10 Best Small Business Website Builders (Free & Cheap)

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Building a website can get expensive - not to mention, time-consuming. And for all small business owners, I think you can agree that it’s not wise to be spending all that time when there are other things you need to focus on.  

That’s why today, I’m going to walk you through the best small business website builders that will save you time and money while you get your affairs in order.

Let’s take a look.

What makes the best website builder for small business?

There are a lot of factors that should affect your decision to choose a platform for building your website. One of the largest considerations you need to make is the price. We, as business owners should be well aware of how much we can sustain while our business rears back to gain traction.

After all, it’s rare for a venture to make enough money to sustain its costs during the first month. It’s possible, but you need to be prepared for the possibility that you might be out of pocket for a month or two at the very least.

best small business website builders

I like to make it a point to think about a general price range I’d be comfortable supporting for at least six months. What I would do when starting a venture is take that money and set it aside so it only gets used for software fees.

Once you have a general idea of what you’d like to spend, it’s time to take other factors into consideration. Let me walk you through them one by one.

Ease of use

I’m not talking about how you’ll be able to build the website. I’m talking about how streamlined the user interface is. It is not worth the stress of going back and forth trying to figure out how things work. Look for something relatively simple, or more organized.

This will save you an enormous amount of time and stress. I remember when I was just starting out. I made the mistake of going for a platform that was still a bit buggy at best. I spent days trying to build my website in what should have been just a few hours since it was fairly simple.

You don’t want to go through that and waste time you could have spent improving your product, deciding your strategy, or writing your copies.

The editor

This could go one of two ways. Either you choose a builder that has a drag and drop interface so you could use it without much thought. Or you could look for a combination of more complex editing capabilities and simple drag and drop work.

It can be simple to build your own site. So don’t go about wasting your time with overly complicated software.

Templates

I’m not a design whiz. You won’t see me designing five-star websites that are complex and what I would consider “multi-tier” with hundreds of different pages overlapping with each other.

I’m just not that good. And I’m thinking you might not have that affinity either. Or maybe you just want to make sure your website is optimally designed right off the bat.

The solution? Choosing a platform with an extensive, professionally designed style guide library. Make sure they’re mobile responsive and that you can make enough changes to tailor your website to your brand.

Features 

There are a lot of things that you would need on your website that are specific to your business.

For example, you might need a scheduling widget. Or maybe you need to add restricted access to certain pages. The list goes on.

Make sure you’re well aware of the needs of your business and that you make your choice to fit that. Don’t settle for something less, especially if you don’t think it will benefit your business.

Search engine optimization

If you don’t know why SEO is valuable just yet, I suggest you dig a bit deeper and look into it. There are many factors that affect how optimized your page is. But the main gist is that it helps your pages perform better on search engines like Google.

Not everyone has the time or skill to try and figure this out. I’m not going to lie, it’s a very time-consuming process.

I mean, the research itself takes an hour at the very least. An SEO tool is definitely a huge bonus. But it’s one I’d keep my eyes open for since not all platforms have them.

Split testing

You want to be able to launch the best possible version of your site as possible. To do this, A/B testing helps a great deal. The way it works is it basically runs two versions of your page to help you see which performs better.

You’ll be able to make changes according to this data for more effective campaigns.

Customer support

Bugs and glitches are always bound to happen. It’s an inevitable part of any software. That’s why it’s important for you to choose a platform with a proactive customer service team. Even the best programs will be rendered useless and stressful if there’s a lack of support from its developers.

The reason why I say this is because you’ll learn exactly how much you’re valued as a service user by how you’re treated when you have problems with the experience. Trust me, it isn’t worth the stress of going back and forth with bots or disinterested customer service representatives.

Analytics

Last but not the least, invest in something that has a good, detailed reporting tool. You’ll want to know how to optimize your website better to boost your conversion rates and reduce your bounce rates.

Look for heat mapping, clicks, and peak visiting times to help you manage everything more easily. 

Why do I need a website builder?

I’m going to bet that you’re here because you can’t afford a web developer. I mean, I get it. They can get extremely expensive. Plus, it’s difficult to keep asking for help every time you need to make small changes to your website.

