Every business - no matter how small - needs a website. You need a site to represent your brand on the Internet to attract potential customers. But if you’re the type of entrepreneur who wants to dip his or her toes into a project before making an investment, a free website maker could help you get started on establishing your online presence.

When it comes to website builders, you’ll find that the market is saturated with options. Here are a few tips on how to make an informed decision and choose the best website maker that is suited to your requirement.

1. Determine your budget

determine your website budget

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A free website maker will not cost you anything to sign up for the service to get started. But you will probably want to expand your website up in the future so might as well check out various subscription plans and what they offer. You may also want to invest in high-quality graphics and website copy so you will need to factor that in when deciding on a budget.

To make the most out of your budget, a good website maker frees you up from the added cost of hosting and site maintenance. Strikingly, for instance, offers bundles for website hosting as well as domain registration for when you want your website to scale up in the future.

2. Identify your website’s reason for existence

identify your website's features

Choosing the best website maker is a highly subjective process that depends on your priorities and specific requirements for owning a website. Identify why you want to build a site in the first place. One example is an online store. While many free website makers can provide some form of ecommerce integration, the features can be fairly limiting on most of these sites. You want to go for a platform that can support the features you want your website to have such as payment processing, shipping features, tax-calculator and inventory management. Meanwhile, if you’re making a portfolio website, you’ll probably want a platform that can support different types of media or one that has an integrated image gallery.

3. Determine your needs and priorities

Most website makers are created for individuals with little to no design or coding experience but some may take a bit more figuring out than others. If you’re at a press for time, consider white labeling as an option. If it’s important to you that your website looks exactly as you envision it, you should go for a platform that provides more flexibility in terms of customization and editing options. Business websites follow color schemes based on their branding and you want to be able to incorporate your company’s colors into the site for improved recall.

A website maker with an extensive collection of templates would be a good choice. Just make sure that the free templates are also mobile-responsive so your site renders well on all screen sizes.

4. SEO Options

website maker SEO features

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The best website maker has integrated SEO features to help you implement SEO best practices on your site. This is particularly important because your website’s success depends on the amount of traffic it can attract. The best way to attract traffic is to get ranked by the search engines for the keywords related to your content. Your website editor should have a way for you to easily update the meta elements on your page - e.g. meta description, image alt tags, etc.

5. Consider ease of use and customer support

There’s always going to be a learning curve even when website builders are supposed to be for people who do not have much experience building their own site. Drag-and-drop functions are good to have but do note of other features such as an intuitive editor, easy to understand instructions and of course, a reliable customer support for when you have questions about how to use a certain feature or how to manage your site.