Website Developer & Designer.

Been involved with website development since 2004.

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Website builders use drag and dropWebsite builders can be a good option for people who don’t have money to hire web developer.

Using a website builder is also one of the fastest ways to set up your website.

Many platforms provide simple, drag and drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward.

However, not all website platforms are equal. Some are more reliable than others while some more flexible than others.

We, at WebsiteSetup.org decided to test 10 most popular website building tools on the market in 2019.

But first, read this…

Website builders vs. hiring a web developer?

A good custom website could easily cost $2000 (on the low end). Making changes can still require a freelance designer and a webmaster to help you continually update your site (read: you need spend additional $$$).

Yet, for only a few dollars per month, some of the website builders could give you almost everything you’d ever want at less than 1% of the cost.

Not to mention, you can easily login yourself and change a copy, upload images, or add new pages within seconds (all without calling for tech support).

Website builders are best for:

Website builders are the perfect solution for individuals or small businesses with low budgets. Just to name few of them:

  • small business owners
  • freelancers
  • writers
  • bloggers
  • musicians
  • artists
  • photographers
  • wedding planners
  • and so on…
Click to see our review process

Top 10 Website Builders in 2019

Full disclosure: We may earn a commission if you end up purchasing a website builder through the links in this review. This is how we keep WebsiteSetup.org up and running and there are no extra costs to you at all. Regardless, we only recommend website builders that we’ve personally used and found reliable and simple.

 WEBSITE BUILDER PLAN COST  LOAD TIME  UPTIME  USABILITY  OUR RATING
1. Wix.com $11.00 – $35.00 581ms 99.98% BEST ★★★★★
2. SiteBuilder.com $3.84* – $9.22* 462ms 99.99% GOOD ★★★★
3. Site123 $10.80 – $28.80 659ms 99.97% GOOD ★★★★
4. Jimdo.com $9.00 – $39.00 917ms 99.84% AVERAGE ★★★
5. Squarespace.com $12.00 – $40.00 326ms 99.98% AVERAGE ★★★
6. GoDaddy.com $5.99 – $19.99 624ms 99.99% AVERAGE ★★★
7. WordPress.com $8.00 – $45.00 304ms 99.99% AVERAGE ★★
8. Weebly.com $12.00 – $38.00 882ms 99.97% CONFUSING ★★
9. Webs.com $12.99 – $22.99 942ms 99.83% CONFUSING
10. Web.com BAD BILLING

*Limited introductory price

Without further ado, let’s dive into a detailed review of each website builder. Starting with the best, narrowing it down until we reach the ones to avoid.

1. Wix.com – Easy to Use Website Builder for Small Business

Wix website builder

CONS of Wix

  • Each email account costs $6/mo (through Google G Suite).
  • No live chat, but 24/7 phone support and via tickets.

PROS of Wix

  • Most popular website builder on the market, and well-established, hosting more than 100 million users worldwide. There’s a reason so many people use it.
  • Cheap option for eCommerce stores (plans starting $20/mo). This includes everything from simple products to even bookings and registration for events.
  • Wix has one of the biggest libraries of site templates, boasting over 500 “designer-made” options. They are good for different industries/categories.
  • Very simple and easy to use. The customization options are almost endless. And you can tweak your site in a matter of seconds with their easy to navigate drag and drop features.

Wix builder usability

  • You can build just about any site imaginable with Wix software. These include typical eCommerce features that support multiple different payment methods, but it also includes a customizable music player, video uploads to the media gallery, events with invitations and bookings, even online ordering for restaurants.
  • We submitted a support ticket with a few questions for their customer service department and received this thorough reply about 12 hours later. Pretty good overall.

Wix Support

  • Our Wix test site has seen decent uptime over the last six months of 99.98% (and solid speed at ~581ms).
Wix performance last 6 months
Wix website builder last 6-month speed and uptime
  • Wix also offers long-term discounts. The longer you prepay, the more you win. We opted for the annual plan and got a free domain in the process, paying just $132.00 for both, whois privacy protection was extra though, but that’s common. You can also purchase two or even three years plans to save as much as $216.

Wix cost

Recommended? YES.

Wix was one of the easiest site builders we have ever tested.

And yet, it’s simple to use, fast and reliable.

There are so many themes to choose from. They’re all well designed, too. The extra features that Wix sites include mean that you can basically use it for any purpose, from a simple blog to an advanced restaurant site or eCommerce store.

Plus, the budget-friendly pricing is perfect for even your personal or hobby site.

Wix is used by millions of small business owners on a daily basis. You can test them out for free…

Create a Website on Wix.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

2. SiteBuilder – Best “Cheap” Website Builder

SiteBuilder review

CONS of SiteBuilder

  • Emails cost extra at $6/monthly through Google’s GSuite. (You’ll notice that this is a pretty common tactic across most website builders on this list.)
  • Renewal prices are 2x higher than introductory price ($3.84/mo renews at $7.68/mo)

PROS of SiteBuilder 

  • All SiteBuilder plans are completely unlimited. There are no restrictions for bandwidth or maximum storage.
  • With over 1,200 up-to-date template options, we honestly don’t think you’ll find more design options to pick from.
  • As mentioned, they boast an awesome (and affordable) e-commerce product to build a fully-functioning online store. Each template is extremely easy to customize as well. Just point, click and adjust. See example below:

SiteBuilder Usability

  • SiteBuilder gives its users a free domain name for the first year without forcing any ads on your site under any plan, either.
  • Our test site saw excellent uptime over the last six months, only going down for about nine minutes total in four outages. That’s almost as good as it gets with over 99.99%.
SiteBuilder performance last 6 month statistics
Sitebuilder average uptime and speed (last 6 months)
  • SiteBuilder’s friendly support rep hopped on our live chat session within seconds. They were helpful throughout, answering our (many) questions in personal detail. They didn’t just link out to a bunch of support docs and force us to manually comb through, looking for a needle in a haystack. Very positive experience!

SiteBuilder Live Chat

  • They are also currently running a massive 50% discount. So if you purchase a 12 or 24-month plan, you’ll not only get a free domain for 1 year, but a lot of savings, too. For example, we paid $143.76 for two full years. The $16 domain was free as well. Just keep in mind that renewal prices will adjust back to the normal rate. That means you’ll often lose the initial discount. You’ll notice below that pretty much all website builders do this. Therefore, try to lock in a longer term if possible to save the most.

