Best Website Builder For Small Business In 2024: Our Top 8 Picks

As you may already know, having a website is crucial for small businesses.

It’s your online storefront, open 24/7, helping you reach customers far and wide.

But what if you’re not a tech wizard? No worries.

Website builders are here to save the day.

They’re like your online construction kit, letting you piece together your perfect site with zero coding needed.

Whether you’re selling products, showcasing your portfolio, or just telling the world about your services, these tools make it easy and affordable.

With that being said, let’s look at the 8 best website builders that are perfect for smaller businesses, without any tech headaches.

8 Best Website Builders For Small Business: At A Glance

  1. Wix: A Versatile Platform for Creative Freedom
  2. Shopify: The E-commerce Powerhouse
  3. Squarespace: Where Design Meets Functionality
  4. Weebly: Simplicity Meets E-commerce
  5. GoDaddy: Quick and Efficient Online Presence
  6. WordPress: The Flexible Content Management System
  7. Webflow: Advanced Design and Customization
  8. Hostinger: Budget-Friendly with Powerful Features

Understanding Website Builders

Let’s break it down.

Imagine you’re building a model airplane. Instead of cutting and gluing each tiny piece, you get a kit. Everything snaps together, no mess or fuss.

That’s what a website builder does for creating websites. It’s a tool that gives you all the parts of a website in a simple, user-friendly package.

You pick what you like, drag it where you want it, and, voilà, your website starts to take shape.

Why Use a Website Builder?

  • It’s Easy: You don’t need to be a computer genius. If you can use a mouse and keyboard, you’re set.
  • Saves Time: Building a website the old-fashioned way takes weeks or even months. With a website builder, you can have a professional-looking site up in hours.
  • Cost-Effective: Hiring a designer is expensive. Most website builders are either free or offer plans that won’t break the bank.
  • Looks Great: You get a sleek, modern website that looks like a pro designed it.

Key Features to Look For

  • User-Friendly: It should be easy to use, with a clear interface and no confusing jargon.
  • Templates: Look for a wide selection of templates. Whether you’re a baker or a candlestick maker, there should be something that fits your style.
  • Customization: Being able to tweak and tune your site is crucial. Your business is unique, and your website should be too.
  • Mobile-Ready: More people browse on their phones than ever before. Your site needs to look good on any device.
  • SEO Tools: These help your website show up in search results, bringing more visitors your way.
  • Support: If you get stuck, it’s good to have someone to turn to. Look for builders with helpful support teams.

1. Wix: A Versatile Platform for Creative Freedom

Wix stands out as a leading website builder, offering a blend of user-friendly design tools, cutting-edge AI assistance, and robust features tailored for small businesses.

It’s like having a digital toolbox that not only helps you build your online presence but also ensures it thrives in the competitive digital landscape.

Why Wix?

AI-Powered Solutions

Wix takes the guesswork out of website design and marketing.

Its AI tools guide you through the setup process, help craft your content, and even manage your email marketing campaigns.

It’s like having a personal assistant who knows the ins and outs of web design.

Furthermore, it doesn’t stop at website creation; Wix AI also ventures into email marketing, managing campaigns by suggesting content, optimizing send times, and targeting the right audiences.

This suite of AI-powered features acts like a personal assistant for users, possessing deep knowledge of web design principles and marketing strategies, thus enabling even those with minimal experience to build professional-looking websites and execute effective marketing campaigns with ease.

SEO and E-commerce Support

With personalized SEO tools, Wix doesn’t just help you build a website; it ensures people can find it.

Wix offers an integrated suite of advanced SEO tools designed to enhance a website’s visibility and search engine ranking.

These tools include the Robots.txt Editor for managing site accessibility, Structured Data Markup to improve search result display, Server Side Rendering (SSR) for better search engine processing, and URL Customization for SEO-friendly URLs.

Additionally, Wix provides Custom Meta Tags and Robots Meta Tags to inform search engines about site content, Canonical Tags to avoid duplicate content issues, and features to optimize social sharing.

For small businesses venturing into online sales, Wix’s e-commerce functionality is a game-changer, offering everything from product listings to payment processing.

Additionally, Wix offers inventory management features to keep track of stock levels, shipping and tax management tools to handle logistics, and marketing capabilities to promote products and engage with customers.

This all-in-one approach not only simplifies the process of launching an online store but also ensures that small businesses have the resources they need to succeed in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Accessibility for All

Whether you’re a tech newbie or just short on time, Wix’s free plan and intuitive design interface make it accessible to everyone.

The platform’s intuitive design interface guides users through the process of building their website, featuring drag-and-drop functionality that eliminates the need for coding knowledge.

Plus, the introduction of an AI chatbot adds a layer of personalized guidance, making website setup even smoother.

This innovative feature provides personalized guidance, answering questions and offering suggestions tailored to the user’s specific needs and preferences.

This addition streamlines the website setup process, making it even more efficient and user-friendly.

Innovative Features

Wix is a platform in constant development, demonstrating its commitment to innovation and the provision of cutting-edge tools for a diverse range of users, including agencies, freelancers, and small businesses.

