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Best website builder service of 2022

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Macbook Pro laptop with the best website builder services Bluehost, Web.com, Zyro, Wix and Squarespace logo on the screen
(Image credit: Future)

The best website builder could be the key to unlocking new found success in your business as it increases your client base once your online presence begins to blossom.

With good quality website builders of any nature, you can create a site in no time at all, with most offering drag-and-drop solutions that will simplify the process and cut out the need for a website design service or professional website developer.

A website builder does not just help you save time in coding a website, most have a huge portfolio of templates that helps you select a visual appearance for your website.

You will need to ask yourself whether you want to create a blogging site, an ecommerce platform, a portfolio website, or another type of online site.

Luckily, we’ve got something for almost every type of website in this article, as we review and re-review not only the top website builders on the market, but also the best web hosting providers too. We've also compared every feature you’ll need from a website builder from SEO tools and available plugins to customer service support, uptime and speed.

Below, you’ll find 17 top quality builders with Wix (opens in new tab) at the top of the list as the best website builder service on the market. 

2022's best website builder deals

1. Wix - a top-notch website builder (opens in new tab)
Wix is top dog when it comes to free website builders, but it also offers some powerful paid plans. These start from as little as $8.50 per month for the Combo plan, which gets you 3GB of storage space, a free domain and free SSL certificate.

2. Bluehost Website Builder for WordPress (opens in new tab)
The newest website builder on the block, Bluehost's basic builder plan offers over 300 website design templates, free SSL and unlimited websites all for just $2.95 per month.

3. Squarespace Website Builder for bloggers (opens in new tab)
Save 25% annually on Squarespace's Personal website builder plan, which includes a free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth, basic website metrics and 24/7 customer support.

The best website builders of 2022

Wix is a top-notch website builder (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
Best overall website builder

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Site Booster and Visitor Analytics: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Unlimited bandwidth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Over 800 templates to pick from
+
Supports over 180 languages
+
Extremely beginner friendly
+
Offers a free version which is a great way to test the service

Reasons to avoid

-
You can’t switch templates after building your website if you change your mind 

Wix (opens in new tab) holds the number one spot for various different reasons. We tested out its website builder and found it to be extremely easy to use. When choosing Wix, we were given a choice of two options: WixADI or WixEditor. WixADI uses answers to a few short questions to design the site for you, whereas WixEditor is a drag-and-drop solution that lets you create a website by yourself.

We found that the WixEditor takes longer than WixADI but gives you more autonomy over your website design. We were spoilt for choice from the over 800 templates Wix has on offer, as the website builder provides several options for a wide range of site themes. We especially found it easy to drag images and videos into the Wix template we chose.

We also went ahead and purchased a domain name using Wix’s domain registration service, which gives you the option to pay for one year, two years or three years at a 6% and 12% discounted rate.

Relatively affordable, Wix offers a free plan, a Combo plan for $14 per month, an Unlimited plan for $18 per month, a Pro plan for $23/month, a VIP plan for $39 per month, Business Basic, Unlimited VIP plans for ecommerce sites for $23, $27 and $49 per month, and an Enterprise plan for $500 per month.

There’s a plan for almost all users, therefore, if you are looking for a website builder that provides plenty of options to choose from, Wix would be your best bet. Wix also offers a 14 day trial period, and if you're not 100% satisfied, you can get your money back.

Read more about Wix

  • Read our in-depth Wix website builder review to find out why it's the best website builder on the market
  • If you're struggling to choose between two website builder providers, read our Wix vs Squarespace comparison article to help you make up your mind
  • Want to know which website builder is better for your business between Wix and GoDaddy? Read our detailed comparison article
  • We've also picked out the five best alternatives to Wix in case this top builder is unavailable to you
  • Also, read our Wix logo maker review to help you get your head around how to use it and our detailed review of Wix Answers

A TechRadar Pro web blog site created using Bluehost Website Builder

Bluehost's website builder is built on top of WordPress (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
Best WordPress Website Builder

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
WordPress friendly: Yes
Unlimited websites: Yes
Free domain: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Large repository of templates 
+
Excellent uptime
+
Easy switch between Builder and WordPress builder

Reasons to avoid

-
No email accounts included

Bluehost (opens in new tab), known for its top quality web hosting service, launched a website builder in 2021 that’s built on top of WordPress. It has drag and drop editing, live editing, mobile editing, and stock image repository. 

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’s three site builder plans on offer - Basic, Pro and Online Store.

Priced at $2.95 per month, for a 12-month subscription, the Basic Plan renews at $10.99 per month. The Pro plan is priced at $9.95 per month, for a 12-month subscription and renews at $14.99 per month, and the Online Store plan will cost you $24.99 per month for the same duration, and renews at $39.95 per month.

While Bluehost's website builder isn't as seasoned as Wix’s overall, it still includes attractive features such as a free domain for the first year and 24/7 expert support to 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.

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 more about Bluehost

Squarespace is another established website builder (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best choice for bloggers and writers

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Free SSL: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Unmetered bandwidth and storage: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing templates
+
Loads of features
+
Top-quality commenting feature
+
Two week free trial available

Reasons to avoid

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There’s no autosave for pages and posts

Squarespace (opens in new tab) takes a more simplistic approach with its website builder. We found the dashboard of the builder to be simple and easy to navigate. We were able to pick a template and build a test site in minutes. If you are new to the website building game, or you’re a first time blogger, it’s a safe bet to pick Squarespace.

We found Squarespace’s section-based drag-and-drop builder tool to be much easier in comparison to the other providers on the line-up. The platform comes with four pricing plans, ranging from $12 to $40 per month, but whatever tier you choose, Squarespace is bound to deliver a great-looking website or blog.

Its basic and advanced ecommerce plans advanced website analytics, Google ads credit and full access to Squarespace’s video studio app. If the section based builder is not for you, there’s detailed guides to help you navigate through the dashboard - we found this particularly helpful when we tested out the email campaign tool.

Squarespace’s Blog App allows you to manage your blog from your 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.

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 more about Squarespace

Zyro's website builder is perfect for beginners (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The easiest and most intuitive site builder

Specifications

Free domain: Yes
Mobile optimization: Yes
Free SSL certificate: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Easy to draw your own ideas
+
Great for beginners
+
Very fast

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as professional as other builders

Hostinger's Zyro (opens in new tab) stands out for its simplicity – this really is the perfect site builder for businesses or individuals who may not have much experience creating their own website. We found the drag-and-drop editor to be easier than other site builders when it comes to select design features, and the platform’s unique AI writer can even create some of the text content for you, which saved us hours when we built our test site on the platform.

The web builder interface is also easy to use and setting up an account is straightforward. There are 150+ templates available, which isn't as many as Wix or Bluehost, but the ones available are well designed. 

Zyro comes with a number of pricing options. All four website builder plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage. Zyro’s cheapest package is its Website plan, which includes AI business branding and SEO tools, a free domain for a year and free email for three months, for $2.61 per month with the TECHRADAR code applied at checkout.

We tested Zyro's Business plan for users who need a simple online store selling fewer than 100 products. It includes a lightning-fast storefront powered by Stripe payments. This plan is ideal for small business owners who need an instant ecommerce solution, and its starting price is $4.41 per month. 

 For users who want to dedicate more time and attention to their small online store, Zyro has its Online Store plan for $8.01 per month. Although, users are still limited to 100 products. We found that Zyro does, however, offer over 70 payment options, which is more than other top quality website builders. 

Its ecommerce plan follows the same drag-and-drop functionality as its website builder plans. We were able to select an online store as a new section and set it up on a new page, or choose a template with a store already set up.

For small businesses, Zyro website builder is an excellent choice, and is also a great option for anyone looking for a simple, intuitive website builder that promises excellent uptime, 24/7 support, and doesn’t overwhelm you with unnecessary extras.