Sitebuilder pricing

Recommended? YES.

There are a lot of theme options that can be easily modified by dragging and dropping sections.

The current promotions they’re running right now are awesome, too. You get a free domain name for the entire first year. And, the e-commerce plan is significantly less than any other website builder on this list.

All of those reasons, plus near-flawless uptime, make it an excellent place to start with.

SiteBuilder is very easy to use, professional and reliable website builder that is affordable.

Create a Website on SiteBuilder.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

3. Site123 – Best Website Builder for Very Small Websites

Site123 website builder

CONS of Site123

  • You need to upgrade your plan to get more custom email accounts. Not possible to buy them separately.
  • Copy-past customer support answers. For example, we tried asking how many users they have, how many template options, etc. Yet, they wouldn’t be transparent and answer anything, instead of responding with, “In our webtool support department we do not have access to information concerning how many clients we have.” Seems more like they just didn’t feel like finding the answer for us. And when we asked a few other standard questions, they would just give us a link for the answer. Not very professional, but at least they have a 24/7 live support.

Site123 Customer Service

PROS of Site123

  • They include a free plan to test out their website building tool. It’s very limited, but you can get an idea of how Site123 works.
  • Cheapest e-commerce plan starts at $22.80 and is heavily supported with a huge, dedicated help section.
  • From what we can tell (they wouldn’t confirm), there are at least a 250+ design templates to choose from. They’re both visually pleasing and fit many different industries. You can use their tools to reorder pages or posts in minutes by clicking and dragging in place:

Site123's drag and drop function

  • Site123 is another website builder that delivers a strong uptime of 99.97%, which is slightly less than SiteBuilder.
Site123 performance statistics
Site123 average uptime and speed (last 6 months)
  • Basic plan pricing is good if you only need a simple, content-driven site or blog. We only paid $129.60 for the year, which also included the domain name.

Site123 pricing

Recommended?

Overall, we would recommend it for relatively simple sites. There are a lot of design template choices, uptime and speed was strong, too. However, the customer support and the editor were a little lacking, though.

You can try using it for bigger, more complicated sites. But it also gets expensive really fast.

Therefore, it might be a good alternative vs. getting a custom site built out. Just be ready to spend a decent amount over the course of a year if that’s the route you’re going with.

Create a Website on Site123.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

4. Jimdo – Very Intuitive Builder, But Limited Templates (16 Only)

jimdo website builder

CONS of Jimdo

  • Unlike GoDaddy Website builder (1,500 + themes), Jimdo comes with ONLY 16 themes.
  • Support for the cheapest plan can take 1-2 business days and they don’t have a phone to call (in case you need urgent help)
  • Our website performance isn’t good as others – 49 outages in the last 6-months and a speed of 917ms. Nothing too good…
Jimdo performance and speed
Jimdo average uptime and speed (last 6 months)

PROS of Jimdo

  • Pricing was advertised as $9.00/month and the actual total was exactly $108 for one year. No hidden fees and fairly low cost.

Jimdo plans and cost

  • We managed to get our test site up and running within less than 20 minutes.
  • Extra email accounts are very cheap (compared to other website builder software), costing only $1/mo a piece.
  • Similarly to others, they offer their users a free domain for 1 year (renews at $20/year afterwards) and their cheapest online store plan is affordable, too – $19/mo.

Recommended?

Yes and no…

The initial design is very clean and neat. It’s more contemporary than some of the ones we’ve already reviewed here.

They offer cheap email accounts and unlimited products on their e-commerce plans. Their website builder is simple and straightforward.

However, the biggest issue is with their speed and uptime – it’s slightly unreliable. And the fact that they only have 16 templates and your customization options are limited to only relatively basic changes.

Great for a one-page-website. Need something bigger? You’d be better off with Wix.

Visit Jimdo.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

5. Squarespace – Best Website Builder for Photographers

Squarespace website builder

CONS of Squarespace

  • High cost. A standard website starts between $12-18/month, with online stores increasing to $26-40/month. And these include the discount for paying annually. Not only are they more expensive on average, but the high-end eCommerce price is the most expensive, too – $40/mo. Luckily, we paid as much as stated on their website and not a penny more:

Squarespace pricing

Squarespace ecommerce plans

  • Unfortunately, these high prices don’t include email accounts. Those will still set you back an extra $5/month for each.
  • Our Squarespace support experience was not great. There are tons of resources available, but that’s also kinda the problem. There’s too much stuff and it’s not easy to find your way. We went looking for the live chat option, and unfortunately, that wasn’t much better. In order to reach the live chat, we had to fill out three drop-down boxes regarding our issue. Then, it still tries to send you over to an article or email. This repeated multiple times while we were waiting in the queue. They kept trying to send “how-to” articles, instead. Finally, we got on with an agent. But even that was slow. The entire process took around twenty minutes to get a simple answer to our question. And then, how did the support rep help? By sending us another link to a how-to article.

Squarespace live chat

  • Email accounts cost $6/mo extra through Google Suite.

PROS of Squarespace

  • Despite the high price, Squarespace is probably the best pick for individuals who need image-based websites. Think of photographers and wedding planners.
  • Squarespace’s 200+ design templates that look good. Really good. They might be the most ‘professional’ looking options out there.
  • Squarespace sites almost look and feel custom. But they still have the same intuitive editor that allows you to customize things in seconds.

Squarespace website builder usability

  • All of their plans have no storage or bandwidth restrictions.
  • Squarespace’s performance is good. The 99.98% uptime over the past six months is as good and reassuring. Speed is one of the fastest, too – averaging 326ms.
Squarespace last 6 month statistics
Squarespace average uptime and speed (last 6 months)

Recommended?

Yes and no. If you’re starting a site in a design-centric niche (think: fashion), it might be worth springing a few extra bucks for Squarespace.

Otherwise, for the vast majority of other people, it’s probably not worth the high price tag when you can get similar features for significantly less.

Visit Squarespace.com
Here is our 5-minute test site.

6. GoDaddy – Flexible, But Little Confusing Website Builder

godaddy website builder

CONS of GoDaddy Website Builder

  • Emails can get pretty expensive – $9.99/mo for each. And they don’t integrate with Google but with Microsoft Office – not the best option for beginners.
  • We tried to quickly get some questions answered on their live chat. We logged on, and the estimated wait time was 35 minutes! Really? For “live” chat? By this point in time, we had already been able to research everything on their site to be able to answer our questions. But we didn’t want to give up just yet. When a rep finally connected, they immediately said, “To access your account we will need your 4 digit support PIN. Please provide your PIN with this secure form I am sending you.” But… what if I didn’t have an account? What if I was just looking to buy and had a few simple questions?

GoDaddy Customer Service

  • GoDaddy has multiple upsells making navigating very difficult. They offer 1-year free domain name, but this renews at $17.99/mo.

PROS of GoDaddy Website Builder

  • GoDaddy offers 1500+ design and template options, all broken down into categories based on the site you want to create and if you don’t like it you can just switch to another one.
  • All of the templates feature the same drag-and-drop interface that most website builders now offer. GoDaddy’s isn’t quite as intuitive as Wix, but it’s still decent.

GoDaddy builder usability

  • Ecommerce is fully supported, as is a handy scheduling feature. This might be perfect for coaches who want to bill for their time and help clients schedule themselves into their calendar.
  • GoDaddy might be one of the only site builders that offers a free month trial. That’s a good deal which allows you to test things out and refund before getting locked into a much bigger annual commitment.
  • We’ve been pleasantly blown away by how solid the performance for each site builder has been. GoDaddy offers another 99.99% uptime, only going down once for two minutes.

GoDaddy Performance last 6-months

  • GoDaddy is slightly more expensive than the other alternatives we’ve seen so far. We paid $143.86 for the year. The domain cost another $14.60. including tax.

GoDaddy pricing for cheapest plan

Recommended?

Yes and no.

GoDaddy’s website builder isn’t terrible. But it’s not great, either.

We found others on this list, like Wix, and Sitebuilder, to be much stronger overall.

In addition, the eCommerce plans were expensive and we can’t overlook the half-hour “live” chat session, either.

Visit GoDaddy.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

7. WordPress – Best Builder for Bloggers and Blogs

WordPress.com review

CONS of WordPress.com

  • WordPress is not the best option for complete beginners as it requires more work and some technical skills.
  • Free domain is not included in many plans. Buying a domain name through WordPress.com will cost you $22/year (not the cheapest)
  • Many cheaper plans are very limited. For example, not all templates are included in all plans and you aren’t allowed to add PayPal buttons.
  • WordPress has 200+ themes to choose from, but not all of them can be used to drag and drop.

PROS of WordPress.com

  • WordPress is the most popular software to create a website. Nearly 50% of top websites run on WordPress engine.
  • As long as you’re OK with learning WordPress, it can be an excellent eCommerce option. Adding an online store to your site will cost you extra on pretty much all site builders. However, it’s free on WordPress with WooCommerce.
  • We managed to create a pretty good test site – see it yourself.

GoDaddy Website Builder Usability

  • WordPress had a chat-with-us form (for paid users). And a rep connected within three minutes. The rep was more than helpful, ready to help fix our problem (as opposed to just sending us a how-to link).WordPress Live Chat Support
  • If you don’t want to set up your own hosting account, you can pay for it through WordPress directly. The Personal plan for most sites is pretty affordable at only $60/year. When we signed up the Personal plan cost $4.00 a month, and that’s exactly what we were billed:

WordPress plan cost

  • And the last bit of good news is that WordPress obviously knows how to host a site, delivering an untouchable >99.99% uptime and ~300ms load time. Not bad.
WordPress.com last uptime and speed stats
WordPress.com average uptime and speed (last 6 months)

Recommended?

Not for beginners.

WordPress is perfect for advanced users who want more control, and are willing to handle the workload.

It’s a good ‘next step’ beyond a typical website builder. But it requires a lot more maintenance and has a bigger learning curve.

Beginners, or even people who just don’t want to have to do all the upkeep on a WordPress site, should probably stick to a more traditional website builder.

Visit WordPress.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

8. Weebly – Too Average for Serious Use

Weebly homepage

CONS of Weebly

  • Weebly has only 60 themes to choose from. And many of them haven’t been updated for a while…
  • Each email costs $5 a pop.
  • Weebly’s cheapest plans are very limited, forcing you to upgrade later.
  • Weebly, over the last six months, saw an uptime of 99.97% – a bit short of the 99.99% and even 100% from what others on this list provide.
Weebly last 6 month statistics
Weebly average uptime and speed (last 6 months)

PROS of Weebly

  • Weebly offers limited free plan. You can try it out on a small scale before paying.
  • They also offer a 15-day free trial.
  • Weebly includes hundreds of great templates organized by type, including drag-and-drop options for eCommerce, too.
  • Our favorite Weebly feature was the intuitive editor. It was very easy to customize site options and build a website.

Weebly is easy to use

  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage at a rather cheap cost:

Weebly Billing and pricing

  • The support agent was quick and helped provide answers to all of our questions… without sending an article link. Very efficient.

Weebly Live Chat

Recommended?

Not really.

Weebly isn’t bad by any stretch. In fact, we really like a few features (like that editor). They even offer a free plan and free trial, so you can still test them out.

However, the high eCommerce cost and spotty site performance, there are just much better options on this list.

Visit Weebly.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

9. Webs – Performance and Slow Speed Issues

webs builder review

CONS of Webs

  • Similarly to Site123 website builder, you need to upgrade to get access to more email accounts. Not good for users.
  • Compared to others on this list, Webs design templates did seem a touch outdated. It also wasn’t as easy to edit.

Webs usability gif

  • Different site builder, same story. Cheapest – $5.99/mo plan is very limited. E-commerce plans are more expensive, starting at $22.99/month paid annually.

Webs Pricing

  • Higher renewal rates. This is a perfect example of what happens when discounts expire. We’ve had this test site for a few years now. And you’ll see in the image above that years two and three were more expensive. The new customer discount expired. Hence, if you see a website builder offering two or 3-year terms, you’re better off paying for it to save as much as possible with the new customer pricing.

Webs Receipt

  • Webs performance let us down a little. The uptime was only 99.83% over the past few months, meaning our site has spent a full day completely down. No website, no customers!
webs com speed and uptime issues
Webs.com average uptime and speed (last 6 months)

PROS of Webs

  • Webs.com hosts over 55 million sites. Mostly through web hosting.
  • They provide a lot of themes and templates to choose from, over 400.
  • Webs also provided good customer service experience. Live chat only takes a few seconds to get started, and the agent was very helpful.

Webs customer support

Recommended?

No.

Webs builder is fine. But way behind most of the other options on this list.

The templates are a little outdated. The performance hasn’t been very good. And the pricing seems kinda high based on what we’ve seen.

Visit Webs.com
Here’s our 5-minute test site.

10. Web – Bad Billing Practices, Difficult Refund Process

Web.com review

We wanted to review Web.com. We see them, everywhere online, so they must be doing a ton of promotion. But we didn’t actually sign up and pay for them.

  • ❌ First and foremost, the entire billing process seemed shady. We couldn’t believe how many upsells there were. And the only way to cancel your plan — in 2018 going on 2019 — is to CALL them. Crazy, right?

Web.com pricing is misleading

  • ❌ The other problem we ran into was that they don’t actually tell you what you’re getting. The ‘Do It Yourself plan, for example, is incredibly vague.
  • ❌ Even though they have a big selection of themes, almost all of them look bad. Not only does the design leave a lot to be desired, but the actual format and layouts are outdated, too.
  • ❌ There doesn’t seem to be any drag-and-drop editor. Instead, all you can do is change basic things without actually customizing the site.
  • ❌ Their other reviews online from other customers are worrying. Check out this one:
  • “How do I get any Senior Executive at web.com to figure out what is going on with my website? It has been down for more than 2 weeks. 31 trouble tickets. Simple domain name changes and now no website, and apparently no archive, cache, or even record that I have been a customer since 2001!”
  • ❌ We’ve saved the best part for last. Web.com starts at $22.00/month! That makes a ‘basic’ site with them more expensive than Wix, SiteBuilder, and even Squarespace. So we couldn’t bring ourselves to sign up and pay them money for the headache.

Why MOST ‘Free’ Website Builders Aren’t Free

Most of these platforms reviewed claim to have some ‘free’ option.

Sounds perfect, right?!

That’s what we thought too, initially. However, it’s also a little too good to be true.

Here are three problems we ran into:

Problem #1 – No Domain Name

You’ve spent minutes (or hours) putting your brand new ‘free’ website together and you’re almost ready to hit the Publish button to make it live to the world.

The only problem is, you still need a domain name.

The ‘free’ option that most website builders provide you with are amateurish looking web addresses like:

  • YourBusiness.My-Free-Site.com
  • YourBusiness.Weebly.com

Professional? Nope.

Unique? Nope.

Think people will take you seriously? Nope.

Assuming this website is for some commercial or professional reason (i.e. you want to make money from it), credibility is the key. Instead, you’ll want something that looks like YourBusiness.com or YourSite.com.

Some of these website builders below do provide some ‘free domain name’ offer. But there are restrictions which we’ll explore soon.

Problem #2 – Plan Limitations

‘Free’ versions sound great. Until you read the fine print.

Basically, you’re going to be forced to pony up some cash for basically any type of extra or upgrade. For example:

  • Want to choose more than 10 themes/layouts? You need to pay.
  • Want to have a personal email account like [email protected]? You need to pay for that.
  • Want certain features like contact form, search box or videos? You need to pay.
  • Want to add a small eCommerce shop? You need to pay.
  • Get stuck or need help from their support? Pay.
  • Want to add more than X number of images or see your site statistics? Pay.

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on and on.

Website Builders commonly claim they’re free, only to then up-sell and cross-sell you to death until eventually, you’re paying more than their cheapest plan in the first place.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone! We learned all this stuff first-hand.

At first, we didn’t plan on spending a single penny in order to write this review. But we quickly found out that it was going to be an expensive review when all is said and done.

Problem #3 – No Control Over Your Site

This last problem is also the worst.

Let’s say you spend endless nights adding content, writing new blog posts or adding products to your eCommerce shop.

Everything’s finally starting to fall into place and look perfect.

Until one day, you go to check in on your site and it’s gone.

Not just ‘down.’ But gone, gone.

Panicking, you quickly reach out to customer support (after waiting on hold for an hour), and get a ‘canned response’ like the following:

We’re very sorry, but your site violated our terms and TOS for free accounts, thus we had to disable it. If you want to get it live, you’ll need to pay for it.

Don’t believe me? Read this, this or this one. And there’s plenty of more cases like those!

A good website builder might set you back anywhere between $5 to $20 a month. However, there are a few other considerations to make besides just pricing when choosing the next home for your new website. Let’s take a look at how they all compare, which ones you should choose, and which ones you should avoid like the plague. [/wpex]

So which website builder is your best bet? 

Overall, website builders are great for beginners or small businesses looking to get a professional (and affordable) option off the ground in a matter of days (instead of the weeks or months it would take for a custom site).

  • Best all around option? Go with Wix or SiteBuilder and you won’t be disappointed (or overpay).
  • The best option for Beginners or those needing eCommerce? Wix is probably your best bet.
  • Best for photographers, designers, or other visual businesses? Chances are you’ll love SiteBuilder’s beautiful templates.

Have you used any of the website building tools above? Leave a comment and share your experience. Thanks.


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  1. Hi, Robert. I want to build a bilingual (Urdu, English) website for Pakistanis who have suffered physical abuse as children. I want it to have a free MOOC like the kind you have on Future Learn: discussion forum, sign-in account, videos, downloadable material in the form of .pdfs, photos. Currently, websites providing PTSD MOOCs are in English and/or too expensive for us Pakistanis. Could I use WordPress to build the kind of website I’m talking about? Also, what do mean when you say that a website integrates with GSuit and costs 5 dollars a ‘pop’? Can’t one leave out that feature all together? Thank you.

    • Hi Anishka,

      You could create something like that with wordpress.org – it has plugins for all the features you listed. GSuite is just used for emails and is entirely optional (With WordPress you can get free emails depending on your hosting provider anyway).

  2. Hi Robert,

    In case if I already have a domain registered, do I need to pay for anything while using mentioned above website builders or to register as a user?

