Website builders make building your own website quick, easy, and hassle-free. That’s why we did the research to bring you the very best website builders on the market and help you find the best one for you.
Wix is the best overall website builder – it combines ease of use with total creative freedom, making it easy for beginners to create professional-looking websites. Squarespace has the best designs on the market, meaning it’s perfect for creatives, while Weebly’s features makes it ideal for small businesses and portfolios.
After testing over 50 website builders, the results are in…
11 Best Website Builders of 2021
- Wix – Best overall
- Squarespace – Best template designs
- Weebly – Ideal for small businesses
- SITE123 – Great help and support
- Strikingly – Amazing value for money
- Duda – Perfect for making multiple sites
- GoDaddy – Fastest way to build a website
- Zyro – Best for the basics
- WordPress.com – Great for blogs
- Jimdo Creator – Cheap ad-free plan
- 1&1 IONOS – Good for multilingual sites/ white collar businesses
We’re pretty proud of our research process, because not many sites can say they’ve carried out such in-depth testing before making recommendations. Here’s how our in-house research team go about finding the best website builders on the market.
Every single builder goes through our thorough research process. We investigate important areas such as:
- Ease of use
- Design flexibility
- Value for money
- Feature quality
- Help and support
- Customer satisfaction
This helps us rate and compare the builders fairly, focusing on important factors that users have told us matter most.
We even get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback, which we then analyze. This helps us:
- understand exactly how easy (or difficult) beginners find the builder
- uncover any issues within the builder
- judge customer satisfaction
We’ve applied this process to over 50 website builders so far – all so we can bring you the most accurate results and recommendations!
Still got questions? Read our report on How We Conduct Our Website Builder Research for a more detailed explanation.
Compare the 11 Best Website Builders
Before we jump into reviews of each website builder, take a look at the summary table below to get an idea of which builder might be your perfect match. Use the arrow at the top of the chart to compare different platforms. We’ve started you off with our top three; Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.
Our overall ratings are based on the average score of all ratings combined.
Free Plan or Free Trial
Free Templates/ Themes
Free Custom Domain
Having a custom domain lets you personalize your website’s URL or address (e.g. www.mycustomdomain.com).
Domain Renewal Cost/Year
BEST IN TEST
14-day free trial
14-day free trial
30-day free trial
30-day money back guarantee
YES (on some plans)
Best All-Round Website Builder
Pricing range: free – $500 per month
Best all-round website builder
- Easiest to use
- 800+ template designs
- Most popular in testing
Free plan available
- Free plan (ideal for smaller projects)
- Beginner-friendly and really easy to use
- Personalized SEO support for your site
- Can’t switch template once site is live
- Paid plans are quite pricey
- Range of options can feel overwhelming
Wix is an extremely beginner-friendly website builder that gives you total creative control over your site. Unlike some other builders, it doesn’t sacrifice power or customizability for ease – instead, it combines simple drag-and-drop editing tools with a huge range of features.
In our testing, Wix received the highest “likely to recommend” score from our users – so our advice is, if you’re unsure about which website builder to use, give Wix a spin for free and see how you get on.
Wix has a pretty generous free plan, which includes:
- SEO tools (Search Engine Optimization) to help your site get found on Google
- Social sharing, so you can promote your site
- A mobile editor, so you can make your site look great for mobile devices
Wix also comes with a huge app store, so if you need extra features, you can easily add them to your site.
Wix comes with over 500 templates for you to choose from – that’s an impressive number, especially as they’re all professionally designed. Split into different industries such as “Events” and “Photography”, Wix’s templates are easy to filter until you find the perfect one.
You can’t change templates once your site is live, however, so take your time in choosing.
It’s easy to make your site unique – simply drag elements like text boxes and images to exactly where you want them, add pages, and delete anything you don’t want. Wix gives you total creative freedom!
Wix has a free plan that you can stay on as long as you like, which is great for getting started. However, it has its limitations, so for a truly professional site, you’ll want to look at its paid plans.
There are eight premium plans in total, starting at $14 per month (billed annually). This removes Wix adverts and lets you use a personalized domain name, as well as increasing your storage allowances.
- Read our in-depth Wix Review for a full look at Wix’s features, ease of use, and more
- Just what makes Wix the best value for money? Read our Wix Pricing Review for a breakdown of its pricing plans and what you get with each premium package
- Want to sell online? Our Wix Ecommerce Review tells you all you need to know about creating an online store with Wix
Best for Creatives and Quality Designs
Pricing range: $12 – $40 per month
Best for creatives and quality designs
- Best website designs
- Great blogging features
- Ideal for creatives
Free trial available
- Excellent in-built features
- Curated selection of modern designs
- Ideal for creative portfolios
- Slightly trickier to get to grips with
- Customization is more limited
- Integrations withheld for higher plans
Squarespace is a sophisticated website builder that has a lot to offer creatives and businesses alike. It’s not the easiest to use builder on the market, but it still won’t take long to get used to – it just needs a little more time and patience than Wix.
Where Squarespace really shines is its template designs – they’re the best on the market, and are perfect for creatives who want a visually impressive website (and standing out is important, since as of January 2021 there are over 1.8 billion websites on the internet!). It’s not a case of style over substance, however – Squarespace also has a huge range of features to give your site the power it needs.
Squarespace also has a 14-day free trial. If you love the trial and want to sign up, there are four premium plans to choose from, starting from $12 per month.
Squarespace isn’t just a pretty face: it has the best quality features of any builder, too. For example, with Squarespace you can:
- Install multiple templates to work on at once
- Use video backgrounds
- Add custom codes
- Upload and share music
- Link your social accounts
Squarespace’s huge range of features are all developed in-house. This means you’re guaranteed a high level of quality and security, and can enjoy having everything you need right at your fingertips.
If you want to optimize and expand your site, you can use Squarespace Extensions to integrate with a range of third-parties such as Printful, Quickbooks, or ShipStation. Squarespace’s third-party extensions are a great way of growing your site without upgrading your plan.
Squarespace has the best quality designs of any website builder on the market. With sleek, sophisticated, modern templates, it creates truly stunning websites. Ideal for creatives and those in search of real customization, Squarespace knows how to make your site look good.
You can easily switch your template, even once you’ve published your site, and can even work on more than one template at the same time.
Squarespace provides a 14-day free trial, so you can try its builder out totally risk-free. After that, it has four premium plans to choose from, ranging from $12 to $40 per month (billed annually). The highest two plans unlock advanced ecommerce functions.
- Read our Squarespace Review for a detailed look at this top quality builder, and find out if it’s the right choice for you
- Got products you want to show off? Squarespace combines stunning visuals with advanced sales tools: read all about it in our Squarespace Ecommerce Review
- What’s so good about Squarespace’s designs anyway? Check out our Squarespace Template Designs Review to find out!
- Is it worth the money? Our Squarespace Pricing Review goes into detail on Squarespace’s price plans, and whether they offer good value for money
- Looking for a discount? Take a look at our exclusive Squarespace Offer Code, which will save you 10% on the cost of any Squarespace plan
- Unsure? Our Wix vs Squarespace comparison breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of each builder’s features, templates, and more to find the best option for you
Best for Small Businesses and Portfolios
Pricing range: free – $26 per month
Best for small businesses and portfolios
- Best features for growth
- Large app store
- Cheap and free plans
Free plan available
- Large app store for developing your site
- Assign access to staff members
- Built-in SEO guides
- Templates aren’t the most inspiring
- Not great for for multilingual sites
- Restricted scope for customization
Weebly is a simple website builder that nevertheless packs a powerful punch when it comes to features – especially ecommerce and blogging. It’s pretty easy to use, but is also more limited than its competitors in terms of design and customizability.
It has a free plan, and three paid plans ranging from just $6 up to $26 per month (billed annually). These cheap starter plans makes Weebly one of the most affordable website builders on the market.
In our research, Weebly was number one when it came to features. It has more built-in features than Wix, and combines this with an impressive app store. This makes it a top choice for growing your online business.
Weebly’s designs aren’t as sleek as Squarespace’s or as bold as Wix’s, but each one is stylish and well thought out. There are over 50 themes to choose from in total, and you can change your template at any time, even after publishing your site. This makes any redesigns super easy later on!
Like Wix, Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder, although it offers less creative freedom than its competitor. Weebly has more structured templates: this makes it super easy to create a website if you want more guidance on the design of your pages, but it can feel limiting if you’re after complete creative control.
Weebly has a free plan you can use to build and publish your website, and has three premium plans starting from just $6 per month (billed annually). You can sell online with all of Weebly’s paid plans, making it an affordable choice for small businesses.
- Read our Weebly Review for a detailed breakdown of this builder’s pros, cons, features, and ease of use
- Check out our Weebly Pricing Review to find out which plan is right for you
- Setting up an online store? Read our Weebly Ecommerce Review for more information on Weebly’s sales tools, pricing, and more
- Torn between Wix and Weebly? We’ve got just the thing! Our Wix vs Weebly comparison puts these market leaders head to head, helping you find the best one for you
Best for Help and Support via Live Chat
Pricing range: free – $12.80 per month
Best for help and support via live chat
- Great support on hand
- Ideal for tech novices
- Stripped-back features
Free plan available
- Excellent live chat feature
- Supportive building process
- Very beginner-friendly
- Almost total lack of creative control
- ‘Basic’ in terms of features
- Not a scalable option
SITE123 gets back to basics to bring you a super simple and beginner-friendly website builder. It’s best for those with no tech experience, as it can quickly become limiting if you ask too much from it.
SITE123 makes it easy to create simple websites. Thanks to its live chat support and straightforward design, you can publish your website without wasting a moment.
Brilliant customer support is this website builder’s main strength. The live chat feature means you can easily get help if you get stuck while creating or editing your website. If you’re a beginner or are looking to set up your site fast, SITE123 is a safe choice.
However, it’s not a powerful builder – it lacks advanced features, and isn’t a scalable option for growing a website. Still, with a free plan and great support, SITE123 is a perfect choice for first-time builders.
SITE123 provides the basics you need to get a small website off the ground, including social media integration and data from Google Analytics.
Its best feature is its ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) setup. You answer a couple of questions – such as the type of website you need – and SITE123 creates a bespoke template for you with all the relevant features built-in. Pretty neat, right?
All of SITE123’s templates are mobile responsive, meaning your site will automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes. You can’t change your template once your site is live, however, so make sure you’re 100% happy before hitting publish.
Customization is limited but really easy, making this a great choice for beginners rather than ambitious or design-conscious builders.
SITE123 has a free plan, and one paid plan that costs $12.80 per month. If you sign up for the free plan, you can then unlock more premium plans, ranging from $12.80 to $17.40 per month (billed annually).
Best for Value for Money
Pricing range: free – $49 per month
Best for value for money
- For one page websites
- Great value for money
Free plan available
- Plans start from just $8/month
- Sell one product on the free plan
- Perfect for new projects
- Not suitable for complex sites
- Can’t categorize lots of content
- Limited creative control
Strikingly is another beginner-friendly website builder that specializes in one-page websites. It also provides the best value for money out of all the website builders we tested!
It’s not ideal for complex websites, but Strikingly’s free plan includes some great basic features, making it popular with bloggers and freelancers. That said, you might find the one-page design and basic level of customization limiting if you have grand plans for your site.
If you want to use a personalized domain name, you’ll need one of Strikingly’s three premium plans, which range from $8 to $49 per month (billed annually).
Strikingly simply doesn’t have the features required to grow a powerful website. However, if you’re after a simple website, you’ll find everything you need right at your fingertips, including:
- ‘Simple Store’ feature – you can sell one product on the free plan, or up to 500 on a paid plan
- Social media integration, so you can promote your website
- Blogging tools for you to create and share content
Strikingly has a range of blogging features, including an RSS feed and a comments section. This makes it a great alternative to WordPress, especially for beginners. Strikingly is a much simpler builder: you don’t need to code, and adding elements like text is super easy.
Strikingly’s free plan only allows you to create one-page websites. This is good if you want something live quickly and easily, but can be limiting if you’re looking to build a complex site.
Strikingly is designed to be easy for absolutely everyone to use. The upside of this is that creating, customizing, and editing your website is an absolute breeze – however, the downside is that pushing the limits of your template can become very frustrating, very quickly.
One of the best things about building with Strikingly is that it’s super easy to change templates. You can switch your template even once your website is live, and your content will automatically reformat itself to keep your pages looking great.
Strikingly’s free plan is pretty generous, but if you feel the need for more advanced features, you have three premium plans to choose from. These range from $8 to $49 per month (billed annually), and all come with a 14-day free trial.
