Searching for the right website builder is not always easy. Especially today, when there are so many website builders available in the market.
Now it is obvious that not all website builders are created equally. They have different features and functionalities. And we will discuss some of those aspects in this article.
While choosing a website builder, it is important to find a platform that is powerful and functional at the same time. It should be easy enough to use, such that you can create your own website without any technical help.
And with that in mind, I will now be discussing the ten most successful website builders. But before reviewing these market leaders, let us first discuss the factors to be considered while choosing a website builder.
I have personally used and analyzed the website builders mentioned in the list below. And I am recommending these options for website building only after thorough consideration.
Wix is probably the best universal website builder. And more than 62 million websites all over the world have been created using it.
And that is the highest record for all online website builders, both in the free and premium segments.
Well, why is it that people like Wix and use it?
Let’s find out.
Wix is easier and more user-friendly when compared to most other website builders. Very few website builders have the same intuitive interface as Wix does. Even without any knowledge of web development, you can successfully create a website using Wix. You don’t need to know anything about web design, HTML layout, or programming.
Wix drag&drop editor
Wix can be used to create many different kinds of websites. From simple blogs to comprehensive websites with forums, membership options, online stores, etc. – everything is possible with Wix.
Wix website templates categories
Moreover, it has more template categories than other website builders. This means you can find the website templates for even some rare niches like driving schools, yoga instructors, farm produce delivery, and many others.
Wix is one of the leaders among website builders. And the claim is further substantiated by the fact that it has more than 700 template options. And these options cater to a wide range of color preferences and design tastes. Also, the template options that you get with Wix don’t compromise on quality. All the templates are fully responsive and created by professional website designers.
Wix’s free plan comes with better functional capacities as compared to other platforms. Most builders limit their free plans to nominal features so that you can just try out the builder. But Wix offers a full-fledged, feature-loaded plan for free. Of course, the premium plans offer several more features. But for simple blogs and personal websites, Wix’s free plan usually suffices.
Wix has recently started to use AI. And the use of AI makes website development even easier. If you choose the Wix Artificial Design Interface (ADI) mode, you can create a website by just answering simple questions about your site’s purpose and your preferences (color scheme, style, font, and the like). AI will do the heavy-lifting for you. And your website will be ready within 10 to 20 minutes. This is a perfect option for beginners.
In addition to built-in functional capacities, Wix offers access to more than 300 different apps through the WixAppMarket. These specialized apps allow you to perform even more detailed website customization and open up new functional avenues. And the best part is that all these apps are available for free.
For more experienced users, Wix allows embedding custom code, widgets, and custom elements to the websites. You can use the Velo by Wix option for this. And this is what significantly improves the standard Wix editor experience. While it doesn’t give you the freedom to change the existing HTML code of the website, you can certainly add some more elements that you may need.
Wix Embedding Codes and Custom Elements
If you’re a beginner webmaster, this feature won’t matter much to you. But, for advanced users, it is a huge plus.
All the websites created with Wix have SSL security certificates. It also applies to free Wix websites. Most free website builders don’t offer an SSL certificate with the free plan.
As opposed to WordPress and other CMS with open code, your Wix website won’t need frequent system updates. That’s why you needn’t worry about security. Hackers won’t get access to your website because you forgot to update it. No upgrades – no problems with website cracks.
In my opinion, Wix’s automatic backup point creation is a perfect feature. It gives you an option to return to your website’s previous version, that is, the one before your latest changes. It reminds me a bit of the “History” feature in Adobe Photoshop – just click on the latest save and go back.
Wix revisions history
Those who have minimum knowledge of website development;
Those who want to develop a small website (up to 30 pages);
Those who want to create a free website;
Those who want to build a website for unusual and rare activity;
Those who want to set up small online stores;
Those who need a website for selling “virtual” products (photos, graphics, music, and so on).
Wix is a free website builder without any time restrictions on use. This means you can use a free Wix website for as long as you need. For more advanced functionalities, there are several paid plans that you can consider.
If Wix is the leader among universal website builders and perhaps the best tool among free ones, Shopify is the best among ecommerce platforms. And you’ll soon realize why.
Unlike most business website builders, Shopify doesn’t try to be a universal solution. Instead, it specializes in helping users set up online stores.
Sell with Shopify
And in time, Shopify has developed many functional options and extra capacities for online sales and dropshipping that it has left all its competitors way behind. However, in this process, it turned out to be more complicated to use. And, of course, more expensive. Although, this is not an issue given the sheer amount of capabilities it has.
So, why is Shopify the leader among ecommerce platforms?
Shopify isn’t trying to please everyone. It just aims to become the best online sales and dropshipping solution. And this specialized focus resulted in lots of functional options and extra ecommerce apps. Plus, there are all sorts of free and premium ecommerce themes. All these were created with a great understanding of how ecommerce businesses operate.
Shopify has both free and premium themes from third-party developers. For example, there are more than 1200 premium themes for Shopify sold on ThemeForest alone. Premium themes allow making your online store’s design more unique. Thanks to so many options, you’ll able to find appropriate themes even for selling products in rare niches.
Shopify has lots of free and premium apps and plugins. These were created to significantly improve the functionality of Shopify online stores. I’ve highlighted this in red for a reason. And it is that these apps can provide an important competitive edge for your ecommerce business.
Shopify app store
Here are some examples of Shopify apps and plugins and what they do:
Judge.me – You get automatic client mailing that requests to leave a comment about a purchased product. You can either send the request via email, push notifications, or SMS. You can quickly collect real client reviews on your e-store and increase conversion through this.
Oberlo – It a great pick for dropshipping. This app interacts with your suppliers, and orders are serviced semi-automatically. Shipping tracks are automatically entered. And the shipment of the order by the supplier is automatically confirmed.
ROI Hunter – It integrates with your Shopify site and sets up dynamic Google and Facebook ads. For Google ads, this plugin independently creates a product feed and remarketing tag. And for Facebook ads, the plugin creates a product catalog and Facebook remarketing pixel. Moreover, ROI Hunter can configure dynamic remarketing ads. It shows ads to visitors who expressed interest in your store but left without making a purchase.
Ali Hunter– it automates the analysis of dropshipping products and stores on AliExpress. It aids in finding new products and also analyzing and tracking competitors’ stores. This plugin can save you several hours.
Shopify Shipping is a unique offer that helps save money on goods delivery within the USA. You can buy and print discounted shipping labels when filling an order. At the expense of Shopify and DHL’s partnership arrangements, UPS and USPS, you can extend delivery discounts to your clients up to 75%.
With Shopify, you can use PayPal, Stripe, Square, and other payment intake solutions. But there is also a built-in solution – Shopify Payment with several advantages:
Financially beneficial: With Shopify Payments, there are no extra Shopify fees.
User-friendly: All the tools are accessible in a single Shopify account. You don’t need to shift from the payment system account to your Shopify store account.
Shopify Fulfillment Network: a possibility to use Shopify warehouses for goods storage and delivery to clients. It is similar to the Amazon Fulfillment service.
Shopify has several options for integration with some popular marketplaces and trading platforms like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google Shopping, Instagram, and more. This allows store owners to sell goods on their site as well as on other popular trading platforms at the same time. This is a convenient feature and helps save a lot of time.
For dropshipping salesmen who already sell their goods through Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook and now want to broaden their market by setting up their online store.
For those who wish to set up medium-sized or large online stores.
For quick ecommerce business startups within the USA.
Shopify doesn’t have a free plan. But it offers a 14-day free trial (no card required). After this period, you’ll get the option to switch to one of the premium plans. The plans are Basic Shopify ($29 per month), Shopify ($79 per month), and Advanced Shopify ($229 per month).
More details about Shopify plans.
Being a professional website designer, I personally like Squarespace. It is one of the few website builders that help you make beautiful and aesthetically flawless websites in a minimalistic style.
Squarespace was initially created as a website builder for portfolio websites and photo galleries for photographers and artists. This platform is for people and web developers with artistic taste, to summarize it briefly.
The latest Squarespace 7.1 version comes with more functional capacities than ever before. But truth be told, most of them are far from perfect.
Now let us understand Squarespace’s peculiarities in detail.
Betting on visual content demonstration, Squarespace can satisfy the tastes of even the most demanding photographers, designers, artists, and other creatives.
Website visitors need to be shown photos, graphics, and videos from the best perspectives. And Squarespace is one of the best website builders for such purposes.