Why do I need a website builder

I personally like to have everything on a single dashboard. I like to be able to manage my website and my business on my own. And even when I ask for help, I like to make sure I know how everything is supposed to run smoothly.

Of course, there’s no shame in asking for help or hiring someone to do the bulk work for you.

But using website building software will help you learn how to manage your business all on your own so that the next time you aren’t able to, you’ll at least know more than just the basics. 

Top 10 best small business website builders

When I start talking about website builders, people tend to automatically gravitate to WordPress. And it’s a great resource - for sure. But it’s not your only choice. And besides, wouldn’t you want to have more than just a handful of choices?

Now, I'm giving you ten of the best free and cheap website builders for small businesses today.

Keep in mind that the decision is entirely up to you. Consider the individual needs of your business, do your research and make your decisions based on that.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look!

1. Wix

Wix

This is my top choice because it comes with a free forever plan, its user interface is smooth, and it’s an ideal option for beginners or “lazy” web designers

Think of it as a software designed for beginners.

Except it’s not only for newbies. Sure the Wix ADI is a great tool to have when you don’t trust your design skills enough. But you’re also not limited in a creative sense. When you’re ready to make more complex changes, it’s quite easy to do.

Basically, I really like how there’s room to grow on the platform so that you’re not forced to rely on artificial intelligence software to do things for you - which isn’t healthy for any business owner in the long run.

Take a look at some of its most notable qualities:

Extensive template library - spanning various niche options, and over 800 design guides, you can choose from any of the themes and displays of the platform. You’ll be able to make changes to make it fit your brand aesthetic as well so you don’t have to worry about your website looking like a carbon copy of another on the internet. Most of the designs are well-optimized so you don’t have to worry about misplacing certain elements if you’re not too design-savvy.

Multiple functionalities - I like how there are several widgets and features you can use to make your site unique. For example, you can add quizzes, contact forms, surveys, and more to your website. There are also options for tracking invoices and sending payments which is essential if you’re running an online store. I like how you can pick and choose exactly what you need from the app directory to fit the needs of your venture.

Wix plans and pricing

Like I mentioned before, the platform comes with a free forever plan that you can take advantage of if you want to give it a try first or if you don’t really want to pay for the service but really need a website right away.

Keep in mind that the free plan is somewhat limited. For example, you won’t be able to connect your domain. You’ll also have Wix branding across your site (nothing too intrusive, but it will be there, nonetheless). It’s a fair tradeoff if I do say so myself, but of course, if you want to run a 100% legitimate-looking business, then you’ll probably need to upgrade to a paid plan sooner or later.

Their first website plan starts at $4.50 a month to connect your domain. It still comes with Wix ads, but it’s a reasonable enough rate to pay for taking out the extension. You could also opt for their most popular plan which costs $12.50 and is geared towards marketers and entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, their VIP plan prioritizes you for customer support. It costs $24.50 each month. It’s arguably reasonable, but I don’t really think it’s 100% necessary.

You also have a handful of choices if you want ecommerce capabilities. The most basic plan allows you to accept online payments and costs $17 a month. You could also opt for the Business Unlimited plan for $25 a month with a bit more functionality.

But if you really want to get full functionality, then the Business VIP plan is your best bet for $35 a month.

Wix pros and cons

Pros
  • The user interface is extremely easy to use
  • The ADI builds entire websites on your behalf and is accurate most of the time
  • It’s affordable and well-priced
  • There are over 800 themes and templates to choose from
  • You can choose from their extensive feature library
Cons
  • You can’t change your theme once you publish your website
  • Changing your theme erases all of the progress you’ve made
  • It’s not a good platform if your business gets larger so you will need to migrate elsewhere

2. Weebly

Weebly

This application is best for people like me who like to have a bit more creative freedom. It gives you little in the way of guidance when it comes to creating your website.

However, it’s still easy to use and the drag and drop editor is manageable for newbies and professionals alike.

I like how you’re not prompted every five minutes to do something you might have forgotten, which allows me to focus entirely on what I want to do. Unlike the previous option, you’ll have less options template-wise. But I think this is actually more productive especially for startups since you’re not flooded with choices.

