Website builder reviews:
Our comparison chart for 2014

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 review on a regular basis.

Not sure what an online website builder is? Learn more here.

 

Why should you listen to us?

Robert BrandlMost of all, unlike many other review websites, we do not sell our rankings. We are passionate about site builders and strive to have the most detailed and up-to-date reviews that exist on the web.

Learn more about us here or send us a message if you have any questions.

1.

Weebly

Unmatched Ease of Use

Pros

  • very easy to use
  • flexibility of designs
  • great designs
  • assign different access levels for editors
  • well-executed and easy-to-use online store

Cons

  • domain names are relatively expensive
  • email account has to be purchased separately

Pricing

Free: $0
Starter: $4
Pro: $8
Business: $25
Monthly prices based on a 1-year contract. Domain can be added for $39.99 (yearly)
In a nutshell: One of the best website builders on the market. There's room for improvement in its store, but other than that, Weebly hits the spot.
more
2.

Jimdo

Best All-in-One Package

Pros

  • very easy to use
  • great online store
  • includes email account(s)
  • great for search engine optimization (SEO)

Cons

  • could use a better image editing feature

Pricing

Free: $0
Pro: $7.50 (£5)
Business: $20 (£15)
Prices per month for 1-year contracts; Domain name and email account(s) included
In a nutshell: Simple, yet packed full of innovative features — Jimdo has put together a convincing package of a website builder, blog, domain name, email address(es) and the option to run a web store.
more
3.

Squarespace

Top Pick for Bloggers

Pros

  • sophisticated product
  • great for SEO
  • great blogging feature

Cons

  • relatively steep learning curve

Pricing

Standard: $8
Unlimited: $16
Business: $24
Monthly prices based on 1-year contracts; Domain name included.
In a nutshell: Although not quite as easy to use as other website builders, it sets new standards for blogging, e-commerce and customization.
more
Side-by-side Comparison
4.

Webnode

The Polyglot Website Tool

Pros

  • suited to larger (multilingual) websites
  • range of professional features
  • great for SEO

Cons

  • variety of designs

Pricing

Free: $0
Mini: $2.95
Standard: $9.95
Profi: $24.95
Monthly prices based on a 1-year contract (Personal Website). Domain: from $18.95 (yearly)
In a nutshell: Webnode offers a powerful website builder that features quite a few interesting options particularly suited to larger websites.
more
5.

Wix

The Creative Toolbox for Photographers and Artists

Pros

  • impressive-looking designs
  • ability to add animations
  • plenty of apps in the App-Market

Cons

  • once you’ve chosen a template it can’t be changed easily

Pricing

Connect Domain: $4.08
Combo: $8.25
Unlimited: $12.42
eCommerce: $16.17
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts; Domain included in selected packages
In a nutshell: Smart website builder with optical delights. Easy to use. At present we would only recommend it with reservations for commercial purposes. But it is perfect for photographers, bands, artists, etc!
more
6.

Yola

Great Option for Multiple Sites

Pros

  • very easy to use
  • build up to 25 websites with one Silver package
  • great support

Cons

  • Yola ad in Bronze plan

Pricing

Free: $0
Bronze: $4.17
Silver: $8.25
Gold: $16.67
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain included in selected packages.
In a nutshell: Fine for a simple and flat website due to its limited depth of navigation. The e-commerce widget makes it an interesting choice for creating a small online store.
more
7.

1&1 MyWebsite

The Jack of All Trades

Pros

  • unique sector focus
  • very easy to set up

Cons

  • weak support
  • no free trial period, only money-back guarantee

Pricing

Lite: $0.99 ($6.99)
Basic: $0.99 ($9.99)
Plus: $4.99 ($19.99)
Premium: $9.99 ($29.99)
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts incl. domain name. The price increases after the first year (see brackets).
In a nutshell: 1&1's website builder is well designed and scores bonus points for its focus on specific business sectors. The downside is its relatively high price.
more
8.

Webs.com

Multifaceted Tool with Potential

Pros

  • great number of features
  • modern designs
  • very flexible

Cons

  • negative customer feedback
  • cluttered backend

Pricing

Free: $0
Starter: $4.17
Enhanced: $8.33
Pro: $20.82
Monthly prices are for 1-year contracts. Domain name is included in selected packages
In a nutshell: A versatile website builder with a huge range of features and beautiful designs. The downsides are numerous bugs that leave a lot of users frustrated as you can see in the comments below.
more
9.

GoDaddy Website Builder

The GoDaddy Girl
wouldn't be amused

Pros

  • smartphone-optimized layouts
  • email accounts included

Cons

  • clunky editor with a lot of inconsistencies
  • weak support

Pricing

Personal: $1.00
Business: $4.99
Business Plus: $9.99
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain name included. Please note: prices rise after your first payment term is over
In a nutshell: Website Builder is well-intentioned, but not very well done. Modern layouts blend in with a slow and clunky website editor.
more
10.

