This table provides an overview of the most well-established and easy-to-use site builders from around the world. We guarantee you won’t need any special technical skills to use these.
The following online site builders are ideal for building both private and business websites. Most of them also include the option to add an online store. We update our reviews on a regular basis.
Not sure what an online website builder is? Learn more here.
|Monthly prices based on a 1-year contract. Free domain the first year. It renews at $19.95 (yearly).|
|Pro: $7.50 (£5)|
|Business: $20 (£15)|
|Prices per month for 1-year contracts; Domain name and email account(s) included|
|Monthly prices based on 1-year contracts; Domain name included.|
|Connect Domain: $4.08|
|VIP: $24.90 (only US)|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts; Domain included in selected packages|
|Monthly prices based on a 1-year contract (Personal Website). Domain: from $18.95 (yearly)|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain included in selected packages.|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts incl. domain name. The price increases after the first year (see brackets).|
|15 GB: $1.89 /month|
|30 GB: $3/ month|
|Domain Name: $13.80/ year for .com and .net|
|Prices do not include VAT, domain name prices vary according to the suffix.|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain name is included in selected packages|
|Business Plus: $10.99|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain name included. Please note: prices rise after your first payment term is over|
|Business Plus: $60.99|
|Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain included in selected packages|
Easy to use: No programming skills required and a lot easier to use than Open Source content management systems like Joomla or WordPress.
One-stop shop: Everything is included – your hosting, the software for your website, blog or online store as well automatic feature updates.
Low cost: Website builders rarely cost more than what you’d pay for a hosting package with a similarly-sized web space. And there are often free plans as well – you only pay if you want to use extras such as your own domain name.
Anyone can use them: Creating a website is almost as easy as setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
Feature-rich: A good provider will develop their website builder on an ongoing basis. Updates will be carried out automatically.
Security updates: Your provider will install security updates too, avoiding the serious issues that have arisen in this area in the past with open-source CMS (especially with WordPress). All you have to do when using a website builder is choose a secure password.
Spikes in traffic will not cause downtime: If you host your website yourself, be aware that a significant increase in traffic could cause your website to crash (e.g. if a popular website links to your site). That’s not the case if you rely on one of our recommended website builders; they can easily handle large amounts of traffic as their hosting infrastructure balances increased server loads.
Drag and drop integration: Widgets such as video and audio players, Google AdSense, Paypal, forms, etc. – you’ll find there’s very little that you can’t add.
Support: Technical support is offered via email, live chat or forums, depending on the provider.
Limited flexibility: This is what it really comes down to. How much flexibility are you prepared to give up? For example, if you have to use a specific layout, you might find a website builder too limited. The only way to know for sure is to give it a try.
Relying on one provider: It’s important that your provider is well managed from a business point of view, because you could lose your website if it goes bust. That’s why it’s generally better to go with an established provider.
Data control: Your data is stored off-site. Some providers may be based in your country, others in Europe or further afield.
Installing server-side code: Programmers won’t like this, but website builders are a no-go zone for PHP, Java and SQL. Then again, if you use these languages, you’re unlikely to be looking at website builders anyway. Nor are there as many add-ons as you’d find in an open-source system.
Using databases: a database with search functionality (that you can see on real estate websites for example) would not be possible. For that a solution like WordPress is be a much better fit.
Large web projects: These systems are simply not appropriate for larger or more complex web-based projects.
In this Google Trends graph you can compare five of the biggest site builders. It’s easy to see that, measured by search volume, Wix.com is the dominant player in this space. Weebly gets about half as much attention in Google.
Surprisingly, just a couple of years ago Webs.com was the superstar in this space. Their fall into disfavor is unmatched and pretty much reflects the comments disgruntled Webs users regularly leave in our review. The search term Jimdo.com is used about twice as much as the bottom-placed Squarespace.
Obviously, this is a very legitimate question. After all, many reviewing websites (whether they compare website builders or another kind of service) claim to be independent. Sometimes, however, this could not be farther from the truth.
The core problem is the fact that reviews are generally funded by affiliate revenue. This is the case for us, too, mainly because there are no viable alternatives. As a result, there are some people (who feel at ease with morally questionable practices) who rate a provider strictly based on the commission they generate instead of their actual merits. Unfortunately, dubious practices like these do enable website owners to put significant pressure on a provider by saying, effectively, “either you increase the revenue you generate for us by x%, or we kick you off the site.”
For reasons completely foreign to us, some providers give in to that way of doing business. Several website builders have offered us significant increases in commission if we agree to “re-arrange” our rankings. As we put our readers’ interests first and want to focus on the bigger picture and long-term goals, we cannot and will not agree to any such deal.
Regardless of whether you consider us a trustworthy website or not, here are a few bits of advice on how to easily spot questionable reviews:
The web has become a wonderful resource of knowledge, opinions, reviews and all those other good things. Only be aware that sometimes you need to take certain information with a grain of salt.
Should you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
We test website builders. Site builders or website makers are a kind of content management system (CMS) that are particularly easy to use and don’t require any specialized technical knowledge. Some website builders are installed on your computer, while others are hosted by the provider and run completely within your browser (e.g. Mozilla Firefox). This means you don’t need to install anything locally.
We’ve decided to test the builders that run through your browser only because we think these are the ones that will stand the test of time. And it doesn’t matter if you are on a Mac or a PC!
Note: Rest assured, we don’t allow kiddie toys in our test lab! We only test and review builders that will enable you to easily and quickly create clean, professional-looking websites.
People who benefit most from website building toolkits are those who run small businesses such as freelancers, graphic designers, clubs, bands, or entrepreneurs who sell goods or services via online stores. Website builders are also used to create personal websites and blogs.
So why are these systems so popular? First of all, they allow you to get your website up and running very quickly. And second, they enable you to make changes to your website yourself – without having to pay extra for a programmer.
If you purchase your domain name it belongs to you. You can also transfer the domain to a different company if you like. For example, it’s perfectly possible to have the domain name managed through GoDaddy while your website runs on Weebly.
The key difference between a CMS (content management system) and a website builder is flexibility. WordPress.org, for example, is a lot more flexible than a website builder. But the problem is that it’s also a lot more difficult to set up and to maintain. We’ve compared WordPress to three website builders here. And here you can find our WordPress beginners guide.
Generally, the answer is yes. But since we get pitched all the time, please keep the following in mind: