December 12, 2022

Best Website Builder for Small Business

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There are a lot of website builders you can use for your small business. But features can vary widely. Which is best for you? Read on.

Without the right website, people will find it harder to trust your business. But hiring a professional developer can eat into your profits.

That's where website builders can help you out.

Many use templates to let you quickly build a site. And you can also drag and drop elements to customize your site.

Some even let you build a simple site for free.

Why are you looking for the best website builder?

But what features do you need?

Read on to learn about the top website builders, including their pros, cons, features, and pricing.

What are the best website builders for small businesses?

If you want to launch an online store, the best website builders for small businesses include Shopify, Squarespace, and Weebly. But there are other options if you want to share content, a portfolio, or a service business.

Some website builders will have aesthetically pleasing templates that designers will love to play around with. But other options come with minimal designs to keep it clean and simple.

The right website builder for you depends on your goals. According to our research:
  1. Shopify is best for eCommerce
  2. WordPress is best for content
  3. Wix is best for business or personal sites

Let's talk more about them by breaking them down by category below.

Best Website Builders for eCommerce

Not all website builders let you set up an online store. At the same time, some focus mainly on this feature.

The top-performing ones we've evaluated are Shopify, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Starting PriceFree Plan or TrialTemplatesGet Started
Shopify$29 per monthFree trial for 14 days90+ free and paid themesShopify
Squarespace$23 per monthFree trial for 14 days100+ free themesSquarespace
Weebly$13 per monthFree plan50+ themesWeebly

1. Shopify: Best for website management

Pros:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Works with Shopify POS
  • International market management
  • Currency conversion
  • Free image gallery

Cons:

  • Limited templates
  • Transaction fees
  • Can't add product dimensions
  • Less intuitive website builder compared to competitors

You've probably heard of Shopify, as it is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. Many small businesses have made millions through it.

Through Shopify, you can easily list your products and manage inventory. Many of its features are for eCommerce, such as categorizing products, tracking SKUs, and setting up shipping information.

The website builder is less intuitive compared to others on this list. Nonetheless, the drag-and-drop editor and the free themes will let you build your website quickly.

Pro tip: When making edits, you can use keyboard shortcuts to save time, which is convenient. To open the list of shortcuts, press "?" while on the admin page.

Why we like it:
Businesses with brick-and-mortar stores use Shopify to sell online easily. It syncs inventory wherever a customer makes a purchase. You can also list unlimited products, so it's great if you're only selling online as well.

You can even expand your reach by integrating social media. For example, you can sell on Instagram or create marketing campaigns through Pinterest, Snapchat Ads, and SMSBump.

Selling mostly on mobile? Shopify understands that most of its traffic comes from mobile devices and helps you optimize your store, so your customers can buy from their phone.

Of course, an effective eCommerce platform would only be complete with a feature to let you add discounts and promotions. These can be automatically applied when a customer checks out.

Shopify has tons of templates that you can use to quickly launch and scale your store. It offers inventory management and a dedicated marketplace for different apps you can integrate with your store.

Pricing:[1]
There are three plans to choose from, each with varying available features. Paying annually will help you save more.

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Basic Plan$29$14.44
Shopify Plan$79$39.44
Advanced Plan$299$147.78

Developers can set up a Partner account to create multiple online stores for clients. That way, you can create store accounts for each of them.

Best features:
Shopify is great for managing your online store. But a downside is that there are transaction fees. These fees vary depending on the plan you choose.

Credit Card RatesBasic PlanShopify PlanAdvanced Plan
Online2.9% + 30¢2.6% + 30¢2.4% + 30¢
In-Person2.7% + 0¢2.5% + 0¢2.4% + 0¢

Features for each plan will also vary. Let's talk about what you can get.

  • Product organization. If you have multiple product types, you can categorize them (e.g., as backpacks, accessories, clothing, etc.).

    You can also list vendors, set up collections, and add tags to make them searchable.

  • Product variations. You can set up different options for each product. You can list the colors, sizes, and materials they're made of. You can even change prices for each variant.

