If you’re jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, ecommerce is a smart way to go. This is especially true with the retail ecommerce market expected to hit a whopping $5.4 trillion by 2022.
But how can you compete with all the ecommerce brands out there?
One of the secrets is having the right tools. Once you find the best website builder for your small business, you’ll be able to tap into a whole world of features and resources you need to build a gorgeous, high-converting ecommerce website.
So what exactly are those tools and how do you use them? (And how much will they cost?)
In this article, we’ll look at a few of the top website builders for small businesses. We’ll discuss the platforms, what they can help you achieve, and how you should choose the one that’s best for your unique situation.
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9 top small business website builders in 2021
Wondering which small business website builder to use and what you’ll get out of your subscription? Let’s break down the top options and their features to help you decide.
1. Shopify: Best overall ecommerce site builder
If you ask around, many people will tell you that Shopify is the best website builder for small business. It’s built such a positive reputation because it has a lot to offer new and experienced entrepreneurs alike.
Shopify offers thousands of free and paid pre-built themes to help you jump right into building your website—no coding experience necessary. It also has built-in tools and resources to help you run comprehensive marketing campaigns to grow your store traffic and customer base, as well as comprehensive tracking tools to keep you on track.
If you’re interested in growing into an omnichannel brand, Shopify integrates with many other channels, including social media like Facebook and TikTok, as well as online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. You can even use Shopify to sell in-person if you decide to open a storefront or host a pop-up shop at local events.
Price: Basic plan starts at $29/month, plus transaction fees.
2. GoDaddy: Best for quick-and-easy websites
You may know GoDaddy as one of the world’s biggest website hosting companies, so it would make sense that the company offers a website builder too. If you want to get up and running as soon as possible, GoDaddy is one of the best small business website builders to choose from.
The website builder offers many of the features you can expect, like a design studio for content and videos, sales and marketing management tools, and tracking metrics to make sure you hit all of your business goals.
Many users report that GoDaddy offers a bit of a trade-off: the experience is simple and streamlined, but you lose some of the customization and capabilities that are typically offered by other website builders.
Price: Basic plan starts at $9.99/month.
3. WordPress: Best for custom web experiences
WordPress is truly a force to be reckoned with—it powers more than one-third of the world’s top 10 million websites. And as you can imagine, this means that WordPress has the benefit of a massive ecosystem. If you need a plug-in or integration, you’ll almost certainly be able to find it.
Some people say that WordPress is for “dreamers,” meaning that if you can dream up an idea for your small business website, you can accomplish it through WordPress. That’s why this website builder is a great choice if you have a website idea that requires some extra tools and customizations to bring to life.
Keep in mind, though, that the more complex a website you’d like to create, the more likelihood there is that you’ll need to hire a professional developer if you don’t already have those skills.
Price: Personal plan starts at $3, though you may want a higher-tier plan for better website functionality.
4. Squarespace: Best for beautiful, responsive websites
Squarespace is a design powerhouse with a large collection of stunning, fully responsive templates. Each Squarespace template has elements that you can customize to suit your brand, from the fonts and colors to the background images and banners.
For small businesses, Squarespace offers the perfect blend of modern design and ease of use. It keeps site-building really simple and gives you all the necessary marketing tools to work with. Embedding popups and announcement bars is as easy as dragging and dropping them wherever you want them to appear.
Squarespace also offers ecommerce tools you can use to build an online store. These include order management, point of sale, product image zoom, and more.
However, Squarespace has a bit of a learning curve, and it lacks some of the crucial functions of more established store builders.
Price: Personal plan starts at $12/month. If you want fully integrated ecommerce for your website, the minimum plan is $18/month, plus transaction fees.
5. Wix: Best for extending site functionality
Wix is a solid, beginner-friendly site builder for small businesses. Its drag-and-drop feature lets you design your site by placing elements where you want them.
Aside from typical site building, Wix offers ADI (artificial design intelligence) for less-tech-savvy business owners. This tool will ask you a few questions about your design and feature preferences, then create an attractive website for you.
