In the world that seems dominated by WordPress, we have shown that there are a lot of other options to create a stunning site. Website builders are an excellent solution for business owners who want to have an online presence. That is why we decided to interview 38 web designers to find out.
What is the Best Hosted Website Builder to create a small business website and why do you recommend it?
Let’s see what are the advantages of each website builder.
~ João Pedro is a Brazilian web designer and one of the co-founders of Fix Up Brasil.
There’s not a website builder in the market that can do everything for you. There’s not a website builder that you can simply put your photos and tasks on it, and it will automatically create a perfect site for you. Any website builder is going to have a learning curve that may be bigger than you expect.
For each of them, they’re not as SEO [search engine optimization] friendly as they advertise them to be. You have to know a bit about design and how to manage things well so you can create a great website.
I think customers should find out which builder they like the most – that is easiest for them. Each of them has their own tools and features. They’re different from each other and may work differently.
My choice of website builder is Wix.com
I think that it is the best for someone who wants their first website for their business. It’s cheap, easy, and fast. If you try to hire a company to make websites for you, it’s going to cost a lot and they might deliver the website in a few months.
Wix is on par with all the latest design trends and technologies. Every time there’s something new in the marketing world, Wix is always on it. There are always new features being added. I don’t think the other platforms have the research and development team that Wix has that adds features that the market demands.
New users can choose the category of the job or business that they involved with. There are templates for each industry. You add what you want. You choose the colors, text, and images. If you’re not satisfied, you can choose a different template. You can start another one. You can have as many as you want. If you’re still not satisfied, the best thing to do is to choose a Wix Pro to do it for you.
They have great support for their customers. Most of the questions that you have are answered in the forum. If you have a question not on the forum, it takes 10 to 24 hours to get an answer from Wix. Sometimes it’s an automated response. If that’s the case, they’ll send it to the Wix team and they’ll answer you properly.
Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t have a good name in the design market at all in Brazil. Here when you say a website is built in Wix, people frown upon it because they think it won’t be a very good website. However, people do get impressed about the things that you can do using Wix.
If I show some designs and tell them it’s from Wix, they always get impressed. It’s not about the platform you’re using, but what you can do with it. If you want you can paint a Mona Lisa using Microsoft Paint (and some folks have done that!)
Somebody that wants a complete professional website and that has the budget to build a complete website should avoid Wix and other website builders. But I do have some clients that would have the budget to pay some agencies to build them a great website outside of Wix. But they chose to use Wix because they don’t want to be attached to the agency. They want to change the information and do it themselves. They don’t want to have to rely on another company just to make simple changes. It’s better for them to use Wix.
Wix gets slower over time. When starting a Wix site, it’s going to be very fast. But if it has too many pages or if the content starts to get bigger, with more photos and videos, the Wix website starts to get very slow. It starts to get unbearable to a point when you have to divide your pages in two so that the page won’t require so much time to load. It gets very frustrating. It’s a Wix back-end problem.
~ Olya has more than ten years experience in marketing. She is a web and graphic designer that has created almost 100 websites in different sectors, languages, and styles.
I do recommend Wix platform for small business because it allows you to build an excellent, modern, professional website in one day literally. Let me share Wix advantages step by step
It is vital for any business to be on time in the market. Nobody wants to spend weeks or months building websites. Wix is all about time saving.
Templates or blank? If you don’t know what you want, you are offered hundreds of cool templates made by professional designers, where all marketing and usability aspects are considered. If you know what you want, you are welcome to create from scratch anything you want. You can upload any image, video, any font, use cool animation.
3. No coding
Drag and drop system makes the process so much easier. Moreover, you don’t need to seek a web developer, you don’t need to pay extra money for his job, you don’t need to wait. Like there s no a barrier between you and your website. You may need a Wix Pro, though 🙂
Wix has passed all the way from SEO unfriendly to SEO friendly website builder. They really have been improving this issue a lot. It’s absolutely SEO friendly now, and all my projects prove this
5. Better every day
Working with Wix I know that they asked and listened to their users, they improve the platform regularly. There s always huge improvement between “yesterday Wix” and “tomorrow Wix.”
6. More than just a website builder.
Having a website with Wix is much more than just web pages. It’s a very powerful marketing tool, all in one. You have your customer contacts list, which is automatically set up for all visitors who wrote you via your website, who bought smth.
You can create awesome e-mails and send it to all your contacts. There are so much more for any business (restaurants, hotels, online bookings, etc.”.) You don’t need any third part tool doing this, all are provided by Wix and can be used for free
7. Huge free photo bank
Wix has big photo bank which is absolutely free. All pictures are professional and beautiful. This photo library always grows. However, you can also use another famous photo stock built in, not free but with special price
8. All last web trends are available
Yes, Wix wants their websites will be “state of the art.” Parallax, video background, cinematography, animation, cool fonts… all are here to use
9. Regular special offers
Every occasion you can buy a yearly plan with 50% discount. Extra you’ll get a free domain and gift vouchers for Google Adwords.
