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Best website builder 2020: Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Hostgator

best website builder for all types of uses
(Image credit: Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash)

Using the best website builders is a fast and easy way to create a professional-looking website. Modern platforms can be used for everything from one-page portfolios to massive eCommerce stores. They typically offer hundreds of templates to make the design process easier, but you can also take the reins to build a fully custom site that stands out to visitors.

There are dozens of website builders to choose from, many of which are tailored for different types of creators and websites. In this guide, we’ll highlight the top 10 best website builders for 2020 to help you get your site up and running as quickly as possible.

Quick links to our reviews of some of the best website builders

The top 3 website builders right now

1. Wix: the best all-round choice
This is our choice for the website builder provider who can cater for all use-cases. Wix has brilliant flexibility and hundreds of templates to choose from and its drag and drop interface can be used by just about anyone with an inkling of computer literacy. Pricing is fair too.
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2. Squarespace: the one for creative businesses
Any business can use Squarespace, of course, but we found that it's particularly suitable for creative businesses, with a choice of more than 500 professionally-designed templates and lots of customisation options. The library also includes designs for eCommerce, portfolios, blogs, and company websites.
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3. Weebly: simplicity and excellent eCommerce support
If you just want a simple eCommerce website, then Weebly is the website builder for you. Its built-in tools, such as inventory management and product variants, make it quick to develop an eCommerce shop from scratch. It also offers a handful of extensions to help you deal with shipping, and email marketing.
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What makes the best website builder?

In this guide, we’ve put together a shortlist of the best website builders in 2020, including our top five choices and five other interesting options worth considering. But what are the features that make them the best? Let's take a look.

For starters, Wix is the best all-round builder available today. It comes with a powerful drag-and-drop editor with truly impressive design flexibility, while its prices are among the most competitive around. 

The Gator Builder, by HostGator, is the close to Wix in terms of overall performance. Its editor is slightly limited, but it comes with a great theme library and costs even less than Wix.

Meanwhile, both Squarespace and Weebly are known for their modern, professionally-designed templates. Weebly also comes with an impressive free plan and great blogging features. Squarespace offers a range of powerful add-ons and great niche-specific features. 

1&1 IONOS MyWebsite provides a feature-rich website building experience through its two separate editors, while Voog is great for those looking for design flexibility above all else. And finally, Jimdo is an interesting option with a powerful free plan.

The ten website builders outlined below are among the best available today. Make sure, though, that you do your own research and test at least a few options before settling on one.

The best website builders 2020

Wix best website builder for flexibility and template selection

Wix offers a highly flexible drag-and-drop editor and over 500 templates (Image credit: Wix)

1. Wix

Incredible flexibility and hundreds of templates

Total flexibility over your design
More than 500 templates
Includes AI-based site builder
Custom designs are time-consuming
Expensive paid plans

Wix stands out as one of the top website builders for creators of all types, giving you a choice of more than 500 professionally designed templates. The library includes designs for eCommerce, portfolios, blogs, company websites, and much more.

On top of that, Wix doesn’t box you into your template like other website builders do. With the drag-and-drop editor, you can move content boxes anywhere on the page—even overlapping one another. The result is that you have complete freedom to customize your site layout. Just bear in mind that a fully custom design can take quite a while in Wix since you’ll want to double-check that all your content is aligned properly.

Wix has a wide range of plan options, including a free plan. Unfortunately, if you want to use Wix for free, you’ll be stuck with ads and a .wixsite.com subdomain. Paid plans start at a pricey $13 per month for 2 GB of bandwidth and 3 GB of content storage. If you want to set up an eCommerce shop, it’ll cost you $24 per month at a minimum.

Squarespace best website builder for creative businesses

Squarespace caters to designers and creatives (Image credit: Squarespace)

2. Squarespace

Stunning templates for creative businesses

60+ modern, beautiful templates
Excellent photo blocks and galleries
Reasonable pricing
Confusing editing interface
No free plan

Squarespace has built its reputation on visually stunning templates. The website builder only has around 60 themes available, but each one is professionally designed and totally unique. Better yet, you can control a lot of the finer details about your template, such as the image padding and button sizes. Many of the templates are aimed at creatives like photographers, graphic designers, and restaurateurs.

The drag-and-drop editor that Squarespace offers can be a bit confusing at first, but it gets easier with practice. Unlike other website builders, Squarespace doesn’t offer much direction when you first start out. The library of content items isn’t huge, but you’ll find that blocks for photos in particular are meant to stand out.

Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial, but after that you’ll have to sign up for a paid plan for $12 per month. That comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth, plus a free domain name, so it’s actually a pretty good deal. eCommerce plans start at $26 per month, and Squarespace recently released a suite of extensions to help website owners expand their online businesses.

Weebly best website builder for simplicity and ecommerce

Weebly offers an intuitive editor to make site design easier (Image credit: Weebly)

3. Weebly

Simple web design and excellent eCommerce support

Very easy design process
Hundreds of templates
Excellent eCommerce support
Not much design flexibility
Templates don’t stand out

Weebly is perhaps the best website builder for those who want a professional-looking site without spending hours on design. The platform only enables you to place content blocks in a grid, which makes the process of arranging content on your pages fast and easy. On top of that, the selection of content blocks is wide without being overwhelming.

This website builder is great for standard websites, but Weebly really excels if you’re building an online store. The platform has a number of built-in tools, such as inventory management and product variants that make it quick to develop an eCommerce shop from scratch. It also offers a handful of extensions to help you deal with shipping, email marketing, and more.

Weebly offers a free plan with 500 MB of storage, ads, and a .weebly.com subdomain. A $6 per month Personal plan enables you to connect your own domain, but note that upgrading your storage requires a Professional plan for $12 per month. eCommerce options start at $26 per month.

Weebly best website builder with built in appointments

GoDaddy Website Builder offers appointment bookings and integrated marketing (Image credit: GoDaddy)

4. GoDaddy Website Builder

Book appointments right from your website

Inexpensive plans
Book appointments on your website
Simple design process
Only 25 templates
Very restrictive design editor

Popular web host GoDaddy has its own website builder that compares very favorably to some of the more established options. To start, it’s fairly inexpensive. You can conduct eCommerce using PayPal with a Basic plan for just $10 per month. A complete Ecommerce plan costs just $25 per month and comes with a built-in email marketing service.

One thing that stands out about GoDaddy Website Builder is that it includes an appointments booking module. You can schedule individual or group appointments, or set up recurring classes. Even better, your website can help you cut down on missed appointments by enabling you to send SMS and email reminders to clients.

This platform only comes with 25 templates. They look nice, but they’re relatively basic compared to what platforms like Squarespace and Wix offer. GoDaddy Website Builder’s drag-and-drop editor is also relatively restrictive as there aren’t a ton of content elements and you can only place items in a grid layout.

Hostgator best website builder for people on a budget

HostGator offers extremely inexpensive pricing for building a website (Image credit: HostGator)

5. HostGator Website Builder

Website design on a budget

Very inexpensive plans
24/7 customer support
Intuitive drag-and-drop editor
Many templates are outdated
No marketing tools

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get your website off the ground, check out HostGator. This web host offers a site builder that starts at just $3.84 per month for your first year. That includes hosting and a domain name, plus unlimited storage and bandwidth. If you want to take payments, an eCommerce plan with HostGator costs just $9.22 per month.

For the price, you get a surprising number of features with HostGator Website Builder. The platform includes several hundred templates and a drag-and-drop editor that offers a high level of control over your website.

However, don’t expect many of the top-notch features you would see with more expensive builders. HostGator Website Builder has extremely limited support for blogs and most of the templates look outdated. eCommerce plans don’t include any marketing or booking tools, so you’ll likely have to spend extra on another service to draw customers to your site.

Format best website builder for photographers

Format is a website builder for photographers (Image credit: Format)

6. Format

Website design for photographers

Tools built for photographers
Easily create private client galleries
Beautiful images and galleries
Plans limited by number of images
Not all templates included for free

Format is a website builder built for photographers, by photographers. The platform focuses much of its firepower on stunning image elements and galleries that show off your work to prospective clients. Helpfully, Format also makes it easy to set up private galleries with unlimited storage so you can deliver images to clients.

The website builder comes with more than 60 themes, although you’ll need to upgrade your plan to get access to all of them. The design editor gives you a fair amount of control over how these themes display your content, although you’re always limited to a grid layout with Format. The drag-and-drop tools are intuitive, which makes Format a somewhat simpler alternative to Squarespace.

Format plans start at $12 per month for up to 1,500 images and three eCommerce products. You can upgrade to unlimited images and 60 products for $18 per month.

IONOS best website builder with tools for experts

1&1 IONOS MyWebsite offers tools for beginners and experts alike (Image credit: 1&1 IONS)

7. 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite

Simple website design for everyone

Two website design options
Hundreds of modern templates
24/7 support
eCommerce plan is expensive

MyWebsite from 1&1 IONOS hits the sweet spot for novice and expert website designers alike. That’s thanks to the fact that there are two different ways to create a new site with this platform. With MyWebsite Now, you can customize a template to fit your brand and then just adjust minor details like fonts and color palettes. With MyWebsite Creator, you can take full control of your site design by dragging and dropping content elements across pages. 

Another nice thing about 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite is that it comes with hundreds of modern templates. There are options for a wide range of websites, including templates for portfolios and eCommerce shops. 

This platform is inexpensive if you don’t need an online store. Both Now and Creator cost just $5 per month and include a free domain name for life. Better yet, the first month is free for either plan. An eCommerce plan costs $20 per month, and at that price we think there are better alternatives available.

IM best website builder for students and artists

IM Creator offers a free plan for students and artists (Image credit: IM Creator)

8. IM Creator

Free website builder for students and artists

Highly customizable designs
Free for students and artists
White-label plan option
Confusing to get started with
Limited number of templates

IM Creator is a highly customizable drag-and-drop website builder with more than 60 templates. The platform can be somewhat confusing to use, as the editor offers a lot of features with little direction. However, if you’re willing to play around with it for a few hours, it offers quite a bit of control over your site design.

One of the nice things about IM Creator is that it includes a lot of options for customization. You can dive into all of the code for your template and content elements, for example. Or you can dive into the template editor to change details as miniscule as the padding around your pages and images.

IM Creator offers a free plan for students and artists that includes eCommerce, which is very attractive if you qualify. But even if you don’t, an unlimited Premium plan costs just $8 per month. It’s worth noting that IM Creator also offers a white-label option for professional website designers and marketing firms for just $350 per year.

wordpress best website builder for blogging

WordPress.com is an excellent choice for blogging and small personal sites (Image credit: Wordpress)

9. Wordpress.com

Website design for bloggers

Inexpensive starter plans
Excellent blogging tools
Simple website design
Very expensive for eCommerce
Limited storage space

WordPress.com adds a website builder to the popular WordPress content management system. This allows you to sidestep a lot of the complexity of creating a WordPress website from scratch, although WordPress.com charges a premium for its service.

This website builder can be used for a wide range of websites, but it’s best suited for blogs, portfolios, and landing pages. WordPress.com has one of the most intuitive blogging interfaces we’ve seen. It resembles Microsoft Word and offers the ability to easily add photos, videos, and other content into your posts. You can also easily monetize your blog and keep track of visitor stats. 

Unfortunately, WordPress.com is prohibitively expensive for most businesses. You’ll need a Business plan for $25 per month to add WordPress plugins to your website or an eCommerce plan for $40 per month to sell products. A basic Personal plan, by contrast, starts at just $4 per month.

Read our full Wordpress.com review.

Bandzoogle best website builder for musicians and bands

Bandzoogle is a website builder designed for musicians (Image credit: Bandzoogle)

10. Bandzoogle

Build a website for your band

Designed for musicians
Sell tickets, albums, and merchandise
Reasonable pricing
Limited design flexibility

Bandzoogle recognized that most website builders don’t cater to musicians and jumped in to fill the niche. The platform offers a high-quality music streaming module that enables visitors to easily play tracks from your website. You can also sell individual tracks or entire albums for download and connect your website to SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

Bandzoogle also recognizes that running a band requires more than just selling tracks. You can offer physical merchandise like shirts and hats, as well as tickets to upcoming events. Most templates have an events page built in, which makes it easy to share updates about your touring schedule.

This website builder isn’t cheap, but it doesn't gouge bands, either. A Lite plan costs $8.29 per month and enables you to host up to 10 tracks. The Standard plan, for $12.46 per month, bumps you up to 100 tracks and offers merchandise sales. To sell tickets or take album pre-orders, you’ll need a Pro plan for $16.63 per month.

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