The 5 Best Website Builders in 2021 – Site Speed, Feature, and Usability Tested!

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By        •   January 19, 2021      Advertising Disclosure

 

best website builder

The best website builders are speedy, easy to use, mobile friendly, and able to fulfill your website's requirement - all at a fair price point.

 

Looking for the #1 website builder? We recommend Wix – highly versatile, user friendly, and FAST!

 

Not everyone loves to code, which is why we’ve reviewed some of the most popular website builders on the market; and handpicked the top 5 capable of building quality websites quickly & easily.

 

Top 5 Website Builders

 

  1. Wix – Best all purpose website builder
  2. Shopify – Best for eCommerce or online store
  3. Zyro – Best cheapest website builder
  4. Weebly – Best no-frills website builder
  5. Squarespace – Great for blogs and small online store

 

best website builder

 

Note

  • All prices shown are based on the lowest tier plan available for eCommerce purposes and a 12-month subscription rate.

 

Server Speed

A+

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$17.00 /mo

Key Features

  • True drag & drop
  • 500+ templates
  • Great mobile editor
  • Useful extras
  • Huge app market

“Wix takes the gold as a modern website builder.”

 

Wix’s equipped with many attractive templates and has an amazing editor which makes it great even for beginners to build an awesome and powerful website. Wix has been around for some time and thus has its perks due to the versatility it offers. Wix is great equally with both personal and eCommerce sites.

 

Although Wix’s support services are somewhat lacking, the core features offered are so strong that you may want to seriously look into this.

 

Wix Server Speed Performance

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
41 ms 30 ms 96 ms 189 ms 141 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
237 ms 173 ms 124 ms 30 ms 108 ms
Global Average Speed: 116.9 ms – See full result

 

What Makes Wix Great?

 

  • Marketing Tools Come with Wix
    Wix is equipped with SEO Management which is great as it resolves many difficult aspects of hosting a new website. For new website owners, SEO can be one of the most difficult aspects of hosting a website. But with Wix? No worries at all. Just click on the Wix SEO and you’ll be guided through the steps to make it work.
  • Wix Sites are Really Fast
    Among all the website builders I have reviewed, Wix certainly has by far the best speed performance. Speed has a heavy weightage when you are deciding on the right website builder as a slow website speed affects search ranking and visitor experience. Not only are Wix websites nimble, the building tool itself is fast and very responsive.
  • Wix Redefines Mobile Friendliness
    Wix has a powerful mobile editor that allows you to modify your website to be mobile-friendly. Unlike other website builders that may turn your template adaptive, Wix mobile is far more powerful because you can work on a completely different mobile layout compared to your full website design.
  • Wix has Huge App Market
    The basic Wix builder allows you to construct the framework of a website and fill it in. This is very basic. However, if you want more, you can always get from the Wix App market. The market has many add-on applications which range from simple to complex in nature that allow integration with third-party web tools.

 

The Downside: No Running From Wix

 

Once you’ve created your website with Wix, you can’t move your business elsewhere easily. The thing is Wix doesn’t allow you to export your sites, so in essence you either start anew or stay with Wix. This is because Wix’s templates cannot be edited. Its online store does not include free/basic plans too.

 

Its support can be improved though and its low-end plans come with bandwidth limits. Having said this, Wix is still easy and great to use.

 

Wix In Action

 

 

 

Server Speed

A+

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$29.00 /mo

Key Features

  • Excellent onboarding
  • Good marketing tool
  • 3rd party app access
  • Community support
  • Multi-channel selling

“Shopify, a true winner for eCommerce sites, offering users a robust way to sell.”

 

While simple website builders build simple websites, Shopify on the other hand is on a whole level altogether. It specializes in helping users build eCommerce websites and has a whole ecosystem to support that. So if you wish to expand your business to include eCommerce, Shopify is a great place to start.

 

Although the price is on the higher end, this is justifiable as it’s a solid solution for eCommerce and is compatible with other sales channels. Shopify has more than 1,000,000 businesses using it. This is of no surprise as its rapid-built technology combined with the tools, offer customers a one-stop solution to successful sales online.

 

Shopify Server Speed Performance

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore São Paulo
2 ms 1 ms 2 ms 2 ms 3 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
2 ms 1 ms 70 ms 2 ms 2 ms
Global Average Speed: 8.7 ms – See full result

 

What Makes Shopify Great?

 

  • Start Quickly with Ease
    Shopify provides a great onboarding experience as it guides you clearly right from the start. It offers a streamlined intelligent site building process via asking you a few questions, which will then quickly move on to giving you something real to work on. But should you wish to jump right in, the system is simple enough to use directly.
  • Integrate with Retail Shops
    This is excellent for those of you who already have brick and mortar stores. Shopify gives you the option to extend your business to the digital sphere. Their complete integration capability helps to merge your inventory and control over all your sales channels into one.
  • Many Apps to Extend Functionality
    Shopify has a massive number of third-party apps that can work with your online store. Although they’re not produced by Shopify, they’re approved for use on the platform. These Apps provide you with many functions that can help you with almost anything. So, you can quickly and easily extend the functionality of your online store.
  • Supports Multi-Channel Sales
    Selling online through your store is great but if you have the option to expand your store’s reaches to other channels, why not? Thanks to Shopify you can now sell through multiple channels. Ranging from Point-of-Sales in retail to Facebook, you can now rake in more opportunities to make money.

 

The Downside: Price, Of Course

 

Equipped with such power unfortunately comes with a potentially serious drawback; Shopify’s attention to details can get too overwhelming at times. So, if you’re new to eCommerce, you can find this somewhat intimidating.

 

Shopify also has one of the biggest prices tagged to it. The basic plan only allows maximum 2 staff accounts. Furthermore, transaction fees apply unless you utilize Shopify Payments. Additionally, there’s no free plan beyond 14 days.

 

Shopify In Action

 

 

 

Server Speed

A+

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$14.99 /mo

Key Features

  • Low price point
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Frequent updates
  • Grid building
  • AI integrated tools

“A true frontrunner, Zyro redefines simplicity and is gaining momentum with its affordable pricing structure.”

 

Overall, Zyro is an excellent drag-and-drop website builder for beginners. Although there are less design features, this just means that setting up your website could be less time consuming and more straight forward. With their Basic plan starting at $1.99 per month (with 48-month plan), there’s nothing much to complain about.

 

Even though Zyro is the new kid on the block, they’re rapidly developing. It is a web host designed to be quick and easy with not many fancy design tools though. This can be good especially if you want to focus on just getting your website up and running. While the industry focuses on offering ever increasing features, Zyro focuses on simplicity. Its price is also affordable.

 

You can get started on Zyro for free and you decide as you go. The great thing about Zyro is in its flexibility to upgrade or downgrade the plan anytime you want. Simply put, Zyro’s overall package’s capabilities and price put it in the perfect spot that users can rely on.

 

Zyro Server Speed Performance

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
147 ms 85 ms 90 ms 168 ms 201 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
117 ms 213 ms 174 ms 95 ms 108 ms
Global Average Speed: 139.8 ms – See full result

 

What Makes Zyro Great?

 

