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Is this the first time you're building a website? Get your business online and start making money today

Best website builders for small businesses

You’ve got a small business – now you just need to find the perfect website builder to take it to the next level. Read our guide to help you find the right one for your business

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.

This article was co-authored by:

Did you know over 84% of businesses have a website? If you don’t have one, you risk falling behind your competition. 

Thankfully, website builders are on hand to help you create a professional website quickly, and cheaply. 

We think choosing the right website builder is a bit like choosing what to have for your roast dinner – not only can the main event differ each time, so can all the trimmings that come with it.  

So while you think you’ve found the best website builder for your business, there may be one out there that suits your tastes – or needs – better. 

Thankfully, Startups has put together this guide to help you discover the best website builder for your small business. 

So without further ado, let’s tuck in.


The best website builders for small businesses

According to our extensive research, the best website builders for small businesses are:

Best all-round website builder for small businesses
Best for design flexibility & businesses looking to scale
Best for ease of use and simplicity
Best for value for money
Best for ecommerce businesses

Compare our top 5 website builders for small businesses

Wix
£0-£18/month
  • Best all-round web builder
  • Optimised for mobile performance
  • Outstanding customer support
Try Wix
Squarespace
£0-£30/month
  • Stunning templates
  • Impressive design flexibility
  • Great blogging and ecommerce functions
Try Squarespace
GoDaddy
£0-£19.99/month
  • Simple to use
  • Update website from desktop, mobile or tablet
  • One-month free trial
Try GoDaddy
Weebly
£0-£28/month
  • Rates highly for value for money
  • Great customer scores
  • Huge number of apps integrations to choose from
Weebly
Shopify
£0-£250/month
  • Everything you need to start an online shop
  • Take secure payments using Shopify payment gateway
  • Advanced analytics
Try Shopify

The best small business website builders in the UK

Still not completely sure about which website builder you need? Use the menu below to find out more about each of our top picks.


Wix

Try Wix

In a nutshell – Wix is easy to use, affordable, and has an ideal template for most businesses.

Wix, rated

Wix website builder
4.7
Website features
Design flexibilty
Help and support
Value for money
Customer score
Ease of use

Wix pros

Unbeatable range of features

Over 510 templates

Impressive customisation

Pricing plans for all budgets

Free 24/7 phone and email support

Wix cons

Templates can’t change once live

Free trial sites have ads

Could have more storage

 

Wix pricing

Wix offers more price plans than most other website builders, so you can pick or switch to one that works for you.

You can click any of the plans below to head straight through to the Wix website to start comparing packages.


VIP

For everything and more

£16/month

Try now

eCommerce

Best for small businesses

£11/month

Try now

Unlimited

Best for freelancers /entrepreneurs

£8.50/month

Try Now

Combo

Best for personal use

£6/month

Try now


Wix: the verdict

Wix is an intuitive drag-and-drop website builder that creates beautiful, professional sites. It's also the best rated in the world.

As a professional, flexible and easy-to-use website builder, we cannot recommend Wix more highly to our readers. It has over 510 stunning templates, robust ecommerce capabilities, and the best drag-and-drop tool we tested.

That means whether you're completely new to creating websites or keen to customise every inch of your site, we think you'll be chuffed to bits you went with Wix.

Read our Wix review for more information


Squarespace

Squarespace header

In a nutshell – choose Squarespace if you’re after stunning template designs and great search engine optimisation features.

Squarespace, rated

Squarespace website builder
4.5
Website features
Design flexibility
Help and support
Value for money
Customer score
Ease of use

Squarespace pros

Stunning, professional templates

Solid ecommerce functions

Excellent for creating beautiful photo and image galleries

Strong SEO features

Free 24/7 phone and email support

Squarespace cons

No free plan

Less easy to use than others

Could have more apps

 

Squarespace pricing

There’s only £5 between the Personal plan and the Business plan – and we think for that amount, it’s certainly worth the upgrade. You’ll benefit from a professional email address, a heap of marketing functions, and the ability to take payments through your website.


Personal 

£10/month

Try now

Business

£15/month

Try now

Commerce basic

£20/month

Try now

Commerce+

£30/month

Try now


Squarespace: the verdict

Squarespace is a dream for creative types, especially if you love playing around with style. The templates really are stunning.

But it's more expensive than most alternatives, and we found it gives you less – less control over the look of your site, fewer features and it's much less easy to use.

So if you're a first-time website builder, you'd be better off with a less clunky and more intuitive platform like Wix or Weebly.

