When you're planning on building a website, the best website builders are a simple, quick way to build a site. Site creation was previously reserved for developers due to its technical complexity, but with the advent of website builders, anyone can create and publish sites in just hours, regardless of experience.
Builders offer services up and down the scale, from drag-and-drop editors walking you through website design to advanced, flexible, and highly-customizable platforms. Many specialize in ecommerce or small business sites, free blogs, or even for niche site types like photographers and musicians.
With all these potential focuses, and so many services, choosing just one of the best website builders can be a challenge. Make this easier for yourself first of all by considering your technical experience: we've created a section below focused on the best easy website builders, which guides beginners to ideal services.
If you've got more extensive experience, know that you have alternatives like the best web hosting, or content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress that utilize website builder plugins and WordPress hosting separately.
Once you know your level, consider your intended purpose for the site, as well as each editor's ease of use, alongside any future scalability required, and the levels of customer service and support needed.
To help you on this journey, our reviews and examinations of the best website builders evaluate each provider on all of the above, as well as pricing and additional tools. Read on to find the best builder for your new site!
What is a website builder?
A website builder offers end-to-end site creation, via a selection of 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 if you want to create a simple site quickly. Some offer significantly more design flexibility, and can even provide coding access for advanced editing.
The top 3 best website builders right now
Wix: the best all-round choice
Our pick of the best website builders, Wix has hundreds of templates, a flexible editor, and a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface. The full builder is included with its free package, while fairly-priced plans have a 14-day money-back guarantee, an ad-free experience, and more advanced tools and features.
Squarespace: the top choice for creative businesses
Any business can use Squarespace, but we found it to be particularly suitable for creatives. With over 500 professionally-designed templates, and plenty of customization options, it's great for ecommerce sites, portfolios, blogs, and high-quality company sites.
GoDaddy: a user-friendly builder with excellent support
GoDaddy's website builder is simple and easy to use. Compatibility and improved security, alongside excellent support and powerful analytics, help maintain its position among the top builders; while its drag-and-drop interface allows for increased personalization.
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What are the best website builders?
Wix holds top place among the best website builders, thanks to drag-and-drop customization, artificial intelligence design technology, the largest template library available, a built-in image editor, and third-party app integration. Fair pricing provides excellent options, including free domain registration, advertising credit, and a 14-day money-back guarantee, while a detailed free plan only broadens its appeal.
Squarespace's highly intuitive editor and responsive, excellently-designed templates justify higher prices, while GoDaddy's in-house optimized creator is user-friendly, and comes packed with analytics, strong support, and a library of own-brand apps.
Shopify and Weebly's ecommerce proficiency set a high bar for those looking for online store builders, while web hosts 1&1 IONOS' and HostGator's built-in builders are impressive. In turn, online productivity suite Zoho's competitive Sites builder is relatively new, but well worth considering thanks to its integration with said suite.
|Website builder||Lowest pricing plan||Storage||Bandwidth||Ecommerce features?|
|Wix||$14 a month (Combo)||From 3GB||From 2GB a month||✔|
|Squarespace||$12 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
|GoDaddy||$6.99 a month (Basic)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
|Shopify||$29.99 a month (Basic Shopify)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
|Weebly||$6 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
|1&1 IONOS MyWebsite||$1 a month (Starter)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
|Zoho Sites||$4 a month (Starter)||500MB||10GB||✔|
|HostGator||$3.84 a month (Express Start)||Unlimited||Unlimited||✔|
The best website builders you can buy today
Wix is regularly considered the best of the best website builders. With over 500 attractive templates, an extremely powerful editor, and various other features, it brings plenty to the table. Its Wix Editor is arguably the most advanced available, and we found it to be the best ecommerce and small business builder too.
The drag-and-drop interface enables you to place elements in pixel-perfect positions. Personalizing colors, fonts, and other content is extremely straightforward, and designs will really only be limited by imagination. You can also use the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) for a more straightforward experience.
After answering a few quick questions, Wix will select a custom template, which you can populate 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 usually require a developer, including custom forms, dynamic pages, and databases.
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.
The full website builder is included within the excellent free package, while each paid plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee. Bear in mind that the free plan's limitations include advertisements on your site and other restrictions: but it allows you to try Wix out before you pay for a subscription.
It is a little expensive, however. Pricing starts with Combo ($14), which comes with a free domain for the first year, 3GB of storage, and 2GB of bandwidth. Upgrade to Unlimited ($18 a month), Pro ($23 a month), or VIP ($39 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 $23 to $49 a month).