    Regards,
    Markus

  3. Hi I’m starting a new non profit org and am looking to get the best bang for my buck. However; I also am thinking about scaling up my site within 6 months or so. I’m considering site builder. Do you think that’s a good option? We’ll have video clips, emails, blogging, PayPal donation button and other options not yet identified. Do you believe this site would be best option?

    • Hi Pamela,

      It does sound suitable, but it can depend on those unidentified features and how much scaling you plan on doing in the future. If you need something flexible then wordpress.org is always a solid option (not to be confused with wordpress.com)

  4. Hi, could you give me some advice about choosing a new website builder? I am currently using Wix and everything is fine except for that I cannot extract the products of my eshop in the form of an xml file which I desperately need in order to share my products on other sites. Which site builder do you recommend which will allow me to do this?

    Thank you

  5. Thank you for this evaluation of website builders. I want the website for my fitness studio to work seamlessly with the the software I use to run my business, so clients can easily see my class schedule, sign up for classes & purchase memberships and classes with 1 click from my website.
    I had been with a builder/host who’s focus migrated from yoga studios (closest match I could find at the time) to chiropractors, eye doctors & vets. I changed to a new builder/host that supposedly fully integrated all the aspects of my business mgt. software; only to discover after going live that things like BUY NOW links didn’t work & the ability to embed code provided by the business mgt. software really doesn’t exist.
    Thanks to your reviews I have it narrowed down to 2 – WIX or SiteBuilder. BTW A+ to Sitebuilder support – the Chat support for my myriad questions about compatibility was very helpful.
    I hate to have to start over building my website – yet again – but hopefully one of these two options will give me both the look and functionality I need & want. Thank you.

  6. Hello. I’m very thankful to you for finding this information before pursuing getting my website started!! I know absolutely nothing, technical wise, so I need a builder that can assist me with just that. I want to have a site with: my Photography, my Poetry, Verses from the Word, & Encouraging words for the day. Simple, not complicated. Also to where people can interact with me as well if they choose to, & be Facebook accessible. I’m praying that you would be willing to guide me a little bit. I’m a TRUE amateur at this!! Wix.com is who I think I’m going to go through. Please, let me know what you think. I appreciate the information you shared, more than you know!! TY!!

  7. Thank You! So much! As a teacher I am now requires to create and maintain my own website – which definitely is NOT in my wheel house. I have had a Weebly account that I rarely update and as site needed more info added it got well, just messy looking – and expensive.With your information I am going to switch sites and redo my teacher site and make it awesome 🙂 I will let also be creating a personal site to help others which will include videos, I fo, blog, and e-commerce – really this is just a long giant shout out to you for doing all this work that I don’t have time to do! Thanks again!
    Kimberly

  8. I consider myself tech savvy, well with everything up to this point anyway. I have zero coding or website building experience. The 1st & only one I’ve tried is Weebly, which was nothing but a waste if time for me. I named the pages I want on my website, but beyond that, couldn’t accomplish anything at all. Tried for about an hour. Couldn’t even figure out how to get our logo to show up properly anywhere on the website. So hopefully Wix will be more user friendly for me. Not a fan of Weebly, but I admit it could have a lot to do with my lack of knowledge & experience building websites.

  9. Thank you so much for your comprehensive review of the website builders. I’m a writer with a need to add affiiate advertising to a website and blog and I want to have E-commerce capability. #1: I basically want to upload articles I’ve written so I’ll have a digital archive. #2: Write a blog. #3: Sell products or affiliate products. I’ll continue to explore SiteBuilder, Wix and WordPress. I would not be able to pick these 3 without your reviews. Thanks again!

  10. Hey Robert,

    Thanks for your work here. Nice case study!

    Any reason you haven’t reviewed Ucraft?

    Would be great to know your thoughts…

  11. THANK YOU for taking the time (and $$) to not only write this article but you went above and beyond what most other writers have done, by showing us factual information. Bravo! I’m glad you did all of this because I was going to use WordPress but now I’m certain I’d be happier using SiteBuilder.

  12. Hi Robert, great review. Any idea how is webstarts? I like their templates, but they ask for a phone number for verification instead of doing it via email — which just rings a lot of alarm bells. Would you recommend going for it?
    I would love to try out sitebuilder that you have mentioned as your top pick, but it seems like you can’t first create a free website on it or see templates to get an idea before buying their plan, isn’t it?

  13. Thanks for this. As a beginning Photographer I want a website but had no idea who to choose. Thanks for narrowing it down. I will probably go with one of your top three.

  14. Great review, Robert! I was wondering what’s your opinion about SitePad website builder? I’m thinking of creating a website for my restaurant and I saw that this website builder is included in the web hosting plans by BGOcloud, which I will opt for. Have you tried SitePad? If yes, can you say whether it is relatively easy-to-use? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Lee.
      I recently discovered that I also have SitePad included in my hosting. So I tried it, and it looked promising at first, but when I wanted to add functional things like a back-to-top button and a sticky/floating element, I got stuck.
      Since I don’t know programming, I rely on the functionality of the given theme and plugins that offer these much needed features. This means only one thing for me: back to WordPress.

  15. Hello. Just wondering why you didn’t include Shopify. It was recommended to me. But I haven’t tried it yet. I have tried WIX.COM and it was ok until I lost everything in my website and I could not get it back anymore. I am a novice in this field so it was really hard for me to lose everything. It seems like tech support is not very good either since it is hard to contact them.

    • Hi Karen, I love Shopify but it’s only for building online stores whereas this list is about general purpose website builders that you can use for all sorts of sites. Sorry to hear about losing your site :/ How did it happen?

  16. Nice web site evaluations. Thanks!
    Bob

    P.S. Have you heard of Andys site builder? I have seen a couple of spots for it on the web.

  17. Thank you so much for this article! I stumbled across it while looking into getting my own website to sell my handmade crafts. This is truly not in my wheelhouse so I can’t thank you enough for the information.

  18. Thanks for the information about the website builders. I looked at Wix and decided I could not afford to pay per month.
    I am completely a novice or rather a complete novice (actually a hopeless novice) and I thought I had built a reasonable website on sitebuilder until I saw someone elses website and thought I would edit mine. The result is that I have eliminated the contact page and the buttons and I don’t know how to fix any of it. Maybe I will give up as I have a really bad headache from thinking about it. What about Godaddy? How is that one?

  19. Hi Robert,

    Thank you for such a wonderful article. I work for a church and we need to start a new website from scratch due to problems we are experiencing with the currently listed owner of our Weebly site. I like the reviews on WIX.com and think we may go with them. I just had a question about using our current domain on the new site, not sure if you can answer this. Do you know if WIX.com accepts domains already established, like a transfer over or if even needed?

  20. It appears none of the top builders allow trying it out before paying up. Disappointing. First timer and want to see how it goes.

  21. When it comes to these websites (top 3), how do I know which ones will allow me to sell ads (down the road)? These might be ads in the integrated blogs on the websites, or on the websites themselves. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Cole, pretty much all of them will allow you to sell ads, though if you’re not sure about a platform you can check the knowledgebase on their site and see what their advertisement policy is or get in touch with their customer service.

      • Just found out after 9 years that my website builder and email addresses were tied together with my “Daddy” site. For $120 they’ll give back my email for a year. Time for a change I guess. Anyway with me having a site up and running can I bring in what I have from there or will a fresh start need to be done? Thanks for your very in depth research which I would think is current because the last update was May 2018.

        • Hi Tim, sounds like a fresh start would be needed as far as building a new site goes. But you should still be able to recover your domain name and transfer it to your new web host.

  22. Looking at the list above i cannot find wordpress. I just need help with explaining an clarifying:
    1. What wordpress can do? ( Does it create blogs only or it can build a website with a blog also)
    and
    2. If i am to choose which option is best for me between wix and word press to build a website with a blog at a low price which one is the best?

    I just read ´´10 best blogging sites´´ on this site and it included wordpress.org. I understood that using wordpress.org one can build a website (not only a blog) just like wix does, except wix uses the drag and drop feature. Its just that with wordpress.org you will need a host and a domain.

    • Hi Spiwe,

      Technically WordPress.org isn’t a website builder but a CMS (Content Management System) which is a step up from website builders in terms of customization options. You can use it to build either a website or a blog, you can even have both at the same time (a website with a blogging page).

      When pricing is a priority then I’d go with WordPress, that way the only necessary cost would be for the web hosting and you can get that for a few dollars per month. Website builders would be easier to get started with but their plans tend to be more expensive.

  23. Robert, while a very good review, the problem with yours and other reviews of design sites is they don’t account for growing businesses. What I mean is that they are fine if you are one- or two-person shop, but paying $5/month extra for every email quickly becomes expensive. if you grow to 10 employees and now are paying $50/month plus the cost of the website and domain hosting. Most of these sites provide either no email or very few emails (like one) as part of the plans. This is silly expense because you can get unlimited email addresses for virtually no added cost through any reputable domain hosting site, some of which also off free design sites. So, for those same 10 employees you can pay $3/month all-in with hosting including or $50/month just for the emails and more for domain and site hosting . Perhaps it would be helpful to author an article on this issue and suggest for people who want more than 1-2 email addresses to consider hosting elsewhere and, if they still want to use one of these content management design sites, point to the domain.

  24. Thank you for such a comprehensive review, It was a huge time saver.

    I loved the Wix site that you built which is also perfect for my needs. Unfortunately, with so many templates on their sites I can’t find yours. Do you recall what category it was under? I searched through what I thought were the obvious categories but to no avail.

  25. Wow! I cannot even begin to thank you for this article. I spent hours today with a site that was supposed to be easy to use. Their tutorials didn’t actually match the user experience, the tech support was haughty, and it was NOT beginner friendly. After reading your review I accomplished more in 45 minutes with Sitebuilder than I did in 4 hours! Meanwhile, still trying to figure out how to cancel my web.com account for an old site.

  26. Thanks for the info. Are you familiar with Adobe Muse.?? Do you know of any applications similar to Adobe muse? Adobe is jumping ship on Muse in 2020

    • Hi Gloria,

      It depends on the level of customization you’re looking for, when it comes to simpler sites, builders listed in the article like Wix are great alternatives as the process for building a site is more or less similar. Another good alternative is Webflow as it is highly similar to Muse.

  27. Thanks, Robert,
    Thank you for the work you shared. Hope you are having fun.
    I clicked on WIX and plan on giving it a whirl!

  28. I am a non-techical person who wants to build a simple, straight-forward website. Your review and attention to detail are greatly appreciated. Are there any tricks to building a website so it will be pulled up by Google, etc. ahead of other similar websites?

    Thanks again for your help.

  29. Great reviews, Robert. It’s unique that you bought accounts for all the builders, and showed us your sample sites. Very informative. I’m working on articles for beginners to know what they’re getting into on the web, having built websites for clients since 1998, and found what most confused and overwhelmed beginners. I’ll be linking to this set of reviews in my summary of web builders, if you don’t mind.

    You didn’t mention GoDaddy, whose web builder is often used by people who register domains with them. The templates look decent, but the code behind them is enormous. One example site’s page code alone, without images, was almost half a megabyte.

    Thanks again, for probably the best reviews I’ve read.

  30. Michael Fitzgerald

    I just wanted to thank you for your execellant review of the web builders. I am a professional Art Director who at my clients requests, needs to start building sites for them. I started a site for a film Director last year who wanted to feature his personal photography. So at the time, I used Square Space which seemed to be very versitle, however, I was never able to finish the site due to other job commitments. I have now been hired to design/build a site for a wonderful luthier. So I think I am going to go with WIX per your review. (Unless you think SP would be better.) please let me know and thanks again!!!!

    • Hi Michael,

      Sounds like you can’t really go wrong with either one for this but Wix is more affordable of the two so it would be my recommendation.

  31. Fabulous, informative and useful comparisons and reviews. Thank you.

    Can you please tell me, are these Website Builders also all Website Hosters? I assume so as you have shown Uptime rates. Or, does this Uptime (Downtime) refer the time that Builder is not available for editing?

    Once again, BIG thank you. A great help

    • Hi! Yes, all of these website builders have their own hosting built-in so you don’t have to sign up for a hosting plan separately like with WordPress.

  32. I AM NOT A FAN of the WWW, the Internet, the Web, or whatever else it is called.

    However, your presentation of Comparative Web Builders was absolutely, totally and altogether superb! It was the essence of distilled intelligence, of simplifying a complex mess, of bringing flawless order out of scuzzy chaos. I congratulate you on possessing an unusual and unique skill and talent. I am a writer and inventor, and nothing turns me on intellectually more than seeing someone do what you did! Your work is stunning.

    If only others had your insight, and foresight, to provide the classically beautiful and easily understandable order that you revealed, I might actually BECOME A FAN of technology! You stand alone with your masterpiece! You have no equal! I salute you. Marala

  33. Thank you so much, Mr. Robert, for this review article. I’m just now getting started with a new Entrepreneurship, as an Author & illustrator, Speaker, and Podcaster. And I think it’s a good idea for me to get my own website. I didn’t need to read any further than your 1st review (of Sitebuilder), then I skipped to your conclusion section. I’ve had some experience with both blogging and with web design, and it sounds like Sitebuilder has everything that I’m looking for. So, I’m going to give it a try. It might be a day or two before I will have the time for it, but I’ll be sure to save this page so I can return to it and use your link for my purchase and set up, in support of your venue, as a small token of my appreciation for your sharing of this helpful information. Again, thank you very much for the help, Udi DarkChild

  34. HI Robert,
    I have been looking for a review on website builders and just came across yours!
    i think your reviews are brilliant as i was in two minds which to use.
    After checking out your “5” minute websites i was impressed totally, as i am resident in the UK and Southern Spain i need to set up a site for property sales, lettings and information site i need to not only add and remove properties but a good quality enquiry page.
    Thanks again for the amazing reviews and i am setting up with WIX as i believe best site for me.
    thanks

    Steve

  35. Being able to look at your test sites in addition to reading the text content of your article was extremely helpful. Thank you for such high quality (and helpful!) content.

  36. I find it odd that Webflow wasn’t included. From what I’ve been tell is appears to best all the top products you mentioned in terms of features. Interestingly, a number of sites that purport to review and test site building platforms have omitted Webflow. Is there a reason?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve currently reviewed only 10 most popular website builders. Hence the reason WebFlow isn’t added (yet).

  37. Chiyoka E. Ajimoto

    This is one of the most informative and analytical articles I have encountered upon my research. I got an answer for what I was looking for. I’m taking your recommendation. Thank you! -from Kyoto Japan

  38. One question do any of them allow for advertising?

    Secondly should your business grow enough that you can spend the money to build a “real” site how easy is it to port it over.

    • All of them allow advertising. Moving from one to another is complex, though. It’s better to hire a web developer for that.

  39. This seems really helpful, I’m glad I found this. I’m working on making a new website for my families business and I’ve been having a hard time reviewing all my options and deciding on the best ones. This will definitely help me, thanks!

  40. Why wasn’t 1and1’s in there? the were rated 31 by SMB trust & Consumer Reports. I love mine. The have loads of templates, & comes with literally everything. SSL Cert, 200 emails, SEO tool, Newsletter tool,Numerous payment and delivery methods, Site Analytics, mobile optimized all for less than $15 a month. 3 other things I love are they the have 24/7 US hosted Tech support, they don’t post any ads on my site and the don’t take a penny when i sell items!!

  41. This is awesome and very helpful for a novice. It helped me narrow down my choices clearly. This is a confusing arena for a newcomer and this article spells it out thoroughly and quickly.
    Much appreciated.

  42. Hi Robert,
    I am kinds of confused on what you mentioned website builders (above) and what you said website setup using bluehost and wordpress? Are they the same things?
    Thanks,

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      No, they’re not the same things. WebsiteSetup is built on WordPress (using Bluehost hosting). Website Builders are products/services that allow you to create a website using their software (in this case, you don’t need to buy hosting or use WordPress).

      WordPress is more flexible, but is more difficult for complete beginners.

  43. What is your opinion on Clickfunnels verses traditional websites-esp. for small business sites?

    BTW: I really appreciate your review. I refer to it every time any discussion about site-building comes up.

    Thanks again for providing such an invaluable reference source!

    • FREE Wix website is more limited and they’ll place ads on your website. If you’re serious about your website, it’s important go with the paid version.

  44. WOW! Very in depth review of all the website builders. Thank you! I have been building in Weebly and found it to be easier than Wix – so maybe I can try Wix out again sometime. I am definitely interested in Sitebuilder now! Thank you for taking all the time to share this valuable info!

    • Hey I saw a lot of websites who offering free website builder website, some of my friends suggested me many websites, but I found one who provides best templates webgen.com & also saw Wix, Weebly, could anyone suggested me which one is best.

  45. That had to be one of the most comprehensive reviews I have ever read. Thanks so much spending your own money to help save someone, liked me, from wasting mine.

  46. Hello pal, you should have mentioned that some builders charged developers fee while some doesn’t, I am so glad I have found your website though, I really appreciate it.

  47. Thank you so much for your reviews. I needed a little help, because I need to have simple professional website made, but didn’t know the best options. Thanks to your review site. I make decisive choice now.

    Best Wishes
    Edward Williams
    [email protected]

  48. Have you tried Vista Print? If so, what do you think? I have a small business and can’t afford to pay a web designer to make simple changes all the time.

  49. You rock. This whole website has extremely useful. I call myself a professional dabbler in that I have dabbled in many things, not proficient in any of them. I have been asked to redesign my company website (I think I can I think I can) and you have made this whole process so much easier. Thanks again!

  50. Hello Robert, thank you for the comprehensive review. I would really appreciate your recommendation for my specific case (I have studied your review carefully and still I’m not sure). I am an artist and want to build a website showcasing my paintings (photographed high resolution), and an online store selling paintings. It is essential that I can add items to the store on weekly basis. It is also essential the site loads quickly to get high google ranking. Cost is an issue, and I don’t mind a learning curve. I want a clear and clean website, no confusion / getting lost elements. Would you recommend Bold Grid?

  51. Very helpful! My son is also a web designer and now too busy to update my 2005 custom built site. Time for mom to venture out and create her own. Thank you for taking the time to put this info together.

  52. Thank you for your review!! It was very helpful!! I’m looking at the ones you reviewed and also Dudamobile. Have you tried or reviewed that site?

  53. This was great! Thanks for taking the time and great research. I’m just getting starting with a new site and doing some research myself. I really want to get what’s best for the ladies and viewer that visit.
    This will definitely help me decide
    Great job!

