Website builders have transformed the once highly technical and time-consuming job of designing and developing websites into a quick, easy, and stress-free task – even if you have no web design or coding experience. To get started, simply choose a pre-built website template, drag and drop media, forms, maps and other content onto the page, and you’ll have a polished and professional website ready to go, sometimes within minutes.
When deciding on the best website builder for you, it is important to take some time to consider your needs and goals.
Are you hoping to create the best ecommerce platform for selling products? Or perhaps build the best blogging site in your industry?
Whatever your goal there is a website builder to help you achieve it and we are here to help you find it.
We’ve signed up to each website builder, created different site types, and compared features, customizations, ease of use, performance, some of the best SEO tools, customer support, pricing, and more.
Below, you’ll find 12 top-quality website builders reviewed. Wix comes in first place as the best website builder based on its overall performance, ease of use, template range, and affordability.
Want to save big on building a great website? We are now tracking the best Black Friday website builder deals on the market.
Have you considered website hosting? Some website builders don’t come with hosting as standard, or you may need to upgrade your hosting as your website grows. We’ve also reviewed some of the best web hosting providers to help you make an informed decision.
Our top three website builder providers
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The best website builders of 2023
We’ve carefully picked the best website builders on the market based on factors including overall performance, pricing, features, ease of use, range and quality of templates, ecommerce functionality, SEO and more.
Our test results highlight our experience using each product, what we liked most about each platform and how they compare against each other.
Best website builder overall
✔️ You want a website builder that has a wide selection of templates: Wix has some of the most sophisticated templates on the market in our opinion with over 800 to choose from.
✔️ You want a website builder with real power : Wix App Market includes hundreds of add-ons which can add all kinds of new design features and integrations to your site.
✔️ You’d like a website builder that uses Generative AI: Wix has an AI text creator to assist with building a site, quickly.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want to build an ecommerce site on a tight budget: Only premium Wix plans offer ecommerce capabilities.
❌ You’d like the option of interchangeable templates: Wix doesn’t let you switch between templates once you’ve started, therefore if you change your mind, you’ll have to start from scratch.
❌ You want unlimited storage: Wix doesn’t offer unlimited storage on any of its plans.
As far as website builders go, Wix remains top-tier because it has all the qualities most people look for in a site builder. From sophisticated templates, to how easy it is to use, if it’s your first time building a website, we suggest you strongly consider Wix.
Founded in 2006, Wix is an Israeli software company that provides cloud-based web development services, allowing users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools.
Wix impressed us from the start with its extreme ease of use. Building our first site with Wix’s ADI editor was as simple as answering a few questions about our online goals, colour and design preferences, and the pages we wanted; Wix then create the website in seconds.
For our second site, we opted for the standard Wix editor. We were spoiled for choice from the 800+ templates on offer and found it very easy to customize our choice by dragging and dropping images, text blocks and other content onto the page.
We loved Wix’s media handling features. It’s easy to upload your own images and videos from your local system, Instagram, Google Photos, Drive and more, but you can also access Wix’s own and Shutterstock’s photo and video libraries. Every keyword we used returned hundreds of files, all free to use.
It’s just as simple to add new pages and page sections (Welcome, About, Contact Us, Testimonials.) Every section type comes in various default layouts, which can be further fine-tuned to suit your needs. There’s even an AI writer to add new content for you.
An amazing app market allowed us to extend our site, making it simple to add things like TripAdvisor reviews and comment sections. We searched for Social Media, for instance, and found 35+ apps to embed social media streams in our site, automatically post to social media, easily share our site on top social media platforms, and more.
What else you need to know
Wix has a free plan which is perfect for trying out the service, but it has some significant issues, including a 500MB storage limit, Wix ads on every page, and no option to use a custom domain.
Fortunately, Wix has plenty of fairly-priced paid options. The $16 a month Light plan removes the ads and supports using your own domain; the $27 a month Core plan supports basic ecommerce and taking payments online. Spending more gets you extra ecommerce features, better analytics, developer features, and more.
If you’re looking for a website builder which can grow with your site, then, Wix would be your best bet. Whatever plan you prefer, a 14-day trial period allows you to get your money back if you’re not satisfied. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend starting here. It’s easy to use, there are plenty of templates for fast production, backed by power and scope for experienced users.
Read our in-depth Wix website builder review to find out why it’s the best website builder on the market.
|Value for money||Not the cheapest but Wix is definitely good value for money considering all you can do with its service.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||Wix makes the whole process of creating a website straightforward and simple.||★★★★★|
|Features||It has plenty of features (beginners may even find the sheer amount daunting at first).||★★★★★|
|Templates and design||There’s over 800 templates which makes finding the perfect design easy to do.||★★★★★|
Best for marketing integration
✔️ You want an all-in-one solution: Hostinger’s website builder comes with web hosting too.
✔️ You haven’t yet bought a domain name: Hostinger’s service includes a free domain name for one year.
✔️ You want AI to fully design your website: Hostinger gives you the option to have a website created entirely by AI technology.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You need to try before you buy: Hostinger has no free plans or free trials.
❌ You want more options of website builder plans: Hostinger only has one plan, which could be limiting depending on your needs.
❌ You have a change of heart on your template: If you choose to change your template once your site is live, it will erase all your current work.
Marketing integration capabilities is just one of the many quality features Hostinger provides. If you want a website builder that’s an all in one solution and you get overwhelmed by too many options, Hostinger is the site builder for you.
In second place, the Hostinger website builder tool is a beginner-friendly service that makes it simple and speedy to create modern, responsive sites, with no coding skills required.
Hostinger’s 100+ template library isn’t the largest around, but there are some visually stunning options, and we found designs to suit blogs, web stores, portfolio sites and more. They look great on all devices, whatever their screen size and the intuitive drag-and-drop editor made it a breeze to create a professional website.