Read our detailed Wix review.
|Combo||Unlimited||Pro||VIP||Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Cost per month/year||$14 / $168||$18 / $216||$23 / $276||$39 / $468||$23 / $276||$27 / $324||$49 / $588|
|Number of templates||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+||800+|
Squarespace is known for extremely attractive, professionally designed templates, and although its library is quite small compared to Wix, 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. Other impressive elements include ecommerce integrations, search engine optimization tools, and an 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.
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.
|Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Cost per month/year||$16 / $144||$26 / $216||$35 / $312||$54 / $480|
|Number of templates||110+||110+||110+||110+|
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 builder boasts excellent support and powerful analytics, two must-have essentials for any growing site. 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, with 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.
The four premium plans range from $6.99 to $17.49 a month for the first year, and increase to $9.99 to $24.99 a month after. Prices are significantly higher for shorter subscriptions, but all paid 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. The more advanced plans add marketing, ecommerce, and business features.
|Cost per month/year||$14.99 / $83.88||$19.99 / $125.88||$24.99 / $167.88||$29.99 / $209.88|
|Number of templates||100||100||100||100|
Shopify is the ultimate ecommerce platform, with over one million merchants using its services across 175 countries, While you can expect ecommerce features from builders such as Wix and Weebly, these pale in comparison to Shopify's.
Its builder helps create an online store in a matter of minutes, and you can take advantage of an extensive collection of third-party apps for new features and functionality. This helps the builder stay clutter-free, while allowing you to opt for specific features your store requires. Pricing starts at a relatively expensive $29 a month, and ranges up to $299 a month across three plans.
Excellent additional elements 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's extremely safe for you and your customers.
If you’re looking to build a traditional site 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.
Read our full Shopify review.
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Cost per month/year||$29 / $313.20||$79 / $853.20||$299 / $3,229.20|
|Number of templates||70+||70+||70+|
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 extremely attractive templates and excellent ecommerce elements, the latter thanks to its acquisition by ecommerce giant Square.
Ecommerce is probably Weebly’s largest selling point, with much of its site builder 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. In the long-term, a pivot towards Square's own ecommerce store builder is seeing new customers funnelled towards it. Existing Weebly customers will still be supported with features and functionality, though.
When it comes to pricing, there are seven plans including the free-forever plan, which enables you to create a site and online store, but you can't connect your own domain. The cheapest Personal plan ($6 a month) adds custom domain support and more advanced ecommerce tools, while the Professional ($12) and Performance ($26) plans offer even more powerful ecommerce features.
|Cost per month/year||$9 / $72||$16 / $144||$29 / $312||$18 / $216||$35 / $420||$46 / $552|
|Customer support||Email and forums||24/7||24/7||24/7||24/7||24/7|
|Number of templates||50+||50+||50+||50+||50+||50+|
1&1 IONOS is one of the largest web hosting providers in Europe, hosting 20 million sites, 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're 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 different visitor demographics.
Using this builder requires absolutely no coding knowledge—the drag-and-drop editor allows you to make any changes you need. There are eight plans available across different site types: three for basic builders, ranging from $1 a month (the Starter plan) to $10 (the Pro plan), with pricing options within these for sites with or without ecommerce functionality (ranging from $1 to $25 a month).
1&1 IONOS also offers three plans that offer design advice and consultation, ranging from $30 to $60 a month, alongside MyWebsite Now and Creator, two plans that offer a website builder packaged with marketing tools. These begin for free for the first month, increasing to $17 and $23 respectively thereafter, but offer 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 factor worth considering is that some themes may not be responsive to screen size.
|Cost per month/year||$5 / $60 (basic) - $12 / $144 (ecommerce)||$10 / $120 (basic) - $20 / $240 (ecommerce)||$15 / $180 (basic) - $35 / $420 (ecommerce)|
|Store builder||✔ (with ecommerce)||✔ (with ecommerce)||✔ (with ecommerce)|
|Number of templates||400+||400+||400+|
Zoho is famous for its all-in-one productivity suite, much like Microsoft 365, and its website builder—Zoho Sites—is efficient and powerful, offering 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 are 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 two paid plans are reasonably priced, with a lot of 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 your site can have, but it's sufficient for a simple website. 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 also add more pages ($50 a year), contributors ($20 a year), and a portal for 1,000 members ($50 a year) should you need to. You can also take advantage of the entire Zoho office suite, including project management and database creation software.
