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12 min read

The 5 best landing page builders

Choose the right landing page website for your business.

By Harry Guinness · August 22, 2022
Hero image with the logos of the best landing page builders

Landing pages are one-page websites with a specific focus, like promoting your product or getting customers to sign up for your newsletter. You can almost think  of them as an interactive online business card or flyer for you or your business.

In particular, landing pages are a great way to target different customer segments with tailored information. I use one to list some of my best articles so that editors can see my work and reach out, and another to promote my tech writing newsletter to aspiring writers. I'm still me—but presented in different ways to different market segments.

While building a full website can be an involved process, launching a great landing page can be quick and easy—provided you use the right tools. With one of these landing page builders, you can do it in a matter of hours. My four landing pages took no more than an evening each to put together.

The 5 best landing page builder apps

  • Carrd for making free landing pages

  • ConvertKit for driving email newsletter signups

  • Unbounce for small businesses with a budget

  • Swipe Pages for mobile-first landing pages

  • Leadpages for selling products on a landing page

Some of our picks integrate with Zapier, so you can connect them to your other favorite apps and do things like automatically send form responses to your email marketing or database tool. Zapier's automations are called Zaps, and you'll see several Zap templates throughout this piece. To get started with a Zap template, just click on it, and we'll guide you through setting it up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

What should a landing page builder include?

How we evaluate and test apps

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

The lines between landing pages, single-page websites, and even single pages on larger websites are blurry. In general: a landing page tells your visitors specific details about the product or service you provide and has a single call to action (CTA) that prompts them to do something, whether it be join your newsletter, give you a phone call, or purchase your new eBook; whereas a single-page website is less focused and just provides regular website information. Landing pages are a great way to tailor your marketing efforts by enabling you to capture leads and present targeted messages to specific audiences.

If you've got the coding chops, you could hand-code your own landing page or use a CMS like WordPress. Most people—and even those who know how to code—will do better with something simpler and more focused, though. For example, I run a full WordPress blog about the best dog products, but I use Carrd, one of the top picks here, for all my landing pages because it's so fast, affordable, and easy to use. The same can't be said of setting up a WordPress site, even if it does give you more options and flexibility when you're building out a full website.

So, what makes great landing page building software? As someone who's been making sites for more than 15 years, writing about them for a decade, and proselytizing about how good landing page builders are for the last three years, here's what I was looking for when testing:

  • Apps that enable you to build one-page websites that are easy to tweak and customize without any serious coding. Using CSS to style your site should be an optional extra, not required to get it off the ground.

  • A good selection of landing page templates for common concepts. More templates is good, but quality templates trumped any number of dated or shady-looking sites. Landing pages should be fast to iterate, so you don't need to start from scratch each time. 

  • A way to integrate your CTA of choice, whether you want to collect email addresses using Mailchimp, get customers to call your cell phone, or have them buy your product right there and then. 

  • Some kind of analytics, so you can track how your marketing efforts are doing. 

  • The option to use a custom domain for your site.

One final caveat: the best landing page tools have to be good value for money, which means to make our list, a larger price tag had to be justified by more specific features. If you can get the same features for less money, we're always going to recommend the more affordable app. This means some popular apps, like Instapage, missed out because they're just too expensive to recommend to most people. If you run a large marketing department and need the level of support that comes with a service that starts at $2,400/year, go ahead and sign up. But you can make very similar landing pages with far cheaper tools.

For this article, I started with a list of more than 30 apps that claimed to be able to build landing pages. I first reviewed them all against the criteria above. Any app that obviously fell short or otherwise didn't seem to meet our requirements was rejected out of hand. 

From that shortlist (and from my knowledge reviewing this list for the past three years), I had a dozen or so apps that warranted further testing. For that, I simply built a landing page (or in many cases, my fourth, fifth, or sixth landing page) with each app to get a feel for how they worked. And that led me to these: the five best landing page builders.

What should you include on your landing page, and how can you ensure its success? Check out our guide to making a great landing page for more tips.

Best free landing page builder

Carrd (Web)

Carrd, our pick for the best free landing page builder

Carrd is one of the best landing page builders out there—and most of its core features are available for free. You don't even need an account to start building a page. Just head to the Carrd website, select one of the themes, and get to it. When you're ready to save or publish your site, that's when you'll need to sign up. 

Carrd is really easy to get started with. Most of the editing tools are simple to use. Click an image block, and a sidebar opens where you can upload a new image and add alt text and a link. Editing text is a bit confusing since you can't edit it inline—again, you click the text then edit it in the sidebar—but it does support Markdown formatting for a quick way to customize your copy. It takes a little getting used to, but the rest of the app is so easy to use that it's not a major hurdle.

