There are countless website builder tools and services on the market, and many of them can work well for a small business. However, choosing the best one to fill your business and marketing needs can sometimes be a trial and error experience. It often depends on how much extra time you have, your technical skill sets, and marketing budget. You may even discover the best website builder for small business might be no website builder at all.
The Good & Bad of Website Builders
Before learning about the best website builder options, it’s good to have an overall idea of the advantages and disadvantages to using a website builder for your small business website. For your unique situation, some of the positives might outweigh the negatives. However, sometimes the bad outweighs the good.
Website Builder Advantages
- Choosing from a template – You’ll have a general idea of how the finished design will look.
- Full control of project – You handle the design, content, and marketing aspects of the website; great if you’re someone who prefers to do things your way.
- Cheap pricing options – Since you’ll be building the website yourself, you can get started with a minimal investment. Perfect for new businesses with small budgets.
Website Builder Disadvantages
- Lack of custom options – You might find a template you like, but it is often difficult to customized it exactly how to want or function how you need.
- All on your own – Website success often comes down to the right design for better user experience and precise marketing messages for better customer conversion. Without an expert, you’re left to figure this stuff out on your own.
- Time is money – As a small business owner, you already wear many hats and work countless hours. A website builder will require learning another set of skills and will take up precious time you could devote elsewhere.
Popular Website Builder Options
A website builder is ideal for newer small businesses with small budgets, freelance photographers, or artists. Each popular builder on the market has its strong and weak points.
Squarespace is known for artistic and modern template designs. It is perfect for artists and photographers, providing clean and photo-heavy templates.
- Beautifully designed templates
- Perfect for artists, designers, fashion, photography, weddings
- Fair pricing – $12 to $46 monthly
- Relies heavily on having good photography
- No templates dedicated to showcasing service based small businesses
- Need more? Setup experts for hire cost thousands of dollars
Wix offers a wide variety of small business related templates at cheap prices. They also offer an extensive feature set for adding functionality to your website.
- Many template options suitable for small business
- Cheap pricing – $5 to $25 monthly
- Template designs can look outdated and lack sophistication
- Most templates rely heavily on high end photography
Weebly offers a smaller variety of visually pleasing themes. They are well priced and have a $0 plan with ads and a Weebly sub domain.
- Perfect for personal, portfolio, or blog use
- Cheap pricing – $0 to $38 monthly
- Business themes are too photo-heavy and lack service focus
- All themes rely heavily on photography
- Smaller variety of themes
GoDaddy – GoCentral
GoDaddy has begun putting more effort into their website builder, GoCentral. They offer a massive collection of templates for all business types.
- More template options for small businesses
- Many templates don’t rely so heavily on photography
- Cheap pricing – $6 to $30 monthly
- Many templates look very similar to each other
- Lower level of design, many feel unbalanced or outdated
Shopify is exclusively for businesses needing to sell products online (eCommerce). They offer a wide variety of well-designed themes perfect for showcasing your products.
- Professional and nicely designed themes
- Highly mobile-friendly
- High priced – $30 to $300 a month
- Many themes cost an extra $100 to $200
- Need any shipping option outside of USPS? You’re stuck with the $300/month plan
- Any payment gateway outside of Shopify includes extra fees
The Better Option for Small Business
The popular website builders listed above may work well for your small business, especially if you’re just starting out. However, if you’re an established business with specific marketing needs and sales goals, the best website builder for small business is not using a website builder at all. Ideally, hire an experienced web design company.
There are areas of expertise a web design company can provide better than a site builder. Precise design to drive traffic, marketing messages to convert customers, and user experience development to name a few. But what if you can’t afford the large project rates necessary to hire someone? There are web design companies with monthly, cost effective pricing models similar to the website builders. Cemah Creative is one of them. We believe monthly pricing benefits a small business better by providing expertise and hands-off creation, all within your marketing budget.