10 Best Website Builders of 2019 (Create and Design Your Site)

Choosing the best website builder can be difficult, as there are 74 popular options to choose from with different feature sets.

Website builders have been around since the early 2000s, and they look a lot different today than they did back then. Features get more advanced, user expectations increase, and building a website isn’t the same as it was 10+ years ago.

When creating your website, I want to make this first decision easier for you. By showcasing the best website builders, I want to help you find the right solution for your online business.

Best Website Builder

These reviews take into account web hosting, price, reliability, technical support, site speed, SEO, features, learning curve, ease of use, template design, and more.

Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I have tested for launching and running a website.

Let’s get started.

What is the Best Website Builder?

Using a website builder is a quick and easy way to build a presence for your brand or online business. These tools simplify your site management by combining domain registration, hosting, and site design into one platform.

While you lose some control compared to managing hosting separately, website builders can still be a good option.

For example, your requirements will be different, based on the features you need. If you’re a local business, a simple 5-page website could work. Or if you’re building a personal brand portfolio, web design is most important.

In the end, the choice is ease of use vs. control.

If you’re familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can choose a more advanced tool and control the look and feel of your customized site. If you’re not too savvy with web design and development, you’ll want to go with an easy drag and drop editor.

The choice is up to you.

Here are my picks for the best website builder. 

1. Wix.

Wix Logo

Best Website Builder for Small Business ($13/month)

Wix is the most popular website builder on the market, with over 100 million users. They have 500+ ready-to-use templates to design your website that work for many different categories and industries. These templates are mobile-optimized and have 100 fonts to choose from (or you can upload your own). Their designs also look beautiful, with scroll effects, and advanced design features like animation and video backgrounds.

Wix Website Builder

If you already have a domain on GoDaddy or want to register one at Wix.com, they make it very easy. Also, if you’d like to add e-commerce to your site so that you can sell online, plans start a $20/month.

I wouldn’t recommend Wix as the best online store builder with more advanced options like BigCommerce and Shopify. However, if you’re already using Wix and want to add an e-commerce store, they have some great new features.

Wix is the most user-friendly website builder on the market. You can almost endlessly customize the look and feel of your site with no coding knowledge.

Wix also has a tool called Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) – the first artificial intelligence website builder. Wix ADI learns about your site and uses that information to design a site tailored to your specific needs. This tool leverages AI choosing from billions of combinations of images, text, layouts, and contact forms.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the best website builder for small businesses, Wix is your best choice.

2. Squarespace.

Squarespace Logo

The Leader in Website Design ($12/month)

When I think of Squarespace, my mind goes right to their beautifully designed home page. They truly know how to create beautiful, high-quality websites. With over 100 design templates to choose from, they lead the pack when it comes to design. Squarespace templates look excellent down to every detail. The fonts, color schemes, and imagery all mesh perfectly for any website.

Besides design, their platform is great for bloggers. I tested out their WYSIWYG blog editor, and it’s very intuitive.

You drag elements like images, headings, and text onto the page and position it where you would like. They also offer multiple user permissions, Google AMP functionality, and you can schedule your posts:

Squarespace Blogging Tools

A few small SEO limitations hold Squarespace back from being #1 on this list. First, my XML sitemap pulled in two versions of every page with and without a trailing slash “/.” This double indexing could potentially lead to SEO and duplicate content issues down the road. They didn’t have an easy fix the last time I checked. Second, your blog headlines always become your meta titles, so be careful when adding your headlines for SEO.

Other great features make up for these drawbacks. Their ease of use is top-notch – sites are elementary to build with their editing tools. In-built analytics tools provide steady data on-site visitors if you’re not using Google Analytics. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with a beautifully-designed website for just $12/month.

Monthly prices range from $12/month for their Personal plan up to $40/month for their Online Store (Advanced) plan. Monthly costs are based on a one-year contract, and Squarespace includes a free domain. The Personal plan provides a free domain name, unlimited bandwidth and storage, free SSL, and 24/7 customer support.

