Lately, more and more businesses are asking the questions: What is the best website builder? How do I know if a website builder is right for my business?
Websites play an important role in business growth today simply because it's a convenient way for people to find information, browse, shop and purchase a particular product or service. Fact of the matter is, 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. This huge number is one of the reasons businesses are now focusing more in creating their websites and making it rank on search results.
The process of building a website is a lot more efficient now than how it used to be. It has made the lives of professional coders and website builders a lot easier. Even a non-coder can create a website and quickly launch it. But you do have to choose a website builder that will give you the web design that suits your business functions.
So what should you consider when looking for a website builder?
1. Easy-to-use interface
Whether it’s Wordpress, Wix, Shopify, or another platform, you should always ask if it’s easy for an average person (someone who isn’t a developer) to use.
A website builder should be designed for you to create a website quickly so the interface shouldn’t be complicated and hard to navigate. Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t be spending it trying to figure out how to make a website builder work.
Look for a website builder with organised features laid out clearly in the editor. It should be pretty straightforward to add pages and elements up until changing themes and colour schemes.
2. Vast choices of high-quality web design templates and themes
High quality includes design and functionality. If you want to land new business frequently, then go for a design that attracts your target market like bees to honey. When visitors land on your site, the first thing that they notice is the design, if it’s not catchy enough for them, you might lose potential clients.
You have to also feel totally in control and free to design your website however you choose. The templates should be customisable to the point where it’s possible to design it and have the final output not look anything like the original theme. What this means is that you can move whatever element you choose to wherever you choose to place it. Opt for a website builder that has top quality themes available to you for both free and paid.
Added factors you should check before choosing your template:
- Mobile Responsiveness
- E-commerce functionality
- Design customisability
3. High-quality custom-user experience (optional)
If your company prefers to hire a designer or a development team to build your website from the ground up, then looking for a website builder that makes customisation easier will greatly benefit your team.
The website builder should be developer-friendly. From design to the backend, everything should be manageable, easy for them to work with and ensure that the website will run smoothly. It should also be a breeze to apply SEO, manage content, and place ads.
4. Mobile Site Builder
With Google, the largest search engine in the world, announcing that it will be switching to mobile-first indexing starting September 2020, it’s now a must for websites to be optimised for mobile devices as well. Why? Because optimising your website for mobile will give you a huge advantage in ranking your website on the first page of search engine results (SERPS).
What are the elements you should look for in a mobile website builder:
- Beautiful templates that work well in both desktop and mobile devices
- Secure and reliable hosting
- Ability to drag and drop elements
- Solid built-in eCommerce tools
5. Sales Features
If you’re setting up a website and want to focus heavily on eCommerce, you have to take in consideration the sales features of that website.
- Localisation. If you have international clients, you have to take note of language and currency adjustments. Look for a website builder where customers can adjust the localisation settings.
- Simple navigation. Your customers should find it easy to look for things. You should be able to design your website so that it can feature shortcuts like Advanced Search, Wish List, Shopping Cart, and Account or User Profile.
- On-point Product Pages. Your website builder should have features that allow your product to shine and easily be understood by the consumer. This includes photos, product name and description, price, and easily detectable ‘Add to Cart’ CTA.
- User Review Functionality. Social proof is one of the most important factors in closing a sale online. Buyers are more likely to purchase a product when they see testimonials that others are satisfied with the purchase too.
- Recommendations Feature. When a buyer browses through your products and services, you need to grab this opportunity to show them offers that they might also like but don’t know about. This is a great way to introduce shoppers to more choices that are relevant to the search they made.
6. Marketing Features
If the purpose of your website is to be an eCommerce store, it’s important to increase traffic and convert visitors into paying clients. Choose a platform that already has integrated marketing tools.
- Social sharing functions. This will allow you and visitors to promote your site on any social media platform easily.
- Marketing automation capabilities
- Blogging Features
7. SEO Friendly
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is growing in demand every year that’s why more and more website builders are including it in their value propositions. Create a website that is well-coded so that search engines can easily crawl and index it. There are a ton of SEO tools and plugins available now that can help rank your website on search engines, all you have to do is find a platform that will allow you to integrate them into.
