Best Website Builder 2021
You can quickly create a business presence on the web that reflects your core values and brand message without having to pay someone else to do it for you.
In this review, we will walk you through what website builders are, how they work, and why you should use them. After that, we’ll introduce you to five of the best website builders available in 2021.
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What are website builders?
As the name suggests, website builders are tools that help you create a website without having to code. They are very popular tools as not everyone knows how to code, but almost every business wants to have a website.
How do website builders work?
Website builders are usually simple to use and user-friendly. With the majority of website builders, you can create a full website in minutes by dragging and dropping components. You’d be dragging elements that relate to your website’s goal and dropping them into the correct spot. Because all of the aspects are already prepared, you won’t have to worry about code.
Most website builders provide a design template that best fits your needs when you first sign up for an account. There are often dozens or hundreds of templates to choose from, so everyone should be able to find something they like. The templates include pre-installed components and material. All you have to do is swap the text and images with your own content. Some website builders even provide a free media library with professionally taken photos and videos, allowing you access to a wealth of material.
You can also add widgets to your site in order to provide more features. Galleries, contact forms, blogs, and social media buttons are just a few examples of widgets that you may install. You may even include an e-commerce component to your website if you’re creating an online store.
Why use website builders?
If you don’t know how to code and are looking for a quick and easy way to boost your online presence, then website builders are perfect for you. Even for seasoned coders, it is difficult to craft a high-quality and tasteful website from scratch. And even if you have the skills, it may take days or weeks to do so. Then, you have to worry about buying a custom domain and getting hosting services. A lot comes with building a website from scratch, and website builders are here to take your headaches away!
The cherry on top? There are many free website builders out there. This is especially good news for small businesses or personal brands.
Top 5 Rated Website Builders
Best templates and overall features for a small e-commerce store
Founded in 2006 in Israel, Wix is one of the top website builders and will show up in your market research one way or another. It’s a very beginner-friendly tool that gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site. The tool features a drag and drop editor that comes with a large range of functionalities. Perhaps not surprisingly, Wix is a software that has a high score with customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at what the main perks are for Wix:
Over 800 templates available: Yep, you read that right! Once you sign up, you’ll have access to 800 professionally designed templates. These templates are categorized by industries, meaning the templates you see for “Photography” are probably very different from “Events.” Take your time picking your favorite because you won’t be able to switch templates once you’ve settled on one. To make your site even more unique, add or remove any textboxes or images. Make it fulfill your needs, not the other way round.
Generous free plan
Not only does Wix offer a free plan, but they also offer a lot on that free plan. For example, you get search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help your site get found on Google, social sharing buttons so you can easily promote your site to different social media platforms, and a mobile editor so you can continue editing your site on mobile devices — even when you’re on the go.
Huge app store
Your website doesn’t have to only contain elements that Wix’s templates have; free to add features from Wix’s app store. For example, you can add a contact form, map, blog, gallery — to name a few — to your site.
24/7 callback service
Wix is comprehensive when it comes to customer support. Not only do you see question mark buttons next to tools throughout Wix’s editor, but you’ll also see tips about the adjacent tools and video tutorials. If you need to speak to someone, the Wix team is ready to answer your questions 24/7. Just tell them what’s up on their contact page and they’ll get back to you.
Free plan available. Paid plans start from $14 per month and can go up to $49 per month for large businesses.
Best for bloggers and experienced website creators
Founded in 2004, Squarespace is a New York-based website builder loved by many creatives and businesses. Squarespace is not as easy to use as Wix is, as it’s a more sophisticated tool tailored for people with more experience. Squarespace’s features are all developed in-house, so you can be sure that they’re of the highest quality and are readily available whenever you need them! Let’s take a closer look at this site builder’s appeal:
Top-notch template designs
When you opt for Squarespace, you know you’re in for visually impressive designs. Their designs are some of the best on the market, looking sleek and modern. This is important when you’re trying to set your brand apart from the pack!
Wide range of features
A website can’t just be pretty. It has to be able to deliver actual results in order to be a good website. Squarespace knows this and provides many superior features. For example, you can use video backgrounds, add custom codes, and upload and share music.
Switch templates anytime
As mentioned above, Wix doesn’t let you switch templates. But with Squarespace, you can. Switch templates anytime you want, even after publishing your site. You can also install multiple templates to work on at once. This gives you much more flexibility and peace of mind to know that your hard work won’t be lost even if you’d like to change things up down the line.
Grow website with third-party extensions
You can use Squarespace Extensions to integrate with a range of third-party apps such as Quickbooks. These apps can help you optimize, manage, and expand your site. They’re a great alternative to upgrading your Squarespace plan and paying more each month!
Since Squarespace is a premium website builder, it doesn’t offer a free version. However, you can take advantage of their 14-day free trial before committing to a plan. They have four paid plans in total, ranging from $12 per month to $40 per month.
Best for e-commerce and online stores
Founded in 2006 in Canada, Shopify is a well-known e-commerce website builder designed for online stores. So far, it has powered more than 500,000 businesses with 1 million active users. Combined all together, more than 40 billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform! There are many reasons why Shopify is so successful (or makes its users so successful!). Here are some of them:
All-in-one fully hosted solution
This is great for beginners because Shopify will basically take care of managing the software, getting a custom domain, installing updates, and keeping backups for you. You don’t have to worry about technical issues at all when you are a Shopify customer.