Moreover, you’re can easily get sales with the help of visual content. For this, you’ll need the Business tariff plan, though. (Check its price here.)
Squarespace has the most beautiful website templates in the market. Of course, there aren’t too many options (about 100 templates are available). And not all categories are available either. But the templates that are available are beautiful, of high quality, and fully responsive.
Squarespace website templates
Squarespace is perfect for creating a blog. It has a lot of valuable functions that include a simple way to edit posts, deferred publication planning, rich customization of the comments system, AMP support, RSS, tag adding, the possibility to add several authors for one post at a time, iTunes podcasting integration possibility and many more.
Squarespace blog option
Squarespace has a built-in drag-and-drop editor for easy customization of your website. It allows you to change the design by simply dragging and dropping the required elements at the required place on a page.
There is no free plan in Squarespace, but the monthly plan charges that you pay include the cost of an SSL certificate, which is a great thing.
Squarespace offers its own solutions for website visitor analytics through the built-in Squarespace Analytics App. Integration with Google Analytics is also possible in case you need more data.
Squarespace analytics tools
Squarespace offers unlimited bandwidth and storage space for all plans starting from the most basic one. There is also no limit on the number of web pages your website can have.
For photographers, designers, artists, and anyone else who needs a stylish portfolio website;
For bloggers who are looking for an alternative to a WordPress blog;
For those who wish to build a small ecommerce website that sells designer things, handmade goods, posters, photos, or graphics;
For those looking forward to developing a personal website, like public figures, musicians, sportspersons, and show-biz stars.
Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan (but there is aa 14-day trial) and it can hardly be called affordable. The lowest-prices Squarespace plan starts at $12 per month (paid annually) and is commensurate with the top competitors’ plans.
A more functional Business plan costs $18 per month.
The Basic Commerce plan allows online sales without any transaction fees and will cost you $26 per month.
Advanced Commerce, the most powerful plan, requires you to shell out $40 per month. It includes all the capacities that Squarespace has on offer for its clients.
Check out a more detailed view of Squarespace plans.
Webnode is one of the oldest website builders (created in 2008) that is constantly developing and making its clients happy. And today, there are over 40 million websites all over the world that are powered by Webnode.
Now I’ll tell you exactly why people trust Webnode and what it’s got better than its competitors. Though it has some cons, too, the strong pros make Webnode a value offering.
In 2016, Webnode rolled out an important update with its drag-and-drop editor and website templates. At the moment, it’s got a collection of more than 200 beautiful and responsive templates. All of which are available for free.
Webnode website templates
Webnode is far from being a leader in functional capacities since it falls behind Wix and Weebly. Nevertheless, it is intuitive and user-friendly. Webnode is convenient even for beginner users.
Webnode allows for multi-language website development as it supports 20 languages. That figure is higher than what any other website builder supports. And that’s what makes Webnode the best website builder for launching multi-language websites.
Option to choose any language
Webnode is a free website builder. With the free plan, you can develop a fully functional website, get free hosting (100MB storage and 1GB bandwidth), and a free third-level domain name. Also, there is no limit on the number of pages that your website can have.
Webnode takes responsibility for your website’s security and offers free SSL certificates for all websites built using it. (Including those that have been developed for free.)
Webnode allows creating backups and recovering previous versions of your website. This function will especially please beginner webmasters who can easily correct mistakes using this feature.
Backup creation is possible in two ways – online and offline. With the offline option, you can save your website’s backup directly on your computer. Find out how to do that here.
Webnode makes it possible to easily add HTML/CSS code and extra widgets. You can add your HTML code to the header, footer, or anywhere else on your website.
Option to add HTML/CSS code
Visit here to know how it can be done.
Another great advantage of Webnode is its affordable premium plans. As compared to other top website builders, Webnode has the lowest prices.
Like Wix, Webnode also has a simple Connect Domain plan that costs $3.90 per month (against $5 for the Wix plan).
The most basic premium plan, Mini, costs $7.50 per month. A similar plan with Squarespace costs $12, and as for Wix, it’s $14. However, note that, unlike competitors, Webnode’s Mini plan doesn’t remove Webnode ads from your website.
The basic eCommerce plan (Standard) is available for only $12.90 per month. Wix’s minimum ecommerce plan costs $23, and for the basic Squarespace eCommerce plan, you’d have to pay $26. Shopify’s basic plan costs $29.
