The 10 Best Website Builders 2021
Overall, website builders are an incredibly cheap way to build out your website. Instead of having to buy a separate theme and potentially hire a web designer to build out your website, you can do it all yourself for a low monthly fee.
Find your favorite in our website builder ranking table:
Connect Domain: $5
Business & eCommerce: from $23
+It’s extremely flexible
+Powerful App Market
–Templates can’t be changed easily
Online Store (Basic): $26
Online Store (Advanced): $40
+Templates and Designs
–Usability of the editor
–Only one sub-navigation
+Ease of use
–Limited Design Flexibility
+Suited to multilingual websites
+Great for SEO
–Limited ecommerce features
–Missing some key features
+Ease of use
–Few SEO options
+Powerful fusion of visual editor and CMS
+Perfect for client-work
+Great support material
–No app store
–Few built-in extensions
Site for Life: $299
+Great for multilingual websites
+Website Personalization Tools
+Easy drag-and-drop editor
+Backup and Restore feature
–Limited app store
+Easy to use
+Free marketing tools
–No app store
+No installation or maintenance
–Not the most intuitive
–Poor price vs features ratio
–Few SEO options
–Can’t test the eCommerce plan for free
+Best in-class support
+Cheap for multiple websites
+Ease of Use
–Limited Free Version
Alright, you’ve made it this far down the list, now brace yourself.
If you’ve been to other review sites like ours, you may have seen Web.com at the top of their ranking tables. I’ll explain why in a minute.
It’s not that Web.com is a terrible website builder. The product is actually quite okay. It’s easy to use, the templates are pretty nice; under normal circumstances we’d recommend it. But if you look at their terms, you’ll notice that not much is normal about Web.com.
First of all, you need magnifying glasses to figure out their pricing system. The low price of $1.95 per month quickly skyrockets to $10 after the first month. Having said that, I must note that a “month” is 4 weeks for Web.com. That’s right, in Web.com’s calendar, the year has 13 months. And who on this planet dares to charge $38 per year for a .com domain name? Right, Web.com. Not to forget the $1.95 per month on top for privacy protection and $2.33 for an SSL certificate. Needless to say, there is no money-back guarantee.
So back to why so many other review sites love to recommend them: their commissions are some of the highest of the industry. And now you also know how they are able to pay them. At Tool tester we prefer to recommend decent products that don’t try to take advantage of our readers.
What we like: the website editor is really solid. They use a grid system, which makes it easy to understand for beginners. The templates aren’t bad either.
What they should improve: apart from all the aforementioned pricing shenanigans, I don’t think any web company should ask their customers to call them to cancel. Obviously, they are only doing it to convince you otherwise. And if you are still interested to hear what I don’t like about the product, be my guest: as organized as the grid system editor is, it’s not very flexible. And you can’t create very deep websites as the navigation lets you only add one sub-level.
How We Chose Which Products to Review
I chose all five website builders based on three criteria:
Ease of Use
Depth of Customization
Ability to Earn Money
I took a look at dozens of the most popular website builders on the market today, and benchmarked each of them against the three qualities above.
For each website builder I found, I created a free account with the blog sites and created a bare bones website to test out their tools and features. I also took into account the things offered in paid premium plans.
Using this method, I was able to narrow down my list of more than a dozen website builders to what I considered to be the five best. These five best showcased the three criteria above in unique—but effective—ways.
In all, this stage of the research process took two weeks to complete. When I finished, it was time to find real users of each product.
How We Reviewed Each Product
At Quick-sprout, we believe that if you want to get actual insights about a product or service, you need to talk to actual users.
You can’t just trust the website builder’s marketing or even the testimonials you find on review sites. Instead, you need to find the people who have used the builders before. Only then can you get the good, the bad, and the oh-so-frustrating.
To find users and verify they actually had experience with the website builders, I made sure to do the following:
Used an advanced search query that gave us results for bloggers using the platform for Squarespace and Wix.
Find featured lists of actual users officially published by Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and GoDaddy.
Attaining a list of verified Bluehost customers and then using a simple page source check to verify that they also use WordPress.
Checked each platform’s website for case studies of folks who have used their builders.
Reached out to various local and popular businesses in every major US state, found their website, and checked the page source to see which builder they used to create it.
My goal was to find three users for each website builder. In all, I emailed and called roughly 120 users across each of the builders in order to get the fifteen featured in this article.
Each person agreed to either a phone interview or a survey. Questions for both were identical and included a rating of the product based on the three criteria on a five point scale (one being the worst; five being the best). The average of each user’s rating determined the final score of the product.
What We Learned Choosing the Best Blogging Platform
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” website builder. Instead, each one offers a unique set of features and tools for a different kind of user.
So the one you ultimately choose might be GoDaddy even though it’s ranked at number five on our list—and that’s just as valid as someone choosing Wix, which is at number one.
Don’t let the rankings get in the way of your decision. Instead, we’d like to offer a few pieces of criteria we used when choosing the products for this list. Let them guide your own research and ultimate choice.