The best website builders make it easy to create a site in a very short amount of time, even if you don’t have coding skills or experience in web designing. Using a combination of simple features like drag-and-drop functionality, website builders do the heavy lifting for you, enabling you to focus on setting up your site according to your preference.
While big corporations can afford to fork out large sums to web designers to create bespoke sites, small businesses may not have the money, personnel, or resources to do the same. Fortunately, there are several small-business-centred website builders that are not only intuitive and easy to use, but offer a swathe of customizable options, while also remaining affordable.
In our guide to the best website builders for small business, we’ll examine the best ones on the market. We take an in-depth look at each of their features, pricing, and pros and cons to help you decide which is the best one for you.
The 3 best website builders for small business right now
1. Wix: the best all-round builder for small businesses
Wix has a suite of business tools, a flexible editor, and hundreds of templates to choose from, all packaged within fairly-priced plans. Additionally, its drag-and-drop interface can be used by anyone, regardless of technical knowledge, making it ideal for small businesses starting out online.
3. Weebly: popular, easy to use and an ecommerce leader
Weebly is one of the best-known website builders, and focuses in particular on high-quality ecommerce integrations, as well as offering professional designs. A top-notch library of templates, and some of the best online features available, allow small business users to create attractive ecommerce sites with little experience.
What are the best website builders for small business?
Wix is the all-round best website builder for small businesses. While it’s a little expensive when compared to other builders, its suite of business tools are just one of many elements helping to maximize site performance.
The Wix Editor is also arguably the most powerful website building interface available, enabling pixel-perfect drag-and-drop editing, with over 500 templates you can use to get your site started.
Squarespace, in second, is the best option for professional templates and native tools, while third and fourth are Weebly and HostGator’s Gator Builder. Weebly is a great option for those wanting to add ecommerce functionality, using Square, one of the world’s leading payment processors.
HostGator’s Gator Builder is a decent option for those on a budget, and offers comparable design flexibility to Wix. Finally, Web.com and BigCommerce make the cut, with the former’s easy builder and simple setup perfect for freelancers, and the latter’s strong ecommerce focus offering another top option for online sales.
The best website builders for small business available
Wix is easily the best small website builder on the market, and for good reason. First, Wix’s website editor is user friendly, and a perfect fit for beginners with no tech experience. It has a nice selection of over 500 designer-made and industry-specific templates, and you can design your site exactly how you want it using the simple drag-and-drop feature.
With over 100 fonts and advanced design features, including scroll effects, media galleries, animations, and video backgrounds, Wix is certainly a comprehensive website builder.
If you don’t have time to design your site, you can take advantage of Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). All you need to answer a few questions, and the technology will create a website for you in under 10 minutes. And if you don’t like the site ADI creates for you, you can tweak the design using the website editor.
Wix has a free plan that you can use for as long as you want, but be prepared to have ads running and only 500MB of storage. To remove the ads, go for any of Wix’s four paid plans. Each paid plan comes with a custom domain, a free domain for one year, a free SSL certificate, and 24/7 customer care.
The Combo plan, starting at $14 a month, has 3GB of storage space and 30 minutes of video time. With the Pro plan ($28), which we found to be the best value for small businesses, you’ll get 20GB of storage space and up to two hours of video time.
You’ll also get access to apps such as the Visitor Analytics app, Events Calendar app, and the Site Booster app. Wix also has a 14-day money-back guarantee in case things don’t work out. Learn more about the website builder in our Wix review.
Squarespace boasts a wide range of innovative and easy-to-use templates. Whether you’re looking to create an online portfolio, run a blog, or build an online store, Squarespace’s editor can get you started in minutes—although it has a bit of a learning curve across a series of paid plans.
Although Squarespace does not have a free plan, it offers a free 14-day trial if you want to get a feel of the software before taking a plunge. If your primary aim for your website is to show off your company or blog about your services, then the Personal ($12 a month) and Business ($18 a month) plans are a great fit.
These plans, compared to other providers, are cheap. Yet they have standard features, including a free custom domain, SSL security, unlimited storage and bandwidth, design templates, SEO features, and 24/7 customer support.
However, if you are looking to sell products on your website, opt for the advanced Commerce plan, and you’ll get additional features, including merchandising tools, ecommerce analytics, commerce API, and advanced shipping.
One thing that stood out for us was Squarespace’s customer support. They have the most comprehensive resource base we found. Their help center is consistently updated with guides, articles, and in-depth training videos. They also run free online webinars to help customers. We tested Squarespace’s email support and received a prompt response in one business day.
You can find out more about this website builder in our comprehensive Squarespace review.
Of all the website builders we reviewed, Weebly has the most simple and easy-to-use website editor. Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to answer questions about the kind of website you want to build. Then you’ll be taken to the website editor, where you’ll find ready-to-use templates based on your answers.