The price advantage is obvious – you’ll have to pay much less with Webnode.
But I recommend using Webnode in the following cases:
For multi-language website creation. Webnode is the best solution in the market;
For beginner webmasters who want to develop a personal website;
For making small online stores, since the cost of starting up an online store is low with Webnode;
For creating small business sites (using the Mini or Standard plans).
Webnode offers a free plan without any limits on use and four affordable premium plans.
The most basic Limited plan costs $3.90 per month. It is the same as the free plan but with the possibility to use your domain name.
Mini plan ($7.50) has got broader capacities but doesn’t remove Webnode ads.
Standard Plan costs $12.90 and has got even more options, not to mention the possibility to make online sales.
The top Profi plan costs $22.90. It’s got maximum capabilities and supports all 20 languages for multi-language website creation.
Here are more details about Webnode’s plans.
Weebly was the first website builder I ever used. It’s one of the oldest online website builders that began operation in 2007.
Weebly website builder
Being one of the best website builders, Weebly has lots of advantages, some of which you’re unlikely to get with other website builders.
What I like about this builder is that it’s got a good balance (between functional capacities and simplicity of use) and has ample opportunities for creating larger sites. With regards to the latter, Weebly is second to none.
Weebly is really easy to use. You’ll have to spend the least possible amount of time and effort to master its interface. Weebly’s drag-and-drop editor is extremely easy and intuitive, but I must say that it appeared to me not that flexible when compared to Wix.
I would have liked more capacities for changing templates and editing them. However, the ease and user-friendliness of this builder are still worth appreciating.
Most of the good website builders are aimed at small website development. They are limited in terms of pages, sections, categories, and subcategories. Moreover, managing larger projects using such platforms isn’t as easy as you’d like.
But all this isn’t true for Weebly. Weebly, perhaps, is the best online website builder if you want to build a sizable informational website. It has a well-considered website architecture that is great for multi-page websites with a big enclosure of sections and subsections.
Website made on Weebly
Also, it is as easy to handle a larger website with Weebly as it is to handle a smaller one.
Weebly allows creating an unlimited enclosure of categories, sections, and navigation menus. That’s what I felt lacking in Squarespace, where you can create categories for only first-level enclosures.
Weebly automatically creates a drop-down menu for you in accordance with your multilevel website structure. It’s really wonderful!
Using Weebly, you can build membership sites with the possibility of showing certain content to only a certain group of users. It’s possible to give them personal access passwords or let them independently register on the website to gain entry to the membership area.
Weebly membership options
Learn more about Weebly membership features here.
It’s been my long-held observation that experienced webmasters (especially web developers) consider Weebly to be the absolute leader among all online website builders. And that’s not for nothing.
The point is that Weebly, unlike most of its competitors, allows editing the HTML/CSS code of your website. It can be via the Embed Code element.
And it is really comfortable to work with. You can edit the CSS code and see how your website has changed in the preview section. (Select the Auto Preview option in the settings.)
Weebly HTML/CSS editor
As a result, you can perform more accurate customization of your website as per your needs.
Weebly has the Weebly App Center, where you’ll find a great collection of apps, widgets, and tools to integrate with your Weebly websites. Judged based on the number of additional apps available, Weebly is the third-best platform (after Shopify and Wix).
Using apps and widgets allows making your website even better. For example, you can add complicated tables or text animations to attract your users’ attention.
What’s remarkable about this is that the Weebly App Center can be accessed on all plans, including the free version.
For creating bigger sites with a large number of pages and sections;
For creating free websites;
For beginner webmasters without any experience in site building;
For making business websites;
For webmasters with HTML layout and programming skills;
For making eCommerce stores.
Weebly has one free and several premium plans. Note that Weebly has different plans for users from the USA and Europe.
There are 3 premium plans for the USA:
The Personal plan, available for $6 per month, allows adding your custom domain name. There is also a plan for $12 per month and the Performance plan for $26 per month.
For European countries, there are 4 premium plans:
Connect (Similar to the personal plan, available for €6 per month);
Pro (Positioned as a plan for groups and organizations, available for €10 per month);
Business (For small businesses and online stores, available for €20 per month);
Business Plus (For larger eCommerce sellers, available for €30 per month).
