Whether you're making an online store to sell your new sock puppet design or you'd like to run a blog on the topic of neutering pets, launching a platform with a website builder is almost always cheaper than hiring an actual developer to do so.
These simple website builders remove the need to know anything about HTML, CSS, or other types of coding languages. In addition, you can manage the websites through a typically user-friendly interface, instead of paying someone to do the job for you.
As mentioned, you can find some free website builders as well as some inexpensive ones. And many of them are completely capable of making/running smaller or mid-sized stores, blogs, and business website.
In fact, a few of the suggestions we talk about below are high on our list of recommendations, even when you compare them to the more expensive website builders or a human web designer.
Therefore, keep reading to learn about your options.
Why You Should Consider Cheap Website Builders?
Some website owners are adamant about not using free website builders, and that's perfectly understandable. However, the simplest builders, like Wix and Weebly offer beautiful design elements, simple development tools, and most importantly, low pricing. You can even make a simple blog or small ecommerce store for free.
So, in order to help you decide whether or not an inexpensive website builder is right for you, here are some possible things to consider.
A Word of Warning Before Choosing the Cheapest Website Builders
Although the majority of the list I outline below are pretty solid, you have to keep an eye out for the ones that may be too much of a hassle.
Yes, the words ‘cheap' and ‘free', sure sounds like a bargain but you wouldn't want to get in a situation where the website is running slowly and can't upgrade to a more powerful interface.
And now, here's the long-awaited list of…
Table of Contents
The Best Cheapest Website Builders
- Big Cartel
- 1&1 IONOS
- GoDaddy Website Builder
The Best Cheapest Ecommerce Website Builders
The Cheapest Website Builders Available Online
Cheapest Website Builders: 1. Web.com
Web.com was founded in 1999, and continues to provide website, marketing and custom website design services to over 3 million customers globally.
With Web.com, small businesses, organizations, and individuals can easily build custom websites themselves or hire from a team of professionally trained experts to have it built for them. Not only will Web.com build a world class website for its users, they will also ensure that it's listed on search engines and that you have the necessary tools to track the website's performance following launch.
The platform caters to industries such as contractors, retailers and other service oriented businesses, as well as individuals who are creating portfolios or personal websites of their own. With over 150+ professionally designed templates to choose from, Web.com offers a wide variety of options to help new users get started quickly and easily.
Users looking to sell goods or services online can also find a home with Web.com. With plans that offer the ability to create and market an online store, users can turn their website into a revenue generating asset for their business.
So here is an overview of some of the major features offered by Web.com:
- Drag & Drop Website Builder: Yes
- Professionally Designed Templates: Yes
- Pre-Designed Content Blocks: Yes
- Stock Imagery: Yes
- Business Email Address: Yes
- Complimentary Domain Name: Yes
- Free Customer Support: Yes
- Marketing & Directory Tools: Yes, for selected packages
- Online Stores: Yes, for selected packages
- Analytics and Reporting: Yes
Web.com has three payment plans to choose from:
Starter Plan ($1.95 in your first month and $10.00 monthly after that) or ($50 in your first annual billing cycle and $100 in your next billing cycles)
The Starter Plan is for users who are just getting started online and want to have a feel of creating a website themselves. This plan only features a do-it-yourself website builder, hundreds of design layouts, and millions of stock images. There is also a complimentary domain name included with the Starter plan. However, after the first year the domain name renews at its full price, which is currently at $37.99 for “.com” extensions.
Marketing Plan ($2.95 in your first month and $15 monthly after that) or ($75 in your first annual billing cycle and $150 in your next billing cycles)
This plan is for small businesses that want to create a new website and reach more customers on the web. The Marketing Plan features everything in the Starter Plan, as well as a business profile in dozens of local directories and a search engine submission to Bing, Yahoo, Google, and lots more. Just like in the startup plan, the complimentary domain name offer still holds for this package and renews automatically at its full price after the first year.
Ecommerce Plan ($3.95 in your month and $20 monthly after that) or ($100 in your first annual billing cycle and $200 in your next billing cycles)
The Ecommerce plan is created specifically for businesses that sell products online and process payments on their website. The plan features everything in the starter and marketing plans.
With the Ecommerce package, you can also process credit cards with a secure shopping cart, manage and track orders easily, sell up to 500 products, and connect to your Facebook Marketplace. This plan also comes with a complimentary domain for your first year and then automatically renews at its full price subsequently.
The Good Part
Firstly, Web.com‘s $1.95 Starter package comes with a complimentary domain name, which is extremely cheap. And not just the Starter Plan but all packages are affordable. Even though the discounted rates last for just a month. With regards to function, Web.com provides you with industry-specific templates with headings, free photos, menus, and additional content, which helps in saving you a lot of time and hassle.
Plus, since they offer unlimited phone support you can be certain of reaching them anytime you call. It's also quite reassuring to know that they have someone on standby who can answer your questions regardless of your time zone.
The Not-So-Good Part
As mentioned in the above section, Web.com's payment plans are very cheap in the first month, and from the second month or year, the website builder plan jumps significantly. But their renewal prices are quite affordable in comparison to other similar services. For example, the Starter plan costs just $10 a month. That said, Web.com does not offer a free trial or plan.
In terms of functionality, Web.com only offers very basic tweaks. So if you're looking for something very professional or creative this may not be the best website builder for you. However, users have free access to over 150 templates as they begin building their website.
Cheapest Website Builders: 2. Wix
Wix offers a free plan that's mainly for making a personal website with the default username.wixsite.com domain attached. You can also upgrade to a premium site for $5 per month, which allows for your own domain and a little bit of site space.
All Wix plans are pretty cheap. For example, you can get the Combo plan for $10 per month, the Unlimited plan for $14, the ecommerce plan for $17, and the VIP for $25. The majority of serious businesses would go with Unlimited since it provides unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of storage. Not only that, but it gets rid of the pesky Wix ads that no one wants to see.
The Good Part
All of the WIX plans come with amazing drag and drop editing tools. This includes one of the most impressive frontend designers for beginners. You also don't have to pay much money just to connect a real domain name, and the Unlimited plan is just about the cheapest you can get for a real website without any ads.
The Not-so-good Part
Wix doesn't do a good job of giving you access to site files. Although you can upgrade to a better Wix plan it's tough to migrate to another provider. In addition, some of the plans serve up Wix ads, and the customer support stinks.
Check out our full Wix review here.
Cheapest Website Builders: 3. Strikingly
Strikingly offers a free (forever!) plan. This is amazing for users wanting to test out their website builder before committing any of their hard earned cash.
However, you'll have to put up with the Strikingly.com domain attached to your sub-domain name – which obviously isn't the most professional looking of URLs. The other major drawback to the free plan is that you're only permitted to sell ONE product per site. But, you're entitled to 24/7 customer support, you can launch as many free websites as you want, and you get five GB's worth of bandwidth each month — so, it's not all bad!
The cheapest of Strikingly's paid-for packages is the Limited bundle. You can pay either $2 a month or fork out for a year's subscription in one go, which equates to $8. The Limited package provides everything in the free plan, PLUS:
- You can connect your site to a custom domain (and grab a free domain name with Yearly!)
- You can launch up to two limited sites
- 50 GB worth of bandwidth per month
- You can list and sell up to five different products on your site
Next up is the Pro plan, which will set you back $20 a month, or if you're paying yearly, $16 per month. You'll get everything in the Limited plan, in addition to:
- Three Pro sites
- Unlimited bandwidth
- A simple e-commerce store where you can list 300 products per site
- You can launch numerous web pages
- Access to Strikingly's app store
- Access to mobile action buttons
- The removal of all Strikingly's branding
- You can password protect each site
- You can insert a ‘site search' feature
- You can invite other content collaborators to join your team
- Access to Strikingly's ‘full font library.'
As you can see, this plan unlocks a lot of features!
Last but not least, Strikingly's most expensive plan is the VIP package. This costs $49 a month, and you'll be billed yearly. The VIP plan entitles you to everything in the Pro plan, PLUS:
- Five pro sites
- You can send newsletters to your e-mail list (but you're limited to 10,000 e-mails per month)
- A simple e-commerce store where you can list 500 products per site
- Priority customer service and English telephone support
- An account management
The Good Part
One of the best things about Strikingly is the quality of their customer support. As cheap web builders go, they're pretty good at getting back to their customers with helpful responses.
Strikingly's website templates are great if you want to set up a site to blog on — so if you're a budding blogger, take note! It's also pretty easy to reformat Strikingly's templates — so if you have a specific vision for your online brand, in theory, you should be able to bring this to life!
The Not-so-Good Part
If you're taking your ecommerce venture seriously, then Strikingly isn't the website builder for you. Its functionality for online selling is somewhat limited, so you're better off setting up an online store elsewhere. The same is true if you're hoping to scale your business. Strikingly's capacity for growth isn't great. As such, this solution is best for hobbyists or those with side hustles who don't want to run a business full-time.
Read our Strikingly review.
WordPress.org does have a counterpart called WordPress.com. This platform is completely free, but it's not self-hosted like WordPress.org.
When it comes to WordPress.org, you're getting the best website builder in terms of design and flexibility, all for free. That's right, the WordPress software is open source and free to download.
That said, you need to pay for your own hosting, which can start at around $3 per month and go all the way into the $100s per month. After that, you'll need to pay for a domain, which runs around $10 per year. Finally, most people opt for a WordPress theme for around $50. Overall, if you go for a cheaper shared hosting plan, this route is only going to cost you maybe $5 to $10 per month.
The Good Part
WordPress.org is free to download and the extras are usually pretty cheap. Not to mention, you can make any type of site, such as an ecommerce, membership, or real estate website. The whole reason you would go with WordPress.org is for more control and customization options. There's a world of plugins and extensions so your best bet of making a unique and powerful site (without the high cost) is with WordPress.
The Not-so-good Part
Some beginners will find WordPress.org to be a little too complex. It's not that hard to learn, but you still have to find hosting, manage backups, secure your site, and design the layout of the whole website.
Check out our full WordPress.org review here.
Squarespace has four payment plans to choose from:
The Personal plan ($12 a month billed annually or $16 month-to-month)
As you may have already gathered, this bundle's best for launching a personal website. Online selling isn't permitted; however, you can access Squarespace's editor, website templates, and around the clock support. You'll also receive a custom domain and an SSL security certificate.
The Business plan ($18 a month billed annually or $26 month-to-month)
If you want to use Squarespace to sell physical products online, you'll need to upgrade to their ‘Business' plan.
You should note: this is only cost-effective for selling a few bits and bobs every now and then, as you're charged a whopping 3% transaction fee on everything you sell.
A Basic Online Store ($26 a month billed annually or $30 month-to-month)
This is a far better deal for anyone taking e-commerce seriously, as you'll get several tools to help you manage an online store:
- Mobile-friendly checkouts
- Integrated accounting
- Customer accounts
- You can also sell directly via Instagram
An Advanced Online Store ($40 a month billed annually or $46 month-to-month)
If you want to grow your business with Squarespace, invest in their most expensive plan, as you'll unlock more advanced marketing and selling features, like:
- Abandoned cart e-mails
- The option of gift cards
- You can apply discounts to your products
- More advanced shipping tools
The Good Part
One of the best things about Squarespace is the quality of their website templates. Not only do they boast responsive design, but their designs look incredibly sleek. Not to mention, you can also edit these themes using an editor that boasts a far higher degree of flexibility than most other website builders.
We're also impressed by Squarespace's customer support. Users can enjoy the option of both e-mail and live chat. If you choose to e-mail their support team you should receive a response within around an hour- that's fast!
The Not-so-Good Part
The main complaint people have with Squarespace is that its interface isn't entirely ‘newbie' friendly. However, if you've used some sort of website builder before, you should be fine.
The other grievance users have is that in comparison to alternative ‘cheap' website builders, it sits on the more expensive side — so, if you're on a shoestring budget, this probably isn't the solution for you.
Read our full Squarespace review.
Just as its name suggests, Freewebstore really does allow you to create a website entirely free of charge. You can launch a site and start selling up to 20 products without paying a penny! Instead of charging users, paid-for plans Freewebstore makes money by selling paid apps to their users, which you can find over in their app marketplace.
Alternatively, if 20 products doesn't cut it for you, and you're a brand boasting a higher turnover, check out their paid-for enterprise eCommerce platform; ‘Ridge.'
The Good Part
You get a free SSL certificate! This is great for building trust with prospects. You'll also get access to plenty of payment processors including: Stripe, PayPal, Skrill, and 2Checkout.
Best of all, you're not charged transaction fees — which is a massive relief because these really eat into your profits!
Lastly, you also get access to some pretty advanced e-commerce features. For example, you can import, and export products via CSV and you have the option of sending automatic abandoned cart e-mails — just to name a few!
Unfortunately, their dashboard is incredibly complicated which makes the process of building a site all the more frustrating — especially for the technologically challenged amongst us!
Also, if you want to sell digital products, Freewebstore isn't the solution for you. As at the time of writing, you can only sell physical goods via a Freewebstore site.
Read our Freewebstore review.
Weebly isn't much different than Wix on the pricing front, except that some of the mid-range plans are a little bit cheaper. Also, the user interface and drag and drop editing is not as smooth as Wix.
However, Weebly is worth looking into since everyone has their own preferences. The first Weebly plan is free, and it comes with a drag and drop builder, Weebly ads, 500MB of storage, and a Weebly subdomain. My favorite part of the Weebly pricing is that the next $8 per month plan removes Weebly ads. You can also connect your own domain. After that, the plans are priced at $12 per month and $25 per month.
There is limited ecommerce support in Weebly, but the $25 per month option has a membership registration tool.
The Good Part
To start, Weebly is a fine drag and drop builder with a sleek interface and a plentiful collection of website modules. You also get an SSL certificate with all plans to secure your website.
I like that you only have to pay $8 per month to connect a domain and remove ads. It's also nice that you get 0% transaction fees for ecommerce, but that's only with the $25 per month plan.
There's also a unique membership tool.
The Not-so-good Part
You're stuck with Weebly ads and a subdomain in the free pricing plan. Most of the pricing plans have a 3% transaction fee if you want to run any type of online store. Finally, the marketing options aren't that great.
Check out our full Weebly review here.
WooCommerce doesn't cost a dime to download, but you might end up paying for one of the many extensions, or a theme that works with WooCommerce. The themes would run you around $50, while the extensions can range from $15 to $300. Most of the time you don't need an extension, but it depends on your store.
Also, WooCommerce relies on WordPress as a content management system, so you're also going to need hosting.
The Good Part
WooCommerce turns your WordPress website into a full ecommerce store. Create products, offer coupons, accept payments, and design your shopping cart for the ultimate user experience. Oh yeah, and the plugin is free.
The Not-so-good Part
WooCommerce adds an extra layer of complexity to WordPress. There are plenty of tutorials out there to learn about it, but sometimes you just want a neat little package to start selling online. Also, the pricing gets high if you need a theme or couple of extensions.
Check out our full WooCommerce review here.
9. Big Cartel
BigCartel has a plan that allows for five products and limited features. However, you don't have to pay for anything. After that, the pricing jumps to $9.99 per month for 25 products, then $19.99 per month for 100 products, and $29.99 per month for 300 products.
The Good Part
There's a pretty sweet free plan with order management, a quick setup, and awesome themes. You don't have to get your own hosting, and the designer is solid enough to launch an ecommerce site within minutes.
The Not-so-good Part
There's no reason to go with Big Cartel if you have dreams of making a gigantic online store. Also, custom domains, inventory tracking, multiple product images, Google Analytics, and discount codes aren't included in the free plan.
Check out our full Big Cartel review here.
