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The best website builders in 2021

Website builders come in many different types. But how to choose the best one for you? That's exactly what I'm going to help you find out here.

A website builder allows anyone to quickly build a beautiful website – without any design or development knowledge. But while all builders promise you excellent ease of use, and brilliant business features, these are just marketing buzzwords that don't say anything.

Here's what you should really look for in every website builder:

  • Intuitive user interface – you're not here to learn complex coding!
  • Good-looking templates.
  • Solid business features, from marketing and SEO to eCommerce.
  • Excellent site performance: websites need to load quickly.

So, with all these things in mind, what's the next step? 

Well, it'd be great if someone tested nearly every single website builder out there, and made a list of providers, fulfilling these four requirements, right?

Hope so – because that's what I did!

In this article, I have the 10 best website builder options that I ever tested. They're all quite different and will suit a different type of user. But what's most important, is that all of them are excellent in their own special way.

Table of Contents

There are quick five-minute-builders, as well as intricate pixel-perfect design tools. Which one's right for you? Carry on reading – we'll find that out together.

But for now, these are my top options:

Best website builders 2021: ranked

  1. Wix – best website builder overall
  2. Zyro – cheap, beginner-friendly website builder
  3. Squarespace – best templates in a website builder
  4. GoDaddy Website Builder – business-friendly website builder
  5. SITE123 – best website builder for beginners
  6. Gator – budget website builder for businesses
  7. Shopify – best website builder for eCommerce
  8. Weebly – affordable eCommerce website builder
  9. Duda – best website builder for freelancers and agencies
  10. Zenfolio – best photography website builder

Use the links on this list to navigate and read about the builders you care about the most. Also, at the end of the post, there will be a guide, that will help you choose the best website builder option, depending on your specific interests and goals. You can also click here to jump straight to it.

1. Wix

Hostinger
Top featuresAI website builder, designer website builder, big app store
Templates700+ free themes
Best forAll-around website building
Free planYes

Wix can do just about anything. I had an excellent time using it – and the main reason for it was the sheer number of options I was given.

For starters, it offers two drastically different website builders, each with its own setup experience, meant for varying types of users. 

Wix Editor is the option that gives you freedom. You can select from over 700 different website templates, divided into several different sections. Different in goals, styles, and layouts, these themes give your website an excellent starting point – they were one of the highlights on my Wix review.

Wix template options

Once you pick the theme, you get to see the Editor itself, which includes hundreds of sections and blocks.

Wix editor strips

Then, you can move them around freely around the theme – to make just the type of website that you want.

Wix editor look

If all of that sounds a little bit complicated, don't fret – seemingly, you're not alone. For those looking to drastically reduce the amount of time spent editing and managing their sites, Wix has an alternative option called Wix ADI.

Wix ADI automatically generates a website, based on your answers to the questionnaire and the business data found on search engines, as well as social media.

Wix ADI setup

Then, it just asks for what specific features you wish to have on your website...

Wix ADI elements

And there you have it! The website is pretty much as good as completed. And it only took a couple of minutes!

Wix ADI site

Once the website is nice and ready, and you need to prep it for your business, Wix has your back as well. The eCommerce interface is very simple, and perfect for beginners.

Wix online store

And a solid app store is full of first and third-party apps, that can help you with marketing, sales management, design, and much more:

Wix apps

Overall, all things considered, Wix is an excellent website builder, managing to combine both extensive design features, and supreme ease of use: by simply offering options for both, and combining them with excellent apps.

Wix pricing

Wix offers a total of 8 plans: 5 of them are focused on regular websites, while the other 3 are there for eCommerce sites.

Here are the plans for regular sites:

  • Free – a very limited plan, suited for testing.
  • Combo ($14/month) – excellent pick for portfolios and personal sites.
  • Unlimited ($18/month) – more storage, SEO apps, and advanced analytics.
  • Pro ($23/month) – professional logo and Event Calendar features added.
  • VIP ($39/month) – all of the above features, plus priority customer care.

And here are the plans for eCommerce sites:

  • Business Basic ($23/month) – all the main eCommerce features for effortless selling.
  • Business Unlimited ($27/month) – subscription sales, dropshipping, and product review features added.
  • Business VIP ($49/month) – all the features: loyalty program, sales tax calculation, and priority support.

Free Wix websites give you very limited resources. All the editing options and builders are there: but you get limited bandwidth, limited disk space, and worst of all, your website will be branded by a Wix watermark and be hosted on Wix's own subdomain. Not a great look for a business!

That being said, the cheapest premium Combo plan offers all the main website-building features, while the Unlimited and Pro plans go a step further, increasing the storage, adding SEO apps, and other professional tools. The VIP plan doesn't add much more, except additional priority customer care.

The cheapest eCommerce plan at $23/month, Business Basic includes all the basic features for selling, while the Business Unlimited adds extra features like subscription sales, dropshipping, and product reviews. The Business VIP plan adds features for loyalty programs, sales tax counting, and also throws in priority support.

Best Value

The Unlimited plan at $18/month and the Business Unlimited plan at $27/month offer the best value in their respective fields. You get all the core Wix features to build your website and your business – at brilliant value.
Check Wix Pricing Now

Pros

  • Excellent modern templates
  • Two different editors for different types of users
  • Good business features

Cons

  • Classic Editor may be intimidating at first
  • Third-party plugins can cost extra

2. Zyro

Zyro
Top featuresGreat ease of use with creative freedom
Templates110+ free themes
Best forSimple personal and portfolio sites
Free planNo

Zyro is the new kid on block – and it knows all kinds of cool tricks. I was seriously impressed by how intuitive this platform was, and above all – just how amazingly affordable it is.