  • Simplicity Redefined
    Zyro is the epitome of pure simplicity, so just about anyone can use it. If you’re familiar with visual tools, you will adapt easily to using Zyro. Even for those of you who are experienced, you may find using Zyro refreshing as some of the big name brands may be too complex.
  • Free Plan Available
    With Zyro, you have the option to try it out for free and since this is a no-cost plan, you can test it out for as long as you like. Once you’re convinced that Zyro is for you, you can upgrade your plan accordingly.
  • eCommerce Site Building on a Budget
    Zyro has its great appeal in that it’s likely to be one of the lowest cost of entry into the website building scene. This also includes their eCommerce plans. In general, website builders are not that expensive but those that do offer eCommerce capabilities often price their offerings higher.
  • Free Tools Provided
    Zyro stays focused on helping you build a core site so they’ve added some nifty features that can help you build very effective ones. There are some useful tools that come with Zyro namely AI Writer, AI Heatmap and Logo and Slogan Generator. They may be basic, but are more than enough for a small business user or solopreneur.
  • Starter Templates
    Oftentimes the challenging part of building a website is deciding on a design. This is where templates come in. Zyro has a huge number of starter templates. You just need to drag and drop new elements or simply remove anything you don’t want.
  • Included Free Images – A Bonus!
    Imagine how much time you save from searching around for images, worrying about risking copyright infringement. Zyro offers free images and this is an indispensable part of website construction.

 

The Downside: A Work In Progress

 

Zyro is still a work in progress. As with anything that’s new, there are bound to be some teething issues here and there. But what is most important is that Zyro has been resolving issues fast. They have been continuously improving. Even though Zyro may not be as professional as others, they are on a swift rise.

 

While the pricing is very attractive, some of you may feel that it is not equipped with enough features and could be too simple. However, it is still a good choice especially for beginners.

 

Zyro In Action

 

 

 

Server Speed

A+

Overall Rating

Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5

Price (USD)

$12.00 /mo

Key Features

  • Drag & drop
  • Integrated SEO
  • Good mobile editor
  • Lead capturing
  • App marketplace

“Weebly is a versatile, rapid and efficient website builder.”

 

Weebly’s editor doesn’t offer as many visual previews as others but it has many stylish templates and a great general undo function. Additionally, there are plenty of features that help heaps.

 

Although Weebly is another great website builder, unfortunately, it feels as if Weebly has lost its direction and they lack in focus. However, it still works fine and is an excellent choice.

 

Weebly Server Speed Performance

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore São Paulo
2 ms 76 ms 133 ms 171 ms 198 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
238 ms 143 ms 111 ms 76 ms 144 ms
Global Average Speed: 129.2 ms – See full result

 

What Makes Weebly Great?

 

  • Excellent Editing Features
    There are many templates available, which help you get started faster. This is their huge advantage. Their ‘drag and drop’ is very easy to use. You can add almost anything to your website. Ranging from simple text blocks to complex rich media, everything is right under your nose.
  • Works on Mobile Too
    Weebly excels in being mobile responsive. Aside from having a mobile editor, they have a full-fledge mobile app that enables you to build your website from your mobile device.
  • Feature Enhancement is Limitless
    Weebly not only offers its own features, but also the features offered by other developers. There are many add-on tools that cover a massive eCommerce market from which you can choose from; anything from simple analytics to advanced marketing.
  • Many Bonus Extras
    All paid plans come with a free domain and there are also many free apps on their App Marketplace that offer attractive features such as MarketGoo which gives you free SEO analysis reports on your website.

 

The Downside: Erratic Performance

 

Unfortunately, their website performance is erratic and inconsistent, which can prove downright frustrating. The editor’s interface is underpowered. The provided support is somewhat limited. However, it still has its set of appealing strengths.

 

Weebly In Action

 

 

 

Server Speed

A

Overall Rating

Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5Rated 4 out of 5

Price (USD)

$18.00 /mo

Key Features

  • eCommerce friendly
  • 60+ templates
  • Swappable themes
  • Mobile optimised
  • G Suite integration

“Squarespace is great for blogging and medium-sized markets.”

 

When you start to venture into using Squarespace, you’ll find its editor to be rather peculiar. Along with restrictive layouts, Squarespace may take time to master. However, the lovely templates, powerful features and great support cannot be ignored.

 

Squarespace drops somewhat in ranking as it has a higher starting price with less features. However, it could still be a good choice. But in the context of the US, this could be a tough fight with other website builders that have more to offer at a better price.

 

Squarespace Server Speed Performance

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore
81 ms 38 ms 96 ms 247 ms
Sao Paulo Bangalore Sydney Japan
157 ms 288 ms 273 ms 393 ms
Global Average Speed: 196.6 ms

 

What Makes Squarespace Great?

