The best website builders make it easy for you to create your own site, whether it's your first time or you're an experienced pro. The best of these builders have simple drag-and-drop editors and loads of templates, so you don't need any knowledge of website design to get up and runnings.
What's more, the best website builders will have advanced features, giving you options for ecommerce website building, analytics, security, content management tools, and more.
However, there are so many options available, it can be hard to narrow down your choices. That's why we've checked out a number of the top website builders to help you find the one that best fits your needs—and your budget.
Below you'll find our recommended website builders based on our rigorous testing of their ease of use, features, pricing, and support.
The top 3 best website builders right now
Why you can trust Tom's Guide? Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.
Wix: the best all-round choice
Top of our rankings of the best website builders, Wix offers hundreds of templates, a flexible editor, and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. Its full builder is included with the free plan, while fairly-priced packages include a 14-day money-back guarantee, no ads, and more advanced tools and features.
The best website builders of 2023 in full
With over 500 attractive templates, an extremely powerful editor, and various other features, Wix brings plenty to the table. We think it's the best website builder, and it tops our lists of the best ecommerce website builders and best small business website builders too.
We found that the drag-and-drop interface enables pixel-perfect placement, while content personalization is extremely straightforward, and designs are only limited by imagination. For a more straightforward site-building experience, you can use Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence): after answering a few quick questions, it'll select a custom template you can populate and publish in just hours.
Wix is arguably the most powerful builder on the market, and ADI makes things very easy for beginners. You'll have access to various business-specific features. Add an online store, take bookings, or even accept donations.
Should you want to make changes outside the template model, Velo Dev Mode allows you to add features that usually require a developer, including custom forms, dynamic pages, and databases. Wix also provides ecommerce tools including inventory management, multi-channel selling, subscriptions, and digital product support.
The full builder is included with the excellent free package, while each paid plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee. Limitations include ads on your site and other restrictions, but you can try Wix out before you pay. In terms of customer support, Wix offers help center access within its interface, and dedicated support sites with guides, video tutorials, and step-by-step walkthroughs. It also offers 24/7 support ticketing and callbacks.
It is a little expensive, though. Pricing starts with Combo ($16 a month), which comes with a free domain for the first year, 3GB of storage, and 2GB of bandwidth. Upgrade to Unlimited ($22 a month), Pro ($27 a month), or VIP ($45 a month) for more resources and additional tools. Finally, to access business and online store features, there are three Business and Ecommerce plans (ranging from $27 to $59 a month).
Read our detailed Wix review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Combo||Unlimited||Pro||VIP||Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Cost per month||$16||$22||$27||$45||$23 / $276||$27 / $324||$49 / $588|
|Number of templates||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+|
Launched in early 2021, Editor X (owned by Wix, but separate from it) is one of the newest and most powerful website builders available. Designed for advanced users and developers, it's not for beginners, though utilizes user-friendly drag-and-drop technology.
Notable features we tested include full code editing and database creation and management, with 28 flexible templates offering near-endless design combinations. Editor X also has access to the Wix App Market, so you can integrate up to 250 apps offering various additional elements.
Multiple users can collaborate in real-time in-platform, and ecommerce features include memberships, subscriptions, bookings, and live chats. Customer service responses are slow, but representatives are helpful and knowledgeable, while there's also a help center, training academy, and community forum.
You can test Editor X via a basic free-forever plan, while there are three site builder plans costing between $22 and $49 a month, and three business and ecommerce plans ranging between $29 and $219 a month.
Read our detailed Editor X review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Essential||Extra||Ultra||Launch||Boost||Scale|
|Cost per month||$22||$35||$49||$29||$69||$219|
|Number of templates||28||28||28||28||28||28|
Bluehost WordPress website builder was developed and launched in August 2021 and sees the leading web host bring its prowess to site building. We found it utilizes many of WordPress’s best features via an easy-to-use block builder, over 300 themes, integrations with WooCommerce for selling online, and much more.
The drag-and-drop editor makes things easier for less-experienced users, and all plans include managed WordPress hosting for unlimited sites. This means installations and plugins are kept updated for you, plus you get a free SSL certificate and a free domain for one year.
There are three plans: Basic, Pro, and Online Store, starting at $2.75 a month and ranging up to $13.95 a month. You have to sign up for either 12 or 36 months, with the first term offering up to 60% off. All plans include blog post management and email marketing tools as well.
