The best website builder for small business can help you get your creative business online fast. And you won't need to know anything about code!
However, there are a lot of options out there, from big names to smaller newcomers. And sometimes figuring out how they compare in terms of price and what they offer can be a bit confusing. To help make things easier, we've road-tested different platforms, and present the best website builders for small business below.
We've personally used all of these services, and compiled full reviews of most of them, which we link through to below. We've also gathered feedback from small business owners on which features they find most useful in the real world. See our guide to how we test and review for more details of our process.
We'll provide links to our top three choices first, but alternatively you can scroll down our full selection. Also check out our guides to the best web hosting and best cloud storage for business. Alternatively, if you're not a business owner, see our roundups of the best website builders or the best website builder for artists.
Best website builder for small businesses: top 3
01. Wix: The best website builder overall (opens in new tab)
We've found Wix a great way to get your business online quickly and easily. Choose from 500+ templates, add your own content, and you're done; all for a bargain monthly price. Wix even has a free option if you don't mind ads.
02. Weebly: Great pricing for ecommerce (opens in new tab)
In our testing, we discovered that Weebly is very easy to use, and offers great pricing for ecommerce. There's also an excellent app store, free stock images and an option to create member-only pages.
03. Squarespace: the most beautiful templates (opens in new tab)
Our reviewers found that Squarespace's templates are the most beautiful of all the website builders. Plus its interface is easy to use, the SEO tools are great, and you can add an online store too.
The best website builder for small business
As a small business owner, you want a service that does what it promises, and provides good value. That's why Wix is our pick as the best website builder for small businesses overall.
In our testing, we found Wix's interface super-easy to use. You can add your own text and images to these via drag and drop, which pretty much anyone who's used to working on a computer can do. And when we did run into problems, though, there were Help buttons everywhere on the page.
It's affordable, easy to use, and tightly focused on a small business audience. And there are more than 800 business templates to choose from, covering almost every type of enterprise you can think of, from finance and law to farming and gardening.
A ‘Free forever’ option gives you up to 500MB storage and 500MB bandwidth, which is quite limited. But if you just want a ‘calling card’ website with your company’s details and information, and don't need an online store, that may be all you need.
Beyond that, the paid-for plans are very reasonably priced, making this the best website builder for small businesses overall. For more info, see our Wix review and our comparison of Squarespace vs Wix.
If you don't just want to promote your business online, but actively sell via your website, then in our view, Weebly offers the best value. Its Pro plan offers great ecommerce tools for a low price that can't be beaten elsewhere.
In our testing, we felt that its interface was slightly trickier to use than Wix’s, although a little easier than Squarespace’s (see below). Also, it doesn't offer quite as many templates as Wix, and its templates aren’t as beautiful as Squarespace’s. However, we found that Weebly does win over both these rivals in other ways.
Firstly, its mobile app is particularly good, and even works when you're offline. Secondly it allows you to create member-only pages on the Professional and Performance Plans. (That might be useful if your business involves a private club or a subscription scheme.)
Thirdly, there's the Weebly App Center, which provides 300+ apps, covering marketing, communications, ecommerce, social media and other site tools and features. So while the basic interface only allows you to build a basic website, you can use these apps to tweak it and make a little more specialised to your business. And finally, Weebly offers free stock images to use on your website.
You also get a shopping cart and the ability to accept payments through Square and other providers. There's advanced site statistics reporting. And, for US customers, phone support and live chat as well as email support. In short, if you want to sell things on your site, but still keep your costs low, we reckon Weebly is your best bet. For more details, see our Weebly review.
If you run a creative business, such as a photography studio, then the visual appeal of your website is pretty much your calling card. So you want a website builder with attractive templates, and Squarespace has the most elegantly designed of them all.
Carefully crafted by pro designers, with clean lines and lots of white space, these layouts can really help your business website stand out from the crowd. You can also customise the templates as much as you like.
When we reviewed Squarespace, we found its drag-and-drop interface was a little fiddlier to use than Wix's or Weebly’s. There's no need for coding or web design skills, though, just a little time spend learning the system. And we appreciated the helpful pop-up boxes that appear wherever you point your cursor, guiding you through the different elements of the interface.
