Wondering about the best website builder for small business?
Website builders come in two primary forms: hosted and self-hosted. Hosted website builders are hosted on the website builder’s servers, so you don’t have to worry about managing your own hosting. Self-hosted website builders require you to purchase your own hosting and domain name.
A well-designed website can be your gateway to success in the highly competitive online marketplace. But where do you start? Which website builder is best for small businesses?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top options, including the best free website builder for small businesses, to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your goals.
Why a Website Builder Matters for Small Businesses
Before we delve into the specific website builders, let’s understand why choosing the right one is crucial for small businesses.
1. Cost-Effective Solution: Hiring a professional web developer can be costly, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. Website builders offer an affordable alternative without compromising on quality.
2. Ease of Use: Website builders are designed to be user-friendly, even for those with minimal technical skills. Creating a fantastic website doesn’t require coding expertise.
3. Quick Deployment: Time is money, and website builders allow you to get your site up and running in a matter of hours or days, not weeks or months.
4. Customization: While website builders provide templates to simplify the design process, they also offer a range of customization options to ensure your website aligns with your brand and vision.
5. SEO-Friendly: The best website builders incorporate SEO tools and features, making it easier for your site to rank higher in search engine results, ultimately driving more organic traffic.
Now that we understand the importance of choosing the right website builder, let’s explore the top options.
Key Features to Consider
When it comes to creating a website for your small business, several key features should be at the forefront of your decision-making process. These features are crucial in ensuring that your website not only looks professional but also functions effectively to drive traffic and engage your audience.
User-Friendly Interface for Smooth Navigation: A user-friendly interface is paramount. It ensures that visitors can navigate your website effortlessly, find the information they need, and have a positive experience. An intuitive layout and easy-to-use menus can make a significant difference in retaining visitors.
Customization Options Tailored to Your Brand: Your website should reflect your brand’s identity. Find out such a website builder with lots of ways to customize your site. This allows you to tailor your site’s design, colors, fonts, and overall aesthetics to align with your brand image.
Ecommerce Capabilities for Online Sales: If your business involves selling products or services online, ecommerce capabilities are essential. Ensure that the website builder you choose supports secure online transactions, offers shopping cart functionality, and allows you to showcase your products effectively.
Mobile Responsiveness for All Devices: In an era where mobile devices dominate web traffic, having a mobile-responsive website is non-negotiable. Your site should look and function flawlessly on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. A responsive design adapts to different screen sizes, providing an optimal user experience across all devices.
SEO Tools to Boost Visibility: Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for driving organic traffic to your website. Look for a website builder that provides built-in SEO tools or integrates seamlessly with popular SEO plugins. These tools should help you optimize your content, meta tags, and overall site structure to improve your visibility on search engines like Google.
1. Self-Hosted WordPress: Recommended Website Builder for Small Businesses
When it comes to versatility, flexibility, and scalability, WordPress.org stands out as the best website builder for small businesses. Powering approximately 40% of the internet, WordPress offers a self-hosted solution that’s both powerful and cost-effective.
Pros of Self-Hosted WordPress:
- Open-Source: WordPress is open-source software, available on most web hosting platforms, including Bluehost.
- Customizable Templates: Choose from thousands of pre-made, customizable WordPress themes for every niche.
- User-Friendly Interface: WordPress offers a user-friendly dashboard with a drag-and-drop interface for easy website management.
- Plugins Galore: Access thousands of plugins, including customizable web and contact forms, e-commerce, Google Analytics integration, and SEO optimization tools.
- SEO-Friendly: Ensure your site is search engine-friendly, and integrate it with almost every online platform or tool.
- Supportive Community: WordPress boasts a massive, helpful community and a wealth of resources for troubleshooting and expanding your knowledge.
Cons of Self-Hosted WordPress:
- Technical Responsibilities: Requires manual site backup, periodic updates for WordPress and plugins. Managed WordPress hosting is an option to handle technical aspects.
Pricing: WordPress itself is free, but you’ll need to invest in domain registration and hosting. Bluehost, for instance, offers a starting package for as low as $2.75 per month, including a free domain.
2. Web.com: Best DIY Business Website Builder for Beginners
Web.com is an excellent choice for beginners who want to take the DIY approach to website building. It simplifies the process with a user-friendly interface and a range of templates.
Pros of Web.com:
- User-Friendly and Affordable: Web.com provides an affordable entry point for small businesses. Choose a template and customize your site with the drag-and-drop builder.
- Marketing Tools: Loaded with marketing tools, including resources for SEO and integrations with third-party tools.
- Support: Offers customer support, making it suitable for beginners who might encounter challenges.
Cons of Web.com:
- Domain Renewal: The domain name you get is only valid for a year, and you must renew it for a fee annually.
- Website: $4.95 per month
- Website + Marketing: $7.95 per month
- Online Store: $13.95 per month
- Online Marketplaces: $19.95 per month
3. HubSpot Website Builder: Ideals for Automatic Marketing Tasks
HubSpot Website Builder combines a drag-and-drop builder with marketing automation tools and CRM. It’s perfect for businesses looking to optimize their website for every device while delivering personalized content to every visitor.
Pros of HubSpot Website Builder:
- CRM Integration: Seamlessly integrates with its CRM (Customer Relationship Management), allowing you to use customer data to personalize the user experience.
- All-in-One Platform: All your content is in one place, eliminating the need to jump between different platforms.
- Comprehensive Features: Offers email marketing, live chat, adaptive testing, and more.
Cons of HubSpot Website Builder:
- Simplicity vs. Complexity: If you require an online store or a complex business website, a platform like WordPress.org might be more suitable.
- Learning Curve: Beginners may find the extra features a bit intimidating. Assess if you need marketing automation before committing.
Pricing: HubSpot offers free website builder options with limited features and premium plans with advanced capabilities and support. For pricing details, consult their sales experts.
4. Wix: Best Quick Business Website Creator with Simple Templates
Wix is renowned for its intuitive drag-and-drop builder, making it an excellent choice for those looking to create a beautiful website without extensive coding knowledge.
Pros of Wix:
- Extensive Templates: Offers over 800 templates and an app market, starting with free access and options to unlock more features.
- SEO Tools: Provides SEO, email capture and marketing, social posting, and Facebook ad tools.
- Customization: Hundreds of customizable templates available for creating your small business website.
Cons of Wix:
- Responsive Design: Wix uses absolute positioning, which may not adjust well to different screen sizes, affecting SEO.
- Migration Complexity: Moving your site away from Wix can be challenging.
Pricing: Wix offers a free plan and 8 premium plans divided into three categories, starting at $4 per month for website plans.
5. GoDaddy Website Builder: Recommended for Making Basic Websites
GoDaddy is a famous company that helps you with domains and website hosting. With GoDaddy Website Builder, you can create a business website without the need for extensive technical knowledge.
Pros of GoDaddy Website Builder:
- No Technical Knowledge Needed: Choose from ready-to-use templates, fonts, and graphics with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor.
- Built-In Marketing Tools: Includes SEO and email marketing functions.
- Mobile Compatibility: Works on any screen, including phones and tablets.
Cons of GoDaddy Website Builder:
- Limited Features: Offers fewer features compared to some other builders.
- Not Ideal for Content-Rich Sites: Suited for simple sites with a few pages.
- Basic: $6.99 per month ($11.99 per month upon renewal)
- Standard: $10.49 per month ($15.99 per month upon renewal)
- Premium: $13.99 per month ($21.99 per month upon renewal)
6. Gator Website Builder: Top Choice for Building Budget-Friendly Websites
Gator Website Builder makes website creation a breeze with its simple interface and affordable pricing.
Pros of Gator Website Builder:
- Ease of Use: Gator Website Builder boasts no learning curve, with a library of themes and layouts.
- All-Inclusive: Includes free hosting, a domain name, analytics, and an SSL certificate.
- Migration: Facilitates transferring your existing site.
Cons of Gator Website Builder:
- Limited Features: Not suitable for complex websites or those requiring extensive features.
- Contract Commitment: Requires a 3-year contract commitment.
- Starter Plan: Starts at $3.46 per month
- Premium Plan: Starts at $3.39 per month
- E-commerce Plan: Starts at $8.30 per month
7. MemberPress: Best Membership Site Builder
If you’re interested in creating a membership-based website with exclusive content, MemberPress is the solution for you.
Pros of MemberPress:
- WordPress Integration: Runs on WordPress, providing flexibility and familiarity.
