The Best Website Builders for 2022 – PCMag UK

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Best For Building Free Sites
PROSRemarkably intuitive Editor X interfaceNumerous widgetsHundreds of templates for specific businesses and other usesGood mobile-site-building toolsRich web-store featuresExcellent uptime and customer service supportMany commerce options, including the ability to sell digital downloadsFree option
CONSNo built-in statisticsDoesn’t let you switch templates
Best For E-Commerce
PROSStrong uptimeWell-designed interfaceAttractive, modern site templatesLets you easily switch themesRoyalty-free stock photographyLets you sell digital downloadsExcellent pricesAll tiers accept some form of payment
CONSLacks a free planFew photo-editing optionsCannot schedule blog postsTiny app store
Best For Integrating SaaS Platforms
PROSFeatures a top-tier editorStrong tools for crafting phone and tablet sitesPowerful traffic analysisCapable web store toolsMore than 100 templatesLets you use custom CSS and HTML codeStrong e-commerce options, with support for digital downloadsUnlimited storage and monthly data transfers with all plans
CONSRelatively expensive, and lacks a free optionLimited widget storeEmail newsletter support only comes with higher paid tiersDoesn’t let you switch templates
Best For Easy WordPress Site Creation
PROSAccessible, alternative website builder for Bluehost usersLarge library of templates and stock photographyEases you into learning the WordPress CMSWooCommerce storefrontsExcellent uptimeHelpful customer serviceFree SSL
CONSNo free optionLimited image editingDoesn’t let you switch templatesSections could be more intelligently organized
Best For Marketing and SEO Tools
PROSGood-looking sites on desktop and mobileUnlimited storage and monthly data transfersGreat marketing and SEO toolsMore than 100 templatesExcellent uptimeGood customer serviceFree tier
CONSLimited layout customization and photo editingEcommerce not available with all tiersDoesn’t let you switch templates
Best For AI-Powered Tools
PROSExcellent uptimeEasy-to-use, drag-and-drop interfaceCool, AI-powered toolsLogo makerFree SSL certificateUseful photo repositoryUnlimited storage and bandwidth in all plansComes included with Hostinger Web Hosting
CONSDoesn’t let you switch templatesPhoto editing could still use more optionsLacks a free tier
Best For Website Customization
PROSBeautiful, responsive designs that accommodate mobile screensDeep e-commerce capabilities, including selling digital downloadsAllows custom codeBlogging tool lets you schedule postsGood help and analytics toolsFree SSL certificateUnlimited storage and monthly data transfers with all plans
CONSMust rebuild your site if upgrading from Squarespace version 7Can’t switch templates in new versionNo free tierLacks phone support
Best For Website Building With Hosting Options
PROSIntuitive interfaceUseful E-commerce and WordPress toolsLarge library of templates and stock photographyHosting includedExcellent uptimeTerrific customer service support
CONSNo free optionBasic image editingLacks cloud, dedicated, VPS or hosting plansDoesn’t let you switch templatesTiny refund window
Best For Easy Page Editing
PROSAttractive, responsive-design themesFull commerce options, including the ability to sell digital goodsSite stats includedLets you switch themes without rebuilding your siteUnlimited data transfers with all plansExcellent uptimeFree tier
CONSLimited theme customizationLacks reusable photo storageNo interface-wide undo featureSlow-responding customer services in testing
Best For Previewing Sample Sites
PROSEasy-to-use site-building toolsAttractive themes, with responsive designsLets you switch templates without rebuilding your siteExcellent uptimeFree tier
CONSFewer template choices and less customization than competing website buildersMany standard features require a premium accountNot every plan lets you create multi-page sitesDoesn’t let you sell digital downloads
Best For Visitor Stats
PROSFriendly drag-and-drop interfaceE-commerce functionality, with digital download salesLets you easily switch themesIncludes site statsExcellent uptime
CONSNo photo editing toolsLacks widget marketplaceNo shipping service integrationsLacks a free tier
Delivering your business message to the public requires leveraging social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, but that’s not enough. If you want an internet presence that truly represents your organization, you also need an attractive, easy-to-navigate website. As opposed to a social media page, a website gives you complete control over design and content. This lends credibility to your business, organization, or personal brand. Facebook pages all look alike in terms of design, but with your own website, you can create a brand image, sell products, and integrate third-party web services. Thankfully, website builders make it easier than ever to create professional-looking, design-forward websites.