  54. Hi there – thank you for your recommendations. I found this very useful. The fact that you took the trouble to actually sign up for each of this and detail out the findings in an unbiased manner speaks for itself. Thanks! – nc

  55. I’ve always been curious about building my own website for personal use. I see commercials and banners saying how “THEY” are ‘free’ or ‘are easy to use’ or ‘best web builder around’, etc, etc. Not knowing who to believe, I, like many others, used the best resource that money can buy… i Googled! Your site was one of the links that I decided to explore and was impressed off the back. I liked your unbiased thoughts and personal 10+ experience in the field so you know what you’re talking about. So thank you for making our research, any potential pitfalls, future headache, possible regrets that we could’ve suffered by making the the selfless sacrifice by exploring these website building companies for the masses.

    Are any of the top three you recommended, also viable for non commercial use, i.e. personal use? Just looking to share information with friends and family, or would you recommend that one take web development classes at a local community collage?

    Thank You, in advance!

  56. Thanks so much for this information… am a visual artist but do not know how to code so I was looking at site builder options. This was very helpful.

    Thanks!

  57. Thanks so much for this review. Really helpful and very detailed. A lot of work for free. I was just curious about Shopify As I was about to sign up with them until I read your reviews. If you have any insight into those folks would be greatful. At this point however I’m leaning towards Wix. Thanks!

  58. Thanks for this thorough investigation. We’ve added a link to this article on our writers’ resource site, WinningWriters.com, under Business & Technical Resources. One of our subscribers recommended the article to us.

  59. Robert,

    I just wanted to thank you for your reviews. As a new business owner, I was looking at serval of these sites and I will take your advise. Thank you again for saving me from making a poor, uneducated decision.

  60. Thank you so much – your evaluations will save my artist group members so much time and frustration. Wix and Weebly were my short list too. I recommended Weebly to them last year, as most members are not tech-literate and Weebly seemed the least frustrating for a first timer. Also, fewer and simpler templates were a plus in this case, rather than a problem. I will have another look at Wix now to see if the issues I had in my test site have been fixed. I agree with your comment on the Weebly statistics (e.g. it counted my edit tweeks as hits) and the constant upsell ads. As noted here by others, Weebly’s support by phone or online chat are excellent. I will have another look at Wix now and see if that might work better for us now that more members have some online experience. Thank you again for your excellent and well-written research.

  61. Hey Robert,

    Thanks for your work here, it has really helped me in deciding which site builder to use. (I like how you write too, keeps the reader interested).
    keep up the good work!

    • Hello Robert. Thanks for the write up – you exfoliated the competition out there. Yet I am poor at developing and building sites.
      Do you ave your own design studio? If you do and if you do not cost an arm and a leg I would love to work with you. Is it possible that you could send me your price chart for site from one-page crowdfunding type site up to e-commerce?
      I am a writer with many project I could have up on the page but held up by my inability to be comfortable with mastering web building. Having a reliable specialist like you or associates that work for you, who is agile with affordable prices will give me a good, long collaboration.

  62. Thanks, Robert. I guess it is what you get used to. I went to Weebly several years ago from both Yola and Wix. At the time they were the only one that could easily do drop down menus which was important to me. Also have found them very innovative and have rarely suffered any downtime. Their tech support is excellent. While their selection of templates may be limited, they work closely with another company, Baamboo Studios who produce impressive templates for their users.

    Have just started to use their e-commerce features and agree they are awesome. By comparison I have just built an e-commerce site using BigCommerce and it has been a chore using their site builder. Also have a Shopify site on standby, but I think Weebly will end up being my site of choice, mainly because the guys listen and make every effort to accommodate the users.

    While I can’t argue with your 4th placing I was surprised.

    Great article.

  63. I rarely comment on these sorts of reviews, but after reading your clearly unbiased and in depth review I felt it necessary to thank you. I already have a boldgrid website and domain and wanted to understand more about the limitations of that vs it’s competitors, a LOT of other articles on the subjects are clearly shills for one of the companies, it’s refreshing to see such an honest and thorough review, thanks again!

  64. This is a great review post on website builders. I have tried some of them myself but most of them were hard on the budget and too clunky for me to actually use. Weebly and Squarespace did have what I was looking for but decided to abandon them for lack of time. The customer service on most of these is pretty bad (except the top3). I was actually going to do a review on most of these website builders myself but you’ve done a good job here.

  65. Hi Robert,

    I’m currently searching for a website builder to help me make a site for my husband’s small business (plumber) and am very glad I found your article.

    I’ve run into Wix before but have been put off by many people claiming that it’s hard to get a Wix site listed high on Google as Google doesn’t like the technology it used.

    I really like Wix mainly because of the ready to go templates, but it seems a little pointless using Wix if potential customers can’t find the site in search engine.

    I do understand that all websites need “optimizing” and I’ve purchased a course to help me achieve this.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this given your experience.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Google actually promotes WIX, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t rank them. Then again this comment was made a year ago, so it might have changed since then.

      In Google’s support page they are offering several choices for domain service and WIX is one of them.

    • Hi Rob,

      I haven’t heard about PageCloud before – thanks for letting me know. I might review them in near future. Thanks.

  66. Thanks for a great review! My only “con” would be that you didn’t included customer service. But I understand the work it would have involved. I LOVE WIX. I have been with them since they started. But their customer service stinks. I don’t like having to search through a database of questions other users have submitted to find an answer to my problem. They make it hard to find a phone number. Otherwise, besides a few technical beefs I have, it is a great option.

  67. This is a very useful read Robert, thank you for the exhaustive post!

    Have you tried XPRS? How about SwiftySite, a plugin to build WordPress sites?

    Also, do these sites fare well in Google speed testing tools?

    • Hey Victor,

      I haven’t tried those as BoldGrid is slightly more user-frienldy for the end user.
      About Google Speed Testing Tool – sure, it’s worth to check them. Might make a small addition to the post, but I’ll surely keep them all online (test sites).

  68. Thanks for the review – this really helps. I’m currently in a situation where there’s so many different website builders out there, yet which one is the best – hard to tell.

    After reading your review, I think I’ll go with Wix, but might try Boldgrid as well.

    Anyways, huge thanks for putting this together.