Even the smallest businesses can benefit from having a professional website that clients and partners can refer to. But you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on hiring a professional web developer or spend months learning code in order to have a modern and well-functioning business website. Thankfully, there are many excellent website builders for small businesses, which will allow you to create, customize, and run your own professional website easily and without breaking the bank.
You can then use the money saved for using professional web development services to further advance your small-sized business.
Overall, our opinion is that every business, big or small, deserves the best option when it comes to ecommerce building and support. If you are planning on starting a website for your small business or opening a small online store, you may be wondering which of the many ecommerce and website builders is the best option for your specific needs, business goals, sales volumes, and budget.
After thoroughly testing and reviewing more than 15 different website builders and ecommerce solutions, we have come up with a list of the best website builders for small businesses in 2021.
How Do I Create a Professional Website for Free?
The first question which many small companies and starting businesses have is, are there ways to set up and run small business websites completely free?
Yes, it is possible to create a website for your business completely free, but the problem is that in many cases, it may look unprofessional and may even hurt your business rather than help it.
The problems with the majority of free website builders and platforms include:
- You will probably lack your own custom domain name, and your business site will have an URL resembling something like www.freewebsite builder name/company name, which definitely doesn’t look professional
- Your business site may be full of ads that you will not be able to control, and which can be frustrating and may push away the visitor to your site
- You may need to pay for third-party apps, add-ons or plugins, or templates to customize your own website
- You will not have complete control over your website or a guarantee that it remains online and functioning at all times
If you can overcome these potential problems with your business website, you can resort to one of the free website builders for small businesses, which we have included in our list. But please note all of the features, pros, and cons so that you can make an informed decision about the most suitable website builder for your needs.
Best Website Builder for Small Business
- WordPress: The best option for any size and type of business
- Constant Contact: The easiest and fastest website builder
- BigCommerce: The best website builder for ecommerce businesses which will be growing rapidly
- Gator Website Builder: The best budget-friendly website builder for small businesses
- SiteBuilder: The best simple and easy website builder
- Weebly: The most popular small business website builder
- MemberPress: The best WordPress membership site plugin
- Squarespace: The best website builder with the most beautiful designs
- Wix: One of the easiest website builders to use by newbies
As you can see, some of the most popular ecommerce and website building solutions such as Shopify, BigCommerce, GoDaddy, Duda, and Jimdo are missing from our list. The reason is that we have focused on the best website builders, specifically for micro and small business.
Here is everything you need to know about how we selected these top 9 best website builders, including the most advanced features which you should look for when searching for the best solution for your needs.
How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Needs
Since every business is different, and every business owner has different ideas and needs for their online presence, there is no single answer to the question of which the best website builder for small business is.
In order to find the best website builder for your specific business and preferences, here are the main features you should consider:
The price which you will need to pay to create, run, and maintain your business website is essential. It is a factor that you should consider first so that you can plan and choose a suitable website builder that can fit into your budget and which will allow your website to grow along as your business grows.
So, you should set a budget for your website building and pick the website builder that offers the best value for money.
The ease of use:
This is another vital feature, especially if you have no or very little previous experience with website building, coding, or web development.
If you are a tech beginner, the website builder for your must be easy to understand, use for setting up the site, and then for running, updating, and maintaining it without the help of an expensive web builder or web designer.
Overall, when it comes to ease of use, make sure you check out the following features offered by the website builder, including:
- A choice of templates and themes which are suitable for your industry and your needs
- An editor or control panel which will allow you to set up your home page, about us, contact and other essential pages which even the smallest business website needs
- A drag and drop builder interface that ensures ease of use
- An option to add images, galleries, videos, or other content that you need or want to add
- The availability of other website building tools and features, such as blogging, reservations, membership subscriptions, ecommerce tools, or others that you want to add to your business website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to a successful website. With the appropriate SEO tools and features, the website builder can help you optimize your website so that it ranks higher and hopefully within the top results from Google and other internet search engines, when users search for keywords that are essential for your business, products, services and your website. With suitable target keywords, metadata tags, and other SEO methods, you can ensure that you reach and attract your target customers and partners.
With all of these essential features in mind, we have selected the most popular website builders for small business so that you can choose the one which suits your needs, budget, skill level, and business size and type the best.
1. Self-Hosted WordPress
WordPress is the most popular and widely used content management system (CMS) in the world. The open-source platform is the most flexible, scalable website builder software, suitable for websites of all types and sizes.
The self-hosted WordPress.org is the most suitable option for business, but it is a self-hosted website builder, and while it is free to use, you will need a hosting service, your own domain name, and SSL security for your website.
