How to Choose the Best Website Builder for You With 9 Simple Questions

Last updated on February 20, 2019

Before discovering website builders, did you ever asked yourself these questions?

  • “I have WAY too much admin work already. I can’t spare a few months to build a website — I have more important things to do!” 
  • “I’m not a techie! I get jittery even when need to update a software program — How on earth am I supposed to create a website?” 
  • “I just don’t have any talent for designing things. I don’t want to feel embarrassed about my website — What if people think my business is unprofessional?” 
  • “I’ve heard horror stories of people getting ripped off, so hiring designers to build my website scares me — I want to do it myself, if only it wasn’t so hard!”

If this sounds all too familiar, you’ve come to the right place.

choose-best-website-builder-thumbnailBuilding your own website used to be almost impossible — you used to have to know how to code like a pro (or hire expensive coders) and keeping your website up and running is very time intensive and expensive.

Thankfully — those days are now behind us and you’re living in a time where drag & drop website builders are plentiful. They enable you to build a professional looking website without having to write a line of code.

They’re also very affordable as well, as you no longer have to hire designers or coders to help you set up and maintain your website on an ongoing basis.

By removing the technical “shackles”, these website builders give you a fair chance and freedom to create a good looking, functional website.

They manage all the technicalities of operating websites for you, so it’s almost like having a team of IT technicians working for you in the background.

Choose a website builder and make money online today

What type of site do you want to build?

build a website
build an online store

What are Some of the Best Website Builders & How Should I Choose?

More and more drag & drop website builders are becoming available, especially over the past few years.

Instead of listing out 10 – 20 different website builders, which can lead to choice paralysis (having too many options to study and consider), we’ve narrowed down our recommended list to 3 really good website builders:

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. Weebly

(We will explain why we’re recommending these 3 below)

If you’d like more options you can find our full list on our best website builders page.

All of them enable you to build a website without having to know how to code and they all manage the hosting and system administration functions for you – so you don’t have to deal with them.

So how do you figure out which of the 3 is the most suitable for you? We’ll guide you through some of the right questions to ask in order to get started below.

Here are the main sections we’ll go over in this article:

Ready? So let’s get going!

 

1. How long has the company been established?

  1. Wix – Established in 2006. It is also a publicly traded company, so they have been thoroughly vetted by the securities stock exchange and government agencies.
  2. Squarespace – Established in 2004. Based in New York City. Squarespace is currently a private company.
  3. Weebly – Established in 2007. Based in San Francisco. Weebly is currently a private company.

All 3 website builders have been established for many years. In our view, they are the original pioneers of the drag and drop, code-free, website building industry.

 

2. How many people are using the builder?

  1. Wix – Over 109 million websites have been created with Wix. Currently, there are over 2.87 million paying subscribers.
  2. Squarespace – The company stated that millions of users have registered to try Squarespace. As the company is private, they did not disclose exactly how many registered users they have. However, they highlight that they do have over 1 million paying subscribers.
  3. Weebly – Over 40 million websites have been created with Weebly. As the company is private, they did not disclose how many paying users they have.

There are good reasons why millions of users are using their platforms.  These website builders have invested millions of dollars and many years into growing and improving their software.

 

3. Are the number of users growing?

  1. Wix – Over 45,000 new users are signing up to try Wix every day. Based on publicly available information, the number of registered users is growing by 25% every year, and the number of paying users is growing by 38% every year.
  2. Squarespace – As mentioned, this private company does not disclose the number of users. But we’ve been following them for years now and their presence and brand is growing. They purchased advertising slots during the Super Bowl TV commercials **, so it gives you a sense that they are not a small time company.
  3. Weebly – Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed Weebly grow from 15 million users to 40 million users right now. So they’re growing quite rapidly.

** Note that Wix also participated in creating Super Bowl TV Commercials. This also shows that they are a legitimate, established company.

With high user growth, this further reinforces that these website builders are expanding, growing and are leading the charge in making website creation easy.

 

4. Are people searching for the company in Google?

Here is a chart from Google Trends, highlighting how often each of these website builders is searched on Google relative to one another.

