How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Small Business
Written by Eric Hess
Building a website going into 2020 is a LOT easier than it once was. What used to take hours to code and design, can now be done with the click of a button or a simple drag and drop.
But there are still a lot of choices to make when it comes to building your website, one of which is picking the right website builder to get started on your project.
What is a website builder?
I’m glad you asked! A website builder is an online tool that allows the construction of a website without any real manual coding. They usually have themes, drag and drop features, and are designed for anyone and everyone.
They may sound a little basic, but website builders still have the power to create truly amazing websites, that look great and usually give your website a mobile-friendly version – Which is a huge benefit.
Website builders are a great, low budget option for people or small businesses who want to build their own websites.
What are the best website builders?
All website builders are definitely not the same and some have clear benefits over others. There are plenty of great choices out there, but what is the best website builder for you?
I’m only going to bring up 3 here because I believe these three are the best for different kinds of small businesses.
I’ll dive into which type of small businesses each of these is the best for.
Who is Squarespace for?
Squarespace is an awesome website builder for people or small businesses that aren’t super tech-savvy, don’t want to spend much time making their website, and still want it to look great.
Features of Squarespace
Squarespace has a bunch of awesome features and built-in widgets, but there are very little external plugins, leaving the area of customization behind some of its competitors.
Squarespace is very easy to pick your theme, connect your email, purchase your domain, and add eCommerce options (for an additional price) all straight from the Squarespace platform.
They try and make sure that anyone could log in to their platform, create a beautiful website, and do a pretty darn good job of it.
Widgets are tools that allow you to add features to your website. ie: adding a form to your website.
External Plugins are tools that you download from 3rd party developers with the goal of adding a new feature to your website.
Who should stay away from Squarespace?
Squarespace isn’t for people or small businesses who want to have a super complex website with a bunch of additional features or customization. The website builder can feel limiting at times, but if you’re not looking to do a bunch of crazy things, that shouldn’t be a problem.
There are 4 different pricing options for Squarespace:
- (Basic) Commerce
- (Advanced) Commerce
You have the choice to pay monthly or annually. By paying annually, Squarespace gives you a 30% discount. Options vary anywhere from 16 per month (12 if you pay annually) to 46 per month (40 if you pay annually)
Who is Wix for?
Wix is for people or small businesses that are slightly tech-savvy and want external plugins, but they still don’t want to spend a lot of time on making a website look great.
Features of Wix
The features Wix has internally are about the same that Squarespace has. What separates them in the features department is the external plugins or apps that you are able to use to add additional features to your website.
There is much more customization with Wix over some of its competitors, but that can be overwhelming to first-time website builders.
You also have the options for eCommerce, domain names, emails, much like their competitors.
Who should stay away from Wix?
Wix isn’t for people who want a super easy website builder, because Wix can, at times, be a little overwhelming. Things like changing themes after you have already created your website can be a big hassle.
There are a bunch of different pricing options for Wix and you are able to upgrade easily if you feel like you’ve outgrown your current plan.
There are multiple options for pricing for individuals ranging from $13 per month to $39 per month, and for your small business ranging from $23 per month to $49 per month.
While WordPress isn’t exactly a “website builder”, I felt the need to bring it up in this blog. A majority of websites are created with WordPress and for a good reason. It’s incredibly powerful, has a proven track record that’s lasted with time.
Note: I’m not talking about the blogging platform, wordpress.com either. I’m talking about wordpress.org.
Who is WordPress for?
WordPress is for people or small businesses who have some website design experience or want to put some time in to learn. It’s the most powerful website builder on this list by a longshot, but it is the most difficult to learn and operate too.
If you’re looking to do something a little more complex on your website, WordPress will have the answer since you’re able to openly code everything on the WordPress platform. There are still options for plugins like Elementor to install to your website to be able to help you out with creating your website.
Features of WordPress
When you think about the features that come along with WordPress, they’re pretty much endless. WordPress has the biggest community for third party plugins that are updated regularly and constantly getting better.
You can think about these plugins like apps for your smartphone. Without these apps, your smartphone probably wouldn’t do a lot of things you wanted it to do.
Who should stay away from WordPress?
While there are a lot of plus sides to WordPress, there are definitely reasons to stay away from it too. Other than it having a much larger learning curve than a website builder like Squarespace, it can be harder to even get started making your website.
WordPress isn’t a one-stop-shop. Meaning in order to even get your website up, you’ll have to have a website hosting provider. GoDaddy is a common one. You’ll also need a company like GoDaddy to buy your domain name and email addresses if you choose to get them. If this sounds like something you want to avoid, Squarespace or Wix should be your definite choice.
I’m skipping over WordPress pricing since there are multiple different prices associated with a WordPress site, but the end price is usually more than the price of a Squarespace or Wix website.
Honorable Mention: Weebly
While there are a lot of great websites out there made with Weebly, I’d personally recommend staying away. It’s behind its time compared to its competitors, and I’ve been able to do everything you can do on Weebly on any of the other three website builders I’ve recommended in this blog, much more easily.
A big problem I have with Weebly is they force your URL to have .html at the end of all pages other than your home.
It’s tough to say what the best website builder is for you or your small business without knowing more details about how you plan to use the website. You’ll be the best one to make the decision, but I’d just recommend doing the research so you don’t have to go through the work more than once!