Best Website Builders of 2019 – Which One’s Perfect For Your Website?
There are 2 main ways to build a website - write the code yourself or use a website builder. And the latter is by far the easier one. The best thing is, you can choose from many site-building platforms that will help you create blogs, online stores, business websites, and so much more.
In fact, you'll be able to create your website fast, easy, and without writing a line of code.
But how do you chose the best website builder when there are so many of them claiming to be the fastest, easiest, and the most beautiful? To help you out, we tested a bunch of great builders to find the best of them.
The Best Website Builders
To pick out the best website builders out the many, we did multiple tests and evaluated their features, pricing, performance, and ease of use.
So here are 7 best website builders right now:
1. Wix - the most customizable website builder.
2. Sitejet - site builder for professional use.
3. GoDaddy Website Builder - user-friendly tool for business sites.
4. Weebly - customizable eCommerce store builder.
5. SITE123 - beginner-friendly website builder.
6. B12 - a managed website builder with AI capabilities.
7. Ucraft - best website builder with advanced design tools.
Let's get to know each of our best website builders better:
|Customer support||Knowledgebase, tickets, callback, live chat|
It is safe to say that you can execute the most complex design idea using Wix. And for that, you don't even have to be a skilled developer. Wix successfully combines both complete design freedom and beginner-friendly user interface for you to build a stunning website.
Best of all, you can build and publish a website with Wix for free and keep it for as long as you want.
But if you want premium add-ons, your own domain name, and no Wix ads, you should consider premium plans that start at $13/mo. Furthermore, if you want to sell online and turn your site into a business - eCommerce plans starting at $23/mo might be a good option.
All of the premium plans will include the essentials to publish your site professionally and securely - a free domain for a year, SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 customer support.
So we tested how easy it is to start your website with Wix.
Number of Ways to Start a Website With Wix
We've come to the conclusion that Wix is the fastest way to build a website. We've tested it and it's possible to have your website set up in around 3 minutes:
But you're not limited to choosing a template and then editing it. There are several ways in which you can build a website:
- Drag-and-Drop website builder
- Wix Artificial Design Intelligence
- Corvid by Wix development platform.
First of all, you can use a classic way of creating a website. Simply choose a template yourself and customize it with a drag and drop editor.
Wix has more than 500 professionally-designed templates. All of them are free for you to use, even if you choose the free plan.
Templates are categorized by the industry so it's easy to find themes for eCommerce of blogging specifically. Adding scroll-effects and dynamic page elements are possible too. But most importantly, all templates are responsive and will look good on any device.
Once you start editing, you'll be able to choose from thousands of design elements for text, images, buttons, and more. Each of them is fully customizable - from color to effects.
In the Wix App Market, you'll find hundreds of apps to expand the site's functionality - eCommerce, blogging, events, galleries, etc.
For complete beginners or those in a rush, Wix can build a website itself using Artificial Design Intelligence function.
You'll simply need to answer a couple of questions and the ADI will do the rest for you - even match the color scheme to your logo if you have one. So depending on each of your answers, the AI will build a site just for you.
Wix ADI is definitely the easiest way to get a website published fast. But Wix has an option for more advanced users too.
Corvid by Wix is an advanced development platform that allows professionals to customize the websites completely. Corvid can be used to create web applications, website designs, or simply for editing existing page elements.
Corvid is smartly built-in into the website editor. So no matter if you are using a blank template for development or want to edit an element - you can do easily.
But like all things, there is one drawback with Wix. Once you have your website up and running, you won't be able to transfer it to a different platform. No matter how beautiful your site turns out - if you want to leave Wix, you'll need to start from scratch. Same goes for the templates - once you customize one, it's not possible to transfer your content into another.
Good thing is - you can test out Wix for free. This will let you know if it's right for your website.
Wix gives you several ways to build a website with its intuitive user interface and AI-powered assistant. You can build a blog, eCommerce store, or a porfolio using hundreds of themes, thousands of design elements, integrations from App Market, and powerfull development platform.
|Customer support||Knowledgebase, live chat|
Sitejet is a powerful site-building platform that can be used even by professional web designers. In fact, it aims towards professional users, businesses, freelancers, and web creators.
