Best Website Builders for Small Businesses 2021

We tested nine website builders to find the right one for your small business and its specific needs.
Best overall
Wix
Wix
5 out of 5 stars
5.0
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $14.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    500+ design themes
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    300 apps
Best for ecommerce
SquareSpace
Squarespace
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $12.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    28 design themes
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    30 apps
Best for brick-and-mortar
Weebly
Weebly
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $6.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    23 design themes
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    300 apps
Fastest setup
GoDaddy
GoDaddy
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $9.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    19 design themes
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    No app information
Best for complete control
WordPress
WordPress
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $4.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Thousands of design themes
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Thousands of apps
Briefcase Approach
1

Business created

Price Tag Approach
9

Website builders tested

Magnifying Glass Approach
30

Hours of research

Analysis Approach
6

Main points of comparison

At Business.org, we tested nine of the most popular website builders for small businesses. We found out who each builder would work best for (and who it wouldn’t) and ranked the builders based on their usability, design, and customizability.

Overall, we like Wix the most. It’s easy to use, creates beautiful websites, and lets you customize almost anything you can think of. It wins top marks on usability, design, and customizability.

But one size doesn’t always fit all, so let’s dive into our in-depth reviews and discover which website builder is the right one for your business.

The best website builders for small-business owners

Compare the top website builders for small businesses

Brand
Starting price
Design themes
Apps
24/7 customer service
Learn more
Wix$14.00/mo.*500+About 300No
SquareSpace$12.00/mo.*28About 30Yes
Weebly$6.00/mo.*23About 300No
GoDaddy$9.99/mo.*19N/AYes
WordPress$4.00/mo.*ThousandsThousandsSelect plans

Data effective 2/12/21. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.
*With annual billing.

Ecommerce shops and brick-and-mortar stores alike need user-friendly, fast-loading websites to drive business. But you’ve seen plenty of shoddy websites in your time, and you know a clunky website can cause customers to click away from your site and onto a competitor’s in no time flat.

So how do you ensure your website stands out and steers customers to your doors? First, you match with the right small-business website builder for your needs. To that end, consider a few things when deciding on a small-business builder:

  • Features. Do you need your website to drive foot traffic, sell products online, or let clients schedule appointments? Whatever you need, make sure the website builder you choose can provide it. (For instance, not all website builders emphasize ecommerce. If you sell products online, you absolutely need an ecommerce-friendly builder.)
  • Price. If your shop makes most of its money online, it’s worth paying a little extra to ensure your customers have the best possible online experience. When choosing a plan, make sure to weigh your budget against the importance of your website to your business.
  • Ease of use. Website builders should make your life easier, not harder. Look for a website builder that parallels your level of knowledge about site building—you don’t want to sink hours and days into learning to create a beautiful site. That’s what the builder is for.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to build a site and what to look for in a site builder, check out these articles first:

Wix: Best overall

Wix

Starting price: $14.00/mo.

  • Straightforward drag-and-drop website builder
  • Hundreds of design themes
  • Hundreds of apps
  • Super customizable

Despite facing some stiff competition, Wix emerged as the clear winner of our website testing. This drag-and-drop builder has it all: it’s easy to use, creates beautiful websites, and lets you customize almost anything you can think of. In fact, we gave it top marks on usability, design, and customizability.

Of course, one builder can’t be all things to all people, and Wix might not work for every small-business website. Its prices, while reasonable, aren’t the lowest, and it doesn’t offer the most plugins or the best ecommerce store tools. So if you’re on an ultra-tight budget or you plan to sell thousands of percale cotton sheet sets each month, you might want to move on to the other builders on our list.

Even with its (few) limitations, Wix’s quality and versatility make it the best website builder for most people.

Pros
Pro Bullet Easy drag-and-drop interface
Pro Bullet Limitless customization options
Pro Bullet Extensive app market
Cons
Con Bullet Negative customer reviews
Con Bullet No 24/7 customer support
Icon Quote  Dark
“I recommend Wix to my clients. A business is a living organism, and your needs, as a business owner, change/update, and you want a builder that’s able to keep up or lead the way and reveal new trends to you.”

Squarespace: Best for ecommerce

SquareSpace

Starting price: $12.00/mo.

  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Tons of built-in tools
  • Simple, beautiful online store or blog

Squarespace offers all the features a smaller online store needs. It has built-in functionality that lets you accept credit card payments, track your customers, create gift cards, and so much more. Other builders would require plugins to do all that.

But if you get some plugins, Squarespace has even more ecommerce tools. You can get plugins that add fabric swatch previews to clothing products, plugins that track your inventory, and plugins that highlight certain products.

While large online stores with thousands of orders each month might want a dedicated ecommerce builder, Squarespace offers all the tools a smaller e-store could want. Plus, it creates striking, clean websites with ease, so you’ll have the perfect online storefront for your bath bomb boutique or cosplay supply store.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Easy-to-use platform
Pro Bullet Beautiful designs for sites
Pro Bullet Great functionality to support your store and blog
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Bit of a learning curve
Con Bullet So-so search engine optimization
Con Bullet Functionality sometimes hidden by tabs and sidebar menu

Data effective 11/30/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.
*With annual billing

Staff Writer
Natalie Maniscalco
Icon Quote  Dark
“Squarespace is extremely easy to use and update. They also offer great design work and hosting of the website. Plus, very inexpensive.”

Weebly: Best for brick-and-mortar stores

Weebly

Starting price: $6.00/mo.

  • Drag-and-drop site platform
  • Drag-and-drop online store builder
  • Intuitive dashboard
  • Low learning curve

Weebly excels at making good-looking websites on the cheap—provided you don’t need lots of fancy features. Its drag-and-drop functionality lets you easily set up your pages just the way you want them, and its default templates look great on desktop and mobile.

But while the Weebly platform technically has lots of ecommerce tools, you’ll have to pay more for a pricier premium plan to get them—and at that point, why not go with one of our top two builders? Likewise, Weebly has blogging capabilities, but they’re not nearly as impressive as some of the other builders on our list.

Those strengths and limitations make Weebly ideal for brick-and-mortar stores that need a basic (but beautiful) website to direct people into their store.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Professional-looking templates
Pro Bullet Easy-to-use Weebly dashboard
Pro Bullet Good ecommerce tools
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Extra costs for most ecommerce options
Con Bullet Amateur-looking blogs (without extra apps)
Con Bullet Fewer customer service options
Patricia Hajifotiou Headshot
Patricia Hajifotiou
Icon Quote  Dark
“I would highly recommend [Weebly]. Once you get used to the way the builder works, it becomes very easy. Why? If it is a good builder, then it becomes intuitive. Also, as an aside, I love the ability to make changes as I need them and not have to wait for a busy web builder to get around to it.”

GoDaddy: Fastest setup

GoDaddy

Starting price: $10.00/mo.

  • Menu-based website builder
  • Low learning curve
  • Super affordable starting price

If you don’t want to spend much time building your website, GoDaddy might be the platform for you. With this easy-breezy site builder, we had a finished site in just 38 minutes.

Now, that ultra-fast build time does come with some limitations; GoDaddy has the most limited customization options of any of our recommended builders, and its web design is better described as “perfectly competent” than “stunning.” So if your food blog is your business, you might want something more customizable, and if your literature-inspired T-shirts keep selling like hotcakes, you’ll want a builder with a little more ecommerce oomph.

But if you want a simple website to point people at your lawn service business or you just need a small online store for your wildlife-themed jewelry, then GoDaddy offers unparalleled speed and ease of use.

Strengths
Pro Bullet User-friendly interface
Pro Bullet Low starting costs
Pro Bullet Relevant content suggestions
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited customization
Con Bullet Mediocre SEO capabilities
Con Bullet Mixed customer reviews
Icon Quote  Dark
“GoDaddy to me is easy to use and flexible, and I am very pleased with their tech support.”

WordPress: Best for complete control

WordPress

Starting price: $4.00/mo.

  • Website building software plus web hosting
  • More customization options than any other builder
  • Thousands of theme options

WordPress can do just about anything. It has tons of themes for any kind of website you want to build, it comes with exceptional built-in blogging, and with a plugin or two, it can provide powerful ecommerce solutions that can compete with the best ecommerce website builders. The trade-off? WordPress requires more work and know-how on your part.

In fact, WordPress’s steep learning curve and time-intensive customization process keeps us from recommending it to businesses that just want a small, simple website. Because if you’re not going to harness WordPress’s full capabilities (which you’ll need the Business plan to do), you might as well use an easier website builder.

But if you want control and features—and lots of them—then WordPress stands in a class of its own. Daily bloggers will love its customizability and SEO tools, and online sellers will enjoy the many ecommerce plugins. With all its plugins and templates, WordPress can make feature-filled, good-looking small-business websites.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Near-infinite customizability
Pro Bullet Thousands of available plugins and themes
Pro Bullet Great reputation and user reviews
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Steep learning curve
Con Bullet Plugins and full SEO tools limited to top-tier plan
Con Bullet Extensive customization required for best results
Icon Quote  Dark
“WordPress is robust, fast if you optimize it, and there is tons of support online and countless plugins to get any functionality you would like.”
Build your custom site today

Customize your website with an easy-to-use site builder that’ll make your brand look professional and polished in no time.

Honorable mentions

Haven’t found a website builder you’re in love with yet? Don’t worry—one of these two options could better suit your needs:

Best website builder honorable mentions

Compare runner-up website builders for small businesses

Brand
Starting price
Design themes
Apps
24/7 customer service
Learn more
Big Commerce$29.95/mo.*100+100+Yes
Shopify$29.00/mo.73100+Yes

Data effective 2/12/21. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.
*With annual billing.

BigCommerce: Best for large-scale ecommerce

Big Commerce

Starting price: $29.95/mo.