Find out more details about Weebly’s plans.
Jimdo belongs to the category of older website builders (it exists since 2007) that keep on evolving and getting better.
Jimdo website builder
In 2017, Jimdo released an artificial intelligence-powered version of its website builder – Jimdo Dolphin. It’s a successful realization of AI applications in modern website development. For the most part, it was Jimdo Dolphin’s existence that made me put it on the best website builders list.
Jimdo Creator, a version for more experienced users, appeared to me not functional enough. It contains more advanced settings than Jimdo Dolphin, but it’s obviously a weaker variant than Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
That’s why when I’m talking about Jimdo, I mean Jimdo Dolphin.
Jimdo Dolphin is the fastest website builder among the ones that I have used. You can develop a simple but high-quality website in only 3 minutes. Literally, in just 3 minutes!
If you spend about an hour on its final customization, you’ll get a perfect simple website.
Jimdo’s simplicity and user-friendliness are commendable. It was more comfortable and easier for me to edit a website using Jimdo Dolphin than using Wix ADI. The reason was that Jimdo allows editing websites in real-time. This means you can immediately see the results of your actions.
Jimdo has a free plan – it’s an undeniable pro, but in my opinion, its possibilities are very restricted. It’s fair to say that there are some free website builders that have fewer restrictions and more functional options in their free plans.
Jimdo offers beautiful and quality website templates. They look equally good on different devices like smartphones, older mobile phones, tablets, or PCs.
Jimdo website templates
For beginner webmasters with minimum skills;
For immediate website creation (when you need a website right now);
For developing simple websites for small businesses.
Jimdo offers 2 kinds of plans – for creating standard websites and for online stores.
For standard websites:
Play – A free plan that is good for nothing but testing Jimdo;
Start – A basic premium plan without ads and with your custom domain for $6 per month;
Grow – Recommended for business websites (for $15 per month);
Unlimited – As obvious from the self-explanatory name, the plan has no restrictions. The cost of this plan isn’t stated on the website.
For online stores:
Basic – Similar to the Start plan, but aimed at ecommerce (for $15 per month);
Business – For more advanced online stores (for $19 per month);
VIP – The top ecommerce plan, the price for which isn’t mentioned on the website.
More details about Jimdo plans.
Consider the following factor before choosing a website builder to create a website on your own.
You could have the best eCommerce website builder, but trying to build a photography-based website using it will make absolutely no sense.
Website builder specialization
Specialized eCommerce website builders will have specific features pertaining to online trading. These could include options to understand the abandonment rate. And integration options with ecommerce marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Shopzilla. Unfortunately, they won’t be useful for creating a site that requires large photo galleries.
Thus, it is important to pick a website builder suitable for the kind of website you want to build.
Some website builders can be used to quickly launch a simple blog. And others could be capable of helping you create more complicated business websites. With more functional options, a website builder can help you create more advanced websites.
Thus, it is important to check the functional capabilities of the builder. And understand if they are enough to develop the type of website that you are planning.
Ease-of-use and user-friendliness are the most important factors while choosing a website builder. Now, most builders will promise that they are easy. Unfortunately, not all of them deliver on these claims. You can master genuinely simple and intuitive builders in 15 minutes and get started in a jiffy. But with a few others, you might have to spend several days understanding just their interface.
Most website builders offer at least a few ready-to-use website templates. These templates act as a framework over which the website can be built. However, if there are only a few template options, you might not be able to find a suitable one for your website. Also, it would mean that your website is likely to have the same template as several others. So, it is always better to go with builders that offer plenty of template options.
Weebly website templates range
A lot of website builders offer multiple template options. But most of them forget to focus on quality. Builders with templates that have outdated designs or those that lack mobile responsiveness will do you no good. If the template options you are getting are not of good quality and won’t look good on multiple devices, the quantity won’t matter.
Visual drag-and-drop editors are common in website builders today. And for most basic users adding widgets or sometimes code blocks is enough. However, for more technically experienced webmasters, the ability to directly edit the HTML and CSS code also matters. The best website builders will allow you to make direct changes to the website’s code too.
Weebly CSS editor
If you need a website with an absolutely unique design, you can get custom templates designed. And the website builder you choose should give you the liberty to upload these custom templates.