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What Website Software is Best?

The Best Website Design Software Options for Small Businesses in 2024

As a web designer with almost two decades of experience building everything from basic brochure sites to complex e-commerce stores, I’ve used pretty much every website design software and website design without code platform out there.

I’m gonna give you the real deal on what I believe are the best website design for small business options in 2024 – especially if you’re looking for a custom, bespoke branded design to really make your online presence stand out as authentically yours.

The Top Dogs: WordPress with Elementor Pro and Showit

There are a lot of choices for website design software and there really aren’t any “bad” ones. Since I typically work with clients who want to give their users a high-end, luxury feeling experience on their sites by using completely customized design and integrating their authentic brand throughout, my two favorite choices are WordPress paired with the Elementor Pro page builder, and the newer Showit platform. 

Both give you an insane level of design freedom and flexibility with their no-code, drag-and-drop editors. You can easily customize everything from colors and fonts to layouts, animations, image effects and more with just a few clicks.

They also come packaged with tons of gorgeous website design templates, many that are even free, that you can use as a starting point and tweak to match your brand. No more cheesy, dated templates that make your site look like every other small business website out there!

What really sets these apart is how easily you can create a 100% unique, on-brand design without touching a line of code. As a professional designer, this ease of use paired with design flexibility is invaluable. This means I can literally design anything my brain can conjure up without worrying that I won’t be able to build it on the back end.

Plus, with WordPress and Showit (which is low-key WordPress anyway), you actually own your site and can host it on your own domain or move it elsewhere if needed. Kiss the limits of other hosted platforms goodbye-eeeeee! You can also easily integrate SEO tools, analytics, email capture, e-commerce functionality and more.

For E-Commerce: WordPress with Elementor Pro vs. Showit vs. Shopify vs. Squarespace

If you’re specifically looking to build an e-commerce website for your product-based small business or side hustle, then Shopify and Squarespace are worth considering as well.

Showit is by far the easiest to edit, but if you’re looking for an online shop with more than 25 to 30 products, it’s probably not going to serve you best. If using WordPress, you can integrate Woocommerce for all of your online store needs and let me tell you, it’s a powerful tool! However, it comes with a big price tag and a steep learning curve, so unless you have a seasoned professional assisting you with the setup, I’d suggest opting for a website design software that is specifically designed for low-fuss e-commerce shops.

While their design customization is more limited out-of-the-box compared to WordPress/Elementor Pro and Showit, Shopify and Squarespace do offer clean, professional looking website templates and layouts made specifically for online stores. Plus, Shopify has some add-on apps that give you a bit more flexibility in terms of layouts and designs but it’s still nearly impossible to edit the header and footer without custom coding the templates.

Shopify and Squarespace make it very easy to list products, take payments, manage inventory and orders, offer discounts/promotions and more without needing to worry about the technical e-commerce setup.

The Budget Website Design Software Pick: Wix

Now if custom design and unlimited flexibility isn’t a huge priority yet, and you’re just looking for an affordable easy DIY option, then Wix is still a perfectly fine website design for small business choice.

Their templates and editors are a bit more limiting, but you can get a decent looking website up and running in no time on an affordable monthly plan. Hey, we all have to start somewhere!

The biggest drawback to Wix is that you cannot take your website with you when you’re ready to up-level your online presence. Most folks don’t care much about that though, as they’re typically ready to start fresh at that point anyway, but remember that any SEO work you’ve done will also essentially start from scratch.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, if you want a truly unique, professional, endlessly customizable website design without coding headaches, then WordPress + Elementor Pro or Showit are the best website design without code choices in my book.

For great e-commerce capabilities with decent customization, Shopify and Squarespace are solid options too.

But if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small biz on a budget just looking for a simple online presence, then Wix and their ilk can work too. I am not one to judge – we all gotta start somewhere and I truly support solopreneurs and small biz owners taking whatever action they can to gain awareness for their company!

If you’d like any other tips on where to design a website or website design for small business, feel free to reach out through the contact form or DM @magnoliarabbitdesign on Instagram! Or, if you’re ready to get an audit of your current website and get clarity around what you should do next, book a Big Picture Plan here.

 

A quick note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning we may get a kick-back if you purchase a subscription using our links. We only promote products that we actually use and believe in. We hope that you find as much value in them as we do!

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Picture of Meredith McCreight

Meredith McCreight

Hello you! I am your your brand story sorceress, design divinator, marketing magician, and website wizard. I help womxn entrepreneurs make magic by crafting an authentic brand story and weaving it through the brand aesthetic, copy, online presence and marketing materials. My favorite place is the woods and I want to pet all the dogs. I'm grateful you're here and look forward to getting to know you!

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