Website Builders are a great resource for those looking to build their own website at a small cost. Hiring a Web Developer is a thing of the past for most individuals and new businesses. The cost of doing so far outweighs the benefits versus using a website builder.
Many website builders offer free trials or a free plan to get a taste of what’s available. These are a great way of testing the waters to see if their features meet your needs. Whilst I understand the thought of using a website builder might be daunting, I can promise you it’s super easy to get the hang of.
What is a Website Builder?
Website builders are platforms that allow people to create websites, usually with no coding or web development skills required. Website builders often have a selection of themes or templates for you to choose from meaning you can choose one most suited to your requirements and edit them to meet your needs.
Many website builders offer free trials or free plans so you can test the waters before committing to a more advanced paid-for plan which contains more features.
In most cases, website builders will give you the option to create an online store where you can sell products or services and manage your inventory from one easy-to-access dashboard.
Traditional website builders like Wix and SquareSpace include web hosting for free as part of the package (even if you choose a free plan or trial). However, CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla are self-hosted solutions. This means you’ll need to find your own web hosting suitable for your website.
1. Wix (Best Overall Website Builder)
Wix is a strong contender for the best website builder. It’s super user-friendly and allows you to drag and drop every aspect of your website. You can include a blog, forum, and more too, should you wish.
If we were comparing ease of use, we’d probably place Wix at the top of the charts, alongside their features and pricing, they make for a great competitor.
- Wix provides a fully hosted solution, so you won’t need to shop around for web hosting, or pay for it elsewhere. This includes a free SSL too, but if you’re looking to connect a domain name to your website, you’ll need to upgrade your plan
- With hundreds of templates to choose from, you’ll find it easy to use Wix’s categorised template selector to suit your website’s needs. From café websites to mechanics, clothes stores to magazines, you’ll be spoiled for choice
- Every aspect of Wix is drag and drop; whether you’re using a template or not, you can literally drag and drop, and edit each section of your site. Once you click on a particular element, you’ll be presented with a tonne of options to customise your site
- Wix’s Free and Connect plans will come with branded adverts, unless you upgrade to their more costly plans. They’re ideal if you just want to test the waters, but you’ll want to upgrade to feel the full benefits of your Wix website
- Even if you select Wix’s premium plan, you’ll still have to pay a yearly or monthly subscription in order to obtain your own mailbox, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and this is billed on a ‘per mailbox’ basis
- If you ever transfer your website from Wix to another provider, you may find it quite difficult to do so as the process is somewhat complicated
If you want to be able to connect a domain name to your website (which most likely you will), Wix’s Connect Domain plan starts from £2.55 per month.
Their Combo plan comes with the option to have a free domain from only £5.15 per month, but we’d personally recommend their Unlimited plan at £7.76 per month which includes unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, and a few added extras.
2. WordPress (Cheapest Website Builder)
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version of WordPress. This simply means that you will need to purchase your web hosting and domain name with another provider, like BlueHost from only £2 per month, and connect the details to your WordPress account.
WordPress is at the top of its game when it comes to content management systems (CMS), with a market share of over 50% (that’s more than other CMS platforms combined)! In 2018, 30% of the world wide web is powered by WordPress, so they must be doing something right.
- WordPress.org is a completely free website builder giving you full access and control over your website. Whether you’re looking to create a personal blog site, a portfolio, eCommerce store, or membership based site, you can do so with WordPress
- There are more than 50,000 plugins available with WordPress that you can download and install to your website. Plugins are a great option if you’re looking to expand upon the features of your website, speed up your site, manage your SEO, or learn how to keep your content fresh
- WordPress has its own portfolio of thousands of themes and templates for you to use for your website. Whether you’ve made a website before or not, choosing a professional template is easy with WordPress. Many templates are free to use, but you can also pay a small price for a premium theme if you want to go the extra mile
- Unless you choose a WordPress managed web host, you’ll have to manage your own website, including installing any updates to WordPress and its plugins
- There’s not much hand holding with WordPress; although it’s a brilliant system once you’ve got used to it, there’s not much guidance when you first begin, so may feel overwhelming at first
- You’ll need to remember to keep backups of your website via your web host, unless your web host is willing to do this for you free of charge, or for a small fee (it’s probably worth it to be safe)
As we’ve stated, WordPress.org is completely free; all you need to obtain is your own web hosting and domain name. WordPress.com on the other hand starts from as little as £3 per month, but has many limitations to it, which is why we’ve opted for WordPress.org.