One of Carrd's strengths is that its themes are quite restrictive with their layouts. You can create containers with columns so things appear side-by-side, but you can't scatter images willy-nilly over the page. For the most part, your content appears one block after another. You have a headline, then some text, then some image, then a contact form.

With Carrd's free Basic plan, you can launch three sites to .carrd.co domains. It's the best way to make basic landing pages without paying a penny, though you miss out on some useful features. For example: you can't use Google Analytics; embed third-party widgets from Stripe, PayPal, and Gumroad (so you can take payments); or add forms to collect email addresses. To get more from it, you'll need to upgrade to at least a Pro Standard account. The good news is it's ridiculously affordable: plans start at just $19/year. (Full disclosure: that's what I use for most of my own websites.) If you need more marketing-focused features than what it offers, continue on to the rest of the list for some Carrd alternatives.

Carrd price: Free for 3 sites with basic features; from $9/year for Pro Lite, which unlocks more templates. You need the $19/year Pro Standard plan to use advanced features like embeds, forms, custom domains, and Google Analytics.

If you want a free option that allows you to use your own custom domain, check out Google Sites. It's more limited than Carrd in many ways, but it has no paywalled features. 

Best landing page builder for driving email newsletter signups

ConvertKit (Web)

ConvertKit, our pick for the best landing page builder for driving email newsletter signups

If you want to use a landing page to launch an email newsletter, ConvertKit is your best option. It's designed for authors, bloggers, YouTubers, musicians, and other creators who want to monetize what they do, though it will work just as well for anyone looking to build an email list. 

To start, go to Landing Pages & Forms, and click Create New. Select from one of more than 50 base templates, then add your copy and images to customize it. If you want to add more elements, like a countdown timer, feed of your past newsletters, a product people can buy, or the like, click into any element and then click the + icon that appears beside it (it took me a while to find). When you're done, you can publish using the default .ck.page domain, though it's a better idea to configure your own custom one.

While I really liked ConvertKit's themes and builder, it's worth noting that many of them are pretty restrictive. You can't just add content into the sidebar or rearrange how images appear. It's great if you're prepared to work within the limits of ConvertKit's excellent themes, but if you have a specific vision for your site, it may fall short of your needs.

ConvertKit's free plan is a good way to get started, but if you're serious about building your newsletter, you'll want to consider the Creator plan (from $15/month). It enables you to create pre-scheduled email sequences for new subscribers and integrate ConvertKit with other apps like Zapier, so you can do things like automatically add subscribers who attend an event or fill out a form.

Add new leads from Facebook Lead Ads to ConvertKit forms

Add new leads from Facebook Lead Ads to ConvertKit forms
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • ConvertKit logo
Facebook Lead Ads + ConvertKit

ConvertKit price: Free for 200 contacts; from $15/month for the Creator plan that enables you to manage more than 300 contacts and adds automation features.

ConvertKit isn't the only newsletter service that offers landing pages. I also tested both GetResponse and Mailchimp, but I preferred ConvertKit's updated and well-designed app. However, if you already use a different email marketing tool (whether it's Mailchimp, GetResponse, or an app I haven't listed) that also has a landing page builder, I wouldn't recommend switching apps just for that. Use the landing page builder included with your existing email marketing tool.

Best landing page builder for small businesses with a budget

Unbounce (Web)

Unbounce, our pick for the best landing page builder for small businesses with a budget

Many landing page builders are aimed at digital entrepreneurs and other people whose business is done mostly online. Unbounce, on the other hand, offers a lot for small, offline business owners like dentists, lawyers, and plumbers.

At $90/month for up to 500 conversions (which can be as little as people clicking on a link to your app, filling in a form, or joining your newsletter) and 20,000 unique visitors, Unbounce is only for people who are making real money from their leads—if that's not you, you're going to want to look into some Unbounce alternatives instead. You can see how close you are to your plan's limits at the top of the screen as soon as you log in.

You can build your landing pages in one of two ways: using the drag-and-drop Classic builder, or the new AI-powered Smart Builder (though it's still technically in beta). 

The Classic builder is pretty powerful and works like most other drag-and-drop builders. Start with a template, move things around, upload your content, done. The Smart Builder, on the other hand, asks you what you intend to use the page for, then automatically creates a layout based on your answers. You can then tweak things, adding extra sections and apps or removing its suggested one as you like. It's actually a pretty nice builder to use.

There's also a built-in AI-powered copy-generating feature that auto-fills content on the page based on a short description of your business. It works quite well, though your mileage will vary with how generic you want your content to be. When I fed it some fairly normal gym and fitness prompts, it created plenty of plausible—if boring—copy for the site. If you want to iterate quickly, it's useful, but I think any business owner will create better copy themselves. 

Last year, I felt the Classic Builder was the safer choice and the Smart Builder interesting and showing promise. Now, I'd consider the Smart Builder a decent option to try. I liked how intuitive adding and removing sections was, and I didn't hit any of the bugs I encountered last year. (The smart copy can be avoided.)

