Easy Website Builders for Small-Business Owners
The most time-efficient tools for building your business website.
Best OverallEasiest drag-and-drop interfaceLimitless customization options
Best Budget PickIntuitive interfaceRelevant content suggestions
Best for DesignExcellent design for minimal effortGreat functionality for stores and blogs
Best for E-commerceEasy for large-scale e-commerce sitesProfessional-looking templates
Honorable MentionEasiest WYSIWYG editorAttractive store design
Let’s face it: building a website can be intimidating. Which platform is best? How do you create a mobile-responsive site? What’s the best way to engage your users and increase your audience?
Don’t worry—we’re here to help.
If you’re like most business owners, you spend so much time handling payroll, production, customer service, and heaven knows what else that you barely have time to eat and sleep, much less build a website. So we’ve scoped out the best easy website makers to help you get your site up and running fast.
To make sure we’re providing the best recommendations for business owners, we actually built full-fledged sites on each of the major web builders. So when we tell you these five easy-to-use website builders can get your business online fast, you know we’re speaking from firsthand experience.
To determine our rankings, we looked at each platform’s usability and customization scores and considered the total time we spent building our site on each builder. So which builders are best for business owners who want a fast, effortless site-building experience?
How our easy website makers stack up
If you’re looking to create a website with minimal effort and time, we think Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, Weebly, and BigCommerce are all great options. But the best solution for your business will depend on your needs. Here are the basics you need to know.
|Credit card payments||✔||✔|
|SSL security certificates||✔||✔|
|Discounts and coupons||✔||✔|
|Gift cards||With app||✔|
|Transaction fees on third-party apps||✘||✘|
|24/7 customer support||✘||✔|
|Available apps||About 300||About 200|
|View Plans||View Plans|
Wix offers the easiest website builder platform for your business website
If you’re looking for a simple website builder, Wix is one of our top choices. In fact, we’ve rated it the easiest website builder for small businesses.
Wix features a drag-and-drop editor, so it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use. We were able to create a full-fledged site (complete with a blog and e-commerce store) in less than an hour. Granted that time was particularly short because we’d already written our content and gathered our images. But it should give you a pretty accurate idea of how easy it is to use Wix.
Now, Wix is not a perfect platform. Its interface was a bit intimidating at first, and it wasn’t quite as quick and easy as GoDaddy’s GoCentral website builder. But overall, we were a lot happier with the design elements we got with Wix, and we felt that Wix produced a much cleaner website with hardly any additional effort.
- Easy drag-and-drop interface
- Limitless customization options
- Extensive app market
- Negative customer reviews
- No 24/7 customer support
Wix usability: 5/5
Wix’s interface has a menu on the left, a toolbar on the right, and additional menus that pop up as you’re editing. That’s a lot to take in.
Fortunately, we were able to get over our feelings of intimidation pretty quickly, thanks to the clear labels on every menu. We were never confused about where to find what we needed, which made it easy to build the site we wanted—fast.
We also loved that you could select and move more than one element at a time—something we couldn’t easily do on other website builders. Plus, Wix offers a built-in image editor so you can resize and crop images without having to leave the platform. Talk about handy.
Between the intuitive interface, smooth drag-and-drop editor, and user-friendly editing tools, we think Wix is a great choice regardless of whether you need to make a simple website or a complex e-commerce operation.
Wix design: 4/5
With Wix, you’d have to really try to make your site look bad—that’s how good it is when it comes to design.
We always knew where to find the tools we needed, so we were able to easily build the site we wanted—fast.
Wix offers a lot of different templates, which you can then customize to get a unique (but professional) look for your site. The platform even gives you design guidelines as you customize so you can avoid accidentally creating a site that looks like it just stepped out of the ʼ90s.
Long story short, Wix makes it easy to create a website that is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices—and looks professional on both.
Wix customization: 5/5
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor makes it simple to customize the layout of your site. But beyond that, you can also edit size, color, font, alignment—pretty much anything you can think of.
From there, you can customize your site even further with over 300 apps. Wix apps can help you do anything from managing gift cards for your e-commerce store to building multilingual websites.
Finally, Wix also offers a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) features. These help you to customize the code of your site so you stand out to search engines like Google. That way, your customers can easily find your site when they search for products or businesses like yours.
|Feature||Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Monthly cost with annual plan||$20/mo.||$25/mo.||$35/mo.|
|Monthly cost with two-year plan||$17.50/mo.||$22/mo.||$30/mo.|
|Monthly cost with three-year plan||$16.50/mo.||$20.50/mo.||$27.50/mo.|
|Storage||20 GB||35 GB||50 GB|
|Credit card payments||✔||✔||✔|
|Discounts and coupons||✔||✔||✔|
|Social media sales channels||✘||✘||✘|
What do other business owners have to say about Wix?
“I am very out of touch with technology and computers; however, Wix makes site development easy. In my opinion, it should be called Site Builders for Dummies!”
GoDaddy is best for busy small-business owners on a budget
If you’re looking to set up your website fast, GoDaddy’s GoCentral platform was basically made just for you.
With its user-friendly interface, responsive templates, and pop-up content guidelines, GoDaddy’s one of the best easy website builders on the market. And bonus! It’s also one of the cheapest.
GoDaddy gets even easier to use when you remember that it’s also a web hosting provider, which means you can buy a custom domain and start uploading content and building your site immediately—no trying to figure out how to connect your domain and hosting service with a separate site builder.
There are some drawbacks, of course. While GoDaddy is cheap and easy to use, it’s not the best website builder in terms of design. GoDaddy users only get 17 templates to choose from, and customization options are limited. So if you need a gorgeous site at a budget price, you might want to check out Squarespace or Wix instead.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Low starting costs
- Relevant content suggestions
- Limited customization
- Mediocre SEO capabilities
- Mixed customer reviews
GoDaddy usability: 5/5
Of all the website builders we tried, we thought GoDaddy was the most intuitive. GoDaddy has multiple ways to edit every element. The menus are short and clearly labeled, so you don’t ever feel like you’re combing through hundreds of options to find the one you need. And the platform features a preview window, so you always know exactly what you’re editing.
Our favorite part, though, was the copy guidelines offered by the GoDaddy platform. Our website was a health and wellness business, so GoDaddy included handy copy that was relevant to the theme of our site. It also provided suggestions for how to create a health-relevant about page and tips on best practices for website copy.
Altogether, these features made it easy to build a responsive site in less than an hour—perfect for any business owners looking to develop their online presence fast.
GoDaddy design: 3/5
If your primary goal is to create a beautiful, responsive website, GoDaddy may not be the best choice.
Of all the website builders we tried, we thought GoDaddy was the most intuitive.
GoDaddy offers only 17 website templates, and some are definitely better than others. A few of the templates we tried featured practically unreadable fonts and bland layouts—nothing to really draw the eye of your users.
The platform does offer a free image library, which is a nice perk. But in general, it would take a lot of time and effort to get your site looking as smooth and professional as a Wix or Squarespace site.
GoDaddy customization: 2/5
While GoDaddy users have only 17 templates to choose from, the good news is you can move elements around in your template layout. The bad news is that’s about all you get when it comes to customization.
Want to change the color or size of your header? Sorry. Trying to add a video to your blog post? Nope. Need to customize the look of your e-commerce store? Not possible.
GoDaddy also doesn’t offer any plugins or apps, so you can’t add extra functionality to your site. What’s more, GoDaddy’s SEO options are pretty lackluster, and you have to upgrade to a premium plan to get basic features like a built-in shopping cart.
Basically, if you want to create a simple website and don’t care too much about it looking unique, GoDaddy is a viable option. But if you want complete control over your site (or just don’t like the template options you get with GoDaddy), you may want to try a different builder.
|Feature||Business||Business Plus||Online Store|
|Monthly cost with annual plan||$9.99/mo.||$14.99/mo.||$19.99/mo.|
|Search engine optimization||✔||✔||✔|
|Yelp business listing||✘||✔||✔|
|Social media integration||✘||✔||✔|
|Google My Business||✘||✔||✔|
|Online payment capabilities||✘||✘||✔|
|Sales channels (Amazon, Etsy, eBay)||✘||✘||✔|
|Offer discounts and promotions||✘||✘||✔|
|Built-in shopping cart||✘||✘||✔|
|Shipping and tax configuration||✘||✘||✔|
|Abandoned cart recovery||✘||✘||✔|
What do other business owners have to say about GoDaddy?
