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5 Best Website Builders 2017

Finding the best website builder for your business can seem a daunting task. There are plenty available on the UK market, but which ones are really going to help set your website apart from the rest?

We’ve tested some of the best, and worst(!), website builders on the market to help you on your way. Our top 5 recommended website builders are all user-friendly, expertly designed and packed with useful features.

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a programme that allows you to create websites with little to no manual coding. They are designed to be very user-friendly - many use a simple drag and drop functionality to help you build your website.

If you or your business haven’t got the resources to create an expensive professionally designed website, website builders are an excellent choice. Get your website up and running in a matter of hours and save yourself valuable time and money.

Top 5 Website Builder UK Reviews

Wix

Wix is widely regarded as one of the best all-round website builders in the industry. With over 90 million users worldwide, it is certainly one of the most popular too. Wix is renowned for its extensive library of stunning templates, so if you are after a website builder that combines beautiful design with intuitive features - Wix is highly recommended.

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Wix Main Features & Benefits

  • Over 500 stunning templates
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Phone support even for free plans
  • Mobile responsive
  • Blog functionality
  • Wix ADI - Artificial Intelligence builder
  • Ecommerce functionality
  • Constantly innovating


Wix’s website builder software will deliver an exceptional experience. Right from the offset the interface is sleek and professional. You will have no trouble using the highly intuitive drag and drop functionality - no coding experience required!

With Wix, you have the option to either start your website from scratch or choose from one of their beautifully designed templates. This flexibility is great - not many website builders let you start from scratch.

How much does Wix cost?

Wix has a range of premium packages available on top of its free plan. For free, Wix offers you 500MB of storage and 500MB bandwidth. If and when you upgrade to premium packages there more storage and other add-ons on offer.

Note that it is not at all necessary to upgrade to a paid package with Wix - their basic plan will always be free. However with both the free plan and the most basic paid plan (£2.55/month), Wix will display its brand adverts on your site.

Wix’s current pricing plans can be seen below.

PlanFeaturesPrice
Connect Domain1GB Bandwidth, 500MB Storage£2.55/month
Combo2GB Bandwidth, 3GB Storage, Free Domain£5.16/month
UnlimitedUnlimited Bandwidth, 10GB Storage, Free Domain£7.76/month
eCommerce10GB Bandwidth, 20GB Storage, Free Domain, Online Store£10.10/month
VIPUnlimited Bandwidth, 20GB Storage, Free Domain, Online Store, Email Campaigns£15.57/month

Weebly

Weebly is an extremely well-designed website builder. It is the easiest product to use that we’ve tested - its drag and drop functionality is one of the best. In recent years, the company has made great improvements to its template offering. They are bigger and better than before, and their most recent batch are entirely mobile responsive.
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Weebly Main Features & Benefits

  • Over 100 templates
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Impressive App Center
  • Some templates mobile responsive
  • Excellent ecommerce functionality
  • Phone support
  • Access to HTML & CSS
  • Very user-friendly


How much does Weebly cost?

Like many other website builders, Weebly offers a free package which gives you access to its basic features. It has four paid packages, each of which offer you a custom domain name for free (for the first year).

Note that the prices advertised on Weebly’s website only apply if you pay annually . Weebly do offer monthly prices, but these will be more than as displayed on their site (and in our table below). For example, when paid annually Weebly’s Starter package works out at £5 per month. However the true cost when paid on a monthly basis is £10.

PlanFeaturesPrice
Free500MB Storage, Weebly.com Subdomain£0
StarterUnlimited Storage, Connect own Domain, No Ads£5/month
ProUnlimited Storage, Password Protection, Phone Support£8/month
BusinessUnlimited Storage, No Transaction Fee, SSL Security£17/month
PerformanceUnlimited Storage, No Transaction Fee, 5 Email Campaigns/month£26/month

Squarespace

We loved testing Squarespace. Its template designs are second to none and truly do stand out from their competitors. At first, the technology is harder to use than other website builders, but this is only because Squarespace is packed full of powerful features. If you’re looking to create a stunning website that stops people in their tracks, Squarespace is the perfect choice for you.

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Squarespace Main Features & Benefits

  • 40 stunning templates
  • Fully responsive themes
  • Great ecommerce functionality
  • Menu builder functionality
  • Able to edit CSS
  • 24/7 support
  • 14 day free trial
  • SEO-friendly features


How much does Squarespace cost?

Squarespace offers four price plans, two of which are suited for generic website building and the others are focused on ecommerce. The ecommerce building plans are more expensive mainly because the features are more powerful and more advanced.

Note that the prices in the table below assume you are paying on an annual basis and are then broken down into months. Squarespace does give you the option to pay on a month-by-month basis, but this works out more expensive. See their price page for further details on monthly prices.

Squarespace does not have a free version of its product, but it does offer you a 14 day free trial in order to give its software a test run.

PlanFeaturesPrice*
WebsitesPersonalUnlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Storage, 20 pages, 3% Transaction Fee£9.40/month
BusinessPersonal + 2% Transaction Fee, Custom Email, $100 Google AdWords Credit£14.00/month
Online StoresBasicUnlimited Products, No Transaction Fees, Analytics£20.20/month
AdvancedBasic + Abandoned Cart Recovery, Checkout on own Domain£31.20/month

* prices approximate. All prices originally quoted in dollars.


Shopify

Without doubt the best website builder for creating an ecommerce site, Shopify is intuitive, powerful and packed with great features. Business owners can choose one of Shopify’s ‘themes’ (i.e. templates) to customise their online store. What’s more, Shopify have an extensive App Store, where you can find thousands of apps, all fully compatible and ready to use.

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Shopify Main Features & Benefits

  • 100+ professionally designed templates
  • Access to App Store
  • 14 day free trial
  • Payment gateway - Shopify Payments
  • 24/7 support
  • Mobile ecommerce functionality
  • Hosting is managed for you
  • Excellent user interface


How much does Shopify cost?

Shopify offer a handy 14 day free trial which you can use without submitting credit card details. This is a great way to get a feel for the product and decide whether it is right for your business. After that, choose from one of the plans outlined below. There is no free version of the software.

As with any merchant account, there are additional fees that you have to pay in order to be able to accept credit cards. All merchant account providers (e.g. Paypal) charge a percentage fee based on the total amount of the transaction PLUS a flat rate for each payment that is processed.

Shopify is no different. It charges a flat rate of 20p per transaction handled, plus 1.6% to 2.7% of the transaction, depending on which Shopify package you choose. Note that this is a credit card fee that everyone has to pay - it is not a transaction fee.

Transaction fees are taken by the website builder and allow you to sync with external payment gateways like Paypal and Stripe in order to take payments. Shopify charge between 0.5% and 2% of the transaction as standard. However if you choose to process your transactions using Shopify Payments, their in-house payment gateway, the transaction fee is waived.

PlanFeaturesCredit Card RatesTransaction Fees (0% with Shopify Payments)Price*
Basic ShopifyUnlimited products, 24/7 Support, 2 Staff Accounts2.2% + 20p2%£23/month
ShopifyBasic + 5 Staff Accounts, Gift Cards, Abandoned Cart Recovery1.9% + 20p1%£62/month
Advanced ShopifyShopify + 15 Staff Accounts, Advancec Report Builder1.6% + 20p0.5%£234/month

* approximate prices. All prices originally quoted in dollars.


Bigcommerce

BigCommerce is another excellent choice if you’re after an ecommerce building software that’s packed full of great features. You will enjoy a host of thoughtful ecommerce tools included in your monthly package, without having to install these from an app store. Bigcommerce offers a 15 day trial, so we recommend spending some time with the software to see if it is the right fit.

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BigCommerce Main Features & Benefits

  • 80+ free and paid for templates
  • Access to 250 apps
  • No transaction fees
  • 15 day free trial
  • 24/7 support
  • All templates mobile ready
  • Gift card functionality
  • Excellent tools & features

How much does BigCommerce cost?

Like Shopify, BigCommerce does not offer a free version of its product. Instead it gives you a 15 day free trial so you can get to grips with the features. We think this is fair given the complex and costly nature of ecommerce software.

BigCommerce has four paid plans available, each offering more features and benefits as the price increases. However, one thing to be aware of is that customers have to upgrade to a higher plan as and when sales exceed a certain amount, given in dollars. For example - if your annual sales exceed $50,000 in the previous 12 months, you will have to upgrade to the ‘Plus’ plan. See the table below for more information.

This is a very different pricing model to many of the other website building tools designed for ecommerce businesses. Unusually however, Bigcommerce do not charge any transaction fees at all, (although you will still need to pay a credit card processing fee).

PlanFeaturesSales ThresholdPrice*
StandardUnlimited Products, Unlimited Bandwidth, Integration with Social Channels,up to $50,000£23.50/month
PlusStandard + Abandoned Cart Recovery, Customer Segmentationup to $150,000£62.40/month
ProPlus + Google Reviews, Product Filtering, Dedicated SSLup to $400,000£195.00/month
EnterprisePro + Unlimited API Calls, Premium Account ServicesUnlimitedCustom

* billed monthly. Approximate prices. All prices originally quoted in dollars.