The business you run may be small in size, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from having a well-designed website. In fact, if you’re able to show customers why they should purchase from you instead of your competitors, it will have an enormous impact on your bottom line. But what are the best website builders? And how do you go about finding them?
The best website builder for small businesses depends on what your priorities are and how much time and money you’re willing to invest in your website’s development. It’s important to invest in the right one that will continue to be useful over time, rather than spending money on something that won’t give you the lasting return you’re looking for.
In this article, you’ll learn the top 8 things to consider before choosing a website builder to ensure that whatever you end up doing, it will be the best choice possible.
1. Consider Your Budget
If you’re looking for the best website builder for small business 2022, first consider your budget. Many of these services cost anywhere from $3 a month (for a limited plan) up to hundreds per month (for top-tier packages). Think about what type of website you want, how many pages you need, and whether you want it integrated with other tools (CRM, email marketing, etc.)
You can checkout Strikingly, one of the EASIEST website builders available. Pricing starts at $12 per month, but could go as $6 per month when billed for up to 5 years. The longer your subscription, the lower the cost.
If any of those factors go over your price range, look into basic templates that can get you started without breaking your budget. Also, look at options like WordPress because they’re free but still offer many features and functionality that match paid builders.
2. What Are You Comfortable With?
Next, consider what you’re comfortable with. Some website builders are more complex than others and offer features that you might not need. If you're a small business just starting out, don't overthink it. A simple website builder is probably best at first.
Additionally, price should be an important consideration in your decision-making process. A simpler website for small businesses is often less expensive than more complex ones.
3. Do You Need Customization?
One of the most important things you need to consider when choosing the best website builder for online store is whether you need customization. Many websites are completely cookie-cutter and ready to go out of the box, but even then, there may be some small customization options available (like changing colors, swapping images, etc.).
If your website has complex functionality that's entirely unique—like a membership platform or an eCommerce storefront—you'll likely need a site builder that offers custom coding. Even if it doesn't support custom development, a good website builder will have customer service agents on standby who can help you out with any integration issues.
The best way to find out if your site will be customizable is by reading product descriptions and asking customer service reps directly.
4. Is Design Important?
The devil is in detail and many small businesses ignore small details when it comes to building a website. A good website design will make all the difference between getting more customers. In fact, a report by Stanford revealed that 75% of web visitors base a business’ credibility on how its website looks. But if you’re looking at which website builder software is best, you have to know what factors make them a better choice.
Image taken from Strikingly
Pay attention not only to price but also to how their templates look and feel, how easily your customers can navigate through your site with ease, and who else uses that particular software. To choose the best free website builder for small businesses, think about the big picture and keep an eye on design.
5. Will You Have a Lot of Content Updates?
If you’re looking to start a small business, but your business is purely online, you’ll want a platform that offers regular content updates. For example, if you’re starting an online art gallery selling local artists’ work or creating a recipe website with new recipes added every week, be sure to find a website builder that has an easy content management system (CMS) so updates can be made quickly and easily.
If you aren't updating your site often, it may not make sense to invest in an expensive platform. So, look for something simple and straightforward. As your business grows, however, you may have more needs than those platforms offer and might consider looking into hiring someone (or finding software) that can create CMS updates for you.
6. How Important is SEO Optimization?
SEO refers to a series of activities that help your website rank higher in search engines. The more likely it is that a user will see your website when searching Google or another search engine, the more likely you’ll get visits and, ultimately, purchases from customers who find you online. As revealed in the study by BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences start with a search engine.
Image taken from Strikingly
Hence, SEO optimization is an essential part of any business looking to attract new customers and grow. This makes it particularly important for small businesses looking for success in today’s marketplace. So if anything, choose a good website builder that also comes with SEO built-in (or at least has plug-ins that let you add relevant keywords easily).
7. Does Your Store Take Payments?
At some point, you may have considered selling your wares online. That's exactly what small businesses do every day with website builders—specifically, eCommerce websites built with a website builder like Strikingly, BigCommerce, Shopify, or Weebly.
Image taken from Strikingly
If you're thinking about getting started on that eCommerce journey, there are several things you should know. For example, setting up an online store isn't as easy as pressing publish. You'll need many different pieces to get your business up and running—things like an SSL certificate and a professional-looking email address.
Once you do all that work (and spend all that money), will anyone come? Even if they do end up visiting your online store, will they be able to buy anything? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when looking for website builder software.
If you choose Strikingly, its built-in e-commerce feature lets you easily add the Simple Store feature and connect to PayPal or Stripe to receive secure payments. The website you create on Strikingly is optimized for selling, so you can add features like shipping, membership log-ins, coupons, and more.
8. Will it Integrate with Your Existing Systems?
If you already have a strong marketing automation stack or payment processing platform, be sure that you can integrate your new website with those systems. Many times, a free website builder will only offer limited integrations, so make sure that you won’t need any expensive third-party add-ons to get what you want out of your website.
Ask yourself: will it attract and retain customers? Does your target audience use online forums? Or do they use Facebook groups? If they do, make sure there’s a way that you can incorporate these into your website to increase engagement and improve your customers’ experience on your site. After all, 89% of customers won’t stick around with your website if you’re providing a poor user experience as per WebFX’s research.
You should also keep an eye out for features like live chat or community boards. Ensure that your prospective website builder is easy to update and has excellent mobile support.
At a first glance, picking a website builder seems like a pretty straightforward affair. But before you can decide which one is best, you need to assess your business needs. A site builder that works perfectly for a small business owner launching an online store may not be ideal if you run a brick-and-mortar outfit with physical locations scattered throughout the town. So before you sign up with any service, determine whether its features will align with your site’s goals.
Image taken from Strikingly
If you’re looking for the easiest website editor with e-commerce built-in, you can try Strikingly. In fact, you can explore this software for 14 days for free so you get a hands-on feel of how the tool works and if it actually fits what you’re looking for.