Having an online presence is crucial for any business or organization these days, but building a professional website can get quite expensive especially if you hire designers and developers.
That’s where cheap website builders in Canada come in – they allow you to easily create great-looking, functional sites without spending thousands of dollars.
For bootstrapped startups, solo entrepreneurs, non-profits and anyone on a tight budget, choosing the best value website builder is critical for getting your website up and running.
With so many affordable options out there though, how do you determine which cheap website builder offers the best bang for buck?
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about finding the top budget website builder to create your site without breaking the bank.
We’ll compare the leading low-cost DIY website builders, break down their pros and cons, evaluate key features to look for and make recommendations for the best value options.
Whether you just need a simple informational site or have grander plans for an online store, you can build a powerful website for very little money if you choose the right website creation platform.
Read on to learn how to select the perfect cheap website builder for your specific needs and budget.
- Cheap website builders like OLITT, Squarespace and Weebly allow you to create professional sites for very little money.
- Benefits include drag and drop editors, affordable pricing, free domains and hosting. Downsides can be limited customization and support.
- When comparing cheap website builders, look beyond just sticker price to evaluate true value based on features, scalability, renewal costs, etc.
- Even on a tight budget, make sure your chosen platform still offers essential features like SEO optimization, forms, ecommerce capabilities if needed and responsive design.
- For the best value, OLITT and Squarespace stand out as affordable website builders with robust features for informational sites and online stores respectively.
- Spending a little more upfront for the right website creation platform that aligns with your needs will save you money in the long run.
Popular Cheap Website Builders in Canada
Let’s start by looking at some of the most popular low-cost website building platforms on the market.
These DIY website creators are known for their budget friendly pricing, free domain registration offers and easy drag and drop editors.
OLITT is likely the most well known cheap website builder out there. This user-friendly drag and drop editor makes it simple for anyone to create attractive, mobile-friendly sites.
OLITT has 200+ designer-made templates along with thousands of stock images, fonts, animations and design elements.
With their free basic plan, you can create a site with up to1GB of storage and an OLITT domain.
Paid plans start at $2.45/month for UNLIMITED storage, a custom domain and no OLITT ads.
They also offer secure web hosting and a free SSL certificate.
Squarespace is another leading website builder praised for its beautiful templates, responsive design and strong ecommerce features. Their editor lets you modify templates with no coding needed and built-in SEO tools help optimize sites.
The free trial includes unlimited hosting, bandwidth and a custom domain. Paid plans start at $12/month billed annually and go up based on additional features like ecommerce. One nice perk is that transaction fees are just 2.9% + $0.30 per sale.
Weebly makes it fast and easy to create an SEO-friendly site with powerful built-in commerce capabilities. Simply choose a template, drag and drop elements to customize and integrate your own content. Over 40 million sites have been built with Weebly.
You can make a free site with a weebly.com subdomain or upgrade to a low-cost paid plan starting at $6 per month for a custom domain name, removal of ads and access to more themes and features.
Webnode offers one of the most affordable options for basic websites with their free plan option. You get 500MB storage, free SSL and a Webnode subdomain with no ads. Paid plans start at $3.95/month.
The simple editor has 100+ optimized templates along with enough features to create a decent small business website. However, Webnode does lack more advanced ecommerce and customization capabilities.
Jimdo lets you make a free website with up to 5 pages and 500MB storage. Paid plans offer a custom URL starting at $9 per month. The editor is simple with drag and drop features and mobile-ready templates.
Ecommerce features, website analytics and advanced design customization come with higher-tier paid plans. Overall Jimdo is better for basic websites than robust online stores.
Site123 claims to allow you to make a website in under 5 minutes with their intuitive editor. They offer 100+ templates for different industries along with marketing tools like email marketing, surveys and guestbooks.
The free option allows 1 website with 500MB storage and Site123 branding. Starting at $14.95/month you can have a custom domain name, priority email support and no ads.
Pros and Cons of Cheap Website Builders in Canada
Affordable DIY website builders offer many advantages that make them attractive for cash-strapped business owners, though there are some potential downsides to be aware of as well.
Let’s look at the biggest pros and cons of using a cheap website creator in Canada.
Easy Drag and Drop Builders
Leading low-cost site builders like OLITT and Squarespace offer intuitive drag and drop editors. You don’t need any coding skills to customize templates by rearranging modules, adding text and images, tweaking colors/fonts and more. Powerful WYSIWYG builders make web design quick and simple.
The most obvious pro of cheap site builders is the budget-friendly pricing. With options like free basic plans and paid packages starting around $5-15 per month, you can create a website for very little money. Plans are available monthly or annually.
Free Domain Registration
Many cheap website builders offer free custom domain registration for the first year with paid plans. This allows you to use your own brand name in the URL rather than a subdomain on the builder’s platform. Some also cover the cost of transferring over an existing domain you own.
You’ll get reliable web hosting included with all paid plans from low-cost website builders. There’s no need to pay extra for hosting when you use an all-in-one platform like OLITT or Squarespace that bundles hosting with their editors.
Leading affordable site builders like OLITT and Weebly incorporate SEO best practices into their templates and editor features. This makes it easier for total beginners to optimize technical elements like meta tags, alt text, site speed and mobile responsiveness.
Reputable cheap website builders provide free SSL certificates for secure connections on all plans. They also manage security updates, malware monitoring and backups so you don’t have to worry.
While cheap website builders are improving, you still have less design flexibility compared to open source platforms. Changing code or adding custom CSS is difficult. Complex animations and personalization is hard to achieve.
Lack of Support
Most low-cost website creators only offer email and chat support on premium plans. For free users or those on basic paid plans, you’re largely left to rely on self-service through knowledge bases and forums for help.
Free plans from many cheap site builders still come with branded subdomains (yourname.websitebuilder.com). You have to upgrade to remove the branded domain and use a custom one.
Limited Ecommerce Features
Building online stores is limited or disabled on starter plans from some budget website platforms. You may need to upgrade to unlock important ecommerce features like shipping calculators, sales tax tools, and integration with payment systems.
The right cheap website builder can still offer tremendous value. But be aware of the limitations around design, support and functionality based on the plan tier you choose.
Key Website Features to Look for in a Cheap Builder in Canada
Even if you’re choosing a budget-friendly website platform, you still want access to certain essential features. The capabilities you need will depend on your specific goals – an online store has very different requirements than a simple informational site.
However, here are some of the key website features to look for in a low-cost builder in Canada.
Having a responsive website that automatically adapts to different device screen sizes is critical for the mobile experience. Most cheap website builders use responsive layouts, but double check options as sometimes templates need to be optimized.
Your website needs to employ SEO best practices like meta tags, alt text, site speed, SSL security and mobile responsiveness out of the box. Cheap site builders with built-in SEO tools take care of optimizing technical elements to improve findability.
Forms & Lead Generation
Collecting visitor information through contact forms, surveys and newsletter signups is crucial for lead gen. Make sure your chosen website builder provides varied form widgets and integration with CRM platforms and email marketing tools.
For content-focused sites, you’ll want blogging capability including categories/tags, commenting and RSS feeds. Some cheap site builders even suggest related posts and handle blog syndication automatically.
Photo heavy sites like photographers, artists and design agencies need gallery features like slideshows, lightboxes and grid arrangements. If visuals are important, ensure your cheap website builder can showcase them well.
Websites often need to embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms. Check that your budget website builder allows easy video integration without requiring complex coding.
For online stores, core ecommerce features like payments, shipping, taxes, inventory and promotion management are essential. Many cheap website builders offer full ecommerce functionality, but some limit it to premium plans.
Managing customers with a integrated CRM platform helps store owners stay organized. For ecommerce sites, look for cheap website builders that provide centralized customer records, order histories, product reviews and more.
Think about the functionality and features your website will realistically need starting out and in the near future. Compare cheap website options to find one that best aligns with your goals while still fitting your limited budget.
Evaluating Pricing and Value of Top Cheap Website Builders in Canada
One of the most important factors when choosing a budget-friendly website builder is looking past just sticker price to determine the overall value. Here’s what you need to consider when comparing pricing and value across top cheap website builders:
Monthly vs Annual Pricing
Many low-cost website platforms offer cheaper rates for annual plans compared to paying month-to-month. For example, Wix charges $14 per month without a yearly contract but just $11/month if billed annually. Look at both monthly and annual pricing when budgeting costs.
Watch out for steep price hikes when your initial plan term is up. Some cheap site builders offer very low introductory rates but renewal pricing jumps up dramatically. Know what your website will cost long-term.
Cost Per Feature
Evaluate what features and benefits you get at each pricing tier. Entry-level plans are affordable but often lack key functionality like customizable domains, professional templates, unlimited storage, ecommerce features, etc. Compare cost per feature across platforms.
Be aware of any hidden charges beyond the core platform fees like transaction fees. For example, many cheap website builders charge extra fees for SMS messaging, SSL certificates, additional storage space, priority support, etc.
Free Plan Limitations
Some cheap website creators let you make a free website but impose major limitations like ads on your site, branded domains, very little storage space, no online selling capabilities, etc. Understand if free plans are “good enough” or will leave you frustrated.
Consider how pricing scales or doesn’t scale as your website grows. With some cheap site builders, you pay the same flat rate each month regardless of traffic, products, storage needs, etc. Others charge you more as your usage increases.
Lower-tier basic plans often only have access to email and chat support, usually with slower response times. Opting for premium plans may provide priority online, phone and even real-time support. Factor support costs into your budget.
Doing this pricing and value analysis will help you identify the cheap website builder that truly offers the lowest cost based on your needs and budget, rather than just going with the cheapest upfront sticker price.
Recommended Budget Website Builders in Canada
Based on their affordability, ease of use and array of features, here are my top recommendations on the best value website builders for getting online even with limited funds:
OLITT is my number one recommendation for cheap website building in Canada because it provides an unrivaled combination of quality and value.
Pricing is very affordable starting at just $2 a month for a professional custom domain, UNLIMITED storage, unlimited bandwidth, ad free and hundreds of designer templates.
The drag and drop editor is super easy for beginners but still offers ample design functionality and flexibility using widgets. OLITT covers SEO optimization, has excellent integrated ecommerce features and a massive app marketplace. Customer support is available by email, chat and forum.
For lean startups and small business, OLITT lets you create a powerful website on a budget.
Even on low-cost plans, you won’t feel like you sacrificed quality or vital features.
If you’re looking for rock bottom pricing, Webnode offers a compelling free option with 500MB storage and a branded subdomain. Paid plans start at only $3.95 per month for a custom domain and SSL certificate.
The editor is fairly straightforward for crafting simple but good-looking websites. However, ecommerce capabilities and advanced customization are limited unless you upgrade to premium plans with more features. Overall an excellent ultra-low-cost pick for informational sites.
Squarespace strikes a nice balance of affordable starting plans but also a powerful ecommerce focused platform. Basic plans start at $12/month when billed annually and include a custom domain along with striking templates.
Ecommerce packages unlock sophisticated website store capabilities like real-time shipping rates, taxes and promotion engines. Customer support options are also robust. For retailers and physical product sellers, Squarespace warrants the slightly higher costs.
The key is identifying a inexpensive website builder in Canada aligned with your vision for the site, willingness to pay for certain features and needs for customization.
Don’t assume the cheapest option is automatically the best value. Carefully evaluate platforms to find one that truly delivers for your budget.
Creating a quality website on the cheap used to be nearly impossible. Professional web design services cost thousands of dollars, while DIY site builders lacked critical features and customization capability.
Thankfully, advances in web technology have enabled the rise of budget-friendly website platforms that provide real value for bootstrap startups and small businesses. Intuitive drag and drop builders like OLITTand Squarespace now give you the tools to craft sleek, functional websites at affordable prices.
The key is not simply going with the cheapest option, but instead identifying the website creation platform that offers the optimal balance of essential features, ease of use, scalability and long-term renewal pricing.
Take time to thoroughly evaluate your specific needs and priorities before choosing a low-cost website builder.
Focus on finding a platform that provides responsive design, SEO optimization, lead gen forms, blogging or ecommerce capabilities and some level of customer support based on what’s most important for your goals. Shop around for free trial periods so you can test out builders firsthand before committing.
With the right cheap website builder tailored to your budget, you can finally get your business online and start reaching potential customers without breaking the bank.
Affordable website builders level the playing field so you can compete using the power of the internet. Stop wishing and start creating your lean startup website today!
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