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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Best Website Builders for Small Business

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

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

By the end of this guide you will:

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

Further Information

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

Best Website Builders for Small Business

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

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

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

1. Wix

Best all-around website builder for small businesses

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wix does have a free version but if you’re serious about building a successful online business it’s definitely worth upgrading to a paid plan to take advantage of the premium features. Paid plans range from $13/month to $49/month (billed annually), so it’s easy to start small and upgrade as you need.

That said, we do recommend springing for at least the Unlimited Plan ($17/month) from the off, as this way you’ll be able to claim your complimentary $300 in ad vouchers ($100 with Google Ads, Bing Ads and Local Listings). This only applies for sites which are new to paid advertising, but is a great way to dabble in these channels without worrying about losing your own hard-earned cash.

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

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

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

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

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

The Wix app 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.

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

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

2. Squarespace

Best for: fast-growing small businesses or startups

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

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

Pros Cons
#1 Squarespace’s SEO features are really strong – perfect if you’re looking to get your site found in the search results Not 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
#2 Social media integration is excellent. You’ll want to get the world out about your business, and a seamless social media presence makes that a lot easier No app store – you’re relying on inbuilt features (which are very good), but won’t be able to customize functionality much beyond this

 

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

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

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

If you’re not looking to sell products online, you’ve got the choice of the Personal plan ($12/month) or the Business plan at $18/month (both billed annually). No surprise which one we’d recommend for a business here – you get a load more analytical and marketing features with the Business plan, so the insights are well worth the extra $6 a month.

You can actually sell on the Business plan too, but if you’re primarily an ecommerce business we’d definitely recommend going for at least the Basic Commerce plan ($26/month, billed annually). Again, by paying just a little more you unlock a whole load of valuable, ecommerce-specific features – in this case, integrating accounting and label printing, among others.

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

Other helpful pages:

Squarespace Review – for a detailed review of Squarespace

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

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

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

Wix vs Squarespace – which should you choose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Weebly

Great value for money

Weebly is best for when you’re looking for the simplest route to getting your small business online, and don’t need a fancy site bursting with features – it’s a great tool for getting your online business off the ground for very little money (plans start at just $5/month, paid annually).

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

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

 

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

There’s a free plan, but you’ll be tied to a Weebly.com subdomain (the name of your site that appears in a browser’s search bar, for example cooltrainers.weebly.com). So as always, if you want to build a professional-looking small business site we recommend you sign up to one of Weebly’s very reasonable paid plans. These range from the $5/month Connect plan, to the $25/month Business plan, with the Connect and Pro plans sitting in between. The more you’re willing to spend, the more features you’ll unlock – just head to the Weebly Pricing page to see a breakdown of exactly what’s included with each.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. GoDaddy

Fastest for building a simple website

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

It remains fairly reasonable, though. The cheapest plan (the Basic plan) costs just $10/month (billed annually). At the other end of the scale, the Ecommerce plan will set you back $25/month (billed annually), and there are two plans sitting in the middle. All plans come with a very generous one month free trial.

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

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

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

5. Duda

Best template designs, but limited creative freedom

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Strikingly

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

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

Pros Cons
#1 Helpful, proactive support team You can only create one-page sites, meaning it’s not a scalable solution
#2 You can create two sites on the cheapest $8/month plan, and sell up to five products Lacks the feature quality and depth of builders featured higher on this list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other helpful pages: 

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

7. WordPress.com

Great for blogs, but difficult for anything else

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

Pros Cons
#1 Comes with excellent inbuilt blogging tools and features Very limited for anything that isn’t a blog – think rigid templates, frustrating features, and an outdated backend
#2 Super cheap prices – paid WordPress.com plans start at just $5 per month (billed annually) To carry out more than the most basic customization, you’ll need some coding knowledge

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

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

One particularly frustrated participant using WordPress.com said:

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

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

So, blogging aside, does WordPress.com have any redeeming qualities? Its affordability is certainly a huge plus – there’s a free plan available, and paid ones starting at just $5 per month (billed annually). The cheapest plan – the ‘Personal’ plan – also comes with a custom domain and live chat support. That’s a fair bit of bang for your buck.

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

Other helpful pages: 

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

8. Site123

Easiest to use business website builder

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

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

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

But while Site123 may be super quick to set up, you can’t deny that the end result looks super dated. Site123 also scores poorly for features, coming in last place with 2.6/5. So even though it offers a free plan – with the only paid plan costing just $10.80 per month – its value for money score is really poor, again coming in last place.

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

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

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

Other helpful pages: 

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

9. Jimdo Creator

Simple, but lacks feature depth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other helpful pages: 

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

How to Choose a Small Business Website Builder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

website builder quiz

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

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

1.Ease of use

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

Sounds good right?

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

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

When testing each website builder, ask yourself:

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

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

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

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


2.Social media integration

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

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

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

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

Check whether your chosen website builder will let you:

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

3.Email marketing

Email marketing is the lifeblood of many small businesses.

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

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

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

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

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


4.Images and templates

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

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

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

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


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

5.Help & Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?).

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

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

9 Best Website Builders for Small Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAQs

Which is the easiest small business website builder?

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

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

Which is the cheapest small business website builder?

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

Which small business website builder has the best templates?

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

Which small business website builder is best on mobile?

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

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

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

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

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

Found This Article Helpful?

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

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this discussion? 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!

Claim your free guide & exclusive deals

Top 8 (free or dirt cheap) tools I use to build great websites, plus hand picked deals with top builders and regular newsletters!