“GoDaddy . . . is easy to use and flexible, and I am very pleased with their tech support.”
Squarespace offers beautiful web design for minimal effort
Need a responsive website that looks professionally designed? Squarespace may be the best option for your business.
Squarespace has a bit more of a learning curve than GoDaddy, and the drag-and-drop editor isn’t quite as smooth as Wix, but it’s still a pretty easy website creator. In fact, after we got used to the platform’s interface, it was pretty easy to create a website that looked as professional as we felt.
One of the biggest perks to Squarespace, though, is its price. It’s not quite as cheap as GoDaddy, but it’s pretty close. And we love the sheer value you get with Squarespace.
Squarespace is all about integrating the features you want with your service. There are only a couple of plugins that work with Squarespace sites, but that didn’t bother us nearly as much as it did with GoDaddy because pretty much everything we wanted was already baked into the Squarespace platform.
In other words, we didn’t have to spend extra time trolling through an app store trying to find the right plugins for our needs. And we could customize and optimize our content to our heart’s desire without ever having to pay extra for additional features. #winning
- Easy drag-and-drop interface
- Beautiful web design for sites
- Great functionality to support your store and blog
- Bit of a learning curve
- So-so search engine optimization
- Functionality sometimes hidden by tabs and sidebar menu
Squarespace usability: 4/5
We love drag-and-drop website builders for their ease of use, so it’s no surprise that Squarespace ranks high on our list of easy site builders. We loved that you could quickly insert content blocks (pre-grouped text and images already optimized for mobile viewing), and the finished site looked great with hardly any effort on our part.
That being said, Squarespace falls just short of Wix when it comes to the interface. Specifically, we disliked that the design customizations (like colors and fonts) were in a completely separate menu from the rest of the page editing tools.
Still, once we got used to where everything was, we were impressed by just how many tools the service integrates into its platform. We could easily update SEO settings and even share new posts and products directly to social media. We could definitely see Squarespace being a business owner’s primary tool in owning all of their online presence—not just their site.
Squarespace design: 5/5
We love that Squarespace users get access to every Squarespace template for free—regardless of whether they have a premium plan or not.
What’s more, Squarespace recommends templates that are best for your site based on your answers to a short questionnaire. Trying to sell products? Need a blog page? Prefer one style of header over another? Squarespace will spit out a recommendation that all but guarantees you’ll love both the look and the functionality of your site.
From there, the drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to customize your content blocks and create exactly the website you want, even if you know nothing about coding.
Squarespace customization: 5/5
Squarespace lets you customize just about everything on your site, sans apps and plugins. Sure, that can sometimes be confusing—multilingual websites, for instance, are possible to create without apps, but you’ll probably need a tutorial to figure out how.
Making an online store, on the other hand, is relatively effortless. Once you’ve uploaded your product info, you can customize front-end elements (colors, fonts, spacing, etc.) and back-end preferences (like shipping and billing) in virtually no time at all.
On the whole, that makes Squarespace a solid choice for any busy owner on a time crunch.
|Monthly cost with annual plan||$13.50/mo.||$19.50/mo.||$30/mo.|
|Credit card payments||✔||✔||✔|
|E-commerce web hosting||✔||✔||✔|
|Fully integrated e-commerce||✔||✔||✔|
|Mobile-optimized shopping cart||✔||✔||✔|
|Checkout on your domain||✘||✔||✔|
|Social medial sales channels||✘||✔||✔|
|Inventory and order tracking||✘||✔||✔|
|Abandoned cart autorecovery||✘||✘||✔|
What do other business owners have to say about Squarespace?
“Squarespace makes it easy to change elements such as images, summary blocks, formatting, and even website templates.”
Weebly makes it easy to set up large-scale e-commerce websites
Weebly is another simple website builder with a drag-and-drop editor.
All Weebly templates are responsive on mobile devices, so you don’t have to worry that your content will look wonky on users’ cell phones. Weebly is also the only website builder we tested that allowed you to build your online store from scratch. That lets you fully customize your store and design a page to rival even big-name websites like Macys.com.
