So you want to build a website? You’re making a wise choice. These days, it’s hard for any business to compete without one.
Websites not only sell your services and showcase the people behind your brand; they play an essential role in local SEO — boosting your Google My Business listing and helping people find you on Google Maps.
— The tricky part?
There are now over 50 website builders available, so it can be hard to pick the best. Particularly, when they all look pretty much identical.
Thankfully, we’ve done some vetting for you.
Read on for our pick of the best website builders around today.
The 3 Best Website Builders for SMEs
Website builders are the ideal option for any small business looking to get online quickly and without the expense of hiring a developer.
While choosing a website builder can be daunting, whittling your options down to three makes life that little bit simpler.
1) Most Popular: WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the internet’s most popular website builder.
Over one-third of all websites are powered by WordPress, which proves its value to users.
The reason why so many businesses love the platform is its ease of use, variety of features, and scalability: meaning you won’t have any issues with a slow or crashing website — even as your business starts to grow.
Pros of WordPress.org:
WordPress.org is the most dynamic of all the options. It lets you build eCommerce stores, forums, subscription websites, social networks, the lot.
The builder includes thousands of pre-designed themes to choose from, helping you find the perfect look for your website in seconds; while 50,000+ apps let you add new features and functions as required.
You can even use drag-and-drop page builders — helping you customize page layouts without any technical know-how.
Cons of WordPress.Org:
Benefits aside, WordPress.org is a self-hosted service.
While this gives you the freedom to build what you want, it puts a level of responsibility on your shoulders (which can feel uncomfortable for those new to the game).
It means you’ll need a WordPress hosting account and you’ll have to manage your own site, which involves a slight learning curve (but not so steep it should put you off!).
WordPress Pricing: Free — although you’ll need to buy a domain name (~$14.99/year) and web hosting (~$7.99/month).
2) Most Intuitive: Squarespace.com
Squarespace is for those who are all about ‘the look.’
It offers intuitive interfaces and thoughtful designs, neatly packaged for the perfect user experience: Squarespace arguably has some of the best out-the-box templates of any website builder.
Pros of Squarespace:
Squarespace is the creative’s dream.
It offers the most eclectic array of blogging, podcasting, audio player, and photo galleries out there. And if you’re looking to build an eCommerce store, it’s a worthy contender for that as well.
It’s all drag-and-drop, so you’ll waste no time in getting your website online. Plus, Squarespace offers enterprise-grade hosting services. Meaning?
You can enjoy guaranteed security thanks to a robust platform that takes care of the trickery of updates and upgrades — automatically keeping your site secure, 24/7/365.
Cons of Squarespace:
The main limitation of Squarespace lies in its integrations: there aren’t all that many.
So, when it comes to scaling your business or pursuing new channels, you could find the platform simply can’t support your ambitions.
And if you’re looking to build an eCommerce store, please note Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal are the only payment options available.
Squarespace Pricing: Websites from $12/month; eCommerce stores from $26/month.
3) Most(ly) eCommerce: Shopify
Squarespace is one option for building an online store.
However, if your business prizes eCommerce functionality above all else, then Shopify is for you. Over 1,000,000 business owners use Shopify to manage inventory, track stats, and market products, helping the platform sell over $40 billion worth of goods since its inception.
It’s a popular drag-and-drop website builder in its own right — designed with eCommerce top-of-mind.
Pros of Shopify:
Shopify’s standout point of difference is its extensive app store.
The Shopify platform covers a good 80% of all the functionality any online store could ever need. The remaining 20%? The app store will have a solution.
This setup helps keep the core offering sleek, simple, and super easy to use, while the app store covers the bases for more advanced users.
Like Squarespace, Shopify is a fully-hosted solution; but better than Squarespace, it offers an integrated payment system — in Shopify Payments — alongside several other third-party options.
Cons of Shopify:
Shopify competes with the best website builders at nearly every level.
It can even connect with your real-world shop, offering an integrated PoS payment system to help you manage inventory. However, its rich feature-set comes at a price.
Shopify is comparably expensive versus most other builders. Plus, if you ever needed to move to another platform, it’s surprisingly tricky to do so.
Shopify Pricing: Basic Plan — $29/month; Upgraded Plan — $79/month; Advanced Shopify — $299/month.
How Can You Know Which Website Builder Is Best For You?
When it comes to choosing a website builder for your business, it’s best to start by answering a few simple questions:
- What do you want your website to do?
- What are your short and long-term goals?
- What features are critical to your offering?
You may answer something like ‘have a blog,’ ‘display photos,’ ‘sell products,’ and ‘a subscription service.’
Once you have an idea of your core features, you can start to work out which website builder best satisfies your requirements. Or if you’re still stuck, check out other websites for inspiration.
And before you ever make a decision, consider setting up a trial account.
Doing so lets you test a service before you make any long-term commitments, as remember: it’s not easy to move from one platform to another.
Which brings us to our final point….
If you have a big vision and an ambitious growth plan, pick the website builder that can handle your future needs as well.
Give your business the secure setup it deserves by contacting Midcoast Tech on 207-236-0021.