Fortunately, there are some affordable and excellent hosting services that offer WordPress hosting, like Bluehost.
Here are the pros and cons of using self-hosted WordPress, as well as the approximate pricing of choosing this option for building and running your website for your company.
If you choose Bluehost as the hosting platform for your WordPress business website, you will be glad to know that Bluehost is one of the three officially endorsed hosting services by WordPress.
The hosting provider has dedicated WordPress plans for its customers that are very reasonably priced and include easy to use one-click-install of the WordPress website builder software, website hosting, a free SSL certificate, 50GB to unlimited SSD storage, parked domains, subdomains, a free domain name for 1 year, and more features.
There are thousands of WordPress themes and templates which you can choose from, suitable for business owners in any type of industry or website. There are also tens of thousands of WordPress plugins which you can install and use to modify the features and functionality according to your needs.
There is a wide variety of easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder plugins for WordPress, which you can download and use even if you have zero coding skills. Some of these editors include the Beaver Builder and the landing page builder SeedProd, which are paid but will make the website building task much easier.
WordPress is the website builder with the most plugins, which you can add to your website if you want to add any kind of feature or functionality to your site, including:
- SEO guidance and tools
- Google analytics
- Ecommerce functionality
- Forums and members
- Event calendar planning
- Web forms
- Many others
Even though you probably associate WordPress with blogging and blogs, it is a website builder which can be used for all types of site – from the smallest and simplest to the biggest and most complex ones.
For example, some of the most popular websites in the world are based on WordPress. Some of them include Bloomberg, TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Sony Music, Variety, Time Inc., The Walt Disney Company, The Rotary Club, and thousands of others.
So, WordPress is a superb option for any business website – big or small, and for business owners who plan on growing their business, because the website will easily grow along with it, as the free website builder platform is scalable and flexible to infinity.
WordPress can integrate with just about any online tool and platform, so it is the best overall website builder for any need and budget. It is the best free website builder platform suitable for small business owners looking for alternatives to expensive professional and performance plans.
You can start right now by creating a Coming Soon page via SeedProd, which will help you alert and build the audience for your business even before your website is ready and running.
SeedProd is among the best options for creating amazing landing pages of all kinds via a user-friendly drag and drop editor.
Another advantage of choosing WordPress for your business site is the fact that it is the most popular website builder, and there are vast resources and online communities which you can use to get assistance whenever you need it while setting up and running your site.
Although WordPress is free to download, install, and use, you will need a web hosting service for your site. You will also need security and a domain name for your business website.
Plus, you will be in charge of the maintenance of your website, including updates of WordPress, plugins, and more.
The good news is that with a reliable managed WordPress hosting service and plan, all of these will be taken care of for you, so you can concentrate on more important things like running and growing your business instead.
WordPress is a website builder which is completely free to install and use.
But as we mentioned earlier, you will need web hosting where you can install it, as well as a domain name and security.
The shared web hosting plans cost about $8 per month, and a custom domain name for your site will cost about $15 per year.
With a WordPress Bluehost hosting plan, you can get all of this, plus one-click installation of WordPress, at a price as low as $2.95 per month.
2. Constant Contact Website Builder
Constant Contact is a popular email marketing platform, but it has an easy-to-use website builder, which is perfect for a small business site or for creating a small online shop.
This website builder will make your life much easier when you are setting up your website, as it uses Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). This means that you will just need to insert your Facebook business URL, and the builder will set up your business website for you automatically.
If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, you can still use Constant Contact. All you need to do is to enter your industry or niche, and the builder will suggest the best theme and images for your business website.
Then, you will get the chance to customize and edit the content and features of your site as you please via the easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder.
Overall, the Constant Contact website builder is among the top choices if you are looking for the easiest and fastest way to set up your website. It will literally take only a few minutes to get your site ready and running with this website builder.
Here are the advantages, disadvantages, and the price of using Constant Contact as a website builder for your website.
With Constant Contact, you can build a professional-looking business website in a matter of minutes, even if you are not tech-savvy.
Thanks to the ADI technology and the intuitive drag and drop interface of the builder, you will be able to set up your business website faster than ever.
Plus, you will gain access to thousands of images to choose from on Unsplash or upload your own if you prefer.
Your website will not only look like it has been designed by a professional web developer but will also load fast thanks to the platform’s lightning-fast CDN (content delivery network). This will help improve your website rankings on search engine results and thus boost the traffic to your business site.
Along with the easy-to-use editor, fast speeds, and AI design, your website will be secured with a free SSL certificate provided by Constant Contact.
The email marketing and site builder company has a high user rating for its customer support and offers its clients 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support.