Let’s take a look at some of its best features:

Hassle-free code editor - I like it when a program gives you room to grow. I like drag and drop elements as much as the next guy because it makes my job a lot easier, but I also want to be able to exercise complete creative freedom when needed. The code editor is easy to access and use, and reflects real-time so you don’t need to worry about a thing.

Over 300 applications - let’s say you need very specific widgets or elements for your website. The app library contains an extensive selection that spans various niches so you don’t have to worry about missing out on specific features to add to your site like an active Facebook Messenger-connected chatbox.

Search engine optimization - it’s incredibly easy to make changes SEO-wise to your website. You’ll be prompted to make changes to your meta titles, meta descriptions, custom URLs, and even add alt-text, which are all incredibly important. You can also select an app to help you with this from their application directory.

Weebly plans and pricing

Like the previous option, you have access to a free forever plan which includes branded advertisements and the software extension on your domain name, Other than that, you also have three options for paid plans for strictly websites and another three for online stores.

The website plans start at $5 a month for an annual billing cycle. It allows you to connect your domain, and nothing else. Your other options are $12 for professionals and $25 a month for small businesses and stores. Each of the two comes with a free domain worth $20 and $100 in Google Ads credit.

On the other hand, if you want ecommerce capabilities on your website, your choices are between $12 for groups and organizations, $25 for small businesses and stores, or $38 for power sellers. All of these are monthly fees paid annually. The Business Plus plan comes with an email marketing feature worth $96.

Weebly pros and cons

Pros
  • The editor is easy to use and quite simple
  • You’re able to make more complex changes as needed
  • Their website loading speeds are quick
  • You can edit and manage your website on the Weebly mobile app
  • The app center is extensive
  • You can migrate to a larger resource once you scale your business
Cons
  • It’s not a great tool for bloggers
  • There are some issues with Square payment processing

3. Kartra

Kartra

I’m not going to lie, this platform is quite expensive. But it does save you a lot of money especially if you plan to use different platforms for email marketing, sales funnel management, and a number of other features.

It’s basically one of the best all-in-one platforms out there for running a business.

You get both basic and advanced functionality whenever you need it. For example, you can create entire campaigns inside the program. Normally, you’d have to subscribe to another platform to get the same results, but being able to do it on a single dashboard keeps everything simple, and more affordable.

Here’s why you should look into it:

Affiliate tracking - if you want to run your own affiliate campaigns for your business, this app makes it possible. You’ll be able to create portals and manage all your transactions on a dashboard so they’re easier to track. You can even release payments from the application itself.

Dynamic text replacement - the DTR feature shows you the exact changes you’re making in real-time. So there’s no need to switch between previews or any other windows. It’s a great tool to have and it just makes the entire process easier on the eyes for everyone involved.

Responsive pages - all templates on the software are mobile-responsive so you don’t have to worry about making changes manually. This also improves your page visibility on search engines since Google started implementing mobile-first indexing a while back.

Kartra plans and pricing

The software backs you with a no-risk money-back guarantee period where you can ask for a refund if you end up not enjoying its services. This means it’s relatively low-risk even if you decide it’s not the right platform for you.

There are four plans to choose from. You can either select a monthly or annual billing cycle which will get you a discount of up to 25% off.

Prices start at $99 for the Starter plan which comes with lead collection of up to 2,500 leads and 1 domain connection. You can create two membership sites on it as well and add one team member to your account.

The most expensive plan - which is the Platinum, costs $499 a month. You’ll get unlimited emails, bandwidth, pages, videos, products, membership sites, team members, and help desks.

Plus, you can connect up to 10 custom domains, and gain up to 50,000 leads.

Kartra pros and cons

Pros
  • It’s easy to use, but you also have complete creative freedom
  • The template options are attractive and well-designed
  • You can create entire sales funnels on the platform using templates that are proven to work
  • It comes with much-needed tools like email marketing and CRM apps
  • You’re able to manage a helpdesk portal that creates a ticketing system for your website’s customer service
  • Kartra Agency allows you to sublease your pages and websites to clients
Cons
  • It’s quite expensive, which means you might need to save up a bit before you get started on the platform
  • Not all of its features are great. This is a common risk when it comes to all-in-one platforms

4. Builderall

Builderall homepage

This platform is ideal for any digital marketer and entrepreneur. It prioritizes internet marketing tools in combination with website and page creation to give you most of the resources you need to start and run an effective business online.

