you’ll have to manually translate the copy – which can be time-consuming. If this is an important feature for you, consider Wix as a more suitable option.

While we love its ease of use and variety of attractive templates, the AI site generator left us wanting more variation between designs. Furthermore, Squarespace didn’t perform well in our Site Speed Tests, perhaps due to its high volume of content and imagery. A slow site speed can be irritating for your customers but also negatively affect your SEO ranking due to a higher drop-off rate from site visitors feeling impatient while the site loads.

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

Since our last update...

Squarespace has made editing your 7.1 site header much easier. You can now edit your site title & logo, navigation, account, social links, cart, button, and language switch directly by clicking ‘Edit Site Header’ instead of have to go through a single pop-up menu. 

They’ve also made some UI updates to their link editor that will make adding links to your site’s buttons and text more intuitive.

2. Wix: Best All-Rounder

  • Mid price range
  • Beginner-friendly website editing
  • More templates than any competitor
  • Best suited to: hospitality and gyms

Scoring 4.7/5 in our comprehensive testing, Wix certainly earns its place as one of the best website builders. 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
  • Free option available
  • 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 many key areas: scoring 4.6/5 in our ‘Website Features' category, its nearest competitor is Shopify, which scored 4.3. Wix came top of the charts in ‘Design Functions', ‘Customer Support', and ‘Ease of Use' as well.

But Wix lacks unlimited storage space, unlike 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. Here's the full breakdown of Wix's pricing:

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Light

Core

Business

Business Elite

Enterprise

Price (billed monthly)

$23/month

Price (billed monthly)

$34/month

Price (billed monthly)

$38/month

Price (billed monthly)

$172/month

Price (billed monthly)

Variable

Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)

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

What do we like about Wix?

Wix’s breadth of website features is unrivalled in the world of web builders. It has all the essential features you need to create a fully functioning website, such as a social media bar, an app marketplace, the possibility to add affiliate links, page duplication, and support for multilingual sites.

On top of that, there are more complex features such as a coding platform to insert your own code to your website, and an AI text generator to speed up the creation of copy for your site. Talking of AI, Wix is renowned for its capability to deliver AI-driven sites in only three simple steps, in under 60 seconds.

Wix’s help and support options are second to none, thanks to the offering of not only its help centre and chat options but also the possibility to ‘hire a pro’. Wix’s marketplace offers a range of professional help including SEO support, web development and graphic design to ensure you can master the digital side of promoting your business.

What could be improved about Wix?

If you’re indecisive when it comes to design, you may appreciate a website builder that supports flexibility a little more than Wix. Once you hit publish, you won’t be able to switch to another template.

While we were impressed with the wide range of features on offer, some users during our testing process were overwhelmed by the sheer amount on offer, indicating Wix is potentially not the most user-friendly option.

We love that Wix offers a free domain option, as it allows users to try before they buy and also supports smaller businesses looking to create a website. That being said, the steep pricing jump from $32 to $159 may pose a challenge for businesses that need to scale up to a more suitable plan.

Finally, like Squarespace, Wix’s platform also proved slow to load during our testing – which can negatively impact your site’s SEO ranking.

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

Since our last update...

Wix has made editing your media much easier. You can now edit your images with Adobe Express without leaving the Wix Editor. Once you have an Adobe Express account, you can select an image in your Media Manager, edit with Adobe. Once your edits are saved in Adobe, they’re also saved in your Media Manager and available for your immediate use on your site.

3. GoDaddy: Best for speedy set up

  • On the cheaper side
  • Easy to use
  • Send hundreds of marketing emails monthly
  • Best suited to: time-poor entrepreneurs

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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Price (Paying Annually)

$10.99/month (first year)

$12.99/month (afterwards)

Price (Paying Annually)

$14.99/month (first year)

$22.99/month (afterwards)

Price (Paying Annually)

$20.99/month (first year)

$26.99/month (afterwards)

Best For

Getting started with a website, marketing and payments

Best For

Taking online appointments and boosting your marketing

Best For

Scaling up your store

Key Features
  • SSL security
  • 100 email marketing sends monthly
  • Sales tracking dashboard
Key Features
  • 25,000 email marketing sends per month
  • Recurring appointments
  • Email and text appointment reminders
Key Features
  • Unlimited products
  • 50 orders per month on: Amazon, Etsy, Facebook and Instagram
  • Sales tax calculated
Transaction Fees

2.3% + 30¢ per online card if using GoDaddy Payments

Transaction Fees

2.3% + 30¢ per online card if using GoDaddy Payments

Transaction Fees

2.3% + 30¢ per online card if using GoDaddy Payments

What do we like about GoDaddy?

If you’re seeking a free domain, GoDaddy offers a free plan which is suitable for smaller businesses looking to create an online presence without too much financial investment.

Another point which earns GoDaddy bragging rights is its speedy customer service, reportedly offering help in under 10 seconds meaning wasted time on hold is a thing of the past.

Finally, GoDaddy is the one for users with limited technical knowledge who want to get a functional website up and running in no time. This is made possible by its generative AI tools, which work in just 2 steps to create a site in less than 30 seconds – even more impressive than Wix’s 60-second AI site. That being said, speed doesn’t always imply quality, but it does earn GoDaddy a top ranking for ease of use.

What could be improved about GoDaddy?

While AI generation can earn points for efficiency, it doesn’t always produce the most high-end results. Your website may lack originality and can look outdated if you don’t give it that personal touch. However, for those looking for a fast and functional fix, this might not be a worry.

Furthermore, a limitation of GoDaddy is that it’s not possible to edit your site from your mobile device. You can only view it. This could cause frustration for busy entrepreneurs or digital nomads who want to be able to update their website or blog on the go, without having to set up their laptop.

