Home » Website Building Solutions & Guides » How to Choose the Best Website Builder to Build a Website in 2021: Top picks for small business, artists and more – Reviews and Comparisons

How to Choose the Best Website Builder to Build a Website in 2021: Top picks for small business, artists and more – Reviews and Comparisons

how to choose the best website builder to create a website in minutes as creative cover image for the best website builders review and comparison

Website builders (also known as “website creators”, “website makers”) are a great solution for small businesses and individuals to build a website without hiring a developer. Well known website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Shopify make it easy for even a beginner to set up a professional looking website in minutes with no code required.

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After hours of testing various web builder tools and software’s, the best website builder in 2021 for most people and small businesses is Wix website builder. This is because it is suitable for building all website types, easy to use, has lots of website design features with professional looking website templates and averagely priced.

The best website builder for everyone differs. However, some website builder software’s are more popular and feature rich than others. Before we dive into the reviews, lets quickly take a look at some of the most popular options available today.

Top Rated Website Builders in 2021

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These are the top best website builders to create a website in 2021:

Jump to: Website builders review | Best for creatives and artists | Best for small business | Best for online store | Cheapest website builder | How to create a free website

The DIY website-building industry is highly competitive, but there are only a few website builders that really deserve your time.

To help you make an informed decision on which website builder to use, we tried over 15 popular website makers on the web, created test websites ourselves and did a comparison of the top-rated website building sites across various categories of performance and use circumstances. We extensively tested each website builder based on speed, ease of use, uptime, mobile responsive design flexibility, pricing and other features like blogging, ecommerce and web hosting.

Best Website Builders to Build a Website

In-Depth analysis and rankings of the best website builders after careful research and comparison according to their various categories of performance and use circumstances.

Here then is a reviewed list and comparison of the best website builders in 2021, according to their various categories of performances:

Squarespace: Best all-around website builder

Squarespace is the best website builder for creatives and artists

Squarespace best website builder
Squarespace review

Squarespace is a popular website builder that tops our list as the best website maker for creatives such as artists, photographers and small businesses who wants to create personal or business websites that also lets them sell online. The reason is due to its creative designer templates, stunning visuals, ease of use, low-cost pricing and a host of other features to help you also sell online.

Squarespace was founded in dorm room at the University of Maryland in 2003.

Who its best for:

  • If you want to create a standard website for your creative business, arts or crafts.
  • If you want to sell your products online on your website with ease.
  • Events and wedding planners looking to build a wedding website to showcase their work and connect with customers.
  • Photographers, artists, musicians and restaurant owners who wants to build a personal or brand website without hiring a developer.

Highlights (Pros.)

  • Free domain with website builder.
  • It has a robust line of e-commerce and CRM (customer-relationship management) tools and features.
  • The Basic commerce plan allows for an unlimited number of products.

Drawbacks (Cons.)

  • It’s not the easiest drag and drop website builder to use, especially for beginners. You will need to get play with the visual WYSIWYG page editor a little to master it.

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace basic personal plans starts at $12/mo. and its basic commerce plan starts at $26/mo. You will have a 14days free trial to familiarize with the visual editor, after which you will be required to choose a website plan.

Why we choose it

During the cause of our test, we couldn’t help but notice the amazing additional features on squarepace. They are best in class, and very thoughtful.

Some of the outstanding features of squarespace include: design flexibility, template customization, blogging, photo galleries (very useful for portfolio sites), scheduling software, and even more unusual features like podcast hosting and ability to receive donations from your website.

Stunning media focused mobile responsive design templates

Elegant, clean themes are the hallmark of Squarespace. Stunning would be a word to use when describing their templates. The website templates are high quality and creatively designed for various creatives ranging from small businesses to photography, musicians, weddings, blogging and crafts templates for Esty sellers.

Their websites are beautifully designed, attractive, and on target with modern day examples of website standards. Partly they achieve this with their highly visual, minimalistic style. You’re also given the option of beginning with a cover page for your website, which can give that important first impression.

Robust ecommerce and storefront features

In our ecommerce feature testing, we found Squarespace has the most extensive set of product-management features around.

Squarespace is a good choice if you’re looking for an eCommerce option that isn’t overly complicated. You’ll find built-in functionality for shipping, taxes, accounting (Xero), chargebacks, discounts, checkout, customer resource management and other product specific additional info.