If you’re a fan of constantly evolving software, then this is a great option for you. Its developers are constantly releasing updates that add new features and tools you can use to grow your venture.

That said, I think it’s only fair to say that one major drawback of this is that the development team hasn’t spent enough time trying to fix bugs on already existing tools. So you’re left with half-finished programs that can get annoying to use.

Take look at why it’s perfect for you:

eCommerce functionality - you can add an online storefront to your website any time you want. It’s easy to use and the features to help you manage and sell your inventory are extensive. This means you’re well covered on most bases that you need to work on when selling anything online.

Create an affiliate program - if you’ve ever dreamt of running your own affiliate program then here’s your chance. The affiliates dashboard is detailed, but well organized so you’re not spending hours trying to figure out how to read the analytics.

Webinar hosting capabilities - you can host webinars directly on the platform. So if you’re someone who likes to do this, you won’t need to rely on a third-party application. Plus, you can monitor your performance and attendance directly on the app.

Builderall plans and pricing

Unfortunately, the software doesn’t come with a free trial. But you can give it an unlimited test run for a few days for only $1 no commitments necessary. It may not be completely free, but it’s still a good value investment.

Other than that, there are three paid plans to choose from starting with the Builder plan. It costs $29.90 each month and gives you access to 1 domain and five subdomains, 5GB of disk space, and up to 5,000 subscribers.

The Premium plan costs $69.90 monthly and allows you to have 15 domains and an unlimited number of subdomains, 10GB of disk space, and unlimited subscribers.

Last but not the least, the Funnel Club plan costs $199 for the first payment and then $99.90 a month moving forward. It gives you access to all the features of the software including premium funnels and automatic affiliate approval.

Builderall pros and cons 

Pros
  • It’s easy to use even for beginners
  • There are several tools and features to choose from
  • Its cheetah website builder creates pages that load at lightning speed
  • You can run affiliate programs on the software
  • There are several great funnel templates to choose from
  • It’s more affordable compared to Kartra
Cons
  • The developers are so focused on adding new tools that the existing ones are lagging behind with bugs
  • Some of the features are extremely annoying to use
  • The UI tends to change every so often with all the updates

5. Leadpages

leadpages site builder demo

This software runs its entire campaign on telling its users it will help you turn clicks into customers.

What this means is that you’ll basically be able to raise your conversion ratings on the platform. This is a bold claim to make, but one that is definitely easy to welcome.

LP is best for building one-page websites. It’s basically more optimized for creating landing pages to collect leads. This means it’s better suited for digital marketers and entrepreneurs.

There are several themes and templates that are created by professionals and extensively tested.

Although the template library is extensive and spans various niches, you can also create a page from scratch - which I appreciate since I like to get my hands dirty.

Here’s why you’ll like the platform:

Simple, and straightforward user interface - the UI is one of the most enjoyable features of the program. It’s smooth, straightforward, and mostly free from bugs. This means you can get your job done quickly and more efficiently because you don’t have to think about glitches.

Multiple integration options - I really like how you can integrate Lp with multiple platforms like HubSpot, LinkedIn, and WordPress. There’s an extensive list you can check on their website, but this only means you won’t have an issue using your pages anywhere you like.

Leadpages plans and pricing 

There are basically three plans to choose from. You have the option to pay monthly or annually. And depending on the plan you’re on, you’ll get very specific discounts when you opt for annual billing.

Paid plans start at $27 a month. You won’t be able to accept online sales and payments to your website, but you’ll be able to gather unlimited traffic and leads for one site.

Your next option is the Pro plan which costs $59 a month and allows for connectivity to three sites, and online sales and payments plus unlimited split testing on all of your pages.

Last but not the least, the Advanced option costs $239 a month and it gives you access to all the features Leadpages has to offer including a 1 on 1 onboarding call.

