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2023 Website “Do It Yourself” Builder Guide For Small Business

Discover the best website builders for small businesses. Tips for creating a successful online presence on your own.
young woman in front of computer

Table of Contents

The Importance of Having a Website for Small Businesses

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for any business, big or small. With most consumers relying on the internet to find products and services, not having a website can put your small business at a disadvantage.

A website functions as your virtual storefront and is often the first impression potential customers will have of your business. It is an important platform to showcase your products or services, share information about your business, and connect with customers.

A website provides many benefits for small businesses that cannot be achieved through traditional marketing methods. A website enables you to reach a wider audience beyond your local area, opening up new markets and opportunities.

It also allows you to provide customer service and support 24/7, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, having a website can establish credibility and legitimacy for your business by providing contact information, customer reviews, and testimonials.

The Benefits of Using Website Builders

While building a website may seem daunting for small business owners lacking technical expertise, using a website builder makes the process simple and accessible. Website builders offer user-friendly interfaces with drag-and-drop features that allow users to easily create websites without coding knowledge.

They also offer customizable templates that make it easy to create professional-looking websites in no time. Website builders are affordable compared to hiring web developers or designers, which can be expensive for small businesses with tight budgets.

Most builders offer pricing plans ranging from free to premium options with added functionality such as e-commerce capabilities or custom domains. Moreover, using a website builder saves time as they provide all the necessary tools in one place such as hosting arrangements, domain registration or mobile-responsiveness optimization which might take more time when done separately.

Top Website Builders for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you don’t have to be a professional web designer or developer to create a stunning website. Thanks to website builders, you can easily create an online presence that reflects your brand and helps you stand out. Here are the top website builders for small businesses:

Wix
Free – $49/month

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use drag and drop interface
  • Customizable templates
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Good for beginners and small businesses

Cons:

  • Limited e-commerce capabilities
  • No direct access to the website’s source code
  • May experience slower loading speeds compared to other website builders
Squarespace
$16 – $46/month

Pros:

  • High-quality templates with a modern and sleek design
  • Fully customizable templates
  • Great for visual content such as images and videos
  • E-commerce capabilities with integrated payment processing

Cons:

  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Not as user-friendly as some of the other website builders
  • Limited SEO options
  • No free plan available
WordPress
Free – $45/month

Pros:

  • Highly customizable with access to the website’s source code
  • A wide range of templates and themes available
  • A wide range of third-party plugins available
  • Suitable for both simple and complex websites

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Requires more technical knowledge compared to other website builders
  • No built-in e-commerce capabilities (requires plugins)
  • Limited customer support
Weebly
Free – $38/month

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • A wide range of customizable templates available
  • E-commerce capabilities with integrated payment processing
  • Good SEO options

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for advanced users
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Not suitable for large or complex websites
  • No direct access to the website’s source code
GoDaddy
$10 – $25/month

Pros:

  • Quick and easy setup process
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for advanced users
  • Limited e-commerce capabilities
  • Not suitable for complex websites
  • May experience slower loading speeds compared to other website builders
1&1 IONOS MyWebsite
$10 – $20/month

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • A wide range of customizable templates available
  • E-commerce capabilities with integrated payment processing
  • Good SEO options

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for advanced users
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • No direct access to the website’s source code
  • May experience slower loading speeds compared to other website builders
Strikingly
Free – $49/month

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • A wide range of customizable templates available
  • E-commerce capabilities with integrated payment processing
  • Good SEO options

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for advanced users
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Not suitable for large or complex websites
  • No direct access to the website’s source code
Shopify
$29 – $299/month

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for e-commerce websites
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • A wide range of customizable templates available
  • Integrated payment processing and shipping options

Cons:

  • Can be expensive for smaller businesses
  • May require technical knowledge for advanced customizations
  • Limited flexibility for non-e-commerce features
  • Transaction fees on some payment methods
Duda
$14 – $44/month

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • A wide range of customizable templates available
  • Advanced customization options with access to the website’s source code
  • Good SEO options

Cons:

  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Not suitable for large or complex websites
  • Limited e-commerce capabilities
  • No free plan available
Big Cartel
Free – $29.99/month

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • Suitable for small businesses and artists selling products
  • E-commerce capabilities with integrated payment processing
  • Free plan available with basic features

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for advanced users
  • Not suitable for large or complex e-commerce websites
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • No direct access to the website’s source code

A Deeper Dive Into Our Top 4 Suggestions For Small Business DIY Websites

WordPress: highly customizable, a vast library of themes and plugins, suitable for both simple and complex websites

WordPress is a versatile and popular website builder that offers unparalleled customization options to its users. With access to the website’s source code, users can fully customize their site’s design and functionality to their liking.

