2017 Reviews

Best Website Builders - 2017 Reviews

BigCommerce

Comprehensive, e-commerce website builder, no transaction fees, built-in blog

  • $29.95 - $249.95/mo.
  • 15-day free trial
Made for:

Businesses looking to expand to e-commerce and mobile commerce, unlimited merchandise options

Not for:

Selling high volumes of low price merchandise, users who don't want to code at all

Wix Pure drag and drop builder; various template design options; custom mobile site

  • $5 - $25/mo.
  • 14-day money back guarantee
Made for:

Quick, easy setup; creating separate, customizable mobile and desktop sites

Not for:

Advanced e-commerce functionality, changing templates/designs after original setup, editing the website's source code

Squarespace Extensive, customizable designs; complex, easy to use editor; built-in analytics

  • $16 - $46/mo.
  • 14-day free trial
Made for:

Portfolios, designers and artists, restaurants and events websites; SEO-focused users

Not for:

Bloggers; integrating with multiple pricing processors including PayPal, or extensive marketing

Shopify Robust, e-commerce focused; check out in over 50 languages

  • $29 - $229/mo.
  • 14-day free trial
Made for:

Managing online stores from a mobile app, social selling and mobile e-commerce

Not for:

Customizing websites without coding, low transaction fees or low monthly sales volume

Weebly Intuitive UI; customizable pre-designed page layouts; auto-save edits

  • $0 - $38/mo.
  • Free version
Made for:

Small businesses, artists, personal websites and simple online stores; scheduling blog posts; site editing with an iPad app

Not for:

Extensive template customization or photo editing; e-commerce focused or multilingual sites

Jimdo iOS and Android apps provide full site editing capabilities; online SEO tutorial

  • $0 - $20/mo.
  • Free version
Made for:

Small businesses looking to build an online presence or setting up websites in various languages with extensive code customization

Not for:

Personal websites or user accounts; website or content backup

eHost Simple solution for setting up and maintaining online presence

  • $2.75/mo.
  • 45-day money back guarantee
Made for:

Simple setup with free domain, hosting, and e-mail integrations

Not for:

Business-class solutions, extensive support or those seeking secure unshared servers

GoDaddy Website Builder Simple editor, audio player creates playlists; collects email addresses

  • $6 - $30/mo
  • 1st month free
Made for:

Extensive support and creating multiple backup copies of your website

Not for:

Restaurants, blogging; responsive, or multilingual websites

Wordpress.com Moderate learning curve; Shopify integration

  • $0 - $24.92/mo.
  • Free version
Made for:

Bloggers, Wordpress.org CMS, Woocommerce or Jetpack users

Not for:

Extensive customization, newsletters, e-commerce or restaurant sites

WebStarts Built by a small team but packing a lot of custom widgets

  • $0 - $20/mo.
  • Free version
Made for:

People looking for individualized support

Not for:

The most modern of designs; ecommerce

Getsocio An easy-to-use website builder for creating customizable online stores.

  • $15 - $2000/month
  • 14-day free trial
Made for:

Quick online store setup with extensive developer support

Not for:

Large sales volumes

Vistaprint From the promotion giant comes digital branding services

  • $5 - $25/mo.
  • Free 30-day trial
Made for:

High-touch support; putting simple business presence online

Not for:

Ecommerce; customized page layouts; highly variable content types

Sitelio Also marketed as SiteBuilder, WebsiteBuilder or Sitey; Ecwid integration

  • $6 - $12/mo.
  • 14-day free trial
Made for:

Bloggers, and users seeking to create image galleries

Not for:

Extensive support during setup, mobile editing, social media integration, or SEO-focused websites

Web.com Simple, shared hosting plans; mobile site separate

  • $25 - $46/mo.
  • Teaser intro rate
Made for:

Quick setup and uptime without any coding

Not for:

Setting up mobile websites, or dedicated hosting

Voog Multilingual content focus; responsive

  • $8, $14 or $40/mo.
  • 30-day free trial
Made for:

Multlingual websites or multilingual staff

Not for:

Modern designs, heavy engagement or tool integration

Dex Copywriters create your site content

  • $199 - $399/mo.
  • $149 start fee
Made for:

Users looking for a company to set up their website for them

Not for:

Quick, easy editing

Zoho Site Builder

Makes the most of Zoho CRM add-on options

  • $0 - $48/mo.
  • Free version
Made for:

Zoho CRM users that want a basic online presence to integrate with their CRM

Not for:

All inclusive product suite

Google Sites Simple online content sharing for teams or personal productivity

  • Free
Made for:

Internal company sites, small showcase pages to share with friends

Not for:

Marketing or ecommerce; a standalone web presence

Blogger Google's free tool built specifically for blogging

  • Free
Made for:

Blogging and G Suite users, digital journaling and archiving

Not for:

