If you’re just starting out and don’t have stacks of cash laying around, hiring a professional web designer to create your new website could blow your budget. Maybe you know someone with the gift of an artist’s touch. But placing your company’s online future in the hands of an amateur is a huge risk.
Enter the world of website builders. They allow you to get your business online with minimum cost and headache.
Of the available options out there, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly have risen to the top in easily facilitating an attractive online presence for your emerging business.
While SquareSpace is the clear favorite (outside of WordPress, which can be surprisingly easy to set up and manage) when it comes to making it easier to naturally appear in search results for Google (an important aspect of driving revenue to your business)
Squarespace is one of the most highly-rated website builders out there and is an excellent solution for the start-up company. Established in 2004, Squarespace powers 1.8 million websites, which is much fewer than competitors Wix and Weebly, though this is largely due to Squarespace’s lack of a free plan. Companies making use of Squarespace include Wired Magazine and Cisco.
- $8 – $18 a month
- Mobile-optimized websites
- Great-looking templates
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Integrated eCommerce
- Free custom domain with annual purchase
Unlike many other website builders, Squarespace offers no free plan, though you can try it for free for 14 days. But Squarespace doesn’t have the biggest selection of templates in the industry. Those it does offer really stand out in terms of quality and freshness. But they are particularly well-suited to those in creative industries like restaurants, photographers and musicians.
Unlike competitors such as Wix and Weebly, Squarespace doesn’t provide a 3rd-party App Store, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to build anything other than a basic informational website.
Popular and well-regarded, Weebly is awebsite builder with many features designed to appeal to entrepreneurs. The company was founded in 2006 and hosts over 30 million websites. It’s also available in 15 languages – something ideal if you’re looking to break into the international market.
- $0 – $25 a month (A free plan is available)
- Custom HD video and audio players
- Site membership (offered in the Pro and Business plans)
- Integrated eCommerce
- Unlimited pages, even with free accounts
Weebly’s eCommerce system is strong, if somewhat less impressive than other website builders. Weebly offers four options: Stripe, Square, PayPal and Authorize. Each charges a transaction fee, as does Weebly itself in its Starter and Pro plans. Weebly’s transaction fees are waived in its top-tier Business plan. And if you want to sell digital goods, have inventory management, and offer coupon codes, the Business plan is required for that as well. So costs to operate your business can get pretty expensive on Weebly.
Wix is a giant in the website builder field and provides an excellent amount of options and features for building a business. With offices in four continents and 77 million users in 190 countries, Wix is a very much a global brand, and is one of the only website builders to be listed on the Nasdaq.
However, Wix has a reputation (which they are actively trying to turn around) for poor performance in SEO (search engine optimization). There’s limitations in what you can edit to improve your SEO when your website is hosted on Wix, which means that the potential your website has to rank well naturally on the largest search engine on the planet is also limited. This isn’t good for any business owner, let alone an entrepreneur who might be cash strapped and needing all the free exposure they can get.
- $0 – $24.92 a month (Yes, there’s a free plan)
- 500+ attractive templates – the most in the field
- Integrated eCommerce (In the top-tier plans)
- Integration with Bigstock Photos
- Lots of integrations available through the Wix App Market
Another aspect of Wis entrepreneurs need to be aware of is that Wix websites are not fully mobile-responsive – they don’t automatically adjust to different screen sizes. Considering 80% of web traffic comes from a mobile device, this can be a pretty jarring set back.
Wix’s customer service options aren’t as comprehensive as some others. They provide a toll-free number to call, a knowledge base and community forums, but no live chat or email support. Many have found this phone support to be time consuming.
Quick and secure, guaranteed 99.99% uptime, feature-rich templates, and lightning fast website speed makes Hostinger an amazing, if not widely known, option for entrepreneurs looking to dip their toes into the online world.
Pick a designer-made template, use AI tools to customize the content of your site and get your business online in minutes. Just like all other options mentioned, there’s no coding or website design skills needed.
- No speed and device limits
- SEO friendly structure
- 24/7 support
- Free A.I. tools
- Free designer made templates
Hostinger may be the best choice for small businesses, simply because it’s so quick and easy to use.
Most entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t have the time or the resources that are needed to launch a website the traditional way, or even fiddle around with time consuming interfaces Wix and other website builders offer.
This website builder will do everything for you, and requires little upkeep. It’s still recommended to verify and check the content and design of your site, as technology and A.I. can only take you so far. But with this option, you can focus on running your business instead of trying to design and develop.
All things considered, Squarespace, with its best-in-class templates (no matter the website builder you choose, most entrepreneurs stick pretty closely to the provided templates), rich features, solid eCommerce and competitive, simple pricing might be the best option for aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a website builder.
Weebly is a great alternative with its membership features, custom video player, and great customer service.
Hostinger has a plethora of options similar to both Square Space and Wix, without much of the headache. You could get running in close to 10 minutes with Hostinger, and only be charged $1 a month for the first year of operation. Not a bad way to start an online business.