Today’s businesses need to be adaptive and tech-savvy to stay ahead of the competition and survive in the business world. In the current pandemic, many businesses have reverted to technology, especially the internet.
The initial step towards becoming a tech-savvy business is to create a business website. Building a good business website in the past seemed like an expensive and time-consuming job that required a specific set of skills. However, today website designing has become an easy job with the help of website builders for small businesses.
Following are the Top 5 website builder platforms for small businesses:
Shopify has been gaining attention recently and is known as one of the top website builders for small businesses. Shopify has been in the market since 2006, and to date, it has been used by many businesses to go online and especially start an ecommerce store. Shopify lets you start with a free 14-day trial plan starting from $29/month (Basic), ranging to $299/month (Advanced).
- The drag-and-drop interface is so easy that less tech-savvy people can use this platform.
- A wide variety of front page themes, categorized by the industry of business, to make an attractive website that will retain the customers.
- The Shopify engine minimizes the transactional processing time and website loading time.
- Inbuilt integrations to payment services such as PayPal, Amazon, Apple Pay, etc.
- Abandoned cart recovery option informs the customers of the forgotten items left in the cart.
- Shopify app store has tons of plugins and apps that can be integrated with the website to help you manage the inventory and market your products.
- Shopify has a dedicated support team that provides technical support 24/7.
- Customizing a theme is challenging as it requires expertise and special coding skills.
- Customers can not gain multiple discounts on shopping.
- Most of the apps in the app store and features need to be purchased and are expensive for small businesses.
- Email hosting or email marketing is not included in the Shopify plans.
WordPress is one of the leading names in the industry when it comes to blogging and small business website building. An estimated 40% of the websites on the internet are designed and run on WordPress. You can create a website free of cost, but you get a lot of premium features for a price.
- WordPress is an open-source platform that can be downloaded from any hosting website or the WordPress website itself.
- Lots of free themes and templates are categorized according to the industry.
- Highly customizable and drag-and-drop interface
- WordPress websites are SEO friendly with an option to install plugins that let you control and manage your website.
- Almost every possible platform and marketplace can be integrated with your website.
- After the website has been made, maintenance of the website needs to be done manually.
- Sometimes, the plugins might conflict with each other, resulting in your website’s halt or the page speed slowing down.
- You will need to go through a learning curve before completely understanding WordPress.
- The website remains vulnerable until a premium plugin is installed for anything, including SEO to backup.
Wix is a considerably new and emerging platform with an in-built ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) that helps you create a good business website within a couple of minutes. Just like WordPress, it is a beginner-level website builder. The pricing plans are distributed into two categories: The website plan (ranging from $4.5/month to $24.5/month) and the Ecommerce/Business plan (ranging from $17/month to $35/month).
- It often is considered the best website builder for small businesses as it is straightforward to use and customize.
- ADI website design wizard asks you a couple of questions and helps you build your website.
- This builder is instilled with many features such as SEO, email marketing, social media integrations, and much more.
- Wix creates automatic backup so that you won’t lose your website even if you haven’t saved it.
- Most comprehensive apps and templates library so that you can create a website according to your business.
- Once the website is live, you have to stick with one template that you have chosen previously.
- Wix site is for Wix only and cannot be transferred to any other platform.
- Free Wix sites have annoyingly long URLs and contain irremovable ads.
- Ecommerce/Business pricing plans are relatively costly.
- Wix doesn’t have a responsive design which means the elements don’t adjust according to different screen sizes.
Squarespace is another option for business owners looking to create a business website. Squarespace is known for its stylish and modern website design templates. It is a good platform for businesses that want to develop portfolios around Marketing, Design, Photography, Fashion, etc. The price starts from $14/month (Personal plan) and can go to $49/month (Advanced Commerce plan).
- Squarespace helps create visually appealing websites for fashion, Design, and marketing industries.
- It has many tools that help in SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and video making.
- Drag-and-drop interfaces with a variety of customizable options.
- Has many unique features for e-commerce businesses, such as scheduling appointments, store/inventory management, and members’ area.
- It has a reliable option for restaurants and the hospitality industry, where you can manage reservations, takeouts, and events.
- Its e-Commerce solutions cannot compete with the likes of WordPress and Shopify.
- The prices are higher in comparison to other platforms.
- There is a lack in the support department as you get no support if you are stuck.
- The tools provided are not as advanced and lack some features required for an e-Commerce business, such as A/B testing.
- Adding new content and editing is always a tiresome job.
If you are scouring for an excellent web hosting service for a small business website, Weebly is amongst the best online gateways for local or casual retailers. It offers affordable pricing, an excellent app store, free stock images, and an option to create for e-commerce. The premium plans for online stores are very competitively priced. Plans are Pro ($12/month), Small businesses ($25/month), and Business plus packages ($38/month).
- Weebly is considered a freemium type of website builder for small businesses.
- The interface is user-friendly and designed for a beginner.
- The themes and pages are highly customizable that can be edited any time after the website goes live.
- Weebly themes are highly responsive and adjust to any given screen size.
- The individuality of Weebly is its acceptable range of e-commerce features, such as an unlimited number of products, a tax calculator, and multi-level pricing of the products.
- The main downside of Weebly is its limited design flexibility for those who want uniqueness in their website image.
- With Weebly, you get average customer service as it costs a lot of money to get support depending on what plan you have opted for.
- You will not get good blogging options on Weebly.
- You have to use Square for payment solutions in Weebly, which doesn’t work offline and otherwise is usually non-responsive.
- You have to pay for more e-commerce options, and it is notably overpriced.