The Best Website Builders For 2022

The Best Website Builders For 2022

A website builder like Squarespace, Wix or Shopify is the best way to build a website in 2022— especially for personal websites, small business websites and online stores.

If you’re a beginner, you might choose a website builder because they have intuitive drag-and-drop editors and powerful functionality.

If you’re an advanced user, you might choose a website builder because they simply work— you don’t have to spend time setting up a web host, configuring a domain name or keeping a content management system up to date. Everything just works.

I publish my ranking of the best website builders every year since 2014. Basically I try every website builder and I share my experiences. The four most important categories I look at are templates, functionality, price and ease of use.

Let’s go!

Squarespace Overview (1:16)


Squarespace is the best all-around website builder. It’s intuitive, thoughtfully designed and known for beautiful templates.

Who It’s For

Squarespace is an excellent choice for all types of websites: small businesses, bloggers, portfolios, online stores and more.


  • Templates — Squarespace is known for it’s excellent templates. I think Squarespace has the best templates of any website builder. Templates are clean, modern and mobile friendly.
  • Functionality — Squarespace has lots of features— many of which are better and more powerful than competitors. For example, Squarespace has the best template customization, blogging, scheduling software, photo galleries, donation system and more.
  • Drag and Drop Editor — Squarespace has an excellent drag and drop editor. It’s easy to use and intuitive.
  • Business and Marketing Tools — Beyond websites, Squarespace also includes marketing and business tools for managing your online presence: scheduling software, email marketing, social media tools, memberships and more. Having all these tools managed by Squarespace means their integrations work seamlessly.
  • Ecommerce — The most powerful ecommerce website builder is Shopify— but Squarespace is easier to use. Squarespace’s ecommerce is a good alternative for users intimidated by Shopify.
  • Intuitive — Squarespace is like the Apple of website builders, it is intuitive and thoughtfully designed.
  • Honest Pricing — Unfortunately some website builders have misleading pricing (example: Squarespace does not have misleading pricing. You can expect that the advertised price is the same price you’ll find on your invoice. I appreciate that.


  • Learning Curve — One way to make software easy to use is to make it simple and not very customizable. That’s not Squarespace. While Squarespace is not “difficult to use”, it does have too many features to be the “easiest” website builder (the easiest website builder is Square Online which is much more simple and less powerful). So expect some learning curve with Squarespace— similar to learning Microsoft Word or Google Docs for the first time.

My Experience

Squarespace is my personal favorite tool for building websites. It’s also what I recommend to friends and family.

I currently use Squarespace for several websites:

I use Squarespace because the templates look great, it’s intuitive to use and everything just works. If I was in a rush, I could create a Squarespace website on a custom domain name in ten minutes!

I’m a web developer so I could use WordPress or even code a website from scratch but I would never do that in 2022 unless it’s absolutely necessary. There is just too much to think about (CDN, security, SSL certificates) that Squarespace (or frankly any website builder) just takes care of behind-the-scenes.

In the future I would like to try Squarespace’s business and marketing tools— specifically their scheduling software and email marketing tools. I like the idea of having all these tools work together seamlessly. I just haven’t had a project where I need them yet.

And hey— if you’re looking for celebrity endorsements— I recently discovered Squarespace is even used by Elon Musk’s newest company, The Boring Company.

So if it’s good enough for Elon, it’s probably good enough for you!

Read More:


Squarespace plans cost between $12 – $40 per month. There is no free plan but they do have a free trial— no credit card required.

Annual plans include a free custom domain name for one year. 👍

Shopify Overview (1:38)


Shopify is the best website builder for online stores— it has more functionality than any competitor.

Who It’s For

Anyone building an online store shipping physical products.