Shopify doesn’t just help you set up a store, but it also helps you figure out how you’re going to get paid. With Shopify Payments, you can easily accept credit cards. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
Full inventory management
If you own a big store, you know how tricky it is to keep track of all your products as they come and go out of your store. Shopify takes away this headache of yours by providing full inventory management, shipping, marketing, and stats tools so you have a complete picture of how your store is doing and where your products are.
Easy and bountiful designs
Shopify offers hundreds of designs for you to choose from, none requiring you to code. Like many other website builders, Shopify uses a drag and drop interface, making it super easy for you to add or remove elements from your site.
Customer support readily available
Before contacting a Shopify representative, you can check out their community forums and see if anyone has had the same issue as yours and found solutions. There is also a help center where you can find a ton of articles on different aspects of the Shopify platform.
Shopify’s plans are on the pricier end, but it makes sense since you’ll be using their platform to make profits. There are three plans in total, with the cheapest at $29 per month and the priciest at $299 per month. If all you need is to add a buy button to an existing website, consider going for Shopify Lite at $9 per month.
Best for Creating and Publishing Websites Fast
Founded in 1997 in Arizona, United States, GoDaddy has been in the internet services world for quite a while. It is a big web giant that specializes in providing domain and web hosting services. The website builder arm is relatively new to the company. That said, let’s take a look at some features that set GoDaddy apart:
Fastest website builder available
GoDaddy uses ADI (artificial design intelligence) to create a personalized template for you. All you have to do is enter your details and… ta-da! A tailored website will be ready in no time. This feature will save you a lot of time when building a site.
It won’t take you long to master using GoDaddy’s editor because it’s quite simple and straightforward. You’ll see layouts and guidance on adding elements to your site, so you won’t be left in the dark especially when this is your first time creating a website. Heads up though, with GoDaddy it’s better to stick with their template than trying to create something new. Their editor may not be powerful enough to create complex websites.
In-house marketing tools
When you have a business up and running, it’s important to tell people that. With GoDaddy, you can use their in-house marketing tools to let people know your shop is open. Leverage email and social media marketing and track your reviews and orders from a single dashboard. If you want to boost your site’s SEO presence, you may want to upgrade to a paid plan.
Generous one-month free trial
Most other website builders only offer a 14-day trial (if any), so GoDaddy is definitely generous here!
24/7 customer support
Most website builder companies prefer you to look up their help center articles and community forums before contacting their customer service hotline, but GoDaddy is different. This internet giant tells you their phone number from the get-go and welcomes inquiries even when you’re not a customer yet.
GoDaddy offers a one-month free trial. After that, you can opt for one of its four paid plans. The most basic plan costs $10 per month while the most expensive costs $25 per month.
Best for small businesses and bloggers
Based in San Francisco, the tech capital of the US, Weebly was founded in 2006 to help small businesses create beautiful websites. At the time of writing, Weebly had a user base of more than 40 million websites. Not only that, it gets more than 250 million unique visitors per month, so you know that its popularity is solid and consistent! Like many other website builders, Weebly is very user-friendly, robust, and reliable. Here are a few features that are worth mentioning:
Over 50 themes to choose from
Weebly’s designs are all stylish and well thought out. Although Weebly doesn’t have hundreds of templates available like other competitors, it does have 50 for you to choose from. You’re also free to switch templates at any time, which gives Weebly an edge over Wix. You’ll appreciate this feature when your site needs a redesign later down the line.
More structured templates
Weebly features a drag and drop website builder and makes it easy for you by giving you step-by-step guidance on how to maximize tools and design your pages. Weebly’s templates are on the more structured end, which is great for beginners. If you want complete creative control however, this may feel limiting.
Great blogging tools
Weebly offers a lot of free blog templates and depending on your needs, you can make them stand-alone sites or parts of a larger website or online store. You also get free blog hosting, which makes sure your content loads quickly and remains available to readers despite website updates. You can also create custom URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions to boost your blog’s SEO performance and bring more traffic to your site.
Real-time website stats
Once in a while, you’d want to see how your website is doing. With Weebly, you can easily track the number of people that have visited your site, which pages they visited, and what keywords they used to land on your site. Find all of these stats on your Weebly dashboard, from any device. These stats are updated in real-time so you can follow your data and traffic patterns closely.
Weebly offers a free plan, so you can go ahead and start designing already! For more features though, you can go for one of their three paid plans, with the cheapest at $6 per month and most expensive at $26 per month. You can use any of Weebly’s paid plans to sell online, which is a great deal for small businesses. Weebly is one of the most affordable options out there.
Our Rating Process
In this website builder review, we’ll introduce you to five popular tools. We assessed each software based on ease of use, design and features, customer support, and pricing. We scored each criterion out of five points to help you with your decision-making process.
Frequently Asked Questions
A website builder is software that helps you create a website without having to code. Many of these builders come for free and you can create beautiful websites for a range of purposes — such as personal blog, online shop, portfolio, campaign website.
There’s no one best website builder since they all cater to different customer needs and have different features. However, after doing thorough research, Wix does appear to be a top-notch website builder. It has over 800 templates for you to choose from, offers a free plan for those who need only basic features, and a free custom domain. While the cost is slightly higher than competitors, the features that Wix offers are incredible.
A lot of website builders are user-friendly and built for beginners. If you’re asking for the easiest, however, then turn to Weebly. Weebly is a fully hosted platform, meaning that they take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend. It’s an easy software designed for beginners who like to DIY their websites. You can also add features to your website without going through a complicated setup process.
Many website builders come for free, so you won’t have to break your bank to build your own site. However, if you’d like to upgrade for more features, expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $20 per month for a basic plan. The cheapest we’ve seen is Weebly — its cheapest plan comes at only $6 per month!