Too busy for a full read? Here is the BEST cheap, but powerful Wix alternative for 2021
SITE123 – A beginner-friendly website builder with over 180 mobile-responsive templates and dozens of useful apps. Take the free plan for a spin to see whether it’s the right fit for you.
Wix often comes up as the number-one website builder in reviews, but this doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Maybe you’re looking for mobile-responsive templates, or you need more storage space for lots of HD images and other media. Maybe you need a more powerful e-commerce solution, or perhaps you just want a cheaper alternative to Wix’s Combo plan. Well, don’t worry – I have you covered.
I spent months testing over a dozen Wix alternatives so you don’t have to! Some builders looked promising at first, but once I dug a little deeper, I came across unreasonable storage and bandwidth limitations, disappointing template designs, or a very limited number of apps. None of these builders made it on my list.
Instead, I’ve included only those alternatives that actually deliver in key areas where Wix falls short. Which of these top Wix competitors is best for you? Keep reading to find out.
Short on time? Here are our top picks for Wix alternatives in 2021:
- SITE123 – The easiest website builder around, perfect for beginners in need of a simple solution
- Squarespace – Truly mesmerizing, mobile-responsive templates for business websites and creative portfolios
- WordPress.com – Massive theme library and thousands of powerful plugins to extend your website’s functionality
What We Look For in the Best Wix Alternatives
While testing Wix alternatives, I focused on finding website builders that offer:
- Value for money. With Wix, you have to pay extra to use some of the most important features. I looked for website builders that are more cost-effective than Wix.
- Built-in features. While Wix offers apps for extended functionality, some website builders come with more built-in features. With native features, you don’t have to waste time looking for apps and installing them.
- Mobile-responsive templates. Having to edit a separate mobile version of your website is a pain, so I looked for platforms that give you responsive templates that will automatically look great on smartphones and tablets.
- Design flexibility. Although Wix has a huge number of templates, it’s let down by the fact that you can’t change your template once you’ve selected it. I looked for platforms that make it easy for you to change your design over time.
- Customer service. You’ve heard about (or experienced) Wix’s awful customer service – such as the lack of live chat help and having to request a call-back when you phone the support line. I’ve included only website builders that offer better support.
- Free plan/trial. Some of these Wix alternatives allow you to build a fully-functional website without having to pay a dime. Others offer a free trial period, so you can test them risk-free.
Although it’s more basic-looking than the other website builders on this list, SITE123’s features are far from basic. You get easy tools to build your website, you can sell online, and you even have the option to create a multilingual website.
SITE123 has around 180 well-designed templates to choose from, and all of these are fully mobile-responsive – ensuring your visitors will have a good experience no matter what device they’re using to view your website.
Best suited for personal or small-business sites, SITE123 is a great choice if you want to establish an online presence as quickly as possible. It has a fairly generous free plan that lets you build a fully functional website, and a single paid plan that comes with all the premium features at a lower price compared to Wix’s Combo.
- 100% Beginner-friendly. SITE123 has created a website builder that couldn’t be easier to use. If you can use word processing software, you can build a website with SITE123.
- Help and support. Not only does SITE123 offer 24/7 live support (unlike Wix), but if you get stuck while using the editor, you can click the “Need Help?” button in the bottom right corner to instantly connect to an expert. The help and support team will walk you through setting up your website and solving common problems.
- Apps. SITE123 offers over 75 apps to add extra features to your website. If you’re on a paid plan, you can choose from a wide selection of free apps, including LiveChat, Twitter Conversion Tracking, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Analytics.
- Flexible e-commerce. Don’t let SITE123’s simplicity fool you – it has an impressive set of e-commerce features for a small online store. You can sell in over 80 different currencies, offer unlimited product variants (e.g. colors and sizes), and accept payments via PayPal, Braintree, 2Checkout, and Stripe.
|Free Plan/Trial||There’s a free plan, no credit card required, but features like apps will require an upgrade|
|E-commerce Features||Yes, built-in|
|Templates||180 free, mobile-responsive templates|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$12.80|
Squarespace has a solid reputation for reliability and excellent customer support, which explains why so many users prefer it to Wix. Plus, if the look of your website is important to you (as it should be), then you’ll be happy to know that Squarespace has some of the most modern, good-looking templates out there.
Squarespace offers 24/7 live chat support, which is a huge improvement over Wix’s awful customer support options. Squarespace also gives you significantly more storage compared to Wix, which will definitely come in handy if you want to build an online portfolio or upload lots of media to your site.
