If you don’t have a sufficient budget to hire a web developer for your new website?
Don’t worry. There are various easy to use and free or inexpensive website builder platforms you can use to create and manage the webpage you want by yourself.
The good news is, most of them are suitable for complete beginners and non-techies, so anyone can use them to create the website of their dreams.
The benefits of using a website builder
Here are some of the advantages of choosing a website builder platform, rather than hire a web developer:
- Hiring a web developer can cost you a minimum of $2,000, and there are ongoing costs related to the regular updates needed to keep your website up to date
- By building and managing your website by yourself, you can easily log in and perform the updates by yourself without a need to contact customer support
- A website builder platform is perfect for freelancers, bloggers, writers, artists, photographers, e-commerce and other small business owners with small budgets
Since there are so many different website builder platforms, it can be challenging to pick the one that suits your needs the best.
Here is an overview of the best website platforms for 2020. It should help you make an informed decision for choosing the one to use for creating a website.
Why pay for a website builder and hosting plan?
Keep in mind that although most of the website builders on this list have a free version that you can use, it is a good idea to consider subscribing to a paid plan.
The main reasons are:
- You will need a proper and professional domain name for the website you create
- Most free plans offered by the platforms are limited, so you will need to pay for extra features and options like choosing more templates, getting an e-mail account with the domain name, get help from the support, and so on.
- By paying for using the service of the builder and hosting service, you can rest assured that your website stays up, all of your content is intact, and everything is in place no matter what
The best website builder platforms for 2020
- You can create an absolutely free website but it will have Wix ads, but you can easily upgrade it later.
- The free trial is for a 14 day period.
- The cheapest monthly plan is $10 and it includes 3GB storage and 2GB bandwidth.
- All of the annual plans include a free domain name, which can be renewed for just $12.95 per year.
- The least expensive e-commerce plan is $20 per month and includes 20GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth.
- Every e-mail costs $6 per month via Google Suite
Wix.com is among the easiest website builders. It is simple, reliable, and fast, and is suitable for beginners.
- There is a huge variety of themes and templates to choose from, and you can find a ready-made template for just about any need – personal or commercial. All of them are categorized in easy to find and access groups.
- You can also choose among over 100 different fonts to use for your website, as well as pick images from the large library on the platform.
- One of the best features is the drag and drop website building tool, which is so easy that even an absolute beginner, can create a decent-looking website instantly and without hassle.
- Thanks to the free logo and favicon maker you can even create a unique logo for your business.
- The budget-friendly price makes Wix.com a perfect choice for personal users, hobbyists, and for small businesses with limited budgets.
- The fact is, Wix.com is more than just a website builder. Through the tools provided on this platform, you can also create an e-commerce store, send newsletters, create coupons, and more.
- The innovative AI feature (called ADI) allows for creating a unique website in a matter of a few minutes just by answering a few simple questions about your needs and preferences.
- You can make changes to your website from anywhere thanks to the useful iOS and Android apps available too.
- You can assign more than one editor and writer to have access to the website for easier management.
- The tech support is provided via phone or a ticket system.
- The loading performance ais fast, and the uptime is over 99.99%, which is very good, as compared to many of the other website builder platforms.
Read our full Wix review
The platform also has a completely free plan and a free domain name for 1 year.
The e-commerce plan is less expensive than those offered by most of the other website builder platforms.
Overall, this platform is easy to use, affordable and offers professional results and solutions It has a responsive and useful 24/7 tech support via chat, e-mail or phone, and is very reliable.
- There is a completely free plan
- New users get a 30-day money-back guarantee
- All of the plans include a free https:// SSL certificate
- You receive a free domain for a year for any plan you sign up for
- The cheapest plan costs $20 per month and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth
- The e-commerce plan is also included in the free plan, but is limited to 3 items, and has a transaction fee of 3%
Thanks to the intelligent AI website building wizard of Constant Contact, you can create a unique and customized website, and add your own personalized images and content suggestions easily.
The AI wizard automatically creates a website that is mobile-friendly and looks perfect on devices of all types and sizes. All you need to do is answer some questions, and the intelligent builder will make a perfect website for you.
You can easily edit the website via all the pre-integrated options, editing tools, and the integration with Uplash which provides access to over a million top quality images.
Constant Contact offers e-mail integration, supports auto-syncing with Facebook and other social networks, and supports third-party plug-ins.
Thanks to its speedy and reliable Content Distribution Network, your website will load instantaneously so users can get a quick preview at all times.
The platform also has an AI logo maker, so you can create the best branding for your business too.
You can use the free plan, which you can use for unlimited time but with a limited e-mail subscriber list.
If you decide to pay for a plan, you will get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The platform offers an option to send personalized targeted emails and has other useful tools like website analytics, event registration, and lead capture forms.
One of the best features of Constant Contact is the constant contact you will have to its useful customer support. In fact, you can reach them 24/7 via live chat, e-mail or phone, and get an immediate and helpful response.
If you want to upgrade or use Sine 123 for more complicated and bigger websites, the price will go up rapidly. Still, it will probably cost you less than hiring a developer for a custom-built website.
The editing tools and customer support are not as good and reliable as those of other website builders.
- There is a free version that you can use to test the builder – it offers 500MB storage and 1GB bandwidth
- All of the plans come with an SSL certificate
- All annual plans include a free domain for the year
- The domain name can be renewed for $13 per year
- The premium plan is $7.80 per month and includes 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth
- The cheapest plan for e-commerce sites is $14.95 and comes with 90GB of storage and 45GB of bandwidth
- All plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee
- There are 4 packages – basic, advanced, professional and gold
Site 123 is relatively easy to use and is perfect for creating your own simple blog, small business or e-commerce website. It provides over 250 top quality templates to choose from.
The templates are responsive and are optimized to be mobile-friendly.
The website builder platform is pretty flexible when it comes to editing and adjusting your website. You can easily upload images, change the design or structure, and switch fonts and color schemes.
You will also receive quick and easy access to hundreds of completely free stock images, and to the Google fonts library.
You can also integrate apps, and link out to over 25 social network platforms.
One distinctive feature of this platform is that you can easily create a multilingual website, which makes it a good option for international businesses.
It also provides a wide array of plugins, webmaster, analytical, and marketing tools you can pick from.
Site 123 also can help you optimize your content with its different SEO tools like customizable URLs, editing meta and title descriptions, adding text to images, and so on.
You can also activate an e-mail related to your new domain to improve your business reputation.
If you are planning on starting an e-commerce website, with Site 123, you can add the common PayPal and Stripe online payment options.
The problem with Jimdo is that it has a very limited number of templates, and its uptime and speed are not as reliable as those of the other leading website builder platforms.
But overall, it is one of the least expensive ways to create an ad-free website and offers unlimited storage space and cheap domain-based e-mail accounts for business or higher plans.
- There is a free basic Play option to try the platform out
- All of the paid plans have SSL certificates
- All annual plans come with a free domain name for a year, which can be renewed for $20
- The cheapest plan for Jimdo Dolphin is $9 and for Jimdo Creator is $10
- The least expensive commercial plan is $19 and comes with 15GB storage and 20GB bandwidth
Jimdo is a relatively inexpensive platform allowing both newbies and people with some developer skills to build a simple website quickly.
It offers an AI Dolphin builder and a more flexible Creator building mode.
The artificial intelligence mode chats with the user and extracts more information about the user from their social media account to customize the website to their preferences.
With the Creator mode, users can choose the templates, and use the drag and drop editor to customize their website to their liking.
The platform offers the option for adding videos, blogs, galleries, and an online store to the website. But there is no option for directly editing or cropping photos and images via the Jimdo editor.
Even though the templates are limited in number, each of them comes with a mobile-friendly version that users can easily activate.
The choice for changing font sizes and colors is unlimited.
Advanced developers can create their own templates and also edit the HTML code on their websites on Jimdo.
The SEO tools like adding Google-friendly URLs, 301 redirects, editing Meta descriptions, page titles and adding alt text are very useful.
Apart from all additional tools, you can quickly preview how your web page will look in a Google search.
Even though there is no real-time customer support (no phone or chat), Jimdo offers detailed articles and helpful videos that can answer and help with some of the most common issues and problems with the platform.
You get 100GB storage with the base plan as well as unlimited bandwidth.
Apart from having its own website builder, GoDaddy allows for easy installation of more than 125 of the most popular applications like Joomla, WordPress, Drupal and many more, including advanced web development tools as well.
So, overall, GoDaddy is a flexible platform that is suitable both for newbies as well as for tech-savvy webmasters.
- You can try out the basic features of the platform for free for 30 days
- All plans have SSL
- The least expensive plan is $10 per month
- The e-commerce plan is $25 per month
- Business e-mails can cost $9 and more per month
GoDaddy is another popular and user-friendly platform that uses artificial design intelligence for creating unique websites easily and quickly.
It is a good option both for people with no experience in developing websites as well as for tech-savvy developers, as it provides an option for installing over 125 of the most popular applications.
It is a good choice for setting up personal blogs and simple small business websites. Visitors of your website can post comments, images, audio, video and can sign up for an RSS feed.
The platform is also good for setting up eCommerce websites, thanks to the SEO guidance and tools that will help businesses rank better on internet search result pages.
Business owners can connect their websites to their social media pages and stores and can retrieve abandoned cart data.
GoDaddy offers secure SSL encryption.
It also offers a free 1-month test of the GoCentral platform with limited templates and designs but which is responsive and provides mobile-friendly optimization.
The paid version has an intuitive and easy to use drag and drop interface and provides access to more than 1,500 website templates and themes.
The platform is reliable and fast with stable uptime.
It can be used completely free, but if you want to get additional options like a custom domain, access to 24/7 support, use the advanced developers tools, get Google Analytics support, plugins, and get larger storage or run a high volume online store, you may want to opt for the paid plans offered by the WordPress hosting service.
WordPress does require some learning and experience, so it is not the best platform to choose for beginners. It also requires more maintenance and skills for upkeep.
- The WordPress software is open source and free but the hosting services do come with paid plans
- The cheapest personal plan is $4 per month and includes a custom domain and 24/7 support and 6GB of storage
- The cheapest business plan is $25 per month and provides users with 200GB of storage, live support and access to business plugins and themes, as well as SEO tools and Google Analytics integration
- Opening an online store will cost you $45 per month
With over 34% of all of the websites Online built on WordPress, this is no doubt the most popular and famous web developer’s software and platform.
It is open-source and free, and you can use it to create any kind of website you want without having to pay for a domain at WordPress.com hosting.
However, WordPress is not the most user-friendly software for creating websites for people with no experience.
It does require some learning and experience.
On the other hand, those who have experience with the software and the platform can create just about any type of commercial or non-commercial website with it.
It is hugely flexible, has thousands of plugins, themes, and features you can use and can be integrated with most of the popular third-party tools and applications.
Then again, it doesn’t have such a wide variety of choices when it comes to templates and is not as flexible as others when it comes to customizing the options.
Overall, it is great for creating your first website and getting it going.
- There is a free basic plan available
- All plans come with SSL
- Annual plans come with a free domain name for a year
- The domain name can be renewed for $19.95 per year
- The cheapest plan is $5 per month when paid annually
- The least expensive Pro plan is $12 per month, and the Business plan is $25 per month
- E-mails cost $6 per month and use Google Suite
Overall, Weebly is a decent website builder with an excellent editor. The costs of e-commerce sites can grow rapidly though if you want to get access to all features.
The builder itself has an easy to use drag and drop feature which makes it perfect for first-time users.
The templates are professionally designed, but they are limited in number and type. People with programming skills can customize them but regular users will have trouble with that.
The practical app center offers access to a wide variety of useful and easy to install add-ons.
The platform allows for creating different levels of access and logins, so more than one website editor and writer can have access to the website.
There is an option to provide password-protected access to members as well for content available to them.
The builder offers different SEO tools, as well as the option for adding payment buttons, online chat, and other third-party tools.
The downside is that it doesn’t provide its own email marketing tools.
The drag and drop editor is easy to use and the interface is minimalist and simple.
- There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for new users
- A free version is available
- All plans have SSL
- All plans come with a free domain name, which can be renewed after 1 year for $19.95
- The cheapest plan is $5.99 per month
- The least expensive business plan is $12.99 per month and includes 3 e-mail addresses
Although the builder is made for easy use even by beginners, and there are over 400 templates to choose from, customers may find that they are outdated and mostly business-oriented.
The free and mobile-optimized templates available are limited, so you will need to pay for the Pro plan to get access to these options.
Webs allow for customers to send group e-mails and exclusive content to members.
Users can add features like calendars, galleries, videos, blogs, and add third party widgets via HTML.
Online stores can add a special interface allowing them to manage and organize the products, sales and to give out coupon codes.
Payments can be made via PayPal and Stripe, and the platform also offers a global currency conversion option for international customers.
Its editor is drag and drop based, and all of the editing and publishing features have been simplified to a minimum.
Overall the Gator website builder is a cost-effective, easy to use website building platform, which is best suited for non-experienced users and for uncomplicated website creation.
- There is no free trial or a free version
- Each plan comes with secure SSL and a domain name for 1 year
- The renewal of the domain name is $15 per year
- The starter plan is $3.45 per month
- The premium plan is $5,99 per month and comes with priority customer support
- The eCommerce plan is $9.22 per month
- An e-mail account costs $6 per month and works via Google Suite
HostGator is a popular website building and hosting service, suitable for uncomplicated websites for personal use, blogs, small businesses, portfolios, and e-commerce.
Thanks to the intuitive drag and drop editor, even first-time website owners can create the website they need.
There are more than 200 customizable templates to choose from, and they are all mobile friendly and will look great on all devices and computers.
The library has high-quality stock photos to choose from too.
Thanks to the integrated website analytics in the platform, you can easily check your statistics including the number of visitors and the prime sources of traffic generation.
The plans are quite inexpensive, as compared to other platforms. All of them come with a free domain name for the first year as well as an SSL certificate.
Gator is obviously made for easy use by non-techie users. It is a relatively new builder, so it may evolve over time.
For people who want to use HostGator for creating e-commerce websites, it has all the basic features including coupon management, inventory control, a shipping and tax calculator, reporting and others.
With the eCommerce plan, you can also add integrated shopping cart functionality to the online store.
But, the platform doesn’t offer a free test trial for new users.
Customer support is 24/7 although it is not always available right away. Users with the gator Premium plan get fast priority support.
The platform has a useful and comprehensive knowledge base with help and advice for most of the common issues.
It has a solid uptime of 99.98% and a fast load time.
It is targeted at the design and artistic niche and is more expensive than most other website builders.
- There is a free 14-day trial which includes most of the premium features
- All of the plans come with SSL and a free domain name for the first year
- The renewal of the domain name is $20 per annum
- You get a discount for paying annually
- The cheapest plan is $16 per month, or $12 if you pay per year
- The cheapest business plan is $18 per month if you pay per year
- The least expensive eCommerce plan costs $30 per month, or only $26 if you pay for the whole year
Squarespace is the website builder that offers some of the best designed and professional-looking themes and templates. They are all responsive and look great on all kinds of devices.
The fonts, images, and other elements are also almost perfect.
The Site Styles menu allows for easy template customizing. Plus, users can easily switch from one template to another without losing any of their content while at it.
The platform allows for the use of several of its templates on one website too.
Users can swap the existing images with their own, as long as they are in high resolution.
Squarespace offers multi-author access, scheduling of posts, podcast hosting, and AMP support which is good news for bloggers too.
There are four different Squarespace mobile apps that you can use to edit your website from wherever you happen to be.
The platform also offers excellent SEO options like customizing meta-descriptions, URLs, tags, and others.
It also offers a wide array of add ons to choose from but doesn’t support third-party apps unless you use Code Injection.
For e-commerce websites, Squarespace offers to add online stores, where the inventory can be managed with ease, and so can the orders, the products, and the discount coupons. Payment processing can be done via PayPal, Apple Pay, and Stripe.
The platform has unique features like G Suite, Cover Page Builder, and Getty Images. It allows for live inline editing of the content.
The platform is reliable and fast loading.
It offers 24/7 customer support via e-mail tickets and live chat, but no phone support.
The prices of the plans are quite higher than those offered by most other website builders and hosting services.
As a whole, this builder creates the most professional looking and beautiful websites. This makes it suitable for creative people, and for image-based websites.