In addition to a free plan, Weebly offers some pretty cheap starting packages. The problem? Most of those starting packages don’t include basic e-commerce features. So if you need to sell products on your Weebly site, you’ll have to sign up for one of the most expensive plans—just so your customers can actually check out on your domain.
Weebly’s free templates also leave a lot to be desired when it comes to blogging. We tried two different templates for our site, but no matter what we did, the blog looked like our old high school Xanga page—hardly the professional look that most businesses strive for.
Still, if you hand over some extra cash for a premium template and are willing to pay for an upper-tier Weebly plan, a lot of our criticisms are moot. But if you’re on a budget and can’t afford any extra expenses, you may want to check out our budget pick, GoDaddy.
- Professional-looking templates
- Easy-to-use Weebly dashboard
- Good e-commerce features
- Extra costs for most e-commerce options
- Amateur-looking blogs (without extra apps)
- Fewer customer service options
Weebly usability: 4/5
It was pretty easy to create a website on Weebly. Specifically, we liked the user-friendly interface, which puts all your customization tools front and center so they’re easy to find.
That being said, we did notice some problems.
First, Weebly has fewer pre-built content blocks to choose from. So if you want a layout or feature that’s not already built, you’ll have to spend more time putting it together from scratch yourself.
Furthermore, Weebly was a bit glitchy. We noticed that, occasionally, elements we’d already re-sized to perfection suddenly took up a full page. We’d then have to go back and fix it, which took more time out of our build.
On the whole, though, we liked Weebly. The platform provides lots of tools to help you make a beautiful site that completely meets your needs. But it wasn’t quite as smooth as other builders like Wix or GoDaddy.
Weebly design: 3/5
For the most part, we liked the designs on the free Weebly templates we used. And the fact that you can create your online store from the ground up is a huge plus, especially if you’re building an e-commerce website.
So why three out of five? Short answer: the blog.
No matter which free template we used, the blog on our Weebly website looked . . . well, horrendous, if we’re being honest. To counteract that, you’d either need to upgrade to a premium template (which would set you back an extra $50) or find the right combination of plugins to make your blog look like it’s actually from this century. Sounds like a lot of work to us.
Weebly customization: 4/5
Weebly’s platform makes it easy to change colors, fonts, sizes, and more since all your editing tools are in one spot—no crawling through menus to find what you need.
We did notice, though, that Weebly’s glitching was more pronounced when we tried to customize our content blocks. When we changed the color on a heading, for example, it made a text block above it left-aligned instead of right-aligned. Every glitch meant additional time spent re-doing our work to make everything look right—not great if you’re a small-business owner looking to get through your site build quickly.
|Monthly cost with annual plan||$5/mo.||$12/mo.||$25/mo.||$38/mo.|
|Credit card payments||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|Discounts and coupons||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|Checkout on your domain||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|Social media sales channels||✘||✘||✘||✘|
|Abandoned cart emails||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Shipping discount||✘||✘||Up to 40%||Up to 40%|
What do other business owners have to say about Weebly?
“Weebly was very easy to pick up and edit daily at the lowest cost.”
BigCommerce is an easy-ish builder for e-commerce businesses
If you just need to make a simple website for a brick-and-mortar store, Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace are where it’s at. But if you’re looking to run an e-commerce site with hundreds of products, BigCommerce has everything you need.
BigCommerce features a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor, so it’s not quite as intuitive as the easy-to-use website builders with drag-and-drop editors. But for what it is, BigCommerce’s platform is still remarkably easy to use—particularly when it comes to setting up your online store.
Word to the wise, though: if you want your e-commerce site to feature more than a simple storefront, BigCommerce is not your best option.
While BigCommerce’s WYSIWYG text editor is easy to use, it doesn’t produce good-looking pages. So unless you already know HTML or CSS coding, creating an about page or contact page will probably be an exhausting experience that still doesn’t produce the results you want.
And yet, setting up our online store was incredibly easy. All we had to do was upload our product info, set our categories, and sit back while BigCommerce did the rest. The result was a beautiful, responsive website store that was easy for our users to browse.