There are a few downsides, especially when it comes to compatibility, however, as there isn't a lot of support for third-party applications. Thankfully, Zoho’s office applications are able to plug many of these holes with equally good alternatives.
Read our Zoho Sites review.
|Cost per month/year||$5 / $8 (per month)||$17 / $23 (per month)|
|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 help generate simple sites. 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 to $9.22 a month.
Premium customer support via phone and chat comes with hosting plans, 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.
Read our HostGator review.
|Express Start||Express Site||Express Store|
|Cost per month/year||$3.84 / $110.64||$5.99 / $147.47||$9.22 / $239.76|
|Number of templates||200+||200+||200+|
Easy website builders are the best choice for beginners
If you're a complete beginner, then you might want to choose a website builder that makes it as easy as possible to create and launch a site from scratch. Most are fairly simple to use through easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors, though not all are designed with beginners in mind, or people or businesses without the time or budgets to dedicate to site creation.
Selecting an easy website builder for you or your business requires you to consider a series of important factors. These include performance, main features, support, ease of use, and pricing plans available should you need more advanced tools. In this section, we discuss leading easy website builders, measuring each against these key factors to help you make the right choice for your level of experience.
The best easy website builders available right now
Wix: the best website builder, with easy editing
Wix is our pick of the best website builders, with a sleek drag-and-drop UI that makes site building intuitive, with over 500 visually-appealing templates. A free plan offers the full builder alongside 500MB of storage, while premium plans have no ads or restrictions, top tools, and come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Weebly: straightforward, easy-to-use builder
Weebly offers a straightforward builder for creating quality sites in just a few hours. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and readymade templates, its free plan requires no payment details for sign-up, and comes with 500MB of storage plus an SSL certificate, though ecommerce sites can only be made via paid plans.
GoDaddy: simple site-building and competitive plans
GoDaddy offers analytics, guidance, template library access and 24/7 customer support alongside its simple site builder. Its free plan enables you to create a site with a branded GoDaddy domain, and comes with a free SSL certificate too. For more advanced options and settings, look to its range of paid plans.
Site123: a top option for beginners in site creation
Site123 allows website building novices to quickly create a site or blog without needing to familiarize yourself with details. Fully responsive sites are SEO-optimized, with royalty-free images available alongside 250MB of storage on its free plan. Paid plans add ecommerce options, plus extra additional features.
Easy website builders: Features
When looking at main features included with most easy website builders, we decided to compare our four favorite platforms above. All come with drag-and-drop editing interfaces, decent template libraries, and a range of website SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing tools.
Wix is arguably the most powerful builder on the market, and one of its site-building tools, Wix ADI, makes things very easy for beginners. When you begin editing, you'll have access to various business-specific features. Add an online store, take bookings, or even accept donations from fans with a suite of add-ons.
Weebly has what we like to call an “idiot-proof” editing interface: its templates are so attractive and well-designed that you'll have to try hard to build a site that doesn’t look good. It's also known for powerful ecommerce tools, designed to help even the most inexperienced site creators build their own online store. The built-in analytics platform and detailed documentation are also excellent.
GoDaddy is arguably the easiest builder we’ve ever used, but its features are a little limited. For example, its template library is very small, and the designs are far from the best. Similarly, while it has tools to create an online store, these are very much on the basic side. However, its ease of use is unparalleled.
Finally, Site123 is right up there alongside GoDaddy as one of the easiest builders available. However, it offers slightly more powerful tools, including an advanced SEO package, business-specific templates, and a mobile-first design.
At the end of the day, every website builder is different. The important things to understand are that a builder can be both powerful and easy to use, and that different platforms will be better suited to different businesses’ needs.
Easy website builders: Performance
Website builder performance is one of the most important considerations for business owners wanting to create their own site. Some require a high level of technical knowledge to use properly, while others are extremely intuitive and designed specifically for beginners.
All four options excel on ease of use. Site123 and GoDaddy are arguably the easiest. Both are a little limited, but are perfect for businesses and owners who just want to get a simple site online as fast as possible.
Wix is a little more complicated, but the Wix ADI tool is definitely a great option for beginners. You'll be guided through a short questionnaire asking about your goals, what sort of site you want, and what design features you want to be included. Then, you'll be provided with a custom template you can customize through the intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
Weebly is slightly more complex than Site123 or GoDaddy, but its advanced editing features and great ecommerce tools make it a great option for beginners nonetheless. Creating your site may take you a little longer, but ongoing management is extremely easy due to the attractive web dashboard.
