The 5 Best Cloud Hosting Providers: Service On Cloud Nine

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. (If any of that went over your head, it may be worth reading our guide to web hosting). 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:

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. SiteGround comes in second place, offering top-notch customer service and generous storage space for your website. InMotion is a solid choice in third, offering a safe-haven of steady hosting.

You can take a closer look at these top three providers by comparing their star ratings below.

Best For Overall Cloud Hosting

4.2out of 5

Top Choice
Disk Space

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

3.5 out of 5 stars

Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Best For Customer Service

3.7out of 5

Disk Space

2 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Pricing

2.5 out of 5 stars

Features

4 out of 5 stars

Unmetered CPU Cores

3.2out of 5

Disk Space

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

3 out of 5 stars

Features

2 out of 5 stars

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!

Further Information

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.

The Best Cloud Hosting Providers

When choosing a hosting provider, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. First, take a look at your own website. How many pages does it have? How many visitors are you expecting to get? Will you need lots of hosting help?

Answering these questions will help you decide which hosting provider is right for you. To help you out, here’s a little snippet of each of our top five cloud hosts, looking at the areas where they excel.

A2 Hosting

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. A2 is a smart choice for those new to hosting who want a blend of great features, affordable prices, and great support.

SiteGround

SiteGround

SiteGround is a bit of a steady Eddie when it comes to web hosting. You know what you’re getting with this provider: reasonable features, excellent support, and a sturdy uptime of 99.98%. Its plans are pretty pricey compared to its competitors, but if you’re already with SiteGround and want to switch to cloud hosting, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.

InMotion

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 unmetered CPU cores – these can be thought of like the brains of a server, helping you process information more efficiently. InMotion is the only provider on this list that doesn’t put restrictions on how many CPUs you can have.

HostGator

HostGator

HostGator topped our research rankings as the best overall hosting provider, and when looking at cloud hosting specifically, it still stands up. 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 come in rather handy.

DreamHost

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.

Now you know a little more about each cloud hosting provider, it’s time to dig a little deeper and really review what each one is all about.

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.

A2 Hosting

Best For Overall Cloud Hosting

Best For Overall Cloud Hosting

4.2out of 5

Disk Space

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

3.5 out of 5 stars

Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

A2 Hosting ProsA2 Hosting Cons
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Highest features score of any provider
  • SSL certificates cost extra
  • Only 99.95% uptime

Taking everything into account, there’s no better cloud hosting service on the market today than A2 Hosting. It’s not too expensive, with 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.

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.

Further Information

A2 Hosting Review

SiteGround

Best For Customer Service

Best For Customer Service

3.7out of 5

Disk Space

2 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4 out of 5 stars

Pricing

2.5 out of 5 stars

Features

4 out of 5 stars

SiteGround ProsSiteGround Cons
  • Amazing help and support
  • 99.98% uptime
  • Expensive pricing plans
  • No root access

Ah, ol’ reliable SiteGround. It’s straight up, to the point, and you know what you’re getting – great uptime, free SSL security, and a generous money-back guarantee. Its features are also more than capable of doing the job for 99% of people.

You’re looking at up to 10GB of RAM, 8 CPU cores, 5TB of bandwidth, 120GB of storage space, and free backups. One major hiccup is the eye-watering cost, though – with no plan coming cheaper than $80, it’s not the platform for websites on a tight budget.

However, SiteGround is all about you, the customer. It offers brilliant phone support as well as 24/7 live chat, a ticket system, and an incredibly intuitive help center. You’ll find helpful advice around every corner with SiteGround.

Further Information

SiteGround Review

InMotion

Unmetered CPU Cores

Unmetered CPU Cores

3.2out of 5

Disk Space

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

3 out of 5 stars

Features

2 out of 5 stars

InMotion ProsInMotion Cons
  • Unmetered CPU cores
  • Up to 260GB of storage
  • Max of 8GB of RAM
  • Limited bandwidth

InMotion is renowned for its shared and VPS hosting plans, which are widely regarded as the best around. But when it comes to cloud hosting, InMotion also holds its own with the very best.

Free domains and backups, unlimited email accounts and websites, unmetered CPU cores, and root access are just some of the features you can expect. Crunching the numbers, you get up to 8GB of RAM, 86TB of bandwidth, and 260GB of storage. The help on offer is also pretty, well, helpful.

Further Information

InMotion Review

HostGator

Unmetered Storage Space

Unmetered Storage Space

3out of 5

Disk Space

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

3.5 out of 5 stars

Features

1 out of 5 stars

HostGator ProsHostGator Cons
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Unmetered storage space
  • No root access
  • No free domain or backups

HostGator came top of our overall hosting rankings with a massive score of 92%. Although better known for its dedicated hosting packages, HostGator’s 99.99% uptime carries across every type of hosting it offers.

It only has three cloud hosting plans, all of which sit between $12.95 and $19.95/month. Because of the low costs, though, your resources are somewhat limited. There’s no free domain, no backups, and no root access. You do get unmetered storage space, though, as well as unlimited email accounts.

Further Information

HostGator Review

DreamHost

Cheapest Cloud Hosting

Cheapest Cloud Hosting

3out of 5

Disk Space

1.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

2.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

4.5 out of 5 stars

Features

2 out of 5 stars

DreamHost ProsDreamHost Cons
  • Cloud hosting from just $4.50
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • No live chat or phone support
  • Maximum of 100GB of storage

DreamHost is certainly a good choice for anyone who loves a bargain. Not only that, the features you’re getting are great too.

But first, the bad stuff; no free domain, no live chat and phone support, and no money-back guarantee (although you won’t have lost much if you decide to cancel anyway!). If you can look past that, you do get access to unmetered bandwidth, up to 16GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, and a free SSL security certificate.

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 For Overall Cloud Hosting
  2. SiteGround: Best For Customer Service
  3. InMotion: Unmetered CPU Cores
  4. HostGator: Unmetered Storage Space
  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 hosting knowledge and/or cash, the hosting provider we’d recommend is DreamHost. It offers cloud hosting as cheap as it comes, at just $4.50 a month.

Beyond price and support, 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 here.

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 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 | The Top Eight Hosting Providers

best web hosting for small business

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.

Worse still, 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.

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.

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

Below, we’ve picked out the top three providers – HostGator, InMotion and Bluehost – 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.

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)
HostGator99.99%unlimited1.5TB – unmetered2GB – 30GB$6.95 – 289
InMotion99.97%unlimited4TB – 15TB4GB – 64GB$7.99 – 589.99
Bluehost99.98%50GB – unlimited1TB – 15TB2GB – 16GB$7.99 – 209.99
A2 Hosting99.95%unlimited2TB – 20TB4GB – 16GB$7.99 – 349.99
1&1 IONOS99.98%100GB – 1TBunmetered1GB – 64GB$8 – 140
SiteGround99.98%10GB – 960GB10TB16GB – 64GB$11.95 – 729
GoDaddy99.97%100GB – unlimitedunmetered2GB – 32GB$7.99 – 349.99
iPage99.94%unlimited1TB – 15TB1GB 16GB$7.99 – 239.99

1. HostGator

Best For: Overall Hosting Services

HostGator is our top recommended hosting provider. It came out as the best overall hosting service from our research, and holds its rightful title as the best web hosting for small businesses. It’s a beginner-friendly, feature-rich service with an unrivalled uptime of 99.99%.

Pricing: $2.75/month – $289/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • Reseller

2. InMotion

Best For: Shared and VPS Hosting

While HostGator 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. Bluehost

Best For: WordPress Specific Hosting

If you’re on a budget and need a host for your business’ WordPress site, look no further. With great uptime, free backups, and one-click WordPress installation, Bluehost has all the tools you need. Storage space is a bit tighter than some of its competitors, but there’s still plenty to love about Bluehost.

Pricing: $2.75/month – $209.99/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • WordPress

4. A2 Hosting

Best For: Customer Service

Most hosting works off a Linux server, but if you’re after Windows hosting, A2 has you covered. 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

5. 1&1 IONOS

Best For: Cloud Hosting

1&1 IONOS has amazing promotional deals ($1/month shared hosting for the first year!) but what really sets it apart is its help and support. Each customer is assigned their own personal consultant, who is on-hand to help with any issues or queries you may have.

Pricing: $1/month – $140/month

Types of Hosting On Offer

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Cloud
  • WordPress

6. SiteGround

Best For: Reliability

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. The extra freebies balance out the rise in price, if you ask us.

Pricing: $3.95/month – $729/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. iPage

Best For: Cheap 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

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.

HostGator

ProsCons
  • Incredible uptime of 99.99%
  • Great range and quality of features
  • Slightly dated interface
  • No free domain

Overview

Snapping up its opponents in our best web hosting for small business contest is HostGator.

Based on factors including price, ease of use, range of hosting options, and support, HostGator scored a top mark of 92% in our comparative research.

It’s no surprise that 8 million domains are hosted with HostGator.

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 the best small business hosting service. 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 (number three on our list of best small business web hosters).

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.

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!

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.

All in all, though, HostGator is the best all-around hosting service for small businesses.

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

InMotion

ProsCons
  • Highly trained support staff
  • Unlimited disk space and free SSL on the basic plan
  • 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.

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.

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

Bluehost

ProsCons
  • Superb WordPress integration
  • Budget-level pricing for new customers
  • Comparatively small storage on basic plan
  • Potential CPU throttling (poor for websites who experience spikes in traffic)

Overview

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

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.

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 more limited than with HostGator. 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:

  • Shared Hosting – $2.95 – $14.99
  • Cloud Hosting – $6.95 – $15.95
  • VPS Hosting – $19.99 – $59.99
  • Dedicated Hosting – $79.99 – $209.99

Prices are similar to HostGator’s, although the more advanced the Bluehost plan, the wider the price gap to the equivalent HostGator package. Bear in mind that Bluehost offers hefty discounts on the first term cost, as well as a 30-day-money-back guarantee.

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

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 Cloud and VPS 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.

While not quite as good as HostGator’s, Bluehost’s support is still 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.

best small business web hosting - bluehost
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting services for small businesses because of its easy set-up

A2 Hosting

ProsCons
  • Best for cloud hosting
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • 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.

Features

A2 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

  • Shared Hosting: $7.99/month – $18.99/month
  • VPS Hosting: $49.99/month – $99.99/month
  • Dedicated Hosting: $169.99/month – $349.99/month
  • WordPress Hosting:  $7.99/month – $75.48/month
  • Cloud Hosting: $5/month – $371/month

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.

More A2 Information:

A2 Hosting Review

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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. HostGator – Best Overall Hosting Provider
  2. InMotion –  Best for Shared and VPS Hosting
  3. Bluehost –  Best for WordPress Hosting
  4. A2 Hosting –  Best for Cloud Hosting
  5. 1&1 IONOS –  Best for Reliability
  6. SiteGround –  Best for Customer Service
  7. GoDaddy –  Best for Extra Features
  8. iPage –  Best for Cheap Plans

All of our eight web hosts for small businesses are at the top of the market. HostGator, InMotion and Bluehost 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, HostGator 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.

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 2019

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 asking questions like:

  • “I want a website, but don’t have a big budget…how can I possibly afford one?”
  • “I can’t code and I’m not technical … will I even be able to build a website?”
  • “How do I decide which is the best free website builder to choose?”

If these sound familiar, then you’ve definitely reached the right place!

We’re here to make your life as easy as possible by giving you the lowdown on the best free website builders, as determined by our own independent research.

We get people like you to test website builders and give us their feedback, which we use to rate them on factors like ease of use and template design.

This will save you the job of testing out loads of platforms yourself trying to find the right one for you.

Based on our research, the top free website builders are:

  1. Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder (read review)
  2. Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses (read review)
  3. SITE123 – Great Help and Support (read review)
  4. Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites (read review)
  5. WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging (read review)
  6. Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder (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)

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 your needs.

Best Free Website Builders

“You may not have the budget to hire a professional web developer or the technical know-how to code a website from scratch, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a website of your own!”

But with so many platforms to choose from it’s no surprise that you might find it difficult knowing where to start.

So before we really get stuck in, let’s start by taking a quick look at the best free website builders:

1. Wix

Best All-Around Website Builder


Free plan includes:
hundreds of customizable templates, drag-and-drop editing tool, tons of features, 500MB storage and bandwidth.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Wix adverts, connect your own domain name, sell online, unlock more features such as email campaigns, and increase storage and bandwidth.

2. Weebly

Ideal for Small Businesses


Free plan includes: drag-and-drop editing tool, great SEO prompts, structured but customizable templates, 500MB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Weebly adverts, connect your own domain name, sell online, unlock extra features such as video backgrounds, and get unlimited storage.

3. SITE123

Great Help and Support


Free plan includes: 24/7 live chat help and support, responsive templates, 500MB storage, and 1GB bandwidth
Upgrade to a paid plan to: get a free domain for one year, unlock 10GB storage and 5GB bandwidth, remove SITE123 adverts, and expand your site with ecommerce features.

4. Strikingly

Made for Simple Websites 


Free plan includes: unlimited free sites, 5GB monthly bandwidth, blogging tools, ecommerce features selling one product per site, and 24/7 support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: connect your own domain name, or get a free domain for a year,  advance ecommerce features up to 500 products per site, unlock features such as password protection and the Strikingly App Store, and increase bandwidth.

5. WordPress.com

Perfect for Blogging


Free plan includes: extensive blogging tools, 3GB storage, free themes, and community support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove WordPress.com adverts, get a free domain, increase storage space, and unlock email and live chat support.

 

6. Jimdo

Small Online Store Builder


Free plan includes: ecommerce features, blogging tools, social media integration, features such as embedding videos and contact forms, and get 500MB storage and 2GB bandwidth.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove adverts, get a free domain name, increase storage and bandwidth, unlock SEO tools and expand your online store.

 

7. IM Creator

Great for White Label Businesses


Free plan includes: ecommerce and blogging tools, free templates, 50MB, basic support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: connect your own domain, unlock unlimited storage and bandwidth, get up to 10 personalized email addresses, and receive 24/7 support.

 

8. Webnode

Quick and Easy Setup


Free plan includes: blogging and business, tools, simple templates, unlimited web pages, and 100MB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: sell through your site, connect your own domain, access email accounts, increase storage, and unlock features such as background videos.

 

9. Mozello

Create Simple Multilingual Websites


Free plan includes: Multilingual tools, simple blogging features, basic ecommerce tools to sell up to 10 products, small Mozello advert on site, and 0.5GB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Mozello adverts, connect your own domain name, increase storage, and unlock more products to sell through your site.

 

10. SimpleSite

Great Mobile Editor


Free plan includes: 15 pages, PayPal integration, 600 seconds of video, and 300 images.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove SimpleSite adverts, get unlimited pages and images, have your own domain name.

Wix

Best All-Around Website Builder

Wix is by far the best all-round free website builder on the market today.”

Wix Pros
#1Easy to use drag and drop functionality
#2Wide range of templates
#3Majority of features available on free plan
#4Ultimate customization
Wix Cons
#1Once site is published, you can’t change your template
#2A lot of choice, can be overwhelming

Wix, offers a generous free plan – which is why they top on our list!

You’ll find it very easy to pick up and use Wix. For absolute beginners, you can answer a few questions and they’ll create a customized site for you. It’s artificial intelligence at its best, and you can have a free website in a matter of minutes.

If you want a bit more control, that’s super easy too. Wix has a ‘drag and drop’ editor that gives you the freedom to design your website from a template.

With drag and drop, you simply select the element you want on your webpage (e.g. an image or a contact box), and drag it to where you want, let go and that’s it!

‘Drag and drop’ editors enable you to create a stunning website in next to no time without knowing how to code at all – just watch the video below to see how easy it really is!

This versatility makes Wix a superb choice for almost any type of website.

Add to this a selection of more than 500 templates , a huge choice of tools and elements like galleries, buttons, and social media icons, Wix makes creating a website easier than ever.

With Wix, you can create and publish your site without spending a cent. You don’t have to upgrade after a certain time, you can have your free site forever. This is what makes Wix’s free plan unusually generous for a website builder – which is why they top our list!

You will find limitations to Wix’s free plan though. Your storage and bandwidth are both capped at just 500MB, preventing 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 their free plan.

With a free plan there will also be Wix ads on your site and you can’t use a personal domain (aka your personal website address). For example, on the free plan your domain might be https://yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite which is not as professional looking as a custom domain, such as www.yoursite.com.

If you did want to stretch your wings beyond the free plan, the cheapest payment option is just $5 a month. This allows you to connect your own custom domain to remove wixsite.com from your website address.

Wix’s most popular paid plan is its Unlimited plan, aimed at entrepreneurs and freelancers. At $14 a month it removes all ads, lets you use a personal domain, and provides unlimited bandwidth as well as 20x more storage space!

So to really push your website to the next level it might be worth considering a paid plan. 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!

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.

Weebly

Ideal for Small Businesses

Weebly is one of the easiest to use free website makers around, with a great plan for small businesses.”

 

Weebly Pros
#1Best website builder for SEO prompts
#2Good scalability
#3Very user-friendly drag and drop editor
Weebly Cons
#1Limited features on free plan
#2Can be a little difficult to use at first

 

Weebly has a similar ‘drag and drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly.

It doesn’t have quite as many features or tools as Wix but this can actually make website building easier as there are fewer distractions! Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly shines out as the best free website builder for small businesses.

But it’s not just for businesses. If you want to build a portfolio website to promote a hobby or yourself online, Weebly can help you do this quickly and easily without overwhelming you with design options.

best free website builder weebly
Weebly can help you make a simple - but impactful - personal website with no technical skills required.

You get a decent choice of templates to pick from (although not as many as Wix) – which cover most niches such as businesses, blogs, events, and portfolios.

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!

SITE123

Great Help and Support

“SITE123 is a simple to use website builder that focuses on helping you get online.”

 

SITE123 Pros
#1Easy to use
#2Brilliant 24/7 live chat help & support
#3Responsive templates for mobile & desktop
SITE123 Cons
#1Simplistic layout means not much creative freedom
#2Limited range of editor tools restricts customization
#3Limited choice of website templates

 

An immediate drawback of SITE123 is it doesn’t give you a choice of templates!

Instead you pick the type of website you want from 11 different categories (including portfolio, blog, music and cv) and then you’re presented with a default website design. You’re free to edit this using the various tools.

So unlike Wix, Weebly, 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. This can be more than a little frustrating (but potentially time-saving).

The editor is easy to get to grips with because you’re not given total freedom – you pick from pre-prepared styles and designs.

best free website creator site123
SITE123 helps you design a nice-looking website using pre-prepared styles but isn’t as flexible as other free builders like Wix or Weebly.

While it gets you online quickly and provides decent in-editor customer support (via live-chat), SITE123 is definitely not as versatile 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

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
#1Simple templates
#224/7 customer support
#3Ideal for basic blogging
Strikingly Cons
#1You can only create one-page sites
#2Limited 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. Of course, you can edit your template (although the amount of creative freedom you have is limited) – and, unlike many other free website builders, you can change your template as many times as you wish once your site is live.

strikingly free website builder software

But what do you get with Strikingly’s free plan? You can create as many free websites as you please, get a 5GB monthly bandwidth, 24/7 customer support, and the ability to sell one product per site through their Simple Store function. You certainly get a lot of great perks on Strikingly’s free plan!

If you decide to upgrade your plan, you’ll also get a custom domain, up to a 50GB bandwidth per month and the ability to sell up to five products on your site. This is available through Strikingly’s cheapest price plan – the ‘Limited’ plan – at just $8 a month.

Strikingly is also one of the top free website creators for blogging  – with all the features you could need, such as an add-on comments section and social bookmarking.

Find out more:

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
#2Abundance of features
#3Wide range of free templates
WordPress.com Cons
#1Some coding may be required – not very beginner-friendly
#2Templates & design 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. Combine this with intuitive design, such as being able to choose your settings for feature images and which blog posts should appear on your home page, and it’s clear why WordPress.com is so successful.

It has all the power of its big brother WordPress.org, but 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.

With this said, if you’re fairly confident but don’t want to pay a dime to create your blog, then WordPress.com is a top choice.

With a range of blogging features including a comment section, analytics, and social bookmarking, WordPress.com stands head and shoulders above its competitors.

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.

But, if you’re not a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your full 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.

Jimdo

Small Online Store Builder

Jimdo is a good choice of free website builder if you want to set up an online store and sell through your site.”

 

Jimdo Pros
#1Nice aesthetics
#2Offers lowest upgrade price to remove adverts from your site
#3Can create a free online store
Jimdo Cons
#1Difficult-to-use drag and drop functionality
#2Lacks design & 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.

Still, Jimdo’s builder is quite easy to get to grips with, so you won’t need to spend long figuring out how to do things. This is definitely a time-saver and will help you get online sooner rather than later (phew!).

best free website maker jimdo
Jimdo’s editor makes it easy to edit individual parts your chosen template so you can quickly make it your own.

You get a pretty limited selection of templates though, so your choice is nowhere near as wide as it is with Wix or Weebly.

Jimdo can also help you to create a free online store! You do only have a limited number of products you can sell on the free plan, and there is a transaction fee unless you upgrade. But, this is still a great way of getting your online selling started without the fear of financial risk. You can create your site for free and start selling, and then look at your upgrading options as your business grows.

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.

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.”

 

IM Creator Pros
#1Eye-catching templates
#2Easy to create a professional portfolio site fast
#3A good range of basic features
IM Creator Cons
#1Large advertisements on free plan
#2No ecommerce feature

 

IM creator focuses on helping you make a free website FAST (and I mean fast!).

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!

IM Creator is nowhere near as comprehensive as Wix or Weebly, but you’ll find it a good choice of free website builder if you’re pressed for time, prefer not to get in too deep with an editor, or want a website that isn’t packed with too many features.

IM Creator keeps things nice and simple so that you find website building quick, easy and enjoyable.

Read more:

Webnode

Quick and Easy Setup

“Webnode is a popular choice of free website maker with more than 30 million users around the world.”

 

Webnode Pros
#1Easy to use
#2Fast to get online – can take as little as 5 minutes!
#3Almost no learning curve
Webnode Cons
#1Lack of creative freedom
#2Not very flexible template design

 

It’s really easy to get set up with Webnodes and the whole website building process could be done in about 5 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 nearly, but not quite a ‘drag and drop’ editor.

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 (see below), rather than simply let you put the image where you want.

top free website maker webnode
While easy to use, you don’t get total creative freedom in Webnode’s editor. Your designing efforts are limited to predetermined layouts.

It’s a quick and easy way of changing the look of your website. But it’s more like tweaking until you’re happy, which means your site might not look exactly as you want it to.

This makes Webnode 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 limits your creative potential compared to other builders on our list.

Mozello

Create Simple Multilingual Sites

“Mozello is a basic, easy to use website builder which allows you to create multilingual sites totally free.”

 

Mozello Pros
#1Create multilingual sites for free
#2Ecommerce functions
#3Very subtle Mozello advert on webpage
Mozello Cons
#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. So 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 website builder
Mozello has a range of templates to choose from. You can build, blog, sell and even create multilingual sites online on Mozello’s free plan.

Another great feature of Mozello’s free plan is the subtlety of the advert displayed on your website. While some other builders add a large banner or pop-up to your website, Mozello is much more minimal. With just a small link in the footer of your site, people won’t even notice the advert!

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.

When you compare this to other free builders like Wix, which let you add whatever you want wherever you want on your pages, Mozello really falls short. If you want lots of customization or creative freedom, this isn’t the best choice.

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 safe for visitors and to be taken seriously online.

Overall, Mozello has some really appealing and solid features to attract users! You can sell online and create multilingual sites for free, plus it’s beginner friendly and easy to use.

But, it’s very limited and has some sizeable flaws, such as not offering SSL security. So only choose this if you’re after simplicity rather than lots of creative control or scalability.

SimpleSite

Great Mobile Editor

“SimpleSite is one of the oldest platforms around, letting you easily edit your site from your mobile.”

