Businesses of all sizes need a website where they can showcase their products and services, as well as communicate with the public. To create a website, many companies use platforms called website builders, which allow you to build anything from a simple single-page website to a professional web store, with no coding or web design experience.Each business will need a website for slightly different reasons and not all website builders are perfect in every scenario. For example, certain website builders are better suited to musicians, photographers, or creatives building a portfolio.For small businesses, the primary concern is likely to be budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent, free and affordable options out there that allow small businesses to build fully functional websites with all the features they might need.Here’s our rundown of the best website builders for small businesses:
Wix is one of the most comprehensive website builders we’ve encountered. With such a wide array of features, it’s no wonder Wix is the go-to platform for over 150 million registered users. The free version provides a basic service with limited bandwidth and storage (500MB). However, opting for any of the paid plans – such as the Business Basic package for ecommerce at $17/month (yearly subscription) – will get you unlimited bandwidth and 20GB storage, a free domain for one year, Google Ad vouchers, and more. There’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out.Wix’s website editor operates under the simple drag-and-drop principle, offering hundreds of different attractive and customizable design options, tools. It also includes features such as an image editor, animations, video backgrounds, and proprietary and third-party apps.Businesses can also take advantage of additional tools like Wix Turbo, Wix Bookings, Wix Restaurants and Wix Hotels.
Weebly is another powerful player in the website builder market, excelling with its broad offering that includes a free tier with Weebly branded ads, as well as a range of paid plans for various budgets and businesses.The free plan limits you to 500MB of storage space, but the paid packages – starting with the Pro plan at $12/month (paid annually) – remove such restrictions.With the Pro plan, you’ll also get access to a free domain, $100 Google Ads credit, SEO tools, advanced site stats, phone customer service, and support for a web store with up to 25 items. If this isn’t enough, the powerful Business plan at $25/month removes the item count limitation and adds more high-end features like coupon codes, item reviews, a shipping calculator, and so on.Like Wix, Weebly’s is a drag-and-drop editing platform, which is exceptionally simple to use – even for novices. We only had a couple of bones to pick with it, surrounding the lack of certain customization options and the missing global Undo feature. That said, there are plenty of professionally designed templates to choose from, suitable for any kind of business, as well as access to free images for your website.
BigCommerce has all the necessary tools and features to help you build, maintain, and grow your ecommerce website. The WYSIWYG editor is limited to only seven free templates, but more can be acquired via the theme store for around $145.Starting at $29.95/month, BigCommerce can hardly be called cheap, but this deep and high-quality platform is certainly worth the spend.The Standard package includes hundreds of built-in features, including in a branded online store, dedicated SSL, coupons, discounts, gift cards, product reviews, social/marketplace integrations, POS, a blog, BigCommerce mobile app, 24/7 live support and more.If you’re unsure about whether this platform is suitable for you, there’s a 15-day free trial, plus three months of BigCommerce for free once your trial ends, if you do end up pulling the trigger on a subscription.
Unlike some competitors, Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, but at $12/month its cheapest package is more than generous. You’ll get access to unlimited storage and bandwidth, an SSL certificate, SEO features, image/video galleries, intelligent image optimization, professional web store, performance boosting CDN support, free fonts, a free domain for a year, and more.However, this package doesn’t include an online store. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll need the Business plan at $18/month (billed annually) or one of the commerce plans starting at $26/month.The drag-and-drop editor is exceptionally easy to master, letting you customize each element of your website. It might appear a little basic, but you get to choose from a host of beautiful templates that you can tweak to your liking.All users can take advantage of the 14-day free trial before making up their mind about any of the pricing plans.
One of the cheapest website builders in the industry is offered by HostGator, a popular web hosting provider that has affordable plans for every budget. For as little as $3.84/month if you take the two-year package, HostGator will supply you with unlimited bandwidth and storage for your website, with no limitations on the number of pages. You’ll also get a free domain for one year, website hosting, a free SSL certificate, as well as $200 in ad vouchers. If your business requires a store, going for the most expensive plan (still cheaper than some) at $9.22/month will also net you full ecommerce functionality.HostGator provides an intuitive website editing process through its drag-and-drop platform, allowing you to choose from more than 200 mobile-friendly templates that you can tailor to your needs and preferences. All users will also get access to analytics, SEO optimization, and live feeds from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.Unfortunately, some blogging options offered by the competition are missing, such as the ability to schedule posts. Regardless, HostGator provides a powerful and efficient website building solution.