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1. Self-Hosted WordPress

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There’s a reason why a third of the web runs on WordPress and it’s the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). That’s because it’s flexible, scalable and easy to use. We don’t want to jump ahead here, but WordPress is pretty much the best free website builder for small business.

Just so you know, there are actually two versions of WordPress (learn more about the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com here). We recommend the self-hosted version (WordPress.org) as your small business website builder because it’s even more flexible than the other version.

Pros:

WordPress is open-source and completely free, so it’s available on most web hosting platforms. For example, Bluehost, an official WordPress partner, has a one-click install.

Designing your site is easy, with thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that cover every business niche you can imagine.

For those who prefer more control, you can integrate WordPress drag and drop page builders. Two of our recommendations are Elementor, a fast, responsive website builder, available at $49 for a single site, and Beaver Builder (shown below), a live page builder which costs $99 for use on unlimited sites.

WordPress has tens of thousands of plugins to give your website additional functionality. For example, with the right plugin you can add:

In fact, you can create almost any kind of site with WordPress, whether simple or complex.

Dozens of big-name brands use WordPress, including TechCrunch, The New Yorker, BBC America, and many more.

So WordPress is a great platform for your small business website, both when you first launch your business, and as it grows.

When it comes to growing your website traffic, WordPress makes it easy because it’s search engine-friendly by design. You can also use plugins like Yoast SEO to ensure your content is optimized to show up in search results.

WordPress integrates with virtually every online platform or tool you might want to use, giving you unlimited flexibility to create websites of all kinds, from content-rich blogs to eCommerce websites with thousands of products. You can even design a custom “coming soon” page using the SeedProd plugin to build your audience before your site even goes live.

 

Another big benefit of using WordPress is its popularity. Because so many people use WordPress, there’s a huge community and plenty of resources out there if you get stuck and need help when building your website.

Check out our top picks for WordPress eCommerce plugins to build your best business.

Cons:

Once WordPress is installed, you’re in charge of maintaining your website. That includes backing up your site, keeping themes and plugins up to date, and updating WordPress itself when needed. Some of this has to be done manually, which means another addition to your to-do list.

One way to solve this is by using managed WordPress hosting, which means someone else looks after the technical aspects of running your site, leaving you free to concentrate on running your business.

Pricing:

It’s hard to believe that one of the best website builders for small business is free, but that’s exactly what WordPress is.

While WordPress software itself is free, you’ll need somewhere to install it. That means getting your own domain name and hosting. Domains (such as www.example.com) cost about $14.99 per year and shared hosting costs around $7.99 per month.

But with our recommended host Bluehost, you can get started for just $2.75/month and even get a free domain.

optinmonster.com

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