by Team RobertMening

Website builders are for the people who consider WordPress.org too complicated to handle and meanwhile they do not have the resources to hire a web developer.
To self-host a site means that you have full access to all the site files and code and can deploy them in any way you like. However, you need to have some knowledge and time to do that.
Please see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org here or read our article.

A hosted site uses web space provided by a hosting company, and it can be a full-service solution for those who want to publish a site easily and quickly, without dealing with design, ongoing site maintenance, or other technical issues.
From here the website builders come in to play, as said, they are super easy to use and probably it´s the fastest way to set up your website.

Most of the platforms provide simple, drag and drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward.
However, there are major differences of the performance, some are more reliable than others while some more flexible than others.

During our professional careers we could say that in 30% of the cases we have used website builders, especially when customers are in a hurry to launch a website and they do not have complicated expectations for the content.
In sum, website builders have very clear purpose and position in the market. It´s the quickest way to get your site up and running.

Website builders vs. hiring a web developer?

Even today a good custom website could easily cost $3000-5000 and in most cases handling updates requires still a freelance designer and a webmaster.

The best website builders could give you almost everything you’d ever want at less than 1-3% of the cost and what is most important, you can easily login yourself and change a copy, upload images, or add new pages within seconds.

Website builders are the perfect solution for individuals or small businesses with low budgets and who consider WordPress too complicated to handle:

  • small business owners
  • freelancers
  • writers
  • bloggers
  • musicians
  • artists
  • photographers
  • wedding planners

As mentioned 30% our projects are done while using the website builders and we believe that we have a clear understanding which builders are the best to work with.
So, please dig in and find out what we have learned from our projects with our customers.

Full disclosure: We may earn a commission if you end up purchasing a website builder through the links in this review. Regardless, we only recommend website builders that we’ve personally used and found reliable and simple.
This is how we keep SetupFreeWebsite.com up and running and there are no extra costs to you at all.

Top 10 Website Builders in 2019

SiteBuilderCost starting (mo)UsabilityUptime (%)Load time (ms)Score of 5
1.Wix.com$11.00-35.00Best99.985815
2.ConstantContact$0-20Good99.984624
3.Site123$10.80–28.80Good99.976594
4.GoDaddy$5.99–19.99Average99.996244
5.Jimdo.com$9.00–39.00Average99.849173
6.Squarespace.com$12.00–40.00Average99.983263
7.WordPress.com$8.00–45.00Average99.993043
8.Weebly.com$12.00–38.00Confusing99.978822
9.Webs.com$12.99–22.99Confusing99.839421
10.Srickingly.comBad Billing

Without further ado, let’s dive into a detailed review of each website builder. Starting with the best, narrowing it down until we reach the ones to avoid.

1. Wix.com – Easy to Use Website Builder for Small Business


+ Pros– Cons
+ Most popular website builder on the market with more than 100 million users worldwide. There are obvious reasons why so many people use it and we really recommend it as well
+ Very reasonable costs for eCommerce stores (plans starting $20/mo). Their solutions includes everything from simple products to even bookings and registration for events
+ Wix has also one of the biggest libraries of site templates (500+ “designer-made”options)
+ They are good for different industries/categories
+ Super simple and easy to use meanwhile customization options are endless. You can really tweak your site in a matter of seconds with their easy to navigate drag and drop features
– Each email account costs $6/mo (through Google G Suite)
– No live chat, but 24/7 phone support and via tickets

Wix also provides reasonable pricing and they offers long-term discounts.
Basically the longer you prepay, the more you win. Most our customers go for the annual plan and they get a free domain in the process, paying just $132.00 annually for both.

Do we recommend? Absolutely YES!
Wix is one of the easiest site builders we have ever used and still it’s simple to use, fast and secure. Plus they have so many themes to choose from and they are well designed. With Wix, you can use it for any purpose from the simple blog to serious online store. Plus they have very friendly pricing plans.
Remember, Wix is used by millions of small business owners on a daily basis. Test them out for free.

Click here to start with Wix

2. Constant Contact – Easy to Use and Professional Website Builder


+ Pros– Cons
+ Constant Contact don´t have any restrictions for bandwidth or maximum storage so all the plans are completely unlimited
+ Only website builder who offers fully-functional online store in free plan
+ It´s relatively easy and simple to use, plus all the templates are modern. You can simply click on a page element to bring up customization options
+ You will get a free domain name for the first year without being forced to check any ads on your site
+ Customer Support has 24/7 chat and email support
+ Their A.I. powered website builder can sync with your Facebook page, and automatically pull in photos, branding or posts from your page to your website
+ If you choose a 12 or 24-month plan, you’ll get a free domain for 1 year
– Unforunately emails cost extra at $6/monthly through Google’s GSuite
– Phone support isn’t available on the free plan

Do we recommended? YES.
With the help of Constant Contact you can create beautiful, complete, SEO optimized and mobile responsive websites which will look great in any device.
Constant Contact performance parameters are also one of the best in class.
Plus they will give you a free domain name and, the online store is included in the free plan.
Constant Contact is an absolute top performer with fantastic options and pricing.They are easy to use, professional and reliable website builder. Constant Contact almost outperforms Wix.