You just can't start a conversation about Zyro without at least mentioning that it's several times cheaper than most of its direct competitors!

What does that money get you?

Well – you know, only one of my favorite website building processes, I covered on my Zyro review – editing the page is about as hard as cream cheese.

All you have to do is pick a theme that is to your taste...

Zyro template options

And then, Zyro will ask what features you want on your website.

Zyro elements

Soon after, you'll be given three different website mockups – your job is to choose the one you like the most.

Zyro three setup pages

Pick one, and you'll get to meet the Editor: which is sleek, highly responsive, and pretty easy to use.

Zyro editor

Similar to many other top website builders, Zyro includes several pre-made sections, complete with placeholder information and media, so you can easily replace them with data of your own. It's a quick way to build a website with all the features and sections you wish to have.

Zyro add section

Furthermore, you still get a certain amount of design freedom. While you can't exactly move elements around and place them where you wish, Zyro's grid editor functionality lets you place certain elements where you want them to be.

Zyro grid editor

But it's not just the website building features that make Zyro interesting. It also has several exciting AI-powered business tools, such as the AI writer, that will generate you original, relevant website copy. It won't win a Pulitzer award any time soon, but it can act as an excellent brainstorming tool.

Zyro AI writer

There's also an AI heatmap, that will show exactly what are your visitors paying attention to on your website.

Zyro heatmap

And a lot more...

Zyro AI tools

All things considered, Zyro is an excellent website builder for beginners on a budget. It has beautiful website templates, an intuitive site editor, and some exciting AI tools to make building and running your business all the more exciting.

Zyro pricing

Zyro has no free plan: but it has a total of 4 plans, 2 of them suitable for selling online.

Here's what they are:

  • Basic ($2.90/month) – great tools for a simple website.
  • Unleashed ($3.90/month) – no bandwidth and storage restrictions, good for growing businesses.
  • eCommerce ($9.90/month) – eCommerce features for selling online.
  • eCommerce+ ($14.90/month) – advanced eCommerce: abandoned cart recovery, Amazon integration, and more.

Zyro's Basic plan is the cheapest at $2.90, it's also the cheapest plan on this entire best website builders list. There are some limitations there – storage is limited to 1 GB, and bandwidth is capped at 3 GB. However, you can connect your own domain, and there are no Zyro ads anywhere on your site – so it's a great choice for a portfolio website or a small passion project.

The Unleashed plan aims at aspiring marketers, removing all the bandwidth and storage limits. Some additional marketing features are added, and you get a free domain name for a year. At $3.90 a month, this is still an excellent deal.

As for the eCommerce plans, they're a fair bit expensive, coming in at $9.90 and $14.90 a month respectively. The difference between them is the features and the limitations. The cheaper plan has the core eCommerce features but limits the number of products you can sell to 100.

The more expensive eCommerce+ plan lifts that limit to 2,500 and throws in multilanguage site capabilities, product filters, as well as social media/Amazon selling.

All in all – a pretty good deal. Zyro offers a lot of excellent features, at a pretty low price.

Best Value

The Unleashed plan costs $3.90/month, and if you're not planning to sell online – it's far and beyond the best value you can get. It offers all the best marketing features and has no caps on your bandwidth and storage. The best deal is certainly the 4-year option – the entire period will cost only $187.20, giving you an excellent service for years to come.
Check Zyro Pricing Now

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Two different editors for different types of users
  • Exciting AI tools

Cons

  • Grid editor limits customization
  • Business tools could be better hashed out

3. Squarespace

Squarespace
Top featuresExcellent templates and business features
TemplatesOver 110+ modern themes
Best forBusiness management, visual websites
Free planNo, 14-day free trial

Squarespace is a stunner. With its beautiful themes, it's ideal for creatives and all of us looking to create a gorgeous website. But it receives top marks for more that just its looks.

It was also the excellent business features, that let anyone turn this seemingly humble website builder into a mission-control center for all your selling and marketing purposes.

But before we get there, let's start from the beginning, shall we?

Once you start using Squarespace, you'll get to quickly witness the themes yourself. They're pretty lovely – clean, and minimalist, I waxed lyrical all about them on my Squarespace review.

Squarespace templates

I also noticed a common theme among the, uh, themes. Each theme’s design serves only to draw attention to your content rather than compete with it.

So, if you have some excellent visual content to share, Squarespace will help you make the best out of it.

Once you stop staring at the themes, you'll get to meet the interface. It's powerful and very simple to manage, combining website design, eCommerce, marketing, analytics, and other features all in one place.

Squarespace editor

As far as the website editor goes, you'll be able to use it to add and edit various sections, similar to several other website builders.

Squarespace editor

The sections are the star of the show. Many options are available, and they all adapt to your site's design – the fonts, the style, and the colors are all consistent with your chosen schemes.

Squarespace sections

But why stop at websites? Squarespace can help you keep your style consistent on social as well.

By using Squarespace Unfold, a service offering social media posting and media editing tools, you can build unique content on all of your platforms.

Squarespace unfold

Honestly, I genuinely like Squarespace – not only as a website builder, but a unified experience, combining your website, business, and social platforms. If you have beautiful media, and interesting stories to share with the world, this is probably it.

Squarespace pricing

Squarespace offers no free plan – but it has a free 14-day trial. Once that expires, you'll need to choose from one of 4 premium plans.