- Quick Setup: Set up your membership site in minutes.
- Revenue Generation: Generate recurring subscription revenue and control member access.
- Plugin Integration: Easily integrate with other plugins and use any WordPress theme.
Cons of MemberPress:
- Pricing: Slightly pricier than some other builders on this list.
- Maintenance: As it runs on WordPress, you’re responsible for software updates and backups.
- Basic: $14.9 per month
- Plus: $24.9 per month
- Pro: $33.29 per month
8. Weebly: Top Free Website Platform for Small Businesses
Weebly is a popular choice among those seeking a free website builder. While it offers free options, premium plans unlock advanced features.
Pros of Weebly:
- SEO and Lead Generation: Allows you to use SEO and lead generation features.
- Mobile-Friendly: Ensures your small business website is mobile-friendly with responsive templates.
- Domain Usage: Upgrading lets you use Weebly with your domain.
Cons of Weebly:
- Basic E-commerce: The free level offers rudimentary e-commerce functions, but paid versions offer more.
- Learning Curve: Not everyone finds Weebly’s drag-and-drop builder intuitive.
- Personal: $10 per month
- Professional: $12 per month
- Performance: $26 per month
9. BigCommerce: The top website builder for online businesses
BigCommerce is tailored for businesses with e-commerce needs. It simplifies online store creation while offering a range of features.
Pros of BigCommerce:
- E-commerce Focus: Ideal for launching an e-commerce store without worrying about technical aspects.
- Beginner-Friendly: Offers stunning templates and designs with ease of use.
- Customization: Customize your small business website with integrated apps.
- Security: Ensures 99.99% uptime and protection from hackers and DDoS attacks.
Cons of BigCommerce:
- Upgrade Required: Some advanced e-commerce features require upgrading to higher-priced plans.
- Standard: $39 per month
- Plus: $70 per month
- Pro: $299 per month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
10. Squarespace: Top Choice for Creating Modern Business Websites
Squarespace is renowned for its modern and visually appealing designs, making it a top choice for businesses focused on aesthetics.
Pros of Squarespace:
- Beginner-Friendly: Designed to be manageable for first-time website creators.
- **Free Custom Domain
: Free for the First Year: Use Squarespace with a custom domain for free during the initial year.
- Hosted Solution: Squarespace handles site updates and provides an SSL certificate for added security.
- E-commerce Features: Allows you to sell unlimited products and accept donations.
Cons of Squarespace:
- Learning Curve: While beginner-friendly, some users might encounter a learning curve when exploring advanced features.
- E-commerce Costs: If e-commerce is vital to your business, you’ll need one of the more expensive plans.
- Personal: $16 per month
- Business: $23 per month
- Basic Commerce: $27 per month
- Advanced Commerce: $49 per month
What Comes After Picking a Business Website Creator?
Now that you’ve explored the best website builders for small businesses, what’s next? Building your email marketing list and audience should be a priority before launching your site.
Starting your list early can help you get more leads and conversions. OptinMonster, a premium WordPress plugin, offers advanced targeting features for effective marketing campaigns.
OptinMonster’s targeting features include:
- Utilize Exit-Intent Technology to engage visitors as they’re about to leave your small business website.
- Implement Page-Level Targeting for customized offers tailored to specific customer needs.
- Onsite Retargeting shows different offers to people who’ve seen previous marketing campaigns.
OptinMonster also integrates seamlessly with major e-commerce platforms and industry-leading email marketing services. With its wide range of templates and themes, you can create a unique website for your business, ensuring your marketing campaigns match your company’s design seamlessly.
Key Factors for Picking the Perfect Website Builder
Selecting the right website builder for your small business is a critical decision. It directly impacts how your online presence will take shape and evolve. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when making this important choice:
Budget Considerations: Determine your budget for website development and maintenance. Some website builders offer free plans with limited features, while others have tiered pricing structures. Consider not only the initial cost but also ongoing expenses, such as hosting fees and domain registration.
Business Goals and Requirements: Clearly define your business goals and website requirements. Are you primarily focused on creating an informative online presence, or do you need advanced features like ecommerce, membership management, or booking systems? Your website builder should align with your business objectives.
Scalability and Future Growth: Think about the future. Your small business may grow, and your website should be able to grow with it. Check if the website builder can accommodate increased traffic, additional content, and new functionalities as your business expands.
