The 5 Best Website Builders (2021): Top website builder for small business, online store, artists & more

Website builders (also known as “website creators” or “website makers”) are tools that allows the construction of websites using drag and drop page editors without manual code editing. The best website builders of today makes creating a website fast and easy with no coding knowledge required.

illustrated image of website builder concept as cover image for the best website builders review and comparison

In this top website builders review and comparison, you will learn;

  • What the best website builder software are for small business.
  • Best website creator for creatives, photographers & artists to create beautiful websites.
  • Best ecommerce site builder to easily create an online store and start selling.
  • Best free website builders to create a free website and practice with.
  • How to create your own business website using a website builder without any coding knowledge.

The Top 7 Website Builders

These are the top 7 website builders you can use to make your own website:

  • Wix – Best small business website creator
  • Squarespace – Website builder with beautiful templates
  • Weebly – Easiest website builder for small business
  • Shopify – Ecommerce platform for building online store
  • Duda – Best professional website builder
  • GoDaddy – Best cheap website builder
  • WordPress – Most scalable site builder software

What we recommend?

Gone are the days when creating a website would require you to code, or otherwise employ the services of a web designer to help you build your website.

Today, with tons of new site building tools and software’s available, creating a website now simply requires a good website creator (popularly called website builder) to drag and drop elements on your page, wherever you need them. Its that easy.

What is the Best Website Builder to Build Your Own Website?

Wix logo

1. Best website builder for small business: Wix (Wix.com)

If you are looking for a simple website creator with lots of features to create a website for your small business, Wix is the best website builder for small business.

Jump to Wix best website builder review
squarespace logo

2. Best website builder for creatives: Squarespace

If you need a website creator with the best templates to build beautiful websites for photography, restaurants & creatives, Squarespace has the best designs.

Jump to Squarespace review
weebly logo

3. Easiest to use: Weebly

Weebly is a beginners friendly simple website builder with an easy-to-use drag and drop page builder you can use to create your personal or business website.

Jump to Weebly website builder

4. Best for online store: Shopify

If you want to build a basic online store to start selling your products or start a drop shipping business that allows you to also receive payments, Shopify is the best ecommerce site builder for you.

Jump to Shopify review
GoDaddy logo

5. Best for building basic websites: GoDaddy Site Builder

GoDaddy website builder is a great choice for people who wants to create a simple website consisting of few basic pages and also save on cost.

Still not sure of which website builder to choose?

  • The best professional website builder for most people and small business is Wix.
  • Squarespace is the best website creator for photographers, restaurants, artists and creatives.
  • For people looking to create an online store, the best ecommerce website builder for online store is Shopify.
  • Weebly is the easiest website builder that lets you create small business websites with large pages.
  • WordPress is the best website builder platform for bloggers and writers.

How online website builders works

Online website builders are designed to be very easy to use, and allows anyone whether beginners or experienced web designers, to create a fully functional website within minutes, simply by using a drag-and-drop web page editor.

Generally, users create an account with the website builder company, select from dozens of website templates provided to them and then start building their website simply by dragging elements and dropping them to the desired location, same way you move files on your computer.

No coding knowledge, skill or experience is required. Users can then connect their domain name (business name) to the site builder tool hosting their website.

Website Builder Comparison: Comparison of the best website makers

We compared various website creation tools that’s both easy to use, functional, averagely priced and beginners friendly to find the top website creators to build and design your own website.

Site BuilderUse CaseFree PlanPaid Plans
Wix Website BuilderBest website builder for small businessYes – create free websiteFrom $12/month
Weebly Site BuilderMost intuitive website builderYes – build a free websiteFrom $6/month
SquarespaceBest site creator for creativesNo (free trial)From $12/month
WordPressBest for bloggers & writersYesFrom $8/month
Shopify ecommerce builder softwareBest for creating online storeNo (free trial for 14 days)From $14/month
Godaddy Website CreatorBest for building basic websitesNoFrom $4/month

While there are lots of easy to use website makers out there, deciding on which site builder to use in building your small business website, service website, weblog, photography website, portfolio or online store can sometimes be challenging.