A multi-lingual AI builder allows you to put a website online in just four clicks, Hostinger claims. We wouldn’t recommend you try that – the results are a little generic – but it’s a good starting point, and spending just an extra 30 minutes customizing your content makes a huge difference.
Both the templates and AI-generated content are SEO-friendly, and useful bonus tools helped us find keywords, generate alt text for images, and automatically produced a site map.
Although packages that include the drag-and-drop website builder start at only $3.99/mo, this option more than covers the hosting basics coming with a free SSL and unlimited bandwidth. Spend a little more and for $6.99 a month you also get support for up to 100 websites, free domain and free email.
You get all the ecommerce essentials, too, including support for selling up to 500 products, accepting payments online, managing orders and inventory, and use Google and Facebook-based analytics to discover more about your customer base.
Another big bonus for ecommerce sellers is that even with the most basic package, you don’t have to pay any transaction fees.
What else you need to know
Hostinger website builder includes a host of useful bonus tools, including a logo designer, slogan and business name generators, and easy integration of Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps to identify and fix performance bottlenecks in your site.
We noticed some small issues with the site builder. For example, the service has relatively basic image editing options, which can’t begin to match the likes of Wix. And with no free plan, there’s no way to try out the service beyond Hostinger’s standard 30-day money-back guarantee. But overall, this is a quality website builder for bargain hunters with (maybe) ecommerce ambitions, and well worth exploring.
Read our full Hostinger Website Builder review.
|Value for money||Affordable and comes as a combo with web hosting.||★★★★★|
|Ease of use||Hostinger’s site builder is easy to use for the most part and its dashboard is straightforward to work from.||★★★★☆|
|Features||It has lots of features that come as part of the website builder and web hosting combo plan.||★★★★★|
|Templates and design||Hostinger offers dozens of stylish templates to help you start building your website.||★★★★☆|
Best for bloggers and writers
✔️ You want a website builder that offers a free trial: Squarespace is yours to test for two weeks before making a commitment.
✔️ You want to create a sophisticated blog: Squarespace has a great commenting feature, multi-author functionality, and offers the ability to schedule posts.
✔️ You’d like a mobile-friendly site builder: Squarespace has four apps. All allows you to edit almost every aspect of your website from your phone.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want the ability to fully customize your site: Squarespace doesn’t offer full customizability.
❌ You’ll be overwhelmed by the wide range of features: Squarespace has plenty, which could be too much to handle for beginners.
❌ You’re looking for a simple interface: Squarespace’s isn’t the easiest to navigate in comparison to its competitors.
Bloggers and writers should look no further as it may not get any better than Squarespace in that department. Squarespace makes filing entries for blogs seamless and straightforward.
Squarespace is a great-looking and easy-to-use website builder with professional templates, excellent blogging tools and a decent set of ecommerce features. If you’re a site-building newbie but still looking to make the maximum online impact, Squarespace is a must-see.
Squarespace’s 100+ responsive templates gave us plenty of choice for our test sites, and the section-based drag-and-drop editor made for a much faster design process than the other providers here.
Built-in AI support can quickly create content for your site, too. You’ll need to review the results carefully – like all AI writers, its copy can sometimes be inaccurate – but that’s still quicker than writing multiple pages from scratch, and it’s a worthwhile feature overall.
The platform has four plans. Spending $16 a month gets you the core website builder, free hosting and a free domain (for 1-year); the $23 plan adds a secure checkout page for full ecommerce functionality (with a 3% transaction fee); spending $27 has more marketing tools and a 0% transaction fee; $49 gets you full ecommerce functionality with all the shipping and selling tools you need.
Squarespace’s Blog App let us manage our test blog from a smartphone, which is great for publishing and editing content on the go. Tools that publish to, sync with, and import from social media outlets, including Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, and others, also provide a great way of ensuring your posts receive the attention they deserve.
Squarespace also has an invoice scheduling tool that lets you receive payments for bookings on your website. During our tests, the tool let us create, send, manage, and track custom invoices, as well as accept payments, from the website builder platform.
What else you need to know
Unlike Wix, Squarespace doesn’t automatically keep a history of the changes we made to the website we created, which means that you cannot restore an earlier version if a mistake has occurred. This can be quite problematic and could mean you having to start afresh in some cases. Nevertheless, Squarespace will get the job done and done well, and you’ll have a variety of beautifully crafted templates.
Read our complete Squarespace website builder review for more details on pricing, ease of use, and the builder’s interface.
|Value for money||Squarespace isn’t the cheapest but there’s the option to try it for free before committing.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||The website builder is easy to use but doesn’t give full customizability, which some could find challenging.||★★★★☆|
|Features||It has lots of features that come as part of the website builder and web hosting combo plan.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||Squarespace has around 110 templates for you to choose from and the designs are professional looking.||★★★★★|
Best for WordPress websites
✔️ You want a WordPress site: Bluehost gives you the option to build your site from the WordPress dashboard or the Bluehost Builder.
✔️ You’re looking for ease of use: Bluehost lets you choose the design you want by simply entering a keyword.
✔️ You want something quick and easy: Bluehost has a user-friendly onboarding wizard to make the site building process straightforward.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You’re creating more than just a simple site: Bluehost’s overall design is quite basic.
❌ You want an email account included: You’ll have to pay extra for email if you choose to build your site with Bluehost.
❌ You have no interest in a WordPress site: Bluehost is a self-hosted WordPress site so you won’t get the complete freedom that Wix or Squarespace gives you to build a regular site.
Bluehost makes it easier for those who are set on building a WordPress website. Why? Because it not only lets you build from the WordPress CMS, it also makes WordPress website integration pretty simple.
Top web hosting provider Bluehost offers a WordPress-based website builder with drag-and-drop editing, extensive blogging features, ecommerce support and a free CDN for maximum speed.
