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The past couple years and pandemic have definitely taught us one thing – going digital is imperative for business in an era where smartphones have brought everything from grocery shopping to social interactions at our fingertips. Website building has also come a long way since the early days of the internet. Coding skills and advanced technical expertise are not the only route to creating your small business website online. With a plethora of easy to use, affordable, no-code website builders on the market, building a website has become accessible to a much wider demographic of people. You don’t need the technical expertise of a web developer or huge amounts of money to set up, design and to build a website for your business. All you need is the right tools and an open mind.
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If you are a small business owner then the importance of having an online presence is surely something you understand, as statistics show that currently, 71% of businesses have an online website Creating a business website is an investment into your business. However, when you are a small business then every expense matters. For any small business website, the most important thing to keep in mind is the ROI or the return on investment.
While there are many different methods of building a website, most of them are fairly expensive. The traditional way of coding a website from scratch and hosting it yourself is not generally feasible unless you are a technical whiz with your own web hosting. Hiring a professional web developer is another traditional way of building a website but that can also be quite the financial drain on a small business because professional web developers can charge upwards of $1000 for building a website from scratch. So if you want to build a website yourself, and do it affordably, using a website builder is your best bet.
Here are some other reasons why you should consider using a website builder for your small business website.
Ease of use
Website builders offer incredible ease of use because they are made to be beginner-friendly and intuitive. They offer simple, often drag and drop interfaces which allows you to customize your website’s visual appearance to your requirement without having to write a single line of HTML or CSS code. This makes them accessible to a wide demographic, including people who are not generally that tech savvy. You can also easily add features like a blog, online store, email marketing etc. which would otherwise take a good deal of time and expertise to set up.
Building your small business website on your own gives you a lot more control over customization and personalization than outsourcing it to a third party would allow. Certain website builders, like Pixpa, even allow you to use custom CSS and HTML code. So, if you are a relatively advanced user who likes to have flexibility and control, but don’t have the time to code a website from scratch, you can get the best of both worlds by using a website builder. This solution allows advanced users, including Flutter developers, to create a highly personalized small business website without the need to code everything from scratch.
Keeping your website up to date
Website builders simplify the process of maintaining your website and keeping it updated. Regular updates, including security updates and feature updates, and consistent customer support are a huge convenience. The scalable services offered by most website builder platforms are another huge plus because they enable you to scale up or scale back your small business website as per your needs without hassle or unnecessary expenses.
Rich features at low cost
Building a website from scratch without a website builder is complicated as is, however if you think of adding further functionality to such a website then the costs and complexity of the project skyrocket. For example,say you want to add an online store to your small business website. Undertaking such a venture on your own or through a professional will not only cost you a whole lot of time, it can also be very expensive. A website builder can not only simplify this process, it also makes it much more affordable. Features like marketing tools, blogging, e-commerce, SEO etc can be set up effortlessly and inexpensively using a website builder.
This becomes even more important as you begin scaling a business and you have to worry about things like tax and stamp duty.
Pixpa is an all-in-one, DIY website builder platform that aims to empower creative professionals and business owners by allowing them to build feature-rich professional custom-built websites, effortlessly and without touching a single line of code. It comes loaded with a full-featured online store builder and e-commerce tools, integrated SEO and marketing features, a comprehensive blogging platform and more. If affordability and ease of use are your main concerns then Pixpa will be the perfect platform for your small business website.
- Beginner-friendly no-code platform.
- Extremely affordable pricing plans, among the lowest in the market.
- A wide array of professional, mobile-optimized business website templates.
- Offers the option for using custom CSS and HTML code for more advanced users.
- Comprehensive online store builder and e-commerce tools including product and inventory management, shipping, taxes and discount management, abandoned cart recovery tools and more.
- Extensive SEO and marketing tools including announcement bars, cookie consent bars, email marketing tools and more.
- Pixpa charges zero commissions on sales made through your website.
- 24×7 customer support with a response time of under 3 minutes.
- Free one-time, website set-up service with Expert and Business tier pricing plans
- No freemium model or free plans. Pixpa is a paid service.
- Custom domain names must be purchased from a third party.
- Light – $3/month
- Personal – $7/ month
- Expert – $10/ month
- Business – $16/month
Wix is a perennially popular website builder (I say “perenially” because even though there are plenty of other platforms like Wix on the market, they stubbornly hang on as the leader) that offers a high degree of customization and design flexibility.
The Wix editor uses an intuitive drag and drop interface which makes visual design easy and effortless. Wix also offers an Artificial Design Intelligence or ADI which uses AI technology to automatically create your small business website for you based on the requirements you input.
- Over 800+ stunning website templates.
- ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) simplifies and automates website building by using advanced AI technology.
