Building your first website or online store can be a daunting task. There are so many things to decide. You need to pick a good domain name, a web host, a CMS software, and then you have to learn how to manage everything. This is where website builders come in ⇣. They are simple online-based tools that let you build your website or online shop within minutes without writing any code.
Although most website builders are easy to learn and feature-packed, not all of them are made equal. Before you decide which one to go with, let’s compare the best website builders on the market right now:
Best Website Builders (2021 Comparison Chart)
|Wix||Squarespace||Shopify||Webflow||Site123||Strikingly||Jimdo||Zyro||Google My Business|
|Free Domain Name||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Bandwidth||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||50 GB||5 GB||Unlimited||20 GB||Unlimited||Limited|
|Storage||10 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||3 GB||15 GB||Unlimited||Limited|
|Free SSL Certificate||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Customer Support||24/7||24/7||24/7||24/7 via Email||24/7||24/7||Within 4 hours||24/7||Limited|
|Free Trial||Free Plan||14-day Trial||14-day Trial||Free Plan||Free Plan||Free Plan||Free Plan||30-day Trial||Always Free|
|Price||From $10/mo||From $12/mo||From $29/mo||From $12/mo||From $12.80/mo||From $8/mo||From $9/mo||From $1.61/mo||Free|
1. Wix (Overall Best Website Builder in 2021)
- Free domain name for the first year.
- Sell tickets to your events directly on your website.
- Manage your hotel and restaurant orders online.
- Sell subscriptions to your content.
|Connect Domain||Combo||Unlimited||VIP||Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Free Domain For First Year||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Storage||35 GB||10 GB||3 GB||500 MB||20 GB||35 GB||50 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 GB||2 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Video Hours||Not Included||30 Minutes||1 Hour||5 Hours||5 Hours||10 Hours||Unlimited|
|Online Bookings||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Subscriptions||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
- The most popular website builder on the market
- Offers everything you need to build and manage an online store.
- Free plan lets you test the service before you buy.
- Over 800 designer-made templates to choose from.
- Built-in payment gateway lets you start taking payments right away.
- Once you pick a template, it’s difficult to change to a different one.
- If you want to accept payments, you need to start with the $17/month plan.
Wix is my favorite website builder. It is an all-in-one website builder that can help you take any business online. Whether you want to build an online store or start taking orders for your restaurant online, Wix makes it as easy as a couple of clicks.
Their simple ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) editor lets you design any kind of website you want and add features with just a couple of clicks. What makes Wix great is that it comes with special built-in features for restaurant and even-based businesses so you can make a fully professional website and start making money from day one.
The best part about Wix is that they offer a built-in payment gateway you can use to start accepting payments. With Wix, you don’t have to create a PayPal or a Stripe account just to start taking payments although you can integrate them into your website.
Designing a website can be difficult. Where do you even start? There are so many options to choose from and things to do. Wix makes it easy to get your site up and running by offering over 800 different templates you can choose from.
It also makes it easy to customize your website using its simple drag and drop editor. Want to launch a portfolio site? Just select the template, fill out the details, customize the design, and voila! Your website is live.
2. Squarespace (Runner Up Best Website Builder)
- Everything you need to launch, grow and manage an online store.
- Hundreds of award-winning templates for almost any kind of business.
- One of the easiest website editors on the market.
- Sell anything including physical products, services, digital products, and memberships.
|Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Free Domain For First Year||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Premium Integrations and Blocks||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Subscriptions||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included|
|Point of Sale||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Advanced eCommerce Analytics||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included|
- Award-winning templates that look much better than most other website builders.
- Integrations for PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and AfterPay.
- Automate your sales tax filing with TaxJar integration.
- Email Marketing and SEO Tools to grow your business.
- Free domain name for the first year.
- You can only start selling with the $18/month Business plan.
Squarespace is one of the easiest website builders. It comes with hundreds of award-winning templates you can edit and launch your website within a matter of minutes.
Their catalog has a template for almost every type of business including events, memberships, online stores, and blogs. Their platform offers many ways to make money with your website. You can sell services or products. You can even create a membership area for your audience where they can pay to get access to your premium content.
Squarespace comes with built-in email marketing tools to help you grow your business. You can send automated emails to keep your subscribers engaged, promote a new product, or send your customers discount coupons.
If you are interested in Squarespace, read my review of Squarespace which goes in-depth into the pricing. It will help you decide whether or not Squarespace is right for you.
3. Shopify (Best for creating ecommerce stores)
- The easiest eCommerce website builder.
