Best Website Builders for Businesses

July 11, 2018

5:13 pm

The best website builders for businesses can help any company, large or small, to create slick, professional websites to attract and retain customers. There are some terrific website builder platforms to choose from these days, with plenty of business-focused features. We round up the best choices for your business in our simple guide.

Whether you’re in the construction, hospitality or retail industries, you’re likely to be busy getting on with your business itself. You won’t have time to agonize over a difficult-to-use website CMS, or may not want to spend considerable money on a web developer to do the work for you. With today’s modern, simple website builders, you have nothing to worry about.

The best website builders will let you create a great website quickly. Your site will look modern, be easy to maintain, change and run, and, crucially, won’t cost much to create.

Website builders make it easy to construct great-looking websites without paying for a digital designer. Below, we list the best website builders to create a professional-looking and easy to navigate business site.

What are the best website builders for businesses?

Every website builder claims to do the same thing: they’ll allow you to create your dream website quickly, easily and cheaply. However, not all website builders are cut out for the demands of modern businesses, no matter how big or small.

  1. Wix – The best for businesses thanks to its excellent features, attractive pricing and great templates
  2. Weebly – Almost as good as Wix, but is slightly more expensive
  3. Squarespace – The best choice for creative business thanks to class-leading template designs
  4. WordPress – Despite associations with bloggers, it has excellent customization options for businesses
  5. 1&1 MyWebsite – Not a bad website builder, but offers no ecommerce functions
  6. GoDaddy GoCentral – It’s very straightforward, though has limits to its features and customization
  7. Site123 – You’ll be able to built a site very quickly, but it won’t be very good

Top 3 Best Website Builders for Small Businesses

We’re going to give you the lowdown on our three favorite website builders: Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. Each of them would be a good choice for any business – whether that’s an independent construction firm, a photography business, or someone running an ecommerce business. However, each has its own niche, which can make it slightly better suited to certain types of business – and we’ll explain why.

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Wix logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Test score: 90%
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Weebly logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Test score: 79%
  • Features: 5 stars
  • Design: 5 stars
  • Value: 3 stars
  • Support: 4 stars
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Squarespace logo thumnail WYSIWYG website editors
  • Test score: 78%
  • Features: 4 stars
  • Design: 4 stars
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Wix for Business

Wix website builders logo

Wix is our favorite website builder, and it’s the perfect way to get your business online. It’s simply unmatched for the amount and quality of the features it offers – everything from SEO tools, to accounting and invoicing apps and excellent online store tools.

Wix offers a range of great-looking website templates, all of which are mobile responsive – crucial for this day and age. As most internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, this is a big deal for any small business.

It also offers a great variety of pricing plans, which makes it an ideal website builder that will scale alongside your business as it grows. Wix price plans typically cost between $5 and $25 per month. The eCommerce plan, which gives you access to an online store for $18 per month, is a great choice for anyone in the retail industry.

Start Creating Your Website With Wix and Save

 Pros

  • Loads of features – including great ecommerce functions
  • Best-in-class AI site builder
  • Loads of pricing options

 Cons

  • Can’t change template after publishing
  • Could offer more storage space

Weebly for BusinessWeebly logo

Weebly can’t quite match Wix, but it’s still an excellent website builder. Creating an account and starting to create your website is incredibly straightforward and fast – you can even sign up with a Facebook account alone. You’ll then be able to take a look at the excellent website templates, which – unlike with Wix – can be changed later after you’ve first published your site.

As with Wix, there’s a great variety of apps – everything from Facebook Messenger chat boxes to product review widgets. Integrating these apps into your site is straightforward, and you won’t need to add a single line of code. These will help to enhance the usability and usefulness of your business’ website, and should keep customers coming back for more!

Weebly also offers a free version, which you can use indefinitely. However, business users will prefer to pick one of the four paid versions. The Business plan costs $25 per month, and gives you functionality for hosting an online shop for ecommerce. The Pro plan costs $12 per month and is great for service businesses, such as construction companies or restaurants.

Creating a new website for your business? It's easy with Weebly

 Pros

  • Attractive templates
  • Loads of options for customization
  • Good range of apps and plugins

 Cons

  • Lacks mobile-specific editing
  • Proper ecommerce features reserved for the top pricing plan

Squarespace for Business

Squarespace prides itself on having the best-looking website builder templates on the market, and we have to agree. There are only 91 templates offered by Squarespace, but each of them is fantastic and will set you well on your way to creating a stunning website.

However, that’s not to say that Squarespace sites are all style and no substance. Each template is designed to work seamlessly, whether viewed on mobile phones, tablets or a regular old computer. This attention to detail is perfect for businesses in the creative industries – a photographer, musician or writer, for example.

That’s not all. Squarespace, thanks to its excellent ecommerce platform, would make a great choice for businesses that sell products online. You’re able to add products in bulk, and edit them within the same window. Adding payment options, from credit cards to Apple Pay, is a walk in the park as well.

