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Best Website Builder for Small Business in South Africa

Starting and running a small business in South Africa comes with many challenges, one of which is building an effective online presence. With more consumers turning to the internet to find products and services, having a professional website is crucial for reaching potential customers in South Africa’s competitive market. However, many small business owners find the process of designing, building and launching a custom website intimidating and expensive.

Website builders provide an affordable and straightforward solution that enables small business owners with no coding skills to create their own website. Rather than hiring a web developer and designer, website builders allow you to customize and publish a website using pre-designed templates and drag-and-drop editors. South African small businesses can leverage website builders to establish a unique online brand and generate more leads without breaking the bank.

This guide examines the top website builders in South Africa for small business owners on a budget. We evaluate key factors including ease of use, template options, built-in SEO and ecommerce functionality, and overall value for money. Whether you run a restaurant, retail store, consulting service or other small enterprise, this review will help identify the ideal website builder for establishing your digital presence and connecting with customers across South Africa.

Benefits of Using a Website Builder

Choosing to use a website builder offers many advantages for small business owners in South Africa looking to create an online presence. Here are some of the key benefits of using these DIY website creation platforms:

Ease of Use

Website builders are designed to allow anyone to create a website, without needing coding skills or web development experience. They utilize intuitive drag-and-drop editors and provide pre-designed templates to simplify site building. Most website builders include step-by-step guidance on setting up your site. This makes it possible for small business owners to build a site themselves, without hiring a professional web developer.


Hiring a web development agency to custom design and build a business website can cost upwards of R25,000 or more. Website builders offer a budget-friendly alternative, with basic plans starting as low as R150 per month. While adding ecommerce features or more advanced support does cost extra, website builders still provide immense value for the investment. They allow small businesses to establish an online presence at a fraction of the cost of traditional web design services.

Customization Options

While website builders utilize templates, they also allow for extensive customization so you can create a unique site that reflects your brand. Most provide 100+ professionally designed templates that can be personalized by modifying colors, fonts, images and layouts. Some also let you edit HTML/CSS code for deeper customization. Premium builders like Wix and Squarespace offer the greatest flexibility.

No Coding Required

Website builders eliminate the need to learn HTML, CSS or other web languages to build a site. Their drag-and-drop editors and pre-made templates enable anyone to create a website just by pointing and clicking. All the technical work is handled behind-the-scenes by the website builder platform. This simplicity empowers South African small business owners to build sites themselves, without coding expertise.

Continued Support & Maintenance

Leading website builders like Wix and WordPress supply ongoing support through customer service channels like live chat, email and phone. They also handle security updates, server maintenance, backups and software upgrades on your behalf. This allows small business owners to focus on running their business, while leaving the maintenance of their website in capable hands.

For South African small business owners seeking an affordable, user-friendly platform for establishing their online presence, website builders offer an ideal solution. Taking advantage of their ease of use, lower cost, customization and support makes website creation accessible for small enterprises without an IT budget or web development skills.

Top Website Builders for Small Business in South Africa

When evaluating website builders for use by small businesses in South Africa, several leading options stand out based on features, capabilities and overall user experience. Here are the top website builders to consider:


OLITT is one of the most popular and fully-featured website builders worldwide. It offers an AI-powered editor with drag-and-drop simplicity and extensive design customization capabilities. With over 500 designer-made templates that look great on any device, beautiful sites can be created easily. OLITT also has a deep app marketplace that enhances functionality, including ecommerce, appointments, blogs, chatbots and more. Flexible pricing starts at R439/YEAR for a premium site.


Squarespace provides an award-winning website builder with sophisticated templates optimized for visual impact. Its intuitive editor makes personalized layout changes easy. Squarespace also integrates powerful ecommerce capabilities, enabling secure online payments and automated tax calculations. Domains, hosting and award-winning 24/7 customer support are included with Squarespace’s paid plans, which start at R300/month.

WordPress offers an open-source website builder that is fully customizable using its thousands of plugins and themes. This flexibility makes it suitable for blogs, ecommerce stores or business sites. While WordPress has a steeper learning curve, its customization potential is unmatched. Web hosting must be purchased separately, with basic managed WordPress hosting starting around R100/month total.


For small businesses wanting more design control, Webflow provides a visual web design tool for creating responsive, professional sites. Its drag-and-drop editor mimics CSS for designing any layout while generating clean code behind the scenes. Webflow removes the limits of rigid templates and themes. Pricing starts at R350/month.


Shopify powers over 1 million online stores with its ecommerce optimized website builder. It makes selling online and managing a retail business easy. Shopify handles secure payments, shipping, taxes and more. Built-in marketing tools help drive sales. Shopify pricing starts at $25 per month, but transaction fees apply. It’s best suited for small ecommerce businesses selling online.

Evaluating these top website builder options based on your South African small business’s specific needs and budget will ensure you choose the right platform for establishing your digital presence. Focus on ease of use, ecommerce capabilities, customization options, included support and value for money.

Key Features to Look for in a Website Builder for Small Business in South Africa

When researching website builders for use by small businesses in South Africa, there are key features and capabilities to look for to determine which platform will best meet your needs. Here are some of the top considerations when evaluating website builders:

Drag-and-Drop Editor

For small business owners with no web design or coding experience, using a website builder with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor is vital. This simplifies designing site pages just by clicking and dragging elements like text, images, videos, buttons and other pre-built widgets into place, without needing technical skills. Leading options like Wix and Squarespace offer excellent drag-and-drop page builders.