Thanks to the WordPress integration, we were able to set up parts of our test website using Bluehost’s website builder, and other parts using WordPress. The WordPress-friendly builder also includes over 300 templates – not quite as many as Wix but still a fair amount. There are four site builder plans on offer – Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. Each offering access to more tools and features.
Priced at $2.95 per month, for a 12-month subscription, the Basic plan renews at $11.99 per month. The Plus plan is priced at $5.45 per month, for a 12-month subscription and renews at $16.99 per month, and the Choice Plus plan will cost you $4.95 per month for the same duration and renews at $21.99 per month. Finally, the top of the range Pro plan will cost you $9.95 per month and renews at $28.99 per month after 12-months.
While Bluehost’s website builder isn’t as seasoned or as easy to use as Wix’s overall, it still includes attractive features such as a free domain for the first year and 24/7 expert support for its website building service.
In addition to offering unlimited websites, Bluehost’s website builder includes templates for specific website types and use-cases and gives the option to edit websites for mobile, desktop, and tablets. All three website builder plans come with marketing features that we were able to test out too, and we particularly thought the call to action button offered by Bluehost is slick and a great addition to the package. For ecommerce capabilities, Bluehost has combined WordPress, WooCommerce, and YITH plugins in its Online Store solution, which provides small businesses with a WordPress website builder.
What else you need to know
A few downsides to the Bluehost website builder include the fact that the solution doesn’t let you switch templates if you’ve started working on one and change your mind, plus there’s no email account included.
We tested Bluehost’s “no questions asked” 30-days money back guarantee and were able to get a full refund. If you are looking for a WordPress site builder but do not want to fully commit to the WordPress CMS, Bluehost may be the website builder for you.
Read our detailed Bluehost Website Builder review to find out more about its performance, pricing, ease of use and more
|Value for money||Bluehost’s website builder is certainly affordable but the renewal is a bit of a jump.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||Bluehost gives you the option to work on a WordPress dashboard, which is great for users use to the CMS.||★★★★☆|
|Features||Its basic plan comes with free CDN and WordPress themes, while the other plans offer so much more.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||It comes with over 800 premium WordPress themes to choose from.||★★★★★|
The best of the rest
✔️ You want a visually pleasing website: The Friday website builder excels in visual customization.
✔️ You need an easy to use solution: Friday prioritizes simplicity and intuitive navigation, making it accessible to beginners and experienced users.
✔️ You’d like a site builder that includes everything: Friday costs a bit more but that’s because all the features it offers is included in the one and only plan.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You’re on a really tight budget: Friday’s only plan costs $25 for your first month and $50 every month after, which is pricier that most of the site builders on our list.
❌ You’d need high levels of customization: Friday’s is good but limited.
❌ You prefer telephone support: Friday has a knowledge base and you’re able to contact someone via email only, which may not be enough support for some.
Friday may be the new kids on the block in the website building sector, but the quality of the website building tool is one to be impressed by. This is because there’s no hidden agenda with the tool, everything it says it offers, it actually does.
Created by programmers and developers, Friday is a website builder that hasn’t been around as long as most of the other providers on this list, but is by no means lagging behind.
Getting started with Friday is extremely simple because there’s only one website builder package to choose from. That already eliminates the time it takes to decide what features you need and the plan to accommodate it.
Once you’re in, the Friday dashboard has icons on the left hand side that simplify the website building experience once you’ve decided on a template. We are able to change the theme, add pages, widgets, personalize the enter site, add a blog, and make good use of the SEO tools.
Friday’s plan comes with AWS website hosting, global CDN, custom domain, unlimited bandwidth, SEO tools, SSL security, web analytics, a photo editor, and more.
It also comes with image optimization, a library of stock images, AI content assistant, customizable forms, multi-language websites, blogging tools, plus over 40 payment gateways.
When building your site on the dashboard, you’re able to edit in desktop, tablet, and mobile view.
What else you need to know
One main thing that’s worth a mention is just how easy we found it to use Friday for the very first time. Its AI assist makes the website building process even more straightforward.
What we would mention as a negative (because nothing can be 100% perfect) is that because the plan is more expensive than others on this list, those on a tight budget might not be able to commit to the $50 per month after the half price on the first month deal is over.
Read our complete Friday website builder review to find out more about its performance, pricing, ease of use, and more
|Value for money||There are so many features that come with one plan that it’s somewhat justifiable.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||Signing up is easy, using the dashboard is easy.||★★★★★|
|Features||There are so many great features that come with Friday including autosaves and restorable backups.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||Friday’s templates are well designed and professional.||★★★★☆|
✔️ You need that extra support: During our test, we found Web.com’s customer support team to be one of the most helpful – with quick response times.
✔️ SEO if your priority: Web.com doesn’t take SEO lightly so your site will be in safe hands.
✔️ You want an affordable site builder: Web.com is not the cheapest but it’s definitely reasonably priced.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want to try before you buy: Web.com doesn’t offer such so you’ll have to do your research before committing.
❌ You need a completely flexible site builder: Web.com gets the job done but it’s not 100% flexible. Some might find the pre-built content blocks limiting.
❌ You prefer a completely clutter-free page editor: Web.com’s isn’t the slickest on the market compared to Wix.
If you have a demanding website, Web.com should be a builder you strongly consider and it has the power to take on high traffic sites.
Founded in 1999, Web.com has made its mark in the website builder space with its easy-to-use interface. It seems as though 150 professionally designed templates is the standard amount as Web.com also offers roughly the same number of templates as Hostinger.
The central website building experience revolves around a system of modular elements you can simply drag-and-drop into place. We were able to customize a heading, a button, an icon, and even a text field, by dragging it and dropping it in place on our website template once we signed up.
