Best Website Builder for Small Businesses in 2021
These days, you know how critical it is to create a website and put your business online. Not only is having a web presence crucial for selling your products, but it also helps you market your business to new customers and grow your brand.
When there are so many types of platforms for building a website, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Our team of experts took a deep dive into the marketplace to find the top website builder for your needs.
Here are the best website builders for small businesses:
Powerful business management suite for all business types.
Businesses on a budget can get started using Wix’s free plan. You can also choose from a variety of paid plans, including $14/month for a Combo plan, $18/month for an Unlimited plan, $23/month for a Business Basic plan, and $27/month for a Business Unlimited plan. Take a look at this article for more information on how much it costs to build a website.
Wix stands out because it combines a full suite of business management tools with highly customizable, designer-built templates. The company is constantly launching new features, such as online scheduling tools and online ordering for restaurants, that are tailored to professional users.
For those selling goods online, Wix’s eCommerce website builder is a robust solution for managing and growing your business. This lets you list and sell your products, as well as accept online payments through your website.
On top of that, Wix comes with a suite of professional grade marketing tools that are designed to help small businesses grow. Among these are a live chat feature that allows for instant communication with customers, signup and subscription forms, and an integrated email marketing platform.
Wix also has a particularly extensive App Market that includes add-on tools for managing your customers and increasing website traffic, such as an events calendar and forum. To further draw in customers, Wix’s advanced SEO features ensure your site gets found by your target audience.
From a visual standpoint, Wix’s customizable templates let you tailor your website to match the look and feel of your brand. Unlike other website editors, Wix offers unstructured editing, meaning that it doesn’t limit you to a predesigned grid. This lets you drag and drop elements anywhere you want on the page.
Those new to web design can take advantage of the platform’s artificial intelligence tool, Wix ADI, to get a site up and running in a matter of minutes. For users with more advanced design experience, there are options to fully customize and even code your own site.
Additional noteworthy features include a powerful blogging platform, automatic optimization for mobile viewing and the ability to create a multilingual site.
Users who want to create websites with complex navigation structures may find it challenging to do so on this platform. This includes sites that require a large database, such as job boards and real estate listings.
Not to toot our own horn, but Wix is the best website builder for professionals. If you want a small business website that’s beautifully designed and integrated with all-in-one business management tools, start here.
Ease of use.
The most basic version of Weebly is free, while pricing plans include a $6/month Personal plan, $12/month Professional plan and a $26/month Performance plan.
Weebly's website builder is best known for its intuitive and easy-to-use interface. The platform is complete with stylish themes for a trendy, professional look. It also offers extra features such as online stores and membership areas that are suitable for small business owners.
In addition, the content management system supports large websites of 150 pages or more. Its paid plans offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, giving users a high degree of freedom when it comes to expanding their website.
The Professional package also boasts a large set of advantages, including a site search feature, video player and audio player.
Weebly’s App Center is smaller than the Wix App Market, with relatively few options. On top of that, some users find its new editor, the Square editor, to be significantly less flexible than the old Weebly editor. For example, you can only add full sections, not individual elements, to a web page. Individual elements must then be toggled on or off within a section.
Weebly is a strong choice for business owners looking for a straightforward website builder that makes it easy to build a website from scratch.
Powerful blogging platform.
Squarespace’s pricing plans include a $12/month Personal plan, $18/month Business plan, $26/month Basic Commerce plan and $40/month Advanced Commerce plan.
Squarespace's sophisticated blogging platform makes it one of the best website builders. This tool is especially useful if your products revolve heavily around a blog, or if blogging is your primary way to reach new customers.
Squarespace has strong visual appeal, too, with beautiful templates available to both personal and professional users. You can add different types of image galleries for displaying your product or service, and all of them are compatible with smartphones and tablets.
Additionally, the excellent customer support ensures that you’re in good hands if you run into any challenges.
Squarespace is not the most intuitive drag-and-drop website builder, so beginners may find it difficult. It also has fewer options for third-party integrations compared to other website builders.
In addition, the page speed (an important part of SEO) tends to be slow, and the platform lacks a backup and restore feature.
Squarespace is a good choice for businesses seeking a powerful blog platform accompanied by sleek, attractive design.
Design flexibility and control.
Webflow’s pricing plans include a $12/month Basic plan, $16/month CMS plan, and $36/month Business plan.
Webflow’s many customization options give designers a high degree of control, without requiring any coding background. One of its unique features is that you can build and reuse custom templates with the integrated CMS and editor, saving you time and effort.
Another advantage is its strong customer support and the extensive base of online resources. These include online courses and video tutorials through Webflow University.
As a website builder whose chief advantage is design flexibility, Webflow requires a lot of hands-on work that may be challenging for those unfamiliar with web design. Adding features such as a blog or online store is fairly labor-intensive.
In addition, Webflow lacks an app store and doesn’t come with many widgets. If you want additional features for your website, the price can add up fast.
Webflow is a good choice for a design-heavy site, but there is a steep learning curve.
Simplified version of WordPress.
WordPress.com offers several pricing plans. These include Free, $4/month Personal, $8/month Premium, $25/month Business, and $45/month eCommerce plans.