- Read our Strikingly Review for more on this builder’s features, ease of use, and pricing
Best for Lending a Creative Hand
Pricing range: $14 – $74 per month
Best for lending a creative hand
- Aimed at design agencies
- Surprisingly easy to use
- Quite expensive
Free trial available
- Feature-rich, industry-specific designs
- Amazing in-house widgets and apps
- Great value if building multiple sites
- Plans are quite expensive
- Good features withheld for higher plans
- Disappointing SEO tools
Duda is a clear winner for anyone in search of website design that’s pure, polished, and simple.
The builder is easy to use, giving you drag-and-drop functionality combined with structured and stylish templates. This makes it perfect for anyone who cares about design, but isn’t ready for total creative freedom over their site.
There are over 90 templates to choose from, covering a range of industries from business to lifestyle. You get creative control over customization, but within the template’s limits – you’re still largely guided by your chosen design.
These features make Duda ideal for web designers creating multiple websites for clients – in fact, that’s what Duda was originally built for!
The main drawback of Duda is that it’s the most expensive website builder on our list, with prices starting at $14 per month. Still, there’s a 14-day free trial for you to have a go on.
Duda comes packed with design features, from hundreds of font styles to a built-in photo editor. It doesn’t pack quite the same punch with its features as, say, Wix or Weebly, but Duda certainly has the tools to help your website grow.
It’s especially useful for web designers creating sites for clients, and comes with the added appeal of having a widget builder, so that you can customize your site’s features. Duda is also unusual in giving you ecommerce tools on its cheapest plan, meaning you can start selling from day one.
Design is where Duda really shines. Its templates are all professionally designed, and are structured to help guide you through customization. This makes Duda a great choice for those who want a stylish site without wanting to spend hours designing it themselves.
There are over 90 templates, all of which are mobile responsive, and you can switch your design at any point while keeping your original content.
Because of all the features it packs into its website builder, Duda’s plans are pretty expensive. There are four premium plans to choose from – the cheapest costs $14 per month, while the most advanced plan comes with custom pricing.
There’s no free plan, but you can try Duda’s $22 per month Team plan free for 14 days.
- Read our Duda Review for a closer look at this builder’s drag-and-drop tools
Best for Creating and Publishing Websites Fast
Pricing range: $10 – $25 per month
Best for creating and publishing websites fast
- 5 minute setup
- Strong marketing
- Good for basic sites
Free trial available
- Fastest route to building a website
- Switch templates at any time
- Part of a larger marketing offering
- Only suitable for basic websites
- No SEO tools on cheapest plan
- Not great value for money
GoDaddy is very user-friendly, and is the fastest outright website builder for creating a website. Its design assistance means you just have to enter your details, before GoDaddy creates a tailored website for you to customize.
Simple layouts and guidance on adding elements to your site make for an extremely straightforward and speedy building process.
However, GoDaddy isn’t the best choice for powerful or complex websites – it may offer speed and simplicity, but this also means it’s not the best choice for building a truly personalized website.
GoDaddy may be the best website builder for speed, but its prices aren’t quite so impressive – plans range from $10 to $25 per month. Luckily, GoDaddy has a very generous one-month free trial, so you can make sure it’s right for you before signing up.
GoDaddy fell down in our research when it came to the quality of its features – they simply don’t have much depth or power to them.
While the cheapest Basic plan gives you most of the essentials for starting a website – including in-house marketing tools – it doesn’t include SEO, meaning your site will struggle to be found online.
Considering Wix and other builders include SEO tools even on their free plans, this is a huge drawback to using GoDaddy.
The reason GoDaddy is so fast to build with is because it uses ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to create a personalized template for you to edit. This saves you time, and also makes customizing much easier, as most of the hard work is already done for you.
GoDaddy’s editor is pretty simple, so it’s easiest to stick fairly closely to the template rather than trying to push the boundaries too far. If you’re after design flexibility, GoDaddy isn’t for you!
GoDaddy doesn’t have a free plan, but it does start you off with a huge one-month free trial, giving you plenty of time to decide if it’s right for you.
There are four price plans to choose from, ranging from $10 to $25 per month (billed annually). For SEO tools, you need at least the $15 per month Standard plan.
