Last updated: January 30, 2023
As a small business owner, creating an online presence can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with coding. And with 50 percent of consumers believing that website design is essential to successful branding, it’s easy to see why.
But don’t worry, there are numerous website builders available that can make the process easy and stress-free, without requiring any coding.
But with so many options on the market, it’s almost impossible to determine which one is the best fit for your business. That’s why here at Upscribe, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the top website builders for you to choose from.
So, whether you’re looking to create a simple brochure website or a more complex ecommerce platform, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!
What is a website builder?
Before diving into the world of website building, it’s necessary to grasp what a website builder is. If you’re unfamiliar, a website builder is a tool that designs and builds a website without any coding.
So even if you’re a coding newbie, a website builder does the heavy lifting for you. It empowers individuals and businesses to take control of their online presence, without requiring a designer or developer.
The user-friendly drag-and-drop editors, templates, and customizability options make it easy for users to create professional-looking websites instantly.
Why should I use a website builder?
Quick set up
You don’t need an ROI calculator to tell you that having no online presence can cost you both customers and revenue. And with the average turnaround time for a professional website being two months, it’s easy to see why website builders are making an impact.
Website builders simplify and streamline the creation process by providing pre-designed templates, pre-populated web pages, and ready-to-use applications.
No need to code
As a small business owner, time is a valuable commodity, and learning to code can be a lengthy process. Thankfully, the best website builders are tailored to users with little to no technical knowledge.
With user-friendly interfaces and drag-and-drop technology, website builders eliminate the need for coding altogether. Essentially making the website creation process a breeze. And best of all, you won’t face any coding errors along the way!
Affordable web design
With WebFX research pricing professional web design between $5,000 and $55,000 (that’s not even including maintenance costs!), hiring a professional can eat into your budget.
Thankfully, website builders offer a cost-effective alternative with price points ranging from free to a manageable $5-$40 per month, so you won’t have to break the bank. Also, you won’t need to hire a designer to add additional content and updates.
Criteria to consider when choosing a website builder
When it comes to building a website, ease of use should be your top priority. Look for a website builder with intuitive editing tools that can shape the perfect website in a few clicks. Features should create a seamless user experience where changing colors, adding new elements, and uploading content is as easy as pie.
As 92.6% of internet users are on smartphones, making your website mobile-friendly is crucial. The best way to ensure this is by building a responsive website. A responsive website automatically arranges its content to look good on any screen size. So look for a website builder that offers responsive options and templates.
The features of website builders differ from one to another, therefore you need to consider what goals you’re looking to accomplish with your website. Once established, you can find the best builder with features catered to your needs. So before taking your next step, consider your website builder’s multilingual capabilities, SEO tools, customization options, and supported integrations.
For instance, if you’re running a subscription storefront, integrating with third-party sites like Upscribe can transform your subscription management for the better. Not only can it improve purchase frequency via stellar email campaigns, but Upscribe can manage and scale your subscriptions too.
The best website builders for you
With so many options available, choosing the right website builder for your needs can be overwhelming. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best website builders, complete with key features, pricing, and pros & cons. Let’s get started:
With over 1.7 million merchants, Shopify is one of the most popular online website builders. With its focus on small to medium-sized businesses, if you’re looking to sell products online, Shopify’s advanced ecommerce features put it head and shoulders above the rest.
- Streamlined sales processes: Shopify offers a variety of ecommerce features such as inventory management, payment processing, and tracking customer behaviors. Shopify’s scalability enables you to sell on multiple channels, including social media platforms and marketplaces.
- Easy third-party integration: Shopify’s app store has over 8,000 apps and integrations that boost your site’s functionality. Tools like Upscribe help deliver a unique customer experience via subscription management, Shopify loyalty programs, and automated email communications.
- Simple customization: Shopify is an entirely customizable platform boasting 70 slick templates. All templates can be easily adjusted to match your brand.
Shopify offers a range of attractive pricing options for their website hosting and ecommerce features, starting at $29 and going up to $299 per month. While the prices may seem steep for those on a budget, its exceptional features fit the needs of any small business.
