Affordable Websites for Small Business Owners in 2024

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As a small business owner, finding an affordable website builder can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. With so many options out there, it’s tough to know where to start or who to trust.

I’ve been there myself – frustrated by expensive web design services and overwhelmed by DIY platforms that overpromise and underdeliver. But the good news is, you don’t need deep pockets or tech skills to get your business online.

This guide will walk you through some of the best budget-friendly website builders available today. We’ll cover what makes them great choices and how they can help elevate your brand without breaking the bank.

The Best Cheap Website Builders for Small Business in 2024

Illustration of a storefront with a red and white striped awning, surrounded by shopping-related icons, including a clock, shopping cart, sale tag, credit card, and location pin—perfect for affordable websites for small business owners.

Building an affordable website for a new or small business shouldn’t be impossible. There are several cheap website builders that include easy-to-use tools, business email addresses, and more for as little as $1 per month for the first year.

This typically includes a domain and SSL certificate, providing excellent value for small businesses looking to establish an online presence, even with ecommerce functionality.

What to Look for in a Cheap Website Builder

When choosing a cheap website builder, first consider the price to ensure it fits your budget. Then evaluate the website builder itself to understand what skills are needed and how easy it is to design a site with the tool.

Considering potential issues that may pop up, it’s essential to assess a company’s post-sale service. Peek into other user experiences with their customer care team.

How Much Should a Website Cost?

The average cost to create a website for a small business ranges from $1,000 to $48,000. This includes purchasing a domain name, website hosting plan, site design and development.

The total cost depends on the website’s size, features and complexity. Some additional costs to factor in are SSL certificates, which can range from $0 to $1,500 per year.

Why You Should Avoid Free Website Builder Plans

While free website builder plans can be tempting, they often come with significant limitations like minimal storage, few design options, and no custom domain. Investing in an affordable paid plan provides better value in the long run.

For new small businesses on a tight budget, look for introductory offers like IONOS which has plans starting at just $1 per month for the first year.

Table of Contents:

1. Square Online: Best for E-commerce Stores

Square Online offers very affordable ecommerce plans starting at just $12 for the entire first year. You’ll get everything needed to quickly build a small business website with online selling capabilities.

Their plans include unlimited storage, no transaction fees, and excellent customer service to help you get started on a tight budget.

I’ve used Square Online to set up simple online stores for clients in the past. The drag-and-drop site builder makes it easy to customize your site’s look and feel without any design skills.

Adding products, setting up shipping and tax rules, and integrating payment processing is also very straightforward. The cheaper plans do have some limitations on features, but are a great starting point.

As your business grows, you can upgrade to a premium plan to unlock more advanced ecommerce tools and lower transaction fees. But even the free plan allows you to sell unlimited products.

One thing to note is that Square Online is best for businesses that primarily sell physical products. If you offer services or digital goods, you may find the features a bit lacking compared to some other options.

But for affordable and user-friendly ecommerce, especially for beginners, Square Online is hard to beat. Their free plan is the most generous of any site builder I’ve seen.

So if you’re a small business owner needing a cheap way to start selling online, definitely check out Square Online’s offerings. You may be surprised how much you can do with their entry-level plans.

Key Takeaway: Building a website for your small business doesn’t have to break the bank. Several cheap builders offer tools, domain names, and SSL certificates starting at $1 per month. Avoid free plans due to limitations; affordable paid options like Square Online provide better value and ecommerce capabilities.

Hostinger: Best for Companies Needing Multiple Websites

Looking for an affordable website builder that lets you create multiple websites? Hostinger’s Website Builder could be your perfect match.

I’ve personally used Hostinger for several client projects. Their premium plans pack a ton of value at a very reasonable price point, making them one of the best options for affordable websites for small business.

With Hostinger, you can build up to 100 websites on a single plan. That’s a game-changer if your business has several brands or service lines that each need their own site.

Even their free plan is surprisingly robust. You get a free SSL certificate to secure your site, along with a free domain for the first year on any paid plan. No need to worry about extra hosting costs.

The drag-and-drop editor in their website builder is intuitive and easy to use. I was able to quickly put together professional-looking sites without any coding knowledge. Plus, their selection of templates gives you a solid starting point for your design.

One thing to note: while the free version of Hostinger’s website builder is great for testing the waters, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to a paid plan to get the full benefits and remove Hostinger branding from your site.

Overall, I highly recommend Hostinger for any small business or entrepreneur needing an affordable way to build multiple websites. Their generous plans, user-friendly tools, and valuable extras like free domains and SSL certificates make them a top contender in my book.

Wix: Best for Freelancers With No Design Experience

When it comes to building an affordable website for small business, Wix is a platform that really shines – especially for freelancers and solopreneurs.

I’ve built countless websites using Wix for my own projects and for clients. And let me tell you, their drag-and-drop builder is an absolute dream if you have zero design skills (which perfectly describes me when I was just starting out).