  • Product pricing. By inputting the cost per item, you can identify your profit and margin, as it shows automatically. You can also charge taxes on your products.

  • Inventory management. To track your products, you can use SKU or input barcodes. You can also keep selling if the product's out of stock.

    If you have physical stores, you can list the locations and indicate where products are available.

    Pro tip: It's best to add products before designing your website. After all, your products are the focus of your store. That way, you can explore their admin interface before committing to a paid plan.

  • Shipping. If it's a physical product, you can input the weight and customs information. You can also list the country or region of origin. All plans offer shipping discounts from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.

  • Customer data. You can send personalized communications to your customers by importing or adding customer details.

    You can filter and group them, which would be helpful with target marketing.

  • Shopify payments. You can use various payment gateways, including PayPal and Amazon Pay. You can also add manual payment methods such as bank deposits and cash on delivery.

    Keep in mind that there are various rates for credit and debit cards. Third-party payment providers also have transaction fees.

  • Marketing. Abandoned cart recovery, automatic campaigns, and integrating marketing apps are some features to improve your sales.

Want more options for customization? For more integrations, you can explore the Shopify App Store.

2. Squarespace: Best in ease of use

Pros:

  • Extensive courses and help center
  • Unlimited contributors (Business and Commerce plans)
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Video studio app

Cons:

  • Transaction fees (Business plan)
  • No free plan available

Squarespace is another popular website builder, especially having been promoted by many influencers.

Subjectively speaking, it has more aesthetically pleasing templates compared to its competitors. But you can also hire a Squarespace expert to help you design the site if you prefer.

However, the website builder isn't hard to use. It comes with an assistant which helps you go about the editor. But they also have a video series you can watch as a tutorial.

Why we like it:
Squarespace uses a drag-and-drop editor that's really flexible. Other website builders use a "box-type" drag-and-drop, which could be limiting.

The difference is, with Squarespace, you can place the elements almost anywhere on the page.

The sidebar also lets you navigate the editor intuitively. It progressively shows you options as you click through the tabs. This means you won't get overwhelmed with the features available.

Pro tip: Don't pick a template with demo content that's the same as your business. For example, if you sell clothes, don't pick the Alameda template, which shows a clothing store. Your competitors are more likely to choose this template, making it harder for you to stand out. Instead, pick a similar template but maybe one with photos of jewelry or food.

Pricing:[2]
Squarespace doesn't come with a free plan, but it does offer a free trial. The good news is that a free trial starts every time you create a new site. It doesn't begin the moment you create your account.

Therefore, you can create multiple websites at different times and have different free trial periods for each. If your trial expires, you can contact them to extend the period by 7 days.

If you decide to commit, the pricing is as follows:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Personal$23$16
Business$33$23
Basic Commerce$36$27
Advanced Commerce$65$49

Best features:
Any plan of Squarespace will get you a free custom domain (for the first year), a free SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and 30 minutes of video storage.

Your website will also be mobile-responsive, so customers can access your store from any device. Other than these essentials, features include:

  • Themes. Squarespace has some of the most aesthetically pleasing themes. But you can still change font styles and color palettes to match your branding. If you're just starting your business, you can choose from the pre-built palettes and font packs.

    You can create a palette based on an uploaded image by choosing a base color and automatically generating the rest or custom-picking each color.

    You can also change fonts from font packs. Styling them can make site-wide changes or changes specific to a section.

  • Animations. You can add animations to site elements to make the user experience dynamic. These can get triggered when visitors load a page or scroll through your site.

  • Pre-built sections. There are over 100 pre-built sections, making editing fast and easy. But you can start with a blank page if you prefer to work from scratch.

  • Media. You can use free and premium images from Unsplash. However, if you'll be uploading your images, it's best to use 2500-pixel wide images, up to 500 kb in size.

    You can also embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia.

    Squarespace is also great for building your online portfolio. Through their gallery sections, you can display multiple images in various layouts. You can edit the images after uploads, edit descriptions, or add links to them.

    Preset filters are also available, which automatically change what your image looks like. But be sure to keep a backup of your original file.

  • Collections. This feature works great with your products. Customers can view the collection pages, see the items, and click through your specific products to learn more information.

