When building a website, using the best website builders can simplify and speed up the process, allowing you to build a website with flexibility and customization, with ease, and in next to no time. Whatever your technical level, the top website builders cater to all needs and purposes via drag-and-drop editors.
Some specialize in visually attractive ecommerce or small business sites; others free blogs; and some even focus on photographers and musicians. However, with so many different platforms to choose from, picking just one of the best website builders can be challenging.
If you've got more web experience, you could also use the best web hosting services, or a content management system (CMS) like WordPress via a website builder plugin and WordPress hosting. For those just starting out in website design, we've also explored and discussed the best easy website builders below.
We recommend keeping key elements in mind, including your site's intended purpose; an editor's ease of use; any future scalability that might be required; and the level of customer support needed. Below, we've reviewed the best website builders in terms of their performance against these integral factors, their main features, and their pricing plans, to help you find the right service.
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 many 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
The best website builder available, Wix has hundreds of templates, a flexible editor, and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. The full website builder is included with its free package, while its fairly-priced paid plans have a 14-day money-back guarantee, an ad-free experience, and extra features.
Squarespace: the top choice for creative businesses
Any business can use Squarespace, but we found it particularly suitable for creatives. With over 500 professionally-designed templates available, alongside plenty of customization options, it provides designs for ecommerce sites, portfolios, blogs, and high-quality company websites.
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 of your site.
What are the best website builders?
Wix is our pick of 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. A fair pricing structure 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 its 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.
|Website builder||Lowest pricing plan||Storage||Bandwidth||Ecommerce features?|
|Wix||$5 a month (Connect Domain)||From 3GB||From 2GB a month||Yes|
|Squarespace||$12 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|GoDaddy||$6.99 a month (Basic)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Shopify||$29.99 a month (Basic Shopify)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Weebly||$6 a month (Personal)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|1&1 IONOS MyWebsite||$1 a month (Starter)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
|Zoho Sites||$4 a month (Starter)||500MB||10GB||Yes|
|HostGator||$3.84 a month (Express Start)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes|
The best website builders you can buy today
Wix is rightly 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. In particular, its Wix Editor stands out as arguably the most advanced available.
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 the cheapest Connect Domain plan at $5 a month, but this is limited to just 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage. The Combo plan ($14) 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) subscriptions for more server resources and additional tools. Finally, to access even more business and online store features, there are three Business and Ecommerce plans (ranging from $23 to $49 a month).
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.
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.
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.
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 Online.
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.
When it comes to pricing, there are seven plans. The free forever plan enables you to create a site and online store, but you won’t be able to connect your own domain. The cheapest Personal plan (from $6 a month) adds custom domain support and more advanced ecommerce tools, while the Professional ($12 a month) and Performance ($26 a month) plans offer even more powerful ecommerce features.
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 a month (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.
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, subscription tiers are reasonably priced, with a lot of scope for scaling via paid add-ons as your site expands.
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.
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 a month 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 and our guide on how to make a website with the HostGator website builder.
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. Most are fairly simple to use for beginners, through easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors, though not every platform is 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, their 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
Wix: an excellent free plan, including the full builder
Wix is a top choice among free website builders, with its full builder available with 500MB of storage. A sleek drag-and-drop UI makes site building intuitive, with over 500 visually-appealing templates available. Should you want to try a premium plan, with no ads or restrictions, Wix offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Weebly: a great free plan that's easy to use
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 as well as an SSL certificate, though you can't create an ecommerce site.
GoDaddy: simple site-building on a competitive free plan
GoDaddy's free plan enables you to create a simple site with a branded GoDaddy domain, and comes with a free SSL certificate too. While it has limitations, you get analytics, guidance, template library access and 24/7 customer support: for more advanced options and settings, look to its paid plans.
Site123: a top option for beginners in website building
Site123 allows site creation novices to quickly create a website or blog without needing to familiarize yourself with any details. Fully responsive sites are SEO-optimized, with royalty-free images available alongside 250MB of storage. Its paid plans add ecommerce options as well as extra additional features.
Easy website builders: Features
When looking at main features included with most easy website builders, we decided to compare four of our favorite platforms. 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 methods, Wix ADI, makes things very easy for beginners. When you begin editing, you will have access to various business-specific features. Add an online store, take bookings, or even accept donations from your fans with one of 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 actually 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.
Meanwhile, 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.
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
The performance of a website builder is one of the most important considerations for business owners who want 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 of the options excel on the ease of use front. Site123 and GoDaddy are arguably the easiest. Both are a little limited, but they 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. Here, you will 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 will be provided with a custom template that 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, and Performance subscribers get priority access.
On the other hand, Site123 offers excellent 24/7 live chat support. The 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, though 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 will be adequate enough for most simpler sites or smaller personal projects.
They have pros and cons, however. Wix’s free-forever plan, for example, allows you to access the full website builder, but has common limitations, including adverts on your site, 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. For example, Weebly’s cheapest Personal plan comes in at $6 a month. While competitively priced, it doesn’t include advanced ecommerce tools, has limited storage, and includes built-in Weebly advertising.
As a general indication of prices, Weebly’s three premium plans cost from $6 to $26 a month; Wix’s seven premium plans range from $14 to $49 a month; GoDaddy’s four premium plans cost from $9.99 to $24.99 a month; and Site123’s four premium 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 to build a functional business site. For more information, read our guide to the best cheap website builders.
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 a few hours. Read our Site123 review to learn more about this builder.
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?
Wix is the best website builder available. As well as being extremely popular, its huge template library of over 500 designs offers excellent design flexibility. New users have the choice of the Wix Editor or the Wix ADI building interfaces, providing a scale between more complex drag-and-drop customizability and an extremely straightforward, artificial intelligence-led service.
What's the best cheap website builder?
The best cheap website builder is HostGator’s Gator Builder. It offers top design flexibility, basic ecommerce tools, a great stock photo library, and a suite of helpful tutorials, starting at a very affordable $3.84 a month. Unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage are available with all plans, although a lack of specialized features limits its usefulness for larger businesses.
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 many factors to consider, choosing the best website builder can be difficult. The learning curve is key, and most 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.
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, in our view a premium plan is best to unlock ecommerce or marketing tools. However, a free builder will be more than good enough for 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, and the bottom line is that a free builder will often be good enough for small personal projects, but business users should seriously consider paying for a premium subscription.
Learn more about website builders
Make sure your site performs well with regular website audits, consider website design best practices, improve your website branding, make sure your site is GDPR compliant, and find the best free website content. Find out more about the differences between hosting, builders, and WordPress in our feature pitting web hosting vs WordPress vs website builders, and our WordPress review.