3. Shopify (Best eCommerce Website Builder)
Designed specifically to be able to create eCommerce websites, Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce website builders around. For example, did you know the music website NME use Shopify for their online merchandise store?
With over 1 million users, and billions of dollars being made using their technology, there’s got to be a reason that Shopify deserves a place in our guide to the best website builders.
- Shopify comes as a complete package; it’s fully hosted so you don’t need to manage software updates, backups, etc.
- Regardless of pricing plan, Shopify doesn’t limit you to the number of products you can sell. With unlimited file storage and products, you won’t have to worry about how much you’re able to sell
- If you’ve never used a website or store builder before, have no fear. Shopify makes it easy to create an eCommerce store with loads of professional designs to choose from. You don’t need to be a web developer to create an intuitive design
- As well as being easy to use, you can also integrate Shopify into your WordPress website, combining two of the most powerful solutions under one roof
- If you’re looking for a cheap eCommerce solution, Shopify probably isn’t the best option for you. It’s competitively priced, but is aimed at those who want to sell lots of products
- Transferring your Shopify website and files from Shopify to another provider may prove to be quite complicated if you change your mind in the future
- Gift cards, reports, and abandoned cart recovery is not included in Shopify’s basic plan; these are features which are often desired, and the leap between the basic and standard plan is quite steep in terms of price
From only $29 per month, you can have an eCommerce store up and running within the day; with unlimited products and storage, your professional online store is ready to go. Shopify’s mid-range plan starts at $79 per month, and jumps up to $299 per month for their advanced plan.
Their pricing may seem quite hefty on the wallet, however, compared to other eCommerce website builders, we think they’re pretty reasonable. Being able to create your online store yourself with fully customisable products and features is quite a feat.
4. Weebly (Best Website Builder for Customer Support)
Established over 10 years ago back in 2007, Weebly provides a platform where you can create a website of any kind. Whether you’re a blogger, establishing a personal portfolio, or online store, Weebly can power your needs.
Weebly is very user friendly, making it a great website builder for beginners; their simple drag and drop page builder is easy to get to grips with regardless of skill.
- Very similar to the likes of Wix, Weebly is a fully hosted platform meaning you won’t have to obtain your web hosting from another provider. When you select their Connect plan you’ll receive a free domain name and the ability to connect your domain to your website
- Weebly’s live page editor means you can select one of their many stunning designs and edit it to your hearts content. Making your website the way you want it has never been easier
- Weebly makes it easy to connect your website to an eCommerce store, as well as creating one so that you can start selling online straight away. Their built-in features like contact forms are great for any type of website; personal or professional
- Unless you choose Weebly’s Starter plan, your website will display Weebly Ads which doesn’t look very professional
- As Weebly is fully hosted, you can’t use any outside or open source features; you’re stuck with the features that Weebly offers
- If you’re an eCommerce customer, you’ll have to pay a 3% fee on all transactions to Weebly unless you upgrade to the Business plan
Although some of the cons we’ve mentioned include upgrading your Weebly website builder plan to a higher pricing plan, we think their pricing is actually very competitive. Aside from their free account, their Connect plan starts at £3 per month, Starter from £5 per month, Pro from £7 per month, and their top level Business plan is just £15 per month.
When you consider that many web hosting packages cost on average around £7 per month, you could get your web hosting, a website builder, domain name, SSL certificate, and eCommerce store for just over double the price – that’s a pretty good deal in our books!
5. SiteBuilder.com (Easiest Website Builder to Use)
SiteBuilder.com offers another fully hosted website builder solution, much like its competitors, with a bit of a twist. Your hosting, domain name, and website email address is all included in their level one tier of pricing plans.
You can simply take one of SiteBuilder.com’s many templates or designs and either make it your own, or make some simple amendments and go live with it immediately. It’s as simple as pointing and clicking anywhere on the website builder to edit any element of your site.
