The best website builders on the market allow anyone to create their own website within minutes. Today we're looking at our top 5 picks for the year.
Gone are the days of paying an expensive developer, or learning how to customise WordPress yourself. With these hosted website builders, you can build a site fast.
Some are free, while others offer free trials. Some are sponsored by ads, but nearly all these platforms have a premium plan, and an eCommerce upsell.
Most come with exciting new features, customisable templates, the ability to collect payments and 24/7 support, ensuring you always have help when you need it.
So without further ado, let's look at the top 5 website builders in Australia.
Squarespace.com is an all in one platform that allows users to build and host professional websites using pre-built templates and drag and drop elements.
As well as website building, Squarespace also offers a range of related tools such as domain name registration, logo design, analytics and eCommerce options.
Squarespace offers a range of templates for users to pick from depending on the type of website that is required, for example if it’s for a portfolio, an event, a local business, a professional service or an online store.
Users can browse through the available templates to find one that suits or alternatively can answer a series or questions to narrow down the options.
Each template is fully customisable allowing users to change the layout, the font type, text size and overall colour palette.
Users can also add things like contact forms or integrate features from other apps such as Spotify playlists, posts from social media accounts or restaurant bookings from Opentable.
Squarespace offers four types of plan which can be paid for month to month or yearly with a discount.
Squarespace Pricing & Features
The Personal Plan is A$16 per month when bought annually and provides basic functionality and customisation options.
The Business Plan is A$25 per month and allows for full customisation with HTML and CSS code and comes with advanced analytics and fully integrated eCommerce with 3% transaction fees.
The third plan is the Basic eCommerce plan which is A$34 per month and has zero transaction fees as well as other features such as allowing customer accounts, point of sale and merchandising and eCommerce analytics tools.
The Advanced eCommerce plan is $52 per month and includes all the same features as the basic plan but also features such as abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping options and the ability to sell subscriptions.
Site123 is a free website builder that allows people to build quick and simple websites using a range of prebuilt templates.
The site123 website editor allows users to fully customise the templates without knowledge of computer code, allowing them to focus on the content of their site.
Site123 provides free hosting for websites as well as free domain name registration. Site123 also has a range of features within its website builder.
All websites are fully responsive, allowing them to be used on desktop, tablet and mobile. There are built in Search Engine Optimisation tools such as metatags and sitemaps, helping your site to rank highly on search engines.
Site123 also allows websites to be built multilingual with built in translation tools and separate language URLS.
There are also a range of features for business sites such as a restaurant reservation tool, a scheduling tool for booking appointments and the ability to sell event tickets through your website.
Other features include email marketing tools such as mailing lists, customer form builders, cookie consent plugins, website passwords to keep pages private as well as the ability to integrate a range of third-party plugins such as live chat functions.
Site123 Pricing & Features
There are two main pricing plans available form Site123 – Basic and Premium.
The basic option is completely free and comes with 500 MB of storage and 1 GB of bandwidth. This option allows for a basic website using a site123 subdomain and will display a Site123 logo.
The premium plan starts A$10.80 per month and comes with 10 GB of storage and 5 GB of bandwidth.
This plan comes with eCommerce functionality as well as a free domain and no Site123 branding.
Within the premium plan users can choose between the advanced, professional and gold options, with each offering a variety of different features depending on the type of website that is required.
Wix.com is a cloud-based website web development service allowing users to create their own websites using pre built templates and drag and drop tools.
Read Our Wix Review
Users can choose from over 500 designer made templates or start from scratch and design their own.
Wix also has a feature called Wix ADI, or artificial design intelligence, which will design an original website based on a series of questions.
Each template is completely customisable using the Wix design editor, which allows you to drag and drop elements.
Other features include unlimited choice of fonts, industry leading search engine optimisation and automatic mobile optimisation.
There are also advanced design features where you can add things like animations and video backgrounds or scroll effects such as parallax, zoom in or fade in scrolling.
For more advanced customisation, Wix has a tool called Corvid which is an open development platform for building advanced web applications.
Wix offers a basic website builder for free but this comes with a Wix subdomain and carries Wix adverts.
Wix Pricing & Features
For more advanced options, Wix has several premium plans available. The cheapest is the Combo Plan which is US$10 per month and designed for individual use.
This comes with the removal of Wix ads, 3 GB of storage and 2 GB bandwidth. Then there are the Unlimited and Pro Plans, which are US$14 and US$19 a month respectively.
The VIP plan is US$27 and comes with unlimited bandwidth and 20 GB storage. There are also three plans for businesses and eCommerce - Basic, Unlimited and VIP.
The basic is US$18 per month and allows websites to accept online payments and has 20 GB storage whereas the VIP eCommerce plan is US$38 per month and has 50 GB of storage as well as unlimited video hours and priority support.
Weebly is an online website builder owned by the mobile payment company Square. It allows users to easily create websites, blogs and online stores using customisable templates and other website building tools.
There are a number of different features available in the website builder, for both websites and more advanced ecommerce platforms.
As with most website builders, Weebly provides a number of themes and templates which can then be fully customised using a drag and drop tool to change the layout, headings and menus.
Users can add custom fonts, video and audio and there is a built-in image editor to create professional photos.
The builder also allows for more dynamic design elements such as advanced animation effects like parallax and reveal effects as well as video backgrounds.
For ecommerce sites, there are a range of tools that can integrated such as inventory management and shipping tools, coupons and gift cards, customer reviews and product search.
Weebly Pricing & Features
Weebly has four different pricing plans available, Free, Personal, Professional and Performance.
The Free plan is for basic use and uses a Weebly subdomain and comes with adverts for Square, as well as having some restrictions on storage and bandwidth.
The Personal Plan is $7 per month and allows for the connection to a custom domain name but still carries Square ads.
The Professional plan is $15 per month and allows for the creation of a professional, branded site for businesses with the ability to connect to a custom domain and remove the Square Ads.
The Performance plan is $30 per month and is suitable for more advanced ecommerce websites.
It comes with a free domain, unlimited storage, password protection, advanced eCommerce insights as well as the ability to accept PayPal payments.
Jimdo.com is a Hamburg based website builder and hosting provider, designed to allow users to build professional websites with or without any web design experience.
As well as the website builder, Jimdo also sells domain names and has a logo design service. So far over 25 million websites have been created using Jimdo.
Jimdo offers two main services, Jimdo Creator and Jimdo Dolphin. Jimdo Creator is a website builder which allows users to build their website from scratch and customise it using computer code.
Basic features that come with all Jimdo Creator Plans include mobile optimisation, social media integration, video embedding, SSL encryption, password protection and file downloads.
Jimdo Dolphin is an AI powered website builder designed to make website building accessible to people with no knowledge of computer coding.
Dolphin asks a series of questions about the user, their business and what they would like to achieve with the website and then builds a personalised website to fit their requirements with elements like text, photos and other details already filled in.
Jimdo Pricing & Features
Jimdo offers several plans for both websites and more advanced eCommerce sites.
Jimdo has a free option allowing users to try out the service with basic features and a Jimdo subdomain.
The paid options start at A$15 per month for the Start Plan, and then rises to A$25 for the Grow Plan and reaches A$65 for the Unlimited Plan, with each level coming with more features.
For example, with the Start Plan you get 5 GB of storage, 10 web-pages and 1 forwarding email address.
Whereas the Unlimited plan comes with unlimited storage and web-pages, 20 forwarding email addresses and 1 hour support response time.
eCommerce options start at A$25 for the Basic Plan, rising to A$35 for the Business and A$65 for the VIP plan, with each offering a variety of features depending on your requirements.
How To Choose Best Website Builder?
There's many different website builders out there, but we believe the 5 above are the best. But which one should you ultimately choose?
Most website builders have a free trial or a free plan. While it's a good start, and allows you to test the platform, you will likely have ads on your site, forcing you to upgrade.
Some platforms such as Wix charge in USD which means it's usually 1.5x the price for Australians. So choosing a platform that charges in AUD is usually cheaper.
There's various plans on offer, you definitely don't need the most expensive plans for creating a small business website or blog.
You will however need to pay a premium for an eCommerce feature, and this can be quite high depending on the platform.
If you're creating a purely eCommerce store, then you might find a hosted shopping cart platform is better than a hosted website builder.
Nearly all website builders offer the same features these days, but some do it in different ways.
The main feature should be the ease of use and functionality of the drag and drop builder. Slow updates and issues saving will only irritate you.
Check to see how fast your website loads, ultimately slow websites are the main reason people leave your website, so ensure it loads quick.
Compared with a self-hosted WordPress blog, hosted sites are much slower to load, but are a little more challenging to setup initially.
One of the reasons most Australians prefer website builders is the 24/7 support, and I'd agree, the support offered is great and fast.
Most offer a live chat facility. It's rare that they offer phone support, but this may be an optional addon. You can usually request a call back though.
You'll also have access to a knowledge-base, frequently asked questions and other resources such as training videos and how to guides.
Backups & Security
Make sure the website builder you choose offers regular backups of your website, especially if you make a change and something goes wrong, or your site is compromised (unlikely).
Most providers offer weekly backups as standard, but some companies might offer daily as a premium upgrade.
Lastly ensure the level of security is high and there's a good level of encryption available. Make sure you can access your site using a VPN if you use one, as some platforms block these.
Best Website Builder Discount Codes
There is rarely any website builder coupon codes, promo codes, discounts or special offers.
Most of those websites on Google are lieing to you and simply want to steal an affiliate commission from you. They entice you in with up to 99% off.
Others offer 50% discount, 75%, 95% etc. These simply don't exist.
The best coupons are found on the official website, although it's unlikely. You will find a free trial though, often up to 30 days or longer (sponsored by ads).