Choose a website builder that not only gives you eye-catching designs but will also aid you to rank on top of search results.
Some On-page SEO elements your website builder should be able to monitor:
- Meta title & meta description - these are the title and summary of a page that gets shown in Google search results.
- Image alt text - text that appears in place of an image on your site.
- Backlinks - external links that connect to your website that make your content more credible.
- Structured data - code that makes it for search engines to crawl, understand and index.
- URL structure - allows you to design the URL of a page easily so that both users and search engines like Google can quickly access it.
8. App integration
More and more consumers are going mobile and according to Statista. As of February 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide already surpassed three billion. With this increase, user behavior have also evolved. Most eCommerce businesses have learned how to use websites and applications together, making them adapt to this change in user behavior.
Websites have become more versatile in a way that users can browse them through a mobile browser if the consumer wants information, this is also a powerful way of engaging consumers or new leads with content. Meanwhile, apps are more centered around the goal of accomplishing a specific task. For example, if it’s purely for eCommerce purposes then the app’s goal for the user to complete a purchase.
If you think that this strategy is perfect for your industry then choose a website builder that can run this feature seamlessly. Move traffic from your website to your app after they have understood the full message of your brand as well as products or services.
9. Customer Support
You never know when a problem might arise, that’s why it’s important to choose a website builder that has great customer support. For most eCommerce business owners, their online store is their bread and butter. That's why building your store on a platform you can trust and that can offer help when you need it is very crucial.
Look for a website builder that has 24/7 customer service, plus a great reputation for being responsive to clients when they need it.
Websites are a lot cheaper than an actual brick and mortar store but even so, you want to get the best price for your buck. Website builders bill on a subscription basis that’s why you should consider and plan out the long-term cost. Consider what you can afford at the moment and choose a website builder that fits your budget.
Also, make sure that you consider everything that is included in the subscription and never opt for the cheaper option if it means foregoing something that your business absolutely needs.
Our Top Choices For Website Builders:
An all-in-one website builder that’s beginner-friendly and can be used by individuals who are non-coders.
- Over 500 designer templates
- Advanced SEO tools
- Free and Premium Plans are available however the Free Plan has ads in it.
- Add-ons such as Google Analytics, Favicons, eCommerce can be added if you get the Premium Plan.
Shopify is mainly for eCommerce. They have a full set of tools to help set up your store online.
- Comes with a full inventory management system
- Unlimited products
- Easy marketing solutions
- They offer in-store POS
- Capacity to integrate Shopify into WordPress
Wordpress is used by over 78 million websites, including 22 percent of the 100 websites, it’s remained one of the most powerful platforms today powering websites like Sony Music and Forbes blog.
- Best blogging functionality
- Huge plugin library
- Adjustable and simple
- Opensource and Free
- Plans available
- Provides a more hands-on SEO experience
Squarespace has built a reputation for having beautiful web design templates that can be modified via access to coding features.
- Superb templates
- User friendly
- Design Flexibility
- Recommended for people with experience in SEO
A website builder that’s been in the industry for 12 years, Weebly is a drag-and-drop builder offering pre-installed templates, letting you build a website fast without much fuss.
- Value for money
- Customisable themes
- HD video and audio for the Pro Plan
- Provides quality SEO apps
Are you ready to build your website?
The best advice we can give you is to have a clear vision in mind before you begin.
- What do you want to do with your website?
- What are your goals for your website?
- How do you want it to look?
- What features do you want to see in it?
If you’re not sure of the specifics, you need to update yourself on what’s happening in the market right now, do your research, check out competitors and popular websites for added inspiration.
Understanding that you need to make your website both beautiful and functional means you understand the work that needs to happen behind the scenes.
If you have a vision of your goals and how you want your website to look but don’t know how to implement them, then look for companies offering web services. Having the vision doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself. You can always hire professionals to do the heavy-lifting for you. On this note, to get value for money, choose the ones who can also deliver SEO services for you.
Creating a website will always be a huge step for many companies as it is a business’ face online. Make sure that the platform you choose can handle the changes your growing business will need in the future as well.