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There is one decision in life that you simply cannot get wrong.
And no, it’s not choosing the right partner or career.
That life-changing decision comes down to what website builder you decide to use.
Whether you are setting up a small non-profit or are itching to take over the world with your handmade jewelry, the quality of your site will be a key factor in your success.
And to build a great site, you need a great web builder. Assuming of course you are like the vast majority of people with no technical skills. If you do have skills, what are you doing here? Get building!
But fret not. We’ve done the hard work and this article will guide you through the otherwise arduous process of finding the best website builder.
When choosing a website builder, your first consideration should be what your actual needs are. There are a multitude of reasons to want to start a website and they will affect the services and features you will need.
For instance, is your goal to set up shop as an eCommerce entrepreneur, dropshipping items from abroad?
Do you want to start a simple blog documenting your travel adventures?
Or perhaps you work in marketing and are looking for ways to test and optimize your sales funnels.
Regardless of your goals, the idea of “knowing thyself” applies here. Think deeply about what you want now, but also your roadmap for the future. Once you commit to a particular website builder, it can be difficult to change later on.
After getting a clear idea of your needs, you will then need to consider the different types of web builders available.
Keep in mind that many website builders fit multiple categories, serving each need to a different extent.
There are thousands of reasons to create a website, and nowadays, it seems like every person and organization has one.
To service such great demand, some website builders have taken a holistic approach in terms of appeal and their tools.
For example, these sites typically have a lot of features that other types of website builders have, such as the ability to blog.
However, as they are multi-purpose in nature, you cannot expect these features to not be as in-depth and robust as more specialist platforms.
Some use cases for general website builders include:
An example of an information website.
Content is what drives the web, and one of the oldest yet still most relevant forms of content is the blog post.
Considering blogging is such a crucial part of the web, some website builders have been designed with a content management system in mind.
In the case that you want to get your thoughts out there; ideally, in a serious and sustained way, a blog website builder may be the right option for you. Use cases include:
An example of a content-centric website.
Essentially, blog website builders are a good choice if you plan on writing long term and it is one of the things you focus on.
Another type of website builder are eCommerce platforms. These platforms allow you to build and manage online stores through the ability to list goods, fulfill orders, and take payments.
These website builders are useful for:
An example of an eCommerce website.
Now it is time to take a closer look at some of the specific features to consider when evaluating a website builder.
Remember that although some website builders may fall into the same category, each may suit your needs differently.
For instance, you may be setting up an online shop and your primary consideration may be a low learning curve, whereas somebody else may be thinking about a platform that can allow them to scale easily.
Here are some features you should consider.
Things to consider:
If you are new to setting up online or are time-constrained, how easy it is to get started will likely be your primary concern.
You should think strongly about scalability if you are already an established business looking to create an online presence. This is particularly true if you are already selling products at scale in the real world.
Startups in the fundraising process and are looking to scale fast or even change core features of their product should also take caution here.
Things to consider:
If you plan on running a site with a lot of visitors and it happens to go down, the last thing you want is an unresponsive support team. This is especially true if you plan on driving a lot of traffic at a given time.
A website builder with a strong support team is also useful if you are just getting started online, considering you may still get stuck, even with simple interfaces.
If you plan on making money from your website, either by selling products directly or to capture leads, then price should not be a key consideration for you. Make an investment in the best service for your needs.
However, if you just want to set up a small information site, then you could do with the cheapest options.
Generally, website builders that have feature depth are typically more expensive as they solve more specific problems.
The features of a website builder are the main thing to consider when deciding which route to follow. This is because they will have the most impact on your specific goals.
For instance, if you want to set up a landing page for a specific product, trying to optimize with a generic site builder will be a pain. It will probably lack the in-depth analytic tools that a dedicated landing page builder would have.
Also keep in mind that there are some features that you may not need now, but you could need in the future, such as if you plan on running paid ads to your blog posts.
Regardless of your goal, you should always be concerned with providing a great user experience to the people who are visiting your site. It simply makes logical sense – if your site is hard to navigate, people won’t get the most out of it.
The actual design and branding are important too. For instance, some designs are more corporate while others are more welcoming. There may be a design template that really suits your particular brand.
And if you are selling something, you need to ensure that the design is optimized to increase conversions.
Now that you have a good understanding of the types of website builders and the features to look out for, it is time to take a look at some of the best website builders on the market.
If there is one website builder that you have likely heard of, it is probably Wix. The effort that Wix puts into their marketing is phenomenal. Wix is so successful, in fact, that they have featured high profile celebrities like Jason Stratham in some of their campaigns.
Not only that, but Wix has results to show for it too, with over 160 million websites hosted by the company.
Wix is the best website builder if you don’t have a specific need in mind. Even in the opposite case, this is true, such as if you have broad needs and are aiming for different functionality.
Wix is truly the “jack of all trades” in the sense that it does everything well, but nothing is truly exceptional. However, it serves its purpose for the average person looking to set up a website.
Here are the best things about Wix:
Here are the weaker parts about Wix:
Next, we have Weebly, which is a drag and drop website builder that prides itself on its ease of use. Weebly currently powers over 50 million websites and has been around since 2006, which is a huge achievement and testament to how effective the platform is.
So, what has caused Weebly to be consistently favored among users? It comes down to the simple user experience and short learning curve. Weebly does not bombard you with features or a complicated interface.
Instead, it does not scare you away and allows you to get straight to the point of setting up your website.
Here are the best things about Weebly:
Here are the weaker parts about Weebly
If you plan on selling any type of product online – from jewelry to electric scooters – then your best bet will be to use a dedicated eCommerce platform and website builder.
Without a doubt, the number one in this category is Shopify. The platform powers over 1 million merchants in 175 different countries, and is the third-largest online retailer in the US, trailing behind only Amazon and eBay.
The Shopify software represents a complete end to end platform that allows you to set up, manage, and promote a store online. You can easily list your goods for sale, take payments, and fulfill orders – all under one roof.
Here are the best things about Shopify:
Here are the weaker aspects of Shopify:
One of the oldest and most reliable website builders is WordPress. The platform has come a long way since it launched in 2003 and is the most popular content management system on the web today.
In fact, WordPress powers a whopping 37.6% of all websites.
As WordPress was around during the earlier days of the web, its focus revolved around content, which was the most prominent form of website at the time.
It maintains that focus to this day, with WordPress having arguably the best content management system out of all the different website builders.
An important caveat is that WordPress is divided into platforms:
Here are the best things about WordPress:
Here are the weaker aspects of WordPress:
An important thing to keep in mind is that the website builders listed above can serve multiple functions, so this article has provided an overview for you, you will need to look into the details of each platform.
The best choice for you will come down to both your needs at the moment and where you plan on taking your website in the future.
After reading reviews like this one, make sure you take a step back and put your particular needs at the forefront of the decision before you commit.
The post The Best Website Builders (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.
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