    For example, the "Shop page" will serve as the collection page, then the individual products will serve as collection items. Of course, this also works with blogs, events, and portfolio pages.

  • Hidden pages. You can hide pages from the navigation menu. On the Pages panel, you'll find a "not linked" section to manage them.

    You can use text links, links on images, and button links to access them instead.

  • SEO. SEO features are built into the editor. Squarespace has a checklist that you can go through when setting up your site.

  • Marketing. You can create newsletters or set up email campaigns. It's great for spreading the word about discounts, promotions, or new releases in your store.

If you need more features, you can check out Squarespace Extensions.

3. Weebly: Best value

Pros:

  • Free online store
  • Affordable pricing
  • Embed or edit custom codes
  • Simple interface

Cons:

  • Transaction fees
  • No free domain
  • Tricky mobile editor
  • Block layout instead of flexible grid

Weebly is an affordable website builder from Square, a mobile payment solution. It has a simple interface that's intuitive and easy to use.

Clean, modern, and minimalist themes are available, each suited for a specific purpose. You can choose from business, eCommerce, portfolio, blog, event, or personal themes as you see fit.

Because layouts for different website sections are also available, you can set up your site in only a couple of hours. It'll also be responsive in any screen size.

Square has another website builder called Square Online. Although both are centered on eCommerce features, Square Online is better suited for larger and established businesses, while Weebly is best for small businesses.

Why we like it:
Weebly is one of the most affordable website builders with enough features to build an online store. You can even set one up for free.

Even with the free plan, you can already sell unlimited items. You can set up a quick shop, use item badges, have product options, etc.

There's a 3% transaction fee, which is usually worth it when you can sell for free.

Pricing:[3]
Weebly offers a free plan, which means you can try out the interface for as long as you prefer. However, it might not be ideal in terms of professionalism as the free plan will show Square ads.

Once you decide to upgrade for more features, you can choose from the following:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Free Plan$0$0
Personal Plan$13$10
Professional Plan$16$12
Performance Plan$29$26

Best features:
In any of the plans, you can get a free SSL certificate and access to eCommerce features. However, you can't connect a custom domain with the free plan.

All plans will also have marketing features such as SEO, lead capture, and Instagram integration.

Let's talk about the rest in detail:

  • Editor. The website builder is straightforward. With the sidebar and top bar, features are easy to navigate. But most of your editing will be done using the "Build" tab.

    Keep in mind that the drag-and-drop editor is less flexible compared to competitors. The grid is limited, and resizing is restrictive. Nonetheless, it's easy to use.

  • Themes. Unlike other website builders, you can access the code editor to modify your chosen theme. It's useful if you know about HTML and CSS.

    You can also switch themes if you prefer.

    Are Weebly sites mobile-friendly? Yes, Weebly has responsive themes, so your site will automatically display correctly on your customers' phones without you needing any complicated coding.

  • Store. You can set up your online store through the "Store" tab. It's where you will manage every aspect of it after designing your site. You can add products through the Item Library.

  • Media. You can add HD videos or link a YouTube video. You can also upload audio and documents as needed.

  • Contributors. You can add contributors or editors if multiple people are working on the site.

  • Apps. You'll find an Apps tab within the editor where you can browse, install, and manage apps from the Weebly App Center.

  • SEO. You can edit page descriptions, meta keywords, URLs, and header and footer codes as needed.

Weebly offers plenty of apps to customize your site and achieve exactly the design you want.

Best Website Builders for Content

Other website builders focus on content management. This is ideal if you're a content-based business producing blogs, news articles, podcasts, etc.

The best ones we've evaluated include WordPress, Webflow, and Web.com.

Starting PriceFree Plan or TrialTemplatesGet Started
WordPress$9 per monthFree plan30,000+ free and paid themesWordPress
Webflow$18 per monthFree plan1,000+ free and paid themesWebflow
Web.com$1.95 (first month), then $14.99 per monthN/A150+ free themesWeb.com

1. WordPress: Best for flexibility

CREDIT: WORDPRESS

Pros:

  • Highly customizable
  • Auto-save your edits
  • 24/7 support
  • Mobile app
  • Import and export content

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Plugin conflicts
  • Limited features on cheaper plans

WordPress is used by many established businesses, including Fortune 500 companies. But it's best for small-time bloggers or small businesses.

