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Best Web Hosting For Small Business

best web hosting for small business

The Top Eight Small Business Hosting Providers

Weave through the world of website hosting with our reviews of the top eight providers for small businesses.

Hosting refers to where your site lives on the internet. You wouldn’t move house without checking the property was affordable, big enough for your family’s needs, and structurally sound – would you?

Finding a hosting provider for your small business should be no different.

If you run a small business, getting the best web hosting is very important. Pick a second-rate provider and it will affect everything. From your site speed, to your revenue.

Your small business hosting needs to be reliable: time is money, and you lose dollars for every minute your site is down. It should also be fairly priced, and include the security certificates you need to provide a safe online experience for your users.

Did You Know?

If your website’s server goes down, you’re in big trouble. The latest stats show that server downtime costs an average of $7,908 per minute.

If you run a small business and are looking for a hosting provider, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the eight best web hosting services for small businesses.

We’ll look at price, guaranteed uptime, ease of use, and customer support.

Before we wrap up, we’ll give you a crash course in how to pick the best web hosting for your small business.

If you’re in a hurry, you can compare the key features of our top web hosting services using the chart below.

Best Web Hosting Providers for Small Business

  1. Bluehost – Best Overall Small Business Host.
  2. InMotion – Ideal for Shared and VPS Hosting.
  3. HostGator – Great for Dedicated Server Hosting.
  4. 1&1 IONOS – Really Reliable.
  5. iPage – Budget Friendly Plans.
  6. A2 Hosting – Number One For Cloud Hosting.
  7. GoDaddy – Full Of Extra Features.
  8. SiteGround – Excellent Customer Service.

Below, we’ve picked out the top three providers – Bluehost, InMotion and HostGator – and highlighted how they perform. This should give you a clear idea of where a provider’s strengths lie, and what’s most important to you.

Best Overall Small Business Host

4.6out of 5

Top Choice
Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Best for Shared and VPS Hosting

4.5out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Best for Dedicated Server Hosting

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Web Hosting Comparison Chart – See all the facts and stats on our top hosting providers.

Best Web Hosting Providers – Understand the bigger picture by looking at all our top-ranked hosts.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business

There are thousands of web hosting providers out there. At times, it can all get a bit confusing. Luckily, we’re here to help you make sense of it all.

At Website Builder Expert, we conduct our own detailed research. We look at the areas most important to you – like features, performance, support, and value for money – and test hosting providers to really see what they’re made of.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: Head-to-Head Comparison

Here, we’ve picked out some of the key features to look out for. These limits and figures are taken from a range of plans to show you the minimum and maximum capacity each provider offers:

ProviderUptimeStorageBandwidthRAMPricing (monthly)
Bluehost99.98%50GB – unlimited1TB – 15TB2GB – 16GB£6.57 – 98.64
InMotion99.97%unlimited4TB – 15TB4GB – 64GB£6.13* – 453.01*
HostGator99.99%unlimited1.5TB – unmetered2GB – 30GB£5.34* – 221.93*
1&1 IONOS99.98%100GB – 1TBunmetered1GB – 64GB£6.14* – 107.51*
iPage99.94%unlimited1TB – 15TB1GB 16GB£8.35 – 239.99
A2 Hosting99.95%unlimited2TB – 20TB4GB – 16GB£6.14* – 268.82*
GoDaddy99.97%100GB – unlimitedunmetered2GB – 32GB£5.99 – 329.99
SiteGround99.98%10GB – 960GB10TB16GB – 64GB£9.18* – 559.93*

*These prices have been converted into GBP from the USD price that is available online.

1. Bluehost

Best for: Overall Small Business Hosting

Bluehost is our top recommended hosting provider. It came out as the best overall small business hosting service from our research, and is also our top recommended provider for WordPress websites. With comprehensive features and excellent customer service, it provides great value for money for small, startup businesses.

Pricing: £6.57/month – £98.64/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

2. InMotion

Best for: Shared and VPS Hosting

While Bluehost tops the charts, InMotion certainly makes a compelling case. Granted, it’s not the cheapest if you’re looking for basic shared hosting, but the security, support, and storage space on offer are excellent. It’s also got its own website builder, should you still need to build your business website.

Pricing: £6.13/month* – £453.01/month*

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

3. HostGator

Best for: Dedicated Hosting

HostGator comes in at third in our list. It’s a beginner-friendly, feature-rich service with an unrivalled uptime of 99.99%.  In particular, we really rate its dedicated server hosting. Like InMotion, HostGator also has its own website builder called Gator, which you can read about in our review.

Pricing: £5.34*/month – £221.93*/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller

4. 1&1 IONOS

Best for: Reliability

1&1 IONOS has amazing promotional deals, but what really sets it apart from its competitors is its reliability. 1&1 IONOS has an impressive uptime of 99.8%, while its hosting packages come with site backups, anti-spam protection and a free lifetime domain.

Pricing: £6.14*/month – £107.51*/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • WordPress

5. iPage

Best for: Budget Friendly Plans

iPage can be seen as a mean, green hosting machine. It’s cheap, has one-click install for select CMSs, and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It’s also great if you’re just looking for a cheap hosting option. Be warned though, you may sacrifice speed for the price.

Pricing: £8.35/month – £239.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

6. A2 Hosting

Best for: Cloud Hosting

A2 Hosting came top in our research for cloud hosting. It’s also one of the few hosts to offer Windows hosting (not just Linux). Windows hosting comes with the addition of a Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel, free site migrations, and one-click installs across loads of CMSs – including WordPress.

Pricing: £6.14*/month – £268.82*/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

7. GoDaddy

Best for: Extra Features

GoDaddy can be viewed as a jack of all trades. It’s the world’s largest domain registrar, while also providing a web hosting service and website builder. Its uptime is fantastic, and GoDaddy represents the best all-in-one service. If you need the works – domain, website and hosting – you’re in the right place.

Pricing: £5.99/month – £329.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

8. SiteGround

Best for: Customer Service

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option, but it does have clear strengths. Versatile across multiple CMSs with one-click installation, you’ll also get free email accounts and daily backups. Its customer service is also second to none, offering 24/7 phone and live chat support, and a comprehensive knowledge center.

Pricing: £9.18*/month – £559.93*/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

* These prices have been converted to GBP from the onsite USD value, so should be considered an approximation.

Now you’ve got a taste for each web hosting provider, it’s time for the main course. Read on as we go into more detail about the top services, looking at each one’s features, and reviewing its pricing plans.

Bluehost

ProsCons
  • Comparatively small storage on basic plan
  • Potential CPU throttling (poor for websites who experience spikes in traffic)

Overview

Bluehost is the best web hosting service for small businesses. Why? Because it’s a great all-inclusive package.

No wonder it scored an impressive 91% in our research.

It’s owned by Endurance International Group, the same company behind HostGator, and powers 2 million websites worldwide. That’s a lot of people who have happily made their virtual home with Bluehost.

Best Overall Small Business Host

4.6out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

One of the big reasons why Bluehost is so popular is its easy integration with WordPress. The one-click installation is a joy, and means even the least technical user can launch their site with both WordPress and Bluehost. Watch our video tutorial if you don’t believe us!

Bluehost uses cPanel as its site management system. The Utah-based company has done an excellent job adding simple, but useful customizations to the cPanel layout. Sections are very clearly laid out and the process is simple to follow. It strikes a great balance between simplicity for beginners, and having the functions needed for more advanced users.

At 99.98%, uptime with Bluehost is on a par with HostGator. This equates to less than two hours downtime in an entire year. Wondering, why not 100%? Well, it’s just not possible. Tech is a minefield; between hardware glitches and cyber attacks, no provider can guarantee 100% uptime.

Disk space, though, is slightly more limited than with some of its competitors. What’s more servers can slow down if your website experiences a surge in traffic – for example, if you were running a paid social media campaign.

Pricing

Bluehost’s hosting plan prices range from:

The best Bluehost plan for a new business just starting out is a shared hosting package.

New customers can get shared hosting from just £2.43/month with Bluehost (normally £6.57)

So what do you get for £2.43/month?

  • Free website domain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Unmetered bandwidth & 50GB of storage
  • 24/7 support via phone & live chat

All of Bluehost’s hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not completely happy with the service you receive, you’ll get a full refund.

bluehost hosting

Did You Spot A Plan You Liked?

Bluehost offers various hosting types – it’s worth comparing them before jumping in. Start with its shared hosting plans for low prices!

Which Bluehost plan you need will depend on how much traffic you expect to receive. If you’re just running a basic blog on WordPress, the 50GB plan will be fine.

On the Plus plan, you get unlimited domains, email accounts and email storage. Bluehost also throws in an SSL certificate and spam support – all for under £10/month. That’s great value.

If your business expands rapidly, Bluehost’s VPS and dedicated plans are a great option. You can access faster load times, unlimited bandwidth, and more storage. Think of it like buying new clothes after you’ve had a growth-spurt.

On top of this, Bluehost’s support is excellent. Help boxes try to answer questions on the specific page you’re on.

Bluehost’s transparent pricing and simple setup make it a fantastic hosting choice for beginners.

bluehost hosting

Should You Choose Bluehost?

Bluehost is our number one host for small businesses, and is also the best choice for WordPress sites. Will it impress you too?
best small business web hosting - bluehost
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting services for small businesses because of its easy set-up

InMotion

ProsCons
  • No sub-£5 non-discounted price
  • No Windows servers

Overview

InMotion presents a classic case of ‘getting what you pay for’. Sure, there’s no long-term cheap shared hosting, but what you’re getting is top-of-the-range features and excellent support.

InMotion is a U.S company with two dedicated data centers. These play host to thousands upon thousands of servers, ready to host your website and beam it across the world.

Best for Shared and VPS Hosting

4.5out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

Even on its most basic plan, InMotion provides you with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. This is uncommon on lower-tiered pricing plans, and puts InMotion in a strong position when it comes to shared hosting options.

On top of that, you can say hello to a free SSL certificate and HTTPS. This means that when users are browsing your site, they can do so in the knowledge that it’s secure. This is represented by a little padlock icon that sits next to your URL.

Besides just being important to your customers and brand image, Google also reflects favorably on sites with proper security. It’s one of the many things that can help improve your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – vital for any business.

You’ll also get access to great tools like InMotion’s website builder, which can help you build a small business site from scratch – without code! Other tools include free advertising credits, emails on any device, and visitor statistics.

Pricing

When it comes to shared business hosting, InMotion offer three plans: Launch, Power and Pro.

  • Launch – $6.99/month for a year, which is about £5.30
  • Power – $9.99/month for a year, which is about £7.60
  • Pro – $15.99/month for a year, which is about £12.28
InMotion hosting

Is InMotion Your Perfect Provider?

InMotion is a strong all-rounder with great features and support. For shared or VPS hosting, you won’t find better than InMotion!

You’re probably thinking to yourself: ‘Why wouldn’t I go for the Power plan?’ It’s more features for the same money, right? Well, not quite. These figures are promotional prices, and stay active for the duration of your initial sign-up period.

The regular price of Launch is £6.10*/month, while Power comes in at £7.70*. That said, Power is InMotion’s most popular plan, and does represent great value for money.

If your company’s ambitions stretch beyond that of a shared server, InMotion also has some great VPS and dedicated hosting deals. VPS hosting ranges from $21.50*/month to £111*/month, depending on which of the three plans you opt for and for how long.

The same applies to dedicated hosting. For this, there are six plans, starting at £81.10*/month, right the way through to £455/month. The main benefit of dedicated hosting is that you’re not dependent on other sites. If you need lots of storage space and multi-layer protection, it’s worth exploring.

More InMotion Information:

InMotion Review

InMotion vs Bluehost

InMotion Pricing
InMotion’s homepage shows you exactly what they can offer

HostGator

ProsCons
  • Slightly dated interface
  • No free domain

Overview

While HostGator isn’t the cheapest hosting service, what makes it stand out from its competitors is its impressive uptime, generous features and excellent help and support across all its hosting plans. 

It’s no hard to see why 8 million domains are hosted with HostGator.

Best for Dedicated Server Hosting

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

HostGator guarantees uptime of 99.9%. That means in the space of one year, your website will only be out of action for an hour or less.

This kind of reliability is why HostGator is one of the best small business hosting services. A nice touch is that if HostGator fails on this promise, it will refund you one month’s billing. It puts its money where its jaws are.

Downsides to HostGator include the lack of a free domain, while the cPanel interface looks a little dated. First-time users might also find the crowded layout confusing.

If you use WordPress, however, you won’t need to access the cPanel. HostGator’s own site administration is also not as sleek as Bluehost’s.

Pricing

When it comes to HostGator’s plans, there’s plenty for you to get your teeth into. The three shared packages are:

  • Hatchling – from £2.10*/month. Entry-level, great value for money.
  • Baby – from £3*/month. Get more help growing your small business.
  • Business – from £4.50*/month. Best for fast-growing businesses. Unlock features including SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, and VoIP phone service. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It protects data moving through your site (like customers’ bank details). Providers often charge over $100 for SSL certificates, so HostGator’s offer makes it great value for money compared to rivals like Arvixe. Your site’s URL will have a green padlock to show it’s secure.

* These prices are currently not offered onsite in GBP, so the above values are converted from USD. As a result, they should be treated as an approximation.

Prices are similar to Bluehost’s, and all plans include unlimited emails (unusual for hosting services), one-click installation with WordPress and Drupal, and unmetered bandwidth (you’re not billed for how much you use).

HostGator’s pricing is very reasonable for the features you get. If you’re looking for affordable web hosting for small business, look no further!

HostGator hosting

Is HostGator Right For You?

HostGator prides itself on reliability, and quite rightly. If you’re after a solid service and 99.99% uptime, look no further.

If your business outgrows these basic plans, HostGator offers VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting packages.

Medium-to-large businesses should look at HostGator’s dedicated server packages, starting at £61*/month. You get all the hardware to yourself, and can handle large volumes of traffic. Dedicated plans all include weekly backups – a reassuring safety net for your business.

VPS plans range from £15*/month for the Snappy 2000 plan, to £23*/month for Snappy 8000. As you scale up, you get more bandwidth, disk space, CPU and RAM. The last two are like the brain and brawn of your site –the more you get, the more powerful and fast your site becomes.

The best thing to do is start small, then transition through HostGator’s packages as you grow.

best small business web hosting hostgator example site
Stylish small businesses like Marc Landry Photography use HostGator to host their website

1&1 IONOS

ProsCons
  • Average uptime of 99.98%
  • Dedicated support assistants
  • Unintuitive control panel
  • Not very beginner-friendly

Overview

1&1 IONOS brings German engineering to your website. Whether you want to take advantage of its website builder, or just the hosting services, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.

1&1 IONOS currently owns over 12 million domains around the globe. It is, in every sense, an international powerhouse.

Best for Reliability

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Features

The features you get are mostly industry standard. This includes things like a free domain, daily backups, an SSL certificate, and SSD storage.

What sets 1&1 IONOS apart is its unlimited traffic, and dedicated 24/7 support. When you sign up to one of 1&1 IONOS’ plans, you will receive your own personal consultant. They are there to supply you with the answers to your questions. They are highly trained and available via phone, email or live chat

One thing to bear in mind when considering 1&1 IONOS is the lack of storage on the basic shared plan. While other providers such as InMotion equip you with unlimited storage, with 1&1 IONOS, you’re limited to between 100-500GB.

If you need a website built, it can help with that too. 1&1 IONOS’ website builder, MyWebsite, is designed specifically for white-collar businesses. So if you’re looking to establish an online presence for your brand, it’s a great place to start.

Pricing

Like most other shared hosting services, 1&1 IONOS splits its plans into three tiers: Business, Pro and Expert. All three have a sign-up deal of $1/month (about £0.80)– this lasts for the first six months on Pro and Expert, and for a whole year on the Business plan. The renewal prices after that are as follows:

  • Business: £6/month* – hosts 1 website, 100GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 25 email accounts, free domain
  • Pro: £8/month* – hosts 5 websites, 250GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 100 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection
  • Expert: £11/month* – hosts 50 websites, 500GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 500 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection, CDN
1&1 IONOS logo

Are You After A Great Hosting Deal?

1&1 IONOS has the cheapest sale prices at just $1/month to start with. If you’re after a bargain, could 1&1 IONOS be right for you?

VPS hosting runs over four plans, and ranges from £4-£23*/month. If you need more SSD storage, VPS represents a massive step up from its shared offerings, with 50GB SSD even on its most basic VPS plan.

1&1 IONOS’ dedicated hosting is a little different. It works on a pay-as-you-use basis, meaning there’s no concrete final cost. There are caps, though, so don’t worry about ending the month with a bill the size of Everest!

1&1 IONOS Hosting
1&1 IONOS has a clear and welcoming homepage, and makes its personal support very clear

iPage

ProsCons
  • Cheap quality shared hosting
  • Good 24/7 help and support
  • Poor uptime of 99.94%
  • Backups cost $100 each time

Overview

iPage is one of the oldest hosting companies around. Initially established in 1998, it started selling hosting plans in 2002.

iPage is owned by Endurance group – who coincidentally also own HostGator and Bluehost – and has two data centers which host over one million sites worldwide.

Best for Budget Friendly Plans

4.2out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

We’ll level with you; iPage’s features aren’t anything to write home about. You do get free SSL security, but backups on its shared hosting plan – something that’s complimentary with most providers – are $100 extra. Each. Time.

It’s not all bad news, though. You can host unlimited email accounts with iPage, which is perfect for growing businesses, and you get your domain free for the first year.

The shared hosting monthly visitor limit is also a generous 500,000, so small businesses that get a lot of regular traffic or experience sudden surges should be fine.

The 99.94% uptime, while disappointing in comparison to other hosts, is also not a big issue. In truth, any provider that guarantees and uptime above 99.90% will be fine for a small business.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: £8.35/month
  • VPS Hosting: £24.99/month – £99.99/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: £149.99/month – £239.99/month
  • WordPress Hosting: £7.49/month – £10.49/month
ipage logo

Is iPage Your Favorite So Far?

iPage may not have a standout feature, but for great support, cheap hosting, and simple plans, iPage is worth a closer look.

If cheap web hosting’s what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. What iPage lacks in feature quality it makes up for in modest pricing.

In terms of shared hosting, don’t rub your eyes – iPage only offers one plan. And while this has its limitations, it’s good to know you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan at any point. Well, unless you want to change what type of hosting you’re on.

iPage
iPage has some fantastic discounted deals

A2 Hosting

ProsCons
  • Average uptime of 99.95%
  • Fairly pricey

Overview

A2 is the self-proclaimed ‘Guru Crew’. Its staff know web hosting inside and out and, after rigorous training, are on hand to support you 24/7.

The company was born in a shared office in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has since transformed into a worldwide hosting empire. Another of A2’s bold claims is that its hosting service is ‘20 times faster’ than its competitors.

Best for Cloud Hosting

4.1out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

A2 Hosting offers both Windows and Linux server hosting, both of which come with generous storage space, unmetered data transfer, and some sweet freebies – like an SSL certificate and daily backups.

What’s not free is your domain and the actual creation of your website – you’ll have to use a content management system (CMS) or website builder for that.

In terms of performance, A2 more than holds its own against the industry’s big hitters. It offers all major types of hosting, works off a cPannel dashboard, and has one-click installs for CMSs, like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Its uptime of 99.95% is by no means bad – in fact it’s pretty solid – but when compared to top-end competition, it falls a little short of the likes of HostGator and Bluehost.

Pricing

*These prices are not currently available onsite in GDP, so we have calculated approximations from the USD prices available onsite.

A2 hosting

Is A2 Hosting Right For You?

A2 Hosting wowed us with its cloud hosting in our research, and its general commitment to stellar speed and support! Will it wow you?

Across the board, these plans are relatively expensive. One major plus, though, is that A2 has an anytime money-back guarantee policy. That means if, for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied with the service you’re receiving, you can get a full refund whenever you please.

Its best service on the quality-cost scale has to be its managed WordPress hosting. All plans come with automatic WordPress updates for software and plugins, meaning you don’t need to lift a finger when WordPress makes changes.

A2 Hosting
A2 is a customer-friendly provider that offers a wide range of hosting services

More A2 Information:

A2 Hosting Review

GoDaddy

ProsCons
  • Fantastic extras like a website builder and domain registrar
  • Free Office 365 email with shared hosting
  • Slightly overpriced
  • No money-back guarantee

Overview

GoDaddy is a worldwide brand that doesn’t skimp on advertising itself. You probably know the company as the lord of domains, but there’s so much more to GoDaddy than that.

Alongside domains, it also has a top-of-the-range website builder and offers a variety of hosting plans.

Best for Extra Features

4out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Features

When it comes to web hosting, GoDaddy’s features are top class. Free backups, domains, and SSL security is a great start, and the resource limits on things like bandwith, storage, and RAM are all very impressive.

Its help and support isn’t bad – offering live chat and a phone service – however there’s not a system for raising tickets.

What makes GoDaddy special is the fact it’s an all-in-one solution. You can create your site from scratch, using its design assisted website builder that supports over 1,500 different industries, and purchase your domain name.

Having everything under one roof makes it easier to keep track of your bills. This is the main appeal of GoDaddy – if you’re just after web hosting, you’ll get a better deal elsewhere.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: £2.99/month – £9.99/month
  • VPS Hosting: £17.99/month – £39.99/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: £99.99/month – £329.99/month
  • WordPress Hosting: £2.99/month – £12.99/month
godaddy hosting

Do You Love Extras?

If you need more than hosting GoDaddy has you covered, from domains to email services. Sound ideal? Check it out!

While hosting features are GoDaddy’s forte, its pricing is pretty middle of the road. What’s worse is that GoDaddy doesn’t have a money-back guarantee – something all other top-rated providers offer.

GoDaddy Hosting
GoDaddy has something for everyone in the online world, but its hosting features stand out above most

SiteGround

ProsCons
  • Great uptime of 99.98%
  • Superb WordPress hosting
  • Expensive pricing plans
  • Doesn’t offer VPS hosting

Overview

Hosting over one million websites and counting, SiteGround has come a long way from its college dorm origins.

Founded in Bulgaria, it has risen through the hosting ranks and is considered by many as one of the very best hosting providers around.

Best for Customer Service

3.2out of 5

Types of Hosting

3 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

1 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

SiteGround is one of only three providers personally recommended by WordPress for hosting. As far as references go, that’s pretty huge.

You can also get one-click installs and automated updates for other major CMSs, including Drupal and Joomla. There’s even WooCommerce specific hosting for WordPress ecommerce sites.

If you’re yet to create your website, you can build it on SiteGround’s free drag-and-drop website builder, and buy a domain.

Free SSL security and daily backups are standard on all plans, as is a cPannel dashboard and free email accounts. The 99.98% uptime is also far from shabby – it translates to your site being down for an average of just one minute per week.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: £8.95/month – £24.95/month
  • Cloud Hosting: £48/month – £144/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: £195/month – £525/month
  • WordPress Hosting: £8.95/month – £24.95/month
siteground logo

Do You Like the Sound of SiteGround?

SiteGround may be pricey, but it delivers – especially when it comes to WordPress hosting. Look closer to see if it’s right for you.

We won’t beat around the bush, SiteGround is largely overpriced. Its dedicated hosting in particular is eye-watering, but on closer inspection, there are a few bargains.

Its WordPress hosting is incredibly cheap for the quality it provides. There’s also a 30 day money-back guarantee so you have a risk-free month to decide whether its the service for you or not.

SiteGround also offers enterprise hosting which you can design yourself. Because it’s a bespoke plan, though, there are no direct prices. To find out more, you’ll have to contact SiteGround directly for a quote.

More SiteGround Information:

SiteGround Review

SiteGround vs HotGator

SiteGround
Whatever your hosting need, you can find a service that suits you at SiteGround

How Do You Choose a Small Business Hosting Provider?

You now know the eight best web hosting services for small businesses. We’ve also shown you who each hosting provider is best for.

At this point, it’s time to discuss how to pick the right provider for you in a bit more depth. After all, no two businesses are the same, right?

When considering a web hosting service, ask yourself:

  • How tech-savvy are you? The less skilled you are with computers, the more support you might need. You’ll also benefit more from a simple hosting service.
  • What’s your budget? This will depend on the size and scale of your business. If you’re a solo merchant or a small business of under five employees, a shared hosting plan will cater to your technical needs, and help you stay in budget.
  • How much traffic do you expect to get? The rule of thumb is: the more traffic you receive, the better hosting plan you need. Established small businesses should look at dedicated servers, as they can expect to receive more website hits. This is also true if you’ve got a large marketing budget and plan to pay for visitors to your website.

Generally, if you’re a small business owner starting out for the first time, we recommend shared hosting. If you outgrow your shared plan, you can transition to a dedicated or VPS hosting package. It’s like moving to a bigger property to start a family after flat-sharing with friends.

What About Other Web Hosting Services?

Our top eight web hosting services for small businesses are based on our extensive research and experience. They’re the best starting point if you’re looking for a provider.

But these aren’t the only good hosting providers on the market.

Dreamhost, for example, is a cheap option for shared hosting that offers business-orientated features. Although it can’t compete overall (yet), Dreamhost offers a 97-day, money-back guarantee. This lets you try the service for over three months risk-free.

WP Engine is another which is specifically for WordPress websites. It’s a great option for companies with resources for a developer. It may be expensive, but if you’re a large business or a WordPress site owner, it could be right for you.

If you want to do more research before picking your hosting provider, head over to our hosting reviews section.

Want a detailed, side-by-side comparison? Check out our web hosting comparison chart.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: Conclusion

With so many hosting providers out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. But let’s begin with a recap of the final rankings.

Top Eight Hosting Providers for Small Businesses

  1. Bluehost – Best Overall Small Business Host.
  2. InMotion – Ideal for Shared and VPS Hosting.
  3. HostGator – Great for Dedicated Server Hosting.
  4. 1&1 IONOS – Really Reliable.
  5. iPage – Budget Friendly Plans.
  6. A2 Hosting – Number One For Cloud Hosting.
  7. GoDaddy – Full Of Extra Features.
  8. SiteGround – Excellent Customer Service.

All of our eight web hosts for small businesses are at the top of the market. Bluehost, InMotion and HostGator are all tightly packed in at the top when it comes to quality of plans and value for money.

Your decision really boils down to your own personal needs. You need to consider the size of your business’ site and how much resource you’ll need.

This should give you a clearer idea of what type of hosting you need and, from there, you can pick the best provider for that particular job.

Generally speaking, though, Bluehost offers the most comprehensive all-around package. Its features are unrivaled and should have plenty of resource to handle your site as you grow from a small business into a large empire.

bluehost hosting

Is Bluehost Best For You?

Bluehost is the best small business web host – but is it right for you? If it’s ticking your boxes, don’t hesitate – take a look today!

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: FAQs

How much does small business web hosting cost?

Depending on the length of time you’re willing to commit for, web hosting can cost businesses as little as £1/month. Small businesses tend to opt for shared hosting packages which come at cheap promotional rates, with renewal costs varying from £4-25/month.

What are the most important hosting features for a small business to look for?

Aside from scanning uptime rates, you’ll also want to be clued up on the support and security on offer. One-click installation is another important feature, so if you need hosting for a certain CMS, make sure this is available.

What is the difference between shared, VPS and dedicated hosting?

Shared hosting is where you share a server with other websites. Dedicated hosting is where you have your own server which is more expensive and more powerful. VPS is a virtualized server that acts like a dedicated server, but in a shared server environment – a nice middle ground.

What is the cheapest way to host a business website?

1&1 IONOS offers the cheapest hosting packages. Its promotional deals mean you can host your website from just £1/month for the first year. After that, you’re looking at around £4/month for shared hosting, which is a price offered by multiple providers.

How often do you have to pay for web hosting?

Generally, there are two payment options: monthly or annually. Paying annually will usually shave a few bucks off the monthly fee as you’re committing to the provider for the year. On the flipside, you get more flexibility by paying monthly and it’s easier to switch providers down the line.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

9 Best Small Business Website Builders: Which One Is Right For You?

best small business website buildersHaving a website is a great way of promoting your small business and reaching more customers. And better still, thanks to drag-and-drop website builders, you can build one in the same amount of time it takes to cook a good Thanksgiving dinner. This article will help you decide exactly which small business website builder is right for you.

Building a website for your small business is daunting – we know that from first-hand experience. If you’re worried you don’t have the time or skill to build a small business website, you’ve come to the right place.

While there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ option, we’ve been able to find the nine best small business website builders by concentrating our research onto the following key areas, which we think are particularly vital for a successful small business website:

As always, we’ve also taken our Customer Score into consideration. To calculate this score, we get real users to test each builder by using it to create a small business website to a brief. We then collected their thoughts and ratings.

  • Affordability
  • Ease of Use
  • SEO (search engine optimization) features

Alongside the usual important considerations: Design Flexibility and Value for Money.

As always, we’ve also taken our Customer Score into consideration. To calculate this score, we get real users to test each builder by using it to create a small business website to a brief. We then collected their thoughts and ratings.

If you’re after a more personalized recommendation, you can always take our short quiz to be matched with your perfect platform.

Based on our findings, we think the best website builders for small businesses are:

9 Best Website Builders for Small Business

  1. Wix – Best all-around website builder for small businesses.
  2. Squarespace – Best for fast-growing small businesses or startups.
  3. Weebly – Great value for money.
  4. GoDaddy – Fastest for building a simple website.
  5. Duda – Best template designs, but limited creative freedom.
  6. Strikingly – Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites.
  7. WordPress.com – Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else.
  8. Site123 – Easiest to use website builder.
  9. Jimdo Creator – Simple, but lacks feature depth.

We’ll be reviewing each of these builders in more detail, covering key pros and cons, along with pricing and more.

By the end of this guide you will:

  • Understand why it’s so important your small business has a website
  • Be clear on what features and functions your small business website needs
  • Be ready to choose the right website builder to get your small business online

Further Information

  • If you know you want to build an ecommerce website and sell products, check out our 5 best ecommerce software article which will deal specifically with the best builders to get you selling online.
  • Compare the Best Website Builders in our in-depth review
  • Decide which website builder is best for your small business by comparing the top choice side-by-side in our Website Buidler Comparison Chart

Best Website Builders for Small Business

Before we get into the nitty gritty of each small business website builder, here’s a quick look at what each one is best for:

  1. Wix – Best all-around website builder for small businesses
  2. Squarespace – Best for fast-growing small businesses or startups
  3. Weebly – Great value for money
  4. GoDaddy – Fastest for building a simple website
  5. Duda – Best template designs, but limited creative freedom
  6. Strikingly – Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites
  7. WordPress.com – Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else
  8. Site123 – Easiest to use website builder
  9. Jimdo Creator – Simple, but lacks feature depth
Other helpful pages:

Our website builder comparison chart – for a clear breakdown of our top website builders for small businesses.

1. Wix

Best all-around website builder for small businesses

Wix is our top website builder for small businesses because it’s powerful, simple to use and offers great all-round flexibility when creating your site.

You can create a website for your small business in hours and get online really quickly and smoothly.

If you’re looking to build brand awareness online and want to keep things simple, Wix is definitely the builder for you. Wix’s drag-and-drop functionality means you don’t need any technical or design skills to build a professional and eye-catching small business website.

ProsCons
#1Its drag-and-drop builder offers excellent creative control without having to know how to codeYou can’t change templates once a site goes live. Redesigns have to be from the ground up
#2In our website builder user testing Wix was the builder people were most likely to recommendAlthough a plus for many, the amount of customization available can feel overwhelming early on

 

So don’t worry if coding languages like HTML sound like an alien language to you. You won’t need to understand it to build a beautiful website using Wix.

You might be worried that because Wix is so simple to pick up and use that all sites built on it look the same.

And you want to build a small business website that’s unique, don’t you?

The good news is you get great freedom with Wix to build a small business website with real personality, as Wix provides more than 500 professionally designed templates, covering anything from makeup artists to vintage cars.

Wix photography templates
Wix's stunning templates let you create a professional small business website without spending money on a designer

Just because Wix is simple to use doesn’t mean it offers simple functionality to online business owners. With Wix you can:

  • Add contact forms and online booking forms for appointments (great if you’re a small trader or require bookings like a dentist).
  • Create and send invoices and track payments – with all this in one place, managing your finances is easy.
  • Add customized quizzes, surveys and contact forms that let you find out what your customers think.
  • Insert video backgrounds (without touching code) to jazz up your site and give it that WOW factor.

Wix does have a free version but if you’re serious about building a successful online business it’s definitely worth upgrading to a paid plan to take advantage of the premium features. Paid plans range from £3/month to £18/month (billed annually), so it’s easy to start small and upgrade as you need.

That said, we do recommend springing for at least the Unlimited Plan (£8.50/month) from the off, as this way you’ll be able to claim your complimentary £75 in ad vouchers (£25 with Google Ads, Bing Ads and Local Listings). This only applies for sites which are new to paid advertising, but is a great way to dabble in these channels without worrying about losing your own hard-earned cash.

