Welcome! I've reviewed all of the major website builders and listed below are the 5 which I consider to be the very best. They're all recommended but some may suit your needs better than others so please read on before deciding.
Best choice for Ecommerce websitesShopify.com
Perfect for those who want precise controlWix.com
Below I have written a brief summary of each of the website builders in my top 5 list explaining why I recommend them above the other website builders. You can also find in-depth reviews of each website builder linked below each summary or you can browse the full list here: All Website Builder Reviews.
Best overall website builder — Squarespace is our top recommended website builder due to the power and simplicity of it's design interface, beautiful business ready templates and very capable add-on features.
Squarespace wins out primarily on it's ease of use. Whilst other website builders may be more customizable, in many cases their advanced customization means it's very easy to mess things up. This simplicity makes site building way faster. What could take 2-3 weeks in other platforms can be done in 2-3 days in Squarespace.
Their templates are fresh, clean, visually impactful and are consistently good. You won't find the huge variation in templates that other builders may have but the ones they do have are of extremely high quality and will be a joy for your end users to interact with.
No website builder stands alone as a simple display only website; Squarespace's integrations are some of the best in class across key function such as blogging, podcasting, photo galleries and the all important shopping carts and ordering process.
Squarespace prices are reasonable and their pricing plans are simple to understand. There are no underhanded tactics which will leave you scratching your head at the end of each month wondering where the extra charges came in like some other less scrupulous website builders. Crucially, all app integrations are built into the platform and do not cost anything more to add to your website.
Perfect for those who want precise control — for those who want complete control over almost every design element of their website, Wix offers the most flexible designer on the marketplace.
In contrast to other website builders, Wix has a drag and drop interface which allows you to place elements anywhere on the page instead of the typical pre-defined grid that most other editors offers. This gives you pixel level control of the layout of your web page. But it doesn't stop there, you can also control the appearance of every element independently of others via the comprehensive editor.
Wix has over 500 themes and counting and includes designs for small businesses, restaurants, online stores and artists such as musicians and photographers. The themes are nicely optimized for mobile devices and can be enhanced with one of the numerous apps available from the extensive Wix App Market.
Wix pricing plans are generous but unlike Squarespace you'll need to budget for any additional apps that you install from the Wix App Market.
Best choice for Ecommerce websites — Shopify is the website builder that I recommend if you are building a dedicated Ecommerce site - that is, an online shop or storefront. The Shopify platform is dedicated to Ecommerce which has allowed them to focus purely on delivering templates and tools for the benefit of store owners and they have done a great job in innovating and improving to stay ahead of the rest.
The Shopify App Store is the jewel in the crown for Shopify. They were the first to market providing an App Store for store owners so they marketplace is mature and remains well managed. Healthy price competition between App developers ensures prices are low and standards are high and the review system ensures they are trustworhy.
Shopify integrates with dropshipping and other fulfilment services and are also planning to move into this space themselves so you can manage a completely virtual store with no requirement to manage or deliver stock - at a price of course.
The builder interface is simple to pick up even for beginners and so you can get set up and selling product quicker than any other platform.
Easiest to use website builder — Weebly is the easiest platform to start with if you don't consider yourself particularly tech-savvy. Their tools, like their drag and drop editor, are intuitive and super friendly to beginners.
Don't be deceived though; even though it's simple to use, it's still plenty powerful enough to set up a high quality site whether it's for Ecommerce, blogging or general information. It's also flexible enough to allow you to add HTML code to your web page so if you have a designer on board you can customize it to your heart's desire.
Weebly was recently acquired by Square and it's update frequency has slowed somewhat since then and it has started to fall behind it's competitors a little; whether this is temporary or symptomatic of things to come we're not sure but it's worth bearing in mind.
Weebly's has 5 plans but you'll need to be on the Business plan or above (one of the top two tiers) to get access to their Ecommerce features so do bear that in mind before diving in.
Best Ecommerce platform for larger stores — BigCommerce is another dedicated Ecommerce platform with some great tools for larger businesses.
Their clients include Toyota, Kodak, and Ben & Jerry’s so you can be confident that they can scale to your requirements if you have a large or fast-growing businesses. It has tons of built-in features, data tools, and is worth considering
The design interface is not as easy to use or as intuitive as Shopify so we generally recommend Shopify unless you are a larger business in which case their powerful smart product rules, downloadable sales information, email marketing tools, data analysis and tax management tools give it the edge.
I've heard the occasional complaint about BigCommerce support being less than responsive to feedback but recent updates such as the Store Design tool have been a big step forward in usability so that's encouraging for the future of the platform.
Now that you've read my overview of the best website builders, I'd recommend either taking a look into my breakdown of the best Ecommerce or Blogging website builders or taking the time to read one of my more detailed reviews so you can finalize your decision: