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Best small business website builders in 2022

man working on website design on laptop and phone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best small business website builders also rank among the platforms vying to be called the best website builder (opens in new tab). What this means for you as a small business is that if you find a service ranking among both, you're off to a great start, whether you're building your first website (opens in new tab) for your business or your latest.

For small businesses, resources are often tight compared to enterprises, so time and money are integral. While you probably won't have the capacity to fully involve yourself with bespoke site creation, small business website builders are designed to do heavy lifting for you.

Top small business website builders provide simple, quick, and professional site creation at competitive prices, regardless of web design experience. Ease-of-use via drag-and-drop interfaces mean site-building is intuitive, while platforms feature business-specific tools and features. You can concentrate on the look and content, and reap the benefits of sophisticated editors and elements once your site is live.

We've explained how to choose the top builder for your business, and it's worth considering that if you need ecommerce tools, most builders ranked in this guide also number among the best ecommerce website builders (opens in new tab). Below, we've analyzed and evaluated services based on business-specific features, pricing, support, and more, to help you find the best small business website builders for your site!

The 3 best small business website builders right now

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Wix: best all-round builder for small businesses (opens in new tab)
Wix has a suite of business tools, a flexible editor, and hundreds of templates, all packaged in fairly-priced plans. The full builder is included with the free package, and there's a 14-day money-back guarantee for paid plans. Upgrading provides an ad-free experience with extra features, while a simple drag-and-drop interface makes it ideal for SMBs.

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BigCommerce: the premium online store builder (opens in new tab)
BigCommerce has a drag-and-drop builder backed by advanced ecommerce site-building tools, including payment gateway options, app integrations and plug-ins, SEO (opens in new tab) analytics, and adaptive themes. Its clean and simple editor and top-level ecommerce resources make it one of our leading options.

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Squarespace: best for visual templates and tools (opens in new tab)
Squarespace provides visually-appealing designs for many small business sites, including those focused on ecommerce. It also boasts over 500 professionally-designed templates, a series of native tools designed for businesses, and plenty of options for customisation.

What are the best small business website builders?

Wix is our pick of the best small business website builders. While a little expensive when compared to other builders, its suite of business tools are just one of many elements helping to maximize site performance.

The Wix Editor is also arguably the most powerful website building interface available, enabling pixel-perfect drag-and-drop editing, with over 500 templates you can use to get your site started. 

BigCommerce has a strong ecommerce focus, and offers a top option for online sales, while Squarespace is the best option for professional templates and native tools. HostGator's Gator Builder is a decent option for those on a budget, and offers comparable design flexibility to Wix.

Finally, Weebly and Web.com make the cut, with the former a great option for those wanting to add ecommerce functionality via Square, one of the world’s leading payment processors; the latter is an easy website builder with a simple setup perfect for freelancers.  

The best small business website builders, compared
Website builderLowest-priced business planFree plan?Free domain?Ecommerce functionality?Unlimited storage?SEO features?
Wix (opens in new tab)$23 a month (Business Basic)
BigCommerce (opens in new tab)$29.95 a month (Standard)✔ (advanced)
Squarespace (opens in new tab)$12 a month (Personal)
HostGator (opens in new tab)$3.84 a month (Start)✔ (basic)
Weebly (opens in new tab)$12 a month (Pro)✔ (advanced plans)✔ (advanced)✔ (advanced plans)
Web.com (opens in new tab)$2.95 a month (Marketing)

The best small business website builders available

Wix logo

(Image credit: Wix)
Best overall small business website builder

Specifications

Free plan: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Unlimited storage: No
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Hundreds of ready-to-use templates
+
AI site design available
+
Drag-and-drop simplicity
+
Tons of flexibility

Reasons to avoid

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Plans are relatively expensive
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No template switching possible
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Wix Editor can be daunting for beginners

Wix is easily the best small business website builder on the market, and for good reason. First, Wix's website editor is user friendly, and a perfect fit for beginners with no tech experience. It has a nice selection of over 500 designer-made and industry-specific templates, and you can design your site exactly how you want it using the simple drag-and-drop feature. 