That said, Squarespace is not the cheapest builder around. There’s no free plan, but there is a 14-day free trial, and the features included still make Squarespace better value overall.
- Responsive Templates. Quite simply, Squarespace’s 100+ templates are mesmerizing. They’re professionally designed to make your website look modern and attractive, and they are all mobile-responsive. You don’t get as much freedom to move page elements around as you would with Wix, but sometimes, that’s a good thing.
- E-Commerce. Squarespace gives you better tools to build a small-medium sized online store for a fairly low cost. These include inventory management, product display, marketing tools and more.
- Analytics tools. Understanding your website traffic – where it’s coming from, how well your marketing is performing, etc. – is important for planning your marketing strategy. While Wix gives you Google Analytics integration, Squarespace has a native Analytics feature that also offers a mobile app so you can monitor your website’s performance on the go.
- Security. Squarespace is one of the most secure website builders, with high levels of server-side security and built-in SSL to keep your website data protected from hackers. While Wix’s security isn’t terrible, this is just one of the things that Squarespace does better than Wix.
|Free Trial/Plan||14-day free trial, no credit card required|
|E-commerce Features||Yes, built-in|
|Templates||100+ free templates to choose from, with dozens of premium templates available from third parties|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$12.00|
WordPress.com isn’t a drag-and-drop website builder like Wix, but it does offer much more flexibility and customization potential. If you’re looking for a website builder that is easy to scale as your website/business grows, WordPress.com could be an excellent choice.
WordPress is especially good if you want to blog on your website, since the platform is designed for blogging first and foremost – unlike Wix, which offers limited blogging features.
There is a bit of a steeper learning curve with WordPress.com, however. It’s not as beginner-friendly as some of the other drag-and-drop builders on my list, and you’ll have to sit down to a few hours’ worth of tutorials to get started. That said, the Gutenberg editor does make things easier, since it lets you use content blocks to add images, widgets, videos, and much more.
- Themes and customizations. WordPress.com offers a huge range of themes, most of which are mobile responsive and easy to customize. Plus, if you want to change your theme later down the line, you can. This is a big improvement on Wix’s ‘pick one theme and never change it’ approach.
- Plugins. If you upgrade to the Business plan or above, you can add plugins to your website for virtually any functionality (seriously, there’s 5,000+ of them!). Although Wix allows you to add apps, there are more free WordPress plugins than there are Wix apps.
- HTML/CSS editing. The ability to edit the HTML and CSS of your website is a big bonus if you’re more confident in your technical skills. HTML and CSS editing give you the ability to make many more customizations to your website’s look and feel.
- Migration. You can start out with WordPress.com and decide to move to self-hosted WordPress (which can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you’re wanting to install plugins). It’s easy to migrate your website from WordPress.com, with built-in tools for exporting your website. With Wix, it’s impossible to transfer your site without losing the design.
|Free Plan/Trial||Yes – there is a free plan (no credit card required), but you will need to upgrade for more features|
|E-commerce Features||Only on the Business plan and above, via a plugin such as WooCommerce|
|Themes||Thousands of free themes, with the option to upload premium themes on the Business plan and above|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$4.00|
Although GoDaddy is better known for domain registration and hosting, it also offers a website builder that’s seen a ton of upgrades in recent years. At the time of writing, GoDaddy has 100+ professional, mobile-responsive templates, so you don’t have to put a lot of work into making your website look good across devices.
There’s a suite of marketing tools (e.g. email newsletters, pop-up subscription boxes etc.), e-commerce tools, and more, in addition to the easy-to-use drag-and-drop website editor. Plus, GoDaddy now offers a free plan, but this is only available in the US and a few other regions. Still, if the free plan is not available to you, you can give GoDaddy a spin using the 14-day free trial that comes with every plan.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI). If you’re not confident about your web design skills, then you’ll love this feature. When you sign up, you’ll be asked some questions about your website, and then GoDaddy will automatically build a basic site for you.
- Online Appointments. GoDaddy Website Builder’s built-in Online Appointments feature makes it easy to add a booking form to your website. What’s more, you can send your clients text and email notifications, process payments, sync your business and website calendars, and charge cancellation fees.
- SEO Tracking. GoDaddy gives you the tools you need to manage your SEO, as well as the option to track your search ranking. Unlike Wix, GoDaddy lets you follow the impact of changes you make to your SEO strategy, and will also give you recommendations for further improvements.
