Today, every business needs a website – it’s an essential marketing, sales and often retail channel for any small business. However, if you don’t have the technical expertise to design and build a website yourself, or the money to hire a web developer, then you should look at a tool called a website builder. Website builders are user-friendly software tools that let you design and create your own websites without any special technical knowledge. In under an hour, you can build a fully-functioning website that describes your business, what you do, and how to get in touch; you can also add in e-commerce shopping cart and more sophisticated features but this will take a little longer.
Benefits of a website builder
If you’re not technical then using a website builder provides a way to create a good-looking and effective website with no coding or technical know-how. It’s a user-friendly software tool that makes it easy for anyone to create a professional-looking website.
The software normally has a library of pre-designed templates that define how the website will look together with photos and colour schemes you can use. To add features, you normally just drag-and-drop from a list of features onto your website page; for example, if you want to add a contact form or a map with your location, click the map icon and drag it onto your website page. You can then customize it to suit your brand and style.
Website builders offer a low cost solution for a small business when compared to hiring a professional web developer, which can be expensive and run into £1000s. You obviously have to spend the time yourself in creating your website, but otherwise the running costs are normally just a few pounds and you can upgrade features as your business grows. There are normally advanced features available at extra cost, for example adding credit card payment, e-commerce shopping cart, social media integration, and so on.
What to look for when choosing a website builder
When choosing a website builder for your small business, it is important to consider several factors to ensure you make the right choice. Firstly, you should assess your technical skills and determine how much control and customization you require. Some website builders offer more advanced options for experienced users, while others are better suited for beginners.
Secondly, consider the scalability and growth potential of the website builder. As your business expands, you may need additional features and resources to support your growing needs. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a website builder that can accommodate your future requirements.
Five of the best website builders
There are a lot of website builders and software tools on the market that all say they can help a small business owner. I looked at almost all of them and compared their features to help me come up with this shortlist of five of the best website builders for small businesses.
I’ve compared the features, ease-of-use, cost and support for five well-known and established providers that would all make a great platform for your company’s website. However, there are plenty of differences that make some better than others for specific features, for cost and for flexibility if you want to expand in the future. It’s also worth taking a look at our article on the cost of building a website for your business.
Here’s my top five website builders that you can use to create a great-looking website for your small business:
- Shopify UK – Overall Best Website Builder
- Web.com – Drag-And-Drop Website Builder
- Squarespace – Best Selection of Templates
- WordPress – Best Website Builder for SEO Content
- Wix – Flexible Website Builder
Find out more at Shopify.com/uk
If you’ve ever been on the lookout for a good e-commerce platform, you may have concluded that Shopify is now the best choice. Shopify Inc. is an Ottawa, Ontario-based, Canadian multinational e-commerce corporation. Its online shop and POS software are called Shopify. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that lets users accept payments, market their products, ship items, and help customers. Most relevantly, it allows users to build websites to manage their businesses.
Now, you may be thinking, “What is Shopify UK?” Well, Shopify UK is simply the variant of this platform that caters to the audience in the United Kingdom. This website builder costs UK a pretty penny as Shopify is one of the most successful e-commerce platforms out there. The fact that 1.7 million different merchants use it to run their online businesses tells it all.
Since the platform is focused on making online transactions easier, it comes with more advanced e-commerce features than almost all other small business website builder tools. Shopify is a great option for businesses of any size, including those in the middle range. And we guarantee it will work wonders for your small business if you choose to use it.
There are several free website builders or low-cost alternatives that cater to small companies, which you may want to investigate if you’re starting out.
- Simple, user-friendly interface
- Shopify app store
- Various choices of themes
- Reliable customer support
- No transaction fees for stores that pay using Shopify
- No hidden charges or fees
- Flexibility of growth for your business
- Shopify payment is only available in some countries
- No option to use multiple discounts
- Shopify app fees
- Only ten free theme templates
Find out more at web.com
Web.com is now one of the best places to make, host, and promote websites online. For the last five years, Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting giants, has named Web.com one of North America’s fastest-growing corporations. You may have the site you want, customised to your liking, with no effort by using the excellent “Build It For Me” service. In addition, it has more than two thousand five hundred different templates to choose from. One drawback is that there is no risk-free way to try it out, and the features available in the free version are severely restricted.
As a breath of relief in website creation, Web.com’s drag-and-drop website builders include everything you need to make your site look exactly as you want it to. The spell-check feature of the widget is very helpful because it means you don’t have to copy and paste text from Microsoft Word to ensure it is correct. Not only that, but if you decide to change the design of your site, all of the information will still be there. This is something Web.com fully promises.
Self-hosted sites are possible on Web.com, but the real value of the service is in its high-end, customised designs. As a result, it is highly recommended that you use one of their specialists to construct your site if you decide to go with this platform.
- Use the “Build It for Me” service, and a group of specialists will create a site just for you
- They have the lowest starting prices on the market. Just $1.95 (in the first payment cycle)
- Extending to almost 2,500 distinct designs
- A very user-friendly UI
- Access to SEO professionals
- The mobile site is only available on premium subscription
- Limited DIY
- No free trial
- Not very user-friendly
Find out more at squarespace.com
Squarespace has been around since 2003. It is a popular website builder for small businesses because it has beautiful templates and an easy-to-use editor. Squarespace hosts millions of websites worldwide because it is easy to use and popular with people who want to make blogs, portfolio sites, and online stores. It gives customers more freedom to change their websites as they see fit, including the ability to add HTML code and several other services (like Eventbrite, Disqus, and PayPal). It is great for people with different levels of experience making websites because it is easy to use for beginners and also lets more experienced users add HTML code to make more changes.