Read more about Zyro

Web.com is fresh on the scene as a seriously easy-to-use site building solution (Image credit: Web.com)
(opens in new tab)
A powerful yet user-friendly website builder

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Site Booster and Visitor Analytics: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Unlimited bandwidth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great user-friendly site building system
+
Impressively affordable
+
Good customer support

Reasons to avoid

-
Blogging function is still in beta
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ecommerce isn’t the strongest suit either

Web.com (opens in new tab) 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 Zyro.

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.

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 (although it’s not really suitable for bigger ecommerce ventures). If you are starting out on your ecommerce website journey, Web.com’s package is $3.95 per month, which allows you to sell up to 500 products. 

Pricing is very 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 anything like 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 more about Web.com

HostGator's Gator Website Builder (opens in new tab) has some powerful features with a great price tag (Image credit: HostGator)
(opens in new tab)
The cheapest and best option for small businesses

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Free SSL: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Unmetered bandwidth and storage: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful yet simple drag-and-drop builder
+
A good number of features
+
Cheap signup prices

Reasons to avoid

-
Blog features are lacking

Another popular choice comes courtesy of HostGator,as we commend its website builder solution, Gator Website Builder (opens in new tab), for its simplicity and price, both of which should appeal to small businesses.

Gator is available in three versions. The Starter plan costs $3.84 ($3.46 with our special deal) a month and comes with free hosting, website analytics, free domain name registration for a year and unmetered storage. The Premium plan comes with all that plus priority support for $5.99 ($5.39 with our special deal) a month. The ecommerce plan, meanwhile, costs $9.22 ($8.30 with our special deal) a month and offers additional features like inventory management, a shipping and tax calculator, and the ability to create coupons.

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. We found that Gator has over 200 web templates that are fully customizable, so it’s easy to get your website looking exactly the way you want it. There are also a sizeable 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.

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 more about Gator website builder

The GoDaddy Website Builder offers great support (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best choice for customer support

Specifications

SSL security: Yes
Ecommerce plan: Yes
Mobile responsive: Yes
SEO tools: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great 24/7 tech support
+
Affordable subscription plans

Reasons to avoid

-
Templates are difficult to find

GoDaddy (opens in new tab) may be one of the most straightforward web builders around, boasting a hugely intuitive publication process and simple editing tools. This means that even if you’ve never built a website before, setting one up should only take a few 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.

Of course, challenges arise with even the most impressive online platforms and the GoDaddy Website Builder is no exception. Fortunately, GoDaddy’s support is among the best around. We found ourselves using GoDaddy's extensive PDF guides, (like Squarespace) which covers 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.

In terms of pricing, GoDaddy is very competitive, offering four website builder pricing tiers. The prices range from $9.99 per month for the Basic plan, up to $24.99 per month for the Ecommerce tier. 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.

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 more about GoDaddy's website builder

Hostinger logo on light purple background with spotlight effect

Hostinger lets you create your website with WordPress (Image credit: Hostinger)
A fully automated way to migrate WordPress websites

Specifications

Free SSL: Yes
WordPress migration: Yes
24/7 Customer support: Yes
Free domain: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of features
+
Free SSL certificate
+
Easy way to migrate WordPress websites

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited support

No other CMS in the world is as popular as WordPress – it’s intuitive, feature-rich, and capable of producing incredible-looking content. However, as WordPress is technically not a website builder, you’ll need a reliable hosting service that would go along with it.

Hostinger (opens in new tab) provides dedicated plans for WordPress hosting, with its Starter plan being the best choice for anyone looking to have a WordPress website up and running quickly. For $3.59/month you’ll be able to build up to 100 websites and you’ll get 100 GB of SSD storage space. Your websites will be able to handle approximately 25,000 monthly visits, which are more than enough when you’re starting out.

The setup is quick but not as easy as other builders in this article, but Hostinger provides a one-click installation feature with all of their plans. As the plan is specifically tailored for WordPress users, you’ll receive user-friendly tools, plugins, and features that will help with the setup process. If you ever run into trouble, Hostinger’s customer support team will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. We used this feature twice when testing the service as we ran into some difficulties navigating the dashboard when we were adding pages to our test website.

What’s more, the plans also include a new and ever-growing catalogue of fully customizable WordPress themes, so this is truly a one-in-all package deal when it comes to working with the CMS.

You’ll also be able to create up to 100 domain-based email addresses at no additional cost. Other features include a free domain of your choosing and a free SSL certificate. To further increase the security of your site, Hostinger provides you with the LiteSpeed cache engine and Cloudflare protection.

Hostinger’s WordPress Starter plan also comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee in the case you’re left unsatisfied with their services. Hostinger boasts of 99,99% uptime and WordPress acceleration features that are specifically tuned for faster WordPress performance. All in all, it’s a plan worth exploring.

Read more about Hostinger

IONOS offers a decent website builder (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best choice of themes

Specifications

Mobile-optimized: Yes
Free SSL: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Multilingual: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Really well-designed editor
+
Some nifty bonus features

Reasons to avoid

-
No free plan

Europe’s largest web hosting provider, IONOS (opens in new tab), 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 (although you do receive the first month free), the paid options are reasonable enough, starting at $84 for the full year, which works out at $7 per month - although you can't pay monthly for this price. We were able to gain access to the MyWebsite Now or MyWebsite Creator packages. MyWebsite Now comes with a domain, email address and an expansive image library, but lacks some of the more advanced functionality that you get with the Creator 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.

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, then IONOS is definitely worth considering.

Read more about IONOS

Elementor gives you a lot – even with the free plan (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
Top-notch site builder which is a WordPress plugin

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Responsive templates: Yes
SEO-friendly pages: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
So easy to use
+
Free plan is impressively well-featured
+
Live page editor

Reasons to avoid

-
Look elsewhere if you have loads of websites

Elementor (opens in new tab) 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 which is impressively capable considering it costs nothing, as well as premium products.

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 has 300+ templates).

The Pro plans also boast more features, and they support running across multiple websites, as well as providing premium tech support (or live chat for the top-end subscriptions). You get a lot of editing tools here, 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, as mentioned, and comes with 30+ templates (and 40+ widgets, though the full range is 90+). 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 basic Elementor plans which support one or three sites are great value if that’s all you need.

Elementor also has an all-in-one website builder kit, which enables seamless WordPress website creation. Elementor Cloud Website lets you build your website faster using a single end-to-end solution that includes a code-free builder, web hosting, and the ability to connect domain names at no extra cost.

Read more about Elementor

Weebly is a great choice for anyone selling online (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best choice for selling online

Specifications

Responsive design: Yes
SEO-friendly formatting: Yes
Social media integration: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good ecommerce features
+
Great blogging tool
+
Smart templates

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited fonts
-
No ADI option

If you are looking to set up a website quickly then Weebly (opens in new tab) is a great choice. This is because Weebly goes straight to the point with its signup process - simply asking you for your name, email address and a password. 

Some of the questions you'll be asked about the website you'll be creating includes what sort of theme you want, what your domain name is going to be and what pricing plan works for you.

In regards to pricing plans, there are three paid options for building a website: a Connect plan for $5 per month when paid annually, a Pro plan for $12 per month and Business plan for $25 per month. 

Where Weebly really stands out, however, is with regard to ecommerce. When starting out, users can select to build a “website with an online store” which will unlock a number of powerful features. Among them are a fully integrated shopping cart and secure checkout experience, an inventory tracker and a filtered product search tool.