A neat recent addition to Wix has been its ADI builder – standing for artificial design intelligence. Wix ADI asks you questions about your website and generates a website based on your answers. A fully-fledged business site could be just a short questionnaire away!

And, for the more tech-savvy among you, there is Wix Corvid, which allows you integrate custom code into your Wix site. It’s entirely optional, but great to see Wix catering to the full skills spectrum.

We also like Wix because it provides fantastic customer support. When you’re starting out building a website for your small business, any help you get can make a real difference (we know from our own experience building small business websites).

Other helpful pages:
Wix Review – for an in-depth look at Wix.
Wix Pricing Review – which plan is right for you?
Wix eCommerce Review – should you sell online with Wix?
Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace – compare three top builders

There are help buttons everywhere on the Wix site, so if you’re having trouble building a specific section of your site you can click on the button and find a specific answer to your question. This is great because it takes away a lot of the frustration when setting up your online business and lets you work through any roadblocks yourself.

The Wix App Market now has over 200 apps and services, covering anything from SEO tips that help your site get found online to email tools that expand your user base. Recent additions we like include Wix Video, which lets you add video with a customized logo to your platform, and an update to Wix SEO Wiz that lets you index your site on Google so that relevant searchers (potential customers) will find your site.

While Wix’s variety of templates is great, you can’t apply a different template once you’ve picked one. This can be frustrating as to change templates you’ll have to re-insert all your content again. So make sure you choose the right template first time round!

While we’d recommend a pure ecommerce store builder like Shopify if you’re looking to sell products on your business website, Wix does have fully-fledged ecommerce tools that are worth exploring if you’re already a Wix fan and are looking to develop your ecommerce offering.

2. Squarespace

Best for: fast-growing small businesses or startups

Small business with big plans? Squarespace is a solid choice.

Squarespace may not be quite as straightforward to use as Wix (the ultimate drag and drop builder), or an ecommerce specialist (Shopify and BigCommerce), but its beautifully designed templates and phenomenal image quality make it a really unique offering.

ProsCons
#1Squarespace’s SEO features are really strong – perfect if you’re looking to get your site found in the search resultsNot as easy to use as some of the alternatives. If you’re comfortable with tech you’ll be fine, but if you’re not Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy would serve you better
#2Social media integration is excellent. You’ll want to get the world out about your business, and a seamless social media presence makes that a lot easierNo app store – you’re relying on inbuilt features (which are very good), but won’t be able to customize functionality much beyond this

 

Squarespace’s SEO features are really strong. If SERP (search engine results page) domination is high on your agenda – and for most small businesses, it should be – then it’s certainly a solid foundation for success. We’ve gone into a ton of detail on exactly what makes it good – and how to use it to its full potential – in our Squarespace SEO review, so go check that for more info.

Squarespace’s templates are polished and their clean lines give off a really professional vibe. With Squarespace’s images, customers can zoom in on products and check the details close up (perfect if you’re advertising a product like trainers). Quick view allows users to read the product’s information and add it to their cart. This is great because you’re making it as simple as possible for a customer to buy.

Squarespace is far more than a pretty face, and it’s surprisingly inexpensive, too.

If you’re not looking to sell products online, you’ve got the choice of the Personal plan (£10/month) or the Business plan at £15/month (both billed annually). No surprise which one we’d recommend for a business here – you get a load more analytical and marketing features with the Business plan, so the insights are well worth the extra £5 a month.

You can actually sell on the Business plan too, but if you’re primarily an ecommerce business we’d definitely recommend going for at least the Basic Commerce plan (£20/month, billed annually). Again, by paying just a little more you unlock a whole load of valuable, ecommerce-specific features – in this case, integrating accounting and label printing, among others.

Head on over to Squarespace’s pricing page for more info on what’s included with each plan, and remember you can try any plan free for 14 days. Website Builder Expert readers can also get 10% off paid plans with our exclusive offer code.

Other helpful pages:

Squarespace Review – for a detailed review of Squarespace

Squarespace Pricing Review – for an in-depth breakdown of Squarespace’s pricing plans

Squarespace Offer Code – to get 10% off any Squarespace plan with our exclusive discount

Squarespace Ecommerce Review – find out how we rate Squarespace for ecommerce

Wix vs Squarespace – which should you choose?

More than any other builder, you can make your small business website look like it’s been professionally designed without having to muck around with any code yourself. Layout features like Cover Pages – single scrolling pages – can really make your small business website stand out from the crowd.

You can install multiple templates onto a single website and work on several designs simultaneously.

Squarespace photography templates
Squarespace's range of beautiful templates mean you can wow your customers without knowing any code or hiring a professional designer

Squarespace also offers excellent facilities to create a blog to support your website (a brilliant way to add personality to your business and fill your site with truly unique content) and comes with some really top-drawer features:

  • Mobile-responsive templates – content will resize automatically so your site will look great no matter what device your customer is using.
  • Great variety of styling options – with Squarespace you’re able to really stamp your mark on your website by easily customizing your design, from the fonts and colors right down to the sidebar width and background images. It’s also very simple to switch your cover page templates when you feel your site needs a refresh.
  • Great site control – you can add features like an announcement bar (great if you’ve got a new product, for example) and a mobile information bar, which streamlines your site for visitors on a mobile and displays a shortcut menu with key information like contact details and opening hours.
  • Connect socially – you can integrate your Squarespace site with a raft of social media platforms and even pull in content from certain platforms straight onto your page.

However, Squarespace isn’t as intuitive as Wix and can feel restrictive – it’s just not as customizable and takes longer to get up to speed with. Changes to your site take longer and Squarespace’s templates are more limited than our other recommended builders. If you’re not a designer, Squarespace’s style editor can be a difficult tool to get to grips with.

3. Weebly

Great value for money

Weebly is best for when you’re looking for the simplest route to getting your small business online, and don’t need a fancy site bursting with features – it’s a great tool for getting your online business off the ground for very little money (plans start at just £4/month, paid annually).

It’s also very easy to make changes to images and copy. You could genuinely build a decent-looking store on Weebly between breakfast and lunch – actually probably between brunch and lunch, if it were acceptable to have both.

ProsCons
#1Scores super well for value for money (4.1/5).You can’t restore websites yourself. If you change your mind on a deleted site you will need help from the Weebly team
#2Weebly has an enormous number of apps. What your site can and can’t do is effectively up to youThe apps are great, but you need a premium plan to access most of them

 

Weebly’s paid plans come in noticeably cheaper than larger competitors.

There’s a free plan, but you’ll be tied to a Weebly.com subdomain (the name of your site that appears in a browser’s search bar, for example cooltrainers.weebly.com). So as always, if you want to build a professional-looking small business site we recommend you sign up to one of Weebly’s very reasonable paid plans. These range from the £4/month Connect plan, to the £18/month Business plan, with the Connect and Pro plans sitting in between. The more you’re willing to spend, the more features you’ll unlock – just head to the Weebly Pricing page to see a breakdown of exactly what’s included with each.

So, let’s get back to how easy Weebly is to use – in other words, very easy.

Customizable, pre-designed layouts focused on particular industries mean it’s really easy to dive in and start building your small business website. In Weebly’s editing mode, how you see your site is how it will appear live. This saves you time as you don’t have to keep switching from editing mode to preview mode.

Weebly business themes
Website builders let you create great homepages for your small business with top-quality navigation bars

All this makes Weebly a great fit for small businesses that maybe don’t need fancy functionality, and are just looking to showcase products or services in a clear, simple, affordable manner.

Weebly is pretty strong on audio and video and the ability to add HD Video on the Pro Plan means you can add a real touch of glamour to your site. It’s constantly improving – but still lags noticeably behind competitors such as Wix and Squarespace in terms of both features, and design quality/variety (Weebly has 40 templates, for example – Wix has over 500).

Other helpful pages:
Weebly Review – 12 key things you need to know about Weebly.
Weebly Pricing Review – are the plans really worth it?
Weebly Ecommerce Review – a detailed look at Weebly’s online selling tools
Weebly vs Squarespace – find out which one is best for you

If you have a bit of knowledge of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – used to format the layout of web pages, for example table sizes and text styles), or know someone that can help, Weebly gives you access to the Code Editor, meaning you can tinker and make changes that give your site a truly unique feel.

4. GoDaddy

Fastest for building a simple website

GoDaddy is excellent for getting a small business website live fast. The builder is easy to use and simply presented, and what it lacks in style it makes up for with convenience. It’s the fastest product for building a website, so it’s very convenient for those short on time.

ProsCons
#1Superb if you want to get a fully-functional business website live quickly.Not the best fit for more artistic industries. GoDaddy is a pretty straight edged builder.
#2Offers advanced ecommerce functionality, allowing you to add up to 5,000 products and customize shipping options right in the builder.

 

Its template selection is excellent, and if you switch between them the site automatically reformats. This is a super useful feature, something that really sets GoDaddy apart from a builder like Wix.

GoDaddy small business templates
Rather than juggling five different subscriptions for five different services, a major draw of GoDaddy is that it does a bit of everything.

The drag-and-drop builder is structured and easy to use, though lacking the sheen of more stylish builders. If you’re not a creative type, GoDaddy’s artificial design intelligence (ADI) can generate an entire site for you after you’ve answered a few questions.

GoDaddy has recently stepped up its ecommerce features and management tools. You can add up to 5,000 products to your inventory, and shipping methods are built in. There are plenty of payment options (credit cards and PayPal included, of course).

It remains fairly reasonable, though. The cheapest plan (the Basic plan) costs just £6.99/month (billed annually). At the other end of the scale, the Ecommerce plan will set you back £19.99/month (billed annually), and there are two plans sitting in the middle. All plans come with a very generous one month free trial.

More Information:
GoDaddy Website Builder Review – get the full details on GoDaddy’s website builder
GoDaddy Ecommerce Review – is it the right choice for selling online?
Wix vs GoDaddy – an in-depth comparison of two popular website builders
How to Build a Website on GoDaddy – our easy, step-by-step guide to getting started

Rather than juggling five different subscriptions for five different services, a major draw of GoDaddy is that it does a bit of everything. You can take care of domain registration, web hosting, and website building all in one place.

Getting online with GoDaddy is effortless, but it’s somewhat limiting compared to builders like Wix and Squarespace. For getting your small business online quickly and easily, however, there’s few better platforms available.

5. Duda

Best template designs, but limited creative freedom

Duda pitches itself as a website builder for web designers, but don’t let this put you off. It’s actually super simple to create a single site for your business, and the cheapest plan costs just $14/month (around £11).

ProsCons
#1Over 90 well-designed templates to choose fromNot the best option in terms of SEO support
#2Option to create personalized user journeys, even with the cheapest planCustomization options are pretty limited – not great for those who want a lot of creative freedom

So, what can we tell you about Duda? Well firstly, the templates are good. Like, really good. Sure, they don’t all have that modern, minimalist look that you get with Squarespace, but they feel real somehow – like the websites you happily use every day for everyday businesses.

That’s why Duda comes out top for design for small business websites, scoring 4.6/5, while Squarespace still holds the top spot for portfolio or photography sites – basically anything that’s super image-led.

But the bit that gets us most excited about Duda? Personalized. User. Journeys.

So Duda currently offers two plans – one at $14/month for building one site (about £11), and one at $74/month for agencies (close to £55). And even on its cheapest plan, you can change the way users see your site, depending on various factors.

For example, if someone is visiting your site for the first time, you can choose to display a video about your services. And if someone is visiting your site from a location nearby, you can add a button to give you a call. This is really smart stuff for a website builder, and is easy for anyone to set up – just click ‘Personalize’ down the right hand side of your main dashboard, then choose a ‘Rule’. This is also where you can create pop-ups and banner ads.

So, where does Duda fall down? Well firstly, the SEO support isn’t really there. If you’re relying on getting found in Google’s search results, you’ll have to read up on basic SEO tips to help get you there – you don’t get the prompts and guides that you do with some other builders. And secondly, while the designs are awesome, there isn’t a ton of scope for customization. Some people like this approach, but if you’re after a creative project, then this might feel too limiting.

6. Strikingly

Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites

Strikingly scores pretty well across the board – our users liked it as much as more popular builders, including Squarespace and GoDaddy – but although it’s good value, it has some serious drawbacks.

ProsCons
#1Helpful, proactive support teamYou can only create one-page sites, meaning it’s not a scalable solution
#2You can create two sites on the cheapest $8/month plan (about £6/month), and sell up to five productsLacks the feature quality and depth of builders featured higher on this list

Let’s start with what we like about Strikingly. First up: Happiness Officers. Yes, you heard that right.

Not only does Strikingly take home the crown for the most wholesomely-named support team, but it boasts the most active one, too. At various points throughout your website-making journey, a little chat box will pop up inviting you to talk to your Happiness Officer – an option that’s available 24/7. There are also all sorts of helpful tutorial videos on Strikingly’s site. It’s no wonder it scored an impressive 4.5/5!

Strikingly’s plans are very reasonable. A free plan is available, but as always, we recommend you go Premium for that professional look. Premium plans range from $8 – $49 per month (about £6 – £28 billed annually), and you can try all plans free for 14 days.

On the cheapest paid plan (the ‘Limited’ plan), you can build two sites, sell up to five products, and bag a free domain name for the first year – see, we told you it’s affordable!

So how come it’s down in sixth place? The main issue for us is that Strikingly only lets you create one-page websites. The navigation links down the side or across the top just take you to sections further down that initial page. That’s fine if you just need to present an overview – About Us, Portfolio, Contact Us – but if you want to really develop your site, that one page starts to get very long indeed. It’s thought the average person scrolls around 22.7 meters on their phone every day – but they probably won’t be too thrilled if your site is responsible for the bulk of that.

One-page websites mean blogs and product categories are kind of out of the question, too. So while Strikingly is very reasonably priced, it’s not actually great value – scoring just 3.5/5 in our research.

So if you need to show a ‘flavor’ of one or two projects you have on the go, Strikingly is a safe and super cheap option. If you’re after something a bit more scalable, look at options further up the list.

Other helpful pages: 

Strikingly Review – a detailed review of Strikingly’s features, prices, and more

7. WordPress.com

Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else

In stark contrast to Strikingly, WordPress.com is very much ‘all about the blog’. If your business relies heavily on blogging – or is, in fact, a blog – then you’ve struck gold with this builder. For anything else, though, you’ll likely find it too limiting.

ProsCons
#1Comes with excellent inbuilt blogging tools and featuresVery limited for anything that isn’t a blog – think rigid templates, frustrating features, and an outdated backend
#2Super cheap prices – paid WordPress.com plans start at just £3 per month (billed annually)To carry out more than the most basic customization, you’ll need some coding knowledge

WordPress.com is built for blogging, and we really can’t stress that enough. If your small business is blog-based, get ready for a bunch of super helpful features, such as comments, tags, likes, categories, and for your posts to be featured in the blog ‘Reader’ for subscribed readers to view in their feed.

If your business is not a blog, however, you’ll have a rough time of it. But hey, don’t just take our word for it – as part of our user testing, we gave participants an hour to build a website for fictitious business ‘Shore Coffee House’ to a set brief, and asked them to give us their thoughts.

One particularly frustrated participant using WordPress.com said:

“I hated it, I really hated it. It really isn’t my cup of tea whatsoever.”

And the other participants weren’t particularly complimentary, either – they found that things just weren’t intuitive, and they didn’t make anywhere near as much progress in the hour as they’d expected. It’s no surprise that WordPress.com pretty much bombed when it came to the Customer Score, gaining the (joint) lowest mark of any builder tested (3.5/5). It also scored just 2.4/5 for design flexibility; it’s hard to make WordPress.com templates your own.

So, blogging aside, does WordPress.com have any redeeming qualities? Its affordability is certainly a huge plus – there’s a free plan available, and paid ones starting at just £3 per month (billed annually). The cheapest plan – the ‘Personal’ plan – also comes with a custom domain and live chat support. That’s a fair bit of bang for your buck.

If you’re patient, and preferably have a bit of coding knowledge, you could definitely make WordPress.com work for your business site – you’re just not making it easy on yourself by any means.

Other helpful pages: 

WordPress.com Review – discover the ins and outs of this blogging builder
Best Blogging Platforms – if you need a blog, pick from this list!

8. Site123

Easiest to use business website builder

Let’s imagine that one night, The Bad Men came and demanded that you build them a business website immediately – ‘immediately, or else!’ In this frightful scenario, Site123 might just be the builder you’d reach for.

ProsCons
#1Design-assisted approach makes this a super quick and easy builder to useDesigns look dated
#2Awesome expert support team available over live chatIf you want to have more than a basic website, it starts to get shown up quite quickly

Why would we pick Site123 to get us out of this particularly niche jam? Because it’s great for getting a site live very easily and fairly quickly – so long as you’re not too precious about the end result. Site123 also has an awesome little support team available over live chat.

But while Site123 may be super quick to set up, you can’t deny that the end result looks super dated. Site123 also scores poorly for features, coming in last place with 2.6/5. So even though it offers a free plan – with the only paid plan costing just $12.80 per month (about £10 per month) – its value for money score is really poor, again coming in last place.

One of our users really hit the nail on the head with their feedback:

“It’s ok, but if you want to have more than a basic website, it starts to get shown up quite quickly.”

So unless you’re super unsure about all things online – or are in a next-level rush – we’d recommend you opt for another easy-to-use website builder, such as Wix, GoDaddy, or Duda.

Other helpful pages: 

SITE123 Review – Learn all about this builder in our full review

9. Jimdo Creator

Simple, but lacks feature depth

If you’ve read through this whole article (thanks for sticking with us!), then you’ll probably have noticed that the small business website builders towards the bottom of our list are becoming simpler – but not necessarily for the better. Jimdo is one such such builder.

ProsCons
#1With a free plan available and paid plans starting at just £9/month (billed annually), Jimdo scored reasonably well for value for money (3.2/5)Limited help and support – restricted by your plan, and only available via email
#2Awkward to edit and arrange elements, and generally lacking good feature depth

Don’t get us wrong, Jimdo is far better than many website builders on the market – and we should know, we’ve tried over 50 of them – but it’s worse than the other eight featured on this list.

Jimdo is very simple, yes – but in the world of website builders today, that’s no longer anything special. The big players are constantly evolving to improve their ease of use and depth of features, while services like Jimdo Creator get left behind.

When held up against our small business website builder criteria, it scored particularly poorly for design flexibility. It’s simple to add elements – but if you try to edit them to your liking, you’ll find the process very frustrating indeed. It looks nice enough, but you’ve got very little control.

Help and Support was another noticeable low point, and Jimdo scored just 1.7/5 in this area. With the most expensive plan, you’re guaranteed a response in under an hour. For those on a cheaper plan, however, you’re looking at 1-2 business days – not ideal if you have a serious problem. All help and support is also done via email, which in itself feels much less helpful (and modern) than the live chat function which most builders now favor.

Jimdo does have some redeeming qualities, though. It held up reasonably well in the value for money section, scoring 3.2/5. There’s a free plan, as well as paid ones ranging from the Start plan at just £9/month, to the Unlimited plan at £39/month (all prices billed annually). So even though it has its limitations, it does offer one of the cheapest paid plans around.

All in all, Jimdo Creator isn’t quite there yet, but it’s on its way. And there’s no harm in starting out on the free plan to see how you get on with it – you can easily upgrade at a later date if you like the feel of it, or switch to another builder if you don’t.

Other helpful pages: 

Jimdo Review – find out more and see if Jimdo is right for you
Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo – the ultimate comparison

How to Choose a Small Business Website Builder

Before you dive in and start building your website, it’s important to figure out what is important to your small business.

Website builders are perfect for artists, coffee shop owners, ecommerce site owners, photographers, writers, art dealers, restaurants, wedding planners, gardeners, electricians, plumbers – the list is endless.

But a plumber, for example, will have very different needs to a wedding photographer.

One needs an online order booking form, while the other needs to add and upload top-quality images.

Ask yourself: who are your customers? Are you looking to advertise your brand? Or do you need to take bookings online?

Grab a bit of paper and write down what goals you want to achieve (take bookings online, for example), what features you’d like your website to include (a blog page or an ‘About Us’ section) and who your target audience is.

It might also be worth taking our short 4-question quiz to get recommendations tailored to exactly what you want for your website.

website builder quiz

Here are five factors we’ve put together. They’re not everything, but they’re a good starting point for deciding what your small business website needs to prioritize (and what website builder might be best for you):

  1. Ease of use
  2. Social media
  3. Email
  4. Images & Templates
  5. Help & Support

1.Ease of use

All of our top-rated builders for small business websites are very user-friendly and can help you get online even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body.

Sounds good right?

They also all offer free trials, so you can experiment and play around to find out which builder you find the easiest to use, without having to spend any of your own money.

Think of it as trying on lots of different clothes before you decide on the right outfit for a party.

When testing each website builder, ask yourself:

  • Can you add pictures and templates easily, without messing up your site’s layout?
  • Do you find it easy to make changes such as updating contact information and adding new products?
  • Is the website builder able to provide the features you need? For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to take online bookings, can you add a booking form to your site?
  • Are the color schemes and templates suitable for your business? An accountancy firm, for example, will need different color schemes and templates to a local ice cream seller.

We can point you in the direction of our best small business website builders, but we can’t absolutely say which one is the best for you because a lot of it comes down to personal preference. That’s why we encourage you to test each of our recommended website builders out and see if it works for your small business.

Wix and Weebly both offer free basic plans, but if you’re serious about building an eye-catching small business website we advise you to sign up to a paid plan to access apps and features that will help your store stand out.

The easier you find the the builder to use, the more time you have to play around with your site’s color scheme and branding, write product descriptions and source top-quality images – all things that will make your store stand out!


2.Social media integration

Social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter can be a great way to get eyeballs on your small business website.

Is social media an important way you plan to generate sales or interact with customers?

If the answer’s yes, then you’ll want a website builder that focuses on social media integration (the better the integration, the easier it will be to promote your business on social media, without taking up hours of your time).

You can integrate your Wix site, for example, for free with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; you can also add a Facebook like popup button to your site. All of our recommended small business website builders come with varying levels of social media integration so take advantage of the free trials to play around and work out which one caters best for your social media needs.

Check whether your chosen website builder will let you:

  • Add icons that link out to your social media pages.
  • Pull in content from your social media accounts – such as a ‘tweet of the day’ – onto your site.
  • Post content from your site straight onto your social platforms

3.Email marketing

Email marketing is the lifeblood of many small businesses.

It’s a fantastic way to connect on a really personal level with your customers and if you rely on sending emails (even a small number), or are looking to get a personal business email address and start sending emails, then you’ll want a website builder that allows you to manage your mailbox.

If you’ve already built a big email list, or aim to acquire lots of new email subscribers quickly, check which tools each website builder offers through the app store to help you scale your email marketing. Squarespace offers integration with MailChimp – a great email tool we’ve used before that’s designed on the same drag and drop principles as website builders.

You can build striking email campaigns without having to know coding languages like HTML (Hypertext Markup Language – used to add font styles, like italics and bold, and add links to text)and in no time at all be sending professional emails to your customers.

This can be a great way to drum up interest in your small business (maybe you’ve got an in-store event you want to remind people about), add credibility to your company and keep in touch with loyal customers.

By using email marketing, you’re adding another string to your site’s bow.


4.Images and templates

Website builders come with a host of free and paid stock photos and templates to make your site look sharp and stylish. But different sites have different image needs, so even though our top five website builders’ templates and images cover almost every industry, it’s worth checking first that the templates and images they offer meet the specific needs of your business.

For example, if you’re an accountancy firm, you’re going to need templates that imply competency and come with professional images like workers in suits or office blocks, right?

If your business relies heavily on visuals (you might be a photographer or a fancy restaurant), then you might lean towards a builder that provides the most beautiful and polished images, such as Squarespace.

The better you can make your business website look, the more customers will reward you with brand engagement and dollars in the till.


Other helpful pages:
Where to Find Professional Images for Your Website – for our definitive guide on sourcing images for your website.

5.Help & Support

When you’re launching your small business website, any support you get can make a real difference.

All of our recommended builders offer excellent support over email, phone, and online chat, so you’re never left on your own when trying to get your website off the ground.

In our experience Wix’s Help Center provides the most in-depth collection of tutorials and videos to help answer all your questions; Weebly’s guides and information is still very useful, but not quite as conclusive as Wix’s or Squarespace’s support.

The less time you spend working out how to add a feature or change a styling element, the more time you have to focus on how you are going to make your site unique and attract visitors.

This is where a website builder’s customer support can be invaluable.

First-class customer support can be like having a tour guide on a holiday in a busy city: they can show you the right way to go, point out exciting features and help organize your time.

9 Best Small Business Website Builders: Final Thoughts

Building a website for your small business is very important.

It makes your company look credible, lets you communicate with customers 24/7 and lets you showcase products and services to a wider audience.

In the past, you might have worried that building a website would be too expensive (you’re a small business, where’s the money coming from?) or too difficult (you’re not a computer expert, how are you supposed to build a website from scratch?).

We took all these common small business needs and concerns into account when we evaluated these website builders, and one of these nine is a solid foundation for a small business site.

We’ve looked at nine of the best website builders for small business…

9 Best Website Builders for Small Business

  1. Wix – Best all-around website builder for small businesses.
  2. Squarespace – Best for fast-growing small businesses or startups.
  3. Weebly – Great value for money.
  4. GoDaddy – Fastest for building a simple website.
  5. Duda – Best template designs, but limited creative freedom.
  6. Strikingly – Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites.
  7. WordPress.com – Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else.
  8. Site123 – Easiest to use website builder.
  9. Jimdo Creator – Simple, but lacks feature depth.

Each of our nine recommended small business website builders means entrepreneurs like you can get online without spending heaps of money hiring professional developers and designers.
Whichever builder you choose, you’ll be able to create a functional and eye-catching website that establishes your small business online, without any technical know-how.

Whichever builder you choose, you’ll be able to create a functional and eye-catching website that establishes your small business online, without any technical know-how.

Which specific builder is right for your small business will depend on the type of business you run and what you hope to achieve through your website.

If you know the main function of your small business website will be to sell products then we recommend using an ecommerce specialist like BigCommerce or Shopify. While Wix, Squarespace and Weebly all offer ecommerce platforms, Shopify and BigCommerce have the tools to take your store to the next level.

Make use of the free trials on offer to find the perfect website builder for your small business. Once you’ve chosen a website builder for your small business, we recommend you read the guide below as your next step.

How to build a business website has step-by-step information on the nuts and bolts of building your business website.

FAQs

Which is the easiest small business website builder?

None of the website builders in this guide require any technical knowledge. But for a really simple website building experience, we recommend GoDaddy as its editor is extremely quick to get to grips with.

While this is true, you might find another website builder, such as Weebly, suits you better. That’s why we recommend taking a couple of website builders for a test run before settling on a final choice.

Which is the cheapest small business website builder?

Squarespace is the only website builder in this guide that doesn’t offer a free plan. Both Wix and Weebly are free to use for as long as you want. They also have very reasonable premium plans that are worth considering if you want to take your site to the next level.

Which small business website builder has the best templates?

Duda is the number one for a design-focused small business website. Its templates are all stunning and professional.

Which small business website builder is best on mobile?

Wix has its own mobile editor which means you can tweak things on the mobile version of your site without changing anything on the desktop version.

All of Squarespace’s themes are mobile responsive so they look great on all devices, which is a big plus point.

How long will it take me to build my own small business website?

All of the website builders in this guide have extremely intuitive editors which means you can get to grips with their features in no time at all!

This means you could have your small business website set up in a matter of hours!

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Shopify Prices Review – Just How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Shopify Pricing Review

 Shopify Pricing review

Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

Picking the right ecommerce builder can be confusing, especially when trying to navigate hidden fees for transactions or credit card rates.

In this Shopify prices review, we’ll investigate commonly misunderstood concept of transaction fees, how you can remove them, and how you can save on credit card fees.

Review by

Last Updated on January 22, 2020

Let’s be honest, we all want a good deal by getting the most out of purchases while paying the least possible. Times are tough and every dollar counts. 

But when it comes to picking a tool to build your business, pricing consideration is just one factor out of many, and I’d argue that this factor should not be the most important one. After all, what will help you reach your goals — automatically opting for the cheapest tools around, or selecting the best tools available, even if they cost more per month?

Shopify Plans

Shopify offers three pricing plans

  • Shopify Basic costs $29 (about £22) per month, with 2.9% + 30¢ (about 25p) per online transaction. 
  • The main Shopify plan costs $79 (about £61) per month, with 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction.
  • Advanced Shopify costs $299 (about £230) per month, with 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction. 

The fully hosted Shopify Plus platform starts at $2,000 per month.

shopify pricing compared tothe price of pizza
While you shouldn't dwell on the price of Shopify (yes, it's not the cheapest tool out there), it still won't cost you an arm and a leg to set up and run a fully-functioning online store with lots of helpful features.

During our internal testing, Shopify earned a 3.5/5 stars in our “value for money” category. Granted, Shopify is not the cheapest ecommerce builder in the market. But in my view, it is one of the best and it’s getting better every year.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What you actually get from each Shopify pricing plan.
  • Credit card rates – using Shopify Payments versus PayPal.
  • Which is price plan is the right choice for you.
  • The truth about transaction fees (Q&A) – common misunderstanding.

You can see our full review of Shopify here. 

Check out our ecommerce comparison chart or best ecommerce platforms article to see how Shopify stacks up against its competitors.

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How Much Is Shopify?

The cost of Shopify’s pricing plans per month are: 

  • Basic Shopify: $29 (about £22)
  • Shopify: $79 (about £61)
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 (about £230)
shopify prices
Shopify's monthly price plans range from $29 to $299 per month, which equates to about £22 to £229 GBP*.

Monthly vs Annual Costs

One thing you should note is that on Shopify’s pricing page, the monthly price for each plan assumes you pay on a month-to-month plan.

What this means is that if you decide to cancel, you just stop paying. Period.

If you decide to go on the 1-year or 2-year plans, you save 10% or 20%, respectively.

Shopify Prices:

Shopify Pricing PlansShopify BasicShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly£22.00*£61.00*£230.00*
1-Year
£/month
£20.00*£55.00*£207.00*
Savings (%)10%10%10%
2-Year
£/month
£17.85*£48.60*£184.00*
Savings (%)20%20%20%

*Prices are calculated approximations, and the prices are offered in USD on site.

The savings are better on the longer plans, but plenty of customers appreciate the flexibility of a monthly plan: Shopify’s annual report notes that more users have opted for the month-to-month pricing rather than the 1-year or 2-year plans.

Shopify Plans Comparison

The different plans bring with them different features and abilities. Here’s the rundown on exactly what each plan offers.

FeaturesBasic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly Price£22.00*£61.00*£230.00*
Online Credit Card Rates2.9% + £0.202.6% + £0.202.4% + £0.20
In-Person Credit Card Rates2.7% + £02.5% + £02.4% + £0
Transaction FeesShopify Payments = 0.0%

Other Processors = 2.0%

Shopify Payments = 0.0%

Other Processors = 1.0%

Shopify Payments = 0.0%

Other Processors = 0.5%

No. of ProductsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
24/7 SupportYesYesYes
Discount CodesYesYesYes
BloggingYesYesYes
Free SSLYesYesYes
Gift CardsNoYesYes
Detailed ReportingNoYesYes
Abandoned Cart RecoveryNoYesYes
Advanced ReportingNoNoYes
Real-Time ShippingNoNoYes
FeaturesBasic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify

*Prices are approximations, converted into GBP from USD on site. You can click here to see the actual pricing table on Shopify’s website.

Basic Shopify (£22/month)

Starting a small business, or trying to build an online storefront for an existing one? If your store is tiny, and you just need a little ecommerce functionality, this is the plan for you. But if your products are expensive or you sell a lot of them, that pricey 2.9% + 30¢ transaction fee will add up fast.

Shopify (£61/month)

If your small business is growing rapidly, you’ll need a robust website. This plan includes more granular reporting data and features like gift cards and abandoned cart recovery. 

A small business might not miss these features, but the bigger you grow, the more revenue you’ll add. If your site currently returns around £4000 in monthly revenue, then this is the plan for you.

Advanced Shopify (£230/month)

A medium to large online business can always grow more. If your goal is to grow ten times larger, this plan comes with stellar shipping, rock-bottom transaction fees, and even more advanced reporting. 

This option is designed for companies with monthly revenues in excess of £8,000. Sure, it’s pricey, but the businesses using this plan can recoup some or all of the monthly cost thanks to the additional features and lower fees.

Besides the obvious monthly pricing differences, here are a few other differences you should pay attention to as well:

  • Credit Card Rates – decreases marginally for higher plans
  • Transaction Fees – decreases significantly for higher plans
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery – very useful tool to help you earn more profits automatically. Detailed discussion here.

What About Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus?

