Running a small business often means limited resources and limited time to research the best solutions. Luckily, when it comes to website builders, we have done the hard work for you. Our experts have extensively tested the best small business website builders on the market and have detailed everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
After all, having a strong online presence is critical for the success of small businesses and an attractive website serves as a virtual storefront, empowering businesses to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
But where to start?
Below we list the very best website builders for small businesses. Each is beginner-friendly, requires no coding or design skill and won’t burn a sizable hole in your budget. We’ve assessed their suitability with small businesses in mind, testing their blogging tools, ecommerce abilities, ease of use, reliability, speed and support.
Most of the best small business website builders we list below come with a level of website hosting within their packages. However, as your website grows you may need to upgrade your hosting. We’ve also listed the best web hosting providers to help you make an informed decision.
These are the best small business website builders of 2023 in full:
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Best small business website builder overall
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Wix is one of the most comprehensive website builders we’ve encountered, and this is no different when it comes to small business websites. With a wide range of features, it’s no wonder Wix is the go-to platform for over 200 million registered users.
With the free edition, you'll get a basic service with limited bandwidth and storage (500MB) and you’ll have to put up with ads on your website. However, opting for any of the paid plans - such as the Core package at $27 per month (with a yearly subscription) - will get you a custom domain (free for the first year), 50GB storage, removal of Wix ads and much more. There’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out. Finally, don't forget to see what Wix promo codes are currently available for additional savings.
Wix’s website editor operates under the simple drag-and-drop principle, offering hundreds of different attractive design choices and customization tools. It also includes features such as an image editor, animations, video backgrounds, and proprietary and third-party apps.
Businesses can also take advantage of additional tools like Wix Turbo, Wix Bookings, Wix Restaurants, and Wix Hotels. This makes it ideal for small businesses that want simple, yet powerful tools to support their business operations.
Read our Wix website builder review
Best small business website builder for beginners
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Weebly scored high marks in our review for its easy-to-use drag and drop editor, good-looking website templates, and small business-friendly features such as its library of third-party apps and integrations (ecommerce, social media, marketing, customer support and more.)
It wasn't all good news - there are no blog templates, for instance, so you must design your own - but there were no critical issues, and overall Weebly is a strong all-round website builder for first-time users.
A free plan makes it easy to try the service for yourself, although Weebly-branded ads and a minimal 500MB storage make it less suitable for long-term business use.
Upgrading to the Professional plan ($12/month on the annual plan) lifts these limits and gets you access to a free domain, SEO tools, advanced site stats, phone customer service, and support for a web store with unlimited items. If this isn’t enough, the powerful Business plan at $26/month adds more high-end features like abandoned basket emails, item reviews, PayPal payments, and more.
Weebly is a great option if you want a very simple website or online store, so it’s ideal for startups, entrepreneurs or businesses that don’t conduct their business solely online.
Read our Weebly review
Best small business website builder for ecommerce
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
BigCommerce has all the necessary tools and features to help you build, maintain, and grow your ecommerce website. The WYSIWYG editor is limited to only seven free templates, but more can be acquired via the theme store for around $145.
Starting at $29/mo (when you pay annually), BigCommerce can hardly be called cheap, but this deep and high-quality platform is certainly worth the spend.
The Standard package includes hundreds of built-in features, including in a branded online store, dedicated SSL, coupons, discounts, gift cards, product reviews, social/marketplace integrations, POS, a blog, BigCommerce mobile app, 24/7 live support and more.
With a fairly hefty price tag, this isn’t a great option for small businesses that don’t turnover much from online sales. However, for small ecommerce businesses, the higher price tag offers a huge range of helpful tools that will likely save you money elsewhere and help your business grow.
If you’re unsure about whether this platform is suitable for you, there’s a 15-day free trial, plus three months of BigCommerce for free once your trial ends, if you do end up pulling the trigger on a subscription.
Read our BigCommerce review
Best small business website builder for design
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Unlike some competitors, Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, but at $16/month its cheapest package is more than generous, making it a very price competitive small business website builder. You’ll get access to unlimited storage and bandwidth, an SSL certificate, SEO features, image/video galleries, intelligent image optimization, professional web store, performance boosting CDN support, free fonts, a free domain for a year, and more.
However, this package doesn’t include an online store. If that's what you're after, you'll need the Business plan at $23/month (billed annually) or one of the commerce plans starting at $27/month.
The drag-and-drop editor is exceptionally easy to master, letting you customize each element of your website. It might appear a little basic, but don't worry: Squarespace's huge selection of beautiful templates are so stylish that you may well not want to make any changes at all (although even if you do, there are plenty of opportunities for tweaks and fine-tuning.)
All users can take advantage of the 14-day free trial before making up their mind about any of the pricing plans. This is ideal for small businesses that want to make sure they are making the right investment.
Read our Squarespace website builder review
Build your next website for as little as $10.80 per month
With world-class designers creating templates for every use case, Squarespace can help make your idea stand out online. Get started with one of our best-in-class website templates and customize it to fit your needs. Use the exclusive Squarespace voucher code TECHRADAR10 to get that price on the cheapest package.
