Do you need to build a business website, but are unsure if you want to spend the money on a professional independent web developer or small unfamiliar agency? That’s why business website builders exist, to help you build your own site without going the full DIY or freelance outsourcing route.
In this business website builders guide, we’ll briefly go over some of the top options in the industry. By the time we’re done, you’ll have a great idea of which provider may be the best option given your needs and resources. After each explanation are links to help you get started today, enjoy!
Our top choice to make a business website is Wix. With over 100 million sites hosted on their drag-and-drop design platform, their popularity as a business website builder is sky-high for a variety of reasons. They also have a free version, which is a great way to figure out if you like their platform or not.
Wix garners decent customer reviews considering their gigantic user-base. Keep in mind it’s VERY common for folks to get frustrated with website builder platforms and give up. Is it easy to create a basic website or landing page on Wix? Yes. But don’t expect to create a masterpiece in minutes. All told, Wix has a lot to offer, and at reasonable price points.
StudioPress is a great option for those looking for a business website builder for WordPress. They’ve done a great job of packaging their service with two straightforward options – either Content for content marketing-based websites or Commerce to set up shop and start selling products.
Within the bounds of their framework and themes, you can look forward to a nice streamlined variety of features for specific users that may be up your allow. Finally, we wish there were more reviews to report on but currently they’re still building their user-base. We love what they’re doing and look forward to watching them grow.
Weebly is another business website builder that offers a free version. You would never want to build your actual website on the free version — because it has Weebly ads and a Weebly domain — but we do love ‘try before you buy’ providers. You have to get in and explore to see what works with your level of computer savvy.
Also, being entirely cloud-based means you can access Weebly site tools from anywhere with an internet connection, which could come in handy if an issue ever arises when your primary computer isn’t immediately accessible. Weebly isn’t quite as well rounded as Wix or StudioPress, but they’re still a great option for a business website builder.
SquareSpace has been expanding their reach by leaps and bounds over the last few years, with hundreds of employees and millions of sites hosted thanks to their gorgeous responsive themes. The marketplace also loves their tiered packages that make it easy to start small and scale as your site grows.
They score big points with customers due to their 24/7 email/chat support, but SquareSpace is a big operation and sometimes it can be hit or miss. If one representative isn’t as helpful as you’d like, simply try again. No different than with any other major company. Also, leverage their free trial!
If you need advanced ecommerce features to help expand your business, Shopify is worth serious consideration. While they make it easy to scale, their top-tier package has nice shipping discounts and low online store transaction fees, meaning high-volume stores save a lot of money at $299/mo.
Like SquareSpace, Shopify also has 24/7 support, but Shopify’s is a bit more impressive because it includes phone support. They’re easily the most expensive option in this guide, but sometimes you get what you pay for and Shopify is usually worth every penny, as long as you actually use its advanced features.
Jimdo’s free version is easily the most fully-featured in the industry, as it’s a surprisingly complete website builder rather than a narrow preview. Combine this with the fact the platform is literally designed for beginners, and it’s easy to see why they’ve grown in popularity so swiftly since 2010.
Jimdo is a German company, but we haven’t heard any complaints about their English-language service. One thing to keep in mind though is that their online stores aren’t up to the level of competitors like SquareSpace or Shopify yet, as they lack many features like gift cards and abandoned cart alerts. Also, you can currently only accept PayPal in their stores (no credit cards).
No matter which provider you choose, business website builders are significantly less expensive than hiring a professional designer to build your site. Is this always the case? No. But oftentimes the outsourcing process can take time and more money (along with headaches) because you’re working with smaller operations/freelancers.
Apps, widgets, and built-in dashboards can make managing your website a lot less demanding and more productive, as opposed to integrating tons of 3rd-party or open-source options like WordPress.
Most of these providers have extensive customer service solutions. Some of them are available 24/7 to help you with any problems that might come your way.
If you’re selling physical or digital products, website builders can make the entire process much easier. It’s surprising how many features some of these online stores have.
Something to note is that there are tons of web design and management options (freelancers/agencies) who actually specialize in these platforms. So, for example, if you run into trouble with a core SquareSpace theme, you could work with an independent SquareSpace-specific design agency that can provide much more personalized support within the bounds of the platform.
In most cases the templates they offer are somewhat restrictive (unless you can customize their code like Weebly offers). Some have more style and design options than others, so it comes down to your time, resources, and time to learn their approach.
For some, the number of design, app and widget options can be intimidating. For example, trying to decide which of the dozens of “contact form” widgets is the best fit. Or, who is best to build a subscriber list through?
Right now, the ideal platform for bloggers is still WordPress. While most website builders make it possible to add a blog to your store or site in general, finding one to really match your style and monetization goals can be rough. WordPress is still arguably the king of blogging – which makes StudioPress a top option.
It’s difficult to pick one favorite out of this group and recommend that provider for all of our readers. There’s quite a bit of nuance involved with business website builders, and sometimes the only way to tell which one is best for you is to dive in and try them.
In general, Wix is our top website builder for business though because they have low rates and great features you usually only see in more expensive business website builders. But if you’d like to give this an honest investment, StudioPress is extremely impressive and the best long-term solution if you’re going to take online marketing seriously.