Your business needs a website. You know that, but with so many options out there, how are you supposed to choose? There are free website builders, paid website builders, some with ecommerce packages and some without – with so many options, you need a way to whittle down your choices.
First, make a list of the things you want your website builder to have. Do you want responsive web design, ecommerce capabilities or a personalised domain? Are you a budding designer who wants the freedom to create their own website or are you a rookie who wants ready made templates to make a professional-looking site in moments? You can get all of this and more with Go Sitebuilder, but finding the right website builder is a personal decision.
If you’re not sure what your website needs, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are important elements of the best website builders, and whether you can get them free or not.
Personalised domain name
The name of your business is the first thing people are going to see when they look for you, so it’s paramount that your website reflects that. It’s well worth finding a website builder that gives you a personalised domain name as it looks much more professional; other free website builders will give you a domain that includes their own name, like www.websitebuilder.co.uk/yourbusinessname. This automatically shows that you aren’t 100% invested in your business. You are likely to have to pay for a personalised domain name, but we think it’s worth the money.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design means that your website scales up or down in size to fit whichever screen it is viewed on, whether that be a laptop, mobile or tablet. This is increasingly important as mobile web usage overtook over desktop for the first time back in 2016, and the vast majority of people browse for content on their phone.
Some free website builders offer some elements of responsive web design, and some like Wix are slowly adding more features that will make most of the elements responsive. If you’re not that tech-savvy, however, and don’t want to have to delve into the back end of your site to make sure it is fully responsive, go for a website builder like Go Sitebuilder that is fully responsive. Even our website builder platform is responsive, so you can update your website on your phone wherever you are!
Integrated ecommerce platform
If you’re looking to sell your products on your site, you’ll need a website builder with that capability. It is possible to get a free ecommerce platform, from Square for example, but they are fairly basic and don’t allow you to have a custom domain, shipping calculators, site statistics or integrated shipping labels, which make you seem more unprofessional. They do give unlimited product listings but there is a 500mb maximum website storage, which could become an issue if you are using high-quality photos and have many different products.
We think it’s best to get an integrated ecommerce website that makes your life as easy as possible, including automatic low stock alerts, shipping calculators and unlimited space.
Integrated blog platform
It’s no secret that blogging is one of the best new tricks to enhance the SEO on your website. If you want to give your website the best chance, try writing regular blog posts on subjects related to your business that you are knowledgeable about; this will help you look like a leader in your field and inspire trust in your potential customers.
If you choose a few relevant keywords and use this in all your blogs, this will help Google rank you more effectively, so people searching for your products or services will see your website as soon as possible.
Most free website builders will provide a basic blogging platform for you to use. Find one that has no limits on the number of blogs you can post, has SEO optimisation tools, and can easily be shared on social media.
High quality web design
The most important bit! A high quality web design is paramount for your website builder, which can be difficult if you have no design experience. Many website builders will boast of hundreds of functions as a way of selling their product, but we’ve found that in the vast majority of cases, people just don’t use these functionalities. That’s why we’ve perfected our web design platform to have everything you need – and nothing you don’t.
If you have no web design experience, we provide you with colour palettes and templates, but if you want more freedom you can play around as much as you want! Some free website builders have a limited number of templates, but at Go Sitebuilder we have hundreds, with many specialised for certain industries.
Free website builders are available, but you will have to compromise on certain elements to do so. At Go Sitebuilder, we think it’s worth investing to make sure your website is the best it can be, so we created an affordable website builder – just £9 a month – that has all the capabilities talked about in this blog, and so much more. Try our 14-day free trial today to see what we can offer you.