The best website builders make building a website quicker, easier, and less stressful. Whether you’re a developer looking for flexibility and customization, or a beginner wanting to build a website with assistance and guidance, the best builders range from beginner-friendly to complex.
Some are website builders with ecommerce or website builders for small business; others are free blogging sites; some cover multiple markets. With drag-and-drop editors, you can create slick, visually appealing, and professional sites in just a few hours, but with so many to choose from, it can be tough to decide.
When looking, bear important elements in mind, such as your site’s purpose, the builder’s ease of use, any scalability required, and the level of customer support you want. Alternatively, you could sign up to one of the best web hosting services, and utilize WordPress via the best WordPress hosting or a website builder for WordPress, but these options can be too complex for beginners.
Our guide ranks the best website builders based on our analysis of their main features, pricing, and other key factors and use cases to help you find the right one.
- The top 3 best website builders right now
- What are the best website builders?
The best website builders you can buy today
- 1. Wix
- 2. Squarespace
- 3. GoDaddy
- 4. Shopify
- 5. Weebly
- 6. 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite
- 7. Zoho Sites
- 8. HostGator
- What is a website builder?
- What’s the difference between a website builder and web hosting?
- WordPress vs website builders: which is better?
- How to choose the best website builder for you
- Which online website builder is best?
- What is the best cheap website builder?
- How we review the best website builders
- Should I use a free website builder?
- Learn more about website builders
The top 3 best website builders right now
1. Wix: the best all-round choice
The best website builder catering for all needs, Wix has hundreds of templates, a flexible editor, and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, packaged within fairly-priced plans. The full website builder is included with its free package, while each paid plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee, and provide an ad-free experience plus a raft of extra features.
2. Squarespace: the one for creative businesses
Any business can use Squarespace, but we found it to be particularly suitable for creatives. With over 500 professionally-designed templates available, alongside plenty of options for customisation, the builder also provides designs for ecommerce sites, portfolios, blogs, and company websites.
What are the best website builders?
For us, the best website builder is Wix, as the best all-rounder with top features including drag-and-drop customization, the largest library of templates on the market, a built-in image editor, integration with external apps, and artificial intelligence design technology. Reasonable prices, free domain registration and advertising credit for premium customers, and a top free plan seal the deal.
Squarespace is close behind, with its highly intuitive builder and excellently-designed, responsive templates making increased costs worth it. GoDaddy’s website builder comes equipped with a user-friendly, in-house optimized creator, strong support, analytics, and its suite of own-brand apps.
Ecommerce titans Shopify and Weebly also rank thanks to focuses on store-building, while web hosting services 1&1 IONOS and HostGator’s built-in builders justify their inclusion. Online business productivity suite Zoho’s Sites builder is a relatively new but competitive entrant to the market worth considering too.
|Website builder||Lowest pricing plan||Storage||Bandwidth||Ecommerce|
|Wix||$5 a month (Connect Domain)||From 3GB||From 2GB a month||Yes|
|Squarespace||$12 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|GoDaddy||$6.99 a month (Basic)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Shopify||$29.99 a month (Basic Shopify)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Weebly||$6 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|1&1 IONOS MyWebsite||$1 a month (Starter)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Zoho Sites||$4 a month (Starter)||500MB||10GB||Yes|
|HostGator||$3.84 a month (Express Start)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
The best website builders you can buy today
Wix is rightly touted as one of the best website builders in the world. With over 500 attractive templates, an extremely powerful editor, and various other features, it brings plenty to the table. In particular, its Wix Editor stands out as arguably the most advanced available.
The drag-and-drop interface enables you to place website elements in pixel-perfect positions. Personalizing colors, fonts, and other content is extremely straightforward, and your design will really only be limited by your imagination. You can also use the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) should you want a more straightforward website building experience.
After answering a few quick questions, Wix will select a custom template, which you can populate with content and publish online in just hours. Should you want to make changes outside of the template model, Wix offers Velo Dev Mode too, which allows you to add features that would have previously required a developer to program, including custom forms, dynamic pages, and databases.
Furthermore, Wix also provides ecommerce tools for those looking to create an online store. You’ll find virtually everything you need to get started, including powerful inventory management tools, multi-channel selling, and subscription and digital product support.
However, Wix is a little expensive. While its pricing plans start with the cheapest Connect Domain plan at $5 a month, this is limited to just 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage. The Combo plan ($14) comes with a free domain for the first year, 3GB of storage, and 2GB of bandwidth.
Upgrade to an Unlimited ($18 a month), Pro ($23 a month), or VIP ($39 a month) subscription for more server resources and additional tools and resources. Finally, to access even more business and online store features, there are three Business and Ecommerce plans (ranging from $23 to $49 a month).
You can read our detailed Wix review to learn more about what we thought of the website builder, and our guide on how to build a website with Wix gives you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create a site with the industry leader.
Squarespace is known for its extremely attractive, professionally designed templates, and although its library is quite small compared to Wix, the designs tend to be visually appealing, as well as specifically targeted.
Another standout is its excellent blogging features, such as adding multiple authors, scheduling posts, and creating content from mobile devices, while many templates are targeted at users looking to create a blog. Among other impressive features include Squarespace’s ecommerce integrations, search engine optimization tools, and advanced analytics portal.
However, Squarespace’s editor could certainly be better. It can be quite confusing to use and to navigate, especially for beginners, and even we have trouble from time to time, despite having used it numerous times before. On the cost side, there also isn’t any free forever plan available.
Despite this, each of the four paid plans comes with a 14-day free trial, as well as a free domain for the first year, unmetered bandwidth and storage, built-in SSL (secure sockets layer) security, and more. Prices range from $12 a month for an annual Personal subscription to $40 a month with the Advanced Commerce plan.
Read our full Squarespace review for more information, and our guide on how to build a website with Squarespace for details on how to use the builder.
GoDaddy has a built-in website creator that ships alongside its hosting services. The builder is simple and easy to use, with no third-party app market or add-ons to choose from. While that may be a disappointment for some, others will appreciate the lack of clutter.
The website builder boasts excellent support and powerful analytics, two must-have essentials for any growing website. While it’s a little barebones compared to competitors, this streamlined approach means novices can focus on the important things.
The GoDaddy builder’s decent drag-and-drop interface lets you configure your site to your liking, as well as pre-built templates to choose from if you want to get started quickly. There are extensive tutorials available for new users, as well as a live chat support system for technical problems.
While GoDaddy doesn’t offer an app market, this means all features are built in-house, ensuring complete compatibility and greater security. It’s also worth noting that the base plan doesn’t include marketing or analytics—those are paid add-ons that require a separate plan.
Read our full GoDaddy website builder review to see what we made of the builder, and read our comparison feature pitting HostGator vs GoDaddy vs IONOS. If you choose to go with GoDaddy for your site, make sure to follow our walkthrough on how to build a website with GoDaddy.
Empowering over one million merchants in 175 countries, Shopify is the ultimate ecommerce platform. While you can expect some ecommerce features from other builders such as Wix and Weebly, these pale in comparison to Shopify’s.
Its builder helps you create an online store in a matter of minutes. You get to take advantage of an extensive collection of third-party apps, which add new features and functionality. This helps the builder stay clutter-free, while allowing you to opt for the specific features your online store requires. Pricing starts at a relatively expensive $29 a month, and ranges up to $299 a month across three plans.
Excellent additional elements that come with the platform include a built-in shopping cart and checkout manager, and marketing and security tools. With cybersecurity one of the biggest concerns for online shopping, Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant, meaning it is extremely safe for you and your customers.
If you’re looking to build a traditional website or blog however, you are out of luck. In turn, while excellent for small businesses, larger ecommerce stores may want to look to more dedicated solutions like WooCommerce or BigCommerce. A 2.4% to 2.6% transaction fee is applicable on each purchase made too, which might be a turn-off for some.
You can read our full Shopify review to learn more about the platform, or take a look at our comparison feature pitting Wix vs Shopify. If you choose to go ahead with Shopify, make sure to read our step-by-step guide on how to build a website with Shopify.
Alongside Wix, Weebly is probably the most widely recognized name in the website building space. It provides a range of site creation tools, and has become known for its extremely attractive templates and excellent ecommerce elements, the latter thanks to its acquisition by Square.
