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Brad Smith  — · 49 Comments

Best Website BuildersDo you know how to build a website from scratch using HTML5, CSS, or other coding languages?

No?

Perfect, because we reviewed some of the best website builders out there that don’t need any previous experience. These platforms are an easy way to create a website for your small business, personal blog, or an online store. And, they don’t break your bank either.

But how about their actual usability and performance? And what about flexibility – which features do they have for eCommerce sites and blogs?

We decided to spend some time and money to sign up, test, and review the 9 most popular website builders. We also built a simple ‘5-minute’ test-site with each builder and monitored their uptime and speed performance over the past few months.

The 9 Best Website Builders of 2020

Here’s a rundown of the 9 most popular website builders:

1. Wix – The Best for Building Websites

Wix website builder homepage
Try Wix for free
  • Pros of Using Wix 
  • + Very easy to use (drag and drop)
  • + Free version & free trial available
  • + 700+ themes and templates
  • + Good for websites, blogs, online stores
  • + Reliable performance
  • + AI builder (5min website)
  • + 14-days money-back guarantee
  • Cons of Using Wix
  • No live chat, tickets/phone only

Wix is a great website and online store builder. Its drag and drop features are effortless to use, and you get many supporting features for building your website. Wix’s hosting performance is also top-notch and reliable. Their platform is suitable for a wide variety of businesses, individuals, and non-profits.

Visual Features

The Wix website builder comes with 700+ templates. You can browse categories to find a good fit, such as business, photography, music, travel, food, beauty, and more. You can also find themes suitable for a blog, online store, or a business website. Or, get started with a blank template, or choose from 6 layouts that you can fully customize.

When building your website, you get access to a library with more than 1000+ stock images. You can also create a gallery to showcase your work. Wix lets you choose between 100+ different fonts. If that’s not enough, you can even upload your custom fonts.

They also include a free favicon and logo maker. However, to get the best resolution images, you need to upgrade your plan to premium.

Wix templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

Building a website or an online store with Wix is super simple. You benefit from a drag and drop tool that powers most of the builder. You can reorganize your website, add sections/blocks, and make modifications. It makes publishing and making changes to your website almost instantly. You can also edit your website on other devices with iOS and Android apps.

Besides, Wix has a feature called ADI. In short, it’s an AI that creates a unique website for you in less than a few minutes. With just a few simple questions, the Wix AI designs a fully custom and suitable website for your business and needs.

You can add multiple editors/authors to one website, which is a good perk if you have a bigger team or organization managing your website or online shop.

With Wix, you can create an online store to sell your products, create coupons, and send out email newsletters. Some of the other features are a built-in SEO function, contact management, member login, live chat plugin, social media integration, and a free SSL certificate.

Wix website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Wix takes care of hosting and server monitoring for your site, so it performs fast and stays online. Over the past few months, our test website has had a stable uptime of 99.99% and an average page speed of 369 ms. These figures are excellent compared to many other service providers.

Wix uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Wix’s support is available through a callback function over the phone and a ticketing system. Unfortunately, they don’t have a live chat function, which is almost a standard in today’s era. You can also get help from an extensive library of guides through the Wix’s Help Center.

Pricing Overview

Wix allows you to create a website for free, but this freemium has its limits. You’re unable to link your site to a custom domain, and the website displays Wix’s ads. However, you can get started with the free version, and if you like what you’ve created, you can always upgrade later.

The premium plans come with a free hosting service and a free SSL certificate. All annual plans include a free domain name for one year, which is later renewed for $14.95/year. However, be prepared to spend an extra $6/month for each email account through Google Suit integration.

The cheapest plan starts at $13/month with an annual payment. It gives you 2GB of bandwidth and 3GB of storage, you can link your custom domain, and your site is advert free.

If you’re looking for an eCommerce plan, then the plans start from $23/month with annual payments. You’ll get all the online store and website features, integration with Google Analytics, unlimited bandwidth, and 20GB of storage.

