Looking to set up a website for your small business? Not sure which website builder best suits your business priorities and needs? Need to sell online? We’ve carried out in-depth research to bring you our top choices – and Shopify is the best small business website builder.
The Best Small Business Website Builders
We’ve narrowed down our list to the top four small business website builders and Shopify is the best overall with an impressive rating of 4.9 out of 5. It offers unbeatable ecommerce features, including customizable checkout pages and native POS systems, making it a great option for businesses looking to sell products or services.
Below, we’ll discuss all of these website builders in detail to help you find the right fit for your small business, whether you’re looking to get online quickly or you’re after features to help you promote your brand. We know these are some of the key factors small businesses care about.
Unsure which website builder to choose for your small business? You need to identify your priorities and needs before committing to a plan.
- Looking to sell online? Consider Shopify which comes jam-packed with powerful ecommerce features to help you sell and market your products to customers
- Want to grow your audience? Wix is your best bet for impressive marketing tools and personalized SEO support
- Is a stylish website a priority? Squarespace’s aesthetic designs make producing a stunning website easy
- Need a helping hand? If all of this seems overwhelming, try a website builder like GoDaddy that offers expert guidance
Another key factor for beginners or small businesses just starting is affordability. You don’t want to make a large dent in the budget right away, and there are plenty of cost-effective website builders to choose from. You can review the cheapest premium plans of our top choices in the table below:
Value for Money
Value for Money
Value for Money
Value for Money
Free plan or free trial
Free plan or free trial
Free plan or free trial
14-day free trial
Free plan or free trial
As you can see, GoDaddy is the best value for money, with its premium plans starting from $9.99 per month (billed annually). But, depending on the needs of your small business, we recommend checking out more premium options, such as Shopify or Wix, if you want access to advanced features or ecommerce functionality.
You can also take our short quiz to receive a personalized website builder recommendation:
What is more important to your small business?
Best for selling products
- Simple product backend
- Extensive app store
- Good for scalability
Free trial available
Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month
- Sell on socials like TikTok
- Ideal for complex inventories
- Manage business bills easily
- Not suitable for small-scale stores
- Lack of tutorials
- Heavy reliance on apps
If you need your small business website to focus on showcasing products and converting traffic into customers, you’ll want a powerful ecommerce website builder that offers high-quality sales features, such as inventory management tools and multichannel integration. You might already be signed up to a website builder, so it’ll just be a case of upgrading to an ecommerce-friendly plan.
To cut to the chase, Shopify has the best sales features on the market. The range and quality of Shopify’s ecommerce tools, including abandoned cart recovery, tax calculation, and the option for discount codes, make it a powerful solution for small businesses of any size that want to sell online.
We wouldn’t recommend Shopify if you only have a few products to sell, though – you’ll get the most out of the platform and its sales tools if you have a complex or growing inventory. If you’re just starting out, we suggest looking at Wix which is better suited for smaller product catalogs – you’ll need to upgrade to a higher plan for unlimited storage and advanced sales tools, such as automated sales tax. These features are available on Shopify from its cheapest plan.
- Shopify Pricing: Shopify’s plans range from $29 to $299 per month (billed annually). Get started with its 3-day free trial before receiving three months for $1 per month if you choose the Shopify Basic plan. This is a good starting point for small businesses, providing unlimited products and up to 1,000 inventory locations.
I’d recommend Shopify as the best option for small businesses because of its simple backend tools that let you add products easily, as well as its huge app store which is great for helping small businesses grow and adapt. You’ve got apps like TikTok that can help grow your audience or Klaviyo which is great for setting up email & SMS marketing!
When it comes to multichannel integration, you can connect Shopify with its POS system for offline selling, a range of social media platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, or online marketplaces. We like that Shopify merchants can download the Shopify Marketplace Connect app to gain access to marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. This helps you meet customers in the places they’re already browsing and shopping, so you don’t need to rely on your website as the sole channel for sales.
I built my small business website with Shopify...
When did you start using Shopify, and how long did it take to build a website?
What do you like most about Shopify?
Does Shopify support your website’s growth? Is Shopify a good website builder for small businesses?
Any small business looking to sell products must offer a range of payment options to their customers – this increases your chances of landing a sale since customers have more choices when completing their purchase.
Shopify supports over 100 different payment gateways, as well as Shopify Payments which eradicates transaction fees if chosen. Using Shopify’s native payment gateway is the easiest way to take payments through the website builder, making the checkout experience more convenient for both the business owner and the customer.
We also think it’s worth mentioning Shopify Bill Pay, a new feature from our top-rated small business website builder that helps stores manage and pay business bills through Shopify’s dashboard. This helps business owners keep everything in one place.
If you’re considering selling online, you must ensure your security is airtight. Shopify provides a built-in SSL certificate, two-step verification, customer log-ins, and ensures your website is PCI compliant. The majority of these measures are offered by all major website builders, but we liked Shopify’s additional fraud analysis tool which helps small businesses recognize fraudulent orders.
Making sure you have good website security is critical when selling online – you want your customers to have confidence that your website will keep their data secure. With Shopify, you can rest assured that your website and small business are in safe hands.
