You’re proud of the work you do. As such, the website you promote it on ought to be equally appealing. The best website builder for you to establish a digital portfolio, help generate new business, and attract and retain top talent, however, may differ from another firm’s top pick. From free basic website builders to premium sites that require a fee for web design and hosting, there is a range of providers that make designing and optimizing a website a fairly seamless task. Assess the industry’s popular website builders using the detailed evaluations of each below, and then review these website-building considerations before setting your site live.
Website building and web hosting company Squarespace is lauded for its beautifully designed templates and top-notch design features—important criteria when considering which web builder will best present your projects. Not only does Squarespace facilitate producing a great-looking website, but its recent upgrades also enable you to do so with ease. While some, in the past, have criticized the platform for its steep learning curve, it has become one of the easiest drag-and-drop website builders with a variety of 113 eye-catching website templates that are optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
A fairly intuitive platform, Squarespace offers tools for managing a blog, email marketing campaigns, and e-commerce, plus the insights to track analytics and SEO. It also integrates with digital payment systems such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square. One aspect of Squarespace that’s particularly compelling to interior designers and other creatives is its ability to compile large photography assets in a gallery or portfolio format. Users can customize the templates, created by in-house designers, to suit individual needs including replacing images, altering fonts and colors, sharing on social media, and integrating with Adobe Creative Suite and Google Drive.
Squarespace offers four tiers of paid plans (prices listed are per month with an annual plan), and all yearly plans afford users unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free custom domain name, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security. The Personal plan ($14/month) enables you to build a website but with no e-commerce functionality. The Business plan ($23/month) is great for growing a business and selling a few items online. The Commerce Basic plan ($27/month) has tools for setting up a shoppable website including unlimited products, no transaction fees, POS, customer accounts, and integration, to sell via Instagram. The Advanced Commerce plan ($49/month) offers everything from the lower-tier plans plus more robust features for setting up an e-commerce store. Squarespace offers no free plans.
Easy to use and comparatively inexpensive, website builder Zyro provides all the necessities for creating a simple, straightforward website, including high-quality templates and a user-friendly grid format (images and text boxes snap to the guide to create foolproof designs). User reviews recommend the platform for first-time site builders, as a drag-and-drop editor makes customizing the webpages a breeze without the need for HTML coding. What’s more, the platform’s customer support is available 24/7. Perks of Zyro include free web hosting (meaning no upfront cost to get started), simple customer relationship management (CRM) tracking, and integration of more than 70 accepted payment methods so you can attract customers from around the world.
Zyro offers four premium plans, and all annual plans include four additional months for free, plus free web hosting services, free SSL, a free domain, and three months of free business email. The Website plan ($2.61/month) is appropriate for a professional portfolio, bloggers, or a simple business website. The Business plan ($4.41/month) offers the basic essentials to allow you to start selling via an e-commerce store. The Online Store plan ($8.01/month) provides professional e-commerce tools, while the Advanced Store plan ($14.31/month) offers robust marketing tools to grow your e-commerce website. Zyra offers no free option, but all paid plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Often heralded as the best small business website builder, Wix boasts ease of use, 800-plus professionally designed templates across all types of industries, countless customization options to afford creative flexibility, highly effective SEO tools, mobile optimization, and overall outstanding ratings from users. Ideal for building a small business website, posting online portfolios, or setting up an e-commerce store, Wix appeals to those with no tech experience because it empowers any user with the tools to make their website exactly as they want it—no coding skills required. A plus: The cloud-based web builder offers website design services as well as web hosting.
If you’re looking to establish a comprehensive online shop, then Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce might be a better fit, but for a small business selling a few products, Wix would suffice. A couple of drawbacks of the platform, however, are that once you publish your site with one template, you can’t change it without starting again from scratch. The wealth of design features, tools, and options may also be overwhelming for those just starting out.