Tools

The 6 Best Website Builders for Small Businesses

Leigh McKenzie
Published: May. 16, 2024

WordPress offers the highest level of customization for small business websites. Downloadable plugins cover everything from SEO and email marketing to drag-and-drop page builders.

If you run an ecommerce business and need an easy but powerful way to sell products, Shopify is the best option.

Below, we’ve narrowed down a list of the six best website builders for small businesses. Detailing their unique features, pricing, and which businesses they suit best.

We’ve also included three more tools to help attract visitors once your site is up and running.

Criteria for Choosing a Website Builder

These criteria will help you choose the right website builder for your small business:

  • User-friendliness: Is the platform easy to use? Does it have intuitive features?
  • Customization options: Does the tool let you tailor your website’s design and layout to match your brand? Look for builders with flexible templates, theme editors, and potentially the ability to add your own code if needed.
  • SEO and marketing tools: Does the website builder offer or integrate with SEO and marketing tools? Do you have control over important aspects that could impact your rankings?
  • Advanced functionality: Does the platform provide specific functionalities you need? For example, ecommerce, appointment booking, or membership functionalities.
  • Affordability: Does the tool fit your budget?
  • Scalability for business growth: Does the website builder have the ability to grow along with your business? Can it handle increased traffic and offer more complex features while staying affordable?

What’s the Best Website Builder for Small Businesses?

  1. WordPress.org: Best for its versatility and customization
  2. Shopify: Best for building an ecommerce website
  3. Wix: Best low-cost drag-and-drop website builder for basic sites
  4. Squarespace: Best for booking appointments and selling your services
  5. Webflow: Best for those with a bit of a technical background
  6. GoDaddy Website Builder: Best for those with basic website needs

1. WordPress.org

Best for its versatility and customization

Price: Free

WordPress.org is an open-source platform that gives you control over your website’s look, feel, and functionality. If you want to fully customize your website and scale it as your business grows, WordPress is an option to consider.

WordPress powers more than 43% of all websites. Making it the most popular website builder on this list.

The Best Part

With the right themes and website templates, you can build a custom website in a couple of days (or even hours) with no prior experience with WordPress.org.

In other words: you don’t need any coding skills.

Plus, it’s easy to scale your website as your business grows, so it can keep up with your needs. There are tons of free and paid plugins that make it easy for you to add more functionality to your site. 

Like lead generation, product pages, and email signup forms. Along with SEO plugins that can help you enhance your visibility in search results.

The Worst Part

WordPress.org comes with a steep learning curve. While themes and plugins give you a high level of customization options, it can be challenging to figure them out as a first-time user.

While there’s no official WordPress.org support team, there’s a massive online community ready to help you answer any questions.

You also need to purchase and sort web hosting on your own, which can be challenging for beginners. If you prefer to use a website builder that handles the hosting aspect, consider WordPress.com. Or other alternatives we review in this article.

Key Features

  • Themes: Thousands of free and paid themes and ready-to-use website templates to choose from
  • Plugins: Expand your website’s features with plugins for everything from contact forms to online stores
  • Easy installation: It’s easy to install WordPress through many major web hosts
  • Regular updates: WordPress.org provides automatic updates to keep your site secure and up-to-date

Pricing

WordPress.org is free to use. But you’ll need to purchase your own hosting.

2. Shopify

Best for building an ecommerce website

Price: Starts at $32 per month

Shopify is a website builder specifically for creating online stores. It features a drag-and-drop editor so you can build an ecommerce website without a background in coding. The platform makes it easy to manage your online inventory, too.

Shopify powers more than 4.5 million websites. Including local businesses like Nutriseed and enterprises like the Dollar Shave Club.

The Best Part

Shopify provides a range of templates for designing your online store. It also offers additional apps that help you add more functionalities like pop-ups, trust badges, and loyalty rewards. 

Along with apps that can enhance your marketing campaigns. Like email marketing tools, social media integrations, and affiliate programs.

The Worst Part

While the base price is similar to or lower than some of the other options on this list, the costs can increase quickly as you add more paid apps. 

The extra commission per order (0.6-2%, depending on your plan) can also become significant as your store scales. Especially if your products have low margins.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop website builder: Design a modern-looking store without needing to write any code
  • Themes: Choose from a wide range of professional ecommerce-ready themes
  • Apps: Expand your store’s functionality with thousands of apps to choose from
  • Point of sale (POS): Use Shopify’s POS device to manage both online and offline sales with ease

Pricing

When you sign up to Shopify, you’ll get a 3-day free trial, then one month for $1. Once your first month is over, you can choose from any of the four plans:

  • Basic: $32 per month. Card processing rates start at 2% per sale.
  • Shopify: $92 per month. Card rates start at 1% per sale. You can add five staff accounts.
  • Advanced: $399 per month. Card rates start at 0.6% per sale. You can add 15 staff accounts and get custom reports and analytics of your sales.
  • Plus: $2,300 per month on a three-year commitment. Custom card rates and fully customizable checkout are available.

3. Wix

Best low-cost drag-and-drop website builder for basic sites

Price: Starts at $17 per month

Wix is a low-cost website builder featuring a drag-and-drop editor and various website templates. Plus, its app store offers more than 500 apps to add custom functionality to your website.

The Best Part

Wix offers AI assistance to build your first website. Once you sign up, the AI will ask you questions about your business. Like your business name and your goals for the site. For example, does your website aim to collect leads, sell products, or just share information?

AI will design a website that aligns with the information you provide. You can then edit the design and functionality in a simple drag-and-drop editor. Making this an ideal choice for small business owners with simple needs and limited time.

The Worst Part

While great for simple sites, Wix isn’t built for complex, highly customized websites. It’s not the best choice if you’re planning to scale your online business over time. Or if you’re looking to create a more complex, bespoke experience for your users.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop editor: Effortlessly create your website in a drag-and-drop editor without any coding knowledge
  • Website templates: Choose from 800+ templates designed for various industries
  • Mobile app: Manage your website on the go from your phone or tablet
  • SEO tools: Wix gives you control of your SEO settings like meta tags, URL structure, and structured data markup

Pricing

Wix offers four plans to build a website:

  • Light: $17 per month. 2 GB of storage. Custom domain. 4 lead forms with 10 fields per form.
  • Core: $29 per month. 50 GB of storage. Accept payments. 10 lead forms with 50 fields per form.
  • Business: $36 per month. 100 GB of storage. Multiple currencies. 25 lead forms with 75 fields per form.
  • Business Elite: $159 per month. Unlimited storage. Custom reporting. 75 lead forms with 100 fields per form.

4. Squarespace

Best for booking appointments and selling your services

Price: Starts at $25 per month

Squarespace is a website builder focused on providing solutions for business owners. The platform is ideal for businesses selling services, products, or courses. And for hosting personal, portfolio, and membership-based sites.

The Best Part

Squarespace’s design-focused approach means the platform gives you granular control over your site’s look and feel. It offers tools for perfect spacing, custom colors, fonts, and element sizes and positions.

All without needing to write a single line of code.

The Worst Part

To sell products and services through a Squarespace website, you need to subscribe to one of the more expensive plans. There’s a 3% transaction fee unless you opt for the Commerce Basic or Advanced plans.

You also get somewhat limited customization options. While the platform is beginner-friendly, you may struggle to create more complex or highly tailored website designs for your business.

Key Features

  • Customizable templates: Choose from a collection of 160+ modern design templates
  • Multiple contributors and access levels: Collaborate with your team and set permissions according to their roles
  • Mobile app: Manage your Squarespace website and even upload photos on the go

Pricing

Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial with four paid plans:

  • Personal: $25 per month. Best for creating basic mobile-optimized websites like portfolios and blogs. Includes a free invoicing tool.
  • Business: $36 per month. Sell products and services (3% fee per transaction). And get advanced website analytics.
  • Commerce Basic: $40 per month. Sell products and services with no transaction fees.
  • Commerce Advanced: $72 per month. Offer free shipping for orders that meet a set threshold. And offer discounts that automatically apply to qualifying orders.

5. Webflow

Best for those with a bit of a technical background

Price: Starts at $18 per month. Limited free version available.

Webflow is a visual website builder with endless customization opportunities. It’s a visual website builder with a drag-and-drop system. Meaning it’s fairly intuitive with the ability to create quite complex designs.

The Best Part

Webflow is great if you need to build professional websites. With a huge range of customization and design options at your disposal, it’s ideal if you want to create a unique experience for your clients and customers. 

The Worst Part

Webflow provides incredible freedom. But it comes with a steep learning curve. While not a must, working with a developer or having some coding knowledge yourself can make it easier to get the most out of the platform. 

However, how-to guides in the Webflow University help you learn how to use its features.

Key Features

  • Rich animations: Design scroll-based and multi-step interactions with relative ease
  • Collaboration: Let all of your team work on the same project with different roles and permissions
  • Apps: Expand your site’s functionality with prebuilt integrations to engage with your customers, automate marketing tasks, and more

Pricing

Webflow offers four pricing plans:

  • Starter: Free. Build an entry-level website on a Webflow.io domain limited to 1,000 visitors per month. Have two static pages and 50 pieces of content (like blog posts, menus, and product descriptions) in your content management system (CMS). Collect 50 form submissions (lifetime).
  • Basic: $18 per month. Add a custom domain and build 150 static pages. Collect 500 form submissions per month. Handles a maximum of 250K website visitors per month.
  • CMS: $29 per month. Have 2,000 pieces of content in your CMS and collect 1,000 form submissions per month.
  • Business: $49 per month. Have 10,000 pieces of content in your CMS and collect 2,500 form submissions per month.

Webflow also offers separate pricing for ecommerce businesses:

  • Standard: $42 per month. Add 500 ecommerce items and have up to 2,000 records in your CMS. 2% transaction fee.
  • Plus: $84 per month. Add 5,000 ecommerce items and have up to 10,000 CMS records. 0% transaction fees.
  • Advanced: $235 per month. Add 15,000 ecommerce items and have up to 10,000 CMS records. 0% transaction fees.

6. GoDaddy Website Builder

Best for those with basic website needs

Price: Starts at $9.99 per month

The GoDaddy Website Builder is a no-code solution that’s ideal for building simple websites. Such as portfolios or small business websites that showcase products or services.

The Best Part

GoDaddy’s Website Builder has built-in SEO tools that help you optimize your website for search engines. And good SEO can help your website rank in top positions on search engines like Google. 

The GoDaddy Website Builder comes with an SEO Wizard that provides step-by-step suggestions for optimizing each page of your website. It includes suggestions for adding relevant keywords and meta descriptions.

The Worst Part

While great for simple sites, the GoDaddy Website Builder offers limited flexibility in your site’s design. You also don’t have direct access to the code, limiting your ability to make complex changes to the design or implement custom features.

Key Features

  • Built-in marketing tools: Tools for SEO, social media, and email marketing make it easy to grow and engage your audience
  • Analytics dashboard: Track your website’s performance with real-time data
  • Free professional email: Get a free email matching your domain

Pricing

GoDaddy’s Website Builder has three pricing plans:

  • Basic: $10.99 per month. Connect a custom domain and send 100 marketing emails per month.
  • Premium: $14.99 per month. Get appointment bookings, receive online payments, and send 25,000 marketing emails per month.
  • Commerce: $20.99 per month. Sell unlimited products and send 100,000 marketing emails per month. You also get automated inventory sync across channels and sales tax calculators.

A 7-day free trial is available to try out the platform’s Premium features.

Tools for Developing Your Small Business’s Website Strategy

Building a website is just one part of running a successful online business. To create a website that helps your small business grow, you’ll need to strategically attract visitors. 

These tools will help you get your website in front of your target audience:

Semrush for SEO Competitor Research

Use Semrush’s Organic Research tool to understand what your competitors are doing to reach their audiences. Because their target audience is likely similar to or the same as yours.

Discover the keywords they are ranking for. And see how much organic traffic each search term brings to their page.

This helps you identify your own opportunities for ranking in the top positions of search results.

Slickplan for Site Mapping

Use Slickplan to create the structure of your website and plan content across your pages.

This user-friendly tool simplifies the process of designing sitemaps. Ensuring a logical content hierarchy and seamless user experience.

Google Analytics for Website Performance Analysis

Analyze key metrics with Google Analytics. This helps you make data-driven decisions to improve your website’s performance.

Check where your website visitors are coming from. Did they discover your site through organic search, social media, or referral? Track page views, visitor behavior, and more.

Ready to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Small Business?

It’s important to choose the website builder that matches your specific business model. 

Here’s a quick recap of situations where some of the best builders might be the ideal fit:

  • WordPress: Perfect for content-heavy websites and for where you want maximum control over your website’s design and functionality
  • Shopify: The go-to builder for ecommerce websites, offering easy store management
  • Wix: Great for beginners who want to create a website quickly, without any technical knowledge

Once your website is up and running, monitoring your traffic is a key next step. This helps you understand your current performance and decide where you need to focus your resources.

Read our guide to learn how to track your website traffic.