Insert your email

100% privacy, we will never spam you! Unsubscribe at any time.

About Hannah Whitfield

Hannah Whitfield

I’m Website Builder Expert’s Content Manager, which means I’m in charge of checking everything written for our site, as well as writing my own articles.

I started writing about the wonderful world of the web around two years ago, and haven’t looked back since. Put simply, there’s never been a more exciting time to get online. Having tested all of the best website builders and ecommerce platforms on the market, I’m in a great position to help you do just that!

I hope you find our articles helpful, and please feel free to pop me a message with anything else you’d like to see here on Website Builder Expert.

18 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Avatar
    Jefferson
    Oh great! It was a fun reading this. I have learned a lot
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Lucy Carney
      Hi Jefferson, Thanks so much for the great feedback - I'm so glad you found it useful! Thanks for reading, Lucy
  • Avatar
    Ananda Kannan
    Wow this just a amazing piece of content and am going to share this in my community because now a days lots of business owners doesn't aware of the purpose of having their own website for the business. Hence this article will help them to realize the value of having a website and that too they have to build a website with a right agency which has a team of expert web designers. Ananda Kannan S P CEO Dezvolta
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hi Annanda, Welcome to the community, so pleased to hear you have found this article interesting. We could not agree more setting up a website is so important to any future business growth, as we mention in this article, with the internet being so accessible, it now means that it is so important for your businesses to have that online presence. Please do feel free to share with others you feel could too benefit from our content. Thanks again for your comment. Natasha.
  • Avatar
    Jyotsana Suri
    Talking from personal experience, if your business has anything to do with creativity and art, go with Pixpa. Themes look much more elegant.
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hey Jyostana, Thank you for your comment, I haven't personally come across Pixpa so thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will be sure to add this to the list of builders to test this week! Cheers, Natasha.
      1 reply
      • Avatar
        Steve Brown
        +1 for Pixpa. The support team is indeed one of the best.
  • Avatar
    Joshua Haggerty
    I think this is great content, full of value and helpful information. When creating a website, yes a word press or hiring a web designer to build a website for you is great also, although this to me is only best fitting for businesses that do not fully understand how the internet and marketing works. If you feel you need to spend thousands of dollars or even a dime to be honest to have a great website is completely fabricated and #fakenews created by website designers and so called digital consultants, to stay in business and keep there industry afloat. wwwDluxroses.com is a perfect example of not having a professional website designer build your website. Their business is booming not because of there website and how pretty it looks although I’m sure it would help them gain more customers lol but it hasn’t stoped them from growing because they got the business and marketing aspect right. Great post! Love your value, Educational Content is King. #DigitalHandShake We Create Customized Websites. Our Website Design Service Is 100% Risk Free. The Only Website Builder To Offer Such value. #ViralSitez Joshua Haggerty Founder/CEO
  • Avatar
    arnie
    Great work on researching this post. From someone who has been building websites for a long time, I can tell you that serious business owners who are busy actually running their business and who want a top notch website are not going to be happy using any of the DIY sites.
    1 reply
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi Arnie, Thank you for the comment, glad you found the piece well researched - we certainly put a lot of time into them. I think serious business owners would be more than happy using a website builder. There's plenty of support on hand, so you're never left on your own. Some of the biggest companies in America use Shopify!
  • Avatar
    Linix
    I recently started to create a blog through wordpress. I admit, It is intimating..I am not tech savvy. I wanted to eventually monetize my blog once I have several articles published. My wife recently started a small organic coffee brand(online retail) and wondering if we need a website if we are building a blog. Could we just essentially sell off the blog or would it be wiser to separate the product within its own website and include the link within the blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    1 reply
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi Linix, Thank you for your question! We would always recommend small businesses sell online with their own website. Most decent online store builders (check out Shopify) come with excellent blogging functionality, so you can integrate your blog with your online store. This doesn't tie you down to one selling avenue. Good online store builders can provide a lot of help with SEO (search engine optimization) and make sure your website / blog ranks higher in Google, so people can find it in the first place. Your wife wouldn't have to sell many products through her organic coffee brand's online store before the monthly fee looked pretty small. For these and other reasons, we'd always say it's sensible to get both an online store and a blog. With them working in harmony, you have more chance of making a success of your online business I hope this helps and good luck! Fred
  • Avatar
    Liz
    Hi, Thanks for the great website!! Here, in the conclusions - the summary of the three, it seems like you mixed up Squarespace and Weebly. Didn't you say Weebly is the simplest to use and Squarespace the one with the most stunning images?
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hey Liz, Great spot! Apologies for the confusion. I've updated the conclusion to reflect what it should have all along: Weebly as the easiest to use & Squarespace as the home of great design and imagery. Thanks again, - Tom
  • Avatar
    Cynthia Rodrigues
    God read, though! I am a WordPress fan. I use WordPress with TemplateToaster website builder and really delighted with the results I get.
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Cynthia, Great to hear you found the article interesting. I think there is a time and a place for WordPress. It's definitely a powerful platform, but it can be intimidating for anyone not too familiar or confident with website building technology. That's why we like the simplicity of using a website builder like Wix. However, as long as you are happy with the end result, then I'm sure it doesn't matter which platform you use! :) Thanks for reading, - Tom
  • Avatar
    Feli
    Thanks for all the tips and info. It’s all I needed to know before setting up my website.
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Feli, No problem, glad to know the discussion proved useful for you. Best of luck with the website building. - Tom