- Powerful e-commerce features
- Easy-to-navigate interface
- Attractive store design
- Limited free themes
- Complicated customization
- Negative customer reviews
BigCommerce usability: 3/5
The BigCommerce platform was great for creating a responsive online store. The menus were clearly labeled and intuitive, so it was easy to find everything we needed.
Unfortunately, the WYSIWYG editor wasn’t really capable of producing the professional-looking pages we wanted outside of the store. We had to do a lot of Googling to figure out how to get the features we wanted. And even then, we still weren’t super happy with any pages on our site besides the storefront.
So overall, BigCommerce is usable, and it has its advantages. But unless you’re strictly looking to build an e-commerce store, we don’t think BigCommerce is the right web builder to engage your users and cultivate a professional online presence.
BigCommerce design: 3/5
If you want to create a simple website with an online store and nothing else, BigCommerce can do that. BigCommerce storefronts feature gorgeous designs, and the platform makes it really easy to add and track products.
But if you want any other content on your site, BigCommerce’s WYSIWYG editor isn’t cut out for creating a professional-looking page.
Now, you can download a plugin for a drag-and-drop editor instead, which would probably improve the design of your site considerably. You just have to be willing to pay extra every month to use that plugin. Otherwise, you may want to try a builder with a better track record for design (like Wix or Squarespace).
BigCommerce customization: 3/5
BigCommerce offers lots of responsive templates, but most of them cost extra. That gives you limited options if you’re looking to create anything other than a storefront.
Once you get into your website build, you can customize every aspect of your content. The only downside is you have to change every item individually. So if you want all your text on the page to be blue instead of black, you have to change each text block color one at a time. That takes a lot of extra effort, and it can really eat away at your day if you let it.
BigCommerce also features good SEO customizations and an app market with over 200 apps. So you can customize your front end (the part your customers see) and back end (the part you use to manage your site) to your heart’s content—it might just take a little more work than it would on other builders.
|Monthly cost with annual plan||$29.95/mo.||$71.95/mo.||$224.95/mo.|
|Credit card payments||✔||✔||✔|
|Discounts and coupons||✔||✔||✔|
|E-commerce web hosting||✔||✔||✔|
|Abandoned cart saver||✘||✔||✔|
|Credit card storage||✘||✔||✔|
|Google customer reviews||✘||✘||✔|
|Social media sales channels||✔||✔||✔|
FAQs about website building for brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses
Refresh my memory: what is SEO and why should I care about it when building my website?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s important because it helps search engines find your site. It also helps search engines know when to recommend you to their users and differentiate your cleaning service from a restaurant.
Everything from your domain name to the words you use on your page can affect how search engines recognize and recommend your business, so it’s vital that you make the most of the SEO features offered by your website builder. You may even want to hire an SEO pro to make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities to optimize your site.
Are SSL certificates important? Why?
SSL security is vital because it allows you to protect your users’ information (like credit card numbers and addreses) while they’re on your site. Having an SSL certificate shows your users (and search engines) that you’re trustworthy.
Many search engines won’t even show your site in search results unless you have an SSL certificate, so don’t overlook this critical step in your website build. After all, it won’t matter how professionally designed your content looks if users can’t even find your site.
Do I need web hosting in addition to a website builder?
Yes. Everything on your site needs to be stored somewhere, and unless you’ve got your own server, you probably don’t have the bandwidth or storage space to support your site yourself.
Web hosting providers take care of all that for you. Some even offer custom domains! Just make sure you choose a web hosting service with good uptime (the amount of time the servers are accessible) and fast speeds. You wouldn’t want potential customers giving up on your page because it wasn’t available or took too long to load.
While Weebly and BigCommerce are both easy to use, they lack design features that we think the average business owner would prefer.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, is a great budget option. It was the easiest website builder we tested, but its designs were only so-so compared to Wix and Squarespace (another top choice if you’re looking for an easy builder).
Overall, though, if you’re looking for an easy website creator, we think you’ll love Wix. It’s our number one choice because its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create content that’s mobile-responsive and beautifully designed. Happy building!
Looking for more website-building tips? Check out our guides for building a business website and making an online store.
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.