Have you heard coders complain about how website builders have put them out of a job? Well, that’s what this amazing software is doing. It allows those who don’t even know the name of a single coding language to build a website.
The world, today, works in a way where you will struggle in the business scene if you don’t have a significant online presence. Business website builders are giving entrepreneurs the chance to build an online following. It lets you build your own website meaning you don’t have to dish out cash for professional resources.
Using a website builder for a small business makes the job easier by tenfold. It’s easy to customize and edit. And as the business owner, you can tailor the website to exactly what you want. And, a secret most developers don’t want you to know is, they also use templates from builders to create a website.
Now, there is definitely the problem of plenty. And you obviously want the best small business website builder. Here’s what to look for and how to choose.
Factors to Consider
The budget is the most influential factor for the choice. Most often, small businesses don’t have a big budget to work with. And hosting and domain name registration will eat up most of what they do have. So the first thing on your checklist should be to analyze the pricing and plans.
Some builders have recurring charges they very smartly hide, while others are one-and-done. You also have to take that into account.
To organize this, create a budgeting sheet and make your own comparison of plans. Highlight the features you need most and which builder provides that feature. Recommendations only go so far since each businesses’ needs are different.
GoDaddy is a good free website builder that also has secure web hosting in its paid plans.
A service provider’s website is different from an e-commerce website which is different from a portfolio. And some builders work better for different types of websites.
For example, say you’re building an e-commerce website. Go to the features page of every builder you’re considering. Scroll through their list of features and see where the “online shop” feature falls. If it’s within the first 5 features offered, then it can be understood that its e-commerce service is worth looking into. You can apply the same logic to their landing page as well.
What to Look For
The editing experience is what will determine the outcome of your website. If the editor is easy to use, you’ll automatically want to work harder on the website.
The drag-and-drop editor is the most common type and it’s pretty straightforward to use. There are also dynamic editors that do the editing for you, but you can go in and customize these as well.
When editing, it’s easier to work on the front-end. This way, you can see the change as you’re making it without having to preview or export it. Front-end-based editing gets the job done much quicker and is perfect for a busy business owner.
WordPress, with an Elementor plug-in, is fantastic for those who want to edit on the front-end.
In-Built Mobile Responsiveness
So many people access the internet from their phones. And most website builders are PC-based. So the difference in screen size may impact the output in a phone or tablet.
If a website is built only with code, the designs need to be manually changed according to display size. One of the greatest virtues of website builders is the built-in mobile responsiveness.
Many builders offer this feature in their plans. It automatically codes your website to be viewed on a smaller screen without you having to do anything. However, you should be able to edit the design to your liking as well. Pick a builder that allows you to tweak the mobile view. Especially if you think the website will be accessed on different screens by many.
Wix is a website builder that makes your pages mobile responsive. It also has a mobile editor so you can fine-tune the output.
Option to Access Source Codes
In the best of outcomes, your business expands and you hire a professional to develop your website further. In most cases, developers will prefer to work with a mix of code and drag-and-drop edits.
So it’s always a good idea to go with a website builder that allows you to access the HTML and CSS codes of the page. The biggest advantage to this is you can get inventive with the page and go beyond what the builder offers.
Shopify gives users the option to edit HTML and CSS codes on the builder itself.
In-Built Marketing and SEO Features
There’s no point in building a website that no one can find. Google, the most popular search engine, has a lot of rules and requirements for your page to appear as a top result. To give yourself the best shot, you need to optimize all your pages to rank in the search engine.
There are many manual methods to increase the SEO of the page. But a lot of it relies on the way it is built. The best website builder for SEO should automatically give you suggestions to improve the SEO as you’re building. This way, you can make edits immediately.
Marketing is another way to ensure your page is accessible to your audience. Information like the demographics of your audience is crucial to give your business the best chance. Choosing a website builder that gives you these reports is helpful during the starting stage of your business. At least until you can afford to invest in a private marketing tool.
Squarespace has very functional SEO and marketing tools.
Themes and Templates
Yes, looks do matter. Your landing page is the most influential page of your whole website. If your audience is not impressed with it, it doesn’t take much for them to move on. This is where themes, templates, and a bit of your creativity step in.
All website builders have a directory of templates that you can start with. It’s essential that they are customizable so your website isn’t just replicas of 10 different sites on the internet.
Strikingly has tons of unique templates for you to choose from.
Your website has to be user-friendly and engaging to your audience. Otherwise, there are hundreds of competitors your clients will turn to. Most users enjoy elements like photos and videos that they can see and experience. Blocks of monotone text will bore your audience.
Some website builders make you purchase add-ons or plugins to include such elements. Check the builder’s features first before you decide.
Weebly is a website builder that allows you to add many interactive elements like audio, video, gallery, and blogs. This will improve site traffic as well.
Hosting And Domain Name Registration
This is a boring but very necessary part of the website building process. Having your website hosted on secure servers will give your customers a sense of relief. This is especially true in the case of an e-commerce website where personal and bank information is expected to be in-putted.
Since your domain name is what people search for you by, having a custom name is vital. If luck is in your pocket, the name you want hasn’t been used already.
Site 123 has in-built free hosting and custom domain registration.
The choice is now yours. First, decide what you want your website builder to do for you. Then make an informed choice with what you just read.