10. Mobile version
Every website has its mobile version which is free and could be set as desired
I love Wix, have done more than 100 websites with Wix and never regret.
~ After graduating from the Art Institute in 2002, Adrianne worked as a designer for D.R. Horton, a Fortune 500 company creating everything from magazine spreads to billboards. In 2007 she started her design and large format graphics company and never looked back.
About six years ago I started a website for myself on WIX. It was just for fun to test out the platform as my old site was on WP and I liked it enough. After playing with WIX for a few days, I was impressed. The speed I could put together a site was pretty astounding so I transferred my domain, and that was the start of something great.
After about a year of having my portfolio on WIX I decided to do a website for the scuba diving shop, I was working at part-time. I did this as a freebie to try another site on WIX. I set up the website, and to my surprise a couple of months later the business was exploding.
We had reached #1 on Google in such a short time, and our Facebook page was growing like a weed. It was like we hit that sweet spot. So I decided to do a few more websites for local islanders on St. Thomas.
All the of sites had similar results and the best part… once the site was complete, my clients did not have to wait for me to make changes or pay for maintenance! To me that is gold. I know that some websites designers turn their nose down at WIX sites.
Some laugh and some are genuinely concerned that the DIY builder might put them out of business. Well, I look at it as a blessing! I am a designer; I hate code. I work better visually, and I think WIX opens doors to amazing web designers who might not know or like the coding aspect.
Don’t get me wrong; WIX is no substitute for real talent. Also, for me, I get bored doing routine maintenance. I like to be wrapping several cool different designs at once and then handing them over to my clients with a quick “how to” video. It frees me up to move onto the next cool project and be selective to design sites I feel speak to me.
I’ve found that 99% of my clients come to me from other platforms. WP is most popular. Its always the same story; “My website designer has gone MIA, or they won’t call me back, they want $X for a simple change, and that’s too expensive, they took my login, and I can’t make changes now.”
It’s always that the website designer has failed in some way or charging absurd amounts for changes. WIX alleviates this issue. I create a beautiful, dynamic website with hundreds of apps available for my clients fast and efficiently in my WIX pro account.
Once the site is done I transfer the site to my clients WIX account so that they have 100% control of their own site. I then step aside. I am always available for help and questions and will do maintenance for a fee or changes but the key is that they can do changes on their own.
I find that all of my clients are so happy about this and feel less controlled by their website designer. They have freedom, and that keeps them coming back for other projects and giving me referrals. I think 80% of my business now is referral based and starting from just a couple WIX sites.
There’s always a dark side to any platform. I do think WIX needs to step up their SEO game. If you follow the basics you’ll get decent results but I believe that they need to focus on this a bit more. Currently, WIX is using parastorage so it seems that all WIX sites will get an F ranking uncompress images because the file extension garbage added from the servers.
This makes it difficult to get accurate load speed test results. Alleviated by properly compressing your images and knowing not to overload a page is key. I also think that another downside of WIX is the eCommerce abilities. Let’s face it; it’s pretty ugly.
You can use Ecwid which I like a lot and allows for custom CSS which is nice, but the base WIX storefront needs some love. It’s do-able for a small shop with under 50 online products, but if it’s a large store, it’s too time-consuming and just doesn’t flow well.
With all that said – the thing I L.O.V.E. about WIX is that they listen! They are constantly improving their platform. They add new apps that make life so much easier and new functions that make sites look amazing.
Does WIX take jobs from right website designers? Nope! The bottom line is that it’s hard to design for yourself… and you’re shaking your head yes right now. It’s taken me years to develop a site for myself that I like, and I am sure I will change it in a year anyway.
WIX business owners will always need WIX designer. I tell all my clients to try WIX before hiring me. Learn the platform and try to build their site. I’ve not lost one customer this way, they all appreciate the honestly and they all end up hiring me to do the initial design.
I think WIX has some improvements they need to make but what platform doesn’t? It’s a great place to start for small business owners, and I truly think it will just continue to improve over time.
~ Cristian is the founder and CEO of SeeDesine. He has more than seven years experience in web design. His company specializes in WIX websites and branding solutions for any business or product. They build professional online environments meant to suit your needs and improve your business.
Since I was a child, I’ve been passionate about everything that means materialized vision, mixing colors in a way that the effects leave room for inspiration and creativity.
If you own a company, then you know how important it is to have a functioning website so that your customers can find you and also make purchases from you. Having a website will help increase your revenues and allows customers to find information about you when they need it.
I think the most popular website builder is Wix. Wix website builder is perfect for any business and will provide you with many benefits.