A notable example of this commitment is the launch of Wix Studio, a comprehensive suite designed to empower creatives and professionals in designing highly customized and visually appealing websites.

Additionally, Wix has introduced enhancements such as the AI Meta Tag Creator, a tool that leverages artificial intelligence to generate SEO-friendly meta tags automatically.

This feature simplifies the optimization process, making it more accessible to users without deep SEO knowledge, and ensures that websites are more likely to rank higher in search engine results.

These advancements underscore Wix’s dedication to staying at the forefront of website creation technology, providing users with sophisticated, yet user-friendly tools to build and optimize their online presence effectively.

Pros

  • Comprehensive AI tools for design and marketing
  • Personalized SEO optimization
  • Robust e-commerce capabilities
  • Wide range of templates and customization options
  • Free plan available for basic use

Cons

  • Feature-rich platform can overwhelm beginners
  • Template changes not allowed after publishing
  • Higher pricing compared to some competitors
  • Unlimited storage only on premium plans

Pricing and Plans

Wix’s pricing structure caters to a range of needs, from basic websites to full-fledged online stores.

With plans starting at $16 per month for the Light plan, users can enjoy ad-free websites, custom domains, and ample storage.

E-commerce features unlock with the Core plan at $27 per month, making it ideal for small businesses looking to sell online.

For those needing more, the Business and Business Elite plans offer advanced solutions, with prices up to $159 per month.

Plus, a 10% discount is available with the code “TAKE10”, making Wix an even more attractive option.

The Verdict

Wix’s commitment to innovation, combined with its user-friendly platform and comprehensive features, makes it our top choice for small businesses looking to establish or enhance their online presence.

Whether you’re looking to showcase your brand, sell products, or connect with customers, Wix provides the tools and support to help your business succeed online.

2. Shopify: The E-commerce Powerhouse

Shopify is the benchmark for small businesses aiming to carve out their space in the e-commerce world.

Its blend of user-friendly design, cutting-edge features, and robust support makes it the go-to platform for anyone looking to sell online.

Let’s dive into why Shopify is our top pick for the best e-commerce solution.

Why Shopify?

Ease of Use and Setup

Shopify offers modern themes and an easy setup process, complete with video tutorials.

This makes it a breeze for businesses to launch their online store, focusing on essentials like high-quality photography and easy navigation.

With a plethora of step-by-step video tutorials available online, users are guided through the process of selecting themes, customizing their storefronts, and launching their online presence with ease.

The combination of user-friendly design tools and comprehensive educational content empowers businesses of all sizes to efficiently establish their online stores, allowing them to concentrate on selling their products rather than getting bogged down in technical details.

Comprehensive Features

From Instagram feed previews to back-in-stock notifications and detailed analytics, Shopify packs a punch.

The Instagram previews, for instance, allow businesses to seamlessly social media with their online store, while back-in-stock notifications automatically alerts customers when previously unavailable items are once again ready for purchase.

However, it’s Shopify’s detailed analytics feature that truly shines, providing merchants with deep insights into customer behavior, sales trends, and overall store performance.

These analytics tools are indispensable for businesses looking to understand their audience better, optimize their marketing strategies, and ultimately drive growth.

By analyzing data on customer demographics, purchase history, and website traffic patterns, store owners can make informed decisions that propel their business forward, ensuring that they not only meet but exceed customer expectations. 

A Comprehensive App Store

The Shopify App Store offers a huge selection of over 8,000 apps designed to customize and enhance online stores in various ways.

These apps have been thoroughly tested and vetted to ensure they meet high standards of quality and utility.

The store aims to provide merchants with everything they need to find customers and efficiently run their app business, serving as a central hub for tools and services that facilitate online store customization and optimization.

Multi-Currency Support with Shopify Payments

Shopify’s ability to accept multiple currencies through Shopify Payments makes it a versatile platform for global sales, ensuring your business can reach customers wherever they are.

Beyond Shopify Payments, the platform supports a wide array of payment gateways, offering flexibility in how businesses choose to handle transactions.

In fact, at the time of writing this, Shopify offers integration with over 100 payment gateways, which is more comprehensive than any other e-commerce provider.

These include popular options like PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay, as well as region-specific gateways that cater to local payment preferences, ensuring that no matter where your customers are, they have a payment option that works for them.

This extensive support for multiple payment gateways further underscores Shopify’s commitment to providing a versatile and user-friendly platform that meets the diverse needs of businesses and their customers worldwide.

Security Is Priority

When it comes to running an online store, security is paramount, and Shopify understands this better than anyone.

In the United States, for instance, data breaches have reached an all-time high, with the first nine months of 2023 witnessing a nearly 20% increase in data breaches compared to the entirety of the previous year.

This trend is not isolated to the US but is reflective of a global increase in cyber threats facing organizations worldwide.

Additionally, the financial impact of these cyber threats is also escalating, with the average ransomware payout jumping dramatically from $812,380 in 2022 to $1,542,333 in 2023.

