DIY: How to Choose a Website Builder?
Website builder platforms are the quickest way to get your business online, and offer a wide range of tools that make doing this (almost) a snap. Among the most popular and widely-used platforms are Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. How do you choose if any of these are right for you?
Ideally, the best website builder should be one that fits the need of your website. If you want to know what are the things that you should look for in a website builder, we’ll go through that below. Take a moment and write down what kind of website that you want to make. What features you would like to have and what you intend to do with it.
Some ideas would be: a contact form, Google Maps, blog section, gallery mode, or even an online store. Alternatively, you could do some research on your competitors or other websites for inspirations or ideas on what you would want for your website. Aside from knowing what your website needs are, it’s also a good idea to use these five factors to decide. The 5 factors are:
1. Ease of use
An important factor for a choosing the best website builder is whether the interface is user-friendly and easy-to-use. Doubly so if you’re just a newbie with no technical knowledge whatsoever.
The great thing about website builders is that most of them use a drag-and-drop system to build a website and that they usually offer a trial account. That means you can test it out first before choosing which is the best website builder for your small business.
A few things that you should ask yourself when testing a website builder are:
A: How easy is it to add elements to templates, without messing up your current site layout?
B: How easy is it to make changes such as adding new products, pages, images, or blocks?
C: Can you quickly find the features you need for your website? If you’re a retail storefront, can you embed a Google map showing the location of your store?
D: Do the templates and color schemes fit your brand and business? If you’re a retailer, then your website design is likely going to be very different from that of a software firm.
Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace website builders are definitely top-notch but we can’t say which one is the best for you: much depends on personal preferences.
We definitely recommend that you test out each website builder using a trial account to get a feel for their interface and whether it’s easy to use or not. Regardless of choice, it’s important to note that getting online is only part of what you’ll need in business: getting FOUND online is the whole point of building a website. Quality SEO requires a keyword strategy and keyword heavy content (keyword tagging, image tagging, and page descriptions). These quick DIY website builders provide you with a web presence, but a search strategy may require adding and managing plugins.
2. Social media integration
In this year and age, every business should have a social media presence. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest, social media has proven to be a great way to get more eyeballs on your website.
Not only that, social media is an important tool that you can use to generate sales or interact with customers.
If social media is going to be a key component of your brand, then you should go for website builders that focus on integrating social media. Wix, for example, let’s you integrate Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to your website for free, including the ability to add popup buttons as well.
Use the trial account to check whether the website builder offers social media integrations that fit your needs and whether you can do the following:
A: Add icons that link to your social channels
B. The ability to pull content from your social media page — such as “Instagram Post of the day” — onto your website.
C: The ability to post content straight from your website onto your social media pages.
3. Templates and images
Web design plays a major role in building a website. If you don’t want your website looking unprofessional or uninviting, you need to use the right templates and put in the right images.
A sharp and stylish website sends the message to users that your business is professional and trustworthy. The website builders listed here offer a wide range of free and paid stock photos and templates that you can use for your website.
Of course, it’s always important to check the templates and images first and whether they meet the needs of your website.
If you’re an online consultant agency, you want to use a more professional looking templates and the keep the images to a minimum. On the other, if you’re a brand with multiple products, then builders that highlight product showcases with attractive images might be better suited for you.
4. Email marketing integration
For small businesses, email marketing is an important asset to build up the business. Using emails are a great way to connect to your users quickly and extend your reach to potential customers.
Whether you’re just starting out or have built up a big email list, having a website builder that lets you manage your mass-mailers will be useful. Apps such as MailChimp are a great way to scale up your email marketing efforts and acquire new subscribers. They also normally integrate well with popular website builders such as Squarespace.
The great thing about these email tools is that you don’t need to know any coding to create professional looking emails. Plus, they use a similar drag-and-drop interface that lets you create and design custom newsletters.
5. Customer help and support
This should go without saying, but if you’re looking to use a website builder, it should always come with a good customer support team.
This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Having a good support team that you can go to will make a huge difference in the overall experience of building your own website.
These website builders listed here all have great support channels that you can contact via email, phone, and even online chat, so you never have to worry about needing help when on the journey to launch your website.
Compare: Wix vs Weebly vs SquareSpace – download chart, click here