The interface also allows for blocks – pre-assembled elements such as an entire navigation bar which can just be inserted whenever needed. It’s a powerful and user-friendly interface, a potent combination. Its website builder also includes one hour of free website design support.
There is also an ecommerce functionality available – albeit with a separate plan to the basic package – allowing you to set up an online store with all the functions you’d expect. If you are starting out on your ecommerce website journey, Web.com’s Online Store package starts at $9.95 for the first month (for a monthly payment option) and renews at $29.99/mo (when billed annually).
What else you need to know
Pricing is reasonably affordable with Web.com, and the customer support provided is of a high quality as well, so there’s a lot to like here. In short, you can put together a smart website with a minimum of fuss, while not paying a fortune for the privilege.
We were able to monitor our website performance during our tests with Web.com’s simplified data dashboard, with real-time traffic statistics, trend charts, and its Google Analytics integration.
There’s no option for a free trial here, mind, but that said, you only have to commit for a month when signing up (the initial fee is just $1.95 – complete with a free URL, with caveats), so that’s not a high price to pay to give the service a trial run.
Read our complete Web.com website builder review for an in-depth look at all features and pricing this builder has to offer.
|Value for money||Web.com’s packages are affordable but there’s no option for a free trial.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||We found that Web.com’s site builder is straightforward and easy to use.||★★★★☆|
|Features||Comes with sufficient features including one free hour of expert design support.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||150 professionally designed templates is more than enough options to find what you’re looking for.||★★★★★|
✔️ You need a simple way to start: HostGator’s process from start to finish is easy and relatively straightforward.
✔️ You need a cheap way to start: HostGator offers some of the most competitive pricing… Value for money too.
✔️ You want to integrate your social media accounts: HostGator lets you embed content from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram directly onto your site.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want built in email marketing: Unfortunately, HostGator does not offer such.
❌ You’re building a ecommerce website: HostGator would not be our choice if we were building an online store because the ecommerce features are basic.
❌ You want to create a blog: In comparison to Squarespace, HostGator lacks advance features for online blogs.
In general, HostGator’s website builder is one of the most affordable on the market and it doesn’t compromise on features either.
Another popular choice comes courtesy of HostGator, as we commend its website builder solution, Gator Website Builder, for its simplicity and price, both of which should appeal to small businesses.
Gator is available in four versions.
The Website plan starts at $4.95/mo*. It comes with free hosting, website analytics, free domain name registration for a year, and unmetered storage. The Website + Marketing plan comes with all that plus logo builder, email marketing and other marketing tools for $7.95/mo*. The Online Store plan, meanwhile, costs $13.95/mo* and comes with a host of extras such as unlimited products, real time shipping rates and custom discount codes. Online Marketplaces comes with with everything the other packages do along with advanced tools for marketplace selling and advanced analytics, it costs $19.95/mo*.
Whatever plan you choose, you’ll gain access to an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that lets you employ commonly used design elements such as images, videos, text boxes, columns, maps, and contact forms.
* The prices mentioned are introductory prices, once the introductory period is over they will increase.
We found that Gator has over 200 fully customizable web templates, so it’s easy to get your website looking exactly the way you want it. There are also a sizable number of mobile-friendly themes available to ensure that your online portal looks good on all devices.
For small businesses that might not have access to top-quality photography equipment, Gator comes with its own built-in stock photo library and a number of video tutorials are on hand if you are in need of extra support with anything.
If there’s any real downside here, it would be the lack of functionality for larger, more complex websites. There are no built-in email marketing features, for example, and blog building options are relatively basic.
What else you need to know
Still, for small businesses or anyone starting their first online project, Gator’s quick, professional, and well-designed sites should work perfectly. And with 24-hour tech support on hand for all users and free analytics solutions to let administrators know how their site is performing, there are plenty of reasons to choose Gator for website building.
Read our Gator website builder review if you need more information on this builder’s features.
|Value for money||HostGator has affordable plans across its portfolio.||★★★★★|
|Ease of use||Creating a test site using HostGator was simple because of how easy it is to navigate through its dashboard.||★★★★★|
|Features||HostGator comes with a good number of features including email campaigns and free SSL.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||HostGator has 4,500 templates that can be downloaded at templates.hostgator.com, but it’s for people with experience using a HTML or Flash editor.||★★★★☆|
✔️ You are a beginner: GoDaddy can be used by almost anyone because it doesn’t just cater to the tech-savvy individual.
✔️ You need extra support: We found GoDaddy’s customer support team to be extremely helpful.
✔️ You want an easy to use tool: Once you find what service you’re after, GoDaddy’s setup process is quick and easy to follow.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You need complete clarity when building: GoDaddy’s homepages all look the same so it might be a little confusing when looking for the right service on their list.
❌ You’re indecisive on style: GoDaddy has limited customization features when it comes to style.
❌ You want the freedom to switch between themes: GoDaddy doesn’t permit such action without starting from scratch.
If you find comfort in using a website builder that has been around for a long time, GoDaddy would be your best choice. As it’s been around for a while, it’s had the luxury of perfecting its customer support, which is great for newbies.
Top web host GoDaddy has a huge range of products, but its website builder stands out for the simple editing tools and intuitive console that can help even design newbies set up a site in minutes.
For individuals looking for a more in-depth experience, the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing solution provides a detailed analysis of how your site is performing. The analytics tool delivers a comprehensive set of metrics that compares how your online presence is performing against other websites in your field. So far, the tool has certainly proved successful, with customers experiencing an 18% increase in business revenue within 12 months of using it, GoDaddy claims.
Even the most experienced users run into problems occasionally, but GoDaddy’s support is among the best around. We found GoDaddy’s extensive PDF guides accurately answered a multitude of questions and troubleshooting topics, and 24/7 tech support is also available. Moreover, the community forums are a great resource and it’s likely that someone there will be able to respond to your query. A live chat feature is also available on weekdays, although, during our tests, the provider didn’t provide the most timely help and gave us limited solutions.