 

SimpleSite Pros
#1Very easy to use
#2Generous free plan
#3Supports mobile friendly editing within mobile browser
SimpleSite Cons
#1Outdated editor
#2No access to third party integrations
#3Limited customer support

 

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, ideal for busy users who are always on the move.

It’s designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by the mobile editor can help.

However, there are some small downsides. You aren’t actually able to amend the mobile version of your website when you’re working from a desktop, and it’s relatively expensive overall in comparison to other website builders. It has a free plan, but the premium options range from $9.99 to $28.95 per month.

Is It Worth Upgrading to a Paid Plan?

Now that you’ve seen what you can get for free with a range of website builders, you might be wondering just what you can get with a paid plan.

Creating a website doesn’t have to cost the earth, and your website is worth putting the time (and even a little bit of 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

“Now you know the pros and cons of using a free website builder, how to make a free ecommerce store and the best builders to use.”

So let’s have a quick recap…

The 10 Best Free Website Builders Are:

  1. Wix
  2. Weebly
  3. SITE123
  4. Strikingly
  5. WordPress.com
  6. Jimdo
  7. IM Creator
  8. Webnode
  9. Mozello
  10. SimpleSite

Our list of the top 10 free website builders ranks Wix as the best all-round builder with tons of free features. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, while WordPress.com is perfect for blogging. 

However, while getting a website for free might sound too good to be true, often times it is. Well, it is if you want to develop and grow your website, get found online or create something that is truly yours.

Free website builders nearly always limit the features and functions that are available to you, which you may be ok with, but may also prove extremely frustrating 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.

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 Plans | How Much Do They Cost? And Are They Worth It?

BigCommerce Pricing Review

 BigCommerce Pricing review

Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

BigCommerce’s pricing plans come with impressive ecommerce features as standard. Even on BigCommerce’s cheapest plan, you can sell unlimited products and get unlimited bandwidth.

Whichever BigCommerce plan you choose, you can build a very powerful ecommerce store. And BigCommerce won’t charge ANY transaction fees!

Review by

Last Updated on June 7, 2019

BigCommerce pricing should be one of the first things you consider when building a website on BigCommerce.

After all, money makes the world go round right?

If you’re going to create a website on BigCommerce, you’ll want to know:

  • How much does BigCommerce cost?
  • Is BigCommerce worth the money?
  • Are there any hidden fees with BigCommerce?
  • How does BigCommerce’s pricing compare to rivals like Shopify?

This review will answer these questions and more. After ten minutes reading, you’ll be an expert on BigCommerce’s pricing.

BigCommerce is one of our top-rated ecommerce platforms. With BigCommerce, you can launch an ecommerce store without hiring coders or designers. You won’t have to spend cash on expensive technical or design help.

Something to think about when weighing up BigCommerce pricing.

BigCommerce is a specialist ecommerce website builder. They will host your website free of charge (give it somewhere to live online). And they will let you design a stylish store without design ability.

We recommend signing up to a free trial with BigCommerce. You can test the builder first to see if it’s worth the investment.

This review will deal with BigCommerce pricing: how much BigCommerce costs and whether it’s right for you.

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BigCommerce Pricing Plans – What It Costs Per Month

In a nutshell, BigCommerce’s prices start from $29.95 per month for the Standard plan, $79.95 per month for Plus, and $249.95 per month for Pro. It offers a 15-day free trial to try before you buy, a longer period than most ecommerce builders.

Think of it as viewing a house before you decide to complete. You can check and make sure everything is working. You can see if you like the feel and look of the house. All before you hand over your dollars.

The four plans BigCommerce offers are:

BigCommerce pricing plans breakdown
Find out more information about what each BigCommerce plan includes

If you pay monthly, this works out at an annual cost of:

  • $359 for the Standard plan
  • $959 for the Plus
  • $2,999 for Pro

BigCommerce pricing is unique in that you must upgrade if your store grows to a certain size (measured in sales). We’ve got more on this later.

On any BigCommerce plan, you save up to 10% when you pay for the whole year instead of month-on-month.

To get a quote for BigCommerce’s Enterprise plan, you have to speak to an advisor. The Enterprise plan is for big online stores generating significant revenue. Like Shopify Plus, it’s a high-end ecommerce solution. Prices are bespoke and depend on several factors.

You can try BigCommerce without paying a dime using the button below.

In the rest of this section we’ll focus on:



Further Reading
Cost Of Building A Website – our definitve guide on how much it will cost you to build a website using tools like BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Storefront Example
Using ecommerce builders like BigCommerce lets you create a powerful online store

1. What do you get on BigCommerce’s plans?

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, but what you get for your money.

We like the impressive features available on BigCommerce’s simplest plan.

No matter how much you pay, you 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 each BigCommerce pricing plan gets you:

FeaturesBigCommerce StandardBigCommerce PlusBigCommerce Pro
Monthly Price$29.95$79.95$249.95
No. of ProductsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
24/7 SupportYesYesYes
Coupons, Discounts And Gift CardsYesYesYes
BloggingYesYesYes
Free SSLYesYesYes
Customer SegmentationNoYesYes
Abandoned Cart SaverNoYesYes
Google Customer ReviewsNoNoYes
Real-Time ShippingYesYesYes
FeaturesBigCommerce StandardBigCommerce ProBigCommerce Plus

BigCommerce’s offering is comprehensive. If you’re creating your first ecommerce store, the Standard plan is perfect. It has enough features and functionality to cater for most stores.

Visit BigCommerce’s pricing page for a full list of the features available on each plan.

As with most things, the more you pay, the more you get.

Abandoned Cart Saver

The most important feature you can’t get on the Standard plan is Abandoned Cart Saver.

BigCommerce Abandoned Cart Saver
Upgrading to BigCommerce’s Plus plan gives you access to Abandoned Cart Saver

Abandoned Cart Saver is a game-changer.

It emails any of your shoppers who have reached the checkout page but didn’t complete the sale. BigCommerce says this helps you recover 15% of lost sales.

Shoppers might abandon their order for tons of reasons. They could have received an urgent phone call. Their computer could have broken down.

Abandoned Cart Saver makes sure they didn’t ditch the order because they didn’t want to. It reminds them of the product that interests them, and gives you another chance to make a sale.

It’s like having another shot after you’ve already missed a penalty in a soccer match. You might not have scored first time round, but you can target the goal again and have another chance to convert.

Depending on your store’s sales figures, Abandoned Cart Saver is the kind of tool that might make upgrading to a more expensive BigCommerce pricing plan worthwhile.

15% of your sales is a HUGE amount. Let’s say you’re generating $2,000 of sales each month. According to BigCommerce, Abandoned Cart could recover 15% of that $2,000. That comes to $300.

The $50 price difference between Standard (no Abandoned Cart) and Plus (Abandoned Cart), becomes insignificant.

Do the math first to see if it’s worth the upgrade. What’s important is figuring out what’s important to your store.


2. 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. Right for smaller ecommerce stores.
  • Plus – $150k. Good option for medium-sized stores or fast-growing stores.
  • Pro – $400k (beyond $400k, 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 have no choice: you must upgrade to the Plus plan.

You’re now thinking: But isn’t that punishing me for success? How is hitting my profit margins good for me or BigCommerce?

It’s easy to see why you might think this. You’re putting in a lot of graft to grow your online store. Your running marketing campaigns on social media. Adding new and exciting products. Writing great content. Why should they punish you for doing well?

This view is understandable, but comes at it from the wrong angle.

The idea behind BigCommerce’s pricing structure is that as your store grows, they will grow with you. It’s a long-term view of growth and aligns your success with BigCommerce’s.

It encourages BigCommerce to provide the services you need to keep your store growing.

When picking a website builder for your store, cheapest doesn’t always mean best. Small merchants may want to keep prices low at all cost. But if you’re looking to grow your ecommerce business into a solid income, your needs are different. A pricing model that develops with you might be exactly what you need.

BigCommerce’s pricing strategy is a recent introduction. So why did BigCommerce pricing change?

Once upon a time, merchants would stick on less expensive plans despite generating large revenues. BigCommerce’s pricing strategy makes sure merchants are paying the appropriate amount.

Upgrades don’t happen out of the blue.

BigCommerce told us dashboard notifications and emails alert customers of any upgrades. You will have plenty of warning your plan (and bills) are about to change.

BigCommerce’s pricing policy is fair for two reasons:

  1. Transparency: BigCommerce displays your monthly fee on their website. You’re contacted on multiple channels about your upgrade before it happens.
  2. Growth: Upgrades mean you will have the right functionality for a store of your size. BigCommerce are experts and know what bells and whistles your store needs to grow. Transitioning through the plans only happens when you’re making more money, and so are more able to pay. Plus, bigger stores (more traffic, more sales) need more resource to operate. As your volume increases, so do BigCommerce’s costs. It’s only fair that BigCommerce asks successful merchants to pay a little extra.

If you’re a merchant selling a high volume of low margin products, BigCommerce pricing may not be worth it. You may hit the threshold for revenue, but still be struggling to make decent profits.


3. Can you downgrade your BigCommerce pricing 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 switch back to a cheaper BigCommerce plan.

We asked BigCommerce and they told us merchants are not automatically downgraded. If you want the cheaper plan, and you’re within the sales limit, you have to ask.

BigCommerce says: because “a downgrade will result in the loss of features, we want the client to be the driving force for that action”.

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How Does BigCommerce’s Pricing Compare To Rivals?

BigCommerce’s pricing is almost exactly the same as their closest rival, Shopify.

Both BigCommerce and Shopify are ecommerce store builders. They specialize in helping merchants build stores (not only websites).

Shopify’s pricing plans range from $29 a month for the Basic plan to $299 a month for Advanced. This is almost identical to BigCommerce’s pricing. In fact, there’s only 95 cents between the two most comparable plans:

  • BigCommerce Standard – $29.95/month
  • Shopify Basic – $29/month

Here’s how BigCommerce pricing compares to Wix and Shopify. Along with BigCommerce, Wix and Shopify are our top-rated online store builders.

Pricing ComparisonWix.comBigCommerceShopify

Monthly Prices

(Based on Annual Plans)

$5.00

$10.00

$14.00

$17.00

$25.00

$29.95

$79.95

$249.95

$29

$79

$299

BigCommerce’s plans offer impressive out-of-the-box features and functionality. This includes features such as shipping rates, which you can’t get on the Shopify plan.

The next nearest competitor to BigCommerce and Shopify is Wix.

Wix is an easy-to-use drag and drop builder that helps users launch online stores with their eCommerce plan.

At $17 a month, Wix’s eCommerce plan is cheaper than anything on offer from BigCommerce. It doesn’t include as many features though.

If you use Wix and want the features included as standard with BigCommerce, you need to use the Wix App Store. This costs both time and money.

The way to see your monthly subscription is as an investment in your business.

Yes, Wix eCommerce is cheaper, but BigCommerce gives you specialist ecommerce features. If you want to build a long-term ecommerce store, BigCommerce is worth considering.

 

BigCommerce pricing offers terrific value for money.

Each website builder, of course, will offer a different experience. Some are cheaper but offer fewer features. Others are more expensive, but give you greater functionality.

The important thing is to find the builder that is right for your needs .

When it comes down to pricing, BigCommerce’s fees are average. They’re neither much cheaper or more expensive than their nearest competitors Shopify.

For more in-depth comparisons of our top-rated ecommerce store builders, see below.



Comparison Resources
Store builders comparison chart – visit our chart to compare our top-rated builders by price, features and much more.

BigCommerce v Shopify Comparison Chart – see a breakdown of the key differences between the two leading ecommerce website builders.

Wix Pricing Review – our review of Wix’s pricing plans.

Shopify Pricing Review – all you need to know about Shopify’s pricing.

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How Much Do BigCommerce Domain Names Cost?

Now we’ve dealt with BigCommerce’s pricing and plans, let’s look at other costs you should take into account.

One of those is purchasing a domain name from BigCommerce.

A domain name is like a store’s street sign. It tells visitors to your site who you are and what your website is about.

Buying a domain name from BigCommerce for one year will cost you from $12.27. This is the same as Shopify on price (Shopify domain names start at $13). Wix will give you a domain name free for a year if you sign up to a Premium plan, like Wix eCommerce.


Other Useful Pages
What Is A Domain Name? – See our ABC Guide to Domain Names for Beginners.
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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 on Shopify Payments. With BigCommerce pricing, it’s zero transaction fees no matter what.

This means you 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. More sales means more visitors and shoppers. More visitors and shoppers means your store needs more resources to maintain.

BigCommerce is able to waive transaction fees because of their forced upgrade policy.

Rather than charging you a percentage for each sale, BigCommerce will get you on a pricier plan. They 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 it’s a different model.

Still, no transaction fees is an attractive option (especially if you sell in high volume). Factor in any savings when working out which BigCommerce plan to sign up to.

Make sure 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 signing up to a free trial.

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BigCommerce Credit Card Rates

We’ve covered transaction fees, what about their natural brother, 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.

Think of it as the charge a courier company levies for moving your parcel from the warehouse to your front door.

It’s a fee ALL merchants have to pay. That’s how the world of ecommerce works.

What you can control is how much you pay. You do this by choosing the payment processor you want to use.

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.

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BigCommerce Customer Support

Have you ever tried building your own store? Or have you tried picking up a new online skill?

We have been there and got the tee-shirt.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll know that you can get stuck. You feel frustrated. You may even feel like giving up.

Any help you can get can make a real difference. That’s why BigCommerce’s support is worth a mention.

You might wonder, why are we discussing support in a BigCommerce pricing review? Because a website builder’s value is about more than money. When working out whether a website builder is value for money, you need to look beyond the price.

Good service saves you time. And the more time you have free, the more you can focus on marketing, which brings in customers, who bring in money.

BigCommerce gives you access to 24/7 live agent support no matter what plan you sign up to.

Think of it as like hiring business advisors and computer experts to work for your store. You might have a technical problem with your store. Or you might need some help promoting your store to find new customers. Whatever your issue, having 24/7 support gives you expert help on tap.

BigCommerce Customer Support
Having access to quality to customer support can save you time and money when running your ecommerce store

You can contact BigCommerce over the phone, LiveChat and email. The support is accessible from your store’s admin page – checkout our example in the image above. We’ve used BigCommerce’s LiveChat and have always found responses quick and helpful.

BigCommerce does not leave you on your own when building and running your online store.

Sounds good right?

It’s very difficult to quantify this kind of support in dollars. Think about the level of support you need. It should play a part when you decide if a website builder like BigCommerce is worth the money.

You also get access to the BigCommerce community. This is a network of ecommerce store builders like you. They come together to share problems (and solutions) and help each other succeed.

BigCommerce Community
Joining the BigCommerce community can help your store grow

Here’s how you can conduct your own review.

Sign up for a free trial and contact BigCommerce’s customer support. Ask how they can help you create your perfect online store and see if they impress you.

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How should I choose my BigCommerce Plan?

What BigCommerce plan you opt for really boils down to two things: ambition and budget.

Bigcommerce’s Standard plan gives you access to the bulk of its features. There’s no reason why you can’t build a comprehensive online store on this plan. However, the Plus plan is BigCommerce’s most popular for a reason.

The main differences between BigCommerce’s Standard and Plus plans are:

  • Customer segmentation – being able to group frequent shoppers together. This is useful if you want to run loyalty schemes for certain customers based on how much, or how often, they buy from you.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery – this is a big one. With BigCommerce sending automated emails to users who leave your site before checking out, you could recoup up to 15% in otherwise lost sales.
  • Persistent Cart – remembers carts across different devices. So if customers add items on their desktop, then later return to your site on their mobile, your store will have their cart saved and waiting for them.

The jump in price between the two plans may sound steep ($29.95 – $79.95/month), but you have to put it into context. The abandoned cart feature alone can help serious merchants make far more than $50 extra a month, meaning the plan is literally paying for itself – and then some!

BigCommerce’s Pro plan is for medium-to-large corporate businesses. If your company has an annual revenue of between $150k – $400k, then you should be signing up to the Pro plan. Anything over half a million, and you’ll want to speak to BigCommerce directly to get a quote for its Enterprise plan.   

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Conclusion: Is BigCommerce’s Pricing Worth It?

We hope this review has given you an insight into BigCommerce’s pricing. You should know:

  • How much it costs to use BigCommerce.
  • How BigCommerce’s pricing compares to competitors
  • Whether BigCommerce’s pricing strategy is right for your ecommerce store.

In our opinion, BigCommerce’s pricing is distinctive and attractive.

Prices start from $29.95 a month. While this may seem a lot, if you’re able to generate, for example, $500 a month in sales, it seems pretty small.

BigCommerce includes an impressive number of features as standard.

As an ecommerce specialist, you can be sure BigCommerce is giving you the best tools to grow an online store.

Before this review you may have been unsure about BigCommerce’s forced upgrade policy.

We hope we’ve explained how BigCommerce’s pricing model is all about growing with your business.

It makes sure your store has the appropriate tools and features to keep on growing. You’re notified about your upgrade in advance and charges are transparent. Plus, BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees. So you won’t find fees eating into your profit margins no matter how many products you sell.

Price is important, but it’s not everything. Picking a website builder based only on price is short-term thinking.

Take advantage of the 15-day free trial to find out if BigCommerce is the right store builder for you. You’ll only know if BigCommerce is worth the financial investment after you’ve invested time testing it.

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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 we haven’t answered already.

Can you upgrade if you don’t hit the sales threshold?

Yes. You don’t need to hit the sales threshold to upgrade to a more advanced BigCommerce pricing plan.

How does BigCommerce work out whether I’ve hit my sales cap?

BigCommerce bases their sales figure on a mix of product sales, taxes and shipping. Transactions through marketing channels like Facebook count as sales / orders.

What if I have more than one store on BigCommerce?

BigCommerce places individual stores on the plan appropriate for their sales volume.

Why is it calculated on a 12-month trailing volume basis?

So that BigCommerce’s pricing eliminates seasonal spikes. This makes your pricing plan more predictable.

Can I cancel my BigCommerce plan without paying any exit fees?

Yes. We asked BigCommerce and as long as you cancel at least 5 days before your billing date you won’t be charged again. Unless you have a contract with BigCommerce that states otherwise. But this is only likely to happen if you’re on an Enterprise plan.

What if I don’t sell in US Dollars?

BigCommerce converts sales into dollars using exchange rates in place at the time of order. We recommend you contact BigCommerce and check what these rates are if this applies to you.

How do I find out what my trailing 12-month sales number is?

Head to your BigCommerce Control Panel and select ‘Billing’ > ‘Purchase History’.

If there are any questions we haven’t covered in this review, post them in the comments section at the bottom.

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

best small business website buildersLooking to get your small business online? This article will help you decide exactly which website builder is right for you.

Building a website for your small business is daunting – we know from first-hand experience.

You’re already working hard and don’t want the added stress of running a website online.

You might think you’re not good enough with computers and building a website would take too long and cost too much.

Good news! Having a website is a great way of promoting your small business and reaching more customers and, thanks to drag and drop website builders, you can build one in the same time it takes to cook a good Thanksgiving dinner.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time or skill to build a small business website, you’re in the right place. Our recommended platforms make getting your small business set up online seem easy.

So how do you choose the right website builder for your small business? Every company is different, right?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – which builder is right for you will depend on what you hope to achieve through your small business website.

You might just want to set up a website for your small business to connect with more customers, or you might have an event you want to promote. Whatever your needs, we’ll point out the right website builder for you with the help of our in-depth research and user testing, which you can read about here.

We’ll explain why we think the best website builders for small business owners are:

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

If you’re looking to sell products online, you’ll want a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce.

Looking to build an ecommerce store?
Try our 5 best ecommerce software if you know you want to build an ecommerce website and sell products. This guide will deal specifically with the best builders to get you selling online.

Best Website Builders for Small Business

There are hundreds of website builders you could use, but a lot of them aren’t worth your time or money.

We’ve tested and reviewed five of the best small business website builders:

  1. Wix – the best for creative freedom
  2. Weebly – huge library of apps
  3. Squarespace – number one for website design
  4. 1&1 – excellent for scalability
  5. GoDaddy – simplest to set up

We’ve conducted research on all of them (and more) to get a scientific, birds-eye view of the market. Check out our table to compare their key features:

Whichever one you choose you’re in good hands because all five website builders let you create a high-caliber website for your small business without messing around with code or spending lots of money.

Remember, which one is right for you depends on factors like the type of business you run, your own personal experience using the builder and the features and functions you want your site to have.

Finding the best small business website builder for you might involve trial-and-error. Some offer a greater selection of templates, for instance, while others have a greater variety of apps to help you add all the bells and whistles to your site.

Our top five are all versatile builders that give you great freedom to create a unique and eye-catching site for your business. You can:

  • Update and edit your website without any tech know-how.
  • Add beautiful and professional templates.
  • Fill your site with top-quality content (product descriptions, blog posts, an ‘about’ page – the works).
  • Add contact information like an email address and a phone number.
  • Build swish product pages that help your customers find the products they want.
  • Sell your products securely by protecting your sales process with encryption.
  • Grow your customer base with email and social media marketing.

The different small business website builders have different prices, which can escalate as your site grows. Whether it’s worth paying extra to upgrade to premium or VIP plans will depend on the scale of your business and how quickly you grow online.

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

Wix

Generous creative freedom and website customization

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 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.

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 Code, 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?

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.

It’s like having a satnav in the car guiding you through time-wasting traffic and potholes.

Wix’s Help Center lets you search any questions you might have and find an answer, provides video tutorials that walk you through any tricky problems and lets you dial customer support lines to speak to a real advisor.

The Wix app store 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.

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.

This will allow you to create your own custom domain name (fredtrainers.com, for example) and get rid of the Wix logo on your homepage. You’ll also get access to apps, tools and features that help you build a small business website that stands out from the crowd.

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.

Weebly

Huge number of apps to enhance your website’s functionality

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.

It’s also very easy to make changes to images and copy and you could genuinely build a decent-looking store on Weebly between breakfast and lunch. To add content to your site, all you need to do is drag and drop the feature or styling you want to where you want it to appear.

ProsCons
#1Weebly has an enormous number of apps. What your site can and can’t do is effectively up to youYou can’t restore websites yourself. If you change your mind on a deleted site you will need help from the Weebly team
#2Superb search engine optimization functionality (SEO), giving your site the best chance possible of top search resultsThe app are great, but you need a premium plan to access most of them. Make sure it’s worth the investment

 

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.

Customizable, pre-designed layouts focused on particular industries mean it’s really easy to dive in and start building your small business website.

All this makes Weebly a great fit for small businesses that don’t need advanced functionality and are just looking to showcase products or services, like an interior designer, for example. 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.

Weebly has added more features recently, such as more advanced blogging functionality and integration with G Suite for Business, an email management tool, but it’s still pretty basic compared to Wix.

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

The downside to Weebly’s simplicity is that the theme and template options are somewhat limited. Weebly has over 40 templates; Wix has over 500. You’ll definitely get more variety with Wix, and even Squarespace.

Weebly does offer a free version, but you’ll only get 500mb of storage (how many images, videos and files your store can handle). 500mb may seem like a lot but you’ll eat it up very quickly if you need to host high-quality images or videos on your site.

Other helpful pages:
Weebly Review – 12 key things you need to know about Weebly.
Weebly Pricing Review – are the plans really worth it?

With Weebly’s free plan, you’ll also 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 if you want to build a small business site with personality you’ll need to sign up to one of Weebly’s reasonable paid plans.

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.

Squarespace

Outstanding website templates and images

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 their beautifully designed templates and phenomenal image quality make it a really unique offering.

Squarespace is a drag and drop specialist in its own right. If your business relies heavily on visuals like portfolios and product images (you might be a photographer or an artist, for example), you’ll want to seriously consider using Squarespace to build your small business website.

ProsCons
#1The template designs are stunning. Squarespace sites look professional and stylish — not a bad vibe at allSquarespace is pricier than its peers, which can be an unwelcome distraction when your business is just starting out
#2Social media integration is superb. You’ll want to get the world out about your business, and a seamless social media presence makes that a lot easierNot 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

 

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’s templates are polished and their clean lines give off a really professional vibe.

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

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

We’re guessing your small business website needs more than just images?

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 while they’re super stylish 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.

If you’re just looking to turn heads with your small business website, though, Squarespace is definitely worth a shot.

1&1 IONOS

Loads of great tools to help your website grow

This builder is aimed at those in the professional services industry such as lawyers, accountants, and consultants. 1&1 IONOS isn’t the most attractive builder in the world, but it’s a great option for getting functional small business websites live fast.

If you’re looking to get online with minimal fuss and care more about functionality than appearances, 1&1 IONOS’s builder is a quality option. It’s built for business use with lots of scalable tools. This means it’s great for growing small businesses, offering useful tools like accounting assistance, and local business listings.  As your business grows, the site can too – it’s more than just a website builder.

1&1 IONOS templates
The variety of templates available on 1&1 IONOS prevent you from getting bogged down in finicky design details. Choose a builder that fits, fill it out with your content, and get down to business

The template selection is extensive. There are hundreds of customizable designs covering a variety of industries, meaning your small business website can get off the ground quickly. If you’re feeling adventurous the option to customize templates using HTML is there, but it’s certainly not obligatory.

Ecommerce functionality on 1&1 IONOS is strong, which is no small thing for small businesses. Integrated ecommerce functionality and business widgets make setting up shop online simple.

Tying into that, one of the major selling points of 1&1 IONOS is that it works in multiple languages. Simply turn on the multi-language function. This is an essential plus for international business, and increasingly important to succeeding online in general.

ProsCons
#1Lots of integrated features to give your business site that professional edge.Far from the most attractive website builder around. Templates are clear and usable, but the likes of Squarespace offer much more stylish possibilities.
#2Extremely competitive pricing. The Business plan is just $1 a month for the first year (though fair warning, it goes up to $8 thereafter).If you’re not building with business in mind there’s not much 1&1 IONOS can offer that can’t be improved on elsewhere.

 

A business is nothing without its customers, and 1&1 IONOS understands this. It has taken great pains to integrate communication tools into its builder. The email marketing manager helps you stay in touch with your most devoted customers, while the social media and blogging functionality is ready and waiting for your engaging, shareable content.

Its search engine optimization (SEO) tools are also strong. SEO is how you get your site to rank well for relevant enquiries on search engines like Google and Bing. Every page you make has its SEO settings box, and not only do they support the optimization of your site, they help you understand why it’s so important.

Pricing is a big draw for 1&1 IONOS at the moment. Its Business plan is just $1 a month for the first year (with domain registration and custom email thrown in). Not only is that remarkably cheap, it speaks to 1&1 IONOS’s confidence in its product.

1&1 IONOS covers all the bases for small business. It’s best suited to the professional services industry, which includes lawyers, accountants, or consultants – especially smaller businesses looking to scale. Also, few builders can match the out-of-the-box usability of 1&1 IONOS. For a reliable, organized online presence for your business it’s well worth considering.

GoDaddy

Fastest to build 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 fast.Customization options are limited compared to the likes of Wix and Squarespace.
#2Offers advanced ecommerce functionality, allowing you to add up to 5,000 products and customize shipping options right in the builder.Not the best fit for more artistic industries. GoDaddy is a pretty straight edged 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 that fussed about customization, GoDaddy’s artificial design intelligence (ADI) can generate an entire site after you’ve answered a few question.

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).

There’s an all-in-one benefit to GoDaddy. 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.

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.

5 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?).

Thankfully, the best website builders are so good that getting your small business online is affordable and easy-to-do.

We’ve looked at five of the best website builders for small business:

  1. Wix – generous creative freedom
  2. Weebly – the largest number of apps
  3. Squarespace – number one for stunning images
  4. 1&1 – the best for scalability
  5. GoDaddy – quick and easy site setup

Each of our 5 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.

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 Wix as their 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?

Squarespace is the number one for a design-focused website. Their templates are all stunning and professional.

For a website builder with a wider selection of beautiful templates, we recommend heading over to Wix.

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 Pricing Plans Review – Are They Really That Expensive?

Shopify Pricing Review

 Shopify Pricing review

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Picking the right ecommerce builder can be confusing, especially when it comes to figuring out how much it really costs.

A lot of people complain about Shopify pricing plans, specifically when it comes to transaction fees and credit card rates.

In this Shopify pricing 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 June 7, 2019

Let’s be honest, we all want a good deal by getting the most out of purchases while paying the least possible. It’s wise, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

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.

I know, times are tough and every dollar counts, but in addition to being obsessed with the price tag while shaking your head, you should also weigh up the rewards from achieving long-term success.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I building an ecommerce store? To expand my business? To generate some side income? Maybe one day I can quit my full-time job and work from home?
  • To best reach my goals, should I automatically use the cheapest tools available? Or should I use the best tools available, even if it costs more per month?

If you’re going to enter a car race where the prize is freedom (however you define it – financial freedom, lifestyle freedom, freedom from your nagging boss, etc.), would you enter the race with the cheapest car you can find on the lot? Or would you actually consider investing in a high-performance car to give yourself the best chance of winning?

I’m not recommending that you throw your entire life savings away here. You’re more sensible than that.

What I’m suggesting is to consider investing in the best tool (even if it costs more) to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

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.

The fact is, Shopify is not the cheapest ecommerce builder in the market. It’s not. But in my view, it is one of the best and it’s getting better every year.

So, if you want to improve your chances of building a successful online store, Shopify is one of the best tools you can invest in to help you achieve your goal.

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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Shopify Pricing Plans – What It Costs Per Month

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-years plans, you save 10% or 20%, respectively.

Shopify Prices:

Shopify Pricing PlansShopify BasicShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly$29.00$79.00$299.00
1-Year
$/month
$26.10$71.10$269.10
Savings (%)10%10%10%
2-Years
$/month
$23.20$63.20$239.20
Savings (%)20%20%20%

An interesting fact I dug up is that based on Shopify’s annual report (they are a publicly listed company), there are more users on the monthly plan than the 1-year or 2-year plans.

This is a broad statement, but unfortunately Shopify didn’t provide exact percentages. I’d imagine that the discounts you receive are not steep enough for users to commit to longer terms.

On that note, you should also know that Shopify’s merchant growth has progressed at a pace of 74 percent on average since 2012, and helped its merchants process over $40 billion in sales.

Shopify is on an accelerated growth path and their brand continues to receive more and more recognition each year as one of the best ecommerce builders available today.

shopify pricing shopify trends
Overall interest in ecommerce is growing slowly while interest in Shopify is growing rapidly. Click graph to see recent updates.

In fact, uber-successful entrepreneurs such as Tony Robbins and Daymond John (Fubu, Shark Tank) all recommend and support Shopify’s mission and platform.

Of course there are solid alternatives to Shopify out there (see our comparison to BigCommerce here), but none come with quite the same industry recognition as Shopify.

Getting back to Shopify pricing plans though, here’s exactly what you get from each plan:

FeaturesBasic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly Price$29.00$79.00$299.00
Credit Card Rates2.9% + $0.302.6% + $0.302.4% + $0.30
Transaction Fees

Shopify 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

You can click here to see the actual pricing table on Shopify’s website.

To get a quote for Shopify Plus (not listed on the table above), you have to speak to Shopify directly. This is because it’s an enterprise-level ecommerce plan targeted at big businesses.

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.

I’ll go over the Credit Card Rates and Transaction Fees in much more detail below.

Shopify Plus (Enterprise Level Users) – 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.

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Shopify Pricing – Credit Card Rates

On Shopify’s pricing table, the Credit Card Rates section 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.

What this means is that when a shopper purchases a product from you, the payment processor that helps you collect money, and deposit the money into your bank account, will charge you a fee for handling this monetary transfer process.

It’s something you can’t avoid, unless you physically go to each shopper, collect the cash, and depositing it into your own bank account.

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 30 cents 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)

Shopify Payments is Powered by Stripe

Shopify Payments is actually powered by a very reputable payment processor called Stripe.

They’re known to be reliable, easy to work with, and for their transparent pricing structure.

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 vs PayPal

In this section, I’ll compare Shopify Payments (essentially Stripe) with PayPal – the most popular payment processor in the world.

PayPal is rock solid. It’s reputable, easy to use, but they’re more expensive than using Shopify Payments:

ServiceShopify PaymentsPayPal
Monthly Fees$0$30 *
Transaction Fees

2.9% + $0.30

2.6% + $0.30

2.4% + $0.30

2.9% + $0.30
Amex FeesSame as above3.5% + $0.30
International FeesSame as above3.9% + Fixed Fee **
Accepts Apple PayYesNo
Payout Schedule

2-Days: US, Australia

7-Days: Canada, Ireland, UK

21-Days

Source: PayPal Merchant fee schedule

* If you want your customers to remain on your website throughout the entire checkout process, you’ll need to upgrade to PayPal Payments Pro ($30 per month). If you don’t, your customer will be redirected away from your website to PayPal’s secure payment page, then be brought back to your website after payment. Stripe keeps your customer on your website the entire time.

** If your customer is not based in your country, PayPal will charge you a higher percentage plus a fixed fee. The fixed fee depends on where your customer is located:

Shopify credit card fees based on country
Depending on your customers’ locations, PayPal will charge different fees.

Summary

A lot of ecommerce businesses choose to use Stripe because their pricing structure is simple and transparent, and the funds are automatically deposited into your bank account a lot faster than PayPal.

In fact, 85% of Shopify users use Shopify Payments when it is available in their country (we’ll get into more details in the next section).

While PayPal is also reliable, their pricing structures are often confusing as there are a lot of “depends on…”, so it’s challenging to work out exactly how much they’re going to charge you per transaction.

It can be really frustrating sometimes, especially if you’re a very detailed type of person and want to know exactly how they calculated the fees.

At the end of the day, it’s cheaper to use Stripe / Shopify Payments if it is available in your country.

Keep in mind that the processing fee also decreases (though marginally) if you subscribe to a higher Shopify plan.

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

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Shopify Pricing – What’s The Best Plan For Me?

Shopify’s Basic Plan is great for anyone who wants all the standard functionality of an online store but isn’t bothered about all the fancy features that can come on top.

It costs $29 a month and can really help kick-start your journey into the world of ecommerce. It also is a fantastic way of creating a fully-fledged online store if you’ve had some initial success with the Lite Plan and want to make the step up.

Shopify’s Professional Plan is a smart choice for those who are really invested in growing their business. If your site currently returns around $5000 in monthly revenue, then this is the plan for you.

This plan costs $79 a month but gives you added features such as an abandoned cart recovery tool, which is proven to increase sales without adding to your workload.

Shopify’s Advanced Plan is designed for companies with monthly revenues in excess of $10,000 and costs $299 a month.

Shipping is handled by a third party and the plan also allows you to create advanced reports. This is an excellent feature for those looking for more accuracy when testing and projecting. 

Cost of Shopify

At this point, it’s important to state that there are two other plans also available – Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus – with these two plans sitting either side of the spectrum.

Shopify Lite allows you to add ecommerce functionality to an existing site (like a personal blog or even selling through Facebook). Whereas Shopify Plus caters for massive companies and takes care of managing your orders, giving you and your team more time to focus on marketing products.

Shopify Lite costs $9 per month and is for those just want to sell things on the side. It won’t allow you to create a separate online store and is really more of an added extra to your site rather than the main attraction.

If you want Shopify Plus however, you’ll need to get a quote from Shopify themselves. As a safe bet, though, you’ll be looking at around $2000 per month.

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Shopify Pricing – Transaction Fees (Q&A)

I see complaints about Shopify’s transaction fees quite often, usually from merchants who are concerned about how transaction fees can add up quickly and eat into their profits.

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, is it unique to Shopify (or if they’re just a bunch of greedy people), and what you can do.

Q: How do transaction fees work?

A: 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.

Q: What are transaction fees for?

A: 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).

Q: Doesn’t the monthly plan fee cover this already?

A: 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.

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

A: 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.

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

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

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

A: 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).

Q: Will using Shopify Payments cost me anything more?

A: 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.

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

A: 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 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.

Q: Are a lot of Shopify users using Shopify Payments?

A: 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.

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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Conclusion – Shopify Pricing Plans

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 $29 per month plan is quite manageable.

Now, imagine if you grew your sales to $5,000 per month over time, the monthly cost starts to become negligible.

So, while $29 or $79 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 $200 per month, then Shopify is probably not for you.

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

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Wix Pricing Review: Which Premium Plan is Right for You?

Wix Pricing Review

 Wix Pricing review

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Wix’s pricing plans offer really good value compared to other drag & drop website builders. We feel that Wix is the best All-Around website builder and their pricing range is lower than its direct competitors.

Review by

Last Updated on June 7, 2019

This article will examine the prices and features of each Wix plan, and who each one is best for. We’ll even look at any extra costs you should expect from Wix, and how its pricing compares to its competitors.

By the end of this review, you’ll know which Wix plan will offer you the most value for money, or if you’d be better off looking elsewhere.

Before we plunge into the nitty gritty details of Wix’s pricing, you can take a look at its star ratings below to get an idea of what it has to offer.

Disclaimer: The prices shown in this article were correct at the time of writing. Wix is currently going through a period of testing its prices, so the plans you find on the Wix pricing page might be different from the ones described in this review. Once Wix has finalized its pricing, the figures will be updated to keep the information accurate.

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How Much Does Wix Cost?

Wix has seven price plans, ranging from $11 to $35 per month (billed annually), as well as its free plan, plus a specialized business solution called the Enterprise plan, which costs $500 per month.

Wix-Pricing
(Prices are monthly fees when paid annually, excluding VAT)

You can pay for your Wix subscription either monthly or yearly, with seven premium plans to choose from. Wix also offers a free plan, which is a fantastic way of starting out. However, we don’t recommend it for the long term because it’s so limited.

To remove Wix adverts from your site and use your own custom domain, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. The cheapest premium plan is the $11 per month Combo plan. Say hello to 3GB storage, 30 video minutes, 2GB bandwidth, a free custom domain, and more!

The Combo plan is the cheapest plan, and best for personal use. If you’re running a more professional site, we recommend the $14 per month Unlimited plan, which gives you  more generous features, including 10GB storage and unlimited bandwidth.

For online stores, we recommend starting off with the $20 per month Business Basic plan, as it has great features for small stores at a great price.

Wix Pricing Comparison: Monthly vs Annual Plans

Wix Pricing PlansMonthly Plan ($/month)Annual Plan ($/month)Savings (%)
Combo$14.50$11.0025%
Unlimited$16.00$14.0014%
Pro$24.00$19.0021%
eCommerce*$25.00$20.0020%
VIP$35.00$29.0017%

* This price reflects the Business Basic plan, which is the cheapest of the three ecommerce premiums.

When you choose an annual plan instead of a monthly plan, you can save anywhere from 18% to 36%. Not only that, there are certain features that aren’t included in monthly plans – for example, free domains, and premium apps and vouchers.

When it comes down to it, you get much better value for your money with the annual plans, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want to get the most out of your subscription.

You don’t have to jump feet first into paying for your Wix plan – Wix has a free plan, and you should 100% use it! Try Wix out, see if it works for you, build a test site, and then decide which plan to sign up for.

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Which Plan is Right for You?

Wix Website Pricing

Wix has four plans for people who just want to build a website, rather than an online store. For those of you wanting to build a personal blog, portfolio, or even a business site, one of these plans will be for you!

These plans range in price from just $11 per month up to $29 per month.

wix website builder pricing
Wix has four website builder price plans, ranging from $11 to $29 per month.

Combo Plan ($11.00/month)

This plan offers much more versatile and in-depth features than the free plan, removing adverts as well as offering a free domain on the annual plan. While embedded videos are always free, this plan also allows you to upload up to 30 minutes of video to be played in high definition.

This plan will remove all Wix advertisements from your website, so your visitors won’t know that your website was built with a website builder.

You get 2GB in bandwidth and 3GB of storage space under this plan.

At just $11 per month, the Combo plan is great for small and personal websites, with features to fill all your basic needs:

  • 2G bandwidth
  • 3GB storage
  • Connect your domain
  • 30 video minutes
  • Remove Wix branding & adverts
  • Free domain for one year

Best for: personal use. This is the best basic Wix plan for your first upgrade, offering great value for money if your website is on a small level.

Unlimited Plan ($14.00/month)

Wix’s Unlimited Plan is great for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, no Wix adverts, a free custom domain for the year, and premium apps makes this plan worth the extra $4 per month (compared to the Combo plan).

With Wix’s Unlimited Plan, you unlock the Site Booster App ($60 value), which helps improve your website’s chances of being discovered in Google (you can also see our guide on Website Builder SEO here).

The Unlimited plan removes some of the limitations of the lower price plans. By unlocking premium apps and more video content, you can create a more user friendly and interactive site with increased storage, bandwidth, and SEO boosters.

Best for: small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. If you don’t need to sell through your website, this plan is perfect for giving you more freedom to engage with visitors and giving your website room to grow.  

Pro Plan ($19.00/month)

Coming in as the best value for money is the Pro plan. It’s the smart choice for any business that is yet to nail its branding.

The main selling point of the Pro plan is getting a free logo designed for you. This is usually worth $50 alone, so it’s a massive bonus to have it included in your monthly costs.

Another draw is getting access to Ascend – Wix’s bespoke marketing tool. With Ascend, you can set up your own live chat, automate personalized messages and notifications, market across social media, and receive greater SEO support.

Best for: small businesses who need help with their branding and marketing strategy. From getting a tailor made logo, to bespoke marketing tools, the Pro plan is comfortably Wix’s best valued plan for non-ecommerce websites.

VIP Plan ($29.00/month)

The Wix VIP plan also comes with VIP pricing – the most expensive plan out of the four website-only plans!

This plan comes with all the features of the lower premiums and combines it with extra bonuses only available on the VIP plan.

You get all the features from the cheaper plans, as well as unlocking priority response and VIP support. Priority response gives you the real VIP treatment, pushing your questions to the front of the queue. You even get exclusive phone help with VIP support!

So Wix’s VIP plan is a premium price for a premium service. This is really for those with a bigger website who need that extra bandwidth, and for those with a bigger budget who can afford that VIP service.

Best for: bigger websites, and anyone who needs a high level of support and a large amount of email campaigns.

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix
Do you know which Wix plan is perfect for building your website? To start your journey with Wix, click the button below and choose the plan that’s right for you!

Wix Business and Ecommerce Pricing

For those of you wanting to sell products through your website, you’ll need an ecommerce plan. Wix has three ecommerce plans for you to choose from, ranging in price from $20 to $35 per month (billed annually).

There’s also the Enterprise plan, an advanced business solution, which costs $500 per month (billed annually).

wix ecommerce pricing plans
Wix has three ecommerce plans to help grow your online store or business, ranging from $20 - $35 a month. This gives you lots of features and room for expansion.

Business Basic ($20 per month)

If you’re setting up a standard online store, this is the best option for you – and the cheapest! It has all the features you need from accepting payments to creating coupons using the Wix Stores app. If you’re selling services or offering appointments you can use the Wix Bookings app to create bookings, set email reminders and more.

These are great add-ons, but what do you actually get with the Business Basic plan itself?

  • 20GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • SSL encryption
  • Free domain
  • No Wix adverts
  • Online store – no commission
  • Site Builder & Form Builder premium apps
  • Google Analytics
  • $300 Ad Vouchers

This plan is still the best to start out on, and this should be more than enough to grow your online store with. But if you know you need more than this, take a look at the Business Unlimited plan.

Best for: small online stores! If you’re setting up an online store or want to accept payments through your website, this plan has got you covered.

Business Unlimited ($25 per month)

This is Wix’s most popular ecommerce plan. It has all the features included in the Business Basic plan, with extras!

10 video hours means you can upload up to 10 hours of video content to your website, but 35GB storage and email campaigns are the real strong points of this plan. It gives you the tools to promote and grow your online business for only $5 extra a month!

Unless you already have an online store set up and running, it’s probably best to work up to this plan so you really get the most for your money. You don’t want to be paying for features your website’s not ready for – it would be like buying a car and only using it to listen to the radio instead of driving it!

Best for: growing businesses and online stores. With all the features of the basic plan plus really valuable extras like email campaigns and extra storage, this plan is perfect for increasing your website’s size and outreach.

Business VIP ($35 per month)

This is the most expensive ecommerce plan at $35 a month. With its priority response and premium support, this is the ecommerce equivalent of Wix’s regular VIP plan. It offers:

  • Everything included on the lower business plans such as unlimited bandwidth, Google Analytics, premium apps, and email campaigns
  • 50GB storage
  • 30 video hours
  • Priority response
  • VIP support

This Wix premium plan has the most storage of all six plans at an impressive 50GB. So if it’s space you’re after, look no further! Priority response and VIP support means you don’t have to waste precious time waiting for answers to your queries or trying to sort out problems online. Talk to customer support over the telephone, jump straight to the front of the queue, and move on – time is money after all!

Best for: large online stores and large budgets. This plan has the most amount of features, storage, and powerful features of any of Wix’s premium plans.  

Enterprise Plan ($500 per month)

Enterprise is Wix’s most advanced – and expensive – plan, at $500 per month. This is an end-to-end business solution that throws your site into the big leagues.

This plan doesn’t list features like storage and bandwidth. You get to enjoy the features from the Business VIP plan included, but the real focus is on the personalized service the Enterprise plan gives you.

Say a big hello to onboarding and setup with the support of Wix Professionals, the ability to continually monitor your project, consult with industry-leading experts, have annual security audits, and more. This plan takes support and customer service to a whole new level.

Best for: large stores that need the full works to succeed and grow, and large budgets to support the price tag that goes with this level of service.

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix
Are you ready to start building your online store? The button below will take you to Wix’s pricing page, where you can pick your perfect ecommerce plan and start selling today!
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Wix Prices vs Competitor Prices

Wix pricing plans are pretty economical when compared to its direct competitors (Squarespace and Weebly).

Wix’s regular plans range from $11 per month to $35 per month, whereas Squarespace’s plans range from $12 per month to $40 per month, and Weebly’s plans range from $5 per month to $38 per month.

Wix also has the advantage of offering its Enterprise plan, which provides a higher level of service that isn’t matched by either Weebly or Squarespace.

Pricing ComparisonBasicPersonalStandardBusiness & EcommerceAdvancedCustom
Wix$0$11.00$14.00$20.00$35.00$500
Weebly$0$5.00$12.00$25.00$49.00
Squarespace$12.00$18.00$26.00$40.00

Granted, each of these competitors offers you different features, and each plan is unique in who and what it is meant for. This table shows a general outline of the level of each plan. You can see how Weebly and Squarespace prices quickly become more expensive, whereas Wix’s plans remain under $40 (unless you need its majorly advanced Enterprise solution).

Wix’s $11 per month Combo plan sits comfortably between Weebly and Squarespace, offering great value for your money. It’s cheaper than Squarespace’s $12 per month Personal plan, while offering more features than Weebly’s $5 per month Connect plan.

While Weebly has the cheapest starting price with its $5 per month Connect plan, it also offers the least amount of features. Squarespace is a worthy investment, but it is more pricey than its competitors. For a great range of features at a reasonable price, Wix shines out as the best value for money choice out of these three builders.

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Additional Wix Costs

Beyond paying the monthly subscription fee, there are other costs that you should take into consideration, including:

  • Domain name
  • Custom email addresses

Domain Name Cost ($14.95 to $24.85 per year)

What’s a domain name?  It’s your own personalized website address that people can type into a web browser to reach your website.

For instance, our website domain name is www.websitebuilderexpert.com

If you sign up to one of Wix’s annual plans you’ll get a free custom domain name for one year.

After the first year, you’ll need to pay an annual fee to keep the domain name registered to you – this renewal is automatic so you don’t accidentally lose your domain. If you don’t pay, then someone else can register that domain name and use it for him/herself.

wix domains
Click to see Wix's domain name offerings

Compared to Squarespace and Weebly, Wix’s domain name fees are reasonable.  Squarespace charges $20 per year and Weebly charges $19.95. So Wix offers a really competitive renewal rate at $14.95 a year.

