In this post, I’m going to list down the 10 best cheap website builders, that provide value for money with their features, ease of use, and performance.
I still remember the times when building a website meant dedicating a lot of time and skill. And in the end, you were left with a massive, empty space where your money used to be.
Not anymore. Website builders not only made the process very simple – they also made it really cheap.
Well, some of them have…
There are still plenty of website builders that end up being way too expensive or simply not offering good enough value for money.
So, which website builders will end up actually saving you money – instead of being a fancier way to spend it?
That’s what I attempted to find out – and before you, I have the top 10 cheap website builders. Both in a classical (very inexpensive) and in a more refined (offering a lot for the price) sense.
Some of these website builders are incredibly simple, stacked with marketing, design, and eCommerce tools for your business. Others really easy to use for blogging, or creating portfolios and personal projects. They’re all very different, with one thing that unites them – a good value.
These are the best cheap website builders out there:
Wix is the best proof that good design doesn’t have to cost much. Topping both our best website builder and this list, it combines more than 500 templates and advanced design tools, allowing to pixel-perfect every facet of your website.
Just like that, you can have a beautiful website, that’s completely unique – without having to pay for a designer!
But oh, it gets better. Starting with Wix can be completely free of charge.
But let’s start from the very beginning.
Let’s jump to what happens after you pick a template while creating a website with Wix.
Once I picked a theme, the drag-and-drop designer allowed me to place content anywhere on my pages, including on top of existing content. There are no constraints on the page layout, which is fairly unusual between website builders. Most tend to limit you to a certain layout (so you don’t break things).
Meanwhile, with Wix I could do nearly whatever I wanted which is a double-edged sword at times. Especially if you don’t take much attention to detail – that way you might end up having a massive clutter on your pages.
On top of that, the content elements are nothing short of incredible. There are hundreds of them, ranging from slideshows and call-to-action buttons to forms and customer testimonials.
The options can feel a little overwhelming at times, but in my opinion, I’d rather have too many content choices to add than too few.
It’s also worth noting that Wix is one of the only website builders that lets you directly edit how your website will look on smartphones and tablets. Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with this if you don’t want to, as all the templates are automatically responsive. But, if you have content that absolutely needs to be changed on small screens, Wix provides you the possibility to do so.
Still, the Wix editor does have a downside or two. There are relatively few options for making changes across your entire site at once, so it can be somewhat difficult to create a consistent page layout or style aesthetic.
This takes some attention to detail, or else your website will end up with a fragmented and unprofessional appearance.
Also, once you pick your website’s template – you have to stick with it as changing the template would mean having to redo most of your design work all over again.
Not a dealbreaker, sure – but something to keep in mind.
Wix has a ton of features for online stores, including a simple product designer and advanced selling tools like abandoned cart recovery. What stands out most about Wix’s eCommerce features to me is that the platform includes a booking calendar so you can sell services.
Even better, the calendar can be used not only to book customers but also to set schedules for the employees. And most of these features come with the cheapest eCommerce plan for $23 a month.
Wix also comes with a basic email newsletter designer, which is complete with its own templates. While it’s not a full-blown customer relationship manager, it comes close enough.
Gathering your customers’ email information can boost your site’s traffic and if you’re creating a business website – that may improve your revenue as well.
Talking about revenue and money in general… How much do Wix plans cost if they’re packed with so many features? Let’s jump to pricing to find out.
Here goes the fun part – money talk.
Wix has a free plan available, but quite frankly, I can’t recommend it for businesses – because it’s quite limited. You only get 500 MB of content storage and can’t add your own domain name.
Not having a custom domain name or an ads-free homepage – is quite far from professional, isn’t it?
So, after you’re done setting everything up and are happy with the site – consider upgrading to a premium plan.
It’s a bit of a jump — a ‘Combo’ plan starts at $13 per month. However, you do get a solid amount of server space and a free domain for a year.
It’s only a tad more expensive if you want to add an online store. Wix eCommerce plans start at $23 per month, and that includes everything you need to start selling – even abandoned cart recovery (a premium feature in many builders) is available at that price point.
Plus, there are no commissions, so you keep all your money to yourself.
WordPress.com is a great website builder that offers a good option for anyone to make cheap websites – and bloggers are going to absolutely love it.
While WordPress brand name rings a bell to many of us, it’s usually related to the WordPress.org – a free to use content management system (CMS).
However, WordPress.com is an entirely different web entity – it’s an affordable website builder that provides hosting alongside its site editor.
So, WordPress.com lets you enjoy building a site without much hassle since no coding knowledge is required. Meanwhile – WordPress.org is an open-source CMS that allows its users to build a website from scratch on their own but requires knowing some coding.