Best website builder for small business on a budget
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
One of the cheapest website builders in the industry is offered by HostGator, a popular web hosting provider that has affordable plans for every budget. But it doesn’t just make our list of the best small business website builders because of its price.
For as little as $4.95/mo (an introductory offer), HostGator will supply you with unlimited bandwidth and storage for your website, with no limitations on the number of pages. You’ll also get a free domain for one year, website hosting, and a free SSL certificate. If your business requires a store, going for the more expensive Online Store option (still cheaper than some) at $13.95/month will also net you full ecommerce functionality.
HostGator provides an intuitive website editing process through its drag-and-drop platform, allowing you to choose from more than 200 mobile-friendly templates that you can tailor to your needs and preferences. All users will also get access to analytics, SEO optimization, and live feeds from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Unfortunately, some blogging options offered by the competition are missing, such as the ability to schedule posts. Regardless, HostGator provides a powerful and efficient website building solution.
Read our HostGator Website Builder review
How to choose the best small business website builders for you
The top website builder for small business will depend on your precise digital requirements, but there are some key site-building features which everyone needs to consider.
Ease of use is important for every level of user, but it's made up of many ingredients. The best services have quality templates to get you started right away, a simple drag-and-drop editor and in-depth knowledge base with simple explanations on how to create and run your site.
Ecommerce features are vital if you're hoping to sell online, but these vary hugely between website builders and plans. Make sure your preferred provider can handle the number of products you want to sell, and includes the payment, shipping and other tools you need.
It is also important to pay close attention to additional fees. For example, some website builders may offer ecommerce functionality on their cheaper plans, but charge a transaction fee on each sale. This can eat away at profits overtime, so is especially important for small businesses to consider.
Business integrations allow advanced users to link their websites to all kinds of essential business-oriented services. Common options include Google or Facebook analytics to track your visitors, Mailchimp for email marketing, or Social Stream to display social media streams on your site.
Check each website builder to see which integrations are on offer. Having these bundled into your website builder package can save you money (if you were going to pay for them anyway).
Pricing is important, but be careful when you're making comparisons. Some providers may offer good-looking deals, but only if you sign up for years, and sometimes costs soar on renewal. Read the small print carefully to be sure you understand what you're getting before signing up.
How we test the best website builders for small business
We test website builders in a similar way to how we test web hosting services. Our reviewers start by signing up and purchasing plans from website builders and go through the same process any small business would when creating a website for the first time.
We look at the features offered, ease-of-use, pricing, functionality, support and other add-ons like blogging and ecommerce capabilities. We also look for whether the website builder we are reviewing offers a free trial period, as we know this is important in helping you make up your mind on whether the builder is right for you.
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 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.
We also look at the packages each website builder offers to small businesses and compare them against each other.
Best small business website builders FAQs
What is a website builder?
The answer to the question "What is a website builder?" is simple. A website builder is a tool that lets you build a website without any coding experience.
Typically you'll start by browsing a library of pre-built website designs, typically called 'templates.' A template might include common pages such as About, Services and Contact, for instance, with stylish stock images you could use right away.
Next, you'll use an editor to add new pages, and customize any content to suit your needs. Inserting your own text can be as easy as clicking in a box and starting to type, and usually you're able to add new types of content - forms, maps, videos, more - by dragging and dropping.
How long does it take to build a website for small business?
Estimating the time it might take to build your site is difficult, because it depends on so many factors: the website builder, its editor, the available templates, the features you're aiming to include, and more.
If your needs are simple and you have the main copy and images already, perhaps from an existing website, you could have something ready to go in two or three hours.
When you see what the best small business website builders have to offer, though, you might extend the site with more features: maps, product videos, image galleries, whatever works for you. Although these are easy to add, you might spend an hour or two learning how to produce the best results for a specific feature.
Web stores usually make for the most time-consuming of projects, extending into weeks or even months. Most of that is tied up in creating a product catalog, sorting out payment support, shipping and so on; the best small business website builders can still create a workable main store in as little as a day or two.
Can I create a small business website for free?
Yes, it is possible to create a website for free, but this won't typically be suitable for small business use.
Free websites typically have fewer features, for instance, more restrictions, as well as loads of ads, and no option to use your own domain. That could create such an unprofessional impression with potential customers that you'd be better off having no website at all.
Don't rule out free tiers completely, though. Wix has a free plan, and although it's not a patch on the paid offering, it's a great way to try before you buy and see if the service is right for you.
What is the easiest type of website to build?
Most small business website builders include templates for one-page websites, where users can find everything they need - product and service information, pictures, pricing, testimonials and contact details - simply by scrolling down a single page.
If your website needs are simple, or you can find templates covering your precise business type - wedding photography, say - then this as simple as website building gets. Just scroll down the template, replace the company name, product images, addresses, contact details and so on with your own, and you'll immediately have a polished and professional site.
If your company doesn't quite fit into a standard business niche, though, a one-page solution may not quite work for you. Fortunately, that's not a problem. Website templates are just a starting point, and if something's not right, you're free to rearrange sections, add pages, or do whatever else you like to build your ideal business home.
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Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.