In terms of pricing, GoDaddy is very competitive, offering three website builder pricing tiers. The prices range from $9.99/mo (for the first year, $12.99/mo after) for the Basic plan, up to $20.99/mo (for the first year, $26.99/mo after) for the Commerce package. As you would expect, the ecommerce plan comes with everything you need to start a full-featured online store, with the cheaper plans offering slightly reduced functionality as you work your way down.
What else you need to know
We did find that the lack of an app market means some of the site builder features lack depth. It does mean, however, that all features are built in-house and so are fit for purpose. If you’re on the lookout for a website builder that is both affordable and boasts great support, then GoDaddy may be the right choice for you.
Read our GoDaddy website builder review for an in-depth look at its blogging and shopping features and more
|Value for money||With the price range mentioned above, GoDaddy is on the affordable scale of site builder services.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||GoDaddy is easy to use and comes with lots of help.||★★★★★|
|Features||GoDaddy comes with a decent amount of features to start a website for the first time.||★★★★☆|
|Templates and design||GoDaddy has professional templates but that aren’t so easy to locate.||★★★☆☆|
✔️ You want a site builder that has great templates: IONOS has a lot of sophisticated template designs to choose from.
✔️ You’re a small business: IONOS has several features that small businesses might find useful when getting a website off the ground.
✔️ You need in-built SEO tools: As ranking is important for your site visibility, using a builder that prioritizes SEO makes a difference.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want a more current interface: IONOS’ is quite dated in our opinion.
❌ You need a free trial: IONOS has no free plans either so keep that in mind.
❌ You need something a little more straightforward: IONOS can be a little confusing for beginners.
IONOS has great themes, great templates and overall, the design options on offer for your website are top quality stuff.
Europe’s largest web hosting provider, IONOS, currently hosts more than 12 million domains and represents a great choice if you are looking to create a serious, professional website to promote your business.
While the lack of a free plan is disappointing, the paid options are affordable. The Starter plan for a basic website starts at $6/mo (for the first 6 month, then $12/mo) – although you have to pay a full year for this price. We were able to gain access to the MyWebsite Starter and MyWebsite Plus packages. MyWebsite Starter comes with a domain, email address, and competitor tracking, but lacks some of the more advanced functionality that you get with the Plus plan.
Where IONOS really comes into its own, though, is with regard to its choice of themes. We were spoilt for choice as its inspirational templates are organized by industry and type, so it’s easy to find the right layout for your website, regardless of whether you are based in the retail, tourism, or real-estate sectors. Some of the templates are more image-focused, while others cater to text-heavy sites. Regardless, they are all easy to implement; no coding knowledge is required whatsoever and templates can be adjusted easily using a drag-and-drop editor.
Small businesses are also likely to be enticed by IONOS’ multilingual translation, which can translate a site’s content into 62 different languages. It is even possible to have up to 25 different languages on a site at any given time. This makes IONOS a great choice in terms of its scalability: as a business grows, this website builder is more than equipped to facilitate international expansion.
What else you need to know
Targeted content is also an option – so businesses can set up their website to present special offers to new visitors, for example. So if you’re looking for a scalable website builder with a great selection of themes and powerful marketing tools, then IONOS is definitely worth considering.
Want to learn more about what IONOS has to offer? Read our full IONOS website builder review.
|Value for money||It’s afforable but the cheap price doesn’t last forever.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||IONOS is fairly easy to use and we generally didn’t struggle to create our test website.||★★★★☆|
|Features||Comes with all the features you need to create a functioning site.||★★★★★|
|Templates and design||We enjoyed using IONOS’ pre-built sections and color schemes.||★★★★☆|
✔️ You want an all in one solution: Elementor includes everything you need to create a website all in one place.
✔️ You want managed storage for WordPress: Your WordPress website may need it.
✔️ You need variety: Elementor’s drag & drop editor has more than 100 widgets for a range of designs.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want some freedom with the freebies: Some of Elementor’s free plugins can be limiting.
❌ You have plenty of websites: Elementor wouldn’t be our choice based on some of the more powerful site builders in our line up.
❌ You’re a beginner: Elementor is not the most complex to use but it’s equally not the easiest.
Elementor is another provider that offers an all in one solution, therefore, if you’re looking to have everything in one place, you might need to take a closer look into Elementor.
Elementor is rather different in that it’s actually a plugin for WordPress which functions as an easy-to-use website builder. There’s a free version (Elementor Core) which is impressively capable considering it costs nothing, as well as premium products which offer more advanced functionality.
The interface is a dead simple and streamlined affair allowing you to drag-and-drop whatever elements you want into place while seeing what the results look like in real-time. We set up our test site in minutes and did not run into any complications while doing so. There are a bunch of widgets and pre-designed templates on offer, and as you might expect, you get a lot more content with the paid-for plans (even the basic ‘Essential’ package comes with 100+ website designs and 100+ widgets).
The Pro plans also boast more features such as premium tech support. The Essential plan offers options for running one or three websites, whereas the Expert plan supports up to 25 sites. You get a lot of editing tools with the Pro plans and there’s a seriously impressive amount of customization to hand for your website creations.
Similar to Wix, even the free option is pretty well fleshed out. The freebie route may deliver enough functionality for some and for those who’ll need more, it’s still a great way of checking out what you’re letting yourself in for before stumping up any cash (no credit card details are needed for signing up to the free plan, either).
The main downside with Elementor is that compared to some rivals, such as Bluehost or Squarespace, the premium pricing isn’t so competitive if you’re running lots of websites – but the Essential Elementor plans which support one or three sites are great value if that’s all you need.