And best of all, the site builder offers a completely free plan which you can use to set up a small business or ecommerce website for free.
You will need to upgrade to a paid plan once you set up your website using the Constant Contact website builder free plan. The problem is that the company offers a single plan option, which costs $10 per month, and has a 1.5% transaction fee, and will charge fees if you want to use the tax management, inventory, and order tools.
Thus, you do not have much of a choice, as the plan is only one, nor do you get scalability because there is no other plan to upgrade to once your business starts growing and your website expands.
Another disadvantage of the Constant Contact website builder is that there are not too many available apps or plugins for the platform, so your choice of features and tools is more limited than in other website building platforms.
While there is a free plan which you can use to set up and customize your business website, you will need to subscribe to the single paid plan offered by the site builder if you want to publish and use it.
The plan costs $10 monthly and includes a wide array of useful ecommerce and marketing tools, an easy-to-use website editor, a mobile responsive website, SSL security, hosting, unlimited storage, as well as access to instant 24/7 customer support.
BigCommerce, as the name of this website builder suggests, is the best ecommerce website builder, suitable for even the largest businesses. Still, it is right for small and medium-sized companies, especially for online merchants looking for the best ecommerce tools which will help them grow their traffic, sales, and business quickly.
It is one of the best options for scaling an online business and has one of the widest arrays of built-in ecommerce tools and features.
One of the best overall web builders and ecommerce website builder offers its clients everything they will need to sell products and services of any kind and to start selling online immediately.
BigCommerce is an ecommerce website builder and platform which allows users to set up an online shop of any type and then to run their online retail business, scale it and boost their sales volumes faster than any other ecommerce platform does.
You can try out the platform for 15 days for free before deciding whether to subscribe to a pricing plan. The number of products you can list and sell is unlimited, and the tools which you will get once you get your site on and running are all you will need to run a successful online business.
You will get to choose from a variety of ecommerce and business templates, which look professional and are mobile responsive.
The integrated tools include multi-channel sales for expanding your store to social media like Facebook and Instagram and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. You will also have access to powerful inventory, SEO tools, sales, accounting, shipping, and marketing package tools and features to help you run your business smoothly and efficiently without the need for additional plugins and paying for apps.
You can integrate your online store with Google Shopping as well.
If you decide to add apps anyway, you can pick excellent solutions from the comprehensive app store and add even more functionality to your business website, including additional features like customer reviews, advanced inventory and shipping options, email marketing, and more.
BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees and accepts a wide variety of payment methods for your products.
The BigCommerce ecommerce website builder offers a choice of more than 55 payment gateways, including the most popular ones such as PayPal, Square, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and others.
The web builder platform will host your website, keep it safe from DDoS attacks and hackers, and guarantees an uptime of 99.99%.
The company offers its customers access to 24/7 live chat, phone and email customer support, detailed video tutorials and guides, and more online customer support and help as you build a website or run it. It has a 15-day free trial.
The downside of BigCommerce is that the website builder and editor is not the most user-friendly one on our list. You will need to spend some time learning and getting used to the editor if you don’t have any tech skills and experience.
Plus, BigCommerce is relatively expensive as compared to other ecommerce platforms, but this is mainly due to the huge choice of integrated tools and features. You will need to upgrade to some of the more expensive plans if you want to get advanced options such as Google customer reviews, credit card storage, abandoned cart recovery, product filtering, and more.
While this is good news for larger and successful online stores and businesses, it can be overkill for small stores and businesses with tight budgets.
The prices of BigCommerce start at $29.95 per month for the cheapest plan. This includes unlimited products, website traffic, and staff accounts. You will also get multi-channel sales, professional reporting tools, payment gateways of all types, one-page checkout, multiple currencies, and many more.
If you sign up for an annual plan, you will receive a discount of 10%.
You can also try out the platform for two weeks, thanks to the 15-day free trial offered by BigCommerce.
4. Gator Website Builder
This is our top choice for the best budget-friendly website builder for small business. Gator Website Builder will allow you to set up an online store for prices ranging from $3.84 to $9.22 per month.
It is very easy to use, and you will receive a free domain and SSL certificate for your online store. You can sell from 3 to unlimited products depending on the plan you choose and will receive tools for 3 to 10 email campaigns every month as well.
The Gator Website Builder is among the easiest business website builders on the market and requires zero coding skills to use.
It has an AI website builder feature, and a drag and drop editor, and a variety of professionally-looking templates that you can pick from. Thanks to its ease of use, you can set up your website in minutes.
You will get a free domain and SSL security for your online store, as well as hosting, analytics, and other tools to run a successful online business.
