You don’t need to fork out thousands of dollars to a design agency to have a standout website. The best cheap website builders allow you to do the job yourself, and it’s very easy to do for a fraction of the cost. The best of these website builders will enable you to create a site worthy of your brand without breaking the bank. In many cases, the same platforms used to create top-of-the-range sites for major companies include lower-priced plans for smaller businesses on a budget.
In this article, we run through the best affordable website builders available, and reveal the key features that will enable you to produce a professional website regardless of budget. Read on to learn which provider has the tools and functionality you need to boost your business.
- View our guide to the best website builders
Wix is a very well-known website builder, and is a great option for first-time users because it is very easy to use. You can create a site for free, but for just $4.50 per month, you can include a custom domain, 1GB bandwidth, and 500MB storage—so it’s worth paying for the service. However, it’s important to note that a more business-focused plan will cost more.
The Wix website builder provides two methods for creating a site. You can either let Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) automated builder design one for you based on your requirements, or you can go ahead and design one yourself using the platform's editor tool. There are hundreds of templates to choose from, and the platform’s drag-and-drop functionality is incredibly simple to master.
Wix sites are very flexible and easy to edit. You can quickly change designs and personalize color schemes and texts. There are countless additional apps and widgets too. One particularly nice feature is the ability to edit the mobile view independently from the main website editor using Wix’s Mobile Editor.
In total, Wix has over 500 pre-designed website templates, so there’s plenty of inspiration available. Read our Wix website builder review to find out more.
WordPress is so ingrained in the fabric of the internet that there is a whole branch of software development dedicated to it. WordPress is split into two parts, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a website builder with inclusive hosting, while WordPress.org is a CMS platform for more advanced web development. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be discussing WordPress.com.
WordPress.com has a free plan, but it’s very limited, and you are stuck with a WordPress.com domain name. If you want to remove WordPress branding from your domain name, you’ll need to pay for a plan.
The most basic paid plan starts at $4 per month when billed annually, and includes ad removal, a free custom domain for a year, email support, and the option to collect payments. For $8 per month on an annual billing cycle, you can opt for the Premium plan, which includes a number of premium themes as well as the ability to earn revenue from ads and host video content.
For $25 per month, you can add plugins that enable you to customize the functionality of your site. Meanwhile, a hefty $45 per month gives you full access to the WordPress.com suite, including integration with leading shipping companies.
- Read our WordPress.com website builder review
As the name suggests, HostGator is primarily a web hosting site, but it includes a rather powerful - and affordable - website builder. The Gator Website Builder is a comprehensive platform, with three payment options to suit budgets of all sizes.
The cheapest plan costs just $3.84 per month as an introductory offer. This includes access to Gator, a free domain and SSL certificate, three email campaigns per month, and an online store where you can host up to three products.
The website builder is very user-friendly. Using AI, the builder can create a site based on your initial preferences and requirements. There is also a patented LogoMaker, along with other integral features including an image library, SEO tools, and more. If you do get stuck on anything, HostGator has a range of helpful walkthrough videos and tutorials that enable you to make the most of the platform, and overcome any hurdles you might encounter.
- Read our HostGator review
As with some of the other platforms mentioned in this article, GoDaddy’s website builder starts the building process with a list of questions to determine the type of website you’d like to create. The website builder includes customizable themes, drag-and-drop functionality, mobile-responsive designs, and a range of customizable templates to get you started.
GoDaddy fully integrates your website with social media functions too. This means you can manage everything from one dashboard: a real bonus for marketing. The single dashboard also makes booking management and order tracking far simpler.
GoDaddy InSight is an AI-powered data tool that provides suggestions on how best to grow the reach of your brand online. This clever feature may be slightly too advanced for some users, but do a little digging, and you might find it a very useful tool.
You can create a website for free, but to host your site on GoDaddy basic business plans start at $14.99 per month. This is slightly more expensive than some of the other platforms we’ve reviewed, but for this price, you get a lot of extras, including email marketing mailouts to 500 customers, SEO tools, a custom domain, and 24/7 support.
Jimdo is a website builder aimed at small business owners, with industry-focused design templates that make it very quick and simple to start creating a website. Paid plans start at $9 per month, but there is a free option that includes basic features and a jimdosite.com subdomain.
