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The best website builder of 2020: Squarespace and 40 other website builders compared

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

A modern business simply cannot afford to be without an online presence – and our list of the best website builder options will show you how easy it is to get yourself set up. The best website builders provide organizations with the tools they need to create a first-rate online portal, regardless of the industry they inhabit. Like web hosting providers, they have become essential to business success in the digital age.

Modern website builders provide a multitude of features tailored to each individual’s or organization’s needs. Some are relatively straightforward affairs that value simplicity above all else, while others come with so many customizable elements that it’s hard to know where to begin. The good thing is, there is such a huge variety of builders available that there is bound to be one that can bring your online vision to life.

The first step to choosing the right website builder comes from you – do you have a plan for what you want your website to look like? Is it an e-commerce store, some other type of business or simply a way to publicize your hobby? Whatever your online strategy and whatever your budget, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 40 best website builder services in the world right now.

These are the best website builders of 2020

1. Wix - a top-notch website builder
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 $10 per month for the Combo plan, which gets you 3GB of storage space, a free domain and free SSL certificate.View Deal

2. Gator - a superb value website builder service
Gator Website Builder from HostGator offers a superbly cheap Starter package which comes with free hosting and a domain name included, plus a free SSL certificate: all with 70% off meaning prices start from just $2.30 per month.View Deal

3. Zyro - a serious, high-quality site builder
Hostinger-owned Zyro offers a website builder which is very easy-to-use and ideal for novices, allowing anyone to get their site up swiftly. You’ll pay very little for the privilege too and even the premium 'Unleashed' plan costs just $2.99 monthly.View Deal

Wix is a top-notch website builder

1. Wix

Best overall website builder

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

Huge range of powerful features
Yet still highly user-friendly
Question marks over support

Wix claims the title of best website builder overall due to the way that it combines ease of use and great design flexibility. It offers users a range of plans, and a drag-and-drop editor that allows them to tweak and customize every aspect of their site without requiring them to be a coding expert.

Today, Wix is one of the most popular online website builders in the world with more than 180 million users across 190 countries and it is easy to see why.

One of Wix’s biggest strengths is the breadth of features it offers. It comes with more than 500 industry-specific themes, so whether you need a website to advertise your new café or want a place to show off your photography skills, it’s easy to create a website that’s right for you.

At the start of your Wix journey, you’ll be given the choice of two options: WixADI or WixEditor. WixADI uses answers to a few short questions to design the site for you – great if you’re indecisive, but not so good if you want total control. WixEditor, on the other hand, is a drag-and-drop process that will take longer but lets you create a website that’s completely customized for your needs.

In terms of downsides, Wix doesn’t have many. The fact that it imposes data limitations for each of its plan tiers could be an issue, particularly for sites which have a lot of visual content. Also, some users have complained that its tech support is somewhat lacking.

Nevertheless, its smart design, brilliant SEO and first-rate marketing tools mean that Wix is our number one pick for anyone who needs a website builder. There is a free version available (more on that later), as well as Business Basic, Unlimited and VIP pricing plans. Whichever one you opt for, all Wix premium plans come with a free two-week money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk involved.

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HostGator's Gator Website Builder has some powerful features with a great price tag (Image credit: hostgator)

2. Gator Website Builder

The cheapest and best option for small businesses

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

Powerful yet simple drag-and-drop builder
A good number of features
Blog features are lacking

Another popular choice comes courtesy of HostGator, whose website builder solution, Gator Website Builder, has been commended 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 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 a month. The e-commerce plan, meanwhile, costs $9.22 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. Each of Gator’s 200+ web templates is fully customizable, so it’s easy to get your website looking just right. 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.

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Wix provides a great free option (Image credit: Wix)

3. Wix Free

The best free plan or trial

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

Hardly any restrictions for features or templates
Flexibility in spades
A sticky ad remains at the top of your page

Wix is the website builder of choice for many, but a lot of reviews focus on the benefits of its paid plans. In actual fact, its free service packs quite the punch too, with hardly any restrictions in terms of the features and templates available, so it makes the cut for our list here.

Non-paying users also receive access to the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) mode, which combines social media information along with a few user-generated answers to automatically create a website in just minutes. Alternatively, the full Wix editor can be used to fine-tune your website if you prefer a more hands-on approach.

The free plan comes with an extensive app market, 500MB of web space, no page limits and full SEO customization, so users can enjoy a range of top-notch features before they decide whether or not it’s worthwhile stumping up for the paid version.