We'll be talking about WordPress.com in this article. WordPress is actually software you can download for free from WordPress.org. WordPress.com is just the hosted version of that software.

It's the largest web publishing platform. Given the number of its features, it is designed to help you set up a site in a few minutes. Yet, you could spend years learning to develop customized websites with it.

Why we like it:
Plugins make WordPress the most flexible and customizable website builder. That said, it's also easily breakable. Some plugins won't be compatible with others.

However, you can always deactivate a problematic plugin.

Unlike a self-hosted website, you won't be able to access your site's code for WordPress.com. It's for safety as you share the hosting platform with other website owners. But that also makes it less complicated for you as a user, as they handle everything on the back-end.

WordPress is designed to be set up in minutes by anyone, and there are plenty of themes to choose from. But avoid the temptation of adding too many plugins, so you can avoid potential technical errors.

Pricing:[4]
WordPress is also affordable, especially for small business owners. It offers a free plan, so you can try out the interface.

To access the website builder's full capabilities, however, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. You can choose from the following:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Personal$9$4
Premium$18$8
Business$40$25
eCommerce$70$45

Best features:
In all paid plans, you can collect payments on your website and have access to unlimited email support. WordPress ads are also removed to keep it professional.

For annual plans, you'll even get a free domain for a year.

Other features you can get depending on your plan are:

  • Plugins. With a Business and eCommerce plan, you can add plugins to add extra features to your site. There are over 60,000 plugins for WordPress.

    Some of the most popular ones are Jetpack (for security) and WooCommerce (for online stores). You don't really need plugins to create blog posts.

  • Blocks and layouts. WordPress has themes you can choose from. But you can also start with a blank page. Elements are blocks on the page.

    It's easy to use as it's your typical drag-and-drop builder. But other plugins can also make it easier for you. Elementor is a popular option.

  • Media. WordPress comes with a free photo gallery. You can add images through blocks such as Cover, Image, and Gallery blocks. You can also embed audio and videos.

  • SEO. With a Business and eCommerce plan, you'll get tools to enhance your site's content to optimize for search engines and social media. If you prefer, Yoast SEO is a popular plugin.

    The most popular of all WordPress plugins is Yoast SEO. This helps you easily set your posts up to be found and ranked by Google.

  • Integrations. There are 9 social media integrations with WordPress. You can connect SoundCloud, ReverbNation, YouTube, Goodreads, TikTok, Twitch, Discord, Diaspora, and Steemit.

    If you opt for a eCommerce plan, there are also integrations with top shipping carriers.

  • Stats. You'll get in-depth stats and can integrate your site with Google Analytics. You can learn where the visitors come from, what they read, and when they visit.

    These are also available through the WordPress app, so you can view and manage your website on the go.

2. Webflow: Best in design

credit: webflow

Pros:

  • Members-only content
  • Unlimited backups
  • Exportable code
  • Webflow University

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Numbered monthly visits allowed
  • Limited features on the Basic plan

Designing with Webflow is incredibly simple, and you don't need any technical expertise to get started. The interface is fairly intuitive, and there's an excellent tutorial too.

But it can seem overwhelming at first. There may be tools or buttons unfamiliar to you. However, they have a dedicated course you can view through Webflow University, which explains the interface well.

The website builder uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But you won't need to learn a line of code to use it. It also offers a lot of animations to make your website dynamic, making it look like it's professionally made.

Why we like it:
The "canvas" on the editor lets you interact with the pages and designs in real-time. It uses a "box model" where the element is as tall as the content inside.

The boxes are stacked on top of each other. It's usually a stiff drag-and-drop builder. Unlike other box models, however, Webflow makes editing smooth and flexible.

There are many design elements you can tweak. There are typography families and animations, for example. But if you prefer to keep editing to a minimum, there are thousands of free templates available.