What else you need to know
Elementor also has an all-in-one website builder kit, which enables seamless WordPress website creation. Elementor Cloud Website let us build our test website faster using a single end-to-end solution that includes a code-free builder, web hosting, and gave us the ability to connect domain names at no extra cost.
Considering Elementor as your website builder of choice? Read our full Elementor website builder review.
|Value for money||It costs a fairly decent amount but there are cheaper site builders.||★★★★☆|
|Ease of use||Easy to use generally but beginners may find navigating a little confusing.||★★★★☆|
|Features||Has the necessary features for a WordPress website.||★★★★★|
|Templates and design||Elementor has a huge library of ready-to-edit website designs and wireframes.||★★★★☆|
✔️ You’re looking for value for money: It’s not the best on the list but it’s certainly value for money.
✔️ You’re interested in mobile optimzation: Jimdo optimizes sites for all mobile devices with its dedicated mobile editor view.
✔️ You want a tool that’s easy to use: Jimdo is straightforward and simple.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You want a lot of features and tools to play with: Jimdo offers the basics but gets the job done.
❌ You want to build a blog: Jimdo’s features are not as accommodating for blogging sites like Squarespace.
❌ You want the best option for SEO: Jimdo has a few SEO features missing, such as alt text, so keep that in mind.
If your site prioritizes imagery, Jimdo might just be the website builder you need. The option to have unlimited storage space is there also, which helps photography sites.
Jimdo made our best list for a number of different reasons, but we particularly enjoyed the range of clean and flexible templates it has on offer. The professional and modern styles available make Jimdo a great website builder for designers, photographers or anyone else who wants to display their portfolio online.
Some pros of using Jimdo include its speed as well as simplicity. First off, users have a choice between several plans ranging from their free Play plan to plans with more advanced functionality and even plans specifically created for those building an online store. Each plan offers access to the Jimdo website builder which takes a modular approach allowing you to pick a style and then customize and edit your design with easy-to-use blocks.
The platform even comes with its own Logo Designer that helped us make our brand recognizable. All we did was enter our business and selected a starting point for our logo design. Then, we customized our icon and layout, chose a color and font, and that was it.
Another useful design feature from Jimdo that we appreciate is the way that website colors automatically harmonize with an uploaded logo or image. This means that garish color clashes become a thing of the past – that’s great for businesses where looking good is part of the brand.
What else you need to know
Furthermore, Jimdo comes with a host of tips and support documents that helped us create our test website, similar to GoDaddy and Squarespace. These documents include a number of examples of existing photography websites created using the platform, along with tips on how to build a successful website.
In terms of price, there is a free plan that comes with no time limit but will force you to have a Jimdo sub-domain and advertising. We did notice that there was a lack of fancy features, but if you want a quick, straightforward way of launching a great-looking site, you’ll struggle to find a better website builder than this.
Read our full Jimdo website builder review for more information on the builder’s features and getting started
|Value for money||On the more expensive side and not enough features to justify it.||★★★☆☆|
|Ease of use||Beginner-friendly and easy to set up.||★★★★★|
|Features||Jimdo has less features overall than its competitors.||★★★☆☆|
|Templates and design||Templates allow more creative control over the design of your site.||★★★★☆|
✔️ You plan on building a big online store: BigCommerce is specifically designed for just that.
✔️ If you have some experience launching an ecommerce site: BigCommerce is advanced (in our opinion) so prior knowledge would be essential.
✔️ You’re interested in cross-platform selling: BigCommerce lets you sell through the likes of Amazon, Facebook and more.
Don’t buy if:
❌ You’re looking for simplicity: For basic online stores, we wouldn’t recommend BigCommerce (especially if you’re a beginner) because it’s not the easiest to set up.
❌ If you want to control your store from a mobile app: BigCommerce has no native mobile app.
❌ If you want the full experience on a tight budget: There’s no abandoned cart feature with BigCommerce’s Standard plan.
Any business or individual looking for a helping hand to create a large online store, BigCommerce is a very capable contender.
BigCommerce is an experienced vendor with almost 15 years in the ecommerce business. Its impressive feature list now includes online store creation, search engine optimization, hosting, marketing and security from small to Enterprise sized businesses.
First of all, the platform made it easy for us to build a store that looks good, with its drag-and-drop visual editor, fully-customizable themes, mobile optimization, and checkout customization. We also received plenty of support every step of the way. BigCommerce lets users sell physical, digital, and service-based products, and the hugely flexible service gives you vast control over how your store is run (there are more than 65 different payment gateways to choose from, for instance.)
Offering great scalability, a host of built-in features, fantastic SEO tools, and the ability to sell across multiple channels, BigCommerce is geared towards big brands that have plenty of customers to satisfy.
In terms of drawbacks, BigCommerce occasional use of complex terminology might confuse inexperienced users, and its design interface can take some getting used to. Having said that, it’s still not a bad choice for smaller retailers, as it has a staggered pricing plan dependent on how many sales your site generates. There’s also a free 15-day trial available, with no credit card details required.
What else you need to know
Overall, with more built-in sales tools and more scalability than its competitors, BigCommerce is a great choice for online retailers that have significant sales figures or smaller brands that are planning for major expansion.
Read our detailed BigCommerce review for more details on pricing, features, and ease of use
|Value for money||On the more expensive side compared to other ecommerce site builders.||★★★☆☆|
|Ease of use||Not the easiest to use and can be complex to get started with.||★★★☆☆|
|Features||Great features for ecommerce stores and no additional transaction fees.||★★★★★|
|Templates and design||There are professional templates and themes for almost every type of online store.||★★★★☆|
How to choose the best website builder for you
There is great variety in terms of both the number and type of website builder available today. Some specialize in email marketing and others offer a first-rate ecommerce solution; some value simplicity, while others deliver so many customizable features that it could overwhelm a novice website creator.