Ecommerce is probably Weebly’s largest selling point, with much of its website dedicated to creating an online store. A large percentage of available designs include some sort of store, which means that getting started can be as easy as adding content and hitting publish.
Weebly’s editor is a little limited, however. It uses a drag-and-drop interface, but you can only move elements into pre-coded positions. But if you’re not too fussy about pixel-perfect editing, this will help keep things simple.
When it comes to pricing, there are seven plans. The free forever plan enables you to create a website and online store, but you won’t be able to connect your own domain. The cheapest Personal plan (from $6 a month) adds custom domain support and more advanced ecommerce tools, while both the Professional ($12 a month) and the Performance ($26 a month) plans offer even more powerful tools.
Read our full Weebly review for more details, as well as our feature comparing Wix vs Squarespace vs Weebly to see how it fared against its competitors.
1&1 IONOS is one of the largest web hosting providers in Europe, currently hosting 20 million websites, and its website builder features an array of templates and great functionalities for businesses of all sizes.
Its huge collection of themes are categorized neatly by industry and genre, so whether you are a real-estate developer or a travel agency, you’re bound to find something for your needs. The built-in targeted content system even allows you to display specific messages to specific visitor demographics.
Using this builder requires absolutely no coding knowledge—the drag-and-drop site editor allows you to make any changes you need. There are eight plans available across different site types: three for basic website builders, ranging from $1 on the Starter plan to $10 on the Pro, and pricing options within these for sites with or without ecommerce functionality (ranging from $1 to $25).
1&1 IONOS also offers three plans that offer design advice and consultation, ranging from $30 a month to $60 a month, alongside MyWebsite Now and Creator, two plans that offer a website builder packaged with marketing tools. These two begin for free for the first month, increasing to $17 and $23 respectively thereafter, but offering a free domain for a year, a free SSL certificate, and emails.
The drawback is the lack of a free plan, although a paid trial is available for new users for one month. Another thing worth considering is that some themes may not be responsive to screen size. Read our full 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite website builder review to find out more.
Zoho is famous for its all-in-one productivity suite, much like Microsoft 365, and its website builder—Zoho Sites—is efficient and powerful, with over 190 templates and a code editor for those with the knowledge to get stuck in behind the scenes.
The interface is surprisingly user-friendly, and therefore easy for newbies to access. There’s also a good deal of in-house add-ons for marketing and customer management, which businesses will appreciate.
While there’s no forever free plan, the subscription tiers are reasonably priced, with a lot of scope for scaling via paid add-ons that can be purchased as your site expands. You can also take advantage of the entire productivity suite, including project management and database creation software.
There are a few downsides however, especially when it comes to compatibility, as there isn’t a lot of support for third-party applications. Thankfully, Zoho’s suite of office applications is able to plug many of these holes with equally good alternative options. Read our Zoho Sites review for more information.
HostGator is a popular web hosting service, and its Gator Website Builder uses a drag-and-drop interface to help generate simple websites. You can easily combine columns, text boxes, images, videos and other simple elements to create mobile-friendly websites.
There are more than 200 templates to choose from, with each one completely customizable and allowing for endless personalization. There’s a built-in library of stock photographs included too, as well as a series of video tutorials if you need a step-by-step guide. It offers three plans, namely Express Start, Express Site, and Express Store, ranging from $3.84 a month to $9.22 a month.
Premium customer support via phone and chat comes with the hosting plan, while free analytics are also available, which will be particularly useful for smaller businesses. Advanced users, conversely, may find the lack of specialized tools irritating. There are no dedicated email marketing tools, while blogging tools are relatively basic.
Ultimately, Gator Website Builder is a good choice for small businesses, but not for bigger companies. To learn more about HostGator’s products and services in the hosting space, read our HostGator review and our guide on how to create a website with the HostGator website builder.
What is a website builder?
A website builder offers end-to-end website creation, with most packaged with a selection of templates you can base your site on, a visual editor, and extra advanced tools. They are generally extremely beginner-friendly, with many providing a drag-and-drop website builder interface.
This means using them requires no prior coding or technical experience, and they’re a great option if you want to create a simple site quickly. Some offer significantly more design flexibility, and can even provide coding access for advanced editing.
What’s the difference between a website builder and web hosting?