Overall, if you’re a small business that needs first-rate web design or a blogger that wants your content to look great, Squarespace is a reliable choice.

3. Weebly.

Weebly Logo

Best Free Website Builder (Free – $25/month)

Weebly powers over 530,000 domains and is known as the easy website builder of choice for people without much technical expertise. They offer a lot of great features. If you’re a blogger, you can use Weebly to pick a domain name and use their editor to add your text, images, and content.

They also have a mobile app to track your website’s performance on the go. And email marketing tools let you send newsletters to your subscribers from within their website builder.

Weebly Homepage

They have a free plan which comes with 500 MB of storage, a free SSL certificate, and a domain with Weebly branding. You can use a custom domain with this plan but are forced to have Weebly branding throughout your site. Also, the free plan only comes with chat and email support, but no phone support.

Weebly’s paid plans range from $5 to $25 per month. On the high end, their Business Plan gets you advanced e-commerce functionality, a free domain, and $200 of Google ad credits.

Their e-commerce features include product options/variants, coupon codes, inventory management, a shipping calculator, shipping labels, and the ability to accept payments through Square and other providers.

The level of customer support you receive is based on your subscription level. You can find assistance yourself in many areas, including their blog, support center, community forum, social media, and developer documentation. They also have live chat, email, and phone support.

If you are looking for a simple website creator to get up and running, I recommend you get started with Weebly.

4. WordPress.com.

WordPress Logo

Create a Website in Minutes with the World’s Most Popular CMS ($5/month)

Since its release in 2003, WordPress has quickly become the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world – hosting over 75 million websites.

There are two options. You either choose a web host and create a WordPress site on WordPress.org or use their self-hosted WordPress.com website builder.

WordPress.com Homepage

With WordPress.com, you can create a website for anything – a blog, a local business, an online store – the options are limitless. With their free plan, you get a website, access to 3 GB of storage, and customer support. When you upgrade to one of their five paid plans, you get access to more advanced features, plugins, and priority support.

WordPress.com also has its Jetpack essential features built-in, which includes basic SEO, social sharing, and site analytics. The popular, all-in-one Jetpack plugin covers all kinds of functionality from SEO and analytics to security and marketing.

Paid plans range from $5 per month for a simple blog set up to $45 for full e-commerce functionality. Most users opt for their Premium Plan at $8 per month, which gives you everything you need to design, edit, and control your website’s content.

Overall, it’s a simpler, stripped-down version of WordPress with fewer features but higher ease of use. If you want to test out WordPress but aren’t quite ready to use your own separate hosting, give the WordPress website builder a try.

5. Shopify.

Shopify Logo

Best Ecommerce Website Builder ($29/month)

Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform used by over 800,000 online businesses so sell products online. They were founded in Canada in 2004 and quickly became a powerhouse in ecommerce due to their simple dashboard and integrations with thousands of app partners.

Shopify Ecommerce Website Builder

While not every website owner needs ecommerce functionality, I added Shopify to the list because almost any small business could use them to set up their website.

Take a salon for instance.

With Shopify, not only could you set up a quick website including a blog, a map of your location, contact info, and appointment scheduling (with an app), but you could also sell hair care products online. This creates not only a website, but another online source of revenue for your business. 

Shopify has a lot of features you’d come to expect from other tools on this list, including hosting, your own domain name, 70+ professional themes, a free SSL certificate, and marketing and SEO features.

On the ecommerce front, they offer mobile commerce, 100+ payment gateways, automatic carrier shipping rates, automatic tax rates, and a full checkout experience. Plus, you can enjoy omnichannel selling across Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Instagram, and more.

If you’re setting up a new website and think that you may want to sell products online in the future, it’s better to get started with Shopify rather than another tool that doesn’t take ecommerce as seriously.

They offer three plans ranging from $29/month to $299/month. The $29/month Basic Shopify Plan should give website owners everything they need, including a full website, an online store with unlimited products, blog features, 24/7 support and more.

If you’d like to give Shopify a try, they offer a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.

6. SITE123.

Site123 Logo

Easiest Free Website Builder for Small Websites (Free – $12.80/month)

SITE123 is a simple website builder that offers users a free plan to test out a new site. When you sign up, you get a free subdomain, 500 GB of storage, and 1 GB of bandwidth. You can also connect your own domain (or purchase one within their dashboard) with premium plans as low as $12.80/month.

They boast a stable uptime of 99.97%, over 200 design templates to choose from, and e-commerce plans starting around $22/month. Once you sign up, you can quickly pay via PayPal or credit card and get set up in minutes.

Site123 Homepage

They are known as SITE123 because of the three simple steps to create a website:

  1. Select your website type
  2. Upload your content
  3. Publish your site

Once your site is live, they also have SEO tools to optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and other items needed to improve your rankings.

Their Advanced, Professional, and Gold plans all come with email accounts and you can buy additional email accounts separately from the plans. And if you aren’t happy with your current plan, you can easily switch or upgrade your plan and only pay the difference.

If you’re looking to build a new website with SITE123, you register a free domain name, choose a basic plan, and use their site builder. With this site comes unlimited bandwidth, add-ons, contact forms, and advanced features that help you rank on search engines.

Overall, SITE123 is best a drag and drop builder for people that don’t have a web designer and want to get into website building without coding knowledge.

7. Hibu.

Hibu Logo

Best Digital Marketing Website Builder for Local Businesses

Hibu is an internet service company founded in 2001. They’re best known for their integrated digital marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. They help with features outside of your standard small business website builders – website design, local listings management, online reviews, display advertising, and SEO services.

Hibu Website Builder

Users find their local listings and SEO services most helpful. For a local business, building your online presence across places Google My Business, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and social media is paramount to developing visibility.

On the digital marketing front, Hibu has provided websites with over 800 million visits, 225 million ad clicks, and over 6 million phone calls – pretty impressive.

When you sign up with Hibu, a team of digital marketing experts meet with you and provide one-on-one customer service. This support is perfect if you don’t have the know-how on using HTML, CSS, and hosting services. With partners like Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo, they can quickly develop a website strategy for your business.

They don’t show pricing on their website, but Hibu pricing typically involves a $100/month fee and an initial set-up fee of $499 to $599.

If you run a local business and need help with web design, support, and visibility across local listings, Hibu is your best choice.

8. Jimdo.

Jimdo Logo

A Personalized Website with the Power of AI (Free – $9/month)

Jimdo allows you to create a website in as little as 3 minutes by asking questions about your business and leading you to the right design choices.

Jimdo Homepage

Instead of static templates, Jimdo uses flexible content blocks that can change based on user behavior. If you’re a small business, they also automatically create navigation menus and pages to fit your industry. For example, a local restaurant will automatically get a map page with their logo, address, text blocks, hours, and more.

If I had to sum up Jimdo in one word, it would be automation. Automatic SEO syncs up your Google Search Console in three clicks. Content blocks build web pages faster than older page builders. AI asks you questions and makes a website based on your specific industry vertical.

They have a free plan available with limited features and on-site ads. When you upgrade to their $9/month plan, you get your domain free for the first year, a completely ad-free site, advanced SEO features, and analytics reporting.

If you need stock photos, Jimdo uses AI to build your site images from their image library, which can be quite helpful. They also have easy social media integrations, navigation menus, and page designs that fit your industry. Ultimately, I’d say the AI is similar to Wix ADI but slightly better.

Here are the steps to create a website with Jimdo:

  1. Create a free Jimdo account.
  2. Answer a few questions and Jimdo gathers your business information from Facebook and Google.
  3. Choose a pre-made design. Jimdo will use photos and text you already have from your listings and can provide more personalized content.
  4. Make any final edits and finishing touches.
  5. Publish your new website.

If you’re someone looking to build a website in under 3 minutes with the power of AI, Jimdo is an excellent choice for you.

9. BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Logo

Best Website Builder for Ecommerce ($29/month)

BigCommerce is not your typical website builder but instead a powerful ecommerce platform that also has excellent website builder functionality and zero transaction fees.