Read our Shopify Review for more information.
Best for marketing your business
- Personalized SEO
- Easy marketing setup
- Well-rounded features
Free plan available
Paid Plans: $16 - $159 / month
- Email marketing with cheapest plan
- Keyword support from Semrush
- New AI features introduced
- Not ideal for growing businesses
- Interface can be overwhelming
- Pay more for better marketing
Looking to promote your business online and grow your audience? Need help optimizing your website successfully for search engines? A good website builder should support your marketing efforts so you can get more eyes on your website and small business.
Wix is our top choice, providing a diverse range of website features and high-quality marketing tools, such as:
- Built-in email marketing
- Internationalization features, supporting 180 languages and auto-translation
- Keyword support from Semrush integration
All of these features from Wix support your business efforts to promote your website and expand your audience reach. The great thing about Wix is that the majority of tools are built-in and you can start building your website for free – though we recommend upgrading to one of its premium plans to remove ads and unlock additional features.
With other builders, like Shopify, you’ll need to browse a large app market for additional features, such as email marketing. But, do you have time to shop around for the right third-party apps or would you rather have everything at your fingertips within your website builder’s dashboard?
- Wix Pricing: For a professional small business website, choose one of Wix’s premium plans, ranging from $16 to $159 per month (billed annually). Marketing power differs with each plan, so make a note of what you need more subscribing. We recommend Wix’s Core plan ($27/mo) since you unlock more lead-capture forms and site chat.
Your website’s marketing features can be used to build audience engagement and increase your brand’s visibility online. It’s a great way to share expertise on your niche subject or announce exciting business news – and an email or social post can serve as a reminder to people that your business exists!
Wix provides a built-in email marketing package with its website builder plans, allowing you to set up automated workflows, use brand assets from your website, and generate personalized messages so you can speak directly to your audience and customers. Wix partnered with Mailchimp at the end of 2023 to help businesses further streamline and coordinate communications.
Wix, like most major website builders, handles the SEO basics – letting you edit meta titles and image alt text, for example. But we love how Wix delivers SEO guidance to website owners and small businesses.
Wix creates a personalized SEO plan for your small business once you sign up, meaning you can action its recommendations quickly to ensure your website follows SEO best practices. This will help your website appear and rank in search engine results, allowing users to find relevant content to their query. When we tested this out for ourselves, we got a detailed checklist within a minute.
In addition to Wix’s SEO checklist, Wix provides a thorough SEO Learning Hub and access to the keyword research tool, Semrush. A recent addition to Wix’s SEO suite of tools is its AI Meta Tag Creator, freeing up your time by handing the task to AI. So, it’s no surprise that Wix scores a perfect 5 out of 5 in our SEO testing – with only Shopify sharing the same rating.
Organic search remains one of most impactful and cost-effective marketing channels available. Small businesses that invest the time and resources into building their online presence, and high-quality relevant content, not only build a stronger brand identity but also achieve sustained long-term success.
Website builders have been busy when it comes to adding AI tools to their features, rolling out new services like Wix’s AI Meta Tag Creator or Shopify Magic which helps you generate impactful product descriptions.
With Wix, you can use AI to build your website in just a few minutes (which is great for small businesses just starting out and looking to get online quickly). You can also make the most of Wix’s AI Text Creator to generate website copy, blog posts, product descriptions, and more.
However, when trialing the AI tool ourselves, we found the prompt to be a little restrictive since it made us choose a topic before adding keywords. That said, we liked the variety in the topic options, from “Team intro” to “FAQs”.
Whether you use AI to help create your entire website or write a fresh blog post, AI tools can be a useful way to cut down on time-consuming tasks and support your overall marketing strategy. The best part is that AI is still very new to the website builder industry, meaning AI products will continue to evolve and launch. For example, Squarespace has already made hints at new AI features, including image support and an AI assistant in the editor.
Read our Wix Review for more information.
Best for aesthetic designs
- Stylish templates
- Recommended by users
- Impressive backend
Free trial available
Paid Plans: $16 - $49 / month
- Unique content tools
- Ideal for creative businesses
- Edit your site on the mobile app
- Not suitable for larger stores
- Less creative freedom than Wix
- Bad for multilingual sites
We know that first impressions make all the difference, which is why template variety, sleek design elements, and quality content are so important. If this sounds like something your small business wants to prioritize, then Squarespace is your best bet for a stylish website.
We especially recommend Squarespace for artist websites and creative businesses – or anyone looking to focus on visuals and appearance over other factors, such as ecommerce or backend power.
Squarespace uses the popular drag-and-drop style editor – but with a twist. When editing, you’ll notice a grid-style overlay, helping you snap elements into position. While this might sound more restrictive than other website builders, Squarespace’s grid layout helps your elements align neatly with one another. You’ll find it difficult to create anything messy or bland when using Squarespace, once you combine its editor with the quality of its designs and templates.
- Squarespace Pricing: Plans range between $16 and $49 per month (billed annually). Squarespace and Wix cost the same to start, but Squarespace is better value for money, offering better quality features for the price point.