If you're a student, non-profit, or artist the platform is completely free. The IMCreator premium account for everyone else starts at $8 per month. There's also a plan for unlimited licensing and white-label support for $350 annually.
The Good Part
Students, non-profits, and artists get to make websites free of charge. This includes unlimited hosting, ecommerce, and no ads on the site. In fact, none of the pricing plans have ads.
Although it takes a while to get used to, this free website builder provides a wonderful design experience for beginners. It seems to be smarter than others on the market, and you can use the themes to make things even easier.
The Not-so-good Part
If you're not a student, artist, or non-profit you can't get a site for free. There's also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the website designer.
Finally, although the templates look modern and sleek, they mainly look like landing pages or one-page websites.
Check out our full IMCreator review here.
11. 1&1 IONOS
1&1 IONOS offers three pricing packages; Essential, Business, and E-commerce. Each plan provides a mobile-friendly website, all the web space you could need, as well as around the clock support.
The Online Plan
For the first six months, this plan only costs $1 a month (excluding VAT). After that, the price jumps up to a monthly fee of $5 (excluding VAT).
- A free web domain and five e-mail accounts with one of the following domain extensions: .com, .biz, .org, .uk, .me, .online, .net, .co.uk, .info.
- Social media widgets: You can connect your site to your Facebook and Instagram handles, as well as integrating videos you've uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo. You can also upload and manage images you've stored on Dropbox and Google Drive.
- Business widgets: like customer reviews and online scheduling systems
- A multilingual site
The Business Package ($15 per month)
If you want to launch a professional-looking website, this should be your preferred 1&1 IONOS plan.
You get everything included in the Online plan in addition to:
- Ten e-mail accounts
- You can create a tailored experience for shoppers. For example, you can have pop-ups displaying info based on the specific needs of the consumer, i.e., their location, the device they're using, the time, holidays, whether they're a first-time or returning visitor, etc.
- You can send 300 e-mails to your list, access real-time campaign statistics, and use mobile-optimized templates to create your e-mail campaigns.
- SEO tutorials
- You can list up to 5,000 products on your shop and accept various currencies from credit card, PayPal, vouchers, and bank transfer payments.
- You can integrate your online store with your Facebook Shop.
The Good Part
1&1 IONOS' pricing is incredibly clear — especially, in comparison to some of their competitors. Sometimes website builders fail to make it clear what customers actually get for their money. Needless to say, this leads to confusion, a break down in trust, and often, frustration.
We also love that 1&1 IONOS offers users daily backups of their servers. Plus, they also have tons of apps available for you to install. These work wonders for increasing the overall functionality of your site.
1&1 IONOS' customer service is another pro — unlike many of their competitors, they offer 24/7 telephone support. Some users report waiting less than a minute before speaking to a customer support rep! It's also alleged that if they're unable to resolve the issue on the phone, they'll get back to you via e-mail with a helpful answer — how great is that?!
The Not-so-Good Part
The '90s called…they want their interface back. All puns aside, their dashboard's far from intuitive to get to grips with. The other major flaw is the quality of their website templates — they're not well designed, especially in comparison to some of their competitors.
Last but not least, plenty of 1&1 IONOS users would like the option of a free plan. It stands to reason that consumers aren't comfortable diving into the deep end with their cash without the website builder first.
GoDaddy has four pricing plans: the Personal, Business, Business Plus, and Online Store packages.
Below's a quick break down of each payment plan:
The Personal Plan: $5.99 per month when billed annually
This is best for anyone wanting to launch a site as a hobby; as this plan entitles you to:
- Website templates with responsive mobile design
- Website hosting
- One month's free trial — no credit card necessary
- Rapid page-loading times
- Around the clock support
- Blogging functionality
- Security (SSL certificate)
The Business Plan: $9.99 per month when billed annually
This plan's excellent for entrepreneurs launching and marketing their businesses on a shoestring budget.
In addition to everything listed in the Personal plan, you're also entitled to:
- A ‘PayPal Buy Now' button on your site (or a Donate button)
- Search Engine Optimization tools
Business Plus: $14.99 per month when billed annually
This is great for business owners planning to grow their brand, extend their reach, and book more appointments. It's ideal for entrepreneurs offering service-based products like consultancy or coaching.
In addition to the business plan, you'll also enjoy the following perks:
- E-mail marketing tools
- A Google My Business listing and the option of responding to reviews left here
- Social media integrations
- You can accept credit card payments via Square and PayPal for your appointment bookings
- Two-way calendar syncing with either Google, O365, Outlook or iCal
- Client management tools
Online Store: $19.99 per month when billed annually
This plan's terrific for both e-commerce sellers and service providers. Not only can you schedule client appointments, but you can also list and sell physical products.
Online Store customers get all the Business Plus features, in addition to:
- An e-commerce store complete with a fast checkout. You can accept customer payments via credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.
- You can edit shipping and tax rates
- You can offer shoppers discounts and promotions
- Enable shoppers to post product reviews
- Abandoned cart e-mails are automatically sent when customers leave your store without purchasing items in their shopping cart.
The Good Part
GoDaddy‘s website builder is astonishingly easy to use. From the moment you create your account, you're guided through the entire setup process. Just tell them what niche you're in, and they'll pick a design complementing your industry. They even provide high-quality license-free images! As cheap web builders go, GoDaddy's one of the best for creating professional-looking websites (with your own domain) — fast.