You can create a 2-page website for free with Webflow. This is a great way to check out the interface and see if it will work for your business. Or if you only need a 2-page site, like for your online resume, it is free forever, so you'd never need to upgrade.

Pricing:[5]
Webflow has different pricing plans for general websites and online stores. The general pricing plans are more affordable and are best suited for content websites.

You can choose from:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Starter Plan$0$0
Basic Plan$18$14
CMS Plan$29$23
Business Plan$49$39
EnterpriseContact WebflowContact Webflow

If you prefer an eCommerce plan, the pricing plans are:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Standard Plan$42$29
Plus Plan$84$74
Advanced Plan$235$212

Best features:
You can get a custom domain for any paid plan in Webflow. Its badge will also be removed so your site looks professional.

To secure your site, you can set up two-factor authentication in all plans. For the Enterprise plan, you can set up custom SSL certificates.

More than these essentials, you can expect:

  • Editor. The website editor has a completely visual canvas. How you see it on the editor will be how you see the website live.

    The images are responsive on any device. The look of your website is fluid, meaning the elements automatically adjust depending on your browser size.

  • Motion design and interactions. You can add 3D transforms and animations to your elements without writing any code.

    You can change element behavior as people scroll through the page, or you can choose other triggers for each behavior.

    Animations can also be timed, scrolled, or position-based mouse animations.

  • Dynamic content. This feature is specifically great for content-based pages. If you're editing a blog page, for example, you don't need to visit individual blog pages to make the same changes.

    By referencing a custom database, the structure of that blog page will be the same for all other blog posts.

    Pro tip: Webflow has over 2,000 web fonts available. You can surely find a set that fits your brand. However, some fonts are more user-friendly and easily loadable than others. It will enhance the user experience if you stick with such.

  • CMS. You can get up to 10,000 CMS items (or more), depending on your paid plan. You can set up CMS collections for these items, which you can use to set up categories or pages.

    If your limit is 50 CMS items, you can have 50 projects in a portfolio, for example.

  • Scheduled publishing. This feature is great if you publish content daily or weekly. You can also publish and unpublish multiple content at once through the multi-item publishing and unpublishing feature.

  • SEO. You get 301 redirects, sitemap controls, meta tags, and other support features to enhance your site's rankings on search engines.

"Workspaces" have separate features and pricing plans. These cater to in-house teams, freelancers, and agencies. The additional features could work for you if you're building a website with a team. Some of these features include team sizes (collaborators), billing permissions, site transfers, code export, etc.

3. Web.com: Best for marketing content

Pros:

  • Multiple professional emails
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Affordable introductory pricing

Cons:

  • No free plan
  • Fixed use of template
  • Can get expensive upon renewal

Web.com offers various website solutions such as hosting, domains, website, and marketing services. The DIY Builder is one of them.

Because of the many services available, your website will also be filled with features unavailable to competitors. For example, you get a free business LLC formation service through their plans.

Your website will also have monthly SEO health checks and an SEO to-do list specific to your site's needs. If you create a customized list of keywords, you can also track your website's ranking for them.

Why we like it:
If marketing is your priority, then Web.com won't disappoint. You can have up to 5 business email accounts with 2 GB storage for each.

Partner it with their email marketing and marketing calendar features. That way, you can connect with your clients or readers and promote your services.

You can also submit your business profile to local directories for better reach.

There are many more features that can help market and introduce your business, most of which are available through their Business and eCommerce plans.

Pricing:[6]

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Website Essentials$1.95 for the first month; renews at $14.99 per month$4.95 for the first month; renews at $9.99 per month
Business Essentials$3.95 for the first month; renews at $21.99 per month$7.95 for the first month; renews at $19.99 per month
eCommerce Essentials$9.95 for the first month; renews at $29.99 per month$13.95 for the first month; renews at $24.99 per month
eCommerce Premium$24.95 for the first month; renews at $44.99 per month$19.95 for the first month; renews at $39.99 per month

Best features:
You can access all templates for any pricing plan. You'll also get a free domain for a year, free private domain registration, and a free SSL certificate with your site.

However, Web.com stands out from its competitors due to the following features:

  • Editor. The website builder has a fully customizable layout with pre-designed content blocks. You can set up your website's layout and pages in only a few minutes.

    It also comes with over 150 templates to choose from, which makes it a convenient starting point.

  • Media. You'll have access to 2 million free stock images from Unsplash. These will work great with your blog posts or as cover images.

    But you can also embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo. That way, you can share video and written content on your platform.

    Need hosting? Because there's built-in hosting, your website will have fast loading speeds. Your site will also automatically back up daily.

  • Local listings. Through this feature, your business will get listed on sites such as Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Yellow Pages.

  • eCommerce. You can set up an online store through the eCommerce plans. It includes all the features you'll need, such as online payment options, shipping, discount codes, inventory management, and even QuickBooks integration.

    You can also access website analytics and eCommerce reports.

  • Appointments. Through the eCommerce plans, you can get unlimited appointments from your clients. It'll also automatically sets appointment reminders to avoid no-shows.

  • Marketing. You can get social media integrations, a scheduling tool, a customer relationship management (CRM) feature, pay-per-click advertising, an image editor, a QR code generator, and more.

Best Website Builders for Business or Personal Use

You might not be an eCommerce business, or you might not be producing content constantly. You could be a business that offers services or a student or young professional building an online portfolio.

There are website builders suitable for that. You can check out Wix, HostGator, and Zyro.

Starting PriceFree Plan or TrialTemplatesGet Started
Wix$16 per month (billed annually)Free plan800+ free themesWix
HostGator$3.84 per month introductory offerFree with hosting plans200+ free themesGator
Zyro$2.59 per month introductory offerFree trial140+ free themesZyro

1. Wix: Best for portfolio or personal use

Pros:

  • Free plan available
  • Extensive Wix App Market
  • Excellent customer service
  • Great room for scalability

Cons:

  • Can't switch templates
  • Expensive pricing plans
  • Relatively slow website editor

Wix is a website builder that also has, subjectively speaking, a lot of aesthetically pleasing designs. With over 800 free templates, you'll surely find something you like.

Unlike other website builders, however, you can't switch themes once you start editing one. That's unless you're willing to start from scratch.

If you prefer, Wix has an Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature that can generate the website for you. You'll just have to answer questions relating to your business.

Why we like it:
Wix comes with project page presets which are suitable for building portfolios. You can also integrate your social media accounts so visitors can view your feed from the site. That way, you can also showcase whatever product or projects you've shared on them.

Wix also comes with eCommerce features depending on the plan. If you're an artist, you can sell your artwork or get them printed on products.

You can also host events, webinars, and workshops. If you're a service business, you can also take bookings. Your site can even integrate with Zoom to schedule meetings with clients.

Did you know?
Velo by Wix is a full-stack development platform for those who prefer to build websites through coding. Although you can embed codes on your Wix website, Velo is an option if you want to develop a website from scratch.

Pricing:[7]
You can create a free site with Wix, but it'll come with limited features. For example, your site will have Wix ads on every page. Your storage and bandwidth are up to 500 MB only.

You won't be able to set up online payments and Google Analytics. But you can access more features once you upgrade.

The pricing for general and eCommerce websites differs. For general pricing plans, refer to the table below:

Price per month (billed annually)
Combo$16
Unlimited$22
Pro$27
VIP$45

For business and eCommerce plans, the pricing is as follows:

Price per month (billed annually)
Business Basic$27
Business Unlimited$32
Business VIP$59

Wix also offers an Enterprise plan. It's a custom solution tailored to your business. You can connect with them for more details.

Best features:
With any Wix plan, you can connect a custom domain or get a free domain for a year. Your site will also have a free SSL certificate.

Depending on the plan, you can get from 2 GB to 100 GB of storage, with 30 minutes to 5 hours of video.

Aside from these essentials, features include:

  • Themes. Wix has industry-specific themes, so you can easily choose one depending on your website's purpose. For example, you can choose from travel services templates or portfolio templates.

  • Media. You can have from 30 minutes to 5 hours of video storage, depending on your chosen plan.

