The best tools for creating a small business website
There are many options available to you in developing your small business website and using the right tool for the job is important. With one of the best website builders in the world, you will create the perfect online presence with minimal effort. In this guide, we’ll cover the most popular website frameworks like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify – so you can make an informed choice.
When choosing one of the best small business website builders, it is important to think about your business goals and the basics of building a small business website. This helps you focus on the features and functions of your website to:
- Meet customer and user needs
- Optimize for placement in organic search
- Strengthening branding, awareness and trust
- Maximize sales and profits
Whether you are looking for the best website builders with ecommerce to build an online store, share blogs and articles, do beautiful designs, or do extensive customizations, we have it for you.
Wix is the website building powerhouse behind over 100 million websites. Wix offers several ways to create and edit your website with a variety of templates and themes. The breadth, depth, and complexity of Wix’s tools can be a bit overwhelming for some users, and their plans are among the more expensive options.
Main features of Wix
- Very powerful, pixel-perfect website editor
- More than 500 templates available
- Lots of design customization options
- Ecommerce and online sales are available on some plans
- Quickly build a simple website with Wix Artificial Design Intelligence
- Lots of additional third-party tools and apps to help you understand and refine your online presence
Potential Downsides of Wix
- Limited storage capacity and functionality with free and paid basic plans
- The depth of tools and customization can be overwhelming for creating a simple website
- Third-party apps can be expensive
- Difficult to switch between templates and designs
Wix pricing and plans
When to Choose Wix as Your Website Builder
Wix is a great choice if you’re building a website where you want complete control over the look, feel, feel, and user experience. There’s a learning curve and it can be more expensive than other options, but as we said in our Wix review, the drag-and-drop editor is flexible and easy to use, making it easy to build a professional website without knowing a tidbit of the code. The huge list of great templates seals the deal.
Shopify – Advanced Ecommerce Builder for Selling Online
Shopify does one thing really, really well – ecommerce. If you run an online store, especially if you sell physical products, Shopify is hard to beat. Shopify offers a wide range of ecommerce tools, from building your online store and product descriptions, to selling across multiple channels, to integrating with many merchant and payment apps.
Main features of Shopify
- Laser focused on e-commerce and online sales
- Create a product catalog quickly and easily and offer items for sale
- Deep, integrated ecosystem of tools and third-party apps for selling online across multiple channels and platforms
- Store management dashboard for an overview of your performance at a glance
- Highly functional, feature-rich mobile app for store management on the go
Potential Downsides to Shopify
- Ecommerce plans can be expensive compared to some other options
- Third-party payment apps can have high transaction processing fees
- Just ecommerce if you don’t need that there are other better builders out there
Shopify pricing and plans
- Shopify’s pricing plans range from $ 29 to $ 299 per month
- Many third-party apps have additional one-time or recurring fees
When to choose Shopify as your website builder
Shopify is a great option if you are a traditional retail company expanding into e-commerce or if you sell exclusively online. Thanks to the deep integrations, your customers can buy wherever they are. As we said in our Shopify review, as the world’s most popular ecommerce platform, Shopify naturally offers a wide range of tools to help you build a high performing online store.
Squarespace – beautiful design and great mobile themes
Squarespace is the perfect blend of beautiful design and easy website creation. It offers dozens of crisp, professional-grade templates and has a very heavy focus on mobile website surfing. Squarespace has a learning curve and it lacks some of the features of more specialized website builders.
Main Features of Squarespace
- Outstanding templates that are among the best of any website builder
- Responsive designs that look great on tablets and smartphones
- A set of integrated tools for marketing, communication and e-commerce
- Powerful blogging features and tools
- Highly rated customer service around the clock
- Relatively cheap compared to other website builders
Potential Downsides to Squarespace
- There’s a learning curve to using Squarespace and its editor
- The Squarespace Editor has some restrictions on placing items
- Squarespace isn’t performing as well as the competition if you have very specific needs like ecommerce, membership sites, or the like
Squarespace pricing and plans
When to choose Squarespace as your website builder
Squarespace is one of the best website builders if you want a simple but beautiful, no-frills business website. It’s ideal for businesses that provide information to customers through blogs and static pages, especially if many of their customers are browsing on mobile devices.
As we said in our Squarespace review, Squarespace is a great website builder for those who aren’t into website coding. It takes a bit of practice to get used to the editing flow, but once you do it it’s easy to create a beautiful website.
WordPress hosted and self-hosted – powerful content management and a huge ecosystem of tools
WordPress is the world’s most popular website content management system, and for good reason. It’s extremely configurable, with a wide variety of themes, tools, and third-party plugins that will enable a WordPress website to do almost anything. However, all of these adjustments come with an overhead that often requires additional effort to get the most out of WordPress.
WordPress hosted and self-hosted options
If you want to build your website with WordPress, you have several options:
- WordPress hosted– You can use the hosted option from WordPress.com which gives you a ready-to-use WordPress installation and website builder. This option requires a monthly fee that you pay for the website builder.
- WordPress hosted itself– You can buy a website hosting plan from one of the best WordPress hosting providers like Bluehost or HostGator. You can then install WordPress via the hosting platform and configure it as required. This option only requires an ongoing hosting provider fee.
The WordPress hosted version is faster, easier, and easier to set up, and there’s less to do behind the scenes. This option is usually more expensive than the self-hosted version, and the basic levels of the hosted plan don’t allow access to WordPress plugins.
The self-hosted WordPress version means you only pay a monthly or annual hosting fee, and the WordPress installation itself is effectively free. Self-hosting gives you more responsibility to make sure everything works together, your plugins are compatible, and you are properly managing your website.
Main features of WordPress
- Extremely deep configuration options
- The widest range of themes, plugins, tools, and integrations of any website builder
- WordPress websites can be customized for almost any purpose
- Very affordable plans if you are using a self-hosted WordPress option
Potential downsides of WordPress
- The WordPress hosted option only allows access to plugins and integrations – arguably the best feature of WordPress – on the more expensive pricing options
- Self-hosted WordPress options require overhead to properly set up and maintain your WordPress installation
- WordPress has a steep and challenging learning curve if you want to take full advantage of the platform
WordPress pricing and plans
- WordPress-hosted pricing plans range from $ 4 to $ 45 per month, with plugin integrations only available for plans that cost $ 25 per month or more
- The best self-hosting WordPress hosting plans start at $ 2-4 per month and go up from there that the hosting comes with free WordPress installation and usage
When to choose WordPress as your website builder
If you want extensive customization, there is an extremely good chance that WordPress can and does it well. The problem is, configurability comes at a price – paying for a more expensive WordPress-hosted plan or spending a lot of time or paying for expert support with a self-hosted plan.
As we said in our WordPress review for the WordPress Hosted Plan Option, WordPress.com is a great choice for small websites, but its limited design flexibility and high prices are a big issue.
We hope you found this breakdown of the most popular website builders useful. Now you can make an informed decision about the best website tools and frameworks to build a beautiful, high performing small business website.