Sitejet website builder includes not only the traditional editor but a project management system as well. This makes it possible to use it for multiple websites and designing them for clients.
And while this sounds like seriously advanced features, the price is surprisingly affordable.
Sitejet pricing starts at $5/month and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth but is limited to only one website. Hosting for any additional site will cost $5/each.
However, if you want to connect several team members or be able to transfer websites to clients, you'll need either the Team plan for $19/mo or the Agency plan for $89/mo.
Each of the plans is equipped with strong security features - automated backups, SSL certificates, CDN, and anti-DDoS protection.
Combine all that with an advanced website builder and you get a great platform to start a website or even a web design business.
Efficient Website Building Platform
Sitejet aims to turn website building into a straightforward process without losing the customizability of websites. It combines both a user-friendly WYSIWYG design editor and a powerful content management system similar to WordPress.
This allows much higher customizability and functionality of the Sitejet websites.
The process of starting your website begins by choosing a template. Sitejet gives you the selection of more than 100 responsive templates. Impressive feature - you can install eCommerce to all of them.
Customizing a website with Sitejet editor can be both easy and difficult, depending on your individual needs. The editor is interactive - you can press on design elements and settings will appear. That includes colors, text, buttons, and images.
Similarly, you can reach more advanced settings. But this is where it gets more difficult using Sitejet. It becomes more of a CMS rather than an interactive website builder. But that also gives you more flexibility - customizing SEO settings, taking and managing snapshots, listing to-dos, redirecting pages, and more.
And if you have one than more website, a project management system can be really useful.
In a simple yet functional Sitejet's dashboard you can plan tasks for yourself or assign them to your team members. If you're building a site for a client - this is where you'll be able to transfer it to them too.
Sitejet website builder is a robust tool any freelance designer and agency could get to use. At the same time, it's excellent for individual users and businesses for its user-friendliness and affordable pricing.
Sitejet is a cutting-edge website builder that is designed with professionals in mind but great for beginners. While the learning curve is a bit steeper, it adds a lot of possibilities - creating sites for clients, customizing advanced settings, managing multiple projects, and much more.
|Customer support||Knowledgebase, tickets, live chat|
GoDaddy website builder is an all-in-one platform to start your website trouble-free. It focuses on busineses that want to establish their online presence using user-friendly tools of a reliable provider.
You'll be able to choose from over 100 templates and customize them with a straightforward design editor. Integrating online store, image galleries, bookings, and much more is as simple as rearranging apps on your phone menu.
Starting at $10/mo you'll be able to add such features like PayPal button and send 100 marketing emails. If you need more, the Business Plus plan for $20/mo allows you to accept payments for services and the Online Store plan for $25/mo includes the full eCommerce functionality with shipping and payment automation.
All of the plans will grant you 24/7 customer support, SSL certificate, and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
So if all this looks good to you, let's take a look at GoDaddy website builder editor.
Straightforward Design Editor
From the point you click on the "Get Started" button, GoDaddy makes it really simple to launch your website. And before you even design your site, no payment information is needed. If you don't like GoDaddy, you can quit at any time.
First of all, you can choose from a hundred of well-designed templates. You'll find highly visual ones and the ones that are content-driven. It all depends on the idea of your website.
After you have your template ready, you can edit it and it could not be more simple.
Under the "Themes" menu option, there are all the variations for your chosen theme, color palettes, and other design elements. Under "Pages & Sections", you can, well... Add or delete pages and add sections to any existing page.
You can also click the "Add to this page" button to see all the integrations like photo galleries, menus, eCommerce, and more.
This allows you to add and customize a needed functionality to the website. Whether you are building an online store or want to accept bookings for your service - everything is installed by a couple of clicks.
By clicking the arrows in the top right corner of the section, you can arrange it higher or lower on the website.
This simplicity makes website building into a really fast and simple process. On the other hand, it limits some of the customization possibilities. So if you're looking for a way to build a website fast and use an established provider service - it is definitely for you. But if you have complex design ideas, there are definitely tools for that too.
GoDaddy website builder is completely beginner-friendly and will allow you to build a nice looking business website in no time. On the other hand, it may be a bit too simple for complex design ideas.
|Customer support||Knowledgebase, tickets, phone|
Weebly used to focus on individual users. But since it was acquired by Square, the online payments provider, the website builder turned into a powerful eCommerce platform. In fact, Weebly roots as a personal website builder give users a lot of different tools to make a unique online store.
It makes Weebly one of the most flexible drag-and-drop website builders in the market right now. It provides users with beautiful templates, customizable design editor, and powerful integrations.
To test it out, Weebly has a free plan. And if you want a custom domain, you can build simple websites like portfolios and blogs using the Connect plan for $5/mo. But to see what Weebly is actually capable of in the eCommerce field, you'll need the Business plan for $25/mo. By the way, you can use the Pro plan for $12/mo to accept payments too, although it won't let you manage product storage and automate shipping.
All premium plans include a domain name and an SSL certificate.
Considering the powerful drag-and-drop functionality, Weebly is one of the more affordable options. So let's have a look at how can you create your site.
Weebly Drag-and-Drop Design Editor
Just before you begin, you can choose whether you're building an eCommerce store or a simple website. This allows Weebly to offer you the best templates individually.
There's a choice of around 80 templates, each is responsive and free to use. The selection is not as wide as some other builders offer, but the designs are well-curated and all look great. The selection of online store templates is excellent as well:
Once you have a template ready, you can head straight to the editor. By dragging elements, you can arrange them in the order you want. Considering other eCommerce website builders, Weebly is by far the most flexible and beautiful one.
In the menu on the left, you'll find the selection of all design elements you can add to the pages. You can use a gallery or a slideshow to showcase your products as well as add beautiful and inviting backgrounds.
In the header menu above, there are more settings and customization options. You can edit pages, customize or change themes, and in the app store, you will find third-party integrations.
Third-party integrations will include all you need for a successful online store. You can add custom shipping options, email marketing campaigns, subscriptions, and more.
One of the best things about Weebly is that you can export your website files and products if you want to change platforms. So whether you are not satisfied with Weebly performance or need more powerful CMS like WordPress, you can do it relatively easy.
Weebly is a great website builder that will make it easy to build both an eCommerce store and a simple personal website. Although the choice of themes is rather limited, you'll still have a lot of freedom to customize.
|Customer support||Live chat, email, social media, knowledgebase|
All of the website builders on our list are really easy to use but SITE123 takes the crown. It is by far the easiest website builder that we've tested.
Using a simplistic design editor and mixing hundreds of professionally designed page layouts together, you can create any website you want. And do that fast.
And the best part about this - you can start and publish your website with SITE123 for free.
But if you want your own domain name with privacy protection and larger data allowance, you'll need to stick to the premium plans. Starting at $4.68/mo (special discount for our blog readers) will get you a simple website for personal use. If you want to sell online, the Professional plan for $11.88/mo will allow you to do that.
It seems SITE123 can offer all you need starting with blogs and finishing with online stores for an affordable price.
Simplistic Web Design Editor
Making a bold statement of being the "easiest free website builder," SITE123 might actually be close to the truth. In fact, we've decided that its the most user-oriented website builder our there. Because SITE123 doesn't overcrowd its builder with thousands of features, it is really simple to customize.
But like using most of the builders, the beginning is very similar. You can choose one of the 200+ responsive templates to start customizing.
But after picking a template, there's not much left for you to do.
You can select the website's type - one-pager or a multiple-page site. Then, SITE123 provides you with matching color palettes to choose from, but you can create your own too.
The last step is a background - you can upload your own or choose one of SITE123's. A really nice feature is that you can add filters on the images - it definitely adds a personal touch even to the stock images.
That's about it - you have a fully functional website that's ready to establish your online presence.
What's even better, SITE123 provides you with extensive image galleries in case you don't have your own. And the images are high-quality so you can create a refined website even with stock photos. And once again - adding filters can really enhance the way an image looks.
So if you're a complete beginner or have no time for customizing each website element - SITE123 might be just the right platform for you. It has hundreds of pre-designed page sections that are easy to mix and match together. That, of course, limits customization flexibility, but making a website becomes as easy as one-two-three.
