More and more small businesses are discovering the value of building their own website. Building your own website gives you complete creative control, while saving you on hiring a website designer, which can be a substantial cost.
Additionally, thanks to the range of easy-to-use website builders available these days, you do not need to know how to code in order to create your own site. In fact, with the help of these platforms, many of which have user-friendly interfaces designed for beginners, you can build a professional site which will help convert visitors to customers, in a short period of time with very little technical experience.
However, with so many options available, how do you know which is the best for you? We’ve put together this overview based on the top ranked website builders, and the pros and cons of each, so you can decide which is right for you.
WordPress is by far the most popular website builder with bloggers and entrepreneurs: currently, 34% of all sites are built on WordPress. It is important to remember that there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com (simpler and free version) and WordPress.org (slightly more complex, more features and you will need to pay for hosting). Because there is such a large community of users of this platform, this means that there is a huge number of plugins, meaning that you can find a plugin (or several) to do just about any function. Want to create a built-in booking form on your website? No problem. Looking for sales funnels or assistance in making you site SEO-friendly? No worries – there’s a plugin for that!
However, despite its popularity, WordPress (or specifically WordPress.org sites) are not extremely user-friendly and its interface and extensive features can be difficult to navigate for novice website builders. The WordPress.com interface is more suitable for beginners and much easier to use, however these sites have a WordPress URL (meaning you cannot have a “yourbusiness.com” domain name and so are not great for small businesses and are really only suitable for bloggers.
Wix has many great features, and is probably the best all-round website builder there is. It has a user-friendly, very intuitive drag-and-drop interface which means even the most novice website designer will have no problems building their own website. This doesn’t mean your website will come out like a standard template, however. Wix has a number of great customization tools meaning you can personalize your site to suit your business. These include unlimited fonts, scroll effects, media galleries, animation, video backgrounds, maps and content forms and testimonial boxes. This lets you create a professional-looking site to set you apart from your competitors with all the tools you need.
On the downside, although the starter plans start at a very low monthly rate, be aware that on this level of plan you will have Wix adds on your site.
Squarespace has a really superior design, with sophisticated, modern and sleek templates, meaning you can use it to create an amazing website. This makes it perfect for creatives, any kind of business where visuals are important, or anyone looking to be able to really customize their site. They also have some great ecommerce functions included in their higher-level plans.
However, Squarespace is more expensive than other website builders, with a relatively-high monthly rate. Even more so, their cheapest package does not include functions which ecommerce businesses will definitely benefit from. They do have a 14-day free trial, though, so you can test the platform out before you commit to the price tag. It is also a little more challenging to use than Wix for example, so you may struggle to get your head around it at first if you do not have any experience in this area.
Weebly is a solid website builder with an easy to use drag-and-drop interface. It has structured templates which are incredibly easy to use even for those with zero technical knowledge or expertise. There are also a number of templates – over 50 in fact – so you should be able to find which suits your tastes and your business. These templates not only make the process easy but also very quick – you can have your website build and ready to go in practically no time at all! You can also change out the template at any time if you want to rebrand your site or refresh the look.
Although easy to use, Weebly does not give users a great deal of creative freedom, and certainly less than you’ll find in other website builders. You should also be aware that although there is a free plan through Weebly, this has very basic options, so you will probably want to go for one of the premium options, of which the top levels are actually quite expensive.