Squarespace’s templates cover a wide range of industries, including “Fashion”, “Media & Podcasts”, “Real Estate & Properties”, and “Travel”. You can browse its selection without needing to sign up, and each template works harmoniously with every Squarespace element, feature, and design option. So, while you can’t technically change templates after your initial choice – like Wix – you can create a completely new look without starting from scratch. You can even edit your Squarespace website on the go with its app!
Squarespace offers around 160 templates to choose from – a far cry from Wix’s 800+ templates, but we’re focusing on quality over quantity here. Alternatively, you can create something from scratch with Squarespace’s AI builder, Squarespace Blueprint. However, we’d recommend a premade theme if you value uniqueness and individuality since you can tweak these to suit your small business with ease. The AI-generated templates come out quite similar-looking.
What you put on your pages matters. Squarespace excels in this department, providing dozens of professionally designed elements to place on your pages, meaning you can display your content in a variety of ways. For example, an accordion is great if you want to hide additional content so visitors aren’t overwhelmed, or you could add a map to make the location of your small business really easy to spot.
Using elements like these, or even carousels and charts, help make your content digestible to website visitors. People consume information in different ways, so breaking up your content into alternative formats ensures your key points are delivered.
Read our Squarespace Review for more information.
Best for expert guidance
- Fast response time
- Best value for money
- 24/7 phone + live chat
Free plan available
Paid Plans: $6.99 - $469.99 / month
- Excellent support for beginners
- Quick way to get online
- Interactive resources
- Lacks quality design options
- No email support
- Wouldn't recommend for larger businesses
You don’t need to be an expert in building or running a website from the get-go. If you feel like you’ll want a helping hand, or appreciate a few educational resources to help you get started, then we recommend choosing GoDaddy which offers expert guidance and support.
- GoDaddy Pricing: GoDaddy offers a free plan and three premium plans, ranging from $9.99 to $20.99 per month (billed annually). Support remains the same across all plans, so if you’re looking to get online for an affordable fee, we recommend GoDaddy’s cheapest option, the Basic plan. In fact, GoDaddy is the best value for money – GoDaddy offers nearly all of the same standard features that you’d find on Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify, such as SEO and marketing tools, but for a fraction of the price.
Sure, ecommerce tools or high-quality website features are important, but they’re worthless unless you understand how to use them.
Ideally, a website builder will offer a variety of help and support channels, such as live chat or phone support – website owners can then choose the channel they’re comfortable with, improving the overall customer service experience. This makes sure your needs and pain points are heard if you ever run into trouble, addressing issues quickly and freeing up valuable time that can be spent on running your business instead.
Here’s what you can expect from GoDaddy:
- 24/7 phone support
- Social media support
- 24/7 live chat
- Knowledge center with tutorials and guides
- Community forum
- Expert support from GoDaddy’s team to help with website maintenance, SEO, and more
Unfortunately, you can’t reach out to GoDaddy via email – if this is a support channel you require, we suggest looking at Shopify or Squarespace. Despite this, we were particularly impressed by GoDaddy’s live chat response time. In our tests, GoDaddy responded in less than 10 seconds.
Read our GoDaddy Review for more information.
We’ve conducted in-depth testing on the top website builders for small businesses to bring you data-led recommendations. Our goal is to help you find a website builder that meets your needs – we cover the good, the bad, and everything in between so you have all of the facts.
For small businesses, we look at seven core categories:
- Sales Features – 38%
We look at the ecommerce features on offer to support your online store, from payment options to abandoned cart recovery.
- Website Features – 20%
Looking at the quality and quantity of a website builder’s features, such as SEO, AI, and marketing.
- Help and Support – 17%
We test a builder’s help and support options and knowledge centers because we know every small business might need a helping hand now and then.
- User Experience – 10%
We look at a website builder’s ease of use and accessibility by testing the builders ourselves.
- Design Functionality – 7%
This category covers a website builder’s aesthetic capabilities and design options, such as templates and mobile editors.
- Value for Money – 5%
We review a website builder’s pricing plans and what you can get for your money.
- Customer Score – 3%
To see how a website builder performs in the market and against competitors.
Following our testing, each website builder is awarded a rating out of five, which we then use to determine our rankings.
We’ve shared our recommendations depending on your small business needs, but our top choice is Shopify. It offers a powerful all-in-one solution for small businesses, performing well across our research categories. It also has the best sales features out of all the builders we tested – we highly recommend this builder if you’re looking to sell online.
If you’re still unsure, here’s a reminder of our top four small business website builders and how they can help you:
- Shopify is the best small business website builder overall, but we specifically recommend it for businesses looking to sell online
- Wix offers high-quality website features, helping small businesses promote their websites online
- Squarespace is ideal for designing a stylish website, especially for creative small businesses – see how well it performed in our best website builder for artists and best website builder for musicians research
- GoDaddy provides small businesses with responsive help and support, and its affordable plans make it the best value for money
All of these website builders offer either a free trial or a free plan, so you can try them out first to help you find the right fit for your small business.