Click here to start with Constant Contact

3. Site123 – Best Website Builder for Very Small Websites

+ Pros– Cons
+ Site123 provides a free plan to test out their website building tool. It’s very limited, but you can get an idea of how it works
+ Their e-commerce plan is rather expensive and starts at $22.80 but it is heavily supported with a huge, dedicated help section
+ Sites 123 has almost 300 design templates to choose from. They have many templates that can fit many different industries.
It is very easy to use their tools to reorder posts or pages in minutes just by clicking and dragging
+ Site123 is another website builder that delivers a strong uptime of 99.97%, which is slightly less than SiteBuilder
+ Pricing plan is reasonable and for the Basic plan pricing we paid only 129,60$ for the year, which also included the free domain name
– Upgraded plan needed to get more custom email accounts. Unfortunately it is not possible to buy email accounts separately
– In many cases their customer support provided copy-past type of answers. When we asked standard questions they just gave us a link for the answers.
We cannot say that they were not professional, but we would expect more especially when comparing other customer supports. At least they had 24/7 live support

Do we recommend? Yes
Site123 we would recommend if you go for relatively simple sites. They have lot of design template choices, uptime and speed parameters were solid as well.
However, the customer support could have performed better.

If you would like to go for bigger, more complicated content driven sites, then they get expensive quite fast.

Therefore, Site123 is a good alternative to hiring a web developer, just be ready to invest a decent amount over the course of a year, however at the end of the day, Site123 will be still cheaper.
Go for it!

Click here to start with Site123

4. GoDaddy – Flexible, But Little Confusing Website Builder

+ Pros– Cons
+ GoDaddy offers 1500+ template options, which are divided into categories based on the site you want to create
+ All of the templates feature the drag-and-drop interface that most website builders nowadays offer
+ E-commerce is fully supported and with reasonable cost
+ GoDaddy might be one of the only site builders that offers a free month trial. You can really test things out and refund before getting locked into a much bigger annual commitment
+ GoDaddy offers outstanding performance, uptime 99.99% and 624ms for the load time
– Emails cost up to $9.99/mo for each and they don’t integrate with Google but with Microsoft Office
– GoDaddy has too many upsells options, making navigating very difficult. As other competitors they offer 1-year free domain name, but this renews at $17.99/mo

Do we recommend? Yes
GoDaddy’s website builder is an above average tool to us. Some of the top competitors clearly perform better. However GoDaddy has massive number of templates available where we are sure you can find a perfect match for your needs.

Click here to start with GoDaddy

5. Jimdo – Very Intuitive Builder, but Limited Templates



+ Pros– Cons
+ No hidden fees! Basic plan was advertised as $9.00/month then the actual total was exactly $108 for one year
+ To set up a website is relatively easy, we managed to get our test site up and running within less than 15 minutes
+ Extra email accounts are very cheap (compared to other website builder software), costing only $1/mo a piece
+ Free domain for first year and afterwards it will renew at $20 per year
+ Very competitive e-commerce package at a cost of $19/mo
– For example GoDaddy Website builder comes with (1,500 + themes), Jimdo comes with ONLY 16 themes
– Customer Support for the cheapest plan could take up to 2 business days and they don’t have a phone to call in case you need quick help
– During the last 6 month the average speed showed 917ms and up time had 49 outages. Not the best performance!

Do we recommend? It depends!
Jimdo provides a very clean and neat designs and we could say that it’s more modern than some of the competitors we’ve already reviewed here.
They also offer unlimited products on their e-commerce plans and cheap email accounts. In sum their website builder is simple and understandable. So here we would say Yes!

However, the biggest problems are with their speed and uptime. Here we would say no! Plus the fact that they only have 16 templates and your customization options are rather limited.

Jimdo is good for the one-two -page-websites, but if you would like to build a more serious site we would go for the Wix.

6. Squarespace – Best Website Builder for Photographers



+ Pros– Cons
+ No hidden fees
+ Squarespace is the best pick for customers who need image-based websites (photographers and wedding planners)
+ Squarespace has 200+ design templates that look really nice and professional. They might be the most ‘professional’ looking options out there.
They almost look and feel custom made.
+ They do not have any storage or bandwidth restrictions
+ Squarespace’s performance is good, the uptime was 99.98% over the past six months and the speed was averaging 326ms
– This is one of the most expensive website builders. A standard website starts between $12-18/month and with the e-commerce solution it go as high as $26-40/month.
Not only are they more expensive on average, but the high-end eCommerce price is the most expensive, too – $40/mo
– Unfortunately, their high prices don’t include email accounts that has to be paid separately, and this will be an extra $5/month for each
– Squarespace customer support experience was not great, but it was ok. Their live chat repeatedly forwarded us to how-to articles instead of helping at sight
– Email accounts cost $6/mo extra through Google Suite

Do we recommend? Yes and No!
If you’re focusing on the design type of websites it might be worth investing extra money to Squarespace.
Otherwise, it’s probably not worth the high price when you can get similar features for significantly less.