    High-resolution videos and images will be resized by their Image Resizer feature for better website performance.

  • Accessibility. The website builder has built-in accessibility tools. It comes with a wizard that pinpoints accessibility issues so you can fix them as needed.

    Want to be ranked on Google? SEO features are baked in, so you can add meta tags, URL slugs, and more. There are also 301 redirects, bulk redirects, and you can import up to 500 URLs.

  • Ads. You can get up to $600 in ad vouchers, with $500 for Google Ads and $100 for Bing ads. This can help expand your reach and gain more audience for your site.

  • eCommerce. If you opt for eCommerce plans, you can list unlimited products or set up your own dropshipping store. You can also set up subscriptions and collect recurring payments from your customers.

    Other online store features, such as abandoned cart recovery, multiple currencies, shipping, etc., are available.

  • Apps and Integrations. You can visit the Wix App Market to see various extensions that add features to your site.

    You can use them to collect leads, analyze traffic, promote your site, or use other design elements not available in the editor.

Wix Ascend is a business solution focused on marketing and customer management. It has different pricing plans, which give you more features such as SEO tools, live chat with site visitors, invoices, automation, and workflows. You can opt for one of its plans to further optimize your website.

2. HostGator: Best for service businesses

Pros:

  • 30-day refund available
  • App market available
  • Doesn't require a HostGator account
  • Can switch templates without problems

Cons:

  • No free plan or trial
  • Transaction fees
  • Price increases after introductory period

HostGator is a hosting platform, but they also have a website builder called Gator. It has simple features that make it suitable for small businesses or personal use.

The Gator Builder can automatically create a website for you, depending on your business industry. It can build a website in a couple of minutes.

If your business is just starting, the LogoMaker can help. You'll also be supported by HostGator personnel should you need any.

Why we like it:
Even if it's a simple website builder, you'll have the essentials for creating a website. You'll get marketing and online store features. You can also set up appointments and bookings.

Your site is also fully mobile responsive, so your clients or customers can reach you from any device.

If you're a service business, email marketing features would be great for you. You can have up to 10 campaigns per month, send up to 1250 unique emails per month, and have unlimited contacts.

Marketing features that come with HostGator are especially helpful in reaching potential clients. You'll get $200 search engine marketing credits, for example. You can also set up calendar management or have a side-by-side view of your staff calendars.

Pricing:[8]
Gator has enticing introductory offers, but they can get expensive upon renewal. Unfortunately, they don't offer a free plan or free trial.

If you want to test out the platform, you can purchase the plan in full and then use the 30-day money-back guarantee.

You'll get a free domain with a 12-month term.

Price per month (billed annually)
Express Start$3.84 introductory offer
Express Site$5.99 introductory offer
Express Store$9.22 introductory offer

Best features:
With Gator, you'll get free hosting with unmetered bandwidth. You can also connect your domain and get a free SSL certificate with any paid plan.

But more than these features, you'll get:

  • Media. You can use images from the Unsplash image library. But you can also upload your own, given unlimited storage for images.

  • Marketing. These features include integrated eCommerce landing pages, pop-up lead capture forms, sharing blog posts through email, and automated email scheduling.

    You can also set up menus and events sections.

  • Online store. You can list 3 up to an unlimited number of products, depending on your plan. Start and Site plans will have a 3% transaction fee.

    You can also upload digital products for download. Other online store features, such as online payment, discounts, inventory management, and shipping, are available.

Need to easily set up appointments? Calendar management is one of the most important considerations for service businesses. You'll have this feature through the Site and Store plans.

Email notifications regarding appointments are also available from the two.

3. Zyro: Best for a general website

credit zyro

Pros:

  • AI tools available
  • Multilingual website
  • 24/7 support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Can't switch templates
  • No free plan available

Zyro is another website builder suitable for small businesses or people looking to create their personal websites. It has designer-crafted templates and AI tools you can use to brand and market your business.

You can use the free AI tools to create your business name, logo, and slogan. You can also use their logo maker, AI writer, and AI heatmap should you want to.