- One of the most powerful eCommerce platforms.
- Built-in marketing tools to help you grow your business.
- Start selling offline using the Shopify POS system.
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||Included||Included||Included|
|Locations||Up to 4||Up to 5||Up to 8|
|Professional Reports||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Online Transaction Fee||2.9% + 30¢ USD||2.6% + 30¢ USD||2.4% + 30¢ USD|
|Shipping Discount||Up to 74%||Up to 74%||Up to 76%|
|24/7 Customer Support||Included||Included||Included|
- Comes with built-in email marketing tools.
- Manage everything from payments, orders, and shipping from one platform.
- Built-in payment gateway makes it easy to start taking payments.
- 24/7 customer support to help you when you get stuck.
- Manage your store wherever you go using the mobile app.
- Can be a little expensive if you are just starting out.
- Shopify’s website designer tool isn’t as advanced as other tools on this list.
Shopify lets you build scalable online stores that can handle anything from ten to hundreds of thousands of customers.
They are trusted by thousands of businesses small and large around the world. If you are serious about starting an online store, Shopify is the best choice. Their platform is highly scalable and is trusted by many big brands.
Shopify’s website editor comes with over 70 professional-made templates. Their catalog has templates for almost any kind of business. You can customize all aspects of your website design using the simple settings in Shopify’s theme editor tool.
You can even edit the CSS and HTML of your website’s theme. And if you want to build something custom, you can build your own theme using the Liquid templating language.
What separates Shopify from other website builders on this list is that it specializes in eCommerce websites and can help you build a full-fledged online store with easy inventory management ready to compete with the big-name brands of your industry.
The best part is that Shopify comes with a built-in payment gateway that makes it easy for you to start taking payments right away. Shopify lets you sell anywhere online and even offline using their POS system. If you want to start taking payments for your business offline, you can get their POS machine for an additional fee.
Before you go all-in, read my in-depth Shopify review. It reviews all Shopify features and their limitations. It will help you decide which Shopify plan is right for your business.
4. Webflow (Best for designers and professionals)
- Advanced tools that let you design your website any way you want.
- Used by professional designers at big companies such as Zendesk and Dell.
- Dozens of free designer-made templates.
|CDN Bandwidth||50 GB||200 GB||400 GB||200 GB||400 GB||400 GB|
|eCommerce Features||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Store Items||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||500||1,000||3,000|
|Custom Checkout||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Included||Included||Included|
|Custom Shopping Cart||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Included||Included||Included|
|Transaction Fee||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||2%||0%||0%|
- A huge selection of free and premium templates to choose from.
- Free plan to test the tool before you buy a premium subscription.
- Easy CMS features to easily create and manage content on your website.
- eCommerce features only available on the eCommerce plans that start at $29/month.
Webflow gives you complete freedom over the design of your website. Unlike other tools on this list, it may not be the easiest to start with but it is the most advanced.
Rather than create a design in Photoshop and convert it to HTML, you can create your website directly in Webflow with its advanced tools that give you complete web design freedom over every pixel.
Customize everything including margins and paddings of individual elements, the layout of your website, and every smallest detail.
Webflow comes with dozens of free beautiful website templates you can start editing right away. And if you can’t find something that suits your taste, you buy a premium template from the Webflow theme store. There’s a template available for every type of business.
Webflow is not limited to a website builder. It can also help you start selling online. It comes with all the eCommerce features you need. It lets you sell both digital and physical products. You can accept payments on your website using Webflow’s integrations for Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Webflow offers two different pricing tiers: Site Plans and eCommerce Plans. The former is great for anyone looking to start a blog, a personal website, or someone who isn’t interested in selling online. The latter is for people who want to start selling online.
Before you get started with Webflow, we highly recommend reading my Webflow review. It discusses the pros and cons of going with Webflow and reviews its pricing plans.
5. Site123 (Best for building multilingual websites)
- One of the simplest and easiest website builders.
- Cheapest pricing on the market.
- Dozens of templates to choose from.
|Storage||250 MB||10 GB Storage|
|Bandwidth||250 MB||5 GB Bandwidth|
|Free Domain For First Year||N/A||Included|
|Site123 Floating Tag on Your Website||Yes||Removed|
|Domain||Subdomain||Connect your domain|
- One of the cheapest website builder.
- Start selling online and manage orders from one platform.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Simple website builder that is easy to learn.
- The templates are not as good as the other website builders on this list.
- The website builder is not as good as its competitors.