WordPress.com is a website builder that makes use of the WordPress software but packages it in a beginner-friendly way. The platform comes with web hosting, pre-installed plugins and a selection of pre-designed themes. In addition, users have the option to install third-party plugins that enable them to enhance their site.
A main advantage of this website builder are its strong blogging features and eCommerce capabilities. In addition, the company has good customer support that tends to be quick to respond to user needs.
While Wordpress.com tries to be beginner-friendly, the backend is still relatively complex. For example, you still need to enter WP Admin, which has a confusing interface for those who are not already experienced with the WordPress software. In addition, each plan has many limitations and restrictions on which themes or plugins can be installed.
Relatedly, there is no drag-and-drop visual editor. Instead, the WordPress.com editor is form-based, meaning that it separates the content of the pages from the design. As a result, you can’t design your pages within the overall context of your site.
While WordPress.com comes with some business management tools, the lack of a visual editor is a big downside. Take a look at this guide for more information about choosing Wix vs Wordpress.
Multilingual website creation.
Duda’s pricing plans include $14/month Basic, $22/month Team and $44/month Agency options.
Duda's website builder software makes it easy to create multilingual websites, which makes it a strong choice for international audiences. In addition, it lets you display dynamic personalized content to your visitors. These Website Personalization Tools can show different content to visitors depending on factors like their geographic location or time of day.
Another advantage of Duda is its backup and restore feature. On top of that, it comes with many widgets and templates to customize your site.
Many users may find the interface confusing, with small, hidden menus that sometimes feel disorganized or overwhelming. For professionals, Duda can be quite expensive compared to other website builders.
Duda may be a good option for agencies with a heavy focus on website design, but small business owners may find it overly complex.
Quick and uncomplicated website creation.
Webnode’s pricing plans include a Free plan, $3.90/month Limited plan, $7.50/month Mini plan, $12.90/month Standard plan, and $22.90/month Profi plan.
Webnode stands out for its ease of use when it comes to creating multilingual sites. It also includes a good online form builder, enabling users to create signup forms, subscription forms and contact forms. Furthermore, Webnode sites tend to be attractive, with consistently sleek and modern template designs.
Notably, Webnode includes a free domain name for one year with a Mini, Standard, or Profi Premium plan. These plans also come with free customer email accounts that match your domain.
An additional asset of the website builder software are its strong SEO capabilities, which are essential to getting your business found online.
For many users, Webnode may come across as too simplistic. For example, there’s no way to customize web themes. While you can choose from presets, you can’t set a custom color, which can make it difficult to design an on-brand site.
There are other critical features missing from this website builder, too. The blogging platform is quite basic and there are limited eCommerce features. Additionally, the platform has no app store, so you can’t install extensions that would enhance your site.
Webnode is a decent option for creating a professional website, but it lacks certain eCommerce and business management features that would otherwise enhance your site.
Efficient web design for beginners.
Jimdo’s pricing plans include a free Play plan, a $9/month Start plan, $15/month Grow plan, and a $39/month Unlimited plan.
Jimdo offers a solid set of features. This includes good SEO capabilities, as well as basic coding features within their classic editor. In addition, all Jimdo templates are suited for both desktop and mobile devices.
Jimdo also comes with the advantage of Jimdo Dolphin, an AI tool that creates the website for you. This is a good choice for beginners or for people who want to get a website up and running fast.
Some users find that Jimdo lacks flexibility when it comes to design. Websites are composed of Blocks, which are pre-designed groupings of elements. As a result, editing these Blocks can feel limited. You can hide elements within a block, but the content is predefined.
Its business management tools are also limited. There are very few features for creating an online store, and there is no marketplace for apps.
While Jimdo's website builder covers the basics, it lacks deep customizability, and its features could be more robust.
Straightforward website creation.
GoDaddy’s pricing plans include a Free plan as well as several paid plans. Options include Basic for $9.99, Standard for $14.99, Premium for $19.99, and eCommerce for $24.99.
GoDaddy is perhaps best known for domain hosting, but it also offers a basic, no-frills website builder. Its editor is easy to use, even from your mobile device.
On top of that, it offers many useful add-on business features. These include an email marketing tool and appointment scheduler. Most of these add-ons are free.
GoDaddy’s templates aren’t as beautiful or stylish as on other website builders. There are also limited customization options. For example, you can’t add individual elements to pages. Instead, you can only add pre-designed sections and then toggle individual elements on and off. Likewise, font sizes and colors cannot be changed from the original template.
Other downsides include limited SEO capabilities and no app store. There is also limited support for websites built on earlier versions of the builder.
Great for one-page websites.
Carrd’s pricing plans include a Free plan, as well as $9/year Pro Lite, $19/year Pro Standard, and $49/year Pro Plus plans.
Carrd is only for creating one-page websites. While this may sound limiting, one-page websites have become trendy and many businesses find them practical. Plus, Carrd is cheaper than other website builders.
Because the platform is designed with one-page websites in mind, its features and templates are well-suited to that specific purpose.
Carrd has no eCommerce feature in its website builder, meaning that you won’t be able to have an online store on your website. In addition, one-page websites aren’t the best choice for those seeking to include more detailed information on their site.
Carrd offers an attractive and easy-to-use website builder software, but you’ll only want to use it if you can truly benefit from a one-page site.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Small business and marketing expert