SITE123 is a the easiest website builder to use. Such simplicity limits some of the design flexibility, but it sure makes deploying a website easy and fast.
|Customer support||Live chat, email, phone|
B12 is truly one of the kind website builder offering an innovative service that no other builder has provided. It is a managed web development platform powered by AI and real web designers' intelligence.
And what the most interesting with B12 - you can actually get a professionally designed website for free.
Simply go through all AI design steps and then wait for an agent to call you. Once you have a chat with a designer, your website will be further perfected by professionals.
Free service, of course, limits your possibilities. So if you want to get your own domain name and contact website manager any time, you'll need to stick to premium plans. The pricing for B12 services starts at $26/mo. The full experience - copywriting, full website management, and SEO services will cost you up to $224/mo.
This makes B12 a perfect tool for busy entrepreneurs and businesses that don't have enough time to customize their website from scratch. And it makes a cheaper option than hiring a professional website developer.
So is B12 worth its price?
AI-Driven Website Designs
The getting started process with B12 is really simple. You'll only need to answer a couple of questions about yourself and your website-to-be. Then, you can choose a couple of keywords that best describe the idea of the website and the rest is up to the AI to design.
After AI shows the initial template for you, you can further customize it yourself. Upload your logo, choose a cover image, select color palette, and fonts. You can also add pages you need on your website and specify your goals.
These steps provides more detailed information about your needs for AI and designers. So after you're done, you should have a pretty much functional website. But B12 adds one extra step - consultation and editing with a designer.
So schedule a call and wait for a chat with professional who will then polish your design.
After a day or two when the designer and AI have done their jobs, all that's left for you to do is add your own content and press "Publish." Though B12 provides even such services like copywriting, so you might not need to write your content after all.
B12 is a fully managed service. Even if you choose a free plan. This means, that you can focus more on your business, services or content and let the professionals do their job.
B12 is truly exceptional though it doesn't function as a regular website builder. It's a managed service that will build a site for you using AI and professional web designers. You won't get to design the site yourself, but B12 will make sure it gets done professionally.
|Customer support||Live chat, help center|
If Apple made website builders, they'd probably look like Ucraft. The strong side of the website builder is clean and modern designs. User experience is crisp as well.
Simple yet fully interactive design editor makes building a website a pretty easy task. Also, you can connect a bunch of third-party apps like Messenger, Google Analytics or eBay both for your and user's convenience.
Ucraft does not have any unnecessary features, yet it's flexible enough to make every type of website. And you won't even have to rob a bank for it.
Ucraft has a free plan that not only allows you to build a website but to connect your own domain as well. Yet if you need customer support, several contributors, and even a small eCommerce of up to 50 products, the Pro Website plan costs $10/mo. For unlimited products, you can choose the BigCommerce plan for $39/mo.
With each plan, you'll also get SSL, Google Analytics integration, and app for SEO. Overall, Ucraft value looks really great. So how about the builder?
Fully-Featured Design Editor
Before you begin editing, you'll need to choose one of the dozens of responsive templates Ucraft has. In case you want to start designing from scratch, there's even a blank template.
And to be honest, Ucraft default templates look amazing. You can see how much work it is put in to make one-of-the kind designs.
After that, you'll be redirected to Ucraft's website builder. As with everything, the user interface is clean and intuitive.
In the menu on the left, you'll find all of your options to customize the website.
For example, adding scroll effects such as parallax could not be more simple. Simply select an effect icon from the menu and drag it on the page element you want to animate. And that's it, you've got your custom parallax scroll page.
Ucraft's builder is definitely full of features. Apart from traditional elements like images, galleries, text boxes, and apps, you'll also find designer, article writing, and SEO tools as well as even a logo maker app.
Basically, Ucraft has all you need to start your website from a blank page to full-on beautiful branded eCommerce, business website, or a blog.
Ucraft gives its users a very good value with its clean and user-friendly website builder that is equipped with advanced design functions.
What Sites Website Builders are Best for?
Generally, website builders can be used for any kind of website. From the smallest personal blogging project to huge enterprise site. You just simply need to choose the right platform.
On the contrary, website builders were designed with people with no coding knowledge in mind. They are meant to make building a website available to everyone.
So considering the salaries of web developers and monthly prices of site builders - the latter is way cheaper.
Similarly, website builders still limit the possibilities of websites, so they are not usually the choice of enterprises.
So we come again to the users without any coding knowledge - website builders will be best for personal websites, blogs, small business sites, small- to medium-sized eCommerce, and similar sites.
How to Choose the Best Website Builder?
Choosing the right website builder for your site can make it easier creating a website and save you a headache in the future.
We prepared a really short 5 step guide which will help you decide what kind of website building tool you need:
Step 1: Decide What Kind of Website You are Going to Build
Step 2: Determine Your Budget for the Website
Step 3: Evaluate Your Web Development Skills
Step 4: Think if You Want the Possibility to Switch Platforms
Step 5: Check if the Host Has All the Features You Need
Step 1: Decide What Kind of Website You are Going to Build
Depending on if you are building an eCommerce store or a personal website, they will need completely different features, resources, and designs. The price range also differs. So before you even begin choosing a website building platform, you should first decide what is the purpose of your site.
- Personal websites like small blogs, portfolios, or image galleries are generally the cheapest to launch and maintain.
Usually, they don't attract high-traffic levels and are not heavy in terms of data. And it's easy to choose a website builder for them as most of them can do a great job. So your task is simple - look at the templates, apps and widgets, design elements, and pricing of different platforms and choose the one you like best.
From our list, you can check out Wix, GoDaddy, and SITE123.
- Informational websites and larger blogs need way more resources though are generally not expensive.
Your main goal probably is accumulating high-traffic levels. SEO and high bandwidth allowances are both important. You should also consider user experience and look for well-optimized templates. So look at what features and templates providers have and how good they are at SEO - are you going to be able to adjust the settings yourself? Choose the plan that won't cramp your site in case of traffic peaks.
Weebly, B12, and Ucraft would do the best job here.
- Business websites need a lot of different features and excellent performance. And this can get expensive.
Depending on your business type, you may want to be able to take reservations, make appointments, selling music, etc. Website design is no less important and you got to include SEO if you want to get traffic from the search engines. Some site builders have plans designed for business so consider that.
Consider choosing Sitejet, GoDaddy, B12, or Ucraft.
- eCommerce websites are going to be the heaviest and will need not only a lot of resources but also extra security.
First of all, you'll need to check which providers support eCommerce features like shipping and taking payments. Then you'll need to find out if they have eCommerce-specific templates. Once again, don't forget about SEO. From the security perspective, SSL certificates are necessary and you may also want to have automated backups in case some issue occurs.
Wix, Sitejet, and Weebly have the best features for this kind of websites.
Step 2: Determine Your Budget for the Website
Most of our recommended website builders have free plans. However, the cheapest plans that will provide you with a domain name and an SSL certificate starts at $4.68/mo. To get more features like custom SEO tools, larger data allowances, eCommerce features, you may need to spend up to $30/mo.
So here are simple guidelines:
- Around $5/mo gets you a website builder service that fits small personal websites.
- For around $10/mo you can get a website builder plan that will work for small- to medium-sized business websites and informational sites.
- Anything above $20/mo will get you features that can power an eCommerce store and large business websites.
Consider that domain names are usually free for only 1 year so you may want to add around $10 to $15 for your second-year expenses.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Web Development Skills
The main purpose of all website builders is to give you the possibility to start a website without any coding knowledge. This means you will be able to manage every website builder.
But some are more complex than others.
- Drag-and-drop website builders are usually the easiest to use. But they also allow you the most freedom. Consider if you'll be able to arrange everything orderly, choose a nice color scheme, and optimize this kind of site.
- What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) builders are more fit for beginner users. You won't have such design freedom, though templates are curated so you can easily build a professional-looking website.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) builders can save a lot of time for both beginner users and professionals. You'll simply need to answer several questions and the system will do the job for you. All you need to do - upload your content.
Step 4: Think if You Need the Possibility to Switch Platforms
Most of the website building platforms don't have the possibility to import or export the website.
Take Wix for example - if you decide to move, you'll need to start the whole building a website process from scratch. More, you won't be able to change the theme once you chose one.
Only a few website builders will let you export the website files. This list includes only Sitejet and Weebly.
So think whether you're ready to stick to the platform or you'll want to move later. Fortunately, with the majority of builders, you get free trials and can see whether you like them or not.
Step 5: Check the Website Builder Performance
Often forgotten by newcomers, performance is the feature that can make or break a website.
Since July 2018 Google introduced its Speed Update. Google started using page speed as a factor to rank mobile searches. And please don't say that "Oh, it's just mobile searches, I'll be fine." Cause no, you won't. In the same 2018, mobile devices took more than 50% of all website visits. And the percentage keeps growing.
Another fact for you:
According to Google research, bounce rate increase with each passing second of page load time for mobile users. So if your page loads in 1 to 3 seconds, bounce rate during that time increases by around 32%. And if your page takes somewhere around 10 seconds to load - here's your 123% increase in bounce rates.
So when you are choosing a website builder, keep in mind the performance.
Naturally, uptime has to be stellar. Also, you can check response times and look at certain hosting features: type of the server, whether it uses SSD or HDD disks, whether it's shared or cloud hosting, etc.
In the best-case scenario, the website builder will provide you with SSD disks and cloud hosting.
Best Website Builder FAQs
We answered all the most common questions about website builders.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
You can create a website starting with no budget and spending thousands - both ways are possible. Website builder premium plans usually begin in the range of $10/month. For this, you can expect to get a domain name for the first year but after that, you'll need to pay around $10/year for a simple .com domain. So that sums up to around $130 for the second year - if you choose one of the cheaper plans.
eCommerce and business websites will cost several times more - you can expect to pay over $20/mo. And if you need a managed service, the price will go even higher.
Will My Website Be Slow if I Use a Website Builder?
Currently, most of the website builders are using powerful Cloud hosting so your website is definitely not going to be slow.
Although the first website builders were known for poor performance and constant downtimes. That might have been a result of outdated software like Flash that was heavy and overcrowded servers. Servers too were not as powerful as they are today.
Fortunately, these problems are solved by advancing technology. Website builders now function on the same level as best web hosting providers.
How Website Builders are Different from Hosting Providers?
Website builders get you 2 main services - a tool to build a website and hosting for it. Hosting providers usually get you one service that is hosting the website you build online.
This means you get more flexibility with regular hosting - you can install any content management system to function as a website builder platform for you. Often, hosts provide their customers with website builder too.
But unlike website builders, web hosting allows you to customize servers in some cases.
Can I Move My Website From a Website Builder to a Different Platform?
In most cases, exporting your website will be either impossible or not worth the hassle. Website builders don't have file managers so it is usually not possible to extract files and transfer them to a different platform. Also, they use various frameworks that not necessarily can be adopted by different platforms.
In our list, only Sitejet and Weebly will allow you to migrate a website easily.
Are Website Builders Bad For SEO?
Website builders don't have as much customizability in terms of SEO as, for instance, WordPress. But that does not mean they are inherently bad for SEO.
For the most part, you'll be able to add alt tags, descriptions, and titles. Redirects are also possible with most of the platforms. The website builders are also well optimized - they will run fast and smooth so Google wouldn't rank you down for poor performance.
Yet if you're an SEO junkie, you might miss some of the flexibility.
Best Website Builders - The Verdict
Website builders are great for quickly and easily building websites. Especially if you are not a pro developer.
We thoroughly tested a bunch of great builders and determined what are they most suitable for. Here is our list of the best website builders currently:
- Wix - the best website builder for complete design freedom and user-friendly interface.
- Sitejet - professional site builder for designers and business.
- GoDaddy Website Builder - easy to use platform for quickly building business websites.
- Weebly - eCommerce-oriented website builder with a convenient drag-and-drop editor.
- SITE123 - the easiest website builder to start your website.
- B12 - managed web design service powered by AI.
- Ucraft - streamlined design editor with advanced customization options.
Which website builder you think is the best? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below!