Thanks to its nifty save history tool, you can experiment with your website and easily revert to an older saved version if you are not happy with your edits.
Unfortunately, the ecommerce features offered by Gator Website Builder are rather limited. There are no advanced options that you can choose from if you want more useful tools and features for your website. This makes this website builder suitable for businesses on tight budgets.
As mentioned previously, Gator Website Builder is one of the best budget-friendly site builders for owners looking for the best option to create a business website.
The prices start from $3.84 per month for the Express Start and for up to 3 products, $5.99 per month for the Express Site plan for up to 10 products, and $9.22 monthly for the Express Store plan for selling unlimited products, ten email campaigns every month, no transaction fees, appointment booking, and priority customer support.
You can build a website from scratch in a few minutes with the help of Gator Website Builder.
With its Artificial Intelligence Design technology and its straightforward setup, SiteBuilder is the easiest and simplest website builder for small businesses on the market.
The affordable pricing plans range from $4 to $7.20 per month, which is excellent news for business owners on tight budgets.
The plans include free hosting, a domain name, website statistics, booking, ad credits, and a professionally looking, mobile responsive business website.
SiteBuilder will help any business owner to set up a sleek, professional website in just a couple of minutes. All you need to do is answer several questions, pick one of the beautiful templates, and your website will be set up and ready for you in a matter of minutes. You can then customize it as you like via an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder and editor.
The websites are mobile responsive, so they will look great on any device and screen size.
The plans are among the most affordable options and include a free domain name, hosting, stats, and more.
It is among the best options for people looking for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to set up their website.
The problem with SiteBuilder is that it may be a tad too simple for a website or online store of a growing business. SiteBuilder offers the tools you will need to establish an online presence, but if you are looking for the option of adding advanced ecommerce and other features, you may be disappointed with the limited options offered by the platform.
The price plans offered by SiteBuilder, include a Pro Plan, which costs $4 a month when paid for 2 years, a Premium plan costing $4.80 a month when paid for 2 years, and the Ecommerce Plan, which is $7.20 monthly for a 2-year plan.
There is a money-back 14-day satisfaction guarantee.
Weebly is the most popular website builder for small businesses. It is also a website builder that offers a 100% completely free plan with the best assortment of free ecommerce tools and features. With Weebly, you can build and run an online shop without paying a cent. But keep in mind that the free plan comes with its “price” of having ads. No domain name and limited storage.
Weebly has an entirely free plan for starting online businesses, which has multiple useful tools and will allow you to set up a site or online shop in a matter of minutes and sell unlimited products – physical, digital, and services.
This free plan includes hosting, SSL, Quick Shop, Shopping cart, SEO tools, in-store pickup, inventory management, social media integration, and more.
The Weebly website builder is easy to use, and if you are not completely satisfied with your free plan, you can opt for one of the affordable paid plans instead.
With a paid plan by the Weebly builder, you will receive a domain name, no ads, unlimited storage, abandoned cart recovery, shipping label printing, shipping calculator, advanced insights, $100, and more.
Weebly is a quick, easy, and free way to get your business online and start selling.
The free plan provided by Weebly has ads, and you won’t have a custom domain name unless you upgrade to a paid plan. But this is only natural because web hosting and building cost money.
Another downside of using Weebly is that it doesn’t include multi-channel sales tools to broaden your audience by adding your products and store to Facebook, Instagram, or other social media.
Apart from the free plan, Weebly offers a Connect plan for $5 per month for a 1-year plan, which will allow you to use a custom domain.
The Pro plan costs $12 per month when paid annually, and the Business plan costs $25 monthly when paid annually. The Pro plan is suitable for business websites, and the Business plan has multiple ecommerce tools and features, making it a better option for online stores.
Full details for Weebly pricing here
MemberPress is not like the other website builders on our list. It is a dedicated WordPress org plugin that will allow you to build a membership website. If you are planning on creating a membership-based business site to sell digital products or offer subscriptions or registration for your customers, then MemberPress is the builder to choose.
Since it is a plugin for WordPress org, you can take advantage of the infinite flexibility and scalability of WordPress org itself when you create your membership site.
The MemberPress plugin is easy to install, and you can set up your membership website very easily and quickly.
With a membership business site, you can ensure that your business has guaranteed monthly subscription-based revenues.
You can integrate it with other WordPress org plugins to further increase the functionality and features of your website, like adding forums, building email lists, and many more.
Plus, there are thousands of themes for WordPress org to choose from, as well as add-ons and integrations provided by MemberPress itself, so you can create a website that suits your exact preferences.