Remember that you can't switch templates once your site is live. Nonetheless, their drag-and-drop builder is easy to use, so you can design any template to match your branding.

Why we like it:
Zyro works great for anyone starting a business. The AI tools will help you create content and edit images that will complement your products, if there are any.

If you're creating a general website, then the features Zyro offer will be more than enough. However, there are better options in terms of scalability.

Can you build a free site with Zyro? Although there's no free plan available, you can still test out the interface for free. You'll just need a paid plan to publish it.

Pricing:[9]
Zyro offers discounts if you're just starting. But they're only applied to the annual and 2-year plans. In detail, you can opt for:

Price per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)Price per month (billed every 2 years)
Website Plan$11.99$5.99$5.49
Business Plan$14.99$7.99$6.99

Best features:
You can get unlimited bandwidth and storage for any of the plans. Yearly plans will also get you a free domain for a year. Unlike its competitors, however, you can only use the business email for free for up to 3 months.

Your website will come with free web hosting and an SSL certificate. You can also connect a domain you already own.

Other than these essentials, its best features are:

  • Editor. The website builder uses a grid format. When you move elements around, they'll snap into place where you intend them to.

    This makes it easier to edit layouts but could also limit its flexibility. Nonetheless, it'll be a lot harder to mess up your design.

  • Marketing. Google Tag Manager and Visitor Remarketing features will help you collect data and market to your audience.

    If you have an online store, you can also set up email notifications and booking as needed.

  • eCommerce. You'll need a Business plan for an online store. You can list up to 500 products, accept online payments, and manage orders and inventory.

    There are more than 20 payment options to choose from, accessible from over 40 countries. Just keep in mind that there's a transaction fee of 1%.

  • SEO. SEO tools are available, and your site will automatically be optimized for search engines.

    Blogging tools are also available to use content to drive traffic to your site.

  • Integrations. Zyro works with many platforms to optimize your site. You can integrate Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Analytics.

    You can also use Facebook Pixel when running Facebook ads.

Our Methodology

To learn about the best website builders, we compared the many features with the needs of small businesses. Then we asked ourselves: Can these features help you easily find success online?

We researched and tried out each website builder's features, then concluded what they could be best used for. In doing so, we were able to determine who could best use them as well.

For example, we identified Shopify as the best for online businesses. The goal is to help you, the reader, find a website builder based on what your business needs the most.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the best website builder for small online businesses? If you're looking for the most convenient option, you can opt for Shopify. Its features center on setting up and managing an online store that works well with your brick-and-mortar store.

  • What is the best platform to create a business website? Wix is one of the best platforms for building business websites. Its templates are professionally designed. The editor is also flexible enough to make edits based on your branding. It also has eCommerce features, should you need them.

  • What is the #1 website builder? Based on our research, the number 1 website builders are Shopify for online stores, WordPress for content businesses, and Wix for business or personal use. These top-performing tools are categorized based on the varying needs of businesses.

  • Is Wix free for business? Wix comes with a free plan, but it has limited features. To best optimize your website for business, you'll have to upgrade to a paid plan. With a free plan, your site won't have a custom domain, will show Wix advertisements, and will have limited storage.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of website builders with great features. Some work best with specific types of businesses, while others do not.

To identify the best platform for your business, identify your needs. Then you can choose from website builders for eCommerce, content, or business and personal use.

Most website builders offer separate plans for online stores and general website features. But some come with both.

References

  1. ^ Shopify. Pricing, Retrieved 11/24/22
  2. ^ Squarespace. Pricing, Retrieved 11/24/22
  3. ^ Weebly. Pricing, Retrieved 11/24/22
  4. ^ WordPress.com. Pricing, Retrieved 11/24/22
  5. ^ Webflow. Pricing, Retrieved 11/24/22
  6. ^ Web.com Website plans, Retrieved 11/24/22
  7. ^ Wix. Wix Premium Plans: Website Plans, Retrieved 11/24/22
  8. ^ HostGator. Gator Website Builder, Retrieved 11/24/22
  9. ^ Zyro. Zyro Plans, Retrieved 11/24/22

Write to Karen Eloriaga at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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