Build a beautiful business site with Squarespace, and take 10% off with code 'Tech10'

 Pros

  • Class-leading website templates
  • Strong built-in ecommerce system
  • Great SEO tools

 Cons

  • No free plan – 14-day free trial only
  • Can’t match Wix or Weebly on app and plugin selection
  • Initially unintuitive

1&1 for Business

1and1 logo1&1 MyWebsite website builder page editor1&1’s website builder, MyWebsite, doesn’t exactly come with our highest recommendation: There’s no ecommerce integration, costs are high, and the 2013-era templates are outdated. The website builder isn’t a standout in 1&1’s suite of services, which focus primarily on domain registration and website hosting, as well as online marketing and security, or server maintenance. However, their editor is functional and they support 60 different languages.

1&1 MyWebsite lets users with no experience create a new business or personal website fast by picking out a template and customizing it to fit their needs. There’s no free version, and you’ll need to input your credit or PayPal information in order to get started. The aforementioned editor functionality includes the ability to change fonts, colors and sizes of the columns or widgets that make up your template. Videos and images can be added in the background as well. You can also access your site’s HTML/CSS code, which not all website builders will allow.

In what may be a deal breaker for some, 1&1 does not include an ecommerce option, so you won’t be able to sell anything from your site. Of the three plan packages offered by 1&1, the first doesn’t offer many features, and the second and third will cost you $9.99/month and $19.99/month respectively, after you use up the first-year rates. Overall, there’s not a lot to love and plenty to put you off of using 1&1 MyWebsite.

Read our full 1&1 review

 Pros

  • In-depth editor
  • Easy-to-access code
  • Multilingual options

 Cons

  • No free package
  • No sign-up without a credit card
  • No ecommerce option

WordPress for Business

Wordpress logoWix blog sign upWordPress is a solid website option for those interested primarily in blogging. For everyone else, it’s only okay. But that’s not a bad niche: WordPress is a huge brand, and its platform accounts for 30 percent of all websites online today.

Don’t confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org: They sound like the same thing, but WordPress.com is responsible for hosting personal websites, while its .org brethren depend on third-party hosting services.

We’re talking primarily about the .com version, which can be purchased in four plans. The first one, a free option, comes with a spare 3GB of storage and includes pesky WordPress ads. The others – the $4/month Personal plan, $8/month Premium plan, and $25/month Business plan – all include additional features in line with their rising costs. The Premium plan is likely the best bet for a personal site, while the Business plan offers the SEO and Google Analytics tools needed to help a business function.

Why is WordPress better suited to blogs? The template design isn’t very flexible, and it’s aimed at a blog format. In addition, the backend makes it easy to add a new blog post. If you need a personal blog, WordPress might be for you.

 Pros

  • Great for bloggers
  • Lots of templates
  • Easy to set up and use

 Cons

  • Limited design flexibility
  • Key features reserved for paid-for packages
  • More expensive than WordPress.org

GoDaddy for Business

GoDaddy Website Builder LogoGoDaddy website builder page editorGoDaddy’s more stripped down website builder offers a few solid features, but is ultimately more limited than similar offerings that those in need of a website might turn to instead. It’s certainly a big brand, however, with 76m domains to its name. Here are the benefits and disadvantages to consider.

First, the good: GoDaddy is easy to use. You can sign up quickly, figure out the simple website editor with ease, and if you’re stuck at any point, there’s always their 24/7 phone support to help you along.

Unfortunately, the website editor’s simplicity is also a negative, as you can’t do a lot with it. Also downers: No live chat or email support, a limited selection of apps, a blogging system that won’t even allow hyperlinks or H2 headings, and an overall lack of versatility.

Four plans are available, plus a 30-day free trial, with prices ranging from $5.99/month to $29.99/month. However, the negatives outweigh the positives on this one. Unless you’re already using GoDaddy, you’re likely better off with a website builder that has more to offer.

 Pros

  • Straightforward website editor
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Fast signup process

 Cons

  • Restrictive editor
  • Lack of apps or widgets
  • Limited selection of themes
  • No free version – 30-day free trial only

Site123 for Business

Site123 Logo MediumSite123 does what any website builder should: It lets its users create their own website, blog, or personal store, all within minutes and without any coding expertise or previous knowledge required.

While most website builders will offer a drag-and-drop function, allowing users to build their website visually with a few clicks of their mouse, Site123 has a sidebar-controlled system instead. You can switch up your template or add additional content, images and videos, all by sorting through a series of submenus. The lack of a drag-and-drop option can be frustrating, but most users should pick up the menu process pretty quickly. The Site123 website builder’s ecommerce functionality is also strong: You can set up an online store and add your products quickly.

Granted, there’s not a lot of depth to the service that Site123 offers. The website editor that users build their site with is pretty shallow, and the templates that users are offered are a little uninspired. Still, if your goal is simply a serviceable website, Site123 is an easy path to that aim.