I added BigCommerce to this list because of its very advanced feature set. These features include best in class SEO (URL structure, site speed, uptime), conversion rate-optimized themes, and 600+ product options.

If you’re looking for a website builder and might sell products one day, BigCommerce is only $29.95/month and has more advanced functionality than other tools on this list.

If you’re looking to add shopping cart software to your website builder, look no further than BigCommerce. First, I love their free themes because conversion rate optimization is a top priority with your web pages.

Sites look great, load fast, and optimize conversions. I currently use their BigCommerce for WordPress plugin to sell digital products on my WordPress site, and the speed is fantastic. Instead of bogging down hosting companies by sharing resources, BC4WP uses an open-source API, allowing front end content on WordPress and a back-end commerce engine on BigCommerce:

BigCommerce for WordPress Website

I originally installed the WooCommerce plugin (and their three extra necessary plugins) and was not a fan of their shopping cart or checkout pages. They were poorly designed, CTA buttons were in strange places, and I realized my sales would suffer because of the user experience.

By switching to BigCommerce, I’ve increased my e-commerce site conversion rate substantially.

They have three retail plans available, ranging from $29.95 to $249.95/month, and they offer a free 15-day trial to set up your website.

10. Pixpa.

Pixpa Logo

Pixpa is a website building platform tailored for creative professionals. They offer a 15-day trial period where you can see if it suits your needs or not.

Like many other platforms, you don’t need to learn coding to build a website. Their theme designs keep photographers, artists, and designers in mind. The image-friendly themes will suit you if you are a creative professional.

Pixpa Website Builder

All themes work well on mobile devices as well, and they have more than 35 to choose.

If you are a blogger, then their multi-blog feature on a single website might attract you. There are even many gallery layout options in Pixpa, which allows you to display your images in many different ways. You can manage the SEO data for each page as well.

The fully-featured e-commerce integration offers you to sell physical and digital goods, as well as the services you offer. If you are a photographer, then you can sell your images through the e-commerce enabled galleries, instead of using the store.

Pixpa provides customer service 24/7 through email and chat. There is no direct helpline number where you call for your queries. However, the knowledge base is quite comprehensive and provides information about all the features they are offering.

Pixpa is priced quite reasonably with their monthly plan starting at $6, which increases if you want to sell more products and add more space for original files. The basic plan gives you 2 GB space, and you can add up to 10 products on your e-commerce store. Although, after the first year, you will have to pay for the domain name separately to the service provider.

Overall, Pixpa is a good option if you are a creative professional on a budget. Their software is best if you want to manage your website, client galleries, e-commerce, and blog all in one place.

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a tool that allows anyone to manage a website and domain name without manual code editing. In other words, a website builder is a tool or software program to help you build a website.

In the old days of the web, programmers needed to know HTML and CSS to create a website. Today, if you want to code a site, you need to have extensive knowledge of JavaScript and PHP. As there are currently over 1.7 billion websites online, not everyone can be a coder, right? These tools help everyone from small businesses and bloggers to news sites and ecommerce businesses easily create websites in minutes.

What is a website builder

Source: syntacticsinc.com

 

Features to Look For

When choosing a website builder, there are certain fundamental features that all good programs should have. There are four main features that all tools should have: pre-made templates, drag and drop editors, mobile responsiveness, and domain names.

1. Pre-Made Templates.

Nearly every website builder has templates. Templates control how your website looks based on the layout, color scheme, font choices, and other design considerations. For example, if you’re a blogger, you may want a blog-specific template that easily highlights your blog posts. Or if you’re in ecommerce, a product-based ecommerce template could lay out your product and category pages with ease.

2. Drag and Drop Editors.

Another vital feature is the ability to use a WYSIWYG editor to move around elements on a page. With a drag and drop editor, you can add and move around sections on your page, including:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Spacers and dividers
  • Navigation menus
  • Headers
  • Footers

Individual pages can be created and manipulated with these editing tools to make up all of the webpages on your site. These are common web builder platforms that allow you to easily edit your content without coding knowledge.

