Take 10 minutes and build your small business website

best small business website design

I’m not exaggerating when I say that you can build a small business website in 10 minutes today. In fact, you can even build a nice looking site that quickly.

Of course, it won’t be a site with every bell and whistle you might eventually want, but with today’s crop of drag-and-drop online website building services and available templates, you can present a professional image on the Internet without too much time, trouble, or expense.

I’m going to give you a quick introduction to the sites that I think are the best – and by best I really mean easiest – for you to use if you need to launch a website or revamp your current site.

The first question you need to ask yourself is how you will be using your website and the main point here is whether or not you’ll be using your small business website for e-commerce. If you’re going to be getting serious about e-commerce, I’m going to direct you to Shopify. (I’ll say more about Shopify when we get into site specifics below.)

All of the following online small business website building services have e-commerce options as well; it’s just that they don’t solely focus on e-commerce and that, I believe, makes them slight underdogs if you know at the onset that your goal is to sell online.

These services typically have a free account or free trial period option. I strongly encourage you to do as much free “testing” on each site as you can before you settle on one. This will accomplish three very important things:

  • It will reveal which site is easiest for you to use.
  • It will give you a critical overview of the available templates, and
  • It will give you time to practice with the various drag-and-drop elements so you’ll be able to “hit the ground running” when you finally settle on which service to use.

Here are the ones I consider the best with some GetApp user ratings (when available) and a few notes on my experience with each site. GetApp uses a five-point rating system. It also tries to establish the legitimacy of the reviewer, although sometimes I suppose this is impossible.



Shopify seems to be the most user-friendly online platform for building your own e-commerce site. This is in large part due to the fact that all they do is e-commerce. They offer a free 14-day trial and their basic rate beyond the trial is $29 per month. They also have credit card services built into their system. You’ll appreciate Shopify’s big catalog of free and premium templates…and please make good use of them. Unless you’re a professional designer with a very good eye for style, don’t try to hack something together yourself.

Shopify makes you input the most information when you create an account. But this is understandable because you only use Shopify if you plan on selling items. This means there are tax implications when you create your account and website. GetApp users rate Shopify at 4.22.



If you’re okay with your business being a subdomain of Weebly (yourbusinessname.weebly.com) you can get going for free at Weebly. Paid plans range from $8 to $25 per month. GetApp users rate Weebly at 4.6.

You get a good choice of templates with Weebly and tweaking them is easy. Elements you can add are always on the left-hand side of the screen and in editing mode, you merely select type to change it, just as you would with a word processing program.



After you create an account with either your email address or via Facebook or Google, you jump right into selecting a template and creating your website on Wix. For Wix pricing, the most basic (read inexpensive) service costs $5 per month and connects to your domain name. You’ll get Wix ads at the $5 level. For e-commerce, the basic per month charge is $17.

Working with templates and on-screen editing is very similar to Weebly except that the tools and items are in a tab that must be clicked to get access to them.



Sitey goes straight into selecting a template and that gave me hopes of playing with their system before giving them any information about myself. Alas, it wasn’t so. I had to enter basic contact information before I got to tinker with web page layout.

Sitey has a free account similar to Weebly. If you go that route, you won’t be able to have your own domain – you’ll be a subdomain of Sitey – and Sitey will run ads on your web pages. The Sitey “starter” plan is $6.99 a month with an e-commerce plan at $12.99. These prices are for your first term of service.



On Squarespace, I found that it required more clicks to get things done and changing the banner image on my test website became a roadblock. I finally relented and went to their online help. It told me how to get it done, but it wasn’t very intuitive.

When you pay for a year in advance, standard websites on Squarespace are either $12 or $18 per month and e-commerce sites are $24 or $40 per month. GetApp users five Squarespace a 4.63 rating.



Prices at Websitebuilder run from $7.95 per month for a “personal” website to $17.95 per month for an e-commerce site, however these prices are guaranteed only for your first “term of service”…whatever that is defined as. Even PC Magazine, in their review, called the pricing “confusing.”

The DIY website building tools and interface are good and there are a lot of templates to choose from. Websitebuilder is similar to Wix in that the editing tools and items that can be added to your site are under tags in the sidebar.

Establish or upgrade your small business website

I continue to see surveys that say about half of all small businesses don’t have a website. With the sites and services I’ve outlined here, there is no reason you can’t have a good-looking website at a reasonable price.

Further, if you have an old website that doesn’t “stand the test of time,” you should check these sites out and design a modern and useful website. For many local businesses, an attractive site with hours, a short introductory blurb, contact information, and a map will suffice quite nicely. And, you can leave your old site up while you design your new small business website and then simply change your hosting.