As a fully PCI-compliant platform, Shopify ensures that your store meets all the necessary security standards for processing, storing, and transmitting credit card information.

This compliance is crucial for maintaining trust with your customers, ensuring their data is protected against breaches.

Additionally, every Shopify store comes equipped with an SSL certificate at no extra cost, encrypting data and securing the connection between your website and your visitors’ browsers.

This not only safeguards sensitive information but also boosts your site’s SEO rankings, as search engines favor secure sites.

Shopify’s commitment to security doesn’t end there; it extends to regular updates and monitoring to stay ahead of potential threats, providing a safe and reliable environment for both merchants and shoppers.

Shopify’s Fraud Analysis tool is a built-in feature designed to help merchants identify potentially fraudulent orders.

It automatically reviews orders made through your store and flags those that appear suspicious, using a variety of indicators such as billing and shipping details, IP addresses, and how the order was made.

For each flagged order, the tool provides a detailed analysis that highlights specific reasons why it might be considered risky, such as discrepancies in the customer’s payment information or a high number of orders placed in a short period.

Pros

  • Modern themes and easy setup
  • Comprehensive e-commerce and analytics features
  • Multi-channel integration for broader sales reach
  • Fully PCI compliant for secure transactions
  • Shopify Payments supports multiple currencies

Cons

  • Higher pricing compared to some competitors
  • The learning curve for those new to drag-and-drop editors
  • Needs apps to extend functionality, which can be costly

Pricing and Plans

Shopify’s pricing is designed to grow with your business.

Starting at $29/month for the Basic Shopify plan, it’s an affordable entry point for new online stores.

The Shopify plan at $79/month and Advanced Shopify at $299/month offer reduced transaction fees and additional features like advanced report building and third-party calculated shipping rates.

For businesses operating at an enterprise level, Shopify Plus provides custom solutions tailored to your needs.

Shopify also offers a free trial for those who want to give it a test run.

The Verdict

Choosing Shopify for your online store means choosing a platform that not only makes setting up your store a breeze but also provides the tools you need to succeed.

With its range of plans, comprehensive features, and robust support, Shopify stands out as the best e-commerce solution for small businesses ready to make their mark online.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your reach, Shopify offers a solid foundation for your e-commerce ambitions.

3. Squarespace: Where Design Meets Functionality

Squarespace shines as a top-tier website builder, celebrated for its blend of simplicity, aesthetic design flexibility, and comprehensive features.

It’s the go-to platform for creatives and small businesses eager to showcase their work or brand without diving deep into the technicalities of web development.

Why Squarespace?

Designed for Creatives

With Squarespace version 7.1, the platform elevates the website-building experience, especially for creatives.

It offers a canvas where technical ability takes a backseat to creativity, allowing users to focus on showcasing their work beautifully.

This update introduces a suite of powerful new features and adds a layer of flexibility that was not as pronounced in previous versions.

Among these advancements are site-wide animations, auto-layouts for organizing content sets, and the Fluid Engine—Squarespace’s latest content editing experience

Launched at the beginning of 2020, version 7.1 marks a departure from the traditional technical complexities of website design, prioritizing a more intuitive and creativity-friendly interface.

This shift ensures that technical prowess is no longer a prerequisite for creating visually stunning websites, allowing users to concentrate on the aesthetic presentation of their work.

Great Variety Of Templates

Squarespace is renowned for its wide array of visually stunning templates, each designed to cater to various aesthetics and industries.

With over 60 templates to choose from, users have access to highly customizable designs that are both responsive and modern, ensuring a seamless viewing experience across all devices.

These templates serve as a starting point for any website, be it for a professional portfolio, a vibrant blog, a sophisticated online store, or a business website.

Each template is crafted with a particular use case in mind, yet retains a high degree of flexibility, allowing users to tweak layouts, color schemes, fonts, and more to align with their brand identity.

Moreover, Squarespace’s templates are known for their clean, minimalistic aesthetics, which highlight content without overwhelming visitors.

This focus on design and usability makes Squarespace a preferred choice for creatives and businesses aiming to establish a compelling online presence with minimal effort.

E-commerce Made Simple

Squarespace simplifies the e-commerce process, offering plans that include everything from unlimited products to label printing, all without transaction fees on specific plans.

This comprehensive approach, combined with integrated SEO tools, detailed analytics, and customer accounts, positions Squarespace as a robust solution for businesses aiming to establish or expand their online storefronts.

It’s an all-in-one solution for businesses ready to take their sales online.

Security and Support

Beyond aesthetics, Squarespace ensures your website is secure with free SSL certificates across all plans.

Coupled with reliable help and support, high customer satisfaction is a hallmark of the Squarespace experience.

The platform offers comprehensive help resources, including a detailed knowledge base, community forums, and 24/7 customer support through live chat and email.

This reliable support system ensures that users can find help whenever they need it, contributing to the high levels of customer satisfaction associated with the Squarespace experience. 

