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.
Prior to choosing a credible website builder to establish your online presence, you should realize that this resource should serve many purposes and, thus, has to be launched with regard to the existing standards and niche requirements.
A well-structured website will make your business popular and recognizable on the web. This will eventually drive traffic to your resource and increase the amount of sales.
To reach these goals, you should devote much effort and time to making your small business website functional and appealing. Awareness of the must have elements will help you gain success in this endeavor. Some of these elements include:
Domain Name. The majority of website builders offer free plans that make it possible to create any website type from scratch. Free plans, however, come with subdomains. If you are oriented towards success, this will hardly be a nice option. A more reasonable solution is to upgrade to a paid plan that will meet your web design needs and preferences, but will also offer an opportunity to choose or connect a domain name of your own, thus making your business stand out from the crowd.
Convenient Navigation Bar Found at the Top of a Page. It’s not a secret that users don’t like looking for the required info on the web for a long time. The quicker they find the info they need, the higher the chances that they will like to come back again are. By placing the navigation bar at the top of your website pages, you will facilitate the search, making navigation simpler and more convenient. It’s also smart to place the navigation bar in the footer. Most visitors will value that.
Contacts. Your small business contacts should be within reach. It makes sense to place this info in the area, which will be visible before a user scrolls down. The Contacts section should include the exact location of your company (preferably, with a map), address, e-mail, operating hours, social media info, a feedback form etc.
Call-to-Action. It’s crucial to include a call-to-action on the pages of your website. It should be posted in the most visible areas. It also makes sense to add your phone number and the link redirecting to the page with the contact info. Try not to make a call-to-action look like a sales pitch, though. Many customers don’t like that. So, act wisely.
Reviews and Testimonials. Availability of product reviews and customer testimonials will add trustworthiness and credibility to your website, encouraging users to keep browsing through it and start buying from you.
Trust Signs. If you have never heard anything about the trust signs, it’s high time to find out more about these badges. They are the major proof of the fact that your business is legitimate and, thus, safe and reliable. It’s been reported that the websites that come with the trust symbols make it possible to increase the conversion rates to around 32% as compared to the resources that come without these signs.
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. You can see a detailed pricing plans here:
Benefits of Wix for Small Business
First of all, Wix would be a smart decision for those small business owners who are a newcomer in website building and who don’t want to waste lots of time in order to get some coding knowledge. I think that these are the majority.
Wix is also the perfect solution for local entrepreneurs, who have clients that live nearby: in this case website could help them to knew about fresh products or services updates.
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. See detailed Shopify pricing offer here:
Benefits of Shopify for Small Business
Shopify is a good solution for those who want not only to promote a business via Internet, but also for those who want to sell lots of goods or services through the own website. This website builder also is be perfect in case of offline and online selling combination (items that are sold with Shopify hardware, automatically being checked in store database).
Shopify can also be a selling option for sellers who want to sell with Facebook – they can simply add ‘Buy’ button to their FB page.
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.
As a web service designed for business, uKit has no free versions, but you can try it free during a trial period. The Premium version of uKit will cost you $4/mo ($48/year billed annually). Another two packages (Premium+ and Pro) open access to advanced statistics, premium designs and website code editing. They cost $8/mo and $12/mo respectively.
Benefits of uKit for Small Business
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.
The choice of a website builder that will meet your web design needs is quite responsible, but this fact doesn’t have to frustrate you. Prior to making the final choice, consider all the features the platforms mentioned in the article can offer you. Realization of your actual web building needs is the key to your success.
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.