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Best Cheap Website Builder 2019

January 31, 2019

10:56 am

Using a cheap website builder needn't mean cutting corners when creating your perfect website. A well-constructed website can help you grow your business, land that dream job, or give your passion project loads of great exposure – and you can do all of this with a low-cost website builder that won't break the bank.

These days, creating your own website needn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are some great website builders in the market that’ll get you online for a monthly fee that's less than the price of a beer.

If you want to create a great-looking website without spending a fortune, then the best cheap website builder is Wix. Our recommendation is based on expert testing and user feedback, including from complete novices at creating sites. Not only is Wix incredibly easy to use, but it has a range of professional quality templates and regular deals and discounts to make it even more compelling.

When choosing a cheap website builder, don't simply go for the cheapest possible price. Consider the real value of what you're paying for. If you are making your own website, it’s worth making a good one – simply put, if your site isn’t up to scratch, no one will visit it. And if no one’s visiting your website, is there much point in having one at all?

In this guide, we’ll round up the best cheap website builders, offer some guidance about how much different types of websites will cost, and explain why you should avoid a free website.

Best Cheap Website Builders Compared

We've researched website builders extensively to compare features, ease of use, price, and more. Our latest 2019 results show that Wix is the best cheap website builder out there, with plans starting from just $5/mo for a beautiful ad-free website that you can get published in minutes.

Looking at the other cheap website builders on the market, these seven are our favorites:

  1. Wix – From just $8.50 per month, it’s the best website builder on the market
  2. Weebly – Another outstanding website builder that starts at just $7 per month
  3. Squarespace – A bit pricier than some of its rivals, starting at $12 per month, but Squarespace’s beautiful design templates justify the premium
  4. 1&1 Ionos – Starting at $5 per month, it offers amazing customer help and support
  5. WordPress.com – From only $4 per month, WordPress gives you serious bang-for-your-buck
  6. GoDaddy – For just $5.99 per month, you’ll get a super easy-to-use website builder, perfect for those looking to get online quickly
  7. Site123 – From $10.80 per month, Site123 makes the process of building a website easy and intuitive

So that’s the skinny on the best cheap website builders, but how do they really stack up against each other? And which builder offers the best value for money?

The table below features the scores from our independent testing and research into website builders, and shows what features you’ll get with each website builder’s pricing tiers.

Wix

Weebly

Squarespace

1&1 Ionos

WordPress

GoDaddy

Site123

Wix logo tinyWeebly logo thumbnail WYSIWYG website editorssquarespace logo tiny1&1 logo tinyWordpress logo tinyGoDaddy LogoSite123 logo
Test score4.5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars3.5 stars3 stars3 stars
VerdictComfortably the best website builder we've tested, and brilliantly simple, even for beginnersAnother great website builder that's also very approachable for first-timersStands out with its attractive templates, though not quite as well-rated as WixA good system for producing an e-commerce websitePerfect for blogs, but can be fiddly for other types of siteSome big improvements to templates in the past year, but a little light on featuresCan help you build a website, but the options are more limited compared to rival website tools
Free Plan LimitationsUnable to publish siteOnly 500 MB storage, Weebly.com subdomain, display Weebly ads14-day free trialNo free planOnly 3 GB storage, displays WordPress ads, no access to WordPress support30-day free trialOnly 500 MB storage and 1 GB bandwidth, displays Site123 ads
Cheapest PlanCombo – $8.50/month (for 36 months), 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage, free domain for one yearStarter – $8/month, better site analytics, limited ecommerce, unlimited storageWebsites Personal – $12/month, unlimited bandwidth and storage, free custom domain with annual purchase, 24/7 supportOnline– $5/month, access to templates, free domain and email accountPersonal – $4/month, custom domain, removal of wordpress adverts, just 6GB storagePersonal – $5.99/month, limited customization functionality, no ecommerce, 24/7 supportBasic – $10.80/month, limited ecommerce features, 10GB and 5GB bandwidth
Average PlanUnlimited – $16/month, 10GB storage and bandwidth, access to Site Booster and Form Builder appsPro – $12/month, password protected areas, can list up to 25 products, phone supportOnline Stores Basic – $26/month, sell unlimited products, advanced ecommerce functions, professional Gmail, unlimited contributorsOnly offers two plansPremium – $8/month, premium website templates, 13GB storage, improved social media functions, monetize your site through adsBusiness Plus – $14.99/month, Yelp & Google My Business functions, online appointment booking, social media integrationAdvanced  $16.80/month, removes Site123 footer, 30GB storage and 15GB bandwidth, allows 50 ecommerce orders per month
Most Expensive PlanVIP – $29/month, 20GB bandwidth and storage, email marketing and priority support responseBusiness – $25/month, removed transaction fees, unlimited product listings, digital goods, product reviews, industry management, shipping and tax calculatorsOnline Stores Advanced – $40/month, subscription product sales, abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping, flexible discount, gift cards and orders APIOnline Store– $15/month, create content tailored to user segments, SEO tutorials and email marketing toolsBusiness – $25/month, upload custom templates, access plugins, SEO tools and Google Analytics, removes all WordPress brandingOnline Store – $19.99/month, abandoned cart recovery, accept credit cards, Apple Pay and PayPal, check out on your own siteGold – $28.80/month, unlimited ecommerce orders, 270GB storage, 135GB bandwidth
Features4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars2 stars3 stars
Design Flexibility4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars
Value for Money4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars2 stars2 stars
Help and Support5 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars2 stars3 stars
Customer Score5 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars
Ease of Use4 stars3 stars4 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars4 stars
Try it TodayVisit WixVisit WeeblyVisit Squarespace*Visit 1&1 IonosVisit WordPressVisit GoDaddyVisit Site123

* Take 10% off Squarespace with code ‘TECH10'

Wix

The best overall cheap website builder we’ve tested

Wix offers four pricing plans, including a free option. We wouldn’t recommend the free plan, though – while it will allow you to construct a website, you won’t be able to publish it.

Instead, the Combo plan – which starts at $8.50 per month if you're happy to pay for 3 years – allows you to connect a domain name to your Wix site, remove the Wix adverts that blight the free version, plus enjoy plenty of bandwidth and storage. If you only pay for 12 months, the price increases to $11 per month, so we'd recommend saving and going for the 3-year deal.

The Unlimited plan, which costs $14 per month when billed annually, gives you a free domain as well as 10GB of storage and bandwidth. It also removes adverts from your site. It’s a great option, and if you’re looking to grow a small business, it’s ideal.

Pros

  • Competitive prices to get started
  • Get a free domain on pricing plan costing just $8.50 per month
  • Access loads of third party apps and plugins

Cons

  • Bandwidth limits are a little low
  • Storage could be more generous

Build a brilliant low-cost website with Wix

Weebly

A great, cheap, easy to use website builder

Weebly, like Wix, offers a free pricing plan – and as with Wix, it’s probably not worth dealing with.

The Starter plan costs $5 per month and removes adverts, gives you unlimited storage plus site analytics, and even lets you sell a small selection of products. The Pro plan costs $12 per month and gives you even more features than the Starter plan, including site search, password protected areas, and HD video and audio uploads. You’ll also get over-the-phone support.

Weebly also has the Business and Performance plans, which cost $25 and $38 respectively. These are designed for ecommerce businesses and give you loads of ecommerce specific features, including inventory management, tax calculators, and the ability for customers to checkout on your own website.

Pros

  • Unlimited storage for $12 per month
  • Free domain on cheapest paid plan
  • Ecommerce functions from $12 per month

Cons

  • Jump between different pricing tiers is quite high
  • Some support options limited to higher tiers

Get started with Weebly for just $7 per month

Squarespace

Making a website this good looking shouldn’t be this cheap

Squarespace prides itself on the quality of its website templates, and this level of quality comes surprisingly cheap.

There’s no free plan, but the $12 per month Personal plan offers a lot of features normally reserved for pricier plans on other website builders. You get unlimited storage and bandwidth, free custom domains, and 24/7 customer support.

You could run a fully-functional, high quality website on the Personal plan, but if you want to sell stuff on your Squarespace site, it’s worth opting for the Basic Online Store plan, which costs $26 per month. You’ll have access to all the key ecommerce features, without transaction fees.

Pros 

  • Get a brilliant website on the cheapest plan
  • Cost-effective ecommerce plans
  • No need to shell out for additional apps, templates or plugins

Cons 

  • Cheapest plan is more expensive than some rivals

Start an amazing website with Squarespace

1&1 Ionos

Straightforward pricing structure makes choosing the right package easy

1&1 Ionos only offers two pricing plans: Online and Online Store. The Online plan offers you all the basic features to build a website and costs $5 per month. You get a free domain and five associated email accounts, social media widgets, and templates pre-filled with content relevant to your website.

The Online Store plan costs $15 per month. You get access to everything in the Online plan, plus SEO tutorials, an email marketing tool, and — most importantly — online store features. As the Online Store plan isn't too much more expensive than the basic Online plan, it might be worth jumping straight to the Online Store plan to take advantage of those SEO and email marketing tools, even if you don't need to sell products online.

It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that 1&1 Ionos requires users to sign up for a year’s plan when creating their site.

Pros

  • Simple, easy to understand pricing
  • Both plans are pretty cheap

Cons

  • Tied into year-long contracts
  • No free trial

Build your dream website with 1&1 Ionos from just $7 per month

WordPress

The ubiquitous blogging platform is a good value website builder

WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org, which doesn’t include website hosting) offers four pricing plans, including a free option. The free option probably isn’t worth bothering with, as you’ll have to host WordPress advertising and banners as well as use a WordPress.com sub-domain.

The Personal plan, which starts from $4 per month, removes WordPress adverts and gives you 6GB of storage space. You can build a proper site on the Personal plan, but it’s not the best feature set.

Instead, the Premium plan – which costs $8 per month – gives you access to unlimited premium website themes, advanced customization and editing, 13GB of storage, and support for basic ecommerce functions.

The Business plan costs $25 per month and is best suited to small ecommerce businesses, with SEO tools, plugin support, Google Analytics integration, and the removal of WordPress footer branding.

Pros

  • Great for creating small, simple sites quickly and cheaply
  • Premium plan offers all the features you’re likely to need outside of ecommerce functions

Cons

  • WordPress.org is probably a cheaper way to build your site with WordPress

GoDaddy

GoDaddy offers competitive pricing for businesses and online stores

Instead of a free plan, GoDaddy offers a 30-day trial before you sign up to one of its four paid plans. The cheapest is the Personal plan at $5.99 per month, which offers website hosting and 24/7 support.

Next up is the Business plan, which costs $9.99 per month and adds SEO tools and a PayPal button. It’s not a huge step up from the Personal plan.

Business Plus, on the other hand, costs $14.99 per month and offers a range of extra features. These include email marketing, Yelp and Google My Business listing, social media integration, and in-browser appointment booking.

The Online Store plan costs $19.99 per month, and unsurprisingly gives you basic ecommerce functions. These include a shopping cart, product management, and a range of payment options.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for businesses and ecommerce sites
  • 30-day free trial gives you a chance to try before you buy
  • 24/7 on the phone support with all plans

Cons

  • Struggles with non-business or ecommerce sites

Build a bargain business website with GoDaddy

Site123

A speedy way to build a simple website

Site123 offers five pricing plans, including a free option. The cheapest Basic plan starts from $10.80 per month, and gives you 10GB of storage, 5GB of bandwidth, and limited ecommerce functions. You’re stuck with Site123 branding, though.

The subsequent pricing plans – Advanced ($16.80 per month), Professional ($22.80 per month) and Gold ($28.80 per month) – offer more storage and bandwidth, allow for more ecommerce orders, and provide multilingual options. It’s not the most compelling set of features, and you’re probably better off with the Basic or Advanced plans if you’re looking to use Site123.

Pros

  • Basic or Advanced plans are decent value compared to rivals
  • It’s a speedy way to create a website

Cons

  • Lack of compelling features on high-end pricing plans

Create a brilliant cheap website in minutes with Site123

How Much Does a Website Cost?

As you can see from above, there’s no one fixed price when it comes to building a website. Instead, you’ll have to make a judgement on the type of website you want to make, and the type of features you’ll need.

After all, the needs of a student looking to create an online portfolio are pretty different to the needs of a sole trader looking to attract customers, and are different again to someone looking to sell their wares online.

You’ll also need to factor in the costs of domains, hosting, plugins and third-party apps, which can all add up.

  • For a portfolio site – Expect to pay around $10 per month. You’ll need a website builder that offers a lot of storage so you can upload images of your work – Squarespace could be a good choice.
  • For a blog – Expect to pay $4-10 per month. We’d recommend WordPress here, and you can easily build a blog with the Personal plan, which costs $4 a month. If you’re looking for more customization, you can move up to the Premium plan, which costs $8 per month.
  • For a small business site – Expect to pay around $10-20 per month. If you’re happy to have a pretty basic website, you could definitely get by spending only $10 per month. However, if you’re looking for more advanced features such as appointment booking or contact forms, you’ll be looking at closer to $20 per month – although the extra outlay will be worth it.
  • For a larger business site – Expect to pay $20-40 per month. If you’re running a larger business, your customers will be expecting more from your site, making site uptime and bandwidth essential. Make sure you find a good website hosting service to increase uptime, and look for a website builder with generous bandwidth to make sure customers can get to your site. You’ll also need advanced features such as contact forms, appointment booking and SEO tools to compete in competitive markets.
  • For an ecommerce site – Expect to pay $30+. Ecommerce websites are expensive and complicated to run. So much so, in fact, that there are dedicated platforms for running these kind of sites. You’ll need to make sure that the platform you choose doesn’t have transaction fees, supports multiple payment options, and doesn’t limit the amount of sales you can make in a month.

Find out more: How much does a website cost?

Why You Should Avoid Free Website Builder Plans

While lots of the website builders above offer free plans, they’re often very limited in terms of features. And, when you can build a good website from as little as $4 per month, there’s no real reason to compromise.

With a paid-for site, even one that’s only a few dollars a month, you won't have to live with:

  • Adverts
  • Website builder branding
  • A fixed domain name (e.g. username.wixsite.com/website)
  • Limited functionality

You'll also get better support and analytics, which free users won't have access to.

If you bump the price up a little bit more (to the value of two or three fancy coffees a month, rather than one) you'll get:

  • A professional-looking site
  • Improved features, such as social media integration and contact forms
  • The possibility to monetize your site

A website like this will help you land that dream job, sell your wares, or grow your business.

Verdict: With paid plans available so cheaply, you don't need to cut corners and settle for a free website. Just a couple dollars investment will pay off, while a free website may cost you in unprofessionalism.

Get Started With Wix from Just $5 per Month

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.co with a range of experience in the world of tech publishing. Tom covers everything from cybersecurity, to social media and website builders when he's not reviewing the latest phones, gadgets, or occasionally even technology books.