Read our Squarespace review for more information


GoDaddy

godaddy header

In a nutshell – GoDaddy is a super simple website builder with some useful features, but you can’t get your website live without parting with a small bit of cash.

GoDaddy, rated

godaddy website builder
3.8
Website features
Design flexibilty
Help and support
Value for money
Customer score
Ease of use

GoDaddy pros

Super-easy to use

Solid SEO features

Simple sign-up process

Go live in minutes

Competitively priced

GoDaddy cons

No free plan

Less easy to use than others

Could have more apps

 

 

GoDaddy pricing

Although one of the cheaper website builders out there, it’s a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Not only does GoDaddy offer less design flexibility than other website builders, its customer service department doesn’t top the rankings either. 

However, if you’re looking to get online cheaply and quickly, its Basic and Standard packages will do the trick nicely.


Basic

£6.99/month

Try now

Standard

£9.99/month

Try now

Standard

£9.99/month

Try now

Ecommerce

£19.99/month

Try now


GoDaddy: the verdict

GoDaddy has everything you need to build your own website quickly, with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and plenty of features to keep small business owners happy. You can even put its platform to the test with a free 30-day trial.

Although GoDaddy is one of the simplest website builders, its features are all fine-tuned to get your business succeeding online, thanks to its SEO tools, fast load times and marketing campaign functionality.

Read our GoDaddy review for more information


Weebly

weebly header

In a nutshell – Weebly is rated pretty well among its customers, thanks to its ease of use and huge app store. This is balanced out by a lower customer support score, though. 

Weebly, rated

Weebly website builder
4.3
Website features
Design flexibility
Help and support
Value for money
Customer score
Ease of use

Weebly pros

Great value for money

Plenty of apps to choose from

Free domain with Pro plan

Very easy to use

Weebly cons

Need a paid plan to access most apps

Basic templates

No self-restore option for offline sites

 

Weebly pricing

Offering one of the cheapest paid plans going, upgrading your Weebly site should be a no-brainer. You’ll instantly get your own domain name, plus access to its huge app store

Spend a little more on its Pro plan, and you’ll even be able to upload some snazzy HD videos to your website.


Free

Basic use

£0

Try now

Connect

Connect a domain

£4/month

Try now

Pro

Organisations

£9/month

Try now

Business

Businesses/stores

£18/month

Try now


Weebly: the verdict

If you’re looking to get your new website off the ground for very little money, Weebly is your website builder. While the templates are basic, there are lots of apps to add to your site, which give you ecommerce and marketing capabilities, plus integration with social platforms. 

Although upgrading to the Pro plan gives you the option to add HD video and audio to your website, Weebly is still behind Wix and Squarespace when it comes to innovative template features. 

A little like GoDaddy, Weebly is perfect for no fuss, low cost website building. 

Read our Weebly review for more information


Shopify

Shopify header

In a nutshell – Shopify isn't the cheapest ecommerce option, but it’ll allow you to create a beautiful, user-friendly shopping site. And you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your sales with intelligent, built-in analytics.

Shopify, rated

Shopify website builder
4.5
Website features
Design flexibility
Help and support
Value for money
Customer score
Ease of use

Shopify pros

Great inventory management system

Intelligent sales analytics tools

Sell on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and eBay

High customer satisfaction scores

Shopify cons

Fiddly to transfer content to a new template

App integrations can get quite costly

Transaction fees apply if you use an external payment gateway

Shopify pricing

Shopify’s pricing is noticeably more expensive than the other website builders on our list – even when you do convert the pricing from dollars to pounds, you’re still paying around £23/month for its basic package. 

That being said, we’re looking at a website builder that has been specifically designed for online retail. If you do opt for a cheaper ecommerce package from one of the other providers, the management and analytics won’t be up to the same standard, and there won't be much room to scale your business! 

Click on the pricing to find out more about each package. You can also try Shopify for free with a 14-day free trial


Basic Shopify

For new businesses

$29/month

Try now

Shopify

For growing businesses

$79/month

Try now

Advanced Shopify

For scaling businesses

$299/month

Try now


Shopify: the verdict

Shopify is a website builder that has been designed for those who are looking to create a serious online business. With big brands like Budweiser and Penguin Books choosing Shopify to host their retail store, you can tell it has the infrastructure in place to support small, growing, and booming retail businesses. 

That being said, Shopify does penalise you if you choose an external payment gateway provider. By adding transaction charges and making its own payment processing the only way for you to take multi-currency payments, Shopify is certainly flying its own flag.