  • Personal ($12/month) – simple option for basic personal websites
  • Business ($18/month) – advanced analytics, and basic eCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)
  • Basic Commerce ($25/month) – eCommerce with no transaction fees for easy selling, plus HTML/CSS code optimization
  • Advanced Commerce ($40/month) – all-included eCommerce with selling subscriptions and advanced shipping for serious businesses

The $12/month Personal plan is an excellent value choice if you're just looking for a simple website and have no intentions of doing online sales.

So then, the $18 a month Business plan sounds good for that? Wrong! I don't recommend it for online sales. The additional 3% transaction fee is just a bit too much!

If you do want to sell online, the $25/month Basic Commerce plan removes that fee, gives you all the basic eCommerce features, and throws in HTML/CSS editing as an extra. With that, you can go to town editing your site deeper than ever before.

Finally, there's the $40/month Advanced Commerce plan, which goes the deepest of them all. It allows for the sale of subscriptions and throws in advanced shipping. Pick this one up if you're serious about pushing your Squarespace site to its eCommerce maximum.

Best Value

You get the best Squarespace prices when signing up for a yearly plan. The best options to take there are probably either the $12 Personal, or the $26 Basic Commerce plans. They offer excellent features and have no major limitations. With them, your website and imagination can roam completely free.
Check Squarespace Pricing Now

Pros

  • Beautiful modern templates
  • Well-integrated business features
  • Intuitive and easy to use

Cons

  • The Business plan isn't good value
  • Deeper pixel-perfect edits can only be done through HTML/CSS code

4. GoDaddy website builder

GoDaddy website builder
Top featuresSimple, beginner-friendly business tools
Templates20+ different layouts
Best forSmall companies, looking for function over form
Free planNo, 14-day free trial

A no-frills option, GoDaddy zeroes in on small businesses. Yes, it's the business tools that are the star here – it's perhaps the best website builder you can pick if you want to quickly build a serious online presence.

You’ll find tons of tools and features that make it a lot easier to have a basic online presence: and I loved talking about them on my GoDaddy website builder review.

To get started, you only need to do two things: choose your site’s category and name your site. GoDaddy’s system will work its magic and generate a site for you.

GoDaddy setup

From there on, you'll be quickly thrown into the website editor, which will already have a base website set up, depending on what field you chose your business to be in.

GoDaddy editor

Like on several website builders, you'll get to combine various site sections – there are plenty of options to pick, ranging from text or photos, going all the way to PayPal buttons, menus, or appointments.

GoDaddy sections

Of course, the base website may not be exactly what you're looking for. If that's the case – GoDaddy offers over 20 different layouts to choose from.

But here's the thing: they don't behave like your "normal" website templates.

Instead of being massive premade pages with demo content, different designs, and page structures, they're just different layouts of your site.

Just like this:

GoDaddy layouts

All of this massively reduces the amount of time you'd need to sacrifice for website design. Just pick the sections that you like, pair them with a preferred layout, and you're done!

Honestly – I found this to be a very smart decision. When you spend less time on design, you can spend more on your business. And for that, GoDaddy has just the tool.

Called GoDaddy InSight, this platform helps you pursue your business goals. You start by picking the specific things you wish to achieve on your site.

GoDaddy InSight setup

From there on, for each of the goals, both big and small, GoDaddy will give you a specialized task list. There, you'll get to do everything in your power to achieve them.

GoDaddy Insight tasks

At the end of the day, you'll be given a score out of 100, so you know how you're doing, compared to the competition, doing the same things.

GoDaddy InSight score

Now combine that with a capable eCommerce platform, a helpful SEO suite, as well as social media posting and email marketing tools, and you get a brilliant business product, that focuses less on your design, and more on your website as a business.

GoDaddy website builder pricing

GoDaddy offers four premium plans, each of them include a free 14-day trial, so you can try them all out.Here's what they are:

  • Basic ($6.99/month) – excellent simple plan for personal websites
  • Standard ($10.49/month) – SEO features and extra marketing tools for small businesses
  • Premium ($13.99/month) – send up to 25,000 monthly emails, post on social media, and do appointments
  • Ecommerce ($17.49/month) – all features above, plus unlimited eCommerce

The Basic plan for $6.99/month includes all the, well, basic website editing features. However, there are some omissions to take note of.

There are no SEO tools added. Plus can only send up to 100 marketing emails, as well as connect 1 social media platform, and do 5 monthly posts on it.

It's not a lot, right?

It just serves as a taster, teasing you to upgrade to the bigger plan.

Speaking of them, the Standard plan for $10.49/month includes the SEO tools and allows to send out 500 emails, connect 3 social media platforms, and send 20 monthly posts on them. Not a lot: but for smaller businesses with limited audiences, it could be enough.

The Premium plan is where it gets interesting. At $13.99/month, only 3 dollars more than the previous option, you get 25,000 monthly marketing emails, and can do unlimited posting on unlimited social media accounts.

Finally, the $17.49 Ecommerce plan adds all of the features from the Premium plan, and also gives you access to the platform's online selling suite. At that price, it's a fairly good deal. To be fair – so is everything here.

Best Value

You can get the best value for GoDaddy by signing up for the yearly plan. If you choose to pay monthly, the displayed GoDaddy prices are going to increase by around double. From the plans you can get, however, I highly recommend the Standard and Premium plans, offering highly extensive marketing and sales features in one, low-price package.
Check GoDaddy Builder Pricing Now

Pros

  • Excellent business feature suite
  • Good value for eCommerce and business tools
  • Very beginner-friendly

Cons

  • Prices increase heavily when paying monthly
  • No in-depth website customization options

5. SITE123

SITE123
Top featuresExcellent ease of use for beginners
Templates160+ free themes
Best forBeginners looking for a quick solution
Free planYes

SITE123 goes all-in on ease of use: and it's about to hit the jackpot.