- The Wix Editor offers users a lot of creative flexibility and control. The drag and drop interface is easy to use and intuitive.
- App market with hundreds of free and paid integrations.
- The SEO Wiz tool is extremely useful for small businesses in improving your website and business’s organic reach and growth potential.
- The Wix Editor offers great creative flexibility but can be clunky and confusing for beginners.
- Wix’s bandwidth limitations can be a huge issue and some lower level price plans have bandwidths that are too low for even Wix templates to load.
- Inability to handle larger websites with many pages.
- The freemium model comes with ads on your website’s frontend which can make your website look less professional.
- Combo – $14/month
- Unlimited – $18/month
- Pro – $23/month
- VIP – $39/month
- Business Basic (ecommerce) – $23/month
- Business Unlimited (ecommerce) – $27/month
- Business VIP (ecommerce) – $49/month
- Enterprise – $500/month
Shopify is a comprehensive e-commerce website builder so if your business deals with a lot of e-commerce or online sales booter then Shopify could be the perfect for you. While it is a little bit on the expensive side, the price tag may be worth it if you sell large quantities of products online, engage in dropshipping using various wholesale apps or other primarily e-commerce based business ventures.
- Ideal for businesses with significant e-commerce requirements.
- Extensive app store with plug-ins which can be used to add additional functionality and features [such as Shopify eBay integration, Shopify Etsy Integration,…].
- Shopify offers their own in-house payments gateway, Shopify payments for credit card transactions.
- You can use custom code to customize your Shopify website.
- Possible to chat with customers with Shopify Inbox alternatives
- Shopify development on demand;
- Scalable. You can grow your website alongside your business.
- Shopify is ideal for e-commerce websites but not a very versatile platform if you want a multipurpose website.
- Plug-in dependence can make Shopify websites clunky to manage.
- Premium themes cost extra. Limited free themes.
- Basic – $29/month
- Shopify – $79/month
- Advanced – $299/month
- Shopify annual plan;
Pro tip: If you already have a store and want to switch to Shopify, you can use the Shopify migration tool. It will allow you to transfer your data from your current eCommerce platform to a new Shopify platform in an accurate, painless, and secure manner.
Sellfy is another website builder that is mainly centered around e-commerce. The platform was originally designed to help creators sell branded merchandise and digital content. Since then it has expanded to cater to a broader variety of small business websites and online stores. However, that being said, Sellfy still offers a relatively limited platform and is not suitable for larger online stores or websites.
- Simple and beginner-friendly
- Ideal for smaller online stores and single page websites.
- Perfect for creators and influencers looking to sell branded merchandise.
- Ability to sell digital content alongside physical products.
- Freemium model allows you to set-up an online storefront (see also: SAP commerce storefront) basically for free.
- Very limited customization options.
- Not suitable for larger websites or online stores.
- Not very feature-rich.
- Sellfy’s paid plans are a bit on the expensive side and do not quite offer a good enough range of features for the price point.
- Starter – $22/month
- Business – $59/month
- Premium – $119/month
Squarespace is perhaps one of the best known website builders on the market today and that is no small part due to its extensive digital marketing campaign and Youtube sponsorships. However, that is not all there is to Squarespace. The website builder is actually quite versatile and offers a pretty easy to use yet feature-rich platform for building a comprehensive small business website compared to other similar website builders.
- Beginner-friendly and intuitive no-code platform
- A wide range of user-friendly, professional and minimalist templates.
- Custom domain names are available with all pricing plans.
- Comprehensive and scalable ecommerce capabilities.
- Straightforward and honest pricing with no hidden fees.
- A lot of Squarespace’s marketing tools are behind a paywall. For example, you have to pay for email marketing separately.
- No freemium model. Squarespace offers no free plans and its pricing is on the relatively expensive side.
- Personal – $14/month
- Business – $23/month
- Basic Commerce – $27/month
- Advanced Commerce – $49/month
Creating an effective small business website is an essential investment for any business owner looking to prosper in this new digital era. The best website builder for you is the one that most closely meets your needs while also providing you the best return on your investment.
Different businesses have different requirements and it’s important to find a website builder that gives you exactly what you need for your small business website. For example, If you are a business owner looking to create a versatile small business website with an online store at an inexpensive price point, or if you are a photographer, artist or freelancer looking to incorporate e-commerce and marketing tools into your professional portfolio, Pixpa may be your best choice. For a larger e-commerce website with dropshipping capabilities, Shopify may be what you are looking for.
We hope that this article helps you find your perfect builder for your small business website!
Anisha Singh has an experience of 10+ years in graphic design and content creation. She is currently working on content strategy and creation for Pixpa.com, a portfolio website builder for photographers, creators & small businesses.
Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. He's also passionate about precious metals IRAs and how to invest in gold and silver for a safer financial future. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.