Best Website Builder for Small Business: 5 Tools Compared for 2020

If you are uncertain how to find the best website builder for small business πŸͺ, you might have just landed on the right web page!

Every kind of business, whether it is a brick-and-mortar store, an agency, a single person operation, and so on, needs to get online. However, building a site on your own can be a difficult task. The key challenge is that you must create a site with appealing visual brand aesthetics and good back-end structure.

Fortunately, you don’t have to learn any coding yourself, or spend cash on web developers. Modern website builders take care of all the elements including UX, design, coding and interface for you. What we really like about website builders is the degree of autonomy they deliver. You can literally create any design from scratch in just a few clicks.

Going ahead, we have tested a few great website builders that would be particularly useful for small businesses.

First let’s talk about what you should look for in a website builder for small business:

πŸ›οΈ What makes the best website builder for small business?

There are many website builders in the marketplace, but you need one that is designed specifically for creating small business sites. Here is everything a business site builder should have:

Flexibility and features:

A superior website builder should allow you to go full DIY on your business website project. You should be able to add/remove any element to/from the site, and you should be able to do that without too much hassle.

A good builder should also offer some nicely pre-designed templates for your website. This helps you create a starter site without needing a professional designer’s help.

For example, take a look at these examples built on top of one of the popular website builders. This is the kind of quality you need.

eCommerce module with online payments:

Getting into eCommerce is one of the main reasons why many small businesses go online in the first place. Therefore, your website builder should let you add an eCommerce store alongside your main website.

The builder should also take care of handling the payments for you. This includes processing payments via credit/debit card, PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Amazon Payments, or other payment options if you’re operating internationally.

Apps and integrations with third-party tools:

Since website builders are primarily used by non-developers, there should be a lot of plugins or extensions for adding a particular feature. This specific toolset will help boost the functionality of your site.

One of the first things that most small business owners will want to do is integrate their sites with Facebook, Facebook ads, Google Analytics, an email service, Google My Business, and so on.

Quality customer support:

Customer support is key if you’re going to be taking care of your business website all on your own.

In case you ever encounter a problem with the builder, you want to be able to reach out to a knowledgeable support team that can help you solve the problem. The best builders in the market offer 24/7 support that’s ready to help.

POS (Point of Sale) modules:

Many small businesses want to not only enable themselves to sell online, but also integrate those online sales with their brick-and-mortar operation. For that, you might need a POS module/system. With it, you can sell to customers who have walked through the door, and also have all those sales integrated neatly into your online eCommerce system.

πŸ‘Š Best website builder for small business: 5 options compared

If you are in a hurry and just want an overview, take a look at the summary below:

Best website builders for small business: SUMMARY
Site builder Price (per mo.) Key Features Best for
Wix $20 – $35 ADI algorithm, 500+ design templates eCommerce and agencies
Squarespace $18 – $40 Fulfilment and delivery management integrations Small/mid sized businesses or Startups
WordPress.com $0 – $45 Performance monitoring, custom plugins All business types
Shopify $29 – $299 2000+ web apps, awesome business tools eCommerce stores
Constant Contact $0 – $20 Email marketing templates, AI powered builder Business websites

1. Wix

Best website builder for small business: #1 wix

Wix should be considered the most popular website builder for small business overall. Credits behind their success go to creative ads and flexible design elements.

This builder is packed with magnificent, customizable templates for designing a beautiful business website. You can even add Instagram feed widget for better brand aesthetics. This site builder also has a logo maker for creating a design that reflects your brand.

 

The best part about Wix is that it lets you drag and drop hundreds of design elements into place and come up with a unique structure for your website. You can also create custom interaction for adding animation effects (like hovering). Your design could be further leveraged using custom CSS. With Wix’s tools and design integrations, the sky really is the limit.

🧰 Features

  • Beginner-friendly website design tool – “ADI”
  • Fully mobile responsive
  • Niche-optimized templates
  • 100% GDPR compliant
  • Works with third-party add-ons
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Custom brand logos
  • Lets you hook up a custom domain
  • Email marketing module
  • 300+ Wix apps you can add to your site
  • Live chat support
  • Marketing tools

πŸ’Έ Pricing plans

Wix’s business plans are extremely scalable. Apart from the heavy-load Enterprise plan, you can choose from three plans built specifically for small businesses.