Business sites, heavy customization

Soholaunch Linux or Windows server needed; Authorize.net integration

  • $18/mo.
  • No free trial
Made for:

Home-based business owners, easy content formatting

Not for:

Mobile-ready sites or extensive support

Expert Interviews

"One of the areas that is still a little weak is this whole idea of a content syndication. There’s still a big push where the content editors build webpages, and they want to control the layout, pages, etc. They get measured by the number of visitors to the website and all that stuff. I’m not saying that’s not important; however, we’re trying to push an idea of a web service content syndication. So, how you use these CMS’s to do that, so your content gets syndicated worldwide. It doesn’t necessarily have to be measured by how many people hit your website. It should be measured by the number of impressions."
Ken Fang
President, Mobomo
"If the goal of the company is to take over in-house website maintenance, then ExpressionEngine is probably not the best choice unless they have a tech-savvy team that can do the work. It’s a little more hands-on than WordPress as far as updating. On the other hand, I will say that the security in ExpressionEngine is a lot tighter. WordPress sites get hacked a lot, often through the third-party add-ons. Because they’re so popular, and because WordPress is so ubiquitous, hackers sort of start to see patterns they can exploit."
Chris Simental
Co-Founder, Ripe Media
"From a security standpoint, just baseline, every company should have some kind of update schedule built into their process. Of course, Squarespace does that on their own. We recommend to every company that they purchase an SSL certificate to install on their host server for their domain, to ensure their site is secure. Even if they’re not transacting on the site, from an e-commerce standpoint, it’s good to have something like that setup. Not only does it help security, but it also helps SEO now. Beyond that, specifics on security really depend on the organization and what kind of information they’re trying to protect."
Jason O'Mara
Founder, Roja Interactive
"The biggest feature on WordPress that is impressive, but can also be a detriment too, is how easily WordPress can be updated. You can go in and click a couple buttons, and then you’re on the latest version. It’s quick and easy to update, but you can also break the site pretty easily, especially if there are conflicts, the theme isn’t built properly, or you have a lot of plugins. Updates can cause problems sometimes. It’s a pretty cool feature that’s unique to WordPress in a lot of ways, but it can also break sites."
Brian Dainis
CEO, Curotec
"Anytime you’re using a WYSIWYG editor, like Wix offers, your site is not going to have the cleanest code. So, it’s probably a short-term solution for most of our clients, to get something up and running and then transition from later... I’d say that Wix is simpler than Squarespace. It’s very quick and easy to get something up and running. You can create a site and customize it for yourself in a few minutes, and get something live on the internet. Squarespace is also simple and approachable, but there’s a little more power and complexity versus Wix."
Scott Weisman
Co-Founder, LaunchPad Lab
"I think 30% of all websites are WordPress based. That’s why I love it. It is the most popular CMS by far, and it’s open-source. To me, that is a perfect recipe for innovation to occur and be shared with others. When a company has needs that go outside of what WordPress offers when you install it and set it up, we find ourselves more and more being able to offer solutions to client needs at less cost because of how open the community is with sharing information and available functionalities."
Hans Skillrud
Founder, StickOutSocial
"Shopify and BigCommerce are built differently, but they are both cloud-based SaaS services. In all cases, you are limited in what you can do to change the workflow of how a standard e-commerce website works – the process from the homepage to the checkout page. You are limited in how you can modify the core functions of the system. You can use apps, and you can do some sort of customization, but you are limited."
Denis Dyli
Founder, Pivofy
"When we look at something that’s more on the SaaS side, like Shopify or BigCommerce, we often make decisions between the two based on the available applications. The differentiation is in a bit of the app market, and there are certain pieces of their system that one focuses on more than the other. So, there are some nuances there. I think we recommend one a bit more than the other, but I think they both have their place."
Adam Morris
CEO, Restage
"I like to look at Magento as the Cadillac, Shopify as a Corolla, and BigCommerce as a Civic. Not everybody needs a Cadillac with 500 horsepower, and not everybody needs something fully customizable. So, if your needs are very simple, you’re doing self-fulfillment, you’re only selling from one warehouse to one or two countries, you have a small team, and your product is simple, you probably don’t need Magento. It will cost a lot more, even in a simpler configuration, because it’s a higher-end system. In some cases, the Corolla or the Honda are going better for your business."
David Ward
President, Meticulosity
"It's important to know, for anyone thinking of building a new website, changing their CMS or relaunching an existing page, that the site is never 100% complete. People shouldn't worry about ironing out all the wrinkles before the launch, since they can continue to edit the page as they go. No website is set in stone, and it should remain flexible to changes. Many of our clients get hung-up on making the site absolutely perfect before the launch, but that just delays the process. There will always be something to change or to update, and that's the great thing about websites."
Tanya Wigmore
VP Marketing, Meticulosity