WordPress offers a vast library of themes and plugins, ranging from simple blog layouts to complex e-commerce sites. These tools enable users to create a custom website that is tailored to their specific needs.

WordPress is suitable for both simple and complex websites, making it an ideal choice for bloggers, small business owners, and large enterprises alike. With WordPress, users have complete control over their website, and can easily manage their content, add new features, and optimize their site for SEO.

While WordPress does require a bit more technical knowledge compared to other website builders, its flexibility and versatility make it a popular choice for those looking for a more advanced website-building experience. Best of all, WordPress is free to use, and users only need to pay for hosting and any premium themes or plugins they may need.

Wix: easy-to-use drag and drop interface, customizable templates, affordable pricing plans

Wix is one of the most popular website builders in the market today, and for good reason. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for anyone to create a custom website in minutes.

With Wix, you can choose from hundreds of professionally-designed templates or start from scratch with their blank canvas option. One of the best things about Wix is that it offers affordable pricing plans that cater to small businesses at every stage of growth.

Their basic plan starts at just $13 per month and includes unlimited bandwidth, 500MB storage, a free domain name for one year, and access to their customer support team. To take your site to the next level with features like online store integration or advanced analytics tools, they offer higher-tier plans as well.

Squarespace: sleek and modern designs, e-commerce capabilities, built-in SEO tools

If you’re looking for a website builder offering stunning design options, e-commerce capabilities, and built-in SEO tools, Squarespace might be the perfect fit for your small business needs. This platform offers customizable templates with sleek and modern designs that are perfect for showcasing products or services in a visually-appealing way.

In addition to its design options, Squarespace also offers robust e-commerce capabilities that allow businesses to sell products directly through their websites. With features like inventory management and shipping integration built-in as standard options in most plans (starting at $18 per month), Squarespace is an excellent choice for small businesses looking to expand their online sales.

Weebly: user-friendly interface, mobile-responsive templates, affordable pricing options

Weebly is known for its user-friendly interface and mobile-responsive templates, making it easy for small business owners to create a website from anywhere on any device. It offers powerful features like drag-and-drop page building, custom domain names, and integrated e-commerce capabilities. What really sets Weebly apart from other website builders is its affordability.

Their basic plan starts at just $5 per month and includes unlimited storage, SEO tools, a free domain name for one year, and access to their customer support team. Businesses looking to add more advanced features like membership sites or email marketing integration offer higher-tier plans with more options at competitive prices.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Website Builder

When it comes to choosing a website builder for your small business, there are several factors to consider. With so many options available, deciding which is best for you can be overwhelming. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Cost: Comparing Pricing Plans and Features

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a website builder is cost. Most website builders offer different pricing plans based on the features included, and it’s essential to choose one that fits within your budget. However, the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice.

Look at what each plan includes and compare them side by side. Some website builders offer more advanced features like e-commerce capabilities or SEO optimization tools only with their higher-priced plans.

Think about what features you need and which ones you can live without. That way, you can choose a plan that offers everything you need at a price you can afford.

Customization: Level of Control Over Design and Functionality

Another crucial factor when choosing a website builder is customization. You want your website to reflect your brand’s personality, so it’s essential that you choose a builder that allows for enough customization options. Check how easily customizable each template is or if there are options for creating custom designs from scratch.

Also, consider how much control you have over functionality aspects such as page layouts and navigation menus. If customization is crucial in your decision-making process, make sure that the website builder’s platform aligns with your design goals before investing time or money into building your site.

SEO Optimization: Built-In Tools or Compatibility with Third-Party Plugins

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to enhance visibility online and help potential customers find your site through search engines like Google or Bing. Therefore, SEO optimization should also be a key factor when choosing a website builder. Some website builders come with built-in SEO tools, such as image optimization or meta description creation.