With over 100 fonts and advanced design features, including scroll effects, media galleries, animations, and video backgrounds, Wix is certainly a comprehensive website builder. 

If you don't have time to design your site, you can take advantage of Wix's ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). All you need to answer a few questions, and the technology will create a website for you in under 10 minutes. And if you don’t like the site ADI creates for you, you can tweak the design using the website editor.

Wix has a free plan that you can use for as long as you want, but be prepared to have ads running and only 500MB of storage. To remove the ads, go for any of Wix's four paid plans (opens in new tab). Each paid plan comes with a custom domain, a free domain for one year, a free SSL certificate, and 24/7 customer care. 

The Combo plan, starting at $14 a month, has 3GB of storage space and 30 minutes of video time. With the Pro plan ($28), which we found to be the best value for small businesses, you'll get 20GB of storage space and up to two hours of video time. 

You'll also get access to apps such as the Visitor Analytics app, Events Calendar app, and the Site Booster app. Wix also has a 14-day money-back guarantee in case things don't work out. 

Read our detailed Wix review (opens in new tab).

BigCommerce's logo

(Image credit: BigCommerce)
Best ecommerce website builder for SMBs

Specifications

Free plan: Yes
Free domain: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Advanced
Unlimited storage: No
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Excellent marketing tools
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Round-the-clock customer support 
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Free trial available
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Powerful mobile management app

Reasons to avoid

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Limited mobile support for store management
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Small app library when compared to some alternatives
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Relatively low sales limits

While many website builders have features for building ecommerce sites, none of them quite match BigCommerce’s offerings. Backed by a suite of advanced ecommerce building features, including robust payment gateway options, app integrations, plug-ins, SEO analytics, and adaptive themes, BigCommerce is a premium choice for building online stores.

With a drag-and-drop builder, you can select from a wide range of templates to create your website, although we found BigCommerce’s templates a little cookie-cutter and not very unique. BigCommerce’s mobile support for store management also leaves much to be desired.

However, we found BigCommerce’s editor clean and simple to use. It has all the features you’ll need to implement cross-channel commerce, from managing orders to tracking customers. 

BigCommerce offers a free trial, but if you want more functionality, choose one of the business plans (opens in new tab) starting from $29.95 a month. For businesses that want to scale quickly, the website builder’s Enterprise plan (custom pricing) is a good choice because you only pay for the resources you use.

Read our full BigCommerce review (opens in new tab).

Squarespace logo

(Image credit: Squarespace)
The best builder for customer support

Specifications

Free plan: No
Free domain: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Unlimited storage: Yes
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Excellent customer support
+
Relatively cheap plans
+
Stunning range of templates
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Good integration with marketing tools

Reasons to avoid

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No free plan
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Lacks autosave
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Has a steep initial learning curve

Squarespace boasts a wide range of innovative and easy-to-use templates. Whether you’re looking to create an online portfolio, run a blog, or build an online store, Squarespace’s editor can get you started in minutes—although it has a bit of a learning curve across a series of paid plans (opens in new tab).

Although Squarespace does not have a free plan, it offers a free 14-day trial if you want to get a feel of the software before taking a plunge. If your primary aim for your website is to show off your company or blog about your services, then the Personal ($12 a month) and Business ($18 a month) plans are a great fit. 

These plans, compared to other providers, are cheap. Yet they have standard features, including a free custom domain, SSL security, unlimited storage and bandwidth, design templates, SEO features, and 24/7 customer support.

However, if you are looking to sell products on your website, opt for the advanced Commerce plan, and you’ll get additional features, including merchandising tools, ecommerce analytics, commerce API, and advanced shipping. 

One thing that stood out for us was Squarespace’s customer support. They have the most comprehensive resource base we found. Their help center is consistently updated with guides, articles, and in-depth training videos. They also run free online webinars to help customers. We tested Squarespace’s email support and received a prompt response in one business day.

Read our comprehensive Squarespace review (opens in new tab).

