Need a website but don’t have thousands to spend upfront? Website builders make the process of designing and launching a website simple and more affordable, but deciding which site builder is right for you and your business is not easy.
There are hundreds of options to choose from so the choice can be daunting and even costly if you have to change in the future. We have tried and tested site builders to give you clear and honest reviews of the best available on the market today.
You may see star ratings and “scores out of 10” on other review sites but, we believe the best approach is to simply highlight the builders that we think are the best available on the market today and who they are best suited for.
We have built websites, compared functionality, pricing, checked site speed and compiled live customer reviews to decide on our recommended picks to help you make the perfect choice of site builder for your needs.
All site builders have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are focussed on usability, others on design or functionality or e-commerce, often we do not feel we are comparing sites like-for-like when they have different areas of speciality.
Our recommended web builders make great websites, are easy to use and are free to try.
Most website builders allow you to build a website without coding knowledge, but some are much easier to navigate and understand than others! We take a brief look at many of the most popular options available so that you can decide which one is right for you.
Wix is a market-leading website builder with an intuitive “drag and drop”. interface. Find out more in our WIX Review.
+ Over 800+ templates and mobile editor
+ Drag and drop frontend builder allows complete flexibility to website design
+ Large range of applications to cover the vast majority of web requirements
- Design flexibility can get fiddly when you have a lot of items on a page
- If you want hands-on control over every aspect of your site, Wix isn’t for you
Squarespace is one of the largest names in website builders with a focus on beautiful modern template designs. Find out more in our review.
+ Squarespace can support up to 1000 pages (unlike Wix which has a 100-page limit)
+ Building a site is fast with an intuitive front-end based layout
+ Ability to edit, publish and send marketing emails on the go using the smartphone app
- A relatively small amount of templates against the competition
- Autosave doesn't happen, so you need to remember to save after each edit
Shopify is much more than a website builder, it is all you need to get a fledgling e-commerce business started with the scalability to support growth.
+ A full and scalable e-commerce solution for businesses of all sizes
+ Marketing, order management and eBay/Amazon integrations top a broad set of e-commerce feature
+ Themes are well built and designed to maximise web sales
- Website designing functionality is limited - the number of templates on offer is small in comparison to other online store builders like Squarespace or Wix
SITE123 markets itself as the easiest free website builder available and has a number of templates and layouts ready to go for businesses.
+ A great solution for small portfolios and simple projects
+ E-commerce functionality, live chat and translatable into 5 different languages
+ Perfect for beginners, with a simple to use interface
- Less choice when it comes to design with 160+ website templates to choose from
- Not ideal if you want to create a complex website or want the ability to use HTML code
Webflow is unique as a website builder, they target an audience with an understanding of web design and front end coding but with a designer interface that requires no coding.
With Webflow you can build websites with no limits or templates with great results but there is a steep learning curve to get started.
Weebly is e-commerce focusing on small businesses. Consider it a Shopify “lite”.
If you feel that Shopify is too much for your needs (or too expensive) then Weebly is worth a look. Plus, with direct integration between Square card payment hardware and Weebly, it is worth a look if you already use Square card readers.
Looking for the perfect website builder to display your photography or portfolio?
Not only does Format have templates built to show off your work, but Format provides features to sell products/prints, protect your images and share image galleries with clients. It is not on our recommended sites due to its niche appeal but it is great for photographers/artists.
Free site builder plans usually will not allow you to have your own domain name, your site will have advertising for the site builder in prominent positions and most features will be unavailable.
To test and try the website builder to see if it fits your needs these free plans are perfect and all our recommended site builders have trial/free plans to get started. In the long term if you are looking to grow your visitor numbers and to have control over every aspect of your site you will want to upgrade.
Shopify is built to take the hassle out of managing an e-commerce business. Our other recommendations all have e-commerce solutions but if you are planning on having more than 50 products on your site Shopify has the tools to make sure you are not drowning in admin and can scale your business when required.
Wix is our choice of the best all-around website builder and is perfect for a restaurant. Having full control with the drag and drop interface you can design the site to suit your restaurant, plus, the Wix app store has loads of relevant apps for restaurants including menus, reservations and orders.
GoDaddy stacks up nicely with other platforms, such as Wix and Squarespace in terms of tools. The issues can be pricing, often enticing customers with prices that look low and then withholding certain features behind higher payment walls or locking you in for more expensive renewal prices.
Any website builder can do the job, although we think that Wix is a great platform to use for your affiliate marketing website. It's easy to use and comes with an intuitive page builder that lets you drag and drop different elements, such as images and text into place to create unique layouts and a great website journey.
Website builders are a great place to start your web journey, especially if you have a smaller pot of money to build your business and brand with.
They allow you to get a good looking website live quickly, cheaply, with no technical knowledge and little effort.
For start-ups they are perfect, giving you all the tools to get started and some scalability for the future. For small to medium businesses looking for a website refresh, they provide robust functionality to build a website that requires little hassle and maintenance.
Yes, all free website builders will allocate you a domain but this will be a random string of letters and numbers. To grow traffic to your site and to market your site you will want a domain name that matches your brand. A lot of website builders will offer you a free domain when you upgrade to paid plans.
However, we suggest managing your domain outside of your website builder, this gives you more flexibility in the future if your business grows out of a site builder solution or you want to change to another builder.
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