Ease of Use and Learning Curve: Consider your technical proficiency and the learning curve associated with the website builder. Some platforms are designed for beginners, offering drag-and-drop interfaces and templates, while others are more complex and cater to users with coding skills. Choose a builder that matches your comfort level and time available for website management.
Design and Customization Options: Evaluate the design capabilities of the website builder. Does it offer a variety of templates and themes that suit your industry and style preferences? Can you easily customize these templates to create a unique and visually appealing website?
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is a website builder for small businesses?
A website builder for small businesses is an online tool or platform that allows individuals and business owners to create and customize their own websites without the need for extensive coding or technical expertise.
2. Why is having a website important for small businesses?
Having a website is crucial for small businesses as it provides an online presence, enhances credibility, and helps reach a broader audience. It also serves as a platform for marketing and customer interaction.
3. What are the key features to consider when choosing a website builder for a small business?
Key features to consider include user-friendly interface, customization options, e-commerce capabilities, mobile responsiveness, and search engine optimization tools.
4. Is WordPress a good option for small business websites?
Yes, WordPress is a popular and versatile platform that can be an excellent choice for small businesses. It offers customization, scalability, and a wide range of plugins and themes.
5. What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com for small business websites?
WordPress.org is self-hosted and free, while WordPress.com offers various pricing levels. WordPress.org provides more control and flexibility for small business websites.
6. Which website builder is best for beginners?
Web.com is considered one of the best DIY website builders for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and a variety of templates.
7. What is HubSpot Website Builder, and why is it suitable for small businesses?
HubSpot Website Builder combines drag-and-drop functionality with marketing automation capabilities. It’s suitable for small businesses due to its integration with CRM and personalized user experiences.
8. Is Wix a good choice for quick business website creation?
Yes, Wix is known for its intuitive drag-and-drop builder and simple templates, making it an excellent choice for quickly creating a business website.
9. What does GoDaddy Website Builder offer for small businesses?
GoDaddy Website Builder is known for its ease of use, offering ready-to-use templates, marketing tools, and mobile-responsive designs.
10. How affordable is Gator Website Builder for small businesses?
Gator Website Builder is one of the most affordable options, offering simple website creation and free hosting, a domain name, and SSL certificate.
11. What is MemberPress, and why is it beneficial for small businesses?
MemberPress is a WordPress plugin for building membership sites. It’s beneficial for small businesses as it allows content access control and recurring subscription revenue.
12. Is Weebly a good choice for budget-conscious small businesses?
Yes, Weebly offers a free plan and provides mobile-friendly templates, making it an excellent choice for small businesses on a budget.
13. Why is BigCommerce recommended for e-commerce small businesses?
BigCommerce is designed for online sales, offering features like inventory management, reviews, and email marketing automation, making it ideal for e-commerce.
14. What makes Squarespace suitable for small businesses looking for modern designs?
Squarespace offers visually appealing templates, mobile-friendliness, and essential features like SSL certificates, making it ideal for businesses seeking modern designs.
15. Are free website builders a good choice for small businesses?
Free website builders can be an option, but they often come with limitations and may not provide a professional look. Consider your business needs carefully.
16. What should I consider when choosing a paid website builder for my small business?
Consider factors such as your budget, the level of customization required, e-commerce needs, and the scalability of the website builder.
17. Can I use my own domain with a website builder for small businesses?
Yes, many website builders allow you to use your own domain, which helps create a professional online presence.
18. What is SEO, and why is it important for small business websites?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher on search engine results pages. It’s essential for driving organic traffic to your site.
19. How much does it cost to build and maintain a website for a small business?
The cost varies depending on factors like complexity and features. DIY website builders can start at $5 to $20 per month, while professional web development can range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.
20. How can I start building my email marketing list for my small business website?
You can start building your email list by using tools like OptinMonster, which offers advanced targeting features for effective marketing and integrates with various email marketing services.
Still are you looking for the best website builder for small business? The best website builder for your small business depends on your specific needs and preferences. Each of the options mentioned in this guide offers its unique features and advantages, so take the time to evaluate them and choose the one that aligns best with your business goals.
With the right website builder, you can establish a strong online presence, connect with your audience, and pave the way for online success.