Others require you to use third-party plugins to improve your site’s SEO. Make sure to research which options are available and choose the one that best fits your website’s needs.

E-commerce Capabilities: Ability to Sell Products or Services Directly Through the Website

If your small business sells products or services online, you’ll need a website builder that allows for e-commerce capabilities. Not all builders have these features, so it’s crucial to check before deciding on a platform.

Find out what each e-commerce plan includes and compare pricing against competing builders. Pay attention to whether there are transaction fees per sale, integrations with payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, and security measures for customer information protection.

Choosing a website builder can feel overwhelming at first, but considering these factors will help make the decision easier. Ultimately, it comes down to finding a platform that meets all of your business goals while staying within your budget constraints.

Tips for Building a Successful Small Business Website

Define your target audience and tailor your content accordingly

When building a website for your small business, it’s essential to keep in mind the people you want to reach. Understanding your target audience will help you create content that resonates with them and drives engagement.

Consider their demographics, interests, and pain points. What kind of information are they looking for?

What problems can you solve for them? Answering these questions will help you create focused content that speaks directly to their needs.

Once you have identified who your ideal customer is, it’s time to tailor the content on your website specifically for them. Use language that they can relate to and structure the information in a way that is easy to understand.

For example, if your target audience includes elderly people who are not very tech-savvy, make sure the text is large enough and the navigation is straightforward. By personalizing your website’s content to fit your customers’ needs better, you’ll increase the chances of converting visitors into customers.

Keep the design simple and visually appealing.

Your website’s design plays an important role in how it’s perceived by visitors. A cluttered or confusing layout can drive potential customers away instead of engaging with them. When designing a small business website, prioritize simplicity over complexity.

Keep colors consistent throughout the site while making sure each page has an appropriate amount of white space. Use images and videos sparingly but effectively – not only should they be visually appealing but also relevant to what you’re offering.

In addition to aesthetics, make sure that users can easily navigate through different parts of your site without getting lost or frustrated. A well-structured menu with clear categories such as “About Us,” “Services,” or “Contact Us” can make all the difference in improving user experience on your website.

Optimize for search engines with relevant keywords and meta descriptions

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages. One way to do this is by using relevant keywords throughout your site’s content, including titles, headings, and body text.

Think about what words people might use to search for businesses like yours and include them in your content naturally. Another important aspect of SEO is meta descriptions.

These are short summaries of what a particular page on your website is about, usually displayed below the page title in search results. Make sure that each page has a unique meta description that accurately reflects its content while also including relevant keywords.

Include clear calls to action

A clear call-to-action (CTA) tells visitors what you want them to do after they’ve landed on your website. Whether it’s filling out a contact form or making a purchase, CTAs should be easily identifiable and straightforward. They can be placed at the end of blog posts or throughout other pages on your site.

Make sure that each CTA stands out visually so that users can quickly identify where they need to click or tap. Use action-oriented language such as “Sign up now” or “Get started today” to encourage visitors to take action right away.

By following these tips, small businesses can create websites that not only look great but also drive engagement and conversions from potential customers. Remember, building a successful online presence takes time and effort – but done correctly – it can pay off significantly in the long run!

Conclusion

Recap of Top Website Builders for Small Businesses

In today’s age, having a website is essential for businesses of all sizes. Luckily, there are many website builders available that cater specifically to small businesses. Wix is a popular choice due to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and customizable templates.

Squarespace offers sleek and modern designs with built-in SEO tools and e-commerce capabilities. Weebly is another great option with a user-friendly interface and affordable pricing options.

When choosing which website builder to use, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, customization options, SEO optimization, and e-commerce capabilities. By taking these factors into account, small business owners can choose the platform that best fits their needs.

Importance of Having a Professional Online Presence

Having a professional online presence is crucial for small businesses as it can establish credibility and help attract new customers. A website serves as an online storefront where potential customers can learn more about the business’s products or services.

Without one, potential customers may question the legitimacy of the business or be unable to find them in the first place. A professional website also allows businesses to showcase their brand personality and unique qualities through design elements such as color schemes, fonts, and page layouts.

This can help differentiate them from competitors and create a memorable impression on visitors. Overall, utilizing a website builder to create a professional online presence is an investment that can pay off in dividends for small businesses looking to expand their reach and establish themselves in the digital world.

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