Well-known DIY site building services, such as Squarespace and Wix, are constantly improving and adding new capabilities. Rivals, such as Gator, Simvoly, Strikingly, and Zyro, have also popped up with their own clever twists on the process.
The best website builders we’ve tested can help you get started in creating an online presence. Check out our top picks below, and drop a few words in the comments section to report your experience with a selection (or shout out a service you like that we haven’t included).
Let’s discuss why you need a website in the social media age. On a personal level, you wouldn’t want to send prospective employers to your Facebook page, so a personal website makes more sense as an online, customized resume. Another reason worth considering, for both personal and business purposes, is that building your own site gives you endless design choices. You have total control over products and services you may sell and how they’re delivered, too.
Further, having a real, dedicated site makes a business seem more authoritative and trustworthy than a Facebook or Tumblr presence can on its own (though you should certainly also consider those services as elements of your online presence). It’s as much an opening ante in the business world as having a business card for your company.
Building your own website used to require a lot of tech wizardry, including knowledge of servers, HTML, FTP, site registrars, and web hosting services. Thankfully, website builders make the process super simple. The services included here let you make a well-designed, mobile-friendly site with minimal technical knowledge. They can even take a small or sole-proprietor business to profitability with buy links, online stores, and other money-making options.
Larger businesses spend many thousands of dollars to get their custom-designed and programmed sites. Duda, while still a strong choice for basic users, is pivoting more towards teams and agencies in need of custom expensive enterprise software as a service. However, there’s no need for smaller organizations and individuals to go to that kind of expense. For about $10 per month (or around $25 if you’re selling products) and a few hours of your time, the DIY services included here can help you create a unique, eye-catching website.
With all these services, you build everything yourself, starting with a template you choose from a (hopefully) wide, well-categorized selection. Most use simple drag-and-drop interfaces that let you include social share buttons, photo galleries, blogs, media players, and other items. Some website builders let you restrict viewing by implementing a password, and offer site memberships (see the table).
Several of the website builders included here offer free options, too. If you choose that path, your site will include branding from the provider, which makes your site less impressive to savvy surfers—and shoppers. Free offerings vary greatly in the storage, bandwidth, and site options they allow, so read the small print to find out how much you get with each web host. Strikingly, Weebly, and Wix are among the most generous with their free offerings. For more, check out the Best Free Website Builders.
Before you start building your home on the web, you need an address for it. Most of the site builders let you register a unique domain, and they all give you a web address using the provider’s domain (, for example). Some include a custom domain name with their plans, usually requiring a year’s commitment. The services also let you use a domain you’ve acquired from a third-party registrar, such as pairNIC, but you often must pay the site builder for that privilege.
All the web services listed here have you start by choosing from a selection of templates for your site. The better ones, such as Gator and Wix, use templates that automatically reformat your site for viewing on mobile devices. Squarespace in particular has many useful and attractive templates. These services also offer specifically targeted templates based on your site’s purpose, such as for promoting a bakery’s sales, getting gigs for a musician, or keeping wedding guests informed.
Most site builders let you tweak the color scheme, fonts, and page layouts, as well as add new pages. A good site builder offers sub-templates for the most commonly used page types, such as About, Blog, Contact, FAQ, Galleries, and Products.
Of course, you’ll also want to add custom content to those pages. You do this by adding text areas, photos (see Photos and Galleries section below), buttons, and other widgets. The better site builders offer a marketplace of third-party widgets, for things like forms, chat, reservations, and social feeds.
Some site builders, such as Strikingly, uKit, and Virb restrict you to placing page objects in spots that won’t make your site look garish, which can be an advantage if design isn’t your forte. Other builders offer more freedom; if that’s what you’re looking for, check out Gator or Wix. Gator in particular strikes a good balance between design freedom and responsive restrictions. Squarespace enables pockets of freedom in an otherwise ordered grid. Many website builders offer AI-powered tools that let you enter social accounts and other personal or business info, and presto bingo, they deliver a no-work website. Wix’s ADI (artificial design intelligence) tool even impressed a professional designer acquaintance of ours with its results.
Responsive design is a popular web design strategy used by some website builders. This approach reformats the same webpage content to fit different screens. But in terms of SEO (search engine optimization), the search engines only care about whether a site displays suitably on mobile screen sizes. Both Bing and Google have pages where you can enter your URL to see if your site plays on mobile acceptably.
The strict responsive approach of Simvoly, uKit, and Weeby means you get no control over the mobile-only view. Gator, Ucraft, and Wix, by contrast, offer a mobile site preview and let you make customizations that only apply to mobile viewing. For example, you may want a splash page to welcome mobile viewers, or you may want to leave out an element that doesn’t work well on the smaller screens.
The highlighted website builders offer some degree of photo and gallery display. Some, like Gator, Squarespace, and Wix, include stock photography. Others let you touch up images with editing tools such as cropping, brightness, and in some cases even Instagram-like filters. Photo gallery options also vary widely. For example, Weebly offers a good selection of styles for your online galleries, while GoDaddy is more limited in visual options.
Of course, if you want to go all out for sales, you need to move up to a dedicated web shopping cart service like Shopify, but that’s a step you might not be ready to take. Most of the services here offer some ability to sell items from your site, if only in the form of a PayPal button, but some don’t offer that in free accounts.
More-advanced options found in some builders let you process credit card payments and add your own cart and checkout pages. The more-powerful site builders include product promotions, email marketing, and inventory and shipping tools. Some let you sell digital downloads, while others don’t; see the table above to find out which do. Only a couple of these builders let you put ads on your site, though most of them allow some degree of custom HTML code insertion.
All of the site builders included here let you put Facebook Like and Twitter Follow buttons on your pages, and some even let you display feeds from the social networks. Some give you help building a Facebook Page and tying it into your site design and updates. Many products offer some sort of SEO tool, but too often this is just a form on which you can enter meta tags. You’re mostly left to wrestle with that black magic known as SEO for yourself. It’s very important to submit and verify your site to the search engines, unless you don’t want anyone to find it!
Most of the products here can tell you about your site traffic, though the amount of detail varies greatly among them, and it’s often tied to premium account levels. For example, Weebly displays page views and unique visitors for each day of the month, as well as search terms used to get to the site, referring sites, and top-visited pages. Wix and uKit, at the other end, have little or even nothing in the way of built-in site stats, instead encouraging you to create your own Google Analytics account, and even that requires a paid account. Another drawback of that approach is that you can only see traffic from the preceding day and earlier; it’s not up-to-the-minute, or even the hour.
WordPress is a big name when it comes to creating websites. But you should know that is not what most people are talking about when they mention WordPress. What most internet-savvy people mean by the term WordPress is the free, open-source blogging platform that comes from Using this requires you to find your own website hosting service. The software is such a popular site-building platform that many web hosting services even offer managed WordPress hosting plans., on the other hand, is a service that deploys and hosts that software for you, so you don’t have to go out and find your own hosting service.
WordPress (either version) is a blog-focused content management system that accepts plug-ins and themes that extend its capabilities. In fact, uses plug-ins such as JetPack to provide many of its features. As a whole, WordPress (either .com or .org) is not as easy to use as the other options in this roundup, but if blogging and site transferability are of key importance and you don’t mind digging into its weeds a bit, you should consider the platform—especially Furthermore, the ability to use WordPress is a valuable skill, as some estimates say that WordPress powers 40% of the internet.
Note that we reviewed as a website builder, but its rating of three stars doesn’t quite qualify it for inclusion in this roundup. Instead, consider a WordPress-centric site builder like Bluehost.
One downside of most of these services is that, should you someday want to move to another web host, you’ll likely be out of luck because of the custom code they use to display your site. Only a few of the services here let you take your site to another web hosting service: The most complete example of this is Weebly, which lets you download the standard site server folders. Squarespace offers some transferability by letting you output your site in standard WordPress format. As you might expect, the same transferability holds for
Support among the services varies widely, from free account’s only offering community support, to Jimdo’s email-only service, to Wix’s telephone-callback service—even for free accounts! Many of the site builders offer rich online support knowledge bases and FAQs, so there’s a good chance you won’t even need to contact the company. We test each service’s support as part of the review process by asking about some less-common site-building procedures.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing an easy online website builder. And you have a slew of provider choices—there are at least 20 more vendors than those included in this list. Hardly a week goes by when we don’t get a pitch from a new one we’ve never heard of before. We’ve reviewed many of those, but they didn’t make the cut, either because of outdated site designs, lack of site-building options, or inadequate ease-of-use.
For more advice and alternatives to DIY website building, check out our primer, How to Create a WebsiteThe Best Courses for Learning How To Build Websites, 10 Easy But Powerful SEO Tips to Boost Traffic to Your Website, and How to Get a Free Domain for Your Website are great starting points, too. is a leading authority on technology, delivering lab-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.
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