Traditionally, web developers had to create code for a new site from scratch. This would then be uploaded to a web host’s servers, where it would be delivered to visitors. The same basic principles still apply, and many high-end sites are still built like this.
However, the vast majority of the best website builders offer all-in-one website creation solutions that simplify things significantly. They come with various site creation tools, an editor of sorts, and web hosting is also included.
WordPress vs website builders: which is better?
WordPress and website builders design, create, and publish sites. Builders offer all-in-one site creation, including technical management, web hosting, security and a domain. You only have to worry about design and maintenance.
Most require no coding knowledge, and are designed to be used by those with limited technical knowledge. Easy website builders generally offer the fastest option, and are ideal for cheap, simple online presences.
WordPress can’t be used without a third-party web hosting provider, as an open-source content management system (CMS). It provides more technical freedom though, and effectively gives you control over every aspect. However, its complexity can mean that common WordPress website mistakes are made.
In general, you should use a website builder if you’re thinking about putting together your own site.
How to choose the best website builder for you
Choosing from the best website builders can be difficult, with many factors to consider. The most important is the learning curve: most opt for builders because CMSs are too complex or time-intensive.
Before you choose, we recommend developing a clear plan of your site’s look, purpose, and budget. Most builders offer a free trial or free-forever plan, which makes it easy to test them: for paid plans, read our feature asking how much does it cost to build a website.
Pay careful attention to tools: if you want an online store, look for strong ecommerce support. Similarly, a portfolio site means paying attention to the templates on offer. Don’t compromise on quality for the sake of ease of use: the best builders have strong template collections and powerful drag-and-drop editors.
After-sales support is key, as non-technical business owners might find it particularly difficult to diagnose issues. You should look for good live chat and phone support, to ensure you’ll be able to bounce back quickly if there’s an issue.
Ultimately, consider the specific nature of your business and industry: a small business website builder might be what you’re looking for, or an enterprise website. You can then decide which providers are the best website builders for the site you want.
Which online website builder is best?
Wix is the best website builder available. As well as being extremely popular, its huge template library of over 500 designs offers excellent design flexibility. On top of this, new users have the choice of the Wix Editor or the Wix ADI building interfaces, providing a scale between the former’s more complex drag-and-drop customizability and the latter’s extremely straightforward, artificial intelligence-led service.
What is the best cheap website builder?
The best cheap website builder is HostGator’s Gator Builder. Backed by one of the most popular web hosting services, it offers top design flexibility, basic ecommerce tools, a great stock photo library, and a suite of helpful tutorials for beginners, starting at a very affordable $3.84 a month.
Unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage are available with all plans, although the lack of specialized features limits its usefulness for larger businesses.
How we review the best website builders
When reviewing website builders, we test the editor to make sure it’s not too complicated or overly simplistic. Via trials, we test out builders from top to bottom, looking at features included and trialling support response times. We also establish how pricing works out, as initial monthly costs can increase after your first term.
We also test builders against one another to better compare them in this crowded marketplace. Some of our comparison features include GoDaddy vs Wix, WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace, and Wix vs Squarespace.
Should I use a free website builder?
Why choose a free website builder? For many, a premium plan is the best option to unlock tools and resources, such as ecommerce or online marketing. However, a free website builder will be more than good enough for many people.
Wix’s free-forever plan, for example, provides access to the entire website builder, so you can create a site without spending a cent. However, limitations include ads on your site, being unable to connect a custom domain name, and severely restricted storage and bandwidth. This is a great example of the contrast when it comes to free website builders vs paid.
The bottom line is that a free website builder will often be good enough for small personal projects, but business users should seriously consider paying for a premium subscription.
Learn more about website builders
If you’re looking to find out more about the differences between web hosting, website builders, and WordPress, read our feature pitting Web hosting vs WordPress vs website builders, and our WordPress review.
For creatives looking to build a site to promote their band or their photography libraries, we have guides for the best website builder for musicians and the best website builder for photographers.
If you’ve decided to go for a free website builder, or a free plan from a premium provider, read our guide on how to build a website for free. Finally, should you be looking for a builder on a budget, take a look at our list of the 10 best cheap website builders to see which are good value for money, while our best cheap website builder deals are regularly updated each month.