|Company||Why We Picked It||Top Features|
|Wix||Best Overall||Hundreds of free templates; versatile uses; understandable interface|
|WordPress||Best for Blogs||Built for blogs; extremely customizable; highly scalable|
|BigCommerce||Best for eCommerce||Multi-channel sales opportunities; no transaction fees|
|Squarespace||Best for Prepackaged Designs||Highly aesthetic; large template library; unlimited bandwidth and storage|
|GoDaddy||Best User Interface||Intuitive block-style editor; excellent customer support; simple app integrations|
|Weebly||Best Free Option||Included SSL certificate; free marketing and eCommerce tools; intuitive website builder|
What Is a Website Builder?
A website builder is an online platform that allows users of all skill levels to quickly set up and create their own sites. Though each platform is unique and provide different features at varying price points, nearly every one includes the following:
- Free SSL certificates for better protection
- Mobile responsive templates to facilitate smartphones and tablets
- Included hosting for your website, though how much storage and bandwidth will vary
- Access to free and paid templates or other customization options
Does Google Have a Free Website Builder?
Back in 2017, the search engine turned tech giant launched Google My Business, a free tool to help businesses promote themselves through Google Search and Maps. Though the free service predominantly focused on helping businesses get searchable business profiles, it also offered a free website builder to help entrepreneurs create a simple website.
Google’s website builder extracts information from a company’s Google Business profile to automatically generate a page. Once complete, you can customize what’s on the page, including the entire template. Needless to say, this option isn’t as robust as the other services listed above, but it remains a viable option if you don’t need more than a simple business website or landing page.
Should I Build My Own Website or Pay Someone?
If you choose to pay someone to build your site, be prepared to pay a fair amount of money if you want to utilize a freelance web designer’s specialized set of skills. According to FreshBooks, a freelance web designer typically charges $75 per hour, with a good business website coming in anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000.
Are Website Builders Worth It?
Whether or not a website builder is worthwhile depends on how much you’re willing to spend, how soon you need your website to go live, and how hands-on you want to be throughout the entire process. If your time is valuable as a business owner and you don’t want to pay a premium for a custom-built website, then a website builder may be worth it to you.
Luckily, many website builders offer a slate of features that not only make the entire process easier but allow for greater customization and scalability. If you decide to use a website builder, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not necessarily tied down to that vendor’s system.
How Scalable Are Website Builders?
In our research, we found some website builders were more scalable than others. In some cases, we found instances where the highest-paid subscription tier that wasn’t an enterprise subscription didn’t come with a large storage limit, which would prove to be a problem for certain businesses that sell digital downloads, for instance. Other website builders imposed limits on how much bandwidth a site could use in a month so that if a site were to suddenly become popular, it could experience service issues or be removed from the hosting service altogether.
The best solutions for scalability tend to offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, have low or non-existent transaction fees, and provide the tools needed to keep building on top of your existing site as your needs grow.
How We Chose the Best Website Builders
We researched 22 web hosting services with an included online website builder by collecting information from their websites, seeking out customer reviews, and spending some time with the free version whenever possible. Each one was evaluated based on several factors, including how easy the website builder is to use, available design options, and its suitability for businesses, leading to the eventual selection of the final six. Each criterion was weighted differently based on the category. For example, a website builder’s transaction fees mattered more in the e-commerce section, while the number of templates and web design options carried more weight in the prepackaged designs category.