- Performance. GoDaddy is dedicated to ensuring that your web pages load quickly. This not only gives your customers a better experience, but it also has a positive impact on your SEO ranking.
|Free Trial||30-days – no credit card required|
|E-commerce Features||Yes, built in|
|Templates||40+ free templates|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$10.00|
If you want to build an online store and you want access to the best tools for selling online, then Shopify is the platform for you. You can try it free for 14 days – without having to put in your credit card details, so there’s no risk involved.
Shopify has an excellent reputation for customer support that’s available 24/7, so you can be sure that any problems will be fixed quickly. Although not as easy to use as Wix, it’s still pretty intuitive and makes selling online a more streamlined process.
There’s around 10 free templates and many more available to purchase – and all of the templates are fully mobile responsive, ensuring your store can be viewed on any device. The downside with the premium templates is that they’re expensive – expect to pay around $140-180.
Compared to Wix, Shopify’s higher-priced plans are considerably more expensive, but the Shopify Basic plan comes with more than enough tools for effective e-commerce. Since there are no sales caps (so your sales are unlimited), you can comfortably remain on the Shopify Basic plan – which is a similar price to Wix’s Business Unlimited plan (and much cheaper than the Business VIP plan).
Shopify also offers the Shopify Lite plan that doesn’t include hosting or a website builder, but allows you to integrate Shopify into an existing website, or even add a store to your Facebook page. Shopify Lite is much cheaper than Wix’s e-commerce plans, too.
- Dedicated e-commerce platform. As a platform focused solely on e-commerce, Shopify’s range of powerful e-commerce tools includes discount codes that you can limit to specific products or set a limit on the number of times a code can be used, bulk product import from a .csv file, inventory management tools and customer account management features.
- Multi-channel selling. If you want to expand the reach of your store, social media is a perfect way of doing it. With Shopify, you can do more than just share your products on your social media profiles – you can actually sell directly from Facebook and Instagram. By adding a special tag to your products on social media, customers can purchase from your store without leaving the Instagram app, for example.
- Scalable website. Shopify has three different priced plans to choose from, depending on the size of your business. As your online store grows, it’s easy to upgrade to the next level, making scaling your business website a really simple process, and meaning that there’s no limit on how big your store can grow!
- Abandoned cart recovery. Customers frequently leave items in their shopping carts when they leave your website without checking out. With Shopify’s abandoned cart recovery tool, you can increase your revenue by around 25%. The tool will automatically send emails to customers who have left items in their cart, reminding them about the product(s) they left behind, and providing a handy link directly to the checkout page.
|Free Trial||Yes, 14-days, no credit card required|
|E-commerce Features||Yes, dedicated e-commerce platform|
|Templates||10 free themes, 60+ premium themes|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$29.00|
Weebly has been growing in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. It’s better than Wix in several areas, and the free plan allows you to build a fully-functional website.
For starters, Weebly is easier to use than Wix. The interface is intuitive and easy to learn – and if you run into trouble, Weebly has a reputation for providing great customer service.
With around 100 templates, Weebly’s selection isn’t as impressive as Wix’s, but the advantage is that the templates are all mobile-responsive and you can change your template easily.
Unlike Wix, When you upgrade to a Weebly paid plan, you get unlimited storage.
Weebly does have e-commerce features which you can use to build a small online store – but watch out for additional transaction fees if you’re on the Pro plan. Upgrade to one of the e-commerce plans to get rid of those.
- Mobile app. Once you’ve built your website with Weebly, you don’t have to open up your computer every time you want to make changes to your website. The Weebly mobile app makes it super simple to manage your website on the go. This is particularly useful for e-commerce stores – you can even use the coupon creator to make branded coupons while you’re out and about, for example.
- Built-in features. With Wix you often have to add apps to get the features you need, but Weebly has a lot more features built into its editor. What’s more, Weebly includes advanced marketing tools in its plans, while with Wix you have to subscribe separately to Wix Ascend to get the same kind of tools.
- Membership area. If you’re a business owner who uses teams for projects or a freelancer who works with clients, you’ll appreciate the membership area feature in Weebly that allows you to easily create new website users and assign roles to them. This makes cooperation and collaboration much easier.
- IFTTT automation options. Weebly works with the popular IFTTT (If This, Then That) automation system to make it possible to set up automatic functions – so you can set them and forget them. For example, you can set up an IFTTT automation so that whenever you post a video to YouTube, a blog post will be created (automatically) and posted to your Weebly website. You can even set up another automation to post that blog to your social media channels.
|Free Trial||Yes, no credit card required. Weebly has a free plan, for a custom domain and other features, you’ll need to upgrade|
|E-commerce Features||Yes, built-in|
|Templates||100+ free templates|
|Price of cheapest paid plan||$6.00|
Some may consider Wix to be the King of all website builders, but it’s clear that it’s not your only option. If you want to build a website, you can choose from a variety of options depending on your budget and the purpose of your website.
If you’re a complete beginner looking for the simplest way to get online, SITE123 is the easiest option. It’s best for small personal and business websites, and it has lots of apps to help you extend your site’s functionality.
GoDaddy Website Builder is another easy option. With the AI (Artificial Intelligence) feature, you can sit back while your website is built for you, ready for you to edit.
If you’re looking for the best way to build an online store, Shopify’s extensive e-commerce features make it one of your best options. You can build an e-commerce store with Wix, but it doesn’t compare to Shopify’s selling and marketing tools.
Squarespace has some good e-commerce tools, but would really only work for a smaller online store.
Or, if you want to build a website that will scale with your business, WordPress.com is a great choice. It’s flexible, and if you upgrade to the Business plan, you can add themes and plugins for more customization.
|Price||Standout Feature||Best For|
|Site123||$$||In-editor help and support||Complete beginners – personal and small-scale websites|
|Squarespace||$$||Professionally-designed templates||Freelancers, artists and online stores|
|WordPress.com||$-$$||Add plugins on Business plan and above||Small and medium sized businesses|
|GoDaddy Website Builder||$-$$||AI for simple, easy website creation||Beginners – personal websites and small business websites|
|Shopify||$$$||Abandoned cart recovery||Online stores|
|Weebly||$-$$||IFTTT automation||Small and medium sized businesses|
Which website builder is better than Wix?Wix is one of the best website builders on the market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for you. Before making a decision, you should check out our list of the top website builders – as well as the most recent deals.
In particular, WordPress.com is a great website builder that’s better than Wix in a lot of ways.
It’s not quite as beginner-friendly, but it’s still possible to learn. You’ll get tons more plugin options that are more powerful than the ones you’d get with Wix. Also, if you go for the Business plan, you’ll be able to install third-party themes, and the options are virtually endless. You can learn more in our in-depth WordPress.com review. And, if you do decide that WordPress.com is right for you, make sure you take advantage of any current deals or coupons.
Which website builder is cheaper than Wix?For a cheaper Wix alternative, consider going with SITE123.
This website builder comes at a much lower price tag than Wix, and is even easier to use. It’s a great option for complete beginners, and you’ll still be able to build an online store, install apps, and customize your site with the simple editor.
SITE123 also has a free plan you can use as well as premium paid plans. There are less paid options compared to Wix, but the plans are a lot more affordable and still come with features you’ll want, like increased storage, e-commerce tools, and the ability to connect a domain. And the plans get even more affordable when you use a SITE123 coupon.
Which is better, Wix or Squarespace?Better is subjective, and both these website builders could be great depending on what you’re looking for.
Wix has more template options, but Squarespace’s templates are really well-designed, and most importantly, they’re mobile responsive.
Wix has more apps, but Squarespace skips the need for apps with tons of built-in features like email marketing, integrated analytics, and advanced e-commerce tools. Finally, Squarespace’s customer support is far better than what you’ll get with Wix.
While Squarespace won most categories in our Wix vs Squarespace comparison, the answer to this question really depends on your personal needs.
Is Wix bad for SEO?It’s not bad, but it’s not great. Most website building experts agree that Wix is just OK for SEO.
Wix offers a free tool called Wix SEO Wiz. With it, you’ll be able to add alt-text, SEO titles, customized URLs, and generate a sitemap. Wix’s SEO has improved over the last few years, and your website can definitely rank on search engines like Google. However, website builders like WordPress.com give you more SEO plugins and capabilities.
If you’re new to SEO, Wix will be just right for you. If you’re more advanced in your SEO knowledge, you’ll probably find yourself outgrowing Wix SEO Wiz pretty quickly.
Is Wix really free?Yup, it’s really really free.
You can build a fully-functional website on Wix’s free planand it’ll stay free forever. If you don’t mind Wix ads on your website, a subdomain, and only need a small amount of storage, then Wix is ideal for you and you can stop reading here.
If you want to connect your own domain, get more than a measly 500MB of storage and bandwidth, and get rid of Wix ads, you’ll need to reach for your wallet. Furthermore, if you sign up monthly, then Wix can be pretty expensive, but if you opt for a multi-year plan paid annually, then you’ll save in the long run. Just make sure that you check for any Wix coupons, first.