Best Website Builders in 2021
As a small business owner, selecting the right website builder is one of the first things you need to do when creating a website for your business. If you aren’t a tech-savvy web developer or you don’t have the time for or interest in learning web development, you’ll want to choose a drag-and-drop website builder.
As a small business owner, you’d most likely prefer to spend more time on helping your business grow than learning how to build a website from scratch. That’s why we recommend GoDaddy™ as our #1 pick for small business website builders. Read through this detailed review of the best website builders in 2021 to learn the pros and cons of the top website builders and discover if GoDaddy, or another builder, is best for your business.
|Our Picks for the Best Website Builder|
#1 Best Builder for Small Businesses
Best for Creatives
|Best for Ecommerce||Visit Shopify
Best for Blogs
Best for Beginners
Best for Service-Based Businesses
|Visit Squarespace $18+/month|
Best for Mobile Readiness
GoDaddy: Best Small Business Website Builder
The GoDaddy website builder is an excellent choice for most small businesses. Its simple and straightforward design can help you get your website up and running in no time. This builder doesn’t offer an extensive array of themes and plugins, and other attractive features, but these bells and whistles simply aren’t essential for most small businesses. GoDaddy’s plans start at $10.49 per month and you can build your business’s website in as little as five minutes.
Best Website Building Software
Wix: Best Choice for Creatives
Wix users appreciate seemingly endless customization options and a dynamic, intuitive user interface (UI). If you’re a creativity-minded small business owner, you’ll be able to design your website the way you want, without having to learn to code or purchasing an external theme.
Even if you’re not overly creative, Wix offers an array of features that all small businesses will appreciate. This platform includes helpful market analysis tools, inventory management tools, and more. Wix is an attractive platform for a wide variety of businesses, with business plans starting at $14/mo.
Shopify: Best Choice for Ecommerce
Shopify is one of the most popular choices for ecommerce businesses large and small. It’s easy to use, relatively affordable, and has plenty of customization options and analytics tools. Shopify is solely focused on being an ecommerce platform, meaning its website builder includes all the tools you need. Additionally, the customer support staff has the training and experience needed to help your business and website succeed. At $29 per month, Shopify is an excellent choice for ecommerce businesses.
Get started with Shopify.
WordPress: Best Choice for Blogs
Although it’s technically considered a content management system (CMS), WordPress has to be included on this list, especially since there are a number of tools that provide a drag-and-drop experience. WordPress has the steepest learning curve among all the website builders on this list. For that reason, we only recommend choosing WordPress if you’re a blogger or you’re technologically savvy and want complete control over your site. Starting at $2.95/mo (with Bluehost), WordPress is an attractive option for bloggers and tech-savvy business owners alike.
Get started with WordPress hosted by Bluehost®.
Weebly: Best Choice for Beginners
If you’re completely new to building websites and you need a simple yet functional website for your business, Weebly is likely the best choice. Weebly features a simple drag-and-drop builder, hundreds of add-ons to increase your site’s functionality, and helpful web analytics. Starting at $12/mo, Weebly is an excellent choice for complete beginners.
Squarespace: Best Choice for Service-Based Businesses
If you’re in the service industry, you may want to consider building your website with Squarespace. Although this platform is also used by creatives, it offers elegant, polished website templates that are attractive to service industry business owners as well. Squarespace offers Squarespace Scheduling, a fee-based add-on that will give you the ability to schedule appointments and accept payments online. Starting at $18/mo, Squarespace just might be the perfect fit for your service-based business.
Jimdo: Best Choice for Mobile-Readiness
Although you may not have heard of Jimdo before, it’s worth including on this list, especially since websites built on this platform are mobile-friendly, right out of the box. Jimdo also has great ecommerce capabilities, a great free version, and it is known for its great customer service. Jimdo starts at just $9/mo and can be a great choice for businesses that want to focus on mobile readiness.
GoDaddy Website Builder
There’s a reason why GoDaddy is our top choice for website builders for small businesses. The GoDaddy interface is simple and easy to use, and users can build a website in a matter of minutes. Some of GoDaddy’s most popular features include website security, analytics, 24/7 support, and more. GoDaddy also offers a free trial, so you can actually try the software out before deciding if it’s the right fit for you and your company.
When you first sign up and begin to use the GoDaddy website builder, you’ll be asked a few questions about your business type, etc.
After you’ve answered the initial questions, the GoDaddy website builder will automatically create your website, complete with your business name and basic information. From there, you can enter further details about your business, upload applicable photos, and more. Within five minutes, you can have a functioning website for your small business.
GoDaddy Website Builder Benefits
- Speed: Small businesses can have a website up and running in minutes.
- Ease-of-Use: GoDaddy’s Website Builder is incredibly easy to use, even for beginners.
- Appointment Setting: If you need to set appointments or take payments through your website, GoDaddy offers this functionality.
- Effective Marketing Tools: Users have access to social media and marketing tools, SEO tools, and more.
GoDaddy Website Builder Drawbacks
- Limited Customization: Although most business owners will appreciate GoDaddy’s simplicity, it can be limiting for others. If you want to have complete control over the design, expandability, and functionality of your website, you should consider another builder on this list.
- Limited Ecommerce Functionality: Although the GoDaddy website builder does support ecommerce, larger stores may want to use a platform like Shopify, which offers more functionality.
Read our full GoDaddy Website Builder Review.
Wix Website Builder
Wix is one of the most popular website builders for creatives. Wix is highly versatile, includes unique themes, has a responsive drag-and-drop builder, and includes plenty of storage space. If you’re in the creative industry, Wix is an excellent place to showcase your products, services, and talent.
Wix Website Builder Benefits
- Storage Space: Wix plans come with enough storage space to house your portfolio, even if it includes audio, video, images, etc. If you build an online store with Wix, you can list an unlimited number of products.
- Secure Transactions: All Wix websites include a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate and secure payment functionality. In addition, you can add scheduling features and even sell tickets to events.
- Excellent Customer Support: Customers can access Wix’s customer service team 24/7. In addition, Wix has a massive knowledge bank, where you can find answers to common questions and how-to guides.
Wix Website Builder Drawbacks
- Site Speed Issues: Although Wix has made significant improvements to its platform, a common complaint amongst users is that Wix websites are slow to load. This can cause visitors to look elsewhere for the products or services they need.
- Migration Issues: Although it’s relatively easy to build a Wix website, it’s incredibly difficult to leave the platform. If you ever decide to move your website to another platform, you’ll most likely need to hire a web developer or purchase a third-party plugin to make sure the transfer is as seamless as possible.
- Limited Analytics: The ecommerce and business analytics provided by Wix isn’t nearly as robust as that of its competitors. If you expect to rely heavily on site analytics, you can install Google Analytics™ on your site.
Whether you’re looking to create a website for your online store, or need a great builder to help you showcase your portfolio, Wix is a great choice for many small businesses. You’ll have a number of templates available to you, a great user interface, and a true drag-and-drop builder.
Read our full Wix Website Builder Review.
Shopify Website Builder
Shopify is the premier website builder for ecommerce businesses, large and small. And while you may be able to integrate Shopify into a website that’s held on another platform, many business owners choose to simply set up their online store directly on Shopify’s platform. You’ll have access to hundreds of themes and apps and your store will be built with the security protocols your customers will expect. Shopify offers several different plans and tiers of service to meet a variety of budgets. If you’re planning to build an ecommerce website, seriously consider using the Shopify platform.
Shopify Website Builder Benefits
- Unlimited Products: Shopify users have unlimited storage, meaning you will have no problems adding all your products, photos, and more.
- Intuitive Dashboard: Shopify’s dashboard is organized and highly intuitive. Setting up your online store is relatively easy, and making updates is a cinch. Furthermore, if you know HTML, you can edit your site’s code as well.
- Essential Integrations: Shopify also provides users with the ability to connect their social media accounts, manage additional sales channels, and create and edit blog posts directly from the Shopify dashboard.
Shopify Website Builder Drawbacks
- Zero Autosave: The Shopify platform does not include auto-save functionality, meaning you’ll have to remember to save your work regularly to protect against losing your progress.
- Apps Often Cost More: Shopify does have an app store, but many third-party plugins require a subscription or a high one-time fee.
- Transaction Fees: If your customers use anything other than the Shopify Payments online payment gateway, you will be charged a transaction fee for each purchase.
Shopify offers its customers 24/7 support and the entire staff is trained to help you make the most of your online store. It’s an incredibly popular platform for small business owners because it’s easy to use, affordable, and gives users enough customization options to make their online stores reflect their brands. What’s even better is that Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, which can give you ample time to determine if it’s the right platform for you and your business.
Read our full Shopify Website Builder Review.
WordPress Website Builder
Although it’s considered a CMS, WordPress has a number of plugins and themes that give users a drag-and-drop website builder experience. As a CMS, WordPress is highly customizable. WordPress.org websites include Gutenberg, which is WordPress’s drag-and-drop page and post builder. Users can, however, install more advanced builders like Elementor, Divi, or Avada if they so choose. In addition, if you know a bit of HTML or CSS, you have the ability to update your website’s source code directly.
WordPress Website Builder Benefits
- Lower Costs: WordPress itself is free but you’ll have to purchase your domain name and website hosting package separately.
- Relatively Easy to Use: WordPress is more difficult to use than the simple drag-and-drop builders on this list. However, if you’re somewhat tech-savvy, you can learn to use WordPress.
- Extensive Marketplace: WordPress users will appreciate having access to thousands of plugins and themes (both free and paid) found through the WordPress dashboard and third-party marketplaces. These plugins and themes can help users easily customize their sites and add additional functionality.
- Business Integrations: The WordPress platform offers integrations with WooCommerce®, ActiveCampaign®, Hubspot®, and many other popular business platforms.
WordPress Website Builder Drawbacks
- Lack of a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) experience: As previously stated, WordPress doesn’t include a true drag-and-drop experience. While some users may be okay with utilizing an iterative process (creating a page, checking the preview, making additions, and then previewing again), other users will prefer the WYSIWYG format of other builders.
- Admin Duties: If you choose to manage your business’s website on WordPress, you’ll have to perform all updates and backups, manage your site’s security, and perform other routine maintenance tasks.
- Targeted by Hackers: As a WordPress website owner, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure your website is protected against cyberattacks. Since WordPress is one of the most popular platforms in the world, it has become one of the biggest platforms targeted by hackers.
WordPress can be an ideal platform for a variety of bloggers or other small business owners who are at least somewhat tech-savvy. Sites built on this platform have the potential to be fast, many themes are mobile-ready, and hosting plans can cost as little as $2.95 per month.
Read our full WordPress Review.
Weebly Website Builder
Popular among absolute beginners, Weebly is one of the easiest website builder platforms to learn to use. It includes a true drag-and-drop builder, several theme options, and plenty of apps to add functionality to your site. In addition, if you’re a bit more tech-savvy, and know some HTML and CSS, you’ll also have the ability to edit your site’s source code, meaning you can further customize your site.
Weebly Website Builder Benefits
- Flexibility: With Weebly, users can manipulate their page’s contents any way they see fit, including adding and removing content. In addition, it’s relatively easy to change your site’s theme.
- Apps and Widgets: Users appreciate Weebly’s extensive app store and the availability of a number of useful widgets.
Weebly Website Builder Drawbacks
- SEO Issues: Since Weebly websites don’t include H1 headings, which are essential SEO elements, users must employ an external app to ensure their websites are properly optimized for search engines.
- Not the Best for Bloggers: Weebly’s blogging capabilities leave a lot to be desired. If your small business relies heavily upon publishing regular blog posts, you’ll most likely want to look at another website builder.
Weebly is a great solution for absolute beginners that don’t plan to publish regular blog posts. The builder is flexible, relatively fast, and offers a range of plans from $12 to $38 per month.
Read our full Weebly Website Builder Review.
Squarespace Website Builder
Squarespace is a fantastic choice for many small businesses, especially service-based businesses. The platform includes several templates and site owners can purchase the Squarespace Scheduling add-on which can help them manage bookings and accept online payments.
Squarespace Website Builder Benefits
- Highly Customizable: Small business owners will appreciate having access to hundreds of site templates, which can help them create a great-looking website quicker than other platforms.
- Supports Scheduling: If your business includes scheduling services and/or accepting online payments, Squarespace offers free (and paid) tools to help with these tasks.
- Marketing Capabilities: Squarespace includes a number of marketing and SEO tools to help small business owners in every niche.