Never fear, if you don't like the template GoDaddy suggests for your niche, you can select an alternative from one of their many other templates (all of which boast mobile-friendly design). From here, you can modify the theme and bring your vision to life.
Not to mention, GoDaddy‘s customer support is pretty impressive. They're well-trained in solving virtually any problem their customers might face while using their website builder.
The Not-so-Good Part
If you want a website builder that allows you to customize more than ‘basic design' features – GoDaddy isn't for you. In short, you can only edit things like color and font.
There are also some technical limitations. For instance, you can't access any of the following features: (or if you can, it's minimal):
- Social media integrations
- A blog
- More advanced marketing and SEO tools
- Social sharing buttons
Read our full GoDaddy Website Builder review.
Webnode offers four payment plans to choose from Limited, Mini, Standard, and Profi.
The Limited Plan ($3.95 per month)
You should be aware: This plan requires you to buy and use your own domain name before you get going.
With this plan you'll get:
- 100 MB worth of storage
- 1 GB worth of bandwidth
- Top-notch customer support
The Mini Plan ($5.95 per month)
You'll get everything included in the Limited plan, in addition to:
- A free domain for one year (alternatively, you can use your own domain)
- 500 MB worth of storage
- 3 GB worth of bandwidth
- One e-mail account
- A form builder
- The option of inserting a background video
- Stats and analytics on your site's performance
The Standard Plan ($11.95 per month)
This is Webnode's most popular payment package, namely because you can launch and manage all kinds of websites with it. In addition to everything in the Mini Plan you'll also enjoy the benefit of:
- Two GB worth of storage
- Ten GB worth of bandwidth
- 20 e-mail accounts
- An online store
- You won't have Webnode's ads on your site
- A Google Analytics integration
- Membership registration (up to 100 members)
- Two language options
- Five backups
The Profi Plan ($19.95 per month)
This is a comprehensive plan for entrepreneurs wanting to launch and maintain professional-looking websites. In addition to everything in the standard plan, you'll also enjoy:
- Five GB worth of storage
- An unlimited amount of bandwidth
- 100 e-mail accounts
- An unlimited number of membership registrants
- Endless language options
- An infinite number of backups
The Good Part
Webnode's interface is incredibly user-friendly; anyone's who's used MS Office before shouldn't have a problem learning how to use Webnode.
We also love that all Webnode websites are mobile-friendly. So, it doesn't matter what device your visitors use; they should be able to enjoy a top-notch consumer experience.
Last but not least, if you're reaching out to an international audience, Webnode might be the website builder for you. This solution offers as many as 13 different language options! Some say this is Webnode's signature feature – as most other web builders can't boast the same offer.
The Not-so-good Part
It seems to us that the biggest gripe for Webnode users is their poor customer support. They only offer basic contact options in the form of e-mail and a forum. Users report scouring the forum for answers can be a long and often tedious process. Not to mention, there's apparently a lot of unanswered questions on there (which only adds to the frustration!) Allegedly, their e-mail support isn't much better, as users complain about waiting for ages to get a response.
Another major downside is the quality of their templates. Webnode's designs can at best be described as outdated and at worst…boring. Worst of all, your customization options are somewhat limited; it's a real challenge jazzing up these themes!
Check out our full Webnode review.
Ucraft offers four pricing plans that gradually increase both in terms of cost and value; you can see the finer details of each bundle below:
1. The Free Website
With Ucraft's free website, you can set up an attractive website to help you capture and nurture your leads. The biggest downside is having to put up with Ucraft's branding plastered all over your site.
However, you'll enjoy all the following perks:
- You can connect your site to your own domain name
- You'll get an SSL security certificate
- Access to basic elements
- You can customize your site's content
- Access to Ucraft's SEO App
- A Google Analytics integration
- You can add and modify the colors
- Best of all, you'll get a FREE custom domain
2. The Pro Website ($10 a month, paid annually)
This is Ucraft's most popular option and is best for online retailers selling up to 50 products. This plan (and all the other Ucraft paid-for bundles) come with a 14-day free trial — which is great if you're someone who prefers to try before they buy! Best of all, you won't have Ucraft's branding messing up the vibe of your site. This works wonders for creating a more professional and credible aesthetic.
With the Pro Website you'll get everything in the free plan, PLUS:
- One multilingual website
- Access to all web page elements
- Access to the ‘Articles' app
- You can invite team members
- Around the clock customer support
- Google fonts
- You can embed HTML/CSS/JS
- You're able to password protect your web pages
- You can provide visitors with an on-site search function
- No transaction fees!
- Multi-currency sales
- Real-time tracking
- You can manage orders and payments
- You can offer customers over 70 different payment and shipping methods
3. The Pro Shop ($21 a month, paid annually)
This plan is better suited to serious e-commerce sellers as it enables you to launch an online shop. Here you can list and sell as many as 1000 products at a time!
You'll get everything listed in the previous two plans, as well as:
- A discount coupon feature
- Access to a store management app
- You can provide shoppers with a favorites/wishlist option
- You'll enjoy tax exemption
- You can edit your invoices
4. BigCommerce ($39 a month, paid annually)
Last but not least, BigCommerce is Ucraft's most expensive plan. You can sell an unlimited number of products and integrate your digital shop with the likes of eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Yandex, and Google's shopping feed.
The Good Part
If you want an image-rich website, you'll get on well with Ucraft. Their templates are great for brands with imagery that really packs a punch.
We also love that all their plans come with free security and analytics — that certainly isn't something all web builders offer!
The Not-so-Good Part
Ucraft‘s page editor isn't as easy to use as other drag-and-drop builders. You might have to dedicate some time to familiarize yourself with their interface. Some Ucraft users also complain about the number of features on offer. It's well reported that Ucraft's feature list isn't as impressive as their competitors; Wix or Squarespace.
Last but not least, if you have a particular vision of what you want your site to look like or if you want a site boasting complex functionality- look elsewhere, Ucraft won't be the website builder for you.
Read our full Ucraft review.
Jimdo‘s website builder lists as many as five plans; Play, Start, Grow, Ecommerce, and Unlimited. So, you're bound to find a package that suits both your budget and the needs of your project.
Play (Completely free!)
With Jimdo's free plan, you'll get access to their basic features. However, you'll have to put up with the .jimdosite.com subdomain.
The Start Plan ($9 per month, billed annually)
The Start plan cranks things up a notch by providing users with a free custom domain name for the first year as well as an ad-free website!
The Grow Plan ($15 a month, billed annually)
Next on the list, is the Grow plan. This is best suited for entrepreneurs who want a professional looking site to promote their business. In addition to everything listed in the previous two bundles, you'll also get:
- SEO tools
- Personal customer support
- Access to visitor statistics
The E-commerce Plan ($19 a month, billed annually)
If you're taking online selling seriously, this is the plan for you. In addition to everything you'll get with the previous plans; you'll also have an online store where you can sell an infinite number of products, AND you won't be charged any of Jimdo's sale commissions.
The Unlimited Plan ($39 a month, billed annually)
Last but not least, we come to Jimdo's most comprehensive plan. The most notable perks are the unlimited web space, premium support (you should get a response within the hour), and professional analysis on your current web design.
The Good Parts
The sign-up process is pretty straightforward. You just have to create an account and verify your details via e-mail — it really is as simple as that. Jimdo's simplicity extends to its user-friendliness. It's incredibly intuitive and easy to get to grips with. Just choose your template and edit it to your taste using their drag and drop editor.
Most notably, Jimdo comes with a really cool AI editor (in addition to their DIY page builder option). Just plug in details about the kind of site you're envisioning, and Jimdo will provide a step by step guide on how to bring the design to life!
If you're a European merchant, Jimdo's definitely worth considering. It has a really strong European presence. As such, you can be confident your site possess top-draw privacy and data protection regs. They make GDPR look easy!
The Not-so-Good Parts
As fabulous and straightforward as it is to set up and launch a Jimdo website, this comes at a price. Like any convenient-to-use website builder, you won't have full control over your site's design. If you want to extend further than editing the basic design elements, Jimdo isn't for you because you can't edit the CSS.
This becomes a bigger problem if your website ever forms a more significant part of your business. It doesn't leave much room for growth, and unlike their competitors, you can't solve the issue by downloading extensions or accessing your site's HTML because Jimdo doesn't provide options for that.
Users also complain that they can't add a new page unless they make it part of their overall website navigation.
Check out our Jimdo review.
The Free Plan
You won't have to pay a dime for the website that comes with the Free plan. Users also enjoy 500 MB worth of storage and one GB worth of bandwidth. However, you'll only get access to a subdomain rather than a fully customized URL.
The Basic Plan ($10.80 per month for 12 months)
The premium plan is best suited to anyone who wants to launch a personal website as a hobby.
- A free custom domain for the first year
- Ten GB worth of storage
- Five GB worth of bandwidth
- Site123's floating tag removed
- You can connect your Site123 website with your own domain name
- Access to 100 mailing list messages
The Advanced Plan ($16.80 per month for 12 months)
This bundle is excellent for small businesses as it provides you with everything listed in the ‘Basic' plan' as well as:
- 30 GB worth of storage
- 15 GB worth of bandwidth
- Access to 1,000 mailing list e-mails
- Two mailboxes
- The option of an additional language
- The removal of Site123's footer tag
The Professional Plan ($22.80 a month for 12 months)
If you want to launch an e-commerce store, check out the Professional plan.
You can access everything in the previous two packages in addition to:
- 90 GB worth of storage
- 45 GB worth of bandwidth
- Access to 2,500 mailing list e-mails
- Five mailboxes
- The option of three additional languages
- E-commerce functionality with a limit of 500 orders a month
- Credit card gateways
The Gold Plan ($28.80 per month)
This is the creme de la creme of Site123's pricing plans. In addition to all the features already listed, you'll also get the following perks:
- 270 GB worth of storage
- 135 GB worth of bandwidth
- Access to 10,000 mailing list e-mails
- Ten mailboxes
- Five additional languages
- You can accept an unlimited number of orders.
- Access to more advanced e-commerce features
The Good Part
One of the best things about Site123 is that getting up and running is incredibly quick and easy. They provide their users with step-by-step tutorials explaining how to customize your theme and add content to your site.
Plus, Users can access several integrations that extend the overall functionality of their site. Site123's library of plugins is pretty vast, so you're bound to find what you're looking for.
The Not-so-Good Part
One of the major downsides to Site123 is that in comparison to its competitors (most notably Wix and Weebly) it's way more expensive…and doesn't provide as much value — for instance, at no stage does Site123 offer customers unlimited bandwidth and storage.
Users also complain that if you don't like the feel of the template you're given, creating a design you're happy with can be a challenge. So, again, if you want to reach beyond modifying the basic design, Site123 isn't the solution for you. You can't change the layout, web page elements, or edit the HTML or CSS.
Check out our Site123 review.
WordPress.com is easily one of the best-known website building tools on the market today. Not only is it excellent for blogging and content marketing purposes, but it has user-friendliness to spare too. If you want to design your own website, and get your own web hosting, then you’ll want WordPress.org.
It’s important to remember that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different solutions for web design. WordPress.com doesn’t give you the same experience as WordPress.org, which focuses heavily on coding and HTML. However, with the .com solution, you have a much easier way to launch into designing a website as a beginner.
WordPress.com is one of the most popular website builders out there for a lot of reasons. Not only is it highly flexible and easy to use for web design, but it’s affordable too. The initial pricing for your website starts at around $4 per month for the “personal” package.
If you want access to CSS and design tools, you’ll need the premium package for $8 per month, billed yearly. The Business package is available for $25 per month, and it comes with extra functionality like custom plugins and themes. You also get live chat and 200 GB of storage.
The eCommerce package for WordPress is $45 per month, and it comes with functions that allow you to design and build your online store.
WordPress also offers a few extra pricing options, starting with Pressable for multi-site launching and hosting, and WordPress VIP. The VIP package starts at around $1,700 per month, but you get the fullest WordPress experience.
The Good Part
WordPress.com is a good choice if you’re looking for a solution that gives you all the blogging and content functionality that you could need. If you want to advertise your website with content, then there’s nothing better than WordPress.com
The Not-so-Good Part
The most flexible WordPress experience comes with WordPress.org. However, launching a .org website can be more expensive because you need to handle things like hosting and buying a domain name yourself. You also need to maintain your own site and hosting with companies like hostgator. If you want to build an affiliate website, you’ll need to deal with your own affiliate commissions too.
The Cheapest Website Builders for Ecommerce
In this section, we’re going to look specifically at some of the best website design options if you want to build an eCommerce website.
Remember, a lot of the cheaper site builders out there are cheap because they miss out a few features, like store and checkout functionality. Some of these cheaper website builders might seem more expensive at first, but they do offer lots of crucial functionality.
Shopify is the best-known website building tool for ecommerce in the world.
Offering everything a business needs to make sales, from contact forms to checkout pages, Shopify has it all. The solution comes with a huge selection of industry-leading tools to choose from, as well as a versatile app market.
If you’re keen to start selling online as quickly as possible, then Shopify can help you with that. You get to set up your store quickly and easily, with advanced tools that make customization a walk in the park. There’s also plenty of add-ons that you can get for free, like constant support and integrated payment methods.
Shopify also provides a free SSL certificate, and you’ll be able to give your customers discount codes, gift cards, and more.
Pricing for Basic Shopify starts at $29 per month, and it includes 2 staff accounts, your online store functionality, unlimited products, support, sales channels, and up to 4 location options.
You get discount codes, an SSL certificate, tools for bringing people back to an abandoned cart and gift cards too. The full Shopify plan is available for $79 per month, and it comes with 5 locations, 5 staff accounts, and all the features of basic, plus professional reports.
Advanced Shopify features everything you get from Shopify, plus, an advanced report builder, excellent shipping costs, 15 staff accounts and 8 locations for $299 per month.
Shopify also offers Shopify Lite, which comes with the option to add products to any website for $9, and Shopify Plus for enterprises.
The Good Part:
Shopify offers everything you need for your online store in a robust and reliable package. There’s a free trial to get you started, plenty of themes to choose from, and a huge range of plugins for flexibility. You also get integrated payment options, and a fantastic range of functionalities for just about any kind of business.
The Not so Good Part:
Fees for Shopify can sometimes add up quite quickly, particularly if you’re using extra plugins and features. The blogging functionality is also very basic compared to options like WordPress. This could be a problem for content marketers.
BigCommerce is another great option for selling online. If you’re looking for opportunities to sell across multiple channels underneath your brand name, then BigCommerce is the ultimate choice. BigCommerce is a scalable solution for today’s businesses, offering exceptional online selling and opportunities for growth.
With BigCommerce, you get a wide range of features to explore, Most of the functionality available is already built-in which means that you don’t have to use add-ons like with Shopify. Whether you’re selling on Instagram, Amazon, Square, or eBay, BigCommerce is right for you.
BigCommerce offers a wide selection of sales features to choose from, but you need to make sure that you have the talent or skill required to take advantage of all the features. There is a bit more of a learning curve to consider here.
The standard version of BigCommerce is available for $29.95 per month, and it comes with integration with a selection of leading payment gateways, tons of built-in features, live agent support, single page checkouts and so much more.
There’s a point of sale, lots of online sales per year, and a dedicated SSL, complete with BigCommerce and professional reporting tools.
The Plus package is available for $79.95 per month, and it includes everything from the Standard version, plus a ton of extras, inclujding Google Shopping, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay, and absolutely no transaction fees.
The Pro package is $299.95 per month, with everything from the Plus package. There’s also extra functionality like stored credit cards, advanced search, and staff accounts.
BigCommerce also offers an enterprise package, but you need to call for a quote.
The Good Part
BigCommerce offers paid plans that are very reasonable for what you get. There’s no need to take advantage of unlimited storage so you can Add-on options like with Shopify, because you get everything you need already built in.
Another massive benefit of BigCommerce is that there are no transaction fees. You get a CMS, hosting services and options for checkout support in an easy and affordable environment.
The Not So Good Part
The pricing structure for BigCommerce can be a little confusing. Plus, there’s no simple ADI solution like you get from Shopify. It’s not as easy to get everything fully set-up. BigCommerce also has fewer themes to offer than other companies.
If you need an ecommerce website builder that’s dedicated to making selling easier wherever you are, then Square is the obvious choice. With Square, you can combine your offline store with your online presence to find more ways of making money.
If you have a Square Point of Sale system, or you’re using Square as your merchant service provider, then you can build a website for free.
Square Online comes with everything you need if you want to launch a website online. It’s great for freelancers and store owners alike, with tons of themes to choose from, inventory management, and a range of other great experiences to explore.
The best thing about Square’s online store is that you can get started for free. There are no fees associated with making your store, all you need to do is use Square as your merchant provider, and deal with the transaction fees required.
Square will take 2.75% of every transaction when you’re selling online. That remains the same no matter the card or business type.
If you want to take your store offline too, then Square can offer you POS solutions for a price. The cost of these solutions will depend on what you need. Square has options for retail, restaurants, and many other types of business.
The Good Part:
Square is a particularly good option for people who are low on cash because you can build your website for free. The only cost is your transaction fees. If you already use the Square ecosystem, or you want to be active online and offline, then Square is a fantastic tool.
Square is also a brilliant choice if you want something that’s easy to use for beginners. There’s inventory management and various other advanced features to explore. Plus, Square has AI tools built in to support smarter selling.
The Not so Good Part
As a free website builder, Square does have some limitations. You can’t customize your website as much as you would with something like Shopify. Your checkout options are pretty limited too. There are also limits to your payment processing options. However, you can build a professional website for your company without breaking the bank.
The Pros and Cons of Creating a Site with a Cheap Website Builder
Let's start with the advantages…
You Don't Have to Write a Line of Code
The most obvious benefit of using a web builder is that you don't need to know anything about coding (phew!) It's an ideal solution for newbies wanting to design and launch a website of their own. Some users claim they've managed to get their site up and running in less than half an hour!
It almost goes without saying, website builders are usually way cheaper than hiring a professional web designer or developer. So, they're a viable solution for entrepreneurs, business owners, and hobbyists on a budget who want to create a site.
You Don't Need to be a Web Designer
When you use one of the templates provided by a web page builder, you don't have to worry about figuring out color palettes, layouts, typography, etc. it's all done for you! So, if designing doesn't come naturally to you, there's no need to worry.
Now, over the disadvantages…
These Websites Aren't Always Suitable for Businesses
If you're taking your business venture seriously, there are a few things your business should have, including —
- Top-notch design
- Excellent SEO coding
- Professional web page features
The last thing you want is to present a new customer with a shoddy looking site; this can affect your credibility, causing the prospect to lose trust in your brand. This massively increases the chances of the shopper clicking off your website and heading over to one of your competitor's sites.
Free plans don't always allow you to use your own domain name. Usually, you'll have to have their URL tagged on the end of a personalized sub-domain — this hardly exudes professionalism.
Branding and Ads
Free website builders also have a tendency to plaster the sites of their users with their own branding and advertising — again this doesn't create the best impression with website visitors.
The difficulty with the majority of cheap website builders is that their free templates look a tad generic. Not to mention, they don't always come equipped with responsive designs, and SEO features are usually limited.
On the subject of SEO, web builders are usually associated with messy coding, which, again, isn't great for SEO. This is a pretty big sticking point for a lot of entrepreneurs.
Slower Loading Times
When you use a free website builder to create your site, there's a good chance your site will load slower than one created with paid-for software. Quick load time is essential for providing a top-notch user experience, plus it's also great for SEO- win-win!
Inadequate Customer Service
Free website builders are notorious for their awful customer support. This can be a nightmare if you stumble across a technical issue! More often than not, it can be ages before you receive an e-mail response to your query.
Our Recommendations for the Best Website Builder
I'm going to break the rules and choose three options for you: one that's self-hosted, another that's not self-hosted, and another that's specifically for ecommerce.
The self-hosted option is clearly WordPress.org. There are some other open source solutions online, but I didn't care to mention them in this article.
WordPress has a completely free version in the form of WordPress.com, and the WordPress.org version gives you full control over the website you build. Yes, it's a little more complicated than sites like Wix or Weebly, but all you have to do is pay for shared hosting, a theme, and a domain name.
I also like Wix if you plan on paying for a package where the hosting is included. It's more feature-rich than Weebly, and the free pricing plan is hard to pass up, especially if you're only making a personal or small business website.
Finally, BigCartel makes the most sense for a simple and free ecommerce website builder. You're limited to a rather small store, but you can't beat the ease of use. Yes, WooCommerce is far more powerful, but it's more complicated to manage.
So, that concludes my recommendations for the cheapest website builders available on the Internet. If you have any queries, shoot in the comment section below.
Feature image by Matt Anderson