Squarespace is also more expensive than most. But if you want your business to look good online, it's probably an extra cost worth paying. Squarespace also offers a great range of ecommerce tools if you want to set up an online store, integrate with ShipStation to print shipping labels, or set up shoppable Instagram posts. There are great analytics and email campaign tools too.
1&1 is a veteran in web hosting (see our 1&1 IONOS review) with a strong focus on servicing small businesses across the world. And its web builder service, MyWebsite Now, is equally solid and dependable.
All packages include a free domain and professional email address. In our experience, we've found the interface very user-friendly, with lots of options cleverly hidden in popup boxes to save clutter. You can choose from more than 400 templates, which can be searched by topic or keyword. You can also add an integrated online store with all major payment and shipping options included.
Overall, this is a very small business-friendly service. It's a little more expensive than others on this list, but you do get 24/7 phone and email support, which usually offers a fast response, although there's no live chat option.
Strikingly is an interesting option if you're looking to create a simple one-pager, which isn't a bad idea if you're just launching a small creative business. It offers a very intuitive beginner-friendly editor and site creation tools specifically with landing pages and one-pagers in mind. There are simple online store and blog modules that you can add for ecommerce and blogging functionality.
There's a free plan if you want to start with a strikingly.com domain, but paid plans start at very competitive prices, from $8 per month, with a free SSL certificate and up to two limited sites. You can only sell up to 5 products with the basic Limited plan. That limit increases with the Pro and VIP plans (from $16 and $49 per month respectively), which also add more features and reduce transaction fees (to zero in the case of the VIP plan).
If speed is the priority and you want the most streamlined path to getting online fast, then the GoDaddy website builder is a good option. It's quite basic, but that makes it very simple and intuitive. Plus, there's a range of basic ecommerce tools and a full analytics portal.
When reviewing the platform, we found GoDaddy's interface to be nice and intuitive, and we particularly liked the ability to preview different font pairings with the click of a button. On the downside, we found the templates to be quite basic. There's not much room for customisation either, so if you want a specific look to your site, you may prefer to look elsewhere. That said, you can also switch templates at any time, which does add a level of flexibility in case you decide later that you want to redesign your site.
Pricing starts from $6.99/£4.99 per month. The Standard plan will do for many business starting out, but if you want to sell online, you'll need an Ecommerce plan, which costs $14.99/£9.99 per month. For more details, see our GoDaddy review.
Maybe you're not bothered about ecommerce, and don't really care about your website looking beautiful? You just want to build a basic site, quickly and cheaply. In which case, here's our top recommendation.
Hostgator doesn't just provide some of the best web hosting; it also has its own drag-and-drop website builder in the form of Gator. In our review, we found it to be a solid, if basic service that provides all of the standard things a small business needs, including support for password-protected pages and the ability to add an online store.
That said, we were a little frustrated that we couldn't do much to customise our online store. We also discovered that the SEO tools aren't great, the templates were a bit samey, there were no email marketing tools, and you can't schedule blog posts or let visitors comment on them.
If none of that bothers you, though, it's a good choice. Especially as there’s good 24/7 live chat, phone and email support to help you out if you need it. For more information, see our Gator review.
The website builder services we've listed so far are easy to use, but aren't hugely customisable. If you're looking for a more bespoke online presentation of your creative business, you might want to consider the web builder from Bluehost, one of our favourite web hosting services.
It runs on top of WordPress, which gives you countless options to add some finesse to your site using any of the thousands of WordPress plugins available. When we reviewed it, we found it easy to use; certainly a lot easier than building a WordPress site from scratch. And we appreciated the availability of 24/7 customer support, along with some excellent email marketing and analytics tools.
The one black mark against it was page load speed. In our tests, a page we created in Bluehost took an average 2.63 seconds to load, while a basic WordPress website built on DreamHost took just 139ms. That could be improved by taking advantage of options for setting up content delivery networks and other optimizations, but it's a bit of a faff.