To help you find the best website builder, we teamed up with industry experts and real life users of site builder software & web hosting services to test and review over 30 different website makers, to know which website builders are best.

Detailed Review of the Best Website Builders

This website builder review takes into consideration various factors such as web hosting services, pricing, functionality, technical support, mobile responsiveness, site speed optimization, ease of use, templates design, and more.

Here then is a reviewed list of the best website builders:

1. Wix Website Builder

If you are looking for a simple website creator with lots of templates to create a website, Wix is the best website builder tool with free and paid options.

screenshot image of Wix best website builder

Wix website builder is the best site builder overall in 2020 for small businesses and most people. It combines ease of use with a powerful set of features and website builder templates to easily build your website.

Wix is perhaps one of the most popular online website creator, all thanks to its easy to use nature and versatility.

With over 500 website design templates to get the design process off to a quick start, an easy to use drag and drop web page editor, and over 100M users, Wix.com is arguable the most popular cloud based website builder software right now. Its an easy drag and drop website creator for beginners to create professional-looking websites.

Key Features of Wix

There is a Wix tool known as ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) which further makes Wix the first artificial intelligence website builder. What it does is, it first learns about your site, and then uses the information gathered to design a site tailored to your specific needs.

The artificial intelligence website maker simply asks you a few questions and literally builds your custom website, right before your eyes. This tool leverages AI choosing from billions of combinations of images, text, layouts, and contact forms.

If you already have a domain registered elsewhere or want to register one with Wix, they make it very easy to connect your domain to your site. Additionally, if you’d like to add e-commerce or an online store to your site so that you also list products on your site and sell online, Wix has a plan for that too.

Additional Functions and updates

One thing I like about wix is their development speed, which futher makes them a top rated website builder for small businesses, artists, photographers, restaurants and online stores.

New features are constantly introduced or further improved to keep your website up with the trends. Functions like Wix Bookings, something a website builder for services should have and a convenient self-service appointment booking system for your clients.

There’s also the Wix Restaurants, a (commission-free) addon that lets your customers book tables, order food from you and check out your menus, something any good website builder for restaurants should have. Lastly, there’s the Wix Turbo, which increases the speed and performance of websites substantially.

Wix Pricing and Plans

Wix offers a simple basic free website builder plan with limited bandwidth and storage that lets you create a free website, just to try and see if the platform is right for you or your business.

You can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder and if you like what you see with the free website builder, you can then upgrade to a premium plan fully dedicated to you with no external ads.

Interested in using Wix but needs to know its pros and cons? we provide a more detailed review of the Wix website builder on our Wix review and pricing guide.

Overall, while most website builders limit you to dragging and dropping within a pre-designed grid, Wix unstructured editor lets you drag and drop elements anywhere you want on a page. Wix is a simple beginner-friendly website builder that gives you absolute creative control over your site.

2. Squarespace Website Builder

Squarespace is the best website builder for creatives such as photographers, artist, musicians and restaurants to build beautiful websites for their business.

If you are a photographer, artists or in the creative industry and in search of a website builder with lots of stunning design features, pre-packed award winning templates and easy to use editor, Squarespace is the best website builder to create beautiful websites.

image of squarespace best website builder for photography

If you are in the creative industry and in search for a good website creator to build a website that showcases your works, connect with your audience, customers or even sell online, Squarespace is the right website builder tool for you.

When you hear the word “Squarespace”, the first thing that comes to mind is amazing design.

With lots of stunning design features, pre-packed award winning templates and an easy to use drag and drop webpage editor, Squarespace is the best website builder for creative people and small businesses who wants to build a stunning website for their brand quickly.

Squarespace website builder software/tool is a great choice for:
  • Restaurant owners who wants to create a website for their restaurants
  • Small business owners looking for a simple website builder for their creative business
  • Events and wedding planners looking to build a wedding website to showcase their work and connect with customers
  • Photographers and artists who wants to showcase their work online and even sell their arts on their website
  • Students and people in the creative industry that wants stunning website design without stressing.
  • Everyone else who wants to build a portfolio website.

When I say squarespace has the most stunning website design software, I really do mean it, but if you do not take my word for it, simply just navigate to their homepage and see how beautiful it is. All done using the webpage editor.

Features of Squarespace

Some of the top features of Squarespace is its over 60 high-quality, professional-looking and responsive website templates to choose from. These templates are all mobile-friendly on Android and iOS operating systems respectively.

Its site builder is easy to use, once you get yourself familiar with it. Although the same cannot be said for first time users, which is why squarespace has integrated the live chat feature to provide dedicated customer support and respond to your questions even as you build.

Squarespace Plans and Pricing

When it involves pricing, Squarespace isn’t the cheapest website maker out there.

Its Monthly prices range from $12/month for their Personal plan, $18 Business website plan that includes unlimited contributors, a Gmail pro account, with e-commerce store builder capabilities, and up to $40/month for their Ecommerce/Online store plan with all the advanced features and full functionality including abandoned shopping cart recovery and gift cards.

Monthly costs are based on a one-year contract, and Squarespace includes a free domain. Its worth knowing that with the Squarespace ecommerce site builder, you no longer need to pay any additional transaction fees, regardless of how huge your sales are.

While the advanced plan is usually geared towards Ecommerce handling, the Personal plan works just fine for anyone regardless of the type of site you are building. The personal plan provides a free domain name, unlimited bandwidth and storage, free SSL, and 24/7 customer support.

Overall, Squarespace empowers millions of people to create a simple and easy-to-manage online presence. It offers built-in tools that support bloggers/writers, entrepreneurs, musicians and creative designers, integrated with Google and PayPal, eCommerce capabilities to help sell online, SEO tools, and social media plugins.

Squarespace is known for its stunning site designs and templates and you wont be wrong if you call it a professional website builder or even the best website maker for creating well designed websites.

Arguably, Squarespace is one of the simplest ways to create a well designed and beautiful looking website for your business or crafts.

3. Weebly Website Builder

If you are looking for a simple drag and drop website builder to quickly get your site online, Weebly is the best simple website builder software to create a small business website, online store and portfolios.

image of Weebly free website maker and online store builder

Weebly is an easy website builder software with lots of great designs and features to power your small business or portfolio website, and because of its cheap pricing model, Weebly is often listed among the best free website builder software.

Weebly is a powerful website builder software with free responsive template designs to choose from, with a drag and drop webpage builder that is neat and direct to the point. Because of this simplicity and easy to understand page builder, novice web designers and online store owners with almost zero knowledge on website design can get started and still build a beautiful and functional site in minutes.

Features of Weebly

Without a doubt, the best feature of Weebly I like so much is its simple nature and ease of use.

Weebly offers different features to power your online business website with various tools ranging from lead generation, site analytics and record keeping to user and search engine optimization.

Weebly also includes some lead generation features, which are limited in the free plan though, and with different plans, you also get access to site analytics, performance report, site search, HD audio/video, and the ability to run a membership site.

Additionally, they also have a mobile app you can use to track your website’s performance on the go, as well as email marketing tools that lets you send newsletters to your subscribers from your site, without the need for a third party email service provider.

If you’re a blogger, or an online content publisher, you can use Weebly.com to pick a domain name and use their web page editor to add text, images, and content to your blog. Plus, there is a web traffic report and stats tool available on the dashboard.

Ecommerce feature

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.

Weebly Pricing and Plans

Like every other website maker out there, Weebly comes with three different pricing plans for different users, but what separates it from the other website creators is its free plan.

Weebly’s free plan is one to contend with, which is why it often comes off as one of the top free website builders. With the free plan, you’ll get 500MB of storage (Weebly’s subdomain in use), basic SEO, lead capture features, and contact forms.

Weebly’s paid plans range from $5 to $25 per month, depending on your website needs. The Professional plan at $12 per month includes unlimited storage, basic eCommerce features, advanced site stats, a site search feature as well as video and audio players, that allows you and your users to stream media directly from your site.

While the $25/month plan (specifically tailored towards eCommerce and online store owners), gives you more advanced eCommerce features like coupons, taxes, inventory, item options, reviews, and more. The business plan also gives you a free domain, and $200 of Google ad credits.

Overall, Weebly is an easy-to-use website builder with a free install option available that lets you create attractive and responsive website designs plus online stores. The website editor is one of the easiest website builder options for most people to use.

It is a site builder that maintains two editors — the Square editor for eCommerce sites, and the Weebly editor for non-eCommerce websites.

While the Square editor is more rigid and doesn’t allow many customization options (to help beginner web designers stay guided), the Weebly editor is easy to customize and for experienced developers, there’s a built-in coding window to make the required changes and customization you need.

4. Shopify Ecommerce Site Builder

The Shopify ecommerce website solution is the best website builder software for e-commerce business to create an online store quickly, regardless of the type of product you want to sell online.

image of Shopify Ecommerce site builder software

Whether you want to create a website for an online clothing store or start a drop shipping business, Shopify is the best website builder for basic online store.

Founded in Canada in 2004, Shopify has grown to become a popular ecommerce platform used by over 700,000 online businesses to sell their products online. All thanks to their simple, yet intuitive dashboard and integrations with thousands of app partners as well as social media platforms.

Who is Shopify perfect for?

If you’re setting up a new website and know or think that you may want to sell products online in the future, using a more ecommerce focused software like Shopify is best to get started, rather than any other tool that doesn’t take online shopping seriously.

Like most other digital commerce website builder and manager software, Shopify’s platform is more focused on your product and sales details.

Fortunately for those without a ton of experience setting up an online retail business, Shopify’s process makes sure you won’t miss any important detail as it guides you through inventory, customer information, tax and shipping rates.

Features

One of the things myself and almost everyone else really likes about shopify is its onsite Point of Sales Services, which just further makes the site builder software an all-in-one fully hosted solution.

What this means for you is that, you don’t have to worry about managing software, third party payment processing, installing updates, or keeping backups, as Shopify does all that for you.

In addition to its online shop, businesses can also link and connect their social media profiles to integrate with other top online marketplaces like Amazon.

To eliminate the use of third party payment solution and save you from stressing, Shopify makes use of online payments that allows your website to interact with Shopify Credit cards.

There are other features such as Shopify Payments, Shopify Augmented Reality, as well as its P.O.S services that helps scale eCommerce businesses.

Its website builder is easy to use and provides two separate editors to help navigate products with ease. There are also free and paid templates on Shopify that provides multiple themes to match different business types.

Shopify Plans and Pricing

Shopify offers three main pricing plans ranging from $29/month to $299/month. While the $299 advanced plan is completely geared toward high trafficked and big online stores, the $29/month Basic Shopify Plan gives website owners everything they need to get online and manage their store. This includes a full website, an online store with unlimited products, blog features, 24/7 support, and more.

Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.

Overall, Shopify is a popular eCommerce website builder designed specifically for online stores, ecommerce websites and businesses looking to sell products online in the future. With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store.

With Shopify, not only could you set up a quick website with a blog inclusive, a map of your business location, contact info, and appointment scheduling (with an app), but you could also sell different products ranging from beauty to hair care and fashion online.

5. GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy website builder is a great choice for people who quickly wants to build a basic no-frill and simple website with few pages & functions for their business, services, craft or non-profit.

image screenshot of GoDaddy website builder software

Almost every one who has ever tried buying a domain name on the internet have heard about GoDaddy, but what most people do not know is that they also offer website building services as well as a simple website builder software that quickly helps you build a website on your domain.

Ease of Use4 out of 5
CostStarts at $5.99
Customer Service5 out of 5
Overall Rating4 out of 5

Features and Pros of GoDaddy Site Builder

Ease of Use

While each website theme is laid out in a specific format, you still have flexibility to move or change some items on the website. If there’s something you don’t like, it can be customized to your taste or need. It’s a drag-and-drop interface so you can instantly see what your website will look like before publishing.

Their editing tools are easy to use, well arranged and easy to locate. There isn’t an over abundance of editing options which makes the learning curve smaller and more precise.

Well Designed Website Templates

With 300 well designed templates, it’s easy to pick a theme and get started designing your website. And while some of the templates may not be quite as slick as the ones from other website builders, they do offer a large enough selection to make it easy to find one that works for you.

Website Backup

One thing GoDaddy offers that many other website builders do not, is the ability to make as many backup copies of your website as you want. You can save various versions of your website in case you make a mistake, or if you want to return to a previous version.

eCommerce

GoDaddy has specific plans for eCommerce, including the ability to sell products, take payments, and even manage appointments if you’re selling a service. They also feature an abandoned cart recovery service that automatically emails customers if they’ve put something in a cart without purchasing it.

Customer Support

They have one of the best support systems currently in the market, with 24/7 support that you gain the moment you sign up with them.

Web Hosting and Domain Name

GoDaddy offers hosting services and a free domain name when you sign up for their website builder service.

screenshot image showing GoDaddy website builder pricing and plans
GoDaddy website maker packages and pricing plans.

Cons of GoDaddy Website Builder

Limited Mobile Customization Version

While they do have a mobile interface for editing your site, it isn’t nearly as sophisticated as the desktop version. If you want to edit your site from your mobile device, you’re going to be significantly limited in what you can do.

Personal note: While I do not see this as a problem, obviously because websites were meant to be built using you PC, I included it because many GoDaddy site builder users pointed it out.

eCommerce Limits

Although GoDaddy does have a separate website builder specifically designed for eCommerce stores, the basic website builder does not include an eCommerce option.

If you want to add a store to a website that you didn’t create specifically to be a store, this probably isn’t the best option. You are better off with the likes of Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and Shopify.

No Website Export Feature

Another think I do not really like about GoDaddy and you probably wont like as well is that GoDaddy’s website builder doesn’t have an option or feature to export your website if in any case you decide to change website builder software.

This means that you won’t be able to take your website with you should you want to switch builders. The reason is because many of their site functions will not work on other sites.

Overall,
If what you’re looking for is a basic website builder that’s easy to use, will give you a quick start, and won’t require a lot of web designing know-how on your part, GoDaddy is the perfect website builder platform for you. Its a cheap website builder that offers more for the price paid.

While GoDaddy has been around for a long time with a strong online presence and traditionally known for selling domain names and web hosting, they recently added a website builder to the list of their services as well.

Although its not as robust as other site builder tools, but it does have some solid features that makes it worth considering and a great choice for people.

However, if you’re looking for more customizable and advanced options, you may want to look at another builer website site.

It’s never been easier to set up a well designed and professional looking website. Well-known DIY site building services, such as Squarespace and Wix, are constantly improving and adding new capabilities.

With a good site builder, you do not need to be a web developer with lots of money, time or HTML coding skills to create a website that looks professional.

Factors to consider when choosing a website builder

When choosing a website builder tool or software to use in creating your website, there are certain fundamental and necessary features to look out for.

While these features are really very easy to find and can be found on many website creator software, obviously because they are basic features all good website creation tool should have, it is still worth looking out for, just to be sure.

The four main features of a good site builder are: pre-made website templates, drag and drop webpage editors, mobile responsiveness, and domain names.

1. Pre-Made Website Templates.

If not all, nearly every website builder has templates and different styles to choose from. Templates are basically a frame work that controls the look of your website on the layout, font choices, color schemes and other design factors.

For example, If you’re a photographer, you may want a photography specific website template that presents your images in a very attractive manner, with the right fonts and contact form for interested clients to contact you.

In the same way, if you’re a blogger/writer looking to create a blog, you may want a blog-specific template that easily highlights your latest blog posts and puts them first.

Before choosing a website builder, first have a clear picture of the type of site you want to create, the pages you want on your site, things you want displayed and then select a template based on your site preference for editing and customization.

2. Drag and Drop Webpage Editors (WYSIWYG).

The term WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get”. A term used in website designing meaning, whatever you add or remove stays that way, just as you see it. It is a vital web design/building feature that gives you the ability to move elements around on a web page.