Want to find out more?

Custom Email Addresses ($4.08 per month per email address)

Wix has partnered up with G Suites (basically Google’s Gmail for Business) to enable you to create custom email addresses directly within your Wix account, meaning you can pay for, setup and configure your email addresses right inside Wix’s dashboard.

So what do you get if you decide to use G Suites? You get:

  • A personalized email address
  • 30GB email inbox and drive storage size
  • Collaborative Calendar, Google Docs, Sheets & Slides
  • Online video meetings and messaging (Google Hangout)
  • No ads
  • Accessible on mobile and desktop
  • 24/7 support

All these features will cost you $4.08 if you sign up for an annual plan, or $5.00 if you decide to go with a month-to-month plan.

wix pricing mailbox plans
Click to see Wix's email service offerings

Wix Pricing: Conclusion

Wix is the most popular website builder and its prices are competitive. The range of features, premium apps, increased bandwidth and storage, and perks like a free domain offer great value for your money.

We don’t recommend the free plan for long-term success. When you’re ready to upgrade, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your hard earned cash with all Wix’s premium plans.

Let’s have a quick recap of Wix’s eight price plans:

  • Free plan: $0 forever! A great range of features, templates, and apps, but with limits on your site’s functions, Wix branding and adverts on your site, and a wix.com website address.
  • Combo plan: $11 a month (billed yearly). Get a free domain for one year on the annual plan, more storage, bandwidth, and remove Wix ads. Best for personal use.
  • Unlimited plan: $14 a month (billed yearly). More storage and unlimited bandwidth. Wix’s most popular plan, especially for businesses.
  • Pro plan: $19 a month (billed annually). Your very own professional logo design and access to Wix’s marketing tool, Ascend.
  • VIP plan: $29 a month (billed annually). Sell online, get unlimited bandwidth and premium support, priority service, and one-time site review. Wix’s most expensive website plan.
  • Business Basic plan (formerly eCommerce plan): $20 a month (billed yearly). Sell online, no commission, get premium apps to support your online store, 20GB storage, unlimited bandwidth and no Wix ads. The cheapest plan for selling online.
  • Business Unlimited: $25 a month (billed annually). Sell online, no commission, 35GB storage, and 20 email campaigns a month. Best for growing your online store.
  • Business VIP: $35 a month (billed annually). Sell online, no commission, 50GB storage, and priority support. The most expensive ecommerce plan.
  • Enterprise plan: $500 per month. Sell online, and receive advanced support and specialized services. The most expensive and complex business plan.

Wix’s free plan is a great way to start out, build and test your website before upgrading. You can then move onto one of Wix’s eight paid plans: we recommend upgrading straight to the Combo plan for $11 a month, as it has everything you need for a personal website.

For selling online we recommend the Business Basic plan for $20 a month, as it has everything you need to make your online store succeed. As your business grows you can upgrade to the Business Unlimited plan at $25 a month which supports email campaigns and has 35GB storage.

We covered additional charges like domain renewal, but rest assured there are no hidden costs with Wix. It remains one the best value builders compared to its main competitors.

So which plan you choose will depend on your needs and preferences as well as your budget. But whether you’re starting your own blog or looking to sell online, Wix really does have something for everyone – at prices everyone can afford!

Wix Pricing: FAQs

Do I need to pay for hosting with Wix?

No! Hosting is included in all of Wix’s plans, including the free plan. You don’t need to worry about any extra costs there, or the effort of finding your own hosting provider, as Wix sorts out everything for you.

Is it easy to upgrade or downgrade my plan?

Yes! You can upgrade easily by going into your Wix account, clicking upgrade, and picking which plan you want to sign up to. Downgrading is just as easy – go to Premium Plans in your Wix account and click on Change Plan. Then just click on the plan you want, and make sure to finish off by clicking Confirm Plan Change.

Downgrading can be a little more tricky, for example if you’re switching from a business to a website plan, but Wix has help in place for this.

I don’t want autorenewal for my domain – can I switch it off?

Yes, of course! Wix automatically renews your domain subscription 10 days before it expires, to avoid you losing it. If you don’t want this, then you can easily turn this setting off in your account, under Billings & Payments.

Is Wix Free?

Yes! Wix has a free plan you can stay on as long as you like. There are no hidden costs or extras – you can create, edit, publish and then carry on uploading to your website without paying a single cent! You get a great choice of templates, features like videos, galleries, maps and more, as well as free apps to add to your site.

But, there are drawbacks to the free plan. There will be Wix branding and adverts on your website, you can’t have your own personalized website address, you can’t sell online, and there are certain features you won’t be able to use. So the free plan is best for starting out, creating and designing your website, and getting an idea of how you want it to look and perform. Then, we do recommend upgrading to one of Wix’s premium plans, such as the $11 a month Combo plan which removes ads and offers a free domain.

What is the best Wix premium plan?

The best type of Wix plan for you will depend on your needs and the type of website you’re creating. If you have a personal or business website that doesn’t need to sell anything online, we recommend the Combo plan.

At just $11 a month it’s great value for money and provides everything you’ll need to grow your website, such as a free domain and 3GB storage. If you’re looking for something more, the Unlimited plan is Wix’s most popular price plan at $14 a month. This gives you unlimited bandwidth and premium apps!

If you need to sell online Wix’s Business Unlimited plan is the most popular, as it gives you the best features for growing your business, for example 35GB storage and 20 email campaigns a month. If you’re just starting out though, we recommend the cheapest ecommerce plan Business Basic at $20 a month, as it has everything you need to set up your online store.

Can I pay my Wix subscription monthly?

Yes, of course! You can choose whether you pay for your Wix plan monthly or yearly, but remember that you won’t have access to the same perks, features and offers if you pay monthly. For example, you won’t get the free domain for a year or be able to use the premium apps usually offered with annual plans. Also, if you pay monthly it is more expensive than paying for a yearly subscription.

Does Wix have any hidden costs?

Not a single one! If you’re on the free plan, there’s no fee to publish your site or make changes to your site once it’s live. There are apps and features you need to upgrade to use, but it tells you this upfront as soon as you click on a premium feature, so you’re not caught out or charged.

There are always extra costs to think about, the main ones being domain renewal fees or setting up a personalized email mailbox as these things do cost extra. But Wix isn’t sneaky about these, and you have complete control over your own renewals and payments. If you have your own domain name and don’t want automatic renewal remember to turn it off in your settings.

Does Wix have a free trial?

Yes! Wix has a free plan you can stay on as long as you like. All of Wix’s premium plans offer a 14 day money back guarantee so you can test it out without worrying. This is a great way of knowing you’re picking the right plan, as you get access to all the features it has to offer, but with the comfort that if you’re not 100% happy you’ll get your money back.

This means there aren’t any surprises when you sign up with Wix. Just remember if you purchase a domain name, this will not be included in the refund.

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.

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How to Build a Business Website in 5 Easy Steps

How to Build a Business WebsiteIf you operate a business and you don’t have a website yet, you should really consider building one.

Why should you create a business website?

The truth of the matter is that you can’t afford not to have one.

Your business website can help you generate more clients throughout all aspects of the customer acquisition cycle, such as when a prospective client:

  • Performs a broad internet search for what sort of businesses can help with solving his/her problems – and discovers you;
  • Wants to find out more information about specific businesses to see if he/she should inquire for more information;
  • Retrieves your contact information to reach out to you either through email or the phone.

The situations on how you can benefit from having built a business website are endless.

Let’s face it, you probably use the internet to find out more information about various businesses too, right?

Gone are the days when you can only rely on having your business listed in the Yellow Pages or word-of-mouth. While these “old school” methods are still effective to a certain extent, creating a business website is complementary to other methods of attracting new customers.

If you’re wondering how to build a business website, just know that it’s not as hard as you think.

This guide will walk you through what you need and how to get started in building your first business website.

You probably have a million things on your To-Do list, and adding a website to your long list can be overwhelming.

This is why we created this ultimate guide to show you how you can build a professional business website all on your own.

You can create a business website easily and quickly using a website builder, such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. They allow your business site to be up and running in a matter of hours! And you don’t even need to know how to code!


Why not check out our essential guides or in-depth website builder reviews for further information:

How To Build A Website
How To Build An Online Store
Wix Review
Weebly Review
Squarespace Review

If you have money to spend and other priorities to focus on, you should consider hiring someone to build your website for you. We and our friends over at Expert Market have carefully selected people with the skills to get a stunning site live fast.

However, if you don’t have much of a budget to work with, read on and we will guide you through how you can build a good looking business site yourself.

Here are the 5 simple steps to get you started on your way to creating a fantastic business website:

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Get A Domain Name

Anyone who ever used the internet knows you need to insert a website address to get to any website.

A domain name is the address of your website.

While it is very common for businesses to have domain names that are the same as their business names (such as walmart.com), you can pick a domain name to include any text phrase you want as long as it is not already taken.

For example, the domain name for our website is www.websitebuilderexpert.com. For businesses it’s important to think about how your domain will be relevant to what you do. It’s the first contact a lot of people will have with your site, so make it count.

There are two costs associated with getting your own domain name:

  1. Cost to buy a domain name; and
  2. Cost to keep your domain name registered every year.

A domain name typically costs around $10 to $12 to purchase, and the same price range for you to keep it registered in your name every year.

If someone already owns the domain name you want, you’ll need to select a different domain name or it is possible to reach out to the owner to buy it.

Here are some FAQs about domain names:

Q: Where can I buy a domain name?

A: Some popular domain name providers are GoDaddy and NameCheap.

Q: Where can I find more about domain names? For example, how to pick, purchase and register my domain name?

A: Here is our comprehensive beginners guide domain names. You’ll find everything you need to know about domain names in our guide.

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
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Get A Personalized Business Email Address

To make your business look more professional and established, you’ll need a custom business email address.

You probably don’t want your prospective customers to see that you’re using a Gmail email address such as jane@gmail.com.

They’ll probably perceive that your business is not as established.  While this is pretty judgmental, it’s just human nature.

The most common business email addresses format actually uses your business domain name.

For example, our email address is info@websitebuilderexpert.com

So yours can be yourname@yourwebsiteaddress.com

Getting a custom business email address is fairly easy, fast and cheap. Our recommendation is to use G Suite which is powered by Google.

How to build a business website - g suite gmail

It’s basically Gmail for businesses except you have a personalized email address. You get the friendly user-interface, reliability, and security of Gmail.

It only costs $5 a month per email address, which in our view is a very reasonable price to pay to get your own customized email address and you can sit back and let Google manage everything else.

We also use G Suite ourselves and we’re very pleased with their services.

G Suite is fully integrated with some of our recommended website builders.

If you choose to use one of these website builders, they make it easy for you to setup your own personalized business email addresses. You won’t have to sign up to G Suite separately as you can get your email addresses all setup within the website builder control panel.

More about our recommended website builders below.

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Choose A Business Website Builder

This is one of the most important steps when building your business website.

This is because if you choose the right website builder software based on your needs, building a business website can be as leisurely as a walk in the park versus climbing Mount Everest.

There are a lot of website builders out there and they all have their own sets of pros and cons. We’ve pretty much used most if not all of the website builders to create all sorts of different websites, so we want to share our recommendations with you.

When choosing a website builder, keep this in mind:

Never choose a website builder that is too complex and offers all sorts of features that you don’t need.

It so easy to get enticed by all the bells and whistles and make the mistake of falling for business website builders that offer the most tools. After all, our brains are naturally wired to believe that more is better.

Features are great only if you actually use them. Remember, the more features a website builder have, the more complex and difficult it may be to use. Try to keep things simple and it will make your life a bit easier. What does your business need for the site to be useful? What is likely to be useful in the future?

When choosing the right website builder, make sure you consider your technical and design skill levels, and what complex features you realistically need for your website.

There is no such thing as a perfect website builder for everyone. Some business website builders will work better for some people. As long as you don’t get side-tracked by fancy tools that you might potentially use 5 years down the road, you will be fine.

To help you through the selection process, here is a guide we wrote on how to choose the right website builder with simple questions you can ask yourself.

Here are our recommended website builders for businesses and what they are best suited for:

Top 4 Business Website Builders

Website Builder List
  1. Wix.com
  2. Squarespace
  3. Weebly
  4. WordPress (using Bluehost)

Detail Top 4 Website Builder Assessment

Wix.com

Best All-Around Drag & Drop Website Builder

  • Wix.com strikes a good balance between easy-to-use and flexible features. This drag & drop website builder can handle any websites from ecommerce stores to powering online reservations for hotels or classes. Its flexibility is excellent because it allows you to build websites for all sorts of businesses.
  • You have access to some advanced design tools that are ridiculously simple to use, such as 500+ stylish template designs, parallax scrolling, video backgrounds, artificial intelligence website design assistance (called Wix ADI).

Who is Wix best for?

Price Range:

  • Monthly Plans: Free Plan | Starter: $5.00 | Combo: $10.00 | Unlimited: $14.00 | E-Commerce: $17.00 | VIP: $25.00
  • Template Designs: Extensive collection across a lot of business niches
  • Hosting: Included
  • Support: Includes phone, email, forum, help center


See Full Review

Squarespace

Best Design Oriented Drag & Drop Website Builder

  • Squarespace is like the Apple of business website builders. They can help you create visually stunning, minimalistic business websites that can capture your visitors’ attention.
  • Squarespace has the best looking designs amongst its competitors that can make your business stand apart from others. It also offers you an advanced template design customization tool that gives you the freedom to customize your website design without having to touch any codes. So they are very user-friendly for non-technical people.

Who is Squarespace best for?

  • If you want to create a visually stunning website for businesses in industries such as photography, design, restaurants, ecommerce, etc. You can see some examples here.
  • If you need the ability to highly customize your website design.

Price Range:

  • Monthly Plans: 14-Days Free Trial | Personal Website: $12 | Business Website: $18 | Basic Commerce: $26 | Advanced Commerce: $40
  • Template Designs: Smaller collection but very beautiful
  • Hosting: Included
  • Support: Includes 24/7 email, live chat, help center


See Full Review

Weebly

Easiest-to-Use Drag & Drop Website Builder

  • Keep it simple” is part of Weebly’s DNA. A very low learning curve when it comes to building a business website with Weebly.
  • Choose various pre-designed page layouts so you can quickly set up your pages and swap in your own text and images.
  • Because Weebly is a dead simple to use, it doesn’t offer as many features as other website builders. If you only need to have a relatively straightforward website without any specialty functions (such as online reservation), exceptionally stunning designs, Weebly will probably be a good fit for you.

Who is Weebly best for?

  • If you are very afraid of technology and need something that is extremely easy to use.
  • If you just need a simple business website that requires little to no advanced functionalities.

Price Range:

  • Monthly Plans: Free Plan | Starter: $8 | Pro: $12 | Business: $25 | Performance: $49
  • Template Designs: Smaller collection – more basic looking
  • Hosting: Included
  • Support: Includes phone, email, live chat, help center


See Full Review

WordPress

Most Flexible Website Builder

Not a drag & drop builder and requires you to subscribe to a separate hosting service, such as Bluehost

  • WordPress is a powerful website builder that can create any type of website you can imagine. There are thousands of template designs and plugins to choose from to add more functions to your website.
  • If you know how to code, or if you hired a capable coder, there are almost no limitations when it comes to what you can do with WordPress.
  • Caution: In my opinion, WordPress is not something I will suggest for people with no or limited technology skills, or for those who have never owned a website before. Why? Because WordPress has a much steeper learning curve and setup costs than fully managed website builders like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. WordPress also doesn’t offer you a dedicated support team so you’ll need to troubleshoot issues yourself (or hire someone).

Who is WordPress best for?

  • If this is not your first website and you have some knowledge about web hosting and basic coding skills to be able to manage a WordPress business website on your own.
  • If you need to heavily customize the design of your website or need a very customized tool / feature that drag & drop website builders can’t cater to.
  • If you have time to learn how to use and manage a WordPress website or have sufficient budget to hire a professional to help you get started.

Costs Range:

  • Start Up Costs: $40 to $200 
  • Monthly Maintenance Cost: $5 to $250 (refer to the comparison below for more detail costs breakdown)
  • Template Costs: $35 to $150+
  • Hosting Costs: $5 to $99+
  • Hired Support: $50 per hour to $150 per hour


We’ve created a handy table chart that compares costs and features of WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

How well suites different website builders to the requirements of building a business website
Click on image to see full-sized image

Useful Resources:

0

Choose A Website Template Design

A website template is a pre-made website design that you can just add to your website to instantly create a professional looking website without the need of hiring a website designer.

Think of templates as different variations or styles of clothes for websites.

It is the most simple, design-dummy proof and economical way of having a well-designed website and you don’t need to hire a professional designer to help you do this. Website builders try to provide templates that cater to as many business categories as possible.

A selection of business website templates provided by Wix
Business Templates from Wix.com

Most business owners believe that their only option is to hire a designer to create a custom design for their business website. Well, I’m here to bust that myth.

A good website designer has lots of value to add. I know because I am a website designer.

If you have a few thousand dollars laying around and don’t want to bother with creating the website yourself, then hiring a website designer might be the way to go.

But if you have a limited budget or want to be smart about creating a functional business website that’s still professional looking, I would suggest to hold off on hiring a website designer if you’ve never built a business website before.

Here’s why…

You need real data to create a user-friendly website that caters to your specific customers. Since this may be your first website (and potentially a new business), you will probably have no ideas how your customers actually experience your brand, what they are interested in, and how they interact with your website.

Without this crucial information, splurging on a custom design without fully understanding what your visitors are actually looking for and how they interact with your website can be a financial disaster.

We have firsthand experiences with building a custom website too early and that is why we recommend that you start with an inexpensive, pre-made website template to get started and understand what you really need for your website design.

This gives you a chance to better understand your website visitors, what they are looking for, and what is important / helpful to them.

After gathering and understanding this data, you can then consider investing in a custom website design that is built upon actual data of what works best for your business.

Keep in mind that you can always invest in custom-built design later once you figure out what you actually need, not what you think you need. It’s never too late for that.

 

How Do You Choose the Right Website Template Design for Your Business?

We’ve created a how-to guide that shows you 3 simple rules that you can follow to pick the right template design for your business website.

See Guide here: How to Choose Your Perfect Website Template Design

Where to find website templates?

  • If you are using a self-hosted website builder such as WordPress, you can find good WordPress templates at WooThemes and Mojo Marketplace.
  • If you are using a fully managed website builder (such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly), they will provide you with free website template designs. Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

Wix.com

Compare with Other Website Builders

Wix Templates:

  • Large template library with over 500 professionally designed templates.
  • Templates are pre-populated with example content so you don’t have to figure out how to design your page layouts. You just need to replace the existing example content and images with your own.
  • Here are some real website examples created by Wix users.

Template Examples:


Wix business website template example

Wix business website template example - real estate

Wix business website template example - dentist

Wix business website template example - law firm

Squarespace

Compare with Other Website Builders

Squarespace Templates:

  • A collection of exceptionally well-designed templates that can make your website look similar to some custom designed websites.
  • All templates are fully customizable with Squarespace’s advanced, code-free template customization tools.
  • Here are some real website examples created by Squarespace users.

Template Examples:


Squarespace business website template example - restaurant

Squarespace business website template example - restaurant

Squarespace business website template example - restaurant

Squarespace business website template example - real estate

Weebly

weebly_logotype

Compare with Other Website Builders

Weebly Templates:

  • Decent selection of free templates, but the quality of design is not as good as what Wix or Squarespace offer you.
  • The content layout tool allows you to easily add various pre-made content layout designs onto your pages.
  • If you know how to code, you can access to the codes so you can make custom changes if you want to – an added design flexibility.
  • Here are some real website examples created by Weebly users.

Template Examples:


Weebly business website template example - barbershop

Weebly business website template example - restaurant

Weebly business website template example - photography

Weebly business website template example - finance

Useful Resources:

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Populate Your Business Website With Your Content & Information

Now it comes to the fun part – inserting content and images into your website.

It’s important to remember that a business website is ultimately just a framework for whatever your goods and services are. It isn’t finished until you’ve populated it with content and information.

What that content is depends on what you do, but there’s a few things usually worth doing regardless. You’ll need ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages, as they’re the types Google look to to populate company knowledge graphs. Beyond that, there are things like homepage copy, blog posts (if you choose to incorporate one into your business website), product images, and production descriptions to think about.

This is the part where you will spend most of your time. Here are some resource guides that we put together that will make this process a lot easier and faster for you.

7 Essential Resources To Help You Create A Business Website:

  1. How to Design a Winning Home Page: See our guide on how to create an awesome, effective home page design layout. We have examples you can imitate & templates you can use.
  2. How to Make a Logo in 1 Minute – Without Any Design SkillsLearn how you can create professional logos without using fancy (and complicated) image editors like Photoshop.
  3. Where to Find High-Quality Images for Your Website on the Cheap: See which top 5 resources where you can find beautiful images to boost the professionalism of your website
  4. How to Edit Images Like a Pro All By Yourself – With an Online Photo Editor: Find which image editor are easy to use and require little to no technical at all.
  5. How to Choose a Good Color Scheme For Your Website: Picking the right color scheme for your website can help brand your business & influence your visitors’ psychology. See our guide on how to choose color.
  6. How to Pick the Perfect Font Style Design for your Website: Choosing the right font style design can hugely improve your overall website design & improve your visitors’ experiences. See how to pick the right font for your website here.
  7. How to Use Video Background On Your Website: Adding a video background to your website can make it look professional, trendy and “wow” your visitors. See how to add it, as well as do’s and don’ts.

Conclusion: How To Build a Business Website in 5 Easy Steps

Building your first business website or improving on an existing one doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

You can either approach it in a very complex way or keep things simpler by using the right tools with the right plan. A business website doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming to create.

Once you know what to do and which tools to use, building a business website can be a lot easier than you were led to believe.

With a good drag & drop website builder, you can build a professional looking and functional website in days or weeks while keeping your financial commitment under control, rather than spending months and thousands of dollars.

All the tools we’ve talked about in this guide offer you free plans or free trials. This allows you the option to test and see which one you prefer working with.

Creating A Business Website: The FAQs

How can I create a website for my business for free?

Most website builders have free plans, or at least free trials, that mean you can create a business website for nothing! However, free plans do come with restrictions that can be limiting for your business, for example, displaying adverts for your website builder on your site. This doesn’t give off a very professional image, but you can get rid of them by upgrading to a paid plan for a modest monthly fee.

Wix has a free plan that you can use for as long as you want. So if you’re set on creating a business website for free, give Wix a whirl!

How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?

You can technically create a small business website for free using a website builder free plan. However, in order to make a really professional looking business website, with a personal domain and free of adverts, costs start from around $5 a month.

Which website builder is best for business websites?

We recommend Wix as the best business website builder. It has fantastic features and is a really flexible and easy to use platform.

Which website builder is easiest to use?

According to our research, SiteBuilder comes out as the easiest to use website builder, with Wix in a close second place.

How long does it take to create a business website?

You can create a business website in a matter of hours if you really want to! Yes – it really is that quick and easy!

Using a website builder means your business can have a brand spanking new, and professional looking, website in no time at all. We recommend allowing a day or two to really get your site up and running to a level you’re happy with.

Which is the cheapest website builder?

Wix and Weebly have free plans that you can use for as long as you like. To upgrade to their cheapest monthly plans, Wix starts at $5 a month, and Weebly at $8 a month. Check out our guide on the cheapest website builders for more information.

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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?

How much should a website cost?
Website A

How much does a website cost?
Website B

(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 $5,000 to $10,000, while Website B is a free template from Wix.com?

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 cost 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 $250,000 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 want 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.

If you opt go down the route of hiring a website designer then a basic site will cost you around $6,750.

On the other hand, if you use a simple drag and drop website builder it will only cost you $5/month, providing that you only need a basic website.

Website builders also offer advanced functionalities (such as ecommerce) which would cost you from around $17/month.

And 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.

For a basic website you can expect to pay the following in your first year:

Cost of Building a Website:

FactorsHiring a Web DesignerUsing a Website Builder (e.g. Wix)
Setup$160$0
Design & Building$5,000$0
Content Creation$500$0
Training to Use it$600$0
Maintenance$500$60
Total$6,760$60

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 $4.50 for a fancy Starbucks latte when an alternative is to spend $0.10 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 $5 – $350/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 $5 – $30
  • VPS hosting costs $50 – $250
  • 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 – $50):

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 $50).

If you need some handholding / direct support, you can hire a developer or designer to show you the ropes ($30-$80/hr for a designer or $80-$180/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 – $50):

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 and how to get one, we have a beginners guide to domain names you can refer to.

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 ($30-$80/hr for a designer and $80-$180/hr for a developer).

The website setup cost can be as low as $5 (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 $30 – $50 (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 – $50):

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 $50/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 $50 – $$$$):

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 $35 – $200):

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 $35 to $50 and premium paid templates range from $80 to $200.

CUSTOM BUILT WEBSITE USING PRE-MADE templates (cost $300 – $1,000):

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 $300 and $1,000 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 $5,000 – $10,000+):

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 $5,000 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 $10,000 and can go all the way up to well over $30,000.

                (There is a cost summary table below.)

 

#4 Cost of creating content for your WordPress website (Cost $500 – $5,000):

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 $35 – $200. 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:

  • $50 – $80 per hour
  • $250 – $500 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 $100 – $1500 depending on the extent of the branding design you need.

You may also want to budget for ongoing maintenance costs. That’s usually about $100 – $500 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 $500 – $1,000):

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 $80 and $180 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 $500 to $800 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.

 

Summary Chart of Hiring a Professional to Help You Build a WordPress Website:

Website Setup CostsHosting Cost: $5 – $250/month

Hiring Pro to Setup: $50 – $200 (1-time fee)

Time: 1 to 6 hours

Website Builder Software Learning CostsPaid Tutorials: $50/month

Time to Learn Basics: Few hours

Time to Learn WordPress: Weeks

Website Design CostsBasic Templates: $35 – $50

Premium Templates: $80 – $200

Template Alterations: $300 – $1,000

Custom Design: $5,000 – $10,000+

Website Building CostsFree if you do it yourself (but will cost you time)

Hourly Costs of a Designer: $50 – $80/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: $500 – $5,000*

The range is wide as it depends on how much content you have and how many pages.

Website Maintenance CostsDeveloper Cost: $100 – $180 per hour

Estimated Annual Cost: $500 – $1,000

 

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, Squarespace or Weebly (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, Squarespace, and Weebly are some 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 3 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, Weebly 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, Squarespace, and Weebly 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. But the downside is that you are limited to what the website builder gives you as most of them don’t grant you access to the codes of the template to make custom modifications – with the exception with Weebly.

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.
  3. Weebly: Their templates allow access to the codes so you can make custom changes if you want to – an added design flexibility.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#4 Cost of building content in your drag & drop website (Cost $500 – $2,000):

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.

Summary Chart of Cost of Website using Drag & Drop Website Builder:

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: $30 – $60/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: $500 – $2,000

Website Maintenance CostsWix:                 $5.00 | $10.00 | $14.00 | $17.00 | $25.00

Squarespace: $12.0 | $18.0 | $26.0 | $40.0

Weebly:           $8.0 | $12.0 | $25.0 | $49.0

*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

Found This Guide Helpful?

Question – Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

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

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

 

3 Web Design Software to Easily Help You Build an Awesome Website – Without Any Technical Skills

If you’re searching for a good web design software – you’re probably feeling a bit lost (and maybe a bit scared) on how to build a website that people won’t laugh at…

Some questions that you have might include:

  • “I feel DUMB because I don’t even know where to get started.”
  • “People tell me I have to HAVE to learn code, but I really don’t want to.”
  • “I was born with NO design talent whatsoever! I know it when I see something nice, but I have trouble designing ANYTHING from scratch.”
  • “I’m WAY too busy with other things in life. I want a web design software that’s easy to use, and can make my website look good.”

Web Design SoftwareHere’s the counter-intuitive thing. Building your first website doesn’t have to be so scary.

It’s actually easier than you were led to believe.

This statement would have been absolutely false a few years ago – but with modern web design software that’s widely available to you today, you can actually build a pretty decent website without having to commit a lot of time, or even go to a coding school.

Don’t believe me?

Think about how far technology has improved over the past decade to make your life easier than ever. Smartphones, online shopping, streaming videos, etc.

With Uber, you no longer have to extend your arm and wave like a crazy person just to flag down a cab. The driver comes to you after you just click a button.

With Airbnb, you can actually live in someone else’s home half way around the world, all with just a few clicks online. You now have the option to not live in expensive hotels when you’re traveling.

They even have self-driving cars for goodness sakes!!

So is it really that outrageous to believe that building websites can actually be easy with modern technology?

With the right website design software, you can now tap into technology (that’s easy to use) to help you create a good looking website.

It’s possible, and it’s easier than you think!

Here is a sneak peak summary of the modern web design software on the market and how they can help you build your website:

The Best Website Design Software

  • Wix – easy to use editor with great support, beautiful templates and innovative features and apps, free plans available or from $4.50/mo
  • Squarespace – a design oriented website builder, with templates that look good on all devices, from $12/mo
  • Weebly – Weebly – very user-friendly editor with pre-designed page layouts to help you get started, free plans available or from $8/mo

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
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Benefits of Modern Web Design Software

  1. Easy to use – just drag & drop, no coding required.
  2. Professionally designed templates for you to use.
  3. All technical maintenance work is taken care of for you.
  4. 24/7 dedicated support teams.
  5. Affordable pricing.

Just to show you how easy it is to create a professional looking website we created a challenge to see if a novice with no website building experience could build a website in under an hour using web design software:

Now that you have a sense of the web design softwares and what they’re capable of, let’s dig into how these website design software are different (and better) than the old school way of building websites.

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The Old vs New Way of Building Websites

“You can build your entire website online nowadays.  There’s no need to install anything anymore. Just log into the web design software (like Gmail) and you’re ready to start. Anyone can do this – even if you’re not computer savvy.”

In the good ol’ days (actually, it’s not that long ago), if you wanted to get a taxi, you’d have to call them.

You find the number on your phone, call, tell them where and when to meet you, wait, hop in the cab and pay at the end of the trip while fumbling around with a bunch of change.

That sure is a lot of work… compared to opening the Uber app, clicking a button, get in the car, get out of the car, and that’s it.

You see, Uber is a service – They are there to make life easier for you.

The same is true for web design software nowadays. They’re services, and not just a product like in the old days.

These software services are here to make building websites easy for you, so you can move on to other important things in your life

Back in the days, you’d have to walk into a store and buy a website design software that comes in a box.

In the box, there are CDs for you to install into your computer.

web design software - old way
Oh GAWD…. is this HURTING your eyes too?? How did people EVER work with this??

After you spend 2 hours trying to install the program (and countless Windows pop up that says you have to update this or install that driver), you’ll have to drag your eyes through a thick technical manual on how to actually use it.

Yeah, it’s sooo primitive! Remember those days? If you’re younger, then ask your parents. They’ll tell how badly that sucked!

It’s like running to the payphone around the corner just to call your friend. So ghetto!

Website builders nowadays are all online based. So you don’t need to buy any CDs, you don’t need to download any files. You just type in a website address into your web browser, sign up online and you can start building your first website.

You don’t have to worry about coding, you don’t have to stress about how to make your website actually appear online on the internet. The website builder takes care of all that technical stuff for you.

We’ll get into more details of how they work below.

Remember, web design software nowadays is services.

This means they’ve designed technology to make things easy for you, and have full-time support teams to help you.

Just like how Uber makes going from point A to point B easier, and how Airbnb makes traveling easier, and cheaper, these software’s entire goal is to make website creation easy for you.

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Web Design Software – They're Darn Easy to Use

“If you can drag things around your screen with your mouse, you can build websites with web design software. They’ve made it easy (and code free), that even a grandma can do it.”

Back in the days, if you weren’t technical, or if you didn’t have a best friend named Bill Gates that just happened to know how to code, you’re crap out of luck.

Not only that, you have to set up your own server to host your website so your website can actually exist on the internet.

It feels like you need to go through another 4 years of school just to be able to build a simple website.

AND, that doesn’t even guarantee that your website will look remotely good! The last thing you need is to spend months building a website and have it look as if you pieced it all together in the dark.

Ewww…

Web design software nowadays is DEAD easy to use — and they make your design look good.

It’s almost like laying on your couch while messaging your friends on your phone to say “what’s up”, instead of using a dirty payphone 4 blocks away at the gas station.

Software such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly do all the heavy lifting for you.

You literally just have to log into the web software, and you’re ready to build.

There’s no setting up, no updates, and more importantly, no need to bake cookies to make friends with a coding guru.

You can drag content (like text, pictures, videos) around your website without ever touching one line of code.

Web Design software - drag & drop
Drag & Drop – it’s as easy as it looks

You don’t have to mess around with hosting or server stuff.

These web design software, like all the other new technology nowadays, make life easier for you.

Don’t believe me? Just sign up to any one of the leading web design software and give it a test drive (signing up is free).

If you are unsure about which is best for you, take our short quiz to get recommendations tailored to your needs:

website builder quiz

It’ll surprise you how effortless it is nowadays to make your own website, compared to just a few years ago!

We’ll go over some of my favorites later below.

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You Don't Have to Worry About Design or How to Make Your Website Look Good

“Web design software give you great looking design templates to give you a head start. You don’t have to be great at design at all.”

Let’s face it, building a website is one thing. Making it look GOOD is another thing.

The last thing you want is for someone to look at your website, and say, “hmmm, it’s nice…”

We all KNOW what that means!

Here’s the problem. Even if you got around all the technical headaches of building a website, you still have to make it look good.

Think of a Ferrari or a hot sports car of your choice. The engineering marvel that sits under the hood is a lot less sexy if the shell sitting on top of it looked like an ugly square box.

The car has to look good, right? Nobody wants to own the best engine money can buy, and be caught dead cruising in a square box down the highway.

You’re not going to earn any swag points with that.

Looks MATTER and you know it. Just keeping it real.

So how do web design software solve this problem for you?

They give you a good collection of professional looking design templates, so you can start off on the right foot so to speak, instead of staring at a blank canvas without know where to even start.

website Design software - example
Here’s an example of the caliber of templates these web design software give you.

You can browse through their design libraries, narrow down to your favorite one, and use that as a starting point to build out your website.

Staring at a white blank page, and not knowing where to start, is a terrible feeling especially if you’re not good with design.

With these designs, you can have a great looking website without having to be a rockstar designer.

Instead of “hmmm, that’s nice….”, your friends will be saying, “Whoa, how did YOU do that??”

You may not be a rockstar designer, but you can certainly feel like one!

Take a look at a few leading web design software’s design templates you’ll see what I mean:

Wix

Wix has over 500 designs covering a broad range of industries – so you’ll have a really good chance of finding something for your own industry. Their templates come with pre-populated designs so you can just swap in your content to get started really quickly.

Web Design software - Wix templates
Click to see Wix’s design templates

Further, their designs are also very up-to-date with the latest design trends. For example, you can build 1-pager parallax designs, insert background videos, create different background sections, all without touching any codes (just drag & drop)You can see them in action here.

Squarespace

Although Squarespace doesn’t have that many templates, all of their designs look really professional and polished. It’s a classic case of quality over quantity.  Your website will look as if you paid someone thousands of dollars to custom design for you.

Click to see Squarespace’s design templates

Weebly

Weebly doesn’t have as many templates as Wix, and their designs are not as updated as Squarespace’s (but they’re getting closer), but they’ve really come a long way in improving their collection.  They have some pretty good ones, and you can expect even better ones to come in the near future.

web Design Software - Weebly templates
Click to see Weebly’s design templates

As you can see, these software provide you with an amazing collection of design templates – so you don’t have to be afraid that your website will look bad.  If you haven’t done so yet, click on the images above to see for yourself!

Why You Should NOT Hire A Designer – you really don’t have to hire a designer especially if you are just starting out. See our detailed discussion on why this is better for you, especially if you are just starting out.
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Sorry, But You Won't Have to Deal with Hosts and Servers

“You used to have to deal with all the technical tasks like hosting and security updates. Not anymore. They’re all taken care of for you.”

It’s a sad day… and I’m not talking about restaurant hosts and servers (lamest joke of the day…)

I mean, why wouldn’t you want to torture yourself with technical manuals about how to setup, configure and tweak servers so you can host your website online? It’s not like you have better things to do…

Website design software nowadays is all online. So you don’t have to worry about how to keep your website on the internet.

Just log into the software, insert your content using their drag & drop technology (no coding required), and click publish.

They’ve made it dead simple for you.

You might not get a badge of honor for learning how to setup and tweak servers. The opposite sex might not get a chance to drool over your tech prowess. [Sad faces all around]

What you will have, is a good looking website – published, so you can move on and take care of other things in your life.

All the back end technical matters are managed for you by the software providers.

Remember what I mentioned above? These software are services. They’re here to serve its users (you), so you can actually enjoy the process.

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What If I Need a Bit of Handholding & Support?

Using a web design software to build your own website is not like buying tools and materials from Home Depot, where you’re largely left to figure things out on your own with minimal instructions.

When you build your website with these software, they give you 24/7 support.

In addition to with extensive help guides online so you can search for answers, they offer different channels of personal assistance as well:

Wix:  Phone / Email

SquarespaceLive Chat / Email

Weebly:  Phone / Live Chat / Email

Just to give you an idea of the level of support you can expect, here is the support statistics for Squarespace from 2016:

web design software - squarespace support
Support statistics for Squarespace in 2016

As easy as these software are to use, being able to get proper support gives you a bit more confidence in your ability to use them to build a good, functional website. Agree?

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Web Design Software Pricing - Is it Worth the Investment?

“Technology is getting cheaper & cheaper. The same goes for web design software – the monthly fee is very affordable.”

I’ll get right to it. Building your own website is not expensive anymore.

In fact, fueling your daily Starbucks habit is 20x – 30x more expensive per month than getting started with a website design software.

Those darn triple, venti, half-sweet, skinny, low foam, soy caramel macchiatos.

In fact, some of the best software allow you to build a full website for free. They don’t even impose a time limit as to how long you can keep using them.

The catch is that if you want more tools, or be able to customize certain things, you’ll need to subscribe to a premium plan.

But you can get started with a premium plan for as low as $5 per month. There are no hidden fees.

You’ll just have to give up a fancy cup of (fake) coffee for 1 day. I’m sure you can handle that.

Of course, the higher the plan, the more features you get access to.

But in my opinion, the web design software below give you all the necessary tools to publish a functional website, even with their lowest plans.

Keep in mind that you also get access to their support teams and that their technical guys will manage all the technical matters for you, so you don’t have to.

*Squarespace offers a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

Here are the pricing charts to Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. Just click on them to see their pricing pages so you get a sense of what’s included:

Wix

Wix actually has a VIP plan that gives you premium support with their own dedicated VIP support line. But it’s not something you have to sign up to yet.  If you’re interested in using Wix, you can start with a lower plan, get your website up and running, then upgrade later if you want to.

Web design software - Wix pricing
Click to see more pricing details

Keep in mind that you can sign up and use Wix for free, and they don’t impose any time limit on you.

Squarespace

Squarespace has a wide range of plans for different users.

Note that with all 4 plans, not only can you create unlimited pages, you also have access to Squarespace’s Cover Pages which enables you to create 1-pagers for your website.  1-pagers are quite popular nowadays where you can layout your content in multiple sections on a single page set up.

The higher plans ($26 / $40) are dedicated to ecommerce websites.  So if you’re interested in building an online store, those are options you should look at.

Web design software - squarespace pricing
Click to see more pricing details

Weebly

Weebly’s highest plans (Business & Performance Plan) is dedicated for people who want to focus on building an online store. If your website won’t be used to sell anything, then the Starter or Pro plan should be enough.

Note that you can still sell products through their Starter or Pro plans, but the ecommerce features available to you are limited.  But it’s a good way to get started to test things out.

Web design software - weebly pricing
Click to see more pricing details

Remember, all of them are free for you to try.

You can test them out for free, and if you feel comfortable, sign up to one of their plans.

I would suggest starting with a lower plan, and work your way up. You can always upgrade later without over-committing yourself.

Cost of Building a Website – if you’re interested in hearing our own trials & experiences.

We mentioned a few website builders above. If you’re curious, here are more in-depth discussion about their pros & cons and how they can help you:

Or, if you want to dive straight in:

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Conclusion - You No Longer Have to Stress About How to Build a Website

I hope that this article showed you that you no longer have to be afraid of building your (first) website.

Modern technology has transformed how a lot of things work, including website building.

Just think about it this way. Keeping in touch with your friends and family is so easy nowadays through Facebook or other social channels.

If you’re lazy, you can get groceries or hot meals delivered directly to your front door with a few clicks.

Amazon delivering products to you using drones. Self-driving cars. Artificial intelligence.

Given how advanced technology is nowadays, being able to build websites easily and hassle free – sounds pretty low-tech in the grander scheme of things.

So you better believe it – Building websites is easy nowadays.

With leading web design software such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly you no longer have to be comfortable with technology (such as coding, or managing a server).

They’ve made it very easy for you to just login into their software online, and drag and drop your way to publishing a website.

You also don’t have to stress about design, as they all offer you collections of great looking design templates. These templates will give you a head start so even your friends will be impressed (even if you’re not good with design).

Using these software is not expensive either. If you can afford a cocktail on a night out, you can definitely afford taking advantage of these website builders.

Don’t forget that they have dedicated support teams to help you out as well. So that will give you the confidence to embark on your web creation journey.

If you’re interested in finding out more about some of these software, here is a comparison chart where we’ve highlighted some of their key differences for you.

Happy website building!

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Web Design Software - The FAQs

What is the easiest web design software?

If you’re looking for a very straightforward and smooth website building experience, you really can’t go wrong with Weebly. Their editor is easy to use and very quick to get to grips with.

While this is true, we recommend having a play with a couple of website builders before settling on your final choice. You want to make sure the one you choose really is easy for you to use.


Which web design software has the best customer support?

Both Wix and Weebly have fantastic customer support available. We really like Wix’s Help Center – they have an answer for almost anything!


What is the cheapest web design software?

Both Wix and Weebly offer free plans so you can get started for nothing! They do both offer reasonably priced paid premium plans that are really worth considering if you want to give your site that extra boost!


Which web design software has the best templates?

Squarespace is well-known as a design-focused website builder. Their templates all have the ability to make your website look amazingly professional.

Another website builder with impressive templates is Wix – they have a range of over 510 so you’re spoilt for choice!


Which web design software is the most mobile-friendly?

Squarespace’s templates are all mobile responsive which means they look stunning on all devices with little or no effort from you.

Also, Wix has a separate mobile editor which gives you control of how your site looks on mobile. This means you can update and tweak things on the mobile version of your site independently from the desktop version if you need to.

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Best Ecommerce Software | 6 Solutions To Help You Sell Online

best ecommerce software

This article will take you through the best hosted and self-hosted ecommerce solutions for building an online store.

Trying to choose the best ecommerce software so you can sell online?  You’ve come to the right place.

In an online world filled with stylish shops and stores, your business needs the best ecommerce software it can get. Choosing the right software for you will help make a real impression – and lots of money too.

After all, US shoppers spent over $453 billion online in 2017 – a massive 16% increase compared to 2016.

To grab a piece of that pie, you need an ecommerce solution.

What are ecommerce solutions? An ecommerce solution is specialized software which helps you sell online. You don’t need any tech skills because it’s designed to give you all the tools you need. There are hosted and self-hosted versions depending on your store’s needs.

There’s just one tiny problem, though – how do you pick the best ecommerce software for you?

There are lots of ecommerce solutions out there, and all of them promise to make building an online store a walk in the park. Even less helpfully, they also seem to offer similar tools and features.

That’s why our experts carry out research into every ecommerce platform and builder we review. We take an in-depth look at features, pricing, design, customer support, and more. We get regular people to test out each and every one to give real insight into ease of use and customer satisfaction.

We’ve done the research, and we’ve got the results – so if you’re thinking of creating your own online store and are looking for the best ecommerce software to use, this article is for you.

We’ll show you the best hosted ecommerce software:

  1. Shopifybest hosted ecommerce software overall
  2. BigCommerce best ecommerce software for large businesses
  3. Volusionbest ecommerce software for analytics

We’ll also show you the best self-hosted ecommerce solutions:

  1. Magento – best all-round self-hosted ecommerce software
  2. WordPress with WooCommerce – best self-hosted ecommerce software for flexible design
  3. OpenCart – easiest to use self-hosted software

You can see how our top three hosted ecommerce software solutions are rated below. If you’re ready to go, follow the links to sign up for a free trial:

What’s the difference between ecommerce software and an ecommerce solution?

In this guide, we’ve used ‘ecommerce software’ and ‘ecommerce solution’ in the same way. They both describe dedicated ecommerce tools that help you create an online store.

Ecommerce platforms, on the other hand, can include website builders that let you add ecommerce functionality. We haven’t included these builders, such as Wix and Squarespace, in this article. If you want to know more about these and ecommerce platforms on the whole, read our review of the best ecommerce platforms.

Here’s a full comparison table including Wix and other ecommerce website builders.

Best 3 Hosted Ecommerce Solutions

Our top three choices of ecommerce software for building an online store are:

  1. Shopify: best all-round ecommerce solution (Try For Free)
  2. BigCommerce: best ecommerce solution for scaling fast-growing businesses (Try For Free)
  3. Volusion: best for analytics features (Try For Free)

These are all-in-one ecommerce solutions dedicated to helping you build an online store.

You can see how our hosted ecommerce solutions stack up in three key areas, and sign up for a free trial, using our features comparison chart below:

Here’s what the features listed mean, and why they’re so important.

Chart Features Explained:

  1. Premium Support

Getting premium support from your ecommerce software is like employing a full-time business mentor. While some packages offer fantastic assistance, others – such as Volusion – don’t offer phone support on their most basic plans.

  1. Abandoned Cart Recovery

This feature can have a huge impact on your bottom line. If a customer gives up on a purchase at the checkout, Abandoned Cart Recovery allows you to send them an email reminder so as not to forget their shopping. They’ll then be able to complete their order without filling out all the details again.

  1. SSL Certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) allows your customers to view your site in HTTPS. An SSL certificate will verify that  data passing through your store is secure. Unlike Shopify and BigCommerce, Volusion doesn’t offer an SSL certificate as standard.

With all three ecommerce solutions listed, you can:

  • Build a functional online store very quickly (usually in a couple of days)
  • Get help from teams of support staff through various support channels

You also won’t need to:

  • Know how to code (though it can help, it’s not a necessity)
  • Hire expensive developers
  • Manage the technical parts of operating a store (hosting, security, coding, etc)

Let’s take a closer look at the best ecommerce software available in the market today.

Further Reading

#1. Shopify

Best all-round ecommerce solution

Start selling from $29 a month

Shopify ProsShopify Cons
  • Easy to create a powerful online store – no coding needed!
  • Best range of sales features on the market
  • Poor for international growth
  • Transaction fees are applied to sales unless you use Shopify’s inhouse payment gateway

 

Shopify is probably the best ecommerce software in the market today.

It’s suitable for small businesses who are just starting out, all the way up to larger stores that sell a range of products and make millions of dollars. Shopify customers include MVMT, Leesa, and Penguin Books Store. This is a solution with the scalability to grow with your store as your business expands.

Here are some key Shopify highlights:

Click on the image below to see a short video overview of what Shopify is all about, and how it can help you build an ecommerce store.

best ecommerce builder software Shopify

Shopify is a one-stop-shop for ecommerce solutions. Its drag-and-drop functionality eliminates the usual challenges of building an online store, with no coding required whatsoever.

In our research testing, Shopify came top for its range and quality of sales tools. Some of these tools include:

  • Multi-channel selling through Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and more
  • 100+ payment options
  • No limit on number of products you can sell
  • Mobile app to manage your store on the go
  • Customizable checkout and guest checkout options
  • Automatic email notifications for customers
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • In-depth analytics and insight reports
  • All-round shipping support

To put it simply: Shopify is one of the very best ecommerce solutions. It’s used by brands like Red Bull and Tesla, so they must really be doing something right! It’s perfect for starting and scaling your business.