Pros

  • User-friendly interface suitable for non-techies
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth on all yearly plans
  • Free custom domain and SSL security included
  • Comprehensive website and e-commerce features
  • Exclusive 10% discount offer code is available

Cons

  • No app market available like Shopify and Wix
  • Higher pricing compared to some competitors
  • Template switching is not available in version 7.1

Pricing and Plans

Squarespace’s pricing is straightforward, offering four plans tailored to different needs.

The Personal plan at $16/month is perfect for simple websites, while the Business plan at $23/month introduces online selling capabilities.

For those diving deeper into e-commerce, the Basic Commerce plan at $27/month removes transaction fees and adds more selling features.

The Advanced Commerce plan at $49/month is the ultimate choice, offering advanced shipping calculations and subscription services.

All plans promise unlimited storage and bandwidth, making Squarespace a robust platform for any website project.

The Verdict

Squarespace stands out for its commitment to providing a seamless, design-centric website building experience.

It’s the ideal platform for individuals and small businesses looking to create a stunning online presence without compromising on functionality or security.

Whether you’re showcasing a portfolio, launching an online store, or simply telling your brand’s story, Squarespace offers the tools and flexibility to bring your vision to life.

4. Weebly: Simplicity Meets E-commerce

Weebly, owned by Square, not to be confused with Squarespace, is a friendly giant in the website-building game.

It’s known for its simplicity, making it an ideal choice for individuals and small businesses stepping into the digital world.

With Weebly, creating a responsive, attractive website is not just possible; it’s a breeze.

If you don’t have the budget for Shopify, Weebly is a great alternative.

Why Weebly?

User-Friendly Interface

Weebly’s interface is the epitome of user-friendliness, featuring a simple, intuitive drag-and-drop editor that makes website creation accessible to everyone, regardless of technical skill.

This ease of use extends to its template selection, offering a variety of attractive designs that cater to a wide range of industries and personal styles.

Although the templates might not boast the flamboyance of some competitors, they strike a perfect balance between professionalism and creativity, ensuring your site looks both polished and inviting.

The rigid row structure of the editor ensures consistency in design, while still allowing for a degree of customization that can bring your unique vision to life.

With themes that are automatically mobile-responsive, Weebly ensures your site is ready to impress on any device, right from the start.

Plus, the ability to sell digital goods, print shipping labels, and manage inventory across all plans adds significant value.

App Center For Improving Functionality

Weebly’s App Center is ideal for enhancing your website’s functionality, offering a wide array of third-party apps that seamlessly integrate with your site.

From advanced e-commerce solutions to social media integration, the App Center allows you to tailor your website to your specific needs.

Whether you’re looking to add an Instagram feed, improve your site’s SEO, or even incorporate shipping and fulfillment services, there’s likely an app for that.

Not all apps are free, with some premium options reaching up to $300 per month, but the variety means you can find tools that fit both your budget and your website’s requirements.

E-commerce for Everyone

Following Square’s strategic acquisition of Weebly in 2018 for approximately $365 million in cash and stock, Weebly’s e-commerce capabilities have seen significant enhancements.

This partnership has enabled Weebly to leverage Square’s robust suite of business tools, leading to the development of Square Online, a platform crafted using Weebly’s technology.

As a result, users of all subscription levels on Weebly can now sell products without incurring any transaction fees.

This development is particularly beneficial for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are making their foray into the online marketplace, offering them a more inclusive and financially viable platform for e-commerce activities.

Pros

  • Very affordable plans
  • The free plan includes comprehensive features for e-commerce
  • Simple drag-and-drop editor
  • Substantial e-commerce tools due to Square’s acquisition
  • Free SSL security across all plans

Cons

  • Templates could be more exciting
  • Limited customization options
  • Premium subscription plans for third-party apps can be costly

Pricing and Plans

Weebly’s pricing structure is designed to accommodate a wide range of needs without breaking the bank.

The Personal plan at $10 per month offers a custom domain and additional selling features, making it a great starting point for small online stores.

For businesses looking to enhance their online presence, the Professional plan at $12 per month provides unlimited storage, advanced site stats, and a free domain.

The Performance plan at $26 per month is the ultimate package, catering to businesses ready to take their e-commerce to the next level with PayPal integration and advanced marketing tools.

The Verdict

Weebly simplifies the journey of creating a digital presence, making it accessible and affordable for everyone.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a small business, or just looking to share your passion online, Weebly provides the tools and support to bring your vision to life.

With its user-friendly interface, comprehensive e-commerce options, and a range of plans to suit every budget, Weebly is perfect for those venturing into the online world.

5. GoDaddy: Quick and Efficient Online Presence

Renowned for its simplicity and comprehensive marketing tools, GoDaddy makes website creation accessible to everyone.

It’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) software crafts personalized templates based on your industry, ensuring a unique online presence every time.

While it may not boast as extensive a template range as competitors like Wix, GoDaddy’s focus on ease of use and essential features makes it a solid choice for beginners.

Why GoDaddy?

User-Friendly Design

GoDaddy’s block-based editor simplifies the web-building process, allowing users to add new sections effortlessly.