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.

Since our last update...

GoDaddy now allows you to send personalized emails to your contacts automatically. Their new email automation offers customized templates to fit your brand identity. You’ll be able to add your brand’s colors and fonts, as well as personal details of your contacts so that each email feels tailored to the customer. They have common email templates like welcome emails, appointment reminders and confirmations, order and shipping status updates, and abandoned cart recovery.

4. Shopify: Best for Sales Features

  • More expensive than most
  • Variable transaction fees
  • Synch inventory across multiple locations
  • Best suited to: SMB retailers looking to scale

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 and you can now 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 has now shrunk to three days. Anyway, here's a breakdown of Shopify's price plans:

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Starter

Basic Shopify

Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

Price (billed annually)

$5/month

Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)

$2,000+/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
Transaction Fees

5%

Transaction Fees

2%

Transaction Fees

1%

Transaction Fees

0.5%

Transaction Fees

0.15–0.30%

Payment processing fees

Online: 5% + $0.30¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.9% + 30¢
Online international or Amex: 3.9% + 30¢
In person: 2.7% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.6% + 30¢
In person: 2.5% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.4% + 30¢
Online international or Amex: 3.4% + 30¢
In person: 2.4% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Variable

What do we like about Shopify?

If you run an ecommerce website, we strongly recommend Shopify above the other contenders to help your store run smoothly. With over 8,000 apps to choose from in its App Store, Shopify helps create a solid ecommerce ecosystem. It can manage high volumes of stock, assist in shipping, promote your products and link with review sites to showcase your customers sharing the love about your brand.

In the same vein, Shopify is suitable for mid-size and larger companies with complex support requests and expertise across a variety of industries. On top of that, it’s one of the stand-out platforms when it comes to the recent wave of AI web builder tools. This allows you to outsource the creation of captions, headers and descriptions to Shopify.

What could be improved about Shopify?

While it's wonderful for sales-focused businesses, Shopify would not be the first choice for those looking to create a blog or creative portfolio. It works best for those with something to sell. This is because it’s not as design-focused as it is functionality-focused.

Also, since its ecommerce platform is very advanced, switching between the back and front end of your website can be confusing. The appearance of your site is not Shopify’s main focus.

Unlike Wix and GoDaddy, Shopify does not offer a free plan, again making it better-suited to more developed businesses. You can try before you buy, but only for a measly three-day trial. In our opinion, this is not long enough to fully explore the range of features.

If you want more information before making your decision, read our full Shopify review.

Since our last update...

Shopify has updated the variants card, allowing you to manage multiple variants all at once. You’ll be able to view and in-line edit price and availability information for both single and multiple inventory locations. 

You can also now add color or pattern swatches directly to your product listing. 

All your media can now be accessed in a single file picker available on the Products and Variants pages, negating the need to re-upload existing media files.

5. Hostinger: Best for User Experience

  • Up to 100 websites
  • No app store
  • AI website writing tool
  • Best suited to: entrepreneurs looking to scale up fast

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.

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.

What do we like about Hostinger?

When it comes to simple, seamless website-building – Hostinger is the winner, thanks to its generative AI tools which outperform the competition.

Impressively, Hostinger’s AI tools perform a heatmap scan of your site to determine areas that your site visitors are more likely to gravitate towards, and those that need fixing to make your site more intuitive and navigation-friendly.

Furthermore, if your business has an international presence, these AI tools can come in handy when it comes to making multiple websites in a shorter amount of time. On top of that, Hostinger comes with a built-in AI translator, meaning you won’t need to manually translate your pages.

What could be improved about Hostinger?

Unfortunately, Hostinger does not offer a free plan and you don’t have the opportunity to try before you buy as it also does not offer a free trial. It also offers no built-in email marketing features or a third-party app market, like many of the competitors, including Wix and Squarespace.

Read our full review of Hostinger here.

Buying Guide: How to Choose a Website Builder

When looking for the right website builder to help you achieve your ideal website, we recommend you look at the following criteria to ensure your dreams can be materialized.

  1. Pricing: Arguably the most important factor. Consider your budget restraints, and whether you prefer to buy domains and hosting separately, as well as any recurring monthly fees.
  2. Ease of use: The platform should be intuitive and easy to navigate, even for non-technical users. You want something that allows you to create and edit pages visually without needing to know code.
  3. Flexibility and customization options: Look for a web builder that offers a broad range of templates, themes, and the ability to customize elements like fonts, colors, and layouts. Ideally, you want to be able to tailor the design to your brand.
  4. Built-in SEO tools: Choose a site builder that helps improve your search engine optimization by automatically generating metadata, and more.
  5. Ecommerce capabilities: If you plan to sell products or services, ensure the builder has robust ecommerce features like shopping carts, payment processing, and inventory management.
  6. Scalability: An ideal website builder grows with you allowing expansion into more pages and bandwidth as your traffic demands increase.
  7. Mobile flexibility: With more web browsing happening on phones, your site needs to be able to dynamically respond and reshape itself for mobile devices.
  8. Support options: Look out for adequate online help resources, tutorials, chat support, and knowledgebases when you need assistance.

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

Our top-rated web builder is Squarespace, due to its unparalleled design features that make creating a beautiful website possible, even without a degree in graphic design or coding.

Remember, just because Squarespace is our winner 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.

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.

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?
Squarespace is the easiest tool to use when building your dream website, in our books at least. It offers a vast range of seriously good-looking templates, and the recent updates to its editor mean you can now edit your website with added precision. Your drag-and-drop elements now snap into place, to ensure that everything is properly aligned and you can check this with the grid that auto-appears while you're working. It's details like this that allow you to both work with ease and achieve professional results without hiring a pro web designer.

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.