I was impressed by the platform's ease of use – that's exactly the main thing I took away here. This builder is straightforward and foolproof, letting even the total day-one users build seriously good websites.

How is that done? Well, SITE123 uses a block system, allowing to mix-and-match pre-made website blocks and make big websites without having to actually design anything. 

The setup process itself is quite simple. You just get to choose your preferred type of website from many different options – just like I had to on my SITE123 review.

SITE123 setup

Then, the system will take care of everything else and spit out a basic website, ready to be edited and made uniquely yours.

SITE123 site editor

Then, you can use the editor to add new sections, as well as reorder and delete them. And it's the "adding sections" part, where SITE123 starts to seriously shine. There are over 150 different segments, covering different niches, topics, and goals.

There's no dragging and dropping, there's no dealing with pressing design issues, or trying to make everything "fit". Just pick out what you like, and add it to your site.

SITE123 will also include several different layouts for each of these segments, so you can choose the option that suits your preferred style the best.

SITE123 section layouts

Despite the simplicity, there are still several decent business features. For instance, eCommerce is both powerful and intuitive.

SITE123 online store

Meanwhile, the app market is pretty limited – but still includes certain analytics, marketing, live support, and webmaster tools.

SITE123 integrations store

If you're looking for a great design tool to turn your intricate visions into reality...this isn't the option for you. But if you want a simple website builder, making your work as straightforward a possible, this is an excellent choice.

SITE123 pricing

SITE123 has one free plan and four premium options. Here they are:

  • Free – plan for testing the platform
  • Basic ($12.80/month) – good basic business package
  • Advanced ($19.80/month) – multilanguage an email capabilities for a more efficient business
  • Professional ($28.80/month) – accepting credit cards and offering more multilanguage and email options
  • Gold ($34.80/month) – all eCommerce, and marketing tools, as well as 270 GB of storage

With 250 MB of bandwidth and storage each, the free plan isn't a very good option. It's great for testing, but that's about all. Meanwhile, the Basic plan might sound a lot more interesting: after all, it includes a lot more resources, email marketing, and even eCommerce – which is rare for a plan so cheap!

But I don't recommend using this plan to sell online. After all, you can only do 10 orders per month, and only accept payments via PayPal.

The same is true for the Advanced plan, which at least increases the monthly order limit to a (still insultingly low) 50.

It's the Professional plan that lets you accept credit card payments. Weirdly enough, you can still only sell up to 500 products a month. At least this plan throws in 10 mailboxes for professional email, up to 10,000 email marketing messages. The bandwidth and storage are increased to 45 GB and 90 GB respectively.

Pick the Gold plan if you want to have everything. Unlimited sales, abandoned cart recovery, 270 GB of storage, and 135 GB of bandwidth is a lot. This plan is expensive at $34.80 a month – but to some, it might be absolutely worth it.

Best Value

On SITE123, you need to pay for the whole purchasing period in advance. That may sound like a bad thing – but if you commit for a longer period, you'll get some serious savings. The Basic plan costs $12.80/month when purchased for 12 months. But if you sign up for a whopping 10-year plan, the price will go down to a mere $5/month. The longer you buy for – the more you save!
Check SITE123 Pricing Now

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Intuitive business features
  • Prices reduce when picking up a longer billing term

Cons

  • Limited customization options

6. Gator

Gator website builder
Top featuresQuick website editor
TemplatesNo templates on Express Editor
Best forFast, beginner-friendly website building
Free planNo

Some builders can take a while to set up, and fully learn in order to have a functional, powerful website. Not Gator.

My favorite thing was certainly its Express Editor, and how it let me breeze through the building process, allowing me to select my preferred styles, fonts, images, colors, and elements – making a custom website in literally just a couple of minutes.

The new process is so simple, it cut the updated Gator website builder review post's length in half!

Just tell the platform what kind of site you wish to have...

Gator site selection

Pick out some core options, like the color scheme.

Gator color scheme

As well as the menus...

Gator navigation

And boom – you're in the site editor, filled with all your preferred sections, painted in your favorite colors, and with menus set up just the way you asked.

Gator editor

There's no drag and drop building, but you can edit everything by using the menu on the right, choosing which elements to display and which not. Also, there are several different layouts for each section that you picked.

If you thought of some different sections to add, there's a menu with all the available options, also displaying all the possible layouts.

Gator sections

Finally, there's probably the coolest thing about Gator: its performance. Gator websites load seriously fast. You can build a website in a minute – and have it loaded in a second.

But wait, we're not even at the best part yet.

Gator pricing

Gator offers no free plan, nor it has any free plans. However, it has 3 very low-priced options, and they all include eCommerce features – making this the cheapest viable option for selling online on this list.

  • Starter ($3.84/month) – basic eCommerce and business features
  • Premium ($5.99/month) – bookings, appointments, priority support added – good for small businesses
  • eCommerce ($9.22/month) – full eCommerce features for selling online

The Starter plan costs under 4 dollars but already includes eCommerce and marketing features. That being said, they will be understandably limited.

This means only being able to do 3 monthly email campaigns with 250 unique emails, and sell only 3 products on a store. Also, there will be an additional 3% transaction fee for each product sold, making this a good option only for testing or very low-volume selling.

