Attractive, easy-to-navigate website design can make the difference between an interested visitor and a lost lead. But is it possible to create an effective business site without having technical background, using a simple drag-and-drop site builder? Or code-free platforms are for bloggers and hobbyists only?
I’m often asked by budding entrepreneurs, who are about to take their startups online, whether website builders are safe enough. Well, it depends. There are no two site builders alike. The good news is that reliable tools do exist.
Choosing a website builder for business isn’t the same as choosing a site builder for blogging or a personal site. Make sure the company has a good reputation, positive customer reviews and what’s more important – has all the features your web presence might need.
To make your search a bit simpler, I’ve compiled a list of three site builders for business that are worth exploring:
Wix – The Best Website Builder and Hosting for Small Business
Wix has always been among the best. The strongest side of Wix is its amazing collection of website templates. There are hundreds of beautiful, modern themes covering over seventy industries.
Wix has a user-friendly interface that makes it possible to design and publish a site within hours. Wix has its own commerce system, a built-in blogging tool and a market of in-house and third-party applications. There are both free and paid apps.
Wix has a free version that comes with a noticeable advert and Wix subdomain. It will cost you at least $8.50/mo to remove the ad and set up a custom domain.
Shopify – The Best Website Builder for eCommerce
Shopify offers one of the best deals in the market. Unlike Wix and uKit which are completely visual site builders, Shopify is used not only by beginners, but also professionals – there’s an advanced eCommerce tool that lets users create e-stores on a deeper level. Shopify has its own hardware like POS terminals, scanners and so on and a feature-rich blogging engine.
A well-designed, informative, user-friendly website helps you communicate effectively with your current clients, and what’s more – if content-focused and wisely advertised – it helps you find new customers through different marketing channels.
With Shopify, you can start your own eCommerce even on your existing website. It’s possible with Shopify ‘Buy’ button. It costs only $9/mo (Shopify Lite Pricing Plan). Other paid plans that allow creating a complete website start from $29/mo.
uKit – The Best Price/Quality Deal
uKit website builder is a code-free platform for creating business websites. You start building your site with choosing a template (there are seventeen industry categories) and adding your business information. The system will automatically insert the provided data into the corresponding template areas – the footer and the header.
Once you have finished the wizard, you can start uploading your content and making changes to the site’s design. All is done visually, in a WYSIWYG interface.
The strongest side of uKit is that it has many hidden features that are beneficial to any business site: it generates standard-compliant code that’s optimized for search engines; it lets you rewrite URLs for all your pages, as well as insert meta tags for individual pages and blog posts.
uKit templates are responsive and follow the best usability practices, especially when it comes to mobile viewing. For instance, your business info is always within reach, and the horizontal menu automatically turns into a hamburger one.
As a web service designed for business, uKit has no free versions, but you can try it free during a trial period. The fully-featured version of uKit will cost you $48/year billed annually, or $5/mo billed month-to-month.
Weebly – Good and Functional for Small Business
Weebly is also loved by small businesses. Its massive infrastructure includes Weebly Inspiration center, Help Center, phone support and live chat, among other resources. Besides the customer-centered philosophy, the company can boast a very productive team.
The website builder has everything you might need to set up a site, you can even purchase a domain through Weebly. Some of the key features include: advanced blogging, eCommerce, multiple authors, membership, responsive themes, IFTTT integration, mobile apps and more.
Weebly is a freemium web service. Besides a free version that never expires, there are three paid plans: Starter, Pro and Business ranging from $4/mo to $25/mo.
Whether you want to take your existing business online or start earning on the web, the first step is to create your own website, and any of the above mentioned website builders will help you with this.