Overall, though, Bluehost Website Builder is a great website builder for building a site based on WordPress. For more info, see our Bluehost web builder review.
Does my business need a website?
In 2022, almost every business needs a digital presence, including physical businesses. The lockdowns provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic intensified a growing tendency for people to shop or research purchases online, and nowadays if you don't have an online presence, you're losing out on opportunities for potential customers to find your products or services.
That said, many small creative businesses go for the quick and easy route of using social media (see our guide to how to sell on Instagram). This is better than noting, but it does mean you're potentially missing out on huge numbers of potential customers and you limit your ability to be able to actually sell online and process payments. Even if you're using Instagram, to get its full potential, you'll want a website so you can easily add products to your Instagram shop.
If you have your own website, you can control everything much more precisely, appear in Google search results, conduct ad campaigns and give customers a unique URL, which makes it easy for them to locate you online. Added to that, it just looks a lot more professional and will help customers trust you more with their money.
Do I need to hire a web designer?
There was a time when, to create a website for any business, you either needed to learn code or hire a web designer. The former would take a long time (probably years) and the latter would cost a lot of money (thousands at least). Thankfully, these days, there's a third option, which is what we deal with above.
Web builder platforms only cost a few dollars a month, but provide a simple interface that make it very easy to build and maintain your own website. You just have to choose a template, then drag and drop in your own images, text and video. Typically, you'll also get a domain name and hosting for your website included in the price.
What should a small business website include?
Every business is different, and so what a small business website should include will vary from company to company. Generally, though, there should always be a homepage that explains what your business is and what it has to offer. Visitors will also expect an 'About us' page that explains the company in more detail, and a 'Contact us' page that tells them how to get in touch. The latter should include an address, telephone number and email, as well as links to any relevant social accounts.
Other pages you may want to include are pages listing your products and/or services, an online shop, an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page, a page of testimonials/reviews, a page linking through to press stories about your company, and a blog or 'latest news' page. Only include that last one if you're actually going to keep it up, though; otherwise it will make your site look ramshackle and out of date.
What's the best website builder for small business?
Overall, we've picked Wix (opens in new tab) as the best website builder for small business because it's affordable, easy to use, and clearly focused on small business use. Its web building interface is very easy and intuitive for non-techies. There are more than 500 business templates to choose from, covering almost every type of enterprise you can think of, from finance and law to farming and gardening. That said, if you want an online store as part of your website, you may be better off with Weebly (opens in new tab), as its pricing is more competitive in this area.
What's the best website builder for a creative business?
Of course, price and ease of use isn't everything. When it comes specifically to creative businesses, such as a design shop, a photography studio or an illustration practice, then you're going to be instantly judged by the attractiveness of your website. For this reason, you might want to pay a little extra for more attractive templates.
For that, our top recommendation as the best website builder for creative businesses is Squarespace (opens in new tab), which hands-down has the most beautiful templates. These have been carefully crafted by top designers, and work brilliantly across a range of devices, including laptops, desktop computers, phones and tablets. Besides that, Squarespace's interface is pretty easy to use, has great SEO tools, and lets you add an online shop for quite reasonable prices.
What's the best free website builder for small business?
Many web builders come with a free forever plan, although these are usually very limited in terms of storage and bandwidth and will often the provider's name in the URL as well as ads on the site. That said, they do offer a free way to get a basic site online for your business, so you can try things out. That way you can experiment without parting with your cash. if you find an online presence is helping you make money, you can consider upgrading to a paid plan, which itself may cost very little.
At the moment, the best free website builder for small business is the free plan offered by Wix (opens in new tab). Be aware, though, that you'll only get 500MB storage and 500MB bandwidth. That will be enough for a basic 'calling card' site, but you won't be able to add a lot of images, and certainly not any video.
As we mentioned above, Wix will insert its own ads into your homepage, and you'll have a Wix branded URL. If you can put up with all that, though, you really will be able to get online for free, and there's a lot to be said for that, especially if you just want to get a taste of what it's like having your own site.