Squarespace has come a long way from its roots as a tool for creating simple, brochure-style websites to now including e-commerce and marketing tools. Squarespace is a service that is “hosted.” So, there’s no need to pay for a hosting provider or install software on your end; it’s self-hosted.
Building a Squarespace website is surprisingly easy. You may make a website on the platform in a web browser without coding, and you can update it without effort because of the intuitive content management system (CMS).
However, the goal behind Squarespace is to choose a template, make a few modifications, add content, and then press the “publish site” button. It gives you a lot of power over your site’s appearance, but it’s not a website builder that encourages users to modify your site too much. Squarespace’s simplicity is a major selling point.
Square, the leader in point-of-sale (POS) systems, and Squarespace recently announced that they would soon be working together. With this new partnership, Squarespace’s Commerce app can process payments using the POS Company’s software and hardware.
- Many features and services built into the site builder
- The Squarespace Commerce app has a point-of-sale feature
- Customer service team responds to emails within an hour and is available 24/7
- Beautiful, mobile-friendly templates
- Easy to customise
- No mobile website builder
- The cost of e-commerce choices is high
- No free plan
- Not enough apps
Find out more at wordpress.com
Today, WordPress is used by a large percentage of the web development community. The site has grown rapidly since its 2003 start as a weblog. It powered content management and large website programming. WordPress gives you complete freedom to design your website by letting you customise its features.
WordPress is a good tool to have because, among other things, it is easy to change, takes little time to learn, and can be used by many different kinds of people. Because of these things, it has quickly become very popular with web designers. You can use it to run anything from an online store or business to a membership site, an online course, or to teach a business online.
Because of how its design, content, and functionality are built, WordPress is great for data mobility compared to its competitors. Due to its popularity, talented programmers from all over the world can work on it. You can also learn a lot about WordPress through online courses and tutorials.
With WordPress, you have a lot of freedom over how your site looks. With the help of professional plugins and add-ons, you can make a website just the way you want it.
Because themes and plugins are so flexible, you can use them to add almost any feature. Most of them are free to use because they are open-source. Don’t waste all your time fixing bugs and writing code. All you need is the right plugin, which you can set up immediately.
Since WordPress is so popular, it shouldn’t be surprising that most major third-party services offer plugins that work with it. You can use WordPress to handle everything from email marketing software to search engine optimization (SEO), customer relationship management (CRM), lead-generating tools, and a payment processing gateway.
- WordPress lets you manage your site for free
- The system has many add-ons, plugins, and modules that can improve your site’s work
- Flexible and with tens of thousands of website templates already set up
- It makes making websites easier
- Because WordPress is so popular, most major third-party services offer plugins for it
- WordPress works with email marketing, lead generation, SEO, CRM, business phones, and payment gateways
- High prices for extra features and plugins
- Managing your own website hosting
- Not for people who don’t know how to code
- Installations have a steep learning curve
Find out more at wix.com
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor is fantastic for making simple websites. More than 800 free, fully-customizable templates are at your disposal. Wix includes free domain name registration (both free and paid) and free site hosting.
Some extra features that can be quickly and easily added through the App Market are photo galleries, booking forms, members-only sections, and online shops. It has a few flaws that keep it from being the best choice for bigger websites. However, Wix is not the cheapest choice.
The aesthetically stunning designs are made for companies, restaurants, internet retailers, and creative professionals like musicians and photographers. Mobile-friendly and spruced up with various applications from the Wix App Market, these sites are tailor-made for the web on the go.
Wix, launched in Israel in 2006 and has over 5,000 workers, is a long-standing competitor among website-creation platforms. According to Builtwith.com, a service that tracks internet data, Wix is now used to run more than 8 million websites.
Because of this, it is more solid than Squarespace, Jimdo, and Weebly, which have fewer users.
The fact that Wix has become so big means there is less of a chance that the company will fail, taking your website with it.
Wix is like a prefab home because it has a set structure that you can’t change. Anyway, you can decorate it however you choose by painting the walls (picking a theme) and arranging the furnishings.
Wix provides much flexibility, especially compared to most website builders on our list. The above site builders might be easier to use if you don’t mind a more traditional web design.
- 200+ App integrations are available
- Animation addition
- Built-in SEO
- Brilliant templates
- Custom domain
- Extreme adaptability
- Automated site backup
- Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence)
- Including moving pictures
- Simple, drop-and-drag features
- Slow loading speeds on the mobile website builder
- Hefty pricing
- Templates are hard to modify once your site becomes live
- Neither the free plan nor the Combo package provide any visitor metrics.
- Plans all have storage limits
Of course, it’s not always easy to tell which website builder for small businesses would best meet your specific needs. But with any luck, you can weigh the pros and cons of different tools with the help of the reviews on this page. Before committing to a platform, it is wise to learn about the experience of others who have gone before you. You can easily do this by reading comments left by those who have already been in your shoes. When you choose, you’ll be happy knowing you’ve looked into all your options and picked the best website builder for your business.
As long as you have access to a website builder, you can make a website even if you don’t know anything about web design or coding. They make creating websites easier for anyone, regardless of their coding skills. To create a high-quality website quickly, use a website builder that provides predesigned themes and layouts.