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The best website builder for small business in 2022

A designer uses the best website builder for small business to sell her products
(Image credit: Wera Rodsawang via Getty Images)

Finding the best website builder for small business can help you get your creative business online fast – which in 2022 is pretty much a must. The tendency to shop online or at least research purchases online has only increased in over the last couple of years and is here to stay. This means that even small businesses with a physical location will usually need an online shop or at least a website to promote their products or services.

Website builders offer a way to create a business website easily, quickly and fairly cheaply with no knowledge of code and really no knowledge of web design at all in most cases. 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 rounded up our own selection of the best website for small business for those in the creative sectors. 

We've selected the options below based on ease of use, capabilities and tools, customisation options and value for small business. They all make it easy to create a website for a small creative business so you can get online and promote your products. We'll provide links to our top three choices first, but you can scroll down our full selection. Make sure you also see our guides to the best web hosting and best cloud storage for business. And if you're only after a personal website, see our roundups of the best website builders or the best website builder for artists.

Best website builder for small businesses: our top 3

01. Wix: The best website builder overall (opens in new tab)
Get your business online quickly and easily with Wix. 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 on your site.

02. Weebly: Great pricing for ecommerce (opens in new tab)
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. Overall, a great choice for small businesses.

03. Squarespace: the most beautiful templates (opens in new tab)
Want a good-looking website for your business? 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

The logo of Wix, one of the best website builders for small businessCB

(Image credit: Wix)
The best website builder for small business overall

Specifications

Free trial: 14 days
Free version: Yes
Customer support: Submit ticket or request callback 24/7

Reasons to buy

+
Small business focus 
+
Wide choice of templates 
+
Super-easy to use 

Reasons to avoid

-
Options may overwhelm

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. 

It's affordable, easy to use, and tightly focused on a small business audience. Its web building interface is very easy and intuitive for ordinary people to use (no coding required). 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. 

You add your own text and images to these via drag and drop, which anyone who's used to working on a computer can do. If you do run into problems, though, there are Help buttons everywhere on the page. 

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.

The logo of Weebly, one of the best website builders for small businessCB endorsed

(Image credit: Weebly)
The best website builder for small businesses selling online

Specifications

Free trial: 14 days
Free version: Yes
Customer support: Via email; phone and live chat for US only (Monday-Friday: 6AM-6PM PT; Sat-Sun: 8am-5pm PT)

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap for ecommerce
+
Excellent app store
+
Free stock images

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight learning curve

if you don't just want to promote your business online, but actively sell via your website, then Weebly offers the best value. Its Pro plan offers great ecommerce tools for a low price that can't be beaten elsewhere.

Broadly, Weebly is similar to Wix (above), with a drag-and-drop interface that's very easy to use. It doesn't offer quite as many templates as Wix, and its templates aren’t as beautiful as Squarespace’s (below). The system is slightly trickier to use than Wix’s too, although a little easier than Squarespace’s. 

However, Weebly does win over both these rivals in two other ways.  Firstly, 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. 

Secondly, 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. Thirdly, Weebly offers free stock images to use on your website. 

These include a shopping cart and the ability to accept payments through Square and other providers, 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, Weebly is your best bet. For more, see our Weebly review.

Best website builder servicesCB endorsed

(Image credit: Squarespace/Future)
The best website builder for creative businesses

Specifications

Free trial: 14 days
Free version: No
Customer support: 24/7 email, live chat Monday-Friday: 4am-8pm EDT

Reasons to buy

+
Polished templates 
+
Strong ecommerce features 

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight learning curve 
-
No apps market

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. 

On the downside, Squarespace is 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.

Squarespace has a drag-and-drop interface just like Wix's or Weebly’s, although it's a little fiddlier to use. There's no need for coding  or web design skills, though, just a little time spend learning the system. For more, see our Squarespace review and comparison of Squarespace vs Wix.

Website builder for small business: 1&1 MySiteNow homepage

(Image credit: 1&1)

04. 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite Now

Seasoned website builder with a strong business focus

Specifications

Free trial: 30 day money-back guarantee
Free version: No
Customer support: 24/7 phone and email support

Reasons to buy

+
First 1-3 months free
+
Great customer support
+
User friendly interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest overall

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. 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 also addan 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. 

The logo of Strikingly, one of the best website builders for small business

(Image credit: Strikingly)

05. Strikingly

The best website builder for small businesses with small pages

Specifications

Free trial: 14 days
Free version: Yes
Customer support: Live chat, phone, email

Reasons to buy

+
Beginner-friendly editor
+
Very competitive price

Reasons to avoid

-
Small template library and limited customisation

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).

The logo of GoDaddy, one of the best website builders for small business

(Image credit: GoDaddy)
The best website builder for small businesses to get online fast

Specifications

Free trial: No
Free version: Yes
Customer support: Live chat, phone

Reasons to buy

+
Great for beginners
+
Fast and streamlined process
+
Feature-rich free forever plan

Reasons to avoid

-
Very basic editor and templates

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 rather basic quite basic, but that makes it very simple and intuitive. Plus, there's a range of basic ecommerce tool and a full analytics portal. There’s a good free plan that you can use to test the platform, and four premium plans start from $6.99/£5.59 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. GoDaddy's templates are quite basic and also rather restrictive with limited design flexibility and no advanced tools to allow you to personalise your site, but again this makes it quick and easy to use so you can get online very fast. 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.

Hostgator homepage featuring example website

(Image credit: Hostgator)
The best website builder for small businesses who just need a basic site

Specifications

Free trial: 14 days
Free version: No
Customer support: Live chat, phone, email

Reasons to buy

+
Simple interface
+
Password-protected pages
+
Low prices

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited customisation

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. A solid, if basic service, this provides all of the standard things a small business needs, including support for password-protected pages and the ability to add an online store. 

Beyond that, things are a bit limited. You can't do much to customise your online store, SEO tools aren't great, templates are a bit samey, there are no email marketing tools, and you can't schedule blog posts or let visitors comment on them. If that doesn't bother 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.

Bluehost web builder homepage featuring recipe website example

(Image credit: Bluehost)
The best website builder for small business owners familiar with WordPress

Specifications

Free trial: 30 days
Free version: No
Customer support: 24/7 via phone, email, live chat

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonable prices
+
Use WordPress plugins
+
No inbuilt ads

Reasons to avoid

-
No free option

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.

In general, Bluehost's web builder is a solid choice for any small creative business. It's easy to use, and you get 24/7 customer support, along with some excellent email marketing and analytics tools. It isn't super cheap, but it is affordable, especially if you go for a plan with ecommerce capabilities. For more, 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.

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.