With a drag and drop editor, it becomes possible and easy for you to add, remove or move various sections/functions on your page, including:

  • Text.
  • Images and Videos.
  • Slides and gallery.
  • Spacers and dividers.
  • Navigation menus.
  • Headers and Footers.

Individual pages can be created and manipulated with online website editing tools to make up all of the webpages on your site. These are common features of a good and easy to use web builder platforms that allows you to edit your content easily without any coding knowledge.

Before choosing a website builder for your small business or service website, make sure the WYSIWYG page editor is easy to use and you are comfortable with it. This way it gets easy to create any webpage or change your site layout/design whenever the need arises.

3. Mobile-Responsiveness.

A responsive website is one whose design and functions stays the same and is accessible on any type of browser or device. If your website isn’t mobile friendly and responsive you’ll loose a lot of site traffic who would’ve converted into paying customers/clients.

Statistics report shows that more users browse the web on smartphones than on computers and the trend just keeps increasing. As a matter of fact, the number of smartphone sales per day more than double that of a PC/laptop.

What this means for any website developer, designer or creator is that, to get all the site visitors interested in your the products or services offered on your website, you need to have a mobile friendly and responsive website. Your website needs to look great across all devices platforms, browsers and operating systems.

So, when choosing a website builder software, make sure you go with the one that have mobile-responsive templates that adjust your website’s elements to fit the device they are presented on.

4. Domain Names and Site URLs

Domain names are the URLs that users type into their web browser when they want to access or visit a website.

One of the amazing benefits of using a website builder is that, a good website builder software provides website hosting and domain name registration, all under the same platform.

Hence, making it a complete solution to all your website needs, while you focus on other things such as growing your online business, driving more website traffic and making sales.

A good website builder makes it possible to either choose a new domain name or import an already existing domain name you have registered with any other domain name provider whenever you’re ready to build your website.

Having reviewed various website builders to aid an easy site creation without any coding knowledge, I hope you are able to find the best website builder software and tools to create a website for your business or online store.

If you’re still not sure of which website creator to use, these are what we recommend:

The best website builder overall, is Wix, a great website builder for small businesses. For creative people who wishes to create a website for their crafts such as artists, musicians, photographers and restaurants, the best website builder with amazing designs to choose from is Squarespace. Additionally, if you want to start an online store, the best ecommerce website builder for online stores is Shopify, while WordPress is a great choice for bloggers and writers.

  • Best website builder for small business: Wix.com.
  • Free website creation tool: Weebly.
  • Best website builder for online store: Shopify Ecommerce Website Builder Software.
  • Best website creator for photographers: Squarespace.

Do not forget that it is one thing to create a website using a website creation tool, and it is another to drive traffic and visitors to generate funds and keep it running. while a good website builder software helps you handle your web design and security, there are other factors required to keep your business thriving.

3 thoughts on “The 5 Best Website Builders (2021): Top website builder for small business, online store, artists & more”

  1. Very nice information. Found it helpful while selecting a website builder for my small business website. Love how you specifically reviewed each website creators based on their category and use cases instead of saying Squarespace is better than Wix and all that.

  2. Leslie A. Hoffman

    As a website designer myself in the UK, who charge people that do not have the time to build their website themselves :-), using website making sites with their simple wysiwyg web page maker to design sites really makes life easy. I find this information really interesting because it simply recommends the top website makers – very accurate, and saves me the stress of selecting from a variety of options to choose from.

    I use Wix to build small business websites. I started using Squarespace lately for my clients who do not consider ecommerce a top priority and Weebly for clients with intention to sell things online. Never received a complain so far. I love Squarespace because they have loads of modern and artistic designs, their templates are responsive and they have a good blog feature.

    1. Nice conclusion Leslie. You can also use squarespace to build sites for clients who wants to sell online… Most creatives creates their business websites with the intention to sell their crafts online, hence Squarespace provides both a stunning website and an attractive online store package as well. It all depends on the plan you choose.

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