Best Website Builders for UK Small Businesses

Feb 2021
Website builders and online website designers make the process of designing and launching a website simple, but choosing the right site builder for 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.

Our recommended web builders make great websites, are easy to use and are free to try.

Our recommendations:

Best all round builder

Wix has an intuitive “drag and drop” design supported by market leading functionality & applications.
Review

Best for simplicity

Site123 markets itself as the easiest free website builder available and has a number of templates and layouts ready to go for businesses.
Review

Best for design

Squarespace is one of the largest names in website builders with a focus on beautiful modern template designs.
Review

Best for Ecommerce

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.
Review

For more specific requirements:

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.
Find out more

For building a unique site

Weebly is e-commerce focussed for 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.
Find out more

Ecommerce with Square

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 in our recommended sites due to its niche appeal but it is great for photographers/artists.
Find out more

For photography

How we review

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. So, 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.

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.

Is a website builder right for my business?

Website builders are a great place to start your web journey.

They allow you to get a good looking website live quickly, cheaply, with no technical knowledge and little effort. All our recommended builders will have you up and running with a functional website within an hour.

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.

If you are looking to create a website that is completely different to the market or requires bespoke functionality, a website builder is not for you, it is a better approach getting in touch with a web developer.

What is the best free website builder?

Site123, Wix and Squarespace all offer a free option but you get what you pay for, free plans do come with limitations.

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.

What is the best Website Builder for an ecommerce startup?

Shopify is built to take the hassle out of managing an ecommerce business. Our other recommendations all have ecommerce 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.


What is the best Website Builder for a restaurant?

Wix is our choice of the best all-round 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.  


Do I need a domain name?

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 with 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.

Don’t have a domain yet? We like Google domains. ‍