You’ve decided to create a site for your new business. Given your barely-there marketing budget you’re going ahead and doing it yourself. Great —especially since not having a site or relying purely on social networking gives your business a fly-by-night air to it —but where to start? There are a slew of DIY website building sites out there today and knowing which to choose can be a challenge to say the least. Here are five tips to help you focus on your needs and to make your choice that much easier.
Firstly, if you’re among the millions of website builder clients who have no knowledge of design or servers, let alone HTML expertise, your first port of call should be a site builder that offers ease-of-use. Weebly, for example, features a drag-and-drop tool that is arguably the most intuitive of its kind. Other sites also place extensive focus on usability to help you make awell-designed site with minimal technical knowledge — after all that is why people turn to DIY site builders in the first place. You can read more about the features in this Weebly review, or just check out this video:
The second important element to consider, and possibly among the most important, is choosing fromthe variety of design templates website builders offer you. Wix has over 500 templates, GoDaddy has over 800 and sitebuilder.com over 10,000.You need decide up-front what message you wish to convey, as the look and feel of your template, also called ‘theme,’ will be the online face of your business.Some templates feature full photos in the background, while others, such as Yola and Squarespace, restrict you to placing page objects in specific places that won’t make your site look brash. Other builders offer more freedom. Most sites also allow you to add photos and galleries, some offering free images, others providing editing tools so you can touch up your own pics.
This brings us to our third point of consideration — selling online. The face of your business takes on more significance if you decide to have an e-store, buy links or other money-making options. Take note, these professional-seeming items can take a small business to profitability. If this is your direction, you want to find a website builder with a top ecommerce offering where you can process credit card payments and maybe add your own cart and checkout page — even if you have to pay for it. Weebly’s free plan, for example, includes a basic e-store, but many include them in their premium packages.
The fourth item to consider is mobile responsiveness — templates that automatically reformat your site for viewing on mobile devices. The latest stats from comScore show that most consumers access retail sites via mobile or desktopand 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone. Put two and two together and bottom line, if you do intend to sell online or want to attract more business it is essential that your site be mobile responsive so that your clients accessing it via mobile have the same experience as viewing it from their PCs. Making TechCrunch headlines was the recent overhaul of Weebly, which now includes a state-of-the-art mobile app to give users the power to edit their site on the go, or even create a brand new site from scratch. The web builder also features an App Center that allows for integration with many third-party services, which is perfect for business owners.
Last, but certainly not least is pricing. Rule of thumb for most website builders is the more you pay, the more you get. However, keep your budget in mind after all, you’ve gone the DIY route to save costs. Keep in mind that many builders charge for bandwidth,increased storage, and access to advanced features.
While there are other factors to consider when choosing a website builder, getting to grips with these five will put you firmly on the path to finding one that suits your needs. Yes, it may not be as easy as you first thought, however if you want to grow your business you cannot do it relying solely on Facebook or other social network sites. Nothing packs a punch like having your own bona fide site and a web presence — no matter how tiny your business is!