Drawbacks: Points to consider

Learning curve

Squarespace does have a bit of a learning curve and may not be the ideal choice for a person who is just starting out. This is not entirely a con, but because Squarespace offers so much customization and control over fine details, it takes longer to learn how to use their program.

Is Squarespace easy to use?

Yes! Although you might find it challenging as a first timer, their walkthroughs and guides simplifies the whole thing for you.

To edit certain aspects of the page that you’re currently viewing in the editor, like the page title or a content block, simply hover your cursor over the item you’d like to adjust and another set of menu options will appear.

Comparison: How Squarespace measures against other website builders

Squarespace vs Wix vs Weebly
  • Compared to Wix, Squarespace well designed templates makes it the best website builder for creatives. You would find Squarespace to be a more fitting website creator if you own a restaurant, design business or portfolio. Whereas, you would find Wix to be a more suitable option for you if you just want to build a co-operate website that looks professional.
  • Many users agree that Squarespace Appstore selection is well tailored towards the creative minds as compared to Wix, Weebly and GoDaddy site builder which are more centric to small businesses.
Squarespace vs GoDaddy

Unlike GoDaddy, which required us to use a separate website editor to create an ecommerce site, with Squarespace, you can create a blog, eCommerce or general website without limitations.

Bottom line

Squarespace is by far the best website builder for creatives such as photographers, artist, musicians and restaurants to build beautiful websites for their business. Whether you want to build a website, sell online or build your brand, Squarespace web builder is a feature rich website builder that lets you bring your creative ideas to life.

Wix: Best website builder for small business

Wix is a top small business website builder for new or existing businesses to create a website

Wix best website builder
Wix review

Wix takes the lead as the best and most popular website builder platform well suited for most people and small businesses who wants to get online fast and easy because of the way it balances simplicity, professionalism and affordability.

Wix is often considered the best website builder overall, although that’s debatable for several reasons. Regardless, you will find Wix a great choice if you want to build a basic small business website.

Who its best for:

  • If you are just starting out learning how to build a website
  • If you are a small business owner in need of a basic DIY website builder to build your website.
  • Beginners and starters.
  • People who want to create professional looking websites without code or hiring a website developer.

Highlights (Pros.)

  • Free domain name with website builder.
  • Easy to use.
  • Lots of professionally designed website templates.
  • Beginner friendly user interface.
  • Artificial website design intelligence lets you create your website with the click of a button.

Drawbacks (Cons.)

  • Locked template means you cannot change website template once you publish your website.

Wix Pricing

Wix basic website plan starts at $9/mo. and its basic ecommerce plan starts at $17/mo. You can start for free (if you are comfortable with Wix ads running on your site) and upgrade later if you want to connect your own custom domain name.

Is Wix easy to use?

Yes! Many customers agreed that Wix is easy to use. Online reviews also confirms that the website setup process is great for beginners.

Wix vs other top website builders

How does Wix compare to the rest other website builders in our test?

Wix vs Squarespace

You can create professional looking business websites with Wix, whereas, Squarespace templates are primarily designed for creatives.

Wix vs Weebly

While Weebly has got the easiest website builder user interface for starters, you would find Wix more appealing if professionalism is of concern to your business.

Why we choose it

Lots of professionally designed templates

Wix has over 500 templates that cross many interests and industries. You can also create a design yourself using their blank templates.

The templates are well designed, sophisticated, and match current design standards. In fact, Wix is often coming out with new features and designs that are intuitive and easy even for beginners.

Great features for photography, portfolio websites and artists

For those interested in photography or sharing lots of images, you can create image galleries with 40 different layouts. You can also create private sections of your website that you only allow selected people to view.

For music lovers, you can share music through Spotify and Soundcloud integration, or sell your own music through Wix Music.

Ease of Use

With the design drag-and-drop features, you don’t need extensive knowledge of coding. It runs right in your web browser and doesn’t require downloading any additional software.

Wix ADI (Artificial design intelligence)

Wix also has something truly unique called ADI – Artificial Design Intelligence. It’s like a design assistant. Once you’ve put in your content, it will create a polished looking website for you. Afterwards, you can continue to customize and changing based on your own choosing.

ecommerce

In terms of ecommerce, Wix has a lot to offer. Their builder includes many features like customer email subscriptions, customer reviews, Google maps integration, contact forms, and more. Customers can also schedule bookings through your website.

App Market

More recently, Wix has incorporated an App Market to allow for more functionality for site. Among these apps are things like a “comment section,” an “online store,” a “forum”, etc. You can even include Google AdSense and start making money online through advertisements.

