Best Website Builders October 2023

Building a website is easier than ever, and you don’t need to know anything about coding to put something together that’s professional, functional and visually appealing. However, finding the best website builder for your business is crucial, as different services offer different unique benefits depending on what you need and your budget.

The best website builders offer a range of functionality alongside features to help you build your website, from e-commerce and marketing tools to SEO analysis and third-party integrations. To create our list of best website builders, we’ve reviewed over 15 different providers and over 50 different plans, comparing them by cost, features, how easy they are to use, user reviews and customer support.

Why trust our small business experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of business products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 20 companies reviewed.
  • 69 products reviewed.
  • 3,121 data points analyzed.

Methodology: Why you can trust us

We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best website builders of 2023.

The best website builders has positive user reviews on customer review sites. Website builders should provide customers with fast and reliable support. Using a combination of phone support, live chat and knowledge bases, customers should be able to quickly resolve issues 24/7.

Website builders should include prebuilt, industry-specific templates and drag-and-drop tools to make building your website quick and easy. All templates should be mobile-optimized to ensure they appear correctly on desktop and mobile devices. E-commerce functionality should be offered to allow businesses to sell physical and digital goods and services online. Website builders should provide ample storage and bandwidth to customers along with free SSL certificates, domain names and backup/restoration services. Additional security features should be built into the website to keep customers’ data safe and private. And all of these basic features should be affordable compared to competitors.

All website builders should expand on this basic feature set with built-in SEO and email marketing tools. Integrations should allow you to connect social media platforms and dropshipping services. And e-commerce tools should allow you to sell subscriptions and online courses, book online appointments and accept recurring payments. Additionally, blogging features and the option to add custom code should be available on all websites.

Best website builders in 2023

Best website builder comparison

What is a website builder and when to use one?

Website builders are software or programs you can use to create your own website even without coding experience. These programs often feature pre-built templates and an intuitive interface that allows even beginner designers to build a clean and practical website.

Website builders can be useful for a range of applications, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a business looking to scale up. If you’re wondering when to use a website creation platform, we’d particularly recommend them if:

  • You’re a creative professional and you need a portfolio.
  • You want to open an online shop.
  • You want to publish a blog.
  • You want to advertise your small business.

How to choose the best e-commerce platform for your business

To find the best e-commerce platform for your business, consider its ease of use, security features, hosting capabilities, scalability, functionality, appearance and user experience. 

Here’s what to look for in a website builder:

Ease of use

While you won’t need to have any real knowledge of coding languages like HTML or Javascript with most platforms, not all offer the same straightforward experience. Some website builders like WordPress offer greater degrees of customization, but novices might find it harder to learn all the tools available. 

On the flip side, based on our testing, services like Squarespace and Weebly are among the easiest to use of all providers. They each provide an intuitive interface and dashboard to manage your e-commerce business, with scores of templates and drag-and-drop components that make building your website relatively simple.

Security features

Protecting user data and preventing fraud is paramount when running an online business. It’s estimated that e-commerce fraud losses will reach $48 billion in 2023, and around 42% of global fraud by value will occur in North America. 

Ensuring your e-commerce platform has robust security measures, password protection and PCI compliance standards implemented can help protect your business from becoming a victim of payment fraud. 

Scalability

All businesses want to grow, so it’s important to ensure your e-commerce platform is well-equipped to help you scale up when required. Keep your business’s goals in mind, and look for an e-commerce platform that can match what you need now and as you grow. As you evaluate a website builder’s scalability, consider these features: 

  • Storage: How much data you can store on your website, from images to videos and other files.
  • Bandwidth: The amount of user traffic your website can handle.
  • Uptime: How long your e-commerce platform will be online and available to users, (often given as a percentage of time online). 
  • Products and pages: How many products you can list for sale and the number of pages your website can support to market your business and its products. 
  • Plan tiers: Whether upgrading plans as you scale up will provide good value for your money by adding features like extra storage, bandwidth, user reviews and product listings.
  • Customer support: Whether customer support will always be available as your needs grow and on the channels you prefer.

Functionality

Keep in mind the size and type of business you run, and whether you’ll need certain features to be included in your website builder or e-commerce platform, such as:

  • Omnichannel marketing: Does your e-commerce platform offer support for promoting your products on your website, on social media sites and other platforms?
  • Payment processing: Can you accept and process payments on your website or e-commerce platform?
  • Inventory and shopping: Can you manage an online shop and inventory using seamless synchronization and automation tools?
  • Analytics: Will you have access to SEO tools and marketing analytics so you can make better informed business decisions based on how users interact with your website?
  • Mobile-friendliness: Will your platform adapt to mobile browsing? Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile commerce sales will account for over 43% of 2023’s total retail e-commerce sales, increasing from 42% in 2022.
  • Integrations: Can you integrate third-party apps if required to add functionality like payment processing or inventory management?

Appearance, themes and user experience

It matters how your website looks and feels for users. From visual appeal to navigability, it helps to bear your overall vision in mind when comparing website builders and e-commerce platforms. Take note of customization options, pre built templates, themes, fonts and color schemes and whether they’re freely available or behind a paywall.

How much does it cost to build a website?

The cost of hiring a web designer to build a website varies depending on their experience and expertise as well as your specific requirements. A good ballpark figure to start with is around $5,000, but remember to factor in other costs like content creation, analytics and maintenance when thinking about how much it costs to build a website.

Is it worth paying someone to build a website?

This is dependent on how confident you feel using a website builder yourself. If you’re building a website for an individual, such as a portfolio or a personal web page, it’s likely to be more cost-efficient to create it yourself using an easy website builder like Weebly or Squarespace. 

Small businesses with more of a budget to outsource such tasks and that don’t have a website designer on staff might benefit from paying a web designer. However, many website-building services make the process of creating a website simple and straightforward, so it could be worth trying it out for yourself first.

Providers like Shopify and Squarespace offer free trials in which you can have a go at creating your website to see if it’s right for you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Website builders work by giving users a simple and intuitive interface to build their website without code. They offer useful tools like drag-and-drop components, content editors and pre-made themes, templates and forms. These services then convert your website design into code and host it on their servers or a third-party hosting provider.

Many website builders also offer extra functionalities like cloud storage for pictures and videos, marketing tools like newsletters and notifications, SEO tools and analytics to give you insights into your website audience and views.

One of the biggest perks of website builders is that you don’t need to know how to code. Even so, some providers offer much simpler and straightforward tools than others. Based on our testing, the easiest website builders to use include: 

  • Wix: Our pick for small businesses, it’s a powerful, well-rounded and simple website builder.
  • Squarespace: Known for its visually stunning designs and simple drag-and-drop interface, Squarespace offers a slightly more expensive alternative.
  • Weebly: This is the most budget-friendly of our picks. Three of Weebly’s plans make it on our list for their e-commerce, creative and affordable offerings.

Professional web designers rarely use website builders. Instead, they generally have the skills and experience to code their own websites from scratch. This offers the benefit of being able to fully customize a website with fewer restrictions. It’s a complex process that requires real hands-on knowledge. As such, you might find that some web designers use website builders for smaller or quicker projects, or partially alongside their own code and components.

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