Site123 is one of the cheapest website builder on this list. It lets you launch your online store for only $12.80 per month. It may not be the most advanced website editor but it is one of the easiest. It comes with a huge selection of templates to choose from.
Site123 is packed with amazing marketing tools to help you grow your business. It comes with email marketing tools to keep in touch with your customers and promote your products. It also comes with built-in mailboxes so you can create email addresses on your own domain name.
Site123’s eCommerce features let you manage your orders and inventory from one place. It also helps you manage shipping and tax rates.
6. Strikingly (Best for building one-page websites)
- One of the easiest website builders.
- Start selling online by connecting PayPal or Stripe.
- Marketing tools including live chat, newsletters, and forms.
|Custom Domain||Only Strikingly.com Subdomain||Connect Custom Domain||Connect Custom Domain||Connect Custom Domain|
|Free Domain Name With Annual Pricing||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Sites||Unlimited free sites||2||3||5|
|Storage||500 MB||1 GB||3 GB||10 GB|
|Bandwidth||5 GB||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Products||1 per site||5 per site||300 per site||500 per site|
|Memberships||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Multiple Membership Tiers||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included|
|Customer Support||24/7||24/7||24/7||Priority 24/7 Support|
- Built for beginners. Easy to learn and start using.
- 24/7 Customer Support.
- Free plan to test waters before going all in.
- Great for building one-page websites.
- Dozens of templates to choose from.
- Templates not as well-designed as the competition.
Strikingly started as a one-page professional website builder for freelancers, photographers, and other creatives to showcase their work. Now, it’s a full-featured website builder that can build almost any kind of website.
Whether you want to start a personal blog or launch an online store, you can do it all with Strikingly’s eCommerce features. It even allows you to create a membership area for your audience. It lets you put your premium content behind a paywall.
Striking lets you create both one-page and multipage websites. It comes with dozens of minimal website templates to choose from. Their website editor is easy to learn and can help you get your website up and running within minutes.
7. Jimdo (Best website builder for total beginners)
- Dozens of templates to choose from.
- Launch your online store today using the simple website editor.
- Free domain name for the first year.
|Bandwidth||2 GB||10 GB||20 GB||Unlimited||10 GB||20 GB||Unlimited|
|Storage||500 MB||5 GB||15 GB||Unlimited||10 GB||15 GB||Unlimited|
|Free Domain||Jimdo Subdomain||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Online Store||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Product Variants||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Product Layouts||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Customer Support||N/A||Within 1-2 business days||Within 4 hours||Less than 1 hour||Email support||Email support||Less than 1 hour|
- Jimdo logo maker helps you make a logo in seconds.
- Manage your orders on the go using the Jimdo mobile app.
- Doesn’t charge an additional transaction fee on top of the payment gateway fee.
- Free plan to test and try the service before you buy.
- The templates look very basic.
Jimdo is a website builder mostly known for its beginner-friendliness and eCommerce features. It lets you build and launch your online store within minutes. It comes with dozens of responsive templates you can choose from.
The best part about Jimdo is that it gives you an all-in-one platform to manage your catalog and your orders. You can manage your orders and your store on the go using Jimdo’s mobile app.
8. Zyro (Best cheapest website builder)
- The cheapest website builder on the market.
- Manage your orders and inventory from one dashboard.
- Free domain name for the first year.
- Add messenger live chat on your website.
- Sell your products on Amazon.
|Basic Plan||Unleashed||eCommerce||eCommerce Plus|
|Free Domain For First Year||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|eCommerce||Not Included||Not Included||Included||Included|
|Products||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||100||Unlimited|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Included||Included|
|Product Filters||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Included||Included|
|Sell on Amazon||Not Applicable||Not Applicable||Not Included||Included|
- Start selling online in a matter of minutes.
- Dozens of designer-crafted templates to help your website stand out.
- Easy to learn drag and drop website editor.
- The eCommerce plans start at $24.99/month.
Zyro is one of the easiest and cheapest website builders on the market. It comes with dozens of designer-made website templates for every industry imaginable. It lets you edit all aspects of the design with a simple drag and drop interface.
If you want to launch an online store, Zyro is a great place to start. It’s easy to use and lets you manage all your orders and inventory from one place. It comes with tools to automate everything from shipping and delivery to filing taxes.
It also comes with other essential eCommerce features such as discount coupons, multiple payment options, and analytics. It even lets you sell gift coupons for your website.
Zyro is a great website builder but it isn’t suitable for all use cases. If you are thinking about going with Zyro, check out my in-depth Zyro Review. It will help you decide whether or not it’s the website builder for you.