Choose Best Website Builder - Google Trend

Click image to see the latest trending chart

You can see that the searches for these website builders have been growing over the past 10 years.

As people start realizing that they can build websites without coding or play the role of an IT systems administrator, these companies started to grow quite rapidly as more and more people signed up.

This also shows you that these website builders are not the “flavor of the month” sort of companies. They have been around for years, are established and are well branded.

You can also see that Wix’s growth is the highest, followed by Weebly and Squarespace. This suggests that Wix is the most popular, followed by Weebly and Squarespace

 

5. Is it easy to get in touch with the company’s support team?

  1. Wix – You can reach their support team through the phone, email, and users forum.
  2. Squarespace – You can reach their support team through live chat, email, and users forum.
  3. Weebly – You can reach their support team through the phone, live chat, and email.

So getting in touch with an actual person from each of the website builders is not challenging.

This further reinforces the point that they are not some sort of dodgy companies that hide behind their websites.

 

6. Does the company have a fair refund policy?

All three website builders have fair refund policies:

  1. Wix – No questions asked, 14 day refund period after you decide to upgrade to a paid plan. Note that Wix is also free to use before you decide whether you want to upgrade. So this gives you a chance to test them out before committing to anything. There is no time limit to their free plan so there is no pressure to upgrade.
  2. Squarespace – They don’t have a free plan like Wix or Weebly, but you do get a 14 day free trial period before deciding if you want to continue using their services. If you do, you will have to upgrade. But once you upgrade to their paid plans, you can cancel at any time and Squarespace will refund you the remaining, unused portion of your plan (only applicable to annual plans).
  3. Weebly – No questions asked, 30 day refund period after you decide to upgrade to a paid plan. Similar to Wix, Weebly is also free to use before you decide if you want to upgrade. There is also no time limit to how long you want to use their free plan.

What we really like here, is that you have an opportunity to test out all their tools before deciding whether you want to upgrade to a paid plan or not.

If you do upgrade, and you change your mind for whatever reason, you get a reasonable number of days to get your refund.

Having a fair, reasonable and transparent refund policy is a sign a good business to deal with.

 

7. Pros & Cons Comparison Chart

We’ll go over each website builder company in more details below in sections 10, 11 and 12.

But before we get to the overviews of each company, here is a table of pros & cons between the website builders so you can get a sense of which one might be more suitable for you:

 

Wix

Squarespace

Weebly

Pro #1

Over 500 professional looking templates across many different industries for you to choose from.

Beautiful, mobile responsive templates that can give you with a very polished design.

One of the easiest website builders to use. They are very user-friendly & minimalistic.

Pro #2

“Pure” drag & drop user interface. Insert content anywhere without any limitations. This makes designing much easier.

All websites built are mobile responsive. You don’t have to edit your website separately in a mobile editor.

An increasing number of mobile responsive templates. Same as Squarespace, your site is automatically optimized for mobile devices.

Pro #3

Comprehensive tutorials if you have questions. Also provides phone & email support.

Extensive styling controls without you having to know how to code.

Over 40 pre-designed page layouts for you to pick from, so you don’t have to start your page designs from scratch.

Con #1

Very visible advertisement if you are using the free plan. To remove the advertisement, you need to upgrade.

Due to your website being mobile responsive, what you see in your editor may not be exactly how it shows up “live” as your layout changes depending on the screen size.

Designs are good, but not as good looking / sophisticated as Wix or Squarespace. But designs are “catching up” and have been improving significantly.

Con #2

Once you select a template, you cannot change it without having to rebuild your content.

The comprehensive style editor could be overwhelming for non-designers. Not the easiest tool to use.

Limited styling options compared to Wix or Squarespace (unless you modify the codes to the templates).

Con #3

Page URL structure is not as pretty. But Wix webpages are fully crawlable & indexable by search engines (e.g. Google).

No free plan. So you can’t continue to use their services if you don’t upgrade after the free trial period.

While Weebly is easy to use, their tutorials / user guides are not very detailed or comprehensive.

Wix vs Squarespace – see our comprehensive, in-depth comparison between them

Wix vs Weebly – see our comprehensive, in-depth comparison between them

 

8. Which Website Builder Should You Choose?

To be honest, we can’t tell you exactly which website builder will be the best for you.