The Premium plan at $5.99 keeps this transaction fee: but it increases monthly email campaigns to 5, allows for 500 unique emails, and lets to sell 10 items on the store. But perhaps the biggest feature here is the option for bookings and appointments.

Finally, the eCommerce plan removes that pesky transaction fee. At $9.22 a month, it's also still incredibly cheap. You'll also get advanced shipping management, no limits on products, and 10 monthly email campaigns with 1,250 unique emails. Still very cheap, and still excellent for businesses. Pretty cool, right?

Best Value

The $3.84/month Starter plan is already incredibly cheap. But it can go even lower: with our special deal, it goes down to just $3.46/month. This way, you can get all the excellent website-building features, email marketing, eCommerce, and more, spending just over $80 for 2 years! That is top-notch value right there.
Check Gator Pricing Now

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Excellent prices

Cons

  • Limited design flexibility
  • No options for bigger-scale email marketing

7. Shopify

Shopify
Top featuresProfessional eCommerce tools
Templates9 free themes, many premium first and third-party options
Best forMaking big online stores
Free planNo, 14-day free trial

If you’re serious about growing your online store, Shopify is your best bet. A favorite of thousands of major businesses, this builder has some serious eCommerce tools in its arsenal.

I particularly loved its excellent app store, full of thousands of options that can take your online store to the next level.

Also, despite this definitely being a professional tool for professional users, setting up and using Shopify is seriously simple.

You start by simply telling Shopify who you are, what do you wish to do, and how much experience you have.

Shopify setup

From there on, our experiences might differ: that's because Shopify offers a tailored setup guide, which uses your answers to offer you the most suitable help. I saw one thing on my Shopify review – you might see something else entirely.

Shopify setup guide

Pay attention to the left of the guide, and you'll see that everything about your online store can be managed there. Orders, products, customer analysis, marketing, and so on. This is also where you'll get to design your page!

Shopify doesn't want anyone to be able to edit absolutely everything – while there are code editing features, the beginner users will have to use a simple section system, letting you quickly choose and rearrange various online shop-related parts.

Shopify editing site

You can edit some of the basics, but for serious design changes, you'll need to get a different template.

As far as they go, Shopify only gives 9 free themes, so if you only use them, and don't meddle with code, your Shopify website is going to look a lot similar to much of the competition. Plus, they look fairly simple.

Shopify templates

If you want to make the next Amazon, well, you'll need to pay for your theme – in fact, Shopify sells one that looks exactly like Amazon's site. It can be yours for a single payment of $180.

Shopify Empire theme

Or, you can use one of the coolest Shopify features out there, and purchase a third-party theme from an independent seller. These themes are not made by Shopify, and there are literally thousands of options, covering various themes and topics. What's even better, they cost significantly less. You can pick up a third-party theme for under $50.

Shopify third party themes

The massive community makes not only themes but apps as well. There are loads of options available, covering shipping, marketing, sales, and many more topics. Honestly, if you can think of a website feature, there's probably a Shopify app for it.

Shopify apps

And as far as Shopify's in-house features go, they're also great. Adding products is simple and effective, you can easily make coupon codes, discounts, and see how your visitors behave and how you can increase your sales. Everything is there to make your business better and bigger. If you're looking to make a serious online store, Shopify is the best website builder for you.

Shopify pricing

Shopify offers a free 14-day trial. Once it ends, you'll need to choose from one of the 3 available plans:

  • Basic Shopify ($29/month) – core selling features and 2.9%+30c payment fee.
  • Shopify ($79/month) – more user reports, international pricing and 2.6%+30c payment fee.
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/month) – automatic shipping rate calculator, International variant pricing and the lowest 2.4%+30c payment fee.

Each of these plans include all website design features, as well as the main marketing tools. The main difference between the three is in eCommerce.

Don't get confused by the "payment fee" – this isn't like the "transaction fee" from the cheaper plans of other website builders. This is mandatory for all online transactions. Shopify offers reducing fees, depending on the plan that you choose. In simple terms, the bigger the plan, the smaller the payments.

Other differences between the plans concern shipping options and discounts, international pricing, staff accounts, and virtual warehouses to assign products to.

So, when deciding between the $29 Basic Shopify, $79 Shopify, and $299 Advanced Shopify plans, it's the size of your business you'll need to be worried about.

Best Value

Which Shopify plan is the best for you? Prepare your calculator! The three plans have transaction fees set at 2.9%+30c, 2.6%+30c, and 2.4%+30c respectively. If you sell little, the Basic Shopify plan will be enough. For bigger companies, I suggest upgrading – while Shopify looks expensive, you might save a lot of money in the long run.
Check Shopify Pricing Now

Pros

  • Top-notch eCommerce features
  • Excellent app store
  • Suited for businesses of all sizes

Cons

  • High price of entry
  • Customization requires coding skills
  • Only 9 free templates, other options paid

8. Weebly

Weebly
Top featuresA simple eCommerce-centered website builder
TemplatesAround 40 themes
Best forA simple, budget-friendly online shop
Free planYes

Back in the day, Weebly made its way to the best website builder lists thanks to its excellent ease of use and drag-and-drop functionality. Nowadays, it's trying to be an excellent, all-around eCommerce option for small businesses.

And while I was afraid that this transformation might mean that Weebly will lose some of its website builder charms – it certainly hasn't. As the Weebly review revealed, it's a great option for both building your site and using it to sell online.

The setup was completely effortless, quickly leading me to choosing a preferred theme.

Weebly templates

And then, I immediately got to see the Weebly site editor, which uses the drag-and-drop style, letting me pick and place various small elements virtually anywhere on the site.