9. Google My Business (Best totally free website builder)
- Completely free to launch your website.
- Create a basic website in a matter of minutes.
- Automatically connected to Google My Business listing on the map.
- Totally free.
- Start with a free subdomain.
- Easy way for customers to get more information about your business.
- Can only create a basic website..
- No eCommerce features.
Google My Business lets you create a free website for your business quickly. It lets you add a gallery to display pictures related to your business. It also lets you create a list of your product or service offerings.
Google My Business is completely free. The only cost you might incur is that of a domain name if you want to use a custom domain name for your free website.
You can also post updates on your Google My Business website. It also allows you to create a quick contact page to let your customers reach out to you.
Constant Contact (Best for building sites using AI)
- Create a professional website for free using a simple A.I.-based builder.
- One of the best email marketing platforms on the market.
- Create an online store and promote your products using the power of email marketing.
Constant Contact is an email marketing platform used by thousands of businesses around the world. Their tools help you build and optimize your entire funnel on one platform. The best part about building your website with Constant Contact is that it gives you access to their powerful email marketing platform without having to manage multiple dashboards and tools.
Simvoly (Best for building funnels)
- An all-in-one solution to create and optimize your marketing funnel.
- Comes with built-in eCommerce and CRM functionality.
- A simple drag and drop builder to design your website and landing pages.
Simvoly lets you build your marketing funnel from scratch and without any third-party tools. It comes with optimization tools that let you optimize your funnel to increase your conversion rate and your revenue. It lets you easily split test your landing pages to optimize them into a money-making machine. Whether you want to sell a course, a physical product, or a service, you can easily do it with Simvoly’s eCommerce and CRM features.
Mailchimp (Best for integrating email marketing)
- A simple website builder to launch your website for free.
- One of the best email marketing tools.
- One of the easiest website builders with dozens of templates.
Mailchimp is one of the biggest Email Marketing platforms on the market. They are one of the oldest and started as a tool for small businesses. Their main goal is to make it easy for small businesses to grow online. With Mailchimp, you can not only launch your website Today but also gain access to some of the best marketing tools on the Internet.
Mailchimp may not be as advanced or as feature-rich as the other website builders on the list but it makes up for it in simplicity.
What To Look For When Choosing the Best Website Builder?
The most important thing to look for is the ease of use. Good website builders make launching your website and managing it as easy as clicking buttons and editing text.
Another thing to look for is a big theme catalog. Website builders that offer lots of templates such as Wix and Squarespace let you create almost any type of website. They have premade templates for almost any type of website imaginable.
And if you can’t find the perfect template, they let you pick a starter template and tweak it to fit your creative style.
Whether you are a beginner or advanced, we highly recommend going with either Wix or Squarespace. Both offer all the features you need to run and grow a successful online business. Read my Wix vs Squarespace review to decide which one is best for you.
Finally, if you want to start selling online or in the future, you will want to look for a website builder that offers eCommerce features such as Subscriptions, Membership Areas, online ticketing, etc. This allows you to expand your business and add new revenue streams in the future without switching platforms.
The Cost of Website Builders – What’s Included, and Not Included?
For most online businesses, website builders include everything you will need to launch, manage, and scale your business. However, once you start gaining some traction, you will want to invest in marking strategies such as Email Marketing.
Most website builders don’t offer built-in marketing tools. And the ones that do such as Squarespace and Wix charge extra for it.
Another cost to keep in mind is the domain renewal cost. Many website builders offer a domain name free for the first year and then charge you a standard rate every subsequent year after that.
If this is your first time launching an online business, keep in mind that payment processors charge a small fee for every transaction. You have to pay this fee, which is usually around 2-3% per transaction, even if your website builder is your payment gateway.
Why You Should Consider WordPress (using page builders like Elementor or Divi)
Although website builders can help you launch and grow your online business, they may not be suitable for every use case. If you want complete control over your website including its appearance, code, and server, you will need to host the website yourself.
Hosting your website yourself also lets you add any kind of features to it you want. With website builders, you are limited to the features they offer.
If you choose to go this route, you will need a Content Management System such as WordPress which lets you manage the content on your website using a simple dashboard.
You might also want to invest in a good page builder such as Divi or Elementor page builder. They work very similar to website builders on this list and they can help you customize your website with simple drag and drop.
If you have decided to go this route and host your own WordPress website, I suggest you check out Elementor vs Divi review. It will help you decide which of the two giants is best for your use case.