Homestead

The Dinosaur of Website
Builders

Pros

  • high number of features and templates

Cons

  • complicated editor that needs to be installed locally
  • relatively expensive

Pricing

Starter: $4.99
Business: $19.99
Business Plus: $59.99
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain included in selected packages
In a nutshell: This website builder is in desperate need of a complete overhaul to better reflect the era we live in.
more

More website builders! (but not tested)

iPage

Pricing

$9.49
Domain incl. / 12 months contract

Comment

iPage is a hosting company that also offers Weebly as a website builder. A better alternative is Weebly itself.

Pricing

- Free: $0
- Lite: $39
- Pro: $89

Comment

It's flexible and full of interesting features. Find our interview with their product manager here.

Ecwid

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $12.50

Comment

Powerful e-commerce add-on for existing websites and Facebook pages. Learn more in our in-depth review.

WebStarts

Pricing

-Free plan
-Paid plans from $3.25

Comment

Simple editor that offers full flexibility. Phone support available in their Pro+ plan.

Lifeyo

Pricing

-Free trial
-Paid plans from $8

Comment

This website builder enables you to put text, images or other elements wherever you want. "Pixel perfect" as they say.

Webydo

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $9

Comment

A drag'n'drop editor specifically geared towards web and graphic designers who need a simple platform to create websites for their clients.

SnapPages

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $8

Comment

Strong design focus. Attractive templates, interesting widgets. Worth a look.

Doodlekit

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $14

Comment

Feature-rich site builder from the US. Offers e-commerce and a form builder among other things.

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plans from $8.29

Comment

"Build a fully professional website in 30 minutes" claims the tool from the US.

Edicy

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from €6

Comment

Great support for multilingual sites. Offers a free plan as well. Review available here.

Shopify

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plans from $14

Comment

Professional e-commerce solution used by more than 60,000 online stores. Our comparison of different online stores.

Cubender

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plans from $9.95

Comment

Flash-based website builder that features some nice looking templates.

CityMax

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plan $24,98

Comment

A site builder mainly for small businesses with a focus on ecommerce.

Virb

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plans from $10

Comment

Easy to use site builder with interesting templates for $10 per month.

uCoz

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $3.09

Comment

This Russian company offers a wide range of advanced features through their control panel.

IM Creator

Pricing

from $9.95 per months (discounts for yearly payments)

Comment

IM Creator is a slick HTM5 website builder with more than 5 million websites created.

Moonfruit

Pricing

- Free plan
- Paid plans from $10.80

Comment

UK-based company that promises users full creative control of their website's design. Flash-based product.

Basekit

Pricing

- Free trial
- Paid plans from $10

Comment

Website builder from the UK. Offers nice designs and is one of the most flexible. Our review.

more

Please note: All prices are in US$. We do our best to keep the prices on this page up to date but can’t promise that we are always able to reflect price changes immediately. Should you spot any errors, please let us know. Last update: 30 May 2014 by Robert Brandl

Pros and Cons of Website Builders

Advantages to the building-block method

website builder prosEasy 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.

And the disadvantages of website builders

website builders consLimited 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.

Large web projects: These systems are simply not appropriate for larger or more complex web-based projects.

Find the Right Site Builder for Your Individual Project!

Website Builder Reviews FAQ

How do I know if I can trust you?

question

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.

check

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:

  • Can you easily tell who runs the site (e.g. by checking the about page), does the owner of the website show his face there? Or does the website feel anonymous and impersonal?
  • Can you comment on reviews? Dubious websites, after all, do not enjoy comments, because comments allow public debate about strange practices. Unless, of course, the comments are written by the owners themselves (you would easily spot such comments, though).
  • Read the reviews closely: Are they all about the pros, or do the cons get their due attention, too? Questionable review websites often sound more like advertising, all about getting you to click an affiliate link.
  • Do the owners reveal how revenue is generated, or is that particular topic actively avoided?
  • Try and contact the website – do you get a response? If yes, is it a good, qualified answer, or is it just another attempt to make a sale without actually responding to your request? Reputable sites would, for instance, point out alternative systems not listed on the website (which, accordingly, would not generate any revenue, either).

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!

What kind of tools do you review?

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.

Who uses site builders?

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.

I was told that I should use a CMS like WordPress to build my website. What's your take on this?

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. Read more about WordPress here.

I represent a website builder - can I get listed?

Generally, the answer is yes. But since we get pitched all the time, please keep the following in mind:

  • Nobody likes mass emails. I’d guess you also delete emails that start with “Dear Sir / Madam.”
  • Tell us why we should review your product. I know; your website editor is super easy to use. But the same applies to your 1000 competitors. What is your real USP? If you don’t have one, work on it before you write us.
  • We try to focus on the most established website creators in the marketplace. And there’s a good reason for it: the market is very tough these days and we don’t want to review a product that won’t exist 12 months from now. First and foremost we are accountable to our readers.
  • We don’t review beta versions. Wait until you have a fully functional product before you get in touch with us.
  • If we have exchanged emails in the past, please remember it. Don’t send your pitches again and again.
  • If you have a partner program, please let us know. But never offer us cash in return for a favorable review. There are other sites that are happy to do this type of deals. We don’t.