Weebly elements

It's very intuitive and can be mastered in just a few minutes.

Weebly drag and drop

The dashboard itself focuses heavily on the eCommerce side of things, with options for adding and editing items, fulfillment, reports, and more available right from the get-go.

Weebly eCommerce dashboard

If Weebly's in-house features do not suffice, there's an app store you can take advantage of. It's not as big as for some of the other options, but there are still some top options for print-on-demand, coupons, reviews, analytics, and more.

Weebly apps

Weebly is very simple and simply effective. There isn't much you can do, both in website design and in business management. However, all the core features are right where they need to be. If you're a beginner who wants a simple online store, this is one of the best website builder options out there.

Weebly pricing

Weebly offers a free plan, as well as 4 premium options.

  • Free – a limited option for testing.
  • Connect ($5/month) – option allowing to connect your own domain.
  • Pro ($12/month) – basic eCommerce, all the site editing features.
  • Business ($25/month) – professional eCommerce, membership features.
  • Business Plus ($38/month) – abandoned cart emails and real-time shipping calculator added.

Personally, I don't recommend using either Free or Connect plans. The reason is simple – both of them will include Weebly's ads on your site. That's a bummer, if you're trying to make a personalized online presence.

The Pro plan for $12 a month is where the fun starts. The ads are removed, you get additional website-building features, and also – eCommerce. Sadly, as often is the case with entry eCommerce plans, this one will also require an additional transaction fee. It's 3% right here.

The $25 Business plan removes that fee, adds priority support, and also allows for unlimited membership features, letting you sell and make appointments without any limitations. But if you want more, the $38/month Business Plus plan will also throw in abandoned cart emails and real-time shipping calculator for even better, more efficient selling.

Best Value

The $12 Pro plan offers excellent value for money: membership, site search, and eCommerce features make this plan a great pick for starting online businesses. There's eCommerce, too – but for that, I recommend going up to the $25 Business Plan. You'll get discounts, when paying yearly, too, so check out Weebly and see what they offer.
Check Weebly Pricing Now

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Simple drag-and-drop editor
  • Solid business features

Cons

  • Could have more drag-and-drop elements
  • Only 40+ themes

9. Duda

Duda
Top featuresBeautiful and modern professional sites
Templates100+ free themes
Best forSmall businesses, freelancers
Free planNo, free 14-day trial

Duda bridges the gap between personal and professional websites. It offers plans from both personal users making sites for themselves, and designers – looking to make sites for someone else.

Extensive code integration, mixed with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes this builder a curious beast. But the versatility it offers simply cannot be ignored. It's one of the best website creator options out there – let our Duda review be the judge of that.

The available themes are beautiful and modern, separated into several different styles and purposes.

Duda templates

Meanwhile, the editor itself offers some excellent features for taking that website and personalizing it. I loved the aptly named "Personalize" section, which allows making your own widgets on the site, offering a custom experience to the users.

Duda personalize

With third-party tools and API integration, you can go even further, using code to change the website and its features as much as you possibly can. The white-label option even lets to remove all Duda's branding for the site and its management interface. This way, you can present the prepared sites to your clients, with all of your branding added. Pretty nifty.

Duda pricing

Duda has no free plan, but it offers a free 14-day trial and 4 premium plans. Here's what they are:

  • Basic ($14/month) – plan for personal users
  • Team ($22/month) – collaboration and client management tools for freelancers
  • Agency ($44/month) – four sites, API integration, and website export for agencies
  • Custom – full API access, and professional features for big businesses

If you're a personal user, the Basic plan for $14 a month is the main option I can recommend. It gives all the main features a regular Joe or Jane could ask for. There's even eCommerce – Duda uses an Ecwid integration, allowing you to set up an online store to host on Duda.

However, if you wish to use one of Duda's main killer features – making websites for your clients – then you should look at the other three plans.

The Team plan at $22 a month gives white-label access, and user permission settings for team members, as well as clients. The $44 Agency plan throws in API integration, an ability to build widgets, connect to Google Sheets and Airtable for easy data access, and also lets to host 4 websites at once.

But if you want to host more websites, or get even more expanded features, you'll need to go Custom. The Custom plan can only be accessed by contacting Duda and carefully explaining exactly what your goals and aspirations are. You'll be given full API access, integration with external access, full account management by the Duda team, and more.

Best Value

The $12 Basic plan is an excellent option if you're looking to make a simple website. Plus, the included Ecwid eCommerce integration allows you to make a simple online store. With no additional transaction fees and limitations, it's one of the best budget-conscious ways to start selling online.
Check Duda Pricing Now

Pros

  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth on all plans
  • eCommerce option on all plans
  • Solid agency/freelancer functionality

Cons

  • Certain killer features only available on the expensive plans
  • A steep learning curve is required to make something good.

10. Zenfolio

Zenfolio
Top featuresAdvanced photography tools
TemplatesOver 20 themes
Best forPhotographers looking for an online presence
Free planNo, free trial available

This is the only specialized builder on this list. But there's an excellent reason for it – this is by far the best website builder for you, if you're a photographer or any other type of visual artist. The options for editing, managing, and selling your images, and managing your portfolio on Zenfolio are amazing, and this Zenfolio review got itself a pretty high score.

Setting everything up is rather simple. I just got to pick out what exactly am I doing, and how exactly do I want my website to look:

Zenfolio templates

With the pre-made blocks, I could select just how exactly I want my images and text to be displayed.

Zenfolio blocks

And for monetizing the images, you'll get not only the guided pricing, making sure you offer reasonable prices and make a solid profit. You will also be connected to various print labs, that will automatically print and ship out images to your buyers. So, you only have to worry about making art and marketing art.

Zenfolio print lab price

There is also a Lightroom integration, letting you automatically upload images from your Adobe Lightroom interface to the website, streamlining the process even further! All in all, Zenfolio is perhaps the best website platform for photographers – probably the best one out there!

Zenfolio pricing

Zenfolio has no free plan, but it offers a free trial and 4 premium options. Here's what those options are:

  • Portfolio ($5/month) – simple portfolio plan with 7 basic templates
  • PortfolioPlus ($12/month) – all portfolio templates, email marketing, and selling features
  • Pro ($22/month) – excellent photography and marketing tools
  • Advanced ($32/month) – multi-user access, mini sites for events, and other advanced features

The first two plans – Portfolio and PortfolioPlus at $5 and $12 a month respectively use Zenfolio's new portfolio platform. The cheaper option gives 15 GB of photo storage, a limited selection of templates, but still includes shareable galleries for your clients.

The PortfolioPlus plan includes some basic selling features for both physical and digital products, gives access to all portfolio templates, and throws in basic email marketing.

Meanwhile, the Pro and Advanced plans at $22 and $32 a month respectively are, well, more pro and advanced. It's the older platform, including expanded website builder features, photo sharing and client proofing, and more.

Best Value

The Pro and Advanced packages may be a bit expensive. Or...are they? We have a special 40% discount on Pro and Advanced plans, exclusive to our readers. This way, you can get professional photography and business tools, starting at just $13.20 a month. The value was pretty good to get started with. Now, it's absolutely excellent.
Check Zenfolio Pricing Now

Pros

  • Solid value for money
  • Excellent baked-in photography features
  • Very user-friendly

Cons

  • The Advanced and Pro plan interface may be confusing at first
  • Limited number of available templates

Best website builder: which one to pick?

We tried and tested every website builder here – and they're on this best website builder list for a reason. But that doesn't mean they're all the same. In fact, they're incredibly diverse and suited for different types of users and goals.

  • Wix is the best overall builder, offering many different and exciting tools to make any kind of website.
  • Zyro is a very affordable simple website builder, perfect if you want to make a beautiful-looking custom website without breaking the bank.
  • Squarespace combines easy-to-use business features and beautiful templates.
  • GoDaddy website builder is all about helping small businesses make the best business decisions – and make functional websites!
  • SITE123 is a beginner-friendly, highly customizable website builder, ideal for those just starting out.
  • Gator is an affordable, super-fast website builder, allowing you to make custom websites with minimal effort.
  • Shopify is all about selling online, including excellent eCommerce features and a huge app store.
  • Weebly is an eCommerce-driven website builder, offering simple online sales tools on a budget.
  • Duda combines professional website editing tools with some excellent templates, letting to make a website for yourself and your clients.
  • Zenfolio is suited specifically to photographers, adding some great special features.

Best website builders compared

ProviderWixZyroSquarespaceGoDaddySITE123GatorShopifyWeeblyDudaZenfolio
BrandWixZyroSquarespaceGoDaddySITE123GatorShopifyWeeblyDudaZenfolio
Best forTop design customizationEasy website buildingBeautiful site designsSmall business websitesTop ease of useAffordable eCommerceBig online storesSimple online storesWebsite design expertsPhotography websites
How many templates700+110+110+22160+09+60+100+19
Free plan✔️✔️✔️
Starts from$14/month$2.90/month$12/month$6.99/month$12.80/month$3.84/month$29/month$5/month$14/month$5/month
Free domain name✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Blogging✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Ecommerce✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Custom email✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
HTML/CSS editing✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Live chat✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
ReviewWix reviewZyro reviewSquarespace reviewGoDaddy reviewSITE123 reviewGator reviewShopify reviewWeebly reviewDuda reviewZenfolio review

How to choose the right website builder for you?

Choosing a website builder that's right for you is basically a balancing act between many different options.

But just how in the world do you choose between all of them? Why is option A and D better for you than option B, C, E, or even F? Well, this is where I'll try to help you sort things out.

Before opening your wallet, ask yourself these questions.

Question #1: What is my budget?

  • If your budget is tiny, pick an inexpensive website builder with a long-term plan like Zyro.
  • If you can spend, choose a versatile, powerful option like Wix.
  • Do not trust the free plans – they're only tasters, lacking several very important website features.

There's no running away from this question – so let's meet it head-on. If your budget is tight, that's not the end of the world. Far from it: you can still get some top website builders.

For instance, Zyro – the cheapest website builder on this list – has plenty to offer despite its dirt-cheap prices. It's easy to use, and there are even some handy business features.

Gator, another affordable option, also walks the fine line between competitive pricing and functionalities. Despite being pretty cheap, the builder still manages to squeeze in features like Google Workspace integration and eCommerce tools.

Having said that, there's no denying that if you're looking for better templates and more refined features, you have to move up the price ladder.

Sure, builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify bear higher price tags. But, in exchange, they offer stunning templates and advanced features – the likes of which you don't see in inexpensive builders.

Ultimately, it's good to remember that cheap doesn't mean subpar. But, if you're willing to spend, you'll have access to the best website builder features, that can potentially transform your web building experience.

In any case, I'd recommend steering clear of free plans. They're great for trials but completely lack many vital website features.

Question #2: What is my website going to be?

  • For online stores, Wix and Shopify are two solid picks.
  • For portfolios, Squarespace's excellent themes are a great option.
  • And for the simplest of pages, Zyro is a great choice.

Each builder has its strengths and weaknesses. Now, this sounds rather ominous. I know!

But it actually makes your search for the best website builder that much easier. All you have to do is find the one whose strengths match your needs.

If you're looking to start an online store, you'd do well with either Wix or Shopify. The former is easy to use, offers tons of templates, and allows for plenty of customization. Plus, its massive app store means that you can always add even more functionalities to your online store.

Shopify has fewer templates and fewer customization options. But it zeroes in on eCommerce and has a brilliant app store, giving you a professional online sales solution.

If you're building a portfolio site, go with Squarespace. Its stunning templates will highlight and showcase your work in the best possible light.

And, if all you want is simplicity, you won't go wrong with Zyro. The builder has simplified everything: from its setup to even content generation.

Who needs writers, when you have AI? Wait – don't tell anyone I said that, alright?

Question #3: What other additional features do I need?

  • Squarespace and Wix are a marketer's dream, both offering a solid array of additional features.
  • Shopify doubles down on everything related to online sales.
  • GoDaddy website builder offers a very solid marketing option for those looking to attract new visitors.

They may still bear the name but, nowadays, website builders aren't just website builders. Those days are long gone.

Builders now also offer marketing, SEO, and even design or copywriting help.

Naturally, the builders – and their plans – get pricier as you get more features. That's why it's vital to consider what you need before committing to a plan.

Trust me, getting too much is actually worse than not getting enough. Just ask your wallet.

Both Squarespace and Wix come with tons of additional features covering multiple aspects. The two builders offer gorgeous templates to help you with design and provide access to plenty of SEO and marketing features – whether built-in or via third-party integration.

If you're in the market for eCommerce-related features, Shopify is your king, queen, and the entire kingdom. It covers everything you need to sell and grow online – including inventory, shipping, fulfillment, customer management, and even dropshipping features, right out of the box.

Alternatively, if you're looking for marketing features and attracting visitor eyeballs to your site, GoDaddy does a top-class job with its InSight tool and SEO features.

Question #4: What do I want from my website design?

  • If you want to choose out of a massive array of third-party themes and maybe even edit the code yourself, pick Duda or Shopify.
  • If you want a website that looks stunning with no effort, choose Squarespace or Wix.

When it comes to website design, it boils down to just two simple things. First, how much are you willing to do everything yourself?

If you're willing to roll your sleeves up and maybe even go as far as editing the code, you'll have far more control over your website – for that, Duda and Shopify are the best website creator options.

On the other hand, it's entirely fine if you're not looking to become a web designer and prefer a more hands-off approach. But, in this case, you'll have to go with a pre-designed theme with minimal customizations. Squarespace and Wix are the top options there.

When picking the second option, consider whether you like how the themes look. Since you won't be doing much design either, give your preferred website builder a shot.

Bonus points if you find a theme that makes your eyes go "Awooga!" like a cartoon wolf.

Question #5: How much experience building websites do I have?

  • If you're a complete newbie, SITE123, GoDaddy Website Builder, or Wix ADI will offer you plenty of help.
  • If you've got more experience, you might enjoy the customizability of Wix Editor.

While website builders are generally simple and straightforward, they don't all have the same level of ease of use across the board.

This is where the question of "how much experience you have" becomes relevant.

If you're entirely new to website building, opt for one of the more beginner-friendly options like SITE123, GoDaddy website builder, or Wix ADI.

They follow the same principle by asking some basic questions involving the type of website, business details, style preference, and other similar information. Then, the builders' systems go "brrrrrr" and spit out a website based on your answers. In two minutes, you're officially a website designer. Salutations!

Dashboards of these builders are clean, organized, and – most importantly – intuitive enough that you should always be able to navigate them with no issues.

On the flip side, if you're more experienced, you might like the freedom and flexibility of Wix Editor. There, you'll have more control and most of the elements within are customizable according to your taste.

Question #6: How much time do I want to spend building and running my website?

  • If you want everything to be as quick as possible, Zyro, Gator, and Wix ADI will let you glide through everything.
  • If you're a tinkerer and an avid crafter, Wix will let you finetune just about everything – at the cost of your time.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Do you hear that? What's that? Oh no – that's time passing by!

Now, some people are happy spending time on website building while others want to just get it over with. Neither is wrong, but if time is of the essence, you don't want to be stuck with the wrong type of builder, right?

Now, if you are simply not interested in spending loads of time building your site, you'll want a builder that makes things much easier for you.

For instance, Squarespace is the best website creator for streamlining everything for your site and business in one intuitive dashboard. It's a quick, helpful way to streamline your business.

Meanwhile, Zyro and Wix ADI make the website-building process as quick as possible. Building a website with them takes just a few minutes.

If you're a website building enthusiast or like spending time to make sure that every single element is perfect – Shopify and Wix will be a better fit.

The two builders let you customize, tweak, and modify almost every aspect of your website.

There are many things that you can do with both of them if you're willing to spend the time to explore their potential.

Comments 2
  1. Johnson says:

    i really hate when website builders try to upsell you with extra stuff you don’t even need, which one of these providers are the most chill in terms of pricing and options later on in the process?

    • Paulius Masiliauskas says:

      Hey there! To answer your question…Honestly, Zyro. What you see is what you get: there aren’t any paid apps or anything, everything’s included with the plans as is.

      There’s a bit of complicated stuff when it comes to pricing (you pay for a whole long period in advance, builder renews in the exact same period later), but it’s still fairly simple overall.

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