Best for the Basics
Pricing range: $2.90 – $29.80 per month
Best for the basics
- Great sales features
- Clean, logical templates
- Higher renewal prices
- No commission fee for ecommerce sites
- Easy-to-use template editor
- Optional AI branding tools
- Can’t switch template after site is live
- Uploading products can be confusing
- Weaker features than Wix and Squarespace
Zyro is an easy-to-use website builder with nice, clean templates. The features it does include are super high-quality, but it just doesn’t offer as many features as a top builder like Wix.
For example, Zyro lets you include a blog on your site – which is great – but it won’t come with search, archive, or commenting tools.
Still, we were really impressed by the quality of Zyro’s templates – not only do they have great UX for your website’s visitors, they’re also easy to edit, even if you don’t have any tech skills. They’re not very customizable, though, so if putting a personal touch on your branding is a top priority, then you may want to consider Squarespace instead.
Zyro’s most impressive features are its sales tools – starting with the fact that both of its ecommerce plans are completely commission-free. That means you get to keep 100% of the money you make in sales. Plus, Zyro’s ecommerce plans offer nearly 50 different payment options for online shoppers, including PayPal and American Express.
But when it comes to non-ecommerce features, like marketing and SEO, Zyro falls a little short of the competition. You can do the basics, like editing alt tags and meta titles, but there’s no keyword support or any dedicated SEO integrations.
However, Zyro does set itself apart from the pack a little bit with a unique set of artificial intelligence (AI) tools that work with its website builder. Its AI writer tool will generate SEO-friendly copy just based on a few broad topics of your choosing, while its AI logo maker can help you kickstart your website’s branding.
Zyro offers 127 template designs to choose from, or you can start customizing from scratch with a blank template.
The templates themselves are high-quality – they feature a lot of clean lines and have a stylish, modern feel. Plus, designing websites with Zyro is just easy. Its drag-and-drop builder uses helpful lines to guide you as you go, meaning it’s pretty difficult to make a poor design decision.
That said, Zyro’s templates aren’t very customizable. The editor is very section based, and you can’t stray much from the original layout that you’ve chosen. You also can’t change templates once your site is live, so you really have to be committed to your chosen design.
Zyro offers an impressive 30-day money back guarantee, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide if you like it or not. There’s no free plan, but its four price plans start from just $2.90 per month. If you want to start selling online, then Zyro’s ecommerce plans start from $9.90 per month.
However, Zyro has one major con that most website builders don’t: it hikes up its prices after your first payment term, so that cheap $2.90 plan actually renews at $22.90 per month – which is incredibly expensive compared to similar plans from other builders.
- Check out our Zyro Review to take a closer look at this builder
Best for Blogging
Pricing range: free – $25 per month
Best for blogging
- Well-suited to blogs
- Very cheap plans
- Customize with code
Free plan available
- Literally built for blogging
- Thousands of plugins to add
- Paid plans start at just $4/month
- Limited customization (without code)
- Not great for websites that aren’t blogs
- Not very beginner-friendly
WordPress.com is the basic website building platform offered by WordPress. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a more advanced content management system that offers more power, but demands more technical expertise. If you’re interested in WordPress.org, you can check out our WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison. But for now, let’s dive into WordPress.com.
WordPress.com isn’t the easiest website builder to use – in order to make the most out of the builder and expand your site, you’ll need to get to grips with some basic coding.
WordPress.com has one free plan and four premium plans, ranging from $4 to $45 per month (billed annually).
Lots of features, high quality blogging tools, and sensible prices make WordPress.com a great choice. Easier to use than WordPress.org but still unsuitable for novices, WordPress.com is perfect for bloggers with some technical confidence.
WordPress.com gives you all the blogging tools you could need, including:
- Social bookmarking
- RSS feed
- Search feature
You also have control over details like displaying the author bio on single posts, or where you want featured images to appear.
If you want to create an online store or business website, you can do that too – but this works best when combined with a blog. If you try to bend WordPress.com to create anything that’s not a blog, you’ll start to struggle pretty early on.
You get over 300 themes to choose from – some are free, while others you need to pay for. Theme prices vary, but usually fall between $30 and $80 (one-off payment).
You can customize your template, and this is made even easier if you know some basic coding. Total beginners may struggle with the editing layout, which is not as simple as drag-and-drop builders like Wix and Weebly.
It’s hard to really customize WordPress.com templates for anything other than blogging, so think about what type of site you want to create. For example, you’d struggle to create a portfolio website with WordPress.com!
