Using a website builder is the most effective, convenient and affordable way to make a business website for you. Website builders are much simpler than you could initially think and you will master any of them in the shortest time possible to avail the top notch result. Among the variety of website builders, it makes sense to point out those that are the best for creating small building websites.
These services possess a wide range of features and customization tools that can notablн enhance your business website functionality. Have a closer a look at the features of these website builders now.
Best Small Business Website Builders Chart Overview:
|Website Builder||Wix (see review)||Shopify (see review)||uKit (see review)|
|Best for:||Small-to-mid sized Business||All Types of Businesses||Small Entrepreneurs|
|Easiness||Needs some time to cope with||Takes enough time to learn||Ideal for newbies|
|Business Templates:||Widely categorized business themes||Mostly paid templates||350+ templates for small business services|
|Technical Support:||Live support, forum answers||Email support, Help center||24/7 online support|
|Commerce Options||Separate eCommerce plan||Full Featured eCommerce CMS||Easy Shopping Cart|
|SEO Options:||SEO wizard + full pack of SEO options||All is on board||Full set of SEO|
|Pricing Options:||Free to $24.50/mo||$29 to $299/mo||$4 to $12/mo|
|Real Website Examples:||Wix Examples||Shopify Examples||uKit Examples|
Main Features of a Small Business Website Builder
Small business website builders have almost the same features as other services. At the same time, they possess a couple of niche-specific characteristics, which matter most for small business websites. Here are the most important of them:
- Ease of Use. Website builders created with the need of small businesses in mind are specially meant for newbies, who have never had web building experience, but still require websites to present their companies on the web. That’s why, they are easy to use and come with intuitive dashboards that contain incorporated web building tools for quick access.
- Niche-Specific Templates. Businesses differ and so do the templates offered by popular website builders. Whatever niche you specialize in, you will surely find the best template to meet your business needs. The majority of these templates are mobile optimized to be viewed on various devices. This is another benefit that speaks in favor of this web building option.
- eCommerce Functionality. Small business website builders should have powerful eCommerce functionality. This is because many businesses focus on buying/selling products/services and imply the availability of an online store. In other words, small business website builders are unthinkable without eCommerce features.
- Affordable Plans.Small business website builders should offer different plans to be chosen with regard to your business scale and budget available. It’s up to you to decide what plan you need, but you can test its features by using a free trial most popular website builders offer.
- SEO Options. Any small business website is created with the only purpose in mind – to promote a company on the web. Website builders come with powerful SEO options that contribute to the effective website promotion and can increase its search engine ranking.
If you still have doubts regarding the choice of the best website builder, consider the following review of the most popular services.
Wix – The Best Website Builder and Hosting for Small Business
Wix has always been among the best universal website builders users to launch different website types. Business websites are not an exception. The service works best for small business websites of diverse niches and sizes. This is a smart decision for those small business owners who are newcomers in website building and who don’t want to waste lots of time in order to get some coding knowledge. At the same time, this is also a perfect solution for local entrepreneurs, who have clients that live nearby: in this case, a decent website could help them find out more about fresh products or services updates.
Wix Small Business Features
- Business Template Collection. This is one of the most amazing Wix features. The system abounds in hundreds of high quality, modern and beautiful themes that cover dozens of industries. The most popular theme categories include those for business and construction companies, auto repair services, marketing and promotion, financial consultants, lawyers, carpenters, business coaches, beauty salons, marketing strategists, eCommerce websites, SMM agencies, home remodeling and design experts, real estate and insurance companies, startups, resumes, web app development, web design, architectural companies and what not.
Whatever industry you specialize in, you will surely find quality templates to meet your niche requirements here. All the templates the system offers are mobile-optimized right from the start and you need one click only to activate this feature. The system also boasts powerful customization tools to give your website individual look and superior performance.
- Wix Stores. Wix Stores functionality allows creating any online store to meet all your eCommerce needs. The website will be mobile-optimized right from the start so that your actual and potential clients could visit it from any mobile devices they have at hand.
Due to the intuitive website builder, you will be able to customize the chosen template in a few simple clicks to select product display and management options, upload photos and descriptions, notify your customers about special offers, discounts and updates, set up payment and delivery options, track order statuses and stay connected with your clients by using an extensive variety of contact forms.
- Wix ADI. Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is the advanced tool the system offers to those users, who wish to speed up their web design process and avail decent result with minimum investment of time and effort.
The tool lets you build a website based on your business info and other related data you will provide. What you have to do is to watch the way your business website is automatically built and fill it with your own content.
- Wix App Market. The availability of the App Market makes it possible to choose and integrate any application into your small business website to get the most out of its performance. All the apps are of high value for small business owners, who don’t wish to spend much time thinking about their website design. By making use of the drag and drop feature, you can add any business widget to your website to give it superior functionality.
