When it comes to the best website builders, knowing which one to pick from a plethora of options can be tricky. But if you're ready to get started with a new site, we're here to help.
For a start you'll be looking for a website builder that can create your website in the latest version of HTML. And secondly, you'll want a tool that simplifies the process of web design and enables you to create a great site without needing a lot of programming or coding knowledge.
We've scoured the web to find you the best website builders – in no particular order – that fit these requirements and more. Or, if it's a hosting service you're after, take a look at our guide to best web hosting 2019.
Originally based on Flash, Wix has now switched to HTML5. Its unique template designs stand apart, making it a great way to create eye-catching websites. Wix is primarily a paid service but does offer a limited number of features in its free version as well.
A clear UI and powerful features make this the best website builder right now
Wix is the best website builder right now. This popular service offers a range of plans to fit different needs. The biggest draw is how simple it is to use. The drag-and-drop editor is easy to get to grips with, while just about anything can be adjusted and tweaked once you've got the hang of things. There are over 500 templates to choose from, but if you're having trouble making a decision, you can type in your needs and Wix will make suggestions of templates for you.
Another draw is Wix Turbo, a recently-introduced feature that significantly increases the speed and performance of websites.
There is a free version of this website builder, which comes with limited bandwidth and storage space (500MB). Bump up to the Unlimited plan and you'll get an ad-free experience, unlimited bandwidth and 10GB storage, plus a free domain and Google Ad vouchers. For a little more again, the E-Commerce plan throws an online store into the mix.
A super-popular service aimed at ecommerce brands
If the website you need to build is an online store, Shopify is one of the best website builders around. This rapidly-growing service now powers over 800,000 online shops, and the pricing plans and features are flexible enough that it will work for you whether you have a tiny fledgling business or something much larger. There's also a free 14-day trial so you can make sure it's what you want.
There are loads of templates and themes so you can put your store together exactly as you want, and if you think you might need something more advanced in the future, it's easy to find an expert to help you.
Built for speed and efficiency
Next on our list of the best website builders is Duda. Designed with online stores, business sites, blogs and one-pagers in mind, this quality responsive website builder has a stack of ready-made templates for you to choose from, and a drag-and-drop editor to make it easy to put your site together. It's optimised to provide the fastest and most efficient building experience, and features plenty of widgets to help turn visitors into paying customers. There's also integration with web-based solutions such as OpenTable, Disqus and PayPal, and also website personalisation tools that can trigger a variety of individualised actions that'll make your customers feel extra-special.
A quirky website builder aimed at beginners
Jimdo isn't as full-featured as some other website builders here, but it is still worth a look. This slightly quirky website builder offers a range of different plans to suit your needs, although it's best suited to novices. The free Play option gives you 500MB storage, 2GB bandwidth, up to five website pages, and HTTPS security. Step up to one of its paid services and you'll get a free domain for a year, SEO help, stats and more.
Another dedicated ecommerce website builder
Got something to sell? BigCommerce is aimed at small businesses that want to grow. There are three plans, Standard, Plus and Pro, and a custom Enterprise version, none of which charge additional transaction fees. All three plans enable you to connect your online store to other sales channels, including eBay and Amazon, and offer real time shipping quotes, and site-wide HTTPS security. Its storefront editor enables you to change your site's look without coding, while you can also go completely custom using HTML, CSS and other code libraries.
Prices are higher than you'd expect from a standard website builder, but roughly in line with what Shopify, its ecommerce competitor, charges. Annoyingly, most of the information about this website builder only becomes available once you've started your free trial, making it tricky to compare it with other services.
A dedicated tool aimed at design professionals
California-based website building company Webflow is an astonishingly simple platform that gives everyone the power to build their perfect site across a range of devices. Suited to designers, creative professionals and entrepreneurs, Webflow is a web design tool, CMS and hosting platform all in one, and enables you to create your dream site and update it personally without having to touch a single line of backend code. Webflow is frequently adding new features – most recently, dedicated ecommerce functionality.
This free website builder is great if you have some coding knowledge
There are plenty of templates – both free and paid – and widgets to choose from, plus built-in SEO. Bear in mind, though, that Silex won't host your site – for that, take a look at our guide to the best web hosting services.
08. IM Creator
This website builder is free for students, artists and nonprofits
The IM Creator was introduced in 2011 and it quickly became one of the top HTML5 website builders online. It features a huge library of website templates in a long list of categories ranging from sports and medicine to business and academics; simply use one of these templates or start off with a blank page and create your own design.
Students, artists and non-profits can apply for a free account, with unlimited hosting, no ads, and ecommerce capabilities. If you don't fall into one of those categories, you can opt for a Premium account, which does the same thing for a small monthly fee. There's also a higher-level option for those with more demanding needs.
A popular website builder aimed specifically at creatives
SquareSpace is a popular web-based website builder that will help you create beautiful sites in a matter of minutes. It offers a massive range of ready-made website designs tailored for different occasions and industries, and if you're comfortable with code then you'll be able to customise your site or create a completely new design.
All SquareSpaces's templates are compatible with mobile devices as well, and contain high-resolution images and graphics to add further colour to your website. SquareSpace is a paid application but you can also use its free trial with limited options.
A smaller outfit geared at ecommerce users
French startup PrestaShop has released version 1.6 of its eponymous open-source ecommerce website builder with a revamped front end experience plus a back end overhaul that focuses on the business intelligence side of things.
The most impressive thing about PrestaShop is its default theme, which is comfortably one of the best around – slick and easily customisable thanks to Sass Compass built-in. The back office is no less well-presented despite the huge depth of analytics that it contains, and both are fully responsive.
A website builder for online portfolios
Dunked provides responsive designs that are Retina-ready and allow you to create an online portfolio without any coding difficulties. You can choose from a growing collection of professionally designed templates, which are pixel-perfect, customisable and easy to use.
Each template is fully responsive and will adapt itself to any mobile device – iPad, iPhone or Android. Adjust layout, colours and typography using a selection of preset options; there's also advanced CSS editing for those familiar with website markup.
A free mobile website builder
With a mobile-first approach and easy drag-n-drop interface, Mobirise has become one of the most popular offline website builders. Mobirise is available to download for Windows and Mac, and comes with over 1,800 assorted website blocks, as well as over 20,000 hi-res images and 6,000 icons.
Mobirise Builder is free for commercial and non-profit use, and once you've built your site you get the option of publishing it to any hosting service, local drive or free Github page.
Fast, responsive and SEO-ready
As the name might suggest, you can use Strikingly to create beautiful websites, and do it quickly, too. It's promised that you can create a site in under 30 minutes, with no coding or design skills required.
Strikingly's templates are not only eye-catching but are also completely responsive and compatible with major mobile platforms. Everything is optimised for SEO, with extremely quick load times, and Strikingly also offers in-depth analytics for every site you build with it.
A popular website builder that also caters for online stores
Weebly is one of the pioneers in creating HTML5-based websites and templates. It's an entirely online website builder with lots of goodies for designers. Its designs are immaculate and its features are mind-blowing. Every template and website design created using Weebly is compatible with mobile devices and works smoothly on all major platforms. You can create websites with Weebly using either your own domain name or a Weebly subdomain.