Ultimately, users may decide to stick with the free plan indefinitely, however. It still provides a polished experience after all, and comes with excellent customer support should anything go wrong.  Plus, Wix remains keen to bring new features to all its users, whether they are on paid or free plans. Site verification and new APIs are just a couple of the additions that Wix has launched in the past year.

Criticisms of the free plan offered by Wix largely surround the ad that accompanies all sites. For desktop websites, this ad is sticky and very visible, located at the top of the page. Thankfully, it’s not quite so prominent on mobile sites.

The other drawback facing free users is that they do not receive their own domain name, meaning they have to rely on the free URL, which is pretty long-winded and so not the best for name or brand recognition. Having said all that, Wix still represents a fantastic free option for any business looking to enter the world of website building, and you can always upgrade later as mentioned.

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Zyro's web builder is perfect for beginners (Image credit: Zyro)

4. Zyro

The easiest and most intuitive site builder

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

Simple to use
Easy to draw your own ideas
Great for beginners
Not as professional as other builders
Not as many features

Zyro 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. A great drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to select design features, and the platform’s unique AI writer can even create some of the text content for you, potentially saving you hours of time.

The web builder interface is also easy to use and setting up an account is straightforward. The relatively small number of templates – compared to some other website builders, anyway – may be limiting, but that only plays to Zyro’s strengths in some respects. Rather than wading through countless designs, the smaller range of punchy options should help speed up the web building process for novices.

  • Read our review of Zyro

Zyro comes with a number of pricing options. The free plan comes with 500MB of storage and monthly data transfers, but users will have to put up with a few adverts. The paid tiers start with Basic which includes 3GB of bandwidth, 1GB of storage, AI business branding and SEO tools, for $4.99 a month.

The Unleashed plan, meanwhile, provides unlimited bandwidth and storage, as well as a free domain for a year, for $6.49 a month. Ecommerce plans that facilitate online payments, order tracking and tax management are also available.

With Zyro, some of its strengths could also be seen as its main weaknesses depending on what you are looking for in a website builder. The small range of templates could frustrate more experienced users, and others may notice a few bugs here and there.

Given that Zyro is a relatively new player in the website building space, however, updates and improvements are coming all the time. For now, though, Zyro still makes a great option for anyone looking for a simple, intuitive website builder that delivers excellent uptime, 24/7 support, and doesn’t overwhelm with unnecessary extras.

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The Constant Contact website builder is great for email marketing (Image credit: Constant Contact)

5. Constant Contact

The best for email marketing

Ecommerce functionality: Yes | Social marketing analytics: Yes | Email tracking tools: Yes

Unlimited free option
Established and trusted platform
Great stock photo portfolio
Automation tools could be better
Lack of editing tools

Although Constant Contact delivers an impressive website builder, it is best known for its email marketing solution. The site builder is a straightforward affair where users simply start by describing their business. In response, Constant Contact will automatically generate homepage previews to choose from, each of which come with high-quality royalty-free images to give your site a professional feel.

The website builder costs $10 a month and comes with ecommerce features, unlimited storage, an SSL certificate and SEO tools. Constant Contact’s website builder plan also provides analytics, app integration and the option of adding a blog to your site.

For businesses that want access to more email marketing features, however, Constant Contact’s standard website builder may not be what they are looking for. Instead, the Email plan provides all the features that modern companies need to build customer relationships and drive cutting-edge insights. Starting at $20 a month, it enables businesses to send an unlimited number of emails to up to 500 contacts.

It boasts customizable templates, automatic re-sends to contacts that did not open first time round and subject line A/B testing. The Email Plus plan, which starts at $45 a month for up to 500 contacts, includes advanced marketing features like polls, surveys and dynamic content, in addition to everything that comes with the basic Email plan.

Evidently, Constant Content has incorporated some of the helpful features that are now commonly included in traditional site builders into its email marketing platform. A drag-and-drop editor, for example, allows businesses to create slick campaigns, even if they don’t possess design or coding skills. The built-in campaign analytics also enables businesses to interpret which marketing campaigns are performing well, allowing marketing managers to keep return-on-investment in mind at all times.

All this, combined with robust security and several support channels, means we’d definitely recommend Constant Content as an email marketing solution.

