7 Best Website Builders for Beginners

July 17, 2018

11:47 am

So, you want to create a website but have no idea where to start? Well, don’t worry – none of us really do. Or rather, we didn’t until we discovered website builders. Using a website builder means you don’t need to know how to code or register domains, or do any of the complicated stuff associated with websites. With simple, accessible interfaces and great help and support pages, making a website has never been easier.

But with all the website builders out there seemingly offering the same experience – a dead simple way to create a great-looking, professional website on the cheap – how can you choose between them?

We’ve reviewed all of the leading website builders out there, so you can find out, at a glance, the best one for you.

Best Website Builders for Beginners

Our research showed that Wix is the best website builder for beginners. How did we work this out? Well, we’ve analysed and reviewed most of the major website building platforms on the market, making your choice as easy as possible. Our research is completely independent and our percentage ratings are based on an average of the scores across the different categories you see in the table below.

We use a mix of subjective ratings for categories such as Ease of Use and Design, as well as objective ratings for categories such as Features and Value for Money. All our subjective scores come from real-life user testing, while our objective ratings are generated by our dedicated in-house research team.

Looking across a range of different criteria, Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are the top three website builders out there, earning overall scores of 90%, 79% and 77% respectively. All are quick and easy to use, no matter how little experience you have. 1&1 MyWebsite and WordPress come in fourth and fifth, racking up scores of 72% and 66%, with GoDaddy and Site123 rounding out the list with scores of 61% and 59% respectively. Like the top three, these sites remain easy to use, but aren’t as generous with the features available and are quite restrictive with their editing tools.

  1. Wix – The best website builder for beginners
  2. Weebly – Flexible templates and easy-to-use – a good Wix alternative
  3. Squarespace – The best website builder for the design-conscious newbie
  4. 1&1 MyWebsite – If you’re not planning to sell products online, you could do worse
  5. WordPress – The best choice for bloggers or online publishers
  6. GoDaddy – Some attractive new themes and designs, though a little restrictive
  7. Site123 – A bit limited, but lets you create a website very quickly

  • Test score
  • Features
  • Design
  • Value
  • Support
  • User Score
  • Ease of use
  • Try It Today

Easy Website Builder Winner Wix small logo
  • 90%
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • See Deals

Weebly logo thumbnail
  • 79%
  • 5 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • See Deals

Squarespace Logo Thumbnail
  • 78%
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 4 stars
  • See Deals*

Easy Website Builder Winner Wix small logo
  • Test score: 90%
  • Features: 4 stars
  • Design: 4 stars
  • Value: 4 stars
  • Support: 5 stars
  • User score: 5 stars
  • Ease of use: 4 stars

Weebly logo thumbnail
  • Test score: 79%
  • Features: 5 stars
  • Design: 5 stars
  • Value: 3 stars
  • Support: 4 stars
  • User score: 4 stars
  • Ease of use: 3 stars

Squarespace Logo Thumbnail
  • Test score: 78%
  • Features: 4 stars
  • Design: 4 stars
  • Value: 4 stars
  • Support: 4 stars
  • User score: 4 stars
  • Ease of use: 4 stars

Wix

Wix Website Builder HomepageWix is our favorite website builder and scores highly across the board in our testing. It’s super fast to get started with Wix, and brilliantly simple to create a website using one of its top class templates. Its streamlined artificial design intelligence system (ADI) can also create the shell of a website that’s specifically tailored to your needs.

Once you’ve created the basis of your website, you’ll have access to a plethora of apps and features which will give you the ability to create loads of different types of website – whether that’s for a business, an online shop, or even a blog.

With Wix, you won’t need any experience with website builders, or even web development in general. Its simple but detailed editing system means you’ll be able to create a completely original website without any stress.

Want to know more about Wix? Check out our full Wix review

Start Creating Your Website With Wix and Save

Pros

  • Incredibly simple to use
  • Great value plans
  • Easy to preview as you go
  • No expertise needed
  • Great range of templates

Cons

  • After publishing with a template, you can’t change to another one

Weebly

Weebly Website Builder Homepage

Although good, Weebly isn’t quite as good as Wix. It doesn’t have as many website templates to choose from, and the ecommerce functions are expensive compared to Wix.

However, it’s still a fantastic website builder, armed with loads of great aspects for users new to website construction. The templates are flexible, and you can change between them at any time. Like Wix, Weebly also has a very intuitive drag-and-drop editor, allowing for deep customization of your site. You’ll also have access to over 300 apps and plugins which will help make your site work brilliantly for all of your visitors.

Weebly might be your perfect website builder – Read our full Weebly review to find out why

Create An Amazing Website In Moments With Weebly

Pros

  • Great selection of templates
  • Lots of tools you can add to your site
  • Good customization options

Cons

  • No editor for mobile version of your site
  • Expensive for creating an ecommerce site

Squarespace

Squarespace website builder homepage

If you want your website to look fantastic, Squarespace is the website builder for you. It only has 91 templates to choose from, but since they’re developed in-house by Squarespace themselves, all of them provide an extremely high design standard.