HostGator logo

(Image credit: HostGator)
The cheapest website builder for small business

Specifications

Free plan: No
Free domain: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Basic
Unlimited storage: Yes
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Cheap and competitive payment plans 
+
Access to free image library
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Powerful drag-and-drop builder
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Unmetered storage and bandwidth

Reasons to avoid

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Limited features for blogging 
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Deceptive pricing structure
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Lack of advanced tools available

If you are on a tight budget and you don’t want to miss out on all the standard features of a good website builder, Gator Builder (opens in new tab) from HostGator is perfect for you. All of Gator Builder’s three plans (opens in new tab) (Start, Site, and Store) come with an intelligent website builder, a free domain, unmetered bandwidth, and 24/7 chat and email support.

However, the Start plan ($3.84 a month) only gives you three email campaigns and 250 unique emails a month. At $5.99 a month, the Site plan offers more: five email campaigns and 500 unique emails a month, as well as bookings and priority support.

The Store plan, as the name suggests, is a good fit for ecommerce stores. For $9.22 a month, you’ll get 10 email campaigns a month, and you can send 1,250 unique emails. Also, you can add an unlimited number of products to your store, unlike the Start and Site plans, which have products capped at three and 10, respectively.

With a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, setting up your website has never been this easy. You can use images, maps, and videos to ensure that your website has that professional look your small business requires. One feature of Gator Builder worth mentioning is the free access to the Unsplash image library, which has a wide range of photos that you can use on your website. 

The one downside we found with Gator Builder was that the options for building, running, and customizing a blog are quite limited.

Read our full HostGator review (opens in new tab).

Weebly logo

(Image credit: Weebly)
The best builder for ease of use

Specifications

Free plan: Yes
Free domain: For advanced plans
Ecommerce functionality: Advanced
Unlimited storage: For advanced plans
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy-to-use website editor
+
Hundreds of mobile-responsive templates
+
Excellent free plan
+
Helpful SEO guides

Reasons to avoid

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Editor lacks customization options
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Limited drag-and-drop functionality
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No site design assistant

Of all the website builders we reviewed, Weebly has the most simple and easy-to-use website editor. Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to answer questions about the kind of website you want to build. Then you’ll be taken to the website editor, where you’ll find ready-to-use templates based on your answers.

Using the standard drag-and-drop interface, you can choose your website theme and layout and add images, videos, icons, audio files, and even maps to your site. The drawback we found with Weebly’s editor is that it’s not as flexible, and you may find it difficult to modify some of its design elements.

Weebly has three paid plans (opens in new tab) (Pro, Business, and Business Plus) starting at $12 a month, plus a free plan. Although the free plan comes with free hosting, you only get 500MB of storage space. All paid plans, however, have unlimited storage, a custom domain, and advanced site analytics. 

Weebly provides customer support through live chat, phone, and email. In addition to that, they offer resources such as support guides that will provide you with what you need to get your website started. We were impressed with the number of articles on Weebly’s knowledge base—over 300 articles and counting.

It's worth noting however that in the long-term, a pivot to Square Online's (opens in new tab) ecommerce store builder is taking place, with new customers already funnelled towards it. Existing Weebly customers will though continue to be supported when it comes to features and functionality.

Read our detailed Weebly review (opens in new tab).

Web.com's logo

(Image credit: Web.com)
The best website builder for freelancers

Specifications

Free plan: No
Free domain: Yes
Ecommerce functionality: Yes
Unlimited storage: No
SEO features: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful drag-and-drop feature
+
Hundreds of responsive templates
+
Decent analytics and reporting tools
+
Beginner-friendly editor

Reasons to avoid

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Limited blogging tools
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No free trial and high renewal prices
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Confusing management dashboard
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Poor customer service

Although Web.com is new on the market, it is gradually gaining ground. With a powerful drag-and-drop feature and a nice selection of templates and themes, Web.com holds its own against the usual suspects. 

For beginner freelancers who are looking to build a simple site with just a few pages Web.com is certainly one to consider. You can get a domain, blog, and professional email in minutes. The website builder also has some of the best portfolio templates we found among the builders reviewed. You’ll also get access to thousands of stock photos for your website.

Unfortunately, Web.com does not offer a free trial, so you’ll need to commit at the start. At face value (opens in new tab), the website builder seems incredibly cheap, as you only have to pay $1.95 (Starter plan) for the first month. However, that price can rise to up to $22.95 a month after the first month. There are two other plans: Marketing ($2.95) and Ecommerce ($3.95), and their prices also rise after the first month.

Web.com’s greatest limitation is perhaps its blog functionality. The blogging feature is still in its beta stage and not as feature-packed as what its competitors offer. In addition, it takes a while to get started, as you go through a rather long process—including creating an account, selecting a plan, and paying for it—before getting access to the website editor. 

Read our in-depth Web.com review (opens in new tab).


How to choose from the best small business website builders

Website builder comparisons

• Wix vs Shopify (opens in new tab)

• HostGator vs IONOS vs GoDaddy (opens in new tab)

• Wix vs Squarespace (opens in new tab)

• GoDaddy vs Wix (opens in new tab)

Wix vs Weebly (opens in new tab)

• Shopify vs BigCommerce (opens in new tab)

• Wix vs Squarespace vs Weebly (opens in new tab)

• WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace (opens in new tab)

• Squarespace vs Shopify (opens in new tab)

There’s no one perfect solution to choosing from the best small business website builders. However, keep a few important things in mind when looking, and ensure you make a good choice by remembering the foundations (opens in new tab) of small business website creation.

First, think about why you need a small business website (opens in new tab), and clearly identify your budget, along with the top tools (opens in new tab) you require, and ensure that the platforms you’re looking at include these elements. Not all builders come with ecommerce features, for example, so it’s important to bear this in mind when looking. You may also need hosting: if you do, use a provider offering the best web hosting for small business (opens in new tab)

You should also consider is how much time you plan to spend building your site. Easy-to-use builders like Weebly help if you want to get a site online fast; if you'd rather spend more time finalizing your design however, choose a more powerful option like Wix.

What's worth bearing in mind however is that most website builders come with a free trial or free-forever plan (opens in new tab). It pays (quite literally) to spend time shortlisting options, testing them out, and not rushing into a premium subscription without being sure.

How we review the best small business website builders

When reviewing the best website builders, whether they have a specific focus on small businesses or beyond, our first step is to test the builder and editor on custom sites. Doing this means we can better judge where a given platform falls on the UX (opens in new tab) scale: whether it's ideal for beginners, or catering more to advanced users.

As well as this, we test site uptime and response times, because these two key metrics are integral to the performance of a website. Poor performance or server response can cost you and your business money and time.

For small business-focused websites, we look into specific small business tools and features, whether they relate to ecommerce or more targeted elements such as AI-led tools and content creation. By doing this, we can compare each to competitors, and with many providing a range of advanced functions, while some provide few, we also study and discuss what each given plan offers, so you know what will be best for your SMB.

Outside of this, we examine platform-specific features, and trial customer support and service responsiveness. Most importantly when it comes to budgets and cost, we drill down into and fully explain pricing packages, so that you can be as informed as possible about any potential cost increases after your first year.

10 tips for building your first website

Watch our video below for our top tips for beginners to follow when building their first website

Next steps when choosing website builders

Before you start looking for a builder, consider whether you need to find a web host for your site (opens in new tab) or not (most offer hosting, but if you've opted for WordPress (opens in new tab) you'll need a separate web host (opens in new tab)). It's worth establishing the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services before you look.

In terms of providers featured above, learn how to make a website with Wix (opens in new tab) and how to make a website with Squarespace (opens in new tab) in our step-by-step guides, if you choose one of them. You can also find out more about Wix in our interview (opens in new tab) with the company's Michal Bignitz.

Chosen a builder? Now you need to choose a domain name (opens in new tab), and register your domain (opens in new tab), to ensure you've got the URL you want. Learn about AMP (opens in new tab) and mobile friendly design (opens in new tab) to make sure your site works for all devices. Make your website accessible (opens in new tab) for visitors with visual limitations; finally, establish what cookies are (opens in new tab) and what SEO is (opens in new tab), as these areas are integral to site data and performance.

Wisdom Elikem Sablah is a B2B, SaaS consultant and freelance writer. He combines a background in mathematics, data science, and digital marketing with a knack for storytelling. He writes for top publications, including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, and CreativeBloq. 

With contributions from