WordPress.com has a free plan, and four paid plans ranging from $4 to $45 per month (billed annually).
- Read our WordPress.com Review for a full look at this ideal blogging platform, including its pricing plans, features, ease of use, and more
- To learn more about the difference between the two WordPress platforms and what each one can offer you, check out our WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison guide
- See how WordPress.com stacks up against our best overall website builder in our Wix vs WordPress comparison guide
Best for Removing Adverts Cheaply
Pricing range: free – $40 per month
Best for removing adverts cheaply
- Sell on the free plan
- Rigid designs
- Help and support lacking
Free plan available
- Cheapest advert-free plans
- Sell up to five products on free plan
- Jimdo Creator and Dolphin options
- Limited designs and rigid customization
- Only suitable for basic sites
- ‘Leave a message’ only - no live chat
Jimdo is a basic website builder that’s best for creating simple websites, rather than anything complex or flashy.
Jimdo actually has two different editors – Jimdo Dolphin and Jimdo Creator. Jimdo Dolphin uses ADI to help you create your site, while Jimdo Creator lets you build your site your way (similar to Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly).
Jimdo Creator has all the basic features you need to build your website. But if you want the power to edit, personalize, or create something more advanced, the builder will start to feel rigid very quickly.
Each editor has its own set of price plans, and both come with a free plan so you can build risk-free. Jimdo Dolphin has four plans ranging from $9 to $39 per month (billed annually), while Jimdo Creator has four price plans ranging from $10 to $40 per month (billed annually).
Jimdo is a middle-of-the-road website builder – it’s simple to get to grips with and has some handy tools built-in. However, it’s also not the easiest to use, nor does it provide the best (or worst) features around.
Some perks include the fact you can sell up to five products on the free plan, and remove adverts for just $10 per month on the cheapest paid plan.
If you want a site up quickly, then Jimdo Dolphin is a good option – it works the same way as GoDaddy, using ADI to create a personalized website for you.
However, we recommend Jimdo Creator over Jimdo Dolphin if you want more control over your site’s design – although we can’t promise you’ll get tons of free reign.
It’s super easy to add images, text, and other elements with just a few clicks, but once you’ve added them, it’s difficult to edit and personalize your page. It’s quite rigid, and offers very little creative freedom for you to change the template design.
Whether you choose Jimdo Dolphin or Jimdo Creator, you can enjoy building for free. If you choose to upgrade, there are four plans to choose from for each editor:
- Jimdo Dolphin: $9 – $39 per month (billed annually)
- Jimdo Creator: $10 – $40 per month (billed annually)
Best for Multilingual Websites and White Collar Businesses
Pricing range: $7 – $30 per month
Best for multilingual websites and white collar businesses
- Multilingual options
- Wide range of industries
- Confusing to use
- Templates cover wide industry range
- Set up sites in different languages
- Designs for corporate businesses
- Platform feels behind the times
- Requires commitment to paid plan
- Confusing to work with
1&1 IONOS Overview
1&1 IONOS has everything you need to create a functional, standard website. It won’t look like a Squarespace site or win awards for its designs, but it will get the job done. The builder has all the basic features you need, especially for small corporate businesses.
It’s also a great option for those on a budget, because although 1&1 IONOS doesn’t have a free plan, its prices start at just $7 per month.
One of the main drawbacks of 1&1 IONOS is that its designs look pretty dated compared to the other best website builders in this list. 1&1 IONOS is a functional, rather than stylish website builder – it won’t create the best-looking site on the internet, but it has the features to make your site or business succeed.
One of the main strengths of 1&1 IONOS is its multilingual feature, available on all plans. This is great for widening your visitor base and creating a modern website.
Other features include email marketing and social media widgets. These tools and features support business growth, and make 1&1 IONOS ideal for scaling your website.
Another great feature is that you get a free domain for as long as you stay on your plan – other builders only give you the free domain for your first year, after which you have to pay.
1&1 IONOS isn’t the best website builder for creating a stunning website or portfolio – in all honesty, its designs are pretty dated, and you have very little creative control. Moving things around the page can quickly become frustrating, making it less than ideal for artistic projects.
Compared to the other best website builders, its template designs are basic and less appealing. That being said, the templates do cover a range of industries to suit your needs.
1&1 IONOS doesn’t have a free plan or a free trial. It has three price plans to choose from, comprised of two website plans and one ecommerce plan.
The cheapest website plan is free for the first month, then charges $7 per month until you cancel. The other two plans range from $13 to $30 per month.
1&1 IONOS Gallery
- Read our 1&1 IONOS Website Builder Review and find out whether it’s the perfect match for you
So far we’ve taken you through our top 11 website builders. But what about the platforms that didn’t quite make the cut? Here are some other strong options:
Webflow is a powerful platform, but not one we’d necessarily recommend for the everyday user. Like Duda, Webflow is pitched more towards the web designers of the world. But unlike Duda, this hasn’t yet been translated into a beginner-friendly drag-and-drop interface. The selection of tutorials is amazing though, and the platform is definitely headed in the right direction.
Format is becoming increasingly popular in the photography/portfolio space, and it’s one we’re keeping an eye on. We don’t think it’s quite a challenger for the likes of Squarespace yet, and isn’t really suited to non-portfolio websites, but we’re interested to see how this platform grows and develops.
PageCloud is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder, but when we tried it out, it fell down in two areas; mobile responsiveness, and price. You have to edit the mobile version of your PageCloud website separately to make sure it’ll format properly on mobile, and prices start at $20/month, which would make it the most expensive platform on this list. While it doesn’t make our top 11 at the moment, we do think it has a lot of potential.
Carrd is a really interesting platform. While it’s not right for the typical website, it’s really strong in its chosen niche; one-page websites. It’s ideal when you want to go one better than a PDF, whether that’s for a resume or personal site, or a project outline. There’s a free plan, or you can create up to three sites for just $9/year, making it really great value.
While Mozello didn’t make it into our top 11, it’s a great option for those needing a site in multiple languages. So if that’s you, it’s definitely one to consider! It also has a good mobile editor, plus it made it onto our list of the best free website builders.
What goes up must come down, and on our quest to find the best website builders, we inevitably came across a fair few that we wouldn’t recommend:
There’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with Yola, it just trails so far behind the competitors featured higher up on this list that we can’t see it catching up. That said, at least its prices reflect this (there’s a free plan, and paid plans start at just $4.95/month).
It’s a similar story with Webs.com, although this platform’s designs are more dated, and its plans are more expensive. Webs.com was taken over by Vistaprint in 2011, and the process of setting up an account and starting to build your site still has that slightly disjointed feel that can come from these mergers.
One.com builds you a website the ADI way. You enter basic information about your site, and One.com produces a website to match. Unfortunately, Wix, Weebly and GoDaddy already offer ADI options, and although One.com is cheaper, the others are better (and two have a free plan). One.com is also reluctant to let you sign up without entering card details (either for a domain name, or a website plan) which is unusual in our experience, and not something we like to see.
Now you know the 11 best website builders on the market. But what if you’re still feeling a bit stumped? Which of these fine builders should you choose?
Unfortunately, we can’t read your mind through the screen and tell you straight. Only you know about the type of site you want to create, your specific needs, if you’ll be selling products, or if you’ll be blogging or showcasing creative work.
However, we can give you some handy pointers on finding your perfect website builder – carry on reading for three quick and helpful tips…
#1. Make the Most of Free Trials and Free Plans
Most of the website builders in our list offer either a free trial or a free plan for you to use. This is the perfect way of judging if it’s the right website creator for you – try actually building a website, and work out:
- How easy it is
- How long it takes
- What you like and don’t like
- What you’d want to be different
- If you’re happy with the example site you create
Then, try out more website builders. Even if the first one you try is perfect, it’s still worth having something to compare it to.
#2. Think About What You Want to Make
This seems obvious, but so many people pick a website builder because of how it’s advertised, or simply for the freebies that get thrown in. Safe to say, this isn’t a sensible way to choose the best website builder for you.
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article – the next step is to decide the purpose of your website, and then narrow down your builder list based on that. Don’t be dazzled by sale prices, or features that you don’t really need!
For example, if you want to start a portfolio website, then your best options will include Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Duda. Try them all out, and see which one you like the best.
In this example, choosing your best website builder will be much easier, because you can ignore other builders (such as 1&1 IONOS and WordPress.com) because – despite their other strengths – they don’t suit your specific needs.
#3. Factor in Your Budget
You don’t want to overspend on your website – it’s as simple as that. Look at the price plans of each builder, decide how much you can afford to spend, and work out whether you want to pay upfront for the year or per month (monthly prices will be more expensive, but give you more flexibility).
Don’t make the mistake of underfunding your website, though – you should always pay for the best builder you can afford. Yes, there are tons of great free plans out there, but free plans won’t give your site the features it needs to succeed in the long run.
You’ve now seen our rundown of the best website builders on the market, and hopefully you’ve got a better idea of which builders are best suited to your needs.
All of our recommendations are based on in-depth research and feedback from people just like you – they’re not just picked out of thin air – so you can feel confident that the information we’ve provided you in this article is fair and accurate.
Let’s have a quick recap of our top 11 website builders…
11 Best Website Builders of 2021
- Wix – best all-around website builder.
- Squarespace – best for creatives and design.
- Weebly – best for small businesses and portfolios.
- SITE123 – best help and support.
- Strikingly – best value for money.
- Duda – best for lending a creative hand.
- GoDaddy – best for building fast.
- Zyro – best for the basics.
- WordPress.com – best for blogging.
- Jimdo Creator – best for removing ads cheaply.
- 1&1 IONOS – best for multilingual sites.
As you can see from our list, each website builder has its own strengths. Whether you want a cutting-edge, stylish website, great value for money, or even a helping hand, there will be a builder out there for you.
Overall, though, the best website builder in our research was Wix. Its simple drag-and-drop interface makes it super easy to use (even for technophobes), and its huge range of templates and features, such as contact forms and media galleries, means you can truly customize your website and make it your own.
If you’re unsure of where to start, jumping on Wix’s free plan is a great way to get building and figure out what is and isn’t right for you.
Try out as many website makers as possible by using the free trials (or plans) on offer. This will give you a real feel for each one, and ensure that you choose the best one for your needs.
These are some of the most popular questions we’re asked by our readers about website builders.
Found a question that you want to know the answer to? Click the + to reveal the answer.
Website builders are incredibly affordable, typically costing around $5 – $40 per month depending on what you need your website for. Some website builders, such as Wix and Weebly, even offer free plans that allow you to create and publish a website for absolutely nothing (although your website will come with ads, and you won’t be able to connect a custom domain name).
Website builders allow you to build a website quickly and easily at a small monthly cost, without having to know how to code. This means you won’t need to hire a web developer to do it for you, saving you thousands of dollars. Website builders are therefore perfect for non-technical, time-conscious individuals who don’t have a lot of money to spend.
However, these benefits are offset with more limited customization options when designing your website. Unlike with WordPress.org, you don’t get complete control over how you want your website to look. Your website can also suffer from slow(ish) loading speeds due to the number of sites hosted on a website maker’s servers, and some builders don’t allow you to backup your website.
Website builders are mainly used by individuals or small-to-medium sized businesses. Most are scalable unless you’re looking to sell products in bulk. If that’s your aim, you’ll need an ecommerce website builder, like Shopify or BigCommerce, which are powerful online store builders used by multi-million dollar businesses.
Squarespace won our overall design category, but for pure flexibility, it’s got to be Wix. You can drag-and-drop anything, anywhere. This is also one of the reasons Wix is so easy to use, but be careful – it can be a hindrance, too. Most website builders restrict you so your site meets design best practices, whereas with Wix, it’s all in your hands.
Absolutely. The selection of templates you see when deciding on one are just populated with example content. All the images, text, buttons, and features can be changed. It’s all just there to give you a general idea of what your website’s layout will be. It’s also worth picking a template that’s relevant to your industry, as the chances are it’ll have the features you need already built-in.
A custom domain name is what people type into their browsers, i.e. ‘www.websitebuilderexpert.com’. Some website builders give you a year’s free domain when signing up to a premium plan, but expect this to renew at around $10/year. If you’re on a free plan, you’ll get given a sub-domain which includes the website maker’s name, e.g. ‘www.websitebuilderexpert.wix.com’.
A website builder is an online platform that helps you create your own website. Web hosting, or a self-hosted website, is when you pay for a space online to situate your website. Typically, the cost of hosting your website is included in your monthly fee for a website builder.
Unless you’ve got money to burn, using a website builder is a smart choice. They’re easy to use, and you’re in full control of your own website. With a designer or developer, you can end up shelling out thousands of dollars for a swanky site, then have to pay even more every time you need something tweaked or updated.