Unfortunately, unlike WordPress org itself, MemberPress is not free. It has three paid plans which you can choose from depending on your needs.
Another downside is that because it runs on WordPress org, you can expect to have to update the plugin along with WordPress periodically.
The Basic plan costs $149 per year, the Plus plan costs $249 per year, and the Pro plan costs $349 per year.
MemberPress offers a 14-day money-back guarantee for all of its plans.
Squarespace is the best website builder for small business, which consider design and brand image the most essential feature for their company’s online presence.
Squarespace has the most beautiful, award-winning templates for creating all types of websites, including business websites for all industries.
As mentioned earlier, the most impressive feature of Squarespace is its professionally designed, gorgeous templates. With one of these templates, your business site will look professional, sleek, and high-end.
Squarespace is a user-friendly website builder that you can use to create whatever type of website you want.
Squarespace has a user-friendly interface and dozens of customization options. The plans also include hosting and beneficial inventory management, abandoned cart recovery, and website analytics tools.
Its ecommerce features include advanced shipping, limited availability option, SEO tools, business email, metrics, analytics, multi-channel sales, Google Ads credit, and more.
One downside for small business owners, when it comes to using Squarespace is that there is no free plan offered by the website builder.
Plus, ecommerce companies may be disappointed by the fact that only three payment gateways are supported by Squarespace, namely PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay, which can limit the number of customers willing to purchase goods from the online store.
There are also much fewer extensions and apps available at the Squarespace app market if you want to add more features and functionalities to your website.
If you want to get more built-in ecommerce tools and features, you will have to upgrade to a more expensive ecommerce plan on the Squarespace builder.
Squarespace offers a Personal plan, which costs $12 monthly when paid annually, a Business plan for $18 a month for a year, and two ecommerce plans – Basic Ecommerce for $26 a month for annual contracts and Advanced costing $40 per month for 1 year.
You can check the 14-day free trial and the full pricing plans offered by Squarespace, here.
Wix is another leading website builder that is preferred by users and small business owners around the world. It is designed for use by people with little or no technical skills and offers a choice of more than 500 professionally designed templates and easy-to-use customization options. Within these themes, there are more than 100 business-related templates for a wide variety of industries, plus a massive choice of ecommerce templates to pick from.
The website builder will help you set up a business site with minimal effort, thanks to its ADI wizard.
Wix ecommerce builder offers its customers all the necessary tools and features to set up an online store and start selling.
The templates are professionally designed and available for a wide assortment of business and online store types, products, and services in all industries.
Some of these tools include abandoned cart recovery, online booking and reservations, product zooming, over 15 payment gateways supported, multi-channel sales to expand your store to Facebook, Instagram, and many more. Apart from the built-in ecommerce tools in the business plans, you can add more functionality to your site by choosing from a wide variety of apps at the Wix App Store.
If you want to get the most significant choice of business and ecommerce features, you will need to sign up for the more expensive ecommerce business builder plan, which includes selling in various currencies, tax rate calculations, subscriptions, and more.
Overall, Wix is among the best website builders for small and medium-sized businesses and online stores, and even more so for personal websites and hobbyists.
Some of the potential negative aspects of Wix include the fact that switching templates can be difficult if not impossible once you publish your website and that there is no built-in inventory management or low stock alerts in the business plans, so you will need to add apps and extensions if you want to take advantage of such a feature.
Wix has four ecommerce and business plans which you can pick from. The Business Basic costs $23 per month when billed per year, the Business Unlimited costs $27 a month when paid annually, the Business VIP is $49 per month for 1 year, and Wix Enterprise has custom-tailored prices for bigger online stores and enterprises.
What Is the Best Website Builder for Small Business?
You may be wondering, with so many excellent options, which the best website builder for your needs.
The truth is, there is no one winner in this competition, and the best choice depends on your type and size of the business, your business goals, your budget, your skill level, and your preferences.
The best overall website builder on the market is WordPress. This open-source platform is the most popular one used for building websites of all types and sizes in the world. It is the best free website builder in the world.
Since it offers infinite possibilities for scalability and customization, WordPress is suitable for businesses of all types and sizes, from the smallest micro-businesses to the largest enterprises.
The best Artificial Intelligence website builder for small businesses is the Constant Contact website builder. With its ADI wizard, the platform will set up the best website for your business in minutes, and instantly if you already have a Facebook Business Page.
The best website builder for ecommerce in 2021 is BigCommerce. This is a user-friendly website builder with the best assortment of powerful tools and features for running an online store on the market.
So, hopefully, we have helped you decide which website builder is the best option for creating a fantastic website and online presence for your small company.
Good luck with setting up your business site!