As stated before, you can get started with a free trial to build your website with Wix. Besides, if you want to try out the Premium plans, then you have a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Get started with Wix.com
Our test site made with Wix.com
Wix uptime and speed data

2. Constant Contact (CTCT Builder) – Longest Free Trial

ConstantContact website builder landing page
Try Constant Contact for free
  • Pros of Using CTCT 
  • + Simple to use
  • + 60-day free trial
  • + Reliable performance
  • + Includes AI builder
  • + Reliable performance
  • + 24/7 live chat support
  • + Great selection of free images
  • Cons of Using CTCT
  • Uses layouts instead of templates
  • Editing/Customizing images is difficult

Constant Contact Builder is a reliable and affordable option for small businesses, email marketing newbies, and non-techie business owners. Their main advantage is the lack of hassle in building a website or an online store. You can quickly set up both using Constant Contact Builder’s AI tool and layouts, but don’t expect many customizing options.

Visual Features

Instead of templates, Constant Contact Builder gives you a few layout options. You can start a website with a guided AI wizard that crafts a completely custom mobile-friendly website. You can then continue by adding content and personalized images to tweak your site.

Editing your newly generated website is straightforward with pre-built options for fonts, colors, and image editing tools. You also get integration with the Unsplash image library, which gives you access to over 1 million high-quality images.

CTCT Builder comes with an AI-powered logo maker. If you don’t have a brand yet, then definitely give it a go and get your branding right.

Constant Contact layouts sample screenshot

Website Building Features

You can easily add new pages and edit sections as well as customize layouts with the help of the AI-powered builder. Constant Contact AI-builder is easy to work with. You just need to answer a few questions, and the website builder creates a personalized website based on your answers.

Every website created with CTCT Builder relies on a robust and speedy Content Distribution Network (CDN). A CDN allows visitors to get the fastest loading version available at any time. You also get great features such as website analytics, lead capture forms, and an event registration option that can help you drive attendance to your events.

With the CTCT Builder, you can also set up an online store for physical or digital products or services. You get access to a marketing solution that gives you the chance to send targeted emails that you can personalize. Moreover, it offers email automation, built-in SEO, third-party plugins, and supports automatic syncing with social networks.

Constant Contact website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Over the past few months, our test site with Constant Contact Builder showed an average page speed of 326 ms. As for the uptime, during our testing time, they had a scheduled maintenance downtime, which skews the measured uptime a bit. Their usual uptime is around 99.97%.

Constant Contact uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Constant Contact offers a 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support. They also have an extensive knowledge base that you can turn to for help. Their customer support options are one of the best parts of their service.

Pricing Overview

Website hosting is included with every Constant Contact plan. They also equip you with a free SSL certificate. You also get a free domain with an annual payment plan, which renews to $22/year. Furthermore, you get a 15% discount when going with a yearly payment plan.

The cheapest all-in-one plan costs $8.50/month with an annual prepayment. It includes the website and online store building features, integration with Unsplash image library, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage. This plan already includes an eCommerce capability, but expect to pay a 1.5% commission with every sale.

You can try out Constant Contact Builder for 60 days without any commitment.

Get started with ConstantContact.com
Our test site made with ConstantContact.com
CTCT builder uptime and speed data

3. Squarespace – the Highest Quality Websites

Squarespace website builder homepage
Try Squarespace for free
  • Pros of Using Squarespace 
  • + Easy to use with drag and drop
  • + Modern 60+ themes and templates
  • + Decent hosting performance
  • + Reliable support via email
  • + Good selection of add-on features
  • + Best for creative business/people
  • Cons of Using Squarespace
  • High monthly cost
  • Limited third-party integration

Squarespace is a trustworthy website and online store builder with an intuitive editor. Their main direction is providing a platform for creating a beautiful and quality website. Therefore, you may find some restrictions regarding freedom of customization, but it isn’t a huge obstacle.

Visual Features

Squarespace offers 60+ quality themes that are responsive to both phones and tablets. One significant advantage of Squarespace is that you can combine multiple templates when building your website. And, you can switch templates without losing your content. That is huge.

Their Site Styles menu allows good template customizability, and you have multiple options for fonts, designs, and images. You can also add your pictures and photographs, but they have to be high-resolution – another aspect that proves Squarespace’s quality over quantity principles.

Squarespace templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

Squarespace editor uses drag and drop functions making it super simple to build your website with different blocks. The interface looks clean and minimalist, but it isn’t precisely intuitive and takes a bit of getting used to. Also, there’s no auto-save function, so make sure you save your changes every time.