After you have signed up on the site, you can browse through over 250 templates for your new website. You can choose any of the designs you want to use. They are pre-made designs meaning that you never have to worry about the coding or HTML that goes into them.
Often website builders can be difficult to navigate around on and cause you a headache. Wix offers a very user-friendly interface which consists of a drag and drop interface. This drag and drop interface is very helpful for people who do not have experience designing websites, and it makes creating your website a breeze.
You can position all of your text, images, and videos wherever you want them to go by just sliding them around and placing them where you see fit.
Lastly, Wix offers helpful tools for you to use if you ever become stuck at any point during your website building experience. There are many different buttons to click to receive help right on the site, and you can even contact customer support if you need to.
This is beneficial because you never know when you may run into a problem and answers to your questions will help you continue your website building journey.
The website builder on Wix.com is very easy to use, and it offers many different tools to help you build your site from scratch.
Your customers are already looking for you online, and if you don’t have a website, then you are losing them to your competition. Stop handing over your customers to others because you are scared to jump into the website world.
Wix website builder is a great place to start, and it will provide you with a functioning and professional looking website with a short amount of time.
~ Sarah is a Wix Pro graphic designer since 2009. She is also a social media superhero.
After having used every single website builder out there, I came to the conclusion that Wix.com surpassed all expectations. Wix has made strides like one couldn’t believe, and I have been using their services since 2009 when I first started my own small business.
Besides the fact that the Wix editor is ever-evolving, bringing in new and improved features that help you tap into the very best of your potential, with ease; the Wix community is a warm one, where Wix employees and Wix designers interact and support each other. The healthy competition, the opportunities are just never ending.
I often explain Wix.com as the Photoshop of Web design, because of the freedom it gives you just to create. Hundreds of excellent tools at your disposal that suit novices and professionals alike, it’s everything you could ask for to create anything you could imagine. It’s like magic, click done!
When I first started out, I had absolutely zero web design experience or funds to hire a web designer, so I began exploring my options. That is when I stumbled upon Wix.com after frustratingly abandoning other options that forced me to follow a layout or format.
Wix defied all rules; it gave me a blank canvas to just play with to my heart’s content and that kind of freedom, I fell in love with. The great part about Wix is that whether you have 5 minutes or 5 days to spend on a website, there’s something for everyone.
Gorgeous pre-designed templates at your disposal, a blank canvas for you to create something completely from your own visualizations (and the tools to support it) and the fact that it has opened up a whole new world of design for Wix Pros and clients alike.
~ David is a web designer, a featured writer on many web design websites and founder of DART Creations, a website for people working with websites.
In the day and age of a site being such a necessary part of business, it’s great that people who don’t have access to a web designer (for whatever reason) have great alternatives.
One has to see this from the perspective of many small businesses who want to go on the web, but don’t have a clue where to start from.
WIX is an excellent choice. It’s Artificial Design Intelligence makes it a breeze to create a great looking website in little to no time at all.
Being such a simple, step-by-step wizard, which asks for such stuff as the context of the site (online shop, clothing, baby?), then asks for your address, phone, social network details and creates all of the sites from scratch. Of course, one can then change and refine as necessary, but the basics are set.
In essence, it’s a highly simplified content management system, with an adamant focus on creating a simple user experience for people who need to create a website (but don’t know how).
It doesn’t want to be WordPress and can never be as flexible as that, but it’s the right tool for small business which just need a helping hand setting up a website for a relatively low fee.
~ Angelique is the founder of Fresh Pixel, a web design agency which provides professional web-based services including small business start-up websites, e-commerce solutions, and full-service custom site development as well as branding, SEO and online marketing services.
Regarding Hosted Website Builders, my personal preference is Wix predominately for the ability to have a site up and running relatively quickly with their themes. While website builders aren’t for everyone, they are particularly useful for small businesses starting out.
All website builders have pro’s and con’s, and we do caution all client’s to do the math and consider the cost of website builders annual fees and weigh that carefully with more traditional website platforms.
E-commerce solutions are rather limited, and I would not recommend them if a client needs an e-commerce site or a more complex website such as a membership area or login capabilities. In those instances, WordPress, which also provides drag/drop editor capabilities is a better option that allows for more robust website builds and is cheaper than the annual fees of website builders.
I have been designing a website for over ten years and have completed over 200 websites ranging from small portfolio sites to large custom builds, for me – design/marketing and branding go hand in hand and it all about creating an emotional connection to the client’s audience.
~ Romi is a web designer and a partner of the Social Media company Quick Sites International. Romi and her partner Maya established their business two years ago, and they succeeded in designing tens of websites (and counting).
From our experience having created dozens of websites, Wix.com is the easiest DIY platform for small businesses.