Some of these apps include Online Visiting Card, LinkedIn Visiting Card, Online Schedule and Calendar, Small Business Accounting, Wix Booking, Traffic Generator, Live Chat, Google Maps, Online Form Constructor, Marketing and Analytics, Wix Stores, Local Listing App etc. The choice is really impressive and can contribute to your business website success.
- Blogging and Social Networking Features. For all those business owners, who wish to stay in contact with their customers, keeping them aware of the recent updates, news, special offers and discounts, Wix makes it possible to add a powerful multifunctional blog that comes with all the possible social networking features.
- Abundance of Business Tools. Wix offers business owners an impressive selection of business tools they can use to enhance their website performance. Thus, you can view and control your website statistics, manage contacts (all your clients, registered users and subscribers will be enlisted in a single system), find out traffic sources and search engine positions, number of page views. What’s more, you can get an account on your own domain and choose customer interaction tools to control the finances. Wix SEO master will make it possible for you to use keywords and phrases to drive the target audience to your business website, thus, increasing its search engine positions.
• Connect Domain – $4.50/mo;
• Combo – $8.50/mo;
• Unlimited – $12.50/mo;
• Commerce – $16.50/mo;
• VIP – $24.50/mo.
Currently, Wix is ready to offer its users five paid plans and a free version of the platform intended to test its major features.To create a full-fledged small business website, you should choose between one of them.
Mind, however, that if you are a business owner with serious intentions and long-term goals, then a free version will definitely not work for you – just as the cheapest Connect Domain plan, which comes with ad banners. To get a decent business website, which will work for your commercial needs, it makes sense to update to higher plans listed above. They can be billed either on annual or monthly basis, which is just a matter of your choice and preferences. Paid plans offer you a variety of options, including individual domain connection, free hosting and server space, Google Analytics set up, 24/7 professional customer support etc.
Wix is a universal website builder, the range of features and options of which is more than enough to launch any website from scratch, including a small business website. The system is user-friendly, convenient and functional for everyone, be it a newbie with zero web design experience or a professional web developer, who creates custom made websites on a regular basis. Due to the drag-and drop functionality and WYSIWYG options, the service is very easy to use for everyone. It offers a variety of business-specific tools and features needed to create a functional and appealing business website to drive customer attention.
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 by professionals – there’s an advanced eCommerce tool that lets users create stunning, well-designed and informative online stores that help you effectively interact with your current clients and find new ones granted that a website is content-focused and well-optimized. Thus, Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that works best for large online stores.
Shopify Small Business Features
- Shopify POS System. Shopify performance is one if its major benefits. This is a widespread misbelief that the system is used for creating and managing online stores only. This is definitely true, but it can also be used to sell the products at your own retail store front by making use of Shopify Point of Sale (POS) system. The use of the system allows using your external card terminal, accept orders when you are offline (any orders made without Internet access will automatically synchronize with your Shopify account the next time you’re connected); create multiple staff accounts (each with a secure pin code); easily integrate with Quickbooks, Xero and other accounting software.
By synchronizing your Shopify account with Quickbooks, for instance, you can seamlessly file your product, payment, tax, and customer data into correct accounts and ledgers. Merchants can also take advantage of powerful accounting functionality to view account balances, create receipts, and even run detailed reports to analyze customer trends, track top-performing products, and more. This eventually results in establishing reliable web presence, selling your products worldwide.
- “Buy” Button and Shopping Cart Integration. Shopify allows integrating a “Buy” Button to let their clients generate any amount of product cards they can further embed on any website. Shopify automatically generates the embed codes, which make it possible to present your products and collections of products in the most preferable way. Just like you can easily add products and their collections, you can quickly embed a mobile friendly, safe and convenient shopping cart into your online store. This can be done with a few clicks only.
- Amazon Marketplace Integration. Shopify can boast effective Amazon Marketplace integration, which can be done in a few clicks only. As a result, your Shopify-based website will be synchronized with your Amazon account (if any), thus, updating your product stock when necessary.
- Multichannel Support. The multichannel feature deserves a separate paragraph. If you’re a busy merchant, who sells across different platforms, you know how difficult synchronizing customer databases, inventory and finances can be. Shopify helps you automate lots of manual work by offering multichannel support. Thus, you get a chance to manage and control a unified platform to synchronize your sales across multiple channels. This is very convenient and time-saving.
- Abundance of Convenient Shopping Features. Apart from the features listed above, Shopify also offers a range of options that contribute to the convenient online shopping experience. These include abandoned checkout recovery, availability of more than 70 payment gateways and Shopify App Store, automatic taxation, multiple languages, customizable gift cards, product reviews, access to customer profiles and more.
