Best Website Builders for Small Business
Whether you are an entrepreneur or own an online shop, having a custom-built website is vital. And with mobile internet usage increasing by the minutes, having a responsive or mobile version of your website is also key to your company’s online success.
So how do you create a website? Conventional wisdom would say that you either need to learn HTML5 or hire a web designer who can build the site for you. But this isn’t always feasible for a small business with a limited budget. It’s no secret that there are a plethora of website builders out there that claim to give you a professional site with little work, but how do you choose among them?
Top 5 Best Website Builders for Small Business
We’ve done the hard work for you, and tested a range of website builders based on their ease of use and mobile software. Here is our list of five of the best website builders for small businesses.
Squarespace is one of the best website builders on this list. While they don’t have a free plan, their subscription options range from $8 to $24 dollars per month, all of which include a free domain name. You can also use a domain name you already own on all levels of Squarespace accounts.
Their website builder is a combination of templates and ‘blocks’ of content, which you can drag and drop onto your site. All of Squarespace’s templates are responsive and mobile-ready from the start, which means you won’t have to mess with a mobile site. Squarespace also has an extensive eCommerce control panel, which allows you to add a store to your site in minutes. Squarespace sites are SEO friendly, as well.
There is a lot thrown at you at once, though, so expect to be a bit confused if you are walking into website design with little experience. Squarespace has also separated the preview mode from the editor, which can make it difficult to move from editing to the preview, and you will find that what you see on the editor is usually not what your see on the preview.
That said, the templates are clean, the editor (once you get the hang of it) isn’t too difficult to use, and you will find a lot of depth to their customization options. Squarespace also has an extensive support blog, with 24/7 email support, should you ever need help.
If you are looking to run an online store first, and a website second, Shopify is the site for you. Though Shopify focuses mostly on the eCommerce side of websites, they do feature a website builder and blog software, so that your can build a site around your storefront. Their editor is simple enough to use; all customizations are made through templates settings, and you can change the copy of the site directly on the template. They also have an example gallery for you to look over if you need inspiration. Your Shopify site will be SEO friendly, have unlimited products, and no transaction fees when you use Shopify Payments.
Shopify has an extensive blog and support site for those who might need a little bit of help. Once their 14-day trial ends, you’ll need to pick a plan – they range from $29 to $179 per month, though they do offer a budget plan at $14 per month. They also have a range of online and in-store plans, depending on your needs.
Right off the bat, Weebly is a free website builder with a lot of flexibility. Weebly asks you what the focus of your site is, and allows you to designate the industry of your business. While the free subscription of Weebly has an extensive app store to purchase apps on a case-by-case basis, they do offer a $25 per month business plan specifically to help you with an online store; it comes with a free SSL certification and unlimited products. This plan unlocks all of the features Weebly has to offer, as well, so you won’t miss out on anything. Like Squarespace, Weebly has a set up for managing an online store, but some of the features require the business plan to take full advantage of.
Site building-wise, Weebly utilizes a drag-and-drop editor combined with a decent selection of templates. The templates are grouped by variations on a theme and they are clean and professional looking. Weebly also comes powered with a mobile version of each of it’s templates, though you cannot build your own version of the mobile site. Most importantly, you can create a domain name of your own, and all accounts have SEO options to boost your search engine visibility.
Wix recently made a change in it’s structure – switching templates from flash to HTML5 – which has given their site a longevity it didn’t previously boast. Wix provides a large array of templates, divided up by industry, so it is easy to find a template that can work for you. They’ve even created mobile versions of each of their templates, which you can edit and set up separately from the main site. This is an advantage if you really want to customize the mobile experience for your fans. All customization happens through a drag-and-drop editor for each template.
Wix sites are SEO friendly, and SEO is built in per page. They boast a large app store, though which you can add specific features, like a storefront, to your site. The storefront is easy to manage, and, like Weebly and Squarespace, has it’s own dedicated menu. Wix offers a wide variety of plans, all of which include a free domain, ranging from $4 to $24 per month. If you are simply looking to test out Wix, though, you can run a site for free with only a few pay-gates.
Yola is designed for business websites, rather than personal and business sites. They boast a free site subscription and a simple to use drag-and-drop editor. Because Yola sites are built for businesses, it comes built with scheduling apps, eCommerce apps, and customer mailing lists. If you walk into website creation unsure of what to do, Yola will provide a Wizard that can help you get started.
Yola’s drag-and-drop editor is fairly simple to use, though it is possibly the most limited choice on this list. There are a few good templates, but your choices are limited and generic. A lot of the features built into the free trials of other sites here – SEO, premium apps, and storefront options – are pay-gated to encourage you to purchase a subscription with Yola. their plans range from $4 to $16 per month, they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee, and all of the plans come with a free domain name, unlimited storage and bandwith, and premium phone support.
That rounds out our list of the best website builders for small business. Have you tried others, or one of the builders above? Give us your review in the comments below!