There are plenty of websites on the web. 1,814,700,000+ websites are live right now.
And with so many websites, it is obvious that there are plenty of website builders too. Well, that’s great because you get a lot of options to choose from.
But making a choice isn’t exactly easy. Especially not when most website builders claim to offer somewhat similar features.
So, what should you do? Is there no way to come to an answer for what is the best website builder?
The easiest (and fail-proof) method of finding the best website builder is to start by identifying your business needs. When you know what you are looking for in a website builder, finding a suitable builder becomes streamlined.
To aid this process, we have mentioned the steps that you should follow. Bon voyage to finding the best website builder software.
Steps to Choose the Best Website Builder
Step 1 – Identify the Purpose of the Website
A website is a broad-based term. Wikipedia and Amazon are both websites. But you know they are different.
What type/kind of website you need is the first question to ask yourself.
- Do you need a basic business website?
- Do you want to build and showcase your portfolio?
- Do you need an online store?
- Is your website going to be an information hub?
Start by answering all these questions. Once you find your website’s purpose or utility, only then can you find the best website builder.
A website builder that is good for creating single page portfolios won’t be a suitable choice for eCommerce stores.
Step 2 – What is the Level of Your Tech and Design Skills?
You need a website builder. In this statement, YOU are the most important factor. The builder that matches your design and tech skills is the perfect one for you.
Certain website builders have a wide range of pre-designed templates available for free. These builders are useful for people and teams with limited design and technical or coding skills.
On the other hand, certain website builders only have a limited library of templates and themes. They offer a lot of creative liberty. But they demand higher-tech skills and design ability from users.
Your level of skills determines the website builders that you should consider. Also, factor in the learning curve that you are ready to accept. Not all builders are built alike. Some take months to master. And with others, it just takes a few minutes to feel like a pro user.
Step 3 – How Much are you Willing to Pay?
Most website builders try to market themselves as a cost-effective solution. But that doesn’t mean all of them cost the same.
What is ‘cost-effective’ for a large scale business might be way out of a small business’s budget. You need to ascertain cost-effectiveness in regard to your budget.
Some website builders are free forever. And there are builders with free plans, trials, and even money-back guarantee. Naturally, these builders are a preferred choice against the builders that don’t offer these options.
A free plan and trial will help you take the builder for a test drive. And with a money-back guarantee, you can rest assured that you won’t be wasting your money if you aren’t satisfied.
Also, when you are contemplating how much you wish to pay, factor in certain non-obvious costs.
Your website builder might be free, but you’d have to pay for a custom domain and hosting.
Also, some website builders offer one year of free hosting and free SSL certificates. Others charge for it.
You need to consider the overall cost of keeping your website up and running.
Step 4 – Finalize the Features that you need.
Every website owner has different needs. And the features you would need would depend on your need.
But, there are some features that most website owners would want. And it is crucial to ensure that your website has those features.
We have listed the top features that you should look for –
1. Apps, Plugins, and Widgets
When it comes to apps, plugins, and widgets, more is always merrier. For choice, though. You might not always need multiple plugins, apps, or widgets. But it is always better to have choices.
The app or widget that you don’t need today might become necessary later down the line.
Factor in the growth of your website and your future goals.
Website builders with a dedicated app store or plugin directory are always better options than those that don’t have scalability scope.
2. Easy-to-Use Editor
You would have heard people talk about customization and design options. But they are the outcomes. The editor determines how much customization is possible. And how much control you have over the design.
- Does the website builder have a front-end editor?
- Is there a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor (WYSIWYG)?
- Or is there a backend editor?
- How easy is it to use the builder’s editor?
- Does it come with drag-and-drop functionality?
A website builder with a feature-rich and easy-to-use editor helps create websites with better design.
3. Integration Options
You cannot operate alone. This is especially true for businesses and eCommerce stores.
You would want integration options with third-party offerings. Payment getaways, CRM integration, email marketing tools, reporting, and analytics tools are some integrations that you’d need.
The website builder should offer scope for such integrations.
4. Customer Support
- What if you come across a bug?
- What if you have questions about your plan?
- What if you aren’t comfortable using a certain functionality?
In all these cases, and several others, you’d need customer support services.
Some website builders come with chat, email, and call support. Some others offer support only in their premium plans. And then others might have a lousy customer support mechanism.
If you don’t have a team of in-house developers, customer support becomes all the most essential.
Also, you should look at the community support. If the website builder has a community of users with access to answers to questions and guidance from other users, it would be a plus point.
5. Data Ownership and Portability
Most beginners would not realize this. But, data ownership and portability are essential while finalizing a website builder. These factors shouldn’t be ignored.
Ascertain if you own your data or not. And read the fine print about ease of exporting or migrating your website. No matter how carefully you choose a platform today, you might want to switch later. Policy and procedure regarding porting your website need to be understood first.
6. SEO functionalities
Your website is the starting point for your digital presence. You don’t just need to be online, but you also need to be found online. And for that, you need search engine optimization options.
After all, 70% of marketers feel that SEO is more effective than pay-per-click efforts.
The website builder you choose should offer at least the basic SEO functionalities. Meta title and description for each page, heading options, alt tags for images, canonical tags, sitemaps, and robots.txt files are the basic features that your website builder should provide for.
And for more advanced functionalities, there should be plugins available.
More than half of the total search volume comes from mobile devices.
A website builder that doesn’t come with mobile-first optimization capabilities would mean you’ll be losing on a lot of potential traffic. And revenue, in case business websites and eCommerce stores.
Your website builder should let you create a website that looks as good as, if not more, than the desktop versions.
What Should Be The Next Step?
Now that you know how to choose the best website builder, it is time to get to work.
Find the website builder that matches your needs. And then start building an online presence for yourself or your businesses.