A small business has limited resources for its digital image and no time for learning more sophisticated platforms such as WordPress. Wix offers a various of beautiful themes for its clients, enabling them to edit quickly and intuitively with no need for coding and has hundreds of apps that can be used both in Freemium and Premium plans.
I highly recommend Wix.com for a business that is planning its first website with no experience, or has limited resources. This is especially useful if the company needs a Portfolio Website or a simple e-Commerce website.
The Wix platform has been updated every few days with the latest design and managing features that enable more and more possibilities for the designer and the business itself.
~ Roshain’s firm has been awarded in “Bronze” status as a “Wix Pro Web Designer” by “ArenaWix” USA, on 08th of November 2010 and March 2014. He became the first ‘Wix Pro Designer’ in South Asian region.
The Best Hosted Website Builder to Create a Small Business Site is Wix.
I do recommend it because it is a very easy platform to create a website and it also has many apps to use.
We can make beautiful websites in Wix, and it doesn’t have big ads about Wix for free users. Wix also offers lifetime hosting for free users as well.
~ Kathy is the Marketing Manager at Tie National, LLC.Kathy has used her talents to both build and manage new departments from the ground up to secure company growth and client satisfaction.
I have used Wix several times in the past for small businesses and our recent site redesign. For new designers, WIX provides great starter templates to customize while keeping the site very professional.
For those with more design experience, WIX templates can be a great source of inspiration to springboard off from but also allows you to create a website from a blank canvas as well. All the elements are there for blogs, images, animation and most importantly for SEO.
I do not handle all the coding developers do, but with WIX this knowledge doesn’t hold me back, and my design and sense of navigation is allowed to take center stage. Even better, I can make changes on the fly without the need to hire a developer to update the coding.
~ Jim graduated from the Art & Design AKTO school (1996-1999) as a graphic designer. Previously he worked as a freelance illustrator for magazines. He is currently creating websites small businesses that need a fresh new website.
Wix has the easiest website builder/editor that allow to simple users to present their work. Business activities, services, e-shop and many others. Wix follows the latest technology with many excellent tools that helps to design a very modern and friendly website. Hundreds extra applications could also contribute to complete unique projects.
WIX also provide marketing, advertising, newsletters, SEO, analytics, stock images and video. Has the full package for building out a website for small business than other website builders in the market.
~ Jessica is a talented Web Designer and Social Marketing Professional with extraordinary skills in Web development.
We believe that Wix is the best Website Builder around. We’ve used many other platforms, almost all of them that are out there.
Wix is by far the easiest to use, as well it lets you be creative with your design and ideas and still provide an amazing HTML website that is easy to use and view without using little or no HTML coding.
Once I’ve designed my clients website, I can usually provide a DIY links to help them make their own updates. It gives them the power and confidence and convenience to keep up their own website. If they have any issues, they can always contact me, or contact Wix help with no questions!
I love Wix and have built with it for five years. I’ve designed hundreds, and hundreds of websites from a cupcake business, to banks, to doctors!
As a Graphic Designer, WiX would be my choice among other Website Builders.
The main reason would be its capability of working with a blank canvas, non-templated and fully customizable.
Full customization is what makes the HTML website approach appealing. However, the downfall is that it takes more time to code.
With WiX, I can focus on the Design and make it look aesthetically pleasing while saving myself many hours of coding. Shorter timelines mean happier clients.
~ Tracy is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Brown Owl Creative, a multi-disciplinary design company in the UK, with a focus on Branding, Design and Web Development. Brown Owl Creative combine design and technology to launch brands and help businesses grow, both locally and around the world.
No website builder is perfect in my opinion they all have their pros and cons. For me personally, Wix is by far the most innovative drag & drop website builder amongst their competitors.
You can achieve a high level of advanced design without the need to know how to code and they are always introducing new and innovative features, that in my opinion, sets them ahead of their competitors in this respect.
This is an important consideration if you are looking to build your site on a platform that can grow with your site as your requirements change.
The ability to build a desktop and mobile friendly website without coding or development makes it a hugely competitive option for small businesses and startups looking to create a website presence, quickly, efficiently and within budget.
I believe the growth of Wix (88 million registered users as of July 2016) is mainly due to their innovative approach to developing new features, and making it user-friendly for small businesses to manage and update their own websites without the need to hire a developer to make small web updates on their behalf.
They also have one of the strongest support infrastructures available amongst all website builders, and remain responsive by phone and email on support. This coupled with the flexibility of their platform and ease of use make them market leaders in what is a very competitive market today.
~ Sarah is the Founder of illustrateddomain.com, she is an award-winning Wix Certified Design Pro and has been creating sites since 2010. Her prior expertise as a business consultant and marketing expert helps her clients define their online strategies.
In my opinion, Wix is the absolute best choice for a small business platform.
