In the ideal world, you can create an account with any website design platform, build your small business website and be done with it. There’s no need to shop around. Just randomly choose one and call it a day. But such is not the case. Even the choice of a website builder requires careful consideration. As a business owner, you want to invest in the right platform that can support your company’s growth and digital marketing requirements.

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Having said that, here are the criteria for the best website platform for small businesses that you must not ignore.

1. Cost-effective subscription plans

Small businesses may not always have significantly large marketing budgets. In fact, when you’re just starting out, it’s more logical to keep the overhead expense to a minimum and focus your capital on product development. The best website platform for small businesses lowers the barrier to entry so that startups can create their own professional sites at a more affordable cost.

There are lots of web design platforms that offer free accounts that can be suitable for beginners. But what you should be looking out for is how much room they can accommodate for scaling up. Check out the pricing tiers and compare the services you get with each tier. For instance, one thing that makes Strikingly stand out is its freemium service - free accounts get the same access to the entire collection of website templates and a good level of design customization as the paid tiers and the differences in each tier lies in bandwidth which is important for scaling up as your traffic grows and extended customization options. Your selected website builder should grow with you as your business grows.

2. Website template selection and customization

Many website design platforms boast of hundreds of website templates in their collection but your access to these themes depends on your account type. You may need to pay more to get more options available for you. Naturally, you want to get as many options as possible to help you find the best one that suits your site content requirements.

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Customization is another key criteria in choosing the best website platform for small businesses. You want to create a website that represents your brand and your company effectively. To do this, a good website design platform arms you with the right kind of tools to customize the look and feel of your site - the ability to change to custom color schemes and fonts, image editing, logo and favicon placement, etc.

3. Marketing tools

With the right digital marketing strategy, your website can help build your brand’s online visibility. Your selected website building platform should have integrated marketing tools to get you started. Strikingly, for instance, has an app store that features form and document plugins for adding contact forms and surveys to your site. It also has an SEO tool that lets you edit your page metadata and optimize your site. Explore its social stream features and social share functionality to easily connect your website to your social media pages.

4. Customer support

Finally, a good website design platform offers reliable customer support even for free accounts. With a DIY website project, you’re left to your own devices for the most part but you want to make sure you get the right kind of support in case you get stuck in the process. 24/7 support is the baseline for many online services but you want to ensure that you get your questions answered in a timely manner. An extensive and regularly updated knowledge base is also essential.