With Wix, you can create a professional-looking website without ever touching a line of code. Just choose from their huge library of pre-built templates, then customize to your heart’s content using the Wix site editor.

Seriously, it couldn’t be easier. Drag. Drop. Done. No tech headaches, no hair-pulling frustration. Just a slick website up and running in no time.

Another huge perk of using Wix as a freelancer? Their free plan. While it does have some limitations and Wix branding, it’s a great way to get a professional web presence established without spending a dime.

Of course, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a paid plan pretty quickly to get a custom domain and ditch the Wix ads. But their pricing is very reasonable, especially considering all the features and tools you get access to.

One of my favorite Wix features is their App Market. It lets you easily add all sorts of functionality to your site, from appointment booking to email marketing to live chat. As a freelancer wearing many hats, having those tools integrated is a huge time-saver.

So if you’re a freelancer or solopreneur looking to build an affordable website to showcase your services and attract clients, I can’t recommend Wix highly enough. It’s the platform I used to get my own business off the ground, and I’ve seen it work wonders for countless others in the same boat.

Don’t let a lack of design skills hold you back – with Wix, your site can look like it was built by a pro (and only you’ll know the truth). It’s hands-down the most beginner-friendly option out there, in my experience.

But don’t just take my word for it – check out some Wix website examples to see the gorgeous sites you can create, zero tech skills required. Trust me, you’ll be amazed at what you can DIY with Wix.

Key Takeaway: Hostinger is perfect for small businesses needing multiple websites. You can build up to 100 sites on one plan, with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and free SSL certificates. Although the free version has limitations, upgrading gives full benefits without extra hosting costs.

Wix stands out for freelancers with no design experience. Its drag-and-drop builder makes website creation easy, even if you’re tech-challenged. The free plan helps you start quickly, but upgrading offers more features like custom domains and app integrations to save time.

Squarespace: Best for Influencers or Authors

If you’re an influencer or author looking to build your personal brand online, Squarespace is hands down one of the best website builders out there.

I’ve used Squarespace for years to create stunning, professional-looking websites for my clients. And let me tell you, the marketing tools built right into the platform are a game-changer.

With Squarespace, you get access to powerful email marketing features that let you grow and engage your audience. Plus, the SEO tools make it easy to optimize your site and get found by your target readers.

One of the things I love most about Squarespace is the beautiful templates. They’re designed to showcase your content in the best possible light, whether you’re sharing blog posts, videos, or podcasts.

And if you ever need help, Squarespace’s live chat support is top-notch. I’ve had to reach out a few times over the years, and they’ve always been super helpful and responsive.

Now, I will say that Squarespace’s plans can be a bit limited compared to some other website builders. But in my experience, the features you do get are so well-designed and user-friendly that it’s worth it.

Plus, if you pay annually, you can save some money on your subscription. And with the 14-day free trial, you can test drive the platform before committing.

At the end of the day, if you’re an influencer or author who wants a beautiful, professional website that’s easy to manage and packed with marketing features, Squarespace is the way to go. Trust me, I’ve seen firsthand how effective it can be for building a strong online presence and connecting with your audience.

Jimdo: Best for Quick and Simple Website Design

When it comes to creating an affordable website for your small business, sometimes simple is best. And that’s where Jimdo shines.

I recently worked with a client who needed a basic website up and running ASAP. We didn’t have time for a lengthy web design process, so I suggested Jimdo.

Within a couple of hours, we had a clean, professional-looking site design that perfectly suited their needs. The drag-and-drop editor made it easy to build the website quickly, without sacrificing quality.

One of the things I appreciate about Jimdo is the focus on simplicity. You don’t get bogged down in tons of features or design options. Instead, you can create a small business website that looks great and functions well, without any fuss.

Plus, the pricing is super affordable, which is crucial for small businesses on a tight budget. You can get a custom website for your business at a fraction of what you’d pay for a fully custom web design.

Now, if you’re looking for advanced features or tons of customization options, Jimdo might not be the best fit. But for entrepreneurs or freelancers who need a professional online presence quickly and affordably, it’s a fantastic option.

In fact, I often recommend Jimdo to my clients who are just starting out and don’t have a big budget for website design. It lets them get online fast, without breaking the bank.

So if you’re a small business owner who needs an affordable website that looks great and gets the job done, give Jimdo a try. In my experience, it’s one of the best ways to create a simple, effective online presence without spending a ton of time or money.

Key Takeaway: If you’re an influencer or author, Squarespace is ideal for building a stunning and professional website. Its marketing tools, beautiful templates, and responsive support make it worth the investment. Jimdo offers a quick, affordable solution for small businesses needing simple yet effective websites without breaking the bank.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Website Builder for Your Small Business

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Choosing the best cheap website builder for your small business website can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

As a business owner, you want a site that looks professional, is easy to use, and has all the features you need to succeed online. The good news? There are plenty of affordable options out there.