Drawbacks: Things to consider before buying

Limited Storage

If you’re looking for a LOT of storage, you may be disappointed with Wix. While some competitors offer unlimited storage, Wix starts a 500MB for their cheapest plan and caps out at 20GB with their most expensive plan.

Locked templates

Another major downside to Wix’s customization is that templates can’t be changed. To change a website template, you would have to create a new website from your dashboard to choose the new design you like and probably start copying and pasting.

Bottom line

Wix website builder is no doubt one of the most popular and best website builder in 2021 for small businesses and most people to set up a professional looking website fast and easy. It combines ease of use with a powerful set of features and website builder templates to easily build your website. If you are looking for a simple website creator with lots of features to create a website for your small business, Wix is the best website builder for building basic small business website.

We did enjoy using the Wix dashboard. All of the menus were intuitive, and there were dedicated hubs for almost everything (email, customer management, newsletters, Wix stores, SEO, and domain management).

Weebly: Simplest website builder for beginners on a budget

Weebly is a budget friendly easy to use website builder

If simplicity and ease of use is what matters to you the most in a website builder, you will find Weebly to be a perfect fit to build your website. Weebly is one of the top services available for building a website because of the unmatched simplicity of its website editor and ease of use.

In addition to that, Weebly is often considered a free website builder, because of how robust and generous its free site creator plans are.

Who its best for:

  • Beginners and starters in need of a really very simple website builder.
  • Small business owners who need more freedom and space than what Wix offers.
  • Small businesses or organizations in search of a website builder that lets them add large number of web pages.
  • Ecommerce businesses.
  • People who need a free website builder and hosting.

Highlights (Pros.)

  • It’s the simplest website builder to use.
  • The free website builder plan on Weebly lets you create a free website without restrictions. You would still have to upgrade though, if you want to use your own custom domain.
  • Free website builder with free domain.
  • A very solid ecommerce platform to start selling online.

Drawbacks (Cons.)

  • Too basic.

Weebly is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2007. It currently hosts over 40 million websites, and like Wix, they’re a strong presence in the DIY – Do it yourself website building market.

Weebly Pricing

Weebly basic plan starts at $5/mo. and goes all the way to $25/mo. for small business ecommerce plans. The free website builder plan lets you create a free website.

Is Weebly easy to use?

Yes! The foundation of Weebly is that it is the simplest website building platform online. We found Weebly interface very easy to navigate and beginners friendly.

What makes Weebly stand out

These are some of the things that sets Weebly apart from its competitors:

  • Weebly has one of the cheapest website builders plans available.
  • Weebly lets you create a standard looking website for free, but with its branded domain of course.
  • Weebly uses ecommerce by square for its online store builder, which a top-notch service for seamless online payment processing.
  • Their content management system is well laid out to support large websites. No jokes, you can have over 100 pages on a single Weebly site. No other website builder allows that.

Weebly vs Wix vs Squarespace

  • In terms of simplicity and ease of use, Weebly is a clear winner as compared to Squarespace, GoDaddy and Wix.
  • Although Weebly has got dozens of responsive mobile friendly themes that can make your blog, portfolio, or eCommerce site look classic, they are not as sophisticated to what you will see on Wix or Squarespace.

Shopify: Best ecommerce site builder for online store

A good ecommerce platform for building online stores

Shopify logo

Shopify beats every other website builder hands down as the best ecommerce website builder for online store. The reason obviously is due to the fact that unlike the other website builders, Shopify is originally built as a small business ecommerce website builder.

Best for:

  • Creating an online store.
  • Businesses or individuals who wants to build a basic or full fledge ecommerce business.
  • People who want to start drop shipping.
  • People who need a low-cost ecommerce platform to start selling online.

Highlights (Pros.)

  • Entry level ecommerce plan to encourage small business owners.
  • Lots of inbuilt ecommerce features to help you sell online.

Drawbacks (Cons.)

  • It’s not as cheap as the other website builders.

Shopify pricing

Shopify’s basic ecommerce plan for new businesses starts at $29/mo. and gives you everything you need to launch and manage your online store.

Is Shopify easy to use?

Yes! The Shopify ecommerce site builder user interface is pretty much easy to use. Even as a beginner, you can set up an online store with Shopify ecommerce site builder.

Are there free online store templates that I can use?

Shopify has a library of well-crafted ecommerce templates to fit any kind of online store you want to start, from fashion, style and crafts to the more professional stores like digital products, visual designs and health. There are free and premium templates you can choose from.

What sets Shopify apart from the other website builders

  • Shopify is a small business ecommerce website builder period!
  • While the other website builders are primarily made to cater for individuals and small businesses who wants to create their own website without code, Shopify was created with a sole aim of helping local store owners take their trade online.

Shopify vs Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace

To compare Shopify with the likes of Wix, Squarespace and Weebly is like comparing MS Excel to MS word. The difference between Shopify and other website builders such as Wix and Squarespace is: Shopify is a full fledge ecommerce website builder, while Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are small business website builders.

Shopify is best compared against other full-fledged ecommerce site builders such as WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Squareup and Volusion.

Other Comparable Website Builders Worth Considering

The following website builders passed our criteria, but didn’t stand out enough to earn our recommendation.

  • WordPress (wordpress.com) is one of the most popular website builders on the market. If you need a complete CMS-type (content management system) solution and have a little more technical aptitude (or access to folks that do), WordPress is hard to beat.
  • Jimdo (jimdo.com) is a close second to the best free website builder, Weebly. However, its lackluster templates and lack of live chat support made us think twice about pinning a ribbon on it.
  • Zoho Sites offers an extensive degree of customization options for those who have a basic knowledge of code. However, it handles images poorly (which is a big no-no these days) and the templates are littered with cheesy stock photos.

Whether you’re a small business owner, an artist, a photographer, a writer or a consultant wanting to build your own website, there’s a website builder out there for you.

All in all, website builders are a fantastic option for tech beginners and small businesses who need an affordable and professional website up-and-running quickly.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional web team and don’t want to mess around with complicated customization: Website builders make getting online quick and painless.

Website Building: Frequently Asked Questions

A Beginners Guide to Website Builders

How website builder works

Online website builders are designed to be very easy to use, and allows anyone whether beginners or experienced web designers, to create a fully functional website within minutes, simply by using a drag-and-drop web page editor.

Generally, users create an account with the website builder company, select from dozens of website templates provided to them and then start building their website simply by dragging elements and dropping them to the desired location, same way you move files on your computer.

No coding knowledge, skill or experience is required. Users can then connect their domain name (business name) to the site builder tool hosting their website.

Build and Host Your Website with Ease, No Code Required

A good website builder platform is an all-in-one solution that allows you to create, build, manage and design your website anyhow you want with everything you need to grow online.

Register your domain and build your site

Find the perfect domain name for your website or brand and register it for free or transfer your already existing domain.

With the rise of many online website building platforms on the market, the one big question still remains, how do you know which website builder is the right solution for you to build your own website?

How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Website Type

image of website builder checklist to choose the best website builder

When choosing a website builder to use in creating your website, there are certain fundamental and necessary features to look out for.

While these features are really very easy to find and can be found on many website makers, obviously because they are basic features all good website creation tool should have, it is still worth looking out for, just to be sure.

Choose a website builder based on your website type and needs

Before choosing a website builder, first have a clear picture of the type of site you want to create, the pages you want on your site, things you want displayed and then select a template based on your site preference for editing and customization.

Check for pre-made website templates that fits, to properly structure your website design layout

Every website builder has templates and different styles to choose from. Website templates are basically a frame work that controls the look of your website on the layout, font choices, color schemes and other design factors.

Before choosing a website builder, first have a clear picture of the type of site you want to create, the pages you want on your site, things you want displayed and then select a template based on your site preference for editing and customization.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you may want a photography specific website template that presents your images in a very attractive manner, with the right fonts and contact form for interested clients to contact you.

Drag and Drop Webpage Editors (WYSIWYG)

The term WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get”. It is a term used in website designing meaning, whatever you add or remove stays that way, just as you see it. It is a vital web design/building feature that gives you the ability to move elements around on a web page.

With a drag and drop editor, it becomes possible and easy for you to add, remove or move various sections/functions on your page, including:

  • Text.
  • Images and Videos.
  • Slides and gallery.
  • Spacers and dividers.
  • Navigation menus.
  • Headers and Footers.

Individual pages can be created and manipulated with online website editing tools to make up all of the webpages on your site. These are common features of a good and easy to use web builder platforms that allows you to edit your content easily without any coding knowledge.

Before choosing a website builder for your small business or service website, make sure the WYSIWYG page editor is easy to use and you are comfortable with it. This way it gets easy to create any webpage or change your site layout/design whenever the need arises.

