Website builders enable small business owners to create beautiful websites without spending thousands of dollars on web design. But with so many platforms, picking the right one can be a challenge. And yet, that's one of the most critical choices you'll be making.
How your website looks and feels can significantly impact your business' credibility. According to research in the Journal of Medicine and Life, almost 75% of users judge a website's trustworthiness based on their first impressions of its design, appearance, and ease of navigation.
Let's see how you can pick a website builder for your small business that fits your needs and enforces high design quality, user-friendliness, and security.
» Find out the benefits of having a website for your small business.
Assess Your Business’s Website Requirements
Different website builders cater to different business specifications and budgets, meaning your goals inform your platform choice.
To choose a platform that's best for you, consider the following five questions to help you determine your needs:
1. What's the Main Purpose of Your Website?
You may want to set up a basic company site or start a blog for your business. Luckily, for each type of website, there are suitable platforms. Let's look at some examples.
- Online store: You should look for a platform with powerful e-commerce capabilities like Shopify or Wix.
- Image-heavy portfolio website: Squarespace is an intuitive fit since it has countless beautiful templates for this purpose.
2. What's Your Budget?
Different website builders come with different price tags—and you also have the choice between paid vs. free website builders. Compare platform options to weigh up the functionalities you need your site to have against the cost.
3. Are You Planning to Scale Your Business?
If your business is on track to grow rapidly, scalability and security should be a top priority. For instance, see if the platform you're considering has ways to protect your website from cyber-attacks.
Choose a website builder that can support your growth, such as HubSpot, which comes with its own customer relationship management (CRM) platform and marketing suite.
4. How Comfortable Are You With Learning to Use a New Platform?
While you don't need any technical skills or coding knowledge to use a website builder, it's important to consider that some platforms are more complex than others.
If you're a complete newbie, pick a beginner-friendly platform like IONOS or Wix.
5. How Much Storage Space Do You Need?
How much hosting space you need depends on what you plan to upload to your website. Take videos or downloadable content—avoid lowering your website's performance and choose a website builder with higher storage space.
For example, Wix offers multiple solutions with various storage spaces and video bandwidth.
What to Look For in a Website Builder
Factors to consider when choosing a website builder for a small business range from the level of customization you need to the platform's customer support options.
The best small business website builders are user-friendly, affordable, and come with dozens or even hundreds of professionally-designed templates. IONOS is a great choice if you need a budget-friendly option that's super easy to figure out, while Wix's 800+ templates make it ideal for those looking to create a visually diverse website.
5 Key Website Builder Features
If you want to customize every aspect of your website, look for platforms that allow for lots of design freedom. Squarespace is a great choice for this.
2. ECommerce Capabilities
If you plan to add an e-commerce store to your website, you need a website builder with powerful online shopping features, such as Shopify or Wix.
Some of these site builders include:
- Social media integration
- Easy and secure checkout processes
- Customer accounts
- Built-in shipping calculators
3. SEO Optimization
Optimizing for SEO requires informed strategies that can help boost your site's traffic. Wix is an excellent choice for SEO because it offers various add-on apps which can help you assess site leads, monitor clicks and site traffic, and interact with visitors.
4. Mobile Responsiveness
Most website builders now automatically create a mobile version of your website but add this consideration to the list when searching for your ideal website builder.
5. Customer Support
Many platforms give you a few options to contact support for real-time help through live chat or phone support, including a 24/7 callback option in English.
» Discover the types of website navigation for a positive user experience.
5 Tips for Choosing the Right Website Builder
Choosing the right website builder doesn't have to be complicated once you know what you're looking for. Below are my top 5 tips to help you make the right choice:
1. Clearly Define Your Needs and Requirements
Once you know what your website will be for, you can identify the tools you need to manage it successfully. Some needs, depending on the site, can be:
- Integrations with other apps and platforms, like email marketing integrations
- Built-in, powerful analytics tools
- Product management for large inventory selections
Compare your requirements to the features of each platform.
2. Set a Budget and Compare Plans
Most platforms have flexible pricing options to suit different budgets, but always remember to check:
- Whether the features you need (including web hosting and domain registration) are included in the plan you're considering
- The price after the first billing period, namely the first month or year, since the increase can sometimes be quite steep
3. Test a Few Platforms
Many website builders have a free trial or even a free version, enabling you to test them. This can show you the extent of a platform's features so you'll know whether it aligns with your needs before you commit.
Look for an intuitive, user-friendly platform with the most helpful templates and customization options.
4. Talk to Customer Support
During the trial period, you can contact customer support to see whether you can get a quick and helpful answer on the first try.
This can be a helpful indicator of how seamless assistance would be if you used this platform long-term.
5. Check Reviews
Check review websites (like ours) and online customers' feedback to see what others think about each platform you're considering. Compare the reviews of a few platforms to get a fuller picture.
And, speaking of feedback, you can try out different customer review templates that you may want to implement for your business.
Use The Right Website Builder To Elevate Your Small Business
Building a website today is no longer the complex process it used to be. With all industries combined holding visitors' attention for an average of 54 seconds, an effective site design can help attract and retain users.
And that's where the right website builder comes in. You'll be able to create a beautiful website for your small business that runs smoothly, targets your goals, and caters to your audience.
» Ready? Check out the most important elements your small business website needs.