Users can create gorgeous websites for a fraction of the price that they would pay with other platforms. It has a drag and drop technology that helps users with little web experience to be able to create a great website. If a professional builds your Wix site, it is easy for you to learn how to manage your site.
For small businesses, the Wix backend features are a one stop web shop where everything is at your fingertips to not just create a website but also manage your client and customer engagement in one place.
The Wix features include:
- Clean Beautiful Website Designs
- Ease of Use
- Easy, Effective SEO (no ajax)
- Pro Photogallery
- Wix Backend – To Manage your Clients, Contact and Customers
- Parallex and Responsive Design (Wix Columes)
- Email Marketing Management (Wix Shout Out)
~ Antonio is the CEO of Unraveled Media, a digital agency providing custom website design and SEO services. He is also the Founder of Boonle.com, a graphic design marketplace.
Although I build websites across multiple platforms, Wix.com tends to work out best when it comes to small business websites. I recommend Wix to small business owners quite often for the following reasons:
The cost to set up a custom-designed Wix site versus a custom-designed WordPress site is typically far less. This is usually due to the time that it takes to set up a Wix site in comparison to a WordPress site.
Quick setup & ease-of-use
Due to the highly customizable drag-and-drop editor, setting up a great looking website can often be done in a short period once you become familiar with the platform.
Training clients on how to manage and edit their Wix websites is much easier than WordPress sites. Clients typically grasp the concept of the drag-and-drop builder quickly and are thankful that they can make basic edits themselves, such as adding photos or changing text. Support documentation is also just a click away.
~ Beatriz is a web designer and a blogger focused on helping people start their blog from scratch. She provides step-by-step tutorials and actionable advice, while also offering her coding services to customize Squarespace templates.
When I think about professional-looking websites for small businesses, I immediately think about Squarespace. I believe it’s the best-hosted website builder out there, and not because of its popularity. To me, Squarespace is by far the best solution for creating a stable business site on your own, mainly because of these three fundamental aspects:
1. Responsive templates: I’m a huge advocate for website responsiveness, not only because it allows your audience to browse through your site efficiently when they’re on the go, but also because it lets them know you’re serious about your business and you pay attention to details that are too often overlooked.
All of Squarespace’s templates are fully responsive, and even if you add any elements from a third-party source that are non-responsive , you can easily tweak them by injecting a couple CSS lines in the editor
2. Customization: if you want your site to be memorable and completely tailored to your brand, you need to put work into it. This means you need to be able to edit, choose colors and pick fonts for every single element in your website.
With Squarespace’s style editor you can change almost every aspect of your site including buttons, divider colors, fonts, text color, padding, etc., allowing you to create a fully personalized site without any coding skills. Moreover, if you do have knowledge of HTML and CSS, you have the possibility of customizing your site even further thanks to the many code injection areas available on all templates.
3. Pricing: when you’re starting a business on a budget, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest options available, but when it comes to website platforms, I strongly disagree. A reliable builder that gives you all the functionality you need, and more, often comes with a price tag. Luckily, Squarespace’s plans are very affordable, and you can always choose to upgrade as your business grows.
The thing about hosted website builders is that even when they all might offer a user-friendly interface, a wide range of templates, and even free accounts, you need to go with the one that’s going to help you create a proper online presence. That’s why I recommend Squarespace for anyone looking to establish a long-term business on the web
~ Jeff is the owner and conceptual artist behind HellothisisJeff Design, a stand-alone brand and web design shop geared specifically for non-profits, churches, and small businesses.
Every web project has different demands to consider and goals to achieve, so unfortunately, no one perfect platform works for every client. However, using Squarespace as a complete self-hosted web solution often makes the most sense for many of the small businesses, non-profits, and churches I work with.
Creatively, Squarespace offers beautifully clean templates that are perfect for communicating compelling brand stories. The ability afforded to bring in our own customizations via CSS, as well as getting in deep with the Developer Platform, really sets Squarespace apart as a true designer’s toolkit. There’s very little that can’t be accomplished within their framework.
The greatest features, however, lie on the client side in terms of intuitive content management and site maintenance. My clients love how easy it is to create dynamic new page layouts with the drag and drop editor, and have complete control over their site hierarchy.
Squarespace also offers a lot of benefits behind the scenes, like SSL security, eCommerce tools, various core integrations, and excellent customer service.
To sum it all up, I like using Squarespace because it’s fast and easy while delivering top notch design and content solutions that help me tell my clients’ stories in very practical ways.
~ Josiah has won 5 awards for web design in the past 5 years. He currently only does web design for private clients and runs his company, ReadySettle, full time. He created his company’s site in a weekend.
Of all the contenders, Squarespace is who I would ultimately choose. They feature very simple, intuitive tools while allowing for a clean design and style. I have had many small business owner and entrepreneur friends use Squarespace and the beautiful thing about them is that they make their code to work together really quite well.
Website tools that utilize graphical interfaces have to create containers like puzzle pieces in order for drag and drop to work. In most cases, this winds up being a cumbersome jumble of mismatched design elements and off-putting colors.
Squarespace, however, does this beautifully by using a different technique that not many other players use. It is very evident with how fast page load times are, how responsive the site is, and just the general feeling of authenticity and quality that you simply can’t get from most drag and drop platforms.
Overall, Squarespace is my number one choice as a webmaster. Not very many platforms can match the cost and ease of use when compared to the end result, which is a high quality, responsive website that effectively communicates the website’s message and does it in a way that is very pleasing to the eye.
~ Dylan is the founder of Lovably Inc. a New York-based creative studio focused on spreading long-lasting ideas from all over the world using thoughtful, purpose-driven design. Founded in 2014 with the goal of making high-end design services more accessible, we’ve helped turn dozens of great ideas into beautiful realities.
Squarespace is the best-hosted website builder for small businesses because it allows vast, creative customization while still maintaining a simplicity and elegance that most services don’t even come close to achieving.
Squarespace makes it easy for our clients to add and edit content on their websites and takes the burden of managing a complex web setup off their shoulders.
Finally, Squarespace’s 24/7 customer support is top notch and always ready to help. You can’t beat that.
~ Meghan is a UX Designer and the founder of Crafting Creative, where she works with creative entrepreneurs to craft websites that are easy to use, that build their credibility, and that bring more clients to their digital doorstep. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @MeghanCreative.
The best, hosted website builder and the one that I both use myself and for my clients is Squarespace. Squarespace is an all-in-one solution: they take care of hosting, your domain name can be setup through them, and they integrate with Google Apps easily. They also recently began offering free SSL certifications, which (nerd-alert) means that your website URL will have an https:// in the beginning, notifying your users that it is a safe site to use.
Now, why does this matter? Because starting in 2017 Google is cracking down on non-secure sites and yours could potentially be flagged as insecure if you’ve not got that SSL magic. The good news is, with Squarespace, you don’t even have to worry about it.
I’ve used WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Webflow, and I’ve custom coded website from scratch. From all that experience, I’ve found Squarespace to be the best, hosted website builder for small business owners. It’s easy to use, has a great built-in feature set, and it allows you to set up a blog to drive more online traffic to your business.
~ Zoran co-founded POINT OUT, a digital marketing agency, where he’s worked with brands such as Aquafresh, BMW, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Peugeot, Sensodyne, and STIHL. He has made it his personal mission to help every aspiring individual out there start a business he will love building.
Squarespace won’t offer you the flexibility of WordPress. But that’s true for any other site builder out there.
It also doesn’t have the super easy builder Weebly has. And it might not have such big collection of templates as Wix.
Still, the best website builder on the market is Squarespace. Hands down.
Why? It’s right there at the top in every single category. What’s more, it excels when it comes to the decisive ones such as design, shareability, and SEO readiness.All templates are responsive. They work as great on your desktop, as on your phone. This is especially important as recently mobile internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide.
Squarespace made the perfect combination of ease of use, design flexibility and following UI/UX best practices.
As a small business, you shouldn’t spend too much time managing your site, but rather actually building your business. Your site should help you take advantage of every online business opportunity that may arise, while it shouldn’t consume your valuable time and energy.
And that’s exactly what you get with Squarespace.
In fact, you’ll be mind-blown by the things you can do. Templates such as Pacific will let you design your site to make it feel like it was custom made. You can have all the widgets, opt-in blocks and CTA buttons you’ll need. It also integrates with Leadpages, ConvertKit, and other popular apps.
Basically, Squarespace offers everything you’ll need as a small business. And they offer it for a reasonable price.
~ Diogenes has over 9 years of experience designing and developing websites, as well as a wealth of experience in IT and physical product design.
I recommend Squarespace as the best-hosted website builder. Squarespace has:
1. 24/7 support,
2. A large community of specialists,
3. The best designed, fully responsive templates, and
4. A content management system that is extremely flexible.
~ Alyssa is helping small businesses grow their audiences through kick-ass designs and photography.
I prefer Squarespace for several reasons:
1. Squarespace offers beautifully designed sites that allow you to change templates at any time without losing content. If you want to change your template on Wix, you have to start over and lose your content which is a pain!
2. Squarespace is responsive. Wix will allow you to hide certain things on mobile, but for most of my clientele, they don’t want to design a mobile site separately, they want to be able to design one site and have the code do the rest.
3. Squarespace has fantastic 24/7 support. Finding someone to speak to on Wix is a PAIN. They have a huge hep forum, but sometimes you need to talk or email a person instead of spending hours looking through forums for your solution. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.
4. Squarespace offers unlimited bandwidth, unlike Wix. This is huge if you expect to have a high number of visitors to your site and if you have a lot of content on your site that you need to load quickly. Wix has too many restrictions on bandwidth.
5. Squarespace was built by designers. All of their templates look high end. It does have a more structured drag & drop compared to Wix. The learning curve may be easier on Wix than it is Squarespace, but once you understand the basics of building a site on there, it’s very easy to do the rest.
~ David has been a Squarespace Specialist for 3 years and he personally built about 100 Squarespace sites. He is the founder of DesignLive that’s like Uber for a Squarespace designer.
I have to choose Squarespace. The original reason that I started designing on the platform was that I was trying to learn how to build my first business’s website.
I tried every other platform (Shopify, Wix, Weebly, WordPress, etc.) and nothing was as sophisticated as Squarespace.
They’ve put the most thought into removing all of the obstacles that DIYers can run into. Simply put, it’s the most guaranteed way for the average person to create a beautiful website.
~ John is a transformative creative force, providing an influx of ideas, culture, and leadership. With over 15 years of experience, he encourages teamwork, provides steady creative leadership & product development.
First off, I think that I have used them all. From hosted to self-hosted solutions, I have clients that want their specific solution and I need to be able to work with what they have. Recently, I have been using Squarespace’s commerce solution.
I love the simplicity of their sites, and their eCommerce solution is easy enough to set up and start using. As a designer, I tend to design my site, and never add content. Squarespace creates such simple minimal sites, that I resist redesigning and start adding content to the site.
One benefit is the price, really affordable to sell online and connect your customer correspondence (Mailchimp, emails) to create a great user experience when buying online. For under $30 you can start a business online that looks great and functions like a full online retailer.
They don’t take cuts from your sales like Shopify and others. The only downfall I have with Squarespace commerce sites, is that you only have one option for payment processing. All in all, I don’t think you would be disappointed in their platform and support.
~ Marta is the founder and designer of Naya Traveler. She was voted as one of the best Squarespace sites in the world.
I believe Squarespace is the best self-hosted website platform. They have great third-party integrations such as Adobe Typekit, Getty Images, and Stripe, which streamline the daily workflow and help the site look professional.
Their templates are top-notch design quality and also easy to customize with code.
Lastly, Squarespace has a large support community which is useful for users with little CSS/HTML knowledge who wish to customize their sites with simple snippets of code.
~ Brandon is a designer based out of Atlanta, GA who specializes in branding and web design. Brandon also works with artists and musicians through artist development and brand consulting.
I live and breathe Squarespace when it comes to working with small businesses. Squarespace is a great match for small businesses who are design oriented and want to take active role in crafting the aesthetic of your website.
I love using Squarespace for businesses that are just starting and interested in clean, responsive design. Small business owners are able to make many design tweaks without ever touching the code. Users can also experience a user-friendly e-commerce interface, allowing them to run shop fluidly from their Squarespace website.
If small businesses are looking for a modern, image-oriented design, definitely consider Squarespace.
~ Nicola is a professional photographer. He designed his own site, that was voted as one of the best Squarespace sites in the world
In my opinion, Squarespace is hands down the best-hosted website builder out there on the interwebs.
The thing that sets it apart is its simplicity: everything is created with user experience in mind, and aimed towards all the people that don’t necessarily have any background in web design or programming.
Which is nothing short of liberating, because as a small business owner, you’re probably living in a constant hurricane of ideas and excitement to show/promote whatever it is you do and don’t have the time nor interesting in learning how to work with coding or designing at all.
Squarespace offers beautiful responsive templates, a ridiculously simple to use drag and drop system for content, and on top of it all, the best customer support I’ve ever experienced.
As a photographer, it allows me to spend less time in front of a screen figuring out how to do things for my website, and more time out shooting and doing my job.
Squarespace, in my opinion, is the Best Hosted Website builder to create a small business website. I believe that it a platform that balances great design and being user-friendly.
A small business owner can design a beautiful website very fast, and it will save them a lot of money as they scale.
Also, from my experience, they have the best customer service and work really well with small business owners.
~ Sampath is a professional website developer for almost 9 years now. In this time, he built 100+ websites, funnels & landing pages. He builds websites that align with your business goals and convert well.
I have worked with 7-10 website builders, and Squarespace is one of them. I use it mainly to build websites for my clients, mostly personal portfolio and small businesses.
They have content blocks for different types of content (Text, Images, Audio, Photo galleries, maps, etc.) which makes the job easier.
Although I am a professional website developer across multiple CMS, if I were asked to point at a website builder it will be SquareSpace any given day.
Here’s why. * You can add custom HTML & CSS code to beautify the site. * You can integrate almost any application to your Squarespace website (unfortunately, not Zapier yet) which is a huge sign of relief. You cannot do this with most other website builders out there.
If you are curious to know what makes it stand out from other website builders, here is a quick list of pros. Pros
- Great set of responsive templates
- Free SSL Certificate
- Built-in ecommerce store
- Unlimited pages & widgets
- Unlimited storage space
- Password protect any number of pages
However, like any other product SquareSpace also comes with its own set of Cons. Cons
- No Free plan
- Page speed is a concern, at times
- Payment processor is limited to Stripe (only)
- No Membership creator (not a blocker)
I haven’t talked about SEO anywhere because without a custom website, you will always have to go lite on Optimization.
If you are looking for a website builder to get started right away and don’t want messy ads all over your business website, go with it.
For the price of less than 3 coffees you get a SSL secured, responsive website (monthly) to establish your business presence online with Squarespace.
~ Jared is the co-founder of Pocket Knife, a creative group that designs and develops custom Squarespace websites.
I think Squarespace is an excellent solution for those looking to build a small business website.
Not only do they have beautiful templates to use as a starting point, but businesses can easily manage their website content in the future with the intuitive Squarespace CMS.
~ Edward has spent more than a decade creating immersive and interactive digital experiences. He is currently Radish Lab’s technical director and works to manage the tech team and implement innovative tech solutions to complex challenges that social impact organizations face.
We recommend Squarespace. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and contains a drop and drop interface that makes it painless to create beautifully designed websites in minutes.
Squarespace offers high quality and beautiful templates that put UX and design at the forefront, in addition to offering streamlined integrations, out-of-the-box e-commerce options, and great developer tools that go above and beyond those of other traditional hosted website platforms.
Squarespace is the place to be if you want to grow your brand. This platform never stands still and flexibility is key nowadays.
I design exclusively on Squarespace because it’s a platform where creativity can unfold. And you never have to worry about security or faulty plugins.
My aim is to continuously challenge my own limitation and always deliver extraordinary work. Squarespace lets me do just that!
~ Amit is an avid Digital Marketer with a good hands on experience in Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Video Marketing. He is the Co-founder of RankMeUp Services, a digital marketing agency specializing in increasing website traffic and online sales.
Moonfruit is going to win it for me any day for its ability to offer a vast range of in-built functionalities and easy to understand and operate user dashboard.It has a got a lovely bouquet of refreshing themes to choose from.
You can publish your content and be sure that its compatible with computers, tabs, and smartphones automatically, it take cares of the SEO on its own to some extent as well. You can even auto share your content on different Social Media as well.
Another good reason why it’s getting so popular is you can even set up an e-commerce store in just 3 easy steps. It works directly on drag and drop method and is very user-friendly. To top it all, you also find Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools Integrated in its user Interface making it all the more attractive for SEOs.
All in all, Moonfruit is, by all standards, one of the most useful and SEO friendly property to create for your content.
~ Max Robinson is a web designer for AIMS Web Design.
We only ever use MoonFruit for clients, despite the relatively old user interface which seems to put so many people off.
I love the amount of personalisation that you have with each website, and how easily widgets and blogs can be added.
We’ve only ever had positive feedback about the sites that we’ve built using MoonFruit, and have always managed to show our client how to use the builder so they can make changes themselves.
~ Shyam runs a digital branding and website development service company.
In my opinion, Weebly is one of the simple yet effective website builder tools for webmasters. They don’t need to have programming skills, just need to drag and drop website properties into a website, so if I need to use a builder tool for developing a website for small business firms, I will choose Weebly.
Various elements which you will be able to add into web pages include text, images, videos, buttons, Google maps and contact forms. One of its primary advantages is that while you are building your website, you can simultaneously see the reflections on page and drag the elements from a toolbar into your web page area.
Weebly also includes hosting – Cloud hosting which is very fast and secure system. Load time impacts your rankings in search results so it will have SEO benefits too. On top of that, it also allows you for blogging which is its own built in CMS. For webmasters willing to opt eCommerce functionality, it offers a great eCommerce website solution.
All options are good as far as your website requirements get matched with the specification of your site meet with the facilities of framework or site builder tool.
Whenever I consult with small business firms, I hear from most of the owners that they just need small website up-to 10 Pages having text, images, and embedded YouTube video. For such minor requirements, Squarespace, Weebly or even WIX will work fine. Builder Tool from Godaddy will also be a simple solution for a small website. It just need the drag-and-drop thing of your content, images, slides, videos or contact form.
Some of the applications like Weebly, Squarespace or WIX also added eCommerce functions, so for eCommerce needs of few products, these are ready to go tools to build your web store.
This doesn’t require HTML programming knowledge of complex CMS like Magento, Prestashop or WordPress. Speed will also be fine for these platforms so it is another SEO friendly factor.
Thank you so much to all the experts that participated in this expert roundup! If you have any question, please post them below, and we will be sure to reply. If you about to start a new site, let me know which platform you intend to use.
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