The drag-and-drop interface that is a sought after feature with so many website builders also makes an appearance within Weebly’s ecommerce platform, allowing businesses to showcase their products with a range of display and merchandizing options. Social media integration is also included, allowing shoppers to share products via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Another major benefit of Weebly’s ecommerce platform is the support it offers users. Live chat, email support and a number of other resources, including several step-by-step guides, provide users with everything they need to get their store up and running.

The variety on offer here is also seriously impressive. Online store managers can sell physical goods, digital products or services, and retailers are able to set their own price and define their own configurable product options.

The lack of an Artificial Design Intelligence option meant that setting up our test online store took a little longer than we anticipated, but once you’re up and running, there’s no shortage of great features available for you and your customers to enjoy.

Read more about Weebly

Jimdo is another website builder well worth looking at (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best option for a portfolio for designers and photographers

Specifications

Professional templates: Yes
Social media integration: Yes
SEO tools: Yes
Mobile optimization: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Free plan has some unusual extras
+
Good tech support
+
Unlimited storage space on its business plan or higher

Reasons to avoid

-
Less features than some rivals

Jimdo (opens in new tab)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.

The platform even comes with its own Logo Designer to help make your brand recognizable. All you need to do is enter your business and select a starting point for your logo design. Then, you customize your icon and layout, choose a color and font, and that’s it! Your logo is ready to adorn your business cards, social media pages and your website.

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.

Furthermore, Jimdo comes with a host of tips and support documents to help you create the right website for you, similar to GoDaddy and Squarespace. This includes a number of examples of existing photography websites (opens in new tab) created using the platform, along with tips to build a successful site.

Other pros of using Jimdo include its speed as well as simplicity. First off, users have a choice between going with Jimdo Creator or Jimdo Dolphin. Creator has more than 100 templates broken down into four categories (Business, Store, Portfolio, and Personal) and there are plenty of customization options. Dolphin, on the other hand, gives you an AI-created website. There is also a collaboration with Facebook, which allows you to sell your products directly on Facebook and Instagram.

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 more about Jimdo

A great website builder for mobile sites (Image credit: Network Solutions)
(opens in new tab)
The best builder for creating mobile websites

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Mobile optimization: Yes
Free domain name: Yes
Stock image library: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use drag-and-drop features
+
Good ecommerce tools
+
Professional service

Reasons to avoid

-
Confusing interface
-
Can seem a bit dated

Network Solutions (opens in new tab) is a great website builder for any businesses that remain unsure of what direction they want to take their website in. There are a huge number of options on offer here, so there’s bound to be one that’s right for you.

With Network Solutions, you can choose to build a website yourself or instead opt for professional website design services. The DIY plan comes with a personalized domain name and matching email address, point and click editing, as well as a well-stocked image library. The professionally designed option is more extensive, however, and comes with SEO tools, web analytics, and unlimited changes in the first 30 days.

We found that Network Solutions has more experience than most when it comes to providing online services, first getting involved with DNS registration back in 1991, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t able to deliver more modern touches.

One of the best aspects of the Network Solutions website builder is its mobile-friendly approach. The builder comes with thousands of design options to choose from, and with the professionally designed plan, you will receive guidance to ensure that your website loads as fast as possible. We tested our site out on a smartphone and the quality was top-tier. Given that 53% of mobile users (opens in new tab) abandon sites that take more than three seconds to load, speed is an absolutely vital consideration for a successful mobile site.

Although the website designer interface can seem a bit dated in places, and some users have complained about persistent upselling, there’s a lot to admire about Network Solutions website builder. The prices are competitive and there’s just enough customization to provide a good amount of flexibility without things becoming overwhelming. Furthermore, all ecommerce plans come with a fully customizable storefront along with a mobile version.

It can be a bit no-frills at times, but for any business looking to craft a simple, professional-looking mobile site, Network Solutions is well worth a look.