Further Information

#2. BigCommerce

Best ecommerce solution for fast-growing businesses

Start selling from $29.95 a month

BigCommerce ProsBigCommerce Cons
  • Has the most amount of built-in features out of all its competitors – makes it extremely scalable
  • Fantastic SEO and multi-channel integrations
  • Prices aren’t suitable for very small-scale sellers
  • Terminology can make it tricky to get to grips with

 

BigCommerce is another reputable ecommerce software option that allows you to build your store without getting tangled up in technology.

As one of the best ecommerce solutions, BigCommerce is suitable for businesses of any size. It has more in-built features than any of its competitors, so you’ll have everything you need to succeed right at your fingertips.

With BigCommerce, you get:

  • A comprehensive set of “out-of-the-box” ecommerce tools to help you build your store
  • The chance to leverage different social channels to help you grow your sales
  • Advanced tools through their App store (just like Shopify)
  • 24/7 support

An exciting recent update allows you to integrate your BigCommerce store with your WordPress site. This is a great option for combining the specialist ecommerce features of BigCommerce with the flexibility and customization of WordPress. You can read more about this in our review of BigCommerce’s WordPress Plugin.

Click on the image below to see a short video overview of what BigCommerce is all about, and how it can help you build an ecommerce store.

bigcommerce best ecommerce solution for large businesses

We like BigCommerce because it focuses on growing with your store. As you grow, you get access to more features and functionality to take your store to the next level. There are no  limitations on whether you sell one or 100 products through your store. Plus BigCommerce gives you great analytics tools and reports to track the success of your business.

You can integrate your store with multiple social channels including Facebook, Instagram, eBay and Amazon. You can manage all your integrations from one place with the BigCommerce Channel Manager. This makes it super easy to sell across these different platforms and expand your business.

Because of the number of features and tools, BigCommerce is really best for anyone looking to scale their business. You get the top-notch features you pay for.

If you’re a small store with a small budget, you’ll find better value with Shopify – but if you’re a fast-growing business, BigCommerce is truly worth every cent. While it’s not quite as polished as Shopify, it’s still an excellent ecommerce solution.

Further Information

#3. Volusion

Best for tracking your store’s progress with analytics features

Start selling from $29 a month

Volusion ProsVolusion Cons
  • Great analytics features
  • Multi-channel selling is easily managed from your dashboard
  • No SSL certificate included – comes at extra cost
  • Limited bandwidth can result in unexpected fees down the line

 

Like BigCommerce and Shopify, Volusion is a comprehensive ecommerce solution.

Key features include:

  • 24/7 customer support – impressively thorough support pages and video tutorials, plus phone support on higher price plans.
  • Broad range of mobile-responsive themes – whatever you want to sell online, Volusion has you covered. Its themes cover fashion, beauty, food & beverages, electronics – pretty much anything you can imagine! These themes are also mobile-optimized, meaning your customer’s experience will be smooth no matter what device they’re using. However, for sheer number of designs, Volusion can’t match Shopify (offering 45 compared to Shopify’s 100+).
  • App market – you can choose from over 20 apps to bolt onto your store from Volusion’s App Marketplace.
  • Ecommerce tools – add products, offer subscription billing, get automatic tax rates, and integrate with Amazon and eBay – all without touching any code.

We like the simplicity of Volusion’s design. The overall offering is not as comprehensive as Shopify or BigCommerce, but Volusion’s store editor is pretty accessible.

volusion best ecommerce solution for analytics
Using Volusion, you can use stylish templates like ‘Boost’ to build an effective online store

Volusion does not charge transaction fees on any of its plans. This means you can keep all your profits and reinvest them in your store.

Like Shopify and BigCommerce, Volusion also has a great range of analytics tools. This makes it easy to assess where your store is doing well and where it could be improved.

Volusion is especially helpful if you’re selling over multiple channels, such as Facebook and Instagram. It allows you to pull all your sales into one place, making it really easy to keep track of everything.

But beware: Volusion plans come with a bandwidth limit that must not be exceeded.

Bandwidth is the amount of data your store can handle. Think of your store like a balloon filling up with air; the air is the bandwidth. Eventually, your balloon will fill to capacity and burst – unless you buy a bigger balloon, of course!

With Shopify and BigCommerce, unlimited bandwidth on all plans means your store will grow to accommodate any extra bandwidth. Your balloon will keep expanding.

But with Volusion, if you exceed your plan’s limit, you have to buy more bandwidth in blocks. This is a potential unexpected cost of using Volusion.

And that’s not all…

Whereas BigCommerce and Shopify include SSL certificates for free, Volusion make you buy one separately for $99.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. These certificates are essential if you’re running an online store because they protect your customers’ data. Running an online store without one would be like putting all your valuables in a safe without a padlock.

On the whole, though, Volusion is a more than decent ecommerce software that can get you online even if you’re not at all technical. It’s not quite up to the standard of Shopify or BigCommerce, but it’s still an ecommerce solution that lets you build a stylish store and sell online without coding.

Further Information

Hang on, what about ecommerce platforms like Wix?

At this stage, it’s worth reiterating that this guide deals specifically with ecommerce solutions. If you’re starting your first online store, or getting your first business online, you may want to check out our piece on the best platforms for ecommerce. These intuitive tools are the quickest and easiest ways to begin selling online through your own website.

Best 3 Self-Hosted Ecommerce Solutions

Self-hosted ecommerce software is very flexible, but you need to be quite technical (or hire a capable developer) to help you build your store.

Before we go any further, make no mistake about it – self-hosted ecommerce software solutions will involve a far steeper learning curve than the hosted ecommerce solutions we’ve just looked at.

But if you are technologically savvy and want greater customization options, a self-hosted ecommerce solution might be of interest. The best ecommerce solutions that are open source (we’ll explain what this means in a moment) provide unrivaled customization.

In this section, we’ll introduce you to three leading self-hosted ecommerce software options:

  1. Magento: best all-round self-hosted ecommerce software
  2. WordPress with WooCommerce: best self-hosted ecommerce software for flexible design
  3. OpenCart: easiest to use self-hosted software
magento best self hosted ecommerce solution
Self-hosted ecommerce solutions like Magento provide great customization options. It’s why they’re used by some of the world’s best-known brands like Dollar Shave Club

Self-hosted ecommerce software solutions are open source shopping carts. But what does that mean?

Open source shopping carts are effectively standalone programs you install into your own host (such as Bluehost). This means you’ll have to set up, configure and manage your own hosting service to power your online store.

Once you sign up to a hosting service, you’ll then need to install some shopping cart software into your hosting account.

See why we think these solutions are that much trickier than hosted ecommerce software?

Hosting services such as Bluehost usually have a one-click installation process. But there is still quite a bit of tinkering to do, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. When we tried it ourselves for the first time, it took a couple of hours and was a bit frustrating. But after you figure things out, the next installation is a lot smoother.

Once you have the shopping cart platform installed, you’ll need to install a design template. You should know that unless you are quite confident with codes, you’ll most likely need to hire a coder to help you make most design changes. The templates are not as user-friendly as drag-and-drop ecommerce software (such as the examples highlighted above).

The main benefit of using self-hosted open source software is that you can configure it to function exactly the way you want it to, meaning your store can be heavily customized.

The drawback is that it requires you to be technically experienced to install, set up and configure it to work properly. So if you’re not a techie, or if you don’t have time to learn more advanced coding functions, self-hosted shopping carts will not be the best approach for you.

“If hosted ecommerce software is like a finished house you can start decorating immediately, self-hosted software is like a building site. You get bricks, cement, wood and steel framing – all you need to build a beautiful property. But it’s up to you to put it together.”

That being said, open source shopping carts offer good flexibility, and have lots of advanced features that you can use and configure.

Which is why we’re going to tell you a bit more about three of the leading self-hosted ecommerce software providers…

#1. Magento

Best all-round self-hosted ecommerce software

Magento ProsMagento Cons
  • Extremely flexible, offering great customization
  • Free to use
  • Very technical, not beginner friendly
  • Hosting costs vary a lot – can be expensive

 

Magento is one of the most well-known ecommerce solutions on the market. It powers over 240,000 stores, so it must be doing something right!

If you know a bit of code (or are able to pay someone who does), then you have great freedom to build the store of your dreams.

magento paul smith best self hosted ecommerce solution
Designer Paul Smith uses Magento to power its impressive online store. It features stylish images, banners and menus, making for a great customer experience.

But Magento’s editor just isn’t as easy to use as hosted ecommerce software. For an inexperienced store builder, there are far more potential pitfalls. For example, we found the interface includes a lot of technical terms that will seem alien to a first-time user. The more time you spend working out what they mean, the less time you spend perfecting your store.

One area Magento is pretty strong in is support. The Magento community are very helpful, and there are lots of quality guides available. However, don’t expect the same 24/7 support you get from an ecommerce solution like Shopify!

As with Shopify and BigCommerce, you can purchase themes externally via Magento, while you can also access a large selection of apps and plugins. The key difference with Magento is that you need to pay for your own hosting. But that’s all!

Because it’s in the public domain, Magento is free to use. This means you only need to pay for hosting, rather than a subscription as you would with Shopify. Your costs will vary depending on which hosting you choose.

Further Information

#2. WordPress with WooCommerce

Best self-hosted ecommerce software for flexible design

WordPress with WooCommerce ProsWordPress with WooCommerce Cons
  • Add powerful ecommerce functions to your existing WordPress site
  • Great customization
  • Pricey add-ons can push prices up
  • Less multi-channel integrations than other platforms

 

OK, we’re guessing you’ve heard of WordPress? After all, it’s one of the most popular platforms around.

To turn a standard WordPress site into an ecommerce store, you need to use extra ecommerce solutions. The best of these is WooCommerce.

Here’s how it works: you plug WooCommerce into your WordPress site to add ecommerce functionality. It’s so good at what it does that Automatic, the company that owns WordPress, bought WooCommerce in 2015. That’s a pretty big vote of confidence!

WordPress + WooCommerce as an ecommerce solution has a lot of pluses. You get:

  • Great SEO support (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – the practice of boosting your site’s rankings in search engines like Google. The higher you rank, the more traffic and sales you get)
  • The ability to add and customize products
  • Payment options like PayPal and Visa

Professionally-designed templates are mobile optimized, meaning your store will look good across all devices.

The great benefit of ecommerce software like WordPress + WooCommerce is personalization. You aren’t tied down to any one way of doing things, instead having the freedom to play around in the backend. For instance, you can customize everything from your check-out cart through to your confirmation emails.

woocommerce best wordpress ecommerce solution two chimp coffee
Online store Two Chimps Coffee used WordPress and WooCommerce to create a unique brand.

But, while WooCommerce may sound simple in principle, just like Magento, it requires technical skill to run.

In our experience, add-ons that are included in Shopify and BigCommerce plans can get quite pricey with WooCommerce. If you’re looking for an alternative, check out BigCommerce’s WordPress plugin. This allows you to make the most of BigCommerce’s features along with the freedom of WordPress.

BigCommerce has more multi-channel integrations than WooCommerce, so if you want to sell through lots of platforms, it’s an option worth thinking about.

Further Information

#3. OpenCart

Easiest to use self-hosted software

OpenCart ProsOpenCart Cons
  • Easier to use than other self-hosted platforms
  • Free to download
  • Still requires technical knowledge and coding
  • Extra costs make it less scalable than other solutions 

 

OpenCart is another very powerful piece of open source ecommerce software.

Like WordPress + WooCommerce and Magento, it promises everything you need to build, scale and run your business online. However, as with those other self-hosted ecommerce solutions, you will need technical chops to get the most out of it..

We can’t stress this point enough: if you’re not experienced with code and aren’t keen to learn, head back to our three best hosted ecommerce software solutions and pick one. You will save time, money and A LOT of stress.

On the flip side, if you do have a bit of coding knowledge (or plan on hiring someone), OpenCart is worth considering.

It’s also worth noting that OpenCart is one of the easiest-to-use self-hosted ecommerce solutions. The interface is fairly accessible, and you don’t have to be a Harvard-educated programmer to add products or change your store’s theme.

opencart easiest self hosted ecommerce solution
The British Red Cross used OpenCart for creating its gift shop. The menus, search bar, and featured products all help to sell products and raise money for the charity

One of OpenCart’s biggest selling points as an ecommerce solution is the number of payment processors it supports. You can choose from over 20 different payment methods – a great variety for your future customers!

Key OpenCart features include:

  • Unlimited product categories
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Support for multiple currencies
  • Ability to sell digital products (like e-books)

OpenCart is free to download, but watch out for charges for installing new features. These can be as much as $300 a pop, so scaling your online store will get expensive pretty quickly!

And remember, your hosting (where your store lives online) is not included with self-hosted ecommerce software. You will have to pay at least $5/month to host your store – a fee that’s included with hosted ecommerce software like Shopify.

Further Information

What Is Ecommerce Software?

So just how does ecommerce software work?

Ecommerce software is what we call an all-in-one solution that gives you everything you need to build and run an online store. It makes it possible for you to add and sell products, manage your inventory, accept payments, deliver orders, and sort out taxes – pretty much anything you need to sell products through your online store without switching between different services.

Imagine you’re the driver and the ecommerce software is the car. The software provides the engine, lights, steering wheel and gears. You can then pick the car’s color, number plate, and where you want to go!

There are two main types of ecommerce software you can use to build an online store:

  1. Hosted ecommerce software (more user-friendly). Hosted ecommerce shopping carts enable you to build an ecommerce store without learning to code. The top three are Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion.
  1. Self-hosted open source ecommerce software (more advanced). Our recommendations include Magento and WordPress with WooCommerce.

Self-hosted ecommerce software like WordPress powers millions of online stores, while ecommerce solutions like Shopify and BigCommerce are used by some of America’s biggest brands.

Just check out this Shopify-powered online store from Red Bull…

shopify best ecommerce software red bull example
Red Bull's stylish online store was built using Shopify

Using the best ecommerce software, you can build a stylish online store without any technical knowledge. There’s no need to worry, either – both hosted and self-hosted software will enable you to build the online store of your dreams.

How do You Pick the best Ecommerce Software for You?

“You’ll be surprised to hear that finding the best ecommerce software is not what you should be aiming for. Instead, focus on finding the best ecommerce software for YOU.”

Think of it as like picking clothes for your wardrobe. You don’t only pick the nicest or the most expensive clothes, do you? You want clothes that fit your body shape and are suitable for the weather outside. It’s the same with ecommerce software: you need a solution that’s the right fit for you.

So how do you pick the best ecommerce solution for your store?

There are four key questions you need to ask yourself before you pick your ecommerce software. Your answers will tell you which ecommerce solution is right for you.

Let’s dive in…

  1. How much time do you want to spend on technical maintenance?
  2. How budget-conscious are you?
  3. How technologically skilled are you?
  4. How much support do you want or need?

1. How much time do you want to spend on maintenance?

Are you not particularly technical? Do you not want to spend your time making sure your site doesn’t crash? Would you rather focus on marketing your store and making money?

In other words, do you want to worry about hosting (where your site lives on the internet), security, or any technical aspects of running your online store?

If your answer is a resounding no, you might want to consider using hosted ecommerce software.

Ecommerce solutions like Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion take care of the essentials of building and running an online store.

Hosted ecommerce software will also make sure your site loads quickly. Load time is how long it takes for your store to appear when a customer tries to visit.

Online shoppers are impatient. The slower your site loads, the more chance your customers bail before buying. In our experience, ecommerce software that is self-hosted will load slower. Any work needed to speed up the site is up to you.

On the other hand, the best hosted ecommerce solutions will take care of all the technical upkeep for you.

Basically, hosted ecommerce software is dedicated to selling online. These solutions take care of all the technical aspects of operating a website so you don’t have to be your own IT manager. This enables you to focus on your business instead.

shopify best hosted ecommerce software example
Hosted ecommerce software will keep your store up and running without you having to lift a finger. Here’s one we made using Shopify.

In the other corner are self-hosted ecommerce software tools.

These ecommerce solutions give you great flexibility to customize your store, but are much more hands-on when it comes to technical maintenance.

They regularly update their system, and it’s your job to make sure your store is up-to-date and glitch-free.

To do this, it’s likely you’ll need to work with a developer. This can get very expensive very quickly.

Which leads us on to our second question…

2.How budget-conscious are you?

Using hosted ecommerce software enables you to create a store for a set monthly fee.

From $29 a month, you can set up your online store and start selling products.

With the best ecommerce solutions, you know what your bill will be each month, and any extra apps are clearly priced.

It’s trickier to work out your costs with self-hosted software like WordPress. This is because you may have to work with a developer to keep your site running (if you’re not a techie yourself) and make any significant changes. Developers cost money– often hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Furthermore, with self-hosted ecommerce software, you need to keep paying for plugins to add more functionality. This makes costing your online store with self-hosted ecommerce solutions a lot more difficult.

Further Information

Now you’ve worked out how important a clearly defined budget is to you, it’s time to ask yourself…

3. How technologically skilled are you?

Hosted and self-hosted ecommerce solutions require different amounts of technical skill to help you create the store you want.

Self-hosted ecommerce software is terrific for customization. WordPress, for example, is an open source platform, meaning anyone can use its codes and create personalized templates, themes and plugins. It’s also extremely powerful, so you can build a really unique store.

However, as with technical maintenance, making changes using self-hosted ecommerce software like WordPress is going to require a developer (unless you’re a skilled coder yourself).

On the flip side, if you want to build your store using more accessible technology that requires no coding skills, hosted ecommerce solutions are the answer.

The idea is that hosted ecommerce solutions “hide” all the code, and instead provide you with a simple and non-technical user interface for you to create your own store. At the click of a button, you can insert your content (such as images and galleries), upload your products, and connect your website to a payment processor.

You can then start selling very quickly.

shopify best ecommerce software online store example
Using hosted ecommerce software, you can design a stylish homepage without needing to code. Here’s some inspiration from Shopify-powered Press

All the tools you need to run an online store, including product management and payment processors, are already built-in to hosted ecommerce solutions. You don’t need to spend time adding them yourself – they all work out-of-the-box, right away. If you do get stuck, dedicated support teams are on hand to help.

Which leads us to our fourth and final question…

4. How much support do you want or need?

When launching an online store, professional support is a big help.

Good support is like having a full-time business partner. They can answer your questions and point you in the right direction when things go wrong.

The best ecommerce solutions all come with at least a decent level of support.

Generally, self-hosted ecommerce solutions leave you on your own a bit more. There are communities, resources and tutorials to help, but you may find it hard to sift through the information to find the answer to your specific problem.

In our research, we found that hosted ecommerce software like Shopify and BigCommerce provided an excellent level of support. Agents are typically available over the phone, email and LiveChat.

shopify hosted ecommerce software help center
Hosted ecommerce software like Shopify provides an excellent level of support.

Now you’ve had an overview of the best hosted and self-hosted ecommerce solutions on the market, and know exactly what to look out for, you can choose the best solution for your online store.

Best Ecommerce Software: Conclusion

Let’s recap the six best hosted and self-hosted ecommerce solutions:

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Volusion
  4. Magento
  5. WooCommerce with WordPress
  6. OpenCart

Finding the best ecommerce software is not an easy task when you’re trying to figure out how to sell online.

The first step is to think about how technically confident you are. If you’re a master coder, then self-hosted solutions like Magento will give you more flexibility and you can configure the cart as you wish (head back to our discussion on the best self-hosted ecommerce software).

What if you are a beginner or intermediate user, not comfortable with code, or want to quickly and easily set up an online store and start selling? Hosted ecommerce solutions like Shopify are your best option.

FAQs

Should I choose a hosted or self-hosted ecommerce solution?

For most people, we recommend hosted ecommerce solutions like Shopify and BigCommerce. This is because these options are more accessible to a wider range of people. They already have all the tools built in for you to create your online store, so you can start selling quickly and easily without knowing a line of code.

Self-hosted ecommerce solutions like Magento and WordPress (with WooCommerce) are more advanced. While this means they’re more flexible, it also means they’re more complicated to set up and manage. If you’re confident with code and technology, these are a great choice. If not, they can be overwhelming and expensive for you to run.

See our Ecommerce Comparison Chart for a full list of hosted ecommerce options. Or, check out our WordPress Review to find out more about self-hosted platforms.

How much do ecommerce solutions cost?

There’s no perfect answer! The good news is there are tons of options, so you can find a price to suit your budget. If you want to sell online for $20 or less, check out our best ecommerce platforms review, which includes website builders like Wix and Weebly.

For dedicated hosted ecommerce solutions, Shopify starts from $29 a month, and BigCommerce starts from $29.95 a month. Self-hosted solutions are a lot harder to calculate, because hosting plans vary so much.

You can get hosting for as low as $2.95 a month from Bluehost, up to as much as $119.99 a month on a different Bluehost plan. It really depends on the size and needs of your store. Remember to include the cost of add-ons in your budget too.

Which ecommerce solution is best for small businesses?

We recommend Shopify! It’s the best all-round ecommerce solution. It’s designed to help you get your online store up and running, whether you’re a small business or ecommerce empire. It’s got all the sales features you could need, from abandoned cart recovery to shipping labels. It has something for everyone and is our top choice for running your online store.

Want to find out more? Read our Shopify Review for a full look at this leading ecommerce solution.

What should I look for in an ecommerce solution?

There are tons of things that go into making an online store successful, but, there are some important features which benefit all businesses and which you should look out for when choosing your ecommerce solution.

The main one is getting an SSL certificate. This stands for Secure Sockets Layer and makes your site a safe place for customers to enter their payment details and information. This means it’s essential for any online store.

Shopify and BigCommerce both include an SSL certificate for free in all their payment plans, whereas Volusion will charge you an extra $99.

Can I actually make money through ecommerce solutions like Shopify?

Yes, definitely! These are dedicated ecommerce solutions, which means they have all the tools and features you need to create a successful online store and get selling. From printing shipping labels to creating discounts, you have the tools to build your store and make money right at your fingertips. If you want to find out more about getting started, why not check out our guide on how to build an online store?

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.

Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo – Top 3 Pros & Cons in 2019

Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs JimdoWix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo – Let the Battle Begin!

Trying to figure out which website builder works for you is tough.  Sometimes they all look the same, sometimes they are worlds apart.

So how should you choose?

Taking the time to try all the website builders can be draining and frustrating. This article will provide you with a table which presents the pros and cons of each of the website builders for you.

It will really help save you time and brain energy to review their pros and cons first, so you can narrow down the ones that do not meet your needs.

Here’s a snapshot view of our ratings of these website builders so you can quickly see how they fare against each other:

Also see Side-by-Side Comparison Chart on how website builders compare to each other, or read our long-form article on the Best Website Builders.

1.POPULARITY FACTOR

As much as we don’t think how popular a website builder should have a significant impact on your decision on which one to use to build your website, we thought that we should cover that here as well.

It’s more as an “interest” factor before we head into discussing the pros & cons of each website builder below.

Here is how Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Jimdo are trending on Google searches:

Squarespace vs Wix vs Weebly vs Jimdo - Google Trend
Click on image to see latest Google Trend chart

What this tells you, is that Wix gets the most searches online, then Weebly, Squarespace, and Jimdo.

It’s not surprising that Wix.com is trending the highest, as they have over 92 million websites published.

2.TOP PROS & CONS (Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo)

PROS ABOUT WIX
#1
Best collection of professional caliber design templates

Wix offers over 510 professional looking templates that are very updated to today’s design trends (compared to other drag & drop website builders).

The best part about Wix’s templates is that they are already structured, formatted and pre-populated with content so you simply have to pick your favorite one, replace the pre-set content with your own.

So if you’re not creative or good with designs, Wix’s templates will work very well for you as you won’t have to struggle with creating your own page layout.

#2
The most innovative drag & drop website builder

Wix is consistently introducing new and innovative features and designs that are also user-friendly (you can see their new features by month here).