  • Sell Anywhere — Ecommerce happens across many different channels today: Facebook, Google, Etsy or even in person through a point of sale system. Shopify is an ecommerce platform that brings these channels together in one place— so you can have one store that sells across all these different platforms.
  • Ecommerce Tools — If there’s specific ecommerce functionality you need, Shopify probably provides it. Shopify includes email marketing, live chat, local delivery route planning, point of sale systems, product reviews, dropshipping and much, much more through the Shopify App Store.
  • App Store — The Shopify app store has over 3,000 plugins from third-party developers that you can use to customize your store. For example:
  • Customizable — Shopify is extensible and customizable— so long as you’re a developer or you’re able to hire a developer. Want a specific look for your website? You can hire a developer to code a custom template.
  • Get Up And Running Fast — Shopify removes many of the obstacles that come with starting an online store. Here are two examples:
    • Shopify Payments — You don’t need to connect to a 3rd party payment processor because Shopify includes a payment processor called Shopify Payments. No other website builders does this.
    • Shipping Rates & Taxes — Shopify includes smart defaults for shipping rates and taxes (which you can change later). I’ve found the automatic shipping rates to be pretty accurate— though mileage may vary!
  • Intuitive — It’s not correct to call Shopify easy to use— it’s too powerful to be simple— instead, Shopify is intuitive. Shopify’s interface is always organized and clear. This is really, really nice— especially when you compare Shopify to competitors like WordPress and Volusion which have disorganized interfaces.


  • Learning Curve — Shopify is powerful but make no mistake: it has a learning curve. It will almost certainly intimidate less tech savvy users. I’d recommend Squarespace or Square if you want an ecommerce website builder that’s less intimidating.
  • Drag and Drop Editor — Shopify does not have a drag and drop editor. Instead it has a WYSIWYG page editor that works more like editing a Microsoft Word document. It’s not user friendly. I’d suggest Squarespace or Wix if having stylish content pages or blogging is important to you.

My Experience

I use Shopify whenever I need to sell products. Currently I use it for two projects: a small online store and a merch store that sells through Spotify (remember Shopify isn’t just for websites— it connects to all kinds of ecommerce channels!).

Ecommerce just works on Shopify. And this is kind of a small miracle because ecommerce is really, really complicated! Just think of everything that goes into an online store: taxes, shipping estimates, fulfillment, customs, discounts… it’s a lot!

So the two reasons I tell people I use Shopify for selling physical products:

  1. Shopify removes obstacles to starting an online store. I don’t want to waste time configuring payment processor or manually setting shipping rates— I want to focus on creating and marketing great products! Plus, I can always revisit these options later.
  2. Shopify’s app store is a huge competitive advantage. If I need a specific ecommerce feature I’m confident confident I can always find it in the Shopify App Store. Plus Shopify’s App Store has a huge start over competitors (see below).

Shopify has far more apps than competitor app stores.

My one frustration? Shopify is not a drag-and-drop website builder— and so it isn’t great for creating blogs and stylish content pages. But if I need to ship and fulfill physical products, Shopify will continue to my first choice!


Shopify has three main plains that cost between $29 – $299 per month. There’s also Shopify Plus (for enterprise) and Shopify Lite (which only costs $9 but isn’t for websites).

The main thing to understand is that the cost of running a Shopify stores is rarely just the monthly cost of Shopify.

There additional costs: you might buy a custom template or require an app from the app store that has a monthly fee.

Read more about Shopify’s Pricing.

Webflow Overview (1:01)


Without a doubt, Webflow is the most customizable website builder on this list. If you can imagine it, you can probably make it with Webflow. Just be aware: Webflow has a learning curve.

Who It’s For

Professional web designers or users with some technical experience— understanding HTML & CSS will make learning Webflow much easier!


  • Design Without Limits — Webflow is basically a user interface for HTML & CSS code. So if you can do something in HTML & CSS, you can do it in Webflow— which means Webflow offers far more customization options that any other website builder!
  • Content Management System (CMS) — Webflow is the only website builder to include a full CMS. This is really powerful! A CMS lets you create custom collections with fields like rich textimagesfiles and more. Plus they’ve recently announced Logic which allows visitors to make submissions to the CMS!
  • Tools For Web Design Professionals — Webflow includes a separate, friendlier interface (called Editor) that you can hand off to clients and teams. They also allow white-label client billing.
  • Outstanding Tutorials — Webflow has some of the best Youtube tutorials around. Seriously. This is great because you will need some tutorials to get up and running with Webflow.


  • Takes Time To Learn — Webflow does not shy away from complexity. Understanding the fundamentals of web design (HTML and CSS) will give you a head start.
  • Expensive Ecommerce — I wouldn’t recommend building an ecommerce store in Webflow right now. Webflow’s ecommerce plans with no transaction fees start at $79. That’s way too expensive— especially compared to Shopify (starts at $29) and Squarespace (starts at $35).

