Website builders aren’t anything new, but modern platforms come with powerful features like responsive templates and drag-and-drop editors. Choosing the best website builder will help you create everything from a one-page site to a large eCommerce store, even if you have no web development experience.
No matter what sort of business you run, you need a website. The modern world is centered around digital technology and mobile devices, which means you need to be accessible online if you really want to succeed.
Using a modern website builder is a great way to get online fast, and they tend to be quite beginner-friendly. And the best thing about them? They come with everything you need, including integrated email sign-up forms, domain registration portals, and so much more.
Although most of the best website builders cost a small monthly fee, there are a few free options available. Note, though, that these are usually quite limited and tend to be suited to simple personal sites.
Along with this, there are numerous specialized options targeted at artists, musicians, and others who want to showcase their work online.
In the rest of this article, we’ve looked at some of the best website builders available today. Some of these are suited to advanced users who want to customize every aspect of their site, while others are targeted to those who want to get online fast.
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What are the best website builders?
In this guide, we’ve put together a short list of the best website builders in 2020, including our top five choices and two interesting options worth considering. For starters, Wix is clearly 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 closest competitor 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 seven 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 builder you can buy today
Powerful editor with great design flexibility.
Wix is, without a doubt, the best all-round website builder on the market. It includes an impressive drag-and-drop website builder, very powerful features, and a range of great integrations.
And what’s more, Wix comes with a free forever plan that enables you to create a basic website without paying a cent. However, if you use the free plan, you will have to put up with platform advertising, a Wix subdomain, and only 500 MB of storage.
Upgrading to a Combo plan for $13 per month will give you access to 2 GB of bandwidth, 3 GB of storage, and a free domain for the first year. An Unlimited plan ($17 per month) adds unlimited bandwidth and 10 GB of storage, while the Pro and VIP plans include more advanced features respectively.
Those who want to sell online will need to sign up for an eCommerce plan, which starts at $24 per month. Two more advanced plans are available, and Wix also offers custom enterprise-level solutions.
Whatever the plan, you get access to a huge selection of more than 500 attractive templates. Designs are available for every type of website, including stores and landing pages, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a starting point.
On top of everything else, Wix’s editor actually comes in two forms. The Wix ADI builder uses powerful artificial intelligence to create custom designs that require little editing. It’s a great option for true beginners. On the other hand, the Wix Editor offers high-levels of customizability and is perfect for people who need to build a fully personalized site.
- Read our full Wix review
2. HostGator Website Builder
Simple, yet powerful
Second on our list of the best website builders is the Gator Builder, HostGator’s own native website creator. It’s one of the only builders that can compete with Wix in terms of design flexibility, and it’s very affordable as well.
Unfortunately, though, the Gator Builder doesn’t come with a free trial. Prices start at just $3.84 per month for a Starter plan, but you will have to sign up for 24 months to get this price. Paying monthly will cost $4.99 per month, and renewal prices are significantly higher.
However, this plan does include a free domain (with annual or longer subscriptions), a free SSL certificate, and unmetered storage and bandwidth. Upgrading to a Premium plan for $5.99 per month adds priority support, and eCommerce features are available from $9.22 per month
In addition, each of the Gator Builder’s plans is backed by its powerful editor. It’s simple, intuitive, and yet allows pixel-perfect customization. You can edit everything from simple text elements to the positioning of logos and buttons with ease.
However, there are missing features you should be aware of. For example, blogging tools are extremely limited, which can make things difficult. In addition, only Facebook comments are supported. Overall, though, these limitations are minor, and the Gator Builder remains an excellent choice.
- Read our full HostGator review
Popular builder backed by professional website templates
Weebly is another of the best website builders of 2020 and is known for its professional design templates and beginner-friendly editing interface. Like Wix, it offers a free plan which comes with platform advertising, a branded subdomain, and just 500 MB of storage.
Purchasing a premium Weebly subscription is a little expensive, with prices starting from $6.00 per month for a Personal plan. This includes the same features as the free plan, but allows the connection of a custom domain.
Platform advertising can be removed by purchasing a Professional plan for $12.00 per month. This also comes with a free domain, unlimited storage, and an integrated shipping calculator. Finally, the Performance plan ($26 per month) includes powerful eCommerce tools and the ability to accept PayPal payments.
Meanwhile, the Weebly editor is among the best we’ve used. It’s beginner friendly, very easy to get started with, and comes with a full suite of editing tools. Unlike the first two options on this list, Weebly supports pre-coded element positions, which means you can only drag different blocks to specific positions. This simplifies the entire website creation process for those without advanced design skills.
When the impressive selection of professionally designed templates is taken into account, it should be immediately obvious that Weebly is a great option for beginners and those in need of a powerful solution alike.
- Read our full Weebly review
Impressive suite of native integrations
Like Weebly, Squarespace is known for its modern, professionally-designed website templates. It’s one of the oldest website builders available, and it comes with a great selection of integrated tools for niche sites.
The Squarespace website builder can be tested with a 14-day obligation-free trial. Following this, paid plans start from $12 per month. This may seem a little expensive at first glance, but it includes a free domain, free SSL certificate, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and a selection of Squarespace extensions.
A Business plan costs $18 per month and includes a range of premium integrations and simple eCommerce tools. More advanced online store features are available with the Basic Commerce ($26 per month) and Advanced Commerce ($40 per month) plans.
For us, Squarespace’s most impressive offering is its template library. Although there are only around 60 themes available (compared to 500+ with Wix), every option is unique, modern, and professionally designed.
Unfortunately, though, Squarespace’s editor is slightly confusing. It’s quite minimalistic, and you will have to search for some tools. Most advanced editing features are there though, and you shouldn’t have any problems building the site you want if you’re willing to put some effort in.
5. 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite
Great option for beginners and advanced users alike
If you’re looking for a powerful drag-and-drop editor backed by a great selection of advanced features and professional templates, 1&1 IONOS could be a great choice. However, its prices certainly aren’t the best on offer.
First, note that there isn’t any free forever plan or even a free trial, although you will be protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. The two cheapest plans both start at $5 per month, although the first month only costs $1.
A Now subscription provides a quick, beginner-friendly way to build simple sites, and uses a basic visual editor. The other option, a Creator plan, includes more advanced editing tools, although its interface is much more confusing. Both options include a free lifetime domain and SSL certificate. A more advanced eCommerce plan starts at $20 per month.
Fortunately, though, 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite does have its positives. There is a great selection of mobile-friendly templates available, and both editing interfaces are feature-rich. One of the best things about this platform is that it’s simple for beginners but offers so much more for advanced users. It’s also possible to connect with a free personal consultant.
Another great feature is the ability to point an old site to your new one so you can directly import images, videos, and other media content. As you can imagine, this could save a lot of time for some.
Impressive low-level control for experienced users
Many of the website builders on this list are targeted at beginners with little to no web development experience. However, there are plenty of more experienced users out there who are looking for advanced low-level control—and that’s where Voog excels.
Now, Voog delivers the basics, and it delivers them well. For example, while it doesn’t come with a great template library or advanced media support, it does use a tidy drag-and-drop editor. There’s an impressive amount of power here, although the interface is a little clunky and a global undo button is notably absent.
Just one example of this is the power Voog gives you to customize text elements. Simply clicking on one will allow you to apply advanced formatting and, if necessary, add HTML source code. Multiple users can even collaborate on the same project, which isn’t a common feature among website builders in general.
Voog’s prices start at $8.80 per month (with annual billing). This includes 5GB of storage, a free SSL certificate, and a range of core features. The two more expensive plans come with increasingly advanced tools. And, a 30-day free trial is available so you can try before you buy.
Impressive free plan with great features
Jimdo is quite a unique website builder that tends to market itself to web development beginners. However, it comes with an impressive free plan and a selection of other interesting features that make it worthy of consideration.
The free forever plan is, of course, limited, but it comes with tools you won’t see with other free website builders. It includes platform advertising, a branded subdomain, 500 MB of storage, and basic SEO tools, but it also comes with advanced features such as the ability to create password-protected areas. Paid plans start at a rather expensive $9 per month.
Jimdo’s editor is simple and intuitive, even if it uses quite a unique design. Unfortunately, though, advanced customization features are lacking. Templates are quite limited, and the number of available widgets is lower than expected. And, like a few of the builders on this list, there’s no global undo button.
One thing worth noting is Jimdo’s great web knowledge base. It includes a range of self-help resources designed for beginners starting their website building journey. All things considered, this platform certainly has its pros and is certainly worth testing.
How to choose the best website builder for you
Choosing the best website builder doesn’t have to be difficult, but it’s worth doing some research to ensure you make the right decisions. There are numerous factors to consider, and we’ve briefly outlined some of the most important below.
First, identify what you want to use your website for. Some builders are more suited to certain uses than others. Take your experience and technical knowledge into consideration to ensure you choose an option you’re comfortable using.
On top of this, you need to pay careful attention to what each website builder offers with your budget. If you want a free plan, look for a platform that includes the features you need for free. If you’re on a larger budget, you might consider something that’s more expensive but comes with significantly more powerful tools.
Overall, it shouldn’t be too hard to choose the best website builder for you. Above all, spend some time signing up for free trials and getting familiar with different platforms. You might find that one immediately stands out above the competition.
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