- Quality eCommerce Templates. Shopify is flexible in terms of website design. It currently offers over 100 quality themes, which are responsive by default. Specifically, there are three options the system offers.
These include free and paid templates created by world-renowned designers like Happy Cog, Clearleft and Pixel Union; HTML/CSS editor (the ability to rebuild a ready theme from the ground up); and tailor-made themes by Shopify experts. It’s up to you to make the final choice.
• Lite – $9/mo;
• Basic Shopify – $29/mo;
• Shopify – $179/mo;
• Advanced Shopify – $299/mo.
Basically, Shopify is ready to offer three paid plans users may choose from. If you already own a website and wish to connect a web store to it, you can do that by activating a Shopify ‘Buy’ button, the cost of which is $9 per month.
The Basic Plan provides all the options for starting a new web-based business. Shopify allows using all the features required to grow your business, while Advanced Shopify makes it possible to use enhanced features for scaling your business. There is also a free 14-day trial to test any plan you’d like to use for your eCommerce website.
Shopify is a super feature-laden eCommerce platform that offers a smorgasbord of amazing eCommerce (mCommerce)-specific options allowing you to create a gem of a webstore. The functionality and the feature set of the platform are on the top notch level. The system is quite flexible and offers a variety of options to set up a logically-structured, full-fledged and quality online store. Mind, however, that Shopify is quite expensive and its pricing plans can scare away many potential customers. If you have serious intentions and really wish to set up a web store that stands out from the crowd, the cost of using the service is reasonable and worth the result you will eventually get.
uKit – The Best Price/Quality Deal
uKit website builder is a code-free platform for creating business websites. It was initially created with the needs, preferences and financial abilities of small business owners in mind. The service stands out from the crowd due to the range of features that ensure the best price/quality correlation. uKit works best for small business owners, private entrepreneurs and other users with zero web design skills, who wish to get a quality business website (portfolio, promo website, landing page etc.) with minimum time, effort and money investment.
uKit Small Business Features
- Responsive Business Templates. uKit can really be proud of its extensive template collection. All in all, there are over 350 themes that fall into 38 thematic categories. Speaking about business templates, all of them are of high quality and responsive by default. Thus, you can choose between thematic templates for different types of businesses, real estate, constructors, lawyers, commercial and residential themes, IT services, portfolios, architects and what not. Whatever business niche you specialize in, uKit has something to offer you.
- CRM Integration. uKit offers its users a convenient CRM integration feature, which makes it possible to create a small business website with the system by simplifying the order/customer management process. What you need is to get your own CRM account to further import the info to your uKit website. This is must-have feature for all business owners, who are serious about their goals and aspirations.
- Multi-Language Support. You can create different language versions of your business website created with uKit. This is very convenient for people, who aim at reaching the foreign market and establishing partnership relations or finding clients there.
- eCommerce Functionality. uKit has decent eCommerce functionality, which is needed to those users, who wish to launch online stores at affordable cost. Actually, you can choose between two major options. The first one implies using the built-in eCommerce functionality that allows creating small – to – mid-sized web stores in less than no time. You just need to select the related widget right in the control panel, drag it to the website and customize to your liking.
Do not forget to adjust payment and delivery details to get your online store running. The second option is to make use of the external Ecwid service, which allows integrating your existing Ecwid account (if any) or creating the new one in the system to sell your products online. Both options are convenient and deserve the attention of business owners.
- User Interaction Features. It’s essential for a business owner to stay in touch with clients any time of the day. uKit has taken care of this necessity by providing users with a set of useful features. These include callback option, live chat, reliable customer support etc. This is a benefit both for a user, who may require web design assistance as well as for a business owner, who needs to stay in touch with the customers to be ready to provide this assistance when needed.
• Premium – $4.0/mo;
• Premium+ – $8.0/mo;
• eCommerce – $9.60/mo;
• Pro – $12/mo.
Unlike many other business website builders, uKit doesn’t have a free plan. For those users willing to test the functionality of the system, it provides a 14-day free trial of any paid plan selected. This time is more than enough to explore the service and the features it offers to build a business website.
Paid plans differ with regard to many parameters, but all of them have one similar feature – affordable cost. Whatever option you decide to go for, you will certainly be satisfied with its cost. This is no wonder as uKit is rightfully considered the most affordable website builder for small businesses.
uKit is a decent and reputable website builder, which is initially created with the needs of small business owners in mind. The system is a go-to place for a non-technical business person who’s not familiar with the intricacies of web development. The builder lets you focus on the visual side of things where creativity rather than webmaster experience is needed.This is an effective solution for people, who have serious intentions and web design objectives, but lack time and skills to cope with the task on their own.
How to Create a Small Business Website by Yourself
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.
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.