Squarespace’s latest builder version has implemented some great editing features, including the option to edit content live by using inline editing. Editing your website on the go is also simple through the Squarespace mobile app. You can rearrange and modify almost all aspects of your website, including your blogs, store, and pages.

You get several specific features designed to support your website’s functionality. For example, for a blog integration, you also get features like multi-author functionality, post scheduling, AMP support, and can host a podcast on your website. There are also some solid SEO options with customizable meta-descriptions, tags, and URLs.

Squarespace doesn’t support extensions and third-party apps. But, you can find an excellent selection of official add-on features, including social media widgets, gallery widgets, tools for restaurants, and appointment scheduling. You can also customize your website with CSS and Javascript with higher-tier plans.

Squarespace allows you to build an online store with its platform. Through their interface, you can easily manage products, orders, inventory, and coupon discounts. Payment processing is only through Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal, and doesn’t allow additional payment getaways.

Squarespace website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Over the last few months, we have monitored Squarespace performance using our test site. The platform has delivered a stable uptime of 99.92% and a decent page speed of 597 ms.

Squarespace uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support through email tickets. They also have a live chat support function during weekdays from 3 am to 8 pm EST. Unfortunately, you are unable to contact them over the phone. Additionally, they have a vast knowledge base with guidelines and videos.

Pricing Overview

All of Squarespace’s plans come with free hosting and a free SSL certificate. You can get a free domain name for the first year when you sign up for an annual payment plan. This free domain renews at $20.00/year after the initial period.

The cheapest website plan costs $12/month with an annual payment plan. You get unlimited bandwidth and storage, and all the website building features, minus the eCommerce capability.

The cheapest eCommerce plan starts at $18/month with an annual payment plan. This plan also includes unlimited bandwidth and storage. However, you’re limited in some beneficial online store features that you wouldn’t want to miss, such as customer accounts, specific analytics, and social media integrations. We recommend you to look towards the next tier for online stores that includes all these features and starts at $26/month with annual payments.

You can try Squarespace out for 14 days with all the premium features and at no cost.

Get started with Squarespace.com
Our test site made with Squarespace
Squarespace uptime and speed data

4. Zyro – the Cheapest Website Builder

Zyro website builder homepage screenshot
Try Zyro for free
  • Pros of Using Zyro 
  • + Cheap starting plan ($1.30/mo)
  • + AI assisting tools
  • + Free Unsplash image library
  • + 40+ free themes
  • + 30-day money-back guarantee
  • + No transaction fees for online store
  • Cons of Using Zyro
  • Slow website average speed (1021ms)
  • No Free plan

Zyro is a relatively new player on the website builders market. Their primary focus is on providing a super simple website and online store builder with smart AI support functions. They are also very cheap to get started, making them a good choice for small businesses or individuals. However, their hosting performance is something they could improve on.

Visual Features

You can choose over 40+ website templates with Zyro. All of them are entirely mobile-optimized and customizable. Adding and editing the content is straight forward and quite intuitive.

You get free access to over 1 million images with Zyro’s integration with the Unsplash image library. This is a very nice feature when you’re starting and don’t have any professional photos yourself.

On top of the free image library, you also can create a free logo with Zyro’s Logo Maker. Not only are you getting a logo image, but the vector files, a complete social media kit, and further branding guidelines. It’s perfect when you’re just getting started with your business or online store.

Zyro templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

The website building with Zyro is super simple thanks to its intuitive drag and drop function. They also have a unique grid set up to guide you and align all the elements of the site. It can feel a bit cluttered at first, but once you dabble around a bit, it becomes intuitive and easy.

You also get access to multiple AI business tools such as a Business Name Generator, Slogan Generator, and an AI writer tool. The latter helps you by generating appropriate text in modules you wish. A great addition if you hit a wall, and the mind goes blank.

Another great AI tool is Zyro’s AI Heatmap function. Once you set up your website, you can run this function that tells you where your potential visitors might focus their attention. You can then use that information to optimize your site further and bring out the essential information that you want your visitors to see.

You can also use Zyro to build an online store. It comes equipped with all the eCommerce management functions and nifty marketing tools. Some of the features include global payment gateways, discount codes, gift cards, visitor remarketing, and order tracking. Upgrading to higher-tier plans gets you integrations with Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon, and you can build your online store in multiple languages.

