In this article, we’re going to rank some of the best website-building platforms available online for you to work with in your online money making journey.
Our criteria will be:
- Template Design
- Hosting Services
- Additional features
We’re also going to take a look at:
- Best website builders for small business owners
- SEO options
- Low cost & free options
- Best website builders for agencies
- Best for offering online store options
- Best website builders for artists and photographers
Which Website Builder is Best?
Website Builders are a great option for less “tech-savvy” users, typically offering a simple drag-and-drop building style for the common elements of your site.
If you’re looking for a fast, convenient way to get your brand or presence online, using a website-building service is probably going to be your best option. Website builders offer a wide variety of tools to help manage your site and often simplify the process by incorporating your domain registration, site design, website hosting, etc., into a single platform.
The companies listed below will provide you with lots of tools to make the process easier, faster, or even possible, and give you lots of amazing bells and whistles to make your site unique, but make no mistake…YOU build it.
These are the Top 5 website builders that I recommend (in no particular order):
Great Choice for Both Personal & Small Business Sites
Squarespace is one of my favorite website building options. One visit to their homepage and it’s clear that they really know the ins and outs of creating quality sites that are both beautiful and functional.
Squarespace offers more than 100 richly detailed template designs, offering a wide variety of color options, font styles, and images to help you create the perfect background for whatever you are offering. Bloggers will appreciate Squarespace’s intuitive WYSIWYG-style editing, as well. Simply drag and drop text, images, headings, etc., onto the page and into the position you want.
Other handy features include post scheduling, multiple user permissions, and compatibility with Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
All of that said, Squarespace is not without a few less-than-impressive limitations.
First and foremost I had some double indexing issues with the XML sitemap, as it saved two versions of each page, one with the trailing forward slash, and one without. For me, this spells potential SEO headaches or even duplicate pages down the road. This was still an issue with no easy fix when last I checked.
My second issue is that the Squarespace editor automatically uses my headlines to create my meta titles, so I always have to take extra time in making sure that my headlines are SEO-friendly.
Now, before you put Squarespace on the back burner, let’s take a look at some other great features that more than make up for these minor drawbacks.
- One of the easiest, most user-friendly website builders available
- Generous editing tools
- Built-in analytic/site visitor reporting
- Free domain name
- Free SSL
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited data storage
- 24/7 customer support
- Budget-friendly plan prices
Squarespace offers multiple monthly subscription plans, ranging from the Personal Plan at $12 per month, to their Advanced (Online Store) plan at $40 per month.
Whether you’re looking to create an eye-catching blog, a professional-looking small business website, or a feature-rich eCommerce site, Squarespace can help you do it.
Best for Small Business
Starting Price: $14/month
With more than one million users, Wix is the uncontested leader in the website builder space and offers 500+ mobile-friendly, ready-to-use templates with more than 100 available fonts for each.
Wix also allows you to upload your own custom fonts, as well.
Advanced features include:
- Animation support
- Video backgrounds
- Scroll effects
- eCommerce ($20/mo.)
For small businesses, Wix offers one of the best online store builders available.
Wix’s user-friendly website-building tools allow you to add features in almost endless combinations to create a truly unique look and feel, and all with zero coding knowledge required!
Featuring a tool called ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), Wix learns about your site as you’re building it, and uses that information to help design your site to best meet your specific needs. This AI feature can choose from billions of possible text, images, forms, and layout combinations.
Wix’s subscription pricing ranges from a bare-bones package at $14/mo, to a feature-rich VIP plan at $39/mo.
For small business websites, Wix is my builder of choice.
Excellent option for WordPress users
Starting Price: Free
4.3% of all websites are built with Elementor, and it’s easy to see why. Using an intuitive drag-and-drop platform, Elementor is a visually dynamic website builder and editor that allows users to create and tweak dazzling WordPress websites.
As a WordPress website builder, Elementor users can choose from thousands of pre-designed, fully responsive website templates. They can also leverage Elementor’s popular Hello theme. Hello is basically a blank canvas “super theme” for building endlessly customizable WordPress pages from a vast array of available WordPress widgets and editing elements.
Have a little tech experience under your belt already? With Elementor you can create your own custom code for precise control over all aspects of design and functionality.
Need Some Help?
Elementor also boasts a massive network of fellow web designers and builders, who share their knowledge, inspiration, and their favorite hacks on many social media sites.
That kind of combined knowledge and information sharing can put you on the fast track to creating your perfect site.
For hosting, user’s options include using a WordPress provider, or subscribing to Elementor
, which runs $49/yr.
Elementor’s basic plan is free, and offers mobile editing, the drag & drop editor, and the Hello theme. Single site subscription packages range from free to $49/year to the “all features included” package.
For professional web developers, multiple site subscriptions range from $99/year (3 sites) to $999/year (1000 sites).
Elementor would be my site builder of choice for anyone looking to develop a feature-rich WordPress website, without having to deal with a lot of coding.
You’ll also need to purchase your own hosting and domain. So make sure you read our article to find the best web hosting services.
Best for Ecommerce
Shopify is the eCommerce platform of choice for more than 800,000 businesses selling products online. Founded in 2004 in Canada, Shopify quickly leveraged their user-friendly dashboard and integrations into partnerships with thousands of apps, to become the online shopping powerhouse they are now.
I know that not every site owner needs an eCommerce feature, but I’m adding Shopify anyway, as it’s a great platform that nearly any small business can use to set up a website.
While not every website owner needs product-selling functionality, I added Shopify to the list because almost any small business could use them to set up their website.
Let’s say that I own a used bookstore…
Using Shopify’s site-building tools, I can quickly build a website, add a blog, an interactive location map, and all of my contact info. Of course, if I decided later that I wanted to sell online, it’s simple to upload product information, images, shipping info, etc., as that’s what Shopify is already designed for.
Other Shopify web-building features include:
- More than 70 professional themes
- Hosting services
- Use your own domain name
- Marketing and SEO features
- Free SSL certification
- Blog features
- 24/7 Support
But remember, Shopify isn’t just a website builder, it’s (primarily) an eCommerce platform, which you also have access to:
- Full purchasing and checkout features
- More than 100 payment gateways
- Automatic shipping calculator
- Automatic tax calculator
- Omnichannel selling through multiple social media platforms
If you have a product(s) to sell, or there’s a chance that you’ll want to down the road, Shopify is probably your best bet, as they’ve already done all the heavy lifting for you.
Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, no credit card required, so you can give it a “no risk” evaluation before you commit.
If you choose to sign up, the basic package is $29/mo (if you’re not planning to use the eCommerce features right away, this is probably the best place to start), to the standard serve at $79/mo. For large volume businesses requiring advanced reporting, there is also an Advanced Shopify option for $299/mo.
Best Free Website Builder
Starting Price:Free – $25/month
For the tech-challenged among us, Weebly is widely considered the “easy site builder” of choice. Powering more than a half-million domains, Weebly offers some fantastic editing features as well as customizable domain names.
Other features include:
- mobile performance tracking app
- email marketing tools
- newsletters creation and distribution
Weebly’s free plan includes a branded domain name (you can use a custom domain name, but it requires accepting Weebly branding on your site), 500 MB of storage, and free SSL certification.
The free plan includes both email and chat support, but no phone support.
eCommerce features (Business plan) include:
- Inventory management
- Shipping calculator
- Printable shipping labels
- Product variations and options
- Coupon codes
- Payments through multiple providers, including Square
Customer support availability/options are based on subscription level, but they offer a wide variety of external support also, including a blog, an online support center, a community forum, developer documentation, and a variety of social media pages.
Paid plans start at the basic package at $5/mo., up to the $25/mo. Business Plan which includes a custom domain name (no branding), advanced eCommerce features, and $200.00 in Google advertising credits.
Weebly is a great option to easily get your website up and running fast!
Summing it Up
So, there they are, my 5 favorite website building services!
I could have made the list longer (much, much longer) given the available options out there, so if I missed one of your favorites, you have my sincere apologies.
Still, whether you’re looking for a place to post your favorite recipes, or plan to become the next eCommerce giant, there’s a builder on this list that can help you get started.
And, if you’re already killin’ it online…which website builder do you like best?