The most basic plan starts at $20 per month. It provides you with 20 GB of disk storage and unlimited bandwidth. You will get additional site booster app (speed) and form builder app (for the contact page) as well. These plans also allow you to connect your own domain name, plus you get a free domain name from Wix for one year.

  • Business Basic – $20 / month
  • Business Unlimited – $25 / month
  • Business VIP – $35 / month

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Hundreds of stunning design templates to build business sites for retail, photography, music, food, pets and more.
  • You can just sit back and have Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) create a personalized website for you.
  • Complete eCommerce module with shopping cart functionalities.
  • You can expect a premium class support from Wix team.

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • eCommerce marketing features are rather limited.
  • You cannot switch templates once the site is published

2. Squarespace

Best website builder for small business: #2 Squarespace

Should you wish to create a voguish store, Squarespace is your best option.

In the last few years, Squarespace has managed to become a well-known builder in the eCommerce/business space. Previously, it was mostly used by freelancers and portfolio sites. However, they have added some unique interface features to make it a good fit for SMBs. Squarespace offers excellent support and eye-catchy templates in different categories.

 

Squarespace is all about “make-it-stand-out” design. But when it comes to design flexibility, it has its limitations. Overall I had a great experience with Squarespace. There are two things that make this site builder stand out. First, you don’t need to manually design the mobile version of your web pages. Second, you can change your website template later on – once the site has been published (a feature missing in Wix).

🧰 Features

  • 110+ beautiful and versatile templates
  • Sell unlimited products
  • APIs for orders and inventory
  • Website analytics
  • Over 140 plugins
  • Light-speed POS module
  • Free custom domain and SSL
  • 0% transaction fees (BASIC Commerce)
  • Template switching
  • Custom CSS available
  • Connected social accounts
  • Payment processing
  • Shopping cart modules
  • Abandoned cart recovery

πŸ’Έ Pricing plans

The pricing for business is designed to give you features that are essential. It’s safe to say that you will get what you pay for. Here are the three pricing options for business websites:

  • Business – $18 / month
  • BASIC Commerce – $26 / month
  • ADVANCED Commerce – $40 / month

πŸ‘ Pros

  • This builder contains some 110(ish) templates in 14 different categories for designing attractive websites.
  • Squarespace has sophisticated features like multi-site connect.
  • SEO features will help you boost your organic rankings.
  • Premium integrations and blocks for things like maps, SoundCloud, appointment scheduling, and many more to ease the building process.

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • The user interface for administration isn’t as refined compared to Wix.

3. WordPress.com

wordpress.com

WordPress.com is a website platform built on top of the open-source WordPress software.

What’s good about WordPress.com vs the stand-alone version of WordPress is that you don’t need to get your hands dirty installing anything, but instead can just create an account on WordPress.com and proceed building your website in a simplified interface.

 

WordPress.com comes with nice, modern designs, a feature set that has everything you could need, plus there’s also an eCommerce module if you want to use your small business website to start offering products online.

The site builder features might not be as advanced as with some of the other tools on this list, but it’s still a great solution for those just getting started.

πŸ‘‰ Alternatively, if you want to build a site on top of the main WordPress software, read this.

🧰 Features

  • Good selection of themes/designs
  • Every design is customizable to an extent
  • You can change themes after you first launch the site
  • Free custom domain name for one year
  • Performance monitoring
  • Advanced social media
  • Email and live chat support
  • Polylang for multilingual sites
  • Up to 200 GB of storage space
  • Custom CSS supported
  • Google Analytics support
  • Simple payments buttons
  • You can choose from tens of thousands of WordPress plugins and themes and install them on your site

πŸ’Έ Pricing plans

WordPress.com does come with a free plan, but that one isn’t very optimized for business websites. For once, you don’t get to set a custom domain name for a free site, and WordPress.com will place their own ads on your site. If you go for a Business or eCommerce plan then this problem vanishes.

A better solution is to opt for one of the paid plans catered to businesses:

  • Premium – $8 / month – only consider this one if you won’t be adding any custom themes or plugins to your site
  • Business – $25 / month – good for most businesses
  • eCommerce – $45 / month – get this is you’re going to be selling products from your site

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Access to thousands of WordPress themes and plugins.
  • All support, maintenance and server work is handled by the WordPress.com team, so no need to worry about the technical stuff.
  • You get the full power of WordPress as a website engine – with all its customizability, functionality, and design beauty.