When deciding on a website builder, therefore, it’s important that you have a clear plan in your own mind first. Think carefully about what sort of website you are looking to create – whether text or images will be the main focus, what sort of design you have in mind and, crucially, how much you want to pay.
Once you’ve come up with a mental framework for your prospective site and have a rough idea of your budget, you can start to look at your options. Whether you’ve used a website builder before will also be important to determine how comfortable you will be using some of the more complex platforms on offer.
You should also consider whether you’re likely to do most of your website editing from a mobile or desktop device. Most web builders offer mobile-responsive templates, but not all allow you to edit the mobile version without changing the desktop site too.
Finally, it is important to consider scalability. Although you may not need advanced business tools when you first build your website, as your business (inevitably) grows so too will the demands on your website.
Of course, you can always switch website builder platforms as your business gets bigger, but this can be a costly and time consuming task – so it’s best to plan ahead and consider your future needs where possible.
Choosing a website builder can seem complicated, but fortunately most come with free trials so you always have the option of changing your mind.
How we test the best website builders
To test website builders we get hands-on. This means signing up, purchasing one (or more) plan, and going through the process that any other customer would in order to build a website for the first time.
We look at the features offered, ease-of-use, pricing, functionality, support, and other add-ons like blogging, ecommerce and marketing capabilities. A key feature we look for in a website builder is if it offers you a free trial period. We know this is important to help you make up your mind and allowing you to get a feel of the website builder before making a more permanent commitment.
Once our reviewers sign up to each website builder, they create a website to get an accurate depiction of what you can expect. We have tested and reviewed all of the website builders listed above.
Because nothing can be 100% perfect, we made sure to dig out the positives and negatives of each website builder so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect.
TechRadar’s website builder rankings
There are so many other website builders on the market that offer great services, some you may have heard of and some you may not have.
Either way, our top 21 rankings below deserve an honorary mention. This list is filled with popular website builder services and see some honorable mentions too.
|1. Wix||The best website builder for overall performance and our top pick in most cases.|
|2. Hostinger Website Builder||The best for marketing integration and a solid all-in-one solution.|
|3. Squarespace||If blogging is what you need, Squarespace has you covered.|
|4. Bluehost Website Builder||Best for all things WordPress website related.|
|5. FridayWebsite Builder||Best for website building with Artificial Intelligence.|
|6. Web.com Website Builder||A great option of you’re looking for a user-friendly site builder.|
|7. Gator Website Builder||A great website builder for features and add-ons.|
|8. GoDaddy website Builder||A website builder that gives a little extra when it comes to customer support.|
|9. IONOS MyWebsite||For a unique set of themes, IONOS has you covered.|
|10. Elementor||An all in one solution with great plugins to match.|
|11. Jimdo||A great and simple site builder for photographers.|
|12. Network Solutions Website Builder||A site builder that accommodates mobile exceptionally well.|
|13. BigCommerce||The best choice for big online stores.|
|14. Weebly||The best choice for smaller online stores.|
|15. Shopify||The best choice for a professionally-looking online store.|
|16. Bandzoogle||A great choice for music websites and musicians in general.|
|17. Duda||A flexible website builder packed with a ton of features.|
|18. WordPress.com||A great choice if you’re looking for a top quality CMS.|
|19. Zenfolio||A good portfolio website builder service.|
|20. Ucraft||A website builder that has an easy-to-use interface.|
|21. DreamHost||A site builder that’s great for small businesses.|
Best website builder FAQs
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a tool that enables the construction of a website (or multiple websites) without the need for coding.
The tool is usually preferred by individuals or businesses who want to create an online presence for themselves but are not necessary skilled website developers.
Typically, the website builder includes a number of templates (pre-built website designs.) The user chooses the template they like best, then uses a drag-and-drop editor to rearrange the site and add new content of their own (image galleries, videos, maps, forms, social media feeds – whatever else is available.)
With a good website builder, you can create anything from a few simple personal web pages, to a complex business site and even busy and full-featured web stores.
Website builder vs web design software?
A website builder is an online platform, often including web hosting, where you build and manage your site in a browser. Most builders sell themselves on simplicity, with drag-and-drop editors which allow you to create a complete website within minutes.
The advantage of using website builders is they allow even newbies to build hugely powerful feature-packed sites and web stores, and integrate them with social media, payment providers and a host of other web platforms.
One disadvantage of website builders is you don’t have fine-tuned control over the site design (if that image gallery component doesn’t work as you like, there’s nothing you can do about it.)
Once you’ve chosen a website builder, you’re also tied to that platform. Build a site in Weebly, say, and if you decide you want to move to Wix a couple of years later, there’s no way to migrate the site. You’ll have to start building from scratch.
Web design software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, are desktop applications which allow you to build your website offline. They can also be easy to use, with templates and drag-and-drop editors, but are designed for more experienced users who want full access to the site code.
The big advantage of web design software is you can (if you’ve the knowledge and experience) make the finished site work exactly as you like. And because that site isn’t relying on the features of a particular website builder platform, it’s likely it’ll work on most web hosts: you’re not locked into a single provider.
Disadvantages of website design software are its extra complexity, the need to buy hosting separately, and that it’s often more difficult to connect to other platforms. On a website builder, for instance, you might be able to embed your Facebook stream by dragging and dropping; with website design software, it’s typically a far more difficult manual process.
If you’re unsure which approach is best for you, the simplicity of website builders makes them the ideal choice for most users. But don’t rule out web design software entirely. If your site is small and simple, the best apps allow even novices to build good-looking speedy websites which you can set up and run on any web host.
Free website builders vs paid website builders, which is better?
Why pay for a website builder when there you can choose between the best free website builders? Well, as is often the case, you usually get what you pay for. That isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t some great free website builders out there. Many free builders still come with all the features that you need to create fantastic online portals – customizable templates, intuitive drag-and-drop editors, marketing tools, and mobile optimization. Having a clear idea of how you want your website to look and conducting thorough research is key to avoiding paying more for a website builder than you need to.