Read more about Network Solutions

A good choice for big organizations (Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
The best website builder for big businesses

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Responsive templates: Yes
Free SSL: Yes
SEO tools: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Free trial
+
Built on HTML and CSS
+
Good range of in-house add-ons

Reasons to avoid

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Limited integration with third-party apps

As with most website builders on offer these days, you do not require any technical knowledge to get the most from your Zoho Sites (opens in new tab) experience. The platform offers an impressive range of features, including more than 190 template options, an extremely well-organized interface, and a user-friendly code editor.

In terms of price, it’s worth noting that Zoho does not offer an unlimited free option, but you will be able to trial the platform for 15 days before committing. After that, there are two different plan options, Starter or Pro, both of which come with custom domain hosting, mobile optimization, and SSL certification.

One of the major advantages of using Zoho Sites is its flexibility, which means that it is perfect for businesses experiencing rapid growth. With the Pro plan, there are three separate add-ons you can purchase as your company expands. If you need capacity for more members, more web pages, or more contributors, there are appropriately priced add-ons for each.

What’s more, many of the other products within the Zoho family are well suited to larger organizations. For example, Zoho Projects, a project management suite, is perfectly suited to workplace collaboration, regardless of how large and spread out your organization is. Other tools like Zoho Books, Zoho Reports, and Zoho Creator are likely to prove equally useful.

In terms of downsides, we found that Zoho Sites offers fairly limited integration with third-party features, including some of the main social networks. While it does offer a pretty extensive list of in-house applications that you can integrate with, including a CRM and marketing hub, the inability to simply plug-in external apps may be an issue for some.

Still, with a huge range of design options, newsletter support, ecommerce features, and analytics tools, Zoho is a great option for any fast-growing business or, indeed, any company that has already acquired a large customer base. 

Read more about Zoho Sites

A great choice for big brands (Image credit: BigCommerce)
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The best website builder for big stores

Specifications

Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Mobile optimization: Yes
Free SSL certificate: Yes
Plug-in POS integration: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Ability to sell through Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon
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Scalable
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Good choice of themes

Reasons to avoid

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Can be overly complex at times
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No native mobile app

While many website builders offer some form of ecommerce functionality, some are certainly better than others – and BigCommerce (opens in new tab) may just be the best around.

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.

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 once we were ready to make our site live and hypothetically start selling. BigCommerce lets users sell physical, digital, and service-based products without needing to use an app and doesn’t lock sellers into a single payment plan, giving them more than 65 different payment gateways to choose from, which is just five payment options less than what Zyro offers.

In terms of drawbacks, BigCommerce can use complex terminology at times that might make it a little confusing for inexperienced website builders 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.

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 more about BigCommerce

The most customizable website builder around (Image credit: Fasthosts)
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The best builder for businesses that want to really customize their site

Specifications

Free SSL certification: Yes
Free domain registration: Yes
WordPress plug-ins: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Free trial up to three months
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Great customization options
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Straightforward interface

Reasons to avoid

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Plans only include one website
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Limited features

As its name suggests, one of the standout aspects of Fasthosts (opens in new tab) is how quickly it allows you to get your website up and running. Even the most inexperienced online user should be able to create a beautiful website in minutes by using the platform’s wide range of adaptable themes and its intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

There's two plans on offer - the Essential or Complete Website Builder package. The Essential plan costs $8.5 a month and comes with all the essential features, including a domain name, a personalized email address and up to 10 pages. The Complete plan, meanwhile, comes in at $11.85 per month and boasts an unlimited number of pages, SEO tools, and additional email tools.

In addition, one of the aspects of Fasthosts that frequently receives praise is the amount of customization it offers. When adding content to our test website, we received a number of customization options tailored to the type of material we uploaded. Furthermore, Fasthosts comes with an established support website that contains a number of how-to guides that provide additional help for individuals that want complete control to tweak every aspect of their site. The platform is also mobile optimized, so users can make quick edits easily from their tablet or smartphone.

In terms of complaints, some users have criticized Fasthosts for having a poor average uptime record, which is something that individuals who are thinking of using Fasthosts for web hosting should consider. We thought that its interface looked a bit sparse, and would perhaps benefit from the addition of a few extra features.