Mobile-Responsiveness

A responsive website is one whose design and functions stays the same and is accessible on any type of browser or device.

As more users continue to browse the web on smartphones than on computer, to get all the site visitors interested in the products or services offered on your website, you need to have a mobile friendly and responsive website. Your website needs to look great across all devices platforms, browsers and operating systems.

When choosing a website builder software, make sure you go with the one that have mobile-responsive templates that adjust your website’s elements to fit the device they are presented on.

How to use a website builder

Launching a mobile-friendly and responsive website isn’t complicated at all.

How do I set up and use a web builder?

  • Choose the most suitable web builder (and hosting) for your project.
  • Goto the web builder platform to create your account.
  • On the website builder platform, click the “Get Started” button.
  • Signup for a free account and confirm your email address.
  • Log on to your website creator dashboard.
  • Click “Create new website” to start building your new site.
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How to Create a Free Website

Follow these 6 simple steps to build a website today:

  1. Choose a suitable website builder and signup for free. Choose any of the best website builder for your website type and signup for free to get started.
  2. Choose what kind of website you want to create. Select the type of website you want to create.
  3. Pick a website template for your site design and layout structure.
  4. Customize your site as you want. Add visual design features, text, galleries, videos & more.
  5. Connect your domain name or register one for free.
  6. Publish your website and go live.
website building and design idea icon

Start Building Your Online Presence

Design and build your own high-quality websites.

Use the visual drag and drop webpage editors on your website builder to design your website professionally. Each website builder has a WYSIWYG visual editor that lets you design your website in real time.

Use unique themes and templates to customize your website

Choose your website template that fits your industry and customize anything you want – designer fonts and color palettes to best represent your personal brand and professional needs.

Optimize your website for search engines to attract more customers

Pick from a robust suite of professional SEO tools, apps and features to improve your website visibility online and grow your organic search traffic.

What’s The Best Small Business Website Builder?

Finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners, considering the fact that website makers are created to serve different purposes across various categories of users to create different types of websites.

Some of the best website builders include Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Shopify ecommerce website builder for small business.

Top 3 Website Builders for Small Business

From easy website builders for beginners to website builder for small business, creatives and online store. These website builders outperform the rest.

Wix website builder

The most popular website builder.

wix

As one of the largest CMS options with over 110 million users in 190 countries, Wix has something for everyone. Whether you’re a business owner, musician, student, passionate blogger, or eCommerce entrepreneur, they provide all the tools and features you need to start your website from scratch and grow.

  • Free plan: Yes
  • Ecommerce: Yes
  • Easy to use

Squarespace website builder

Great for creatives who also wants to sell online.

squarespace

If you need a website creator with the best templates to build beautiful websites for photography, restaurants & creatives, Squarespace has the best designs.

  • Free plan: No (14 days trial)
  • Ecommerce: Yes
  • Easy to us

Weebly website builder

A more robust option for small business websites.

weebly.com

Weebly is a beginners friendly simple website builder with an easy-to-use drag and drop page builder you can use to create your personal or business website.

  • Free website builder plan: Yes
  • Ecommerce: Yes
  • Simple & easy to use

Best Website Makers: In Summary

The best website builder for most people and small businesses is Wix. Squarespace is a great choice for creatives who wants to build stunning websites and Shopify is the best website builder for creating an online store or building an ecommerce website.

Which site maker is right for your type of website?

  • If you are a beginner or just getting started building websites, the most basic website builder with entry level prices and features for most people and small businesses to create professional looking website is Wix.
  • For creatives such as artists, musicians, photographers and restaurant owners who wants to create a website for their crafts, the best website builder with amazing designs to choose from is Squarespace.
  • If you want to create an online store or start an ecommerce business, Shopify has the best ecommerce platform that’s easy to use.
  • If you want to build a basic website such as nonprofit organization, club or resume, GoDaddy has the cheapest website builder for building basic no-frills websites.

Gone are the days when creating a website would require you to code, or otherwise employ the services of a web designer to help you build your website.

Today, with tons of new site building tools and software’s available, creating a website now simply requires a good website builder and your creative ideas to design and customize your website as you like.

It’s never been easier to set up a well-designed and professional looking website. Well-known DIY site building services, such as Squarespace and Wix, are constantly improving and adding new capabilities.

Having reviewed various website builders to aid an easy site creation without any coding knowledge, choose the best website builder well suited enough for your website creation and signup for free to start building your website today.

References and Resources