Finding the best affordable website builder for small business has never been more important. Every small business owner wants to ensure they have an online presence nowadays, even if they also have a physical outlet. And even if your business is already digital, that clunky, old fashioned site is no longer going to be good enough, as more and more people are shopping online, and accessing faster and better ecommerce experiences.
But where's best to craft your online space? In this article, we round up the five best website builders for small business available today. Each one of them enables you to build a website quickly and easily, and add an online store if you wish, without having to do any coding at all.
All these high quality web builders offer a professional service and good customer support at very reasonable prices. Read on, as we specify the main differences between them, to help you choose which one is the best fit for your business needs. And if you can't find what you're looking for here, check out our pick of the best website builders, best website builder for artists and best web hosting services for businesses great and small.
The best website builder for small business deals
The best website builder for small business: full reviews
Wix is our favourite website builder for small businesses for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that small business use feels baked into its DNA. Every new feature it introduces, and even every sentence on its website, makes it feel like Wix has small businesses in mind. Its web building interface is very easy and intuitive for non-techie people to use. 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. You add your own text and images to these via drag and drop, so as long as you can use a mouse, you should find it pretty straightforward to add your content. If you do run into problems, there are Help buttons everywhere, pointing you to clear, jargon-free advice.
Wix also has a very decent ‘Free forever’ option that gives you up to 500MB storage and 500MB bandwidth. If you just want a ‘calling card’ website with your company’s details and information, and don't need an online store, Wix would be our choice as the best free website builder for small business.
Weebly operates in a similar way to Wix, offering a drag-and-drop interface to create a small business website without the need for any coding or design skills. It doesn't offer quite as many templates as Wix, and its templates aren’t as beautiful as Squarespace’s. The system is slightly trickier to use than Wix’s too, although a little easier than Squarespace’s.
So why would you opt for Weebly over either of those competitors, then? Well, firstly it offers the opportunity to set up member-only pages (available on the Professional and Performance Plans), which will be useful if your business involves a private club or a subscription scheme. We also like the Weebly App Center, which offers more than 300 apps, covering marketing, communications, ecommerce, social media and other site tools and features. Weebly also offers free stock images to use on your website, which is a nice touch.
But probably the biggest reason to opt for Weebly is cost. The value for money on Weeby’s paid plans is impressive, even compared with relatively low priced competitors like Wix and Squarespace. We’re particularly enthused by Weebly's Pro plan, which offers great ecommerce tools (including a shopping cart and the ability to accept payments through Square and other third-party providers), advanced site statistics reporting, and, for US customers only, phone support and live chat as well as email support.
When you visit a big brand’s website, even if you’re not a designer yourself, you can usually instinctively sense that it's a professionally designed site, and not something that the owner had their teenager knock together in the garden shed. It's fairly obvious that they've spent a lot of money on the site – much more than most small businesses can afford to invest.
Squarespace aims to offer a solution to that by offering the most elegantly designed templates of any web builder, with clean lines and lots of lovely white space. Painstakingly crafted by professional designers, its beautiful layouts can really make your business website stand out from the crowd. As a result, you'll pay a little more for Squarespace than some other web builders, but you certainly get what you pay for. You can also customise the templates as much as you like.
Squarespace isn’t just about good looks, though. There’s no point in having a gorgeous website if you can’t make money from it. Squarespace also offers an excellent range of business-focused tools that allow you to do things like set up an online store to sell all kinds of products or services, integrate with ShipStation to print shipping labels, and set up shoppable Instagram posts. There are also some superb analytics and email campaign tools.
It has to be said that Squarespace’s system takes a little more time to learn than Wix’s, for example. However, there's certainly still not need for coding skills. As long as you’re used to using a computer in general, you won’t find it too difficult to get used to the system.
Hostgator is one of our choices for the best web hosting, but if you don’t yet have a website, it also has its own website builder in the form of Gator. Like Wix and Weebly, it focuses strongly on small business owners, and its interface is easy to use through a combination of templates and drag-and-drop functionality. Its features are a little more limited, however, and although there are more than 200 templates to choose from, they’re all fairly similar in style and appearance. As a result, we’d only recommend Gator if you're after a fairly standard website in terms of looks and functionality.
That's not necessarily something negative, since many small businesses will want just that. Most of the things a small business needs from a website builder are here, from support for password-protected pages to the ability to add an online store. However, the ability to customise your online store is pretty limited, as are the SEO tools. Gator also lacks a number of specific features that could be deal-breakers, like being able to run an email marketing campaign, schedule blog posts or let visitors add comments.
On the other hand, there’s good 24/7 live chat, phone and email support to help you out if you run into difficulties. Depending on your plan, Gator will probably also cost you less than most options. As a result, it's still a good option for small business owners who don’t have big ecommerce plans but simply want to dip their toe into the online water at a low price.
1&1 is a veteran in web hosting, and it also provides a web builder service, MyWebsite Now. One thing that sets it apart is that with the £20-a-month online store package, the first three months come free, as long as you commit to the full year. For the cheaper packages, you get one month free. Yes, it's a marketing gimmick, but if you're having issues with short-term cash flow, that might prove very tempting.
As for the product itself, all plans include a free domain and professional email address. The interface is 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 add also an integrated online store with all major payment and shipping options included. The 24/7 phone support is good, usually offering a fast response.
Overall, this is a solid, reliable web builder, with a strong focus on small businesses. It's a little more expensive than others on this list, but you get the service that you pay for.