Otherwise, the website builder includes a simple interface for web development, customizable smart designs, automated SEO tools, an image library, and social media integration. Jimdo is very user-friendly, and you don’t need any coding experience to create a clean, responsive website. Jimdo may be a little too basic for some users, but if you are new to website creation and want a site up and running quickly, it’s a great option.
- Read our Jimdo review
Zoho is a major internet company with multiple strings to its bow, including business intelligence and analytics tools, CRM software, and sales platforms. It also showcases a very easy-to-use website builder.
Zoho’s Starter pack costs just $4.00 per month, and includes room for a five-page website, a healthy 10GB of monthly bandwidth, 500MB of storage, and more. The website builder itself is very straightforward to operate, and you don’t need any design experience to get started.
The website builder uses a feature called Sections that enables you to add specific elements to your site. This is an interesting use of templates, and you can have multiple designs on one page depending on the look and purpose of your websites. There are also over 150 pre-made templates to choose from if you’d prefer to lower your workload.
The builder uses a drag-and-drop mechanism for ease of use. It’s fully customizable, accommodates elements such as lightbox, audio, and video, and enables you to integrate other Zoho apps. This Zoho integration is, in our opinion, a key selling point.
Zoho has a wide range of powerful tools, and to have them all in one place can provide great benefits to your business, particularly if you are already using them.
If you don’t require much content on your website and a single page will do, then Carrd is a brilliant option. This simple website builder enables you to create up to three one-page sites per account for free. However, for just $19 per year, you can upgrade to Pro and benefit from a custom domain, extra sites, analytics tools, and custom code and widgets.
As you might imagine from a one-page website builder, Carrd is very easy to use. The dashboard is intuitive and minimalistic but displays the HTML code as well if you have the experience to work with it. There may only be one page available, but the range of features is impressive. It includes responsive design templates, options for third-party widgets, audio, video, and more.
In many respects, Carrd is a niche website builder, and many users will require more than a single page to maximize their online presence. However, as the website builder is free to use and very quick to master, it’s worth logging on to the site and giving it a try. If nothing more, it could be a good option to create a landing page while your full website is under construction.
Webflow’s plans start at $12 a month when billed annually, and for this price, you get a lot for your money. The starter plan includes 50GB monthly bandwidth, a 25,000 visitor limit, 500 form submissions, and a custom domain. The website builder itself is exceptional.
Because you are using code - albeit through a simplified visualization platform, and not just manipulating templates - the resulting website can be extremely fine-tuned. Essentially with Webflow, if you imagine it you can build it. In terms of hosting your site, Webflow uses Amazon Web Services to ensure your website can scale easily and quickly.
There aren’t as many templates as you’ll find with many of its competitors’ platforms, but the Webnode website builder still has close to 100 options to choose from. The system is also a drag-and-drop mechanism, so it’s very user-friendly. There are tailor-made options for ecommerce sites too.
Webnode enables users to create and edit websites on the move using a tablet or mobile device. This could be a key selling point for users who wish to update their website regularly, but don’t have the time to sit at a desktop to do so.
It may not be a major player in the website building arena, but we would recommend this platform to users who may be complete novices in the web building space. Although it isn’t particularly feature-heavy, it is remarkably easy to use, and within a few minutes, you’ll have a decent website up and running.
Weebly is a very well-known brand and has been in the website building space for a number of years now. It is highly trusted, favored by millions of users, and over time has fine-tuned its website builder so anyone, regardless of experience, can use it.
Weebly’s price plans start at $6 per month when paid annually, and include a custom domain name, free SSL certificate (a real bonus that will encourage customers to trust your site), SEO tools, a shopping cart with unlimited items, and more.
Like many other website builders, Weebly uses drag-and-drop functions to enable users to build websites with ease, and includes some well-designed, customizable themes.
The website builder has an image editor, custom font options, video backgrounds, and site search. In addition, Weebly enables integrated social media marketing and SEO tools. This is particularly useful for those keen to build online shops, as you can track your reach amongst customers and define areas where you can grow your customer base.
- Read our Weebly website builder review
You don’t have to pay a huge amount to create a professional website. There are many platforms that enable you to make a site from scratch in a matter of minutes. Depending on your development proficiency, some enable you to create a bespoke site worthy of a design agency without the huge cost associated with web development.
There are certain things you can’t afford to miss out on when developing a site, so do your research, especially if this is your first website. The key is matching cost with quality and finding a happy balance that will give you the product you need at a price you can afford.