We wished we could — but there are many potential factors affecting why you may or may not like a particular platform.

For instance, you may favor one user interface over the others, you may like a design template from one specific web builder, or you may like a specific tool that one builder offers while the others don’t.

So as you can see, how you view and assess whether Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly works best for you, is a very personal experience.  Each website builder has its own set of pros and cons, and you may find some cons more acceptable than others, according to your own website needs. That’s why we recommend that you test out all three of them so you can make an informed decision as to which one you want to commit to.

You can test all of them for free.  Wix and Weebly both have free plans.  While Squarespace doesn’t have a permanent free plan, they do offer you a 14-day risk-free trial period so you can give them a test drive.

To help make this process slightly easier for you, to enable you to at least have a sense of which website builder might be more suitable for you, here are our recommendations based on what you might be looking for:

  • Easiest To UseWix and Weebly
  • Stylish & Professional Design – Wix and Squarespace
  • Best Help / Support Guides – Wix and Squarespace
  • Most Customizable – Wix and Squarespace (If you know how to modify codes, Weebly is best)
  • Most Popular (based on user numbers and most searched after in Google) – Wix
Website Builders Comparison Chart – see our detailed side-by-side comparison between Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly

 

9. How Much Does Each Website Builder Cost?

Of course, we can’t complete our coverage of these website builders without briefly discussing their pricing plans.

Here are the monthly prices in US$, based on their annual plans:

Wix Plans:
  • Connect Domain: $5.00
  • Combo: $10.00
  • Unlimited: $14.00
  • eCommerce: $17.00
  • VIP: $25.00
Squarespace Plans:
  • Personal Website: $12
  • Business Website: $18
  • Basic eCommerce: $26
  • Advanced eCommerce: $40
Weebly Plans:
  • Starter $8 / month
  • Pro $12 / month
  • Business $25 / month
  • Performance $49 / month
As you can see, the pricing differences between Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are not drastically different.

All of them also give you a free domain name for the first year if you signed up to their annual plans (except for the “Connect Domain” plan from Wix). So that’s an additional $10 – $15 in savings for the first year. After the first year, you will have to pay to renew the domain name (at around $20 per year).

This is why we suggest you test out the website builders to see which one you like best, as the pricing difference between each website builder is not significant.

Using a drag & drop web builder is a very affordable way for you to create a website- without having to hire a designer (see our debate on why you should NOT hire a designer).

They’re easy to use, and the cost is very predictable compared to other more advanced web building platforms such as WordPress, or custom websites.

See our detailed discussion about the cost of building a website along with issues for you to think about if you are exploring different types of website builders.

Or if you’re thinking about selling online, see our article on the best ecommerce platforms on the market today to find the perfect builder for you.

If you’re thinking, “maybe I want to use a more advanced platform like WordPress,” have a look at our article on the Best Website Hosting Services to find the best provider for you.

 

10. Overview of Wix

Wix is one of the best drag & drop website builders available. As highlighted above, they have over 109 million registered users and over 2.87 million paying subscribers.

The number of actual paying customers shows a high level of confidence and that people are happy with Wix’s services.

Choose Best Website Builder - Wix

One of the reasons why people like to use Wix is that you can drag and drop any content around your website – without having to touch a line of code.

They are a “pure” drag and drop website builder, so you can have full control over the creative design of your website and place your content pretty much anywhere you want to – without restrictions.

Wix also offers you over 500 professionally designed templates to pick from, and they cover a very wide range of industries (such as advertising & marketing, real estate, health & beauty, hospitality, photography, retail, fashion, etc). So you’ll most likely be able to find a design that suits your taste.

As mentioned above, their support is superb and easy to reach. They offer you help through the phone, email and user forum where you can post questions. Wix also has a very extensive help library with both text and video content. So overall, they are quite committed and dedicated to supporting its users.

Just as a last, but important note – Wix has a dedicated mobile editor, so your website is definitely mobile friendly.

See Our Full Review of Wix

 

11. Overview of Squarespace

Even though Squarespace is not as easy to use as Wix or Weebly (but not that difficult), they can help you create a really gorgeous, polished looking website.Their secret is in their design templates, which are all beautifully crafted and mobile responsive.

If you look at their templates, you can tell that Squarespace has dedicated a lot of energy and time into designing their templates. As a result, once you use their templates, you don’t have to do too much more work to create a great looking website.

Choose Best Website Builder - Squarespace

You can see the difference in approach between Squarespace and Wix here. Squarespace offers you over 60 designs, whereas Wix has over 500.

So Squarespace is very focused on a limited number of templates, in making them very beautiful. This is not to say that Wix’s designs are bad (they’re good), but just a difference in design approach and philosophy.

Squarespace’s support is also easy to reach and is very responsive. Although they don’t offer phone support, they have a live chat function, and also provide 24/7 support via email. Their email response time is fast, and you’ll get answers usually in less than an hour.

Squarespace also has a comprehensive library of help articles, including both text and video content.

See our Full Review of Squarespace

 

12. Overview of Weebly

Weebly is probably the easiest, drag and drop website builder to use.

Their user interface and tools are very user-friendly and uncomplicated, so it’s quite intuitive for you to learn how to quickly build a good website without having to know how to code.

choose best website builder weebly

Even though Wix is pretty easy to use, Weebly is even simpler. This does mean that Weebly offers you less advanced tools than Wix (and Squarespace).

But you shouldn’t conclude that they cannot help you build a relatively sophisticated website. Weebly’s philosophy is that you don’t need all sorts of bells and whistles to create a professional website – and it’s true.

Their tools are relatively minimalistic, yet effective when used properly.

When it comes to designs, Weebly’s range of templates is not as comprehensive as Wix’s, or as polished as Squarespace’s. But Weebly has been continually introducing better designs over time. Their newer templates are all mobile responsive, and their pre-set page layouts are superb.

Weebly offers you phone and email support, along with help articles. So they’re always around if you need help. But in our experience, the way they’ve designed their platform makes it really easy to use so you might not even need to speak to a customer support personnel.

See Our Full Review of Weebly

 

13. Conclusion / Recommendation

In our view, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are some of the best drag & drop website builders available today.

What makes them good and reputable?  They are all well-established for many years, have very large number of users, are very frequently searched in Google, have strong user support, and have fair refund policies.

Of course, each website builder has its own pros and cons which we highlighted above. So depending on what you’re looking for, you may gravitate towards one specific website builder over the other.

For instance, if you want something that is dead easy to use, Wix or Weebly are well known for that.

If you are looking for very stylish designs, Wix and Squarespace are great choices.

We covered which website builder is good which what in this section above.

As in anything, there is no “perfect” website builder at the end of the day, especially when what you are looking for is different from what others are looking for.

So we highly recommend that once you had a chance to review our thoughts on each website builder here, sign up to at least 2 of them and invest some time to test them out (for free).  That’s the only way you can know for sure which one is most suitable for you.

Each website builder has its own unique style (such as user interface.  So you might prefer one over the other and that’s a big part of deciding which one is most suitable for you.  Testing each website builder out is free, after all!

Try Wix for Free

Try Squarespace for Free

Try Weebly for Free

Found This Guide Helpful?

Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this guide? Send them this page or click on the share buttons on the left.

You’ll be helping us out by spreading the word about our website, and you’ll be helping them out!

 