Leadpages pros and cons 

Pros
  • There are several professionally-designed and tested templates
  • The design guides are customizable so you can alter them to fit your brand completely
  • The split testing feature is great
  • The user interface is smooth and easy to navigate
  • Quick loading and hosting speeds
  • There are several useful application options for you to choose from
Cons
  • You need to pay for the premium plan to access A/B split testing
  • There is no enterprise option
  • There are only a handful of form options

6. Thrive Themes

Thrivethemes

TT is a staple for any WordPress website owner. So if you’re keen on keeping things on WP, then you’ll enjoy this software.

It’s only the largest theme library on the platform with over hundreds of design styles to choose from that span various niches.

I like how customizable everything is, and that you also gain access to an extensive plugin directory that you can use to further customize and optimize your website’s customer experience.

Let’s take a quick look at its most notable features:

Conversion optimization - this is one of the biggest selling points of the software. Basically, you’ll have access to tools that allow you to fully optimize your website’s pages. There are several conversion elements to choose from as well so you have the best chance of increasing your conversion ratings.

Optimized templates - the theme gallery is filled with professionally-designed style guides that are optimized to maximize conversions. There are over 200 options to choose from and the developers are constantly adding new options to the directory.

ThriveThemes plans and pricing

The platform is relatively well-priced at $19 a month. It’s well equipped with conversion-geared elements that will help make it worth your money as well.

ThriveThemes pros and cons 

Pros
  • The software’s main focus is to help you boost conversions
  • There are over 270 professionally-designed templates to choose from
  • The user interface is smooth and easy to use
  • There are several applications and plugins you can use
  • It has multiple integration options
  • You can create affiliate marketing sites
Cons
  • It’s too marketing focused
  • There are several features and product options which means you need to take the time to learn about each of them
  • Your only option is to pay for the membership fee

7. Elementor

Elementor

This platform is another great option if you’re looking for a page builder to use for WordPress. It makes it easier to make changes to your website since you do it on the frontend.

This means it’s basically a “what you see is what you get” builder. And that’s only one of the things I really like about it.

It’s arguably one of the easiest editors to use in the market when it comes to building WordPress pages. However, the customer support response does need a bit of improvement.

The main UI uses building blocks to add, remove, and move around widgets to where you need them to be. However, it is quite difficult to make exact adjustments because of this.

Here’s why you’ll like it:

Less pressure - I know a lot of newbies to web design hate pixel-perfect adjustments. The reason why is because it’s quite daunting to make too many adjustments. After all, too much freedom can cause a lot of confusion. The building blocks make it easier to visualize your space and fill it accordingly.

Mobile preview - Switch between device views to check whether your website looks good on certain screens. It’s fairly easy to make adjustments accordingly as well, so you don’t need to worry about that.

Elementor plans and pricing

The platform comes with a free forever plan that allows you to build basic websites. Additionally, there are also five paid plan options. Your choices start at $49 a year which allows you to create one professional website up to $999 annually to build up to 1,000 professional websites.

Elementor pros and cons 

Pros
  • It’s easy to use for beginners
  • There is a free forever plan that allows you to build a basic website
  • The prices are reasonable enough
  • Its user interface is smooth and beginner-geared
  • There are several element options
  • The third-party plugin library is extensive
  • It is compatible with WooCommerce
Cons
  • the UI is quite simple and might be a bit outdated
  • The blocks are quite limiting
  • The customer support team is not responsive enough

8. Divi

Elegant Themes Divi page builder

Another entry from WordPress, this option is the most-used theme on WP. It features an intuitive builder created by Elegant Themes.

It’s hailed as the top used theme in 2020. I suppose part of its success can be attributed to the fact that it’s simple and easy to use even if you’re a beginner with virtually no design experience.

It’s best for freelancers, website owners, and agencies. It comes with eCommerce capabilities, and you can even build a dropshipping site on it.

So, what else do you need to know?

Visual page builder - The editor shows you exactly what changes you’re making in real-time so you don’t have to go back and forth between screens to figure out what you need to do. It comes with several free elements including over 40 CTAs to choose from.

Design effects - you can create visually stunning elements on your website with the effects feature that lets you edit photos and add other visual effects within seconds.

Divi plans and pricing

One thing you should know is that you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee period. So if you decide you’re not a fan of its features, you can easily get your money back.

