If the idea of a website and having to put one together stresses you out, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve worked with a couple hundred clients and designed over 10 000 projects, and let me tell you – we’ve had many people look at us as if we’re speaking a foreign language when talking about website elements.
The truth is, a website really isn’t all that scary. If you look past coding and the more technical aspects, it’s actually a fun process to see come to life. Back when websites were in the infancy stage, we didn’t have what is widely known today as website builders such as WordPress, Joomla, Wix and Squarespace to name a few.
Not only have website builders become an essential part of putting a website together, but they make the design process so much easier.
But what exactly is a website builder, how do you choose one and how does a free website builder compare to a paid website builder?
Don’t stress – sit back and relax while we walk you through all there is to know about website builders for small business.
What is a website builder?
Website builders are content management systems (CMSs) in which users can create, edit and publish a functional web page using visual, menu-based tools instead of writing code. (source: Google)
If we consider the benefits of a website builder, it makes sense why it’s important, especially for small businesses.
Benefits of a website builder:
- It works on a drag-and-drop technology and an interface design that is user-friendly, so technical skills is not a requirement.
- Because your website files are hosted on a server, you can access and edit it anytime and anywhere with your login details. Added bonus: you won’t lose your files.
- They offer many different template options.
- You can DIY (keeping in mind there will be specific functions, tools and applications that add to the functionality of a website that you may need a professional designer to assist with).
- You’ll be able to have a website up and running in no time.
- It allows you to manage and maintain your website
How to choose one?
From Joomla and WordPress, to Wix, Squarespace and all other website builders on the market, choosing one can be tricky if you’re not sure what to look for. Sometimes a decision is based on what is needed vs which website builder closely matches those requirements, other times it can boil down to popularity. Look at Wix, they’re everywhere and make their existence known across the internet.
Here’s a couple of suggested pointers to look at before making your final decision:
- Free trial: check whether you’re able to test out a free trial. With the exception of some limitations, most website builders offer a free trial/plan.
- Price: get all the necessary pricing details and check the fine print on any extra costs.
- Support: if you have a website, you’ll most certainly need support (phone, chat, email etc). Be sure to test out the support options they offer before committing to a paid plan.
- Features: this will of course largely depend on the purpose and goal of the website. Will it be for personal or professional use? Do you need a shopping cart to sell products? And check whether they offer decent blogging systems and images galleries, mobile-friendly designs and password protected pages.
- Themes: website builders usually offer a number of themes to choose from, make sure the theme options and its functionalities meet your requirements.
How a free website builder compares to a paid website builder:
The lower the cost, the better – we get it. But although free website builders are great, they’re basic and come with limitations. And if the goal is to use the website in a business related context, it may not be the best option.