Decide if You Need Monetization Tools

First things first: do you plan to sell products or services directly from your website? If so, you’ll need a website builder with built-in e-commerce tools.

Look for features like:

  • Shopping cart functionality
  • Secure payment processing
  • Inventory management
  • Shipping integrations

Even if you don’t need a full online store, you might want the ability to accept online payments for things like donations, event registrations, or appointment bookings. Some website builders offer simple payment buttons or forms for this purpose.

Key Features to Look for

Beyond e-commerce capabilities, there are a few other key features to consider when choosing a cheap website builder for your small business:

  1. Responsive design: With more people browsing on smartphones and tablets, it’s crucial that your site looks great on any device. Most website builders now offer responsive templates that automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes.
  2. SEO tools: Look for built-in tools to help optimize your site for search engines, like customizable page titles and descriptions, header tag options, and XML sitemaps.
  3. Blogging capabilities: Adding a blog to your site is a great way to attract visitors and establish your expertise. Check if the website builder includes an easy-to-use blogging platform.
  4. Contact forms: Make it easy for potential customers to get in touch by adding a simple contact form to your site.

Add-ons and Extras

While the core features are most important, don’t overlook the extras that can take your site to the next level. Some add-ons to look for include:

  • Email marketing integrations
  • Social media tools
  • Analytics and reporting
  • App marketplaces for extended functionality

Keep in mind, some of these extras may come at an additional cost. Be sure to factor that into your budget when comparing website builders.

UX and Ease of Use

As a busy business owner, you don’t have time to wrestle with a complicated website builder. Look for a platform with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to customize your site’s design.

Most cheap website builders for small businesses are beginner-friendly, with no coding skills required. But some are more intuitive than others. I recommend taking advantage of free trials to get a feel for different platforms before committing.

Software Integrations

Finally, consider how well the website builder will play with the other software tools you rely on to run your business. Some key integrations to look for include:

  • Google Workspace for custom email addresses
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms
  • Accounting and invoicing tools
  • Inventory management systems
  • Social media management tools

The right integrations will help streamline your workflows and save you time in the long run.

Remember, the best cheap website builder for your small business is the one that meets your unique needs. By prioritizing the features that matter most—and skipping the bells and whistles you don’t need—you can get an affordable, professional site up and running in no time.

Understanding the True Cost of a Cheap Website Builder

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We’ve covered what to look for in a cheap website builder. But what does “cheap” really mean? The truth is, the cost of a website builder can vary widely depending on your specific needs.

Additional Costs to Consider

While many website builders advertise low monthly prices, there are often additional costs to factor in. Some common add-ons that can drive up the price include:

  • Custom domain name (free for the first year with some plans)
  • SSL certificate for added security
  • Premium templates or themes
  • E-commerce tools and payment processing fees
  • App subscriptions or integrations
  • Email hosting

Be sure to read the fine print and understand exactly what’s included in each plan before making your choice.

Is a Free Website Builder Really Free?

What about those free website builders? They can be tempting, but there are often hidden costs and limitations to consider.

Most free plans come with ads for the website builder that you can’t remove. You’ll also be stuck with a branded subdomain (think yourbusiness.wixsite.com) rather than your own custom domain.

Other common limitations of free plans include:

  • Limited storage and bandwidth
  • Fewer templates and customization options
  • No e-commerce tools
  • Minimal or no customer support

While a free website builder can be a good way to test the waters, most small businesses will quickly outgrow these basic plans.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay?

So, what’s a reasonable price for a small business website? It depends on your needs, but you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $50 per month.

At the lower end of that range, you’ll find basic plans with limited storage and features. These may be sufficient for a simple informational site, but they likely won’t cut it if you need e-commerce functionality or advanced tools.

Mid-range plans in the $10 to $20 per month range are a good fit for most small businesses. These typically include ample storage, bandwidth, and features like a free custom domain and SSL certificate.

For e-commerce sites or those that need more advanced capabilities, premium plans can run $20 to $50 per month or more. But keep in mind, these costs are still far lower than hiring a web designer to build a site from scratch.

The bottom line? Don’t be fooled by rock-bottom prices or “free” offers. Consider your specific needs and budget, and choose a website builder plan that delivers the best value for your small business.

Key Takeaway: To choose the best cheap website builder for your small business, prioritize key features like responsive design, SEO tools, and e-commerce capabilities. Consider additional costs like custom domains or SSL certificates. Take advantage of free trials to find a user-friendly platform that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Conclusion

The myth that creating a professional-looking site costs thousands is just that—a myth. Affordable websites for small businesses are not only possible but plentiful if you know where to look.

From intuitive drag-and-drop editors at Wix, Hostinger’s multiple site capabilities, Square Online’s e-commerce ease, or Jimdo’s quick setup—there’s something here tailored just right for any entrepreneur on a budget.

You now have access to powerful tools designed specifically with smaller budgets in mind while still offering premium quality results. Dive into these resources confidently knowing high costs aren’t necessary barriers anymore!

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