It’s also a great platform for running a blog, thanks to its aesthetically-pleasing template designs and intuitive text editor.

Using Squarespace as an online store is just as easy as creating a blog. It has templates designed specifically to work as online stores, and a really straightforward product manager system that will let you manage prices and track stock. PayPal, debit/credit card and Apple Pay payment options are also built-in.

It is a mite more expensive than Wix, but since you’re paying for a lot of the work up-front, you do get slightly more for your money.

Check out some of Squarespace’s terrific templates in our full Squarespace review

Use Discount Code TECH10 for 10% Off Squarespace Prices

Pros

  • The best-looking templates around
  • Great ecommerce functions
  • Simple to customize

Cons

  • Not quite as easy as Wix for first-timers
  • Small range of apps
  • No free version

1&1 MyWebsite

1&1 MyWebsite is a bit of a mixed bag. It has some good features, including an in-depth page editor and easy-to-access HTML and CSS code. 1&1 MyWebsite also makes it really easy to create a multilingual website – this is something that not all website builders do, so it can be really useful if your business, for example, operates in multiple countries.

1&1 MyWebsite also has some very affordable pricing plans, the most expensive of which costs just $9.99 for the first year. However, 1&1 offers no free package, which makes it feel like taking a leap of faith when signing up.

Another big issue with 1&1 MyWebsite is the lack of an ecommerce functionality – if you want to use your website to sell products, you’ll have to find a different website builder. 1&1 MyWebsite’s templates look slightly outdated as well, which is a shame.

Build Your Site with 1&1 MyWebsite Today

Pros

  • Has an in-depth editor with lots of customization options
  • Offers multilingual functions
  • Easy-to-access HTML and CSS code

Cons

  • No free package
  • No ecommerce functions
  • Outdated templates

WordPress

Wordpress homepage best website builders for beginnersIf you’re looking to build a blogging or publishing site, WordPress should definitely be on your shortlist. However, its talents don’t extend to other types of website.

To be clear, we’re talking about WordPress.com, not WordPress.org – this is an important distinction, as the two sites function quite differently. WordPress.com offers a more guided experience, more akin to a traditional website builder. However, WordPress.org offers greater freedom for customization, but you’ll have to find hosting separately. You can read more about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org here.

If you choose to go with WordPress.com, though, you’ll find yourself equipped with a blogging-focused website builder which offers both a good range of templates and a straightforward, easy-to-use blog post editor. You’ll also be joining a large, engaged community of users who’ll be able to show you the WordPress ropes. However, a number of more advanced features are reserved for the more expensive pricing plans, and you don’t have as much control over your site’s design as what most website builders offer.

Start Blogging Today With WordPress

Pros

  • Great for bloggers and publishing sites
  • Easy to get started 
  • Huge user community

Cons

  • WordPress.org might be a better option
  • Not a worthwhile choice for non-publishing/non-blogging sites
  • Slightly inflexible editor

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a big name in the world of website development, and perhaps best known for its website hosting and 24/7 on-the-phone support.

However, its website builder tool – known as GoCentral – is perhaps a weak link in its portfolio of internet services. It has a restrictive page editor, which prohibits any major changes to the website template. It also has a lack of apps, especially compared to Wix and Weebly. GoDaddy’s website builder is completely focused around building websites for businesses and online stores – to the point that it makes no sense to try and build a different type of site.

Start Promoting Your Business Online With GoDaddy

Pros

  • Offers a powerful and speedy ADI option 
  • An easy-to-use editor

Cons

  • Lacks real in-depth customization options
  • Very few apps or plugins to add extra functionality
  • Singular focus on business websites

Site123

Site123 homepage best website builders for beginnersSite123 has a very intuitive ADI service which can build you the shell of a website in literally a few minutes. It also has an unusual, but powerful sidebar-based editing system which makes it very easy to change the layout of your pages and add content to them.

Site123 is a good website builder for creating online stores. Nearly all of the setup is done for you with an online store template – all you have to do is add the product information onto your site to start selling.

However, it’s not all good news. The templates are a little bit predictable – they’re not bad per se, but they lack the wow-factor you would get with a Squarespace template, for example. There are five pricing packages, including a free trial. The cheapest version is seriously limited for features, which is a shame, given that the other packages quickly ramp up in price.

Get Online in a Flash With Site123

Pros

  • Incredibly quick setup and ADI features 
  • Good ecommerce features 

Cons

  • Slightly dull templates
  • Confusing navigation options

How We Picked the Top Six Website Builders

As we mentioned above, our research and reviewing is completely independent and impartial. We base our ratings on a mix of subjective user trials and objective comparisons between the different website builders.