Jeremy

About Jeremy

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

Subscribe

Jeremy

About Jeremy

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

51 comments

  • Avatar
    IMOlga
    Hey, it was very interesting to read such a good analysis! But why haven't anybody mentioned Weblium in comments? I have been looking for a suitable website builder for a year. This service offers website design absolutely without your interaction, professionals do everything themselves. You just pay and get the result.
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hello, Welcome to the community. Thank you for the comment and for bringing Weblium to our attention, we will be sure to check them out soon. Natasha.
  • Avatar
    Annie
    Thank you for the comprehensive article, Jeremy! I was wondering what’s your opinion about Sitepad website builder. Have you ever tried it and do you think it will be good for building a travel blog with it? Thanks for your reply in advance!
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hi Annie, Welcome to the community. Pleased to hear you enjoyed the article. Interesting, no I personally have not come across Sitepad - I will be sure to have a little look over the next couple of weeks. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. Natasha.
  • Avatar
    Cheryl A Karl
    Thanks, this helps me a lot in what to do..
  • Avatar
    www.imdb-arabic.com
    Right to the point. Fair and honest review. I could here your integrity. Extremely helpful. Wow! Thx!
  • Avatar
    Derek
    Hi Jeremy, I find most the articles on this site interesting. It's obvious you've putting in a lot of efforts to present quality content to your readers. Observation! Your site is designed in WordPress... ...Yet, allmost all your reviews on CMS bulding platforms do exclude WordPress. With WordPress having over 25% of the total number websites online, I expect you will give its deserved recognition as the leader. Question! Is there any special reason why you guys have consistently promoted Weebly, Wix and Squarespace in your articles and left out WordPress? Is it a delibrate policy of your organization? Please, I'll like to know. And more grease to your elbow
    1 reply
    • charlie Carmichael
      charlie Carmichael
      Hi Derek, Thanks for your comment. We do have WordPress specific content (see our review here) and it is a fantastic platform if you want complete control over your site. That said, we try and cater to people who perhaps don't have a requisite knowledge of coding or experience designing sites. That's why we often recommend other builders that are far easier and more intuitive to use for individuals who fall into this category. We're glad you enjoy the site, though, please feel free to share it over social media - you never know who else it may help! Charlie
  • Avatar
    Ashwin Biyani
    I have loved each and every one of your articles.... my question is ... which one of these Shopify / Wix offers templates for dynamic client side or server side rendering based on the history of repeat customers coming to our site. I am currently a Shopify user & am looking for a solution. The only theme which I could find was Mingle mixup for Word Press which has some capabilities of a Dynamic website which I loved. But on reading your article I would prefer a website builder & e-commerce player with a learning curve not as steep as Word Press. I found an article on Wix saying that they don't currently support Dynamic websites, I am sharing the link (https://support.wix.com/en/article/static-vs-dynamic-sites). Please do write an article on Dynamic Websites & do suggest a solution for my problem
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hi Ashwin, Welcome to the community. It is great to hear that you have found our article so useful. Have you looked into Wix Code? It's a tool, that gives you the ability to create dynamic content and build custom logic between components. Think of it as an internal framework to add custom functionality to existing capabilities. Wix Code projects will not replace the main editor, it just adds new abilities to your current site. Good luck, Natasha.
  • Avatar
    Darryl
    Very helpful overviews and analysis. After reading other reviews; pouring over Wix, Weebly and Squarespaces own marketing information; and then hemming and hawing for too long, your reviews and tools have finally helped me make my decision. In my case, that's going to be Wix. Thank you!
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hey Darryl, Great to hear you made a decision, Wix is a great platform for newcomers to website builders. I'll think you'll enjoy using it! Best of luck + thanks for reading, - Tom
  • Avatar
    MIck
    Great review. Thank you very much. I will certainly tell others about this review.
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Mick, Great to hear you found the review useful. We always appreciate the word being spread, so thank you! - Tom
  • Avatar
    M.Teresa A. Faherty
    Great article. Thank you. I plan to have a website hopefully March, if not before. Am getting educated.
  • Avatar
    Ryan
    Question, my company's website doesn't have many advanced features (no user login, no commerce features, etc), but the one thing we would want is to create a custom template using our graphic designer that integrates our colors, branding, logo, etc. However, we are a small company and our guy that knew coding at an advanced level just left. As we're considering a website revamp, we would like to use an "easy" hosting service that doesn't require much code to operate but would still allow us to build a custom design template for how we want it to look. I know we'd run into limitations on either side, but what would be our best bet?
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Ryan, I'm not sure if there is a website builder where you can build your own custom template and upload it. You can start with a blank template on Weebly and build your site from scratch, so this could be a solution? Otherwise, it can be very time + money saving to start with a template and then edit it as you see fit, there's no limit to how much you can change them, so the world is your oyster! It's not an ideal fix if you're set on creating something unique, but hopefully it points you in the right direction! I've linked to our Weebly + Wix reviews as this could be helpful. Thanks, - Tom