Zyro website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Zyro’s plans come with free website hosting. We built a test website with their builder to test out the performance. We measured uptime of 99.83% during the past few months and average page speed of 1021 ms. Compared to the top-performing hosting services, there is certainly room to grow here.

Zyro uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Zyro’s customer support is available 24/7 over live chat and email. Note that the live chat function becomes available only after you sign up and log in. Without logging in, you can still reach them over email.

Pricing Overview

All Zyro’s plans come with a free hosting service and a free SSL certificate.

The cheapest website plan starts at $1.30/month with a 3-year commitment, which renews to $2.99/month. With this plan, you get 3GB of bandwidth and 1GB of Storage. Your site also doesn’t have Zyro’s ads, and you can add your domain.

The cheapest eCommerce plan starts at $8.99/month with a 3-year commitment, which renews to $19.99/month. You get unlimited bandwidth and storage with this plan, the complete management system for your online store, Google analytics, and some marketing features to get you started.

Zyro doesn’t offer a free plan, but they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with the paid plans.

Get started with Zyro.com
Our test site made with Zyro.com
Zyro’s uptime and speed data

5. GoDaddy – the Fastest Website Speed

GoDaddy website builder homepage
Try GoDaddy for free
  • Pros of Using GoDaddy 
  • + Simple to use
  • + Great performance
  • + AI Builder included
  • + 30-day free trial
  • + Live chat and phone support
  • + Easy-to-manage online store
  • + Well established company
  • Cons of Using GoDaddy
  • Many upsells
  • Limited customization
  • Only a few theme options

GoDaddy is another well-established company in the website hosting business. However, their Website Builder is somewhat of a fresh product on the market compared to their other services. Their primary focus is on building a website or an online store fast and provide the best hosting service to support them. Small businesses, blogs, and individuals get the most out of this builder.

Visual Features

GoDaddy Website Builder has 20+ themes you can choose from when getting started. These templates are easy to customize. However, they don’t include an image library with their platform, so you need to bring your images instead.

You can also make use of GoDaddy’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) that creates a unique website for you. It works by asking you some questions about your website’s purpose and creates a site that best reflects your business’s nature. It’s perfect for not that tech-savvy individuals or someone who wants to get their site up quickly.

GoDaddy templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

Building a website with GoDaddy Website Builder is simple enough and isn’t anything too flashy. You get a basic layout after choosing a theme for which you can add or remove different layout sections. There’s no drag and drop function inside the sections, but you can move the parts around using this feature.

You can also easily set up a blog using GoDaddy. You get all the necessary blog features such as blog comments and enabling readers to post images, videos, and audio. Additionally, the platform gives visitors a chance to sign-up via RSS feed and get instantly informed about everything you post. What’s even better is that you can import an existing blog from another platform to GoDaddy Website Builder.

GoDaddy Website Builder is a reliable option for small businesses. You can set up an online store that allows clients to sell physical goods and services. You also get integrations with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. However, it’s a very basic solution. You can’t sell digital items on GoDaddy, and the platform doesn’t allow ratings or recommended products.

GoDaddy website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

This is where GoDaddy shines as one of the best hosting providers out there. We built a basic test website to gather performance metrics and we found that GoDaddy hosting is stable with a 99,94% uptime over the last few months. We also measured the average speed and got the result of an ultra-fast 282 ms on average loading speed.

GoDaddy uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

GoDaddy offers a 24/7 phone and live chat support. They also have tons of useful resources that you can use when building your website or online store.

Pricing Overview

GoDaddy offers free hosting with their website building plans. You also get an industry-standard free SSL certificate to secure your website. There’s no domain name included with the plans, but you can purchase one through their interface or transfer an existing one.

Their cheapest plan starts from $10/month with annual payments. This plan includes everything you need to get started with your website. It also contains 100 email marketing sends/month, but if you’re looking to send more, consider upgrading your plan.

Their cheapest eCommerce plan starts from $25/month with annual payments. You get access to online store features and can add products to your website. The most significant part is the integration with the largest eCommerce platforms, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

You have a chance to test out the GoDaddy Website Builder platform for 30 days free of charge. However, during this period, you don’t have full access to all the features this platform offers.