This approach is bolstered by GoDaddy’s Website Builder, which offers mobile-friendly and modern templates that require no technical knowledge to use.

Moreover, instructional resources like how-to videos further demystify the process, demonstrating tasks such as creating blocks and aligning elements within the Gutenberg editor.

E-commerce and Marketing Tools

With plans tailored to include SEO, Booking, and E-commerce tools, GoDaddy supports businesses in growing their online presence.

These tools are essential for businesses looking to optimize their websites for search engines, thereby increasing visibility and attracting more traffic.

Additionally, GoDaddy’s integrated booking tool and client management features are pivotal for service-based businesses, facilitating seamless interactions and appointments with clients. 

The E-commerce platform provided by GoDaddy further empowers businesses to create online stores effortlessly, offering over 100 templates, flexible shipping options, and integrated payment solutions.

Affordable Plans with Essential Features

GoDaddy’s pricing is competitive, offering a range of plans that include valuable features like a free domain for a year, professional email from Microsoft 365, and GoDaddy Payments for online selling.

Microsoft 365 enables users to have access to a robust, professional email solution built on their domain name, complete with calendars and contacts that sync across devices.

This integration is backed by Microsoft’s 99.9% uptime guarantee and GoDaddy’s award-winning support, offering peace of mind and reliability.

Moreover, GoDaddy Payments facilitates online selling by providing a streamlined, secure platform for managing transactions, further enhancing the appeal of GoDaddy’s plans for businesses looking to grow their online sales. 

Pros

  • Simple to use, even for beginners
  • Unique templates generated by ADI
  • Free plan available to start
  • Integrated marketing and e-commerce tools
  • Free professional email across plans

Cons

  • Limited template variety and customization
  • Advanced features like SEO only available on higher plans
  • Higher renewal prices after the first year

Pricing and Plans

GoDaddy offers a spectrum of plans to suit various needs, starting with a free plan for basic websites.

For those looking to utilize GoDaddy’s Website Builder, plans start at just $10.99 per month with an annual term, offering a 15% savings and catering to users who need basic website functionalities, marketing tools, and payment solutions.

This Basic plan is designed to get businesses moving by providing essential tools for online presence.

Additionally, GoDaddy offers a Premium plan for users who require more advanced features, including enhanced online booking and payment capabilities, which is particularly beneficial for service-based businesses looking to take their operations to the next level online.

The Verdict

GoDaddy’s Website Builder is a straightforward, efficient solution for creating an online presence.

Whether you’re building a portfolio, launching an online store, or just want to establish a digital footprint, GoDaddy offers the tools and support to achieve your goals.

With its focus on simplicity, integrated marketing tools, and affordable plans, GoDaddy empowers users to bring their vision to life without the need for technical expertise.

6. WordPress: The Flexible Content Management System

WordPress.com, a service from Automattic Inc., is a versatile platform that caters to a wide array of website-building needs, from blogging to e-commerce and beyond.

Initially launched as a blogging platform, it has evolved to support comprehensive website creation, leveraging the robust WordPress.org code while simplifying the user experience by managing hosting and technical aspects.

This evolution makes WordPress.com an attractive option for users ranging from beginners to enterprise-scale companies, offering everything from a free tier to specialized plans like WordPress VIP.

Why WordPress?

If You’re A Content Creator

WordPress.com differs from other website builders like Wix and Squarespace in several ways.

Wix is known for its slightly less polished aesthetics, while Squarespace offers stylish designs and an easy-to-use editor.

On the other hand, WordPress.com caters more to users looking to share and create content, making it a more versatile option for larger websites.

Unlike Wix and Squarespace, WordPress.com does not provide a genuine drag-and-drop interface.

Rather, it utilizes a WYSIWYG editor with limited drag-and-drop capabilities.

SEO Optimization

WordPress.com offers robust SEO capabilities that help improve the visibility of websites in search engine results.

Users can optimize their content for search engines by customizing meta tags, creating SEO-friendly URLs, and using plugins like Yoast SEO to analyze and improve their on-page SEO.

WordPress.com also provides features such as XML sitemaps, social media integration, and mobile responsiveness, which contribute to better search engine rankings.

Marketing Tools

Users can integrate popular marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and social media platforms to streamline their marketing efforts and track the performance of their campaigns.

These integrations allow users to create email marketing campaigns, analyze website traffic, and engage with their audience on various platforms, ultimately driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Community and Support

WordPress.com hosts a vibrant community under the Reader tab, where users can discover, follow, and engage with a wide range of blogs and content creators.

This feature allows users to explore new topics, connect with like-minded individuals, and build relationships within the WordPress.com community.

In addition, paid accounts on WordPress.com receive 24/7 email and chat support, ensuring that users have access to assistance whenever they need it.

Pros

  • A wide range of plans, including a free tier
  • User-friendly interface suitable for beginners
  • Extensive blogging and e-commerce features
  • High-quality, low-cost option for blogging
  • Site portability allows for easy transfer to another host

Cons

  • Limited template variety and customization in the free version
  • Advanced features like SEO tools are available only in higher-tier plans
  • Interface considered dated compared to modern builders

Pricing and Plans

WordPress.com’s pricing structure is designed to accommodate various user needs, starting with a forever-free plan that includes essential features for getting started.

The Personal plan at $4 per month offers a custom domain and more storage, making it ideal for personal projects.

For users looking to monetize their site, the Premium plan at $8 per month provides additional design tools and monetization options.

Businesses and online stores will find the Business and Commerce plans, priced at $25 and $45 per month respectively, equipped with advanced features like unlimited storage, SEO tools, and e-commerce capabilities.

WordPress VIP caters to enterprise-scale needs, with pricing available upon request.

The Verdict

WordPress.com stands out as a comprehensive solution for users looking to establish a digital presence, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms.

Its ease of use, combined with the flexibility to scale up through various plans, makes it a go-to choice for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises alike.

Keep in mind that this is not a typical website builder and if you are used to using platforms like Wix, WordPress.com will feel pretty foreign.

7. Webflow: Advanced Design and Customization

Webflow is the undisputed leader in the web design and development landscape, with a mind-boggling valuation of $4 billion and an impressive funding of $140 million.

With around 482,000 live websites, including high-profile clients like Zendesk, Dell, and Upwork, Webflow has proven its worth in the market.

It caters to a wide range of needs with its ‘Site plans,’ ‘Ecommerce plans,’ and ‘Workspace plans,’ offering unparalleled control over design elements and a suite of integrations through Zapier, making it a haven for creatives and perfectionists who demand precision in their web projects.

Why Webflow?

Customization and Control

Webflow stands out for its deep customization capabilities, allowing designers to tweak everything from breakpoint settings to style controls.

These include the ability to build CSS grid-powered layouts visually, utilize CSS filters, ensure clean and W3C-compliant HTML and CSS, employ custom CSS properties and values, integrate custom code, detect repetitive IDs within website elements, display code on the website without manual coding, and utilize Flexbox for flexible layouts.

Its intuitive visual editor and the ability to create stunning visual effects like blur, frosted glass, and overlap effects without relying entirely on code, make it a preferred choice for designers.

Some other notable features of Webflow include adding animations to website elements, creating custom layouts, and seamless integration with other products and services.

Robust Features and Integrations

Webflow’s capabilities extend far beyond its impressive design flexibility, offering a suite of robust features and integrations that cater to a wide array of website functionalities.

Its data capture forms are not only versatile but also highly customizable, allowing for seamless integration into any part of a website, from contact pages to landing pages, enhancing user engagement and lead generation.

Additionally, Webflow simplifies file management with its straightforward file upload features, making it easier for users to incorporate various media types into their sites, from images to documents, enriching the user experience.

SEO tools within Webflow are designed to ensure that websites are not just visually appealing but also optimized for search engines right out of the box.

Users can easily edit page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions, and leverage more advanced SEO strategies with custom headers and sitemaps, ensuring their site ranks well across search engines.

However, users need to consider the impact of heavy animations on their site’s performance.

While Webflow allows for the creation of visually stunning effects and interactions, these features can lead to longer loading times, potentially affecting user experience and SEO rankings.

Additionally, Webflow’s lack of support for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) means that users looking to maximize their site’s speed on mobile devices may need to explore alternative optimization strategies.

Webflow University

Webflow University is a valuable resource for individuals looking to enhance their web design skills. It offers free video courses that cover various aspects of web design, providing comprehensive tutorials on designing and building websites.

Users can access answers to frequently asked questions and learn the ins and outs of web design through the Webflow University platform.

Additionally, Webflow University provides a platform where users can learn how to design and build professional websites visually.

It offers free access to professional websites created in Webflow, allowing individuals to explore and learn from real-world examples shared by the Webflow Education and community.

For those who prefer video content, Webflow University also has a YouTube channel where users can access the latest tutorials and resources.

The channel covers fundamental topics such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, providing users with a closer look at essential web development skills.

Pros

  • Extensive customization options for a unique site design
  • A wide array of integrations for enhanced functionality
  • Good SEO features and quick loading times for better performance
  • Excellent support resources for learning and troubleshooting

Cons

  • Requires a basic understanding of HTML and CSS for best results
  • E-commerce features have limitations around annual sales and product numbers
  • A more complex interface and higher pricing may not suit all budgets

Pricing and Plans

Webflow’s pricing is as diverse as its features, starting with a free version for those wanting to explore the platform.

‘Site plans’ range from $18 for Basic to $49 for Business, catering to different site management needs.

‘Ecommerce plans’ start at $24 for Freelancer, going up to $60 for Growth, with custom pricing for Enterprise, focusing on online store capabilities.

‘Workspace plans’ target agencies and freelancers with prices starting from $19 for Core to $49 for Growth, emphasizing collaboration and multiple site management without hosting or domain mapping included.

The Verdict

Webflow is not just a website builder; it’s a comprehensive design platform that empowers creativity and precision, making it ideal for designers, developers, and marketers.