My Experience

Webflow is not for everybody but it is an incredible design tool.

The major difference between Webflow and other website builders is that Webflow gives you the power of code, without requiring you to write code.

Now all that power doesn’t come easily— Webflow definitely has a learning curve. I’m a professional web designer and it took me a few days to wrap my head around it!

But here’s the thing: once I learned Webflow, I started wanting to use it everywhere.

I use Webflow for one project currently: the marketing website for my startup. I needed a custom website design (so Squarespace wouldn’t have worked) and I found Webflow’s CMS  to be perfect for creating our Blog and Documentation Site.

I wish Webflow was around when I was still a freelance web designer a few years. I would’ve  absolutely used it over WordPress.  I will definitely be building more websites on Webflow in the future!

Learn MoreThis video is a good place to start to learn about Webflow.

Note: One competitor to Webflow is Editor X— which is basically Wix’s version of Webflow.


Webflow has two types of plans: Account Plans and Site Plans. Account plans are for professional web designers. If you’re just creating one website, you’ll only need a Site Plan.

The main thing to highlight is that their ecommerce plan with no transaction fees costs $79 per month— too expensive for building an ecommerce store.

Square Online Overview (0:49)


Square Online (previously Weebly) is simple and easy to use— plus it integrates with Square’s suite of business tools.

Who It’s For

Small businesses that want bring their business online and are looking for a quick, easy solution.


  • Easy To Use — Square Online is what I recommend to anyone who doesn’t feel tech savvy. It’s cookie-cutter style templates are impossible to mess up.
  • Excellent Ecommerce — While not as powerful as Shopify, Square Online still offers an impressive suite of ecommerce features. It’s a good option for someone looking for an easy to use ecommerce platform.
  • Best Free Plan — Square Online has the best free plan of any website builder. It includes plenty of features and even offers free phone support!
  • Business Tool Integrations — Square has a suite of tools that support sellers— and Square online has integrations with them: scheduling software, online ordering systems, team management, POS systems, loyalty cards and more.


  • Limited Customization — The most notable limitation is that you can only add sections to a page— you can’t just add individual elements. Because of that, Square Online can feel cookie-cutter.
  • Not Really For Non-Business Users — Square calls their users “sellers” because that’s who they are primarily targeting. There isn’t much to support other types of users like bloggers and artists.

My Experience

I don’t currently use Square for any projects but if I had the right project I definitely would.

So what’s the right project?

For me, the right project takes advantage of multiple Square products— for example, a cafe could use all of the following Square products:

  • Online (website)
  • Loyalty Cards
  • Online Ordering
  • Team management
  • Point Of Sale.

Having that kind of integration across multiple products would be excellent.

As a website builder, the limited customization may frustrate some users but small business owners looking for a user friendly, intuitive solution will find Square to be a good fit.

Read More: Square and Weebly Review.


Square has the best free plan of any website builder. Beyond that, its ecommerce plans are a little bit cheaper than Squarespace, Shopify and Wix.

Like other website builders, Square includes a free domain for one year on premium plans.

Wix Overview (0:45)


Wix is the most popular website builder by market share. Its unstructured editor is its most defining feature— it allows you to move any element to any spot on a page. This allows for plenty of freedom.

Who It’s For

Users who want to be able to control everything… and are comfortable with the risks that come with control.


  • Drag and Drop Editor — Wix’s unstructured editor lets you drag and drop elements anywhere you want on a page— without constraint. You can see a video explanation here. Almost no other website builder provides a drag and drop interface like this— every other website builders has constraints (Zyro website builder is one exception).
  • Tons Of Functionality — Wix has more features than any website builder: that includes forums, ticket sales, restaurant ordering, music distribution, appointment scheduling and more.
  • 500+ Themes — Wix offers more themes than most website builders— though the quality is inconsistent. Another upside: Wix’s unstructured editor means you can create your own theme from scratch.
  • Template Customization — Wix’s unstructured editor means you are able to make significant changes to your Wix template.
  • Plugins & Apps — Wix has an app store and a huge selection of widgets and plugins to add to your website.
  • Small Business Tools — Wix includes plenty small business and marketing tools for managing online presence: CRM, social posts, email marketing, live chat and more.


  • Drag and Drop Editor — Notice what I did here? Wix’s drag and drop editor is listed as both a Pro and a Con. Here’s why: while the unstructured editor gives users freedom, it also introduces bugs and workarounds that can get very frustrating. This is a complicated issue so I’d suggest you read my Wix review to go deeper on it.
  • Learning Curve — This is a question of tradeoffs. Wix isn’t as difficult to use as Shopify and WordPress but you should still expect learning Wix to take some time. There are easier website builders out there— but those website builders don’t have as much functionality as Wix.
  • Bandwidth Limits — A portion of your bandwidth is used up every time a visitor comes to your website. Wix’s two cheapest plans (Combo and Connect Domain) put limits on your monthly bandwidth— which is really unfortunate. You shouldn’t have to worry about bandwidth in 2022 and every other website builder on this list includes unlimited bandwidth.

My Experience

I don’t currently use Wix for any projects. I strongly prefer Squarespace— which is Wix’s biggest competitor.

I’ve tried Wix many times but I find the unstructured drag and drop editor creates more problems than it solves for me. All that control seems great at first but then my mobile website gets screwed up or I start missing content because it’s hidden behind an image.

This is best described visually— so see this video below:

Watch what happens when I move my image to the bottom of my Wix webpage.

I use website builders because I want things to just work. So I don’t like when the Wix drag-and-drop editor creates more work for me.

But does that mean you shouldn’t build a Wix website? No. Wix might work for you— after all, it’s the most popular website builder by market share! So obviously it works for some users.

I specifically think Wix will work for users who get frustrated by the lack flexibility in other website builders. Here’s an example: in most website builders can’t just nudge an image over by a few pixels. With Wix you can. Personally I am happy to give up that level of control for the sanity of knowing it’s not going to break anything fundamental with my website.


Three things to watch out for when researching Wix’s prices:

  • Wix advertises the monthly cost of annual plans on their pricing page. You’re not able to see the actual monthly pricing plans on the pricing page. So for example, the Unlimited plan is advertised as $18 per month… but that’s on the annual term. The actual price if you’re on a monthly term is $23 per month.
  • There are bandwidth limits on their cheapest plans. The cheapest plan with unlimited bandwidth is Unlimited ($23 per month). Every other website builder on this list includes unlimited bandwidth in every plan.
  • Wix’s cheapest plan (Combo) includes an advertisement on your website. Here is what the ad looks like.

Wix pricing plans cost between $6.50 – $44 per month. They offer a free plan (see the best free website builders) and free trials of paid plans— no credit card required.

Annual pricing plans include a free custom domain name for one year. 👍

Want to research further? Read this in-depth look at Wix’s Pricing.

Note: Wix’s Combo plan is their cheapest plan but be aware that it does have a bandwidth limitation.

Honorable Mentions


Carrd is for simple websites that fit on a single webpage. It’s not for websites with multiple pages.

love that Carrd is focussed on this niche. It’s a great option for landing pages and personal websites!

While one page websites are not for everybody, Carrd has some wonderful benefits if you do want a one page website:

  • Very Low Price — Carrd is much cheaper than competitors. Plans with custom domains and no ads start at $19 per year. Wix and Squarespace start at $144 per year.
  • Purposeful Design — You can only build one page websites with Carrd, which means themes and features are all centered around creating one page websites. You can use other website builders to build one page websites but it never feels as intuitive as Carrd.

I do find Carrd has a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to wrap your head around concepts like containers and CSS classes. This isn’t intuitive for users who don’t understand HTML and CSS.

If you find Carrd too difficult to use but you still want a one-page website builder, I’d suggest checking out Strikingly.

Using the Carrd editor to edit a webpage. (0:17)


Weebly is a great website builder but it was acquired by Square in 2019.

Since then the Weebly has mostly worked under Square Online— which is Square’s primary website builder.

It’s all a bit confusing.

I still think Weebly is a fine website builder (see my review) but I can’t fully endorse Weebly because Square has told me they are prioritizing Square Online over Weebly. So I’m concerned about the future of Weebly.

The Weebly editor.


The GoDaddy website builder has steadily improved the last few years— slowly shedding GoDaddy’s reputation for poor software!

