Why should you invest in a small business website builder (opens in new tab)? Building a strong digital presence is a must if you want your business to succeed in the modern world. With the invention of beginner-friendly website builder software, establishing your online business has become easier than ever thanks to the best website builders (opens in new tab).
Creating a site from scratch (opens in new tab) may still prove too difficult or time-consuming for some business owners, in which case hiring a professional web designer might be a better option. But for those who have the time and inclination, using a small business website builder could be the best option.
In this article, we take a close look at exactly what a small business website builder is, why you might decide to use one, and which of these are also some of the best website builders currently on the market.
What is a small business website builder?
A website builder is, in simple terms, any platform that can be used to create a new site. Typically, these come with a suite of tools to help you on your way, and you don’t usually need any coding or special tech skills to get started.
But it’s not always that straightforward. There are hundreds of different website builders out there, and they are far from equal. Some are designed for experienced developers who need a more streamlined website creation platform. Others are built for absolute beginners, or might focus on particular aspects of the site creation process.
As you may have guessed, a small business website builder is one that’s specifically designed to help small business owners develop an online presence.
They sometimes come with business-specific tools, such as ecommerce integrations or online booking features. Or they might simply have a great selection of business-tailored templates, an intuitive editor, or other handy tools to help you get started.
What are the benefits of using a small business website builder?
There are numerous benefits associated with using a website builder designed for small businesses, and here, we take a closer look at a few of the most important.
Since website builders generally come with a suite of pre-designed templates, streamlined editing tools, and great third-party integrations, you will often be able to get a new site online within just a few hours.
Compare this to coding a website from scratch—which can take days, if not weeks—and the time-saving benefits are immediately obvious.
Paying someone to create a new site is likely to cost you at least a few thousand dollars—and that’s if you don’t need custom tools or special integrations coded. So using a website builder will almost certainly help you save money.
Most website builders start somewhere in the region of $20 a month or less. Furthermore, you’ll have few other ongoing costs, especially if you take care of website maintenance and design on your own.
If you pay someone to design and build your website for you, it can be hard to get things looking the way you want them to. Details can get lost in communication, and you may end up paying a small fortune for a site that’s not even close to what you expected.
With a small business website builder, you’ll be able to fine-tune your design to get it exactly the way you want it. You can select an attractive template, personalize global design parameters, and add your own custom content for a site that’s truly on-brand.
What should I look for in a small business website builder?
It’s all well and good deciding to invest in a website builder, but choosing one that’s right for your company can become an overwhelming task. With this in mind, here are a few of the most important things you should look out for when selecting one.
Most platforms come with at least some templates, which are designed to make it very easy to get your business website up and running. But it’s important to understand that some platforms offer significantly more (or better) templates than others.
Some, such as Weebly (opens in new tab) and Squarespace (opens in new tab), are known for their extremely attractive, professionally designed templates. Others, like Wix (opens in new tab), come with a huge library of themes that you can choose from. And then there are some, such as GoDaddy (opens in new tab) or Site123 (opens in new tab), which only have basic designs.
Choosing a builder can also be a little more complicated because it can be difficult to know how tricky a platform is to use until you’ve actually tried it. Again, not all website builders are created equal. Some are targeted directly at beginners, which means that they’re streamlined and easy to use. Others can be more confusing, especially once you start adding extra customization tools.
When it comes to editing capabilities, choosing the right website builder for your business really comes down to the level of design personalization you’re looking for.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial consideration when building a small business website. Basically, you need to make sure that the website builder you select comes with some basic SEO tools, so that potential customers can find you online.
This certainly won’t apply to everyone, but if you want to sell products or services through your website, you’ll need to make sure you choose a builder with at least some basic ecommerce integrations. Additionally, those who want to make online selling a priority should consider a leading ecommerce platform with more advanced online selling tools.
Our small business website builder recommendations
With literally hundreds of website builders on the market, finding the right one for your business can be a challenge. You may, for example, have heard of popular platforms like Wix and Squarespace - even if you didn’t know what they were at the time.
For those planning to build a small business website, there are a few platforms that stand out from the crowd. If getting online fast is your priority, GoDaddy and Site123 are both great options. Both come with a free plan so you can test them out, along with beginner-friendly design features and basic templates. However, they are quite simple, so don’t expect advanced functionality.
Those looking to add an online store will love Weebly. It comes with a great range of leading ecommerce features, along with extremely attractive templates and numerous integrations to add extra tools to your site.
Alternatively, Wix offers excellent design flexibility. You’ll find more than 500 templates to base your site on, along with arguably the most powerful editor on the market.
Whatever option you choose, it’s a good idea to spend some time testing a few different platforms before you settle on one. Most website builders offer some sort of free plan, or free trial, and we highly recommend taking advantage of these.
All things considered, it’s absolutely worth investing in a small business website builder. Even at the higher end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t have to pay any more than $50 a month, which is virtually nothing when compared to web developer fees.
Also, if you use a website builder, you’ll also be able to take care of any ongoing management and maintenance yourself.
Further reading on website builders
Check out our guides to the best website builders (opens in new tab) for general use, and the best ecommerce website builders (opens in new tab). Another option open to you is WordPress (opens in new tab), via the best website builders for WordPress (opens in new tab) coupled with the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services; specifically, look to the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) providers.