Frequently asked questions
What is a website builder?
Website builders are online platforms that let you build a website without any technical knowledge. They offer a simple drag-and-drop interface that helps you design your website the way you want to.
The biggest reason why people use website builders is that they come with a catalog of hundreds of templates for every type of website. This lets you launch your website in a matter of minutes. Just pick a template, customize the design and the content, hit launch, and that’s it! Your website is live.
Is getting a website builder worth it?
If you have never created or managed a website before, it can be a lot to take on and learn. Building a website completely on your own can be a daunting task with a steep learning curve. Not to mention the amount of time and resources it can take to maintain a custom website.
This is where website builders come in. They help you build and manage your website without any technical knowledge. Most of them come with almost everything you need to take your business online and manage it. They help you build almost any kind of website. Whether you want to start a blog or an online store, a website builder can help you do it all.
Is it better to code your own website than to use a website builder?
Hiring a web developer to code a custom website can take months on end to finish and can cost thousands of dollars. It also requires regular maintenance which can cost you hundreds of dollars every month depending on the complexity of your website.
Unless you are ready to spend thousands of dollars on building and maintaining a website, you shouldn’t attempt to build a custom website. Building your website using a website builder can be a much cheaper alternative.
You can build almost any time of website using a website builder for a fraction of the cost. Not to mention, they don’t require regular maintenance. For as little as $2 a month, you can get your website up and running.
What should I look for in a website builder?
The best website builders are the ones that let you customize all aspects of your website. Most website builders on this list let you customize everything from the logo to the underlying CSS and HTML.
A good website builder comes with plugins/modules that you can install on your website to add functionality such as comments, share buttons, a blog, etc. They let you enable or disable these features with one click.
A lot of website builders specialize in building eCommerce sites. If you want to build an online store, you should look for a website builder that offers an all-in-one eCommerce solution. For instance, Squarespace lets you manage everything about your online store including your catalog, invoices, and even deliveries from one interface.
Which website builder is the best?
My favorite website builder is Wix as it comes with the most features and is one of the easiest to use. It offers over 800 professional-designed templates you can edit with a simple drag and drop interface.
And the best part is you can start taking payments on your website from day one as Wix offers a built-in payment gateway. Whether you want to sell services or products, you can do it all with Wix. You can even make reservations for your restaurant or event online. You can also use it to create a premium membership area for your audience.
The best part is you can reach their support team any time you get stuck and they will help you out.
If money is a concern, then Zyro is an excellent cheap alternative. Plans start from under $2 per month and Zyro lets you create a beautiful website or online store, free domain for yearly plans and free web hosting are included.
Is it better to use WordPress or a website builder?
If you want to build a custom website with advanced features or if you just want more control over your website, you will need to host it on your own. It comes with its own challenges but a Content Management Software such as WordPress can make it easier. You can customize every aspect of it with plugins and custom code.
The allure of WordPress is its easy extensibility. Want to start selling some products on your website? Just install WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin that adds eCommerce functionality. Just like that there’s a plugin for almost everything imaginable.
But the tradeoff is the ease of use. Even though WordPress is getting more user-friendly by the month, it’s still not as easy as a website builder. A website builder makes everything as easy as a couple of clicks. Website builders also get you access to customer support to help you whenever you get stuck.
In short: If you want extensibility but don’t mind getting your hands dirty, go with WordPress. If you want the ease of use and no maintenance, go with a website builder.
Free website builders vs paid website builders?
Free website builders are a great starting point if you have never created a website before. And I highly recommend you try the free plan or the free trial of any website builder you choose before going paid.
Website builders are only worth it if you are going to stick with one platform for a long time because migrating your website from one platform to another can be a massive pain. It is never easy and often breaks your website.
Another thing to keep in mind is that free website builders display ads on your website until you upgrade your site to a premium plan.
Free website builders are good for testing the waters but if you are serious, I recommend going with a premium plan on a reputed website builder such as Squarespace or Wix.
Best website builders: Summary
A website builder can help you get your website up and running in a matter of minutes. It can help you kick start selling online with just a couple of clicks.
If this list seems overwhelming and you can make a decision, I recommend going with Wix. It comes with a huge catalog of premade templates for every type of website imaginable. It is also one of the easiest of all. And the best part is that it comes with everything you need to start selling online.
If you are budget conscious, then Zyro is an excellent cheap alternative. Zyro lets you create a beautiful website or online store, free domain for yearly plans and free web hosting are included.
What are you waiting for? Start your website today!