Easy website builders: Support
Ultimately, the customer service you get will largely depend on the website builder you decide to use. Most come with extensive knowledge bases and resource libraries, but live support options can vary extensively.
For example, Weebly’s support is limited to email and live chat during US business hours. However, users with a high-end Performance or Professional plan will have access to direct phone support, while Performance subscribers get priority access.
On the other hand, Site123 offers excellent 24/7 live chat support. Its customer service agents are friendly and responsive, and we’ve never had anything other than a positive experience when dealing with them. The key point here is that you should pay careful attention to customer service options before committing.
Easy website builders: Pricing and plans
As with everything else, prices tend to vary significantly between different website builders.
Wix, Weebly, Site123, and GoDaddy offer free website builders: other platforms only have paid options. Free trials are available from builders who don't offer free plans though, so you can try before buying, and it's clear these are adequate enough for most simpler sites or smaller personal projects.
They have pros and cons, however. Wix’s free-forever plan allows you to access the full website builder, but has common limitations, including adverts, 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.
One very important thing to note is that cheap plans are often much more limited than higher-end options. While Weebly’s Personal plan is $6 a month, it doesn’t include advanced ecommerce tools, has limited storage, and includes built-in advertising. We've previously mentioned pricing for Wix, GoDaddy, and Weebly; Site123’s four paid plans cost between $12.80 and $34.80 a month.
Remember, though, that the cheapest option won’t necessarily be the best, especially if you’re planning a functional business site.
Easy website builders: Which is best?
The take-home message here is that powerful and easy to use aren’t mutually exclusive when building a website.
Some of the world’s most popular builders, such as Weebly and Wix, are also among the best for beginners. Other popular options, such as Site123 and GoDaddy, are designed specifically to be easy to use: neither offers extremely powerful features or advanced editing tools, but provide the opportunity to create a new site in just hours. Read our Site123 review to learn more.
All things considered, there’s absolutely no way to label any one website builder as the best for beginners. There are numerous options available that are easy to use, and every business has different requirements.
The bottom line here is that you should do your research: don’t be afraid to sign up for a free trial, build a website for free and test different platforms, and take some time choosing the best easy website builder for your site.
Website builders FAQs
Which online website builder is best? What's the best cheap website builder?
Wix is the best website builder available, and the best cheap website builder. It's extremely popular, and its huge template library of over 500 designs offers excellent design flexibility. New users have the choice of the Wix Editor or ADI interfaces, providing a scale between more complex drag-and-drop customizability and an extremely straightforward, artificial intelligence-led service.
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.
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, with most requiring no coding knowledge, and they're designed to be used by those with limited technical knowledge.
WordPress can’t be used without a third-party hosting provider, as it's an open-source CMS. It provides more technical freedom though, and effectively gives you control over every aspect, though its complexity can mean common mistakes are made. In general, use a website builder if you’re thinking about putting together your own site.
How to choose and buy the best website builder for you
With so many different factors to consider, choosing the best website builder can be difficult. The learning curve is key here, and most users opt for builders because CMSs are too complex or time-intensive. We recommend developing a clear plan of your site's look, purpose, and budget before you get started.
Most builders offer free trials or free plans, which makes it easy to test them. Pay careful attention to tools: look for strong ecommerce support for an online store. Similarly, a portfolio site means paying attention to templates.
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 non-technical users might find it difficult to diagnose and fix issues. 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 an enterprise website. You can then decide which providers are the best website builders for the site you want.
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 and trialling support response times. We also establish how pricing works out, as initial monthly costs can increase after your first term, and test builders against one another to better compare them in this crowded marketplace.
Should I use a free website builder?
If you're wondering how much it costs to build a website, or whether to choose a free website builder, it's our opinion that a premium plan is best if you want to utilize and use ecommerce or marketing tools. However, a free website builder will be more than good enough for constructing most simpler sites.
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, the inability to connect a custom domain name, and restricted storage and bandwidth.
This is a great example of the contrast when it comes to free website builders vs paid: a free builder will often be good enough for small personal projects, but business users should seriously consider paying for a premium subscription, or look for the best cheap website builder deals to find a top service for less.
Next steps when choosing website builders and hosting
Take some time to discover the differences between web hosting, WordPress, and website builders, to find out their distinctive elements and establish which you'd need. If you're considering WordPress, it's worth taking a look at our WordPress review to learn more about the leading content management system.
Take some time to understand what web hosting is, and look into how to choose a web hosting service if you need one. We've got a range of guides covering the best web hosting and the multiple other hosting types available.