For example, when looking at the ease of use factor for each website builder, users are given a set of instructions to create a website. Once finished, the users rate the builders on how easy it was to complete each instruction – and whether they had to reach for the support pages. The users are a mix of website builder novices and seasoned veterans, which makes our ratings balanced and comprehensive.

When it comes to comparing the features offered by each website builder, our research team conduct exhaustive desk research to construct a feature map for each builder. This allows for objective, side-by-side comparisons of the quantity of features. Based on this user testing, we can also assess the relative quality of the features available on each website builder – for example, most website builders offer app marketplaces and integration, but that doesn’t mean they’re equally good.

Keep reading for:

How To Make Your Own Website For The First Time

Before you do anything, you’ll have to pick a website builder to build your site with. We’re generally big fans of Wix here at Tech.Co – it’s super easy to use while allowing you loads of creative control. However, some website builders, such as Site123, make the initial construction of your website ludicrously simple – although they do rob you of some editing capabilities.

Once you’ve picked your website builder, you’ll have to choose from their selection of website templates. These give you a rough guide, almost like a blueprint for your site, so you’ll be able to make your website unique without having to start from scratch.

Indeed, making your website unique is generally pretty painless. It’s almost like editing a PowerPoint presentation – in fact, most website builders use drag-and-drop editors which allow you to plonk text, images and more exactly where you want them.

Wix Text Editor

If you think this website’s design (right) looks like it might be out of your league, you’ll be pleased to know it’s only a few clicks away! It was one of Wix’s 500+ template options, and if, for example, the orange background isn’t quite to your liking, you can completely reconfigure the design. If you’re planning on using this website for an existing business, you can also upload any logos or adapt designs to fit your current branding.

When you’re happy with your template and have adapted it to suit your needs and look the way you want it to, it’s always worth previewing it before you publish – just to make sure everything is looking correct!

Read our 5 Step Guide to Creating Your First Website

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Website?

Probably less than you think. Most website builders have packages that start at around $5 per month, with the most expensive packages costing between $25-40 per month. Naturally, the more you pay, the more features you’ll have access to.

While the cheapest packages will allow you to create a viable website, the most popular packages generally sit around the $8-15 per month mark. These will free your site from the website builder’s own branding, allow you access to features like analytics tracking and even ecommerce functions. If you want to create a really top-drawer website – whether to improve your business, grow your blog, or get your name out there – you’ll likely need these features.

With the $30+ per month packages, it’s generally not worth fretting about the features you might be missing out on. These packages give you access to really high-end features, such as currency conversion for international product shipping, or even the chance to have your site reviewed by a web design professional.

Free Websites

Should you want to, you can even create a website without paying a penny. A lot of website builders – including Wix – offer free trials, so you can have a play around with the builder before committing to a monthly outlay.

It’s not all good news with a free site, however. When it comes to publishing it, you’ll likely have to put up with adverts from your website builder of choice along the side, which won’t make your site look as professional. You’ll also be missing out on some really useful features which could make your website better for your users, help make you more money, or give you more exposure.

Read more – 5 Reasons You Should Never Make a Website for Free

Should You Pay For a Website Developer?

We don’t want to say that you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, pay for someone to build your website for you. However, we are struggling to think of situations where it would be better to opt for a website developer ahead of a good website builder tool.

Nowadays, website builders allow ordinary people, like you and I, to create world class websites in a way that simply wouldn’t have been possible 10-15 years ago.

Moreover, website builders are almost always cheaper than opting for a website developer. You won’t have to pay a large deposit upfront, nor will you have to pay an excessive monthly or yearly retainer on a contract which could span multiple years. Instead, you’ll have complete control of your payment options on a month-to-month basis, which can be turned on-or-off as and when you feel like it.

You won’t be beholden to the scheduling and workflow of your developer, either. If something breaks, you won’t need to raise a ticket to get it fixed – you, and we mean you (you built the site, after all), can fix it as soon as you spot it. You’ll also be able to update or change the site whenever you feel like it, or add functionality quickly as your site grows.

One downside, though, is that using a website builder will require slightly more of your time. Got more money than time? Hiring a website developer could be right for you. But, by creating the site yourself, you will be able to make the exact site you want, rather than a developer’s approximation of your requests. And, you never know, you might even enjoy it.

Read more – How Much Does a Website Designer Cost?

Your First Website

When you come to building your first ever website, you should remember these five key things:

  • Use a website builder – They’re cheaper than web developers, and give you a website you know how to use. The best builders are listed above.
  • Pick the right website builder for you – We like Wix, due to its prices, range of features and ease of use.
  • Know exactly what you want from your website – Think about the people you want to visit your site, and what they should do once they’re there.
  • Don’t be intimidated – Most website builders offer loads of help and support options, so you’ll be able to fix any problems.
  • Build happy – This is your site, your portal to the entire internet, so make it fun!

Build Your First Website Quickly, Easily and Cheaply With Wix

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.Co covering everything from website builders to mobile phones. He also loves soccer, probably too much.

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