For example, you can build 1-pager parallax designs, insert video backgrounds, creating multiple sections on your pages, all without touching any codes. Wix is really ahead of their competitors in this respect.

Wix also has an artificial intelligence system called “Wix ADI“(stands for Artificial Design Intelligence) that helps you build the first version of your website automatically. It will design your webpages and layouts for you, populate your content and just make your website look professional.

This solves a lot of your headaches especially if you’re not great at design or you just want the fastest way to setup a professional looking website. It’s a “Done-For-You” service.

#3
Support and help available everywhere

Wix has one of the strongest support infrastructure available amongst all website builders.  They have help / support buttons everywhere.

You can either click on the main help button at the top of the page or each element that you use also has its own unique help button.  It’s nice that the help buttons are right there for you to click on without looking any further.

If you need a bit more “hand-holding”, Wix also offers you phone & email support.

 

PROS ABOUT SQUARESPACE
#1
Beautiful, designer-quality templates

Squarespace provides you with beautiful, mobile-responsive, designer templates that undeniably commands attention. The templates are clean, minimalistic and give off a sophisticated vibe.  

Their finishing quality is high – as if a designer has invested months in polishing them.  We like and appreciate their clean lines compared to other website builders’ templates which could be a bit noisy.

#2
All Squarespace templates are mobile responsive

Squarespace offers responsive templates, meaning that you can resize your browser and the content (including the images, slideshows) will also automatically adjust to help give you an optimized viewing experience.  This is especially helpful if your visitors tend to use mobile devices.

#3
Extensive styling options to customize your design

Squarespace gives you extensive styling options that the majority of other website builders do not provide. You can certainly do custom styling with other website builders, but you need to know how to edit codes.

Squarespace has a style editor that helps you do all the custom styling without touching codes, from changing of background images all the way down to customizing thumbnail details.

 

PROS ABOUT WEEBLY
#1
Very user-friendly, drag & drop website builder

Weebly is probably the easiest to use website builder available today. They don’t overwhelm you with an excessive number of bells and whistles, and include all the necessary basics to build a functional website.

Weebly’s user interface is very intuitive to use, which is good for all levels of users especially if you are fearful of anything to do with technology.  You can literally build a good website in a few hours.

They’ve also been introducing more advanced features and tools lately.  Fear not, they’ve kept to their ability to keep them easy to use – even for beginners.

#2
Template designs are on-trend

In the past, Weebly’s designs are not very updated at all. However, they’ve been introducing better and more stylish templates lately which is a very nice and welcomed improvement.

All their templates are also mobile responsive so your website will look professional on mobile devices. Changing templates is also easy wich just 1-click and all your existing content will be automatically transferred into the new template.

Weebly also gives you access to the templates’ HTML / CSS codes. So if you know a bit of code (or if you hire someone who does), this gives you the flexibility to customize your design extensively.

#3
Pre-designed page layouts

When it comes to designing your pages, if you don’t know where to start, Weebly has over 40 pre-set page layouts for you to choose from to get you started.

They’ve compiled popular page layouts for home, about, services, contact, restaurant menu and portfolio pages. You can pick any one of them, and start customizing or altering the layouts to make it your own. More about this below.

 

PROS ABOUT JIMDO
#1
A truly international website builder

Compared to its competitors, Jimdo has teams all around the world and so if English is not your first or native language, Jimdo is a good website builder to consider using.

#2
Access to HTML and CSS codes to customize your design

If you know how to code or if you are working with a coder, this gives you tremendous design freedom as you can edit the codes to your template. If you don’t intend to edit the codes immediately, this gives you the flexibility to do so in the future.

#3
Free Platform

Jimdo’s free platform (JimdoFree) provides you enough tools to build a very functional website. There is absolutely no pressure to upgrade to the paid platform (JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness) and there are no time limitations as to how long you can remain a free user.

Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo Comparison Table – If you prefer a table / chart based analysis, click here to see it.
CONS ABOUT WIX
#1
Difficult to switch templates

Although Wix has plenty of pre-made designer templates for you to choose from, once you’ve picked one to use, you can’t switch to another template.  If you do, you will have to re-insert your content again.  It’s a bit annoying, so make sure you take your time to pick the right template design!

#2
Visible advertisements on the free plan

Using Wix’s free plan comes with noticeably large and prominent advertisement Wix logos on the side and at the bottom of the website after you publish.  All free website builders have their own advertisement credits (understandable since they’re providing services for free) but Wix’s are really quite prominent.  You will need to upgrade to remove the advertisements.

#3
Not designed to handle complex e-commerce needs

If you want to build an online shop, Wix’s e-commerce tools are not advanced enough to help you fully manage your store.  But to be fair, they do have better e-commerce tools than most standard website builders, but they don’t include basic management tools such as sending out automatic confirmation emails to your customers after they pay, configure taxes and shipping costs, and just general management of orders such as marking orders as shipped or paid.

[UPDATEWix has since introduced more advanced e-commerce tools (see our full review here).  These include allowing you to configure your own shipping & handling fees based on shipping destinations and the product price range.  You can even set shipping & handling fees based on which state you are shipping to, allowing you to have more granular control over this.  You can also set up tax rates based on your shipping destination (you can set up different tax rates for different countries and states).  Once you have shipped your products, you can also mark each order as “complete”, allowing you to track which orders are still open and needs to be fulfilled.]

 

CONS ABOUT SQUARESPACE
#1
When viewing your website on a mobile device, how your design looks in editing mode may be slightly different from its published mode

Since Squarespace’s design templates are all mobile responsive and automatically optimized for mobile devices, this means that your content may “shift” positions on its own to fit nicely into a mobile device’s screen.

This is a minor nuisance as you won’t have 100% control over how your site displays on mobile devices since the viewing dimensions for different mobile devices are different. This is a minor drawback as you don’t have complete control over how the mobile display looks like.

#2
Extensive styling options could be overwhelming

Although Squarespace’s Style Editor gives you the ability to customize or style almost everything in the website without going into codes, this could be a bit overwhelming to some people.  Having a lot of styling flexibility can be overwhelming and sometimes trying a bit too hard to get creative takes away the minimalistic beauty of a website.

The key here is not to do too much with all these flexible tools.  You can still build a very attractive looking website with Squarespace without feeling the need to edit every single design element on your site.

#3
Squarespace’s ecommerce platform only integrates with one payment processor (Stripe)

Although Stripe is popular and reliable, we hope that Squarespace could integrate with more payment processors (such as PayPal) as Stripe is not yet available to merchants from smaller countries.

UPDATE: Squarespace is now fully integrated with PayPal, which makes it possible for you to offer two different payment options for your shoppers to use. Further, Squarespace is also compatible with Apple Pay, which makes it very easy for your shoppers to purchase on their Apple mobile phones.

We have a comprehensive review on Squarespace’s ecommerce platform here.

 

CONS ABOUT WEEBLY
#1
Limited template customization options

Weebly only allows you to change font styles and overall color scheme for each template.  So if you want to make modifications beyond that, such as changing the menu bar color, content background design, or adjusting the content width, etc., you will have to modify the codes of the template in order to do so.

So it’s definitely possible to make detailed customizations, there just isn’t a code-free way of doing so. Again, other website builders such as Wix or Squarespace offer you code-free ways to customize your design.

#2
Slower in introducing new, innovative features

Weebly tends to only introduce new tools / features once or twice a year which is slower than what most users want (existing users are always hungry for more features!)

However, whenever they do introduce new functions, they are quite impressive and users are rewarded with these new features. New features tend to be pretty advanced, but Weebly is still able to keep them very user-friendly – which is what Weebly does best.

#3
Blog features need improvement

Another common complaint amongst users is that Weebly’s blogging functions are fairly primitive.  Nowadays, websites with blogs want the ability to highlight related posts, most popular posts or latest posts.  Weebly has yet to incorporate these tools into their blog.

They give you the basics, such as social sharing buttons, the ability to drag and drop content into each post, or even the ability to schedule when a post should be published in the future.  But in our view, showcasing related, popular or latest posts are very basic tools each blog should have.

 

CONS ABOUT JIMDO
#1
Needs more professionally designed templates

The caliber of Jimdo’s templates is average when benchmarked against its competitors.  Using the free version of Jimdo gives you a certain number of templates to use, so to access even more templates, you will need to subscribe to their premium packages.

[UPDATE – Jimdo recently added more template choices to their collection.  They also added advanced features such as (1) full background slideshows with tools to customize different visual effects into the background image, and (2) full background video, which allows you to insert a video as the background to your website – pretty impressive!  As at this point, this is the first of its kind amongst website builders we review.  These updates show that Jimdo really focusing on improving their templates.  We’re looking forward to more impressive features.]

#2
Limited styling options unless you edit the codes

When compared to other drag & drop website builders, Jimdo’s doesn’t give you as many options to edit the style / design of your website. However, you do have access to edit the codes to your design template, but that’s only if you know how to code or if you are working with a coder.

#3
Not a true drag-and-drop user interface

Even though Jimdo’s website building tools are not drag and drop, don’t let this fool you into thinking that Jimdo isn’t easy to use.  Its functions and user-friendliness still get the job done, although it would feel more interactive with drag and drop.

Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs Jimdo Comparison Table – If you prefer a table / chart based analysis, click here to see it.

3.PICK THE WEBSITE BUILDER DEPENDING ON WHAT YOU NEED

As per the summary of pros and cons above, each website builder has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Here are our recommendations based on what you might be looking for:

1) Easiest To Use – check out Wix.com or Weebly.

2) Stylish & Professional Design – see Squarespace (see offer code) and Wix.com.

3) eCommerce Builder – you should consider Wix, Weebly or Squarespace (click links to see our reviews on their ecommerce tools).

Not sure which website builder works best for you? Try our Website Builder Matching Quiz


For direct comparisons between website builders:


Still not sure which website builder to choose? 

See this article to find out what are the questions you should be asking to see which website builder is suitable for you.

4.OUR RECOMMENDATION TO YOU

At the end of the day, we recommend that you sign up for a free account with at least 2 website builders and test them out yourself.  It’s the only way you can get a good feel of which one works best for you.

Building a website is an investment of time and money – more so an investment of your time.  So it’s important to conduct your due diligence and check to see which website builder you feel the most comfortable with.

Don’t skimp on spending some time in trying them out, as you will pay heavily in time if you need to switch website builders later.

Read Our Expert Reviews

Want to see in-depth reviews of the website builders above?  Click here:

Wonder how Wix, Squarespace or Weebly compare with WordPress?  Click here

If you’re concerned about SEO and search engine rankings, see our guide here.

Found This Guide Helpful?

Question – Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

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

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



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.

Wix Review 2019: 7 Crucial Things to Know

Wix Pros and Cons

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:

Liked the Review Video?

Choose one of Wix’s stunning templates. Try what you just saw in the video it really is as easy as it seems!!

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.

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix

Want to Be Happy?

In our independent user test Wix achieved with 88% the highest customer satisfaction score out of all builder tested!

Further Reading

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

The Easiest AI Website Builders To UseFind out what other platforms use AI, and which one is the easiest to use.

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.

Need to Get Your Business Online?

We are confident to say that Wix is your best option to get a professional business site live fast for a small cost.

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.

Want to Sell Online?

With its Ecommerce functionality Wix is a easy and fast way to get your business online.

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.

Want to Promote Yourself or Your Event?

With its vast number of templates and easy way of customizing them you can really get your personal touch on you site

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

Want to Start a Blog?

With its Ecommerce functionality Wix is a easy and fast way to get your business online.

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.

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

Want a Great Looking Site in No Time?

Wix offers professional templates which thanks to its drag and drop function you can customize in no time!

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.

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. They make a platform even more powerful, and let you benefit from the work of hundreds of developers.

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

Unlike Wix’s built-in site features, Wix App Market apps all come with descriptions, user reviews, and video demos. That means you’ll get a pretty good idea of an app’s pros and cons before you 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.

comparaisons de createurs de site web logo wix

Is Support Important to You?

Wix Help and Support help you out whenever you get stuck to make sure you have your website up and running as fast as possible!

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 $16.89 annually, and you can also transfer an existing domain and connect it to your Wix site for as little as $5 using its Connect 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. 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

Like the sound of that? Ascend by Wix is available as a separate subscription, ranging from just $9 to $45 per month. Let’s take a look at what you can get on each plan below.

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

Are You a Business Owner?

Wix enables you to get online fast and has all the tools and features to grow your business online.

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 $11 – $35 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 Review Price Plans
(Prices are monthly fees when paid annually, excluding VAT)

Explore Wix Plans

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 Pro 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 $50 – 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.

See Most Popular Plans

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.

Try Wix For Free

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 Review 2019 | 10 Questions You Need To Ask

What are the Pros and Cons of Squarespace?

Pros

  • Best quality templates in terms of design and flexibility
  • Best quality features of any builder on the market
  • Full customization control without need for coding

Cons

  • Relatively expensive price plans
  • Not totally beginner friendly
Squarespace Review
Get inspired by amazing websites created by Squarespace users

Overview of Squarespace

Squarespace is a website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability.

Without any coding knowledge, you can put together your own beautiful website in a matter of hours. All you need to do is create an account, choose a template, and then edit it to create a totally unique and professional looking website.

Squarespace is great for photographers, artists, designers – anyone who loves design and wants their website to look as good as the content they’re showing off online. This is where Squarespace shines, and if you don’t have high quality images – or have a very text-heavy site – you may struggle to make the most of Squarespace’s visual designs.

Mostly, though, there’s something for everyone: more than 1 million people pay to keep using Squarespace after its free 14-day trial, and that’s a solid testament to the quality of results it delivers.

Among those users are websites such as Keanu Reeves’ business site www.archmotorcycle.com, and fashion designer Sadie Williams’ site www.sadiewilliams.co.uk. From these, you can see how Squarespace’s templates show off products, images, and ideas.

“When we were looking to create our website, Squarespace was the perfect fit. Like riding a motorcycle, there’s something about Squarespace that’s really accessible, but sophisticated.” Keanu Reeves

We haven’t just looked at Squarespace’s success stories to write this review. We carry out hours of in-depth research on every builder we write about, and Squarespace was no exception. We even got other people to use it and tell us what they thought, to make sure we’re giving you facts you actually want to know.

This review will break down the real questions: how easy is Squarespace to use? How good are its templates? What tools does Squarespace have? And what will it cost you?

Before we start dishing out truths, here’s a quick overview of how Squarespace scored:

Squarespace Review Video

Liked the Review Video?

Test one of Squarespace’s stunning templates. Try what you just saw in the video it really is as easy as it seems!!

Ease of Use

Ease of use is one of the most important things to think about when you’re picking a website builder. However, it’s also something that can be easily forgotten amid the excitement of all the shiny features and templates waiting for you.

If you’re buying a new microwave, you don’t want to be lured in by loads of impressive features and buttons, only to find that you can’t work out how to heat up your dinner. The same goes for website builders – so how does Squarespace perform?

Ease of Use

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder, but unlike other builders (such as Wix), you can’t just drag anything anywhere. It’s more section-based, which takes a little longer to get to grips with, but becomes easier the more you use it.

Squarespace provides a clean and modern interface to work with. It’s uncluttered and easy to navigate, which makes for fast and easy editing once you know what you’re doing. At the start, it can feel a little too clean, making it less obvious where to find certain features – it takes a few clicks to get going, but after that, it should be smooth sailing.

Squarespace is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. With some platforms, like WordPress, you make changes and edits in the backend, and only see what it will look like live when you preview it.

Squarespace is much more straightforward. You add text and images, and how your site appears on screen is just how it will look once it’s published. This is a much simpler and easier way of creating a website, as you know exactly what changes you’re making as you make them.

The best part is, you don’t need to know a single line of code. You can use code if you want to, but one of Squarespace’s greatest strengths is that anyone can use it to create a professional website without ever worrying about their coding skills.

With Squarespace’s app, you can even edit your website from your phone. Publish blog posts. update your business hours or add an Announcement Bar while out and about. And don’t worry if you lose internet – if you go offline unexpectedly, any unfinished work will still be waiting for you when you come back.

However, as we’ve said, Squarespace is not 100% beginner friendly. It’s not as simple to use as Wix or Weebly, and takes longer to get used to. Whereas with Wix you can just jump straight in and get building, with Squarespace, we recommend reading some help articles first. We’ve put together a handy step by step guide to get you started. It’s a good idea to explore the editor to familiarize yourself, too.

Squarespace is best for people with patience, or those who have some technical confidence.

Customer Satisfaction

Our research doesn’t just mean analyzing data and comparing prices. We got everyday people to test Squarespace and tell us exactly what they thought.

Overall, Squarespace did present a challenge to our participants, but still earned some impressive scores. People responded positively when we asked them for feedback, with Squarespace’s strong templates and intuitive design drawing special praise.

When users were asked how likely they would be to recommend Squarespace, the builder scored full marks.

Here are a few things our users had to say about Squarespace:

“It effectively puts a lot together for you in one go, which is great. It looks incredible, too.”

“I would argue that the time someone puts into understanding how this product works is imperative before onboarding. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone that they could build a site with Squarespace if they wanted a site up within a couple of hours. Realistically, this is how long you would need to understand the back system and the interface to then make it a little easier.”

People mostly agreed it would take some time to learn your way around Squarespace. However, they also agreed the builder really shone when it came to design, as well as the features provided within templates.

Another point raised by our users was that, because of its feature-packed templates, Squarespace would be an especially good choice if you had a clear idea of what you wanted from your website, or had products or images to show off.

Find out Yourself

Discover why our users like Squarespace and if one of their stunning templates is for you…

Who is Squarespace Best For?

Blogging

Squarespace has a ton of built-in tools to support blogging.It’s especially effective if your blog features a lot of images, or is attached to a portfolio. Squarespace’s visual designs will give you a professional and stylish platform to share your voice and your work.

squarespace blogging
Squarespace has high quality blogging tools to support the growth of your blog. You can create a visually stunning blog using the builder’s templates.

You can support multiple contributors, sync and share with social media, and use the Blog App to manage your blog from your mobile. There are templates especially designed for blogging, making it easy to create a website where your blog can flourish!

Business

There are a lot of small business websites that use Squarespace – you can see a selection on Squarespace’s “Our Customer” page. They cover a range of industries, from custom motorbikes to hip hop yoga classes, and highlight the diversity that comes with Squarespace’s designs.

squarespace business clients
Squarespace is used by a large range of different businesses to promote, run, and grow their brands

Make no mistake – you can certainly create a unique and successful brand for yourself using Squarespace.

Squarespace gives you everything you need for your business to succeed, right from day one. Not just that, but you have the tools to make your life as easy as possible, including email campaigns, built-in analytics, ecommerce functions, SEO tools, and integrations with online tools such as G Suite and PayPal.

eCommerce

Whether you’re just starting out selling a few items or looking to grow your ecommerce business, Squarespace won’t let you down. There are two plans dedicated to ecommerce which come with loads of useful tools automatically included, from inventory management to abandoned cart recovery.

We took a special look at how Squarespace performs for ecommerce sites, and we found it combined some really powerful features – such as its inventory system – with its stunning designs. The result is a builder which can really make your products shine, and give your customers a great idea of what they’re purchasing before they click the buy button.

If you want the best storefront in town, Squarespace is your go-to choice. But it’s not just a pretty face – you can sell unlimited products, customize your storefront, and upload product videos to engage customers and boost your sales.

Want to sell online with Squarespace? For a full look at how this builder performs check out our Squarespace Ecommerce Review.

Personal

As you’ve probably already figured out, Squarespace is ideal if you’re creating a portfolio or photography website. All its templates are created by in-house designers, and you can customize them to your heart’s content to make them as unique as your work.

squarespace customers
Squarespace caters to a host of different clients, from restaurants to fashion designers.

Replace images, change fonts and colors, share on social media, integrate with third parties such as Adobe Creative Suite and Google Drive, and more to build a unique personal brand and establish your online presence.

Squarespace has templates to support all types of sites, from music to photography. Each one comes with tons of customization tools and extra features built-in, so that everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Scalability

You don’t want to set up a website, just to run out of space and need to move over to a different platform. You don’t want to a victim of your own success – you should be excited about your website’s growth, not watching it nervously because it’s getting too much traffic.

Squarespace offers unlimited storage and bandwidth straight away on its cheapest plan, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space. Its plans offer a healthy amount of features, meaning you shouldn’t need to upgrade too often.

For online stores, you can sell unlimited products with no transaction fees so you won’t hit a product limit as you do with some website builders. But if you’re looking to launch an ecommerce empire, you may want to look at switching to a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce to help maintain long-term growth.

On the whole, Squarespace has the features to support your website’s growth – especially if you’re running a portfolio or small business site.

Are You One of the Above?

If you think Squarespace is could be for you, sign up and try it for free. You’ll know if it is right for you.

How Good are Squarespace’s Templates?

We’ve already raved about Squarespace’s designs, but just what’s so good about them? And what does this mean for you when you’re building your website?

Squarespace doesn’t have hundreds of templates – it has just over 60. This seems like a very small number compared to Wix’s 500+ templates, but Squarespace goes for quality over quantity – and succeeds beautifully.

Our users weren’t just praising Squarespace’s templates for being pretty – they were impressed by the quality of features as well as the design:

“The template not only provided me with an incredible looking site, but also all the features I’d need to be successful.”

With their sleek, stylish and modern designs, all of Squarespace’s templates are created to meet its standards of “great design, usability, and performance”. All templates are free to preview and edit, as this is included in your monthly subscription.

When all the templates look this good, how are you meant to choose? Luckily, you can use the search bar to find a template that matches your idea, or browse by category. There’s a wide range of industries covered, including photography, community and non-profit, music, and health and fitness.

squarespace design templates
Squarespace boasts stunning template designs packed with powerful features. You can search for your ideal template, or browse through the categories provided.

Templates come with features and layouts specially designed and included to fit the industry it was made for. Although you have tons of creative control over your website, you are still very reliant on your template, so it’s a good idea to pick one that matches your site’s purpose as well as its aesthetic.

If you do change your mind, that’s fine! You can switch templates at any point, even after your website has gone live. You can even install multiple designs to work on and preview, making the decision process much easier.

When you switch, your content will automatically be transferred to the new template, saving you time and effort. You’ll probably just need to tweak a few things to make sure it still looks its best. What’s more, all Squarespace templates are mobile responsive, so don’t worry about missing out on those mobile visitors.

Is a Great Design a Must for You?

Have a browse and play around. You’ll see why we shout about Squarespace designs!

Design Customization

While Squarespace provides the building blocks for your website, it’s likely you’ve got your own style you want to promote. Customization is vital – after all, it’s what makes your site unique.

Not personalizing your template would be like wearing the same outfit as someone else to a party. Jazz it up – at least add a scarf!

Squarespace gives you the freedom to do this. You can customize your pages and make your site totally unique.

Squarespace’s templates are highly flexible, meaning you can easily make them your own – you can replace images, add and delete sections, enter text, and manage multiple pages at once.

While it’s not a “pure” drag-and-drop builder, you can drag certain elements around, and can reformat the image layout by changing your design settings – for example, by creating a collage or making images overlap. If you want a really different design, simply switch your template and carry on customizing!

squarespace design templates
Squarespace boasts stunning template designs packed with powerful features. You can search for your ideal template, or browse through the categories provided.

One thing to note about Squarespace is that it assumes you have high resolution photos to fill the large image blocks that dominate most of its templates. These are what make these designs so visually impressive, and if you don’t have high-quality images to fill the templates, you might struggle.

If you don’t have your own photos, Squarespace has a partnership with Getty images, so you can search through stock pictures for ones to use. Some are free, while others (usually more professional snaps) cost around $10 each.

For those of you with some coding knowledge, you can go the extra mile and use those skills to tailor fonts, colors, and backgrounds for a truly unique style. Squarespace recommends only using custom code for more cosmetic changes like these, as trying to edit the layout of your site could have harmful effects.