If the pricing for Shopify’s three plans won’t work for you, don’t despair. Shopify has a super inexpensive option and an enterprise-level one — even if neither one gives you a website, exactly. Here’s what these plans offer.

Shopify Lite

The Shopify Lite plan won’t give you a complete online store. Instead, it integrates with a pre-existing website or social media page, letting you chat with customers, accept credit cards, and create invoices. 

This option is great for a hobbiest who already has an established corner of the internet, and no plans to expand. It costs just $9/month (about £7/month).

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level ecommerce plan targeted at big businesses: You’ll pay for more powerful features and for website hosting, ensuring your site never crashes when traffic surges. 

The plan is aimed at operations with £750,000 or more in annual revenue, and costs £1,500 or more per month. To get a custom quote for Shopify Plus (not listed on the table above), you have to speak to Shopify directly.

Shopify Plus (Enterprise Level Users) Review – If you’re in the big leagues and your business generates 6 to 7 figures in sales per year, this is how Shopify Plus can help you grow even more.

Now that you’ve compared your options, feel free to click the button below and start testing out the plan that’s best for you!

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Shopify Credit Card Rates Explained

On Shopify’s pricing table, the Credit Card Rates sections relate to the rates you get charged if you decide to use Shopify Payments to handle your payment processing.

Cost of Shopify

When you use a credit card to purchase online or offline, there is a fee that you will pay no matter what – a payment processing fee.

When you go to your local grocery store to purchase something with your credit card, the grocery store pays a processing fee to their payment processor to collect payment from your bank and deposit it into their bank. That’s just how the world of commerce works. All merchants pay this fee.

That said, the only thing you can control are the credit card rates and that is determined by which payment processor you choose to use.

With Shopify Payments, their credit card rates / payment processing rates for online transactions are as follows:

shopify pricing plans

These fees are on a per transaction basis, not on a per-item sold basis. So if someone buys 10 widgets from you in one single transaction, the 20 pence is charged only once and not on each item.

(Note: If you sell products in-person using Shopify’s Point-of-Sale system, the credit card rates are lower)

How Stripe works with Shopify

Shopify Payments is currently available to stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

If you’re not located in these countries, Shopify is fully integrated with over 70 different payment processors to accept credit cards from all over the world. You can see their list of payment processors here. 

Shopify Payments Guide – If you’re looking for more information about Shopify payments, check out our further discussion.

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How to Avoid Shopify Transaction Fees

I see complaints about Shopify’s transaction fees quite often, usually from merchants concerned about the impact on their profits.

Basic Shopify charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, while Advanced Shopify drops just half a percentage point to 2.4% + 30¢

But Shopify’s transaction fees aren’t your only option, and this Q&A should throw some light on the alternatives.

Cost of shopify

Of course, nobody likes to pay more fees especially if you don’t think it’s necessary. However, I feel that the concept of Shopify’s transaction fee is commonly misunderstood.

Let’s spend a few minutes investigating why transaction fees exist on top of monthly plan fees, if it’s unique to Shopify (or if they’re just a bunch of greedy people), and what you can do.

How do transaction fees work?

Each time a customer purchases from you (a transaction), depending on which Shopify plan you subscribed to, a transaction fee will be charged. The fees are 2% for the Basic Shopify plan, 1% for the Shopify plan, and 0.5% for the Advanced Shopify plan.

What are transaction fees for?

When shoppers visit your online store, they browse around before making a decision to purchase. It takes resources for Shopify to power your ecommerce website to ensure that it stays up and doesn’t crash on you.

So the idea is that the transaction fees help Shopify keep your store open and operating at optimal levels, no matter how many visitors you have on your website at one given time (10 visitors or a million visitors).

Doesn’t the monthly plan fee cover this already?

Yes and no. The monthly fee mainly gives you access to the Shopify platform and selling tools to get your online store published and working. The transaction fees exist to continually keep your store powered, and is only charged when someone purchases your product.

What about other similar ecommerce builders? Do they charge transaction fees?

Yes, but in different forms.

  • For BigCommerce (Shopify’s closest competitor), even though they don’t charge transaction fees for each sale you make, if you generate more than a certain sales dollars per 12 months, they automatically bump you to up to a higher plan so you’ll end up paying more per month. Shopify doesn’t “force” you to upgrade to a higher plan, no matter how much sales you generate per month.
  • For Wix (an ideal ecommerce builder for newcomers), you won’t have to pay any transaction charges. However to sell products on Wix, you need to be on either the eCommerce or VIP plan, which are a little bit more expensive per month. Be aware that you will need to pay a percentage per transaction to your payment gateway provider, who each charge their own rate (all payment gateway providers charge this fees).
  • For Volusion, they limit the amount of bandwidth you have per month (think of bandwidth also as “power” that keeps your website running. The more shoppers visit your store, the more bandwidth it uses), whereas Shopify gives you unlimited bandwidth. Once you exceed the bandwidth limit with Volusion, you’ll have to purchase additional bandwidth from them (which they don’t list how much it costs, so it’s going to be a nice surprise.)

So transaction fees appear in different forms for ecommerce platforms similar to Shopify.

Is there any way to remove Shopify’s transaction fees?

Yes. If you use Shopify Payments, they’ll remove all transaction fees.

What’s the catch? Assuming if I use Shopify Payments and Shopify removes all transaction fees, how can they keep my ecommerce website powered?

Shopify Payments help you process payments from your customers (collect money from your customer and deposit it into your bank account). This is the credit card fee as discussed in detail above.

If you use Shopify Payments, then Shopify will earn the credit card fees.

This allows them to waive the transaction fees. So instead of paying transaction fees plus credit card fees, you just have to pay credit card fees if you use Shopify Payments. You’d have to pay this regardless even if you use another payment processor (such as PayPal).

Will using Shopify Payments cost me anything more?

No. Shopify will waive transaction fees (saving you money), and the credit card rates are actually lower than payment processors such as PayPal (saving you money). The fee per transaction is fixed, there are no international fees (if you sell to customers outside of your country) and there are no monthly fees.

Is using Shopify Payments going to save me more money compared to using other similar ecommerce builders?

Yes. As discussed, if you use BigCommerce, they force you to upgrade to a higher plan if you exceed certain sales levels. Shopify doesn’t require you to upgrade at all. So theoretically, you can sell $1 million worth of products and you can remain subscribed to Shopify’s lowest plan at $29 (£22) per month.

With BigCommerce, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan and pay more. If you use Volusion, they limit the amount of bandwidth and if you exceed the limit, you’ll have to purchase more from them.

Shopify gives you unlimited bandwidth.

Are a lot of Shopify users using Shopify Payments?

Yes. According to Shopify, 85% of their users are using Shopify Payments when it is available (for users located in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore) as at the end of 2017.

This shouldn’t be surprising at all as users get to save transaction fees, have lower credit card processing fees, and can start receiving funds after 2-days.

FAQ Summary

When it comes to fees per sales transaction, it’s best to use Shopify Payments. Not only will Shopify waive all transaction fees, the credit card processing fees are also lower than PayPal (and most other payment processors).

It doesn’t cost you anything more to use Shopify Payments as you’ll need a payment processor to handle payments anyway.

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Additional Shopify Costs to Be Aware Of

Running an ecommerce business comes with a few extra costs beyond the basic website plan. Here are the extra add-ons and charges you might need to consider.

Apps

A variety of third-party providers offer apps designed to work with Shopify websites in the online Shopify app store, home to more than over 1,400 apps. 

The prices and the functions can vary wildly: One free app lets customers chat with a business directly though the Apple messages app, while another app offers enterprise level product sourcing and supply chain management and charges $299 (around £230) per month.

Domain Name

You can register a domain name through Shopify: The service starts at $14 (around £11) for a 1-year registration. Visit Shopify’s domain name page to search for your business name to see if it’s still free.

Email Hosting

Shopify doesn’t offer email hosting itself, but If you own a Shopify domain, you’ll be able to set up free and unlimited email forwarding to the domain from a third-party email hosting service. The extra cost kicks in when you’re paying for that hosting service: typical email hosting charges range from £1 to £4 per month.

You don’t need to pay for those add-ons in order to try the 14-day Shopify free trial! Feel free to click through the link below.

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Shopify Prices: Summary

I hope this discussion addresses the more commonly misunderstood aspects of what it costs you per month to use Shopify.

Shopify is one of the best hosted ecommerce builders available in the market today (see our full review here). They’re not the cheapest, but they do offer the best value for money.

They have a very broad range of ecommerce tools, offer you access to their App Store (over 1,400 apps), and an ecosystem of theme designers and experts. Shopify is a very strong and fast-growing online store builder.

If you’re looking for a low-cost ecommerce builder, then Shopify is not the right platform for you (see our ecommerce comparison chart for alternatives).

But, if you’re serious about building a successful online store, Shopify is an excellent platform to help you achieve your goals.

Their plans are not outrageously expensive and are actually quite affordable, giving you the tools and infrastructure to get started. Imagine if you were able to earn £1,000 per month from your business, the £22 per month plan is quite manageable.

Then, if you were to grow your sales to £4,000 per month over time, the monthly cost starts to become negligible.

So, while £22 or £61 per month sounds expensive when you first get started, keep in mind what your business sales goals are over the medium to long-term. If you only want to generate £100 per month, then Shopify is probably not for you.

But if you want to generate thousands of pounds per month over time, Shopify is a strong platform to help you do just that.

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FAQs

Do I need a business license for a Shopify business? 

You might need a business license for a business operated on a Shopify website, but it depends on your state or city’s policy. If your state uses sales tax, however, you’ll likely need to get a resellers sales tax certificate, which typically requires an application and a nominal fee.

Does Shopify charge for refunds?

No, Shopify does not charge a transaction fee for a fully refunded transaction. Shopify automatically removes the charge or, if it has already billed you, will issue you a credit on your next invoice. 

However, if a purchase has only been partially refunded, Shopify does still allow the original transaction fee to remain.

Does Shopify have any hidden fees?

Shopify doesn’t have any hidden fees: You’ll pay for your specific plan, and then you’ll pay an additional transaction fee for every transaction made on your store. While you can also buy any additional apps or domain names you want, you shouldn’t be surprised by anything on your invoice.

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Wix Review

What Are the Pros and Cons of Wix?

Pros

Cons

  • Can’t switch templates after your website goes live
  • May have to spend more on third party apps to scale your website
  • The sheer choice and amount of customizable options can be overwhelming
Wix Review
Start your journey to a new site by taking the first step and trying Wix for free

Overview of Wix

Wix is used by over 100 million people across 190 different countries. It’s an affordable, easy and hassle-free way of creating your own website in a matter of minutes.

Building your own website used to be something only whizkid coders could do. Or people who were rich enough to pay whizkid coders to do it for them!

But thanks to Wix, now everyone can create a website of their own. Whatever your skill level, Wix’s powerful template editor gives you full creative control – without needing to know a word of code.

If you have a look at some of the website examples that are created by Wix, they’re beautiful and professional.

Wix isn’t the only drag-and-drop website builder, of course. But it’s the best in the world today.

Why do we think that? First off, it covers hundreds of industries – many more than any other website builder. Just check out what it’s got for…

No matter what your niche is, you’ll find Wix templates, tools and apps to match. Dog walkers? Success coaches? Internet stars?? It’s easier to say what industries Wix doesn’t cover!

Since launching in 2006, Wix has swiftly established itself as the market’s leading website builder. Before we get our teeth into this review of Wix, though, let’s take a step back and explain what a website builder actually is:

A website builder is an online platform that helps you create your own website, without coding.

There are two main types of website builders – the classic template-based platforms, and the more modern AI (Artificial Intelligence) platforms.

A classic website builder lets you pick from a vast range of pre-designed templates. You can then easily customize the template and populate it with all your own content, adding in useful features as you go.

AI website builders work by asking you a series of questions, like the type of website you’d like, and your design preferences. After that, it creates a website for you. You can still make some tweaks to the design, but this approach is really for people who need a simple website up fast.

Wix is a classic template website builder and an AI platform rolled into one. You can choose from over 500 industry-specific templates and make use of its incredible drag-and-drop editor. Or if you’d prefer, use Wix ADI and let Wix design a website for you!

Wix comes with a big reputation, but here at Website Builder Expert, it’s our job to scratch beneath the surface and tell you exactly how good it is. Unlike many Wix reviews, we conduct our own thorough research and testing to bring you expert analysis.

Throughout this review of Wix, you’ll learn about its strengths and weaknesses, how suitable Wix is for different types of websites, and how it fared when we put it through its paces.

Wix Review Video

Whether you’re a computer whiz or just have a grasp of the basics, Wix is fast and easy to use for everyone.

To prove it, we put Wix to the test:

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Does Wix Sound Right For You?

If Wix was ticking all your boxes in our video review, why not try it for yourself? Don’t forget it’s totally free!

How Easy is Wix to Use?

We asked lots of everyday people to give Wix a try and tell us what they thought.

The feedback we got speaks for itself – people loved Wix! Here are just a couple of their thoughts:

“I was genuinely surprised that making a website could be done that quickly. I didn’t think that it would all get done, but in an hour, I’ve done everything.”

“Once I’d got to grips with it, it became really easy. I can see myself definitely using Wix to actually create my own personal website.”

With Wix, you have two choices – Wix Editor or Wix ADI. Wix Editor uses drag-and-drop functionality, meaning anything on your website can be repositioned simply by clicking and holding the item, then moving it where you want.

Wix ADI editor
Wix makes it super simple to set up your website. You can choose between the Wix Editor, where you edit a template, or Wix ADI, which creates a personalized website for you in minutes.

Wix ADI will design your website for you. You answer a few questions about the type of website you’d like, and before you know it, your own personal, unique site will be created before your eyes. You can make edits to the final design, but this process is not ideal if you want total control.

Think of it like playing a game on your phone compared to a games console. You can still play the game on an app, and it’s easier, but you’re not getting the same level of control or experience you would from the games console.

For those who are a little more tech savvy, you can also use Wix Code. This lets you access and edit the raw HTML behind your template for even greater customization. Using Wix Code is by no means essential, but the option’s there if you want to dig a little deeper.

Customer Satisfaction

After everyone finished testing Wix, we asked them if they’d recommend it.. Well, the results are in – and they’re glowing.

A massive 88% of people who used it would highly recommend Wix to a friend.

To put that score into some context for you, that recommendation is:

  • 24% higher than Weebly’s
  • 20% higher than Squarespace’s
  • 12% higher than GoDaddy’s.

People loved the freedom Wix gave them when editing, and just how easy it was to drag and drop things around their website. They were also amazed at just how quickly they could create something they’d be happy to publish online.

The only criticism people had was that to begin with, Wix can feel overwhelming. There’s so much choice – in templates, features and customization – that it takes a few minutes to settle into the platform.

For pure ease of use and creative control, though, Wix is unrivalled.

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Will You Love Wix?

There’s only one way to find out! 88% of people who tested Wix in our research were likely to recommend it – try it yourself for free to learn why.

Further Reading

Wix Editor vs Wix ADIA detailed breakdown of the key differences between Wix’s website building options.

Who is Wix Best For?

We’ve determined that Wix is the best overall website builder, but is it right for you?

Wix Review Type of Site
With Wix you can design a website for any need imaginable.

Depending on your needs, Wix could be just the answer you’re looking for. However, there may be another platform out there better suited for the job. Below, we’ll run through why people build websites, discuss what Wix is capable of, and suggest other options to Wix if we feel there are better out there.

Business

Business websites are Wix’s bread and butter. There are hundreds of templates to choose from, designed specifically for different industries. From handy services to advertising and marketing, real estate to finance and law, everything is covered.

Wix also has a whole host of amazing business features – like subscription forms, appointment bookings and email marketing – and an app market bursting with amazing add-ons.

Do You Need a Website for Your Business?

Wix has tailored features designed to help you build and run a successful business website. Check out its business features by clicking the button below.

Further Reading

How To Build A Business WebsiteLooking to get your business online? Follow our 5 easy steps.

5 Best Small Business Website BuildersCheck out our guide to see the best platforms on the market.

Ecommerce

If you’re looking to start selling online, Wix eCommerce has you covered. Create your own stunning online store with ease and speed using Wix Editor or Wix ADI.

Wix lets you sell an unlimited amount of products – physical, digital, or a service. You can also create discount and promotional codes, control your shipping options, and even manage your store on the go through its mobile app.

If you want to take your online store to the next level, we’d recommend using a Wix app called Ecwid. This gives you access to guest checkouts, inventory tracking, social commerce and more.

Wix has also put a lot of energy into making its ecommerce analytics much more powerful. Through its dashboard store analytics you can now access in-house data to rival that of dedicated ecommerce platforms.

That said, if you’re generating six-figure monthly profits and need a powerful platform capable of managing bulk orders and scaling with you, look at either Shopify or BigCommerce. These are ecommerce website builders designed solely for building online stores.

Do You Want to Make Money Online?

Wix is one of the best platforms for selling online. Specially designed templates and tons of sales tools make it a great choice for a small store.

Further Reading

Wix eCommerce ReviewFor a more detailed look at Wix’s ecommerce capabilities, see our dedicated review.

Shopify vs BigCommerceSee how these two ecommerce giants stack up against each other.

Personal

Personal websites are another strength of Wix’s. Whether you need a site for an event (like your wedding), a portfolio to showcase your work, or even just an online résumé, Wix has you covered.

There are templates for almost everything imaginable, and with Wix’s intuitive editor, you can really get your personality across.

However, if you’re in a creative field – such as photography, art or graphics – you may be better off using Squarespace. Its templates are beautiful, and cater better to those areas.

Do You Need a Personal Website?

Whether you need a portfolio, event page, or online resume, Wix has something for everyone. Try it for yourself to see if it’s the builder for you!

Further Reading

9 Best Portfolio Website Builders – See our definitive list of the best portfolio platforms out there.

Squarespace Review – 10 questions you need to ask yourself before using Squarespace.

Blogging

Wix provides more than enough features for you to create a fantastic blog. That said, if you need a website solely for blogging, there are better options out there.

Wix allows you to create blog posts, separate them into categories, social bookmark, and even add a comments section and search bar for your users. Perfect if you need a blogging section for your site.

For a more rounded experience, though, you can’t look past Weebly. Weebly’s blogging features are excellent, and they’re used by some of very well-established bloggers. For more on Weebly, read our expert review here.

GoDaddy Review

Get the Blogging Bug

Wix is a great option for adding a blog section to your website. Its free plan, stunning templates, and special blogging features make it a solid choice.

Scalability

When speaking to our users, some expressed concern about whether you could outgrow a Wix website. In all honesty though, unless your website’s going to become a global, household name, Wix has more than enough about it to scale with you.

Wix’s app market is great, and is always releasing new, exciting add-ons that will enhance its websites – either in terms of the functions it can perform, or the quality of existing ones.

As mentioned, if you need a big, powerful ecommerce website, Wix may not be the best fit. Otherwise, Wix’s developers are constantly improving the platform, and it keeps pace with almost every need.

How Good are Wix’s Templates?

Wix’s templates all look like designer websites. There are hundreds to choose from, and the designs are bang up to date with the latest trends.

Any of them can give your site the stylish, professional look it needs – even if you have no design or coding skills at all.

All Wix templates are categorized into types of websites – such as business, blogging, photography etc – and are completely mobile responsive. This means your website will adjust automatically to fit both mobile and tablet screen sizes.

Wix has more than 510 customizable templates, covering every industry you can think of.
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Wix Has Over 500 Templates

And you can browse them all for free! Take a look at Wix’s stunning designs to see if it’s got the perfect one for your website.

One downside to using Wix is that you can’t switch templates after your site has been published online. Make sure you don’t rush to pick a favorite template – if you switch templates later on, you’ll lose your content and customizations.

If that’s a deal breaker for you, you may prefer Squarespace. Squarespace’s templates are less flexible than Wix’s, but you can switch between them whenever you want.

We sat down with an industry-leading web design expert to get their opinion on Wix’s templates compared to other top platforms out there. Here’s what they had to say:

“I like Wix because it has these coherent features that run down the page. It’s the only website builder that has a sense of personality, although Weebly and Squarespace probably follow more consistent design patterns”

Design Customization

Wix’s templates are ready-made websites in their own right. You can keep the dummy content and publish right away if you want, but to make a site your own, you’ll need to do some editing.

Wix makes basic tweaks very easy. For example, to edit text, just click the dummy text and type away. Changing its size is also a simple matter of dragging a slider:

Wix makes easy work of basic tweaks like editing text and changing font size.

It’s also simple to upload content from your laptop or other online accounts, such as Facebook or Instagram.

When you start getting more creative, Wix really comes into its own. You’ll soon find you can really turn that template into something special.

The animation button is a great example. You can bring almost any feature to life – heading, photo, menu or whatever – by making it zoom, fade out, or even spin onto the page.

Wix Editor Animation
Bring your site’s features to life by animating them using Wix’s easy built-in tool

Wix also has hundreds of additional site features, which you can add by dragging them onto the template.

You can add blogs, restaurant menus, contact forms, music players, maps, interactive slideshows, video backgrounds… much more than we have room to list here!

Once you’ve added extra features, most can be customized by changing their size and behavior, or adding effects like animation.

Wix Editor add Element
Add contact forms, maps, restaurant menus and more – just by dragging onto your template.

Wix offers a huge library of professional photos, graphics and videos, all free to use on your site. Wix’s free media content can save you tons of time and decision-making.

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix

Do You Want a Stunning Site?

Wix gives you total creative control with its easy drag-and-drop tools, making customization quick and easy for beginners and pros alike.

Further Reading

Wix Templates Overview – Click here to see our detailed review of Wix’s templates.

Awesome Homepage Layouts You Can Copy – Need some design inspo? Here are some tips.

Wix’s Tools and Features

While its templates and features steal the show, it’s Wix’s tools that keep things ticking over behind the scenes.

We’d be here all day if we wanted to list every single one of Wix’s tools. So, we’ve picked out some of the most important ones for you to consider.

App Market

Wix’s built-in tools are excellent, but they can’t quite do everything. Fortunately, if there’s something they can’t do, there’s probably a Wix app that can.

Wix App Market contains hundreds of third-party site features that make your website do more, better.

Basically, what this means is that there are certain tools that Wix does not provide you as part of its core services, so to fill this void, Wix provides you with 1-click, hassle-free installation of tools made by external services providers.

Wix apps are like the ‘plugins’ you can add to WordPress, or the ‘extensions’ you can add to Chrome; different names, basically the same thing.

Serving the Wix website owners is our number one priority. Our goal is to offer a wide choice of apps that provide the popular and niche features Wix users have been asking for or that address current and future market trends. – Avishai Abrahami, Wix CEO & Founder

Wix apps are very popular. Wix users are currently installing apps at a rate of 44,000 apps per day – that’s 16 million app installations per year!

Apps are flying out of the Wix App Market at a rate of 44,000 every day

Wix App Market includes useful integrations such as shopping carts, live chat widgets and marketing tools. A lot of these apps are completely free, although some offer you premium versions for a small monthly fee so that you can access even more functions.

Here are a couple of apps that we really rate: 

123FormBuilder 

123FormBuilder

123FormBuilder is a cloud-based software designed to work for any business and individual that need to collect data online and offline. Their flexible platform offers a variety of possibilities for creating any type of form, survey, questionnaire, quiz, poll, and even time-sheets.


Flip Books

If you produce printed materials (such as brochures or magazines) and want to show them off online too, this is the app for the job. Flip Books creates digital versions of all your best printed materials. Users can turn the virtual pages right on your site, without having to download a boring PDF. Free and Premium versions are available.


If you’re not sure what an app does, Wix App Market apps all come with descriptions, user reviews, and video demos. This means you’ll get a pretty good idea if an app’s right for you before decide to use it.

Further Reading

Wix App Market Review – One of our many Wix reviews, focusing on its app market.

Help & Support

The question mark buttons scattered throughout Wix’s editor are small in size, but mighty useful!

Each button opens up a box packed with clever tips about the tool it’s attached to, drawn from Wix’s huge Help Center. Some boxes even feature a video tutorial.

wix review editor help center
Wix’s question mark buttons guide you through using the editor – and save you lots of searching time.

If you’re looking for a more personal touch, you can get in contact with Wix directly via email or phone from Monday to Thursday, 5am-5pm EST.

Wix doesn’t currently offer live chat support, but you can get your questions answered by contacting Wix directly on social media, or by a fellow user on Wix’s official forum.

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Is Support Important to You?

We all need a little help from time to time. Wix has great on-page support while you build, plus an expert team to give you a hand if you get stuck.

Domains and Social Media Integration

If you sign up to any of Wix’s premium plans, you’ll get a custom domain name free for the first year. The renewal price is around £15 annually, and you can also transfer an existing domain and connect it to your Wix site once you upgrade to a paid plan.

Connecting your website to your social media accounts is a great way of increasing engagement for both. Wix allows you to add social buttons, likes, shares, feeds and follower counts into your website, so people can easily find and follow you.

One thing Wix hasn’t cracked yet is multi-channel selling. Currently, you can’t sell products directly on social media or marketplaces like you can with Shopify and BigCommerce.

SEO

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Wix is one of the best website builders at helping you rank highly on Google with its built-in SEO tools. You can edit meta titles and descriptions, customize URLs, and even tweak header code.

There’s also a whole host of SEO apps available from Wix’s app market if you need guidance or keyword support. From our own SEO testing, only Weebly came close to Wix for how good its SEO offerings were.

Want to learn more about SEO? Read our amazing guides for pro tips:

Security, Backups and Restores

All Wix websites come with built-in SSL security certificates. SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’, and all it really means is that your visitors will know the site they’re on is safe thanks to the little padlock icon that appears next to your URL.

To stop you tearing your hair out should anything go wrong, Wix also has a handy autosave feature. Multiple versions of your website will be backed up, so you can restore your website to a previous point in a matter of clicks. Phew!

Wix Ascend (Marketing)

As the name suggests, Ascend by Wix helps your business reach higher levels. It’s an all-in-one solution, letting you connect with customers, automate your workflow, and generally promote your business.

What makes Ascend so different? While Squarespace and Weebly have introduced more marketing tools, the Wix package is much more ambitious. It covers 20 product areas all in one place, including:

  • Live chat
  • Wix automations (like personalized messages and notifications)
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • SEO

This shows how much Wix can help your business grow, and with three pricing options, it suits almost anyone. Will your website be in the ascendancy this year?

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix

Is Wix Really the Best Builder For You?

From social media to security, Wix has the tools to set your website up for success. Discover if it’s right for you by trying it risk-free today.

Wix Pricing and Value for Money

No review of Wix would be complete without looking at what it’s actually going to cost you. Well, for starters, it doesn’t have to cost you a thing!

Wix has a free plan as well as a total of seven paid premium plans, ranging from £3 – £22 per month.  The higher your plan, the more features you unlock, such as removing Wix ads from your website and getting your own custom domain free for one year.

Wix also has a two-week money-back guarantee, so if you don’t like what you see, you can request a refund straight away.

Here’s a closer look at what you get with each plan:

wix ecommerce and business pricing plans
Wix has three regular ecommerce plans ranging from £13 to £22 per month (billed annually).
wix premium plans
Wix has four premium plans ranging from £3 to £18 per month (billed annually).
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What's the Best Plan For You?

Wix has great value premium plans for you to choose from! Head to Wix’s pricing page to learn more about which one is right for you.

The higher up the plans you go, the more features you get (and templates, and apps, and support – more of everything!) Plus, the longer you sign up for, the better value your plan will be.

For example, if you pay for a one or two-year plan up front, you can save between 25% and 43% per year.

If great value is what you’re after, then Wix’s Unlimited plan is for you. It’s designed for small businesses who need company branding taken care of for them. You get a free logo designed – normally worth £40 – and access to Ascend, Wix’s marketing tool.

Wix’s most popular plan, though, is its Business Unlimited plan. Unsurprisingly, you get unlimited bandwidth, along with access to all of Wix’s main help services, features and apps. You can even build your own online store with Wix’s excellent ecommerce tools.

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Do You Want Great Value For Money?

Wix’s Pro plan offers best value for money, but no matter which premium plan you choose, you’ll get great bang for your buck.

Further Reading

Wix Pricing Review – See here for an in-depth breakdown of what’s included in each plan and find out which is right for you.

Wix Review: Summary

Wix makes it easy to create a stunning, powerful, interactive website for any project, business or idea you could possibly imagine – and you can do it all in an afternoon, no coding required.

Its designer templates give you a big head start. It lets you customize extensively using drag-and-drop controls, which are more powerful than those you’ll find in any other website builder.

Wix’s best premium features only cost a few bucks a month. They’re excellent value – and they’ll make your visitors think you’ve paid thousands of dollars for a custom-built website.

We’d recommend Wix to anyone looking to build either a small business or personal website. For businesses, Wix has brilliant templates, SEO and marketing tools, and tons of apps to help you scale. For personal sites, you have everything you need for blogging, portfolios or CVs at your fingertips.

Wix doesn’t have everything for everyone, though. Its ecommerce functions aren’t as powerful as Shopify’s, and it doesn’t let you switch templates or get help via live chat – both of which are offered by Squarespace.

None of those drawbacks are deal breakers for us. For example, we think the quality of Wix’s support more than outweighs the fact that there’s no live chat option.

It’s easy to get started with, and doesn’t cost a dime. Remember, all Wix premium plans come with a two-week money-back guarantee, no questions asked (although you can use Wix free forever, if you want).

Wix needn’t cost you anything other than half an hour of your time, so give it a whirl! After all, that’s the best way to find out if it’s really the right website builder for you.

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Are You Ready to Try Wix?

Wix is a beginner-friendly builder, with stunning designs and a generous free plan. But don’t just take our word for it – try it for yourself, risk-free, and discover if it’s right for you.

Wix FAQ's

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Click here for further information.

Squarespace Pricing | 4 Key Things You Should Know

Squarespace Pricing Review

 Squarespace Pricing review

Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

Don’t miss out on our exclusive Squarespace offer code.

Enter offer code “WBE” at the checkout to save 10% on any plan.

Squarespace’s pricing plans offer you good value as its platform offers you an easy and code-free way to build a website.  Squarespace manages all the technical aspects of your website, and its 24/7 support team is available around the clock.

Review by

Last Updated on January 20, 2020

This article will explore and explain Squarespace’s pricing plans, so you can choose the best plan for you.

Squarespace is a website builder which lets you create your very own, professional looking website yourself, without needing any coding or tech skills.

You’ve probably seen Squarespace’s ads on TV, but can it live up to its own hype? We wanted to find out, so we took a close up look. In our research, Squarespace performed extremely well.

Squarespace is perfect for creatives – it has the best quality features and the best template designs on the market.

If you want a website that looks like it was built by a developer, then Squarespace is your top choice. But is there a catch? Do you have to pay through the nose for Squarespace’s high quality services? How many price plans does it have – and which is best for you?

These are common questions, and we’re going to answer them all in this review. Let’s answer the most important question first, with a quick look at Squarespace’s four price plans.

Squarespace Pricing Plans

Squarespace has four price plans to choose from – two website builder plans, and two online store plans. Which one you choose depends on your needs.

  • Personal Plan: £10/month
  • Business Plan: £15/month
  • Basic: £20/month
  • Advanced: £30/month

Squarespace Pricing Breakdown

Squarespace pricing is pretty simple. The Personal plan is designed for individual use, with a great range of basic features. The Business plan includes a professional email and basic selling tools. The Basic plan is for online stores, while the Advanced plan is built to grow an ecommerce business.

It can be hard choosing the best price plan, or know whether you’re getting good value for your money.

We can help – by using our in-depth research we can give you the down-low on everything from pricing breakdowns, to additional costs, comparing competitor prices, and beyond. With our seven sections below, we’ll help you decide which Squarespace plan is the best one for you.

Further Information

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How Much Does Squarespace Cost?

Squarespace’s four pricing plans range from £10 to £30 per month (paid annually), and include two website plans and two online store plans. The more you pay, the more advanced features you unlock.

Squarespace pricing
Squarespace has four pricing plans ranging from £10 to £30 per month (billed annually)

Who Is Each Squarespace Plan For?

Squarespace’s cheapest plan is the Personal plan (£10/month) which, unsurprisingly, is designed for personal websites. You can’t sell online, but you do get to use most other Squarespace features. You’ll use the same editor, get the same selection of templates, and still receive a free custom domain, SSL security, and 24/7 support.

Upgrade to the Business plan (£15/month) and you can start selling online. This is more suitable to businesses who just have the odd product to sell, and want ecommerce functionality. There is a 3% transaction charge on all sales, though, so it’s not recommended for site’s whose sole purpose is to sell products.

The Basic Commerce plan (£20/month) is for fully-fledged online stores. You’ll get specific tools to help you manage your store – like mobile-optimized checkouts, integrated accounting, and customer accounts – and can sell directly on Instagram too.    

The Advanced Commerce plan’s (£30/month) main focus is to boost your sales. Abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and flexible discounts are all features designed to entice more customers into purchasing from you. These, coupled with advanced tools for shipping, help make up Squarespace’s most complete package.