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • The website building functionality is a bit more feature-rich with the other tools on this list.
  • A bit more expensive than the other tools here if you want to build an eCommerce store.

4. Shopify

shopify

What makes Shopify possibly the best website builder for small business are its eCommerce-first features and an overall ease of use. If you plan to sell products on your business site, I’d definitely recommend Shopify. It’s a pure eCommerce platform!

Shopify can cater to customer bases all over the globe, and offers you multiple payment gateway options. It will also handle tax calculations and even print out shipping labels.

 

Overall, with its powerful synced inventory, a POS module, free selling tools, live support and stylish templates, the Shopify site builder is a perfect choice for online stores.

🧰 Features

  • Great eCommerce store building module that’s easy to use
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Advanced report builder
  • 70+ professional themes
  • Multiple sales channels
  • 24/7 support
  • Custom gift cards
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Discount codes
  • Apps that let you extend Shopify’s core feature-set
  • Multiple languages, taxes and currencies
  • Certified PCI compliance
  • Liquid templating language

πŸ’Έ Pricing plans

Shopify offers a free 14-day trial with no credit card required. You can then move to paid plans. There are three premium plans:

  • Basic Shopify – $29 / month – good for most businesses starting out
  • Shopify – $79 / month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 / month

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Great website builder for small business if what you want most of all is an eCommerce store.
  • Has many useful tools like privacy policy generator, QR code generator, purchase order template, business card creator and many more.
  • You can go to the Shopify exchange market to buy a running eCommerce business.
  • Shopify provides awesome support using live chat, support ticket and they have a good knowledge base.
  • They have a super-sized catalog of Shopify apps.

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Probably not the best solution if eCommerce is not a crucial element for your business.
  • Not great blogging module.

5. Constant Contact

constantcontact

Constant Contact is a well-known platform for email marketing.

They have recently rolled out their own site builder, and it offers pretty good features. Moreover, all those features are quite easy to use. Constant Contact is affordable as well – you can get started for just $10.

 

Constant Contact is an intelligent website builder that helps you design a site based on your business industry and interests. AI-based builder beats the one offered by Wix, in my opinion. In general, if you want to start your online business using an inexpensive website builder with clean UI and some cool built-in tools, then the Constant Contact site builder can be your best choice.

🧰 Features

  • Sell physical and digital products/downloads
  • Online payments
  • Order, inventory, and tax management
  • Coupons and discounting
  • Transactional emails
  • Shipping management
  • Analytics and reporting dashboard
  • AI-powered builder
  • Unlimited storage
  • Free domain name for one year
  • CDN
  • Mobile-responsive
  • Privacy shields for GDPR
  • Free logo maker
  • Lead capture forms

πŸ’Έ Pricing plans

There is a free plan with Constant Contact. However, it’s not very useful for business because it only allows you to sell three products with a 3% transaction fee. You can’t also connect a custom domain name to your site.

There are two pricing plans that make sense for business:

  • Starter – $10 / month – a decent choice to get a small operation started at low cost
  • Business Plus – $20 / month – a still affordable plan for business that have more than 10 products to sell

πŸ‘ Pros

  • This is a more affordable solution than most of the other website builders for small business out there.
  • The designs are good-looking, customizable, and optimized for mobile.
  • Their websites are optimized for SEO and speed.

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • You can only sell up to 10 products on the Starter plan.
  • There’s a 3% transaction fee on the Starter plan.

πŸ€” How to choose your best website builders for small business?

There surely are many alternatives out there if you’re looking for a website builder for small business. That said, you don’t need to sleep on it to make the right choice. Here are a few pointers to help you narrow down your options:

  1. Wix – Excellent solution for a general small business website that also wants to add an eCommerce store to the mix.
  2. WordPress.com – Great for small businesses just getting started with a simple site without an eCommerce store.
  3. Squarespace – Great alternative to Wix – in case there’s something about Wix you don’t like.
  4. Shopify – The best solution for businesses that want to build an eCommerce store first of all.
  5. Constant Contact – A more budget-friendly solution for small businesses that need a website and perhaps want to launch an eCommerce store alongside, too.

I hope that this guide has helped you select the appropriate site builder for your business. Should you still have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

 

Layout, presentation and editing by Karol K.

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