Mobile Responsive Themes

With Google now prioritizing mobile-friendly sites, it’s essential that any small business website uses templates and themes optimized for responsive design. This means site content automatically adjusts for optimal viewing and navigation on all devices, from desktop to smartphones and tablets. Website builders like Wix and Webflow make creating mobile sites simple.

Built-in SEO Tools

Strong search engine optimization helps local customers find your small business online. Convenient built-in SEO tools like meta tag editors, site maps and SEO analyzers simplify search optimization when using website builders like Wix and WordPress. This makes it easy to optimize content without technical expertise.

Ecommerce Capabilities

For small retailers and other ecommerce businesses, the ability to sell products and accept online payments directly on your site is key. Many website builders like Shopify and Wix provide secure online shopping carts and payment processing either built-in or through add-ons. This enables small ecommerce businesses to sell online with ease.

Customer Support Options

Reliable customer support provides peace of mind when using a website builder as a small business owner. Options like phone, email, live chat and online knowledge bases give you access to assistance when needed. Wix, Squarespace and Shopify offer 24/7 support channels to their users.

Evaluating website builders based on core features and capabilities will help South African small business owners select the right platform to create a website tailored to their specific business needs and goals. Focus on intuitive site building tools, mobile responsive design, built-in SEO, ecommerce options and customer support availability when choosing a website builder.

Evaluating Your Small Business Needs

Determining the ideal website builder for your specific South African small business involves carefully evaluating your needs and goals. Key factors to consider include:

Type of Business

The type of products or services your company offers should guide your website builder selection. For example, ecommerce-focused options like Shopify or Wix ecommerce packages suit online retail stores best. Service businesses like consultants may prioritize content capabilities, pointing to WordPress or Squarespace. Ensure your site can showcase your offerings.


Website builder pricing can range from free to R500+ per month based on features, bandwidth needs, ecommerce transaction fees and other factors. Outline your budget for monthly website costs and determine options that fit within your spending range. Consider growth needs too – a higher investment upfront can support expanding traffic and sales volumes over time.

Desired Features

What functionality must your website have to support your business operations? Do you need an integrated online store with payment processing? A booking and appointment system? A blog? Email marketing and CRM capabilities? List required features and compare website builders’ abilities to provide them through built-in tools or add-ons.

SEO Requirements

To attract local customers, SEO is crucial. If you lack in-house expertise, prioritize options like Wix and WordPress that make search optimization easy through built-in meta tag editors, SEO analyzers and sitemaps. Also consider site speed – builders using reactive technology like GatsbyJS tend to load faster.

Ecommerce Needs

Selling products online requires a website builder with robust ecommerce capabilities like payment processing, taxation tools and shopping cart management. Shopify and Wix ecommerce plans are purpose-built for online retail, while WordPress and Squarespace support ecommerce add-ons. Choose a platform suited to your transactions.

Taking the time upfront to thoroughly evaluate your website needs and business goals will help guide your selection of the ideal website builder for establishing your small business’ digital presence in South Africa’s dynamic online marketplace.

Additional Services and Support

Beyond just ease of building a website itself, South African small business owners should also consider what additional services, features and support each website builder provides. Key offerings to evaluate include:

Domain Registration

To create a professional custom URL (e.g., you need to register a domain name. Many website builders like OLITT and WordPress allow you to search for, purchase and connect a domain seamlessly during the website creation process, which simplifies setup.

Web Hosting

Web hosting provides the storage space and servers required to publish your site on the internet. Some website builders like Wix and Squarespace include unlimited web hosting with their paid plans, while others like WordPress require separate hosting purchase. Compare costs and ease of management.

Security Measures

Website security is crucial for any business to protect customer data and avoid cyberthreats. Leading website builders incorporate security measures like HTTPS encryption, site backups, firewalls and integrated malware scanners that run automatically in the background for defense.

Marketing and Analytics

Understanding your site visitors and traffic is key to improving engagement and conversions. Many website builders provide built-in Google Analytics integration for insights and some like Wix and Squarespace include email marketing, social media integration, SEO tools and more to bolster marketing.

Ongoing Maintenance

Rather than handling technical site maintenance yourself, opting for a managed website builder means the provider handles updates, backups, uptime monitoring and more. This allows you to focus on business priorities. Evaluate the maintenance included with each builder option.

Support Options

Should any issue arise with your site, timely support is crucial. Compare website builders’ support channels like email, phone, live chat, online knowledgebase articles and user communities. Prioritize options providing responsive 24/7 multichannel assistance.

Evaluating the additional services, features and support each website builder offers will help you determine the best, most comprehensive platform for your South African small business’s needs. Ensure your chosen builder provides the tools and resources to simplify and enhance your online presence.

Key Takeaways

Building an effective website is crucial for small businesses in South Africa seeking to establish an online presence and connect with customers. Website builders provide an affordable, accessible solution for DIY website creation without coding skills.

When evaluating website builders for small business use, focus on options that provide:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editors for straightforward site building
  • Responsive templates and themes optimized for mobile
  • Built-in SEO tools and speed optimization to improve search rankings
  • Ecommerce capabilities like shopping carts and payment processing for online selling
  • 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, email and knowledgebase

Leading website builders like OLITT, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress and Shopify meet these criteria while also offering attractive templates, customization and valuable integrated marketing tools.

Carefully assessing your South African small business’s budget, industry, goals and online needs will ensure you select the ideal website builder for establishing your digital presence and connecting with customers across the country. The right builder will provide a user-friendly, feature-rich and affordable website creation platform to help grow your enterprise.

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