Pros & cons
- First-rate range of apps and extensions
- Superior SEO tools like Google Analytics and social media integration
- Free online templates are available
- Dropshipping options available
- Free trial
- Most templates require an extra cost
GoDaddy is a website builder that uses A.I.-powered insight to help build your online presence and extend your reach. Requiring zero technical skills, GoDaddy includes web hosting, domain name registration, and online marketing tools.
- Website wizardly: From booking appointments to selling products, GoDaddy has you covered. Plus, the platform’s smooth interface makes managing your products hassle-free.
- Uses AI for quick design: GoDaddy has over 100 eye-catching caliber templates to choose from. GoDaddy InSight helps you build the website of your dreams with drop-down menus and click-and-drag capabilities.
- Responsive design: Even on the small screen, GoDaddy automatically converts your site to adapt to any mobile device.
If you’re a start-up with a smaller budget, GoDaddy’s pricing is incredibly accessible. Ranging from $9.99 to $16.99 per month, GoDaddy’s basic plan includes features like 24/7 support and SSL security. As you upgrade, prices include SEO tools and scalability.
Pro & Cons
- Powerful SEO tools for branding
Wix is an in-demand website builder designed with the end user in mind. If you want to boost your Google rankings, Wix has all the necessary tools in its back pocket. From high-quality SEO keywords to Google Analytics, Wix will expand your reach in no time.
- SEO tools: With Wix’s recent partnership with Semrush, users can access Semrush’s first-rate SEO keyword data through Wix’s dashboard.
- Customizable templates: Wix’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface works with its 800+ website templates, making it perfect for beginners. Additionally, Wix also includes a one-page website that’s entirely free.
- Large app market: choose from over 200 apps and services, from shipping features to communication and financial tools.
Wix includes four price plans for non-ecommerce websites and four ecommerce-specific plans. All price plans contain 24/7 support, however, unless you upgrade, you miss out on subscriptions, advanced shipping, and selling on marketplaces.
Pros & cons
- No SEO tools available on low-tier plans
- Additional apps are costly
Squarespace’s aesthetically appealing designs help users rise above the crowd. From artists to entrepreneurs, Squarespace’s modern and elegant templates are ideal for users in the creative field. So if you’re looking for style as well as substance, Squarespace is for you.
- Sensational, modern designs: If you need more convincing about Squarespace’s creativity, the website builder has won awards for its design capabilities. Crafted by pro designers, its templates are minimalistic and eye-catching.
- User-friendly editor: With over 100 stunning templates, its user-friendly back-end experience makes changing your website as easy as ABC.
- Ecommerce tools: Squarespace integrates excellent analytics and reporting features like traffic overview, engagement levels, and top products.
Squarespace offers a relatively simple pricing structure, with all plans including mobile-optimization. Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan but a 14-day free trial is available. For small businesses, a $23 per month Business plan would be your best option.
Pros & cons
- Stunning, award-winning design
- Integrated with ShipStation
- User-friendly editor
- Ideal for small businesses
- Customizability is limited
- Site speed can be affected due to heavy designs
With Weebly, small and midsize businesses can access a free website with customizable web page designs and tools. Weebly also offers ecommerce solutions, complete with shopping cart and inventory management.
- Easy to use: With Weebly, users can choose a design based on their industry or pick a template for themselves. It’s also super easy to make changes and add chatbots.
- SEO tools: Weebly lets you edit your meta titles and customize your URLs.
- Full ecommerce suite of features: These include inventory tracking and filtered product search so customers can find specific items easily. Plus, the ability to sell all manor of products, including physical and digital products, and subscriptions.
With a free plan available, signing up for Weebly is a no-brainer. In terms of value for money, Weebly ranks highly. For just $12 per month, you can access pro features that include unlimited storage and the option to accept payments through third-party providers.
Pros & cons
- Designs aren’t as eye-catching
- The basic plan is required to access apps
We hope our ultimate guide has narrowed down the search and made your decision-making process that little bit easier.
But before making your pick, remember integrating with Upscribe can elevate your email subscribers to VIP status. For instance, Upscribe can customize Shopify checkout optimization by creating a seamless experience that turns customers into returning customers.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of integrating your site with Upscribe, schedule a demo today.