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Best website builder for 2020: Wix, Squarespace and more compared

"Micki Nealy" (2020-08-07)


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Building a professional website doesn't have to take a lot of time, effort or money. And it no longer takes being a web developer or having coding skills to create your own website. Popular website builders such as WixSquarespace and Weebly have made it amazingly easy for even first-timers to hit the ground running. 

But choosing the best website builder to use will depend on your particular needs. The website building industry has grown a lot over the last 10 years, and it can be overwhelming to pick just the right website builder tool for you. However, that growth and complexity also means you have more choices than ever before, and you can easily find the best website builder tailored to your wants and needs. 

It's true that a few web builder favorites among users have emerged -- and those top website builder options are usually a good place to start -- but even the front-runners aren't ideally suited for every scenario. To make it simple for you, we've compiled all the information you need to make a good decision on the best website builder and get to the fun part of designing your own website.



Best website builders compared























Free trial?





Starting price*











Best overall website builder (and best for free)





Wix





'unlimited' w/ ads





$13/month









Best prepackaged design





Squarespace





14 days





$12/month









Easiest to use





Weebly





'unlimited' w/ ads





$12/month









Most customizable





Duda





30 days





$14/month









Best no-frills option





GoDaddy





30 days





$10/month









Best for writers and bloggers





WordPress





'unlimited' w/ ads





$5/month









Best for basic e-commerce





Shopify





14 days





$29/month









Best for bigger stores





BigCommerce





15 days





$29/month









*Starting price doesn't include cheaper plans if they are ad-supported. Some vendors offer free domain hosting for the first year on some plans as well.

To compile this list, we researched the prices, plans and features of over 12 different website builders and scoured reviews from several sites (including PCMag, Wirecutter, WebsiteToolTester, SiteBuilderReport, WPBeginner and more) to see where there might be any consensus. We also surveyed the CNET staff, and ultimately spent time building some test sites using the tools below (if we weren't already members). We paid particular attention to the categories that not only differentiate one site from another, but that actually matter to business owners, artists and creators such as SEO features, mobile-friendly website builders, live chat options, available plugins and customer support.

If, by the end of the list, you're still not sure which direction to go, we've included a guide at the bottom, including key questions you should be asking yourself as you start your online venture. Finally, if you already have a website and just need a host or you're interested in building a WordPress site, check out our list of .

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WIx


Wix is the clear front-runner in the race for website builder dominance. It's the biggest player, with over 110 million websites built, and boasts the greatest quantity of tools, capabilities, and freedom.  Wix covers the full ease-of-use spectrum by offering an AI-fueled automatic website creator on one end ("Wix ADI") that requires minimal effort from the user, all the way to Wix Corvid, an open development platform for advanced applications like Javascript, databases and data-driven dynamic pages. To maximize the experience, we do recommend choosing one lane (e.g., Wix ADI, specific templates or design-from-scratch), since it can be difficult to maintain consistency across your website design if, for example, you start with a template but then decide you want to totally customize it. Like many competitors in this space, Wix offers a basic free website builder plan that lets you create a free website starter site with ads. If you like what you see with the free website builder, you can spend up for a premium, ad-free site. Pricing falls within industry standards with a "Combo" plan that covers most needs for a personal website. If you need an ecommerce website builder for your ecommerce store,  Wix offers a  "Business VIP" ecommerce website plan for your online store. Those prices do not include a domain, so you'll need to account for that