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Weebly is a great choice for anyone selling online. (Image credit: Future)

6. Weebly

The best choice for selling online

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

Good ecommerce features
Great blogging tool
Smart templates
Limited editor
No ADI option

Weebly is a great choice for individuals looking to set up a website quickly as it launches you straight into the action. While some builders waste time with welcome emails and confirmation links, Weebly simply asks you to provide a name, email address and password, then away you go.

The service starts by asking you a few questions about your prospective website, such as what sort of theme you want, what your domain name is going to be and what sort of pricing plan you are interested in. Regarding the latter, there are three options (Personal, Professional and Performance) that each come with a range of features.

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.

It’s true that the lack of an Artificial Design Intelligence option may mean that setting up an online store takes a little longer than you want, but once you’re up and running, there’s no shortage of great features available for you and your customers to enjoy.

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Jimdo is another new website builder well worth looking at

7. Jimdo

The best option for a portfolio for designers and photographers

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

Free plan has some unusual extras
Good tech support
Less features than some rivals

Since 2007, more than 25 million websites have been created using Jimdo, with its simplicity receiving plenty of praise. Another area of strength is the way that it looks, with a range of clean, flexible templates 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 that Jimdo users will 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. This includes a number of examples of existing photography websites 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.

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. Some Jimdo users have complained about 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.

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IONOS offers a decent website builder

8. 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite

The best choice of themes

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

Really well-designed editor
Some nifty bonus features
No free plan

Europe’s largest web hosting provider, 1&1 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 (although you do receive the first month free), the paid options are reasonable enough, starting at just $60 for the full year. For that price, customers can 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. 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.

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Sqaurespace is another established website builder (Image credit: Squarespace)

9. Squarespace

The best choice for bloggers and writers

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

Amazing templates
Loads of features
Editor interface is a bit unusual

Squarespace is one of the slickest and best-known website builders around, and it has built this reputation, partly at least, on a fantastic range of features for bloggers. The platform comes with a host of built-in functions to support bloggers and writers, including multi-author functionality, AMP support and the ability to schedule posts.

Even better, 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 receives the attention they deserve.

Squarespace’s drag-and-drop interface works a little differently to that used by some other website builders because it is section-based. This might take you a little bit more time to get used to, but doesn’t really provide a lesser experience.

Another benefit is the fact that deleted pages and posts can be restored up to 30 days after they’ve ended up in the trash. And if your online connection fails while you’re editing a post, it will still be there when the internet is back up and running (although it is worth noting that there is no autosave functionality).

In terms of drawbacks, it’s true that Squarespace may not be quite as easy to use as some of its competitors, and it can be difficult to find where certain features are located. It’s probably worthwhile reading a few of the support guides provided before jumping straight in. That said, setting up a new website remains relatively straightforward and there’s also an artificial intelligence-powered builder if you’d rather let Squarespace do most of the work.

The platform comes with four pricing plans, ranging from $12 to $40 a month, but whatever tier you choose, Squarespace is bound to deliver a great-looking website or blog.

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The GoDaddy Website Builder offers great support (Image credit: GoDaddy)

10. GoDaddy Website Builder

The best choice for customer support

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

Great 24/7 tech support
Affordable subscription plans
Templates are difficult to find

GoDaddy may be one of the most straightforward web builders around, boasting a hugely intuitive publication process and simple editing tools. Thismeans 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. Extensive PDF guides cover 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 a month’s free trial and four website builder pricing tiers. The prices range from $10 a month for the Basic plan, up to $25 a 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.

Some people have complained about the lack of an app market, which can leave some of the site builder features lacking 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.

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A great website builder for mobile sites (Image credit: Network Solutions)

11. Network Solutions

The best builder for creating mobile websites

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

Easy to use drag-and-drop features
Good ecommerce tools
Professional service
Confusing interface
Can seem a bit dated

Network Solutions 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.

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. Given that 53% of mobile users 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.


What is a website builder?

Contrary to what you may think, website builders have been around for a long time. Ever heard of Geocities or Angelfire? They were the precursors of today's giants like Wix or Weebly.

At its simplest, you can think of it as a set of templates like you would get in Microsoft Word. A website builder removes the need for you to know any coding language like HTML or Javascript and relies on something called WYSIWIG to get you online.

WYSIWIG stands for "What you see is what you get" and is essentially a graphical user interface that allows even novices to move around pictures and type in blocks of text as they'd do in a scrap book in the physical world.

Metaphorically, the concept is as close as you'd get to having a virtual shop (or house or property) online and website builders have been very smart in keeping things as simple as possible.

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.

You might also want to check out our other website hosting buying guides: