In the past, those who wanted to create a new website had to either pay a skilled web developer to do it for them or spend countless hours learning to code. Getting online has become progressively easier over time, but it wasn’t until the invention of website builders that anyone could create their own site with relative ease.
With a website builder, you can essentially make a simple website without any coding or other tech skills to speak of. As long as you’re willing to put in a few hours to learn the process, you can easily create a basic site in a weekend (or less).
However, website builders have been around for a while now, and another problem is becoming increasingly evident. With the huge number of platforms and different building options available, it’s getting harder and harder to find the best website builder for your needs.
To help you out, we’ve put together the following guide to the top five best website builders available in 2020. Here, you will find options for everyone from the skilled web developer to the weekend beginner, and anyone in between.
Wix is one of the most popular website builders in the world, and for good reason. It comes with a choice of two different editors, Wix ADI and the Wix Editor, which are both powerful options for creating a new site.
If you use Wix ADI, or artificial design intelligence, you will be guided through a short questionnaire asking about your long-term goals and what you hope to get out of your website. Then, you will be provided with a template that you will be able to edit as required.
On the other hand, the Wix Editor is much more flexible. Simply choose a starting design from Wix’s template library, which contains more than 500 attractive options. Then, you will be able to customize every aspect of your site through the powerful drag-and-drop editing interface. The most noteworthy feature here is the pixel-perfect customizability that Wix offers, which essentially allows you to place elements wherever you want on your page.
Wix has a great free forever plan that you can use to create a simple site and test the platform out. However, it does have resource limitations and built-in advertising, and you won’t be able to connect a custom domain.
There are seven paid plans available, including four website-specific options ranging from $10 to $27 per month and three eCommerce options costing $18 to $38 per month. All except the cheapest plan include unlimited bandwidth, although you will have to put up with somewhat limited storage.
If you’re looking for a powerful yet affordable website builder, HostGator’s Gator Website Builder could be the perfect choice. Like Wix, it uses a pixel-perfect drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to position different design elements exactly where you want them.
You will also benefit from a huge range of included features, such as unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free domain name if you sign up for a 12-month plan, a free SSL certificate, and much, much more.
Unfortunately, though, HostGator’s template library does let it down slightly. Although there are more than 200 mobile-optimized designs available, most of these are quite outdated and, in reality, not all that useful.
On top of this, the Gator Builder doesn’t have a free forever plan or even a free trial. It is extremely competitively priced, though, with the three plans ranging from $3.84 to $9.22 per month.
Weebly is another of the most popular website builders in the world. And with its focus on professional designs and high-quality eCommerce integrations, it’s easy to see why.
For starters, the Weebly editor is designed to be “idiot-proof”. In short, this means that it’s actually quite hard to create a website that doesn’t look good, regardless of your experience. However, this comes with its limitations. For example, Weebly doesn’t have nearly the same number of editing features as Wix or the Gator Builder, and you can only place elements in pre-coded positions.
Fortunately, though, there are plenty of positives. Weebly’s template library is among the best we’ve seen, with a suite of attractive, professionally-designed themes for all situations. Additionally, Weebly partners with eCommerce leader Square to provide some of the best online store features available, allowing you to sell through your website with a minimum amount of fuss.
There is also a great free plan available, although it is quite limited. Paid plans range from $6 to $26 per month (with annual billing), although it’s worth noting that the cheapest option offers very little more than a free plan.
Squarespace focuses on providing a huge selection of native tools and features. It comes with a great choice of extremely high-quality templates, which are regularly updated in line with modern industry trends. And, it includes eCommerce features that rival Weebly, the website building leader when it comes to online store creation.
Unfortunately, though, the Squarespace editor is quite complicated. The layout isn’t logical, and you will need to spend some time getting the hang of it if you want to build a decent website. It’s also somewhat limited, confining you to predefined layouts and restricting customizability.
And on top of this, Squarespace doesn’t have a free forever plan. Luckily, there is a 14-day free trial (no payment info required) that you can use to test it out. Paid plans range from $12 to $40 per month, but you can save up to 30% with an annual subscription.
Although it’s far from the most powerful website builder in the world, the GoDaddy builder is our top pick for beginners who want to create a basic site with the minimum amount of fuss. Its editor is extremely easy to use, it comes with enough tools to create an attractive site, and it even supports simple eCommerce.
In saying that, you need to be aware that the GoDaddy builder does have its limitations. Sure, it’s great if you want to get online quickly, but its editing features are quite basic. Similarly, while it offers eCommerce functionality, don’t expect to be able to create an enterprise-level store. The online selling tools simply aren’t advanced enough.
Luckily, there is a simple free forever plan available. Paid plans range from $9.99 to $24.99 per month with annual billing, although a monthly subscription will be more expensive.