Squarespace Website Builder Drawbacks
- Limited Trial: Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, but it does have a two-week free trial. For some business owners, this might not be enough time to fully design their site and decide if it’s the right platform for them.
- Versioning: Depending on when you build your site, and when it is updated, you could be running one version of the platform (7.0 for example), while another version is being used by others (7.1 for example). This can cause some confusion when trying to troubleshoot or access documentation. Squarespace site owners must double-check their version before troubleshooting or accessing Squarespace guides and tutorials.
- Too Many Options: Squarespace is highly customizable, but all of the customization options can be overwhelming for novices.
Although Squarespace is a bit pricier than other platforms on this list, it can be an excellent choice for some small businesses. Professional plans start at $18 per month and the advanced ecommerce plans start at $40 per month.
Read our full Squarespace Website Builder Review.
Jimdo Website Builder
Although you may not have heard of Jimdo, there’s a good reason why it is included on this list. This platform was created in 2010 and has become one of the best platforms for businesses that are focused on creating mobile-friendly websites. In addition, Jimdo has a great free version that will truly let you get a feel for the platform before purchasing a building and hosting package.
Jimdo Website Builder Benefits
- Mobile-Friendly: All websites created on Jimdo are mobile-friendly, right out of the box.
- Customer Service: Jimdo’s customer service has contributed to its 8.6/10 satisfaction score on TrustPilot.
- Mobile Editing: Its iOS and Android apps are user-friendly and well-integrated.
- No Transaction Fees: If you plan on building an online store through Jimdo, you'll never be faced with any transaction fees, regardless of the package you choose.
Jimdo Website Builder Drawbacks
- Few Choices: With just two paid package options, Jimdo doesn’t offer as many features as its competitors do.
- Limited Payment Options: Jimdo is only set up to accept payment via PayPalⓇ for US ecommerce stores. If you’re planning on starting an online store, you won’t have a credit card gateway.
- Limited Ecommerce Capabilities: Jimdo's online stores don't match the level of sophistication of other providers like Shopify. They lack many extra features like gift cards and abandoned cart recovery, which can make a big difference in sales.
Jimdo can be a good choice for small businesses that don’t need ecommerce capabilities and solely want to focus on their site’s mobile readiness. Starting at $9 per month, Jimdo could be a good choice for your business.
Read our full Jimdo Website Builder Review.
GoDaddy’s website builder is the best choice for small business owners who want to create a professional website quickly.
GoDaddy earns our #1 ranking for its generous packages, branding and marketing features, and great customer support. We think it’s the best long-term solution if you want to grow your small business and plan to take advantage of the marketing tools at your disposal. Click below to choose the best website building package for your small business.
Web.com: Best Choice for Beginners
Web.com features a straightforward, drag-and-drop user interface that makes it easy to create a website without any prior experience or coding ability. This website builder offers dozens of gorgeous website templates, along with pre-made content blocks that can be dropped into any layout, making the design element ultra-simple. With automatic access to thousands of eye-catching photos through Unsplash™, Web.com makes it easy to create a beautiful site quickly.
Web.com Website Builder Benefits
- User-friendly Site Editor: Web.com’s site editor is extremely easy to use. Its drag-and-drop function makes it simple to add elements, and it even features pre-designed content blocks for most common website sections. Beginners will find Web.com easy to navigate.
- Thousands of Photos: Web.com provides direct access to Unsplash, placing thousands of professional-quality, royalty-free images at the user’s fingertips.
- Excellent Customer Service: Web.com’s customer service receives top marks in virtually all reviews. Along with its highly responsive customer service, Web.com offers plenty of video tutorials and easy access to website-building information within the Site Editor.
Web.com Website Builder Drawbacks
- No Free Trial: Web.com is pricier than many of its competitors and offers no free plan or free trial. On the other hand, the first 30 days are deeply discounted.
- Web.com Site Speed: The Web.com page can be slow to load, frustrating some users.
- Image Editing: Editing photos within the Web.com Site Editor can be tricky. For beginners, it might be best to edit photos separately, then upload them to the Site Editor.
If you’re a small business owner who needs to build a website but has little to no online experience, Web.com is an excellent choice. The Site Editor walks you through the process and offers plenty of pre-made content sections to make the job of creating a site for your business quicker and less onerous.