Get started with GoDaddy.com
Our test site made with GoDaddy builder
GoDaddy uptime and speed data

6. HostGator (Gator Builder)

HostGator website builder homepage
Plans start at $3.46/mo
  • Pros of Using Gator Builder 
  • + Easy to use drag and drop
  • + Cheap and cost-effective
  • + 200+ website templates
  • + Free image gallery
  • + 24/7 live chat support
  • Cons of Using Gator Builder
  • Slow customer support
  • No free plan or trial
  • High renewal prices

HostGator is a well-established brand in the website hosting industry. Their Gator Builder is also a popular website builder that lets you create a small business website, a blog, or an eCommerce website. However, it’s not suitable for complex websites as their primary focus is on simplicity.

Visual Features

Gator Builder gives you access to over 200+ professional website templates. You can customize them with a drag and drop editor with ease. Every template is built for mobile-responsiveness in mind, with no extra effort required from you.

You get access to an extensive built-in stock photo library. You can find quality images that you can add to your website or online store. This is a strong asset when you’re getting started and don’t have any pictures yet.

HostGator templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

Gator Builder uses an intuitive drag and drop editor, which makes building websites super simple. You can add blocks for text, move around images, insert a background, and other necessary parts that build up your website.

Gator Builder’s platform has integrated website analytics that keeps you informed about essential website statistics like the number of site visitors, or your prime sources of traffic generation.

Gator Builder works well for creating smaller eCommerce websites. You get all the essential online store features, including inventory control, coupon management, shipping, tax calculator, and reporting. The platform also comes with a built-in shopping cart functionality starting from the eCommerce plan.

HostGator website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

We also gathered performance stats by monitoring our test site made with Gator Builder. Over the past few months, our site had a reliable uptime of 99.97% and an average page load speed of 536 ms, which is quite decent.

HostGator uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

HostGator offers 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support. However, expect to experience a delay depending on how busy their live chat channels are. If you don’t like to wait, you can upgrade to a Premium plan, which comes with priority support.

However, HostGator has an impressive knowledge base with articles covering various topics related to the most common site issues. You can also find handy tips for building your website there.

Pricing Overview

Every plan with Gator Builder comes with free website hosting. You also get a free SSL and a free domain name for the first year if you opt for an annual payment plan. The domain name is later renewed to $17.99/year.

The cheapest plan starts at $3.46/month and includes unmetered bandwidth and storage. You also get all the website building features and free access to their image library.

The eCommerce plan starts from $8.30/month and also includes unmetered bandwidth and storage. This plan gives you access to all online store building features that aren’t available with the website building plans.

However, note that the renewal prices go up at least 50% after the initial period, depending on the period you choose next. You also won’t get a free trial or any money-back guarantees with their website builder plans.

Get started with HostGator.com
Our test side made with Gator
Gator uptime and speed data

7. Weebly

Weebly website builder homepage
Try Weebly for free
  • Pros of Using Weebly 
  • + Easy to use, includes drag and drop
  • + 40+ responsive themes
  • + Can create a membership site
  • + Great SEO tools
  • + In-house App marketplace
  • + 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons of Using Weebly
  • Limited design flexibility
  • No email-marketing tools
  • 24/7 support only over email

Weebly is one of the most popular website builders out there. You can create portfolios, business sites, blogs, and online stores fast and intuitively. The platform is also beginner-friendly with no prior experience for building websites needed. Weebly is perfect for bloggers and first-time online store owners.

Visual Features

Weebly comes equipped with 40+ professionally-designed themes that are fully responsive. There isn’t that much variety to choose from, but you can customize the template with HTML, CSS, Javascript, or editing the source code. There’s also some functionality for customizing visual content, but it isn’t the most flexible website builder.

If you are just getting started with your business or a brand, then you can also use Weebly’s free logo maker. It’s quite simple to use, and you can have a brand in a matter of minutes.

Weebly templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

Weebly uses an intuitive drag and drop feature for building a website. You can add different modules and shift them around and customize them with ease.

One advantage Weebly has over its competitors is its super practical App Centre. It contains a wide variety of add-ons that you can install with just one click. The Weebly App Centre has around 250 different apps, most of which have a free version as well as a premium one for added functionality.

Weebly allows you to create different logins and access levels, which is vital for companies with more than one site editor. There’s also an option to create a password-protected membership area where members can access exclusive content.

You can add meta descriptions, titles, URL names, alt text next to images, and 301 redirects. You can also include code in the site header and on the pages, which can be an excellent opportunity to add external tools like online chat and payment buttons.

One major downside is that the platform doesn’t provide email marketing tools. For email marketing campaigns, you can use other marketing platforms like MailChimp, E-goi, or Aweber.

Weebly website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Weebly’s uptime over the past few months has been almost perfect, with 99.99%. During the same period, we measured an average load speed of 652 ms. It isn’t the fastest, but it’s still quite decent for most cases.

Weebly uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Weebly’s customer support is available over live chat during business hours and 24/7 over email. They provide phone support starting from the Pro plan ($12/month annually). There’s also a great community forum with easy step-by-step guides, inspiration, and practical help topics.

Pricing Overview

All Weebly’s plans include a free SSL certificate and a free domain name for one year with an annual paid subscription. The domain name cost renews to $19.95/year after the initial period.

The cheapest plan starts at $6/month with annual payments. You get 500MB of storage and the ability to connect a custom domain. It’s a basic package for building your website when you don’t require much functionality.

Their cheapest eCommerce plan starts at $12/mo. It includes unlimited storage, payment gateways, shopping cart function, and additional phone support. However, we recommend upgrading to the Business plan ($26/month annually), which gives more functionality for your online store.

Weebly offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for their annual plans. You can also try them out for free with limited functionality, Weebly’s adverts, and no custom domain name.

Get started with Weebly.com
Our test site made with Weebly
Weebly uptime and speed data

8. SITE123

SITE123 website builder homepage
Try SITE123 for free
  • Pros of Using SITE123 
  • + Good for smaller sites
  • + 100+ themes
  • + Relatively cheap
  • + Free stock images
  • + Website translate feature
  • + 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons of Using SITE123
  • No drag and drop
  • Not everything is fully customizable
  • Poor hosting performance

SITE123 is a basic website builder that is simple to use and doesn’t require much hassle. Its best use cases are for smaller sites such as blogs, simple online stores, or small business websites. However, their recent hosting performance hasn’t been that great.

Visual Features

SITE123 gives you access to 100+ mobile-optimized themes that you can add to your site free of charge. You can modify these themes in a wireframe structure. However, you can not change the template after your website is live.

Their builder is quite flexible when it comes to uploading images, changing fonts, and color schemes. You can also adjust the structure and design of your new website’s home page. You can also use hundreds of free stock images and get access to the Google fonts library.

SITE123 templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

The SITE123 website builder doesn’t have a drag and drop feature, but lets you build your website in a wireframe layout. It’s a more straightforward and faster method, but the downside is the decrease in customizability.

What particularly distinguishes SITE123 from other website builders is that it allows clients to create multilingual websites. However, the amount of available languages depends on the plan you subscribe to. This is a great option for international businesses that need their websites to be in different languages without creating separate pages.

You get an extensive list of website plugins, including analytical tools such as Google Analytics, live chat support, marketing, and webmaster tools. Furthermore, you have some SEO features such as editing metadata and title description, customizing URLs, and adding alt text to images.

SITE123 also gives you the option of building an online store. You get a basic feature package to launch your small shop with credit card gateways and basic website statistics. Some advanced online store features such as discount codes, reviews, wish list, abandoned cart, become available with a higher-tier Gold plan (from $25.80/mo paid annually).

SITE123 website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Over the last few months, SITE123 has not delivered a stable performance. Our test site for gathering statistics shows a measured uptime of 98.75% and an average page speed of 1594 ms. This is not the kind of performance you should expect from a hosting service, so there’s lots of room to grow here.

SITE123 uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

SITE123 offers 24/7 live chat and phone support for any type of technical assistance. They also have a knowledge center, which is packed with free guides on how to use their tools and features. You can also check out the website builder tutorials on YouTube channel for more info.

Pricing Overview

All plans come with free website hosting and a free SSL certificate. If you choose the annual payment plan, you also get a free domain name for one year, which renews to $13.00/year.

When you first visit SITE123’s pricing and plans page, you only see one of the premium plans they offer. You can later upgrade this plan through the SITE123 interface.

The cheapest plan starts at $3.27/month with a 3-year commitment. This plan includes 5GB of bandwidth and 10GB of storage. You can add your custom domain, but you still have the SITE123 footer tag as an advert.

The cheapest eCommerce plan starts at $6.87/month with a 3-year commitment. It includes 45GB of bandwidth and 90GB of storage. You also get an eCommerce system with credit card gateways and website statistics, but you are limited to 500 orders per month.

You can get started with SITE123 for free with limited resources, limited features, and a SITE123 subdomain. However, when you upgrade to a premium plan, you have a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Get started with SITE123.com
Our test site made with SITE123.com
SITE123 uptime and speed data

9. Webs

Webs website builder homepage screenshot
Try Webs for free
  • Pros of Using Webs 
  • + Easy to use (drag and drop)
  • + Free basic plan
  • + 290+ templates
  • + Can create a membership site
  • + 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons of Using Webs
  • Limited customization
  • Poor uptime and page speed performance
  • Need to upgrade for additional support options

Webs is a straightforward and simple website builder. Their focus is on small businesses and individuals who want a clean website without needing any coding experience. Their interface is clean and easy to navigate. However, their website hosting performance is weak compared to the top website builders on this list.

Visual Features

You can choose from 290+ templates, but some of them might not be up to modern visual standards nowadays. Also, the number of free and mobile-optimized templates is quite limited.

Webs doesn’t offer the opportunity to customize the templates with HTML or CSS, and you can only alter fonts, background, and color schemes.

Webs templates sample screenshot

Website Building Features

The Webs website builder has a minimalist yet intuitive drag and drop editor for various website sections. Their interface is clean, and you can add and edit modules with ease. The interface allows clients to insert content anywhere on the website by dragging images and text into place. Because it’s all so straightforward, Webs doesn’t have a big learning curve compared to some of its competitors.

One significant advantage Webs has over some of its competitors is the membership function. It lets you send exclusive content and group emails to your target audience. If you need more advanced tools and features, you can visit the Webs App Store to add calendars, forums, blogs, videos, and photo galleries to your site. Their available apps are not that impressive compared to their competitors, but the platform also allows you to install third-party widgets by using a custom HTML option.

Webs website editor screenshot

Hosting Uptime and Speed

Webs platform has not had great performance lately. Over the past few months, our test site measured uptime of 99.79% and average page speed of 811ms. Compared to the top-performing website builders on our list, these results are sub-par at best.

Webs uptime and speed April-JuneStatistics dates: 01.04.2020-15.06.2020

Customer Support

Webs offers basic email support with their cheapest plan. However, with higher-tier plans, you get an additional 24/7 live chat and phone support options. They also have a community forum and an extensive knowledge base for you to browse.

Pricing Overview

All Webs’ plans include a free SSL certificate and free website hosting. Besides, you get a free domain for the first year when you opt for annual payment plans. The domain is later renewed for $19.95/year.

Webs’ cheapest paid plan starts at $5.99/month with a 2-year commitment. It includes 1GB of storage, features no adverts, and lets you create an unlimited number of pages.

The cheapest eCommerce plan starts from $12.99/month with a 2-year commitment. This plan includes 5GB of storage and a 24/7 live chat support function. However, you’re limited to 20 items. If you plan to have more items in your online store, we recommend going with the Pro plan ($22.99/month) for unlimited items, additional phone support, and some SEO features.

Webs offer a free, ad-supported version of their website builder without a time limit. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee when upgrading to any of the paid plans.

Get started with Webs.com
Our test site made with Webs
Webs uptime and speed data


Conclusion

Choosing the right website builder can be time-consuming and overwhelming. There are various functionalities and features, levels of easiness for the website editors, and different costs for the plans.

We recommend spending some time reading about different platforms so you can be sure that they offer what you need. It’s also useful to know the general function of your future website – a business website, online store, freelance gallery, or a personal blog.

If you don’t want to jump in and commit financially to any of these providers, then we suggest getting started with their free versions first. Test out the features, build a basic mock-up of your website, and decide if you’re satisfied with the functionality.

Do you have a question about our website builder recommendations that aren’t included here? Want to know something more specific or something we didn’t already cover about one of these builders? Leave a comment below.

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49 Comments

  1. What’s the best website builder if there is a lot of content. The ecommerce website I’m looking to build will be selling security products and it will have roughly 4k pages. Tia

    1. I’d lean towards more of the bigger E-Commerce providers like BigCommerce myself. As someone who has managed both WordPress and E-Commerce dedicated sites you’re better off with something make specifically for E-Commerce with that many products. Another one we’ve used is 3DCart, they were also pretty good for E-Commerce and SEO wise using blogging we got that site to #2 in nationwide searches.

    2. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      I’d lean more towards WordPress.org and self-hosting rather than website builders for larger sites. You’ll have more scalability that way.

  2. HI. Great article but I’m still a bit confused. I’m looking to primarily blog and allow readers to comment. (Do all the hosts allow comments? Or is that something I should check out before committing?
    I also want to have email accounts associated with my domain, at least 1 but possibly more.
    I don’t know anything about building a site, although I do have a logo and brand colors.
    Suggestions? I’m leaning towards Hostgator but hesitant to commit.

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Cindy, yes, commenting is a standard feature you can find on every website builder in this list. Same with custom domain email addresses. If you’re hesitant to jump in, then I’d suggest trying something like Wix first since they have a free plan you can try out before paying anything.

  3. Thanks for all of the information, very informative. I’m not a techie person at all so excuse me if my question(s) seem a bit simple. I sell school apparel online through a drop shipping service, so with it being a school, I was looking for a free website builder. I was using the WooCommerce extension on WordPress and all was fine until I received a “deceptive site” warning recently. To be honest, I wasn’t keeping up to date with the site because it was kind of running itself (not too many sales anyway) and I put it on the back burner. Anyway, WordPress said to “remove site” because it wasn’t functioning. I tried to recreate the site through the integration process but now WordPress is charging me to have a site. I’m assuming that’s the reason why I was having issues with the “deceptive site”. So, is WordPress not free anymore?? I’m confused lol. Can you suggest a free alternative? Many thanks in advance.

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Lette, WordPress is definitely still free and they wouldn’t tell you to remove a site or charge you anything. Maybe you’re mixing WP up with your web hosting company?

  4. Hi David
    Just wondering which one of these options you would recommend that have a combination of the following requisites? Page speed, drag and drop design, ability to change the design template, online shop. TIA

  5. I’m just starting to look in to building a website and hosting. I’m want to know if it’s possible to use one of these website builder tools and host the resulting website elsewhere. Or am a getting terminology confused. All of these seem but be build/hosting combo solutions. I know the host I want to use because of their speed but they don’t have a good builder

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi William, these website builders are mostly a package deal and can’t be hosted elsewhere. If you have a specific host in mind then consider using something like WordPress or Joomla.

  6. I started a Shopify website. What do you think of Shopify compared to the web builders you already have listed? So confused right now lol

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Sandy, if your goal is to have an online store then Shopify is definitely a good choice considering it’s specifically made for e-commerce. The platforms listed here are general purpose website builders that can be used for a variety of sites including e-commerce, but they won’t have quite as many features as a dedicated solution like Shopify.

  7. Hello!
    I am an avid musician that would like to post songs (.mp3s, pictures and perhaps some videos as well to share to friends/prospects/etc), I’ve had accounts with 123, yahoo sitebuilder and godaddy.com; for beginner sites these are great but their capabilities to handle media were not very efficient. Do you know from your list or any other site builder that provides a robust, organized and efficient way to handle music/video embedded in these sites? (build an organized inventory) I’ve noticed in the past ‘there is a way’ to post songs/etc but it is soooo cumbersome to know what you have, update them, or even link them to pages since many of these sites do not really have users posting these objects i guess..?
    Thank you in advance! and for the article, it was great.

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Paul, Wix has a pretty good media library in my opinion and adding audio/video to pages is easy with the drag n’ drop builder. Just be mindful of the file sizes of your uploads since video content can be very resource intensive.

  8. Hi

    I would like to create a website which has an online video library. I would like to upload a great deal of video clips to the website which are all tagged, with a search bar on the left where people can use the tags to refine their search to help them locate the videos which would be relevant to them. Is this something I could do with a website builder or do I need to find a professional web developer for a task like this?

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Sam, creating a video library can absolutely be done with website builders. But be aware that video content is very resource intensive and can quickly fill up the storage limit of your platform. If at all possible, consider uploading your videos to third-party platforms like Youtube and simply embedding them on your site. It will look basically the same, but Youtube’s powerful servers would be handling the heavy lifting instead.