Unbounce's real power, however, is in its A/B testing and targeting tools. You can create multiple variants of your page from the Variant menu in the top toolbar in the Classic Builder (in the Smart Builder, you have to add a new variant from the dashboard). Unbounce will then test them against each other to see which one gets you the most conversions. There's also an option to dynamically replace text on your page with whatever the person searched for, so you could change your headline to say "Human Resource Management Apps" or "HR Management Tools," depending on what they were looking for.

While I wasn't able to test it, there's also a new AI-powered split testing tool called Smart Traffic. It directs visitors to the page-variant most likely to convert them, rather than just the one with the best average performance. It's an interesting idea and is well within the wheelhouse of the kind of AI tools that Unbounce is developing. 

With all these features and options, Unbounce has a steep learning curve. Setting up a landing page and a few variants with all the correct conversion details will take longer than just throwing something up on Carrd. If you're prepared to invest the time, though, Unbounce's tools can make it worth your while.

Since you're spending a pretty penny to make it happen, you'll want to be sure you get your leads where you need them. Unbounce integrates with Zapier, so you can add your new leads to your CRM, event marketing, or email marketing tool. Here are a couple examples, but you can connect Unbounce to whatever app you use.

Unbounce price: From $90/month for the Launch plan, for up to 500 conversions, 20,000 monthly visitors, and one custom domain.

Note: If you need unlimited conversions, Landingi (from $35/month) is also worth checking out as an Unbounce alternative, especially for marketing agencies.

Best landing page builder for mobile-first landing pages

Swipe Pages (Web)

Swipe Pages, our pick for the best landing page builder for mobile-first landing pages

Swipe Pages, like all the apps on this list, has a solid landing page builder. You start with a template, customize it to your needs with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder, and push people toward your CTA—whether that be signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. On higher plans, it's got A/B testing, dynamic text replacement, and all the other features we'd expect of a top landing page building app. But when it comes to mobile landing pages, Swipe Pages is in a category of its own. 

Swipe Pages enables you to create app-like swipeable Mobile Slides for cellphone and tablet visitors. Instead of having to scroll down a page, they basically swipe their way through something closer to an Instagram post. It's a significantly more natural way to engage with a landing page when you're on a mobile device. (Swipe Pages also offers support for Google AMP-hosted landing pages that target Google Ad traffic in a similarly direct way.)

Best of all, Swipe Pages allows you to create a regular landing page for people browsing on their computers and redirect all mobile traffic to a set of Mobile Slides—all of which can be A/B tested to find the highest converting options. It's a great way to serve the right landing page at the right time.

Swipe Pages also integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like send new form submissions to a Google Sheet or new orders to Shopify. 

Swipe Pages price: From $39/month for the Startup plan.

Best landing page builder for selling products

Leadpages (Web)

The interface for Leadpages, our pick for the best landing page builder for selling products.

Want a launch page where people can learn about and buy your product in one place? Leadpages has the tools you need for both.

You start with a template, then click on anything on the landing page design, and the rest of the page will fade out a bit so you can work on the one thing you're editing. Each item includes a few options in a floating panel next to it, so you can quickly change how things look. It was one of my favorite editors to work with—especially if you don't have much coding knowledge.

Get creative with the widgets and page options in the left sidebar, where you can add videos, images, forms, and the like. You can even embed an OpenTable booking form if you run a restaurant or a Calendly form if you schedule your time that way. From the Sections menu, you can add pre-styled blocks of content such as an about section, plan pricing, or a standout call to action. It's really handy if you know how you want your site to look, but want the tools that make it easy. 

Then, with a Pro or higher plan, you can add a checkout form to your landing page. Add a Stripe account to process the payments, then drag the Checkout box from the Widgets sidebar to add a payment form to your page. It's one of the quickest ways to build a one-product store, which is why it's hard to find many solid Leadpages alternatives.

Plus, Leadpages integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like automatically reply to anyone who fills in a form or add them to your email marketing tool. Here are some examples.

Leadpages price: From $49/month for the Standard plan for one site.

Could you build your own website instead?

Landing page builders are a great tool if you really just want to build a single-page marketing site with a clear CTA. But if you know you'll soon want to expand it to a full website, or even an online store, then you're better off building your own site—even if it is just a single-page one to start. Other than Carrd, landing page creators can also come with quite steep monthly fees, so if you aren't using the marketing features, a full website might even be cheaper.

There are lots of great website building options, from the more DIY-focused, like a self-hosted WordPress install, to quick and easy-to-use template-based options that have a lot in common with the landing page builders we've just looked at, like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify

This article was originally published in April 2018 by Matthew Guay. The most recent update was in August 2022.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'