With its powerful features, Webflow is perfect for those looking to build detailed websites without extensive coding knowledge.

However, keep in mind that there will be a slight learning curve and we recommend having a basic level of coding knowledge before using this platform.

8. Hostinger: Budget-Friendly with Powerful Features

Hostinger’s Website Builder is perfect for beginners and offers an affordable path to creating a personal or business website.

With its acquisition of Zyro, Hostinger has enhanced its website builder & web hosting plan, starting at an enticing $2.99 per month.

This plan is packed with essential features like SEO tools, a free domain, AI tools, and e-commerce capabilities, making it a comprehensive solution for those looking to establish an online presence without breaking the bank.

Why Hostinger?

User-Friendly Editor

Hostinger’s drag-and-drop style editor demystifies the web design process, allowing users to easily add and arrange elements on their website.

This approachable interface is perfect for those without prior web development experience, offering a seamless transition from concept to creation.

Through the drag-and-drop tool, users can effortlessly modify the layout of their pages by clicking on elements and relocating them to desired areas, ensuring a user-friendly website creation experience

However, while Hostinger’s website builder is celebrated for its simplicity, it’s important to note the limitations, such as the inability to switch templates once your site goes live and the absence of a free plan or trial.

These constraints may affect users looking for more flexibility and experimentation in their web design journey.

Variety Of Templates

Hostinger’s website builder offers a diverse range of templates to cater to various website needs.

Users can choose from over 150 responsive templates to kickstart their website creation process, ensuring a visually appealing and functional design.

Additionally, Hostinger’s AI-powered website builder can assist in creating a website tailored to specific requirements, making the design process even more accessible for users without coding or design experience.

The template library includes a wide array of options, allowing users to select templates that align with their brand identity and desired website style, enhancing the overall website-building experience.

Affordable Plans with Essential Features

Despite its limitations, Hostinger’s plan is attractively priced, especially for online selling.

The initial term’s affordability transitions to standard pricing upon renewal, ensuring users can enjoy continued service with all the essential features for a successful online venture.

Hostinger’s pricing plans start as low as $2.99 per month, which is inclusive of a free domain, a website builder, and advanced tools to assist in creating a fully functional website.

This affordability makes Hostinger an attractive option for online selling ventures, as it provides essential features at a cost-effective rate.

Additionally, Hostinger offers a seamless transition to standard pricing upon renewal, ensuring that users can continue to benefit from the service with all the necessary tools for a successful online business.

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly, ideal for beginners
  • Affordable plan starting at $2.99 per month with essential features
  • Includes AI tools for enhanced website functionality
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for risk-free trial

Cons

  • Limited creative control and inability to switch templates post-launch
  • Hostinger doesn’t offer any phone support options

Pricing and Plans

Hostinger’s Website Builder & Web Hosting plan begins at a budget-friendly $2.99 per month, billed annually.

This plan includes a slew of features aimed at getting users started on their web journey, such as basic SEO, a free domain for a year, and e-commerce capabilities for online selling.

After the initial term, the plan renews at standard rates.

Despite the lack of advanced plans for upgrading, Hostinger’s offering remains a solid choice for those seeking simplicity and affordability in their web-building experience.

The Verdict

Hostinger’s Website Builder is a blend of user-friendly design tools, affordability, and essential web features, making it perfect for beginners.

While it may have its limitations in terms of design flexibility and plan scalability, Hostinger provides a solid foundation for creating a personal or lightweight business site with ease.

Whether you’re launching an online store or establishing a personal blog, Hostinger’s Website Builder offers the tools and support to bring your digital aspirations to life.

How We Test Website Builders For Small Businesses

When evaluating website builders for small businesses, our approach is thorough and multifaceted.

We dive deep into each platform, assessing its features, usability, and performance through a series of practical tests.

This ensures we provide insights that genuinely reflect the needs and challenges small business owners face when creating their online presence.

Ease of Use

First, we explore the user interface and overall user experience.

A website builder must be intuitive, with a gentle learning curve.

We simulate the process of building a website from scratch, noting any hurdles or frustrations encountered along the way.

This includes registering an account, selecting a template, customizing pages, and publishing the final site.

Feature Set

We review the features each website builder offers, focusing on those critical for small businesses.

This includes e-commerce capabilities, SEO tools, social media integration, and mobile responsiveness.

We also look at the availability of additional resources like stock images, professional templates, and customization options that can help a small business stand out.

Performance

A website’s loading speed and reliability are crucial for retaining visitors and improving search engine rankings.

If a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, a huge percentage of traffic is lost.

We conduct speed tests on websites created with each builder, checking how quickly pages load and how well they perform under different conditions.

Uptime monitoring over a set period also helps us gauge the reliability of the hosting services provided.

Customer Support

Effective customer support can be a lifeline for small business owners who may not have in-house technical expertise.

We evaluate the support options available, including live chat, email, phone support, and knowledge bases.

Response times, the quality of assistance, and the availability of support materials are all considered.