3. Mobile-Responsiveness.

More users browse the web on smartphones than on computers nowadays, so your website needs to look great across all devices. In fact, 58% of all website visits are from mobile devices.

All modern website builders should have mobile-responsive templates that adjust your website’s elements to fit the device they are presented on.

4. Domain Names.

Domain names are the URLs that users put into their web browser when they want to visit a website. One benefit of using a website builder is that website hosting and domain name registration occur within the same platform. When you’re ready to build your website, you can either choose a new domain name or import one you already own from another tool like GoDaddy.

What is the Best Website Builder for Small Business?

The best website builders for small business will give you everything you need to get set up quickly. The builder needs steady uptime so that your site doesn’t go down, and should provide email accounts for your employees.

Local small businesses also need unique website features like maps and directions, store hours, the ability to share coupons, photo galleries, social media integrations and more. While most of the software tools on this list cover the basics that small business websites need, there are a few that rise above the rest.

Here are my picks for the best website builder for small business:

1. Wix.

Wix is my #1 choice as they are the easiest and most feature-rich platform on the market and have some of the best themes. Businesses can easily connect their domain to Wix.com, choose a theme for their site, add in their information, and click publish.

While Wix isn’t quite as easy to use as Hibu or SITE123, the themes and SEO features make it a standout for companies looking to build an online presence.

2. Hibu.

Hibu is my #2 choice for businesses because of their digital marketing features. The key to getting traction as a local business is to have a strong online presence on Google, Facebook, and all local directories. And not just that. You also need to take steps to improve your local rankings and know that Google determines local rankings based on relevance, distance, and prominence.

Hibu knows this and helps in all aspects of digital marketing, including local listings management, online reviews, social media marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), and search engine optimization (SEO).

3. SITE123.

If you’re not tech-savvy and just want a simple website so that people can find your business online, SITE123 is a good choice for you. Due to their three-step simplicity when starting a website, almost anyone business owner should be able to get a simple 3-5 page website up with their software. While I recommend one of the two above, if you need to get something up quickly, SITE123 makes it easy.

What is the Best Ecommerce Website Builder?

The best e-commerce website builders offer both easy ways to drag and drop content on your site, as well as robust e-commerce features like product pages, shipping integrations, product options, coupons, payment gateways, and more.

Here are my picks for the best e-commerce website builder:

1. Shopify.

Shopify is my #1 pick for building an online store as their app partner directory and ease of use allow almost anyone to launch a website quickly. They have an excellent blend of online store functionality with website builder features.

With over 70 themes to choose from and native blog functionality, you can create a website and add products in minutes.

2. BigCommerce for WordPress.

BigCommerce is a fantastic ecommerce platform and has strong backend functionality, but it’s behind Shopify on this list because it’s not a website builder at heart. It is built more for advanced online stores with high sales volumes, not someone simply looking to build a website. While the backend features are strong, the website builder features are lacking, with few themes to choose from, somewhat difficult to use drag-and-drop tools, and limited blog features.

If you want to build a content-rich website, I recommend the BigCommerce for WordPress plugin. You can install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard and sync products to your WordPress site via the BigCommerce API. This combo allows you to have all of the features of WordPress with a powerful ecommerce engine powering your store and not slowing it down.

3. Wix.

Wix has some strong online selling capabilities, but it is not built for ecommerce as much as the other two choices above. They do score points for some nice looking themes. However, when it comes to advanced features like ecommerce SEO, shipping rates, dropshipping integrations, and taxes, Wix isn’t as strong as Shopify or BigCommerce.

Summing It Up.

There you have it – my list of the best website builders. As there are 74 options out there, I’ve condensed the list down to the very best so that you can choose the option that is right for your business or online brand.

  • If you are looking for the most straightforward website builder, I recommend Wix.
  • For the best designs and templates, check out Squarespace.
  • If you need an e-commerce website builder to sell products online, Shopify is your best choice.

What website builder do you use?

If you want more control over your own website on WordPress and go with your self-hosted solution, you can read my web hosting reviews.

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