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Did You Spot your Perfect Plan?

All four of Squarespace’s plans start with a 14-day free trial. That means you can see if Squarespace is best for you, totally risk free!

Squarespace Comparison: Monthly vs Annual Plans

Squarespace Pricing PlansMonthly Plan (£/month)Annual Plan (£/month)Savings (%)
Personal£13£1023%
Business£21£1529%
Basic£24£2017%
Advanced£37£3019%

You can sign up for monthly or annual plans with Squarespace. While monthly plans can be appealing because of their flexibility, you save much more money by signing up to an annual plan.

Not only can you save up to 31% by choosing a longer subscription, you also get a free domain for one year with all annual plans – so that saves you even more money!

Every Squarespace plan starts with a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out fully before reaching for your credit card.

Exclusive Squarespace Offer Code

Once your 14-day free trial is up, you can choose to leave Squarespace, or upgrade to a paid plan to continue using its services and go on to publish your very own website. If this is your first time signing up to Squarespace, then you can use our exclusive offer code!

This offer code will save you 10% on any Squarespace plan.

This means you could save up to £36 for the whole year – when you look at it that way, it’s a hard deal to resist. Simply sign up to a free trial, then enter our offer code when it’s time to upgrade – what are you waiting for?

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Do You Want to Save Money?

Save 10% on whichever plan you choose with our Squarespace offer code. Find out the code by clicking the button below!
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Which Pricing Plan is Right for You?

Squarespace Website Pricing

If you want to build a website (rather than an online store, for example), then Squarespace has two plans designed just for you: the Personal plan and the Business plan.

squarespace pricing website builder
Squarespace has two website builder plans, the Personal and Business plans

Personal (£10/month)

This plan is perfect for building simple, stylish websites, and gives you all the basics you could need for a well-rounded website. The features you get on this plan include:

The Personal plan is best for those just starting out, who want a small but beautifully formed website.

Business (£15/month)

The Business plan comes with more advanced features than the Personal plan, including:

  • Unlimited contributors
  • Advanced website metrics
  • Professional email from Google
  • $100 Google Ads credit
  • Promotional pop-ups
  • Ecommerce
  • Complete customization
  • Announcement bar
  • Premium blocks and integrations

Although this isn’t a full-blown online store plan, you can sell on the Business plan. You can accept donations and sell unlimited products, but there is a 3% transaction fee on all sales.

It’s no surprise the Business plan is best for small businesses. It has professional features, and comes with the option of selling through your website.

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Are You Building a Website?

These are the best plans if you don’t need an online store. Compare prices and features side-by-side to help you decide!

Squarespace Ecommerce Pricing

If selling online is your main focus, then you’re better off with one of Squarespace’s ecommerce plans – either the Basic plan or the Advanced plan. They’re more expensive, but that’s because they come packed with tons more fancy features!

squarespace business pricing
Squarespace has two ecommerce price plans, the Basic and the Advanced plans.

Basic (£20/month)

The Basic plan costs £20 per month, and gives you all the ecommerce tools you need to set up a simple but successful online store. It comes with everything from the Business plan, plus loads of extras:

  • Sell unlimited products
  • No transaction fees
  • Powerful commerce metrics
  • Inventory, orders, tax, and coupons
  • Label printing
  • Checkout on your domain
  • Customer accounts
  • List products on Instagram
  • Integrated accounting
  • Mobile optimized checkout

This Basic plan promises everything you need to get your business of the ground, making it perfect for first-time online stores.

Advanced (£30/month)

The Advanced plan comes with everything included on the Basic plan, but gives you specialized features to take your online store to the next level:

  • Subscriptions
  • Abandoned cart autorecovery
  • Advanced shipping
  • Flexible discounts
  • Gift cards
  • Orders API

These advanced features are designed to power growth in your business. Abandoned cart auto-recovery sends automatic emails to customers who leave products in their carts at checkout, and discounts and gift cards are great rewards for loyal customers. Advanced shipping lets you calculate real-time shipping rates.

The Advanced plan is best for online stores looking for growth.

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Which Plan Is Best For You?

Only you know which features are best for your site – but whether you need a blog or an online store, your perfect plan is waiting.
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Additional Squarespace Costs

Squarespace has fixed monthly costs, with no hidden surprises – but, there are certain things you might want to pay a bit extra for when setting up your website. While you don’t have to, we strongly recommend investing in a few basic features to set your site up for success. These include:

  • Domain name
  • Email marketing
  • Ecommerce

We’ll explore the other features in more depth below.

Domain Names

Domain names are important – this is your website’s address, and it’s how people find and remember your site. Our domain is www.websitebuilderexpert.com – every domain name is unique, just like a fingerprint or phone number.

You need your own custom domain name for your website because it gives you a credible, recognizable, and professional image with your visitors. When you first build your Squarespace site, your domain will look like this: www.yoursite.squarespace.com – but this isn’t memorable or professional!

squarespace pricing domain services
You can choose your very own personalized domain and buy it through Squarespace, hassle-free.

Email Marketing

If you want your site to be found, visited, and returned to time and time again, then you need email marketing. Sending emails is a great way of engaging visitors and growing your site’s audience, whether you’re promoting a sale, releasing new products, or sharing blog posts.

Squarespace has multiple options for your marketing campaigns. When you sign up to the £15 per month Business plan, you get one professional Gmail and G Suite account free for one year.  

Squarespace also offers an all-in-one email marketing platform called Squarespace Email Campaigns. This lets you create custom emails straight from your website, meaning your marketing integrates seamlessly with your site’s branding.

squarespace pricing email campaigns
Squarespace offers an all-in-one email marketing platform called Email Campaigns, which lets you create beautifully crafted emails.

Squarespace Payment Fees

For anyone running an ecommerce store, it’s important to think about any extra fees that come with selling online. Squarespace doesn’t charge any transaction fees on its two online store plans, but it does charge a 3% transaction fee if you’re selling on the £15 per month Business plan.

A transaction fee is a percentage of the order total, including shipping fees, so Squarespace will take 3% of each sale you make.

The Business plan is only designed for small stores, so Squarespace charges this fee to cover the cost of processing those transactions. The ecommerce plans cost more, meaning all transaction fees are waived by Squarespace.

squarespace pricing ecommerce checkout
Squarespace has ecommerce plans to let you sell through your website. These come with a range of features, including a secure checkout.
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Squarespace Pricing vs Competitor Pricing

Squarespace is one of the top website builders on the market – but as you’ve already seen, it’s not the cheapest choice out there. Popular builders like Wix and Weebly offer a wider range of prices – not to mention free plans!

Pricing Comparison

Pricing ComparisonBasicPersonalStandardEcommerceAdvanced
Squarespace£10£15£20£30
Wix£0£6£8.50£16£22
Weebly£0£4£9£18£28

Squarespace’s Personal plan costs £10 per month, and gives you everything you need, from unlimited storage and bandwidth, to an ad-free website. Compare this to Wix and Weebly’s cheapest plans, and you can see what you’re paying for!

Weebly’s £4 per month Connect plan only gives you 500MB storage, and still displays Weebly adverts on your site. Wix’s £6.50 per month Combo plan gives you more features, such as video minutes and ad vouchers, but only provides 2GB bandwidth and 3GB storage.

Taking all this into account, Squarespace certainly offers better value for money than its competitors.

Squarespace also offers a 14-day free trial on all its plans, so you can try before you buy! You don’t need to enter any card details unless you choose to actually sign up to a paid plan once the trial is over.

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Do You Want Great Value For Money?

Squarespace’s cheapest plan offers you much better features than its competitors’ basic plans, giving you great bang for your buck.

Further Information

Squarespace Pricing: Summary

Squarespace is a popular and high quality website builder, and its prices reflect the service you get when you sign up.

While its prices may seem a little high to start with, we’ve broken Squarespace down to find out how much value you get for your money. We’ve explored just what its plans cost, what you get with each, and how they compare in terms of features and price, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

By now you know which plan is best for you, and any additional costs which might benefit your site, such as a domain name. We also compared Squarespace with its competitors Wix and Weebly, so you have a good idea of which would suit your budget best.

Squarespace Pricing Plans

  • Personal plan: £10/month
  • Business plan: £15/month
  • Basic plan (ecommerce): £20/month
  • Advanced plan (ecommerce): £30/month

Choose the Personal plan if you’re just starting out with a simple, stylish site that doesn’t need premium features like selling online or a professional email. If you do need these and are running a small business, then the Business plan is your best choice.

If selling online is your goal then you’ll need an ecommerce plan. The Basic plan is best for small online stores – it comes with specialized selling tools like label printing. The Advanced plan is designed for growing large stores, with features such as gift cards and flexible discounts provided.

If you value design, and don’t mind paying for quality, then Squarespace is the perfect investment for your site.

You’ll be rewarded with stunning designs, top notch features, and professional services. When you look at it that way, Squarespace is worth every penny you put in.

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Are You Ready to Choose?

Browse Squarespace’s plans, explore its features, or get started today – your perfect plan is just a free trial away!

Squarespace Pricing: FAQs

Is Squarespace worth the money?

Squarespace is all about quality. You won’t find better template designs or in-house features anywhere on the market. If you’re looking for a cheap or free way to build your website, though, Squarespace isn’t for you. But, if you’re creative and want a sleek, professional site, look no further.

How much does website hosting cost with Squarespace?

Nothing! That’s right, hosting is free with Squarespace – you get fully managed cloud hosting included in every Squarespace plan, at no extra cost. You don’t need to find your own hosting, or pay for extra services – just sign up, sit back, and enjoy your site stress free.

How do you cancel a Squarespace subscription?

It’s easy to cancel your Squarespace subscription. You can turn off auto-renew, so that your site expires at the end of your billing term. Or, you can cancel immediately, by going into your Billing settings, and selecting “Cancel Website Subscription”. There are guides and videos to help you in the Squarespace Help Center.

Can you switch plans?

Yes! You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, by going into your Billing settings and selecting “Change Plan.” It’s easy to change plans based on your site’s needs – you’ll lose any premium features when you downgrade, or unlock more features when you upgrade.

What currencies does Squarespace support?

Squarespace accepts four different types of currency – you can pay your Squarespace subscription in any of the following currencies:

  • US dollar
  • Euro
  • British Pound Sterling
  • Australian Dollar

If you’re selling through your Squarespace website, you can charge in any of the 20 currencies supported by Squarespace.

Is Squarespace free?

Unfortunately, no, Squarespace does not have a free plan (unlike other builders like Wix and Weebly). However, all Squarespace plans start with a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out without paying a dime.

Does Squarespace offer discounts for students?

Yes! If you sign up using your academic email address, you get a whopping 50% off your first year using Squarespace! That means the cheapest Personal plan would only cost £60 per year instead of £120 – that’s a pretty big deal!

How Much Should a Website Cost You? A Definitive Pricing Guide For You

This is a Part 2 of a 2-part series on understanding the cost to building a website:

Part 1 – We share important lessons from our own trials & experiences, so you won’t repeat some of our mistakes (losing time and money).

Part 2 – [You Are Here] – What to watch out for when costing out your website project – especially if you are new to building websites. Written by an experienced web designer for beginners and includes detailed cost breakdown.

Can you guess which website costs more?

Website A
Website B
How much should a website cost
Website C

(Click on each image to see the actual website)

True, the visual appeal or attractiveness of the design can sometimes give it away, but it’s not always the case.

What if I tell you Website A is a custom made design that looks like it could potentially cost between £3000 to £8,000, while Website B is a free template from Wix.com, and Website C is a free template from Squarespace.

That’s crazy-talk!!

(Note: By the way, I don’t know how much Website A costs. But it is not uncommon for a custom built website to fall in that cost range.)

Here’s the thing – It’s really hard to judge how much a website costs just by looking at the design.

Consider this — It is indisputable that the Lamborghini Spyder is one hot car. Even so, what most Lambo enthusiasts love about this car is not how it looks, but how it sounds – it is the roar of the v10 engine that takes the Spyder from 0 to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Just like the £200,000 Lambo, what makes up the cost of a website is not only how the website looks on the surface, but rather, what lies “under the hood” that makes a website work.

So, don’t judge a website by its cover — its design is only one slice of a much bigger pie.

After helping hundreds of businesses to create their websites, I’ve done and have seen a lot.

Having experimented with different website building software and tools, I’ve developed strong opinions about…

  • What’s worth your money and what’s not worth it.
  • What to focus on and what to toss out the window.
  • What matters and what doesn’t.

Whenever you are trying something new, having someone in your corner who has experience in the subject can really help.

This is why the value of designers or developers goes beyond just the surface design of the website.

Their experiences, technical skills, and broad product knowledge can help you…

  • Avoid hidden technical and financial pitfalls; and
  • Choose the right solution for your budget level, technical level, and how much time you are prepared to commit.

If you are looking for a pricing chart for everything that has to do with building a website, there are plenty of resources scattered all over the internet (I do have a couple of pricing frameworks below, which we’ll get to later).

But, for those of you that want to dive straight in, I have outlined a brief overview of how much you can expect to pay for a website below.

What I want to give you in this discussion, are advice and recommendations that I would give to paying clients – a sort of free consultation on the true cost of your website.

The best part is that you don’t need any technical or design skill to use DIY website builders. All the hard stuff is taken care of so it’s easy to get online.

How Much Do Websites Cost?

The cost to design a website with a drag-and-drop builder will be between £3-28/month. This price fluctuates depending on your needs. For example, adding ecommerce functions to your site will cost between £13-22/month. The full range of website builder price plans is £0-500/month.

To expand beyond a basic website, you’ll have to budget for additional domain and hosting costs. Domains usually cost £5-20/year, after first year discounted prices. Hosting plans range from £2.75-300/month, though most sites will be on the lower end of that spectrum.

On the other hand, the cost to build a website using a custom web designer is around £6,000, and the priciest designers can cost £15,000 or more.

FactorsHiring a Web DesignerUsing a Website Builder (e.g. Wix)
Setup£120£0
Design & Building£5,000£0
Content Creation£350£0
Training to Use it£400£0
Maintenance£350£40
Total£6,220£40

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the best website builders that can help you build your website without having to learn how to code or breaking your bank account.

*Squarespace is the only builder that doesn’t have a free plan, so to get the features you will have to pay a modest monthly fee. It does, however, offer a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

If you are unsure what each of the features mean, I have explained them for you:

  • Free of Adverts – whether the builder’s ads are display on your site or not
  • Personal Domain – whether you get your own personal website address or not
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – the amount of traffic and data your site can handle

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

You are asking all the wrong questions!

How much a website should cost is a very generic question – it lacks specifics.

It’s the same as if I were to ask you how much should a car cost?

Uh… well, can you be more specific?

What type of car do you want? – Does it need to be gas efficient? – What do you use it for? – What is your budget?

You can quickly see “how much does a car cost?” is actually quite a pretty complex question after all.

Just like budgeting for a car, the cost of a website is different to different people because everyone values the concept of “cost” in different ways.

For example, if you are a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids under 10 years old. You might value time over money. You would rather pay a little more to get things done right and on time.

To others without kids, they may think you’re overpaying for certain services.  But to you, it’s well worth the cost.

Simply put, the cost of building your website boils down to 4 resources:

  1. Time
  2. Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  3. Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  4. Money

4-resources-you-need-to-build-a-website

Most people lack 1 or a few of these 4 resources.

Spend a couple of seconds to think about which ones you have (or don’t have).

You don’t need to have all 4 to start a website because you can easily compensate one for another one.

For example, if you don’t have any coding skills but have time, you can always learn to code from various free or paid online coding tutorials.

When estimating the cost of your website, the first question you need to ask is “which of the 4 resources do you lack?”

What resources do you lack?

I get asked about how much does a website costs A LOT – I guess it comes with the job description as a website designer in my previous business.

One thing I’ve noticed time and time again is how much people focus purely on the dollar sign – which is missing the bigger picture.

Out of the 4 resources – money is actually the most flexible one.

Here’s why:

  • You either have time or you don’t
  • You either know / have an interest in coding or you don’t
  • You either know / have an interest in design or you don’t

lack-resources-you-need-to-build-a-website

This is not always the case when it comes to money.

Everybody has a certain level of money. It’s about how you decide where to best spend it.

Why would a person choose to pay £3.00 for a fancy Starbucks latte when an alternative is to spend 10p to make a simple coffee at home?

Could it have something to do with the lifestyle? Or maybe something as torturous as waking up earlier to make coffee? Is it the convenience of buying it outside so you don’t have to deal with it at home?

Let’s be honest, generally speaking, we all have some money. We all know someone that doesn’t have a lot of savings but ended up buying a brand new flat screen TV when they really shouldn’t.

The right question is — “is this worth my money.”

The truth of the matter is if you feel something has value to you, you will gladly pay up for it, right? – This is what consumerism is all about.

So, let’s put money (as a resource) aside for now, as if you find real value in building a website (if it’s really worth it to you), you’ll try to make things work.

For now, let’s focus on estimating the cost of your website if you have limited:

  • Time
  • Technical knowledge (or the interest in learning it)
  • Design skills (or the interest in learning it)
Based on what resources you don’t have, the cost of your website will be different.

Let’s keep pushing ahead…

Cost of website if you have limited Resources.

When it comes to building, managing, and operating your website, there are 5 main phases you need to deal with:

  1. Website setup (this is before you even get to design or content creation)
  2. Learn how to use a website builder
  3. Designing the layout
  4. Content creation
  5. Troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance

For each of the phases, you have to determine if you have the time, technical or design skills to accomplish them successfully.

If you are missing any one of them, you may need to hire a professional to help you get the job done, or rely on modern technology to solve your problems:

Option #1:

cost-of-website-by-professional-website-designer

Pay a professional to do it for you; or

Option #2:

cost-of-website-drag-drop-website-builder-thumb

Find a website building software to take over all the technical and design challenges for you, so you don’t need to spend as much time on them.

Get a Quote

If you have heard of website building software like WordPress or Wix.com, you might think, “Well, both are technology – so how are they different?”

I’ll illustrate the difference here with this example below:

There are a few ways to have high-quality homemade soup:

  1. Method A – make the soup from scratch by yourself. You go to the store, buy the ingredients, chop them all up and make the soup. Nothing is pre-packaged and you have to do everything by yourself – from the beginning to the end.
  2. Method  B – You can use services like BlueApron to speed up the process. They send you the prepared ingredients so you don’t need to leave your house or prepare anything. Just follow the recipe and put the ingredients in the pot. So the process is simplified by the ingredient preparation & delivery service – but there is still some assembly required.
  3. Method  C – There is an even easier way. Cooked food delivery service like CookFood.net handles all the cooking for you. They deliver the finished product directly to your door. So the entire process is fully automated. Everything is done-for-you. Just choose what you want from their online menu and arrange a delivery time. If you can fill in a form, you can get homemade soup with no cooking skills required – pretty awesome, right?

homemade-soup

Just like the different ways to have homemade soup,
different website building technologies give you different levels of website building services:

Method  A – Custom Build Your Website From the Ground Up

You can hire a website designer or developer to create your website from scratch without the use of any website building software.

Since the introduction of WordPress, most websites are NOT built from scratch anymore. Only enterprise companies with very specific needs will choose to build a website this way, but this is also happening less and less.

Method  B – Use a Website Building Software like WordPress (Assembly Required)

WordPress is like the cooking ingredient delivery service. They give you everything you need to create a website, but assembly is required.

True you can do this yourself if you have the time to learn or already have the expertise to do it yourself. It can definitely be done since a lot of people have done it before.

If you don’t have time or expertise, you can always hire a professional to put a WordPress website together for you so you can save time and headaches.

Method C – Drag & Drop Website Builders (Automated – No Skills Required)

Finally, we have the fully automated website building service like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Just like the cooked food delivery services that allow you to have homemade soup even if you don’t any cooking skills, these drag & drop, fully managed website builders handle all technical and design issues for you, so you don’t have to.

They’re easy to use and require minimal to no technical knowledge at all.

Note that these fully managed, drag & drop website builders don’t give you a team of designers and developer to build the website for you. You still need to build the website yourself by using their simple drag & drop tools. But they make it really easy for you and you don’t even need to be technical at all.

The key benefit is that drag & drop web builders automate the technical aspects of managing and operating a website – so you don’t have to.

However, there are some limitations here. It’s not like you can have any soup you can imagine because your choices are limited to what’s available on their menu. Even so, the soup selections are still very extensive and 90% of the time you will find the soup you want.

In the same way, drag & drop website builders have limits to their features and designs as well.  Each web builder has their list of tools and pre-made website designs.

While you are limited to what they have, the selection is pretty extensive and 90% of the time you will find what you need.

It is a small sacrifice to make so you can build a website yourself without having to do much technical work (or hire someone to help you).

To put everything into perspective, the cost of websites changes depending on which type of website building software you use (Method A, B or C). Each type of builder calls for different levels of skill or help from professionals.

Now that I’ve explained the two main ways to create a website, let’s put some actual dollar signs in front of them!

Option #1: Cost of building a website if you hire professionals to help you:

cost-of-website-by-professional-website-designer

When I refer to hiring a professional to create the website for you, most of the time I will be referring to using WordPress.

The reason is because WordPress the most popular website builder for developer and designers, and is currently powering about 26% of all websites.

WordPress’s main advantage is its extreme flexibility. You can create almost any type of website with any type of features you need, as long as you have the coding and design expertise to do so.

If not, you can always hire a pro to do that for you (of course cost will come into play here).

Now, WordPress, in my opinion, is not something I will suggest if you have no technology skills or if you’ve never owned a website before.

Why? Because WordPress has a much higher learning curve and setup costs than any fully managed, drag & drop website builder like Wix,  Squarespace, and Weebly.

I only recommend using WordPress (or other self-hosted website builders) if:

  • This is not your first website – you have experiences managing websites.
  • If you have very specific design or software needs that only WordPress can provide.
  • If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Otherwise, I do not recommend using WordPress if you have limited time, money or patience to learn how to code and to learn the technical ins and outs of using WordPress effectively.

#1 Cost of setting up a WordPress website:

Setting up a website involves finding a hosting provider, learning how to use FTP, linking your website build software with your hosting provider, and finally connecting your domain name to your website.

All these will sound foreign to you if you’ve never owned a website before, so let me explain what they actually mean:

Website Hosting (Cost £3 – £250/month):

A host is where your website content “lives” online.

Imagine a host is like your coat closet and your website is your coat. Whenever you want to get to your coat, you need to go to your closet and retrieve it.

This works the same way as your website. When someone enters your website address into a web browser, the browser will go to your host (your closet) and get your website (your coat) to display it to the visitor.

Generally speaking, there are several types of hosting that handle different volume of visitors to your website:

  • Shared hosting;
  • VPS hosting; and
  • Dedicated hosting.

For most people, you will never need dedicated hosting as it is more suitable for very large or enterprise level websites.

The only thing you need to know is that the more visitors come to your website, the higher your cost of hosting will be:

  • Shared hosting costs £2 – £18
  • VPS hosting costs £30 – £180
  • Dedicated hosting starts in the thousands

If you are looking for good WordPress hosting, Bluehost is a good candidate to get started with.  If you are looking for more advanced, highly-tuned, dedicated WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine is excellent and has top notch customer service.

If you want further information about choosing a web host, have a look at our article on the Best Web Hosting Services on the market today to help you make a decision.

 

Using FTP (Cost £0 – £30):

FTP is way for you to manage your website files (which are stored in the host).

These website files include your website design, images, features, content – pretty much everything you see in front of you, and also the internal workings of a website (“under the hood” so to speak).

Most website hosting provider will give you technical instructions on how to use FTP to connect to you host so you can manage all those files.

If you a newbie, it may take 1-3 hours to get this up and running.

You can always search for video tutorials on YouTube or pay for tutorials at Lynda.com (around £30).

If you need some handholding / direct support, you can hire a developer or designer to show you the ropes (£20-£60/hr for a designer or £75-£150/hr for a developer).

Of course, you might not even know what to do with the files even once you get the process set up.

Installing WordPress in a Host and Connecting your Domain Name (Cost £0 – £30):

Most hosting providers already have WordPress installed. If you want to skip the installation of WordPress, make sure the hosting provider you choose has WordPress already.

Your hosting provider will have instructions to show you how to connect your domain name to your website.

If you don’t know too much about domain names, we have a beginners guide to domain names you can refer to. You can purchase a domain name for your website from a domain name registrar such as Domain.com.

If you’ve never connected a domain name to a website before, it may take you a few minutes to an hour to figure things out.

Again, you can always hire a designer or developer to do this for you on an hourly basis (£20-£60/hr for a designer or £75-£150/hr for a developer).

The website setup cost can be as low as £3 (cheap hosting service) if you’re willing to do it all by yourself.

If you need help from a designer or developer to save you hours of figuring things out (if you’re not experienced), expect to spend around £20 – £35 (as it doesn’t take an experienced professional that long to get it done for you).

These are the basic setup costs even before you get to build your website.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

 

#2 Cost of learning to use WordPress (Cost £0 – £35):

As mentioned before, it takes a few hours to learn the basics of WordPress.

If you want to be highly effective at it, it will take a few weeks to a month to get enough practice.

There are plenty of free tutorials online (but the quality can range from good to bad).

Or, you can use higher quality, paid tutorials from Lynda.com for about £35/month to help you speed up the process.

Within a month, you should be able to learn the basics of how to operate WordPress (note: this does not including how to use codes to customize your website).

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#3 Cost of designing a WordPress website (Cost £35 – ££££):

Here is where the price of a website has no upper limit.

You can really spend as much as you have or as little as you like when it comes to website design.

Pre-made templates designs (cost £20 – £170):

These are ready-made designs that you can buy off the shelf. There are plenty of options for you to choose from.

The only limitation with a pre-made template is that design customization is pretty limited unless you know how to modify codes.

If not, what you see on the template’s demo site is pretty much what you get.

Basic paid templates cost around £20 to £35 and premium paid templates range from £65 to £180.

CUSTOM BUILT WEBSITE USING PRE-MADE templates (cost £230 – £800):

This option is an “in-between” a DIY website and a fully custom built website design.

You can hire a designer to help customize a pre-made template into something unique just for you.

This is a good option if you are not ready for an entirely custom website, and pre-made templates are not exactly what you want.

You can pay by the hour or by the project for design customizations.

Expect to pay between £230 and £800 for template customization.

The cost varies depending on how much work you want to be done – such as adding a header image, moving the logo location, creating a fixed navigation bar, changing the overall layout design, etc.

CUSTOM WEBSITE DESIGN (cost £4,000 – £8,000+):

If you really want something truly unique, you can go for a custom website design where you can create any design you can imagine.

A custom WordPress design can go for as low as £4,000 if you hire a developer from an emerging country / region such as India or Eastern Europe.

Any capable developers from a developed region (such as North America, Western Europe, etc.) will start at £8,000 and can go all the way up to well over £20,000.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

 

#4 Cost of creating content for your WordPress website (Cost £400 – £4,000):

After you’re done with created an overall design for your website, you will need to populate it with content.

The design work (in the section directly above), basically gives your website an overall framework.

The framework may include where the menu bar is located and how it works, where the logo is to be situated, how the slideshow works at the top of your home page, how your sidebar looks like and functions, how your information is to be presented throughout your website, etc.

So the design work basically creates an outline or the skeleton of your webpages.

After the framework is created, you now have to populate it with your own content.

For instance, you will need to upload a background design for your pages, upload header images, create custom graphics for your content area, insert text to describe items, insert your logo to brand your business, etc.

These are all part of the content creation process – so your visitors can understand your business, see what products you have, read your blog posts, so on and so forth.

If you splurge on a custom designed website, your designer may include the creation and population of content for you.

But, what if I don’t have tens of thousands to spend on a custom website, but don’t have time to create the content for my website?

One option is to buy a pre-made template at £25 – £150. Then hire a designer to create your website content for you.

This is a good option to save money and time, but still have a designer help you create content, graphics, and branding of your website.

Keep in mind that the design of your website will still be limited by the design of the website template you choose (as it is not a truly custom design).

Designers can charge content creation by the hour or by project:

  • £40 – £60 per hour
  • £200 – £380 minimum charge per project. This may include a minimum of 3 pages, and additional pages will be a slightly cheaper.
  • Logo or branding design will be about £80 – £1200 depending on the extent of the branding design you need.

You may also want to budget for ongoing maintenance costs. That’s usually about £80 – £400 per year if you don’t make any major alterations to you website design.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

Pro Tip:

If you don’t have the financial luxury of hiring someone to help you edit images and create logos, we have a couple of guides that will walk you through how you can do this yourself, even if you are not technical or born with a good sense of design:

 

#5 Cost of troubleshooting & maintaining your WordPress website (Cost £400 – £800):

The technical skills to operate a website goes beyond the initial website setup (discussed above).

Let’s be realistic, any technology will break down at some point. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

Also, it’s a matter of “who will fix it for you.”

All website builders have software updates, browser compatibility updates, platform updates, security patches and much more.

All those technical updates require the owner of the website to implement and manage.

When you are using a self-hosted website builder like WordPress, you have to handle all the technical issues yourself.

If an update occurs and a plugin that you are using becomes incompatible with other plugins that you are using, or conflicts with the website builder, then you’ll need to either get the creator of the plugin to fix things, or you will need to call on a trusty developer to save you.

  • A good developer costs between £60 and £150 per hour. The good ones are always on the higher end of the range. From our own experiences, it is completely worth the money if you can find a developer that you can count on. Depending on the complexity of your website (the number of plugins you are using, the amount of custom coding you have), your annual maintenance cost will vary.
  • It is very hard to pinpoint the expected cost since every website has different needs. What we can advise on is how much we spent on technical support with a fairly simple website that has very little custom coding and plugins. We spend about £400 to £600 a year. Keep in mind that I’m a fairly skilled website designer and I’m quite proficient with HTML/CSS /jQuery and with working knowledge of PHP codes. This is one of the main reasons why our technical support cost is not as high since we can do most of the things ourselves.

Cost of Building a Website Using a Professional 

The most expensive part of building a website with professional help is custom template design, which can exceed £8,000. But don’t worry: you don’t have to use a custom template, and can pay as little as £25 for a pre-made template. The middle ground would be hiring a designer to edit a pre-made template, which costs around £400 on average. The cost to develop a website with a professional is expensive, but will vary depending on your needs.

Website Setup CostsHosting Cost: £3 – £200/month

Hiring Pro to Setup: £30 – £180 (1-time fee)

Time: 1 to 6 hours

Website Builder Software Learning CostsPaid Tutorials: £30/month

Time to Learn Basics: Few hours

Time to Learn WordPress: Weeks

Website Design CostsBasic Templates: £25 – £40

Premium Templates: £60 – £180

Template Alterations: £230 – £800

Custom Design: £4,000 – £8,000+

Website Building CostsFree if you do it yourself (but will cost you time)

Hourly Costs of a Designer: £40 – £60/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: £400 – £4,000*

The range is wide as it depends on how much content you have and how many pages.

Website Maintenance CostsDeveloper Cost: £80 – £160 per hour

Estimated Annual Cost: £400 – £800

 

Option #2: Cost of building website if using fully managed, drag & drop website builder
that takes care of all of your website technical & design challenges

cost-of-website-drag-drop-website-builder

Fully-hosted website builders are the next best thing to hiring a developer to create a website for you.

They are drag & drop website builders that make website building as easy as it can possibly be. No setup or coding is required at all.

You can easily drive down the cost of building a website as you require less time, you don’t need technical or design expertise, and the cost of using the software is quite low.

I would recommend using Wix or Squarespace (aka fully-serviced drag & drop website builders) if:

  • This is your first website.
  • You don’t need any custom design or specific software / tools on your website.
  • You have limited time to spend on your website so you don’t want to learn how to code.
  • You have limited money to invest in your website so you prefer not to hire skilled designers or developers to help you.
  • You want more control over your website – so you don’t have to keep paying a designer or developer to make changes. You prefer to manage your website yourself.

Wix and Squarespace are two of the most popular and reliable drag & drop website builders in the market today.

Of course, there are more web builders out there – I’ve tried most of them already. But these 2 are the best ones I’ve used.  That’s why I’ve referenced them throughout this post.

#1 Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost £0):

There is no time or monetary costs involved in setting up a website with either Wix, Squarespace, or any other fully managed, drag & drop website builder.

You don’t have to worry about hosting, setting up FTP, installing the website builder software or linking your domain name.

All of that setup work is fully automated by the website builder.

This will save you hours (and a lot of frustration if you are a beginner) in setting up your website (keep in mind you are still not building your website yet).

You just need to sign up for an account with your email address and you can start building your website right away.

Both Wix and Weebly have free plans, so all your hosting requirements and the use of the website builder is completely free. There is no time limit to using their free plan either.

While the free plans come with limited features, you can test out the builder first before you commit to any paid plans.

Squarespace gives you a 14-day free trial period.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#2 Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost £0):

Wix and Squarespace are very easy to use. It’s very intuitive, so it only takes minutes to get a good idea on how to use the drag and drop builder.

If you can use a mouse to drag things around your computer screen, you can use a drag & drop website builder.

So you don’t need to pay for any lessons, nor do you have to spend the time to search for tutorials online.

Of course, if you want to master the ins and outs of how to use the web builder, it will take some time to build up that level of experience.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#3 Cost of designing a website built with a drag & drop builder (Cost £0):

All fully hosted website builders give you a broad range of design templates for free.

Now, this may be a pro or a con depending how picky you are with your website design. Most of these free templates are as good as paid WordPress templates.

Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

  1. Wix.com: Largest website template library with over 510 professionally designed templates.
  2. Squarespace: Some of the best website design that can rival some custom designed websites.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#4 Cost of building content in your drag & drop website (Cost £400 – £1,500):

Drag & drop website builders are designed for DIYers. So hiring a designer to build the website for you is less common.

But of course, if you want to, you can still hire a designer.

If you don’t want to create the content yourself, you can spend a few hundred to low thousand dollars for the designer to create all the graphics, branding and page content for you.

Since the overall cost of using a fully managed website builder is so low, you have extra budget to pay for this little bit of luxury if you want to.

Hiring a designer for a drag & drop website builder is slightly cheaper than for WordPress.

This is not because these designers are less qualified. It is because drag & drop website builders remove the technical barriers previous required to be a website designer.

All of a sudden, any brilliant graphic designer (who don’t know how to code) can become website designers because of the drag & drop builders.

They no longer need to know how to code and can still create beautiful websites.

This gives you a much bigger pool of talented designers to choose from, at a slightly lower cost.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#5 Cost of troubleshooting and maintaining your drag & drop website (Cost £0):

Fully-hosted website builders handle all the technical issues for you. They have full-time, dedicated support teams that manage all that for you in the background, so you won’t even see any issues at all.

With self-hosted websites like WordPress, it is not just an issue of the cost of paying for someone to fix your website.  The biggest headache could be where to find a trustworthy developer to resolve the issues for you in a timely manner.

This is one of the main reasons why I often recommend fully managed website builders for people with no technical knowledge, or for those who are new to building websites.

It removes a lot of confusion, complication, and frustration so you can focus on building your website and let the drag & drop website builder’s tech team handle all the tech issues.

Cost of Building a Website Using a Drag & Drop Website Builder

Technically, you can get set up with a drag-and-drop website builder entirely for free. But that means dealing with annoying ads and messy domain names, so we’ll get real. The cost of building a website that looks professional is between £3-22/month. That price will increase depending on how much of the (minimal) design work and content creation you’re willing to do yourself.

Website Setup CostsAutomated Setup: £0
Website Builder Software Learning CostsTime: few minutes – 1 hour
Website Design CostsFree Templates: £0
Website Building CostsFree if you do it yourself (but will cost you time)

Hourly Costs of a Designer: £22 – £46/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: £400 – £1,800

Website Maintenance CostsWix:                 £3.00 | £6.00 | £8.50 | £13.00 | £18.00 | £22.00

Squarespace: £10.00 | £15.00 | £20.00 | £30.00

Weebly:           £4.00 | £9.00 | £18.00 | £28.00

*Monthly fee, based on annual plans*

All plans come with dedicated, 24/7 support.

 

Conclusion – Action Step

The cost of building a website adds up pretty quickly if you are missing a few key resources:

  1. Time
  2. Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  3. Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  4. Money

4-resources-you-need-to-build-a-website

But the cost of a website isn’t always related to money. It can be the cost of your time away from your family or business; it can even be the cost of maintaining your sanity when it comes to technology.

So how you budget for your website should take into consideration:

  • How much time you are prepared to commit to the project;
  • How much money you are prepared to invest into hiring professionals; and
  • The missed opportunity costs of being able to use your time on higher valued business or personal things.

To summarize what you should take away from this discussion, here are my suggestions:

Use WordPress (self-hosted website builders) if:

  • This is not your first website – you have experiences managing websites.
  • If you have very specific design or software needs that only WordPress can provide.
  • If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Use Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly (aka fully-hosted website builder) if:

  • This is your first website.
  • You don’t need any custom design or specific software / tools on your website.
  • You have limited time to spend on your website so you don’t want to learn how to code.
  • You have limited money to invest in your website so you prefer not to hire skilled designers or developers to help you.
  • You want more control over your website – so you don’t have to keep paying a designer or developer to make changes. You prefer to manage your website yourself.

Finding out how much your website will cost you doesn’t have to be very complicated – you just need to be asking the right questions.

Once you have a better understanding of what resources you have (time, money, skills, interests in learning new skills), then you will have a much better idea of which path you should head towards (WordPress or a drag & drop website builder).

If you need some guidance in finding the right website builder for you, here are some more resources for you:

Comparison Chart: we break down the differences between each drag & drop website builder for you.

Free Quiz: To find out which drag & drop website builder works best for your needs.

How to Choose a Website Builder: 9 questions to ask yourself to find out which website builder is suitable for you

WordPress Comparison Discussions: In-depth details of how each drag & drop website builder compare to WordPress

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10 Best Free Website Builders in 2020

best free website builders

This guide is for anyone who wants to create a free website but doesn’t know which website builder to pick.

You might be thinking that a free website builder sounds too good to be true. We thought so too, once upon a time but there’s actually some real quality out there.

We’ve sorted the good from the bad using our own independent research. We also get people like you to test each free website maker and give us their feedback, which we use to rate each platform on factors like ease of use and template design.

Plus, we’re always sure to look at the ‘price’ you pay for these free website builders in the form of a trade-off. Whether it’s garish advertising, a messy-looking domain name, or restricted storage, we’ll cover each free plan’s ‘cons’ in plenty of detail so you can make an informed decision.

10 Best Free Website Builders

Based on our research, the best free websites are made with:

  1. Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder. Read review
  2. SITE123 – Great Design Assistance. Read review
  3. Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses. Read review
  4. Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites. Read review
  5. Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder. Read review
  6. WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging. Read review
  7. IM Creator – Great for White Label Businesses. Read review
  8. Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup. Read review
  9. Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites. Read review
  10. SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor. Read review

Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, SITE123, and Weebly as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features.  SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what makes a good free website builder, which are the best platforms to use and how to choose the right one for you.

We conduct our own research to decide which website builder is best for different purposes. Take our quiz to get a recommendation that’s personalized to your needs.

Further Information

Wix

Best All-Around Website Builder

Wix is by far the best all-round free website builder on the market today.”

What we like
#1Easy to use drag-and-drop functionality
#2Wide range of templates
#3Majority of features available on free plan
#4Ultimate customization
What needs improving
#1Free plan domain names look like this: https://yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite – they’re not the catchiest!
#2The free plan sticky ads are very noticeable
#3Can’t change your template once your site goes live

With Wix, you can create and publish your site without spending a cent. You don’t have to upgrade after a certain time – if you’d prefer, you can keep your site free forever. This is what makes Wix’s free plan unusually generous for a website builder, and is the reason why it tops our list!

Wix came out top in our user testing for ease of use. With its selection of more than 500 templates – most of which are free – and a huge choice of tools and elements, like galleries, buttons, and social media icons, Wix makes creating a website easier than ever.

wix-free-site-ads-example
Most Wix templates are available to users of its free plan – including this one, ‘Landscape Photography’

You will find limitations to Wix’s free plan, though. For starters, there’s a banner ad for Wix which stays in place as you scroll down the site. It’s fairly subtle, but a bit intrusive. 

You also can’t use a personal domain (aka your personal website address) your domain will follow the format www.yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite. So instead of www.lucycarneyphotography.com, you’ll be stuck with www.lucycarney5.wixsite.com/lcarneyphotography (you’re restricted to 20 characters for the ‘yoursite’ part of your address). 

With the free plan, storage and bandwidth are both capped at just 500MB. This will prevent you from using too many images or videos on your site, as well as potentially limiting how many visitors you can get. You also can’t sell any products through Wix on its free plan.

Premium plans start at £6/month. Based on our research, Wix is the best value for money website builder, so if you do ever decide to upgrade you’re in good hands!

Wix’s most popular paid plan is its Unlimited plan, aimed at entrepreneurs and freelancers. For £8.50/month, it removes all ads, lets you use a personal domain, and provides unlimited bandwidth – as well as 20x more storage space!

For more information on Wix, read the following:

  • Wix Review – If you’re looking for more information on Wix then this is a great place to start.
  • Wix Pricing Guide – We take a closer look at the costs of each Wix premium plan and what you get for your money.

SITE123

Great Design Assistance

“SITE123 is a simple to use website builder that focuses on helping you get online.”

 

What we like
#1No adverts visible when you first land on the site
#2Brilliant 24/7 help and support via live chat
#3Site123 chooses a template for you, making it a good option for non-creatives
What needs improving
#1Free domain name ends ‘.me’, instead of the stronger ‘.com’
#2Little creative freedom
#3Limited choice of website templates, which look dated compared to competitors’

 

An immediate drawback of SITE123 is that it doesn’t give you a choice of templates. So unlike WixWeebly, and other free website makers, who let you choose a template that takes your fancy, with SITE123 you can’t choose from various pre-populated designs.

Instead, you pick the type of website you want from 11 different categories (including portfolio, blog, music and CV), before being presented with a default website design. You’re free to edit this using the platform’s various tools, which are easy enough to get to grips with.

site 123 free site example
When you first land on the site, no SITE123 ads are visible – a huge plus
site 123 free site ad example
When you start to scroll down the site, a simple banner appears

SITE123’s free domain name format is www.yoursite.site123.me. The .me ending is less powerful than a .com option, but otherwise it’s pretty reasonable. 

SITE123 gets you online quickly, provides decent customer support via live chat. That said, it’s definitely not as versatile or modern as other free website builders in this list.

But if you want a simple, no frills website building process, then it’s worth trying out. 

Read more:

  • Our SITE123 Review tells you all you need to know about this top free website builder

Weebly

Ideal for Small Businesses

Weebly is one of the easiest to use free website makers around, with a great plan for small businesses.”

What we like
#1A reasonable free plan domain name: www.yoursite.weebly.com
#2Easy to use
#3Good SEO prompts – ideal for businesses that want to be found through Google
What needs improving
#1Limited features on free plan
#2Not as much creative freedom as Wix
#3Pop up ad in the corner is quite distracting

 

Weebly has a similar ‘drag-and-drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly. Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly stands out as the best free website builder for small businesses.

You get a decent choice of templates to pick from – although not as many as Wix – which cover most niches, including businesses, blogs, events, and portfolios. You can easily get a professional-looking site live in just a couple of hours.

Weebly free plan ads
With a free Weebly plan, you’ll have a small slideup ad in the corner of your site. It’s pretty subtle, although when you scroll over it, it ‘slides up’ to look like the image below:
weebly free plan ad example
Whether you’d prefer this or a bigger ‘sticky’ ad (as with Wix) is up to you!

Templates are also mobile responsive so your free website will look good on any device, without any input from you! With over 50% of traffic originating from mobile devices, it’s important your site is fully optimized.

Not only will you find Weebly easy to use, but the whole platform makes website building very quick and efficient. Your user dashboard is clear, the tools are easy to master and the support guides are very helpful.

You only need to spend a couple of hours one evening and you’ll be ready to publish your site to the web before you go to bed. Sounds good, right?

The free version is good, but if you love it enough you might want to think about upgrading. This is essential for anyone who wants to sell online, as you have to upgrade to unlock Weebly’s ecommerce features.

Weebly’s Pro plan costs just £9 a month. This removes ads, gives you unlimited storage, lets you sell online, connect your domain own domain name, and more!

For more information on Weebly, read the following:

  • Weebly Review – Our in-depth look at Weebly will tell you everything you need to know about this free website maker!
  • Weebly Pricing Guide – We take a closer look at the costs of each Weebly paid plan.
  • Wix vs Weebly – We compare the differences between Wix and Weebly to help you decide!

Strikingly

Made for Simple Websites

“An easy to use free builder which creates simple, stylish, one-page websites and offers great value for money.”

Strikingly Pros
#1Subtle advertising on the free plan
#224/7 customer support from ‘happiness officers’ via live chat
#3Ability to sell one product per free plan
Strikingly Cons
#1 Sites built on the free plan don’t include an SSL certificate
#2You can only create one-page sites
#3Limited ability to edit templates, meaning a lack of creative control

 

Strikingly’s core focus is getting you online cheaply, easily, and quickly. Because of this, you don’t have the same level of creative control as some of the more intuitive website builders, like Wix.

Strikingly creates one-page websites with a pre-formed design of your choice. Unlike many other free website builders, you can change your template as many times as you wish once your site is live.

strikingly free site example
No adverts are visible when you first land on a free Strikingly site, and the templates are pretty stylish
strikingly free site ad example
As you scroll a little down the page, this tiny ad appears at the bottom of the screen

With Strikingly’s free plan, you can create as many free websites as you please. You’ll also get a 5GB monthly bandwidth, 24/7 customer support, and the ability to sell one product per site through the Simple Store function. 

Strikingly’s advertising is arguably the most subtle of any builder so far, and the domain name format – www.yoursite.strikingly.com – is especially decent. For example, for this site, our domain name was www.lucyssupersidehustle.strikingly.com.

The downside, however, is that – unlike all the builders listed above – Strikingly’s free plan doesn’t include an SSL certificate. This means your site will be flagged as ‘Not secure’ to anyone trying to visit it – not good! 

For that reason, we’d suggest trying out Strikingly’s free plan, then upgrading to the ‘Limited’ paid plan for just $8 (about £6) a month once you’re happy. You’ll get a custom domain, up to 50GB of bandwidth per month, and the ability to sell up to five products on your site, making it very good value for money.

Find out more:

Jimdo

A Good ‘Pre-store’ Option

Jimdo is a good choice of free website builder if you want to set up an online store and sell through your site at a later date.”

 

What we like
#1Nice aesthetics
#2Charges the least to remove adverts from your site
#3No Jimdo banner or pop-ups ads, just a note in the footer
What needs improving
#1Difficult to use drag-and-drop functionality
#2Lacks design and creative control 

 

The team behind Jimdo are very passionate about helping you build a free website, and things are kept simple so you can jump right in.This can be really handy if you’re new to the world of website building.

If you’ve tried out Wix and Weebly though, you’ll find Jimdo a bit lacking in comparison. The template selection is also much more limited.

The prompts at the beginning do mean you can get a website set up really quickly, and avoid the problem of being overwhelmed with choice. There are also no banner or pop-up Jimdo ads with the free plan, just a tiny note in the footer.

jimdo free site example
Here’s an example of a simple website we created using Jimdo
jimdo free site example ad
A tiny note in the footer is the only giveaway that you’re not using a paid plan

The domain name format is fairly standard: www.your-site.jimdosite.com. For this site, for example, ours was www.lucy-bakes.jimdosite.com

All in all, we’d recommend Jimdo if you need a quick and easy website to provide a backdrop for an online Facebook store or similar. It’s really easy (and fairly cheap) to upgrade your plan to enable ecommerce through the website itself, if you choose to do this later down the line. 

To get the lowdown on Jimdo, check out the following:

  • Jimdo Review – For more information about Jimdo, you can’t go wrong with our in-depth review.

WordPress.com

Perfect for Blogging

“Made for blogging, this free platform has all the features you need for your blog, combining powerful tools with a simplified website builder design.”

 

WordPress.com Pros
#1Perfect for blogging
#2Best domain name format of any free plan
#3Wide range of free templates
WordPress.com Cons
#1Some coding may be required – not very beginner-friendly
#2Templates and designs are focused on blogging


WordPress.com is built for blogging, and it shows. Extensive blogging features are automatically built-in, such as analytics, a search feature, comments, display categories, archiving, and more.

WordPress.com has all the power of its big brother WordPress.org, but with the simplified design of a website builder.

You might still find it a little tricky to use if you don’t have much technical knowhow, though. You can get by without needing to code, but chances are you’ll need to know the basics to get the most out of WordPress.com.

wordpress.com top free website builder for blogging
WordPress.com is the best free website builder for blogging, with its powerful blogging features and streamlined design.

That being said, if you’re fairly tech-confident but don’t want to pay a dime to create your blog, then WordPress.com is a top choice. The WordPress.com free domain is also the only one to not include the name of the builder – for the site below, our domain name was www.lucyskitchennightmares.food.blog (the food.blog is automatically assigned based on the ‘purpose’ you set for your site).

wordpress.com free site ads
Here's the food blog we created. It's pretty simple, as you can see

However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates.

Because of this, we don’t recommend WordPress.com for those who need a highly customized business or personal site.

For more information:

  • Read our full WordPress.com Review to find out about its detailed features, help and support, and pricing.

IM Creator

Great for White Label Businesses

“If you’re looking to create an eye-catching free website with lots of images then IM Creator could be for you.”

 

What we like
#1Eye-catching templates
#2Students, Artists and NGOs can apply to use a premium, ad-free theme free of charge
#3A good range of basic features
What needs improving
#1Large advertisements on free plan (available to everyone else), and a clunky domain name
#2No ecommerce feature

 

IM creator focuses on helping you make a free website FAST (and I mean fast!).

Students, artists, NGOs and charities can apply to use the premium IM Creator software for free by filling in this form. The community enrichment team will then review your application, normally within 72 hours. If approved, the license will then be added to the first site you publish, and will be ad-free. You’ll also be able to connect your own domain name.

Templates are pre-populated with content that you can quickly switch out with your own in the ‘drag and drop’ editor. This saves you the job of having to build or design anything from scratch.

best free website software im creator
IM Creator’s simple templates make it easy to switch out demo content for your own, saving you time and effort!

If you’re a student, artist or NGO, IM Creator offers a generous way to access premium features for free, making it a great choice. If not, you might do better to look at builders featured higher on this list.

For more info on IM Creator, read:

Webnode

Quick and Easy Setup

“Webnode is a popular choice of free website maker with more than 30 million users around the world.”

 

What we like
#1Get online quickly – can take as little as 5 minutes!
#2No Webnode banner or pop-ups ads, just a note in the footer
#3Almost no learning curve
What needs improving
#1Lack of creative freedom
#2Not very flexible template design

 

It’s really easy to get set up with Webnode. The whole website building process could be done in about five minutes – now that’s quick!

Webnode’s editor is very easy to use, but a lot less flexible than other free website builders like Weebly or Wix. It’s almost a drag-and-drop editor, but not quite.

You can move elements around, but they will conform to predetermined designs. For example, if you move an image from the middle of the page to the right, the page design will change to accommodate this, rather than simply letting you drop the image where you want it. It lends itself really well to building simple, minimalist sites: 

webnode example site
The modern and minimalist designs makes Webnode a great option for an event website, like a wedding or party
webnode free site footer ad example
The subtle footer banner blends in well with the site’s aesthetic

Webnode is a decent choice of free website builder if you can’t commit much time to working on a template design, or want a builder with virtually zero learning curve – but it does limit your creative potential compared to other builders on our list.

Webnode is definitely geared towards ‘event’ websites, like parties or weddings. We can see the appeal, and in the end, we liked the look of the website we created.

Mozello

Create Simple Multilingual Sites

“Mozello is a basic, easy to use website builder which allows you to create multilingual sites totally free.”

 

What we like
#1Create multilingual sites for free
#2Ecommerce is enabled on the free plan
#3Most subtle advertising of any free website builder
What needs improving
#1Very limited editor
#2No SSL Security
#3Lack of flexibility and customization

Mozello is an easy to use and basic website builder. It has simple features such as blogging tools and even ecommerce functions. You can set up an online store on the free plan and sell up to 10 products.

One of the best things about Mozello is you can create multilingual websites for free. This means you can reach a wider audience by making your content available in other languages. This is a rare feature to be included in a free plan, so Mozello definitely deserves this shout out.

mozello free site example
Being able to create versions of your pages in different languages is very generous for a free plan. See how we’ve added French and Spanish options for this homepage?
mozello free site example ad
Mozello’s free plan advertising is subtle - just a little text note in the footer

The domain name format is www.your-business.mozello.com.  For this site, ours is www.lucys-architects.mozello.com.

With these features, you might be wondering why Mozello isn’t higher in the list of the best free website builders. The main drawback of Mozello is its limited editor – it’s simple and beginner friendly, but this simplicity is reflected in its features and flexibility.

Mozello also doesn’t include SSL security like other builders do. This is the encryption that lets users and search engines know your website is secure and trustworthy. It’s really important to have if you want your website to be safe for visitors, and to be taken seriously online.

SimpleSite

Great Mobile Editor

SimpleSite is one of the oldest platforms around, and lets you easily edit your site from your mobile.

 

What we like
#1Very easy to use
#2Generous free plan
#3Supports mobile friendly editing within mobile browser
What needs improving
#1No SSL certificate included
#2No access to third party integrations
#3Limited customer support
#4Outdated editor

 

SimpleSite is a mobile delight. It has a really impressive specialism – it gives you the ability to create a website to the same extent as on a desktop, but from your mobile device.

This makes it ideal for busy users who are always on the move.

simple site free site example
SimpleSite is designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by its mobile editor can help

It’s designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by its mobile editor can help. There’s just one small ‘sticky’ ad, and again, a decent domain name structure: www.yoursite.simplesite.com (or in our case, www.lucycarneydaycare.simplesite.com).

However, there are some big downsides. You aren’t actually able to amend the mobile version of your website when you’re working from a desktop, while SimpleSite’s premium plans are relatively expensive overall compared to other website builders should you want to access more features. While it does have a free plan, the premium options range from £13.49 to £28.49 per month.

And as with Strikingly and Mozello, SimpleSite’s free plan doesn’t include an SSL certificate, leaving your site exposed – a big disadvantage in our eyes. 

All in all, SimpleSite may suit someone constantly on the go, or without access to a computer or laptop – but ultimately, it’s in last place for a reason.

Is It Worth Upgrading to a Paid Plan?

As you’ve seen, while some free website builders are fairly generous, they are generally pretty limiting.

Creating an okay website may be free, but creating a great one can be super cheap. Your website is worth putting the time and money in to make it exactly how you want it.

Although it differs depending on the individual website builder you’re looking at, there are a load of great features which you can unlock on pretty much any paid plan. The main ones include:

Remove Ads

On free plans your website builder will advertise on your site. Whether this is through a subtle banner or an annoying pop-up, this can ruin your professional image if you’re promoting your own brand or running a business.

On paid plans, such as Wix’s Combo plan, these adverts are removed, leaving your website clear of any distractions. This is similar to using the free version of Spotify compared to having a Premium account – you can still listen to music on both, but on the free plan you’re interrupted with adverts!

Connect a Custom Domain

On a free plan your website address will look something like this: https://mysite.strikingly.com or https://joebloggs.wixsite.com/mysite. These web addresses can be long, confusing, and difficult to find if you’re a visitor searching for your site online.

A custom domain allows you to choose a more personalized address, such as www.mysite.com which is a lot better for promoting a brand and getting found by potential visitors to your website! Even if you buy a new domain for your site or already own one that you want to transfer, you will need to be on a paid plan to actually connect and use it as the address for your website. Usually you can buy and connect your custom domain on the cheapest upgrade available, such as Weebly’s ‘Connect’ plan, so it’s an affordable option.

Set Up an Online Store & Accept Payments

On some builders like SITE123 and Strikingly, you can create an online store on the free plan, and sell one or two items, but to sell any more you have to upgrade. On some you can create a store, but you must be on a paid plan to actually accept payments through your website, (like Wix). Others won’t let you create a store at all unless you’re paying, such as Weebly.

So it varies, but one thing remains the same: in order to have a successful and scalable online store, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan sooner or later. Once you’re on a paid plan you can unlock features such as connecting different payment types, (for example PayPal, credit/debit cards etc), get rid of transaction fees, track and manage your inventory, and more!

Get Increased (or Even Unlimited) Storage and Bandwidth

It is common for your storage and bandwidth to be capped on free plans. The amount you get often increases as you work up through price tiers, which allows you to scale and grow your website at your own pace. A lot of website builders like Wix will give you unlimited bandwidth and up to unlimited storage too!

Advanced Marketing Tools

Marketing is a massive part of promoting your website – whether it’s your own portfolio, brand, or business, you want people to find you! While free plans do often have basic marketing or newsletter tools, if you’re paying then you will have access to much more advanced marketing tools such as email campaigns and better site analysis and statistics. This way you can reach out to your visitors and then track how successful your campaigns have been to help spread the word!

Just from these features it’s easy to see how it’s worth upgrading to unlock the best for your website. And the good news is, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Most basic plans start from around £5 a month. Moving from a free plan to a basic plan is a really affordable way of growing your site and adding these great features to maximise your online presence.

Read more:

If you’re interested in upgrading or just want to find out more, read our reviews and pricing guides for a full look at what these top free website builders’ have to offer in value for money, price plans, and more:

Best Free Website Builders: Conclusion

We’ve guided you through the pros and cons of 10 free website builders, as well as the advantages of upgrading to a paid plan when possible. You’re now equipped with everything you need to pick a website builder, and to put your digital pen to digital paper. 

Let’s have a quick recap…

The 10 Best Free Website Builders Are:

  1. Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder.
  2. SITE123 – Great Design Assistance.
  3. Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses.
  4. Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites.
  5. Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder.
  6. WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging.
  7. IM Creator – Great for White Label Businesses.
  8. Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup.
  9. Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites.
  10. SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor.

Our list of the top 10 free website builders ranks Wix as the best all-around builder, with tons of free features. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, while WordPress.com is perfect for blogging.

Just remember that free website builders nearly always limit the features and functions that are available to you – you may be ok with this now, but it could prove extremely frustrating further down the line.

We nearly always recommend subscribing to a premium plan.

Think of it as an investment. You pay a little extra up front and reap the benefits over a longer period of time. Plus, it’s an investment that costs as much as large latte or fast food burger each month!

Still, if you aren’t entirely convinced that paying a monthly fee for a premium account is for you, then we recommend taking advantage of website builder free trials.

Using these trials is a great way of testing out different website creators and seeing which best suits you – and you can do so without it costing you a cent!

FAQs

How does the website builder make money if I use it for free?

It’s done in a number of ways. The main method is through a ‘freemium’ model, in which the paying users can sustain everyone else. Another way for website builders to make money is through advertising on your site (the ads can be removed by upgrading your plan).

Are free websites good for SEO?

Free websites are not very SEO-friendly because you cannot connect a personalized domain. This means your website is actually part of the website builder’s own site, which makes it harder for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index your web page.

Are free website builders any good?

Yes – website builders make it super easy to create professional looking sites for no money at all. With these free platforms you get most of the features you need to get your site up and running, but, of course, upgrading your plans gives you access to better tools.

Can I upgrade my website in the future?

You can upgrade to a paid premium plan whenever you want to. Doing so will provide you with far more tools, templates, storage space, and other important features for growing your website. All of our recommend free website builders come with paid plans if you’d like to upgrade.

Are free website builders actually totally free?

Yes, they are totally free to use. You can sign up, create, customize, and publish your site without paying a thing. However, most website builders lock certain features unless you upgrade to a paid plan, but these costs are completely optional, so the overall costs are up to you.

Which is the easiest free website builder?

Wix came top in our research for ease of use. Its intuitive drag-and-drop design makes it easy to create a professional looking site without any tech knowledge. It also gives you tons of creative control so you can build a really developed, personalized site.

Which free website builder would you recommend for blogging?

WordPress.com is one of the best blogging platforms out there. It’s really easy to use and has excellent built-in blogging tools, including social bookmarking and an RSS feed, and offers a more advanced blogging functionality overall than website builders like Wix or Weebly.

What is the cheapest website builder?

Wix is came first in our ‘Value for Money’ testing. It’s the best overall website builder on the market today, with an average monthly premium plan cost of just $6. Weebly works out as cheaper on average, but it doesn’t quite match Wix in its overall website building prowess.

Which free website builder is best for ecommerce?

It kind of depends on your needs. Strikingly is great for creating modern websites quickly, but only lets you sell one product through its free plan. Mozello is more limiting in terms of design, but lets you set multiple languages for your site, and lets you sell up to 10 products on its free plan great for selling internationally!

Further Information

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

Looking for a hosting provider rather than a website builder? Why not check out our article on the Best Web Hosting Services to help you find the right one.

There are currently no free services, but check out our article on the Best Cheap Web Hosts if price is your main consideration when choosing a provider.

The 5 Best Cloud Hosting Providers

Best Cloud Hosting Providers

Want to know more about cloud hosting and read reviews on the best providers? You’ve come to the right place.

Web hosting is the unseen foundation of the internet.

Every site you visit is hosted somewhere. Your site will need hosting too, and one of the best options available to you is cloud hosting.

Rather than being tied to one server, cloud hosting pulls its resources from a variety of sources to create a virtual server instead.

With shared hosting, if your server goes down, your site goes down. If a cloud server goes down, other servers in the network pick up the slack. Cloud hosting gives you an excellent balance between affordability and power.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is where your site is stored on multiple servers, which lets you pull resources from a variety of different places. This makes cloud hosting a very scalable, reliable, and flexible type of hosting, perfect for sites that experience hikes and dips in things like traffic.

Cloud hosting is great for anyone who needs flexibility. Think of your plan like a pay-as-you-go mobile: you decide your own resource limits each month, and pay accordingly.

If you have a big marketing campaign coming up, for example, cloud hosting allows you to prepare for a one-off busy month.

There are dozens – if not hundreds – of hosting providers to choose from, and finding the right one can be a daunting prospect. That’s why we’ve undertaken hours of research to find the best cloud hosts in the business.

Best Cloud Hosting Services

We’ve analysed everything, from features and reliability to support and value for money. So, without any delay, here are the top five providers for cloud hosting:

  1. A2 Hosting: Best Overall for Cloud Hosting.
  2. SiteGround: A Close Runner-Up.
  3. InMotion: Best Help & Support.
  4. HostGator: Unmetered Storage.
  5. DreamHost: Cheapest Cloud Hosting.

Let’s have a quick look at the top three from our list. A2 Hosting takes first place, with impressive features and an anytime money-back guarantee. InMotion comes in second place, offering top-notch customer service. HostGator is a solid choice in third, being the only host to provide unmetered storage on all its plans.

You can take a closer look at these top three providers by comparing their star ratings below.

Read on for a complete breakdown of our ratings. We’ll cover which providers are suited to which needs, look at pricing, and throw in a few honorable mentions as well. Now let’s get going!

Also check out:

Best Web Hosting Services 2019 — Away from cloud hosting, find out who the overall best providers are.

Web Hosting Comparison Chart — For a side-by-side view of the top providers, see our detailed chart.

Side-By-Side Cloud Hosting Comparison

Hosting ProviderMax RAMMax CPUsMax BandwidthRoot AccessMax Storage SpaceUptimeCheapest PriceWBE Rating (/5)
A2 Hosting32GB129TB250GB99.95%$5/mo4.1
SiteGround10GB85TB120GB99.98%$80/mo3.7
InMotion8GBUnmetered86TB260GB99.97%$34.99/mo3.2
HostGator6GB6UnmeteredUnmetered99.99%$12.95/mo3
DreamHost16GB8Unmetered100GB99.95%$4.50/mo3

If some of these terms sound like a load of techie jargon to you, don’t worry. Below, we’ll run through what they mean, and why they’re important:

Random-access Memory (RAM) is a kind of digital brainpower. It provides the data storage necessary for computers to complete tasks. The more RAM your site has, the more work it can handle. For most websites, a gigabyte (GB) or two ought to have you covered.

Computer Processing Units (CPUs) are the cores of your server. They act as the brain, processing information. Naturally, the more you have, the more efficient your site becomes.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can flow between servers (i.e. your site), the internet, and users. Bandwidth dictates how much information can travel along its connections, as well as how quickly. Hosting with good bandwidth allows your site to cope with high traffic.

Root Access gives you the ability to customize your server’s environment. You can install specialist software, such as extra security, and make changes to hardware settings. This adds an extra layer of flexibility to your hosting and gives you greater control.

Uptime literally refers to the amount of time your website is up online. It’s impossible to achieve 100% uptime, but the aim is to get as near to that as possible. After all, if your site goes down, no one can access it.

1. A2 Hosting

Best Overall for Cloud Hosting

What we like about A2 Hosting

When it comes to cloud hosting, A2 Hosting can’t be beaten. It came top of our research for features, and it also has an anytime money-back guarantee – something not offered by any other provider.

It’s not too expensive either, with cloud plans starting at $5 per month; while the uptime isn’t the best at 99.95%, you do get a wealth of excellent features.

These features include up to 250GB of storage, 12 CPU cores, and 32GB of RAM. Oh, and you can host an unlimited number of websites – something you which other cloud hosting providers don’t offer.

What could be improved

Having to pay for an SSL certificate as an add-on is a little annoying – as is not getting a free domain – but for a starting price of $5, you can’t go wrong.

