You have many choices when developing your small business website, and it’s important to use the right tool for the job. Using the best website builder means you’ll create the perfect online presence with minimal effort. In this guide, we’ll cover the most popular website frameworks like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify, so you can make an informed choice.
When choosing one of the best small business website builders, it’s important to think about your business goals and the basics of creating a small business website. This helps you focus on your website features and functions to:
- Respond to customer and user needs
- Optimize for organic search placement
- Strengthen brand image, notoriety and trust
- Maximize revenue and profit
Whether you’re looking for the best eCommerce website builders to create an online store, share blogs and articles, beautiful designs, or deep customization, we’ve got you covered.
Wix – deep customization and powerful add-on tools
Wix is the website building powerhouse behind over 100 million websites. Wix offers multiple ways to create and edit your website, with plenty of templates and designs. The breadth, depth, and complexity of Wix’s tools can be slightly overwhelming for some users, and their packages are among the more expensive options.
Wix Key Features
- Very powerful and pixel perfect website editor
- More than 500 models available
- Lots of design customization options
- E-commerce and online sales available on some plans
- Quickly Build a Basic Website with Wix Artificial Design Intelligence
- Lots of additional tools and third-party apps to understand and refine your online presence
Potential Drawbacks of Wix
- Limited storage capacity and features on basic free and paid plans
- The depth of tools and customization can be overwhelming to build a basic website
- Third-party apps can be expensive
- Difficult to switch between templates and designs
Wix Pricing and Plans
When to choose Wix as your website builder
Wix is a great choice if you’re building a website where you want full control over the look, design, feel, and user experience. There’s a learning curve, and it can be more expensive than other options, but as we said in our Wix review, its drag-and-drop editor is flexible and easy to use, making it simple to create. of a professional website without knowing a lick. of code. The huge list of excellent models seals the deal.
Shopify—advanced e-commerce builder for selling online
Shopify does one thing really, really well: e-commerce. If you run an online store, especially if you sell physical products, then Shopify is hard to beat. Shopify provides a wide range of e-commerce tools, from building your online store and product descriptions to selling across multiple channels and integrating with many merchant and payment apps.
Key Shopify Features
- Laser focused on e-commerce and online sales
- Quickly and easily create a product catalog and list items for sale
- Integrated and in-depth ecosystem of tools and third-party applications for selling online across multiple channels and platforms
- Store management dashboard for an at-a-glance understanding of your performance
- Highly functional and feature-rich mobile app for on-the-go store management
Potential Disadvantages of Shopify
- E-commerce plans can be expensive compared to other options
- Third-party payment apps can have high transaction processing fees
- Ecommerce only, if you don’t need it there are other better builders
Shopify Pricing and Plans
- Shopify pricing plans range between £19 and £259 per month
- Many third-party apps charge additional one-time or periodic fees
When to choose Shopify as your website builder
Shopify is a great option if you’re a traditional retail business getting into e-commerce or if you sell exclusively online. Its deep integrations allow your customers to shop, wherever they are. As we said in our Shopify ReviewsAs the most popular e-commerce platform in the world, Shopify naturally offers a great selection of tools to help you build a powerful online store.
Squarespace: beautiful design and great mobile themes
square space offers a perfect blend of beautiful design and website building simplicity. It offers dozens of crisp, professional templates and has a strong focus on mobile website browsing. Squarespace has a learning curve and lacks some of the features of more specialized website builders.
Squarespace Key Features
- Outstanding templates among the best of all website builders
- Responsive designs that look great on tablets and smartphones
- A range of integrated tools for marketing, communications and e-commerce
- Powerful Blogging Features and Tools
- Highly rated 24/7 customer service
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other website builders
Potential Drawbacks of Squarespace
- There’s a learning curve to using Squarespace and its editor
- The Squarespace editor has some limitations on element placement
- Squarespace isn’t as powerful as its competitors if you have very specific needs like e-commerce, membership sites, or similar
Squarespace Pricing & Plans
When to choose Squarespace as your website builder
Squarespace is one of the best website builders if you want a simple yet beautiful business website without all the bells and whistles. It’s ideal for businesses providing information to customers through blogs and static pages, especially if many of their customers are browsing on mobile devices.
As we said in our Squarespace review, Squarespace is a great website builder for those not interested in website coding. It takes a bit of practice to get used to the editing flow, but once you do, a beautiful website is easy to create.
Hosted and self-hosted WordPress – powerful content management and a vast ecosystem of tools
WordPress is the most popular website content management system in the world, and for good reason. It’s extremely configurable, with a huge range of third-party themes, tools, and plugins that allow a WordPress website to do almost anything. But, all this customization comes at a premium, often requiring extra effort to get the most out of WordPress.
Hosted and self-hosted WordPress options
If you want to create your website with WordPress, you have several options:
- Hosted WordPress– you can use the hosted option from WordPress.com, which provides you with a ready-to-use WordPress installation and website builder. This option requires a monthly fee that you pay for the website builder.
- Self-hosted WordPress– you can buy a web hosting plan from one of the best WordPress hosting providers, like Bluehost or HostGator. You can then install WordPress through the hosting platform and configure it to your needs. This option only requires ongoing hosting provider fees.
The hosted version of WordPress is faster, simpler, and easier to set up, and there’s less to do behind the scenes. This option is usually more expensive than the self-hosted version, and the basic hosted plan tiers do not allow access to WordPress plugins.
The self-hosted version of WordPress means you’ll only pay a monthly or yearly hosting fee, and installing WordPress itself is effectively free. Self-hosting gives you more responsibility to make sure everything works together, your plugins are compatible, and you administer your website properly.
WordPress Key Features
- Extremely in-depth configuration options
- The widest range of themes, plugins, tools and integrations of any website builder
- WordPress websites can be customized for almost any purpose
- Very cheap plans if you use a self-hosted WordPress option
Potential Disadvantages of WordPress
- WordPress’ hosted option only allows access to plugins and integrations – arguably WordPress’ best feature – on its most expensive pricing options
- Self-hosted WordPress options require overhead to properly setup and maintain your WordPress installation
- WordPress has a steep and demanding learning curve if you want to make full use of the platform
WordPress Pricing and Plans
- WordPress Hosted Pricing Plans range between £5 and £15 per month
- The best WordPress hosting plans for self-hosting start as low as £2 at £4 per month and go up from there, and it comes with free WordPress install and use
When to choose WordPress as a website builder
If you want deep customization, chances are WordPress can do it, and do it well. The problem is that configurability comes at a price: pay for a more expensive WordPress hosted plan, or spend a lot of time, or pay for expert support with a self-hosted plan.
As we said in our WordPress review for the WordPress hosted plan option, WordPress.com is a decent choice for smaller websites, but its limited design flexibility and high pricing are major concerns.
We hope you found this list of the most popular website builders useful. Now you can make an informed decision on the best website tools and frameworks to create a beautiful and powerful small business website.
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