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20+ Awesome Website Builders for Creating Your Own Websites
Updated: 2022-05-25 / Article by: Azreen Azmi
Building a website doesn’t have to be a painful experience. With the right Website Builders or Content Management System, you won’t have to look at a single line of code when you’re creating your own website.
Whether it’s a simple portfolio page, a digital store for your business, or even just a hobby food blog – as long as you know how to use text processors (i.e. Microsoft Words) or email, you’ll have an awesome site up and running in no time.
The best part? A lot of these platforms are cheap! You can have a personalized domain name and reliable website provider for less than $10 per month. To help you choose the perfect builder for your website, I am rounding up 20+ popular platforms in the following table and review each of them below.
User-friendly platform for beginners to app-making.
Joomla, Drupal, WordPress.org, Magento, Presta Shop, and WooCommerce are free open-source software. While the platform is completely free. However there are other costs involved in launching a website via these applications – web hosting and domain name costs. Generally speaking a shared hosting costs about $5 – $10 per month; a domain name costs about $15 a year.
Most listed platforms are super-easy to use and they were built specially for the newbies.
For complex websites – I highly recommend using “expert-level platforms” like Joomla, Drupal, as well as WordPress.org. These platforms are where you can really can technical with building your website. Think of the easy platforms as redecorating an apartment or condominium while using the expert platform is akin to building your own house.
The bottom four in the table are Mobile App Builder. They are much more expensive but cater special needs of certain businesses.
Zyro is a new website building tool which comes with a hosting plan attached. Functionality is basic but covers most key areas. This makes it idea for new website owners who may not have the technical skills needed to build their own site.
Zyro Plans & Pricing
Zyro's range of plans cover both basic sites as well as eCommerce. Entry plan is completely free to use but it comes with implanted advertisement to your website. For those who want an ad-free site (which is vital for a business website), there are four paid plans to choose from – Basic ($1.99/mo), Unleased ($3.49/mo), Ecommerce ($14.99/mo), and Ecommerce + ($21.99/mo). The price differences mainly reflect additional on-site features options such as inventory management, shopping and tax management, payment gateways, abandoned cart recovery, and multiple language translations.
For those who need a very basic, static site, there isn’t much need to look past their Free plan since it comes with everything you’ll likely need. If you’re hoping to grow your site I’d recommend at least an Unleashed Plan – so long as you don’t plan to sell stuff online.
Initially founded in 2002 by college buddies David, Dan and Chris, Weebly began its journey as a site builder officially in 2007. The company has since powered more than 40 million sites around the world and is currently headquartered in San Francisco with offices at New York, Scottsdale, and Toronto.
Weebly has an easy-to-use user interface. It is ideal for users who are interested in building a simple online store or sites that deal with static information and products.
Weebly Plans & Pricing
Weebly offers free accounts that are capable of handling basic sites easily. That scales up in varying degrees offering extra features such as video backgrounds and user registrations. At the top end of the scale with full bells and whistles, Weebly can cost up to $25 per month.
Which Weebly Plan to go with?
Weebly Pro is right for business owners who need a simple website that lives on its own domain.
For users who plan to sell products directly from their websites, we recommend Weebly Business Plan (or above) because:
Display unlimited products on your web store
Support product reviews and coupon code
Support shipping fees and automatic tax calculator
No additional fees for using a 3rd party provider
Integrated shipping labels
Weebly is a great website builder if you need to create a simple website fast. Their drag-and-drop system is very intuitive and you can easily launch a decent website within minutes.
Get Free Weebly with TMD Hosting If you are considering Weebly, you might also want to check out the traditional hosting company TMD Hosting. TMD's basic shared hosting plan comes at an affordable price, supports Weebly Basics, and offers other user-friendly features (such as one-click SSL installation, free site migration, and cheap malware monitoring).
Shopify is a leading name in the online shop builder community and that makes it naturally double up as a site builder. The company has over 800,000 active Shopify stores and has made over $100 billion worth of sales at time of writing.
Shopify Plans & Pricing
For its range of services Shopify is around standard in pricing. There are three tiers which ring in at $29, $79 and $299 – each which also has added transaction fees per sale. The price differences mainly reflect additional marketing options such as gift certificates, extra shipping rates and more shopping cart options.
Shopify Basic – You can always setup a store and pick a plan later. Hence it's best to start at the lowest plan.
Note that some features at Shopify (ie. POS, Abandoned Cart Recovery, pro reports) are super useful but they might not be needed in some business operations. If all you need is a simple website with basic business features, you might want to go with Weebly or Wix, which is cheaper and easier to maintain.
Shopify might be the most expensive website builder on the list but it offers a range of features and tools that are quite useful for an eCommerce store. At $29/mo for the basic plan and $299/mo for the advanced, it can get pretty costly. However, if you want a hassle-free eCommerce website builder, Shopify is definitely your best choice.
BigCommerce was founded back in 2009 and is currently headed by CEO Brent Bellm. Since its inception, the company has grown with over 500+ employees, serving over 120+ countries, and have established offices in Sydney, Australia, San Francisco, California, and in Austin, Texas.
BigCommerece is slightly off the usual profile of the standard website builder in the sense that it serves a very specific purpose. The site is designed to help build eCommerce stores and has eventually morphed into a complete all-rounder in terms of virtual commerce, right down to offering product retail packaging!
BigCommerce Plans & Pricing
Given that BigCommerce is all about helping people sell things, it’s not unusual that the pricing structure is pretty far above the standard site builder. It starts at $29.95 and scales up all the way to $249.95 following the volume of your sales transactions. However, on top of that there is also a per-transaction charge and possible another fee you may have to pay if you choose a premium template.
BigCommerce plan is designed based on sales threshold – hence you don't have to sweat on which plan to go with.
To begin with BigCommerce – simply signup on their 15-day free trial.
For years Shopify remains the first-hand competitor to BigCommerce. Generally we think both of them are good eCommerce builders. Tools from BigCommerce are slightly more exhaustive than Shopify; while Shopify is slightly cheaper than BigCommerce.
Targeting itself against CMS behemoth WordPress, SiteJet nevertheless has its unique skew – web designers, freelancers and service providers. Starts at $11/mo, the site builder is easy to use and comes with a ton of features.
SiteJet Plans & Pricing
Like web hosts which increase the number of sites you can host based on your plan, Sitejet also offers a tiered publishing system. A single user site will set you back $5 a month – and remember, this is only for published sites.
You can have many projects in the works on that account. If you’re a web designer and end up publishing a few more websites, then you pay more. Consider it the cost of doing business and that you only pay more if you’re earning more from more clients.
Unfortunately, most of the collaborative features I shared about earlier are only available under the Team Plan, which costs $19 per month. This may not seem link much, but to a starving young web designer can seem like a lot at times.
Wix is by far one of the site builders that has seen a meteoric rise in uptake over a relatively short period.
Created by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan in 2016, by 2017 the company laid bold claim to a stunning 100 million users. Over that short timeframe it has introduced multiple upgrades from a HTML5 editor to their drag-and-drop and A.I. Web Editor.
With an impressive catalogue of designs and themes, Wix’s extremely flexible tools let you create websites that are “pixel perfect” and professional.
In line with the number of users on its site, Wix has a wide spread of what it calls ‘premium Accounts’ available that range in price from $4.50 per month all the way to $24.50 per month. (To see these numbers in context – read our study on website cost.) What it doesn’t advertise widely is that you can still use the drag and drop editor for free.
If you loved WordPress’s features and tools but wanted to host your site on its own domain name, you can switch to WordPress.org, their CMS focused platform for web building.
A lot of the features are retained on WordPress.org, however, since you’re hosting your site with its own domain, there’s more flexibility in terms of adding extensions and features as you’ll have direct coding access.
We have covered the usage of WordPress.org extensively on this site. To learn more, read:
PrestaShop is the solution that most online retailers go for if they are looking to build a comprehensive digital storefront.
The e-commerce focused CMS is a great starter choice for small businesses and entrepreneurs as their robust features and extensive integrations are great for starting out with a simple and evolving it into something more down the line.
Drupal takes an advanced approach for their CMS by offering a platform that’s tailor-made for programmers and coders.
The open-source script is widely popular among programmers as it allows for full control and customization of your site, which means you can create anything from simple blogs to comprehensive discussion boards.
Magento boasts an expansive feature set and allows customizability for its sites, which makes them the best choice for merchants who have the resources and want to implement the most advanced technology on their web store.
Its robust platform and powerful capabilities are suited for advanced programmers and developers who know how to fully utilize their functions.
A report from HubSpot says that 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. In other words, majority of your website visitors are not reading your website. One-page websites (that you can built with Strikingly) solve this problem. They are short and actionable. They can convince visitors to take action within this short timeframe.
We recommend Strikingly for those who are searching for an affordable way to create simple company info portal or personal resume website.
Strikingly Website Builder Plans & Pricing
Strikingly entry plan starts at $8/mo when subscribe annually.
Tilda is a handy drag and drop website maker tool that lets you build beautiful websites. Tilda offers a great mix of templates for freelancers, businesses, agencies, online tutors, and many more.
When I first checked out Tilda, I thought it was a lot like Squarespace, especially when I saw some of the cover page designs. But as I dug deeper, I realized that Tilda has many more templates on offer. Plus, it has 350+ design elements, which is far more than what Squarespace offers. Another thing worth noting is that Tilda comes with beautiful landing pages too.
Tilda Site Builder Plans & Pricing
The free version supports up to 50 pages and offers a storage of 50MB, and is ad-free. Paid plan starts at $10/mo with annual subscription.
With 40 million users, Webnode lets you build beautiful business websites as well as online stores. Webnode has some great looking themes. Its higher premium plans offer unlimited membership registrations, so if you ever need to let people create accounts on your website (ie. a membership business site) you can go with the Profi plan ($19.95/mo).
Webnode might not stack up to other website builders in terms of features and tools, but in terms of supporting multiple languages, Webnode has them in spades. With the ability to create multilingual websites for over 20 languages, Webnode’s platform is catered more toward an international audience.
Webnode Plans & Pricing
Webnode paid plans start at $3.98/mo and go up to $19.95/mo when paid annually.
Hopping into the website building scene this time is HostGator with its new Gator Website Builder. This new tool isn’t being offered as part of its standard hosting packages though and is available as an individual product – pay for the builder and you get free hosting.
Looking at it as a stand-alone thing, it seems to hit all the right check boxes for rapid site development. You can start of with one of their many templates (which look decent) and work your way forward from there. Customizations are easy since the entire thing is drag and drop.
If your requirements aren’t all that complex and you just need a pretty website fast – this is a perfect tool for you. Slapping together a site and customizing it can take you less than 30 minutes. Likely less if you’re already familiar with how website builders work.
The bigger difficulty is moving forward form there since there seem to be very limited options to take your site to the next level. For example, ecommerce isn’t possible unless you pay for an upgrade to your plan. There is also nothing you can do in terms of SEO management, not even set your basic site meta.
There is an app market available (like what all major website builders have) but right now there are a grand total of four apps in the store – all of which are labelled ‘premium’. Initial impressions are that this site builder needs to go a little further before asking for more from its potential users.
Gator Website Builder Plans & Pricing
Gator Website Builder's entry plan starts at $3.84/mo and goes all the way up to $9.22/mo.
Need a fast and simple landing page for yourself? About.me is the perfect choice for creating a digital business card or a hub page that links to all of your online profile sites (such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, etc).
Setting up an about.me page is simple enough. Just claim your name and URL, put in a background picture along with a description and you’re done!
Volusion leans more towards the operational side (i.e. inventory management, customer management, etc.) of the web building side of the spectrum. Similar to Shopify, Volusion provides an all-in-one solution for businesses to create an online store.
Carrd helps users to create beautiful one-page website. At time of writing, there are 18 built-in templates available at Carrd, of which about 6 are part of the premium plan. The free templates too are gorgeous and editing is easy. Some useful elements, though, like the form element (the element you’ll need to create a contact form) are only available in the pro-version.
Carrd Plans & Pricing
Pro plan starts at $19/year. Carrd could be one of the most (if not the most) affordable choice to take your business online.
WordPress (powers 31.9% of the Internet) has always been a favorite with bloggers for its user-friendly tools and blogger-centric interface that allows for high customizability.
Unlike other site builders, WordPress.com does not come with drag and drop page builders with different design modules. Basically, you just get what your theme offers, hence choose carefully.
WordPress.com Plans & Pricing
Paid plans start at $4/mo when paid annually – you'll get 6GB of storage and a free domain for one year. The highest tier – “eCommerce” cost $45/mo and come with 200 GB storage and advanced design customization.
With more than 12 million users worldwide, Yola is a solid free website maker builder tool to take your business online. While Yola has limited templates, they’re good for basic business/professional websites.
The free websites you make with Yola are ad-free. So even when you’re running your website on a Yola sub-domain, your readers won’t be annoyed with ads popping up from every corner of your website.
Yola Plans & Pricing
When billed yearly, Yola’s Bronze plan costs $4.16/mo.
For startups and small businesses, trying to capitalize on the popularity of mobile marketing can be a massive challenge.
AppInstitute provides a simple way for small businesses to create, publish and manage their own iPhone and Android app using a DIY app builder platform, making entering the app market easy for even the least tech-savvy small business owner.
With the easy to use interface, you simply pick a template and mix and match app creator features to make your own app quickly, without writing a single line of code using the intuitive, powerful, app maker.
Ideally, the best website builder should be one that fits the need of your website. If you want to know what are the things that you should look for in a website builder, we’ll go through that below.
Take a moment and write down what kind of website that you want to make. What features you would like to have and what you intend to do with it. Some ideas would be: a contact form, Google Maps, blog section, gallery mode, or even an online store.
Alternatively, you could do some research on your competitors or other websites for inspirations or ideas on what you would want for your website. Aside from knowing what your website needs are, it’s also a good idea to use these five factors to decide.
1. Ease of Use
An important factor for a choosing the best website builder is whether the interface is user-friendly and easy-to-use. Doubly so if you’re just a newbie with no technical knowledge whatsoever.
The great thing about website builders is that most of them use a drag-and-drop system to build a website and that they usually offer a trial account. That means you can test it out first before choosing which is the best website builder for your small business.
A few things that you should ask yourself when testing a website builder are:
How easy is it to add elements to templates, without messing up your current site layout?
How easy is it to make changes such as adding new products or updating your contact details?
Can you quickly find the features you need for your website? If you’re a bakery shop, can you embed a Google map showing the location of your store?
Do the templates and color schemes fit your brand and business? If you’re a bakery shop, then your website design is likely going to be very different from that of an advertising agency.
The list of website builders that we recommend are definitely top-notch but we can’t say which one is the best for you as much depends on personal preferences. We definitely recommend that you test out each website builder using a trial account to get a feel for their interface and whether it’s easy to use or not.
2. Site Templates and Images
Web design plays a major role in building a website. If you don’t want your website looking unprofessional or uninviting, you need to use the right templates and put in the right images.
A sharp and stylish website sends the message to users that your business is professional and trustworthy. The website builders that we suggest offers a wide range of free and paid stock photos and templates that you can use for your website.
Of course, it’s always important to check the templates and images first and whether they meet the needs of your website.
If you’re an online consultant agency, you want to use a more professional looking templates and the keep the images to a minimum. On the other, if you’re a photography or a food blog, then builders with more polished and attractive images might be better suited for you.
The right website builder should integrate with other systems to create the key functions you need on your website.
For example if social media is going to be a key component of your marketing strategy, then you should go for website builders that focus on integrating social media. Weebly, for example, let’s you integrate Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter to your website for free, including the ability to add popup buttons as well.
If you rely on emails to draw website traffic, having a website builder that lets you manage your mass-mailers will be useful. Apps such as Constant Contact and MooSend are a great way to scale up your email marketing efforts and acquire new subscribers. They also normally integrate well with popular website builders such as Squarespace.
Likewise, if you are running an online store, you should pick a platform that integrates with third-party payment gateway to make online shopping a seamless experience for your customers.
Some solutions integrate via a simple copy-pasting of the embed code, while others require more advanced coding to use the API key. Use the trial account to check whether the website builder offers necessary integrations that fit your needs.
4. Customer Support
This should go without saying, but if you’re looking to use a website builder, it should always come with a good customer support team.
This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Having a good support team that you can go to will make a huge difference in the overall experience of building your own website.
The website builders that we suggest all have great support channels that you can contact via email, phone, and even online chat, so you never have to worry about needing help when on the journey to launch your website.
Caution: Avoid Paying for EIG Site Builders
Having completed our review of SiteBuilder.com we noticed that we had the same initial problem with WebSiteBuilder, Sitelio, and Sitey – the About page was missing. Curious enough at this discrepancy, I did some digging and discovered that they all are owned by Endurance International Group (EIG).
SiteBuilder.com, WebsiteBuilder.com, Sitey, and Sitelio
In terms of what features are available, SiteBuilder (and other clones) offers what I consider should be the standard of website builders. It includes drag and drop elements, editable sections in templates, eCommerce support and much more. All of that is backed by a template resource pool that numbers in what the site claims is ‘thousands’ – I lost count after 50.
All four website builders have five distinct plans for subscribers that range from free to $11.99 a year. Free plans are functional, but their paid plans all come packaged with a free domain name. For a mere $4.99 a month onwards, you also get free email accounts, priority support and create an online store. I would say that the pricing tiers are reasonable and match real needs.
Why exactly they have chosen to market through so many channels under separate identities is beyond me, but even the pricing structures are almost identical. Of note though are the multiple billing complaints against the site, which does not bode well, given how fractured the business seems to be.
It's okay to try out the free plan offered by these brands but it's another thing when you are building your business on the premium plans. We do not recommend using any of these four site builders to serious webmasters and business owners.
Update: All four site builders we mentioned above are either not functioning or redirect to Web.com when you purchase.
Final Thoughts on Building Websites & Mobile Apps
Finding the perfect platform for your brand can be intimidating, especially if you’re a small business or a solo entrepreneur.
Thankfully, plenty of website builders are easy to learn so you can get started immediately. Once you’re ready to take it to the next level, you can check our free guide that lets you start building awesome things for your brand!
Website Building Platforms FAQs
Which website builder should I choose?
It depends on the purpose of your website and what are you looking for. For making a simple website: Zyro is highly recommended. The innovative tool is newbies-friendly and reasonable price. For online store: Shopify is the all-around eCommerce builder today. It has everything ready for you. You can expand your sales channel to other platforms.
Which online store builder do you recommend to me?
It's hard to find the actual cost of making a website. It often goes beyond money. Keep in mind that you need time and effort when making a website. If you are a business owner, should you include your monthly expenses as a part of the cost? But, if you were asking the initial setup cost, the rough figure involves:
1. A domain name ($10 – $15 per year) 2. Website builder ($8 – $20 per month) or web host ($3 – $7 per month).
How much does a website builder cost?
The entry cost for a website builder can range anywhere between $8 per month – $29 per month. The prices are different depending on which website builder you choose and which plan you sign up to. Website builder for eCommerce purposes generally priced higher compared to others.
Why should I use a website builder?
Time and knowledge are the two biggest factors that make website builder a good choice. It allows you to create and host a website easily without any coding skills.
What is the best website builder for SEO?
Most website builders like Zyro, Wix and Weebly do offer the convenience to optimize a website for the search engine. However, there are too many factors that will affect your website rankings. Your website will not appear on the 1st page of search results by using any specific website builder.
What are the pitfalls of using a free plan for my business website?
Your website looks unprofessional as the website address will appear on a subdomain such as yourwebsitename.weebly.com. Most of the time, free website builders are supported by advertisements and your visitors may see all sorts of irrelevant advertisements when they visit your website.
The worst thing is, there's no guarantee of using free website builders which means your website can be shut down for no reason or your website is vulnerable to hacking due to poor security. These are among the risks of using a free website builder.
Should I buy a domain name through a domain registrar company or a website builder?
Buying (and managing) a domain through website builder makes things easier but cost more in long run. Website builder company usually charge $20 – $30 a year for the domain registration. In comparison, a domain costs $8 – $15 a year with GoDaddy or NameCheap (domain registrars).
Can I build a website without any design and coding skills?
Yes. All the website builders are having easy to use drag & drop features. This feature empowers you to make a website even if you are not professional. The first step is to pick a suitable template for your industry. Then you can start editing and populating it with your content.
Should I hire a website designer to create my website?
It's up to you to decide. You definitely can hire a professional to help you in case you are lost in the half-way. For sure, you need to go through the learning curve of each website builder before getting used to it. Not to worry, most of the website builders offer a comprehensive tutorial. All website builders offer you a code-free way to building your website. You just need to decide on the theme and start inserting your content. Replace with your logo and favicon and your website is ready to launch.
Can I move my website from a website builder to my own host?
No. Unfortunately, you can't do that. If you built a website with a website builder, it also brings together several aspects with it. For example. web design, database, hosting and coding language are the things that involve. It may seem an easy task to just export and import but it's unrealistic. There are lots of proprietary aspects involved. Unless you are using CMS like WordPress, you can move your website to any host you like.
Azreen Azmi is a writer with a penchant for writing about content marketing and technology. From YouTube to Twitch, he tries to keep in touch with latest in content creation and finding out the best way to market your brand.