Pricing and Value

Finally, we assess the pricing structure of each website builder, comparing the cost against the features and services offered.

Small businesses must get good value for their investment, with transparent pricing and flexible plans that can grow with their needs.

We also look for any hidden costs or potential price increases after the initial term.

Additional Considerations for Choosing a Website Builder

When selecting a website builder, it’s not just about the ease of drag-and-drop features or the initial cost.

Several other factors play a crucial role in ensuring your website not only goes live but thrives and grows over time.

Let’s delve into some of these critical considerations.

SEO and Marketing Tools

The digital landscape is vast, and standing out requires more than just a visually appealing website.

SEO features and marketing integrations are essential for increasing your website’s visibility and attracting more visitors.

According to a recent study, the third result in Google gets 18.6% of all clicks.

On top of this, SEO is a key component of digital marketing, with search engines being the source of 53% of website traffic.

A good website builder should offer tools that help optimize your content for search engines, including customizable meta tags, alt text for images, and seamless integration with Google Analytics.

Additionally, marketing tools such as email marketing, social media integration, and blogging capabilities can significantly enhance your engagement and retention strategies, driving growth and increasing your online presence.

Mobile Responsiveness

In today’s world, a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable.

With the majority of internet browsing happening on mobile devices, your website must look and function flawlessly across all screen sizes.

According to a report by Brighter Vision, 55% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device, indicating that a significant majority of site visitors access websites via smartphones.

A website builder that automatically adjusts your content to fit mobile screens, ensuring fast loading times and easy navigation, is vital.

This not only improves the user experience but also positively impacts your SEO, as search engines favor mobile-responsive sites.

Customer Support

Even the most intuitive website builders can present challenges, especially when you’re trying to customize your site or integrate third-party services.

Reliable customer support is crucial for navigating these hurdles.

Look for a website builder that offers comprehensive support through multiple channels, including live chat, email, and phone support, as well as detailed tutorials and forums.

Knowing that you have expert help at your fingertips can make all the difference in managing your site effectively.

Scalability

Your business will grow, and so should your website.

The ability to scale is an important consideration when choosing a website builder.

Whether it’s adding an online store, increasing your product range, or expanding your content, your chosen platform should be able to accommodate this growth without requiring a complete site overhaul.

Features like unlimited pages, bandwidth, and storage, as well as the ability to add advanced functionalities like e-commerce, memberships, and more, are indicators of a scalable website builder.

The Verdict: What Is The Best Website Builder For Small Business?

After extensive testing and comparison, our verdict is clear: Wix stands out as the best website builder for small businesses, while Shopify takes the crown as the premier e-commerce solution.

Wix impresses with its unparalleled ease of use, making it perfect for small business owners who need a professional online presence without the complexity.

Its wide array of customizable templates, comprehensive SEO tools, and robust features ensure that businesses can create a website that’s not only visually appealing but also highly functional and scalable.

Wix’s affordability and excellent customer support further solidify its position as the top choice for small businesses aiming for growth and online success.

Shopify, on the other hand, excels in providing a comprehensive e-commerce platform that’s both powerful and user-friendly.

It’s specifically designed to cater to the needs of online stores of all sizes, offering extensive product management, seamless payment processing, and effective marketing tools.

Shopify’s scalability, combined with its strong focus on sales and conversion optimization, makes it the go-to solution for businesses looking to establish or expand their e-commerce operations.

FAQ’s

Is it worth making a website for a small business?

Absolutely. A website acts as your digital storefront, allowing you to reach a wider audience, showcase your products or services, and build credibility.

In today’s digital age, customers expect to find businesses online, making a website an essential tool for growth and success.

Do I need to hire a web designer?

Not necessarily.

Website builders like Wix and Shopify are designed for users without technical or design expertise, offering templates and drag-and-drop interfaces that simplify the web design process.

However, for more complex needs or a unique design, hiring a professional might be beneficial.

What is the best website builder for beginners?

Wix is often recommended for beginners due to its intuitive design and wide range of templates that cater to various industries.

Its user-friendly interface and extensive support resources make it easy for anyone to create a professional-looking website.

Is Shopify or Wix better?

It depends on your needs. Shopify is better for e-commerce-focused websites due to its powerful sales tools and capabilities.

Wix, on the other hand, is more versatile, making it suitable for a broader range of websites, including portfolios, informational sites, and small online stores.

Is Wix completely free?

Wix offers a free plan that allows you to create and publish a website without any cost.

However, the free plan includes Wix branding and ads on your site.

For a professional look and additional features like a custom domain, upgrading to a paid plan is necessary.

What’s the best website builder for a creative business?

Webflow is highly regarded among creative businesses for its advanced design capabilities and precise control over the website’s look and feel.

It caters well to designers and those who want to implement custom designs without heavy coding.

How long does it take to build a website for a small business?

The time it takes can vary widely depending on the complexity of the site and the platform used.

With website builders like Wix or Shopify, you can set up a basic site in a matter of hours.

More customized or complex sites might take several weeks to fully develop and refine.

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