There are two plan options. You can either opt for yearly access or lifetime access. The annual plan costs $70 annually or a $199 one-time payment.

Divi pros and cons 

Pros
  • The user interface is intuitive and streamlined
  • You can opt for the lifetime deal which will save you a lot of money in the long run
  • You can use it on an unlimited number of websites
  • Its drag and drop builder is easy to use
  • You’re not restricted to the builder, you can also add codes to your themes for more complex layouts
  • There are over 100 beautiful templates to choose from
Cons
  • It lacks some essential marketing features
  • The builder slows down when you create longer pages

9. Simvoly

simvoly home page

Founded for digital marketers, this option is considered a baby in the industry. It was founded in 2016 and it comes with several tools you can use to excel in eCommerce and online sales.

Its developers call it an all-in-one marketing platform for venture owners who are looking for software that can help them drive high-quality leads and sales.

There are five main features on the platform such as the website builder, store builder, responsive web themes, funnel and landing page creator, and even blogging tools.

Here’s everything else you need to know about:

White label builder - basically, you’re able to create your own web templates, sales funnels, themes, and squeeze pages. You can even brand the builder with your own logo, colors, pricing plans, restrictions, and more.

SSL certificates - Simvoly’s SSL certificates come with the plan and it keeps your websites safe.

Simvoly plans and pricing

There are four main plans to choose from. It starts at $12 a month and can go up to $149 monthly. Regardless, the feature set itself is great and you’ll be able to make great use of it moving forward. So I’d confidently say that it’s definitely reasonably priced.

H4 - Simvoly pros and cons 

Pros
  • The user interface is intuitive and very easy to use
  • Its web templates are responsive and beautifully designed
  • You will be able to set up a blog
  • Its pricing tiers are well-priced
  • You can make use of the free trial before making a commitment
  • It’s smooth and usually free from glitches and bugs
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with an email marketing tool
  • It’s new and has a lot of catching up to do in the market
  • It’s very basic when compared to others in the same price range

10. Site123

site123

If you’re not too keen on working on your website yourself, this is a great option for you. The process starts with the program asking you a few questions about your preferences.

It will then generate an entire website for you to edit according to your branding. Think of it as a simpler version of the Wix ADI.

The main selling point is that it helps you build your website in three easy steps. Quick, efficient, and basically fuss-free so you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s a great resource for anyone who is looking to build simple sites in a snap.

In some cases, you might even consider the lack of creative freedom a huge bonus. This is especially true if you tend to be indecisive. It’s also great for design newbies who tend to get overwhelmed by the wealth of choices on other platforms.

Here’s why you’ll enjoy it:

Google Analytics integration - tracking your performance is incredibly important. And it doesn’t get better than GA. It’s incredibly easy to integrate, which seems to be the main selling point of the software. I appreciate this of course, but I’m not too keen on how limited all your choices are.

24/7 support - there is a live chat feature so you won’t feel like you’re on your own. I like how support is easy to reach at all times of the day so you don’t have to wait 24 to 48 hours for a viable response to your inquiries.

Site123 plans and pricing

Site123 is completely free to use given that you’re okay with using a subdomain. You’ll get 250 MB of storage and an additional 250 MB of bandwidth. It’s generous enough given that you’re not paying for the service.

But if you want to upgrade to a paid plan, it will cost you only $5.80 a month. This comes with a free domain for one year, 10GB of storage, 5GB of bandwidth, removal of the platform floating tag, domain connection, and e-commerce capabilities.

All in all, it may not be the best in terms of creative flexibility, but it does offer good value for any startup.

Site123 pros and cons 

Pros
  • It comes with a free plan
  • You can get your website up and running in a few minutes
  • There’s a feature that translates your website to multiple languages
  • It’s easy to use, and feels like you’re just filling out a form
Cons
  • There is very little in the way of design flexibility
  • You’re limited when it comes to apps, integrations, and features

Final thoughts

Building a website for your small business is an incredibly personal decision. There are more than just a handful of choices, and a lot of them offer free forever plans if you don’t really have a big budget.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the specific needs of your business and what you prefer in terms of usability and features. Don’t rush the process. Take your time to consider your options and do your research to make sure you make as little mistakes as possible.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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