- SiteBuilder.com offers an eCommerce plan with priority support and a PayPal account designed specifically for your online store, meaning you can start making money straight away on your website
- SiteBuilder.com is very user-friendly making it a great option for beginners and professionals alike; with thousands of website templates available with the click of a mouse, you’ll be able to create the perfect website for your needs
- You’ll have access to your website’s analytics data which means you can learn how to make changes and improvements in order to increase your website’s traffic and engagement
- Unless you want adverts on your website, you’ll need to upgrade to SiteBuilder.com’s Pro plan which is currently £3.84 per month (or £7.68 normally)
- Because SiteBuilder.com is fully managed and hosted by them, you won’t be able to use any tools outside of their platform to customise your website
SiteBuilder.com is a competitively priced website builder, offering 4 plans (3 of which are paid). Their starter plan which is free is a good option if you want to test the sites features and tools, but isn’t recommended if you want to go down the professional route due to its adverts and lack of domain.
Currently at a promotional price of £3.84 per month, the SiteBuilder.com Pro plan includes a domain name, website statistics, and Ad Credits included. Upgrade to their Premium plan at only £5.99 per month to gain priority support, or opt for their eCommerce plan at £9.22 per month to create an eCommerce store.
6. Gator (By HostGator)
Gator is the name given to HostGator’s website builder. They are one of the biggest web hosts around, offering reliability and affordability. Gator is an all-in-one solution, which means you’ll get a website builder and web hosting in one package.
HostGator’s website builder is really easy to use. You’ll get a choice of over 200 templates which allow you to customise them in a matter of seconds. You can configure your entire experience knowing you have the power of HostGator behind you.
- As I already mentioned, Gator is fully-hosted. This means you won’t have to go to a third-party to buy your web hosting, and HostGator will ensure your website remains updated with the latest software.
- Gator has a built-in stock library. If you’re creating a website with lots of images, this may be a deciding factor for you. Free stock photos mean there’s no copyright issues and you’ll get a wide choice of awesome images for your site.
- You’re able to edit any item you see on your chosen template. It’s a matter of simply pointing and clicking at what you want. You can also use their drag and drop functionality for features like images, photo galleries, text, etc.
- Unfortunately Gator doesn’t offer a free plan for their website builder. If you know this and accept this from the start, it’s not so much of a con, but it’s worth mentioning if you were looking for a free website builder.
- Gator doesn’t allow you much flexibility in terms of web development. If you are happy using a simple drag and drop editor without hiring a web developer, then it’s ideal. However, you won’t be able to significantly modify anything on your site.
|FREE SSL CERTIFICATE||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|PRICE||$2.69/mo (£2.08)||$4.19/mo (£3.24)||$6.46/mo (£4.99)|
Gator’s pricing is very reasonable in my opinion. For eCommerce customers, you’re only looking at forking out around £5 per month, which is cheap compared to other website builders.
Their cheapest plan comes in at just over £2 per month and includes a FREE SSL certificate, domain name and web hosting. Although you can’t customise your website as much as other builders, for beginners or small websites, I’d definitely recommend Gator.
If you’re looking for one of the biggest and best eCommerce website builders, look no further than BigCommerce. For small, medium or even large businesses, BigCommerce lets you create an online store with plenty of features.
Like lots of website builders, BigCommerce is a fully-hosted solution. They will handle the server that hosts your website as well as any technical bits and bobs! This includes security, speed and updates to your site.
- BigCommerce has a native integration with WordPress. This means you can enjoy the features of WordPress to build your website as well as making use of the power of BigCommerce. The perfect combination.
- If you’re worried about taking payment, BigCommerce has a wide reach in terms of payment gateway integration. There’s plenty of options to choose from like PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout and more. What’s more, you won’t be charged a transaction fee.
- You will be amazed by the amount of templates and features BigCommerce has. From pre-built templates, drag and drop elements, to product reviews. Their dashboard shows analytics and metrics to help you grow your business.
- BigCommerce is quite a pricey platform. However, if you’re looking for a powerful platform to grow your business, it’s worth the investment.
- If you change your mind in the future and want to migrate your website from BigCommerce to another website builder, you may have a hard time doing so.
BigCommerce have 3 main pricing plans. They do have an Enterprise plan too, but this is a customised quote so I won’t go into that in detail here.
Their cheapest plan comes in at $29.95 per month which works out at around £23.16. This is considerably more expensive than other website builders, but they do include a wealth of features that might interest you.
Most of the plans offer similar features, however, you’ll start noticing a difference with some of the following: customer groups, segmentation, abandoned cart recovery, stored credit cards, customer reviews, custom SSL, and more.
You may be familiar with ConstantContact if you’ve ever looked into email marketing. Whilst they may be well known for this, they also have a website builder powered with intelligent AI. You can build a website within a matter of minutes with ConstantContact which is a great choice for beginners.