7. WordPress – Best Builder for Users with some technical skills

The differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org arise from the differences between hosted and self-hosted websites,
so choosing between them largely depends on the level of control a user wants over the design and management of their site.

WordPress.com is a hosted platform that runs on the very popular WordPress software, but WordPress.org simply makes the WordPress site package available for download and use in self-hosting as the user chooses.

As already said WordPress.com web space is provided by a hosting company, and it can be a full-service solution for those who want to publish a site easily and quickly, without dealing with design, ongoing site maintenance, or other technical issues.

+ Pros– Cons
+ WordPress is the most used software to create a website (more than 30% websites use WordPress software)
+ WordPress provides free eCommerce solution (called WooCommerce) which is a very good plugin to build your own awesome online store
+ Customer support is very helpful and ready to answer your questions quickly. No issues or sent how-to links here
+ Plans and Prices are reasonable compared to other competitors, please see the different plans provided: click to plan
+ WordPress knows how to host a site and technical parameters as uptime and load time were outstanding, 99,99% and 304ms respectively
– As WordPress.com requires some knowledge and technical skills it is not the best option for complete beginners
– Cost of domain name via WordPress.com is rather expensive, it will cost you $22 per year
– Cheaper plans have limited options to build a nice functioning website. For example PayPal might not be available, etc
– Not all of the WordPress themes can be used to drag and drop

DO we recommend? Yes and No!
WordPress is not for beginners, but with some knowledge and skill you can create awesome websites with very reasonable costs.
If you are an advanced users and want more control, and are willing to invest some working hours, then go for it.

But if you are a site builders who don’t want to do all the maintenance on a WordPress site, choose any other website builders from this TOP.

8. Weebly – Average solid performer

+ Pros– Cons
+ You can test Weebly out on a small scale before making your decision
+ Weebly also offer a 15-day free trial
+ They have 150+ templates organized by type, including drag-and-drop options for eCommerce, too
+ Weebly has a tool called intuitive editor that makes very easy to customize site options and build a website
– Weebly provides 60 different and some of them haven’t been updated for a long time
– Cheapest plans are too limited
– Email costs $5 a pop
– Weebly had 99.97% of uptime and 882ms load time. Above average results

Do we recommend? Not really!
It’s a solid website builder. Yes, they have free plan and free trial, however their performance parameters are below the average and they expensive as well.
By now there is just so many better options to choose from.

9. Webs – Performance and Slow Speed Issues

+ Pros– Cons
+ Webs hosts over 54 million sites mainly through web hosting
+ They provide more than 400 themes and templates
+ They have solid customer support and live chat only takes a few seconds to get started
– You need to upgrade your plan to get access to more email accounts. Not very user friendly
– Webs design templates look too outdated
– Cheapest – $5.99/mo plan is very limited.
E-commerce plans are more expensive, starting at $22.99/month paid annually. However this is somethings that applies to many website builders
– Higher renewal rates after one year discounted period. In general if you see a website builder offering two or 3-year terms, take it and save as much as possible
– Webs performance was weak, the uptime was only 99.83%

Do we recommended? No!
Webs builder could be used , but we would say that they are behind others in this list. The performance could much be better and templates look little too outdated. We would also question the pricing.

10. Strikingly

+ Pros– Cons
+ Fast, friendly and efficient help center
+ The editor is great if you would like to create a nice-looking single page website
+ Their drag and drop solution makes really easy for the beginners to launch a site
– The free version is good enough to check the editor, but we would expect more
– Only plan without the Strikingly ads is the most expensive plan. However, it´s relatively expensive compared to competitors
– It is very hard to make a single page rank well
– Prices are rather high compared the functionality they provide
– Performance parameters are below the average

Do we recommend? Yes and No!
Strikingly is a website builder that shines when you want to create a single page layout. However, for more complex content it is too limited.
They also provide eCommerce solution, but it is also very limited.
In our opinion they are too simple, because with one page website in this modern are there is not much to do.

Which website builders are the best?

In sum, website builders are great for beginners or small businesses looking to get a professional and affordable website. Website builders allow you publish a site easily and quickly, without dealing with design, ongoing site maintenance, or other technical issues.

• Best all around option in our opinion is Wix or Constant Contact, for sure you won’t be disappointed
• The best option for Beginners or those needing eCommerce? Wix is probably your best bet
• Best for photographers, designers, blogs or other visual businesses? Chances are you’ll love beautiful templates from Constant Contact or Wix.

However, when choosing a website builder watch out for these FREE promises. Always check costs after a one year discounted price.

NB! Always register your own domain!