So, you’ve reached the point of either needing a website for your company or needing a website better suited for your business; the only question: which website builder is best for your small business? There are dozens to choose from, making the selection process more complicated than you may have anticipated.
If you’re among the small business owners who do not see the value in a website for your business, rest assured that you can opt for a low-maintenance and easy to use platform. Investing some time and money on a website will pay off. Some of the benefits include building credibility, reaching a wider audience, and the capability to promote and sell online. Fortunately, 29% of small businesses plan to begin using a website for the first time in 2020 – a number sure to grow with the changing business landscape.
Here is information on some of the most popular website builders for you to choose from:
WordPress tops the charts for many website builder ranking experts. You can start for free and it is known for giving its users the most control and customization out of any website builder.
- Cost – Free to start, then starting at $2.75 per month
- Open source, it’s available on most web hosting platforms, giving you maximum control
- 1,000+ free & premium themes available to help you start your design
- A variety of free & premium plugins, which let you add features
- SEO friendly, it’ll guide you when it comes to web analytics
- Scalable, third party services (such as payment services) can be integrated
- Maintenance, you are responsible for keeping your site secure and updated
- The learning curve, more time consuming than other website builders due to the flexibility
- Need to purchase hosting separately
Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that is known for its ease of use, modern designs, and value for small e-commerce.
- Cost – Start at $12 per month (for a 20-page website), up to $40
- User friendly, a great platform for beginners
- Able to purchase a domain through Squarespace
- A variety of designs and templates, all themes feature mobile-friendly designs
- The basic package will get you an SSL certificate, allowing secure connections, as well as web analytics, and eCommerce features
- Offers plenty of customization
- Not as flexible or customizable as WordPress
- Limited integrations with third-party services
Wix is a simple, straightforward website builder that is geared towards beginners.
- Cost – Plans start at $11 and go up to $35 per month
- 500+ templates to choose from
- Able to build a simple website in less time, intuitive
- Easy drag & drop interface
- Limited functionality
- Limited SEO features
- No control of hosting, have to buy a domain name separately
- Not scalable, difficult to add features, and difficult to move your website from Wix
Weebly, like Wix, is a drag & drop interface that is great for beginners and a simple online presence.
- Cost – Free trial, and start plan is $8 per month
- Ease of use, the drag & drop interface is intuitive, and no coding experience is necessary
- Web statistics available
- Offers templates
- Fully hosted, the software is already managed
- Built-in e-commerce support
- Unable to add new features, no control of hosting
- 3% transaction fee on every purchase made through your site
- Limited SEO features
- “locked-in” to platform
GoDaddy is best for a simple website with limited content, designed to make website building quick.
- Cost- Plans start at $5.99 and users are billed annually
- Hosting included
- Drag & drop interface
- Optimized for mobile and smaller screens
- Integrated photo library
- Limited customization, fewer design options
- Limited SEO features
- Difficult to move the site away from GoDaddy
Constant Contact Website Builder
Constant Contact is most known for its email service, but also provides a small business website builder that’s great for beginners.
- Cost – Free
- User-friendly, drag & drop, simple to create a webpage
- Ability to sync Facebook page when creating a website
- Top-rated customer support
- Includes SSL certificate, blog, and e-commerce integration
- Library of 550,00+ free quality images
- No third-party integrations
- Not very customizable
- Must pay for custom domain name separately
Shopify is a great website builder for new e-commerce businesses and hosts more than 500,000 businesses.
- Cost – The basic plan is $29 per month
- All-in-one, no software maintenance required
- Ability to add third-party payment options as well as Shopify’s own integrated payment solution
- Intuitive drag & drop interface
- Hundreds of designs
- Offers in-store POS, allowing you to sell products on location
- A transaction fee of .5-2% for external payment gateways
- Difficult to move site away from Shopify
Gator Website Builder
Gator, similar to GoDaddy, was developed by a web hosting company. Gator is great for small business owners looking to create a website quickly.
- Cost – Starts at about $3.50 per month
- Includes hosting & domain name
- Fully hosted, no software maintenance required
- Drag & drop interface, easy to customize and over 200 templates
- Web analytics and free SSL certificate
- Not flexible
- Limited features, not ideal for e-commerce sites
If you’re looking for a simple online presence, don’t get distracted by the fancy features of some of the platforms, but if you know you want to scale, it is something to consider. Keep in mind, there are many free resources online to help with questions, or you can always consult with an expert.