If you’re starting a small business, ConstantContact’s AI website builder will suit you down to the ground. You can create a website from scratch with personalised elements, images, and content.
- ConstantContact has a wealth of templates for you to choose from. All of their templates are mobile friendly, so you won’t have to faff about optimising your website for different devices.
- If imagery is what’s required for your site, you’ll struggle to find better elsewhere. ConstantContact has a library of over half a million (yes, you read that correctly) FREE professional images.
- ConstantContact is a free website builder. It’s self-hosted too, so you’ll get web hosting, a website, and support for absolutely nothing. You can create an online store and sell products whereas other website builders restrict you on their free plans.
- Unlike website builders like WordPress, ConstantContact doesn’t have any third-party extensions or apps to install. You have to use what’s available from ConstantContact and nothing else.
- Connecting a custom domain in order for your website to look professional is going to require a paid plan. This means you’ll have to upgrade, but on the flip side, you do get a free domain when you do.
|SUPPORT||24/7 chat and email||+ phone support||+ priority support|
ConstantContact are one of the few FREE website builders that allow you to sell products online. Whilst this is limited to just 3 products, it’s a great starting point and opportunity for new businesses.
Their overall pricing is very competitive, offering unlimited products and no transaction fees from just £14 per month.
SquareSpace is a well known and popular website builder. It’s recognised for it’s unique and modern designs as well as being easy to use. It’s an all-in-one website solution, so you’ll get your hosting thrown in for free.
When you’re ready to dive into SquareSpace’s platform, you’ll find plenty of awesome designs to get started with. You can edit all of their templates and even use multiple templates for the same website.
- SquareSpace is incredibly easy to use. You just simply point wherever you want on your website template and you can start typing to create your content. The drag and drop functionality is seamless, allowing you to create your website in minutes.
- If you’re looking to sell products online, SquareSpace has an eCommerce plan. You can create an online store which integrates with your website, as well as manage your products, orders, etc.
- There aren’t many options when it comes to third-party services. For example if you wanted to customise your website or store like you can with WordPress, you’re going to struggle with their limited choice.
- Their eCommerce plan only allows certain payment gateways; Apple Pay, Stripe and PayPal. This might be a problem for those wanting to branch out to larger markets.
|PERSONAL||BUSINESS||COMMERCE BASIC||COMMERCE ADVANCED|
|UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH AND STORAGE||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|CSS AND JS CUSTOMISATION||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ADVANCED WEB ANALYTICS||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|$100 GOOGLE ADWORD CREDITS||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|POINT OF SALE||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|INTEGRATED ACCOUNTING WITH XERO||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|ABANDONED CART RECOVERY||No||No||No||Yes|
|APIS FOR ORDERS AND INVENTORY||No||No||No||Yes|
|LIMITED AVAILABILIY LABELS||No||No||No||Yes|
SquareSpace does have a lot of features. Though it may not be as customisable as other website builders in terms of third-party apps and payment gateways, there’s a lot on offer elsewhere.
Their cheapest plan comes in at £10 per month and offers most website builder features. It doesn’t offer any kind of eCommerce features, so you’ll need to move up to £15 per month to unlock some of those.
Jimdo is a website builder which is ideal for creating basic websites. If you’re looking for something more detailed and flashy, you’ll want to look for another website builder.
Jimdo offers two editors; Jimdo Dolphin and Jimdo Creator. Dolphin, like Wix, uses ADI to create your website. The Creator allows you to build your website the way you want without any intervention.
- Extremely quick and easy to use. If you’re an individual or small business wanting to setup a basic website, I would definitely recommend Jimdo for their non-complex attitude towards website building.
- Both editors have their own price plans, each offering a free plan. You can sign up to Jimdo without paying a penny, then prices start from just £9 per month.
- Because of it’s simplicity, Jimdo can feel quite rigid. There’s not much movement in terms of customisation or flexibility.
- Jimdo is a very average website builder. It’s got some features, but not loads, it’s fairly easy to use, but not the simplest.
As I’ve already mentioned, Jimdo offer a free plan on both their website and online shop categories. The free plan includes all of the basic features as well as 500MB storage, 2GB bandwidth, 5 webpages, and a .jimdosite.com subdomain.
Their Start plan comes in at £9 per month and offers a free domain, emails, more storage, SEO, and it’s ad free. Plans increase with features and price, going up to £39 per month for their top plan.