GoDaddy is very easy to use. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t feel tech-savvy.

It also includes a suite of business and marketing tools: appointment scheduling, email marketing, social media management, graphic design and a simple CRM.

There are some major limitations you should understand before choosing GoDaddy. For example, you can’t add individual elements to a website and you’re often not able to make simple style customizations. It’s also missing some pretty critical ecommerce features.

Godaddy Editor: Adding a section.


BigCommerce is an ecommerce website builder—similar to Shopify. Unfortunately it’s difficult to recommend BigCommerce because Shopify is such a leader in this space.

I found one consistent complaint after interviewing several BigCommerce users: it can be difficult to use:

“I find it a little clunky and challenging.”

“Not the most intuitive. “

“Before signing up with Shopify, I started with BigCommerce and honestly it was more difficult to understand for me so I cancelled it. “

BigCommerce has an app store but like other ecommerce builders with an app store, it lags significantly behind Shopify:

BigCommerce lags Shopify in total apps. is not WordPress— or at least, it’s not what most people think of as WordPress. Most people know WordPress as, the popular open-source content management system (CMS).

The pros of is that it taps into the WordPress ecosystem— you can install any WordPress theme or plugin if you are on their more expensive plans. Plus it has WordPress’s excellent blogging.

The cons is that you’re constantly stuck in-between: when I use I find myself switching between the editor and the WordPress Admin editor. Having two seperate editors with overlapping responsibilities gets confusing— especially for users new to WordPress.


The thing to know with Duda is that it’s primarily sold through web design agencies and hosting companies who resell it. You’ll find some of these companies (1&1 for example) on this list. Curiously even though they all sell the same software, they all price it differently!

The Duda website throws the kitchen sink at you. It can feel disorganized and overwhelming— there are many tiny, hidden menus and it can be hard to keep track of where-you-go-to-do-that-specific-task.

The upside to DudaOne is that it’s customizable. There’s plenty of widgets and style options— though customizing styles isn’t always as intuitive as a website builder like Squarespace.


Jimdo is easy to use but too simple.

Websites are made up of blocks— which are pre-designed collections of elements. Adding and editing blocks is easy— the problem is you’re really limited in customizing these blocks.

For example, you can hide elements within a block but you can’t add new elements to the block. This is very similar to GoDaddy and Square Online.

The same thing with theme customization: it’s too simple. You can only choose one color and it’s then applied scattershot throughout your website— you don’t get to choose where exactly it is applied!

Jimdo has taken a similar approach to many other website builders— in effort to be easy to use, they’ve designed a simple, cookie cutter website builder. For most users, this will be frustrating.


I have not had a chance to really try Tilda— but I have been hearing good things!

One of the distinguishing features of Tilda is that you can export your website and host it on your own server. This is not something other website builders allow you to do!

What about Wordpress?

WordPress is not a website builder— it’s a content management system (or CMS).

WordPress is still the most popular tool for creating websites but I stopped using WordPress about five years ago.

One of my biggest frustrations with WordPress editor is not being able to see a live preview as I create.

Here are reasons I think website builders are better than WordPress:

  1. Ease Of Use — Website builder typically have drag-and-drop editors that are easy to us. WordPress’s page editor isn’t quite as intuitive. And while there are WordPress plugins (like Elementor) that try to make WordPress more like a website builder, they feel like a half-way solutions.
  2. Hosting — Website builders include hosting. You don’t even have to think about it. WordPress needs to be installed on a 3rd party web hosting service. That’s one more technical thing I don’t want to have to think about.
  3. Everything Just Works — Website builders typically just work and WordPress… rarely just works— especially when trying to integrate 3rd party WordPress themes and plugins.
  4. Security —You are in charge of keeping WordPress up to date— and it’s important that you do. Missing a security update can leave your website vulnerable to hackers. This is one more technical thing I don’t want to have to worry about and website builders automatically take care of security.

So why might you still want to use WordPress? Well if you’re comfortable with the learning curve, here are a few ways WordPress is better than website builder:

  1. Plugins & Templates — There are tons of WordPress themes and plugins available since WordPress is open source anyone can contribute.
  2. Totally Flexible — WordPress is open source so you can code it to do whatever you’d like to— you could code your own template from scratch or even code your own ecommerce checkout flow.
  3. Move Your Site Between Hosts — With WordPress, it’s your own website. If you want to move to a completely new host, you can! You can’t do that with website builders (other than Tilda). Website builders provide hosting so you’re stuck with their host.

In the end, choosing either WordPress or a website builder may frustrate you— but for completely different reasons. Website builders just work but are less flexible. WordPress is more flexible but rarely just works.

If you’d like to read more, check out my Squarespace vs WordPress comparison.

Note: When most people say WordPress they mean — not is a separate service built on top of WordPress that offers more of a website builder like experience.

What is the best free website builder?

This may shock you: most website builders don’t want to give away something for free.

Most free versions have annoying limits designed to get you to upgrade, such as:

  • No SSL certificate
  • Large, obnoxious ads
  • Complicated subdomains
  • Can’t add your own custom domain name

So what’s the best free website builder? I’ve found Square Online to have the best free plan. Read more.

Wix has free websites but this ad scrolls alongside webpages.

Which website builder has the best email marketing?

Website builders are no longer just for websites. Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Square and Shopify all now include marketing tools like email marketing.

I’ve used emailing marketing in Squarespace and Shopify and was impressed with both! I think they would meet most business needs.

Personally, I still use Mailchimp as my primary email marketing tool because I often like to really customize my email designs. That being said, Mailchimp is also expensive and website builders often bundle email marketing as a part of a bigger package so it may be worth the while for small businesses.

Editing an email campaign in Squarespace.

Editing an email campaign in Squarespace.

What is the best website builder for blogging?

Squarespace is the best website builder for bloggers. It has more blogging features than almost any other website builder:

  • Markdown support
  • Podcast support
  • RSS feeds
  • Google Amp
  • Multiple contributors
  • … And more

I would also recommend WordPress and Ghost for blogging as well— though they are both content management systems (CMS) and not website builders.

Squarespace is good if you’re looking an easy to setup, all-in-one solution. WordPress and Ghost are better if you’d like to be able to customize everything.

What is the best website builder for professional website design?

I suggest professional web designers try Webflow.

Webflow has a number of features that make it a good competitor to WordPress for professional website design:

  • White label branding — You can brand Webflow with your own logo.
  • Editor — You can give your customers an easy, visual editor instead of the confusing WordPress backend.

If Webflow is too complicated, I’d take a look at Squarespace Circle which lets you build your web design company on top of Squarespace.

What is the best website builder for multilingual websites?

Here’s how my recommended website builders approach multilingual websites:

  • Squarespace and Wix suggest that you create different versions of each page for each language.
  • Square and Webflow suggest you use a Weglot, a 3rd party tool for language translations.
  • Shopify lets your translate your online store content to multiple languages.

In general, you’ll probably want to avoid “automatic” translations. Visitors can already use their web browser to do that— a truly valuable multilingual experience requires content to be re-written.

Which website builder has the best customer support?

Great customer support can be difficult to get objective numbers on.

I’ve had really fast, really helpful customer support from Wix, Squarespace and Shopify. I’ve also had some less ideal support. So it’s a bit anecdotal.

If phone support is important to you, know that not every website builder offers this— and mileage may vary on those that do. Wix includes phone support on their more expensive paid plans while Square Online includes phone support on all plans— even free plans.

Which website builder has the best templates?

This is a subjective question— to a degree. But I think Squarespace has the best templates. It’s why I continue to choose Squarespace for my own websites.

Example Squarespace template.

Another example.

What about AI design?

AI web design was a hyped technology a few years ago but has mostly been a disappointment.

The most famous example of this was The Grid— it received lots of press but when it launched users were extremely disappointed:

“I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, at any time, for anything. It was a complete waste of money – a pure ripoff.”

“It’s a major disappointment in every possible way, in my opinion.”

“The system is garbage.”

It would be amazing if AI web design turned out to be a thing but I have found it mostly to be a buzzy marketing term rather than a real solution for website creators.

Today probably the most well-known AI web design tool is Zyro or Wix ADI. Both are marketed as “artificial design intelligence” … though I find it mostly useful as a setup wizard where you can define your prefered colors and fonts rather than a real “artificial design intelligence”.

Should I register a domain name through my website builder?

I’d recommend most people register their custom domain name through their website builder.

If you want to be extra safe you can register your domain name through a third party provider (such as Namecheap) but that will require some DNS configuration— which requires some technical understanding.

Here’s the thing: website builders aren’t able to hold your domain name hostage so if you decide to move your website off of the website builder you will always be able to take your domain name with you.

Which website builder is the best for SEO (search engine optimization)?


All of the top website builders I recommend have the important SEO functionality you’ll need to rank a website:

  • Meta titles and descriptions
  • 301 redirects
  • Mobile friendly designs

There are some website builders that do offer more advanced SEO features— for example Squarespace has support for Google AMP. But overall the differences won’t move the needle in SEO.

But overall, if you want do advanced SEO— for example, you want to embed recipe JSON markup— then I would suggest you look at WordPress, not a website builder.

Are ecommerce plans always more expensive?

Yes, ecommerce plans are almost always more expensive for website builders.

Occasionally ecommerce is included in lower-priced plans but watch that those plans don’t also have transaction fees— which can make ecommerce even more expensive.

Can I pay for a website builder with PayPal?

Unfortunately you’re not able to pay with Paypal for most website builders. They often require a credit card.

What are pricing tricks I should watch out for?

Here are a few:

  • Unlimited Storage — Unlimited doesn’t mean unlimited. You can’t upload GBs of files. Unlimited storage mostly means the web host or website builder doesn’t set a hard limit but they will cut you off if they think you’re using storage unreasonably.
  • Introductory Pricing  — Some website builders (example:, 1&1) will advertise a low cost for the first year. After the first year, the price will get much more expensive.
  • Unnecessary Upsells — Some website builders will offer “security” upsells. For example, sells a SiteLock upgrade for website security…. but shouldn’t your website should be secure by default? Why would you need to pay more for that!
  • 28 Days In A Month — is the only website builder I’ve found that does this. Basically if you read their fine print you’ll notice their “monthly” plans are technically 28 days long— which means users end up paying for 13 months in a year.

Should I just hire a web designer?

There are freelancers who work with website builders who can help you bring your business online but website builders are most often DIY tools.

You should expect your costs to rise considerably if you hire a good web designer. I would caution  against hiring a cheap web designers to create your website. I’ve done that before and it always burns me several years down the road. Hire a professional who can deliver high-quality service.

Are there website builders for specific industries?


There are website builders that are focussed on specific industries.

I’ve also written step by step guides to Restaurant Websites and Online Stores.

Though this is not as common as you would think. Honestly the fundamental needs of a website are pretty consistent across industries. Good websites need excellent photos, good typography and an easy to understand navigation.

Are there website builders I should avoid?


These are website builders that I just don’t think are good enough:

  • Google Sites Google Sites is free! …But you get what you pay for. Themes are very basic with very few customization options. It’s also missing features like blogs and ecommerce that are standard on other website builders.
  • Site123 — Site123 doesn’t have a visual, drag-and-drop editor. Instead you edit your website by filling out forms. This is clumsy and outdated.
  • Yola — Hasn’t been updated in years. It’s slow and difficult to use.
  • Adobe Muse — Was once loved by its users but Adobe announced they will no longer develop new features for Muse and have ended support for it. You can find a list of Adobe Muse alternatives here.
  • Webs — Webs was acquired by Vistaprint in 2011 and has basically been abandoned since then. I mean their blog has had a 404 error for several years now!
  • Homestead — Don’t bother. Their best days are long gone. Homestead has been through several acquisitions (never a good sign) and in 2017 Homestead began licensing it’s software from… but oddly Homestead is more expensive than 

And these are website builders that I think are borderline scams:

  • 1&1 — I have had two separate incidents of 1&1’s billing system having “bugs.” In 2014 their billing system “accidently” invoiced me after I had cancelled. In 2018 I tried 1&1 again and when it came time to cancel I wasn’t able to— customer support told me you’re not allowed to cancel in the first 30 days. (You have to call customer support.)
  • — If you look at the fineprint on, you’ll see they define months as 28 days. Which means you’ll pay 13 months in a year. What a joke. Enough said.
  •,, Sitey — These three companies are owned by the same company. I have found that automatically adds items into your shopping cart without telling you! I have repeatedly asked them to acknowledge that they do this but they refuse.

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