 

  • It’s Easy to Use
    The drag and drop interface remains the redeeming quality of Squarespace as this is crucial to a seamless website building experience. You can easily customize the location of the elements. This gives you more control over your website, unlike other website builders that restrict your element locations to pre-set ‘blocks’.
  • Good Overall Website Speeds
    In general, Squarespace websites perform well from all corners of the globe. Speed was slightly slower than tests done from US-based servers but overall, 151 ms obtained from Japan is nothing to be sneezed at.
  • Excellent Supporting Resources
    With over 60 designer templates available, you can get started immediately with Squarespace. Bear in mind that website builders are to help you build websites with minimal effort and quickly.

 

The Downside: No Free Lunch Here

 

Although there are over 60 templates available, this figure is still deemed as small as compared to other website builders.

 

The layout control is somewhat limited too. The interface does take time to learn and sadly, the feeling with Squarespace is that it isn’t focused enough. The offered price is rather average with no opportunities for extensive testing.

 

All these may pose a problem to meeting the needs of the digitally matured US market.

 

Squarespace In Action

 

 

 

The World Grows in Digital Competitiveness

 

In this technology-rich era, it is of no surprise that we are in the midst of a technological revolution in which artificial intelligence, 3D printing, virtual reality and other technologies are converging. This will undoubtedly impact every industry and every economy around the globe.

 

A country’s ability to navigate these changes and to build competitiveness needed, will not only determine its future but also its geopolitical position. The IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) 2020 measures how fast the digital transformation was for 63 countries and scores each country based on knowledge, technology and future readiness.

 

IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020

 

The US retained its top spot thanks to access to capital and an emphasis on robotics. However, much of the world also grew significantly in digital competitiveness. For example, Sweden and Denmark excelled in knowledge building.

 

Why the Need for Website Builders?

 

Website builders are typically useful tools to help you build your own website. They make building websites or online stores a quick and painless task, even if you have little or no technical knowledge.

 

They are feature-packed but may cost more than traditional shared web hosting. Akin to using a word processor, they help developing and developed countries spear ahead in adopting digitization and staying relevant.

 

In the past, website builders were rudimentary tools that helped non-technically inclined users. They were mostly able to help frame basic static websites.

 

However, things have changed significantly today. Thanks to the explosion of the Internet and digital devices, the web has become retail 2.0. Businesses are increasingly moving online to grow their revenue.

 

Website builders have also increased their capabilities and now offer comprehensive product packages. Some even provide end-to-end support for online businesses. Modern website builders have evolved dramatically to becoming very powerful tools. They now provide a host of marketing tools to help with online transaction processing and inventory management.

 

1. Staying in front of the game

 

A website builder helps heaps in transforming any business to go online and also helps grow the business. Digitally mature countries like the US are prominent figures in many aspects. So, using a website builder can help build and maintain frontline digital presences.

 

While some website builders have matured in the market, newer and more competitive options are appearing as well. There are always differences between various providers. Some offer lower prices but they do come with higher transaction fees.

 

Others may be more user friendly, while yet more may also come with additional value-added features that several websites would need.

 

2. Encourage international tourism

 

Tourism is a huge and massive industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Tourists from all countries criss-cross the globe continually, visiting natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks and of course entertainment venues.

 

As an example of this, the US travel and tourism industry generated over $1.6 trillion in 2017, supporting 7.8 million jobs. It is projected to welcome 95.5 million international visitors annually by 2023 (nearly twice the amount in 2000).

 

The fact that travellers today increasingly turn to the Internet for research prior to choosing or reaching their destinations simply means that businesses in tourism can turn to website builders to help promote themselves.

 

To think that you can quickly and easily set up your digital presence to further your reach to other parts of the world, is more than enough for you to start using a website builder now.

 

You can detail out all available travel packages including accommodation and scenic tours on your website. Tourists can do pre-booking online too. E-ticketing can be done so that tourists can book shows in advance. In short, not only can you promote your business, but you can also do your country a favour by promoting the beauty that your country offers to the world.

 

3. Removing the middleman

 

In ever-changing business environments that consist of people from all walks of life, not many can dig deep into their pockets to pay for customized and dedicated IT services. Since website builders are easy to use and implement, you can literally learn it up within minutes.

 

You won’t have to rely on any middleman or be held ransom by them, as you are independent enough to build your own website. It also removes the concern of passing what may be sensitive internal data to outsiders.

 

4. Focus more on real business

 

Should you decide to engage a web development company, you’ll still need to allocate your time to work with them to ensure the website development runs smoothly. So, instead of spending your time and effort this way, why not use a website builder and get things moving your way and faster?

 

As such, with more time in hand, you can put your time into better use by focusing on your business, which you should in the first place.

 

What Makes A Good Website Builder?

 

The challenges in ranking top website builders are complicated since so much depends on the needs of individual users. As such we have broken down some of the key areas for ease of reading. Let’s look into the elements that contribute towards an excellent website builder:

 

  1. Speed
    Speed is the core requirement of any website, from smaller blogs to massive online stores. Since it greatly determines the success of any website, speed is one of the key requirements of any deal. Website builders not only help you create your website but since they also act as your hosting platform, your website speed is also affected.
  2. Ease of Use
    Bear in mind that the most powerful website builder in the world is useless if it isn’t user-friendly enough to be used without a steep learning curve. Ideally, it should offer all the mainstream features in website development and also is so simple to use that instructions aren’t necessary.
  3. Mobile Support
    With the explosion of mobile devices, it is no wonder that search engines like Google are placing enhanced focus on mobile friendliness. Therefore, website builders should at the very least be able to give you the functions needed to make your website mobile friendly.
  4. eCommerce Feature
    This is essential for any online store as they require the ability to process transactions. After all, this is an eCommerce world now, so website builders must come with eCommerce features. Take note that not all transaction processing is equal and they do come at various costs to the website owner.
  5. Price & Notable Extras
    All website needs differ and as such, there are often subtly different features which one website builder offers over another that distinguishes it. Of course, a big focus would be on the price. Each brand has their own unique characteristics and finding the ones that stand out for you is important.

 

Verdict: Which Website Builder Is Best In 2021?

 

Let’s do a quick recap on our top 3 website builders:

 

SERVER
SPEED

OVERALL
RATING

PRICE
(USD/MO)

Wix

A+

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

$17.00

Shopify

A+

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

$29.00

Zyro

A+

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

$14.99

 

While most people may not find the pricing to be so much of a great concern, there are still some who place price as their number one priority when considering a website builder.

 

However, despite more developed countries being at the front in terms of digital competitiveness, others are not exactly that far behind. So if you wish to continuously compete on the global stage and stay relevant at all times, you may need to look beyond pricing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Which is the best website builder?

 

First determine the purpose of your website, then pick one that best fulfill that website’s requirement. Wix is capable of building either a professional website or online store. Shopify is especially useful for building a massive online store. Zyro is great for building a simple website.

 

2. Which free website builder is best?

 

Wix currently offers the best functionality and great templates for use in their free plan. However, do note that they force Wix branding on your website’s domain unless you upgrade to their Premium plans.

 

3. What is the cheapest website builder?

 

Zyro is the best cheapest website builder. With their 48-month plan, you can build a website with your own domain, free SSL, and blogging tools for just $1.99/mo.

 

4. Is Wix or GoDaddy better?

 

Wix is great if you are looking to build websites or online stores with excellent design flexibility and functionality. If you’re just looking to host a simple website at lower cost, go for GoDaddy.

 

5. Is WordPress better than Wix?

 

Wix is suitable for purposes of building general online stores or websites, to some extent. If your website requires a database or deeper levels of fine tuning, WordPress may be the better choice.