Using the standard drag-and-drop interface, you can choose your website theme and layout and add images, videos, icons, audio files, and even maps to your site. The drawback we found with Weebly’s editor is that it’s not as flexible, and you may find it difficult to modify some of its design elements.
Weebly has three paid plans (Pro, Business, and Business Plus) starting at $12 a month, plus a free plan. Although the free plan comes with free hosting, you only get 500MB of storage space. All paid plans, however, have unlimited storage, a custom domain, and advanced site analytics.
Weebly provides customer support through live chat, phone, and email. In addition to that, they offer resources such as support guides that will provide you with what you need to get your website started. We were impressed with the number of articles on Weebly’s knowledge base—over 300 articles and counting.
Our Weebly review analyzes the builder in more detail, focusing in on its features, security, pricing, and support.
If you are on a tight budget and you don’t want to miss out on all the standard features of a good website builder, Gator Builder from HostGator is perfect for you. All of Gator Builder’s three plans (Start, Site, and Store) come with an intelligent website builder, a free domain, unmetered bandwidth, and 24/7 chat and email support.
However, the Start plan ($3.84 a month) only gives you three email campaigns and 250 unique emails a month. At $5.99 a month, the Site plan offers more: five email campaigns and 500 unique emails a month, as well as bookings and priority support.
The Store plan, as the name suggests, is a good fit for ecommerce stores. For $9.22 a month, you’ll get 10 email campaigns a month, and you can send 1250 unique emails. Also, you can add an unlimited number of products to your store, unlike the Start and Site plans, which have products capped at three and 10, respectively.
With a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, setting up your website has never been this easy. You can use images, maps, and videos to ensure that your website has that professional look your small business requires. One feature of Gator Builder worth mentioning is the free access to the Unsplash image library, which has a wide range of photos that you can use on your website.
The one downside we found with Gator Builder was that the options for building, running, and customizing a blog are quite limited. To learn more about the website builder and HostGator’s web hosting services, read our HostGator review.
Although Web.com is new on the market, it is gradually gaining ground. With a powerful drag-and-drop feature and a nice selection of templates and themes, Web.com holds its own against the usual suspects.
For beginner freelancers who are looking to build a simple site with just a few pages Web.com is certainly one to consider. You can get a domain, blog, and professional email in minutes. The website builder also has some of the best portfolio templates we found among the builders reviewed. You’ll also get access to thousands of stock photos for your website.
Unfortunately, Web.com does not offer a free trial, so you’ll need to commit at the start. At face value, the website builder seems incredibly cheap, as you only have to pay $1.95 (Starter plan) for the first month. However, that price can rise to up to $22.95 a month after the first month. There are two other plans: Marketing ($2.95) and Ecommerce ($3.95), and their prices also rise after the first month.
Web.com’s greatest limitation is perhaps its blog functionality. The blogging feature is still in its beta stage and not as feature-packed as what its competitors offer. In addition, it takes a while to get started, as you go through a rather long process—including creating an account, selecting a plan, and paying for it—before getting access to the website editor.
While many website builders have features for building ecommerce sites, none of them quite match BigCommerce’s offerings. Backed by a suite of advanced ecommerce building features, including robust payment gateway options, app integrations, plug-ins, SEO analytics, and adaptive themes, BigCommerce is a premium choice for building online stores.
With a drag-and-drop builder, you can select from a wide range of templates to create your website, although we found BigCommerce’s templates a little cookie-cutter and not very unique. BigCommerce’s mobile support for store management also leaves much to be desired.
However, we found BigCommerce’s editor clean and simple to use. It has all the features you’ll need to implement cross-channel commerce, from managing orders to tracking customers.
BigCommerce offers a free trial, but if you want more functionality, choose one of the business plans starting from $29.95 a month. For businesses that want to scale quickly, the website builder’s Enterprise plan (custom pricing) is a good choice because you only pay for the resources you use.
How to choose the best small business website builder for you
There’s no one perfect solution to choosing the best website builders for small business use. However, keep a few important things in mind when looking, and ensure you make a good choice.
First, clearly identify your budget before you start looking, along with any special tools you require, and ensure that the platforms you’re looking at include these elements. Not all builders come with ecommerce features, for example, so it’s important to bear this sort of factor in mind when looking and choosing.
You should also consider is how much time you plan to spend building your site. Easy-to-use builders like Weebly help if you want to get a site online fast; if you’d rather spend more time finalizing your design however, choose a more powerful option like Wix.
What’s worth bearing in mind however is that most website builders come with a free trial or free forever plan. It pays (quite literally) to spend time shortlisting options, testing them out, and not rushing into a premium subscription without being sure.