It is true, however, that some features are less commonly included in free website builders. Ecommerce tools, for example, often have to be paid for and there are a number of other features that are usually excluded from free plans. Free website builders are often accompanied by advertisements that you will have no control over – you might not mind this but they can sometimes be intrusive. What’s more, they can make your site look unprofessional. Similarly, free website builders won’t give you a dedicated web address, which can also affect your credibility. Fortunately, many paid website builders have free trials that let you try before you buy.
How much does a website builder cost?
There is no straightforward answer to the question: “How much does a website builder cost?” For businesses that are satisfied with simple templates and are happy to put up with ads and a generic URL, website builders can be found that don’t cost anything at all. Of course, most brands would not be content with a free solution, which can deliver sites that look unprofessional. The good news is that there are some very effective website builders out there that are reasonably priced. Most work through a monthly billing system, with costs for entry-level plans sometimes as little as $6 a month.
One thing that all website administrators should be aware of, however, is how much website builders charge for additional features. Even if your basic web builder package is cheap, costs can quickly escalate if you have to buy add-ons for security, e-commerce functionality, and marketing tools. It is important that businesses have transparency when it comes to the expenses related to their website, so it’s probably a good idea to research prospective platforms thoroughly before making your choice. It’s also important to factor in whether your website builder is scalable: will it remain suitable as your business expands and how will costs increase?
How hard is it to build a website?
It may sound like a daunting prospect, but building a website is not necessarily difficult – although of course that all depends on how hands-on you want to be, the type of website you want, and your level of experience. Fortunately, many website builders are designed to appeal to the absolute beginner, coming with drag-and-drop editors that mean no coding experience is required at all. In fact, most web builders will have you up and running with a fully functioning site in under an hour. Alternatively, individuals with greater financial resources could hire a professional web designer to build their website for them.
For those that are willing to take on the website building process themselves, the level of difficulty involved will depend on what website builder they choose. Although all of them are relatively intuitive, some come with extra features that may require some knowledge of the website-building process to implement. Fortunately, most platforms come with decent levels of support, including how-to guides and video tutorials. It is worth mentioning, however, that many of the simplest website builders come with limited customization. For anyone that truly wants complete control over their site, some coding experience, as well as prior knowledge of HTML, will come in helpful.
WordPress vs a website builder: Which one is better for building a website?
Using WordPress or a website builder are both great options for anyone looking to build a website but each comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. Different from a website builder, WordPress is one of the best CMS tools on the market – a content management system that powers 39% of the web. Since it was first launched, WordPress has added a number of features beyond its basic CMS offering, providing themes, add-ons, and ecommerce functionality. Novice website builders, however, may find that WordPress has something of a steep learning curve. The language can be quite technical and users may even need to adjust the odd piece of code in order to get a plugin to work.
While WordPress does offer both live chat and email support, less experienced users may find that a website builder is more welcoming. Most website builders pride themselves on their ease-of-use, with many using drag-and-drop editors that allow individuals to have their webpage up and running in a matter of minutes, even if they have no web building experience. Both WordPress and website builders come with several different payment plans to choose from and both are capable of producing fantastic looking sites. Neither approach could be said to better than the other, but website builders are certainly simpler to use in most cases.
If you want to benefit from the power of WordPress, but also want a simple drag and drop website builder, some platforms (such as Bluehost) allow you to do this.
Website builder vs web hosting: What’s the difference?
Most online users probably think of websites residing at their respective web address. In reality, websites need to be stored in a physical location as well, on servers somewhere. Web hosting refers to the provision and maintenance of these physical servers. Every website needs a web hosting provider in order to run the physical infrastructure that they depend upon to remain online. Complicating things somewhat is the fact that there are different types of web hosting available. Shared hosting is perfect for smaller sites as they share resources with other webpages in exchange for reduced fees. Dedicated hosting is more expensive but comes with more customization options, higher bandwidth, and better security.
In its simplest form, a website builder only provides the tools to design a web page and is not involved with the physical web hosting at all. However, many website builders also offer web hosting – although an additional cost may be applied. Of course, for anyone that does not use a website builder to create their online portal, they’ll need to source their own web hosting provider separately. Put in the most straightforward terms, a website builder affects how a website looks, while web hosting tells you where a website is physically stored.
What is the best website builder for beginners?
The best website builder for beginners is Wix. This is simply down to the fact that Wix’s website builder is extremely straight forward and easy to use. Wix also has regular offers and discounts for beginners. Building a web store with Wix is very simple as you won’t need any coding experience. Wix is also the best small business website builder for these very same reasons.
If it’s your first time building a website, you will want to commit to a website builder that’s effortless to use. Wix fits the bill, letting you build and publish a website in minutes. Wix also has an artificial design intelligence (ADI) system that will ask you some broad questions about the type of website you want to create. Wix will then give you a website shell tailored to the type of website you want to create, based on the answers you give to the questions.
Can I scale my website with a website builder?
Yes! The majority of website builders will allow you to seamlessly scale your website as you grow. This typically means upgrading your package. Doing so provides you with access to more advanced tools and improved hosting, helping your website to cope with and manage greater visitor numbers and the demands they put on your site.
Even if you outgrow the top publicly available plan, many website builders also offer bespoke, enterprise level support. Before you invest too heavily, it is worth checking how your website builder of choice could support your future growth.
Are website builders secure?
Yes, the majority of website builders will come with at least a level of security built in such as HTTPS and SSL protocols. These types of protocols ensure that communications between your website and its visitors are secure by using encryption.
High levels of security help your visitors feel safe when using your website. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive information such as personal and credit card data.
Check with your website builder of choice what level of security they offer as part of their packages.
Check out the latest Squarespace voucher codes.