A2 hosting

A2 Hosting came out top in our research for cloud hosting

And with an anytime money-back guarantee, you can try it out risk-free.

Find out more:

A2 Hosting Review – For the full lowdown on the good and the bad of our top-performing cloud hosting provider.

How Much Does it Cost to Host a Website? – Just how much could, and should, a good web hosting plan cost? Find out with our detailed guide.

2. Siteground

A Close Runner-Up

What we like about SiteGround

With excellent help and support on offer (via phone, live chat and email), as well as a very strong uptime guarantee of 99.98%, and great features, you can’t go too far wrong with SiteGround. Our hosting found this to be the second best provider, sitting slightly behind A2 Hosting with an overall score of 3.7/5. 

What could be improved

There are a couple of places where SiteGround lost points. First, it doesn’t offer a free domain name with its plans. If you don’t yet have a domain name, getting one for free is a handy bonus, and is something many other providers offer. Second, the $80 starting price is a lot higher than with other providers – if you’re coming from a shared plan, this will feel like quite a step up. 

That said, SiteGround generally scores well across the board. If you don’t find A2 Hosting a good fit, this is a great second option.

SiteGround logo

Siteground offers excellent customer service

If a helping hand’s important to you, it doesn’t get better than Siteground. With 24/7 support via live chat and phone, help is never far away.

Find out more:

SiteGround Review – A full look at the pros and cons of SiteGround, including features, ease of use and value.

SiteGround Pricing Review – Why do SiteGround’s plans seem so expensive, and are they good value?

3. InMotion

Best Help & Support

What we like about InMotion

InMotion is better known for its shared and VPS hosting, but that doesn’t mean it’s got nothing to offer here. Its main selling point is its customer service – offering 24/7 live chat and phone support, help tickets, and a comprehensive knowledge center should you have any issues.

It scores well for features, too. Free domains and backups, unlimited email accounts and websites, unmetered CPU cores, and root access are just some of the features you can expect. The help on offer is also pretty strong in our experience, which always helps.

What could be improved

Compared to other providers on this list, InMotion’s RAM is fairly low, capped at 8GB. Bandwidth is also a bit limited, which could leave you short if your site experiences sudden surges of traffic.

InMotion hosting

InMotion offers excellent customer service

If a helping hand’s important to you, it doesn’t get better than InMotion. With 24/7 support via live chat and phone, help is never far away.

Find out more:

InMotion Review – An in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of setting up your site with InMotion.

Best Ecommerce Hosting Providers – Looking for hosting for an online store? Check out our top choices.

4. HostGator

Unmetered Storage

What we like about HostGator

HostGator topped our research rankings as the best overall hosting provider. Although better known for its dedicated hosting packages, HostGator’s 99.99% uptime carries across every type of hosting it offers. If you have a large website – either in terms of amount of web pages, or high-quality content like imagery – HostGator’s unmetered storage will stand you in good stead. Unmetered bandwidth will also help you serve fluctuating traffic.

HostGator has three cloud hosting plans, all of which sit between a very reasonable price bracket of $12.95 and $19.95/month. You’ll also get unlimited email accounts and a generous 45 day money-back guarantee.

What could be improved

Because of the low costs, your resources are somewhat limited. There’s no free domain, no free backups, and no root access, so have a think about whether these features will be a deal-breaker for you.

HostGator hosting

HostGator is perfect for fast-growing sites

With unmetered storage and bandwidth, HostGator gives your site plenty of room to grow.

Find out more:

HostGator Review – HostGator is one of the better known hosting providers but just how good is it?

HostGator Pricing Review – Why are HostGator’s cloud hosting prices so cheap, and how does HostGator’s pricing compare to other providers?

5. DreamHost

Cheapest Cloud Hosting

What we like about DreamHost

A provider can have the best hosting features in the world, but if its pricing is outside your budget, it won’t be able to help you. Thankfully, DreamHost makes cloud hosting accessible to anyone. Plans start from as little as $4.50, and even its most expensive one comes in at under $100. You’ll also be on an hourly rate, rather than a fixed one. There’s also unmetered bandwidth, up to 16GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, and a free SSL security certificate.

What could be improved

But there are some fairly significant downsides: no free domain, no live chat and phone support, and no money-back guarantee (fine if you’re on the cheapest plan, but worrying if you sign up to its $96/month plan!). You’re also capped at 100GB of storage, limiting your potential to really grow your website on a DreamHost cloud hosting plan.

dreamhost logo

Dreamhost's plans are very affordable

Dreamhost is perfect for those on a strict budget, but you will have to compromise a little on features and service.

Find out more:

HostGator Review – HostGator is one of the better known hosting providers but just how good is it?

13 Best Cheap WordPress Hosts – Looking for WordPress hosting on a budget? These 13 providers have you covered.

How Do You Choose the Right Hosting Provider?

There are several key factors to consider when choosing a cloud hosting provider. We’ve tried to cater to them here. Only you can know exactly what you need; all we can do is point you in the right direction.

A few key things we recommend prioritizing are:

Your budget is a big one. How much are you willing to spend on hosting?

Customer support can be a godsend if you’re new to this whole web hosting malarkey. Not only will it support you through any hosting hiccups, but you’ll learn about how it works.

Money back guarantees ensure you don’t get trapped in an 18-month contract for a service you don’t want or need. It gives you time to see a provider in action.

Uptime is one of the most important features to consider. If your website goes down regularly it becomes a nightmare for everyone involved, so finding a provider that offers near-perfect uptime is a major plus.

Root access can also be useful to the more techie folk out there. Having more control over your server’s environment means you can install extra software that will benefit your site specifically.

The Best Cloud Hosting Providers: Conclusion

Cloud hosting is a modern, reliable form of hosting – it’s no wonder you’re interested in it!

From our research, there are five standout cloud hosting providers. Each brings something slightly different to the table, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

To recap, let’s run through the top five and what they specialize in.

The 5 Best Cloud Hosting Providers: The Roundup

  1. A2 Hosting: Best Overall for Cloud Hosting.
  2. SiteGround: A Close Runner-Up
  3. InMotion: Best Help & Support.
  4. HostGator: Unmetered Storage.
  5. DreamHost: Cheapest Cloud Hosting.

If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of cloud hosting, A2 Hosting is the way to go. It has better features than any of its competitors, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If you’re short on cash, the hosting provider we’d recommend is DreamHost. It offers the best value for money, with cloud hosting costing from just $4.50 per month.

Beyond price, features are the main thing you should look at. Identify what’s most important to you – storage, RAM, uptime etc. – and work from there. If you need a more detailed, side-by-side comparison, have a look at our web hosting providers comparison chart.

The Best Cloud Hosting Providers: FAQs

What’s the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting?

Shared hosting involves multiple sites sharing the same server. Cloud hosting involve multiple sites sharing the resources of multiple servers. Cloud hosting isn’t bound to one location, and is therefore less prone to outages – if one server goes down, another can pick up the slack.

How much does cloud hosting cost?

Cloud hosting is very flexible, so the price you pay depends on the amount of resource you use. Generally speaking, cloud hosting starts at around $5, and can go up into the hundreds (or sometimes even thousands). Most sites will only need to pay between $5 and $50, though.

Can I change between hosting providers?

Yes. It’s like moving house online – you sign up to a new provider, move your digital belongings to your new home, then cancel your agreement with the old provider. This may sound finicky, but you’d be surprised how simple it is. Some providers – like HostGator – even offer to make the move for you.

Can I host a website myself?

It’s possible, but we don’t recommend it. At its heart, good hosting is about accessibility – anyone, anywhere should be able to access a website at any time. Setting up your own server requires a lot of technical knowhow, and chances are you’ll end up spending more for a less reliable server.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

Best Web Hosting For Small Business

best web hosting for small business

The Top Eight Small Business Hosting Providers

Weave through the world of website hosting with our reviews of the top eight providers for small businesses.

Hosting refers to where your site lives on the internet. You wouldn’t move house without checking the property was affordable, big enough for your family’s needs, and structurally sound – would you?

Finding a hosting provider for your small business should be no different.

If you run a small business, getting the best web hosting is very important. Pick a second-rate provider and it will affect everything. From your site speed, to your revenue.

Your small business hosting needs to be reliable: time is money, and you lose dollars for every minute your site is down. It should also be fairly priced, and include the security certificates you need to provide a safe online experience for your users.

Did You Know?

If your website’s server goes down, you’re in big trouble. The latest stats show that server downtime costs an average of $7,908 per minute.

If you run a small business and are looking for a hosting provider, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the eight best web hosting services for small businesses.

We’ll look at price, guaranteed uptime, ease of use, and customer support.

Before we wrap up, we’ll give you a crash course in how to pick the best web hosting for your small business.

If you’re in a hurry, you can compare the key features of our top web hosting services using the chart below.

Best Web Hosting Providers for Small Business

  1. Bluehost – Best Overall Small Business Host.
  2. InMotion – Ideal for Shared and VPS Hosting.
  3. HostGator – Great for Dedicated Server Hosting.
  4. 1&1 IONOS – Really Reliable.
  5. iPage – Budget Friendly Plans.
  6. A2 Hosting – Number One For Cloud Hosting.
  7. GoDaddy – Full Of Extra Features.
  8. SiteGround – Excellent Customer Service.

Below, we’ve picked out the top three providers – Bluehost, InMotion and HostGator – and highlighted how they perform. This should give you a clear idea of where a provider’s strengths lie, and what’s most important to you.

Best Overall Small Business Host

4.6out of 5

Top Choice
Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Best for Shared and VPS Hosting

4.5out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Best for Dedicated Server Hosting

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Web Hosting Comparison Chart – See all the facts and stats on our top hosting providers.

Best Web Hosting Providers – Understand the bigger picture by looking at all our top-ranked hosts.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business

There are thousands of web hosting providers out there. At times, it can all get a bit confusing. Luckily, we’re here to help you make sense of it all.

At Website Builder Expert, we conduct our own detailed research. We look at the areas most important to you – like features, performance, support, and value for money – and test hosting providers to really see what they’re made of.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: Head-to-Head Comparison

Here, we’ve picked out some of the key features to look out for. These limits and figures are taken from a range of plans to show you the minimum and maximum capacity each provider offers:

ProviderUptimeStorageBandwidthRAMPricing (monthly)
Bluehost99.98%50GB – unlimited1TB – 15TB2GB – 16GB$7.99 – 209.99
InMotion99.97%unlimited4TB – 15TB4GB – 64GB$7.99 – 589.99
HostGator99.99%unlimited1.5TB – unmetered2GB – 30GB$6.95 – 289
1&1 IONOS99.98%100GB – 1TBunmetered1GB – 64GB$8 – 140
iPage99.94%unlimited1TB – 15TB1GB 16GB$7.99 – 239.99
A2 Hosting99.95%unlimited2TB – 20TB4GB – 16GB$7.99 – 349.99
GoDaddy99.97%100GB – unlimitedunmetered2GB – 32GB$7.99 – 349.99
SiteGround99.98%10GB – 960GB10TB16GB – 64GB$11.95 – 729

1. Bluehost

Best for: Overall Small Business Hosting

Bluehost is our top recommended hosting provider. It came out as the best overall small business hosting service from our research, and is also our top recommended provider for WordPress websites. With comprehensive features and excellent customer service, it provides great value for money for small, startup businesses.

Pricing: $2.75/month – $209.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

2. InMotion

Best for: Shared and VPS Hosting

While Bluehost tops the charts, InMotion certainly makes a compelling case. Granted, it’s not the cheapest if you’re looking for basic shared hosting, but the security, support, and storage space on offer are excellent. It’s also got its own website builder, should you still need to build your business website.

Pricing: $6.39/month – $589.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

3. HostGator

Best for: Dedicated Hosting

HostGator comes in at third in our list. It’s a beginner-friendly, feature-rich service with an unrivalled uptime of 99.99%.  In particular, we really rate its dedicated server hosting. Like InMotion, HostGator also has its own website builder called Gator, which you can read about in our review.

Pricing: $2.75/month – $289/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller

4. 1&1 IONOS

Best for: Reliability

1&1 IONOS has amazing promotional deals, but what really sets it apart from its competitors is its reliability. 1&1 IONOS has an impressive uptime of 99.8%, while its hosting packages come with site backups, anti-spam protection and a free lifetime domain.

Pricing: $1/month – $140/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • WordPress

5. iPage

Best for: Budget Friendly Plans

iPage can be seen as a mean, green hosting machine. It’s cheap, has one-click install for select CMSs, and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It’s also great if you’re just looking for a cheap hosting option. Be warned though, you may sacrifice speed for the price.

Pricing: $1.99/month – $239.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

6. A2 Hosting

Best for: Cloud Hosting

A2 Hosting came top in our research for cloud hosting. It’s also one of the few hosts to offer Windows hosting (not just Linux). Windows hosting comes with the addition of a Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel, free site migrations, and one-click installs across loads of CMSs – including WordPress.

Pricing: $3.92/month – $349.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

7. GoDaddy

Best for: Extra Features

GoDaddy can be viewed as a jack of all trades. It’s the world’s largest domain registrar, while also providing a web hosting service and website builder. Its uptime is fantastic, and GoDaddy represents the best all-in-one service. If you need the works – domain, website and hosting – you’re in the right place.

Pricing: $7.99/month – $349.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

8. SiteGround

Best for: Customer Service

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option, but it does have clear strengths. Versatile across multiple CMSs with one-click installation, you’ll also get free email accounts and daily backups. Its customer service is also second to none, offering 24/7 phone and live chat support, and a comprehensive knowledge center.

Pricing: $3.95/month – $729/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

Now you’ve got a taste for each web hosting provider, it’s time for the main course. Read on as we go into more detail about the top services, looking at each one’s features, and reviewing its pricing plans.

Bluehost

ProsCons
  • Comparatively small storage on basic plan
  • Potential CPU throttling (poor for websites who experience spikes in traffic)

Overview

Bluehost is the best web hosting service for small businesses. Why? Because it’s a great all-inclusive package.

No wonder it scored an impressive 91% in our research.

It’s owned by Endurance International Group, the same company behind HostGator, and powers 2 million websites worldwide. That’s a lot of people who have happily made their virtual home with Bluehost.

Best Overall Small Business Host

4.6out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

One of the big reasons why Bluehost is so popular is its easy integration with WordPress. The one-click installation is a joy, and means even the least technical user can launch their site with both WordPress and Bluehost. Watch our video tutorial if you don’t believe us!

Bluehost uses cPanel as its site management system. The Utah-based company has done an excellent job adding simple, but useful customizations to the cPanel layout. Sections are very clearly laid out and the process is simple to follow. It strikes a great balance between simplicity for beginners, and having the functions needed for more advanced users.

At 99.98%, uptime with Bluehost is on a par with HostGator. This equates to less than two hours downtime in an entire year. Wondering, why not 100%? Well, it’s just not possible. Tech is a minefield; between hardware glitches and cyber attacks, no provider can guarantee 100% uptime.

Disk space, though, is slightly more limited than with some of its competitors. What’s more servers can slow down if your website experiences a surge in traffic – for example, if you were running a paid social media campaign.

Pricing

Bluehost’s hosting plan prices range from:

The best Bluehost plan for a new business just starting out is a shared hosting package.

New customers can get shared hosting from just $2.95/month with Bluehost (normally $7.99)

So what do you get for $2.95/month?

  • Free website domain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Unmetered bandwidth & 50GB of storage
  • 24/7 support via phone & live chat

All of Bluehost’s hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not completely happy with the service you receive, you’ll get a full refund.

bluehost hosting

Did You Spot A Plan You Liked?

Bluehost offers various hosting types – it’s worth comparing them before jumping in. Start with its shared hosting plans for low prices!

Which Bluehost plan you need will depend on how much traffic you expect to receive. If you’re just running a basic blog on WordPress, the 50GB plan will be fine.

On the Plus plan, you get unlimited domains, email accounts and email storage. Bluehost also throws in an SSL certificate and spam support – all for under $11/month. That’s great value.

If your business expands rapidly, Bluehost’s VPS and dedicated plans are a great option. You can access faster load times, unlimited bandwidth, and more storage. Think of it like buying new clothes after you’ve had a growth-spurt.

On top of this, Bluehost’s support is excellent. Help boxes try to answer questions on the specific page you’re on.

Bluehost’s transparent pricing and simple setup make it a fantastic hosting choice for beginners.

bluehost hosting

Should You Choose Bluehost?

Bluehost is our number one host for small businesses, and is also the best choice for WordPress sites. Will it impress you too?
best small business web hosting - bluehost
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting services for small businesses because of its easy set-up

InMotion

ProsCons
  • No sub-$5 non-discounted price
  • No Windows servers

Overview

InMotion presents a classic case of ‘getting what you pay for’. Sure, there’s no long-term cheap shared hosting, but what you’re getting is top-of-the-range features and excellent support.

InMotion is a U.S company with two dedicated data centers. These play host to thousands upon thousands of servers, ready to host your website and beam it across the world.

Best for Shared and VPS Hosting

4.5out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

Even on its most basic plan, InMotion provides you with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. This is uncommon on lower-tiered pricing plans, and puts InMotion in a strong position when it comes to shared hosting options.

On top of that, you can say hello to a free SSL certificate and HTTPS. This means that when users are browsing your site, they can do so in the knowledge that it’s secure. This is represented by a little padlock icon that sits next to your URL.

Besides just being important to your customers and brand image, Google also reflects favorably on sites with proper security. It’s one of the many things that can help improve your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – vital for any business.

You’ll also get access to great tools like InMotion’s website builder, which can help you build a small business site from scratch – without code! Other tools include free advertising credits, emails on any device, and visitor statistics.

Pricing

When it comes to shared business hosting, InMotion offer three plans: Launch, Power and Pro.

  • Launch – $3.99/month for a two year subscription or $4.99/month for one year.
  • Power – $3.99/month for a two year subscription or $4.99/month for one year.
  • Pro – $13.99/month for one year, $14.99/month for six months or $17.99/month for one month.
InMotion hosting

Is InMotion Your Perfect Provider?

InMotion is a strong all-rounder with great features and support. For shared or VPS hosting, you won’t find better than InMotion!

You’re probably thinking to yourself: ‘Why wouldn’t I go for the Power plan?’ It’s more features for the same money, right? Well, not quite. These figures are promotional prices, and stay active for the duration of your initial sign-up period.

The regular price of Launch is $7.99/month, while Power comes in at $9.99. That said, Power is InMotion’s most popular plan, and does represent great value for money.

If your company’s ambitions stretch beyond that of a shared server, InMotion also has some great VPS and dedicated hosting deals. VPS hosting ranges from $27.99/month to $144.99/month, depending on which of the three plans you opt for and for how long.

The same applies to dedicated hosting. For this, there are six plans, starting at $105.69/month, right the way through to $589.99/month. The main benefit of dedicated hosting is that you’re not dependent on other sites. If you need lots of storage space and multi-layer protection, it’s worth exploring.

More InMotion Information:

InMotion Review

InMotion vs Bluehost

InMotion Pricing
InMotion’s homepage shows you exactly what they can offer

HostGator

ProsCons
  • Slightly dated interface
  • No free domain

Overview

While HostGator isn’t the cheapest hosting service, what makes it stand out from its competitors is its impressive uptime, generous features and excellent help and support across all its hosting plans. 

It’s no hard to see why 8 million domains are hosted with HostGator.

Best for Dedicated Server Hosting

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

HostGator guarantees uptime of 99.9%. That means in the space of one year, your website will only be out of action for an hour or less.

This kind of reliability is why HostGator is one of the best small business hosting services. A nice touch is that if HostGator fails on this promise, it will refund you one month’s billing. It puts its money where its jaws are.

Downsides to HostGator include the lack of a free domain, while the cPanel interface looks a little dated. First-time users might also find the crowded layout confusing.

If you use WordPress, however, you won’t need to access the cPanel. HostGator’s own site administration is also not as sleek as Bluehost’s.

Pricing

When it comes to HostGator’s plans, there’s plenty for you to get your teeth into. The three shared packages are:

  • Hatchling – from $2.75/month. Entry-level, great value for money.
  • Baby – from $3.95/month. Get more help growing your small business.
  • Business – from $5.95/month. Best for fast-growing businesses. Unlock features including SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, and VoIP phone service. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It protects data moving through your site (like customers’ bank details). Providers often charge over $100 for SSL certificates, so HostGator’s offer makes it great value for money compared to rivals like Arvixe. Your site’s URL will have a green padlock to show it’s secure.

Prices are similar to Bluehost’s, and all plans include unlimited emails (unusual for hosting services), one-click installation with WordPress and Drupal, and unmetered bandwidth (you’re not billed for how much you use).

HostGator’s pricing is very reasonable for the features you get. If you’re looking for affordable web hosting for small business, look no further!

HostGator hosting

Is HostGator Right For You?

HostGator prides itself on reliability, and quite rightly. If you’re after a solid service and 99.99% uptime, look no further.

If your business outgrows these basic plans, HostGator offers VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting packages.

Medium-to-large businesses should look at HostGator’s dedicated server packages, starting at $79/month. You get all the hardware to yourself, and can handle large volumes of traffic. Dedicated plans all include weekly backups – a reassuring safety net for your business.

VPS plans range from $19.95/month for the Snappy 2000 plan, to $29.95/month for Snappy 8000. As you scale up, you get more bandwidth, disk space, CPU and RAM. The last two are like the brain and brawn of your site –the more you get, the more powerful and fast your site becomes.

The best thing to do is start small, then transition through HostGator’s packages as you grow.

best small business web hosting hostgator example site
Stylish small businesses like Marc Landry Photography use HostGator to host their website

1&1 IONOS

ProsCons
  • Average uptime of 99.98%
  • Dedicated support assistants
  • Unintuitive control panel
  • Not very beginner-friendly

Overview

1&1 IONOS brings German engineering to your website. Whether you want to take advantage of its website builder, or just the hosting services, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.

1&1 IONOS currently owns over 12 million domains around the globe. It is, in every sense, an international powerhouse.

Best for Reliability

4.3out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Features

The features you get are mostly industry standard. This includes things like a free domain, daily backups, an SSL certificate, and SSD storage.

What sets 1&1 IONOS apart is its unlimited traffic, and dedicated 24/7 support. When you sign up to one of 1&1 IONOS’ plans, you will receive your own personal consultant. They are there to supply you with the answers to your questions. They are highly trained and available via phone, email or live chat

One thing to bear in mind when considering 1&1 IONOS is the lack of storage on the basic shared plan. While other providers such as InMotion equip you with unlimited storage, with 1&1 IONOS, you’re limited to between 100-500GB.

If you need a website built, it can help with that too. 1&1 IONOS’ website builder, MyWebsite, is designed specifically for white-collar businesses. So if you’re looking to establish an online presence for your brand, it’s a great place to start.

Pricing

Like most other shared hosting services, 1&1 IONOS splits its plans into three tiers: Business, Pro and Expert. All three have a sign-up deal of $1/month – this lasts for the first six months on Pro and Expert, and for a whole year on the Business plan. The renewal prices after that are as follows:

  • Business: $8/month – hosts 1 website, 100GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 25 email accounts, free domain
  • Pro: $10/month – hosts 5 websites, 250GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 100 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection
  • Expert: $14/month – hosts 50 websites, 500GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 500 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection, CDN
1&1 IONOS logo

Are You After A Great Hosting Deal?

1&1 IONOS has the cheapest sale prices at just $1/month to start with. If you’re after a bargain, could 1&1 IONOS be right for you?

VPS hosting runs over four plans, and ranges from $5-$30/month. If you need more SSD storage, VPS represents a massive step up from its shared offerings, with 50GB SSD even on its most basic VPS plan.

1&1 IONOS’ dedicated hosting is a little different. It works on a pay-as-you-use basis, meaning there’s no concrete final cost. There are caps, though, so don’t worry about ending the month with a bill the size of Everest!

1&1 IONOS Hosting
1&1 IONOS has a clear and welcoming homepage, and makes its personal support very clear

iPage

ProsCons
  • Cheap quality shared hosting
  • Good 24/7 help and support
  • Poor uptime of 99.94%
  • Backups cost $100 each time

Overview

iPage is one of the oldest hosting companies around. Initially established in 1998, it started selling hosting plans in 2002.

iPage is owned by Endurance group – who coincidentally also own HostGator and Bluehost – and has two data centers which host over one million sites worldwide.

Best for Budget Friendly Plans

4.2out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

We’ll level with you; iPage’s features aren’t anything to write home about. You do get free SSL security, but backups on its shared hosting plan – something that’s complimentary with most providers – are $100 extra. Each. Time.

It’s not all bad news, though. You can host unlimited email accounts with iPage, which is perfect for growing businesses, and you get your domain free for the first year.

The shared hosting monthly visitor limit is also a generous 500,000, so small businesses that get a lot of regular traffic or experience sudden surges should be fine.

The 99.94% uptime, while disappointing in comparison to other hosts, is also not a big issue. In truth, any provider that guarantees and uptime above 99.90% will be fine for a small business.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: $7.99/month
  • VPS Hosting: $24.99/month – $99.99/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: $149.99/month – $239.99/month
  • WordPress Hosting: $7.49/month – $10.49/month
ipage logo

Is iPage Your Favorite So Far?

iPage may not have a standout feature, but for great support, cheap hosting, and simple plans, iPage is worth a closer look.

If cheap web hosting’s what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. What iPage lacks in feature quality it makes up for in modest pricing.

In terms of shared hosting, don’t rub your eyes – iPage only offers one plan. And while this has its limitations, it’s good to know you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan at any point. Well, unless you want to change what type of hosting you’re on.

iPage
iPage has some fantastic discounted deals

A2 Hosting

ProsCons
  • Average uptime of 99.95%
  • Fairly pricey

Overview

A2 is the self-proclaimed ‘Guru Crew’. Its staff know web hosting inside and out and, after rigorous training, are on hand to support you 24/7.

The company was born in a shared office in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has since transformed into a worldwide hosting empire. Another of A2’s bold claims is that its hosting service is ‘20 times faster’ than its competitors.

Best for Cloud Hosting

4.1out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

A2 Hosting offers both Windows and Linux server hosting, both of which come with generous storage space, unmetered data transfer, and some sweet freebies – like an SSL certificate and daily backups.

What’s not free is your domain and the actual creation of your website – you’ll have to use a content management system (CMS) or website builder for that.

In terms of performance, A2 more than holds its own against the industry’s big hitters. It offers all major types of hosting, works off a cPannel dashboard, and has one-click installs for CMSs, like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Its uptime of 99.95% is by no means bad – in fact it’s pretty solid – but when compared to top-end competition, it falls a little short of the likes of HostGator and Bluehost.

Pricing

A2 hosting

Is A2 Hosting Right For You?

A2 Hosting wowed us with its cloud hosting in our research, and its general commitment to stellar speed and support! Will it wow you?

Across the board, these plans are relatively expensive. One major plus, though, is that A2 has an anytime money-back guarantee policy. That means if, for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied with the service you’re receiving, you can get a full refund whenever you please.

Its best service on the quality-cost scale has to be its managed WordPress hosting. All plans come with automatic WordPress updates for software and plugins, meaning you don’t need to lift a finger when WordPress makes changes.

A2 Hosting
A2 is a customer-friendly provider that offers a wide range of hosting services

More A2 Information:

A2 Hosting Review

GoDaddy

ProsCons
  • Fantastic extras like a website builder and domain registrar
  • Free Office 365 email with shared hosting
  • Slightly overpriced
  • No money-back guarantee

Overview

GoDaddy is a worldwide brand that doesn’t skimp on advertising itself. You probably know the company as the lord of domains, but there’s so much more to GoDaddy than that.

Alongside domains, it also has a top-of-the-range website builder and offers a variety of hosting plans.

Best for Extra Features

4out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Features

When it comes to web hosting, GoDaddy’s features are top class. Free backups, domains, and SSL security is a great start, and the resource limits on things like bandwith, storage, and RAM are all very impressive.

Its help and support isn’t bad – offering live chat and a phone service – however there’s not a system for raising tickets.

What makes GoDaddy special is the fact it’s an all-in-one solution. You can create your site from scratch, using its design assisted website builder that supports over 1,500 different industries, and purchase your domain name.

Having everything under one roof makes it easier to keep track of your bills. This is the main appeal of GoDaddy – if you’re just after web hosting, you’ll get a better deal elsewhere.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: $7.99/month – $24.99/month
  • VPS Hosting: $29.99/month – $74.99/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: $169.99/month – $349.99/month
  • WordPress Hosting: $9.99/month – $34.99/month
godaddy hosting

Do You Love Extras?

If you need more than hosting GoDaddy has you covered, from domains to email services. Sound ideal? Check it out!

While hosting features are GoDaddy’s forte, its pricing is pretty middle of the road. What’s worse is that GoDaddy doesn’t have a money-back guarantee – something all other top-rated providers offer.

GoDaddy Hosting
GoDaddy has something for everyone in the online world, but its hosting features stand out above most

SiteGround

ProsCons
  • Great uptime of 99.98%
  • Superb WordPress hosting
  • Expensive pricing plans
  • Doesn’t offer VPS hosting

Overview

Hosting over one million websites and counting, SiteGround has come a long way from its college dorm origins.

Founded in Bulgaria, it has risen through the hosting ranks and is considered by many as one of the very best hosting providers around.

Best for Customer Service

3.2out of 5

Types of Hosting

3 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

1 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Features

SiteGround is one of only three providers personally recommended by WordPress for hosting. As far as references go, that’s pretty huge.

You can also get one-click installs and automated updates for other major CMSs, including Drupal and Joomla. There’s even WooCommerce specific hosting for WordPress ecommerce sites.

If you’re yet to create your website, you can build it on SiteGround’s free drag-and-drop website builder, and buy a domain.

Free SSL security and daily backups are standard on all plans, as is a cPannel dashboard and free email accounts. The 99.98% uptime is also far from shabby – it translates to your site being down for an average of just one minute per week.

Pricing

  • Shared Hosting: $3.95/month – $34.95/month
  • Cloud Hosting: $80/month – $240/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: $269/month – $729/month
  • WordPress Hosting: $3.95/month – $34.95/month
siteground logo

Do You Like the Sound of SiteGround?

SiteGround may be pricey, but it delivers – especially when it comes to WordPress hosting. Look closer to see if it’s right for you.

We won’t beat around the bush, SiteGround is largely overpriced. Its dedicated hosting in particular is eye-watering, but on closer inspection, there are a few bargains.

Its WordPress hosting is incredibly cheap for the quality it provides. There’s also a 30 day money-back guarantee so you have a risk-free month to decide whether its the service for you or not.

SiteGround also offers enterprise hosting which you can design yourself. Because it’s a bespoke plan, though, there are no direct prices. To find out more, you’ll have to contact SiteGround directly for a quote.

More SiteGround Information:

SiteGround Review

SiteGround vs HotGator

SiteGround
Whatever your hosting need, you can find a service that suits you at SiteGround

How Do You Choose a Small Business Hosting Provider?

You now know the eight best web hosting services for small businesses. We’ve also shown you who each hosting provider is best for.

At this point, it’s time to discuss how to pick the right provider for you in a bit more depth. After all, no two businesses are the same, right?

When considering a web hosting service, ask yourself:

  • How tech-savvy are you? The less skilled you are with computers, the more support you might need. You’ll also benefit more from a simple hosting service.
  • What’s your budget? This will depend on the size and scale of your business. If you’re a solo merchant or a small business of under five employees, a shared hosting plan will cater to your technical needs, and help you stay in budget.
  • How much traffic do you expect to get? The rule of thumb is: the more traffic you receive, the better hosting plan you need. Established small businesses should look at dedicated servers, as they can expect to receive more website hits. This is also true if you’ve got a large marketing budget and plan to pay for visitors to your website.

Generally, if you’re a small business owner starting out for the first time, we recommend shared hosting. If you outgrow your shared plan, you can transition to a dedicated or VPS hosting package. It’s like moving to a bigger property to start a family after flat-sharing with friends.

What About Other Web Hosting Services?

Our top eight web hosting services for small businesses are based on our extensive research and experience. They’re the best starting point if you’re looking for a provider.

But these aren’t the only good hosting providers on the market.

Dreamhost, for example, is a cheap option for shared hosting that offers business-orientated features. Although it can’t compete overall (yet), Dreamhost offers a 97-day, money-back guarantee. This lets you try the service for over three months risk-free.

WP Engine is another which is specifically for WordPress websites. It’s a great option for companies with resources for a developer. It may be expensive, but if you’re a large business or a WordPress site owner, it could be right for you.

If you want to do more research before picking your hosting provider, head over to our hosting reviews section.

Want a detailed, side-by-side comparison? Check out our web hosting comparison chart.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: Conclusion

With so many hosting providers out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. But let’s begin with a recap of the final rankings.

Top Eight Hosting Providers for Small Businesses

  1. Bluehost – Best Overall Small Business Host.
  2. InMotion – Ideal for Shared and VPS Hosting.
  3. HostGator – Great for Dedicated Server Hosting.
  4. 1&1 IONOS – Really Reliable.
  5. iPage – Budget Friendly Plans.
  6. A2 Hosting – Number One For Cloud Hosting.
  7. GoDaddy – Full Of Extra Features.
  8. SiteGround – Excellent Customer Service.

All of our eight web hosts for small businesses are at the top of the market. Bluehost, InMotion and HostGator are all tightly packed in at the top when it comes to quality of plans and value for money.

Your decision really boils down to your own personal needs. You need to consider the size of your business’ site and how much resource you’ll need.

This should give you a clearer idea of what type of hosting you need and, from there, you can pick the best provider for that particular job.

Generally speaking, though, Bluehost offers the most comprehensive all-around package. Its features are unrivaled and should have plenty of resource to handle your site as you grow from a small business into a large empire.

bluehost hosting

Is Bluehost Best For You?

Bluehost is the best small business web host – but is it right for you? If it’s ticking your boxes, don’t hesitate – take a look today!

Best Web Hosting for Small Business: FAQs

How much does small business web hosting cost?

Depending on the length of time you’re willing to commit for, web hosting can cost businesses as little as $1/month. Small businesses tend to opt for shared hosting packages which come at cheap promotional rates, with renewal costs varying from $5-30/month.

What are the most important hosting features for a small business to look for?

Aside from scanning uptime rates, you’ll also want to be clued up on the support and security on offer. One-click installation is another important feature, so if you need hosting for a certain CMS, make sure this is available.

What is the difference between shared, VPS and dedicated hosting?

Shared hosting is where you share a server with other websites. Dedicated hosting is where you have your own server which is more expensive and more powerful. VPS is a virtualized server that acts like a dedicated server, but in a shared server environment – a nice middle ground.

What is the cheapest way to host a business website?

1&1 IONOS offers the cheapest hosting packages. Its promotional deals mean you can host your website from just $1/month for the first year. After that, you’re looking at around $8/month for shared hosting, which is a price offered by multiple providers.

How often do you have to pay for web hosting?

Generally, there are two payment options: monthly or annually. Paying annually will usually shave a few bucks off the monthly fee as you’re committing to the provider for the year. On the flipside, you get more flexibility by paying monthly and it’s easier to switch providers down the line.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

10 Best Free Website Builders in 2020

best free website builders

This guide is for anyone who wants to create a free website but doesn’t know which website builder to pick.

You might be thinking that a free website builder sounds too good to be true. We thought so too, once upon a time but there’s actually some real quality out there.

We’ve sorted the good from the bad using our own independent research. We also get people like you to test each free website maker and give us their feedback, which we use to rate each platform on factors like ease of use and template design.

Plus, we’re always sure to look at the ‘price’ you pay for these free website builders in the form of a trade-off. Whether it’s garish advertising, a messy-looking domain name, or restricted storage, we’ll cover each free plan’s ‘cons’ in plenty of detail so you can make an informed decision.

10 Best Free Website Builders

Based on our research, the best free websites are made with:

  1. Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder. Read review
  2. SITE123 – Great Design Assistance. Read review
  3. Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses. Read review
  4. Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites. Read review
  5. Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder. Read review
  6. WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging. Read review
  7. IM Creator – Great for White Label Businesses. Read review
  8. Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup. Read review
  9. Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites. Read review
  10. SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor. Read review

Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, SITE123, and Weebly as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features.  SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what makes a good free website builder, which are the best platforms to use and how to choose the right one for you.

We conduct our own research to decide which website builder is best for different purposes. Take our quiz to get a recommendation that’s personalized to your needs.

Further Information

Wix

Best All-Around Website Builder

Wix is by far the best all-round free website builder on the market today.”

What we like
#1Easy to use drag-and-drop functionality
#2Wide range of templates
#3Majority of features available on free plan
#4Ultimate customization
What needs improving
#1Free plan domain names look like this: https://yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite – they’re not the catchiest!
#2The free plan sticky ads are very noticeable
#3Can’t change your template once your site goes live

With Wix, you can create and publish your site without spending a cent. You don’t have to upgrade after a certain time – if you’d prefer, you can keep your site free forever. This is what makes Wix’s free plan unusually generous for a website builder, and is the reason why it tops our list!

Wix came out top in our user testing for ease of use. With its selection of more than 500 templates – most of which are free – and a huge choice of tools and elements, like galleries, buttons, and social media icons, Wix makes creating a website easier than ever.

wix-free-site-ads-example
Most Wix templates are available to users of its free plan – including this one, ‘Landscape Photography’

You will find limitations to Wix’s free plan, though. For starters, there’s a banner ad for Wix which stays in place as you scroll down the site. It’s fairly subtle, but a bit intrusive. 

You also can’t use a personal domain (aka your personal website address) your domain will follow the format www.yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite. So instead of www.lucycarneyphotography.com, you’ll be stuck with www.lucycarney5.wixsite.com/lcarneyphotography (you’re restricted to 20 characters for the ‘yoursite’ part of your address). 

With the free plan, storage and bandwidth are both capped at just 500MB. This will prevent you from using too many images or videos on your site, as well as potentially limiting how many visitors you can get. You also can’t sell any products through Wix on its free plan.

Premium plans start at $13/month. Based on our research, Wix is the best value for money website builder, so if you do ever decide to upgrade you’re in good hands!

Wix’s most popular paid plan is its Unlimited plan, aimed at entrepreneurs and freelancers. For $17/month, it removes all ads, lets you use a personal domain, and provides unlimited bandwidth – as well as 20x more storage space!

For more information on Wix, read the following:

  • Wix Review – If you’re looking for more information on Wix then this is a great place to start.
  • Wix Pricing Guide – We take a closer look at the costs of each Wix premium plan and what you get for your money.

SITE123

Great Design Assistance

“SITE123 is a simple to use website builder that focuses on helping you get online.”

 

What we like
#1No adverts visible when you first land on the site
#2Brilliant 24/7 help and support via live chat
#3Site123 chooses a template for you, making it a good option for non-creatives
What needs improving
#1Free domain name ends ‘.me’, instead of the stronger ‘.com’
#2Little creative freedom
#3Limited choice of website templates, which look dated compared to competitors’

 

An immediate drawback of SITE123 is that it doesn’t give you a choice of templates. So unlike WixWeebly, and other free website makers, who let you choose a template that takes your fancy, with SITE123 you can’t choose from various pre-populated designs.

Instead, you pick the type of website you want from 11 different categories (including portfolio, blog, music and CV), before being presented with a default website design. You’re free to edit this using the platform’s various tools, which are easy enough to get to grips with.

site 123 free site example
When you first land on the site, no SITE123 ads are visible – a huge plus
site 123 free site ad example
When you start to scroll down the site, a simple banner appears

SITE123’s free domain name format is www.yoursite.site123.me. The .me ending is less powerful than a .com option, but otherwise it’s pretty reasonable. 

SITE123 gets you online quickly, provides decent customer support via live chat. That said, it’s definitely not as versatile or modern as other free website builders in this list.

But if you want a simple, no frills website building process, then it’s worth trying out. 

Read more:

  • Our SITE123 Review tells you all you need to know about this top free website builder

Weebly

Ideal for Small Businesses

Weebly is one of the easiest to use free website makers around, with a great plan for small businesses.”

What we like
#1A reasonable free plan domain name: www.yoursite.weebly.com
#2Easy to use
#3Good SEO prompts – ideal for businesses that want to be found through Google
What needs improving
#1Limited features on free plan
#2Not as much creative freedom as Wix
#3Pop up ad in the corner is quite distracting

 

Weebly has a similar ‘drag-and-drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly. Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly stands out as the best free website builder for small businesses.

You get a decent choice of templates to pick from – although not as many as Wix – which cover most niches, including businesses, blogs, events, and portfolios. You can easily get a professional-looking site live in just a couple of hours.

Weebly free plan ads
With a free Weebly plan, you’ll have a small slideup ad in the corner of your site. It’s pretty subtle, although when you scroll over it, it ‘slides up’ to look like the image below:
weebly free plan ad example
Whether you’d prefer this or a bigger ‘sticky’ ad (as with Wix) is up to you!

Templates are also mobile responsive so your free website will look good on any device, without any input from you! With over 50% of traffic originating from mobile devices, it’s important your site is fully optimized.

Not only will you find Weebly easy to use, but the whole platform makes website building very quick and efficient. Your user dashboard is clear, the tools are easy to master and the support guides are very helpful.

You only need to spend a couple of hours one evening and you’ll be ready to publish your site to the web before you go to bed. Sounds good, right?

The free version is good, but if you love it enough you might want to think about upgrading. This is essential for anyone who wants to sell online, as you have to upgrade to unlock Weebly’s ecommerce features.

Weebly’s cheapest option is the Starter plan from just $5 a month. This removes ads, gives you unlimited storage, lets you sell online, and connects your domain, plus more!

For more information on Weebly, read the following:

  • Weebly Review – Our in-depth look at Weebly will tell you everything you need to know about this free website maker!
  • Weebly Pricing Guide – We take a closer look at the costs of each Weebly paid plan.
  • Wix vs Weebly – We compare the differences between Wix and Weebly to help you decide!

Strikingly

Made for Simple Websites

“An easy to use free builder which creates simple, stylish, one-page websites and offers great value for money.”

Strikingly Pros
#1Subtle advertising on the free plan
#224/7 customer support from ‘happiness officers’ via live chat
#3Ability to sell one product per free plan
Strikingly Cons
#1 Sites built on the free plan don’t include an SSL certificate
#2You can only create one-page sites
#3Limited ability to edit templates, meaning a lack of creative control

 

Strikingly’s core focus is getting you online cheaply, easily, and quickly. Because of this, you don’t have the same level of creative control as some of the more intuitive website builders, like Wix.

Strikingly creates one-page websites with a pre-formed design of your choice. Unlike many other free website builders, you can change your template as many times as you wish once your site is live.

strikingly free site example
No adverts are visible when you first land on a free Strikingly site, and the templates are pretty stylish
strikingly free site ad example
As you scroll a little down the page, this tiny ad appears at the bottom of the screen

With Strikingly’s free plan, you can create as many free websites as you please. You’ll also get a 5GB monthly bandwidth, 24/7 customer support, and the ability to sell one product per site through the Simple Store function. 

Strikingly’s advertising is arguably the most subtle of any builder so far, and the domain name format – www.yoursite.strikingly.com – is especially decent. For example, for this site, our domain name was www.lucyssupersidehustle.strikingly.com.

The downside, however, is that – unlike all the builders listed above – Strikingly’s free plan doesn’t include an SSL certificate. This means your site will be flagged as ‘Not secure’ to anyone trying to visit it – not good! 

For that reason, we’d suggest trying out Strikingly’s free plan, then upgrading to the ‘Limited’ paid plan for just $8 a month once you’re happy. You’ll get a custom domain, up to 50GB of bandwidth per month, and the ability to sell up to five products on your site, making it very good value for money.

Find out more:

Jimdo

A Good ‘Pre-store’ Option

Jimdo is a good choice of free website builder if you want to set up an online store and sell through your site at a later date.”

 

What we like
#1Nice aesthetics
#2Charges the least to remove adverts from your site
#3No Jimdo banner or pop-ups ads, just a note in the footer
What needs improving
#1Difficult to use drag-and-drop functionality
#2Lacks design and creative control 

 

The team behind Jimdo are very passionate about helping you build a free website, and things are kept simple so you can jump right in.This can be really handy if you’re new to the world of website building.

If you’ve tried out Wix and Weebly though, you’ll find Jimdo a bit lacking in comparison. The template selection is also much more limited.

The prompts at the beginning do mean you can get a website set up really quickly, and avoid the problem of being overwhelmed with choice. There are also no banner or pop-up Jimdo ads with the free plan, just a tiny note in the footer.

jimdo free site example
Here’s an example of a simple website we created using Jimdo
jimdo free site example ad
A tiny note in the footer is the only giveaway that you’re not using a paid plan

The domain name format is fairly standard: www.your-site.jimdosite.com. For this site, for example, ours was www.lucy-bakes.jimdosite.com

All in all, we’d recommend Jimdo if you need a quick and easy website to provide a backdrop for an online Facebook store or similar. It’s really easy (and fairly cheap) to upgrade your plan to enable ecommerce through the website itself, if you choose to do this later down the line. 

To get the lowdown on Jimdo, check out the following:

  • Jimdo Review – For more information about Jimdo, you can’t go wrong with our in-depth review.

WordPress.com

Perfect for Blogging

“Made for blogging, this free platform has all the features you need for your blog, combining powerful tools with a simplified website builder design.”

 

WordPress.com Pros
#1Perfect for blogging
#2Best domain name format of any free plan
#3Wide range of free templates
WordPress.com Cons
#1Some coding may be required – not very beginner-friendly
#2Templates and designs are focused on blogging


WordPress.com is built for blogging, and it shows. Extensive blogging features are automatically built-in, such as analytics, a search feature, comments, display categories, archiving, and more.

WordPress.com has all the power of its big brother WordPress.org, but with the simplified design of a website builder.

You might still find it a little tricky to use if you don’t have much technical knowhow, though. You can get by without needing to code, but chances are you’ll need to know the basics to get the most out of WordPress.com.

wordpress.com top free website builder for blogging
WordPress.com is the best free website builder for blogging, with its powerful blogging features and streamlined design.

That being said, if you’re fairly tech-confident but don’t want to pay a dime to create your blog, then WordPress.com is a top choice. The WordPress.com free domain is also the only one to not include the name of the builder – for the site below, our domain name was www.lucyskitchennightmares.food.blog (the food.blog is automatically assigned based on the ‘purpose’ you set for your site).

wordpress.com free site ads
Here's the food blog we created. It's pretty simple, as you can see

However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates.

Because of this, we don’t recommend WordPress.com for those who need a highly customized business or personal site.

For more information:

  • Read our full WordPress.com Review to find out about its detailed features, help and support, and pricing.

IM Creator

Great for White Label Businesses

“If you’re looking to create an eye-catching free website with lots of images then IM Creator could be for you.”

 

What we like
#1Eye-catching templates
#2Students, Artists and NGOs can apply to use a premium, ad-free theme free of charge
#3A good range of basic features
What needs improving
#1Large advertisements on free plan (available to everyone else), and a clunky domain name
#2No ecommerce feature

 

IM creator focuses on helping you make a free website FAST (and I mean fast!).

Students, artists, NGOs and charities can apply to use the premium IM Creator software for free by filling in this form. The community enrichment team will then review your application, normally within 72 hours. If approved, the license will then be added to the first site you publish, and will be ad-free. You’ll also be able to connect your own domain name.

Templates are pre-populated with content that you can quickly switch out with your own in the ‘drag and drop’ editor. This saves you the job of having to build or design anything from scratch.

best free website software im creator
IM Creator’s simple templates make it easy to switch out demo content for your own, saving you time and effort!

If you’re a student, artist or NGO, IM Creator offers a generous way to access premium features for free, making it a great choice. If not, you might do better to look at builders featured higher on this list.

For more info on IM Creator, read:

Webnode

Quick and Easy Setup

“Webnode is a popular choice of free website maker with more than 30 million users around the world.”

 

What we like
#1Get online quickly – can take as little as 5 minutes!
#2No Webnode banner or pop-ups ads, just a note in the footer
#3Almost no learning curve
What needs improving
#1Lack of creative freedom
#2Not very flexible template design

 

It’s really easy to get set up with Webnode. The whole website building process could be done in about five minutes – now that’s quick!

Webnode’s editor is very easy to use, but a lot less flexible than other free website builders like Weebly or Wix. It’s almost a drag-and-drop editor, but not quite.

You can move elements around, but they will conform to predetermined designs. For example, if you move an image from the middle of the page to the right, the page design will change to accommodate this, rather than simply letting you drop the image where you want it. It lends itself really well to building simple, minimalist sites: 

webnode example site
The modern and minimalist designs makes Webnode a great option for an event website, like a wedding or party
webnode free site footer ad example
The subtle footer banner blends in well with the site’s aesthetic

Webnode is a decent choice of free website builder if you can’t commit much time to working on a template design, or want a builder with virtually zero learning curve – but it does limit your creative potential compared to other builders on our list.

Webnode is definitely geared towards ‘event’ websites, like parties or weddings. We can see the appeal, and in the end, we liked the look of the website we created.

Mozello

Create Simple Multilingual Sites

“Mozello is a basic, easy to use website builder which allows you to create multilingual sites totally free.”

 

What we like
#1Create multilingual sites for free
#2Ecommerce is enabled on the free plan
#3Most subtle advertising of any free website builder
What needs improving
#1Very limited editor
#2No SSL Security
#3Lack of flexibility and customization

Mozello is an easy to use and basic website builder. It has simple features such as blogging tools and even ecommerce functions. You can set up an online store on the free plan and sell up to 10 products.

One of the best things about Mozello is you can create multilingual websites for free. This means you can reach a wider audience by making your content available in other languages. This is a rare feature to be included in a free plan, so Mozello definitely deserves this shout out.

mozello free site example
Being able to create versions of your pages in different languages is very generous for a free plan. See how we’ve added French and Spanish options for this homepage?
mozello free site example ad
Mozello’s free plan advertising is subtle - just a little text note in the footer

The domain name format is www.your-business.mozello.com.  For this site, ours is www.lucys-architects.mozello.com.

With these features, you might be wondering why Mozello isn’t higher in the list of the best free website builders. The main drawback of Mozello is its limited editor – it’s simple and beginner friendly, but this simplicity is reflected in its features and flexibility.

Mozello also doesn’t include SSL security like other builders do. This is the encryption that lets users and search engines know your website is secure and trustworthy. It’s really important to have if you want your website to be safe for visitors, and to be taken seriously online.

SimpleSite

Great Mobile Editor

SimpleSite is one of the oldest platforms around, and lets you easily edit your site from your mobile.

 

What we like
#1Very easy to use
#2Generous free plan
#3Supports mobile friendly editing within mobile browser
What needs improving
#1No SSL certificate included
#2No access to third party integrations
#3Limited customer support
#4Outdated editor

 

SimpleSite is a mobile delight. It has a really impressive specialism – it gives you the ability to create a website to the same extent as on a desktop, but from your mobile device.

This makes it ideal for busy users who are always on the move.

simple site free site example
SimpleSite is designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by its mobile editor can help

It’s designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by its mobile editor can help. There’s just one small ‘sticky’ ad, and again, a decent domain name structure: www.yoursite.simplesite.com (or in our case, www.lucycarneydaycare.simplesite.com).

However, there are some big downsides. You aren’t actually able to amend the mobile version of your website when you’re working from a desktop, while SimpleSite’s premium plans are relatively expensive overall compared to other website builders should you want to access more features. While it does have a free plan, the premium options range from $9.99 to $28.95 per month.

And as with Strikingly and Mozello, SimpleSite’s free plan doesn’t include an SSL certificate, leaving your site exposed – a big disadvantage in our eyes. 

All in all, SimpleSite may suit someone constantly on the go, or without access to a computer or laptop – but ultimately, it’s in last place for a reason.

Is It Worth Upgrading to a Paid Plan?

As you’ve seen, while some free website builders are fairly generous, they are generally pretty limiting.

Creating an okay website may be free, but creating a great one can be super cheap. Your website is worth putting the time and money in to make it exactly how you want it.

Although it differs depending on the individual website builder you’re looking at, there are a load of great features which you can unlock on pretty much any paid plan. The main ones include:

Remove Ads

On free plans your website builder will advertise on your site. Whether this is through a subtle banner or an annoying pop-up, this can ruin your professional image if you’re promoting your own brand or running a business.

On paid plans, such as Wix’s Combo plan, these adverts are removed, leaving your website clear of any distractions. This is similar to using the free version of Spotify compared to having a Premium account – you can still listen to music on both, but on the free plan you’re interrupted with adverts!

Connect a Custom Domain

On a free plan your website address will look something like this: https://mysite.strikingly.com or https://joebloggs.wixsite.com/mysite. These web addresses can be long, confusing, and difficult to find if you’re a visitor searching for your site online.

A custom domain allows you to choose a more personalized address, such as www.mysite.com which is a lot better for promoting a brand and getting found by potential visitors to your website! Even if you buy a new domain for your site or already own one that you want to transfer, you will need to be on a paid plan to actually connect and use it as the address for your website. Usually you can buy and connect your custom domain on the cheapest upgrade available, such as Weebly’s ‘Connect’ plan, so it’s an affordable option.

Set Up an Online Store & Accept Payments

On some builders like SITE123 and Strikingly, you can create an online store on the free plan, and sell one or two items, but to sell any more you have to upgrade. On some you can create a store, but you must be on a paid plan to actually accept payments through your website, (like Wix). Others won’t let you create a store at all unless you’re paying, such as Weebly.

So it varies, but one thing remains the same: in order to have a successful and scalable online store, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan sooner or later. Once you’re on a paid plan you can unlock features such as connecting different payment types, (for example PayPal, credit/debit cards etc), get rid of transaction fees, track and manage your inventory, and more!

Get Increased (or Even Unlimited) Storage and Bandwidth

It is common for your storage and bandwidth to be capped on free plans. The amount you get often increases as you work up through price tiers, which allows you to scale and grow your website at your own pace. A lot of website builders like Wix will give you unlimited bandwidth and up to unlimited storage too!

Advanced Marketing Tools

Marketing is a massive part of promoting your website – whether it’s your own portfolio, brand, or business, you want people to find you! While free plans do often have basic marketing or newsletter tools, if you’re paying then you will have access to much more advanced marketing tools such as email campaigns and better site analysis and statistics. This way you can reach out to your visitors and then track how successful your campaigns have been to help spread the word!

Just from these features it’s easy to see how it’s worth upgrading to unlock the best for your website. And the good news is, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Most basic plans start from around $5 a month. Moving from a free plan to a basic plan is a really affordable way of growing your site and adding these great features to maximise your online presence.

Read more:

If you’re interested in upgrading or just want to find out more, read our reviews and pricing guides for a full look at what these top free website builders’ have to offer in value for money, price plans, and more:

Best Free Website Builders: Conclusion

We’ve guided you through the pros and cons of 10 free website builders, as well as the advantages of upgrading to a paid plan when possible. You’re now equipped with everything you need to pick a website builder, and to put your digital pen to digital paper. 

Let’s have a quick recap…

The 10 Best Free Website Builders Are:

  1. Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder.
  2. SITE123 – Great Design Assistance.
  3. Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses.
  4. Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites.
  5. Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder.
  6. WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging.
  7. IM Creator – Great for White Label Businesses.
  8. Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup.
  9. Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites.
  10. SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor.

Our list of the top 10 free website builders ranks Wix as the best all-around builder, with tons of free features. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, while WordPress.com is perfect for blogging.

Just remember that free website builders nearly always limit the features and functions that are available to you – you may be ok with this now, but it could prove extremely frustrating further down the line.

We nearly always recommend subscribing to a premium plan.

Think of it as an investment. You pay a little extra up front and reap the benefits over a longer period of time. Plus, it’s an investment that costs as much as large latte or fast food burger each month!

Still, if you aren’t entirely convinced that paying a monthly fee for a premium account is for you, then we recommend taking advantage of website builder free trials.

Using these trials is a great way of testing out different website creators and seeing which best suits you – and you can do so without it costing you a cent!

FAQs

How does the website builder make money if I use it for free?

It’s done in a number of ways. The main method is through a ‘freemium’ model, in which the paying users can sustain everyone else. Another way for website builders to make money is through advertising on your site (the ads can be removed by upgrading your plan).

Are free websites good for SEO?

Free websites are not very SEO-friendly because you cannot connect a personalized domain. This means your website is actually part of the website builder’s own site, which makes it harder for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index your web page.

Are free website builders any good?

Yes – website builders make it super easy to create professional looking sites for no money at all. With these free platforms you get most of the features you need to get your site up and running, but, of course, upgrading your plans gives you access to better tools.

Can I upgrade my website in the future?

You can upgrade to a paid premium plan whenever you want to. Doing so will provide you with far more tools, templates, storage space, and other important features for growing your website. All of our recommend free website builders come with paid plans if you’d like to upgrade.

Are free website builders actually totally free?

Yes, they are totally free to use. You can sign up, create, customize, and publish your site without paying a thing. However, most website builders lock certain features unless you upgrade to a paid plan, but these costs are completely optional, so the overall costs are up to you.

Which is the easiest free website builder?

Wix came top in our research for ease of use. Its intuitive drag-and-drop design makes it easy to create a professional looking site without any tech knowledge. It also gives you tons of creative control so you can build a really developed, personalized site.

Which free website builder would you recommend for blogging?

WordPress.com is one of the best blogging platforms out there. It’s really easy to use and has excellent built-in blogging tools, including social bookmarking and an RSS feed, and offers a more advanced blogging functionality overall than website builders like Wix or Weebly.

What is the cheapest website builder?

Wix is came first in our ‘Value for Money’ testing. It’s the best overall website builder on the market today, with an average monthly premium plan cost of just $5.80. Weebly works out as cheaper on average, but it doesn’t quite match Wix in its overall website building prowess.

Which free website builder is best for ecommerce?

It kind of depends on your needs. Strikingly is great for creating modern websites quickly, but only lets you sell one product through its free plan. Mozello is more limiting in terms of design, but lets you set multiple languages for your site, and lets you sell up to 10 products on its free plan great for selling internationally!

Further Information

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

Looking for a hosting provider rather than a website builder? Why not check out our article on the Best Web Hosting Services to help you find the right one.

There are currently no free services, but check out our article on the Best Cheap Web Hosts if price is your main consideration when choosing a provider.

BigCommerce Pricing Review 2020

BigCommerce Pricing Review

 BigCommerce Pricing review

Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

Whichever BigCommerce plan you choose, you’ll be able to build a powerful ecommerce store. Even BigCommerce’s cheapest plan includes unlimited products and unlimited bandwidth.

And better still, BigCommerce won’t charge any transaction fees!

Review by

Last Updated on February 17, 2020

Are BigCommerce Plans Worth Your Money?

BigCommerce’s pricing plans are pretty straightforward, but it can still be hard to pick one.

Which plan is best for me? Are there any hidden costs? Is it worth it? These are all questions worth asking before signing up to a BigCommerce plan.

Luckily, those are just the sorts of questions we’re here to answer!

We’ll be exploring exactly how much BigCommerce costs and going through each plan in detail, as well as revealing any extra costs you should be aware of before signing up. To start with, though, here’s a quick summary of BigCommerce’s price plans…

BigCommerce Pricing: Breakdown

BigCommerce has three price plans ranging from $29.95 – $299.95 per month, plus a custom-priced Enterprise plan. The cheapest Standard plan is best for new stores, although the most popular is the $79.95 per month Plus plan. The priciest Pro plan, meanwhile, is best for scaling larger businesses.

BigCommerce is a powerful ecommerce builder, and scored impressively in our research. It’s one of the most scalable ecommerce platforms on the market – but is it worth your hard earned dollars?

In testing, BigCommerce scored four out of five stars for its value for money. It has tons of built-in features, meaning you don’t have to splash out on apps in order to grow your store. It also offers a 15-day free trial, which is longer than the trial offered by its main rival, Shopify.

BigCommerce lost a star because it’s one of the slightly more expensive options out there. That said, its cheapest plan is only 95 cents more per month than the Shopify equivalent!

Check out BigCommerce’s scores below, then keep reading for more details on the platform’s pricing.

Find out more

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How Much Does BigCommerce Cost?

BigCommerce has four plans in total, although the fourth is a custom-priced plan. The three main BigCommerce pricing plans range from $29.95 to $299.95 per month. You can save up to 10% when you choose an annual plan instead.

BigCommerce Plans: At A Glance

  • Standard plan: $29.95 per month
  • Plus plan: $79.95 per month
  • Pro plan: $299.95 per month

These are the monthly prices you’ll see on BigCommerce’s own website. You also have the option of choosing an annual plan, which can save you money in the long run. We’ll compare these two subscription options in the next section.

We use BigCommerce’s monthly plans throughout this review because that’s how most businesses usually prefer to start out.

bigcommerce pricing plans
BigCommerce has four plans in total - the cheapest costs $29.95 per month, while the most advanced plan requires a custom quote.

The $29.95 per month Standard plan is best for new online stores that are just getting started. It includes a great range of features, such as real time shipping quotes, a mobile app, and 0% transaction fees. You can also sell an unlimited number of products, and sell across multiple channels.

For ambitious online store owners, we recommend the $79.95 per month Plus plan. Why? Well, the main draw of this plan is that it comes with abandoned cart recovery. You can also build a customer loyalty program, and save customer carts to their accounts in case they switch devices.

As you’d expect, the Enterprise plan unlocks more advanced features. For $299.95 per month, you get access to Google customer reviews, product filtering tools, and a custom SSL. This plan can support up to $400k in online sales per year.

BigCommerce Pricing Comparison: Monthly vs Annual Plans

As we mentioned earlier, you can save money by choosing an annual plan rather than a monthly one. Here’s a table that compares these prices, and shows how much you could save per month:

The Standard plan costs the same whether you choose an annual or monthly plan. However, you can save 10% on the Plus and Pro plans if you choose to sign up for a year. This is worth it if you have long-term plans for your store – we know the upfront cost can feel daunting, but you save money in the long run.

BigCommerce Comparison

Did You Spot A BigCommerce Plan You Liked?

BigCommerce has a range of plans, so it’s worth comparing them before deciding. Take your time exploring its plans and features!

Find out more

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BigCommerce Plans Up Close

BigCommerce pricing may seem expensive, especially if you’re moving on from an all-rounder like Wix. But as you know, it’s not just about how much things cost – it’s also about what you get for your money.

We like the impressive features available on BigCommerce’s simplest plan.

No matter how much you pay, you’ll get:

  • Unlimited products, file storage and bandwidth – sell as many products as you want, without worrying about your store exceeding its limits
  • Real-time shipping quotes – offer the lowest shipping price possible to your customers
  • Responsive website – looks great on both mobile and desktop
  • Single-page checkout – ensure the checkout process is quick and smooth. The smoother it is, the more sales you make
  • No transaction fees – keep all the money you make on sales
  • 24/7 live customer support – expert help to answer any technical or business questions

Here are the key features  you get with each BigCommerce pricing plan:

BigCommerce Comparison

Do You Want to See More BigCommerce Features?

BigCommerce comes with a ton of high quality selling features – too many to list here anyway. Check out the full list for more!

Standard Plan: $29.95 per month

The Standard plan may be the cheapest, but it still comes with a generous amount of features packed in.

As with all BigCommerce plans, it gives you an unlimited amount of products, storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts – plus zero transaction fees!

On top of that, it lets you sell across multiple sales channels, including eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Other features include product ratings and reviews, discount and gift card creation, and real time shipping quotes.

This plan can support up to $50k in online sales revenue per year, making it perfect for businesses that are starting out and looking to grow.

Is It Right For Me?

Best for: new online stores! If you just want the basics, the Standard plan will give you everything you want and more! You can earn up to $50k per year on this plan.

Plus Plan: $79.95 per month

The Plus plan is BigCommerce’s most popular price plan, and comes with an array of features designed to help you grow your online store.

It gives you everything from the Standard plan, plus some extra tools to help you increase customer conversions. These include:

  • Customer groups – by building customer groups, you can reward frequent shoppers via loyalty programs
  • Abandoned cart saver – use automated emails to win back customers who abandoned their carts at checkout
  • Persistent cart – save customers’ shopping carts to their account, so that they can carry on shopping even if they switch devices
  • Stored credit cards – help your customers checkout faster by allowing them to safely store their card details

It’s clear that this plan is for ecommerce businesses looking to improve customer experience and boost sales. The abandoned cart saver is the real star of the show – it’s even been found that sending abandoned cart emails can win back 15% of shoppers!

This plan can support up to $180k in online sales revenue per year, meaning you can aim high and achieve your growth goals.

Is It Right For Me?

Best for: growing online stores! If you want to give your sales a boost and improve your marketing tools, then the Plus plan is the ideal choice. This plan has a revenue cap of $180k per year.

Pro Plan: $299.95 per month

Priced at $299.95 per month and boasting an impressive range of features, the Pro plan is designed for big businesses with big budgets.

This plan takes everything from both the Standard and Plus plans, and piles on even more features with the focus on taking your business to the next level.

You unlock:

  • Google customer reviews– a tool that lets you collect customer feedback and view product ratings
  • Product filtering – help customers quickly find the products they’re looking for using filters such as size, color, or brand
  • Custom SSL – if you’ve already bought an SSL elsewhere, you can transfer it to your BigCommerce store

These are useful features for further scaling an already established online store and refining your customer experience.

This plan can support up to $400k in online sales revenue per year, which is a big step up from the Plus plan – you’ll have plenty of room for scaling up your store.

Is It Right For Me?

Best for: established stores looking to continue scaling up. With sophisticated features, the Pro plan has the tools to do what it says on the tin – turn you into a selling pro! If you’re making up to $400k per year, the Pro plan is for you.

BigCommerce Comparison

Did You Find Your Perfect Plan?

It’s worth picking a plan that suits your needs as well as your budget. Head over to BigCommerce to learn more and to get started!
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BigCommerce Enterprise Pricing

Apart from BigCommerce’s three main price plans, there’s also the Enterprise plan. This is the most advanced plan available – it’s so advanced, in fact, that you have to contact BigCommerce directly to get a custom price.

bigcommerce enterprise pricing package
BigCommerce's Enterprise solution caters for big businesses - and big budgets!

This is the most powerful plan BigCommerce offers, so it’s no surprise that the Enterprise plan comes with the most features.

Of course, you get everything included on the other plans – such as 0% transaction fees and abandoned cart recovery – but you also unlock some spicy extras to give your store extra punching power.

On top of the usual features, you also get:

  • Custom product filters – use custom product fields as filters in faceted search, which helps customers narrow down their options
  • Price lists – display different prices to different customer groups, such as wholesale or retail pricing
  • Unlimited API calls – you can send an unlimited number of requests to your server

If you don’t need these features, it’s likely you won’t need the Enterprise plan. If, however, you’ve been searching everywhere for these very features, then you’ve found your perfect solution!

You’ll also unlock additional service and support features – API support, express routing, priority support, and strategic account management will all be at your fingertips.

BigCommerce proudly states that its custom pricing is lower than both Magento and Shopify Plus, so if you’re seeking an enterprise solution, it’s worth checking out.

The Enterprise plan is for large online stores that need even more power. If you’re running an established business and driving your team towards success, then the Enterprise plan is definitely worth looking into.

BigCommerce Comparison

Do You Need the Enterprise Plan?

If the Enterprise plan is ticking all your boxes, get in touch with BigCommerce to receive a custom quote.
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Why Does BigCommerce Make You Upgrade?

BigCommerce pricing is unique because you have to upgrade as you grow. When you hit a certain sales cap per year, BigCommerce will move you onto a more advanced plan.

Here’s the yearly sales limit for each plan:

  • Standard – $50k. Good for smaller ecommerce stores.
  • Plus – $180k. Good option for medium-sized stores or fast-growing stores.
  • Pro – $400k; beyond this limit, you pay an extra $150 per month for each extra $200k in online sales, up to $1m. Great for thriving stores generating between $150k and $1m in revenue.

For example, say you’re on BigCommerce’s Standard plan, and your store is generating over $50k in revenue a year. You’ll find that you don’t have a choice: you must upgrade to the Plus plan.

The idea behind BigCommerce’s pricing structure is that as your store grows, the platform will grow with you. It’s a long-term view of growth, and effectively aligns your success with BigCommerce.

Good to know… If you’re a merchant selling a high volume of low margin products, BigCommerce’s pricing may not be worth it. You may find that you’re hitting the threshold for revenue, but still struggling to make decent profits.

It’s in your best interests to upgrade if you hit your revenue cap. For example, if you’re on the Standard plan and you’re bringing in $50k of sales per year, chances are you need abandoned cart recovery – which is only available when you upgrade to the Plus plan.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to stand up against your competition, and may even start losing sales instead.

When you upgrade, you can unlock features such as abandoned cart recovery, loyalty programs, credit card storage options, product filtering, and more. These tools are designed to help boost your store and help your conversion rates.

And don’t worry – upgrades don’t happen out of the blue.

Dashboard notifications and emails are used to alert customers of any upgrades. You’ll have plenty of warning if your plan (and bills) are about to change.

Can You Downgrade Your BigCommerce Plan?

You might be worrying: what if my sales dip and I can no longer afford my BigCommerce plan? Do plan changes only work one way?

If your sales are dropping and the monthly fee is affecting your profit margins, don’t worry: you can still switch back to a cheaper BigCommerce plan.

We asked BigCommerce directly, and they explained to us that merchants are not automatically downgraded. If you want the cheaper plan, and you’re within the sales limit, you’ll still have to ask.

BigCommerce explained that “because a downgrade will result in the loss of features, we want the client to be the driving force for that action.”

BigCommerce Comparison

Are You Ready to Grow Your Store?

If you’re eager to see your sales soar to new heights, BigCommerce has the tools to help. Find your perfect plan today.
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6 Additional Costs to Be Aware Of Before Signing Up to BigCommerce

When you’re signing up with a new builder, it’s sensible to want to know about any extra or hidden costs that might crop up, either at the checkout or further down the line.

This is why we’ve put together a list of the main extra costs you might encounter when using BigCommerce.

#1. Domain Names

A domain name is like a store’s street sign. It tells visitors to your site who you are, and introduces what your website is about.

Buying a domain name from BigCommerce will cost you from $12.27 for one year. This is about the same as Shopify in terms of price (Shopify domain names start at $13), while Wix will give you a domain name free for a year if you sign up to a Premium plan (such as Wix eCommerce).

Find out more

#2. Credit Card Rates

Whenever a shopper places an order on your store using a credit or debit card, you will have to pay a fee. This charge goes to the payment processor (a bank, for example). The charge is for helping you collect the money from your customer and transfer it into your account.

It’s a fee that all merchants have to pay. That’s how the world of ecommerce works.

BigCommerce processing fees for debit and credit cards start at 2.9% + $0.30 per order.

The better your BigCommerce pricing plan, the lower your credit card fees.

BigCommerce’s credit card fees are a little higher than Shopify’s, but merchants selling in modest volumes are unlikely to notice the difference.

A key thing to mention here is that, unlike a lot of ecommerce builders, BigCommerce doesn’t charge any transaction fees. This means that credit card rates are the only fee you need to worry about – simple!

This sets BigCommerce apart from its rivals – even Shopify charges a transaction fee unless you use its in-house payments system.

#3. Themes

While BigCommerce has a small range of free themes for you to choose from, it’s possible you may want to pick a premium theme instead.

Premium themes range in price from $135 to $300 each. This is a one-time payment, and you can then use that theme for as long as you like!

Why choose a premium theme? Well, there’s a larger selection of styles to choose from – and because of this, it’s less likely that a lot of other stores will have picked the same design. Premium themes also come with more features built-in, giving you a more powerful store from day one.

bigcommerce pricing themes
BigCommerce provides a variety of both free and premium themes.

#4. Apps

One of the reasons BigCommerce is such a powerful ecommerce builder is that most of its tools and features are built-in. This sets the builder apart from its rival Shopify, which is pretty reliant on its app store.

However, BigCommerce does have an app store of its own, so if there’s a particular feature you want, you can go a-looking.

There’s a selection of free apps, as well as paid ones which vary in price. For example, BigCommerce’s top paid apps (including ShipStation and Google Shopping) range from $9 to $50 per month.

Many apps come with either a free trial or a free plan, so you can choose whether or not to pay for an upgraded service.

bigcommerce pricing apps
You'll find a range of apps in the BigCommerce App Store - many paid apps also have a free plan or trial.

#5. BigCommerce Partners

If you want to give your store a boost and hire professionals to work with you on your store’s success, you can find a BigCommerce Partner to help you out.

BigCommerce has over 4,000 agency partners who specialize in everything from web design to marketing, so you can find your perfect solution. This is totally optional, and prices vary depending on the agency – you’ll need to contact them directly for a quote.

bigcommerce partners pricing
You can pay for a BigCommerce Partner if you want help growing your business.

#6. BigCommerce Cancellation

We love the fact that BigCommerce offers a monthly plan – it’s flexible, affordable, and the perfect way to find out if BigCommerce is right for you beyond the 15-day free trial.

However, if you choose BigCommerce’s monthly plan and then decide it’s not for you, make sure you cancel two working days before your term ends. Otherwise, BigCommerce assumes you want to carry on using its builder and will continue charging you.

This is a common complaint we see from customers who didn’t realize this was the case, so don’t get caught by surprise. Don’t wait until the last minute to cancel – set yourself a reminder, and do it a couple of days before you need to just to be safe!

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Does BigCommerce Charge Transaction Fees?

Along with a domain name, transaction fees are a common cost of using a website builder.

BigCommerce, however, does not charge any transaction fees.

You can get zero transaction fees with Shopify, but will need to be using Shopify Payments. With BigCommerce pricing, it’s zero transaction fees, no matter what.

This means you get to keep all your profits, which you can reinvest in marketing to grow your store even further.

BigCommerce Transaction Fees
Sign up to BigCommerce and you won't pay a penny in transaction fees

Website builders usually charge transaction fees to cover the cost of processing sales.

However, BigCommerce is able to waive transaction fees because of its forced upgrade policy.

Rather than charging you a percentage for each sale, BigCommerce will simply get you on a pricier plan, and they’ll only do this if you’re generating a lot of sales. It’s a different way of levying money from your sales.

They’re still covering their costs, but via a different model.

Still, no transaction fees is an attractive optionespecially if you sell in high volume. Make sure you factor in any savings when working out which BigCommerce plan to sign up to.

Ensure you have at least a rough idea of how many products you want to sell each month. It’s also worth working out the total value of those sales.

The best way to find out if BigCommerce is right for you is by jumping on its free trial.

Conclusion: Is BigCommerce’s Pricing Worth It?

Hopefully you now feel like an expert on BigCommerce’s pricing – and have a good idea of which plan is best for you.

If you’re still unsure, here’s a quick recap of each BigCommerce plan, and what each one is best for…

BigCommerce Pricing: Summary

  1. Standard plan: $29.95 per month, paid monthly or annually. Best for new or small online stores looking for all the basic features (and a few extras)!
  2. Plus plan: $78.95 per month, or $71.95 per month when paid annually. Best for growing stores that want to boost conversions and improve their marketing.
  3. Pro plan: $299.95 per month, or $269.96 per month when paid annually. Best for large online stores needing scalable features to support their continued growth.
  4. Enterprise plan: custom pricing. Best for fully established stores needing an extra level of sophistication in their features and support.

The Standard plan is the one we recommend for most new sellers. However, our favorite is the Plus plan, because it comes with abandoned cart recovery – a must for any serious online store!

The Pro plan is a great choice for larger stores searching for new ways to keep scaling up their business, while the Enterprise plan is reserved for big sellers with big budgets and big teams to manage.

When choosing BigCommerce, there are a few extra costs to bear in mind – domain names, themes, and credit card rates are the main three to factor into your budget.

It’s always best to try before you buy, so we highly recommend jumping on BigCommerce’s 15-day free trial. If you’ve already made the most of the trial, snap up your perfect plan to get started for real!

BigCommerce Comparison

Are You Ready to Get Started With BigCommerce?

Jump on BigCommerce’s 15-day free trial, or pick your perfect price plan to start building your store today. Why wait?

BigCommerce Pricing FAQs

In this review, we’ve covered the key aspects of BigCommerce’s pricing.

You might still have questions about BigCommerce’s cost. Let’s run through some BigCommerce pricing FAQs that we haven’t answered already.

If there are any questions we haven’t covered in this review, make sure to post them in the comments section at the bottom!

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Click here for further information.

9 Best Small Business Website Builders: Which One Is Right For You?

best small business website buildersHaving a website is a great way of promoting your small business and reaching more customers. And better still, thanks to drag-and-drop website builders, you can build one in the same amount of time it takes to cook a good Thanksgiving dinner. This article will help you decide exactly which small business website builder is right for you.

Building a website for your small business is daunting – we know that from first-hand experience. If you’re worried you don’t have the time or skill to build a small business website, you’ve come to the right place.

While there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ option, we’ve been able to find the nine best small business website builders by concentrating our research onto the following key areas, which we think are particularly vital for a successful small business website:

As always, we’ve also taken our Customer Score into consideration. To calculate this score, we get real users to test each builder by using it to create a small business website to a brief. We then collected their thoughts and ratings.

  • Affordability
  • Ease of Use
  • SEO (search engine optimization) features

Alongside the usual important considerations: Design Flexibility and Value for Money.

As always, we’ve also taken our Customer Score into consideration. To calculate this score, we get real users to test each builder by using it to create a small business website to a brief. We then collected their thoughts and ratings.

If you’re after a more personalized recommendation, you can always take our short quiz to be matched with your perfect platform.

Based on our findings, we think the best website builders for small businesses are:

9 Best Website Builders for Small Business

  1. Wix – Best all-around website builder for small businesses.
  2. Squarespace – Best for fast-growing small businesses or startups.
  3. Weebly – Great value for money.
  4. GoDaddy – Fastest for building a simple website.
  5. Duda – Best template designs, but limited creative freedom.
  6. Strikingly – Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites.
  7. WordPress.com – Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else.
  8. Site123 – Easiest to use website builder.
  9. Jimdo Creator – Simple, but lacks feature depth.

We’ll be reviewing each of these builders in more detail, covering key pros and cons, along with pricing and more.

By the end of this guide you will:

  • Understand why it’s so important your small business has a website
  • Be clear on what features and functions your small business website needs
  • Be ready to choose the right website builder to get your small business online

Further Information

  • If you know you want to build an ecommerce website and sell products, check out our 5 best ecommerce software article which will deal specifically with the best builders to get you selling online.
  • Compare the Best Website Builders in our in-depth review
  • Decide which website builder is best for your small business by comparing the top choice side-by-side in our Website Buidler Comparison Chart

Best Website Builders for Small Business

Before we get into the nitty gritty of each small business website builder, here’s a quick look at what each one is best for:

  1. Wix – Best all-around website builder for small businesses
  2. Squarespace – Best for fast-growing small businesses or startups
  3. Weebly – Great value for money
  4. GoDaddy – Fastest for building a simple website
  5. Duda – Best template designs, but limited creative freedom
  6. Strikingly – Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites
  7. WordPress.com – Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else
  8. Site123 – Easiest to use website builder
  9. Jimdo Creator – Simple, but lacks feature depth
Other helpful pages:

Our website builder comparison chart – for a clear breakdown of our top website builders for small businesses.

1. Wix

Best all-around website builder for small businesses

Wix is our top website builder for small businesses because it’s powerful, simple to use and offers great all-round flexibility when creating your site.

You can create a website for your small business in hours and get online really quickly and smoothly.

If you’re looking to build brand awareness online and want to keep things simple, Wix is definitely the builder for you. Wix’s drag-and-drop functionality means you don’t need any technical or design skills to build a professional and eye-catching small business website.

ProsCons
#1Its drag-and-drop builder offers excellent creative control without having to know how to codeYou can’t change templates once a site goes live. Redesigns have to be from the ground up
#2In our website builder user testing Wix was the builder people were most likely to recommendAlthough a plus for many, the amount of customization available can feel overwhelming early on

 

So don’t worry if coding languages like HTML sound like an alien language to you. You won’t need to understand it to build a beautiful website using Wix.

You might be worried that because Wix is so simple to pick up and use that all sites built on it look the same.

And you want to build a small business website that’s unique, don’t you?

The good news is you get great freedom with Wix to build a small business website with real personality, as Wix provides more than 500 professionally designed templates, covering anything from makeup artists to vintage cars.

Wix photography templates
Wix's stunning templates let you create a professional small business website without spending money on a designer

Just because Wix is simple to use doesn’t mean it offers simple functionality to online business owners. With Wix you can:

  • Add contact forms and online booking forms for appointments (great if you’re a small trader or require bookings like a dentist).
  • Create and send invoices and track payments – with all this in one place, managing your finances is easy.
  • Add customized quizzes, surveys and contact forms that let you find out what your customers think.
  • Insert video backgrounds (without touching code) to jazz up your site and give it that WOW factor.

Wix does have a free version but if you’re serious about building a successful online business it’s definitely worth upgrading to a paid plan to take advantage of the premium features. Paid plans range from $13/month to $49/month (billed annually), so it’s easy to start small and upgrade as you need.

That said, we do recommend springing for at least the Unlimited Plan ($17/month) from the off, as this way you’ll be able to claim your complimentary $300 in ad vouchers ($100 with Google Ads, Bing Ads and Local Listings). This only applies for sites which are new to paid advertising, but is a great way to dabble in these channels without worrying about losing your own hard-earned cash.

A neat recent addition to Wix has been its ADI builder – standing for artificial design intelligence. Wix ADI asks you questions about your website and generates a website based on your answers. A fully-fledged business site could be just a short questionnaire away!

And, for the more tech-savvy among you, there is Wix Corvid, which allows you integrate custom code into your Wix site. It’s entirely optional, but great to see Wix catering to the full skills spectrum.

We also like Wix because it provides fantastic customer support. When you’re starting out building a website for your small business, any help you get can make a real difference (we know from our own experience building small business websites).

Other helpful pages:
Wix Review – for an in-depth look at Wix.
Wix Pricing Review – which plan is right for you?
Wix eCommerce Review – should you sell online with Wix?
Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace – compare three top builders

There are help buttons everywhere on the Wix site, so if you’re having trouble building a specific section of your site you can click on the button and find a specific answer to your question. This is great because it takes away a lot of the frustration when setting up your online business and lets you work through any roadblocks yourself.

The Wix App Market now has over 200 apps and services, covering anything from SEO tips that help your site get found online to email tools that expand your user base. Recent additions we like include Wix Video, which lets you add video with a customized logo to your platform, and an update to Wix SEO Wiz that lets you index your site on Google so that relevant searchers (potential customers) will find your site.

While Wix’s variety of templates is great, you can’t apply a different template once you’ve picked one. This can be frustrating as to change templates you’ll have to re-insert all your content again. So make sure you choose the right template first time round!

While we’d recommend a pure ecommerce store builder like Shopify if you’re looking to sell products on your business website, Wix does have fully-fledged ecommerce tools that are worth exploring if you’re already a Wix fan and are looking to develop your ecommerce offering.

2. Squarespace

Best for: fast-growing small businesses or startups

Small business with big plans? Squarespace is a solid choice.

Squarespace may not be quite as straightforward to use as Wix (the ultimate drag and drop builder), or an ecommerce specialist (Shopify and BigCommerce), but its beautifully designed templates and phenomenal image quality make it a really unique offering.

ProsCons
#1Squarespace’s SEO features are really strong – perfect if you’re looking to get your site found in the search resultsNot as easy to use as some of the alternatives. If you’re comfortable with tech you’ll be fine, but if you’re not Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy would serve you better
#2Social media integration is excellent. You’ll want to get the world out about your business, and a seamless social media presence makes that a lot easierNo app store – you’re relying on inbuilt features (which are very good), but won’t be able to customize functionality much beyond this

 

Squarespace’s SEO features are really strong. If SERP (search engine results page) domination is high on your agenda – and for most small businesses, it should be – then it’s certainly a solid foundation for success. We’ve gone into a ton of detail on exactly what makes it good – and how to use it to its full potential – in our Squarespace SEO review, so go check that for more info.

Squarespace’s templates are polished and their clean lines give off a really professional vibe. With Squarespace’s images, customers can zoom in on products and check the details close up (perfect if you’re advertising a product like trainers). Quick view allows users to read the product’s information and add it to their cart. This is great because you’re making it as simple as possible for a customer to buy.

Squarespace is far more than a pretty face, and it’s surprisingly inexpensive, too.

If you’re not looking to sell products online, you’ve got the choice of the Personal plan ($12/month) or the Business plan at $18/month (both billed annually). No surprise which one we’d recommend for a business here – you get a load more analytical and marketing features with the Business plan, so the insights are well worth the extra $6 a month.

You can actually sell on the Business plan too, but if you’re primarily an ecommerce business we’d definitely recommend going for at least the Basic Commerce plan ($26/month, billed annually). Again, by paying just a little more you unlock a whole load of valuable, ecommerce-specific features – in this case, integrating accounting and label printing, among others.

Head on over to Squarespace’s pricing page for more info on what’s included with each plan, and remember you can try any plan free for 14 days. Website Builder Expert readers can also get 10% off paid plans with our exclusive offer code.

Other helpful pages:

Squarespace Review – for a detailed review of Squarespace

Squarespace Pricing Review – for an in-depth breakdown of Squarespace’s pricing plans

Squarespace Offer Code – to get 10% off any Squarespace plan with our exclusive discount

Squarespace Ecommerce Review – find out how we rate Squarespace for ecommerce

Wix vs Squarespace – which should you choose?

More than any other builder, you can make your small business website look like it’s been professionally designed without having to muck around with any code yourself. Layout features like Cover Pages – single scrolling pages – can really make your small business website stand out from the crowd.

You can install multiple templates onto a single website and work on several designs simultaneously.

Squarespace photography templates
Squarespace's range of beautiful templates mean you can wow your customers without knowing any code or hiring a professional designer

Squarespace also offers excellent facilities to create a blog to support your website (a brilliant way to add personality to your business and fill your site with truly unique content) and comes with some really top-drawer features:

  • Mobile-responsive templates – content will resize automatically so your site will look great no matter what device your customer is using.
  • Great variety of styling options – with Squarespace you’re able to really stamp your mark on your website by easily customizing your design, from the fonts and colors right down to the sidebar width and background images. It’s also very simple to switch your cover page templates when you feel your site needs a refresh.
  • Great site control – you can add features like an announcement bar (great if you’ve got a new product, for example) and a mobile information bar, which streamlines your site for visitors on a mobile and displays a shortcut menu with key information like contact details and opening hours.
  • Connect socially – you can integrate your Squarespace site with a raft of social media platforms and even pull in content from certain platforms straight onto your page.

However, Squarespace isn’t as intuitive as Wix and can feel restrictive – it’s just not as customizable and takes longer to get up to speed with. Changes to your site take longer and Squarespace’s templates are more limited than our other recommended builders. If you’re not a designer, Squarespace’s style editor can be a difficult tool to get to grips with.

3. Weebly

Great value for money

Weebly is best for when you’re looking for the simplest route to getting your small business online, and don’t need a fancy site bursting with features – it’s a great tool for getting your online business off the ground for very little money (plans start at just $5/month, paid annually).

It’s also very easy to make changes to images and copy. You could genuinely build a decent-looking store on Weebly between breakfast and lunch – actually probably between brunch and lunch, if it were acceptable to have both.

ProsCons
#1Scores super well for value for money (4.1/5).You can’t restore websites yourself. If you change your mind on a deleted site you will need help from the Weebly team
#2Weebly has an enormous number of apps. What your site can and can’t do is effectively up to youThe apps are great, but you need a premium plan to access most of them

 

Weebly’s paid plans come in noticeably cheaper than larger competitors.

There’s a free plan, but you’ll be tied to a Weebly.com subdomain (the name of your site that appears in a browser’s search bar, for example cooltrainers.weebly.com). So as always, if you want to build a professional-looking small business site we recommend you sign up to one of Weebly’s very reasonable paid plans. These range from the $5/month Connect plan, to the $25/month Business plan, with the Connect and Pro plans sitting in between. The more you’re willing to spend, the more features you’ll unlock – just head to the Weebly Pricing page to see a breakdown of exactly what’s included with each.

So, let’s get back to how easy Weebly is to use – in other words, very easy.

Customizable, pre-designed layouts focused on particular industries mean it’s really easy to dive in and start building your small business website. In Weebly’s editing mode, how you see your site is how it will appear live. This saves you time as you don’t have to keep switching from editing mode to preview mode.

Weebly business themes
Website builders let you create great homepages for your small business with top-quality navigation bars

All this makes Weebly a great fit for small businesses that maybe don’t need fancy functionality, and are just looking to showcase products or services in a clear, simple, affordable manner.

Weebly is pretty strong on audio and video and the ability to add HD Video on the Pro Plan means you can add a real touch of glamour to your site. It’s constantly improving – but still lags noticeably behind competitors such as Wix and Squarespace in terms of both features, and design quality/variety (Weebly has 40 templates, for example – Wix has over 500).

Other helpful pages:
Weebly Review – 12 key things you need to know about Weebly.
Weebly Pricing Review – are the plans really worth it?
Weebly Ecommerce Review – a detailed look at Weebly’s online selling tools
Weebly vs Squarespace – find out which one is best for you

If you have a bit of knowledge of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – used to format the layout of web pages, for example table sizes and text styles), or know someone that can help, Weebly gives you access to the Code Editor, meaning you can tinker and make changes that give your site a truly unique feel.

4. GoDaddy

Fastest for building a simple website

GoDaddy is excellent for getting a small business website live fast. The builder is easy to use and simply presented, and what it lacks in style it makes up for with convenience. It’s the fastest product for building a website, so it’s very convenient for those short on time.

ProsCons
#1Superb if you want to get a fully-functional business website live quickly.Not the best fit for more artistic industries. GoDaddy is a pretty straight edged builder.
#2Offers advanced ecommerce functionality, allowing you to add up to 5,000 products and customize shipping options right in the builder.

 

Its template selection is excellent, and if you switch between them the site automatically reformats. This is a super useful feature, something that really sets GoDaddy apart from a builder like Wix.

GoDaddy small business templates
Rather than juggling five different subscriptions for five different services, a major draw of GoDaddy is that it does a bit of everything.

The drag-and-drop builder is structured and easy to use, though lacking the sheen of more stylish builders. If you’re not a creative type, GoDaddy’s artificial design intelligence (ADI) can generate an entire site for you after you’ve answered a few questions.

GoDaddy has recently stepped up its ecommerce features and management tools. You can add up to 5,000 products to your inventory, and shipping methods are built in. There are plenty of payment options (credit cards and PayPal included, of course).

It remains fairly reasonable, though. The cheapest plan (the Basic plan) costs just $10/month (billed annually). At the other end of the scale, the Ecommerce plan will set you back $25/month (billed annually), and there are two plans sitting in the middle. All plans come with a very generous one month free trial.

More Information:
GoDaddy Website Builder Review – get the full details on GoDaddy’s website builder
GoDaddy Ecommerce Review – is it the right choice for selling online?
Wix vs GoDaddy – an in-depth comparison of two popular website builders
How to Build a Website on GoDaddy – our easy, step-by-step guide to getting started

Rather than juggling five different subscriptions for five different services, a major draw of GoDaddy is that it does a bit of everything. You can take care of domain registration, web hosting, and website building all in one place.

Getting online with GoDaddy is effortless, but it’s somewhat limiting compared to builders like Wix and Squarespace. For getting your small business online quickly and easily, however, there’s few better platforms available.

5. Duda

Best template designs, but limited creative freedom

Duda pitches itself as a website builder for web designers, but don’t let this put you off. It’s actually super simple to create a single site for your business, and the cheapest plan costs just $14/month.

ProsCons
#1Over 90 well-designed templates to choose fromNot the best option in terms of SEO support
#2Option to create personalized user journeys, even with the cheapest planCustomization options are pretty limited – not great for those who want a lot of creative freedom

So, what can we tell you about Duda? Well firstly, the templates are good. Like, really good. Sure, they don’t all have that modern, minimalist look that you get with Squarespace, but they feel real somehow – like the websites you happily use every day for everyday businesses.

That’s why Duda comes out top for design for small business websites, scoring 4.6/5, while Squarespace still holds the top spot for portfolio or photography sites – basically anything that’s super image-led.

But the bit that gets us most excited about Duda? Personalized. User. Journeys.

So Duda currently offers two plans – one at $14/month for building one site, and one at $74/month for agencies. And even on its cheapest plan, you can change the way users see your site, depending on various factors.

For example, if someone is visiting your site for the first time, you can choose to display a video about your services. And if someone is visiting your site from a location nearby, you can add a button to give you a call. This is really smart stuff for a website builder, and is easy for anyone to set up – just click ‘Personalize’ down the right hand side of your main dashboard, then choose a ‘Rule’. This is also where you can create pop-ups and banner ads.

So, where does Duda fall down? Well firstly, the SEO support isn’t really there. If you’re relying on getting found in Google’s search results, you’ll have to read up on basic SEO tips to help get you there – you don’t get the prompts and guides that you do with some other builders. And secondly, while the designs are awesome, there isn’t a ton of scope for customization. Some people like this approach, but if you’re after a creative project, then this might feel too limiting.

6. Strikingly

Best for help and support, and for building multiple small sites

Strikingly scores pretty well across the board – our users liked it as much as more popular builders, including Squarespace and GoDaddy – but although it’s good value, it has some serious drawbacks.

ProsCons
#1Helpful, proactive support teamYou can only create one-page sites, meaning it’s not a scalable solution
#2You can create two sites on the cheapest $8/month plan, and sell up to five productsLacks the feature quality and depth of builders featured higher on this list

Let’s start with what we like about Strikingly. First up: Happiness Officers. Yes, you heard that right.

Not only does Strikingly take home the crown for the most wholesomely-named support team, but it boasts the most active one, too. At various points throughout your website-making journey, a little chat box will pop up inviting you to talk to your Happiness Officer – an option that’s available 24/7. There are also all sorts of helpful tutorial videos on Strikingly’s site. It’s no wonder it scored an impressive 4.5/5!

Strikingly’s plans are very reasonable. A free plan is available, but as always, we recommend you go Premium for that professional look. Premium plans range from $8 – $49 per month (billed annually), and you can try all plans free for 14 days.

On the cheapest paid plan (the ‘Limited’ plan), you can build two sites, sell up to five products, and bag a free domain name for the first year – see, we told you it’s affordable!

So how come it’s down in sixth place? The main issue for us is that Strikingly only lets you create one-page websites. The navigation links down the side or across the top just take you to sections further down that initial page. That’s fine if you just need to present an overview – About Us, Portfolio, Contact Us – but if you want to really develop your site, that one page starts to get very long indeed. It’s thought the average person scrolls around 22.7 meters on their phone every day – but they probably won’t be too thrilled if your site is responsible for the bulk of that.

One-page websites mean blogs and product categories are kind of out of the question, too. So while Strikingly is very reasonably priced, it’s not actually great value – scoring just 3.5/5 in our research.

So if you need to show a ‘flavor’ of one or two projects you have on the go, Strikingly is a safe and super cheap option. If you’re after something a bit more scalable, look at options further up the list.

Other helpful pages: 

Strikingly Review – a detailed review of Strikingly’s features, prices, and more

7. WordPress.com

Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else

In stark contrast to Strikingly, WordPress.com is very much ‘all about the blog’. If your business relies heavily on blogging – or is, in fact, a blog – then you’ve struck gold with this builder. For anything else, though, you’ll likely find it too limiting.

ProsCons
#1Comes with excellent inbuilt blogging tools and featuresVery limited for anything that isn’t a blog – think rigid templates, frustrating features, and an outdated backend
#2Super cheap prices – paid WordPress.com plans start at just $5 per month (billed annually)To carry out more than the most basic customization, you’ll need some coding knowledge

WordPress.com is built for blogging, and we really can’t stress that enough. If your small business is blog-based, get ready for a bunch of super helpful features, such as comments, tags, likes, categories, and for your posts to be featured in the blog ‘Reader’ for subscribed readers to view in their feed.

If your business is not a blog, however, you’ll have a rough time of it. But hey, don’t just take our word for it – as part of our user testing, we gave participants an hour to build a website for fictitious business ‘Shore Coffee House’ to a set brief, and asked them to give us their thoughts.

One particularly frustrated participant using WordPress.com said:

“I hated it, I really hated it. It really isn’t my cup of tea whatsoever.”

And the other participants weren’t particularly complimentary, either – they found that things just weren’t intuitive, and they didn’t make anywhere near as much progress in the hour as they’d expected. It’s no surprise that WordPress.com pretty much bombed when it came to the Customer Score, gaining the (joint) lowest mark of any builder tested (3.5/5). It also scored just 2.4/5 for design flexibility; it’s hard to make WordPress.com templates your own.

So, blogging aside, does WordPress.com have any redeeming qualities? Its affordability is certainly a huge plus – there’s a free plan available, and paid ones starting at just $5 per month (billed annually). The cheapest plan – the ‘Personal’ plan – also comes with a custom domain and live chat support. That’s a fair bit of bang for your buck.

If you’re patient, and preferably have a bit of coding knowledge, you could definitely make WordPress.com work for your business site – you’re just not making it easy on yourself by any means.

Other helpful pages: 

WordPress.com Review – discover the ins and outs of this blogging builder
Best Blogging Platforms – if you need a blog, pick from this list!

8. Site123

Easiest to use business website builder

Let’s imagine that one night, The Bad Men came and demanded that you build them a business website immediately – ‘immediately, or else!’ In this frightful scenario, Site123 might just be the builder you’d reach for.

ProsCons
#1Design-assisted approach makes this a super quick and easy builder to useDesigns look dated
#2Awesome expert support team available over live chatIf you want to have more than a basic website, it starts to get shown up quite quickly

Why would we pick Site123 to get us out of this particularly niche jam? Because it’s great for getting a site live very easily and fairly quickly – so long as you’re not too precious about the end result. Site123 also has an awesome little support team available over live chat.

But while Site123 may be super quick to set up, you can’t deny that the end result looks super dated. Site123 also scores poorly for features, coming in last place with 2.6/5. So even though it offers a free plan – with the only paid plan costing just $10.80 per month – its value for money score is really poor, again coming in last place.

One of our users really hit the nail on the head wit