However, there’s still plenty to admire about Fasthosts’ website builder, particularly its 30-day money back guarantee and the fact that users of the Complete plan receive their first three months free-of-charge. That means that new users get plenty of time to tinker with their site before deciding if this is the right builder for them.

Read more about Fasthosts website builder

Bandzoogle is a top-notch choice for musicians (Image credit: Future)
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The best website builder for musicians

Specifications

Ecommerce features: Yes
Mobile optimized: Yes
Press kit pre-sets: Yes
Social media integration: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of options for selling music
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Easily plug in your social accounts
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Options for selling tickets and merchandise
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Good range of SEO features

Reasons to avoid

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Not the most flexible theme editor
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All plans are paid

There are website builders that cater specifically for musicians and Bandzoogle (opens in new tab) is one of the best.

As with most modern website builders, Bandzoogle is easy to use and offers a range of mobile-responsive templates that are straightforward to implement and easy to customize. Custom domain names are also provided and users have reported good levels of site uptime.

Looking at features that specifically target musicians, Bandzoogle allows website administrators to upload tracks that fans can stream directly from the website. It is also straightforward to add gig data and blog posts to the site, and connecting to music-specific platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp is supported.

Musicians can also use the platform to create mailing lists, connect with their social media profiles, and receive visitor analytics to gain insights into how fans are interacting with the site. There's options for those who don't necessarily want to create a music website as we tested out Banzoogle by creating a regular blog and found templates to suit our needs.

Crucially, Bandzoogle comes with excellent support offerings, whether your queries are about websites generally, or building an online presence as a musician. Bandzoogle’s web team is made up of musicians, so the advice they offer is always relevant to the industry. Although Bandzoogle can be used to create a website that is not music-related, the platform has all the features needed to keep budding musicians and their fans happy.

Read more about Bandzoogle


Best website builder FAQs 

How we test each website builder

In the same way we test web hosting services, our reviewers also sign up and purchase plans from website builders and go through the same process a beginner 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. A key feature we look for in a website builder is if it offers you a free trial period to make up your mind and have 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 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.

How to choose the best website builder?

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.

Choosing a website builder can seem complicated, but fortunately most come with free trials so you always have the option of changing your mind.

Website builder vs web design software?

Website builders and web design software certainly have plenty of overlap. Both can be used to create beautiful, professional looking websites that have all the features that your business needs. The key difference lies in how they are delivered and how much prior knowledge is required to use them. In general, website builders are online platforms, often available in free versions, and which place a great deal of emphasis on simplicity, usually offering drag-and-drop editors. Web design software, on the other hand, is usually a bit more complex, with some geared towards experienced programmers and offering the option of coding a site line-by-line.

Another key difference between web design tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, and website builders, like Squarespace, is the price. Web design tools are often more expensive and there may not be a free option like there is with most website builders. Although web design tools will try to offer an intuitive experience, it’s probably a good idea to have some coding knowledge before giving them a try. Ultimately, whether a website builder or web design software is right for you will largely depend on your level of experience and also what sort of site you need. In most cases, a simple website builder will be sufficient, but if you want to tinker a little more, there’s no harm in trying a web design solution.

Free website builders vs paid website builders, which is better?

Why pay for a website builder when you can get one for free? 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 actually a content management system, or CMS, and is used to power 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.

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.

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.

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Abigail Opiah
Abigail Opiah

Abigail is a B2B Editor that specializes in web hosting and website builder news, features and reviews at TechRadar Pro. She has been a B2B journalist for more than five years covering a wide range of topics in the technology sector from colocation and cloud to data centers and telecommunications. As a B2B web hosting and website builder editor, Abigail also writes how-to guides and deals for the sector, keeping up to date with the latest trends in the hosting industry. Abigail is also extremely keen on commissioning contributed content from experts in the web hosting and website builder field.