Pro adds WooCommerce support; Online Store adds appointment bookings, subscription sales, and discount code generation; and both add 30 premium templates. If there's a negative, it's that we found it isn't as flexible with site layout, but a wider range of content options and ease-of-use rank it highly among top website builders for WordPress.
Read our Bluehost WordPress website builder review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Basic||Online Store||Pro|
|Cost per month||$2.75||$9.95||$13.95|
|Number of templates||300+||330+||330+|
*The builder is available with a minimum 12-month subscription, and prices will increase on renewal.
Squarespace is known for extremely-attractive, professionally-designed templates, and although its library is small compared to Wix's, we found visually appealing and specifically-targeted designs across the board.
A standout feature is excellent blogging tools, including multiple authors, scheduling posts, and content creation from mobile devices, while many templates are targeted at blog creators. Other impressive elements include ecommerce integrations, website SEO tools, and an advanced analytics portal.
However, Squarespace's editor could certainly be better. It can be confusing to use and navigate, especially for beginners, and we have trouble from time to time, despite having used it numerous times before. There also isn’t any free-forever plan.
Despite this, four paid plans come with a 14-day free trial, a free domain for the first year, unmetered bandwidth and storage, built-in SSL security, and more. Prices range from $16 a month for an annual Personal subscription to $49 a month with Advanced Commerce. Make sure you check our Squarespace promo codes page for discounts.
Read our full Squarespace review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Cost per month||$16||$23||$27||$49|
|Number of templates||110+||110+||110+||110+|
GoDaddy's built-in site creator ships alongside hosting services. It's simple and easy to use, and while it offers no third-party app market or add-ons, which may be a disappointment for some, others will appreciate the lack of clutter. We found it boasts excellent support and powerful analytics, two must-haves for a growing site.
While a little barebone in comparison to competitors, its streamlined approach means novices can focus on what's important. A decent drag-and-drop interface lets you configure sites to your liking, with pre-built templates. There are extensive tutorials available, and a live chat support system for technical problems.
GoDaddy is the easiest builder we’ve used, but the features are a little limited. For example, its template library is very small, and the designs are far from the best. Similarly, its online store tools are very basic. However, its ease of use is unparalleled.
Though GoDaddy doesn’t offer an app market, this means all features are built in-house, ensuring compatibility and greater security. It’s also worth noting that its base plan doesn’t include marketing or analytics—those are paid add-ons requiring a separate plan. Exceptional support comes via a 24/7 online chat portal and phone service, numerous online self-help resources, and an active community forum.
Four plans range from $9.99 to $29.99 a month for the first year. Prices are significantly higher for shorter subscriptions, but all plans include a free SSL certificate, the option to connect a custom domain name, a free business email (for the first year), and analytics and editing tools. Advanced plans add marketing, ecommerce, and business features.
Read our full GoDaddy website builder review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Basic||Standard||Premium||Commerce|
|Cost per month||$9.99||$14.99||$16.99||$29.99|
|Number of templates||100||100||100||100|
Shopify is the ultimate ecommerce platform, with millions of merchants using it across 175 countries. While you can expect ecommerce features from other builders, these pale in comparison to Shopify's.
It helps create an online store in minutes, and you can take advantage of an extensive collection of third-party apps for new features and functions. This helps it stay clutter-free while allowing you to opt for the specifics required. Pricing starts at a relatively-expensive $29 a month, ranging up to $299 a month across three plans.
Excellent additional elements we discovered include a built-in shopping cart and checkout manager, and marketing and security tools. With cybersecurity a big concern for online shopping, Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS-compliant, offering you and your customers top-level ecommerce safety.
If you’re looking to build a traditional site or blog, however, you're 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.
Read our full Shopify review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Cost per month||$29||$79||$299|
|Number of templates||70+||70+||70+|
Alongside Wix, Weebly is one of the most widely-recognized names in website building. It's known for attractive templates and excellent ecommerce elements, thanks to its acquisition by ecommerce giant Square Online.
Ecommerce is probably Weebly’s largest selling point, with its builder dedicated to creating an online store. We found that a large percentage of available designs include a store, which means getting started is as easy as adding content and publishing. Its powerful tools are designed to help even the most inexperienced build an online store.
Weebly has an “idiot-proof” interface: templates are attractive and well-designed, so it's hard to build a site that doesn’t look good. We found the editor a little limited, however. It uses drag-and-drop, but you can only move elements into pre-coded positions. But if you’re not too fussy about pixel-perfect editing, this helps keep things simple.
There are also excellent built-in analytics and detailed documentation. Weebly’s support is, though, limited to email and live chat during US business hours. However, Performance or Professional plan users have direct phone support, and Performance subscribers get priority access.
In the long term, a pivot to Square's own ecommerce builder will see new customers funneled to that. Existing Weebly customers will still be supported with features and functionality, though.
There are seven plans including a free-forever plan that enables you to create a site and online store, though you can't connect your own domain. Personal ($10 a month) adds custom domain support and more advanced ecommerce, while Professional ($12) and Performance ($26) offer even more powerful features.
Read our full Weebly review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Personal||Professional||Performance|
|Cost per month||$10||$12||$26|
|Customer support||Email and forums||24/7||24/7|
|Number of templates||50+||50+||50+|
IONOS, one of the largest European web hosts, also offers a website builder that features a huge array of templates and great functionalities for businesses of all sizes.
Its vast collection of themes is categorized neatly by industry and genre, so you're bound to find something for your needs. A built-in targeted content system even allows you to display specific messages to different visitor demographics. Using this builder requires absolutely no coding knowledge, we found—the drag-and-drop editor allows you to make any changes.
A drawback worth considering is that some themes may not be responsive to screen size. There are eight plans available across different site types: three for basic builders, ranging from $1 a month (Starter) to $15 (Pro), with options within these for sites with or without ecommerce functionality (ranging from $1 to $25 a month).
There is no free plan, although a paid one-month trial is available. IONOS also offers three plans offering design advice and consultation, ranging from $40 to $70 a month.
Read our full IONOS MyWebsite website builder review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Starter||Plus||Pro|
|Cost per month||$5||$1||$15|
|Store builder||✔ (with ecommerce)||✔ (with ecommerce)||✔ (with ecommerce)|
|Number of templates||400+||400+||400+|
Zoho is famous for its all-in-one productivity suite, and its Zoho Sites builder offers efficiency and power via 190 templates, alongside a code editor for those with the ability to make changes behind the scenes.
The interface is surprisingly user- and beginner-friendly, and we noted many in-house add-ons for marketing and customer management that are ideal for businesses. There are a few downsides, especially with compatibility, as there isn't a lot of support for third-party applications. Thankfully, Zoho’s apps plug many of these holes with equally-good alternatives.
While there’s no forever-free plan, both paid plans are reasonably priced, with scope for scaling via paid add-ons as your site expands. Starter ($5 per site a month) has restrictions on storage, bandwidth, and maximum file size, as well as the number of pages you can have, but it's sufficient for a simple site.
Pro ($17 per site a month) has much higher limits, alongside additional tools like built-in newsletter subscriptions and blog scheduling. In terms of paid add-ons, you can add more pages ($50 a year), contributors ($20 a year), and a portal for 1,000 members ($50 a year).
You can also take advantage of the entire Zoho suite, including project management and database creation software.
Read our full Zoho Sites review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Starter||Pro|
|Cost per month||$5||$17|
|Customer support||24/7 (with extra payment)||24/7 (with extra payment)|
|Number of templates||190+||190+|
HostGator is a popular web host, and its Gator Website Builder uses a drag-and-drop interface to generate simple, mobile-friendly sites. We found that you can easily combine columns, text boxes, images, videos, and other simple elements.
There are more than 200 templates, with each one completely customizable and allowing for endless personalization. There’s a built-in library of stock photos included, plus a series of video tutorials if you need a step-by-step guide.
It offers four plans ranging from $4.95 to $19.95 a month. Premium customer support via phone and chat comes with hosting plans, while free analytics are available, which will be particularly useful for smaller businesses.
Advanced users may find the lack of specialized tools irritating, however. There are no dedicated email marketing tools, and blogging is relatively basic. Ultimately, Gator Website Builder is a good choice for small, but not bigger, businesses.
Read our full HostGator review.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Website||Website + Marketing||Online Store||Online Marketplaces|
|Cost per month||$4.95||$7.95||$13.95||$19.95|
|Number of templates||200+||200+||200+||200+|
|Website builder||Lowest pricing plan||Storage||Bandwidth|
|Wix||$16 a month||3GB||2GB|
|Editor X||$22 a month||10GB||Unlimited|
|Bluehost||$2.75 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Squarespace||$16 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|GoDaddy||$9.99 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Shopify||$29 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Weebly||$10 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|IONOS MyWebsite||$1 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Zoho Sites||$5 a month||500MB||10GB|
|HostGator||$4.95 a month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Website builders FAQs
What is a website builder?
A website builder offers end-to-end site creation, via templates, a visual editor, and extra advanced tools. They are generally extremely beginner-friendly and often provide a drag-and-drop editing interface.
No prior coding or technical experience is required, and they're a great option for creating a simple site quickly. Some offer significantly more design flexibility, and can even provide coding access for advanced editing.
How much do the best website builders cost?
With website builders, there’s no one set price. From free plans for simple sites up to professional, advanced services, most platforms charge per month. For basic sites, you can expect to pay around $5 to $20 a month, and around $30 a month for ecommerce sites.
It’s important to remember that any additional tools, plugins, and features will cost extra. Consequently, it’s worth researching what you need, what’s included, and what to budget for, and seeking to establish if you can scale up should your site needs to grow.
What's the difference between a website builder and web hosting?
Traditionally, web developers had to create code for a new site, then upload this to a web host’s servers, where it would be delivered to visitors. The same principles still apply, and many high-end sites are still built like this. However, the best website builders offer all-in-one site creation solutions that simplify things significantly, with various tools, an editor, and web hosting included.
Should I use a free website builder?
If you're wondering whether to choose a free website builder, a premium plan is best if you want to utilize ecommerce or marketing. However, a free builder will be more than good enough for simpler sites or smaller personal projects.
Wix’s free-forever plan, for example, provides access to the entire builder, so you can create a site without spending a cent. However, limitations include ads, the inability to connect a custom domain name, and restricted storage and bandwidth. If you're looking for ecommerce or marketing features, or want a professional business site, a premium plan is always best.
This is a great example of the contrast when comparing free website builders vs paid: a free builder will often be good enough for small personal projects, but business users should pay for a premium subscription, or look for the best cheap website builder deals to find a top service for less.
WordPress vs website builders: which is better?
WordPress and website builders design, create, and publish sites. Builders offer site creation, technical management, hosting, security, and a domain. You only have to worry about design and maintenance; most require no coding knowledge, and they're designed to be used by those with limited technical backgrounds.
WordPress can’t be used without a third-party hosting provider, as it's an open-source CMS. It provides more technical freedom, and effectively gives you control over every aspect, though its complexity can mean common website mistakes are made. In general, use a website builder if you’re thinking about putting together your own site.
How to choose the best website builder for you
With so many different factors to consider, choosing from the best website builders can be difficult. The learning curve is key, and most users opt for builders because CMSs are too complex or time-intensive.
We recommend considering your level of experience: some builders require a high level of technical knowledge to use properly, while others are extremely intuitive and designed specifically for beginners. Experienced users have options including WordPress, for which you'll need plugins and WordPress hosting from the best web hosting services.
Develop a clear plan of your site's look, purpose, and budget before you start. Most builders offer free trials or free plans, which makes them easy to test. Pay careful attention to tools: look for strong ecommerce support for online stores. Similarly, look for templates when building a portfolio site.
Don't compromise on quality for ease of use: the best builders have strong template collections and powerful drag-and-drop editors. After-sales support is key, as you might find it difficult to diagnose and fix issues. Most come with extensive knowledge bases and resource libraries, but live support options vary extensively. Pay careful attention before you buy: look out for good live chat and phone support, to ensure you’ll bounce back quickly.
Ultimately, consider the specific nature of your business: a small business website builder might be what you're looking for, or you may need to build an enterprise website. You can then decide which providers are best for the site you want.
How we review the best website builders
When we review website builders, we test the site editor to judge its difficulty level, so that we can notify potential users whether it's suitable for beginners or if it's designed for those with more website creation experience.
Via trial access to leading platforms, we test out each builder comprehensively and study each given service's tools and features, such as any AI tools or unique elements that might set it apart from the competition. We then trial the provider's customer service knowledge and support response times, as these factors are key to a site's successful operation and a service's suitability for customers.
A significant element of any website builder's offerings is price: we establish how a service's pricing and payment plans work because very often initial monthly costs can increase after your first term. Finally, we compare builders against one another so as to give you the best possible chance of finding the best website builder for you in a crowded market.
See our testing methodology page for further information.
Next steps with website builders and web hosting
At the end of the day, every builder is different. It's important to understand that they can be powerful and easy-to-use, and are often suited to different needs. It's important to remember that powerful and easy-to-use aren’t mutually exclusive when building a website.
We recommend that you take some time to discover the differences between web hosting, WordPress, and website builders. Learn more about what web hosting is, and how to choose a web hosting service.