  • Ecommerce-dedicated builder
  • Flexible platform

BigCommerce is a dedicated ecommerce builder, which means it comes packed with tools for your online store. With tons of built-in functionality and even more available through apps, BigCommerce can handle all the sales and products you throw at it. Plans start at $29.95 per month, so you’ll pay a pretty penny for all that—but it’s probably worth it for large online stores.

Shopfiy: Best for brand-new ecommerce businesses

Shopify

Starting price: $29.00/mo.

  • Ecommerce-dedicated builder
  • Online tutorials

Another dedicated ecommerce builder, Shopify offers plenty of resources to business owners building a website for the first time. From name generators to logo makers to tutorials, it can help you get your online store off the ground. Just buckle up for some frustration: Shopify is expensive ($29 per month to start), it can be tricky to use, and you need apps and paid themes to unlock its true potential

Website building for businesses FAQ

What about a domain name?

You absolutely need to get your own domain name when you build your business website. A custom domain builds trust with your audience. After all, why should customers trust a business that can’t or won’t spend $12 on a domain name?

Fortunately, most of our recommended builders include a free domain for one year when you pay for a plan—only GoDaddy, BigCommerce, and Shopify don’t.

So if you choose one of those builders, or if you’d rather get your domain separately from your builder (you can sometimes get better deals on your domain renewal this way), be sure to take a look at our favorite domain registrars.

Should my website builder and my web hosting company be the same?

Honestly, the website builders on this list don’t give you a choice. All of these builders bundle their builder with hosting, and they won’t allow you to build a site and then host it elsewhere. So if you build a site with Wix, expect to host it with Wix.

And frankly, that makes things pretty convenient for you. You won’t have to manage multiple logins or bills.

You’d really only need a separate hosting company if you opted to use the WordPress software but didn’t want to use it through WordPress.com. (WordPress.com bundles WordPress.org’s software with hosting.) In that case, you can check out the best web hosting providers to find the right host for your needs.

Should I use a website builder or hire someone to create a website for me?

That’s one of those things that you have to answer for yourself.

To be clear, we at Business.org believe that business owners are totally capable of building a website themselves. That’s why we reviewed these builders and found which were the easiest, which made the most attractive sites, and which had the most customization options—because that will help you choose the builder that meets your needs.

And building your own website has some big advantages. For one, you get to maintain total control over your website, so there’s no need to worry about a developer going AWOL on you, going rogue after a dispute (Jurassic Park, anyone?), or simply not understanding your vision.

Plus, in most cases, you can build a website yourself much more cheaply than you can hire a developer to build it for you. Your small business probably has a tight budget, so if you can save some money by putting in a little web work yourself, why not?

On the other hand, building a website will take time. Depending on the features you need, it could take quite a lot of time. You know what they say: time is money. If your time is best spent actively working on your business, then maybe a web developer is worth the cost.

And if we’re brutally honest, most of us don’t have design or tech expertise. While the builders we recommend make creating a professional website totally doable, you might get better results from someone who spends all their time building websites and knows what they’re doing. Likewise, if you’re particularly tech-illiterate, you might find website building more frustrating than its worth.

At the end of the day, our recommended website builders make it possible for anyone to build a usable website. So we absolutely believe that you—yes, you—can build a beautiful, functional website. In some cases, you might want to hire someone. But mostly, we suggest you do it yourself.

Best Website Builders for Small Business
Wix
Best overall
5 out of 5 stars
5.0
Squarespace
Best value
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
Weebly
Best for brick & mortar
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
GoDaddy
Best for fast setup
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3
WordPress
Best for control
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3
Learn more about our top brands.

The takeaway

Running your business takes up enough time and energy. You shouldn’t have to spend more of both trying to find the best website builder for small business—and with our recommendations, you won’t have to.

As you narrow down builders by feature and price, you should naturally find one that fits your needs best. If there’s not an obvious pick, we think it’s hard to go wrong with Wix for most small-business websites. But any of our other top choices could suit your needs—don’t be afraid to take Squarespace, Weebly, GoDaddy, or WordPress for a spin around the block.

Now go build something great!

More interested in ecommerce-only website builders? We also reviewed the year’s best ecommerce website builders for online stores.

Related content

Methodology

To find the best website builders for small businesses, we considered site builders’ features, pricing, customization, design, and ease of use.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
Recent Articles
A young Asian businesswoman draws on a tablet while sitting in front of a desktop computer
9 Best Checking Accounts for Freelancers 2021
Best overall Lili Free sub-accounts No-fee checking Visit SiteLearn More Best interest-bearing BlueVine Interest-bearing checking...
Best Cannabis Dispensary POS 2021
Operating a cannabis dispensary is tricky because of legal regulations and restrictions. Our top picks...
The 9 Best Virtual and Outsourced Accounting Services for Small Businesses in 2021
We considered bookkeeping features, payroll and tax add-ons, integrations and software, and price to bring...
A Black businesswoman shows a financial form to a Black man and white woman
Chase vs. Bank of America: Business Banking Compared
Best for rewards Bank of America 2.6 Rewards program for small businesses Availability in 37...