Read our Shopify Review for more information or give their two-week free trial a go.


Our verdict: the best web builder

Although all of the website builders that feature on our list have their strengths and weaknesses, it’s Wix that clearly comes out strongest. As a great all-rounder, it offers feature-rich, beautiful website building at a great price. 

Weebly and GoDaddy are almost on par with what they offer – cheap websites with no-fuss building. However, if you don’t already have a domain and you’re looking to set one up, GoDaddy offers the cheapest paid plan.  

If you’re looking to build an artsy website, Squarespace certainly has the feature package for creative freedom, while those looking for the best ecommerce capabilities should head straight over to Shopify

Click any of the links below to get started with a free trial of any of these top website builders.

Best all-round website builder for small businesses
Best for design flexibility & businesses looking to scale
Best for ease of use and simplicity
Best for value for money
Best for ecommerce businesses

How do I choose the best website builder for my business?

Still unsure on which website builder is best for your business? We've put together this short guide to help you out.

1) Price

Price is the most important factor for most businesses. You want to know the builder you pick is affordable – and will stay that way as you grow. But most importantly, which provider will create the most value for you? There’s no point cutting costs on a free version that’s keeping you from impressing your customers or achieving those lofty sales targets.

2) Time

Time is of the essence for both you and your customers. That’s why most first-timers we spoke to wanted a hassle-free, friendly site that is fully optimised for search engines. Thankfully, website builder templates allow businesses to create beautiful websites in a matter of hours.

3) Goals

How do you choose? Website builders come in all shapes and sizes. What do you want yours to do for you? Most people discover companies online, so making that killer first impression is key.

Think – will you be looking for an online store? 24/7 support? What about the ability to grow and customise your site over time? Pinpointing what you want your website to do will help you decide on the best website builder to use.


Website builder FAQs

Here we answer the biggest questions from business owners. 

How do free website builders work?

Many website builders like to offer free versions of their software to open the door to as many people as possible. However, these often offer very few features, and hinder your opportunity to really make your business stand out from the crowd. 

Here are the main issues small businesses tend to have with free website builders:

  • Provider’s branding – Not only will you have your supplier’s domain name attached to your URL, you’ll also have supplier ads sprawled across your lovely design
  • Limited storage – With limits to the amount of photos, videos, files, and apps you can upload to your website, you may not have enough storage to really showcase your brand
  • Ad after ad – And it won’t just be supplier ads ruining user experience. Your website will also play host to other brand ads too – maybe even your competitors

That being said, the free version of a website builder is a good way to test the waters and find out if it’s a program that you can work comfortably with. 

Check how long the free trials last. While some, like Wix, last a few weeks, others like GoDaddy, last up to a month.

Taking the time to experiment with a few free trials will pay off in the future, because you'll know exactly which website builder offers the features you need now – and for later. 

How do ecommerce website builders work?

If you’re really gunning for the sales, you might want to think about using an ecommerce website builder like Shopify. There, you’ll get a dedicated web shopping cart service and plenty of features to help boost your sales.

Shopify also offers features that let you run product promotions, marketing campaigns, and inventory lists from your site.

It’s also worth noting that most website builders make it easy for you to add an online store to your site. At the very least, you’ll be able to process credit card payments online, and add cart and checkout pages.

For more information on payment gateways and online payment methods, take a look at our guide to payment gateways in the UK.


Does my business need a website builder?

Quite simply, website builders are a game-changer for small businesses.

They are made to help people who are too busy running a business to get online. And their popularity is owed to the fact that they’re much less money and effort than hiring an independent website developer.

The best part? The top website builder sites are just as professional-looking and easy to customise as hiring a freelance coder yourself.

With over a third of people looking online before they pay you a visit, websites are essential, whether you’re a king-size company or a small and mighty business. 

If you’re not online, you’re really missing out. The main points to look forward to with a website builder are:

Cut costs

Website builder prices start from less than the cost of a coffee a month.

Get online fast

With slick, easy-to-use templates, you can be up and running in minutes.

Flaunt your style

Your online presence is your opportunity to make a real impression on your customers. Without a website, you could be missing out on potential customers and all important sales. Build one today and watch your business grow.

 

So what are you waiting for? Get your business online today!

Bryn Glover
Bryn Glover

Editor

As Editor of Startups, Bryn runs content strategy and our annual campaigns. A lover of small business, you can find him writing about exciting entrepreneurs and UK industry trends.

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