Even without code, you can customize fonts, colors, backgrounds, images, text, and headings. You can add pages, manage your menu structure, and more. Squarespace’s aim is to help creative ideas succeed – so it makes sense for you to have the freedom to express your own style in its templates.

Make it yours!

Select your favourite template and make it yours by adding your personal touches!

Further Information

Squarespace’s Tools

Help & Support

We can all get a bit stuck every now and then – but if you find yourself in need of support you can get by with a little help from Squarespace!

The builder offers a small, but high quality range of support options:

  • Live chat Monday to Friday
  • 24/7 social media support via Twitter
  • 24/7 email support
  • In-depth knowledge base
  • Community forum
  • Video tutorials

There’s something for everyone here, although you’ll notice Squarespace doesn’t offer phone support. Despite this, we still rate Squarespace for its customer care – especially its incredibly in-depth knowledge base.

squarespace support
The Squarespace knowledge base gives you tons of support options, from help guides to webinars and workshops.

The Squarespace knowledge base comes packed with articles, guides, and video tutorials. You can even sign up for webinars or join in discussions on the community forum.

It really is one of the most thorough and trustworthy help centers around. We definitely recommend checking there first, as you’re highly likely to find your answer without needing the live chat or email support at all.

Social Media Integration

In a world where likes, tweets, follows, and favorites are considered to be almost as valuable as actual currency, integrating your website with social media is super important.

Squarespace makes it easy to share the joy by linking accounts from over 20 social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Sync with Dropbox for simple access to photo collections, or import content straight to your site from Instagram, Twitter, and more.

As well as this, you can feature social feeds on your website, making it easy for visitors to keep track of your updates all in one place.

SEO & Marketing

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is what gets your website ranking higher in search results. When was the last time you clicked through to the second page of Google results? You want to be on that first page, and SEO gives your site the best chance of getting there.

Squarespace has good SEO, and its pages all follow SEO best practices. It gives you the tools to make the most of what’s there, such as managing your titles and adding keywords and alt text.

There are guides to help you in Squarespace’s support pages, which offer a very thorough introduction to SEO. This might seem a little overwhelming for beginners, so make sure to take some time to read through it all.

When it comes to marketing, you can either integrate MailChimp, or use Squarespace’s all-in-one platform Email Campaigns to run – you guessed it – email campaigns.

squarespace marketing tools
Squarespace’s marketing tools let you reach more people and grow your website’s audience

This in-house system is a great way of unifying your brand across all aspects of your website, from your homepage to your marketing messages.

Combine this with SEO tools and social media integration, and the internet will really have to sit up and pay attention.

Domains

Your domain name is the website address people use to find you – for example, ours is www.websitebuilderexpert.com. You can buy a domain from Squarespace, or connect your own domain if you already have one.

You get a free domain for a year if you sign up to an annual paid plan. This is only free for the first year – after that, your domain will renew at the standard rate.

squarespace domains
Registering your domain through Squarespace is quick and easy. Type in your website name and find an available domain, then proceed to checkout.

Registering a domain through Squarespace is as easy as buying any product online. Find an available domain to suit your site, add it to your cart, then go through the few steps to purchase and register your domain. Prices vary between $20 and $70 per year – more specific domains such as example.legal or example.salon are more expensive than basic domains like example.com.

Is Your Domain Still Available?

Make sure no-one snatches up your perfect domain! Check if it is still available and secure it now.

Security

All Squarespace and third-party domains come with free SSL certificates when connected to your Squarespace site.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and encrypts any information entered through your website. This makes it extremely important for sites which process payments, such as online stores.

Squarespace has built-in security to fight off malware or unwanted bugs, and DDoS Protection helps protect your site from malicious traffic. (DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, an attack whereby your site is flooded with traffic to make it unavailable to its users.)

Squarespace doesn’t leave you to fend for yourself – it has quality protection in place to keep your website safe.

Backups & Restores

We’ve all breathed that sigh of relief after being rescued by autosave. If you’re always forgetting to press save, maybe write yourself a reminder because Squarespace doesn’t include autosave in its editor.

However, Squarespace does let you restore deleted pages and blog posts up to 30 days after they’ve been deleted – so no need to panic! Squarespace makes backup copies of your website and stores them in primary and secondary servers, as well as storing files in physical and off-site storage disks. That’s pretty thorough!

And if you’re editing on the go from your phone, you won’t lose your work if the internet cuts out. They really have thought of everything!

Never Do the Same Work Twice!

If you want to be sure your site is saved and backed up Squarespace has you covered!

Squarespace’s Pricing and Value for Money

You really do get what you pay for with this builder – although it has more expensive plans than some of its competitors, you get a really high quality service, even on its lowest plan.

Squarespace has four price plans, ranging from $12 to $40 per month (billed yearly).

All yearly plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free custom domain, and SSL Security. You unlock extra features as you upgrade, including ecommerce functions and promotional pop-ups.

The cheapest Squarespace plan is the Personal plan at $12 a month, which has website features but no ecommerce functionality. For an online store, the lowest plan is $26 a month, which includes unlimited products, no transaction fees, label printing, and more.

Website Builder Plans

Squarespace has two plans dedicated to website building (rather than creating an online store).

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

Squarespace’s $12 per month Personal plan gives you everything you need to set up a straightforward but full-fledged website. Unlike other builders which tend to restrict the features on their starter plan, Squarespace’s Personal plan comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth.

If you don’t need to sell online, or if you require a professional email from G Suite, then the Personal plan is a great place to start.

The Business plan is $6 more than the Personal plan at $18 per month, but comes packed with even more features. This is still designed for building a website rather than a store, but it comes with lots of ecommerce functionality – sell an unlimited amount of products, get promotional pop-ups, customize through code, and more.

As the name suggests, the Business plan is best for businesses! If your website is growing and you want to start selling a few items alongside, the Business plan has everything you need to succeed.

Ready to Choose?

Then try out your choice and start building! Its absolutely free for the first 14 days!

Ecommerce Plans

If you want to really dive into selling online, you’ll need one of Squarespace’s ecommerce plans. These are specially designed for building online stores, and are the two highest price plans.

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

The $26 per month Basic plan is the cheapest option for setting up an online store. It has all the features from the Business plan, but removes transaction fees and adds extra ecommerce features, including inventory management and label printing via ShipStation.

The Basic plan is best for setting up an online store and starting to grow your ecommerce business.

The Advanced plan is the most expensive at $40 per month, and has the most amount of features. It boasts all the features from the Business and Basic plans, plus tempting extras including abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping, flexible discounts, and gift card creation.

If your business is growing and needs advanced features to support that growth, the Advanced plan is, surprise surprise, your perfect match.

Getting Started

Squarespace’s prices aren’t outrageous for the quality of service you get. But you want to be sure that it really is the right builder for you before parting with your hard earned cash. And no matter how many reviews you read, you won’t really know until you try it out for yourself.

While Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan like some website builders, it does offer a 14-day free trial on all its paid plans. You don’t need to enter any payment details – unless of course you decide to sign up at the end of your trial!

Once you do pay up for a plan, you don’t have to kiss your money goodbye. Squarespace has a 14-day money back guarantee, so you’ll get a refund if you cancel within the first two weeks.

Fancy a Test Ride?

Sign up to your plan of choice and start building. No payment details required!

Squarespace Review: Summary

We’ve explored its tools, dived into its pricing, and raved about its designs – but in the end, does Squarespace come out on top?

After such an in-depth review, we can conclude that Squarespace is a leading website builder, and for good reason. It’s got the best designs on the market, and combines these intuitive templates with powerful built-in features.

Squarespace gives you all the tools you need to create a stunning website, without needing to know a line of code.

It’s the closest you’ll get to a designer-made website at a fraction of the price, and gives your business, portfolio, or online store a unique and visual way of creating a scalable and beautiful brand.

But it’s not for everyone. Beginners may struggle to get to grips with it, so it’s best for those with patience, or a little technical confidence.

Overall, we recommend Squarespace to anyone who has an eye for design, who wants a unique and visually impressive website, and is happy putting a little time into crafting their pages.

Squarespace isn’t just a pretty face – its features pack a punch, and its support and security features don’t mess around. Try this knockout website builder for yourself, and see what you can create!

Sounds Right for You?

Try it out! You can sign up without any sharing payment details and its free for 14 days.

Squarespace FAQs

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.

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Weebly Review 2019 | 12 Questions You Need To Ask

What Are Weebly's Top 3 Pros and Cons?

Pros

  • Best website builder for small businesses, with all the basic tools you need to build a great business site, or even an online store.
  • Cool customizable templates – all Weebly’s themes are simple, stylish, and mobile responsive, and you can even switch between them.
  • Really helpful SEO guides in Weebly’s help and support center, for advice on coding, keyword optimization, and tips on boosting your site’s ranking

Cons

  • Drag-and-drop customization is limited – unless you’re confident with code, you might find Weebly frustrating in its lack of creative freedom.
  • No personal restore option, so if your site goes down you’re totally reliant on the Weebly support team to restore your site for you.
  • No ADI option – Artifical Design Intelligence (ADI) is where a website builder uses information you provide to automatically create a site for you, saving you time. With Weebly, you have to create your site manually.

Overview of Weebly

Weebly is a wonderfully accessible website builder that lets you create a great-looking site without having to write a single line of code.

Its drag-and-drop editing tool makes light work of creating a web presence for your project, hobby or small business, even if you’re a complete beginner.

Weebly is user-friendly and intuitive. It’s powerful enough to let you build a great-looking site without knowing any HTML at all.

But if you are handy with HTML or CSS, Weebly gives you the option to use them. Unlike its rival website builder Wix, Weebly has a built-in code editor that lets you customize your site more extensively.

See More Weebly Features

Weebly’s features, versatility and value for money have earned it some excellent feedback from users, including small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Click here to read their success stories – you may find them quite inspirational.

Weebly currently powers more than 40 million websites, which works out at roughly 2% (and growing) of all websites on the internet. Read on to discover why it’s so popular, and to find out if it’s the right website builder for you.

Weebly Review Video

Is Weebly Ideal for You?

Weebly is great for small businesses, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and small online stores.”

Even if you want to build a personal website, online photo gallery, or even an event site, Weebly is versatile and provides a diverse range of templates.

There are more sophisticated website builders out there, but Weebly is catching up by introducing advanced features and updated designs.

Everything it does is intended to help users of all skill levels build good-looking and functional websites, quickly and painlessly.

Here at Website Builder Expert we got everyday people to test Weebly and we got some really positive feedback. Here’s just a couple of things people said:

“The editing screen is laid out quite nicely. It’s a good introductory-level web builder.”

“It was fairly straightforward to add things, you had the app store that was easy to go into, you just had to type in what you wanted and pull it into your site. Similar with the features, they were all really easy, it was a drag-and-drop motion to move it onto the page, and then the editing of text was also fairly straightforward.”

One of our favorite things about Weebly is it gives you room to grow and learn. You can edit your site’s code once you feel confident enough – making it the ideal tool if you fancy learning HTML.

This all gives Weebly a much broader appeal than its simple drag-and-drop nature may at first suggest.

As mentioned, you can even use it to build an online store (here’s our detailed Weebly ecommerce review). But if you have big ambitions for your store, you’ll be better off with an ecommerce specialist such as Shopify. If you want to build an online store and would like to consider more options, check out our article on the Best Ecommerce Platforms.

Is Weebly Easy to Use?

“Building your website with Weebly is as simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a page. You can see your website take shape before your eyes.”

As you may know, Weebly is a WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get’) website builder.

This means it lets you build your entire website by dragging elements (such as photos, icons and menus) onto pages on your screen, then move them around and resize them, without having to touch any code at all.

Weebly Review Ease of Use
See your site take shape before your eyes using Weebly’s WYSIWYG editor

With WYSIWYG tools, what you see in the template editor is what your visitor will see after you publish your website. There’s no WordPress-style flipping back and forth between editing mode and preview mode to check how your site will actually look.

Here at Website Builder Expert, we like to put these website builders through their paces. One test we do, as mentioned above, is getting everyday folk to test the builders and see how easy they find them.

We asked them to score a list of tasks based on their difficulty and interviewed them after to discuss how they found it.

Despite its intuitive nature, Weebly actually proved quite difficult to use in comparison to its peers. Wix and SiteBuilder came out as the easiest products to use with Weebly being distinctly average.

If you want to compare Weebly to other website builders, check out our article on the best builders on the market today.

Weebly Templates Review - How Good Are Weebly's Themes?

“Weebly has been busy releasing stylish new designs that you can use to create professional-looking websites.”

Weebly used to have a reputation for mediocre templates, and users regularly badgered the company to improve the quality of its designs.

Eventually Weebly got the message. It’s been brushing up its themes and creating more and better designs for its Themes Gallery.

weebly review themes website builder
Weebly is working hard to improve its designs – as you’ll see from the Theme Gallery

Many of Weebly’s newer themes are automatically mobile-responsive. If you choose one of these themes, you can be sure your site will look great, whatever size screen it’s viewed on.

We’ll have more on this in the section on mobile-readiness below.

Weebly also lets you access your site’s code with one click using an HTML/CSS editor. So you have the option to extensively modify your website’s design (or hire someone to help you). It’s great to have this choice if you really want a customized design.

You could also consider buying a Weebly theme created by an independent designer. Take a look at Mojo template marketplace, for example.

We still think Weebly’s biggest competitor, Wix, has more versatile templates, but Weebly seems keen to catch up. We’ll let you know about new design options from Weebly – so stay tuned!

Can You Add Weebly Apps to Your Site?

“If you want more sophisticated tools, Weebly’s App Center offers a collection of fully integrated, one-click installation tools to help you grow your business.”

Weebly’s theme editor offers basic tools to add to your site, but if you want more sophisticated tools, check out the Weebly App Center.

While Weebly strives to keep its tools easy and minimal, it’s great to have the option of more advanced tools that you can bolt onto your website with one click.

A great example of how apps can improve your Weebly site is by integrating social media – you can now connect Facebook messenger to your website, allowing you to interact with your users in a more modern, efficient way!

weebly review app center market
Add advanced site tools with one click from the Weebly App Center

Apps fall into numerous categories such as marketing, communications, ecommerce and social, plus the more generic ‘tools’ (such as pricing table, accordion tabs, team charts, and so on – utilities that go above and beyond the basics that Weebly provides).

The App Center gets around the need-to-use-code or codecs to add extra functions to your site. With the App Center, all tools are automatically fully integrated with Weebly’s platform. To add an app to your site, just click the Add button.

Apps are built by independent developers, whose entire businesses are focused on improving and servicing their tools. Some of the apps are free and some are paid-for.

Most paid-for apps have free trial periods, so you can give them a test drive without having to commit any cash.

How Good Is Weebly's Help and Support?

“Weebly’s editor is quite simple, so you probably won’t need as much support as you would with more complex website builders – but it provides email and live chat support anyway.”

Weebly Customer Support

Weebly’s support team have improved over the past year to help service the growing number of users. It’s good to see this is a priority for Weebly.

You can reach the support team three different ways: 1) support tickets (see screenshot below), 2) live chat, and 3) phone. Support tickets are answered 24/7.

If you want a more personal experience, live chat is available from Monday to Friday, 6am-6pm Pacific Standard Time (PST), and Saturday to Sunday 8am-5pm PST.

Weebly Review - Live Chat

Phone support is available for paying subscribers (Pro plan or higher). Call 1-844-493-3259 from 6am-6pm PST. The support team is based almost entirely in the US.

weebly review phone support

Alternatively, try posting a question on Weebly’s Facebook page or contact the team via Twitter.

Weebly Tutorial Resources

Weebly also has an online Weebly Support Center which is basically a how-to guide to using the service to build your website.

weebly review online support center

There are videos in the Help Center if you want to learn a few more advanced tips and tricks.

Weebly Community Forum

For years we bemoaned the fact that Weebly didn’t have a community forum, while its rival Wix did – now it’s up to speed and going from strength to strength.

Here you can find users’ stories and insider tips, questions and answers, and chat with like-minded souls who are having the same problems and ideas as you.

weebly review community forum

Try Weebly For Free

Do Weebly Sites Have Membership Options?

“Weebly lets you create your own membership club, where you have full control over who gets to see what pages.”

Weebly’s membership gateway is a neat optional function. If you enable it, only your registered members can access certain restricted pages, and you have full control over who sees what.

This is especially helpful to you if you want to create courses for students; share private information with certain visitors only; create a private club of some sort, or just block certain content from the general public.

To use Weebly’s membership creation tool, you will have to be at least a Weebly Pro, Business or Performance plan subscriber (we’ll have more on the pricing plans below).

weebly review membership
Make your site a members-only club using Weebly’s membership creation tool

By default the registration button appears on your site’s menu bar. If you prefer, you can create a pop-up box containing a button or link for visitors to click, or display a form for them to fill in.

Every time a new member signs up, you’ll receive a notification email from Weebly.

The membership function also lets you create membership groups, and then control access to certain pages. You’re also given a dedicated members’ login page with functions such as password reset.

Weebly doesn’t let you charge users to become members – but there is a third-party app that does. Paid Members costs from $9.97 per month and lets you instantly and securely accept payment via PayPal for members who want to pay for, say, online course access on your Weebly site.

Weebly Mobile Review - Will Your Site Look Great On Phones and Tablets?

“Weebly automatically takes your website, creates a mobile version of it, and gives you a preview.”

As mentioned above, Weebly’s latest theme designs are automatically mobile-responsive.

This means your design will adjust by itself to fit your viewers’ mobile touchscreens. You don’t have to do anything more, but you can preview how your site will look on phones and tablets.

Weebly does still host a few older themes that aren’t mobile-responsive, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on touchscreens.

If you’ve decided to use an older theme that isn’t automatically optimized for mobile, you can switch between the web and mobile views in the editor to check how your site looks and works on different devices.

For more detail, see our full review of Weebly’s Mobile Editor. Here we dig deep into the tool’s functions and compare it with mobile editors offers by other website builders.

Weebly SEO Review - How Will Your Weebly Site Rank on Google?

“Weebly is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with useful guides and tips on everything from coding optimization to keyword support.”

We’ve seen arguments that website builders perform very poorly in search engine rankings.

However, this is a myth. There are thousands of Weebly websites ranking really well in Google, achieving first-page positions. We’ve built Weebly websites that have ranked high in search results

SEO is about planning, technique, and persistence, but that’s beyond the scope of this review. Find out which website builders are best for SEO in our handy guide here.

Weebly allows you to insert all the basic SEO functions, such as editing meta titles and descriptions, customizing URLs, and adding alt text to images.

They also offer purpose built SEO apps such as Positionly (starting at $19.99/month) and MarketGOO (free) to help you further.

Also, be aware that even if your website is indexed by search engines, this doesn’t guarantee it’ll rank high in search results. We have more about this in our FAQ (look under the SEO question).

You can also enable Google Analytics for your site, to start tracking your visitor statistics. Weebly provides a website statistics dashboard that tracks page views and unique visitors from the past 30 days.

Weebly review statistics
See who’s visiting your site and how they got there, using Weebly’s stats dashboard

Weebly replaced its old analytics tool with a new one called Insights, which provides you with tons of rich information, including traffic, sales, and marketing data. It also provides you with better ways to segment and compare data to give you the best insight possible into your website’s performance. 

Weebly Pro users get a little extra help, such as information about your site’s most visited pages; search terms used by visitors to discover your website; and referring sites that sent your visitors to you.

We recommend using a combination of Google Analytics and Weebly’s own tracking to get as much data and analysis as possible.

Website Builder SEO Guide – what do we really think about SEO and website builders? Here we reveal how Weebly measures up against its rivals in the search rankings.

Weebly Hosting Review - What Hosting and Export Options Does Weebly Offer?

“Weebly takes care of all your hosting and technical needs – so you can focus on building your site.”

Weebly hosts your site for you, even if you’re on the free plan, so you do not have to pay for hosting separately.

It manages the entire process for you, so you can concentrate on building your website and focusing on other more important things (such as life!)

Weebly also takes care of all technical maintenance and security upgrades, to ensure your website runs smoothly and doesn’t fall prey to hackers.

One of Weebly’s biggest advantages over other website builders is that it lets you download your entire website as a ZIP archive file. You can then import it to another host or website builder, or give it to a web designer to work on.

weebly review backup export
Download a ZIP file of your Weebly site’s code for backup – or editing elsewhere

Try Weebly For Free

Weebly Pricing Review - Is a Weebly Premium Plan Worth the Investment?

“Weebly makes it easy to build all kinds of websites without using any code – so it potentially saves you thousands on hiring a designer. And its cheapest plan is completely free.”

It doesn’t cost a penny to build a website using Weebly. The free plan lets you create and publish as many sites as you want, and provides many of the basic tools you need at no extra cost.

There are no deadlines or expiry dates to worry about – your free sites will be up and running for as long as Weebly is around.

So is it worth paying for an upgrade to a premium plan? Absolutely.

A subscription of $5 or more per month gets you a paid plan (Connect, Pro, Business or Performance) buys you access to Weebly’s full suite of website building tools and premium support.

Weebly’s Connect, Pro, Business and Performance plans cost $5, $12, $25 and $38 per month respectively, if you pay annually under the one-year plan.

They’re pretty cheap on average compared to the rest of the market, and this is one of the reasons why it got such a good value for money score from our research.

Here’s what you get under each plan:

weebly review pricing
Click to see Weebly’s pricing plans in detail

As mentioned, those are the prices you pay if you sign up for a full year. If you’d rather pay month by month, the price goes up slightly. Weebly also offers six-month and two-year options as well.

You could save anywhere between 11% to 50%, depending on which plan you subscribe to and the length of your subscription. The longer you commit, the steeper the discount:

Weebly Pricing Plans1 Month ($/month)1-Year ($/month)Savings (%)2-Years ($/month)Savings (%)
Connect$8$537%$450%
Pro$18$1233%$950%
Business$35$2529%$2140%
Performance$46$3817%$3524%

If you do commit to two years, the Connect plan drops to just $5 per month; Pro plan to $9, Business plan to $21, and Performance to $35 per month.

Opting for the two-year plan compared with the one-year default plan, you save up to $1.15 per day (Performance plan).

Not bad, considering most people probably spend way more than that on a cup of coffee or chocolate bar every day.

The Business and Performance plans are geared for users who want to create a comprehensive online store and run advanced marketing campaigns.

So if you have plans to build a business and sell products online, Weebly eCommerce (Business and Performance plans) are excellent options. See our review of Weebly’s ecommerce tools.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that external domains cannot be connected to Weebly’s Free plan. For that, you’ll have to pay for the Connect plan.

Weebly provide you a free domain for the first year up to the value of $20, so your best option is to transfer your external domain and incur the $47 annual connection fee extension cost.

Should you wish to make your website advertisement free however, you’ll have to upgrade to Weebly’s Starter plan.

Weebly Pricing – see our detailed analysis on Weebly Performance, Business, Pro and Starter Plans.

Weebly Pro & Starter Plan Features – we take a closer look at what you get with Weebly’s Pro and Starter plans (and reveal a secret trick for getting them free!)

Weebly Review Summary - Is Weebly the Right Website Builder for You?

After giving it a thorough test, we can confidently say Weebly is the best website builder for small businesses on the market right now. It’s uncluttered, simplistic, and relatively easy to navigate, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

It may have come out of our testing with a lower ease of use score than Wix, but once you’ve got used to the platform, it becomes a breeze.

It offers you the option to fine-tune your site using HTML and CSS, and even export it for editing elsewhere, so Weebly isn’t only for beginners. It also offers numerous subscription levels, including ecommerce plans.

To get the best out of Weebly, we recommend that you start with a free website. This is your chance to get to know the editing interface and judge for yourself how easy and difficult its various features are.

You may find there’s enough in the free plan to deliver the website of your dreams, although you’ll have Weebly branding on the pages and in the URL. You can use the free plan for as long as you want, and create as many sites as you want.

Once you’ve got used to using Weebly, you’ll then have a better idea of which subscription plan is right for you.

Before you go: See our expert analysis of the Weebly Pro and Weebly Starter Plans – plus our secret trick for getting them free.

Found our Weebly review helpful?

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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.

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