 Pros

  • Makes it incredibly quick to build a website
  • Easy to integrate apps and widgets
  • Strong eCommerce features

 Cons

  • Slightly dull templates
  • Restrictive template approach
  • Editor function lacks depth

What to Look for in a Website Builder for Businesses

Of course, different types of website require different features. As you’re running a business site, a platform that’s great for blogging isn’t likely to be at the top of your list of priorities. However, easy-to-use contact forms might be. Below, we run through the most important website builder features for businesses.

Choice of Templates

First impressions count, and if your website looks great, customers will likely think that your business is great, too.

This means you’ll need to find a builder with a good range of template designs, and hopefully ones that are tailored for the industry you’re working in. This should make things far less stressful when it comes to building and running your website. For instance, many web builder platforms have excellent templates for restaurants, or for building firms.

Ecommerce Options

If your business sells products, you’ll need an ecommerce function. Most website builders offer the ability to let you sell products on the site you’re building. However, some do it better than others.

Wix’s eCommerce package is great value for money, but you’ll have to do a fair amount of manual setup. However, Site123’s package takes care of everything apart from adding your products. Website builders often add fees per transaction on cheaper ecommerce plans – if you’re selling in high volumes, or work on low profit margins, you’ll want to read the small print.

Tracking and Analytics

These might sound complicated, but it’s basically the way to track how customers come to, interact with and leave your website – the same way you’d want to know how many people come into your store every day.

This will help you work out whether you need to change your design, move things around, or change the tools you use. It’ll also help you understand how customers arrive on your website. Are they searching for businesses like yours on Google, or are they coming straight to your site? This type of information will help you adapt your website and pick up customers you might be potentially missing out on.

Most website builders will offer some analytics software baked into your package. However, these solutions can be a bit limited, so look for ones that will allow you to install a Google Analytics plugin – this is really the gold standard for analytics tracking.

App Selection

A website builder needs to have a good app selection if you’re planning to create a business website. These apps can help turn your website from a boring, bland text fest into an all-singing all-dancing clickable extravaganza.

Contact forms, appointment or reservation booking, coupon codes, gift cards, chat bots and more can all be added to your site – as long as you pick the right website builder.

Branding

You might have spent years building up your brand’s name and logo recognition – and the last thing you want is to have a website covered with someone else’s branding. Or, even worse – someone else’s adverts.

Most website builders will remove adverts when you sign up to a paid-for package, but not all of them will remove their own branding from your site. Make sure the website builder you choose will keep your branding front and center – not someone else’s.

How Much Does a Website Builder for Businesses Cost?

The good news? Probably less than you think. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get the same value for money with all website builders, however.

We rate all the website builders we review on their relative value-for-money, so you’ll be able to see at a glance which ones offer the best true value for the features and functionality you get in return for your money.

Make sure you go with one of our top picks, so you’ll be getting your money’s worth. Most website builders start at around $5 per month for the basic paid-for plans. These plans will often retain the builder’s branding and might not allow you to add an ecommerce option.

The most expensive plans tend to cost between $25-40 per month. These often allow you a full gamut of features, with no limits on bandwidth or storage, extensive ecommerce options, and the removal of transaction fees or adverts.

Of course, these expensive packages aren’t for everyone. If you’re not using your website as an online store, it’s unlikely you’ll see the full benefit of the most expensive offerings.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that some website builders offer better support if you encounter technical problems. Some, such as GoDaddy, like to shout about their 24/7 on-the-phone customer and technical support.

However, GoDaddy lacks other support options that have become commonplace, like a knowledge base filled with tips and tricks, or forums where users can share expertise. Wix and Squarespace, for example, both have a wide array of support options, which can make finding the solutions to any problems you encounter straightforward.

Should Businesses use Free Website Builders?

If we’re honest, no. There are simply too many downsides to using a free website builder for your business for us to recommend this as a smart business decision.

Branding

If you opt for a free website builder, it’s likely that your site will be covered with adverts for the website builder you’ve used – or even worse, other companies. This won’t make your business look particularly trustworthy or professional.

It’s also likely that you’ll still have the website builder’s name at the end of your site’s URL – meaning it would read like “yourbusiness.weebly.com”. Again, there’s a reason the biggest businesses in the world don’t do this.

Features

With a free site, you won’t have access to the same roster of features as you would with a paid-for package. This can leave you missing out on analytics, or even ecommerce features.

This might mean that you could miss out on potential customers, as you won’t be able to optimize your site to give them the best experience.

Availability

Not all website builders even offer free packages. Big names such as GoDaddy completely eschew a free version in favor of giving their paying website owners access to 24/7, on-the-phone support in case they have any problems – useful if your site goes down in the middle of the night just before Thanksgiving.

Even popular services, such as Squarespace, offer limited time free trials (typically between a week and a month), so you might not be able to access the service you want for free, anyway.

Overall, if you’re serious about your business, you should be serious about its website. Opt for a paid-for package, rather than a free one, and you won’t regret it.

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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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