There are many website builders out there. Choosing the right website builder that fits your needs can be a daunting task.
Website builders do not allow you to migrate your website from their platform once you create your website using their service. This is why it’s important to choose the right website builder so you can build your website and be happy afterward.
This guide will help you identify the important features to look for in a website builder before making your decision.
Here are the important factors to consider.
1. Ease of use
The purpose of a website builder is to let anyone without coding skills create a website and do so in a short period of time. Therefore, A website builder must be user-friendly, easy to use, intuitive, and with a very low learning curve. Avoid website builders that require you to write codes or perform any technical tasks.
Learn more: Is website builder easy to use?
Website builders cost $4-$30 per month. Make sure you choose a website builder and plan that fits into your budget for a long time.
Learn more: Are website builders worth it?
3. Modern templates
We all love clean, responsive, and modern websites. Make sure you check the template library for a clean template that looks modern and professional before you even commit to any form of payment.
4. Domain and email options
This may easily be overlooked but is very important especially to small business owners and brands. You want your business name, domain, and email address to be in sync. They all should reflect your brand name – a seal of trust to your followers and customers. Ensure you choose a website builder that lets you get your custom domain and emails.
Website builders are easy but what if you run into issues? Maybe a customer complained about a failed transaction and you have no idea what’s going on. It could be the payment merchant or your website builder or the customer is unaware of their money in the account. You need a website builder provider that can help you when you need answers.
Before you make a decision, ask some questions or do some further research of the platforms on the top of your list. Can your website builder do one or more of the following:
- integrate with your social media accounts?
- accept Apple Pay or Google Pay?
- connect with Google Analytics?
- add shopping carts to your online store?
- pivot your website from a portfolio website to an online store?
Look out for flexible website builders with fewer limitations.
There was a time I started a niche website that got more successful than I anticipated. When this happened, I needed to “up-niche” the website into a broader niche and as well build a community around it.
To expand the scope of the website, I needed to have a mailing list, social media integration, online store to sell my information product. I would have been stuck and lose opportunities I could not achieve this expansion project with my website.
I advise you to go with an established website builder that can scale with you or your brand or business.
Make sure your website builder is accessible on any platform. As your website grows, you want to be able to communicate with your growing number of followers or customers through your website.
Ensure you find a website builder with no downtime where you can as well update your website anytime or anywhere.
9. Form builders
Forms represent the most important components of your website especially if you run a customer-centric business. Reservation, payment details, appointment bookings, inquiries are all form elements. This is why it’s important to get a website builder that provides excellent form designs and builders.
Learn more: Should I use a free website builder? Pros and cons of free website builders
Other factors to consider
Here are other factors to consider when choosing a website builder.
10. Content management system
Content management systems let you publish content with similar information blocks. This feature allows you to regularly update content so people can always return to your website for more news. If you are running a blog or news website, this is very important.
Content management systems are particularly useful if you want to use your website for affiliate marketing or other monetization reasons. News and blog websites are the easiest means to generate organic traffic from Google.
11. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing your website traffic in terms of quantity and quality from search engines. If your website needs will require traffic from search engines, you need to opt for website builders that are SEO-friendly.
SEO-friendly website builders provide SEO features that can help you bring traffic to your website organically. When Google crawls your website, its looks for certain information. Most website builders are known to have non-existent SEO settings that can make you optimize your website for traffic.
Examples of SEO settings you should look at include page title, headings, URL, image name and alt attribute, meta description, and SEO instructions such as adding a robot.txt file.
12. Social media tools
Social media is a means for your brand or business to connect and stay engaged with your audience. It also represents another channel to drive traffic and engagement to your website. If you run an online store, social media can be a very helpful tool to share new arrivals, promotions, and the latest updates about your business.
Some businesses need social media to succeed. Stay away from any website builder that does not seamlessly integrate with social media platforms.
13. Page load speed
According to Google, most website visitors abandon a web page if it doesn’t load after 3 seconds. In addition, Google ranks websites with faster page load speed higher than websites with poor page load speed.
Your website is a reflection of your brand or business. Having a page load speed could be detrimental to your business. Users may abandon your website for your competitor. This eventually will make you lose customers and ultimately lost revenue in the long run.
You can check a website page load speed here.
13. More features
All website builders are not built the same. It is better to go for websites with more features. They may be pricier but you don’t want to migrate to another website builder because your website builder does not have a feature critical to your business.
Subscribing to a website with advanced marketing tools for instance can help you grow your website over the next year than a free website with basic or non-existent marketing tools.
For instance, you realize your competitors are using email subscription forms to build a customer email list where they send periodic deals and promotions to drive up sales. You are excited to try out the idea only to find out your website builder does not offer the feature. Imagine how bad you’d feel.
14. Specialized features
If you have an established business, it’s better to opt for website builders that specialize in offerings that target your business.
For example, let’s say you use Square solutions for your small business. Square also has a website builder called Square Online. Square Online is specifically designed for small businesses. Since you already use their services, it will be a good idea to use their website builder that will seamlessly integrate into your current business infrastructure.
15. Moving your website
This option is almost nonexistent on any website builder. It is the biggest drawback of using website builders. If you decide to move your website away from your website builder, you may have to start your website afresh.
If you know you will be changing platforms anytime soon, avoid using a website builder. Else use the website builder until you have enough resources to migrate to another platform as your business grows.
Learn more: Is website builder good?
Website builders are great tools for beginners with little to no coding experience. They offer a quick and easy means to have an online presence and at a low cost.
There are dozens of website builders with varying prices and features. Choosing the right one that fits your website needs can be an uphill task. Hopefully, this article will guide you to making the right choice.