And once you’ve created a website, Wix lets you extend its functionality via its App Market. Wix has over 250 apps you can choose from if your core setup is missing the features you need.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re looking to sell products online, Wix may not be the best choice. The platform allows you to add a maximum of 100 pages to your online store—and you don’t get integrations for newer channels like TikTok.
Price: Basic plan starts at $4.50/month but includes limited features and Wix ads. You’ll probably want to start with the Personal plan, which costs $8.50/month.
6. Site123: Best for simple websites
Site123 is one of the best free website builders for small businesses. Whereas some builders give you a limited free trial to test the waters, Site123 offers a completely free plan with enough storage to host a simple website.
When building a site, you can choose from over 180 mobile-responsive templates. And while Site123 doesn’t allow the adjustment of elements, you can reorder and add content sections to your preferences.
If you want to access Site123’s repository of plug-ins and ecommerce tools, you’ll need to sign up for its Premium plan. However, not every tool will be included in your package. The good news is that Site123 has an App Market where you’ll find several important tools not offered with your subscription.
The one caveat is that Site123 doesn’t offer a drag-and-drop editor like some other small business website builders. Instead, you get a point-and-click editor with limited creative freedom.
Price: Basic plan is free, but you’ll need to put up with ads and limited bandwidth on your site. Ad-free plans start at $7.25/month.
7. Weebly: Best for intuitive editing
Weebly is one of the easiest website builders around. Its new editor makes it simple to edit your website’s navigation and content. You can also choose from a variety of preset layouts, plus add or remove elements according to your preferences.
On top of website building simplicity, Weebly offers a range of features to help you grow online. These include strong SEO features and support, marketing tools like coupons and newsletters, and integration with Square Payments.
Want to create an ecommerce website? Weebly offers an intuitive store panel where you can customize your design, add inventory, manage payments, and more. Plus, you’re able to access all the built-in features meant to help you establish and scale your business online.
On the flip side, Weebly lacks the depth and power of more specialist ecommerce platforms. In building a store for the long haul, its limited capabilities might become a major stumbling block.
Price: Basic plan is free but doesn’t connect to a custom domain name. Plans that allow a custom domain start at $6/month.
8. Square Online: Best free website builder
There are few website builders that offer completely free plans, and Square Online is one of them. You can build, launch, and drive traffic to your store at no cost.
Square Online also integrates with other channels like Facebook and Instagram, and offers SEO tools to help you continue growing your business.
Keep in mind, though, that the free version has limitations compared to paid plans from Square Online, as well as many of the competitors we’ve discussed. For example, your site will show ads that Square Online chooses, and you can’t use a custom domain like www.yourstore.com.
Of course, if you’d like more ability to customize your ecommerce experience, you can always upgrade to a paid plan.
Price: Forever free plan, plus transaction fee. Plans with custom domains start at $12/month.
9. Zyro: Best for entrepreneurs who want full support
Zyro has gotten a lot of praise for how easy it makes the web development process. No matter your skill level—even if you’re starting from zero—Zyro has a clean, minimalist, and user-friendly interface.
You’ll also find robust tools to guide you through the web design and launch process. And if you get stuck or have trouble figuring something out, Zyro’s customer support team is ready to help.
Like other website builders for small business, Zyro comes pre-loaded with tons of templates, free high-quality images, and presets that ensure you have a beautiful website without having to do all of the hard parts yourself. It even has AI-driven branding tools to cut out the guesswork when it comes to creating a truly impactful and high-performing store.
Price: Basic plan starts at $8.90/month.
Summary: 9 best website builders for small business owners
Here’s a recap of the best website builders for small businesses and what they’re best used for:
- Shopify: Best overall ecommerce site builder
- GoDaddy: Best for quick-and-easy websites
- WordPress: Best for custom web experiences
- Squarespace: Best for beautiful, responsive design
- Wix: Best for extending site functionality
- Site123: Best for simple websites
- Weebly: Best for intuitive editing
- Square Online: Best free website builder
- Zyro: Best for entrepreneurs who want full support
When deciding which website builder to use, there are a few key considerations: the type of website you want to build, the complexity and customizations you want, how much time and money you can invest, and your current skills and resources.
Once you have an understanding of your needs and capabilities, choosing the right website builder will be a much simpler decision.
All that’s left to do is get out there and bring your business to life!
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