Not to confuse you any further, let’s just hop to WordPress.com.
Getting to the site editor of WordPress.com is a rather easy task. It takes only 5 steps to start customizing your pages, homepage, and blog posts.
WordPress.com’s site editor is a drag-and-drop interface, but the content elements are somewhat limited. That’s a good thing for helping launch a simple website quickly, but it can also limit your flexibility down the road.
Another thing to watch out for is that the layout of your WordPress website is completely controlled by your template. There are around 300 templates available to WordPress.com users, although it’s worth noting that a significant number of these are premium themes. Still, I found myself pretty happy with the design, layout, and overall look of the basic templates.
The best part of WordPress.com is definitely an integrated blog. The blog editor works just like the page editor, and here the content elements are more than enough to create rich posts.
The text editor is also easy to use cause it deeply resembles general text editing software like Microsoft Word, for example. So there’s no confusion, even for the beginners who are just starting with blogging.
One of the best reasons to start with eCommerce in WordPress.com is how easy it is to monetize your blog posts. You can quickly and simply integrate Google AdSense, or use WordPress’s own dedicated ad service.
Even better, you can add SEO plugins to improve your website’s ranking and get a real-time keyword analysis while writing your posts.
If you want to sell products, WordPress.com can be pretty pricey. This website builder has only one plan for eCommerce and it would cost you $45 a month, so that’s far from affordable. But, you have the potential to set up a full-fledged eCommerce store.
The trick to eCommerce in WordPress.com is that a lot of the functionality relies on third-party apps, which can themselves be somewhat expensive.
For example, if you want to create discount codes, sell gift cards, or recover abandoned carts through your WordPress store, you’ll have to pay for plugins to do it.
So in the end, there’s no way I would offer WordPress.com for an eCommerce since there are different website builders that specify in online store building and offer way cheaper solutions.
WordPress.com offers a free plan, but you can’t add your own domain name. But you can still have your custom domain and built pretty cheap websites with its premium plans – that start at just $4 per month. For that price, you get access to non-premium themes, a free domain for one year, and 6 GB of content storage. However, note that SEO and marketing tools aren’t included.
If you want to monetize your website, plans start at $8 per month. But, if you want to accept payments, you’ll need to upgrade to an ‘eCommerce’ plan for a whopping $45 per month.
SITE123 makes it fast, easy and affordable to launch a website with pre-made pages and a simple editing interface. The platform is somewhat limited in flexibility, but if you’re just looking to create a static website it has plenty to offer. SITE123 is also one of the cheapest website options for eCommerce.
What sets SITE123 apart from some of the other website builders I reviewed is that it’s not actually a drag-and-drop website builder. Instead, you get a handful of pre-designed page types that you can add to your site.
These pages cover basic website content like ‘About’, ‘Contact’, ‘Blog’ and more, so I didn’t feel like the platform was too lacking in options.
That said, these pages are pretty inflexible. You can’t change the layout of the page or even the content blocks that are shown. Really, all you can do is change the default text and images to ones that reflect your website’s subject matter. It’s also worth noting that a lot of these pre-made pages are pretty plain, depending on your theme.
Speaking of themes, SITE123 has plenty to offer. The platform gives you access to more than 200 templates, and you can switch at any time without losing your custom content.
I felt like a lot of the templates looked kind of similar to one another and they’re far from stunning, but they also don’t look bad or unprofessional by any stretch.
SITE123 does support online stores, but the platform is relatively limited in this respect. You can only show products for sale on a pre-made ‘Sales’ page, and there’s very little control over how your products are organized for visitors.
The platform is also lacking a lot of basic eCommerce features like product searches, discounts, gift cards, and more.
However, I was happy to find that SITE123 includes a basic email marketing tool. This is a nice touch, even if the rest of the business features within this platform are a little rickety.
So SITE123 has limited eCommerce features yet manages to offer a quite decent email marketing tool. As you can see, it balances out – you have affordable pricing, only $9.90 a month for an eCommerce plan, yet a decent amount of features. It all goes back to value for money.
And SITE123 manages to offer a good one.
SITE123 makes it free to design a website. However, the hosting resources are quite limited with the free plan.
The free plan gives you 500 MB of storage and 1 GB of bandwidth, while the cheapest plan ups that to 10 GB of storage and 5 GB of bandwidth per month for $7.80/mo.
The cheapest one is enough for blogs and personal projects already, especially if you’re not planning to have a very content-heavy website.
SITE123 also makes it quite cheap to start an eCommerce store. Its “Professional” plan has basic eCommerce features integrated, however, if you want a bigger online store it will still depend mostly on third-party integrations.
So going through everything pricing related, I believe that SITE123 is a great choice for smaller websites, personal projects, or simpler online stores. It offers beginner-friendly website building that is also fast and affordable.
You can even find a solution for a small eCommerce store with this website builder that is relatively cheap.
Weebly is a very attractive and inexpensive website builder for creating an online store. The platform has a nice suite of design tools that is considerably cheap, and puts an emphasis on user-friendliness.
When you start out with Weebly, you get to choose from about 50 different templates. That may not sound like much compared to some of the other cheap website builders that I looked at, but I was pretty happy with the platform’s theme offerings. They’re all very well designed and a lot of template options feature full-width or full-screen homepage images.
Even better, I found that customizing a website using Weebly’s drag-and-drop editor is surprisingly simple. While content elements aren’t lacking by any means, you also don’t have to sort through hundreds of options.
The style options are a bit limited, as you can only change your template’s color palette and fonts.
It’s also important to note that your layout is restricted in Weebly. All of the themes have three-or four-column content layouts, and you can’t design pages outside of this grid pattern. Still, I thought Weebly did a good job of making it easy to create a professional website, even if that meant some loss of control.
In the end, Weebly balances everything out with its site editor – it stays beginner-friendly yet offers enough customization for its price.
Where Weebly shines is in the platform’s eCommerce functionality. You get a wide suite of selling features with an online store plan, including the ability to sell gift cards and issue discount codes. There’s also an abandoned cart recovery feature to help convert lost sales.
It’s actually crazy how much Weebly manages to offer while having affordable pricing. Weebly’s eCommerce plan costs as little as $25 a month. Considering the amount of eCommerce-related features it provides, I think it’s one of the best (if not the best) eCommerce solutions for people looking to budget.
Weebly’s strongest point is its product manager – it’s easy to use and understand even for the beginners. This platform manages to offer this convenient feature alongside a great product designer – that is fully packed with interesting design options that help to build your eCommerce storefront nicely.
Both are eCommerce must-haves – be it a product designer or a product manager. And to have them both working great while offering it at the affordable side of the pricing scale – is one of the reasons why Weebly appears on this list of best cheap website builders.
Creating an eCommerce usually is pricy and relies on third-party integrations that tend to cost a lot, however, this platform offers a variety of in-house features for building an eCommerce.
For example, I particularly liked Weebly’s product designer. It puts all of your product options on a single page, and you have a ton of choices about what information to show for a given product. Of course, I would have liked more dynamic content in the description area, but that’s a minor complaint.
On the back-end, Weebly offers a ton of tools for managing your online business. The platform features a very simple inventory management system and you can get real-time shipping quotes from several major carriers.
There’s also a very versatile email marketing tool built into Weebly, which allows you to create automated emails as well as special mailings.
Best of all, Weebly’s online store features are extensible using the platform’s app marketplace.
There are around 400 apps in it – but many of them are free or inexpensive. I really liked that there are extensions for nearly anything that might be required to build an amazing online store.
For example, adding bookings to your storefront or connecting your shop to social media platforms. That may as well increase traffic on your website since you will be advertising yourself on the different social platforms.
Weebly has a free plan available, but, as is often the case, it’s pretty limited. You only get 500 MB of content storage and can’t add your domain. However, Weebly makes it cheap to add your own domain with paid plans starting at just $5 per month.
You can set up a limited online store with a $12 per month ‘Pro’ plan, but you’ll miss out on most of the advanced selling features that Weebly offers. Advanced online shops require a $25 per month ‘Business’ plan.
Overall, Weebly is a great choice if you want to start building an online store. You can even use a cheaper plan and as your online business grows – you can always upgrade.
In the end, it’s a great solution for people who want to start slow – as you can always upgrade your subscription and get the most out of this platform with its easy to use product designer, marketing tools, and an abandoned cart email feature.
Strikingly is an inexpensive website builder designed specifically around one-page eCommerce storefronts. A platform is a good option for small online stores selling physical products. However, Strikingly can struggle when it comes to advanced site design and scalability.
This platform is different from other site builders on this list because it focuses entirely on one-page websites. Your site content is divided into sections on a single landing page, and visitors are meant to scroll down to view your website and products.
Strikingly comes with dozens of free templates that illustrate this single-page design. Given themes are nice, modern-looking, and easy to customize.
You don’t have a lot of freedom to customize your template, but I actually didn’t find this to be too much of a problem. Strikingly allows you to add sections to your website and reorder existing sections.
Each pre-made section has a few different layouts available and you have control over style customizations like fonts and color palettes.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard and end up with a website that visitors will never make it to the bottom of.
One exception to the single-page construction is your blog. Strikingly displays blog post previews on the main page of your site, but the posts themselves exist on a separate blog page.
I liked this navigation choice since it helps cut down on clutter, although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Strikingly for blogging.
Strikingly makes eCommerce strikingly simple. The platform offers inventory tracking and real-time shipping quotes with every plan. Plus, you can quickly and easily organize your products into categories and offer a product search tool for your customers.
However, that product search tool won’t be needed as much if you use the cheapest Strikingly plan that costs only $8 a month. That’s cause this platform allows you to add only up to 5 products to your storefront with its cheapest plan.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Strikingly doesn’t come with any built-in marketing features. You can collect visitor emails with a newsletter sign-up page section, but you’ll need to export these to another service if you actually want to follow up with marketing emails.
Strikingly may strike you as a cheap website builder, especially since it offers truly free eCommerce. At no cost, you get access to all of the service’s website design and selling tools. Where’s the catch? You can only sell one product on your website.
If you want to sell more than that, paid plans start at $8 per month for up to five products. That’s still a pretty good deal for small online stores.
If you have more than five products, Strikingly costs $16 per month — at that price, I’d recommend another website builder to get more selling tools for the money.
So Strikingly is best fitted for smaller eCommerce stores for them to look modern since it provides only one page for navigating your whole website. It doesn’t look like the best option for blogs as well, but it does the job with small online stores or small personal projects.
GoDaddy website builder is a great site builder if you’re looking for high-quality templates for affordable pricing. The platform’s editor doesn’t allow for a huge amount of design flexibility though.
However, for small businesses, like affiliate blogs or smaller eCommerce stores, the built-in customer review system can be a big draw.
GoDaddy website builder offers around 100 templates, separated into 15 distinct categories. Compared to other services, the templates are extremely well-designed and cover a lot of ground. Some themes offer widescreen images, while others make very effective use of negative space.
So you have options both for minimalistic looks and content-heavy sites with tons of images, to look attractive to your visitors. Of course, if you place everything nicely and don’t cause clutter on your page.
The page designer doesn’t offer very much in the way of freedom. The platform lacks the drag-and-drop content elements I found in competing website builders. In addition, your site’s layout is completely controlled by your theme.
Thankfully, you can switch templates at any time if you decide your site layout isn’t working for your content.
One important warning that’s worth noting is that GoDaddy website builder doesn’t allow you to create secondary navigation menus.
That means that all of the pages on your site appear in the top-level navigation. This is fine for most small to medium-sized websites, but you wouldn’t want to build a highly complex site with this platform.
GoDaddy website builder has an impressive suite of tools to support online businesses. You get a free business email for one year with any plan. Plus, this platform integrates your product listings automatically with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram with its most advanced plan.
If you need to book services, GoDaddy website builder has a built-in appointment feature. You can even use your website to automatically send reminders to customers about their upcoming appointments.
However, GoCentral still lacks some important selling tools. Especially when it’s asking $25 a month for its eCommerce plan.
You won’t find options to get real-time shipping quotes for physical products, nor will you get an abandoned cart recovery tool to help convert sales.
GoDaddy website building plans start at $10 per month. A ‘Basic’ plan comes with unlimited content storage and bandwidth, as well as a free business phone number and email address for one year.
The Basic package also includes appointment bookings, although you won’t have a dedicated payment page (you can use PayPal instead).
GoDaddy offers additional plans for $15 and $20 per month, but online stores will most likely need the $25 per month ‘Ecommerce’ plan.
This allows you to add physical product listings to your site, gives you a dedicated checkout page, and allows you to list your products on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
Squarespace is a visually attractive website builder that offers a 14-day free trial to experience its powerful design tools.
It’s a bit different from other website builders on this list because it doesn’t offer a free-forever plan like competitors tend to. However, its free trial starts counting down the days with each site you created separately.
So you have a handful amount of time to experience the website building process with this artsy platform. Just note down that if in 14 days you don’t grab a paid plan for a website – you’re doomed to start all over again with a new one.
Squarespace has a well-earned reputation for offering image galleries that simply can’t be matched. On top of that, the platform features a highly flexible drag-and-drop editor and stunning templates to get your website started.
Squarespace includes around 100 themes, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find more impressive-looking options. The templates offer a wide range of styles, from full-screen homepage images to scattered content that makes effective use of negative space. I also liked that you can switch themes at any time to refresh the look of your site.
Even better are the galleries that you can create within this platform. You have far more than just basic grid-style galleries — there are also tons of options for more unusual image layouts and combinations of text and images.
Squarespace displays all of your images in high resolution as well, so this platform is perfect for photographers, graphic designers, and artists.
The page designer is also highly functional, although it can be a bit confusing to get started with. You can drag-and-drop a variety of content elements anywhere within a grid layout.
Plus, Squarespace lets you change the style of every element, down to details like how much padding you want between images in a gallery.
Squarespace brings a wide suite of tools to eCommerce, although it’s not the most inexpensive option for selling. The platform includes tools such as inventory management, real-time shipping quotes, discounts, gift cards, and abandoned cart recovery.
However, you don’t have options to cross-list your products from Squarespace on Amazon, eBay, or other marketplaces. Moreover, all of the features mentioned above are accessible only with the priciest eCommerce plan that ends up costing $40/month when paid annually.
Yet it’s not like everything revolves around the priciest eCommerce plan with Squarespace. You can build an online store with its second or third plan as well. Those plans cost from $18 to $26 a month. It’s just they won’t have the most advanced selling tools included.
Talking about cheaper plans – another nice thing in Squarespace is that it comes with a relatively comprehensive email marketing tool.
You get access to the same drag-and-drop editor and content elements to build emails, which means you can create some very eye-catching mailings. It’s also easy to add newsletter sign-up forms anywhere on your website so that you can build your mailing lists.
Squarespace plans start at $12, so it’s not the cheapest option if you just want to build a basic website. On the plus side, the ‘Personal’ plan comes with unlimited content storage and bandwidth.
eCommerce options are available at $18, $26, or $40 per month price points depending on what selling tools you need.
It’s important to know that Squarespace’s “Business” plan lets you accept payments and to build an eCommerce store. However, it’s the plan that has a catch.
It takes a 3% transaction fee.
Not a tragedy, of course. Not uncommon thing as well. However, not the pro either. It depends entirely on how much you’re willing to pay and compromise, but in my honest opinion, I would rather pay those extra $8 a month to save my sales from transaction fees.
Upgrading to the “Commerce” plan leaves your revenue entirely to you, as well as, additionally offers a point of sale – that if physical sales are your thing.
In my opinion, these plans are competitively priced with most of the other cheap website builders I reviewed, especially given the quality of the selling and marketing tools in Squarespace.
In the end, Squarespace is definitely not my first choice for eCommerce, I would rather suggest it to rising artists that want to get noticed either with their blogs, portfolios, podcasts, or personal projects in general.
Gator is one of the cheapest website builders you’ll find, whether you’re building a personal site or looking to launch an eCommerce store. The platform can feel like a budget builder at times, but on the whole, it has enough design features for most site owners.
That feeling of working within a cut-rate website builder is never more present than when choosing a theme for your website. The platform has thousands of themes available, but most of them are extremely outdated.
Thankfully, Gator does highlight a collection of about one dozen more modern templates that you can use. These are still lackluster compared to what you’ll find in competing services, but they’re worlds better than the thousands of decade-old template options.
I was pleasantly surprised by Gator’s page editor, which is much more modern than I expected after seeing the template options.
The drag-and-drop content editor gives you a wide range of content elements and places very few restrictions on where on your page you can put them. In addition, the platform offers a comprehensive site-wide style editor.
Gator has a few other nice features to it, too. There’s a built-in visitor analytics dashboard, which is great if you want to see who has been visiting your website.
You can also easily start a blog with your Gator website. The post editor isn’t quite up to par with what’s available in other builders, but it’s definitely usable
Gator blog posts’ editor is rather easy to use as it is simple and feels like a generic Word-ish text processor. Which, in my opinion, is a plus cause it feels familiar and isn’t too complex to work with.
Gator wouldn’t be my first pick for running an eCommerce store, but it’s hard to argue with this platform’s inexpensive pricing. I mean, it’s eCommerce plan costs only $9.22 a month. However, the problem with using Gator for selling online is that you simply don’t get all that many tools to help grow your business.
For example, there is no email marketing tool included with your Gator website. Nor do you get advanced selling features like abandoned cart recovery, or business management features like inventory tracking and real-time shipping quotes.
At the end of the day, you’ll be left paying for third-party services to supplement your Gator eCommerce store.
Gator is incredibly cheap. While there’s no free plan, the ‘Starter’ plan costs just $3.84 per month. For that low price, you get a free domain name, unlimited content storage and hosting, and access to all of Gator’s features except for eCommerce.
Few other website builders come close to offering so much for so little money.
If you want to launch an eCommerce store with Gator, the cost is $9.22 per month. However, note that this doesn’t come with much other than the ability to add products and route users to a checkout page.
So Gator wouldn’t be a first pick for me when creating an eCommerce. I would rather use its cheap plans to build a personal project or a simple blog.
Jimdo is a great cheap website builder for those in a rush, especially small businesses’ owners who want to build a site without much hassle.
This platform is unique among website builders in that it offers an artificial intelligence-based designer known as Jimdo Dolphin. The platform also has a standard template-driven editor, but the AI service makes it extremely fast and easy to launch a custom website.
To get started with Jimdo’s AI designer, all you have to do is answer a few basic questions about your website.
This includes information about what types of pages your website needs since Jimdo will even create most of your site’s navigation for you.
From there, the designer will give you a few different website mock-ups to choose between and then launch your new site. The whole process took me less than five minutes from start to finish. In the end, I could simply add custom text and images before making my site live.
If you choose to go the template-driven route, Jimdo gives you about 15 templates to choose from. The selection isn’t huge, but I thought the templates were generally modern and sleek.
Whichever startup route you choose, you can use Jimdo’s drag-and-drop editor to further customize your website. The editor isn’t all that flexible since you don’t have a huge selection of content elements, and every site is restricted to a grid layout.
But, I found the page editor refreshingly easy to use. Now, let’s take a look at what Jimdo offers for eCommerce fanatics.
One of the things I liked best about Jimdo is that it’s incredibly simple to set up an online store. You can add products to your website just like any other content element, and then your new products are automatically added to your eCommerce inventory.
Unfortunately, Jimdo doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility in managing your business. While there are tools for inventory management and tracking shipments, you can’t create complex order flows within the platform’s back-end.
Well, considering the price of the cheapest eCommerce plan from this website builder, it doesn’t surprise me that it may come off as flawed. For example, the starting price for an online store with Jimdo goes as little as $15 a month.
Jimdo also doesn’t take a chunk off your sales – meaning it takes 0% commission, which is a feature you might be looking for if you’re aiming for a budget-friendly builder.
But being only cheap won’t cut it with me. There’s an extra thing that Jimdo struggles with and it’s its product design. It’s hard to customize your products all that much. For example, you can’t add videos to product pages to show off your items in action.
For example, if you’re willing to sell digital content or even some video files with their projects – Jimdo is not the place to showcase it. The lack of video preview feature doesn’t affect many users, but for people who have specific products to sell and require moving-pictures… Well, this website builder doesn’t provide it.
Jimdo also doesn’t have any built-in marketing features, which was somewhat disappointing. On the whole, I would have liked to see a lot more capabilities from Jimdo for online businesses.
Jimdo offers a free plan, but it leaves out a lot of important features. You can’t add your own domain name, there’s no customer support, and you won’t receive any tools for managing your site’s SEO.
However, it’s enough to experience this website builder and check how the editor itself feels. You can always subscribe for a paid plan after testing it out if you decide that beginner-friendliness, modern eye-candy designs, and a decent amount of hosting storage is enough for you.
If you want to upgrade, paid plans start at $9 per month. Considering the limitations of the designer and that this still doesn’t include SEO management, I’d say this isn’t the greatest value. SEO tools require a $15 per month plan, while eCommerce features require a $19 per month plan.
In the end, I would offer Jimdo as a cheap website builder for people who want to get online fast and look for a modern look for their website. It’s a better fit for sites that promote your business, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for eCommerce.
Ucraft is one of my favorite cheap website builders since it lets you connect a custom domain (if you already own one) even with its free plan at no cost. You even get unlimited storage and bandwidth with its free version. However, nothing new, there are limitations as well – lack of blogging tools, no selling tools, and, of course, their own branding on your site.
However, it’s still an amazing platform for offering so much for free. You can even try out paid plans’ features with its 14 days trial. Everything sounds so convenient until… it’s not.
Ucraft doesn’t let you downgrade a plan after picking a pricier one, so in my honest opinion, I would suggest taking baby steps before picking, for example, the most expensive plan.
All this mess and misunderstandings can be avoided if you choose a plan carefully and according to your budget. Now, let’s get back to the fun part.
Ucraft offers the ability to design a new site quickly and simply.
The platform’s drag-and-drop editor allows you to create ‘blocks’ of content elements and a checklist allows you to stay on top of the design process. On top of that, Ucraft integrates with Ecwid to give you a ton of online store functionality.
The first thing that stands out to me about Ucraft is the platform’s templates. I really like the way they look, and there are more than 60 of them available for free. Many Ucraft themes feature prominent call-to-action buttons and easily navigable layouts, which together encourage visitors to come back to your site in the future.
I also thought that Ucraft’s editor was very well-made. When you’re just starting out, the platform offers a helpful checklist that walks you through the design process.
The drag-and-drop editor is also relatively intuitive so that you don’t have to spend hours learning how this specific software works.
Ucraft also offer ‘blocks’, which were relatively unique. Blocks allow you to combine sets of content elements for reuse later. That means that when you go to design a new page, you can already have a block with most of the content elements you need ready to be dropped into place.
The only downside to Ucraft’s designer is that the content elements are somewhat limited. I would have been thrilled to see elements that combine text and images, or galleries that go beyond a basic grid layout.
Now, what does Ucraft offer for online stores? Spoiler alert! It’s cleverly priced.
Before Ucraft was known to have an Ecwid integration as an eCommerce solution and it wasn’t a bad choice. However, now this website builder took a matter to its own hands and finally released its own eCommerce solution.
And right now, I can admit that this platform is doing a pretty good job.
You have features presented to improve your online presence like SEO tools and an ability to use social channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc. You can also create discounts, have proper inventory management, and even sell digital goods.
However, all this bowl of features is divided into a few plans.
You can build a simple online store with its cheapest plan called “Pro” for only $10 a month. It lets you add up to 15 products, use Stripe and Paypal for transactions, and takes no commission off your sales.
However, if you want premium features such as abandoned cart recovery, discounts, and selling on other platforms like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, etc – you’ll have to upgrade a plan up. That would be $21 per month when paid annually.
One additional neat feature that Ucraft offers to businesses is a logo designer.
If you’re launching a new business, you can save money on a graphic designer by using this platform’s simple vector art designer. There are over one million icons in the designer library to incorporate into your logo.
Ucraft offers a very attractive free plan. You can connect your own domain name, as well as add Google Analytics and Ucraft’s free SEO tool to your website.
Really, there’s no need to pay for Ucraft unless you need eCommerce or want to create a blog.
For online store owners, eCommerce plans start at just $10 per month. If you have more than 15 products, upgrading to a ‘Pro Shop’ plan lets you sell up to 1,000 products for $21 per month.
These plans are significantly cheaper than what a lot of other services offer for online stores, and you get many of the same tools.
Saving money by choosing a cheap website builder doesn’t mean you need to give up on ease of use or features. Regardless of how inexpensive your builder is, there are certain features that all high-quality website builders share.
Website builders should make it fast to launch your website by introducing as little friction into the process as possible. Or, at least, lower the possibility of human error as well as provide fast responding customer support if the mentioned human error happens.
Many builders let you pick a template, customize, and launch so that you don’t even need to deal with the design right away if you don’t want to. This is even more important for eCommerce builders, since the time to launch is time you’re not selling.
Along with that, the editing interface should be user-friendly. If you can never figure out how to navigate a Byzantine maze of menus and content items, what good is your chosen website builder?
In my opinion, the best website builders include a simple dashboard and a clean design interface. That means that menus are ideally only one or two levels deep, and most tools can be accessed right from the design interface.
I also like having a comprehensive site-wide style menu, since that makes it easy to customize your website without having to deal with CSS code or to make changes page-by-page.
Flexibility is also important, although that can sometimes work against ease of use. The most flexible editors tend to be slightly more difficult and time-consuming simply because you have so many options.
For example, Wix allows you to place content anywhere, but that freedom also means that syncing the layout of your pages takes some attention and work.
I particularly like website builders like Wix and WordPress.com that offer app marketplaces. These are great for flexibility because third-party apps allow you to add more functionality later on, without coding.
However, beware that many plugins are paid, so these website builders aren’t all that cheap if you rely heavily on extensions.
Another important point that every high-quality website builder should hit is responsiveness. These days, half of the traffic to your website or more is likely to come from mobile devices and tablets. So, it’s absolutely essential that your site looks good and functions as it’s supposed to on these smaller, touch-friendly screens.
Thankfully, this is something that all of the website builders I reviewed are on top of. All of the templates are responsive, and most platforms automatically adapt your website for smaller screen sizes.
Wix is notable here because it’s one of the few cheap website builders that allows you to actually design how you’d like your website to look on mobile devices.
Finally, don’t forget to check whether your website builder has a history of reliable performance. All of the builders I reviewed host their sites on their own servers, so you’re dependent on the platform for your website’s performance.
A surprising number of otherwise strong website builders have relatively slow loading speeds or experience several days of downtime per year. This can really hurt visitation to your website, so it’s worth looking further into performance.
In the end, quality website builders have a few key points in common: fast launches, user-friendly interfaces, flexible design features, responsive templates, and high-performing servers.
When opting for a cheap website builder, it’s important to ensure that the platform you want to use includes all of these elements. Otherwise, you could end up with frustration down the road.
Beyond those basic builder features, it’s important to think about what website essentials are required to build a successful site.
This includes things like:
Understanding which of these optional items and features you need – can help you get the most value out of a cheap website plan.
The domain name is the address of your website. For example, with a custom domain name, visitors to your site can navigate to ‘www.yourdomain.com’.
Domain names are pretty inexpensive — depending on the name you want, you can typically get one for as little as $12 per year. That’s usually the price of “.com” TLD.
In many cases, website builders also include a domain name for free with your plan for one year.
However, adding a custom domain to your website can cost you. One of the most serious limits on the free or basic plans of many cheap website builders is that you can’t add a custom domain to your site. Instead, you get a domain at the builder’s address, such as ‘www.yoursite.strikingly.com’.
It’s up to you whether you want to pay for the ability to add a domain name. Just note down that a custom URL typically makes your website seem more professional and can make the address easier for visitors to remember.
Having more templates to choose from is almost always a good thing when it comes to website builders. That way, you have more options to choose from when launching and laying out your site. Also – solutions – if you want to overhaul the look and feel of your site later.
Keep in mind that some cheap website builders, like WordPress.com, only include a handful of templates for free. Premium themes may cost extra — and while you’re not obligated to use them, they often offer more diverse layouts and content than basic templates.
Also, be sure to check whether you can change templates after you’ve launched your website. This is the case for most website builders, but some, like Wix, don’t let you switch themes.
The cheapest website plans come with limitations on how much content storage you get on the platform’s servers. This can be problematic if you’re planning a large site with numerous images and videos or an eCommerce store. On the other hand, if your website only needs a few pages, you may never notice the storage limits of your plan.
The same is with bandwidth. If you have a high-traffic site, you’ll need more bandwidth — otherwise, visitors can encounter extremely slow page loading speeds and be turned away from your site entirely.
Image-heavy sites will also require more bandwidth, since it takes a lot of data to serve those images to site visitors.
Upgrading your storage capacity or bandwidth typically means switching to the next plan up, which can be costly depending on the platform. So, think carefully about how much server capacity you need and how much it will cost between different website builders.
If you’re launching a website for a business, marketing tools can play a huge role in attracting new visitors and customers. Even the cheapest website builders come with basic marketing tools, like newsletter sign-up forms.
However, usually cheap plans tend to offer less of these marketing features and you will have to rely on third-party app integrations.
Typically, integrating marketing tools to your website is still cheaper than buying them separately. Wix, Weebly, GoCentral, and Squarespace all offer email newsletter services as part of their cheap business plans.
If you’re not sure how much marketing power you need, you can always start off with a more basic plan and upgrade later on.
Launching an online store comes with some different requirements compared to a basic website. To start off, you need a checkout page and the ability to integrate a payment processor into your shop.
Almost all of the cheap website builders I looked at offer eCommerce plans, but they’re notably more expensive than personal plan options.
Just as important, selling tools are often divided up into plan tiers, so you’ll have to decide what features are most important to you and how much you are willing to pay for them. For example, you may be able to create coupons with one plan, but you would need to upgrade in order to sell gift cards.
It’s also important to remember that it can be easy to get baited by a good price tag when you’re picking an eCommerce plan. However, be careful, because choosing a very cheap and limited eCommerce plan has a few catches:
So as you can see, it’s easy to spend a lot of money on eCommerce. Before you dive into a service, think carefully about what tools will be most important to your business and which ones you can manage without.
Most all-inclusive website builders take care of security in the background, without you even paying extra for it. However, it’s worth taking a look at what security features are offered and whether you can pay for extra security.
This is especially important if you’re running an eCommerce store since there’s much more than just your website content at stake if you get hacked.
Some platforms, most notably WordPress, offer paid extensions that add an extra layer of security to your site to protect your business and your customers.
There are a lot of extra features to consider when choosing a website builder, especially if you plan on using your website to run an online business.
From domain names to storage to eCommerce, you’ll have to decide what tools are important to you and how much you’re willing to pay for them.
A cheap website builder can help you launch an online presence without breaking the bank. Importantly, limiting how much you pay for your website doesn’t mean you have to skimp on features. Many of the cheapest websites are well-designed and offer a ton of back-end tools.
Still, it’s important to think about what each website builder offers in comparison to what you need.
Different plans offer different values for personal websites, blogging, marketing, and eCommerce stores.
For example, if I were to break down which website builder is better for what – it would look something like this (considering plans’ pricing):
|Blogs||Business promoting||Personal use||eCommerce store|
|6. GoDaddy Website Builder||+|
Also, by knowing what tools and features you need going in, you can make sure that you’re getting the most for your money.
The last thing to note down – no matter what kind of budget you have, it’s important to choose a website builder that you can see your website’s final version in.
Online stores can grow, blogs can be monetized, and personal projects can end up gathering great amounts of traffic. That’s when the cheapest solutions won’t cut it anymore.
With that, let’s recap the top 10 cheap website builders: